NPK-info 11-08-2001- Nederlands Palestina Komitee / www.palestina-komitee.nl

Uit de mail
* Who is the victim, who is the executioner?, Emmauel Dror Farjoun,
-  "...the whole colonization project of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank is
a war crime..."
- "...To me, each and every adult settler is an independent accomplice in
this war crime, in the robbery of lands, in the shameful exploitation, in
the repression of the most elementary human rights of the Palestinians, and
in the continual killing and torture that have been going on for more than
34 years.
> De - uiteraard ook treurigmakende - recente bomaanslag in West-Jeruzalem
heeft als neveneffect dat aan het licht komt dat ook Nederlanders reeds
jarenlang aktief zijn als kolonisten in bezet gebied. Dwingt de Vierde
Geneefse Conventie Nederland niet tot handelen tegen "onze kolonisten"?
* Christian group enters Palestinian village to shield people from Israelis,
The Associated Press
* International Law versus the Rule of Force, 2-8-2001
* Reactie op Barak [Volkskrant 1-8-2001]: "Met Arafat is geen vrede te
sluiten", door Nizar Sakhnini.
* Jerusalem Bombing, Robert Fisk, The Independent, Jerusalem, 10 August 2001
* Israeli seizure of Palestinian organisations in Jerusalem, LAW
- Zie de oproep hierbij.

* Marcel van Dam, Volkskrant 2-8-2001 in "De Internationale Rechtswanorde"
- "Nu Israel is begonnen met het preventief ruimen van mogelijke leden van
het Palestijnse verzet is er zelfs bij mijn weten een nieuw oorlogsmisdrijf
uitgevonden. Toch kan Israel daar ongestoord mee doorgaan omdat iedere
internationale actie tegen die misdrijven wordt geblokkeerd door Amerika."
* Marcel van Dam, Volkskrant 9-8-2001 in "Niet langer zwijgen".
- "....als het om Israel gaat munten politici uit in zwijgzaamheid als het
om een veroordeling van Israel gaat."
- "....hoog tijd dat het westen Israel gaat behandelen als een land dat op
grove wijze het internationale recht schendt en het sanctiewapen gaat
gebruiken om dat recht te herstellen."

Vrijdag 10 augustus organiseerde de Palestijnse Vereniging met steun van het
NPK en het Palestina Komitee Rotterdam een picketline bij de nu zwijgende en
nog tot 3-9 receshoudende Tweede Kamer. Een initiatief van GroenLinks [Farah
Karimi] om de Kamer van reces terug te halen om te debatteren over
Palestina-Israel werd helaas afgewezen. De bij het picket plm. 40 aanwezigen
riepen op te komen tot druk vanuit Nederland op Israel teneinde Israels
moordaanslagen [regeringspolitiek] te stoppen en de bezetting beëindigd te
krijgen [naast andere eisen].
Wie parlementariers wil mailen kan adressen vinden op www.parlement.nl.

Aanklacht tegen Sharon
* Zie o.a. zomernummer van VN of De Groene van enkele weken terug.
* The call for international support for the complaint against Sharon was
very successful.
Zie ook http://allserv.rug.ac.be/~hdeley/CIE/support_list.htm
> Publish or make public this list
> Prof.Dr.Herman De Ley,
> Ghent University (Belgium),
> e-mail : herman.deley@rug.ac.be

NPK/WL, 11-8-2001

P.S. Zie
* Palestine Solidarity Campaign www.palestinecampaign.org
* Electronic Intifada http://electronicIntifada.net

From: F r e e d o m, 28-7-2001

>The following is a translation of a letter sent to Ha'aretz, Israel's
> leading daily, by Prof Emmanuel Farjoun of the Hebrew University in
> Jerusalem, in which he replies to a piece published in that paper on 26
> June 2001. The paper published on 28 June an abridged version, cutting out
> some of the sharpest passages. Even that truncated version was not
> included  in the English-language e-edition of Ha'aretz.
>The following translation was made by Emmanuel himself. I have made some
> slight stylistic emendations, with his permission.
> Moshe Machover

Who is the victim, who is the executioner?
By: Emmauel Dror Farjoun, Jerusalem.

Ari Shavit, a man proudly loyal to his nation, wonders why the left in
Israel has remained silent over the murder of Israeli settlers in the
West Bank (Ha'aretz, 26.6.01).  I will answer in my own name, knowing full
well that even within the left my voice represents a minority, albeit not
an insignificant one.

I have kept silent over the continual killings of settlers in the West
Bank and Gaza, because in my opinion the whole colonization project of the
Gaza Strip and the West Bank is a war crime that makes my blood boil.  To
each and every adult settler is an independent accomplice in this war
crime, in the robbery of lands, in the shameful exploitation, in the
repression of the most elementary human rights of the Palestinians, and
in the continual killing and torture that have been going on for more than
34 years.

Each settler is an active participant in the discrimination in all areas
of life.  The apartheid regime that Israel created after the war of 1967 in
the occupied territories, using the military and the settlers, is
certainly the moral and practical equivalent of the slavery that was
enforced on many African peoples.  This enslavement also took place with the
participation of their own chiefs.  It is also similar to the South
African apartheid regime in whose enforcement many black policemen took

It is well known that sometimes slaves react with extreme violence
against their masters.  For some examples of this, read The Confession of
Nat Turner by W. Styron.  Rape and wanton murder were part and parcel of
such slave revolts, which interestingly enough were quite rare.  In South
Africa during the apartheid regime one witnessed terrible torture and
burnings of suspected black collaborators and policemen.  Nevertheless, the
organizations and mass movements that called for the liberation of the
slaves did not spend much time protesting these violent and brutal acts.
These sometimes terrible atrocities by slaves against their masters
serve to demonstrate that a slavery regime corrupts and destroys not only
masters but also the spirit and morality of the slaves themselves, the
direct victims of slavery.

