On Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert met in his office with Machmud Abbas, the head of the Palestinian Authority, the PLO and Fatah, along with the new Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salman Fayad.
The media was not informed about what was discussed. To make sure the press would not ask too many questions at this time, Olmert took an unprecedented step and cancelled the traditional news interview that Israeli prime ministers always provided to the media on the eve of the Jewish New Year commencing on Wednesday night.
However, the usually reliable Palestinian Ma'an News Agency published the Hebrew document presented by the government of Israel to Abbas, which summarizes the “declaration of principles,” or “DOP”, between Israel and the PLO to be presented at the autumn summit expected to be held in November in Washington.
What follows is an analysis of each clause of the DOP, now offered by Israel to the PLO:
1. "Israel will end the occupation of the West Bank within an agreed period of time. The withdrawal and evacuation of settlements will be carried out gradually and in several stages. Each evacuated area will be turned over to the Palestinian Authority which will then enforce law and order in these areas."
Analysis: This would mean that Israel formally relinquishes sovereignty over Judea and Samaria and the areas acquired by Israel after the 1967 war, after Jordan’s attack on Israel was repulsed. This withdrawal would place Palestinian armed forces within rocket range of almost all of Israel, transforming the reality of “life under kassam rockets” for the city of Sderot inside Israel into a similar nightmare that almost all of Israel would experience too. This would ignore the warnings of a special study conducted by the Israeli Foreign Ministry and the Israel Defense Ministry that was issued on August 15th, 2006 which concluded that Israel cannot defend areas against rocket attacks from within the 1967 lines, if Israel were to pull back from Judea and Samaria (the West Bank). Moreover, this would mean that Israel accepts the Arab narrative of the “occupation” of the West Bank, also known as Judea and Samaria, instead of recognizing the right of Jews to settle anywhere west of the Jordan River as guaranteed by the San Remo treaty and approved by the League of Nations in 1924 and reconfirmed when ratified by the United Nations in 1945. Meanwhile, this would mean that Israel suddenly expects the Palestinian Authority to enforce law and order, while the dominant faction in the PA, the terrorist group Fatah, the Arabic term for “conquest,” remains in a state of war with Israel.
2. “An unarmed Palestinian state within the 1967 borders. The specific
details of the borders will be determined according to security needs,
demographic developments and humanitarian requirements. This will pave the way to an equal territorial exchange. Israel will keep some settlement blocs and maintain geographic contiguity in Palestine and horizons for economic prosperity.”
Analysis: Unarmed Palestinian State? There is no provision for arms collection of the Palestinian armed forces that are now under the control of the Palestinian Authority. Meanwhile, the term “geographic contiguity in Palestine” is a code word for cutting Israel into two, by allowing a passage between Gaza and Judea that would allow hostile forces to cross Israel at will, cutting off the Negev region of southern Israel from the rest of the Jewish state.
3. There will be two capitals in Jerusalem, one for Israel and one for
Palestine. The Israeli neighborhoods will be under Israeli sovereignty and the Arab neighborhoods under Palestinian sovereignty. There will be
cooperation between both authorities that will allow for better
administration of people's lives.
Analysis: Arab and Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem intertwine with one another. Recognition of Palestinian Sovereignty would allow Fatah armed forces to patrol Arab neighborhoods and stockpile weapons there. To travel from one Jewish neighborhood to another Jewish neighborhood in Jerusalem, if you to traverse an Arab neighborhood, you would be forced to travel through areas controlled by Fatah armed forces. Meanwhile, the Palestinians define at least 12 Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem as Arab neighborhoods because of the fact that they were once Arab neighborhoods before 1948.
4. Special arrangements will be prepared to secure access to Holy places for all religions. A special administrative authority will be established to organize access of both people to Holy places in the Old City of Jerusalem.
Analysis: Free access to the “holy places” in Jerusalem has existed only since 1967. Between 1949 and 1967, although the UN guaranteed free access of all religions to all parts of Jerusalem, the Arab Moslems who then ruled Jerusalem would not allow access of any Jew to the Old City of Jerusalem. What Palestinian Arabs now demand is that Jews would not have access to the Temple Mount.
