Defenseless under the night,
Our world in stupor lies.
W. H. Auden
The rights of both Jews and Christians were openly trampled on by the Muslim conquerors of Jerusalem. Churches were made into mosques. Slaughterhouses were deliberately established near Jewish places of worship. Mosques were built next to churches and synagogues so that their minarets could literally “over-tower” them.
In the 2,554 years between 587 B.C.E. and 1967 C.E. Jerusalem was conquered more than 20 times, and as part of many empires, was ruled from different and distant capital cities. Only for the Jews (for more than 650 years), for the Crusaders (for 188 years) and for the State of Israel (since 1949) − has Jerusalem served as a capital city.
The official map of “Palestine” issued by the “moderate” Palestine Authority (PA) shows the State of Palestine as comprising all of the West Bank (Judea/Samaria), all of Gaza, all of the State of Israel and a slice of the Kingdom of Jordan. Additionally, it excludes any reference to a Jewish population, and lists holy sites of Christians and Muslims only. Initially, an official cartographer, Khalil Tufakji, was commissioned by the PA to design and to locate a proposed Capitol Building, which he drew to be located on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, on top of an ancient Jewish cemetery.
From the Oslo Accords very beginnings, on September 1, 1993, Yasir Arafat reaffirmed that the “peace” agreements are an intrinsic part of the PLO’s 1974 phased plan for Israel’s destruction: “The agreement will be a basis for an independent Palestinian state in accordance with the Palestinian National Council resolution issued in 1974. The PNC resolution issued in 1974 called for the establishment of a national authority on any part of Palestinian soil from which Israel withdraws or which is liberated…” Later, on May 29, 1994, Rashid Abu Shbak, a senior PA security official, remarked: “The light which has shone over Gaza and Jericho will also reach the Negev and the Galilee.”
Speaking of maps, it will be instructive to consider the following: The Arab world is comprised of 22 states of nearly five million square miles and 144,000,0000 people. The Islamic world contains 44 states with over one-billion people. The Islamic states comprise an area 672 times the size of Israel. Israel, with a population of about 5-million Jews, is − together with Judea/Samaria and Gaza − less than half-the-size of San Bernardino County in California. The Sinai Desert alone, which Israel transferred to Egypt in the 1979 Treaty for no tangible quid pro quo, is three times larger than the entire State of Israel.
What about Palestinian compliance with the so-called Peace Process? Incontestably the PA/PLO − and now especially Hamas − are guilty of multiple material breaches of the basic Oslo Accords. For example:
1) PA/Hamas still fails to confiscate arms and to disarm militias. The Palestinian police (still drawing upon terrorists for recruitment) are legally obligated to disarm all militias acting in areas under its jurisdiction, to confiscate all weapons other than pistols, and to license pistols in accordance with regulations to be established by the two sides (Annex I, Art. II, 1 and art. XI). In fact, all of the militias which were operating when the PA assumed control over Gaza and Jericho − Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and Fatah − remain armed. In total violation of the Oslo Accords and the successor Road Map, the current Palestinian Authority/Hamas is now establishing a thriving military industry in Gaza, complete with extensive cross-border smuggling from Egypt. Even before Prime Minister Sharon’s ill-fated “disengagement” from Gaza, the PA had established multiple factories for manufacturing various kinds of ammunition. Following the recent war against Hizbullah in Lebanon, the IDF must still plan for intermittent operations in Gaza. These operations are needed to compensate for the PA’s own incessant, juridical Oslo failures.
2) The PA/Hamas still steadfastly refuses to present Israel with lists of Palestinian policemen. To enable Israel to prevent terrorists from joining the Palestinian police force (an expectation that Israel has consistently been unable to satisfy), the PA/Hamas is obligated to submit the list of all potential recruits for Israel’s approval (Annex I, Art. IV). This requirement is especially critical regarding those Palestinians who were initially recruited from the territories, where Hamas and Islamic Jihad influence has always been strong. Notwithstanding, the PA/Hamas has not submitted any of the names from when it recruited forces for Gaza and Jericho. The PA/Hamas repeated its commitment concerning recruitment for the additional areas governed by the Interim Agreement, but continued and enlarged its policy of systematic noncompliance.
3) The PA/Hamas has long exceeded the permissible number of policemen. The early Gaza-Jericho Accords of May 1994 limited the number of Palestinian policemen to 9000 (Annex I, Art. III, 3), but during the period when the PA controlled these two areas, they enrolled approximately 20,000 people in their so-called security forces. The Interim Agreement expanded the PA’s jurisdiction to additional parts of Judea/Samaria and increased the permissible number of policemen to 24,000 in areas A and B − including Gaza (Annex I, Art. IV, 3). Early on, however, the PA police signed on more than 30,000 men, and perhaps as many as 40,000 or even 50,000. This would suggest that the PA police have always been recruited, not as a police agency, but as an army.
4) The PA/Hamas still refuses to extradite suspected terrorists. The PA/Hamas is obligated to turn over to Israel for trial, all individuals for whom Israel provides an arrest warrant and proof of terrorist activity (Annex IV, II, 7). Yet, to date, Israel has requested several hundred suspects in mass murder, murder or attempted murder of Israelis, and not one has been handed over to Israeli authorities. Leading PA/Hamas officials have made it perfectly clear that they have absolutely no intention of honoring the extradition provisions of the Oslo Accords, and they will continue their illegal intransigence under the Road Map. (Reciprocally, it should be pointed out that Israel has no right under international law to free terrorists – an egregious practice that has been accepted by several successive Israeli governments, always with deeply regrettable human outcomes).
5) The PA and its successor Hamas “government” have failed entirely to use their respective court systems for the punishment of terrorists. The Palestinian police are obligated to “arrest and prosecute individuals who are suspected of perpetrating acts of terror and violence” (Annex I, Art. II, 1). Yet, for years, not one of the top leaders of the military wings of Hamas or Islamic Jihad has been sentenced − a policy of flagrant Palestinian law-violation that continues without apology and assuredly without any sanctions from the so-called “international community.”
6) The PA/Hamas leadership has become more complicit in its incitement to terror. The leadership of the PLO and PA/Hamas is obligated to refrain from incitement to terrorism (Art. XXII). Yet, there have been many statements by Hamas government officials stridently calling for Jihad and praising those who have brought unspeakable death to Israeli men, women and children.
The list of PA/PLO/Hamas violations of Oslo (foundation of current Road Map) goes on and on. There is the incontestable failure to prevent incitement (codified at Annex 1, Art. II, 35); harassment of suspected former collaborators (codified at Art. XVI); failure to provide information on Israeli MIAs (codified at Art. XXVIII of the Interim Agreement and at Art.XIX of the Gaza-Jericho Agreement); the failure to change the PLO Covenant (codified at Art. XXXII), a failure that means that the PLO/PA (let alone Hamas) has still not renounced its intent to annihilate the Jewish State; the abuse of human rights and the rule of law (codified at Art. XIX); the failure to control PLO/Hamas police activity in Eastern Jerusalem (codified at Annex I of both agreements − the Gaza-Jericho Accord and the Interim Agrement − which carefully delineate the areas in which the Palestinian security forces may operate).
(To be continued)
Copyright The Jewish Press, September 22, 2006. All rights reserved.
LOUIS RENE BERES (Ph.D., Princeton, 1971) is Strategic and Military Affairs columnist for The Jewish Press.