Thursday, December 18, 2014

Refuting Noam Chomsky's Comments on Oslo Accords and Israel-Part III

Nadene Goldfoot                                                                      
  Noam Chomsky claims that one of Israel's slow and steady US-backed policies is to take over the Jordan Valley.  It is the border between Israel and Jordan in the north and  is the border between Judea-Samaria and Jordan in the south.  

Both Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs live in the Jordan Valley. There are 28 Jewish villages in the region – including Mehola, Bekaot and Ma’aleh Ephraim – that comprise approximately 15,000 residents. The Palestinian inhabitants of the Jordan Valley live in 10 cities and villages – including Jericho, the administrative capital of the Palestinian Authority (PA) – that have a total population of approximately 50,000.

An option reportedly offered by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called for maintaining Israeli presence in the Jordan Valley for ten years following the signing of a peace accord during which time PA security forces would be trained to assume control over the region. PA President Mahmoud Abbas, however, rejected this plan and PA officials said the proposed arrangements were totally unacceptable. 

Allon viewed the Valley as of vital strategic importance for Israel, most importantly by providing a buffer zone between Israel and its enemies to the east, much like the Sinai Peninsula in the west. Israeli military presence in the region would ensure the demilitarization of a future Palestinian state by stopping arms smuggling across the Jordan River. It would also provide Israelis with safe and secure access to the Dead Sea, Jordan River and Sea of Galilee.

 Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu staunchly holds to this view and has repeatedly said that Israeli presence in the region is crucial to establishing and maintaining peace with the Palestinians. Uzi Dayan, former head of Israel’s National Security Council, believes that the Valley “envelopes” the State and extending Israeli sovereignty to the region is the only way to protect Israel from heightened terrorism.

Does one blame Israel about putting protection at the top of their list?   They've suffered from it so much. This view isn't one of taking over-but of protecting Israel from attack. It happens that the Palestinians want all of the Jordan Valley to be part of their Palestine, says Al Monitor, who wrote that Jordan Valley is essential for a viable Palestine state.    

Noam Chomsky then continued by talking about the Oslo Accords.  He said that "for 20 years, the US and Israel have been dedicated to separate Gaza and the West Bank in violation of the accords that they had accepted"  Notice that not a word was mentioned about what Abbas, the presumed leader of the Palestinians, had been doing.

The Oslo Accords started in January 1993.  They were about Israel's withdrawal from Judea and Samaria and Gaza so that the Palestine Authority could be a self government  for an interim period until permanent arrangements would be established.  By February 1993 Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was told how the meeting of January went with the Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs , Shimon Peres, and the Norwegian mediators.  The final signing was done in Washington DC.  These were bilateral agreements.

By August 4th, Rabin had some hopes it would succeed.  Yasser Arafat of the PLO was the leader of the Palestinians at this time.  "This was due to his understanding that the Palestinians have agreed to several terms: Approval for maintaining the present settlements; acknowledgement of Israel’s responsibility for the safety of its citizens within the territories; and that all options will be open for negotiations towards a permanent solution."  
Oslo Accord Signing September 13, 1993 of Rabin, Clinton and Arafat

Bill Clinton was USA's president at the time.  The Americans had been doubtful of anyone coming to an agreement and were now awestruck that there had been one by August 30th.  On September 13th it was signed.  "The declaration of principles was instrumental for the future Cairo Agreement on the Gaza Strip and the Jericho Area (signed in May 1994) and the Taba Agreement (signed in July 1995)."

True, at this point not all the people of Israel thought the agreement was perfect.  "Accusations concerned the relinquishment of the historical homeland of the Jewish people while undermining Israel’s safety."  Rabin was a PM from Labor, and this was a leftist political party.  The Knesset voted on a no confidence-and the results were 61 for the Agreement, 50 against and 8 abstentions.  