To call, as Ari Shavit does, the violent and sometimes murderous
struggle by three million persons who are deprived of minimal rights, are
stateless, are often deprived of water, even of food and certainly are
deprived of the minimal freedom of movement, to call such a struggle 'ethnic
cleansing', as Shavit calls it, amounts to scorning the underdog.  By the
same token
the American Indians performed "ethnic cleansing" against the whites, and in
South Africa the blacks who struggle to regain territories and land lost
during decades and centuries of land robbery are also performing ethnic

Could Ari Shavit give another example, a bit removed from himself, of an
ethnic cleansing perpetrated by stateless victims who have been under
occupation for decades against one of the strongest and richest
countries of the globe?

It is not only the Israeli left that thinks that the Israeli state under
various governments is breaking international law and violating
international agreements to which Israel has committed itself: it not
only the left who consider the head of our government a probable war
who has been engaged in systematic killing for the last fifty years.  We
have all seen the BBC programme about Sharon's crimes in Lebanon, and
even an Israeli government commission has found him partly responsible for
the mass killing of completely innocent civilians in Shatila refugee camp.

In his advanced age Sharon perhaps begins to feel the heavy burden of
the murderous force that he has employed for the last fifty years -- from
the reprisal operation in the village of Qibyeh in his early days,
through Sabra and Shatila, to the recent F-16 bombing of the heart of the
dense inner city of Nablus.  But his crimes are not specific to him.  He
perfectly comfortable with his government allies, many of whom took part
in similar and possibly worse crimes.

Perhaps a small metaphor will help Mr Shavit understand my attitude
towards the killing of settlers.  If I see a woman being violently and
repeatedly raped defending herself by sticking her fingers or even a pair of
scissors into the rapist's eyes, I may gasp or be taken aback for a moment
by her violent reaction, but at the same time I know full well who is the
rapist and who is being raped and how serious the crime is.  Further, if
the very act, the rapist forces on his victim negotiation of the exact
amount of his withdrawal, instead of leaving her alone, I give him no
credit points for his offer to leave only 10% of his body inside her,
and even this provided she behaves nicely and does not complain to the
police the following day.  No, I give him no credit points for this kind of
partial reconsideration of the situation.

The continued occupation by the disgusting apartheid regime that
subjects three million people, of whom a million and a half are children, to
arbitrary power of occupation, suppression of rights and countless
restrictions will be paid each year with higher and higher interest
rates by the two societies: in the continual corruption on both sides, in
enormous strengthening of the religious extreme ideologies and groups,
in the flight of the best brains and trained people and the obstruction of
education and professionalism at all levels, in the flight of many
sensitive people who cannot bear the continual violence and inhuman
discrimination and barbaric degradation of many aspects of life.

We will all pay dearly when both societies will break up into struggling
groups pulling in opposite directions or alternatively both societies
unite themselves around false visions of revenge, destruction of the other
side, liberation of the holy lands and holy sites and other real estate

As long as the cynical and shameful exploitation of the three million
Palestinians is made possible by the concentration zones A and B and C
to which they are confined and by total control of food and other products,
as long as the beautiful hills and valleys of the West Bank lure and whet
the appetite of a large part of Israeli society, the road forward to
further modern development will be greatly obstructed.  Further, the
of falling backwards to religious, cultural and eventually
scientific-technological degradation, Afghanistan-style, is real
and in fact developing every day.

It is possible to claim with some justification that in its initial
phase the occupation brought some real and substantial, if immorally gotten,
gains to the Israeli society and even to the Palestinian one.  But this
stage has long passed.  Now we are all bogged down in its mire, while
many of our leaders still attempt to bring back the glorious initial days
of profitable occupation.  The initial exhilaration of this occupation drug
has turned into a woeful drug addiction with all its usual criminal
consequences and frustrating and hopeless attempts to liberate oneself
from the worst aspects without really giving it up.

Now we are paying heavily in the astonishing indifference of large
sections of our society to modern development, by a huge turn to the most
narrow and degrading form of religious "learning", by the proliferation of
religious schools in which nothing beyond the Talmud is taught, where
science in
general and biology in particular is despised and avoided as terrible
heresy.  It is clear to me that the denial of the biological theory of
evolution is as as dangerous to Israeli society as, say, the denial of
the holocaust to European socio-political culture.

The Israeli religious movements, with cunning instinct, understand very
well that the this lure of West Bank real estate, the messianism of
Greater Israel, and hopes of glory via total control of the whole Land and
peoples by the Jews is the greatest obstacle to the modern development
of the Israeli people -- a development which to them represents the worst
danger.  They happily direct attention to the lure of "riches",
real-estate and religio-cultural, in material possession of land and
workers and away from the only real source of richness: modern
and cultural progress, towards which many Israelis have started leaning
heavily and with spectacularly good results.

Thus they are carried in their extreme nationalism and chauvinism not
only by religious and all too materialistic greed and dedication to the
"Land of Israel" but also by the understanding that racism and factual and
legal assertion of the inferiority of everything non-Jewish is the greatest
obstacle to further modern technological and cultural-cosmopolitan
development of Israel both in the areas of human and social rights and
the political-economic domain.

