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Select Committee on International Development Written Evidence


Memorandum submitted by Gerald M. Adler, LL.M. J.S.D. (Yale)

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

  The aim of the various forms of aid to the Palestinians is to alleviate immediate problems of poverty, inadequate infrastructure, and so on; but also to enable the Palestinians to build up their own economy and society so that in future they can enjoy a decent standard of living independent of foreign aid. These goals can be effectively accomplished only if we maintain a tight and unsentimental focus on two questions: First, how can aid be delivered efficiently so that it accomplishes the most for those who need it most urgently? And second, how did the current severe economic problems of the Palestinians come about?

  The latter issue is crucial (albeit glossed over by most NGO submissions to the Committee), since the Palestinian living standard just over three years ago was at a quite respectable level compared with the rest of the Arab world. In order to restore this standard of living (much less to surpass it) it is vital to understand what brought about the rapid collapse of the Palestinian economy: Israeli security measures taken in response to Palestinian terrorism, largely directed and encouraged (and certainly not effectively combated) by the leadership of the Palestinian Authority.

  Accountability and transparency are necessary preconditions if aid to the Palestinians is to have maximal effect. Further, those sending and distributing aid must understand the way in which this aid (along with other sources of wealth and power) are used in the traditional struggle for power and prestige in Arab society. If aid is to be distributed based on genuine need, NGOs will need to institute much closer supervision, relying less on local workers to direct the flow of resources.

  Local NGOs have their own political agendas to pursue. We question the effectiveness of many local NGOs in delivering aid to the intended recipients. In particular, we believe that UNRWA has been a force for perpetuating and deepening the problems of Palestinian society, rather than ameliorating and ending them.

  Corruption is endemic in Palestinian society, from the top down. Aid funds delivered directly to the Palestinian Authority, intended for education, infrastructure, housing, general budgetary support, and other welfare services, has instead been largely diverted to other purposes. Some of this money has been siphoned off for the personal benefit of Palestinian leaders, but a substantial portion of it has been used to support the continued existence and activities of various terrorist groups both inside and outside the Palestinian territories. The PA has failed to confront terrorist groups in any serious way.

  Cultural changes both secular and religious must be made in Palestinian society for its government to become politically responsive to its constituents and its financial administration to become both transparent and accountable. Further, Palestinian society needs to abandon its preference for violent means of resolving external and internal conflicts.

  Unbridled terrorism compels Israel to take defensive measures to protect its own population. These measures have seriously impacted on the general day-to-day activities of ordinary Palestinians. While it is possible to criticize particular security measures as overly harsh, the fact remains that these security measures would not exist without Palestinian terrorism—and, in most cases, did not exist before the current "Intifada" began. The easiest way to eliminate these security measures, and thus enable the Palestinian economy to get back on its feet, is to take strong measures to eliminate the actuality and threat of Palestinian terrorism.

  Terror is the product of incitement in Palestinian schools, government-controlled media, and government-funded mosques. The long-term prospects for peace will remain dim until and unless effective action is taken to end this incitement. Until then there is little likelihood of any major improvement in the present situation.

MEMORANDUM

The Appendices referred to in this memorandum have not been printed. Copies have been placed in the Library.

1.  THE AUTHOR

  The author of this submission is a dual citizen of the United Kingdom and Israel, where he lived for 30 years. His professional experience and background in academia, government and industry gave him unique opportunities to witness and participate in interactions between Jewish Israelis and Arabs, both Israeli and Palestinian. (See cv in Appendix 01)

  Until August 2003, the author was also an accredited freelance journalist with the Israel Government Press Office. He travels frequently to Israel and maintains constant contact with Israeli non-governmental organisations and with a network of individuals who are committed to an accurate and balanced presentation of the issues surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

2.  CULTURAL CHARACTERISTICS THE RECIPIENT ARAB SOCIETY AS A FACTOR IN THE EFFECTIVENESS OF AID DISTRIBUTION AND THE PROBABILITY OF A TWO STATE SOLUTION

    (a)  At the outset it is important note the disparate political and economic cultures of the Palestinian Arab aid recipients and European donor countries. In Europe, the centres of power, wealth, political patronage and information dissemination are structured differently than they are in Arab societies; in particular, control of all these elements is far more broadly distributed.

    (b)  In contrast, Arab society is still very much clan-based. Power and legitimacy are bestowed not by the free democratic choice of the constituents, but rather by victory in a no-holds-barred struggle of patronage, deal-making, and violence. An "election" in the Arab world has nothing to do with choosing a ruler among several viable alternatives; it is simply a rite for confirming the legitimacy of a leader who achieved and maintains his position by completely non-democratic means.

    (c)  Arab society does not have any peaceful institutional means for removing a leader who has failed to deliver on his promises, or who fails to account for his actions. This strongly influences the effectiveness of aid and the manner of its distribution and delivery.

    (d)  Arab societies have a profoundly different spectrum of underlying motivations than European societies do. The latter are driven by an appreciation of pragmatism, technical development, economic efficiency, meritocracy, and a concern for a reasonably equitable distribution of wealth. While Arab societies are willing to use Western technology, their dominant cultural motivations are honour, shame, avoidance of humiliation, and retribution for actual or perceived affronts. Unlike modern Europe, the Arab world fully approves of violence as a primary means of resolving conflicts, recovering from loss of face, and removing shame and humiliation. A preference for non-violent conflict resolution is perceived as a sign of weakness. (See David Pryce-Jones, The Closed Circle, An Interpretation of the Arabs, Ivan R. Dee, Chicago, 1989, 2002, ISBN 1-6663-440-7; Raphael Patai, The Arab Mind, revised edition, Hatherleigh Press, New York 2002, ISBN 1-57826-117-1; and Gutmann, Shame, Honor and Terror in the Middle East, Front Page Magazine, October 24, 2003, www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/authors.asp?ID=2112.)

    Families shamed by a female relative's inappropriate (even if involuntary) sexual relations often murder their relative to restore their family honour. (See Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson: Honour in a Non-Secular Society "Another `honor' victim: Daughter, raped by brothers, killed by mother, Arizona Central November 14, 2003 AZCentral.com: http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/1114HonorKilling14-ON.html)

    (e)  The Arab representative from Christian Aid, Dr. Mohammed Shadid, specifically expressed this difference in values in the opening words of his presentation to the Committee. He stated that while the Palestinians were grateful to the UK for the financial support, what they really wanted was Britain's political support against Israel. His people, he said, would prefer "to go to bed hungry than remain under occupation".

    This is significant because it demonstrates the Arab mindset: loss of honour, shame and the humiliation of "occupation" is more important than prosperity and physical well-being. This attitude's ultimate expression is the suicide bomber.

    (f)  These cultural factors suggest questions which any responsible donor should consider:

    (i)  Can donations from Western countries be effectively distributed to those needy people who do not support the political objectives of the Palestinian ruling elite?

