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Former Iranian Political Leader Found Jesus is the Only Way

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 05.01.2014 20:03

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The assault on Resolution 242 – Dore Gold

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 06.01.2014 18:46

The assault on Resolution 242 – Dore Gold

– January 5, 2014


With unconfirmed rumors appearing in the press about what is likely to happen in the peace process in the months ahead, now is the time to recall exactly what Israel’s rights are in its territorial dispute with the Palestinians over the future of the West Bank.

Those rights were first enshrined in the most famous and important U.N. resolution in the peace process, U.N. Security Council Resolution 242. This month marks the anniversary of the resolution. The first draft was proposed on Nov. 7, 1967, while the final draft was adopted unanimously by all 15 Security Council members on Nov. 22 that year.

Understanding the significance of Resolution 242 is not an exercise in the study of some obscure aspect of decades old diplomatic history. Over the years the resolution evolved into the basis of the entire peace process, including the 1979 Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty, the 1991 Madrid peace conference, the 1993 Oslo Accords, the 1994 Jordanian-Israeli peace treaty, and draft agreements with Syria. Back in 1973, on the eve of the Geneva Peace Conference, the U.S. even provided a letter of assurance to Israel that it would prevent any party from tampering with Resolution 242. Israeli
diplomacy sought to protect Resolution 242 as though it was a crown jewels of the Jewish state.


Resolution 242 is best known for its famous withdrawal clause, which did not call on Israel to pull back to the pre-war 1967 lines. While the Soviet Union insisted that the resolution specifically call for “a withdrawal from all the territories occupied” by Israel in the Six-Day War, the U.S. and Britain countered with very different phraseology that was reflected in the final draft, that was eventually adopted by all 15 members of the Security Council. It would only state that there had to be a withdrawal “from territories.”

The U.S. and Britain recognized that the pre-1967 line had only been an armistice line from 1949 and was not a final international border. Indeed, Article 2 of the original 1949 Armistice Agreement between Israel and Jordan clearly stipulated that it did not prejudice the territorial “claims and positions” of the parties since its provisions were “dictated exclusively by military considerations.”

The battle over the language of the withdrawal clause was not just conducted by overly legalistic advisers to the British and American missions to the U.N.; everyone understood that these distinctions had enormous significance, for they went all the way to the apex of power in both Washington and Moscow and were settled in direct communications between President Lyndon Johnson and Prime Minister Alexei Kosygin.

The British, under Prime Minister Harold Wilson, were the main drafters of Resolution 242. Their Ambassador to the U.N. in 1967, Lord Caradon, clarified what the language of the withdrawal clause meant in an interview published in 1976 in the Journal of Palestine Studies: “We could have said, ‘Well, you go back to the 1967 line.’ But I know the 1967 line, and it’s a rotten line. You couldn’t have a worse line for a permanent international boundary. It’s where the troops happened to be on a certain night in 1948. It’s got no relation to the needs of the situation. Had we said that you must go back to the 1967 line, which would have resulted if we had specified a retreat from all the occupied territories, we would have been wrong.”

Any Israeli withdrawal had to be to “secure and recognized borders,” as the resolution stated.

Lord Caradon’s American counterpart, Arthur Goldberg, fully supported this interpretation repeatedly over the years, such as in his 1988 statement: “The resolution stipulates withdrawal from occupied territories without defining the extent of withdrawal.” Goldberg was a legal scholar who served previously on the U.S. Supreme Court, before coming to the U.N.

Others backed his interpretation as well. The senior U.S. figure in the State Department with responsibility for the Middle East, Joseph Sisco, went on NBC’s Meet the Press on July 12, 1970, and also said: “That resolution [242] did not say ‘withdrawal to the pre-June 5 lines.”’ In short, there was no argument about how Resolution 242 should be interpreted. Israel had rights to retain some West Bank territory, so that at the end of the day it could obtain defensible borders in any future political settlement.