No, nothing justifies indiscriminate killing.  Not even this shameful
occupation.  Even the aim of liberation does not sanctify all the means
employed on the way.  After all, the logic of sanctification of the
means by the holy aims turns the sometimes immoral means themselves into
new holy aims and oftentimes pushes the real final aims into the remote

But the the movement against occupation in Israel was created to battle
against a specific thing, a specific state-inflicted violence and
discrimination, rather than to fight against any transgression of moral
codes.  We are here to defend to victims of state policy, not the abused
neighbours nor to protest against the killing of land robbers such as
the settlers, be they the more extreme version of Goldstein, the mass
murderer of 32 peaceful Palestinian worshippers in Hebron, or the milder
land confiscators who enclose the Palestinians' ancestral lands.

Yes, the Israeli occupation increases every day the corruption of the
Palestinians, just as slavery has always corrupted and destroyed many of
its victims, not least by blocking most of the possible roads for their
normal human development compatible with the times.  The results of this
corruption will be and are being criticised, principally by brave
Palestinian voices, and loudly I hope.  But as long as the crimes of
continual collective rape that Israel perpetrates in the west Bank and
Gaza have not ended, my voice of protest against the crimes of the slaves
themselves, the crimes of the prisoners of the concentration zones, of
the new ghettos, blocked away by Israeli tanks from any free development
and movement, my voice will be but a whisper in comparison to my
unrelenting anger against the collective executioner: the governments of
Israel and
their collaborators from all ranks of the Israeli and Palestinian


From: F r e e d o m, 3-8-2001

Christian group enters Palestinian village to shield people from Israelis

The Associated Press


BEIT JALLA, West Bank (AP) Ronald Forthofer from Colorado cowered with a
family of Palestinians in the back bedroom of their home as Israeli
machine-gun fire and tank shelling shattered the night.
Wearing a white T-shirt and cowboy jeans, blinking in the bright sunlight
the next morning, he said that's why he's here.

Forthofer, 57, is one of 70 volunteers who believe their bodies will serve
as human shields to protect the Palestinians in this small hilltop town
battered by 10 months of gunfights and Israeli tank shelling. He left
Longmont, Colo., and came to live in a Palestinian house this week in one
of the hottest points of fighting.

"We believe that we who are protected in America should experience and
live in the same way that Palestinians are living in the suffering,"
Forthofer said as he looked across the valley at an Israeli army outpost
guarding Gilo, an Israeli neighborhood on disputed land.

Nighttime gun battles have frequently lighted up the valley between Beit
Jalla and Gilo. Palestinian gunmen take up positions in and between Beit
Jalla houses and open fire on the Jewish apartment buildings across the
valley, drawing return fire from the Israeli military.

Palestinians consider [*] Gilo an illegal settlement built on West Bank
Israel says it is part of Jerusalem and claims the whole city as its own,
including the Arab section.

Forthofer is one of 20 Americans from the Episcopal Church who came on a
peace mission and began living in Palestinian homes this week. Among the
other volunteers are Europeans, Japanese and Israeli peace activists.

They've already gotten a taste of what life is like here. Fighting between
Gilo and Beit Jalla raged Tuesday night after an Israeli helicopter
missile strike killed eight Palestinians in the West Bank city of Nablus.

Brenda Holliday, 60, from Orange County, California, rested in a home hit
by several bullets overnight. She said no part of the house was safe, and
the children wake up frightened.

"If children live under this kind of oppression ... a vicious cycle will
be repeated," she said. "The child who was oppressed will become the adult
doing the oppressing."

At a news conference Wednesday, the volunteers called on the international
community to intervene "to cease active support of Israeli aggression
against the Palestinian people."

Israeli defense ministry spokesman Shlomo Dror called the group's presence
in Beit Jalla a provocation.

"The only question I can ask these people is why they are putting
themselves as a human shield in Beit Jalla, not in Gilo?" he said. "We
know they are there because they have a point of view against Israel."

[*] VN-resolutie 242 ook.

From: F r e e d o m

For The Record
Number 80
2 August 2001

The Center for Policy Analysis on Palestine / 2425-35 Virginia Ave., NW /
Washington, DC 20037 / Tel: 202.338.1290 / Fax: 202.333.7742 /

