As US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice embarked on her maiden voyage, it was reported that she departed from America armed with a new policy paper on how to implement the Quartet's road map produced by the James Baker Institute for Public Policy at Rice University.
According to Edward Djerejian, the former US ambassador to Syria who directs the Baker Center, the paper, with its detailed recommendations, is a "street map to the road map."
One of the things that make the paper significant is that it bears former US secretary of state James Baker's name. Not only did Baker serve under the president's father, he now plays a formal role in mobilizing international support for Iraqi reconstruction efforts.
As well, the team that composed the report included senior policy makers from the US, the Palestinian Authority, Egypt, Canada and the World Bank. The US was represented by current Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs William Burns as well as by Norman Olsen, the political counselor at the US embassy in Israel. The PA was represented by security strongman Jibril Rajoub and by senior aides to Mahmoud Abbas, Yasser Arafat and Ahmed Qurei. Egypt was represented bypresident-for-life Hosni Mubarak's senior adviser Osama El Baz and by General Hossam Khair Allah.
Israel had no official representation. Rather, the Jewish state was represented by none other than Yossi Beilin's Geneva Accord crowd. Amnon Lipkin Shahak and Shlomo Brom, signatories to that subversive agreement where private citizens tried to abscond with the government's sovereign power to determine foreign policy by negotiating the scandalously anti-Israel "accord," participated. They were joined by members of Beilin's EU-financed think tank, the Economic Cooperation Foundation.
Not surprisingly, the product this team produced and delivered to Rice is soft on Palestinian terrorism, soft on Palestinian democratization, and relentlessly harsh toward Israel – its sovereignty, its right to defend itself, and its ability to claim any right to retain any of the Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria.
The document makes no clear statement on the need for the Palestinians to dismantle terrorist organizations. Indeed, the term "terror organizations" is absent from the report. Instead, the Palestinian requirement to combat terrorism is reduced to demands on Israel to facilitate the training, arming and operation of the "reformed" Palestinian security services while not interfering with them in any way.
While the report pays lip service to the need for the PA to reform its governing institutions, its only clear statement on the end-product of reform is unabashedly authoritarian. The aim of all the reforms must be the "consolidat[ion of] Fatah as the main political player in Palestinian society."
And although the report makes no call for the destruction of Palestinian terror organizations and bucks up the authoritarian, corrupt PA, it calls for Israel to be treated with hostility and suspicion.
The paper calls for the establishment of a multinational force that will implement the agreements. Implicit in this statement is the assumption that Israel will be prevented by the presence of this force from taking any measures to defend itself against attacks.
International border crossings in Gaza and Judea and Samaria, including the weapons smuggling hub at the Philadephi Corridor which separates Gaza from Egypt, are to be controlled by the Palestinians. The report gives Egyptian forces a more prominent role in implementing the agreements than the IDF.
WHERE THE report's anti-Israel bias is most blatant is in its discussion of the Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria. The authors refer to their desire to see "The Palestinian people establish a viable state in the West Bank and Gaza" and make it clear that a precondition for the state's viability is that it be racially pure – entirely cleansed of Jewish communities. At the same time, they express their desire to "assure that Israel will continue to exist as the democratic homeland of the Jewish people and its other citizens." So in the authors' view, Israel is to be a state of all of its citizens while "Palestine" is to be Judenrein.
The report calls for the institution of a draconian regime in the Defense Ministry and the Justice Ministry to effectively prevent any building activities whatsoever from being conducted in the Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria. This regime, "The Special Office on Settlement Activities," will be obliged not simply to act as the enforcer of the attrition of these communities. The report determines that this body will be subordinate to the US embassy in Israel – effectively ceding Israeli sovereignty to the US.
The study even dares to dictate what propaganda moves must be made by the Israeli government to force the Israeli public to accept this policy. A close reading makes it clear that the result of this policy will be the expulsion of more than 400,000 Israeli Jews from their homes. This is so because the destruction of Israeli neighborhoods in Jerusalem is implicit in the section's opening paragraph, which mendaciously claims: "The US government policy has been based on the principle that there can be no acquisition of territory by war."
Not only does this sweeping and totally false statement necessarily include Jerusalem; it can easily be interpreted as saying that the only borders Israel can legitimately claim are the UN partition borders from 1947 since much of the land that makes up the 1949 armistice lines was acquired in war.
Perhaps it is reasonable that officials pushing a plan that would cause Israel to effectively become the ward of the international community should not feel limited by the positions of the Israeli government as it makes its plans – sufficing instead to have Israel "represented" by radical free agents with Israeli citizenship.
But two questions still arise: Why is the US government sending its officials to participate in a "working group" which works to undermine the sovereignty of a US ally; and why is the Israeli government not taking legal action against private citizens who travel the world "negotiating" away the sovereign rights of the state while undermining the prerogatives of the Israeli government?
Originally published in The Jerusalem Post.