All Bush is Asking Arafat to do is Keep Promises He Made at Oslo
April 10, 2002
by Mary Mostert, Analyst, Banner of Liberty
Thirteen Israeli soldiers were killed in a building in Jenin that had been booby-trapped with explosives by what the Washington Post called Palestinian gunmen. A Post editorial on the same day noted: Responding to a presidential speech that was virtually unprecedented in the bluntness of its messages to Arabs, Israelis and Palestinians, all three sides struck equally rare poses of open defiance. Palestinians dismissed Mr. Bush’s criticism of Yasser Arafat, who in turn showed no sign of delivering the public condemnation of terrorist acts that the president demanded.
The booby-trapped building, of course, is absolute proof Yasser Arafat had in place the "terrorist infrastructure" that Ariel Sharon claimed he had when he declared war on Arafat after the Passover Massacre on March 27 that killed 27 people in Netanya. Lost in the great debate over international demands that Israel withdraw from the West Bank is the fact that Yasser Arafat received the Nobel Peace Prize, along with Yitzak Rabin of Israel, for their signed peace agreement in Oslo, Norway.
Is Israel violating the Oslo Accord? Or, is Arafat in violation of the Oslo Accord by having a terrorist infrastructure we have all watched unfold? What was the Oslo Peace Accord that Arafat and Rabin received their awards for?
The Oslo Peace Accord states in Article I: It is understood that the interim arrangements are an integral part of the whole peace process and that the negotiations on the permanent status will lead to implementation of Security Council Resolution 242 and 338. Resolution 338 was updated again by the UN on April 9, 2002.
Almost without exception, any mention by the media of the contents of these two resolutions quotes only one of its provisions: Withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict. The Israeli armed forces have been withdrawn for years. They go back into the territories because Yasser Arafat and the Palestinian Authority, along with the surrounding Arab nations, have generally ignored the provision in the Resolutions directed at them: Termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgement of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force.
Now, I ask you, just what nations are refusing to acknowledge the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of another state in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force? Bear in mind there has never been a Palestinian State in recorded history. From the 1500s to 1920, the area in question was part of the Turkish Empire. In 1920, following the defeat of Germany and its Turkish ally, the League of Nations recognized the British Palestine Mandate outlined by the League of Nations.
Under the British Mandate, in 1921 two-thirds of the British Mandate area was given to the Hashemite family and became the nation of Jordan. The remaining part of the area, under the 1917 Balfour Declaration, was supposed to become a homeland for the Jewish people. Only, then the Arabs objected loudly and the British backed off during the 1930s and 1940s, in spite of the fact that millions of Jews were being killed.
After World War II, although 6 million Jews had been killed, there still were a couple of million in Europe who had survived and the majority of them were homeless. The United Nations voted in 1947 to partition the British Palestine Mandate into Arab and Jewish states. Israel became a nation May 14, 1948.
From that time to this - fifty-four years later - most Arab nations, and the Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank, have refused to abide by the principles set for in UN Resolution 242 which calls for Termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgement of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force.
Since the Oslo Accords, and every other so-called peace agreement is based on UN Resolution 242, by heading a terrorist infrastructure Yasser Arafat has clearly violated the Oslo Accord for which he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The Norwegians ought to be demanding their prize back.
Instead, what we have is a worldwide outcry, especially from Europe and America, for the Israelis to withdraw and stop ferreting out the terrorists, the bombs, and the illegal weapons they have rounded up in the past week.
To his credit, President George W. Bush has been consistently reminding the Arabs of their obligations under the existing peace initiatives. Last Saturday, in Crawford, Texas, he and Prime Minister Tony Blair of Great Britain held a press conference in which the president said, We agree that the Palestinian leadership must order an immediate and effective cease-fire and crackdown on terrorist networks."
"And we agree that Israel should halt incursions in the Palestinian
controlled areas and begin to withdraw without delay from those cities
it has recently occupied."
Skipping the clear priority in that statement - that the Palestinian leadership must order an immediate and effective cease-fire and crackdown on terrorist networks the world media jumped to Israel should halt incursions in the Palestinian controlled areas and begin to withdraw without delay.
Now, as a lowly wordsmith, I would have to say that until the Palestinian leadership orders a cease-fire and cracks down on the terrorist networks, the president really doesnt expect Israel to withdraw from Palestinian controlled areas until those areas are swept clean of factories making suicide belts, bombs and booby-traps. Certainly since the Israeli army moved into the West Bank, no suicide bombers have gotten through to kill Israelis.
Of course, it may be that only Ariel Sharon and I are looking at it that way. Others have a different problem in mind, I suspect, one mentioned by an old adversary, Saddam Hussein who has declared an oil boycott, and is urging other Arab states to join him. Strangely, Iraq and Venezuela supply 45% of the foreign oil to the United States. If suddenly both stop sending oil, there will be a 22% shortage as we move into summer.
The last time this happened, in 1973, we were only 40% dependent on foreign
oil and it caused a decade long economic dislocation which was partially
addressed by Congress finally approving the Alaska oil pipeline to bring
Prudhoe Bay oil down to the lower 48 states, over the objections of the
environmentalists who claimed that pipeline would kill all the elk and
antelope. However, it appears that the elk and the antelope have greatly
increased since the pipeline was built, which may or may not be
due to the pipeline, depending on who you ask.
Nows the time to get President Bushs five point energy bill passed, that includes drilling for oil in ANWR, even it we have to retire a few obstructionists like Tom Daschle in the Senate this November.
Send the author an E mail at Mostert@ConservativeTruth.org.
For more of Mary's articles, visit her archives.