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April 19, 2014 / 19 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Six Day War’

Disputed Territories: The Census of 1967

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

After the Six-Day War, Israel counted the populace of the territories it had taken over in the recent war. On October 3rd 1967 the Central Bureau of Statistics  (CBS) published its initial findings – so the document we’re presenting today was actually never classified at all. We’re posting it here not because it’s been secret all these years, but simply because we’re not aware that it’s online. So now it is.

The document starts out by explaining its methodology: a one-day curfew was placed on each of the various areas, and hundreds of Arabic-speaking census-takers tried to reach every single home (except what they called the ‘wanderers’, presumably the tent-living Bedouin). Every family filled out a form and received a form of confirmation; 20% were asked to fill out comprehensive questionnaires. Since the populace expected potential benefits to accrue from being counted, the CBS reported that compliance had been very high.

The census was taken in August (beginning on the Golan Heights) and September.

On the Golan 6,400 people were enumerated, 2,900 of them in Magdel Shams.

In northern Sinai 33,000 people were counted, 30,000 of them in El-Arish; the Bedouin of the vast Sinai desert were not counted.

In Gaza the census found 356,000 people, about half (175,000) in refugee camps.

On the “West Bank” there were about 600,000, not including East Jerusalem.

(The population of East Jerusalem has been counted, since the Six Day War, in the column of Arabs in Israel, not in the occupied territories. This creates some amusing results, most noticeably when western media outlets who would never accept Israel’s annexation of East Jerusalem routinely count its Palestinian population as part of the 20% of today’s Israeli population who are Arab; present-day demographic statistics routinely double-count the 300-plus Arabs of East Jerusalem as being both part of Israel’s Arab population and the population of the West Bank.)

Beyond the simple numbers, the editors of the report point at a number of possible explanations for the numbers. In Gaza, the Egyptian data from 1965 had about 100,000 additional people, or 25% more than the Israelis counted. Since only a few thousands left as a consequence of the war, and many of them were Egyptians from Sinai and not Gazans, the report assumed someone had been inflating numbers, perhaps by failing to register deaths.

The Jordanian numbers from 1961 were also larger than those identified here, and the editors felt this probably expressed a significant phenomenon of migration during the Jordanian period and after the Six Day War.

The populace of all the territories was very young, children between 0-14 making up the largest group in all areas. the editors were struck, however, by the imbalance between young men and young women; their conjecture being that the relative lack of young men reflected large-scale emigration of laborers.

Visit Israel’s Documented Story.

Jordan Moves to Scrap Peace Treaty over Arrest of Jerusalem Mufti

Thursday, May 9th, 2013

The arrest of the Jerusalem Mufti on Tuesday for throwing chairs at Jews on the Temple Mount prompted the Jordanian parliament on Wednesday to demand that King Abdullah expel the Israeli envoy. The legislators also called to start a draft for a law to scrap the peace treaty with Israel.

Police arrested an Arab from entering the Temple Mount, and an enraged Grand Mufti and other Arabs began throwing plastic chairs at five Jews who entered the Temple Mount under police escort. Arab media said they prostrated themselves, an act of prayer that the Waqf prohibits, except for Muslims.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told The Washington Post the group did not carry out any act of prayer. As usual, Palestinian Authority media exaggerated the entire scene. Arab media always report that Jews “stormed” the Temple Mount. The Bethlehem-based Ma’an news agency reported that 50, and not five, Jews prostrated themselves.

Israeli police stepped in to end the clash before it could get out of hand and arrested the Mufti, a rare action.

It did not take much time for Jordan to hear of the altercation, and the country’s parliament unanimously agreed that the kingdom should expel the Israeli ambassador and recall its own ambassador from Tel Aviv. The parliament added its own imagination to the facts and claimed that Israel is trying to build a bridge between the Al Aqsa mosque and Jerusalem “settlements.” The parliament also called for drafting legislation to scrap the peace treaty with Israel.

Several hours later, Israel released the Mufti, which probably was not related to the Jordanian parliament’s move. The government knows full well that the Arab world will not sit passive with the Jerusalem Mufti being taken from his home for interrogation.

The U.S. State Department was asked by reporters to comment on the fuss, and assistant spokesman Patrick Ventrell told them, “We urge all sides to respect the status quo of this holy site and to exercise restraint and refrain from provocative actions.

As usual, the State Dept. does not what it is talking about.