    (ii)  Can donor countries generally, and Britain in particular, reasonably expect to see a significant development of Palestinian democracy any time soon? If not, is there any real chance that enough trust can be rebuilt between Israel and the Palestinian leadership to permit the resumption of open negotiations?

    (iii)  Is there a realistic chance that violence and terrorism can be replaced by dialogue and compromise as the Palestinians' preferred means of conflict resolution? If not, is there any possibility of restoring Palestinian living standards to pre-September 2000 levels?

  This last point is particularly serious since dialogue, compromise, and agreement have traditionally been seen by Arabs as a tactic for dealing with a stronger opponent until political, economic or military circumstances change in their favour—at which point they revert to violence. (The archetype of this tactic is Mohammed's Hudaibiya treaty). The current Palestinian leadership has amply demonstrated that its renunciations of violence and terrorism have never been more than tactical moves; when conventional negotiations failed to achieve maximal goals, shame, humiliation, and loss of honour were assuaged by a return to violence.

  (See Guy Bechor, Between Hudaibiya and Gaza-Jericho, Haaretz, May 23, 1994,

p. A2, www.mfa.gov.il/mfa/go.asp?MFAH081x0 (Appendix 13);

www.reinfo-israel.com/documents/ showthread.php?s=&threadid=1858;

Pearl Herman, Disclosed Inside the Palestinian Authority and the PLO israelbehindthenews.com/pdf/Precis.pdf—14 Nov 2003;

  Nissan Ratzlav-Katz The Value of a Signature, conservativetruth.org/opinionet/ archives2/ccnr/2002/ccnr01.htm—11k)

    (g)  Islam and Dhimmitude. Two factors impact on any attempt to find a settlement between the Arab world and Israel.

  First, religious Muslims believe that no land that has once been under the sway of Islam can ever be permanently surrendered to non-Muslim control. This prohibition applies to all the territory west of the Jordan River. Islam demands the eventual violent re-conquest of any "Moslem territory" controlled by non-Moslems. These values are still being taught to Palestinian youth, and appear in Palestinian school textbooks. (See 2003 Palestinian Authority Textbook Calls for Jihad and Martyrdom, MEMRI Special Report No. 22 http://www.memri.org/bin/opener—latest.cgi?ID=SR2203 )

  Second, Israel as a Jewish state in the middle of dar Islam is a humiliation for believing Muslims. Jews, like Christians, are considered dhimmis—second-class, inferior beings who are permitted to exist in a Moslem state under conditions of extreme inequality with their Muslim neighbours. It would be extremely difficult, to say the least, for orthodox Muslims to accept the sovereignty of a dhimmi state within dar Islam, and to be subject to its rule would be intolerable. (see Bat Ye'Or, Islam and Dhimmitude—Where Civilizations Collide, Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2202. Gazelle Book Services, Falcon House, Queen Square, Lancaster LA1 1RN, 2002; See also Peace Encyclopaedia. www.yahoodi.com/peace/dhimma.html; Dhimmis and Dhimmitude: The Status of Minorities Under Islamic . . . www.dhimmitude.org/—5k—14 Nov 2003—www.dhimmi.com/—21k—14 Nov 2003).

3.  STRUCTURE OF NGOS, RELIABILITY OF THEIR DATA AND EVIDENCE SUBMITTED TO COMMITTEE BY NGOS

  This section responds in part to Paragraph 6 of the Committee's Scope of Enquiry: "The role of civil society, including NGOs, in ensuring a broad popular participation in the development of Palestinian society."

  NGOs have become extremely powerful and influential, particularly with respect to human rights related issues and the Arab-Israeli conflict. Their reports, protests and lobbying activities have a dominant impact on the policies adopted by many governments, as witnessed by the number of submissions made to the Committee in this instance.

  Many of these NGOs, particularly Amnesty International, Christian Aid UK, and Human Rights Watch, which receive significant financial support from generous donors and government budgets, have not themselves been subject to independent and critical analysis.

  It is important to make a distinction between two different types of NGOs—international and local. The former category consists of organisations such as Amnesty International, Oxfam, Save the Children Fund, Euro Mediterranean Human Rights Network (EMHRN), International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), Human Rights Watch (HRW), and the Ford Foundation. They operate in many countries and across a range of conflict zones, and have headquarters either in Europe or the United States. Although most international NGO's have small on-the-ground teams, most of their information is garnered from other sources, mainly local NGO's. The information is then packaged on their websites, in press releases and reports. Examples of local NGO's in the Middle Eastern include Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR), Physicians for Human Rights—Israel (PHR—I), B'Tselem, Al-Haq, Adalah, and LAW. The relationship between local and international NGO's is a determining factor in how human rights issues are reported across the world.

  Local NGOs have many advantages, especially in terms of acquiring primary information. At the same time, however, their disadvantages include a tendency to advocate agendas that reflect only one side of the conflict. They run the risk of losing perspective and become, as one researcher has termed it, "mandate blinded." In the Arab-Israeli conflict it is particularly common for NGO's to focus exclusively on the right of Palestinians to live normal lives, while utterly ignoring the right of Israelis to do the same.

  In turn, international NGOs often fail to acknowledge the limitations of local NGOs, and grant them inordinate influence, assuming that a "grassroots" perspective is ipso facto accurate and reliable. The information may indeed be accurate, but it can also be misleading because it fails to present a full and balanced picture of the situation.

  NGOs have a tendency to ignore the wider picture, either intentionally or unintentionally, by putting their own interests—however ethical and noble they may seem—before the interests of those they claim to assist. Thus, organisations providing a particular form of assistance to the Palestinians will consistently assert that more of the same assistance is called for. Further, organisations attempting to help the Palestinian population can be relied upon to blame Israel, and never the Palestinian leadership, for the poverty and oppression of ordinary Palestinians. To do otherwise would destroy their image of the Palestinians as helpless, blameless, and thus sympathetic victims, and so would seriously damage their perception of the value of their labors.

  Local NGOs have an interest in gaining the attention of international NGOs, increase their funding prospects and political support. The larger and more established international NGOs readily use material provided by local NGOs because it is from "grassroots" sources. Even in cases where international NGOs send in their own teams (for example, in the case of HRW and Amnesty International after Israel's Operation Defensive Shield of April 2002) these researchers usually lack the necessary language and contacts to work independently.

  Instead, like press reporters, they rely on local teams to show them around and to "find" the right people to "confirm" particular versions of events. The Palestinian Authority has encouraged growth in advocacy work in recent years on behalf of the Palestinian cause, at the same time clamping down on these advocates' freedom to criticize human rights abuses within the Palestinian territories. This has resulted in unintended social and political distortions of NGO information reporting and service provision.

  There is a high degree of interdependence between local and international NGOs, which in the long term has a negative impact on the free flow of human rights reporting and humanitarian relief. All professional organizations need to secure a reliable flow of resources, and like most news organizations and foreign ministries, international NGOs naturally tend to concentrate on conflict areas where information is plentiful and readily accessible.