International Law versus the Rule of Force
"Recent moves by the Clinton and the current Bush administrations
regarding Jerusalem have surprised even the most cynical observers of U.S.
foreign policy for their disregard of . . . international legal conventions
and their departure from the stated positions of their previous
administrations," said Stephen Zunes at a 26 July 2001 Center lecture.
Zunes, associate professor of Politics and chair of the Peace and Justice
Studies Program at the University of San Francisco, explained that the U.S.
has become increasingly accepting of Israel's unilateral annexation of East
Jerusalem, which is in violation of international law.
Zunes explained that the United Nations General Assembly partition
resolution of 1947 called for Jerusalem to be internationalized. During the
1948 war, Israel took control of the western part of the city and Jordan the
eastern. The city remained divided until the 1967 war, at which point Israel
occupied the eastern Arab sector of Jerusalem as well as the rest of the
West Bank. In the years after 1967, "Israel began to administer a greatly
expanded eastern Jerusalem under Israeli law," including a large swath of
rural areas and villages "many miles beyond . . . the traditional municipal
boundaries" of Jerusalem. In response to Israel's annexation, "the U.S.
supported UN Security Council Resolution 267 which condemned Israel's
conquest of the city as illegal and censored 'in strongest terms all
measures taken to change the status of the city of Jerusalem.'"
The first six U.S. administrations since the 1967 war viewed East
Jerusalem as occupied and subject to UN resolutions 242 and 338. These
resolutions "reiterate the long-standing principle of international law
regarding the illegality of expansion of any nation's territory through
military force." Even under the Nixon administration-during which time the
U.S. "first used its veto to protect Israeli violations of international
law"-the U.S. clearly opposed Israel's occupation of East Jerusalem and its
colonization of the area. This policy was first challenged during the 1980
presidential campaign, during which contender Ronald Reagan said: "'an
undivided city of Jerusalem means sovereignty for Israel over that city.'"
Nonetheless, when in office, the Reagan administration's stance toward
Jerusalem "was mostly in line with the policy of its predecessors."
According to Zunes, the United States "joined virtually the entire
international community in declaring Israel's de facto annexation 'null and
void.'" This was the language used against Iraq when it invaded Kuwait in
1990. In fact, former President George Bush, Sr.'s argument for entering
Gulf War was because "such land grabs must be reversed" and UN Security
Council resolutions upheld.
Despite various contradictions in policy, such as U.S. military aid
to Israel, which is used to uphold the occupation, the United States still
remained "faithful, at least in rhetoric, to important principles of
international law. That is until Bill Clinton came to power," at which point
there was a "major shift." In a count of settlements, for example, the
Clinton administration did not count those in East Jerusalem. Additionally,
"in 1995, the United States vetoed a UN Security Council resolution
condemning the construction of illegal Israeli settlements within Arab East
Jerusalem." This was the first administration "not to oppose building
settlements in greater Jerusalem," Zunes asserted. Although previous
administrations had raised objections to various aspects of some UN
resolutions, "no administration prior to Clinton's, however, questioned the
fact that East Jerusalem was occupied territory, that Israeli settlements in
East Jerusalem were anything but illegal, or that the Israeli governance of
East Jerusalem was subject to [the] provisions of the Fourth Geneva
Convention." Zunes continued that "combined with the fact that only the
United States has the influence to force Israel to end its occupation of
Jerusalem, the Clinton administration and now the current Bush
administration's shift in policy . . . threatens the future peace and
stability of the entire region."
"The United States is effectively endorsing a country's act of
unilateral territorial expansionism. Challenging the fact that Jerusalem is
currently under military occupation discourages the Israelis from making the
necessary comprises for peace" and may serve to encourage other countries to
seize land by force. No other country except the U.S. and Israel supports a
united Jerusalem largely under Israeli control as its capital.
"International organizations and leaders of major religious bodies
throughout the world have repeatedly stressed the importance of not allowing
Israel's unilateral takeover to remain unchallenged." Even in the U.S.,
continued Zunes, "public opinion polls show a majority of Americans . . .
believe that Jerusalem should be a shared city, a shared capital."
Current U.S. policy toward Jerusalem is a "direct challenge to the
authority of the United Nations and some of the most basic tenets of
international law." Still, Zunes believes that "the situation is not
hopeless, merely bleak. There are still possibilities for major shifts, but
these shifts are not going to come as long as the United States in its
policies . . . keeps goading on the annexationists who want to make the
occupation permanent."
Zunes argued that "it is a choice between those who wish to uphold
international law and the right of self-determination versus those willing
to accept the results of military might and the right of conquest. The
United States government is on the wrong side. Our job is to set them
right." Granted, there are powerful domestic forces supporting Israel, but
on some very key aspects of this conflict, such as Jerusalem, "we already
have the support of the American people behind us." It is just a matter of
mobilizing them to act. Many popular movements regarding Central America,
South Africa, East Timor, and elsewhere "grew from real obscure minority
[pressure] to where Congress finally felt the heat."

The above text is based on remarks delivered on 26 July 2001 by Stephen
Zunes, Associate Professor of Politics and Chair of the Peace and Justice
Studies Program at San Francisco University. His views do not necessarily
reflect those of the Center for Policy Analysis on Palestine or The
Jerusalem Fund. This "For the Record" was written by Publications Manager
Wendy Lehman; it may be used without permission but with proper attribution
to the Center for Policy Analysis on Palestine. Zunes may be reached at


From: F r e e d o m, 5-8-2001

According to the innocent Ehud Barak in his article in the New York Times on
Monday 30th of July, " Eight years after the Oslo accords, amid a wave of
Palestinian terror and violence and without a peace agreement, Israel should
ask itself, Do we have a partner [for peace]?"

Without explaining the nature of his generous offer that was rejected by the
"non-democratic and elusive player", Barak concludes, "In the absence of an
honest negotiating partner, Israel should unilaterally disengage from the
Palestinians and establish a border within which a solid Jewish majority for
generations would be secure."

He went on to state, "At some point in the future a new Palestinian
leadership will emerge, capable of making the decisions that would make
peace with Israel possible. When this time comes, I am confident that the
contours of the agreement will resemble the sound ideas discussed at Camp

Barak's conclusion reflects the Zionist Israeli strategy all along: they
were never looking for a true partner for peace.  They were looking for
collaborators that would sign a surrender agreement that would legitimize
the Zionist plunders in Palestine.

Direct and indirect as well as secret and public contacts between Israel and
the Arabs to end the conflict never stopped.  A multitude of proposals and
initiatives, to make peace between Israel and the Arabs, were made by a
number of intermediaries since 1948.  So far, all efforts to produce peace
were futile.