Status quo? From when? From 1967?

The Israeli government passed the Protection of Holy Places Law on June 27, 1967.

It states:

“The Holy Places shall be protected from desecration and any other violation and from anything likely to violate the freedom of access of the members of the different religions to the places sacred to them or their feelings with regard to those places.”

The wise State Dept. does not also know much about the Mufti, Muhammad Ahmad Hussein.

In 2006, he stated that suicide bombings of Israelis were “legitimate, of course, as long as it plays a role in the resistance.”

On the other hand, one could say he simply was maintaining the status quo, which the Oslo Accords and the peace treaty with Jordan changed.

Jordan controlled the Temple Mount until the Six-Day War in 1967. Before then, Amman did not let Jews visit holy sites in the Old City of Jerusalem. It also prohibited Christians from most churches and holy sites in the Old City, Judea and Samaria, except for few and far between visiting foreign dignitaries.

After Jerusalem was restored to Israel in 1967, the Israeli government didn’t want to have much to do with the Temple Mount for many reasons, not the least of which was the concern of a religious war with Muslims as well as the complicated and complex issue in Jewish law of whether it is even permitted for a Jew to ascend to the site of the destroyed First and Second Temples.

The government left authority for the Temple Mount site in the hands of the Muslim Waqf site, with the stipulation that Israeli police could patrol the site and enter the mosque area, if necessary.

The “status quo” ended in 1969, when an Australian evangelical Christian tried to burn down the mosque to hasten the Second Coming, if not World War III.

Muslims began to renovate buildings on the Temple Mount and tried to minimize the presence of Israel soldiers. A plot by a Jewish underground movement to blow up he Al Aqsa mosque and Dome of the Rock to awaken Jews to a spiritual revival, or alternatively, bring on World War III.

The Brave Soldier from Auschwitz

Thursday, April 18th, 2013

My late father was a survivor of Auschwitz.  He arrived there as a young Hassid from a Jewish village in Poland, and he left as he had arrived, with his faith intact, and with an awareness that following the Holocaust, he must not be tempted by the offers of the JDC and HIAS to travel to America.  As he put it one of the few times he broke the long silence that characterized his life: “The time had come to go home.”

He went to fight in the War of Liberation, although my mother, who had survived the ghettos, already was carrying me in her belly.  They had made a decision to build a family together, and were married by a British military rabbi in a Cyprus detention camp for Jews who attempted to break the British blockade of the Land of Israel.

Upon arriving here in Israel he was immediately conscripted and sent to infantry training and then to serve at Haganah positions.  He left my pregnant mother in a village in the north with other families that had come from the gloom of the Diaspora and forged a community of Hassidic laborers out of its wreckage.

Alongside him served other survivors.  The cynics among them would later laugh about those days of “Yiddish soldiers” whose maneuvers were executed in exquisite Yiddish that to my ears sounded like a Dzigan sketch.   I remember their reminiscences about mortar-firing exercises accompanied by otherwordly orders straight out of the shtiebl.  “Arise, Reb Yechiel—honored with the firing of one bomb!”

As much as this was a Hassidic community, it was a Zionist one, at once hard-nosed and idealistic.  Its members took Independence Day with the utmost seriousness, and recited the formal blessing over the Hallel prayer.  “Anyone who wasn’t there has no business telling us not to say a blessing,” Daskal, the synagogue manager, once said to me.  He would later lose his son Ya’akov, a brilliant yeshiva student, when he fell with two fellow students in a terrorist ambush in the Jordan Valley.

There was no quibbling with decisions as to who was called up for duty.  Encounters at the shtiebl between Torah students and fighters lacked the tension that is there today.  There was agreement that everyone was on a mission, whether a military mission or one of Torah.

“A Head with Tefillin”

It was the first day of the Yom Kippur War.  We were in the middle of the Mussaf prayer, and I was there in my commanding role in the Hassidic choir as we sang “Be with the mouths of your people the House of Israel.”

My mother, who had been informed well in advance that two consecutive calls were due cause to pick up the phone on a Shabbat or holiday, arrived at the synagogue and hurried me out.

“I think they’re calling from your unit,” she said nervously.

Before saying goodbye to me, the old Hassidim sent me to receive a blessing from the rebbe of the neighboring shtiebl, who was considered a miracle worker.  He too had come from there.

