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The 'Road Map' for Palestine is not flawed - It is faked

The so-called 'Quartet' of powers managing the supposed road map to Palestinian statehood have no clear plans for dealing with illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied territories of Palestine.   Those settlements, condemned by the Geneva Convention and by numerous UN resolutions, are a constant and unremitting source of conflict and violent reaction on the part of the Palestinian people.  There will be no real peace, or hope of peace, until they are removed, or their presence is formally legalized and accepted by the representatives of the Palestinian people.

Yet, as noted in the article quoted below, the Quartet has no plan for such removal or formalization, and no will to enforce a plan if one existed.  The Sharon regime will pretend to consider action, but only in vague and meaningless verbalizations, not in real negotiation.

Dealing with these settlements is a basic requirement for a successful peace.  They are not being dealt with.  There will be no peace.

This is neither a surprise to, nor an oversight by the neo-con Shrubbyists in Washington.  They knew they were handing Tony Blair and the world a meatless bone, when they agreed to the "road map" proposal, knowing it was DOA, in a meaningless "exchange" for compliance with and cooperation in their policy of war in Iraq.

The Bush appearance at the White House on March 14, with a silent Powell at his side,  to announce the Bush regency's  commitment to a 'road map' for a Palestinian  state and peace in the Midddle east must count as one of the most deceptive, hypocritical, and callous performances in political history.

Now they will use Powell to further the pretense, negotiating endlessly but never dealing firmly with Israel on the issue of these illegal settlements.  And when the negotiations fail, or are broken off due to violence resulting from frustration over the daily insult of an occupying power which is destroying Palestinian vineyards and groves, they will pretend that they have done their best.

Some of the principal players in the Bush regency were involved in "consulting" roles for the fundamentalist allied, rightist  rightist Likud party (under Nuttinyahoo), and while in that role prepared 'white paper' recommending actions which imply the removal of the Palestinian people from the occupied territories altogether.  Judging by the Bush regency's behavior, that is  still their covert goal today.

Cheney-Rumsfeld agent-advisors Richard Perle and  Douglas Feith wrote for Likud the 1966 paper  called:  "A Clean Break, A New Strategy for Securing the Realm".   Its main recommendations, in sum,  were the destruction of the Oslo peace process and a  radical reordering of the Middle East via a U.S. war on Iraq and a massive U.S. military  presence in the region.

As with so much else,  Sept-11 was the catalyst that allowed implementation of the second part of the "New Strategy".   (Implementation of the first part was initiated by Sharon's millenialist inspired incursion, qua demonstration, on the Temple Mount in late September, 1999; violent IDF suppression of the Palestinian protests which followed  led to to the Second Intifada and the associated wave of suicide bombings which finally poisoned Oslo.)   Regulary feted in Israel as great patriots, Perle, Feith and others in their group are on public record calling for a Greater Israel, that is the 'removal' of the Palestinians and incorporation of the West Bank into the State of Israel.

Consider the articles by Michael Lind (1, 2, 3, ) at this link, and this:

(April, 2002)  "Richard Perle, chairman of Bush's quasi-official defence policy board, co-authored a 1996 paper with Douglas J Feith for the Likud prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu. Entitled "A Clean Break: A New  Strategy for Securing the Realm," it advised Netanyahu to make "a clean break from the peace process." Feith now holds one of the most important positions in the Pentagon-deputy-under-secretary of defence for policy. He argued in the National Interest in Fall 1993 that the League of Nations mandate granted Jews irrevocable  settlement rights in the West Bank. In 1997, in "A Strategy for Israel,"  Feith called on Israel to re-occupy "the areas under Palestinian  Authority control" even though "the price in blood would be high." On 13th October 1997, Feith and his father were given awards by the right-wing Zionist Organisation of America, which described the honorees as "the noted Jewish philanthropists and pro-Israel activists."

(October, 2002)  ...  In the months since I published my essay, individuals associated with this (Wolfowitz-Perle-Feith clique at the Pentagon), both in the government and outside, have proposed the following measures, among others: the US invasion and occupation of Iraq; US bombing of Iran's nuclear facilities on behalf of Israel; US seizure of the Saudi oil fields and toppling of the Saudi monarchy; and the dispersal throughout the world of US anti-terrorist hit teams, modelled on Israel's death squads, which would murder people without arrest or trial on the territories of foreign countries. Meanwhile, Douglas Feith has been appointed to head a new Israeli-American counter-terrorist organisation from which our European allies are excluded.