  NGOs vary widely not only in size, nature, and quality, but also in their apparent motivations. Their power to "do good" is matched by their power to misrepresent. Unlike democratically elected governments or publicly traded companies, NGOs operate outside any systematic framework for maintaining rigorous standards of accuracy and accountability for the statements and reports they produce. In some situations, established NGOs that claim to pursue universal humanitarian goals enjoy a "halo effect", such that their reports and activities in the framework of the Arab-Israeli conflict are granted immunity from detailed scrutiny and criticism. There is an assumption that their motives are pure, and that they are politically and ideologically neutral—and thus critical review is unnecessary. There is no real evidence that NGOs, in general, deserve the level of credibility they are accorded by those who agree with their stated principles.

  NGOs produce an immense volume of reports, press releases and media interviews, making them major providers of convenient pre-packaged information for journalists, researchers, and governmental policy makers. As one organisation's findings are typically echoed by other NGOs, there is an amplifying and legitimising effect which can create the impression of a massive consensus among independent observers when, in fact, very few real field observations have been performed. In this manner, local NGOs with strong political agendas can have a disproportionate influence on the crafting of public policy.

  All too often, the reports of NGOs display a partisan bias in total contradiction to their professed commitment to universal human values. Many of these reports display a selective morality by obscuring or simply removing the context within which events have occurred. Such selective reporting grossly distorts the true humanitarian dimensions of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

  In presenting the above analysis, the author has relied upon as yet unpublished material and the mission statements supplied to him by the Managing Editor of the NGO-Monitor. In addition, and as evidence presented to the Committee, the writer wishes to draw attention to the critical reports on Amnesty International, Christian Aid and Human Rights Watch provided by NGO-Monitor.

  NGO Monitor is an independent organisation whose aim is "to provide information and analysis in order to challenge such interpretations and the perceptions that have been built up, by fostering a comprehensive debate on these critical issues." Its Editor in Chief is Professor Gerald Steinberg, Professor of Political Science at Bar Ilan University, and one of the Leading specialists on Conflict Management and Negotiation; the Managing Editor is Simon Lassman. (See Appendix 01 for their respective cv's).

  The Committee's attention is also drawn to a recent research study by Justus Reid Weiner (cv in Appendix 01) entitled Illegal Construction in Jerusalem, Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, Jerusalem 2003, ISBN 956-218-041-6. This is an extremely important study as a whole which clearly demonstrates that a number of local NGO's are engaged more in advancing a political message than providing humanitarian assistance. The whole text of the study appears as Appendix 03.

  See specific reports on:

    Amnesty International: (See Appendix 02).

    —  Amnesty's Latest Report Grossly Overbalanced: http://www.ngo-monitor.org/editions/v2n01/v2n01-1.htm.

    —  Amnesty in the Arab-Israeli Conflict (Vol. 1, No. 4) http://www.ngo-monitor.org/editions/v1n04/v1n04-1htm.

    —  Amnesty calls for Washington to review US arms transfers to Israel (Vol. 1, No. 6) http://www.ngo-monitor.org/editions/v1n06/v1n06-2htm.

    —  AI and HRW criticize UN Commission on Human Rights for growing politicisation (Vol. 1, No. 7) http://www.ngo-monitor.org/editions/v1n07/v1n07-3.htm;

    http://www.ngo-monitor.org/editions/v1n04/v1n04-1.htm.

    See also Weiner, supra, text pp. 75-84 and Notes 516-565.

  Christian Aid (UK): (See Appendix 02)

    —  Christian Aid Produces Inaccurate Film (Vol. 2, No.3): http://www.ngo-monitor.org/editions/v2n03/v2n03-2.htm

    —  Christian Aid Compromised by Anti-Israel Ideology (Vol. 1, No.7) http://www.ngo-monitor.org/editions/v1n07/v1n07-1.htm http://www.ngo-monitor.org/editions/v2n03/v2n03-2.htm

  Human Rights Watch: (See Appendix 02):

    —  Erased in a Moment: Suicide Bombing Attacks Against Israeli Civilians http://www.ngo-monitor.org/editions/v1n01/v1n01-2.htm

    —  AI and HRW criticize UNCHR (Vol. 1, No.7) http://www.ngo-monitor.org/archives/infofile.htm_christ

    —  HRW: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back (Vol. 1, No.8) http://www.ngo-monitor.org/editions/v1n08/v1n08-2.htm

    —  Human Rights NGOs Distort Israeli Policy (Vol. 1, No.9) http://www.ngo-monitor.org/archives/infofile.htm_christ

  Israeli Committee on Home Demolitions—ICHD

  To the best of the Author's knowledge, this NGO is active mainly in East Jerusalem. The aim of this NGO, as shown by its name, is to prevent the of demolition Arab residential construction by the Israeli authorities. ICHD alleges that Israeli building legislation is used for political rather than safety and environmental purposes. The net impact of this NGO's activities on Jerusalem's residential housing supply and perhaps elsewhere is probably only marginal. However, it is clear from the evidence given before the Committee by its Coordinator, Jeff Halper, and from its activities in the field, that the financial support it seeks will be devoted primarily to the dissemination of a political message while its contribution to humanitarian aid will be both indirect and relatively small. Weiner's research has shown, that much of the building made available to Palestinians by Arab developers in East Jerusalem and probably elsewhere, is constructed illegally on land belonging to absentee owners and without their knowledge. It is often built with substandard materials and workmanship, and at a greater density than that permitted by the town plan and of the permitted development in the proximity. ICHD's activities are specifically examined by Weiner in Appendix 03 at pp.73-75 and notes 507-510.

  For the full list of NGOs upon which reports are available from NGO Monitor consult: http://www.ngo-monitor.org/archives/infofile.htm_christ

4.  UNRWA

  While I believe that UNRWA is trying to do an efficient job of aiding Palestinian refugees, I submit that, unfortunately, UNRWA in practice is part of the problem and not part of the solution. I would refer the Committee to a recent paper prepared by Dr. Avi Beker: UNRWA, Terror and the Refugee Conundrum: Perpetuating the Misery, Institute of the World Jewish Congress, Jerusalem, 2003, a hard copy of which is submitted herewith (see in Appendices -unumbered) and incorporated by reference. The PDF file is available at www.wjc.org.il/beker.pdf as is also available as HTML. It is also available through a "Google" search under "issn 0793 2596".

  In particular, I concur with Beker's analysis that if the refugee problem were to be resolved first rather than last, much of the conflict would be eliminated. The refugee problem does not have to be solved only by the return of displaced persons to areas within Israel. The original recommendations of the UNGA were also to find solutions through resettlement and rehabilitation. It is in this regard, among others, that UNRWA has failed in its task

  Whilst UNRWA's senior managers are undoubtedly primary loyal to the UN and to broad humanitarian principles, this does not appear to be true at the crucial "ground level", where the large majority of UNRWA staff, some 22000, are themselves Palestine refugees (http://www.un.org/unrwa). This is especially significant considering that the largest single group of UNRWA staff are teachers, followed by health service and relief and social services staff—all recruited locally, with priority being given to applications from registered Palestine refugees. Such personnel, often highly politicized, are obviously a major factor in the transmission of hate and incitement in UNRWA schools. The ease with which Palestinian terror groups have been able to infiltrate the refugee camps and use non-combatants as a shield while planning and executing their attacks and manufacturing weapons—including explosives which have injured and killed many innocent Palestinians—is a further concern.