Negotiations had been used to buy time and continue to impose facts on the
ground that are consistent with the original Zionist objectives as outlined
by the different Zionist public and secret plans since 1897: they want the
land, all of it without specifying its exact boundaries.  They also wanted
the land without its people.

Ben-Gurion recorded in his war diary that Abba Eban, Israel's ambassador to
the UN, "sees no need to run after peace.  The armistice is sufficient for
us; if we run after peace, the Arabs will demand a price of us - borders
[that is, in terms of territory] or refugees [that is, repatriation] or
both.  Let us wait a few years."
(Benny Morris, The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem, 1947 - 1949, p.
22, citing quotations in Shlaim, Collusion Across the Jordan, p. 465 and
citing David Ben-Gurion, Yoman Hamilhama-Tashah [the war diary 1948-9], ed.
Gershon Rivlin and Elhannan Orren, Tel Aviv, 1982, iii, p. 993)

When Israel was proclaimed on 14 May 1948, its boundaries were not
specified.  Israel's boundaries belong to the "Zionist aspirations" which
are "the concern of the Jewish people and no external factors will be able
to limit them".  The "return" and "rehabilitation" of the Palestinian
refugees are inconsistent with the Zionist objective of building an
exclusive and purely Jewish State.  The lands and homes of the refugees were
coveted to absorb hundreds of thousands of Jewish immigrants that flooded
Palestine since 1948.

During the Palestine Conciliation Commission (PCC) discussions in 1949, the
Arabs were ready to make peace with Israel provided the refugees were
allowed to return to their homes.  Israel rejected the offer.  The "return"
and "rehabilitation" of the Palestinian refugees are inconsistent with the
Zionist objective of building a purely Jewish State.  Ussishkin was very
clear in this respect when he stated in 1938 that "There is no hope that
this new Jewish State will survive, to say nothing of develop, if the Arabs
are as numerous as they are today."  Ussishkin, who was addressing the
"Transfer Committee" at the time, added: "The worst is not that the Arabs
would comprise 45 or 50% of the population of the new state but that 75% of
the land is owned by Arabs."  This land was desired for waves of Jewish
immigrants who would populate the Jewish State.

On 17 March 1949, eight hundred delegates convened in Ramallah (The Ramallah
Congress of Refugee Delegates) and discussed the terrible conditions of
refugee life as well as political issues.  The congress demanded the return
of the refugees "without awaiting the ultimate settlement for the Palestine
question" - that is, the country's political fate.

A high-ranking delegation representing the congress was sent to meet the
PCC.  Their presentation and demands were so impressive that the Arab
governments and other refugee committees had no alternative but to meet with
them to co-ordinate presentations before the Arab League, the PCC, and other
UN agencies.

The delegation of the Ramallah congress insisted on the right of the
refugees to return to their homes, and argued that that was the only way to
guarantee peace and security in Palestine and in the Middle East.  The
delegation also expressed its readiness to discuss directly with Israel the
question of return, compensation, and peace in Palestine.  It explained to
the PCC the harm and danger that would result from dispossession, neglect,
and denial of the rights of the refugees, and from the perpetuation of their
life in exile:
"There is no human force that could stop the personal revenge of individual
refugees against the party that sentenced them to death.  It is
inconceivable that the refugees should be left to die with their children in
caves and deserts in Arab lands, while watching European families of various
extraction living by force in the homes that they had built with their own
sweat and blood, enjoying a peaceful life.  Nothing could prevent these
refugees from infiltrating, as individuals, and blowing up those houses over
their own heads and the heads of those now living in them."  (The Birth of
Israel, pp. 218 - 220)

In a memorandum submitted to the PCC, the Israeli Ministry of Foreign
Affairs argued that repatriation would create a "dual society".  It proposed
instead resettlement through "transfer," the idea already set out by the
Peel commission in 1937.  The Foreign Ministry suggested the "resettlement"
of 305,000 refugees from the rural sector: 160,000 in Iraq (the Habaniah
project), 85,000 in Syria (the Jazira project), 50,000 in Transjordan (the
Yarmuk project), and 5,000 each in Algeria and Lebanon.  Refugees from the
urban sector, it claimed, would have no difficulty integrating into the Arab
world because of their high level of skills and education, and would, in
fact, be a blessing for the underdeveloped Arab countries.  (The Birth of
Israel, p. 224, citing DFPI, vol. 2, doc. 443, pp. 502 - 509).

The PCC took two steps to try to break the logjam:
1.  Set up a Technical Committee on Refugees to workout measures for
implementation of the provisions of UN resolution # 194.
2.  Called an international conference at Lausanne where, under PCC
chairmanship, the parties could discuss the whole range of issues -
refugees, Jerusalem, borders, recognition - and hammer out a comprehensive
peace settlement.  (Benny Morris, The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee
Problem, 1947-1949, p. 260)

The PCC conference was opened in Lausanne, Switzerland on 26 April 1949.
Under the threat that the US would prevent Israel's admission to the UN,
Israel finally agreed to attend the conference.  President Truman threatened
Ben-Gurion: "If the government of Israel continues to reject the basic
principles of the UN resolution of Dec. 11, 1948, and the friendly advice
offered by the US government for the sole purpose of facilitating a genuine
peace in Palestine, the US government will regretfully be forced to the
conclusion that a revision of its attitude toward Israel has become
unavoidable".  (The Birth of Israel, p. 214)