By the way, it is notable that according to Resolution 242, Israel was entitled to this territory without having to pay for it with its own pre-1967 territory. There were no land swaps in Resolution 242. Nor was there any corridor crossing Israeli sovereign territory so that the West Bank could be connected to the Gaza Strip (just as there is no land corridor across Canada connecting Alaska to the rest of the U.S.). These diplomatic innovations were thought of by negotiators in the 1990s, but Israel in no way is required to agree to them, according to Resolution 242. In his memoirs, Abba Eban, then Israel’s foreign minister, described the readiness of the U.S. and Britain, in particular, to agree to a revision of the pre-war boundaries as a “major breakthrough” for Israeli diplomacy.

Yet there were also efforts underway over the years to erode this Israeli achievement. Some diplomats argued that the French version of the resolution said “from the territories,” rather than “from territories.” Anglo-American diplomacy had carefully avoided the definite article in the English version. Whether the French version was a translation mistake or a consequence of how French grammar deals with abstract nouns didn’t
matter. Resolution 242 was negotiated in English, and 10 out of 15 members of the U.N. Security Council were English-speaking countries. Thus the English version of Resolution 242 was the decisive version to work with.

In 1970, British Prime Minister Wilson had been replaced by Edward Heath. In January 1973, Britain joined the European Economic Community, leading to a major erosion of its position on Resolution 242. On Nov. 6, 1973, in the aftermath of the 1973 Yom Kippur War, the EEC issued a joint declaration which reflected its own growing sense of vulnerability to threats of an Arab oil embargo. It was a time when no European state would even allow U.S. cargo aircraft with badly needed spare parts for the IDF to refuel on their way to Israel — only Portugal agreed, but insisted on
the U.S. using its airfield in the Azores. Europe as a collective felt it needed to appease the Arab oil-producers. As a result, the EEC declaration, which now included Britain, explicitly stated that Israel had to withdraw to the armistice lines of 1949. Under pressure, the British abandoned the essence of a resolution that they themselves had drafted six years earlier.

One of the intriguing aspects of Resolution 242 was that it said nothing about Jerusalem. In a letter to The New York Times on March 6, 1980, Arthur Goldberg wrote: “Resolution 242 in no way refers to Jerusalem, and this omission was deliberate.” He explained that he never described Jerusalem as “occupied territory.” Goldberg was reacting to the policy of the Carter administration, which was criticizing Israeli construction
practices in east Jerusalem and misrepresenting Israel’s legal rights. Goldberg believed that the status of Jerusalem had to be negotiated, but he insisted that “Jerusalem was not to be divided again.”

Israel itself may have contributed to confusion about its rights in Jerusalem. The 1993 Oslo Accords formally recognized Jerusalem as a subject for future final status negotiations. Yet that did not mean that Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was prepared to re-divide Jerusalem. Negotiability was one thing; withdrawal was something else. In his final Knesset address, on Oct. 5, 1995, one month before he was assassinated, Rabin declared: “The borders of the State of Israel, during the permanent solution, will be beyond the lines which existed before the Six-Day War. We will not return to the June 4, 1967 lines.” Rabin spoke the language of Resolution 242. He added that Israel would retain “a united Jerusalem.”

The effort to erode Israel’s rights recognized in Resolution 242 has continued. Over the past few years, the Middle East Quartet suggested to Israel that if it would say that the basis of the negotiations would be the 1967 lines, then Mahmoud Abbas would come back to the negotiations. This strategy didn’t work back then and contradicted Resolution 242.

Ultimately, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry succeeded in restarting negotiations without making the 1967 lines the basis of a final settlement. As Israel engages in the current sensitive talks with the Palestinians, it is imperative that it recall its legal rights, especially to those states who voted for Resolution 242 but now demand that Israel withdraw to the 1967 lines, contrary to what the U.N. originally established.
.- See more at: http://www.cjhsla.org/2014/01/05/the-as ... taXnI.dpuf
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Comments made last Friday by chief Palestinian negotiator Sa