What the Oslo Accords did was to create the PA, Palestine Authority.  "The most important issues are the borders of Israel and Palestine, the Israeli settlements, the status of Jerusalem, the question of Israel's military presence in and control over the remaining territories after the recognition of the Palestinian autonomy by Israel, and the Palestinian right of return. The Oslo Accords, however, did not create a Palestinian state.  This was to be the start of a Peace Process.  

What Chomsky neglected to say was that they ended  "after the failure of the Camp David Summit in 2000 and the outbreak of the Second Intifada."   It started in September 2000, when Ariel Sharon made a visit to the Temple Mount, seen by Palestinians as highly provocative; and Palestinian demonstrators, throwing stones at police, were dispersed by the Israeli army, using tear gas and rubber bullets."   Similar to a war, these attacks on Israel went on till February 8, 2005.  Rockets, mortars and missiles rained down on Israel from Gaza.  This is when Sharon decided to get out of there, hoping this bombardment would have reason to stop.

Now, who is in violation of the accords?  It was the Palestinians who started the rioting who need very little reason to start one.  A reaction from Sharon on the Temple Mount which is in the eastern part of the Old City of Jerusalem?  Do you know how many visitors, tourists go to the Temple Mount each year? If you are a Christian, you may.  Jews cannot even be caught moving their lips in prayer near the site.   The place is the site of our 2nd Temple!  We allow Jordan to have reign over it as a mosque covers our site today.  Is this really reason to start a war and kill Jews?

To Jews, this is our most holy site.  So we go to the Western Wall, formerly called the Wailing Wall, also in eastern Jerusalem.  To Muslims, this, they think, is the site of the farthest mosque Mohammad visited on his flying horse, but I have proven this impossible.  There was no mosque built here till after Mohammad had died in 632.  After 70 CE the Romans had built their own temple over our 2nd Temple which they destroyed.  Then Calif Omar had built a temporary mosque in 638 after Mohammad had died in 632.  It was about this time that Muslims were going out into the world converting people to Islam.  Finally, it was Calif Abd al-Malif in about 738 that replaced the temporary structure by Omar.  This is now called either the Mosque of Omar or the Dome of the Rock that sits right in the center of the Temple area in Jerusalem.  The Muslims fight to defend a mosque that wasn't even built in Jerusalem during Mohammad's famous flight.  Mohammad lived in either Mecca or Medina at the time which is in Arabia.  He could not read or write, so this history had to be dictated by him to a scribe.  2

Israel left Gaza completely in 2005.  Gaza was taken over by Hamas terrorists.  The Palestinians living there voted for Hamas, so it was democratically decided in January 2006.  This was not a part of the Oslo Accords.  They kicked out the PA leader, now Mahmoud Abbas,  who had taken over from Arafat after he had died on November 11, 2004 in France.

Since 2001, Israel has been hit by 15,200 rockets and mortars from Gaza." Since Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip in 2005, terrorists have fired more than 11,000 rockets into Israel. Over 5 million Israelis are currently living under threat of rocket attacks."

"More than half a million Israelis have less than 60 seconds to find shelter after a rocket is launched from Gaza into Israel. Most rockets launched from Gaza into Israel are capable of reaching Israel’s biggest cities, including Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, " In 2014 they did hit Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, causing Israel to go into Gaza in Operation Defensive Edge to find the sources and stop them.  

