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Kerry's Arafat Yes-Man By: David Bedein
FrontPageMagazine.com | Monday, August 02, 2004


Democratic Presidential nominee John Kerry’s newly appointed Middle East advisor, Martin Indyk, has been working for years to garner American support for Yasser Arafat and his terrorist regime. As the Middle East Advisor to the Clinton administration, Indyk managed to help Arafat wrest complete control over the Palestinian people through deceit and subterfuge. And now, if he gets his way, American troops may find themselves in the middle of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip-providing cover for Hamas and Palestinian Jihad.

The Israeli newspaper correspondent, Natan Guttman, from Ha’Aretz, reported that Indyk has said he expected the Israeli government to pay more serious attention to John Kerry. Sources close to Indyk indicated the Kerry campaign felt miffed that the Israeli government had yet to dispatch its head of state to meet with Kerry, and that the Israeli government was simply too closely coordinated with President George W. Bush.

The very mention of Indyk, who served two stints as ambassador to Israel, sends shudders down the spine of senior members of the Israel defense and foreign policy establishment. For the past year, Indyk, in his new capacity as the head of the Saban Center at the Brookings Institution, has conducted a campaign to dispatch U.S. troops to intervene in the Middle East conflict. Indyk has gone so far as to say that the U.S. should sent troops or create a protectorate over the West Bank and Gaza. Such a step would place the U.S. in a virtual state of war with the Israeli army, which has always viewed some of the West Bank and Gaza as vital to the security concerns of the state of Israel.

 

Indyk -- who, by the way, is funded by millionaire toy inventor Haim Saban, who also catapulted Ehud Barak into his disastrous short term as Prime Minister of Israel -- is generally looked upon as the man who planned the Oslo process that gave Yassir Arafat and the PLO armed control over most of the Palestinian Arab population.

 

In 1994, journalist Haim Shibi of the Yediot Aharonot newspaper reported that in 1987, Indyk had convinced more than 150 members of the U.S. foreign policy establishment that Israel should unilaterally withdraw from territories gained in 1967 Six Day War. Indyk oversaw every step of the disastrous Oslo process with this precise policy in mind of Israel giving up land vital to her defense.

 

And Indyk did not hesitate to misrepresent the intentions and policies of the PLO while doing so. Particularly, the PLO has never adhered to the basic commitment it made to cancel its covenant that calls for the eradication of the Jewish state. In September 1995, with the signing of the second Olso interim agreement at the White House, the U.S. Congress mandated that the U.S. would only be able to provide funds to the Palestinian Authority and provide diplomatic status to Arafat if the PLO covenant was finally canceled.  The Palestinians have never done it, yet the foreign aid money kept rolling in to the Palestinian Authority.

 

On April 24, 1996, the PLO convened a special session of its Palestine National Council (PNC) to consider the subject of the PLO covenant cancellation.   Our news agency dispatched a Palestinian TV crew to cover that session, which filmed the event. The film crew brought back a videotape that showed a lively discussion, the conclusion of which was to ratify Arafat’s suggestion that the PNC simply create a committee to “discuss” the subject. I rushed the video to Ambassador Indyk for comment, but he did not respond to that request. In addition, he chose to ignore the decision of the PNC and instead to issue a falsified report to President Clinton and to the U.S. Congress that the PLO covenant had been canceled.

As a result, Arafat was provided with a red carpet greeting at the White House on May 1, 1996. The next day, Hebrew University Professor Yehoshua Porat, a former activist in Peace Now and an expert in Palestinian studies who is fluent in Arabic, convened a press conference in which he shared documents of the PNC session and the videotape that proved Arafat never canceled the PLO covenant. But the damage was already done. Thanks to the obfuscations of Martin Indyk, Arafat received the crucial diplomatic recognition and foreign aid that he needed from the U.S. to buttress the PLO.

 

In December 1998, Clinton himself came to Gaza, accompanied by Indyk, and asked for a show of hands from members of the PNC as to whether they want to cancel the PLO covenant and make peace with Israel. He got his true answer when the next day, Arafat’s trusted spokesman, Yassir Abed Abbo, told the Palestinian Arabic media that the PNC had, of course, not canceled any covenant.


In September, 2000, Dr. Uzi Landau, then serving as the head of the Knesset State Control Committee (the equivalent of the U.S. Senate's Committee on Governmental Affairs), took the unusual step of filing a formal complaint against United States Ambassador to Israel Martin Indyk.

 

Landau quoted the September 16, 2000 report in the Guardian of London that "the U.S. Ambassador to Israel yesterday urged Israel to share Jerusalem with the Palestinians.” Mr. Indyk said: “There is no other solution but to share the holy city..." and Landau also noted that Ambassador Indyk was similarly quoted by the Associated Press, The Jerusalem Post and Ha'aretz.

 

Landau went on to say that “the timing of the speech and the political context in which it was delivered leave no room for doubt that Ambassador Indyk was calling on the Government of Israel to divide Jerusalem. Indeed, the Guardian correspondent described the remarks as ‘a sharp departure from Washington orthodoxy in recent years.’”