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 07.01.2014 09:18

•Comments made last Friday by chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat - in which Erekat accused Israel of poisoning former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and expressed concerns that Jerusalem would similarly kill sitting Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas - became fodder for a tense exchange at today's State Department briefing, with journalists pressing Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf on Washington's stance regarding Palestinian incitement. A spike in Palestinian terrorism against Israeli civilians has deepened Jerusalem's concerns regarding statements and actions made by top Palestinian figures that demonize Israel and celebrate violence. Abbas, for instance, has embraced Palestinian terrorists freed in both December and October as "heroes." Israel's cabinet this weekend blasted what Israeli officials described as the Palestinian "culture of hate," and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had declared the previous week that "true peace cannot exist without stopping the incitement against Israel and educating for peace." At today's briefing, journalists questioned Harf over the State Department's refusal to publicly condemn Erekat's Friday comments, asking among other things why Foggy Bottom refused to be forthright in declaring that the obviously false conspiracy theory regarding Arafat's death was not just false but also "certainly not the kind of thing that prepares or helps prepare the Palestinian people for... an eventual peace deal." Harf responded by delineating between public and private conversations, prompting journalists to ask whether Washington, as a declared "honest broker," had "an obligation to speak out when someone says something that is not honest, when something is dishonest." Harf eventually said that she had not yet seen Erekat's comments and would examine them further. By the end of the afternoon Associated Press reporter Matthew Lee noted that that State Department was continuing to resist taking a public position on the incident specifically or more broadly on Israeli complaints regarding Palestinian incitement.
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•Last week's strange episode in the Palestinian embassy in t

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 07.01.2014 09:20

•Last week's strange episode in the Palestinian embassy in the Prague, in which the Palestinian ambassador to the Czech Republic was killed by an explosion inside the building, escalated over the weekend into a potential scandal as reports emerged that Palestinians may be using the country as a transit point for European weapons smuggling. Jamal al-Jamal was killed last week when materials that were being kept in an embassy safe exploded, fatally injuring the Palestinian official. Conflicting details about the incident almost instantly emerged, with Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki saying the safe had not been used for decades and Palestinian Embassy spokesman Nabil El-Fahel insisting on Czech radio that it "was used on a daily basis... and was opened and closed almost every day." On Saturday a Czech media outlet published statements by the country's former chief-of-staff Jiri Sedivy describing the weapons storage as a "blatant violation of diplomatic norms and habits" and speculating that "maybe the affair in question involves a well organised weapons and explosives distribution network." The statements came amid reports that Czech officials had found roughly 70 unregistered weapons in the embassy. Suspicions that the Palestinians severely breached international norms are likely to deepen concerns that the Palestinian Authority lacks sufficiently robust political institutions to declare and sustain an independent Palestinian state.
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Palestinians Prefer to Live in 'Racist' Israel

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 07.01.2014 22:17

Palestinians Prefer to Live in 'Racist' Israel

Tuesday, January 07, 2014 | Ryan Jones

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Israeli Arab MK Backs Call for War on Jews

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Israeli Arabs

Arab members of Israel’s Knesset who insist on being called “Palestinians” and who regularly accuse the Jewish state of racism are now adamant they will not become citizens of a new Palestinian state.

Loud-mouthed parliamentarians like Ahmad Tibi (pictured) have responded with fury to Israel’s reported proposal to US Secretary of State John Kerry that the Jewish state surrender sovereignty over a portion of the lower Galilee with a heavy Arab population to the Palestinian Authority in a future peace deal.

In return, Israel would be allowed to retain control of large Jewish “settlement blocs” in Judea and Samaria.



It would seem to be a win-win situation for all involved. Israel wouldn’t have to uproot hundreds of thousands of Jews from their homes, and hundreds of thousands of Arabs would finally be free of the oppressive racism under which they currently live.

So it was a bit curious that Tibi reacted to the proposal by calling it unacceptable from the podium of the Knesset plenum. Unless, of course, Tibi and his ilk have been lying all along, and life for Arabs in Israel really isn’t all that bad.

Why else would Tibi turn down the opportunity to become a citizen of the state for whose creation he has so long advocated?

