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Notícies :: guerra
Israel and the Middle East
30 ago 2003
Background information
âYet it is precisely this historic dismissal of the Other and the legitimacy of its national cause that stands at the root of Palestinian statelessness and dispersal.â? -- Efraim Karsh

Jews have lived in the Middle East continuously for thousands of years. After the seventh century Arab invasions and forced conversions of pagans to Islam, Jews maintained their culture, language, and religion. In the Islamic Middle East, Jews were officially given status as an inferior class (called dhimmis) and were at times -- into the twentieth century -- subjected to apartheid-like conditions, massacre, and expulsion.

Zionism is based on the recognition that Jews are a people who share a common origin, religion, culture, and history, and that the Jewish people, like other peoples, have a right to a homeland. Zionists believe the need for a Jewish homeland is crucial in order to end the historical persecution perpetuated at the whim of the non-Jewish majority in all parts of the world, including the Middle East.

European Jews began to immigrate to Palestine in the late 1880s, largely to escape pogroms and discrimination in Europe, where Jews were not viewed as native. Jews from the Middle East also began immigrating to Palestine at this time, particularly from Iran and Yemen, both to escape discrimination and to fulfill their Zionist vision. In the late 1880s, there were fewer than 350,000 Arabs living in the entire region called Palestine, which then included the area now called Jordan. Arabs immigrated en masse to the desolate region to take advantage of the economic development created by the Zionists. Arabs constituted 37 percent of the total immigration to pre-state Israel. In leftist terminology, the descendants of Arabs who immigrated in pursuit of jobs and economic opportunity are âindigenous,â? while the descendants of Jewish immigrants who fled discrimination, violence, and genocide are âcolonizers.â?

After World War I, Britain gained control over the much of the Middle East, which had been ruled by the Ottoman Empire. From this position, Britain severely restricted immigration of the Jews to Palestine, dooming hundreds of thousands of European Jews to Nazi death camps. In addition, Britain captured tens of thousands of Jews trying to âillegallyâ? immigrate to Palestine, and imprisoned them in Cyprus. An average of 16,000 Jews successfully immigrated to Palestine each year from 1919 to 1941. By contrast, Britain allowed Arabs to immigrate virtually unregulated to the region.

After World War II ended, Britain continued to deny Holocaust survivors refuge in Palestine. Between August 1945 and May 1948, when Israel declared independence, Britain caught 65 âillegalâ? immigrant ships carrying 69,878 survivors of the Holocaust. Britain interned approximately 50,000 survivors in new concentration camps. Of these, 28,000 were still imprisoned when Israel declared independence. After May 1948, Britain refused to release 9,000 âable bodiedâ? men so they wouldnât be able to fight on behalf of Israel during the Arab-Israel War.

In 1921, Britain severed nearly four-fifths of Palestine to create Transjordan, and barred Jews from settling there. Britain then placed restrictions on Jewish land purchases in the one fifth of the land that remained of Palestine. By 1949, the British had allotted 87,000 acres of cultivable land to Arabs and only 4,200 to Jews.

The British established the notion of an independent Palestine for the first time under a League of Nations mandate, and delineated its boundaries. The proposed boundaries of the two states, Israel and Palestine, were based on demographics, and took an almost checkerboard appearance. Arabs were the majority in western Palestine as a whole (1.2 million Arabs and 600,000 Jews), but the Jews were a majority in the area allotted to them by the resolution. Jews were also the majority in Jerusalem, which was to be under international control. In 1948, the year Israel declared independence, Jews privately owned 8.6 percent of the land, and Arabs privately owned 6.8 percent. The rest had been state-owned under Ottoman and British rule. Most of the Jewish-owned land had been purchased from wealthy Arabs, among them the well-known Nashashibi, el-Husseini, and el-Alami families.

During the Arab-Israel war of 1948-49, Britain supplied the attacking Arab states with weapons, and technical and strategic advice. Britain continued to use the small military enclave it still kept in Haifa to prevent the landing of Jewish immigrants. Britain also maintained a tight naval blockade aimed at preventing the arrival of weapons for the Jews. The U.S. participated in the arms embargo to the area, but became increasingly critical of Britainâs extension of aid to Arab armies, and eventually proposed to investigate whether the funds the U.S. advanced to Britain, and the equipment loaned under the European Recovery Programme, were being used to assist the Arab invasion of Israel. This threat made Britain somewhat more conciliatory toward Israelâs existence, in order to avoid what one British official wrote in a memo would be an âembarrassingâ? investigation.

Anti-Zionists claim that Jews expelled the Palestinians from their ânativeâ? land in 1948. However, they have never produced any evidence of a Zionist âmaster planâ? to expel Arabs. In fact, the new Jewish state immediately recognized the Arab population as an official ethnic and religious minority. The Jewish leadership had made detailed plans for the establishment of an Arabic-language press, the improvement of health in the Arab sector, the incorporation of Arab officials in the government, and the integration of Arabs within the police and the ministry of education. In 1947, David Ben-Gurion, who would soon become prime minister, told his Labor Party, âIn our state there will be non-Jews as well -- and all of them will be equal citizens; equal in everything without any exception; that is: the state will be their state as well.â? Today -- unique to Israel and in contrast to the most advanced democracies -- the Jewish state gives the languages and religions of its various minorities official status. Thus, Arabic is an official language alongside Hebrew, and Muslim and Christian holidays are considered official holidays.