  The responsibility for ensuring the preservation of the civilian/humanitarian nature of the refugee camps clearly lies with the Palestinian Authority, since Israel transferred power over and responsibility for the camps to the PA in 1995. This obligation is shared with the UN and humanitarian agencies. It is unfortunate that Israel, in order to protect the lives of its citizens, has been compelled to re-enter many of those areas that had previously been ceded to Palestinian control.

  UN organisations, including UNRWA, have operated in the Palestinian Refugee Camps since the 1950's. These organisations have neither spoken out nor taken action to prevent these camps from becoming centres of terrorist activity. None have spoken out against the aggressive and hostile Palestinian actions which originated in the camps in recent months, nor against the choice made by Palestinian gunmen in Jenin to make their "last stand" against Israeli troops in the centre of the civilian refugee camp.

  A range of UN Resolutions and other documents have emphasised the obligation upon both the host (PA) and humanitarian organisations working within refugee camps to act and speak out against terrorism and violence taking place in these camps.

  UN Security Council Resolutions have called for the civilian/humanitarian nature of the refugee camps to be preserved. In this regard reference should be made to UNSC Resolutions 1208 (1998) and 1296 (2000). The latter called upon the Secretary General to inform the Security Council of instances where refugee camps are left open to the entrance of armed elements.

  Other UN bodies such as the United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees (UNHCR) have stressed the importance of this matter. The responsibility for such preservation lies with the host of the camp. It is interesting to note that Kofi Annan, Secretary General of the UN, in an April 1998 UN report on violence in Africa stated:

    Failure to separate armed elements from civilians has led to devastating situations in and around camps and settlements. Not separating combatants from civilians allows armed groups to take control of a camp, and its population, politicising their situation and gradually establishing a military culture in the camp. The impact of safety and security of both the refugees and the neighbouring local populations can be held hostage by militias that operate freely in the camps, spread terror, press-gang civilians, including children, into serving in their forces.

  In addition humanitarian aid and supplies are often diverted to these armed elements, depriving the intended civilian beneficiaries.

    "Blurred lines between the civilian and military character of camps expose civilians inside to the risk of attack by opposing forces where camps are perceived as launching pads for renewed fighting." (UN Document A/52/871, para 30).

  In UN Document A/52/871, para 54, the following statement appears:

    Refugee camps and settlements must be kept free from any military presence or equipment including arms and ammunition. The neutrality and humanitarian character of the camps and settlements must be scrupulously maintained.

  Why Kofi Annan's observations on Africa are not applied to the Palestinian Authority is incomprehensible. This failure, and the total absence of international censure over the violation of international humanitarian law by Palestinian Authority and international agencies, stand in stark contrast to the intensity of international outcry regarding Israel's response to the terror so readily tolerated and indulged by Israel's critics.

5.  AID GIVEN BY THE EU AND THE UK. DOES IT REACH THOSE FOR WHOM IT IS INTENDED?

  Paragraph 5 of the Committee's scope of enquiry relates to "the accountability of Palestinian government institutions and the technical capacities of the public and private sectors to build an autonomous and viable economy." "This paper responds to this issue by the following discussion on corruption. Before entering into the details, however, I would remind the reader of the introductory remarks I made concerning Arab culture, where leadership is secured not only by eliminating potential competitors, but by giving support either financially or by employment to loyal supporter of the leader. Against this background, it is therefore appropriate to consider the extent to which corruption permeates Palestinian society.

PA Corruption

  It is clear from the submission of UNRWA and the other NGOs that substantial amounts of aid have been donated by the EU and the UK, intended to support the construction and rehabilitation of essential infrastructure; to provide basic education, health, environmental, and sanitation services; to upgrade management information systems; and to implement technical, programme and management reforms in the Palestinian Authority. In particular, according to UNRWA, the UK has funded approximately 65% of the construction of the sewerage and drainage systems in Beach Refugee Camp, North and South—systems that have benefited approximately 49,000 people and have had a marked effect in reducing incidence of disease in the camp.

  However, it is claimed by UNRWA that this significant international investment in the Palestinian society and economy is under serious threat, primarily as a result of the strife engulfing the Palestinian territories since September 2000. It is submitted that reality is somewhat different from this claim. While funds have indeed been allocated and transferred to the Palestinian territories, they have not reached their intended beneficiaries.

  I refer the Committee to Rachel Erenfeld's evidence, which has already been previously submitted independently to the Committee.

  There is ample evidence to demonstrate that much of the aid has been siphoned off by the Palestinian leadership generally, and by Yassir Arafat in particular. Indeed, this is not surprising, given the structure of Arab culture and society mentioned above. It is consistent with Arab leadership traditions that while the leader eliminates potential competitors on the one hand, on the other hand he maintains his leadership by distributing a portion of the wealth and power he controls. So long as control over finances is left in hands which are unaccountable to the donors, there is little hope that the benefit of the aid will reach those most in need. Rather, it will be distributed to those who show their allegiance to the leadership; that allegiance is best demonstrated by acts of violence and terror against "the occupation" and Israeli citizens.

  While transparency in accounting is a first step in eliminating the distribution of aid along political lines rather than according to need, such fair distribution also requires certain other conditions, of which two may be mentioned.

  First, when any modern government or agency in the world hands out incentives to industry or projects for regional growth, they demand and receive reports and guarantees. For example, loans granted by the UK Export Development Corporation, the US Eximbank, French COFAX and other export development corporations require borrowers to present periodic reports, including photographs of work in progress, as a condition for the release of the next tranche of the loan. Why cannot UK and EU grants for Palestinian infrastructure projects—or even for the provision and distribution other equipment, school textbooks or services—be subject to such reporting and inspection? In so doing, the EU could have evaluated whether the infrastructure projects were in fact being carried out as expected, or whether European-funded schoolbooks promoted democratic principles and a positive attitude to other peoples in the Middle East—including Jews/Israelis—and encouraged the peacemaking rather than "martyrdom".

  Second, aid should be distributed by independent workers. For the most part, NGOs utilize local Palestinian workers in the field to distribute aid in order to cut down their administrative costs (and, of course, to provide additional jobs to Palestinians). However in so doing, the NGOs ultimate objectives are frustrated. It might be more cost effective to allocate slightly more funds to employ foreign NGO aid workers who are more likely to ensure that funds or direct aid benefits the intended recipients.