Moreover, an ever-expanding rift has opened between the civilian Wolfowitz clique and America's career soldiers, many of whom do not want to be cannon fodder in a crusade supported by American Zionists and Southern Baptists to establish an Israeli-American condominium over the middle east. ...

Liars, cheats, and betrayers; these people must be removed from power.

Jim Pivonka
PO Box 751
La Crosse, KS  67548

Cold truths of freezing Jewish settlements
By Sharmila Devi
Published: April 30 2003 21:14 | Last Updated: April 30 2003 21:14
© Copyright The Financial Times Ltd 2003. "FT" and "Financial Times" are trademarks of the Financial Times.

At the height of the war in Iraq last month, Washington quietly rebuked Israel for allowing Jewish families to move into a new settlement in Arab east Jerusalem.

Indeed, despite the US State Department's calling the move "inconsistent" with President George W. Bush's vision of an Israeli and Palestinian state living to gether in peace, settlers are now ensconced in a fortified apartment complex near the densely populated district of Ras al-Amoud. The settlers include Irving Moskowitz, a millionaire, and his son-in-law Ariel King, a far-right political activist.

The Israeli group Peace Now says the move to populate the settlement during the war was a concerted effort to avoid international criticism. "This is a settler group, extremists who want to transfer the Arabs," says Eyal Hareuveni, a director at the group's Jerusalem branch. "This is only a recipe for friction and violence."

The movement highlights the difficulties in implementing a "freeze" of Jewish settlement in the occupied territories as called for in the "road map".

Successive Israeli governments have implicitly, if not openly, endorsed the Jewish communities that have gradually moved into slices of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Such settlement activity is considered illegal under international law but condemnation and diplomacy have failed to stop it.

The number of settlers has almost doubled since the Oslo peace accords of the early 1990s to about 200,000 settlers in the territories and another 200,000 in east Jerusalem, which was annexed by Israel after the 1967 war. They are surrounded by 3.3m often hostile Palestinians.

"The settlements are the crown jewels of the occupation and Israel would have to expend a lot of political capital to end them," says Geoffrey Aronson of the Washington-based Foundation for Middle East Peace. "They are an extraordinary achievement - but it's always almost impossible to hold Israel accountable."

The Yesha Council, which represents Jewish communities in Gaza and Judea and the West Bank, sees its mission as "fulfilling the historical charge of rebuilding the land while simultaneously serving as a crucial protective zone for the population centres along the coastal plain".

The Geneva Convention, which the settlers dispute, prohibits an occupying power from moving civilians into territory that it has taken. Israel has used a variety of means to seize territories, such as confiscating areas for military purposes and declaring land owned by "absentee" landlords as "state lands".

In addition to freezing settlements, the road map also calls for the dismantling of "illegal outposts", which often consist of a few caravans on isolated hilltops. Previous attempts to remove these have provoked violence between settlers and the Israeli army, whose troops are privately disgruntled at having to provide security for them.

Yosef Paritsky, the infrastructure minister, who belongs to the staunchly secularist Shinui party, has drawn attention to the blurred lines of legality in the territories. "I am checking out how the illegal outposts were connected to electricity and water, which are owned by the state," he says. "I simply do not understand how this was allowed to happen."

Ariel Sharon is considered an important architect of the settlements, having facilitated their growth through a number of ministries since the 1970s. He recently pr ovoked the anger of the Yesha Council as well as his rightwing coalition partners when he said peace negotiations with the Palestinians might involve giving up some Biblical lands, such as Bethlehem and Beit El. "I know that we will have to part with some of these places," Mr Sharon said. "As a Jew, this agonizes me."

But few Palestinians or diplomats believe Mr Sharon could ever be forced to dismantle anything other than a few symbolic outposts. So far, the Palestinians have failed to mobilise international opinion in their favour.

"If you look at the road map, what penalty does Israel pay if it doesn't freeze the settlements? The road map calls for monitoring but there is (a) no dearth of information. None of the quartet members intends to carry out intrusive enforcement," says Mr Aronson. He points to the Israeli evacuation of 5,000 settlers from the Sinai in the wake of a comprehensive peace treaty with Egypt in 1979 as an example. Given the political and economic investment in the settlements, he believes their evacuation should be part of final status negotiations. "The whole focus of the road map on interim measures is flawed. It's a peace process put together by committee not geared to ending the problem."

Published: April 30 2003 21:14 | Last Updated: April 30 2003 21:14
© Copyright The Financial Times Ltd 2003. "FT" and "Financial Times" are trademarks of the Financial Times.

May 12, 2003