Arab leaders rejected the UN resolution creating a Palestinian state alongside a Jewish one. Haj Amin al-Husseini, the former mufti of Jerusalem and then head of the Arab Higher Committee (AHC), told an Egyptian newspaper that âwe would rather die than accept minority rightsâ? in a prospective Jewish state. The secretary-general of the Arab League, Abd al-Rahman Azzam, declared to a Zionist peace delegation, âFor us there is only one test, the test of strength ... We will try to rout you. I am not sure we will succeed, but we will try. We succeeded in expelling the Crusaders, but lost Spain and Persia, and may lose Palestine. But it is too late for a peaceable solution.â? The Arab leaders aimed not for an undivided Palestinian state, but to parcel out and rule the region as their own.

The wealthiest Arabs, approximately 30,000, were the first to flee their homes in response to these threats of war. Many less affluent Arabs fled in panic as war got closer to their doorstep. Others were ordered to leave their homes by Arab leaders and military forces. There were instances in which Israeli forces expelled Arabs, but this accounted for a small fraction -- 5 to 10 percent -- of the total exodus. These expulsions were not part of a premeditated plan, but the result of ad-hoc military decisions during war.

There have been many admissions in the Arab world to its âencouragementâ? of Arab residents to flee. The Jordanian paper Filastin wrote in 1949, âThe Arab States encouraged the Palestine Arabs to leave their homes temporarily in order to be out of the way of the Arab invasion armies.â? Likewise, refugee Habib Issa recalled in Al-Hoda, June 8, 1951, âThe Secretary General of the Arab League, Azzam Pasha, assured the Arab peoples that the occupation of Palestine and Tel Aviv would be as simple as a military promenade ... He pointed out that they were already on the frontiers and that all the millions that Jews had spent on land and economic development would be easy booty, for it would be a simple matter to throw Jews into the Mediterranean.â?

Jews also fled their homes in fear of violence, and others were expelled. Jews fled from mixed neighborhoods such as the border areas between Jaffa and Tel Aviv, as well as from Jaffa itself. Gush Etzion, on the road between Bethlehem and Hebron, was captured by the Arab Legion and local Palestinian forces: the inhabitants were killed or taken prisoner and carried across the Jordan. Their settlements were completely demolished. The settlements Neveh Ya'akov and Atarot north of Jerusalem, also captured, were totally obliterated. All the residents of the Jewish quarter in the Old City in Jerusalem, conquered by local forces with the aid of the Arab Legion, were taken captive. No Jew was allowed to return to the Old City -- not even the ultra-Orthodox who detested Zionism and were prepared to live under Arab rule.

Israelis, poorly armed and outnumbered by the surrounding Arab armies, knew the alternative to winning the war against them was annihilation. As Secretary-General of the Arab League Azzam Pasha said in an interview with the BBC on the eve of the war, May 15, 1948, âThe Arabs intend to conduct a war of extermination and momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacres and the Crusades.â?

During the 1948 - 49 war, Egypt conquered Gaza, and Jordan conquered the West Bank. Neither country ever allowed Palestinian self-determination during this occupation. Egypt kept the Arab residents of Gaza under tight control, denied them Egyptian citizenship, and subjected them to severe restrictions on travel. Jordan controlled Jerusalem from 1949 - 1967, and forcibly expelled all the Jews. Jews were not allowed to visit or pray at their holy sites during this time. All but one of 58 Jewish synagogues in the Old City were destroyed.

In 1951, Israel passed the Equal Rights Act, giving all Israeli women -- Jewish, Arab and others -- the status of equality before the law. Bigamy and child marriages were prohibited, and a woman could not be married without her consent (i.e., sold). Despite the ideal of equality for women during the creation of the state, women today are discriminated against in the workplace, are put at a disadvantage in divorce proceedings (which continue to be controlled by religious authorities), and the harassment of women is ubiquitous. The militarization of Israeli society, made necessary by the genocidal hostility to the Jewish country, takes its toll on the status of women, and consumes financial resources that might otherwise go toward enhancing social services. Jewish men and women are required to serve in the Israel Defense Force. In the past, many military professions and all combat units were closed to women. In 2000, Israelâs Parliament opened all military professions to women, and women are now allowed to serve in combat. As in much of the world, illegal sex trafficking in women continues to be a serious problem. It is estimated that 2,500 - 3,000 women have been âimportedâ? into Israel and are compelled to become prostitutes. In 2000, the penal code was amended to treat trafficking as a serious crime, with severe punishment for the traffickers.

Almost a million Jews were expelled from Arab countries, their property confiscated, during the late 1940s and early 1950s. 600,000 of these refugees fled to Israel, where they were made citizens and integrated into Israeli society at great expense, with no international assistance. 300,000 of the refugees fled to Europe and the U.S. The expelled Jews of the Middle East were never compensated for their stolen property -- their homes, businesses, savings -- which is valued in the billions of dollars. Today, more than half of Israelâs Jewish citizenry is made up of these Middle Eastern Jewish refugees and their descendants.