With the convulsions of war and the battles, I moved around between various units so as to stay on the front.  As time went on, as would be expected of me, I lost more and more of my equipment—but not my gun or my tefillin.

My gun—granted, but tefillin?  To understand that you have to know a story from my youth.

One day in yeshiva I received a package of cookies from my mother, accompanied by an agitated letter from my father.

“My dear son,” he wrote in the rugged handwriting of a manual laborer, “you know what ‘a head without tefillin’ is.  But the head of the yeshiva has informed me that you missed putting on tefillin one day!”

He continued, adding that in Auschwitz there were no tefillin, until in 1943 a certain group of Hungarian Jews arrived.  When he heard that they had a pair of tefillin, he began crossing the fence that separated him from them very early each morning to put on tefillin for a moment and say “Shema.”

“Let this deed not seem trivial to you,” he wrote in Diasporic Hebrew.  “It was a very difficult thing to do, it was cold, and I stood the risk of missing the distribution of rations—and someone who missed receiving food for one day was in danger.  Nevertheless, this was [serving God] ‘with all your means.’”

When I came home I wanted to hear more of the story.  Was the fence electrified?  It wasn’t every day that he opened up, and I wanted to take advantage of the opportunity.

“What was, was,” he said definitively.  “That is all.”

“But wasn’t your life at risk?!” I said deviously.  “Is it really permitted to risk your life in order to perform a mitzva?”

That already was a halakhic discussion.  He responded.

“True.  As soon as I saw that other Jews were copying me and waiting on line, I stopped.”

I took this story with me to every war.  Before beginning a day of forced labor, a Jew goes and finds other Jews like him waiting at dawn on a long line to put on tefillin.  Just so they would not have “a head without tefillin,” as the Talmud puts it.  How then could I not be sure to put on tefillin every day?

Still, the Lebanon War came and, as luck would have it, my tefillin remained in the APC behind the lines with the rest of my equipment, while I was in the alleys of Baabda at the entrance to Beirut, part of the first battalion to arrive there.  A few inquiries later a pair of tefillin was found for me, and I went to the side, dressed in tefillin and talit.

Suddenly an Arab couple appeared, a man and woman dressed in their finest.  They drew closer, heading straight for me.

I pulled my gun out of the folds of the talit.

“Rifa ayadikum!” I ordered in Arabic.  “Put your hands up!”

As they stood there opposite me, their hands aloft, the man made a gesture to his wife with his raised hand.

“Marati!” he exclaimed.  “Yahudi.”  “She is a Jew.”

“Prove it,” I countered.  “What does it say inside this box?” as I pointed in the direction of my forehead.

“Shema Yisrael,” she answered, lowering one hand from above her head, covering her eyes, “Hashem elokeinu, Hashem echad.”

“Uchtei anta,” I said.  “You are my sister.”  Her eyes were moist.  I think mine were, too.

I could feel my father standing there with me, and his fathers as well.

“How great tefillin are,” I thought.  “They connect different worlds and different generations.  If I hadn’t been wearing them, the lost daughter who married a Christian man might not have dared approach the enemy invaders.  She might never have reconnected with her family in Bat Yam.”  Now, as she told the story of her family members with whom she had lost contact when they departed for Israel, the connection was renewed.

One good deed leads to another.  I don’t know what happened to that woman, but maybe, just maybe, her earth-shattering “Shema Yisrael,” together with the prayers for the safety of our soldiers, gave us the boost we needed in the ensuing battles.

A Dream

I have a strange occupation: I attend funerals and memorial services.  After a recent funeral, I had a dream in which my father appeared, waking me with his numbered hand.

“You cried?” he said.

“No.  Why?”

“I heard you cry.  I know you.  You’ve cried every time since you came back from the Six-Day War as a young man.  Anyway, I thought I heard you crying from up here, so I came.”

“So I cried.  So what?

“I’ve told you a thousand times you don’t have what to cry over.  We didn’t cry ….”  He gestured with his numbered hand.  “What we went through without crying … Thousands of us killed every hour, herded by the hundreds into the crematorium every seven minutes, and we didn’t cry!”

“Then maybe the time has come to cry,” I said.  “The numbers keep adding up.  There’s no end.  You promised us that we had come here to put an end to the era of death!”

“Nu, nu,” said my father in his Polish Yiddish Hebrew, clicking his tongue.  “Have you forgotten the inheritance I left you?”