In addition to his remarks concerning Jerusalem, Ambassador Indyk offered his views regarding secular-religious tensions in Israel and the role of the Reform and Conservative movements in Judaism. He also intimated his tacit support for Prime Minister Barak's so-called secular revolution. As a commentator in the liberal daily Ha'aretz, noted: "readers are urged to imagine what the Americans would say if the Israeli ambassador to Washington were to come to a local religious institution and say such things."


Landau, who today serves in a ministerial post in the Israeli government that negotiates the sensitive relations between the U.S. and Israel, mentioned in his letter to Clinton that he wished to “strongly protest Ambassador Indyk's blatant interference in Israel's internal affairs and democratic process… I am sure you would agree that it is simply unacceptable for a foreign diplomat to involve himself so provocatively in the most sensitive affairs of the country to which he is posted. If a foreign ambassador stationed in the United States were to involve himself in a domestic American policy debate regarding race relations or abortion, the subsequent outcry would not be long in coming.  Ambassador Indyk's remarks about Jerusalem are an affront to Israel, particularly since he made them in the heart of the city that he aspires to divide. By needlessly raising Arab expectations on the Jerusalem issue, rather than moderating them, Ambassador Indyk has caused inestimable damage to the peace process. It is likewise inexplicable that Ambassador Indyk would choose to interject his private religious preferences into the debate over secular-religious tensions in Israel.”

Landau made it a point even more by stating that “this is not the first time that the American Embassy in Israel has interfered in our internal affairs. In February, I wrote to you in the wake of media reports that Embassy officials were lobbying Israeli-Arab leaders regarding a possible referendum on the Golan Heights. My fear is that such interference in Israel's affairs is rapidly becoming routine.”

Landau concluded his missive to Clinton with a “Request that you recall Ambassador Indyk to the United States.”


Unfortunately, Landau’s protestations did not help.

 

Only two months later, in early November 2000, Arafat’s Second Intifada terror campaign was getting underway, and Indyk was strongly condemning Israel’s military actions against Arafat’s forces. Indyk remarked that what the Israelis had to do was to get Arafat to act against the perpetrators of the violence, such as Hamas, Tanzim gangs and the Islamic Jihad diplomatically. He did not mention that Arafat's own Force 17 bodyguard, Preventive Security and other Palestinian Authority forces were also responsible for a considerable portion of the violence. Indyk never wants to hold Arafat responsible when Arafat’s personal forces carry out terrorist activities and kill people.


And in late November 2000, when Israel issued a “white paper” on intercepted intelligence from Arafat’s headquarters that showed documentary evidence that Arafat and his mainstream PLO gangs were indeed facilitating the campaign of terror, Indyk made a special trip to Jerusalem to demand that the Israeli government withdraw its report. Indyk had just reported to the U.S. Congress that the Palestinian groups organizing the terror campaign were NOT under Arafat’s control.


Eight months later, on May 21, 2001, in an address to Ben Gurion University,
Indyk stuck to his guns and continued to position Arafat and company as U.S. colleagues in the War on Terror by telling Israel: “What you do is you get Arafat to act against the perpetrators of the violence, Hamas, Tanzim gangs, the Islamic Jihad and you get the Israeli government to hold back the Israeli army while he does so. But that requires a great deal of energy and commitment on Arafat's part -- in very risky circumstances to take on the very angry Palestinian street -- and that requires a great deal of restraint and forbearance on the part of the government of Israel.”

 

Indyk’s admonition to Israel to turn the other cheek when it comes to Arafat has become his mantra. Meanwhile, Israelis and even some American citizens have died at the hands of the PLO.

 

In geopolitical circles, Indyk’s ideas of dispatching U.S. troops to an area where they could become targets of the PLO or be killed in crossfire between Israeli troops and Arafat’s forces had rendered him obsolete. That is until Senator Kerry appointed Inyk as his man for Middle East policy two days ago. Now they will have to take Indyk’s personal policy to hide the crimes of Fatah and the PLO and coerce American soldiers to protect Arafat’s terrorists seriously.

 

Imagine if the PLO fires upon Jewish population centers and American soldiers get killed in the crossfire. Because this is what the PLO wants. Furthermore, the PLO openly and verbally supports the insurgency in Iraq. How long will it be before American soldiers are taken hostage by Palestinian terror groups, or worse, killed like the 241 U.S. marines in Beirut in 1983?

Are American lives threatened by Kerry’s choice for his Middle East advisor? Time will tell. So will the November elections.


David Bedein, author of the forthcoming book, "Swimming Against the Mainstream", has run the Israel Resource News Agency. www.IsraelBehindTheNews.com, since 1987, at the Beit Agron Press Center in Jerusalem, where he also heads the Center for Near East Policy Research and serves as the Middle East correspondent for the Philadelphia Bulletin, www.thebulletin.us.


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