Israel was admitted as a member to the UN on 11 May 1949.  At the same time
(taking the timing differences between New York and Lausanne) the Arab
states and Israel signed a protocol stating that the UN Partition Resolution
and the partition map included in it constituted the basis for negotiations.
The Lausanne protocol stated that the aim of the conference was to achieve
"as quickly as possible the objectives of the General Assembly resolution of
December 11, 1948, regarding the refugees, respect for their rights, and the
preservation of their property, as well as territorial and other questions".
By signing the Lausanne protocol, the Arabs had in fact accepted the
legitimacy of the UN Partition Resolution, a radical departure from their
previous strategy.  They had abandoned the idea of Palestine as a unitary
Arab state, accepted the reality of Israel, and agreed to solve the dispute
by political means.

Ahmad Shukairy, a Palestinian member and chief spokesman of the Syrian
delegation, proposed direct negotiations between the Palestinian refugees
and Israel on the basis of the Lausanne protocol, independent of the
negotiations with the Arab states.

Eliyahu Sasson, the Jewish Agency's chief Arab affairs expert, dismissed the
offer and proposed to help set up a Palestinian delegation headed by Nimr
Hawari.  Such a delegation intended to challenge the authority of both the
AHC and the Arab governments, would, in co-ordination with Israel, launch a
campaign for Palestinian independence in Europe and the US.  It would also
come to Israel to undertake direct negotiations on repatriation,
compensation, and the establishment of an autonomous entity linked with
Israel.  Sasson envisioned that these developments would prevent Abdullah's
annexation of the West Bank and allow the Arab states to dissociate
themselves from the Palestinian problem.  He also believed that a visit to
Israel would convince the delegation of the objective impossibility of
repatriating many refugees.

Sharett had serious doubts about this plan.  He was afraid that there would
be bitter disappointment and anger among the Palestinians when the
delegation returned empty-handed.  Instead he suggested "If Hawari is good
for anything, he should be used to facilitate the realization of plans in
the Habaniah and Jazira and appoint a serious group of Arabs willing to
establish a government in the Triangle".  (The Birth of Israel, p. 229,
citing ISA 130.02/2442/5 and 130.02/2442/7)

In his guidelines to the delegation in Lausanne with respect to negotiating
peace, Sharett pointed out that "it behooves us to do so not with haste and
trepidation but by revealing strength and the ability to exist even without
official peace."  According to Sharett, since official peace was not a vital
necessity, Israel had nothing to lose from procrastination.  (The Birth of
Israel, p. 215, citing ISA 120.02/2447/3 & ISA 93.03/2487/11)

The efforts of the PCC were unsuccessful.  It called for a return of the
refugees to their homes.  Israel simply rejected that.  Palestinian homes
and lands were needed to settle Jewish immigrants coming from all corners of
the world.  It also called for the assumption of the functions of mediation
started with Count Bernadotte to arrive at a "final settlement of questions
outstanding between the Governments and authorities concerned".  This meant
final boundaries for Israel and peace with its neighbors, which would have
limited its desire for expansion.

According to Ben-Gurion, peace will mean specifying borders for Israel and
the return of Palestinian refugees to their homes and lands, which were
stolen from them.  This was the reason behind the failure of all peace
initiatives.  The Zionists wanted to buy time so that they will be able to
expand their territorial boundaries, on the one hand, and avoid any return
of the refugees, on the other.

Nizar Sakhnini, 31 July 2001

By Robert Fisk, in Jerusalem
[The Independent, Jerusalem, 10 August 2001]:
It is a new kind of war which the Israelis have still not understood.
"Retaliation", "revenge", "an eye for an eye" used to be an Israeli
prerogative. If a Palestinian threw a stone at an Israeli soldier, he might
be shot dead. If a Palestinian killed an Israeli soldier, his house would
be destroyed. If a Palestinian objected to the Israeli seizure of his land,
he would be arrested. But that was 20 years ago, before the first
"intifada", before Lebanon. It was the Lebanese Hizbollah who first changed
the rules. If the Israelis killed Lebanese civilians, they said, their
guerrillas would fire Katyusha missiles over the border into Israel.
Now the Palestinians have learned the lesson. If Israel believes in force,
so do they. If the Israelis kill Palestinians, Israelis will die. If the
lessons are cruel, the victims totally innocent, the principle remains;
kill us and we will kill you. The Israelis now find themselves - the
Palestinians, too - in a vicious circle. Ariel Sharon, the Israeli Prime
Minister, is the principle political victim. Claiming that the Palestinians
- whose territory is occupied by Israel - are besieging Israel, he demands
the right to "strike back at terror".
But when Hamas or Islamic Jihad "strike back" at "Israeli terror", the
whole Israeli policy falls apart. Last week, after eight Palestinians were
killed in Israel's assassination campaign - the dead included two Hamas
political leaders, a journalist and two children - Hamas promised revenge.
Yesterday, the revenge came. Indeed, Islamic Jihad said, it was "only just
beginning". Now Israel is promising "retaliation" for the massacre of 18
Israelis which was "retaliation" for the slaughter of eight Palestinians
which was "retaliation" for Palestinian "terror." Etc, etc.
No wonder President Bush could do no more last night than use the State
Department's weariest cliche and call for an end to the "cycle of
violence". The Israelis have rejected this phrase - at least when
journalists use it - on the grounds that there is no "cycle", that Israel
merely "responds" to aggression. But since Israel does not regard the
seizure of Arab land as aggression, since it does not see Jewish settlement
building on occupied land against international law as aggression, since it
does not believe that the demolition of Palestinian homes or torture in the
Russian compound interrogation centre - only a few hundred yards from the
scene of yesterday's atrocity - is aggression, it's not difficult to see
why many Israelis fail to comprehend what this terrible war is about.
For war is the right word to describe the terrible conflict which is
steadily increasing in cruelty. If anything, it resembles the start of the
French war in Algeria in 1954. This conflict began with road and railway
sabotage by the Algerians against the French who had colonised their
country, stone-throwing against French settlers and massive,
disproportionate killings by the French. The war then escalated to air
strikes, the bombing of innocents, torture, land expropriation, the
liquidation of collaborators and state-sponsored murder. Which is pretty
much the stage which the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is now approaching.
It is a new kind of war.