“What inheritance, Abba?  You worked liked a dog your whole life, but there was no inheritance!  Not a dime!”

“What abbout the Kaddish prayer I left you?  That inheritance.  Every year I said Kaddish on the Tenth of Tevet and on Holocaust Remembrance Day in memory of all the relatives who were murdered by the hundred.  Now it’s you, my heir, who has to say it instead of me.”

“What kind of an inheritance is that, Abba?” I yelled.  “I should say Kaddish?  I never even met them!”

“Precisely,” my father exclaimed with a victorious smile.  “You understand now.  You never met them, and I never meet them either.  They went to their deaths anonymously by the hundred, by the thousand, by the million.  Now everything has changed.  Today your newspapers are full of names, pictures, stories.  Every person who is killed has a name, and the whole nation remembers him.  Where we were, who remembered them?

“Now you understand that there is a difference.  In between the tears, you can smile a little, you have to allow yourself some happiness.  Now you have a state, and an army, and someone to bury the dead, which we did not have …”

With that my father disappeared, wearing the doleful smile he had worn when he came, offering a survivor’s consolation so relevant to these days.

Originally published in Makor Rishon, April 12. Translated from Hebrew by David B. Greenberg.

Memorial Day — To Live and Die for Israel

Sunday, April 14th, 2013

I wrote this memoir few years ago:

In March of 1995 my friends and I were drafted to the Israeli army. We had passed some grueling tests and were accepted to the Paratrooper brigades, the Tzanchanim. The image of the red berets liberating the Western Wall was fused into our psyches like it was in so many young Israeli minds, and more than anything we wanted to serve our country honorably and to the best of our abilities. Six painful months of basic training were ahead of us. In this period of time our minds and bodies were converted from civilian use and become the property of the IDF. We learned to push the envelope of our individual human capacity, and to harness the great strength inherent in an indivisible platoon.

We kept our sights to the final day of basic training in which we would hike 86 kilometers, in utter silence with full infantry gear, up to Givat Ha-Tachmoshet, Ammunition Hill in Jerusalem where many Tzanchanim had perished in the 6 Day War, and where we would receive our very own red berets and be inducted into the ranks of the paratroopers.

However, one fine day in May, barely three months after we began basic training, the sergeant major came into our barracks with a large box. We had no clue what its contents were. The sergeant major proceeded to open the box, and much to our surprise, unveiled red berets for each one of us in the platoon. “You don’t deserve to be paratroopers yet,” he told us. “But tomorrow you will leave the base and think of yourselves as full-fledged Tzanchanim for one day. You will not get to keep these,” he added, “but wear them with pride and respect.”

The next day was Yom HaZikaron, Memorial Day, and the whole of the paratrooper brigade, thousands of men, would be released for one day to attend one of the many commemorations of fallen soldiers that took place in the cemeteries of this tiny nation. Each one of us was given precise directions to the cemetery and a plot number was also given to us. We were told that the plot number corresponded to a grave of a fallen paratrooper. We were ordered to stand next to that grave and next to the family of a young man who was once just like ourselves, wearing our red beret as he once did, and in a sense, to represent his memory and soul.

That next day, I had luck hitchhiking, the preferred mode of travel when in uniform. Hitchhiking was by no means a precise science, and though I had tweaked my “I’m a helpless soldier” stance to perfection, some days were better than others. I reached the gates of the cemetery about an hour early and the place was quiet and serene. I loitered at the gate and then wandered in. The large space echoed silence and only the birds chirped in the large trees. Nature had overtaken this resting place and many of the walls were covered in ivy. I tried listening to the graves and heard no cries of pain, no last words, and no fear of death. The dead, it seemed to me, had made peace with their fate, they were no longer bitter at having fallen so young. Alone amongst my dead I stood, a bit in a daydream, under the sun.

Soon, people began to arrive and I straightened my stance and made sure my beret was on right. I was nervous at meeting the family I was assigned to.

Who would they be?

How would they react to me?

Will they cry next to me?

Will they ask me who I am?

Most of all my soul wondered:

What is it like for a parent to stand on the grave of his child?

How would my parents feel if I were that child?

How would I feel, if it were my child?

I thought about my own mother and her reservations about my army service. Soon after, I spotted a family of three: father, mother and son, heading in my general direction. It was my family.