Palestinian refugees, on the other hand, continue to be denied citizenship by all Arab countries except Jordan. (Jordan did grant citizenship as part of its efforts to absorb the West Bank, which it had conquered, occupied, and annexed.) Today, many Arab countries exclude Palestinians from access to jobs, housing and land, even while they offer such benefits to non-Palestinian Arabs and non-Arabs. In Lebanon, for instance, it is currently illegal to employ Palestinians. Ralph Garroway, former director of UNRWA, said in 1958: âThe Arab States do not want to solve the refugee problem. They want to keep it as an open sore, as an affront to the United Nations and as a weapon against Israel. Arab leaders donât give a damn whether the refugees live or die.â? The Palestinian refugees have received millions of dollars in assistance from the UNRWA, which is funded largely by the U.S.

UN resolution 194 was passed by the General Assembly in 1948 to create a commission to engender peace between Israel and the Arab countries. Only one of the fifteen paragraphs of the resolution alludes to ârefugees,â? in language that is as applicable to the hundreds of thousands of Jews who were expelled from Arab countries as to Arab refugees. The resolution (which is a recommendation, not a legal requirement, since it was passed by the General Assembly rather than the Security Council) suggested several possible solutions for the refugees, including resettlement and compensation for lost property. The return of refugees who are âwilling to live in peace with their neighborsâ? is one of the recommendations. All the Arab states voted against Resolution 194 because it did not establish a âright of returnâ? for Palestinians, and because it implicitly recognized Israel.

About 60,000 Palestinian refugees have returned over the decades under the terms of Israelâs family-reunification program. Arabs who lost property in Israel are eligible to file for compensation from Israel's Custodian of Absentee Property. Millions of dollars have already been paid by Israel in settlement of individual claims of lost property.

Arab leaders down the line have viewed a Palestinian âright of returnâ? to Israel (wrongly identified in years to come as a legal demand of UN Resolution 194) as the alternative means of destroying the Jewish country. In October 1949, the Egyptian politician Muhammad Salah al-Din, soon to become his countryâs foreign minister, wrote in the Egyptian daily al-Misri that âin demanding the restoration of the refugees to Palestine, the Arabs intend that they shall return as the masters of the homeland and not as slaves. More specifically, they intend to annihilate the state of Israel.â? In March of last year, Faisal al-Husseini, the âmoderateâ? minister for Jerusalem affairs in Yasser Arafatâs Palestinian Authority, said that âour eyes will continue to aspire to the strategic goal, namely, to Palestine from the [Jordan] river to the [Mediterranean] sea.â? He added, âWhatever we get now cannot make us forget this supreme truth.â? In their political discourse with one another in Arabic, and excluded from addresses to Western audiences, Arab leaders have made no secret of their perception of the âright of returnâ? as a euphemism for the destruction of Israel through demographic subversion.

Though Israel is depicted internationally as the oppressor of Palestinians, in fact far more Palestinians were killed in the single month of September 1970 by King Hussein of Jordan than were killed in three decades of conflict with Israel. King Hussein, who was fighting off an attempt by Yasser Arafat's PLO to destroy his monarchy, killed between 3,000 and 5,000 Palestinians, including 1,500 to 3,500 civilians. The number of innocent Palestinians killed by Kuwait in the winter of 1991, in revenge for the PLO's support for Saddam Hussein, far exceeds the number of Palestinian rioters and terrorists who lost their lives in the first intifada against Israel during the late 1980âs. Kuwait also expelled 300,000 Palestinians from the country at that time. âIf people pose a security threat, as a sovereign country we have the right to exclude anyone we donât want,â? explained Saud Nasir Al-Sabah, Kuwaiti Ambassador to the U.S.

The Arab League created the Palestine Liberation Organization in Cairo in 1964 as a weapon against Israel. The PLO engaged in terrorist attacks well before the Six-Day War in 1967 and Israelâs subsequent occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. The PLOâs charter, Palestinian National Covenant, calls for the destruction of Israel in many of its articles. There is no evidence that these articles have been removed. In April 1996âthree years after the signing of the Oslo DeclarationâArafat's Fatah publication âIn Our Viewâ? carried an article declaring that âthe Rulers of Israel demanded that the summons of the National Council would be specifically made for amending the Charter and for the cancellation of those articles which deny Israel's right to exist. However, these are the same articles that proclaim the goal of liberating Palestine. Consequently, the cancellation thereof means the cancellation of the goal for which the PLO had been established.â? In 1996, the Palestine National Council did vote to change the Covenant to abide by the principles of Oslo, but the amended version has never been published or shown to outsiders.