  In this connection it is appropriate to refer the committee to a position paper prepared by the Prism Group dealing with "The Alleged Misuse of Funds Supplied to the Palestinian Authority by the European Union." (see Appendices 04 or http://www.theprismgroup.org/euinquiry.htm) The Position Paper is herby incorporated by reference in this submission. This Report concludes that Arafat and other senior officials have provided funds and financial assistance to people planning and executing armed attacks on Israeli civilians, and in so doing have failed in their obligations both to donor countries and agencies, and to the intended beneficiaries.

  Further information regarding the misuse of funds and corruption may be found in http://www.intelligence.org.il/eng/default.htm. A number of papers produced by the Intelligence and Information Center at the Center for Special Studies may be of interest to the Committee. These include:

    —  Corruption and Exploitation of the Population in the Palestinian Authority, May 2003 Special Information Bulletin / March 2003;

    —  Terrorist Organizations in the Palestinian Territories use UNRWA Officials and Facilities to carry out Terrorist Activities—Captured Documents Reveal PA Corruption, Waste and the Employment of PA Funds for Encouraging and Financing Terrorism;

    —  The Theft of Food Products and Medications Provided to the Palestinians in the Framework of Foreign Humanitarian Aid—The terrorist organizations in and outside the PA areas exploit the status of UNRWA employees for facilitating terror activities—Terrorist Financing by the Palestinian Authority March 2003

    —  The Preventive Security Apparatus in the Gaza as a Corrupt Business Corporation—Additional Captured Documents Reveal Again the System of Money Transfers to Terrorist Squads, Personally Authorized by Yasser Arafat, with the Deep Involvement of Marwan Barghouti

    —  Arafat's and the PA's Involvement in Terrorism (According to Documents Captured During Operation Defensive Wall)

(See Appendix 04A)

  A recent article published in the November 14, 2003 edition of the Jerusalem Post by Bret Stephens provides readers with "A Short History of PA Corruption." http://info.jpost.com/C003/Supplements/FSB/031114/art.03.html

6.  THE OBJECTIVES OF THE AID: IS THE USE OF THE AID CONSISTENT WITH THE VALUES OF THE DONORS AND THE ADVANCEMENT OF PEACE IN THE MIDDLE EAST?

  Paragraph 8 of the Committee's Scope of Enquiry raises the issue of "the role of aid in supporting political solutions to the conflict". This section attempts to relate to the issue in the following manner:

Education

  Before examining the vast sums that the EU and other donor countries have dedicated to the education and care of Palestinian children, it is first appropriate to enquire as to the purpose of that education and the content of the materials employed. It surely comes as no surprise to the Committee that much of the Palestinian Authority's education effort is directed to the promotion of values that are antithetical to those of European donor countries.

  In this regard, I hereby incorporate as part of this submission the findings of The Prism Group, Israel, on the educational objectives of the Palestinian educational system; (Appendices 05 and 05A) and the report prepared by Funding for Peace Coalition, Seattle, Washington, USA, which deals not only with incitement but also with the Palestinian Authority's mantra of a "Judenrein" Middle East and its explicit denial of the historical connection and any legitimate connection of the Jews with the Holy Land. These reports are electronically linked to this submission and can be downloaded from http://www.theprismgroup.org/education.htm and http://eufunding.org/ respectively.

  Some of the main findings mentioned by Prism, based on earlier American reseach, showed that in the Palestinian schoolbooks:

    1.  There are failings in the teaching of civil society and cultural literacy.

    2.  Jews are "inadequately and inappropriately represented" in the historical events of the region.

    3.  There are problems in the teaching of religious identity, where the textbooks "seem to ignore their existence (of Jewish religious places) or their importance to Jews and the State of Israel".

    4.  With regard to modern history, Jews "are negatively represented".

  What is of greatest concern, however, is the hidden agenda of the PA educational system. It is obvious there are major influences over students within the school environment that cannot be found in textbooks—the gap between what is prescribed and what is actually taught. Major influences in a child's formative years include the teachers themselves, their presentation methods, and the role model they present to their charges. Prism reminds us that

    It is pertinent to recall how differing factions—and especially Hamas—are grasping to control the Palestinian education system. In internal correspondence of the Palestinian National Authority's Gaza Preventative Security Service the assessment was confirmed that "Hamas has infiltrated into the Ministry of Education and . . . [has] thus gained influence over the students." It was further observed that "The Hamas movement begins to constitute a real threat to the political vision of the Palestinian National Authority and to its interests, its presence and its influence. The influence of the Hamas via the teachers in the schools is very clear.

  In addition to the schools, there is obviously the negative influence of the home and of Palestinian television broadcasts. The latter vehicle has been the subject of extensive research by Itamar Marcus of Palestine Media Watch (see below).

  There are still other negative influences over Palestinian children which require examination, such as quasi-military summer camps in which children are incited to hatred and violence; to death rather than to life; to absolutism rather than compromise. At this point the Committee should recall the cultural aspects of Arab society that I briefly set out at the beginning of this submission.

  The Prism Report, referred to earlier, shows clearly the sources of funding for Palestinian education, the extent of the EU's contribution and those of other donor states, the channels through which the money flows, and the beneficiaries—ie the Palestinian Authority and UNRWA.

  The Report also points out that while the organizations and countries that support the PA do not buy textbooks directly, many of the inflammatory materials would not be available without their injection of cash.

  Prism also notes that the European Commission has consistently justified its support of the printing of textbooks on the grounds that the new books, while not perfect, did not contain incitement. Prism's report refutes this.

  Although Prism concludes that the Palestinian educational system is a direct impediment to achieving peace in the Middle East, it also draws our attention to the fact that while its report was being prepared several items of news appeared indicating that the Palestinian Authority is making some effort to halt or reduce incitement. Whether this trend can be maintained and advanced—or even if it is "for real" at all—remains to be seen. Given Chairman Arafat's continued control and funding of terrorist movements, his ability to determine policy from behind the scenes, and his role as a mentor for the young, encouraging them to continue their confrontation with Israeli forces, it is doubtful that these efforts will be maintained until the Chairman is permanently out of the scene. This assessment is supported by Toby Harnden, in Palestinians Reprint Schoolbooks Praising Jihad "Martyrs" Daily Telegraph 18 November 2003 (Appendix 14) http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2003/11/18/wjihad18.xml and Memri Report 2003 Palestinian Authority Textbook Calls for Jihad and Martyrdom (Appendix 15) http://www.memri.org/bin/opener—latest.cgi?ID=SR2203; Palestine Media Watch Ask for Death, Appendix 17; Memri Video Library (Appendix 18).

  While Israel is at present concerned more with the immediate need to halt terror attacks against her population, the long-term influence of the present Palestinian educational system, which accepts and promotes violence and hate as positive values, must cease if a true and lasting peace is to be achieved in the Middle East. Although the author is not opposed to the level of support provided to Palestinian children by foreign governments, he believes that these donations should be executed and managed in a transparent manner; and an independent review of the end product should be introduced to ensure that the result does not promote further violence and despair.