They greeted me kindly, and indeed, the father asked me who I was and where did I serve. The mother, who had been through this before, brought out some fruits and water to nourish the soldier with the red beret standing in front of her, and though she looked at me, I could see that her mind was far away, and that I was a painful reminder of her longing to nourish her own child.

Looking for Family of Soldier Killed in Fall of Gush Etzion, 1948

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

Private Yitzchak Mizrachi is the only soldier who fell in the battle for Gush Etzion in the War of Independence whose relative have not been located.

During one of the bitterest battles fought by the Haganah prior to the establishment of the State of Israel, 241 Israeli soldiers and civilians were killed in the final battle for Gush Etzion, which finally succumbed to the attacks of Jordanian Legionnaires and local Arabs on the fourth of, May 13, 1948.

The Legionnaires took 320 men and women into captivity, where they were to languish for many months. The next day, on the fifth of Iyar, David Ben Gurion proclaimed Israel’s independence. Gush Etzion was resettled after the Six-Day War in 1967, and many of those who returned to the Gush were children who were evacuated before the falling of Gush Etzion.

There is detailed archival documentation on all those who heroically gave their lives during these acrimonious clashes, except for one, Private Yitzchak Mizrachi.

All that is known is that he served in squad 9 of platoon 6, under the command of the renowned composer Tzvi Ben Yosef.

Until this day, no relative has been tracked down in Israel. This has led those who are involved in the search for information about Private Mizrachi to believe that his family resides abroad.

A note found at the Haganah Museum archives states the exact date of his death and where he died. but someone erased the initial place of death because he thought the information was incorrect. His name was also crossed out and corrected to “Manosy”.

One of the museum managers, Yaron Rosenthal, calls on anyone who knows about him or his family to contact him “so that we will be able to bestow upon him and his relatives the proper honors he deserves as someone who gave his life for us all.”

Palestinian Authority Terrorists Roll Out Red Carpet for Kerry

Thursday, April 4th, 2013

Israeli soldiers killed a Palestinian Authority terrorist late Wednesday night after he and another terrorist firebombed an IDF checkpoint they were manning in a “pillbox” watch tower in Samaria.

The two terrorists attacked the IDF post, near the Jewish community of Einav, and soldiers shot back, killing one of the terrorists. The second terrorist was lightly wounded and was treated at a PA hospital in Tulkarm, approximately 10 miles east of Netanya.

The attack, a major escalation in Palestinian Authority terror, followed a long day of riots, firebomb and rock-throwing attacks on soldiers and motorists, especially on the north-south highway connecting Jerusalem with Kiryat Arab-Hevron. One soldier was slightly wounded by a rock and several cars sustained damage.

Tension and violence have grown since the death on Tuesday of jailed Palestinian Authority terrorist Maysara Abu Hamdiyeh, who was suffering from throat cancer that had quickly spread and became terminal. The Palestinian Authority accused Israel of “murdering” him by not treating him properly and immediately set the stage for an escalation in terror by shutting down schools before noon on Wednesday as a sign of mourning.

Grieving for “martyrs” usually is accompanied by comforting them with riots, rock throwing at Jews, launching rockets on civilians in southern Israel and – Wednesday night – firebombing one of those “degrading” IDF checkpoints where soldiers are on the lookout for terrorists ready to blow up Israelis in urban centers.

The terrorists who threw a firebomb at the IDF at Einav and was killed was a high-school age student, identified as Amar Nasar.

More of the same is expected on Thursday, when Hamdiyeh, who was convicted and jailed for planning a suicide bombing, will be buried in Hevron.

The escalation of terror is the “welcome mat” for U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry when he visits Ramallah and Jerusalem next week.

Hours before the Palestinian Authority terrorist attack on the IDF checkpoint, U.S. State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland told reporters at the daily briefing, with a straight face, that “nobody wants to see violence of any kind, either by demonstrators or by security services in response to peaceful demonstration.”

It is not quite clear what “peaceful demonstration” she was talking about since virtually all of them are accompanied by firebombing and rock-throwing, the latter which Haaretz’s Amira Hass wrote on Wednesday is the “right and duty” of PA Arabs trying to get rid of the “foreign occupier.”

Kerry will be talking about Turkey and Syria as well as his beloved “peace process,” which, unlike Israel, is all the Palestinian Authority is interested in.

One of Nuland’s choice comments in her briefing with reporters on Wednesday was a reference to “the remarks that the President made when he was on his trip, that both sides are going to have to help create an environment for peace.”

