Annapolis, Md. – Israeli government sources said yesterday that a pair of high-level figures are warning the political echelon that the timetable Americans wish to dictate to the Israelis and the Palestinians – reaching a final status arrangement within a year – is dangerous to Israel.
At the Israeli security cabinet meeting that was held prior to the departure of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to Annapolis, Israel General Security Services Director Yuval Diskin and Director of Military Intelligence Maj. Gen. Amos Yadlin warned that Mahmoud Abbas (AKA Abu Mazen) is weak and not yet ready to implement a peace agreement with Israel, and that his ability to act is close to zero. They recommended to the political echelon to negotiate over the final status arrangement, but to see this as no more than a “shelf agreement,” the implementation of which would be postponed by several years until the Palestinian Authority proves that it is a partner.
Mr. Diskin and Maj. Gen. Yadlin recommended further to the political echelon to “buy as much time as possible” in the implementation of the first stage of the road map, meaning the war on terror, thereby enabling Abu Mazen and his supporters to establish themselves and gain strength. In addition, it was recommended that the government be sparing in making gestures, and refrain from transferring security responsibility to the Palestinians, since this will only serve as an obstacle for them.
Saudi Initiative May Be Recognized
Philadelphia journalist, Aaron Klein, the Israel bureau chief of WorldNetDaily.com (WND), says that his agency has obtained the document which will provide the basis for the Annapolis conference. Mr. Klein reported that, according to the document in his possession, “in exchange for Saudi Arabia attending this week’s U.S.-sponsored Israeli-Palestinian conference in Annapolis, the Israeli government agreed to recognize the importance of a Saudi-sponsored “peace initiative” in which the Jewish state is called upon to evacuate the strategic Golan Heights, the entire West Bank and eastern sections of Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount.
According to Mr. Klein, this document will presented at the Annapolis conference and to serve as an official outline of a final settlement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority
The wording is still being negotiated by both sides.
However, according to Israeli diplomatic sources, Israel agreed to a Saudi request that the declaration document include reference to a Saudi-backed Arab Peace Initiative, first presented in 2002 and reissued earlier this year at a meeting of the Arab League, an umbrella association of Mideast Arab states.
While Israel doesn’t commit itself to the Arab Initiative’s requirements, a clause in the current draft of the Israeli-Palestinian declaration slated for the Annapolis conference and obtained by WND reads: “We recognize the critical supporting role of Arab and Muslim states and the importance of the Arab Peace Initiative.”
Palestinian Curriculum Reviewed At Pre-Annapolis Briefing
A pre-Annapolis briefing was conducted by the Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education, dedicated to the research of school curricula and textbooks throughout the Middle East. Since its creation in 1998 it has researched school textbooks, teachers’ guides and syllabi used by the Palestinian Authority (PA), Israel, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Iran.
The briefing was conducted by the Institute’s director, Dr. Yohanan Manor and by the Arabic language expert who translates the school books, Dr. Arnon Groiss.
The context of the briefing was that the PA has now completed its seven-year project of replacing textbooks that had been in use from Jordan and Egypt, in Judea & Samaria and Gaza respectively, with ones they have produced, with funding received from 14 nations, including the US..
This briefing constituted an overview of the material, with special emphasis on the new 11th and 12th grade books.
All of the PA texts have now been studied and translated by the Institute, under the supervision of Dr. Groiss. In all cases, assessment of material is based on 10 criteria established by UNESCO as well as two other factors: How is the `other’ perceived? And, does the education foster peace?
The conclusions, which are posted in great detail on the Institute’s Web site www.edume.org, are that:
* Jews are represented as foreigners without rights in the land. There are no Jewish holy places. For example, Rachel’s tomb is alluded to as “Bilal bin Rabbah Mosque.”
* Palestinian Arabs are seen as the only legitimate inhabitants of the land, descended from the Canaanites and Jebusites, who are said to be Arabs.
* When information is taught to Palestinian Arab children about the inhabitants of the land, Jews are excluded.
* Israel is not taught as a legitimate state. Israel is presented to a new generation of Palestinian Arab school children as a Zionist, imperialist, western, racist usurper.
* “Israel” is omitted from all Palestinian political maps. One book did reproduce two Israeli maps. When Israel must be alluded to in the Palestinian Arab classroom, alternative terms are used, such as “pre-1948 lands.”
From Modern History of Palestine, Grade 11, 2006:
“The green line is an imaginary line separating land occupied before 1967 and land occupied after.”
* Palestine is presented as an existing sovereign state, established in 1988.
* Jews are demonized, seen as a hostile enemy, and as the source of all evils in the Palestinian society, e.g., cause of drug addiction. Twenty-five crimes against the Palestinians are enumerated in the Palestinian classroom.
* Individual Jews are never mentioned, and the humanity of the Jews is lost.
* The fabricated, anti-Semitic “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” was represented in a text as factual. When representatives of Belgium, which underwrote production of this book, were informed they protested and a new version of the book, omitting the “Protocols” was published. However, the old version is the only version available in Palestinian Authority bookstores and there is no evidence that the new version is actually in use in the schools.
* Praise of jihad and martyrdom remains another aspect of the Palestinian curriculum.
* As an integral part of the Palestinian curriculum, armed groups are celebrated.
©The Bulletin 2007