If Tibi and most other Arabs really do prefer life in Israel to that in a future Palestinian state, then, as Arab journalist Khaled Abu Toameh wrote for the Gatestone Institute, “they should be working toward integration into, and not separation from, Israel.”
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Palestinian 'Peace' Motive: Elimination of Israel

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 10.01.2014 18:26

Palestinian 'Peace' Motive: Elimination of Israel

As Secretary of State John Kerry departed the region, a video has been released which sheds light on the Palestinian Authority's true motive in demanding a peace agreement based on the 1967 borders: the elimination of the State of Israel in a step-by-step process. While the tactics are different, the goal is the same as Iran's openly stated desire to wipe Israel off the map.

In a Syrian satellite TV interview on December 23, 2013, Fatah Central Committee member Abbas Zaki said that accepting a Palestinian state within those borders is merely the first step in achieving "the inspiring idea." As reported by Israel National News, the interview was translated and posted to YouTube by the Israeli Research Institute's Palestinian Media Watch (PMW).
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Suffering of Palestinians in Syria ignored by most of the wo

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 10.01.2014 18:34

Suffering of Palestinians in Syria ignored by most of the world

Even as many governments and NGOs around the world continue to condemn Israel for its treatment of the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the treatment of another Palestinian population by the government in neighboring Syria is almost completely ignored. The regime of Syrian president Bashar Assad has besieged the tens of thousands of Palestinians living in the Yarmouk refugee camp on the outskirts of Damascus for over a year. "The profound civilian suffering in Yarmouk deepens, with reports of widespread malnutrition and the absence of medical care," said UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness. Meanwhile, the regime claims that it is unable to deliver supplies to the camp due to interference from "terrorists" which is the term it applies to all of its opponents.
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Jordan Valley settlements hit by boycott campaign

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 11.01.2014 09:00

Jordan Valley settlements hit by boycott campaign

Associated Press
By KARIN LAUB
8 hours ago

In this Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014 photo, a Thai worker sits in a back of a truck load with flowers in the fields of the West Bank Jordan Valley Jewish settlement of Petsael. For Israeli farmers in the West Bank's Jordan Valley, an international campaign to boycott settlement products has turned almost overnight from a distant nuisance into a harsh economic reality. The export-driven income of growers in the valley's 21 settlements dropped by 15 percent, or $29 million dollars, last year because Western European supermarket chains trying to avoid political entanglements largely stopped buying the valley's grapes, dates and sweet peppers. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

NETIV HAGDUD, West Bank (AP) — An international campaign to boycott Israeli settlement products has rapidly turned from a distant nuisance into a harsh economic reality for Israeli farmers in the West Bank's Jordan Valley.

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The export-driven income of growers in the valley's 21 settlements dropped by more than 14 percent, or $29 million, last year, largely because Western European supermarket chains, particularly those in Britain and Scandinavia, are increasingly shunning the area's peppers, dates, grapes and fresh herbs, settlers say.

"The damage is enormous," said David Elhayani, head of the Jordan Valley Regional Council, which represents about 7,000 settlers. "In effect, today, we are almost not selling to the (Western) European market anymore.

Israel has played down the impact of the campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions launched by Palestinian activists in 2005 to pressure Israel to withdraw from occupied lands.

"By and large, it's unpleasant background noise," said Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor, arguing that its overall effects have been negligible.

However, the lament of the Jordan Valley famers comes against the backdrop of a growing debate in Israel about the aftermath of a possible failure of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's latest mediating mission. Kerry wants to forge agreement on the outlines of an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal despite major disagreements between the sides.

Israeli supporters of a land-for-peace deal with the Palestinians have warned that Israel could face a snowballing boycott — of the magnitude that brought down apartheid in South Africa — if it rebuffs proposals Kerry is to present in coming weeks.




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Palestinian farmers burn agriculture waste just outside …
Palestinian farmers burn agriculture waste just outside the West Bank Jordan Valley Jewish settlemen …

Finance Minister Yair Lapid, speaking to the news website Ynet, warned Israelis on Friday that "a continuation of the existing situation will hurt the pocketbook of each of us," particularly by hitting exports.

The Palestinians, too, could face repercussions if the talks collapse, such as less foreign aid from Europe.