The question of what creates an environment of peace was not lost on reporters covering the State Dept. but was a bit too much for Nuland to handle.

One journalist, referring to Kassam rocket fire on Sderot Wednesday morning, asked, “Exchange of fire has resumed between Hamas and Israel. Do you think that November ceasefire has gone?”

Nuland acted as if the rocket attacks never happened, saying, “I’ve seen these reports. I’m not in a position to evaluate them one way or the other. But as you know, we considered that November ceasefire to be absolutely fundamental for everybody involved. So we’ll have to see what happens now.”

What has happened since she finished her media briefing was more rock and firebomb attacks on civilians and soldiers.

The Palestinian Authority strategy for years has been to win concessions from Israel piece by piece to create situation in Judea and Samaria similar to that in Gush Katif before the 2005 expulsion. The idea it to make life so unbearable for Jews that the IDF has no choice but to defend them – and that means killing the enemy – or surrendering the land and moving the checkpoints back to the “Auschwitz borders,” the term used by former Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Abba Eban to describe the 1949 Temporary Armistice Lines that existed until the Six-Day War in 1967.

If the Palestinian Authority can get to that point, it would take only one or two missiles on Tel Aviv to push the checkpoints back to the Mediterranean Sea.

The Depth of Egyptian Demands Will Determine the Depth of Egyptian Withdrawals

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

A third of a century ago Israel wanted peace with Egypt and Israel actually believed there could be peace with Egypt. So did Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and perhaps even the Egyptian people.

But what a difference 33 years makes.

We’ve discovered since then that we got a bum deal. We signed with an unreliable and unfaithful partner who did not meet its obligations. And though we got at least got a 33-year cease-fire out of it, we did not get peace.

Instead, the Egyptians spent 33-years ever-escalating their hatred of Israel while missing the opportunity to drag themselves up from being a third world country. And while it’s easy to blame former Egyptian president Mubarak for the hatred, Mubarak’s enemies on both side of the religious spectrum, the Muslim Brotherhood and Egyptian secular pseudo-intellectuals, such as historical revisionist Abdel Wahab El-Messiri did their part too.

DESPITE EGYPT’S failure to deliver on its own side of the bargain, Egyptian President Mohammed Morsy recently said he wants to reopen up the Israel-Egyptian peace treaty, to renegotiate and link peace to Palestinian statehood, and to remilitarize the Sinai. For Morsy this is a one-way street: Egypt will demand and Israel will give.

If only Morsy had actually read the Egyptian-Israel peace treaty.

There were, in fact, two agreements signed by Israel and Egypt. As international law expert, Professor Avi Bell, has recently explained,

“The 1979 Israel-Egypt peace treaty and the 1978 “Framework for Peace in the Middle East” are not the same treaty. However Morsy may [choose to] misinterpret the 1978 Framework for Peace in the Middle East agreement, it has nothing to do with Egypt’s obligations to uphold its treaty obligations in the 1979 peace treaty.”

It is the 1979 peace treaty that requires Israeli withdrawal from the Sinai, the demilitarization of the Sinai, and of course normalization of relations between the two countries – the last being something the Egyptians never properly implemented. The 1978 treaty deals with “negotiations on the resolution of the Palestinian problem.”

Bell argues that,

“If Morsy believes that the 1978 Agreement is not merely an agreed upon framework for future negotiations, but a binding treaty still in force, Morsy must abandon several anti-Israel positions adopted by Egypt and the United States in recent years”

That’s because, as Bell explains, the 1978 Agreement recognizes U.N. Security Council Resolution 242 as the basis for resolution of the conflict. That resolution recognizes Israel’s right to secure boundaries, but fails to mention Palestinian statehood or the Palestinians at all. While it calls for an Israeli withdrawal from terrotories captured in 1967, as part of the establishing a “just and lasting peace” it does not describe the extent of the withdrawal and many of the documents drafters have said that the word “all” was left out so that Israel would not be required to withdraw from all the territory, but only some of it based on negotiations with Jordan, Syria and Egypt.

The Road Map (Bush’s plan for a democratic Palestinian state), U.N. General Assembly Resolution 194 (the partition resolution), the 2002 Arab League decision (Israeli return to the pre-67 borders), the U.N. Security Council Resolution 1397 (envisioning a Palestinian state and recalling 242) as well as recent “U.S. efforts to state that final status negotiations should be on the basis of the “1967 borders” or presumed Palestinian statehood,” all conflict with Resolution 242.