A few days before the outbreak of hostilities in June 1967, Egypt President Gamal Abdel Nasser, the foremost leader of pan-Arabism, predicted that "the battle will be total and our basic aim will be the destruction of Israel.â? Israelâs surprise victory in the Six-Day war forced some Arab leaders to confront the reality of Jewish statehood. The next war, launched in October 1973 by Nasser's successor, Anwar Sadat, had the much narrower objective of triggering a political process that would allow Egypt to regain the territories lost in 1967. Israelâs military recovery in October 1973, after having been caught off-guard by the attack, further reinforced Sadat's determination to abandon the path of outright violence, and this culminated in the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty of March 1979.

In exchange for Egyptâs promise of peace and increased U.S. aid, Israel returned the Sinai to Egypt, the region which Egypt had used to launch attacks against Israel. In doing so, Israel relinquished its shipping lanes, 1,000 miles of roadways, homes, factories, health facilities and agricultural villages. Because Egypt insisted that Jews leave the Sinai, 7,000 Israelis were uprooted from their homes and business. The residents of Yamit had to be forcibly removed by Israeli soldiers from their homes. The Alma oil field in the southern Sinai, discovered and developed by Israel, was transferred to Egypt, though it had become Israelâs largest single source of energy. The untapped reserves of the Alma field were estimated at that time to be worth $100 billion -- far more than the foreign aid Israel currently receives from the U.S.

Anwar Sadatâs successor, Hosni Mubarak, has since minimized interaction with Israel to the lowest possible level, transformed the Egyptian army into a modern force, and fostered a culture of virulent anti-Semitism in Egypt. For example, Egypt has banned Schindlerâs List, but in the name of free speech, recently broadcast on state-owned television âKnight Without a Horseâ?, which includes a subplot based on the âProtocols of the Elders of Zionâ?, the anti-Semitic tract used to incite pogroms in Czarist Russia.

Israelâs occupation of the Palestinian territories, after its victory in the 1967 war, was approached with a combination of economic inducements and minimized intervention. The local populace was allowed to administer itself with relatively little interference, and was allowed to have regular contact with the Arab world via the Jordan River bridges. In sharp contrast with, for example, the U.S. occupation of postwar Japan, which imposed a general censorship over all Japanese media and a comprehensive revision of school curricula, Israel made no attempt to reshape the culture. It limited its oversight of the Arabic press in the territories to military and security matters, and allowed the continued use in local schools of Jordanian textbooks filled with anti-Semitic and anti-Israel propaganda.

At the inception of the Israeli occupation, fewer than 60 percent of all male adults had been employed, with unemployment among refugees running as high as 83 percent. Soon after the Israeli occupation began, there were dramatic improvements in the health and the social and economic status of Palestinians, placing them well ahead of most of their Arab neighbors. The number of Palestinians working in Israel rose from zero in 1967 to 66,000 in 1975 and 109,000 by 1986, accounting for 35 percent of the employed population of the West Bank and 45 percent in Gaza.

During the 1970âs, the West Bank and Gaza constituted the fourth fastest-growing economy in the world -- ahead of Singapore, Hong Kong, and Korea, and substantially ahead of Israel itself. The per-capita GNP expanded tenfold between 1968 and 1991 from $165 to $1,715 (compared with Jordan's $1,050, Egyptâs $600, Turkey's $1,630, and Tunisia's $1,440). By 1999, Palestinian per-capita income was nearly double Syriaâs, more than four times Yemenâs, and 10 percent higher than Jordanâs. Only the oil-rich Gulf states and Lebanon were more affluent.

Under Israel's occupation of the territories, the Palestinians also experienced vast progress in health and social welfare. Mortality rates in the West Bank and Gaza fell by more than two-thirds between 1970 and 1990, while life expectancy rose from 48 years in 1967 to 72 in 2000 (compared with an average of 68 years for all the countries of the Middle East and North Africa). Israeli medical programs reduced the infant-mortality rate of 60 per 1,000 live births in 1968 to 15 per 1,000 in 2000 (in Egypt the rate is 40, in Jordan 23, in Syria 22). Under a systematic program of inoculation, childhood diseases like polio, whooping cough, tetanus, and measles were eradicated. Women and non-landowners were for the first time given the right to vote.

Palestinian standard of living also vastly improved under Israeli occupation. By 1986, 92.8 percent of the population in the West Bank and Gaza had electricity around the clock, as compared to 20.5 percent in 1967; 85 percent had running water in dwellings, as compared to 16 percent in 1967; 83.5 percent had electric or gas ranges for cooking, as compared to 4 percent in 1967; and so on for refrigerators, televisions, and cars.

Water resources for the West Bank improved considerably during the Israeli occupation. The water system in the Hebron region was expanded. New wells were drilled near Jenin, Nablus, and Tulkarm. More than 60 towns in the West Bank were given new water supply systems, or had old ones upgraded by the Israeli administration. During the droughts of the late 70âs and 80âs, well drilling was restricted. However, even when water tables were at dangerously low levels, the Palestinian territories (as well as dry towns in Southern Lebanon and Jordan) have continued to receive water from wells and springs that surface inside the 1967 borders of Israel. In the period from 1967 to 1995 West Bank Palestinians increased their domestic water use by 640 percent.