The fate of the Jordan Valley has featured prominently in Kerry's meetings with Israeli and Palestinian leaders. The Palestinians want a state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem, lands Israel captured in 1967, and the valley would form Palestine's eastern border with Jordan.

Kerry reportedly proposed that Israel maintain military control of that border for at least 10 years after a peace deal to address Israeli concerns about a surprise Arab attack or the possible influx of weapons and militants.

Israeli security hawks say the valley must remain under Israeli control forever. The Palestinians argue that this would prevent them from establishing a viable state because they need the farm lands and open spaces.

Uzi Dayan, a former Israeli national security adviser, said Israel needs the valley, which makes up close to one-fourth of the West Bank, for strategic depth.




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In this Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014 photo, a Palestinian …
In this Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014 photo, a Palestinian farmer carries a pile of flowers in the fields o …

"Being here in the Jordan Valley, it is something existential," he said this week, standing on a mountaintop overlooking sprawling date palm plantations. "The national security of Israel is based on defensible borders, not on boycotts."

But economic worries are growing for some of the valley's farmers.

Niva Benzion, who lives in the Netiv Hagdud settlement, used to sell 80 percent of her sweet peppers and grapes to supermarket chains in Western Europe, particularly in Britain.

Sales to Western Europe plummeted in the past two years, she said, adding that she now sells mostly to Eastern Europe and Russia, for up to 40 percent less. She reduced her growing area by one-third this season and doubts she can make ends meet in the future.

Zvi Avner, head of the agriculture committee in the Jordan Valley, confirmed that sales of peppers and grapes to Western Europe — mainly Britain and Scandinavia — have dropped by about 50 percent and fresh herbs by about 30 to 40 percent.

Avner and Elhayani said they are confident they can overcome the difficulties by selling in new markets and by farming more effectively.




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In this Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014 photo, Palestinian farmers …
In this Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014 photo, Palestinian farmers cut onions at a field belong to Jewish set …

The European Union says Israel's settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, now home to more than 550,000 Israelis, are illegal under international law, but has not called for a consumer boycott of settlement products.

As part of the U.S.-led peace talks, the EU has promised Israel and the Palestinians an unprecedented partnership, just short of full membership, if they strike a deal. However, if talks fail, the Palestinians might expect a cutback in EU aid, while Israel might have to brace for a tougher anti-settlement stance by Europe.

This might include reviving plans for EU-wide guidelines for labeling settlement products. Currently, about half the 28 member states support such labeling, a step that would enable consumers to observe a boycott.

Britain issued guidelines to retailers for the voluntary labeling of settlement products in 2009. In December, Britain's overseas trade body strongly discouraged firms from doing business with settlements.

In recent years, several British supermarket chains have either begun labeling or stopped selling goods from Israeli settlements.

"Supermarkets are now starting to realize . that there's a really big reputational risk involved here," said Michael Deas, a Britain-based coordinator for the international boycott movement.




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In this Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014 photo, cutting tools …
In this Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014 photo, cutting tools placed on the ground while Palestinian farmers t …

Marks & Spencer said it hadn't sold any products from the West Bank since 2007. Upscale supermarket chain Waitrose said it stopped selling herbs from the West Bank several years ago. Morrisons, Britain's fourth-largest grocer, said it stopped selling dates from the West Bank in 2011. In 2012, the Co-operative Group, the country's fifth-largest grocer, banned Israeli settlement produce from its shelves.

Some retailers, like Co-op, said they were taking a moral stand, decrying the settlements as illegal. Others, like Waitrose, said their decision was commercial.

In Germany, the Kaiser's supermarket chain said it stopped carrying products from the West Bank and the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights in 2012.

Israeli officials say the boycott has strong anti-Semitic overtones and aims to delegitimize the Jewish state.

Supporters of the campaign say they are gaining momentum and have pointed to a string of recent successes. This week, Dutch pension asset manager PGGM said it divested from five Israeli banks because they are involved in financing the construction of Jewish settlements.

Other moves, such as a recent decision by an American scholarly group to boycott Israeli universities, invited a broad backlash, in part because it targeted Israel and not just settlements.