  Reference must be made to the research conducted by Itamar Marcus of Palestine Media Watch. His organization has for a considerable time devoted its energies to the monitoring and translation into English of Arabic television broadcasts, including those of the Palestinian Authority, along with written Palestinian educational materials. I understand that he is submitting his own evidence (which I highly endorse) directly to the Committee.[12]

  As important background on the limitations and obstacles confronting those who desire to eliminate hate, I draw to the Committee's attention the scope of the "hate industry" as expressed in a chart summary by the Intelligence and Information Centre which forms part of the Center for Special Studies, to be found at http://www.intelligence.org.il/eng/default.htm. This is, in my opinion a very important website.

7.  Paragraph 4 of the Scope of Enquiry set by the Committee relates to the control that the network of settlements in the occupied territories has over the basic conditions for the development of the Palestinian economy: agricultural land, water, movement of persons and goods, environmental impacts.

  The alleged control which the settlements exert over conditions of Palestinian development is manifested in "the Wall".


A.   The Terrorist Security Barrier (TSB)

  Much has been made in other submissions to the Committee of the impact of the TSB. While the Committee issued invitations for memoranda on nine issues dealing with the effects of Israel's actions on the Palestinians, including the effect of the security barrier, there has been complete silence—and no call for submissions—concerning the effects of Palestinian attacks against Israelis which gave rise to demands for the barrier's construction. Regardless of one's views as to which party is responsible for the various aspects of the conflict, one wonders how the Committee can possibly assess the situation realistically without some discussion of Palestinian terrorism, which is the leading motivation for Israeli policies vis-a"-vis the Palestinians in general, and construction of the TSB in particular.

  It should be said at the outset that the reference in many of the submissions to the Committee to "the Wall" is a misnomer, both as to its nature and purpose.

  The TSB has been erected solely in response to the Palestinian "Intifada" which began on 27 September 2000—before Ariel Sharon's visit to Temple Mount, and not in response to it (see Mitchell Report).

  The following figures have been obtained from the Israel Defence Forces website:

    —  Israeli civilian casualties between 30 September 2000 and 16 November 2003 have amounted to 629 killed and 4,250 injured. In UK terms (adjusting, that is, for the 10-to-1 difference in population size) these would be equivalent to 6,290 British citizens killed and 42,500 injured. http://www.idf.il/daily—statistics/english/1.doc.

    —  Between 30 September 2000 and 16 November 2003, there have been 19,465 attacks on Israelis in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and "Israel proper"—of which 8,079 have come from the West Bank. In proportionate UK terms, this would have constituted 194,650 attacks, of which 80,790 would have emanated from the West Bank. http://www.idf.il/daily—statistics/english/2.doc.

  Since the beginning of the redeployment commencing 29 June 2003 updated, and up to 16 November 2003, some 60 Israeli civilians were killed and 298 injured—a considerable reduction compared with the previous period. Again, in UK terms, this would be the equivalent of 600 killed and 2,980 injured. http://www.idf.il/daily_tatistics/english/3.doc.

  It is clear that Israel, in fulfilling the obligation to defend her own people, must be permitted to take defensive action in proportion to the damage likely to be suffered in the absence of such action. While it is extremely regrettable that innocent Palestinians suffer in many ways—including loss of free access to land, employment and public services—the blame and responsibility for the current situation lies mostly with the Palestinian Authority and the terror organisations which the Authority and its Chairman have refused to confront. On this latter point, BBC reporter Jeremy Bowen, certainly no friend to Israel, showed clearly in "Correspondent" on Sunday, 9 November 2003 at 1915 GMT on BBC Two, that the Palestinian terrorist groups continue to obey the orders of Yassir Arafat. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/correspondent/3223415.stm.

  Given the tremendous cost (in money and political capital) of the TSB, it is not really open to argument that its construction is an attempted land-grab on Israel's part. Were this a sensible and cost-effective means of acquiring land, it would likely have been tried long ago. Furthermore, it is also clear that since the only purpose of the barrier is to help provide security to Israeli citizens, such expropriation of private land, including the injurious affection on land still retained by their respective owners, is justified under the regulations attached to the Hague Convention of 1907. These are now considered as international customary law. And form part of Israeli domestic law (see Julius Stone, Aspects of the Beit-El and Elon Moreh Cases [1980] Israel Law Review 476).

  In considering the nature of the TSB, its route and impact, I insert below the web link to the Israel Defence Force web site which provides information on what is termed the "Seam Zone". This shows that the route of the TSB was derived from topography, population density and threat assessment of each terrain compartment. The route also took into consideration a number of other factors set out on the website, including efforts to avoid including any Palestinian villages in the area of the Seam Zone and to minimise disruption to the lives of civilian populations located along the route. (See Appendix 06 Israel Ministry of Defence: The Seam Zone) www.seamzone.mod.gov.il/Pages/ENG/route.htm.

B.   "Occupied" or "Disputed" Territories

  There has been considerable discussion over the years as to whether the West Bank and Gaza are "occupied territories" under international law (especially the Geneva Conventions). This issue is considered especially relevant regarding the legality (or illegality) of Israeli settlements in the Territories. (See Jerusalem Issue Brief Occupied Territories or Disputed Territories? 2 September 2001, Jerusalem Institute for Public Affairs http://www.jcpa.org/art/brief1-1.htm). However there has been an unfortunate confusion in terminology: "Occupation" does not mean "presence"; and thus Israeli settlements do not by themselves constitute "occupation". In fact, Israeli settlements in the Territories are most accurately described as "close settlement by Jews, on the land, including State lands and waste lands not required for public purposes"—an activity legalized and encouraged by Article 6 of the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine, which still retains the force of law. Such land may or may not come under Palestinian sovereignty in the future; until and unless it does, there is no valid reason to consider the settlements "illegal".

  In contrast, "occupation" under international law describes territory where a hostile army has established effective military control in place of a previous sovereign power. The West Bank, however, since 1918 has never been internationally recognized sovereign territory of any nation. Israel's military presence in the West Bank is thus in a unique category, falling short of "occupation" under the Geneva Conventions. In this regard, the author draws the Committee's attention to the article by Professor Eyal Benvinisti "Israel and the Palestinians: What Laws were Broken" Crimes of War Project (see Appendix 07) http://www.crimesofwar.org/expert/me-benvenisti.html.

8.  UNEQUAL LEVELS OF POVERTY IN WEST BANK

  An uncritical reading of the published details of poverty and hardship borne by the Palestinian population of the West Bank gives the impression that all are suffering. In considering the standards of living of those sections of the Palestinian population in the refugee camps, one should not overlook the extreme discrepancies in wealth within Palestinian society as a whole. Many "wretched refugee camps" in the West Bank and Gaza are in fact neighbourhoods of above-average Arab towns, located near Palestinian universities and the residential compounds of the wealthy. For example, the town of Jenin consists of stone and concrete buildings, with schools and a private university; a chamber of commerce and industry; shops selling jewellery, CD's, computers, confectionary, etc.; offices of travel agencies, lawyers, engineering firms, insurance agents, restaurants, and banks; mosques, hospitals, clinics, pharmacies, sports clubs, taxis, traffic jams, and every thing else one would expect in a modern Western urban community. Luxury apartments are available to those who can afford them. The websites of Aqaria, The Palestine Real Estate Investment Co. attest to a different sort of lifestyle and give a different picture of the West Bank towns from those we have been accustomed to see in the UK press and television. (See Appendix 07A) http://www.aqaria.com/almashtal.htm; http://www.aqaria.com/almasayef.htm.

