Photo Credit:
Journalist Simon Ostrovsky

The insinuations get worse: “[The settlements] represent a colonization of the lands that are slated for a hand-over to the Palestinians under an agreement that both the Israelis and the Palestinians signed in 1993.”

Nowhere do the Oslo Accords of 1993 indicate that all of Judea and Samaria, or even just the area on which the settlements are located, will be “handed over” to the PA. In fact, Israel gave large chunks of the area to various levels of PA control, but retained other chunks, known as Area C, under full Israeli control – as stipulated by the 1993 and 1995 agreements. The accords include absolutely no provision for the halt of settlement construction.

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Ostrovsky then outrageously concludes: “As a result, the peace process has ground to a halt.” He blames this on the settlements. There were no settlements in 1964 when the PLO was formed for the purpose of “liberating” all of Palestine – that is, the state of Israel. And when settlement construction was frozen for nearly a year a while back, it led to no meaningful progress in the talks and no softening of Palestinian intransigence. Nor did it impede public PA approval of terrorist activities or official anti-Israel incitement on television and in educational programs.

By the way, Israel offered some 97 percent of Judea and Samaria to the PA – but both Arafat and Abbas turned it down. Could that have had anything to do with the failure of peace talks?

Ostrovsky states that Israeli settlers can easily obtain gun licenses, but not Palestinians – without alluding to the tens of thousands of guns Israel gave the PA some years ago and the many hundreds of innocent Jews who were murdered with them…

He says the claim that Arabs had “lived on this land for only two generations” is a “total fabrication.” He’s right; many of them have lived there for three generations. But Ostrovsky’s short shrift of the point left no room for the fact that a very large portion of the Arab presence in Palestine is the result of immigration during the first half of the 20th century – after the Jews had begun building a modern nation-state.

Finally (given the constraints of this article), Ostrovsky’s video series shows an Arab blaming Israel for causing and perpetuating the refugee problem. In fact, most Arabs who left in 1948 were urged to do so by Arab leaders who promised they would return as victors. These same Arab leaders and their successors purposely left the refugees to squander in refugee camps in order to perpetuate the problem.

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