Israeli seizure of Palestinian organisations in Jerusalem
F16 shelling of Palestinian targets; tanks trespass PA-controlled areas

Following a suicide attack by a Palestinian on the ground floor of a
two-story pizzeria in West Jerusalem at 2pm on Thursday 9 August 2001 that
killed 17 Israelis and wounded more than 100 other customers and passers-by,
Israel in the past 20 hours has committed a number of military attacks on
Palestinian organisations. Among these have been the seizure of Orient House
and other Palestinian institutions in occupied Jerusalem, and the military
escalation represented in the F16 and American Apache helicopter shelling
attacks on Palestinian targets. In addition, Israeli tanks and armoured
vehicles trespassed into several PA-controlled areas where they destroyed

According to LAW's documentation, at around 2am on Friday 10 August 2001,
about 150 Israeli special forces, accompanied by police dogs, border guards,
police and a helicopter hovering overhead, blocked the streets leading to
the Orient House and Al Nuzha building in the middle of occupied Jerusalem.
They removed the building's outside doors, badly assaulted two guards and
broke into the Orient House before spreading within the building and
replacing the Palestinian flag flying overhead with an Israeli one.

57-year-old Ishaq Ahmad Budeiri from Jerusalem, Director General of the Arab
Studies Society inside the Orient House, stated that the Israeli forces
carried out a thorough search of the Orient House and Arab Studies Society
offices, confiscating many important files, documents and maps relating to
Jerusalem and its citizens, as well as some office equipment.

Eyewitnesses living in the Orient House area stated that the Israeli troops
loaded large boxes full of the confiscated items into military vans and took
them away.

The Orient House's attorney requested the Israeli officers present to show
him a warrant for their inspection of Orient House and other institutions.
However, they prevented anyone from accessing the area. At around 3am,
during the search, one of the officers produced an order, issued by Israeli
Interior Security minister Uzi Landau, for the closure until further notice
of Orient House and all its Jerusalem offices. When the attorney requested a
list of confiscated items and to be able to witness the search, they showed
him an Israeli magistrate court decision permitting them to inspect the
buildings and confiscate their contents without the presence of any Orient
House representatives. Both the Security Minister's order and the court
judge's decision were signed on Friday 10 August 2001 and stated that the
owners of the closed institutions could contact the Interior Security
minister's legal consultant within seven days should they wish to prosecute.

The following branches of Orient House have been affected:

ˇ Planning section
ˇ Prisoners and detainees protection
ˇ Relief and Repair committee
ˇ Small Projects development centre
ˇ The High Tourism council

The soldiers also arrested the Orient House security guards present at the
time, all of whom are from Jerusalem:

ˇ Mahdi Al Halabi, 32
ˇ Ammar Sider, 22
ˇ Sami Sarhan, 37
ˇ Abdullah Al Sibawi, 22
ˇ Fahed Al Basiti, 25
ˇ Ishaq Hijazi, 26
ˇ Radi Jubran, 40

The guards were taken to the Russian Compound detention centre in West
Jerusalem, where they were informed that they would be detained for 20 days.

The soldiers also forced the three Palestinian families living there to
evacuate the house at gunpoint, holding them on the road outside the
building until 4am. The families of Taher Husseini, his sister Ruwayda and
Abdil Salam Husseini own the Orient House building.

Israeli forces also broke into Hind Husseini College, Dar Attifel Al Arabi,
a charitable educational institute with an intermediate girls' orphanage and
school, and forced around 100 boarding students and their supervisors to
gather in a room in the building's yard until 4am.

In addition, Israeli troops besieged the 5-storey Al Nuzha building at the
entrance to Al Nuzha Street (leading to the Orient House). The building
contains the offices of six Palestinian non-governmental organisations,
including the LAW Society's Children's Unit, the Arab Studies Society's Land
Research Centre, Al Qasabeh Theatre and Al Nuzha Theatre, as well as the
British Council and more than 40 professional and commercial offices,
including the office of Israeli attorney Li'a Tseimel, who is known for her
support for the Palestinian cause.

At the same time, Israeli troops also closed the Jerusalem Chamber of
Commerce building and the Palestinian Prisoner's Club in Wadi Al Joz.

Jerusalem Chamber of Commerce director Mr. Azzam Abu Al Su'uod stated that
around 10:30 am on Friday 10 August he attempted to enter his office but was
prevented from doing so by Israeli security men surrounding the building. On
the door was hanging a closure order signed by Uzi Landau, which claimed
that the Chamber of Commerce has 'political involvement'. This is the first
time that the chamber has been closed since its establishment in 1936. It
has 10 employees and the Orient House has 62 employees.