5. "Palestine is to be declared a national homeland for the Palestinian people and Israel is to be declared a national homeland for the Jewish people."
Analysis: This declaration would allow millions of Arabs to flood Judea and Samaria in a strategic mountainous region that overlooks and threatens Israel, which would be forced back to the coastal plain.
6. “A just solution is to be agreed on for the problem of the Palestinian
refugees with recognition of their suffering and understanding of their
individual right within the framework of a comprehensive solution.”
Analysis: From an international perspective, such a "just solution" means the fulfillment of UN resolution 194, which is approved every year with the support of all nations, except for Israel. UN resolution 194 recognizes the right of Palestinian Arab refugees and their descendents to return to the homes and villages that they left in 1948. “Individual right” is also a code word for allowing Arab refugees and their descendents to return to homes that their grandparents left as a result of the 1948 war.
7. “Both sides to declare the end of conflict and endeavor to gain public
support as much as possible and both sides to do their best to cooperate against any aspect of terrorism and violence from either of the two states against the other.”
Analysis: The PLO has never defined their attacks on Israelis as acts of terror. At no time has the Palestinian Authority worked to curb the actions of the Al Aksa Martyrs Brigade of the Fatah, which is defined by both the United States and Israel as an illegal terrorist organization. Since the outbreak of hostilities in 2000, Fatah has taken credit for the cold blooded murder of 328 people in Israel. Meanwhile, the language of this clause strangely equates “terrorism and violence” as emanating from both sides.
8. “Both sides to consider this agreement as being in accordance with the principles of the peace initiative proposed by the Arab League. Both will call the Arab League to positive steps towards full implementation of that initiative. They will also call on the international community and the
International Quartet to intervene and provide aid in different ways to push the agreement forward. This declaration must be agreed on by both the Israeli and Palestinian sides before the US-sponsored autumn peace summit. It will then be proposed and documented as international resolutions. Immediately after the autumn peace summit, in tandem with negotiations to reach a detailed agreement, Israel will start the withdrawal of forces and evacuation of settlements in the West Bank. The completion of the stages of the evacuation will take place in tandem with the completion of the negotiations."
Analysis: The Arab league remains at war with Israel and is not being asked to cancel its war against Israel nor its very charter, which states that the purpose of the formation of the Arab league is to eradicate the Zionist entity. At the same time, there is a seeming prejudgment as to the outcome of these negotiations. The government of Israel agrees ahead of negotiations that it will decimate thriving Jewish communities.
EPILOGUE: All this is reminiscent of negotiations that occurred between Israel and the PLO during the summer of 1993 that led to the signing of the first “declaration of principles,” the original DOP, which was known as the Oslo Accords. The Oslo Accord was signed on the White House lawn on September 13th, 1993 between two delegations representing Israel and the PLO respectively: Israeli Prime Minister Rabin and Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres on one side, while PLO Chairman Yassir Arafat and PLO Deputy Chairman Machmud Abbas were on the other side. Peres is now the President of Israel, while Abbas succeeded Arafat.
The Israeli Knesset ratified the Oslo “DOP” on September 25th, 1993 by a vote of 61 to 50. The PLO executive, however, scheduled a special session on October 6th, 1993 to ratify the DOP. At that meeting, Arafat and Abbas claimed that the PLO could not get a quorum at its office in Tunis, so the DOP was never ratified by the PLO.
That the PLO never ratified the DOP in 1993 was reported by the Israeli left-wing newspaper Al HaMishmar, whose correspondent, Pinchas Inbari, was practically the only Israel reporter then in Tunisia. However, no other mainstream Israeli newspaper has ever reported that the PLO never even ratified the original DOP, known as the Oslo Accords, while the Israeli government acted as if the PLO had done so.
The lesson to be learned from 1993 is that no matter what form the DOP enacted, the PLO would probably not ratify it, because of growing Hamas influence.
The question remains, nevertheless, if worldwide mainstream media would ever publicize any PLO non-approval of the DOP.