On July 7, 2014, the IDF launched Operation Protective Edge in order to restore quiet to the region and stop Hamas terrorism. The single goal of the operation is to stop Hamas’ incessant rocket attacks against Israel’s civilians.  Since then, over 1,000 rockets have been launched at Israel of which 754 hit Israel and about 201 were stopped by the Iron Dome Missile Defense System.  It's the M-302 missiles confiscated from the KLOS-C weapons seiure that hit Tel Aviv and Jerusalem already.  
Unified Hamas and Fatah Ready to Rule Palestine
So, according to Noam, Israel and the USA are guilty of separating Gaza from the West Bank?  His argument is moot.  As attacking Israel with mortars, rockets and missiles is an ongoing occurrence, who sees a peaceful partner anymore?  Besides, the USA has already helped them to unify and so Hamas is now in Judea and Samaria along with Fatah.  Nations are already recognizing them, yet they haven't recognized Israel yet as a Jewish state.  
Noam stated that, "for the crime of voting the wrong way,(when they voted in Hamas) the US instantly decided, along with Israel, to punish the Palestinians for the crime of voting the wrong way.   A harsh siege was instituted, other punishments;  violence increased;  the United State immediately began to organize a military coup to overthrow the unacceptable government.  
The harsh siege he mentions has to have been the blockade of Gaza Strip that started in 2007 and continues to the present time.  Why?  To stop their access to ammunition to use against Israel.  
Other punishments?  This is so general.  By who?  What?  The inference is Israel, of course, but it was Egypt who did something they may not have liked.  "Prior to its 2011 opening of the Rafah crossing, Egypt maintained that it could not fully open its side of the border since completely opening the border would represent Egyptian recognition of the Hamas control of Gaza, undermine the legitimacy of the Palestinian National Authority and consecrate the split between Gaza and the West Bank."  
He blames the USA of organizing a military coup to overthrow the unacceptable government. 
   " That's quite a familiar practice.  I won't go through the record. " he stated.  
"Sanctions were imposed after Hamas refused to renounce violence, to respect previous agreements and to recognize the State of Israel."  After the Hamas takeover, ", Egypt and Israel largely sealed their border crossings with Gaza, on the grounds that Fatah had fled and was no longer providing security on the Palestinian side."  
"In July 2007, Israeli officials planned an opening of the Rafah border crossing in order to allow stranded Palestinians to return, but the plan was cancelled after Hamas threatened to fire on the refugees." 
"A Jerusalem Post article mentions Hamas' complaints that since June 2008 the P.A. does not grant passports to Gazans anymore, thereby "preventing tens of thousands of Palestinians from being able to travel abroad."
Any discomfort Hamas Gazans were facing, to answer all of Noam's complaints, were brought onto themselves by their lack of seeing where their actions were leading them.  They lacked foresight.  Instead of manning up, they blame Israel or the USA or both for their problems, and Noam falls right into their way of thinking.  This has been a typical problem of the whole Middle East, one big fight over power.  Read THE STRONG HORSE-power, politics, and the clash of Arab civilizations by Lee Smith 2010.  
Noam continued with  "There was an immediate Israeli escalation.  That was the end of the November  (2006) agreement, followed by major Israeli onslaughts.  What?   So general.  How can I reply to this?  "What was going on in 2006? 

 "Egypt, fearing a spill-over of Hamas-style militancy into their territory, kept its border with Gaza largely sealed. Israel was dealing with Hezbollah rocket attacks that year in the Israel-Lebanon War" that started July 12, 2006.  This was Israel's 2nd Lebanon-Israel War.  The 1st on happened in 1982 when I lived in Safed.  I was there, baking cakes for our IDF to eat at little kiosks set up with coffee for the young soldiers, but  this one lasted about 33 days.  2006 was the year of disengagement for Israel from Gaza.  They did have their hands full of life and death events going on.  

The only thing I finally found happening between Gaza and Israel in November 2006 was "The 2006 shelling of Beit Hanoun by Israel which happened on 8 November, when shells fired hit a row of houses in the Gaza Strip town of Beit Hanoun,   killing 19 Palestinians and wounding more than 40.  The shelling followed Israel's withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in completion of a week-long operation code named Operation "Autumn Clouds", which Israel claimed had been intended to stop the Qassam rocket attacks on Israel by Palestinian militants.  Israel apologized and attributed the incident to a technical malfunction."   Again, their attacks on Israel brought this on themselves.  You know the old adage; people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.  
Israel sealed the border completely on 17 January 2007 in response to rocket attacks on southern Israel and Palestinian militant attacks on crossing points between Israel and Gaza.  Noam's comment was that the Hamas election was a fair election.  My thought has always been, how can you expect terrorists to hold a fair election when they want to be the winners and do not fight fairly by anyone's standards?  They have pelted southern Israel since 2001 with rockets, mortars and missiles which fall in civilian territory.  They're not soldiers fighting against soldiers.  The city of Safed where I lived for 5 years had previously seen its school children attacked while in school by these terrorists.  The graveyard of the children is right in Safed.  