9.  INACCURACIES IN NGO REPORTS CONCERNING WATER

  A number of NGO submissions to the Committee criticise Israeli water consumption and water pollution. I have passed the relevant sections for comment to Prof. Haim Gvirtzman, Institute of Earth Sciences, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem 91904, Israel.

  Regretfully owing to limitations of time he has responded to me as follows:

  "Shalom Gerry,

  I do not have enough time to go over all the web sites, however, I just want to emphasize few points, which you should develop.

  When the Israelis entered the West Bank and Gaza in 1967 they found that 90% of the villages had no access to running water. Today, thanks to Israel, 95% of the villages have running water and their standards of living had improved dramatically. Only tiny villages far away at the desert have no running water.

  The reported figure of Israeli consumption per capita being six times that of Palestinians is incorrect. Palestinians consumption is indeed less than the Israelis on the average. An Israeli is using on the average 100 cubic meters per year (per capita), while a Palestinian consumes about 30 cubic meters per year per capita. Hence the proportion is 3 not 6.

  It is important however, to compare the water consumption of Palestinians in Israel to their consumption in other Arab countries. For example, the Palestinians at refugee camps in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Egypt consume much less than the Palestinians in Israel. Many houses at these refugees' camps have no access to running water!! They consume about 5-10 cubic meters per capita per year.

  The Palestine Authority does not allow development of sewage treatment plants and seem to be unconcerned about contamination infiltrating into the groundwater reservoirs. In fact they are responsible for the deterioration of Israel's groundwater and environment. Many countries in the world offered to give money to build these plants but they refused and seem to prefer to use the funds for ammunitions and terror

  All the best, Haim"

  At this juncture I would also draw the Committee's attention to two reports (unfortunately at present unavailable by weblink) prepared by UN Watch in respect of the water utilisation in the West Bank. These reports dispel some myths: that Israel controls 100% of the water supply in the West Bank; that Israel charges Palestinians over US$1 a cubic metre for water it supplies; and that Israel prevents Palestinians from developing their own water resources.

  See: UN Watch, "At the United Nations, Palestinians blame Israel for water problems. To a Palestinian journalist, Palestinian water professionals tell a different Story" (Appendix 08) and UN Watch "Water in the Israeli—Palestinian Conflict: Myths and Facts" (Appendix 09), both of which are incorporated into this submission.

  I am reliably informed that the Israeli Water Commission is preparing a full report on the water situation in the West Bank. Publication is planned within the next three months.

  As regards the an appropriate regime for the future utilization of water between Israel and the Palestinians, I would draw the Committee's attention to Jitzchak P. Alter, Water in the Peace Process The International Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists www.intjewishlawyers.org/pdf/Justice%20%209.pdf (Appendix 10) and Benvenisti and Gvirtman "Harnessing International Law to Determine Israeli-Palestinian Water Rights" 33 Natural Resources Journal Summer 1993, p.543 (Appendix 11)

10.  FUTURE DEVELOPMENT NEEDS OF A PALESTINIAN STATE AND THE POTENTIAL FOR ITS ECONOMIC COOPERATION WITH ISRAEL

  This section responds to the issue 9 of the Scope of the Committee's Enquiry

A.   Development Needs of a Palestinian State

  Clearly, in light of the analysis given in this and other submissions, the development needs of the Palestinians are enormous. However it is essential to distinguish those needs which are of a physical/infrastructure nature from those relating to human development—including education in technical, spiritual, and philosophical spheres.

  Addressing physical development requirements is essentially a matter of setting priorities—those relating to health (provision of potable water supply, elimination of water pollution, hospitals and medical facilities); welfare (schools and other social infrastructure); employment (port and communication facilities, agriculture, manufacturing); and so on.

  I am given to understand that during the Committee's recent visit to Israel, its members were shown Israel's willingness and ability to support the Palestinians in a wide range of cooperative medical, engineering, agricultural, and infrastructural projects. Indeed, on 17 November, 2003, The Jerusalem Post announced that an electricity distribution agreement has been concluded between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (see Appendix 12) http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull%26cid=1069043570147

  However, investment in human resources is at least as important. Such an investment includes the need for Arab society in general, and the Palestinians in particular, to re-examine some of their own values. So long as violence remains the preferred solution to conflict rather than negotiation; so long as recovery from loss of face, dishonour, and perceived humiliation takes priority over pragmatic realism in solving "real world" problems, it is difficult to imagine how Arab-Islamic society can peacefully co-exist alongside a Western democratic secular culture. And until Palestinians are prepared to live in peace alongside Israel, it is nearly impossible to imagine any real progress in Palestinian economic development.

  One of the greatest issues that Palestinian society must come to terms with its inability to demand some degree of accountability from its leadership. An indigenous leadership in the West Bank had been developing until it was effectively thwarted in 1974 by the Rabat Conference, attended by 24 Arab nations and the PLO leadership. The Conference recognised not only the right of the Palestinian people to a separate homeland, but, over the objections of King Hussein of Jordan, accorded the PLO recognition as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinians. As the head of the PLO, Yassir Arafat's entry to Gaza and Jericho in 1994 under the Oslo Accords destroyed any possibility of an indigenous Palestinian government accountable to its electorate. Under the Interim Agreement which formed part of the Accords (see below), elections were supposed to have been held within a short period of Arafat's arrival; but they were delayed for almost two years, enabling Arafat and his supporters to crush any moderate opposition. Thus by the time elections were held, the voters were presented with no real choice of leadership, and had no independent press to help them make informed decisions. Rather than reining in the militant groups who entered the Territories with him, Arafat used them to crush opposition; and they now constitute a major prop of Palestinian Authority repression and corruption. Arafat's political regime in the West Bank falls clearly within the traditional Arab approach to government described briefly at the beginning of this paper.

B.   Potential for Economic Development with Israel

Oslo and the Betrayal of Trust: Hudaibiya

  The technical potential for Palestinian economic development in cooperation with Israel is vast. The political desire to cooperate has been demonstrated, even as this paper was being written, with the signing of the Electricity Distribution Agreement mentioned above. However, all agreements require mutual trust if they are to be effective!

  In the days immediately following the signing of the Oslo Accords, professionally I experienced considerable interest from clients and colleagues in the possibilities of mutual co-operation, particularly regarding electrical power generation and distribution, the project which has just come to fruition—at least on paper. This anticipated cooperation had been based on the assumption that the Palestinian leadership had truly changed both its strategy of violence and terrorism, and its long-term objective of eliminating Israel.