During the first two decades of the occupation, the number of Palestinian children attending school grew by 102 percent, and the number of classes by 99 percent, though the population itself had grown by only 28 percent. Even more progress was made in higher education. At the inception of the Israeli occupation of Gaza and the West Bank, not a single university existed in these territories. By the early 1990âs, there were seven such institutions, with 16,500 students. Illiteracy rates dropped to 14 percent of adults over age 15, compared with 69 percent in Morocco, 61 percent in Egypt, 45 percent in Tunisia, and 44 percent in Syria.

Political groups, including the PLO, were allowed to organize with minimal interference during Israel's occupation. Israel allowed the free flow of PLO-controlled funds, a policy justified by Minister of Defense Ezer Weizmann who said in 1978, âIt does not matter that they get money from the PLO, as long as they donât build arms factories with it.â? Israel allowed pro-PLO propaganda to appear in the local press, and allowed anti-Israel activity that did not directly incite violence. Israel did little to encourage the formation of Palestinian political institutions to serve as a counterweight to the PLO. Despite the PLO's access to outside funds, and its efforts to dominate and direct Palestinian society, Palestinian sentiment did not quickly fall into line with the PLO agenda. While the PLO claimed to be the âsole representative of the Palestinian people,â? most terrorist activities still emanated from the outside -- from Jordan in the late 60s, and then from Lebanon.

Since 1967, Jerusalem's Arab population has grown faster than its Jewish population. In the period from 1967 to 1996, the city's Jewish population grew by 113.1 percent, while its Arab population grew by 163.7 percent. Similarly, home construction in the Arab sector of Jerusalem outpaced home construction in the Jewish sector.

The Oslo Agreements gave the Palestinians control of 40 percent of the West Bank and Gaza, where 96 percent of Palestinians live. The accords did not require Israel to dismantle or stop expanding Jewish settlements in the territories. The settlements did expand after Oslo, as did Arab housing within Israel. Polls show that the majority of Israelis would accept the "transfer" of settlers, and the dismantling of settlements, if this would help bring about peace. It is seldom asked in such dialogues why Jewish villages and citizens do not have a right to exist in safety and security in Palestinian territories -- or any other Arab-majority land. To similarly require the "transfer" of Arabs out of Israel as a basic component of "peace negotiations" is univerally unthinkable. To forcefully remove any group of civilians other than Jews from a land would be identified as "ethnic cleansing."

The international bias against Israel, reflected in media throughout the world, has been supported by Israeli academics who call themselves the âNew Historians.â? These academics became internationally famous by claiming that previously undisclosed documents point to Israelâs historical wrongdoing toward the Arabs. London-based history scholar Efraim Karsh methodically reveals in Fabricating Israeli History that these "New Historians" have based their claims on forgery, distortion, and reliance on (and distortion of) secondary texts as their main sources, while avoiding altogether documents crucial to the issues they address, including all documents in Arabic. For example, Benny Morris claimed that the founders of Israel wanted the âtransferâ?, or expulsion, of Arabs, when all documented evidence demonstrates the Zionist leaderships' resistance to the British suggestion. Morris claimed Israel's first prime minister David Ben-Gurion wrote in a letter that âwe must expel Arabs and take their places.â? In fact, the original letter reads: âWe do not wish, we do not need to expel Arabs and take their place ... All our aspiration is built on the assumption ... that there is enough room in the country for ourselves and the Arabs.â? Avi Shlaim, for his part, argued that Zionists colluded with Transjordanâs King Abdullah to carve up Palestine following the exit of Britain. In fact, according to the informal (and only) documentation of an informal November 1947 meeting between Abdullah and Zionist leaders -- the meeting which all of Shlaimâs âevidenceâ? is based on -- Abdullah proposed to annex Palestine and allow a âHebrew Republicâ? within it. The Jewish leaders rejected this idea. Abdullah then proposed to capture the territory designated for the state of Palestine, rather than allow the creation of a new Arab state âwhich would upset my plans and enable the Arabs to ride on me.â? The documents Shlaim refers to indicate, in fact, that Golda Meir told Abdullah that the Jews would acquiesce to this idea if he avoided war with the Jewish state and if he declared that his intent was only to temporarily maintain law and order until the UN could establish a new government. Obviously this is not collusion, or even cooperation, at an informal meeting at which major diplomatic decisions could not, in any case, be made. Unfortunately, Morris, Shlaim, and other leftist Israeli academics have given formal legitimacy to anti-Semitic campaigns against Israel, and in doing so, have succeeded in seriously misinforming the international public. For their efforts, these shoddy academics have been treated by the media as the foremost âauthoritiesâ? on Israel, and are embraced, rather than targeted, by the anti-Semitic left.