Noam stated in his argument on page 3 that Hamas's force in taking over Gaza was by pre-empting a US planned military coup to overthrow the elected government of Hamas.  What a nice idea.  Too bad it didn't happen.  

What I found is just the opposite. I found "The Battle of Gaza, also referred to as Hamas' takeover of Gaza was a short military conflict between Fatah and Hamas, that took place in the Gaza Strip between 10 and 15 June 2007. It was a climax in the Fatah–Hamas conflict, centered on the struggle for power, after Fatah lost the parliamentary elections of 2006."  

"The battle resulted in the dissolution of the unity government and the de facto division of the Palestinian territories into two entities, the West Bank governed by the Palestinian National Authority, and Gaza governed by Hamas.

The ICRC estimated that at least 118 people were killed and more than 550 wounded during the fighting in the week up to June 15."   According to this research, it was Hamas who actually won the election but Hamas took over anyway in a battle.  So Noam had this  all mixed up. Israel and the USA had nothing to do with the outcome.  I believe it was Obama's idea to have a democratic election.  

Noam spoke saying,: "The attack on Gaza increased substantially at that point, major Israeli onslaughts." Such general slander, making the reader feel that of course he is right somehow.  What was going on was that in: 
 2005,   401 Qassam rockets were shot into southern Israel from Gaza.  
2006, 1,716 Qassam rockets were shot into southern Israel from Gaza.
2007, 1,271 Qassam rockets were shot into southern Israel from Gaza.
This is not even counting the mortars and missiles.
Then he speaks again with "finally, in January 2008, another ceasefire was reached"  Yes, since the firing into Israel didn't stop.  In 2008 Israel was hit with 1,399 Qassam rockets.  He said, "Israel publicly rejected the ceasefire, said that it (Israel, I presume)  would not abide by it.  Hamas (of course) observed the ceasefire, as Israel officially recognizes, despite Israel's refusal to do so."    

My rebuttal  is right in Wikipedia: "The 2008 Israel-Hamas ceasefire was an Egyptian-brokered six-month Tahdia (an Arabic term for a lull) "for the Gaza area", which went into effect between Hamas and Israel on 19 June 2008.   According to the Egyptian-brokered agreement, Israel promised to halt air strikes and other attacks, while in return, there would not be rocket attacks on Israel from Gaza. Once the ceasefire held, Israel was to gradually begin to ease its punishing blockade of Gaza.
During the initial week of the ceasefire, militants fired rockets on Israel. During the next 5 months of the ceasefire, Gazan attacks decreased significantly for a total of 19 rocket and 18 mortar shell launchings,  compared to 1199 rockets and 1072 mortar shells in 2008 up to 19 June, a reduction of 98%".  Note-they never stopped, only decreased.  Some ceasefire that was from Hamas.  

Chomsky no doubt would love to see our 8,000 square miles chopped up more and handed to ruthless killers called Hamas terrorists.  The Jewish Homeland was awarded to the Jews but the Brits handed over 80% off the top to Jordan already, and now everyone wants to take more; East Jerusalem, our capital, the Jordan Valley, etc.  What's to be left for the Jews but a piece large enough to be a broom closet.  Let's cut out the crabbing and complaining, Noam, and be realistic.  Are you for Israel's existence or aren't you, because everything points towards your not feeling a whit about this little state who needed to be reborn after 2,000 years of its people being kicked around.  

Resource: 1
Messages From a Syrian Jew Trapped i;n Egypt;  discussing Taba Agreement results.
The New Standard Jewish Encyclopedia on the Temple, mosque 2  finished in 691 built in 1193 Hezbollah attacks 2006 CAMERA

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