Jordan Valley settlers say a boycott also hurts about 6,000 Palestinians employed on their farms.

Palestinian officials counter that Israel has suppressed virtually all Palestinian economic development in the valley and that Palestinians could create tens of thousands of jobs if freed from Israeli shackles.

While some settlers hope to see the valley annexed to Israel, Benzion, 57, said she wouldn't stand in the way of peace, even if it means dismantling her life's work.

"Nothing breaks my heart so easy, especially not bricks," she said. "I will not even have a second thought of leaving here, if it's for a peace treaty with our neighbors. I will cherish that."

___

Associated Press writers Raphael Satter in London and Kirsten Grieshaber in Berlin contributed to this report.
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Ariel Sharon

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 11.01.2014 17:56

January 11, 2014

Ariel Sharon in The New Yorker

Posted by Joshua Rothman

Ariel Sharon, the former Prime Minister of Israel, died today, at the age of eighty-five. In January of 2006, while he was still in office, Sharon suffered a devastating stroke from which he never recovered. A few weeks later, Ari Shavit published “The General,” his Profile of Sharon, in The New Yorker. “The General” was based on six years’ worth of conversation with Sharon, and it tracks, from year to year, Sharon’s changing mind. When Shavit and Sharon first met, in 1999, Sharon was a hard-liner. But by 2003, Sharon had “decided to divert history from its course.” “I don’t think that we need to rule over another people and run its life,” he told Shavit. “I don’t think that we have the strength for that.” It was a shift that astonished Shavit, along with the citizens of Israel and observers around the world.


“As far back as I can remember,” Shavit begins, “I remember Arik Sharon”:

First, he was Arik of the Paratroopers, whose brutal acts of retaliation in the nineteen-fifties, after the War of Independence, exemplified the young Israeli state’s reply to attacks by Palestinian infiltrators. Then he was Arik of Sinai, whose military wits in the battle of Abu Ageila, a strategic crossroads in the eastern Sinai, played an important part in the intoxicating Israeli victory of 1967. Then, in 1971, Sharon was Arik the Terrible, who temporarily eliminated Palestinian terror in the Gaza Strip by using collective punishment, threatening civilians, and applying a shoot-to-kill policy against suspected terrorists. In 1973, he was Arik, King of Israel, who confounded the Egyptians by crossing the Suez Canal, cutting off the Third Army, and turning what could easily have been a terrible defeat into victory. In the late nineteen-seventies and early eighties, as a civilian minister, he was Arik the Settler, who established more than a hundred Israeli outposts in the West Bank and Gaza, in a hubristic attempt to seize permanent control of large swaths of Palestinian-held territory. “Grab as many hilltops as you can,” he later told the settlers. Finally, he was for us, the young liberals of Israel, Arik the Leper, who, in 1982, led the country into a catastrophic war in Lebanon and bore a great measure of responsibility for the massacres at the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps.

“More than any other single figure in Israel,” Shavit concludes, “Sharon led the transformation of a relatively modest and ascetic state into an occupying bully.” So how was it possible to understand his about-face? What stood out most in his conversations with Sharon, Shavit writes,

was his emotional consistency, his fixed beliefs. Even when he was absorbed in the work of uprooting settlements, he spoke emotionally about their value. His policy changed dramatically, but his inner self did not change at all.

In 2006, after Sharon suffered the stroke, Shavit went home to review the tape-recorded conversations. “All night,” Shavit writes, “I sat in my study, listening to his voice and thinking about what he had left as a political legacy and as a direction for the future.” Israelis voted for Sharon, Shavit writes, “because they felt that he knew that their world, like the world of the Balkans, was about a tribal war. In the midst of this conflict, Sharon, unlike his younger self, tried to calm tempers and reassure his people. And the great majority of Israelis endorsed this.”


Sharon was the least messianic of all of Israel’s Prime Ministers…. Under his governance, Israel was weaned of the hope for an ideal end. It even came to realize that there would be no absolute peace or victory. Fundamentally, Sharon was a man of process. If he has left a legacy, it is the need for time—lots of time—because there is no way to reach peace with one abrupt act.