The international bias against Israel is demonstrated most clearly by the activities of the UN. One third of all UN condemnations of the countries of the world have been directed solely against Israel. Twenty UN resolutions were directed against Israel during 2002 (up slightly from the annual average of 19), while no resolutions addressed human rights in countries such as Syria, Saudi Arabia or China. At the end of 2002, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution on Palestinian children -- the only children in the world subject to the specific concern of a General Assembly resolution. The resolution was drafted on November 15, the same week a Palestinian gunmen shot to death two children -- Noam, 4, and Matan, 5 -- on an Israeli kibbutz. (Responsibility was claimed by Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, which is associated with Arafatâs organization Fatah.) On April 27, 2002 a Palestinian gunmen broke into a home west of Hebron, found five-year-old Danielle Shefi hiding under her parentsâ bed and shot her in the head. On May 9, 2001, Israeli students Kobi Mandell, 13, and Yossi Ish-Ran, 14, were stoned to death and their bodies mutilated in a cave south of Jerusalem. Palestinian suicide bombers have routinely directed attacks at places where children gather, such as buses, discos and pizza parlors. More than 100 Israeli children have been murdered and 900 wounded or maimed in the past two years. The General Assembly resolution, however, made no mention of Israeli children. Also missing from the resolution supposedly on behalf of Palestinian children was any reference to the Palestinian Authorityâs practice of encouraging Palestinian children to participate in the armed conflict; the endemic anti-Semitism in Palestinian children's textbooks used in schools run by the UN Relief and Works Agency; and the use of Palestinian children as human shields by terrorists operating from densely populated civilian areas.

The same day this resolution passed, the General Assembly adopted a resolution on racism, after a two-month negotiation over the inclusion of the word "anti-Semitism" as a form of racism. For the past four years, a racism resolution has included "anti-Semitism" as a specific subject of study of the UN Special Rapporteur on Racism, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance. This year, the reference to anti-Semitism as part of the mandate was deleted. Only the United States, Israel and Palau voted against the resolution.

During the UNâs World Conference on Racism in Durban in September 2001, Jews were targeted with hate speech, taunting, and physical intimidation on the streets and in the NGO forums, as well as open anti-Semitism at the Government Conference. The hate literature distributed during the NGO conference included caricatures of Jews with hooked noses, Palestinian blood on their hands, surrounded by money, and Israelis wearing Nazi emblems. At the Government Conference, there was daily distribution by NGO participants of literature reading "Nazi-Israeli apartheid." Inside the drafting committees, states such as Syria and Iran objected to the inclusion of anti-Semitism as a form of racism on the grounds that it was a "complicated," "curious," and "bizarre" concept, and maintained that any reference to the Holocaust would be unfair. At one point, thousands of South African Muslim demonstrators marched bearing banners proclaiming "Hitler should have finished the job." Jewish NGOs from around the globe finally walked out when the NGO Forum voted to delete from its concluding agreement only the proposal of the Jewish caucus. The international human rights community, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, stood silently by. The Jewish proposal read: "We are concerned with ... attempts to delegitimize the State of Israel through wildly inaccurate charges of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, ethnic cleansing and apartheid, as a virulent contemporary form of anti-Semitism. [We are concerned with the] armed assaults ... and murder of ... Jews for their support for the existence of the State of Israel, the assertion of the right to self-determination of the Jewish people, and the attempts, through the State of Israel, to preserve their cultural and religious identity." The NGO Forum included instead: "Anti-Arab racism is another form of anti-Semitism ... that has led to violence and hate crimes." The forum added, Zionism is racism. Israel was the only nation criticized at this global gathering.

At the UN International Womenâs Year Conference in Mexico City in 1975, the final resolution condemned Zionism, but not sexism, as an âenemy of all women.â? Later that same year, the UN General Assembly passed by 72 to 35, with 32 abstentions, a resolution denouncing Zionism as âa form of racism.â? The resolution was used by anti-Semites around the world who disguised their anti-Semitic activity as anti-Zionist, hence anti-racist. In Britain, anti-Semitic university groups tried to expel Jewish student groups from British campuses on the grounds that they were pro-Zionist. The UN resolution was repealed in 1991. Some Arab states, along with Cuba, North Korea and Vietnam, opposed the repeal.

Israel is the only member state of the UN that is prohibited from standing for election to the Security Council, or to the Commission on Human Rights. Standing for election to the vast majority of UN bodies requires full membership in one of the UN's five regional groups and Israel alone is excluded from full membership of all five -- in direct contradiction of the UN Charter which requires the "equality of nations large and small." Israel is geographically suppose to be in the Asia Group, but is denied a seat. Israel has had temporary status (with less privileges and power) in the Western Europeans and Others Group since 2000.

The left and the mainstream media depict terrorism against Israeli civilians as a spontaneous, desperate response of the indigenous poor to Israelâs military occupation of the territories. However, this terrorism is highly organized and funded by fundamentalist Islamists that are explicit about their intent to wage war so long as the Jewish state exists. The terrorism is funded by anti-Semitic regimes and networks outside the Palestinian territories. The recruits for suicide bombing are young boys and men who have been formally schooled in anti-Semitism. They are not taught that terrorism will help free the territories from Israel. They are taught their murder-suicide will serve to eradicate Israel and the Jews in âPalestine,â? and that for their sacrifice they will be glorified and rewarded as martyrs in paradise. The families of suicide bombers are paid handsomely by the external sponsors of terrorism, and the suicide bombers themselves become heroes after their death.

