1. “The successful withdrawal from Southern Lebanon is a precedent for everything that will take place in Gaza and Northern Samaria after the withdrawal from these areas”.
Deputy prime minister, Minister Ehud Olmert, said in an address he made to the Conference of Presidents to Major Jewish Organizations from North America, on February 18th, 2005, that “No missiles have been fired from on the Northern border against Israel since Israel’s retreat from Lebanon in May 2000.” Olmert also repeated this statement at a press conference one week later and refused to even glance at the official I.D.F. report which was shown to him which documented over 100 missile attacks took place on the Northern border since Israel’s withdrawal attacks that resulted in the deaths of at least 28 Israeli citizens.
2. “There is less incitement from the Palestine Authority since Abu Mazen’s entry into his position as president”.
The reality is that the governmental committee that was supposed to report on Palestinian incitement against Israel is not operating at all. General (Res.) Yaakov Amidror, who was assigned to coordinate the incitement committee, says that he is not receiving much information from intelligence sources in the Defense Ministry, and therefore he cannot operate. There is not incitement because no one is reporting the incitement. This is a repeat scenario from the past when Gen. Yoash Tzidon was appointed to coordinate the follow up committee on incitement, in October 1998. In an interview with Tzidon, he told me at the time that he received a position without an office, without any budget and without a mandate from the then Foreign Minister, Ariel Sharon. Ultimately, Tzidon resigned from his position for lack of any mandate to function.
3. “Abu Mazen is a peace seeking leader”.
Despite the PLO chairman’s statements in the PA media, in which he states strongly that he does not intend to dismantle the terror organizations from their arms, not one Israeli governmental office or military source has come forth to present this “incriminating” evidence against Abu Mazen to the Israeli public or to the International Community.
Abu Mazen’s statements to the PA media since entering his position as PA chairman: These statements do not represent any willingness for peace or co-existence with the people of Israel and Abu Mazen feels confident to go on making such pronouncements, so long as he has the collaboration of the Israeli government who willingly turns a blind eye to such blatant anti-peace behavior.
4. “Aid given to the PA education is a positive development”.
The Israeli government is assisting in this aid despite reports from the Center for Monitoring the Impact of Peace, www.edume.org, which show that the PA’s educational system is based on continuing the war against the “Zionist State”. In March, Belgium’s foreign minister visited Israel. Belgium funds the PA inciting school books. Israel’s foreign minister spokesman and the spokesman for the prime minister’s office refused to answer the question whether the government of Israel will request Belgium to reconsider transferring funds to the PA educational system due to the incitement nature of the school books or at least to stipulate the transfer of funds with removing the blatant anti Israeli texts. Official Belgian representatives told me that the State of Israel has never made such a request and couldn’t really figure out why I would raise such a question when the government of Israel clearly has no interest in it.
5. “The United States promised to recognize settlement blocs”.
Israel’s prime minister claims repeatedly that this promise has been made to him as part of the agreements reached in his meeting with Bush on April 13th, 2004. The only problem is that the American Embassy informed me that the American Foreign Ministry completely denies any such promise of recognition of settlements.
6. According to the office of Israel’s prime minister, “As part of the United States’ gestures of good will to Israel for the Gaza and Northern Samaria withdrawal, the US will aid in the buying of the property belonging to the residents of the settlements”.
The Ma’ariv newspaper even published a detailed article, telling of a budget of $56 million dollars to be given by US Aid. After checking with the directors of the US Aid, I was informed that the Fund was never even approached and would never consider funding such an endeavor.
7. According to reports in the Israeli papers this past month, “Israel is expecting the United stated to automatically provide additional funding for the high cost of dismantling and pulling out of the settlements”.
There is no indication of such on Capitol Hill. What the government of Israel apparently does not know is that there are some strict laws in connection to the Foreign Assistance Act of the U.S., which forbid the use of US equipment for anything that could be construed as suppressing human rights and civil liberties, which would include the bulldozing entire communities and the killing of civilians. Since almost all law enforcement equipment in the hands of the IDF and the Israeli police are supplied by the US, the US Congress will have a say in the matter.
8. “Jerusalem is not up for negotiations”.
Sharon fervently denied former prime minister Ehud Barak’s claim that Jerusalem is on the political table and that Israel’s hold on East Jerusalem is negotiable. However, one must pay close attention to US Secretary of State, Condeleeza Rice, who clearly states that the US opposes any settlement activity beyond the ’67 borders. When I asked the US Embassy spokesman whether reconstruction of the famous “Hurva” synagogue, located in the Jewish Quarter of Old City of Jerusalem and destroyed by the Jordanians in 1948, was considered to be “illegal settlement activity”, the answer was, “yes”.
9. “Improvement of Security”.
One of the most frequent claims given by Sharon for Israel’s retreat from Gaza and Northern Samaria is that the pull out will improve the feeling of security amongst Israel’s residents. Anyone visiting the Elei Sinai community in the most northern most part of Katif in Gaza will quickly see that the distance between the front porches of that community and the major power station in Ashkelon is within shooting range. Is it not quite evident that after Israel’s pullout from such an important strategic region that Ashkelon’s power station will not be threatened by PA security forces and all the terror organizations who populate the Gaza Strip?
10. “The Western Negev will be strengthened”.
Sharon repeatedly claims that the withdrawal from the Gaza Strip will lead to the blossoming of the Negev. Most recently, guides from the Jewish Agency reported that they had received guidelines not to encourage organized groups to sleep over in the facilities of the Western Negev region, because of security concerns from Gaza. A sign of things to come?