  Throughout the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian authority, I paid particular attention to the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self Government Arrangements, dated 13 September, 1993 ("Oslo I") and the detailed terms of the Interim Agreement signed between Israel and the PLO ("Oslo II") signed on September 28, 1995. I also followed up those items of news which impacted on the compliance by both parties with what had been agreed. What struck me most forcibly were Palestinian violations of most of the terms of these agreements from their very inception. Incitement to violence continued to be expressed in Arabic to the Palestinian population; the maximum permitted number of armed police was exceeded; the PA failed to prevent acts of violence and terror against Israel and to apprehend those responsible; and when it did make arrests (in order to render suspects immune from Israeli justice—the agreements include a prohibition on "double jeopardy"), there was a revolving-door policy of quick release. In particular, there was no cessation of expressions of hate and incitement in the schools, government-funded mosques, and Palestinian Authority-controlled media. The major breach, however, was the failure by Arafat to resolve all outstanding issues through bilateral negotiations. Arafat is known for saying in English what the West wants to hear, but saying something quite different and inflammatory when speaking to his adherents in Arabic. Unfortunately, I am reluctantly led to believe that Oslo—ostensibly a strategic agreement for exchanging land for peace—was really a ploy, a "Trojan Horse" tactic in which the ephemeral concept of "peace" agreed to by the Arabs could easily be reversed. On the other hand, the concrete moves made by Israel in ceding land to the Palestinians were irreversible without the use of arms.

  The Palestinians' strategic goal, according to an interview given by the late Faisal Husseini on 24 June 2001, is the liberation of Palestine from the [Jordan] River to the [Mediterranean] Sea. (See The Oslo Accords were a Trojan Horse, "Al-Arabi, 24 June, 2001.) The principles of the Treaty of Hudaibiya made in 628 between Mohammed and his opponents are still being re-enacted today by the Palestinian leadership, in its conflict with Israel. See Sari Nusseibeh—The Trojan Horse http:/www.shaml.org/ground/Nusseibeh/reactions/the %20trojan%20horse.htm. For Arafat and the Palestinians, "Occupation" does not mean Israel's occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, but rather Israel's presence in any part of the Middle East; the ultimate goal of Arafat and his supporters is the replacement of Israel by Palestine. (See: A-Sabah, Official Palestinian Newspaper (Internet issue), mid-May, 2002, http://www.alsbah.com/news15.htm)

  In any event, notwithstanding any public statements made by Arafat and the PA supporting peaceful co-existence with Israel, peace cannot take root until many years after the cessation of the vicious anti-Israel and anti-Jewish incitement that is spat out daily in the Arab media and in Arab schools. Suicide bombers are such, not because of despair, but because they have been brought up to hate and to kill Jews. This is something that Arafat or his successor can change and must be made to change before any meaningful negotiations can take place. Until such time the TSB and other Israeli security measures are defensive necessities, despite their regrettable and unfortunate consequences for both Israeli and Palestinian populations.

C.   Necessary Cultural Changes as a Condition to Peace

  Even if the violence and incitement to violence were to stop immediately for purely political reasons, there are the cultural obstacles to peace described earlier that have to be overcome by both sides.

  The Israeli population needs to have a greater awareness and acceptance of Arab values and sensitivities than have been expressed in the past. In this regard, the Israel Defence Force has recently issued interactive training manuals and videos to its troops, instructing them how to improve their relations with Palestinian civilians. (See Appendix 16.)

  For the Palestinians, especially those with strong Islamic beliefs, there are a number of cultural obstacles that need to be faced and overcome before any meaningful peace can prevail between the parties.

  1.  Traditional attitudes towards Dhimmis and religious coercion still prevail in most Arab states. It is not generally known that in the Palestinian administered areas there is continuing intense religious intolerance. In particular the Palestinian Authority is well aware of the persecution of Islamic converts to Christianity. (Weiner, Human Rights in the Emerging Palestinian State, Detroit College of Law, Journal of International Law, 8, pp 540-594.) It is worth noting in this context that Israel is the only country in the Middle East with a growing Christian population

  2.  The vast Arab world has lost face when confronted with the technological, social, political and particularly military achievements of a small non-Moslem neighbouring state like Israel. (See David Pryce-Jones supra) Notwithstanding Israel's lack of natural resources, its successful absorption of immigrants and ability to bear the associated financial burdens, as well as its successful military defence against its neighbours, has caused Arab shame which can only be assuaged by violent revenge. Arab honour will be restored only when Israel is eradicated. Unless there is a radical change in Arab thought on relations with Israel, the long-term prospects for peaceful coexistence are likely to be disappointing (See Harold W. Glidden, The Arab World, Amer J Psychiat 128:8, Feb 1972)

  3.  While the Arab states have recognised the advantages of "modernisation" (acceptance and use of modern communication, transportation and weapons technology) they have not become westernised in any deep sense. For them, democratic government, political accountability, sexual equality, and freedom of speech and religion are foreign and inimical concepts. Whether the Arab states generally and the Palestinians in particular are able to institute democratic, responsive, and accountable forms of government in the medium and long term remains to be seen. In the short term, attempts to persuade the Palestinians to become accountable and transparent in their financial dealings and create an institutional structure whereby leadership and power can be transferred in a peaceful manner has not yet been proven. (see Rachel Ehrenfeld, Reforms in the Palestinian Authority—A Reality Check, Appendix Annexure 19)

  Israel, constituting only one sixth of 1% of the Arab world, stands as an island of democracy in a sea of Arab dictatorships and authoritarianism—whether religious or secular—and thus presents a threat to their regimes.

  4.  More specifically, even if Arafat or his successor is persuaded that the cessation of violence is to his advantage, it will take many years to eradicate the anti-Jewish/Israeli hatred that has been inculcated into the Arab population of the Middle East over the last century.

  Since its establishment, and particularly after the Six Day War, Israel has been accused of being "racist" and having colonial aspirations that are an anathema to Arab and other emerging nations. While this issue is the subject of another paper, it should be recalled that Israel has among its citizens not only Jews, but Christians, Muslims, Bahai, and Druze; all these groups enjoy equal civil rights, and their holy places are fully respected both in law and in practice. Israeli Arabs participate in civic public life as members of the Knesset (Israel's legislature), judges in the Israeli Supreme and lower Courts, in the free professions, and in the civil service. Ethnically Israel has within its population black Jews from Ethiopia, coloured Jews from North Africa, Yemenites, Jews from India, Caucasian white Jews from Europe, as well as Arab Moslems and Christians. As a cultural minority in the Middle East, Israel, a country the size of Wales, seeks only the right of its citizens to live in peace and security; and to be able to express, as a majority within their own territory, their history, their own varied Jewish culture. Like other countries Israel also seeks to maintain its right of self determination so as to enable its citizens to express their social, religious and secular customs, their values and practices, without having to justify and expose themselves to a unique level of international scrutiny and approval.

November 2003


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