Throughout the Oslo peace process, Arafatâs school system continued to indoctrinate Palestinian children in the belief that Israel is illegitimate, that Jews are foreign to the region and have no historical or religious claims to the land, and that Palestinian youth are honor-bound to eject the âconquering thievesâ? from Jerusalem and âPalestine.â?

As a result of the Oslo Agreements, more than 96 percent of the Palestinian population has been under Yasser Arafatâs jurisdiction. The Palestinian Authority controls virtually every aspect of Palestinian life -- schools, medical institutions, civic and political establishments. Palestinians now have passports, a flag, an international airport, and a sea port is underway.

Arafat's main responsibility in the Oslo accords is to arrest and extradite terrorists. He has since claimed to be unable to stop terrorism. A March 14, 2002 article published in USA Today, however, quoted leaders in terrorist organizations who do not hesitate to admit they are under the command of Arafat. Hussein A-Sheikh, a Fatah political leader in the West Bank (who, according to the article, appeared insulted when asked whether the brigade was under Arafat's control), said, âOf course, there is control. What do you think? That we are just a bunch of gangs?â? The article also describes Palestinian Authority officials as verifying that most members of the brigade receive salaries from Arafat's Palestinian Authority. While Arafat exercises authoritarian control over the media, and decimates his enemies, he has treated terrorist groups, their production of explosives, and their recruitment of youngsters with leniency and protection. Arafat has arrested some members of terrorist groups, as Oslo requires, but he routinely releases them as soon as the international media spotlight disappears. Palestinians who support cooperation with Israel are likely to be executed. Hanan Ashrawi asserts that âlife has become worse under the peace process.â? If so, this seems a logical consequence of the authoritarian violence with which Arafat and Islamic militants now rule after Israelâs partial withdrawal from the territories.

Hanan Ashrawi, internationally viewed as a peace and human rights activist, said of the extradition of terrorists required by Oslo Agreements, âIt has never happened and will never happen ... It has never happened that the Palestinian security or military forces have extradited a Palestinian ... It is unthinkable and is not even being considered.â? (August 12, 1997, Voice of Palestine Radio)

Toward the end of the peace talks in 2000, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak offered Arafat an independent Palestinian state that included more than 97 percent of (contiguous) territory of the West Bank, 100 percent of Gaza, and East Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital. He also offered to dismantle some of the settlements, and to compensate and resettle Palestinian refugees, with a âright of returnâ? offered to a limited number. According to U.S. negotiator Dennis Ross, Arafat responded to the offer by asserting that the Temple Mount, considered the holiest site in Judaism, does not exist. This rebuff came as the Israelis offered to allow Palestinian control of the surface of the Temple Mount, but asked for Jewish rights to the subterranean areas of the expanse on which the ancient Jewish temples stood. Israel's foreign minister at the time and negotiator at the talks, Shlomo Ben-Ami, who is known as particularly dovish, described in an extensive interview in Israeliâs liberal paper Ha'aretz in September the âtotal contemptâ? with which the Palestinian negotiators rejected even a âminimalâ? affirmation that the Temple Mount is a site âsacred to the Jews.â? He also said in this interview, âNever in the negotiations between us and the Palestinians was there a Palestinian counterproposal. There never was and there never will be. So the Israeli negotiator always finds himself in a dilemma: Either I get up and walk out because these guys aren't ready to put forward proposals of their own, or I make another concession. In the end, even the most moderate negotiator reaches a point where he understands that there is no end to it.â?

The left, along with the media, depict the second âintifadaâ? as a spontaneous response to Ariel Sharonâs âprovocativeâ? visit in September 2000 to the Temple Mount. (They sometimes claim that he visited the Al-Aksa Mosque). In fact, the violence had been planned for months. According to Imad al-Faluji, the Palestinian Authority Communications Minister, the violence had been planned since July, far in advance of Sharonâs September visit to the Temple Mount. âWhoever thinks that the intifada broke out because of the despised Sharon's visit to Al-Aksa Mosque is wrong ... The intifada was planned in advance, ever since President Arafat's return from the Camp David negotiations,â? he said.

As reported in Al Hayat al-Jadidya on July 20, 2000, âThe Fatah movement [Arafatâs] announced a general call-up in its ranks as a preparation for the next stage. The movement announced the opening of registration for boys until the age of 16, for weapons training ... The individual responsible for the movement made it clear that the movement will offer military weapons training to all boys under the age of 16, and noted that there is a strong response on the part of the boys.â? The Palestinian Authority closed the schools and bused Palestinian children to the organized riots. Palestinian TV contributed to the militarized atmosphere by running broadcasts of military parades and violence against Israeli soldiers. In the program âFathers and Sons,â? the announcer directed the voice-over of the soldiers on air: âOh Satanâs agents, oh enemies of mankind. I am Man the son of Man, I have been robbed, I have been pursued, I am frightened, every day I die ... and in my death, is life; I am the flame of life.â?