In his cumbersome way, he said to the Israelis: I will withdraw. But he also said, I will withdraw very slowly. Shweiyeh shweiyeh, without haste, as an Arabic phrase used in Hebrew slang has it. And I’ll rip them to shreds if they understand my withdrawal incorrectly and abuse it. Because I am not a liberal romantic. I am from here, and I will not be Mahmoud Abbas’s sucker or Kofi Annan’s sucker. I will do only what is good for us. And, just as in the nineteen-forties, fifties, and sixties I conquered land for us, now I will withdraw for us. And, just as in the nineteen-seventies, eighties, and nineties I settled the territories on our behalf, now I will evacuate for us.

“Israel was somehow fortunate,” Shavit suggests, “to have the person who made the mess try to clean it up.” “The General” is available, in its entirety, in our archive.
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Keywords Ariel Sharon

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I personally admired General Ariel Sharon all the time before he collapsed to give back some settlements. Something bad happened to him this time and he got punishment, that ended today. God be mercy to him!

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Ariel Sharon (1928-2014)

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 11.01.2014 19:54

January 11, 2014


Contact:
TIP Press: press@theisraelproject.org
Press Office: 202-590-8769

The Israel Project (TIP) was saddened today to learn of the passing of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, a military hero and political giant who for decades helped shape and reshape the Jewish state in fundamental ways.

Josh Block, President and CEO of TIP, described Sharon as an "embodiment of the Jewish state and a heroic protector of her people, who will be remembered not only for his strength, but for his courage in pursuit of peace. Sharon's contributions to bolstering the US-Israel relationship made both nations safer, and kindled the bonds of democracy, liberty, and shared values that we care so much about."

Below please find a full obituary, published today by TheTower.org.

The thoughts and prayers of everyone at TIP are today with Prime Minister Sharon's family, friends, and the nation he cherished so deeply and fought for so fiercely.

Ariel Sharon (1928-2014)

Ariel Sharon - the 11th prime minister of Israel, and a man who dominated the Jewish state's political scene first as a pertinacious force from the right and eventually as a heterodox diplomat who oversaw broad Israeli territorial concessions - died today, eight years after slipping into a coma in the aftermath of a massive stroke. He was 85.

Sharon's decades-spanning career was marked by periods of deep controversy and widely acknowledged acclamation, and was book-ended by grave wounds acquired on the battlefield of the War of Independence and by political power secured via successive Israeli elections. His final political years, as prime minister from 2001 to 2006, will be remembered as ones marked by sweeping counter-terror operations followed by arguably even more sweeping peace gestures.

Sharon was elected amid a terror war that Palestinian figures at the time boasted had been months if not years in the planning, and which had finally erupted after Palestinian President Yasser Arafat refused a July 2000 peace offer from Sharon's predecessor, Ehud Barak. Analysts emphasized at the time that the violence, which would eventually take the lives of literally thousands, was suffocating the chances for peace.

Following a wave of suicide bombings - and immediately after the March 2002 attack on a Passover Seder in Netanya in which 30 people were killed - Sharon initiated Israel's Operation Defensive Shield to uproot the terrorist infrastructure in the West Bank. The immediate aftermath saw a 46 percent drop in suicide bombings, and by the second half of the year a 70 percent drop.

In 2003 Sharon navigated the Likud party through legislative elections from which it emerged victorious, ensuring his continued tenure as prime minister. He would eventually split from the center-right Likud after securing and executing the politically controversial Disengagement plan - adopted in 2004 and enacted in 2005 - that removed all Israelis from the Gaza Strip and from four settlements in the West Bank.

Among others President George Bush and United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan hailed the withdrawals for providing breathing room and territory to a nascent Palestinian state, though the move drained Sharon's political capital and put him at odds with elements of the Israeli right.

Seeking to consolidate political and public support in the aftermath of the plan, Sharon formed a broad centrist party, Kadima, bringing in top figures from Israel's center-left and center-right. In January 2006 - mere months after Kadima had been formed and amid Israeli elections that the newly formed party would eventually win - Sharon suffered a stroke and slipped into the coma from which he would not wake.