In short, Egypt’s stated positions and actions are in direct contradiction and violation of the signed peace treaty, including the one which Morsi is claiming Israel is not fulfilling.

In addition, the 1978 agreement does not discuss or require an Israel withdrawal from Judea and Samaria or Gaza. Instead it only discusses setting up a “self-governing authority,” “autonomy,” and “self-government” for the Palestinians in those areas – for a five-year period. It does not discuss or require the establishment of a Palestinian state nor does it require that the Palestinians shall continue to have autonomy at the end of the five-year period.

Like the Oslo Accords, it confirms that Israel will retain a military presence in “specified security locations” in the disputed territories, and recognizes that, “All necessary measures will be taken and provisions made to assure the security of Israel.”

Déjà Vu All Over Again?

Friday, September 21st, 2012

The current clash between President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu over U.S. policy regarding Iran’s efforts to secure a nuclear capacity calls to mind the contretemps between President Lyndon Johnson and Israeli Prime Minister Levi Eshkol in 1967.

At that time the disagreement was over the proper response to Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser’s threats to close the Straits of Tiran and the Suez Canal to Israeli shipping – a crippling blow to Israel’s economy – and to attack Israel from the Sinai in a war of policide against the Jewish state.

Then too, a U.S. president told Israel to rely on the international community and resist going to war. In the end, Israel acted on its own as it became clear that international efforts were not succeeding. The risks became intolerable and what became known as the Six-Day War ensued.

Despite the virtual certainty that sanctions against Iran are not deterring its nuclear development, President Obama still wants more time. This even though there are numerous loopholes in the sanctions and Russia and China are not cooperating in any event. Indeed, Iran just recently demonstrated that it is hardly isolated in the international community when it hosted a conference attended by most of the nations of the world.

The president has given no quarter to Israel, refusing to concede that maybe Israel has a point that the sanctions approach has failed.

In 1967 Israel from the start was prepared to go it alone but was accused of seeking to push the United States into war. This time, even more so than in 1967, careful deliberation is needed – by Mr. Netanyahu no less than Mr. Obama. Because the notion that the U.S. is being drawn into war by Israel is an incendiary one in a war-weary America and fraught with a danger all its own.

The New York Times spelled it all out, in blatantly incendiary fashion, in a September 4 editorial titled “No Rush to War”:

Amid the alarming violence in the Arab world, a new report about the costs of a potential war with Iran got lost this week. It says an attack by the United States could set back Iran’s nuclear program four years at most, while a more ambitious goal – ensuring Iran never reconstitutes its nuclear program or ousting the regime – would involve a multiyear conflict that could engulf the region.The significance of the report by The Iran Project is not just its sober analysis but the nearly three dozen respected national security experts from both political parties who signed it: including two former national security advisers, Brent Scowcroft and Zbigniew Brzezinski; former Undersecretary of State Thomas Pickering; and the retired Gen. Anthony Zinni.

Yet Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel is trying to browbeat president Obama into a pre-emptive strike. On Tuesday, he demanded that the United States set a red line for military action and said those who refuse “don’t have a moral right to place a red light before Israel.” Later, Mr. Obama telephoned him and rejected the appeal. On Friday, Mr. Netanyahu suggested in an interview that Israel cannot entirely rely on the United States to act against Iran’s program.

Leaders need flexibility and ambiguity, not just hard and fast red lines. And it is dangerous for Mr. Netanyahu to try to push the president into a corner publicly and raise questions about Washington. Is that really the message he wants to send to Tehran?

There is no reason to doubt president Obama’s often repeated commitment to keep Iran from having a nuclear weapon. But 70 percent of Americans oppose a unilateral strike on Iran, according to a new poll by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, and 59 percent said if Israel bombs Iran and ignites a war, the United States should not come to its ally’s defense.

So there you have it. Despite the fact that by any measure there is no apparent prospect that the sanctions are working or will work, the Times has the audacity to charge Prime Minister Netanyahu, whose country is at greater risk from a nuclear Iran than any other country and who only asked that the U.S. not stand in its way, with “trying to browbeat President Obama into a pre-emptive strike” and “push[ing] the president into a corner publicly….”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/editorial/deja-vu-all-over-again/2012/09/21/

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