Thousands of Arabs began throwing bricks and rocks at Israeli police and the Jewish worshippers at the Western Wall. Twenty eight Israeli police were injured, and three were hospitalized. No Palestinians were injured that day. The rioting spread throughout the region. The Israeli peace movement, which had long argued that all that the Palestinians wanted was Israeli withdrawal from the territories and to live in coexistence, was devastated. Soon afterward, Sharon was elected by a landslide. On January 28, 2003, his party again swept to victory, despite the fact that most Israelis, unlike Sharon, favor the dismantling of the settlements, the transfer of the settlers, and the formation of a two-state solution as a means to peace. The Labor party, which campaigned on the promise to unconditionally return to negotiations with Arafat, won only 19 seats, the fewest ever in that party, and nearly half those won by Likud, Sharon's party. Many voters felt they had no one to vote for. Only 69 percent of voters turned out for the election, a historic low in Israel.

On October 27, with the intifada in full swing, Hafez Bargutti, Editor-in-Chief of the official PA newspaper Al Hayat al-Jadidya, called parents who attempt to keep their children away from the violent clashes a âfifth column,â? and accused them âof the most severe transgressions.â? Some parents, especially mothers, continued to resist. On December 8, 2000, USA Today reported that Palestinian mothers in the Tulkarm Women's Union called on the Palestinian Authority âto issue instructions to your police force to stop sending innocent children to their death.â?
Mira també:
http://www.saidit.org

Comentaris

Re: Israel and the Middle East
30 ago 2003
No acabo de entendre al 100% el rollo que porteu, pero el que si que se es que se us veu una mica el plumero.
Crec que la història s'ha d'explicar desdel's dos cantons, i no només desde la prespectiva que situa als Jueus israelis com unes pobres victimes, que no els deixen en pau formar el seu ambiciat estat jueu.

Israel s'ha asentat, a base de la sang, la mort i la netega ètnica i al meu parer, no es tindria que reconeixer aquest estat.
Els camps de refugiats de cisjordania estan plens de gent que ve de la zona ara nomenada "Israel" i que es van tenir que refugiar despres de les diverses guerres que hi van haver.

Per tant, com se li pot plantejar a una poblacia desplaçada ara ja fa uns quants anys, desde la seva terra per la força, que una solució al conflicte seria, la de dos estats veïns?
No oblidem que la la resolució de l'onu al 1947 que proposava la repartició de Palestina en dos estats, va ser aprovada despres de les amenaçes, de caire polític, econòmic, i inclus físic, que van aplicar els estats unids i els seus aliats, alhora també gracies a les presions dels lobbys jueus nordamericans cap als altres estats que s'hi opossaven.
Desde la formació de l'estat d'Israel, la població arab ha patit un apartheid brutal, que encara dura, i una neteja étnica sistematica.
No sols han robat les terres, sinó que també la cultura, la historia, etc...

No jutjem a ningu que decideixi explotar-se a si mateix, i enportanr-se a uns quant per davant, ja que la situació de desesperació que pot arribar a patir la població palestina que veu dia a dia com els maten, els fan fora de cas, els segresten, etc..es molt gran.
Que faries si et matesin els pares, et segrestessin els teus germans, et derrumbesin la casa, et robesin el teu passat, el teu pressent, i el teu futur, i no poguessis moure't lliurement pel carrer sense por dels tocs de queda o que et fotessin un tiro per la cara?
No opstant, i despres d'haver-hi estat varis cops a palestina, no m'atreveixo a plantejar una solució concreta, ja que es un conflicte molt complexe, pero si se que seria un canvi radical, oblidant-nos de la mentida de la coexisténcia, estats religiossos, etc..
Nomes demano que s'expliquin les coses tal com són, sense aprofitr-se de la historia per justificar cap barbarie.
Esta clar que els jueus han patit una persecució brutal al llarg de la historia, pero el que no acabo de entendre, es com poden fer el mateix que van patir fa un temps?
Re: Israel and the Middle East
31 ago 2003
Para el que no entienda inglés me he tragado este asqueroso panfleto y es pura propaganda sionista de la más baja estofa,plagada de mentiras,de fanatismo de calumnias contra la heroica lucha del Pueblo Palestino,ocupado,masacrado, torturado y martirizado por el criminal de guerra Ariel Sharon y su Ejército.
Son dignos aprendices de sus anteriores verdugos : los nazis.
Aprendieron a meter a sus enemigos en Campos de Concentración(ahora construyen un" Muro de la Vergüenza"alrededor de los Palestinos ,e intentan exterminarlos con misiles,arrancando sus olivos,destruyendo sus casas y asesinando niños que les tiran piedras a los tanques...
¡Palestina para los Palestinos!
Ariel Sharon a un Tribunal contra Crímenes de Guerra!
Re: Israel and the Middle East
31 ago 2003
El nombre que encabeza ese alegato de "agit-prop" sionista es SAID IT que en castellano significa "Dilo" o "Cuéntalo"(en catalá "diu-li").
Pero deberia firmarlo como "Miente" o "tergiversa la Historia"...es un cúmulo de mierda fanática-bíblica que demuestra la degeneración de un Estado artificialmente creado sobre los derechos de los Palestinos :su País y su Tierra.
Pero todos sus misiles,tecnología y propaganda ,pagada por USA no podrá contra la razón y la Justicia de la Lucha del Pueblo Palestino.
Abajo el Sionismo -nazi !
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