At around 2:15am, Israeli troops entered the east Jerusalem districts of
Bethany and Abu Deiss, took over the Jerusalem governorate building in Abu
Deiss, replaced its Palestinian flag with an Israeli one, occupied the
Ministry of Religious Endowments and Palestinian Religious Affairs in
Bethany, imposed curfew on both districts and randomly arrested a number of
civilians. LAW was unable to record their number as the Israeli authorities
have made all communication with them impossible.

According to information gathered by LAW from the Palestinian Civil Liaison,
the Jerusalem governorate building in Abu Deiss contains offices belonging
to the Palestinian Ministry of Interior, the Preventative Security and the
Palestinian police and intelligence. In conformity with the agreement signed
between the Palestinian Civil Affairs Ministry and the Israeli Civil
Administration, the Jerusalem governorate building is considered 'Area A,'
which Israel cannot transgress.

At noon, demonstrators including Palestinian and Israeli peace activists, as
well as International Solidarity Campaign members, convened at the entrances
to Al Nuzha Street protesting at the Israeli action against the Palestinian
institutions. However, Israeli forces hindered their demonstration,
arresting six and taking them to Al Qashleh police station. They were:

ˇ Charles Lechter, Israeli citizen
ˇ Ronaro Dubini, Italian
ˇ Jon Pierre Sling Yu, French
ˇ Angie Zilter, British
ˇ Rif'at Nasr Addeen, Palestinian
ˇ Imad Sub Laban, Palestinian

In the early hours of Friday 10 August, Israeli F-16 fighter jets fired four
air-to-surface missiles at the police headquarters in the Al Tireh suburb of
Ramallah, destroying it completely. Eyewitnesses stated that two missiles
hit the Abu Ja'far housing complex near the police headquarters, causing
severe damage and fire in a number of apartments.

In the early hours of Friday morning in the Gaza Strip, Israeli troops
destroyed a Palestinian national security force post, east Gaza. According
to information gathered by LAW, Israeli forces with tanks and bulldozers
trespassed 2,000m into the city to the hills of Al Shuja'iyeh quarter,
shelling the post before an armoured bulldozer levelled its ruins to the
ground. On their way back, the bulldozers demolished a cattle farm belonging
to Iyada Bakroun north of the post.

Palestinian security sources reported that a large number of Israeli
soldiers in tanks and armoured cars broke into the area from two directions,
before breaking into a juice factory east of Martyrs' Cemetery, and settling
at the eastern route west of the factory.

LAW Society is firmly against the taking of civilian life as happened
yesterday in Jerusalem, because the right to life is a fundamental universal
human right. However, it is clear that Israel, especially Prime Minister
Ariel Sharon and War Minister Benjamin Ben Eliezer, is totally responsible
for the escalating tension in the region due to its repeated and sustained
assault on Palestinian life and property over the past eleven months. LAW
Society urgently calls for the following:

1. The Israeli Government to:
ˇ Halt its non-stop aggression against Palestinians, their public
organisations and private property, and put an end to the policy of killing
Palestinian civilians.
ˇ Withdraw from the Palestinian offices seized by its military forces and
return all the confiscated possessions and documents.
ˇ Release the Palestinians who were detained and imprisoned inside Israel.
ˇ Return its military forces to their pre-28 September 2000 positions.
ˇ Openly investigate the conditions of the killings committed by Israeli
soldiers against Palestinian civilians in conformity with Article 146 of the
1949 IV Geneva Convention, which stipulates "the high contracting parties
undertake to enact any legislation necessary to provide effective penal
sanctions for persons committing, or ordering to be committed, any of the
grave breaches, and shall bring such persons, regardless of their
nationality, before its courts. "

2. The United States of America to:
ˇ Impose restrictions on the export of American weapons to Israel since it
uses them in the commission of grave human rights violations in the Occupied
ˇ Halt its advocacy of aggressive Israeli policies in the Occupied
ˇ Fulfil its legal and moral responsibilities in the region.

3. The UN Security Council to:
ˇ Hold an urgent meeting to discuss Israel's violations in the Occupied
Palestinian Territories in general and in Jerusalem in particular.
ˇ Form an international investigation committee in conformity with
International Security Council resolution #1322 of 7/10/2000 so as to
investigate the crimes committed by the Israeli authorities within the
Occupied Territories.
ˇ Form an international criminal court to bring Israeli war criminals to
ˇ Place Palestinian civilians in the Occupied Territories under
international protection.
ˇ Force Israel to implement all the resolutions issued by the International
Security Council on the Palestinian issue.

4. The European Union to:
ˇ Take effective steps in conformity with Article 2 of the Israeli-European
partnership agreement that stipulates Israel's adherence to human rights.

5. The International Community to:
ˇ Hold a meeting for the High Contracting Parties to the IV Geneva
Convention to take practical measures to ensure Israel's compliance with and
implementation of the Convention.
ˇ Immediately work on ending the Israeli occupation of Palestinian
Territories and implement the relevant international resolutions.


LAW publications and press releases since 1994 are available on our website
at http://www.lawsociety.org

LAW - The Palestinian Society for the Protection of Human Rights and the
Environment is a non-governmental organisation dedicated to preserving human
rights through legal advocacy.
LAW is affiliate to the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ),
Fédération Internationale des Ligues de Droits de l'Homme (FIDH), World
Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and Member of the Euro- Mediterranean
Human Rights Network



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