Sharon's career spanned an arc from war hero to political force, and was marked throughout by criticism from both the right and left. During Israel's 1948 war he was severely injured during the Battle of Latrun. He recovered and eventually became a general, and in the 1950s was tasked with leading raids into Jordan in the aftermath of terrorist attacks originating in that country. In 1973 he played a pivotal role in hurling back an Egyptian army that had been making steady gains after launching the surprise attack that started the war.

In 1982, as Defense Minister, Sharon oversaw Operation Peace for the Galilee, which sought to uproot the state-within-a-state that the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) had built in southern Lebanon. The war ended with the PLO's expulsion from the country, but also witnessed inarguably the most controversial episode in Sharon's military career.

In September, 1982, as the IDF was working to clear terrorists out of Beirut, forces under Sharon's command allowed Lebanese-Christian Phalangist militiamen into the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps on the outskirts of the city. The numbers regarding the subsequent massacre that the Phalangists conducted are heavily disputed, and range from just over 750 to roughly 3,000 civilians. A subsequent commission of inquiry found Sharon indirectly responsible for the massacre, and more specifically found him culpable for failing to anticipate the likelihood that the Phalangists may commit atrocities (the Lebanese commander who is accused of ordering the killings had among other things seen his family and fiancee murdered by Palestinian fighters in the so-called Damour massacre six years prior).

The extent of Sharon's culpability for the massacre remains contested - courts have ruled that TIME, for instance, falsely accused him of direct responsibility - but he was found by an Israeli commission to bear responsibility for the bloodshed and was forced to resign.

Sharon took control of the Likud party in 1999, after then-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lost to a Labor slate headed by Ehud Barak. The outbreak of Palestinian violence that became known as the Second Intifada shook public faith in Barak's government, and in 2001 Sharon emerged victorious from a contentious battle for the prime ministership.

If the Sabra and Shatila massacre marks Sharon's most controversial military episode, a 2000 event near the outbreak of the Second Intifada may mark his most contentious political moment. Sharon has been blamed for triggering the half-decade of violence by taking a police-escorted walk along the Temple Mount in Jerusalem in September 2000. The area is of course contested - it is the holiest site in the world to Jews, and the third holiest to Muslims - and critics have claimed that the incident sowed the seeds for the years of Palestinian terrorism that followed.

Here the public record is far clearer in exonerating Sharon.

The July 2000 Camp David summit - hosted by Bill Clinton, with Barak and Arafat negotiating - had already failed. Arafat has been widely blamed for the talks' collapse, including by Clinton. Palestinian figures later boasted that a wave of violence was in motion. Arafat had already released a number of high-ranking terrorists from jail by the time Sharon visited the Mount. American diplomat Dennis Ross recounts in his book The Missing Peace how Israelis called Washington with proof that the Palestinians were "planning massive, violent demonstrations throughout the West Bank and the next morning, ostensibly a response to the Sharon visit."

Washington pressured Arafat to dampen the violence, but the Palestinian leader - again per Ross - "did not lift a finger to stop the demonstrations, which produced the second Intifada." Arafat, according to Ross, may have had a range of motives for letting the violence spiral out of control: "Some believe that after Camp David [Arafat] concluded that he could not achieve what he wanted through negotiations and therefore resorted to violence... Others believe he planned an escalation to violence all along... in accordance with the 'Palestinian narrative,' he needed Palestinian independence to result from struggle."

Ariel Sharon died as one of Israel's iconic figures, having remade Israel's military and political landscape. His dedication to the Jewish state was grounded in a sense of history and a deeply felt need to create, nurture, and protect a refuge for Jews. At a Holocaust memorial ceremony in Germany in 2001, he recounted the fates of three Jewish children who left the Grunewald train station and - like "six million Jews... including 1.5 million children" never returned. Sharon declared that "it is the right of the Jewish people, after years of suffering and privation, to be the masters of our fate and to let no one control the fate of our people. We will preserve this right more than anything."
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