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----- Original Message -----
From: Mazin Qumsiyeh
To: [EMAIL PROTECTED]
Sent: Sunday, December 09, 2001 7:08 PM
Subject: [AL-AWDA-News] Netanyahu and other Israel gems

Binyamin Netanyahu, a leader of the Likud Party and an ex-prime minister of
Israel has been all over the news lately.  Why did no one ask him about these
incredible statements he made in Hebrew but available in English and widely
cited.

- He was giving a speech to dozen's of Likud Party members in Eilat.  The
Israeli newspaper Haaretz (7/15/01) reported that: "... giving his audience a
bit of advice on how to deal with foreign interviewers [Netanyahu said]:
'Always, irrespective of whether you're right or not, you must always present
your side as right.' "

- After the peace process with the Palestinians stipulating no unilateral
changes, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Quoted in Ha'aretz 11/24/1998) said
"There is no such thing as a freeze [on construction].... Our policy is to grow
and expand...This issue must be coordinated behind closed doors with the army
and not in front of the media."

- "Israel should have exploited the repression of the demonstrations in China,
when world attention  focused on that country, to carry out mass expulsions
among the Arabs of the territories." Benyamin Netanyahu, then Israeli Deputy
Foreign Minister, former Prime Minister of Israel, tells students at Bar Ilan
University, From the Israeli journal Hotam, November 24, 1989.

Instead of being asked about his policy of home demolitions while prime minister
or about these statements, he was presented by many supine US media outlets as a
"terrorism expert" and asked ad nauseum about how Israel can "deal with Arafat"
in countless interviews in which the toughest question asked of him was if he
will re-run for Prime Minister!

Please do share these quotes with your source of news and views.

Now for a couple of other ignored information (items below):

1) From Haaretz: Israel rejects partial truce offer by Islamic Jihad, Hamas

2) Amnesty International latest Press Releases Afghanistan: Inquiry into
Qala-i-Jhangi fort killings must not be swept under the carpet

3) An older article from Haaretz by Meron Benvenisti that is still very relevant
today.  "The narrative blaming Yasser Arafat now joins a whole string of myths:
the Tel Hai myth, the myth of the runaway refugees in 1948, the myth of the War
of Independence as a defensive war that broke out because of an invasion by Arab
armies, the myth of the few against the many, and the myth of the liberation of
the homeland from the British boot - just to mention a few of the many myths
that have been created here to deal with the reality that gave birth to many
crises and second thoughts about the situation.

Sincerely,

Mazin Qumsiyeh
http://Al-Awda.org
____________________

Haaretz 12/9/01

Source: Israel rejects partial truce offer by Islamic Jihad, Hamas
By Amos Harel, Aluf Benn, and Dalia Shehori, Ha'aretz Corresondents and agencies

Islamic militant groups said in a statement Sunday they will halt attacks within
Israel for a week if the IDF ends strikes in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

A senior Israeli security official dismissed the offer and said Israel had no
choice but to continue to "act in self-defense" as long as the Palestinian
Authority failed to "fight terrorism and make arrests."

"We are giving the enemy a period to stop its assassinations, destruction,
killings and bombardments," said a statement by the military wings of Hamas and
Islamic Jihad and two groups affiliated with Fatah. "In return, we will stop our
martyrdom attacks and armed attacks within the borders of the occupied land of
1948 during this period, which will begin as of midnight December 10 until the
end of the month of Ramadan."
_______________________
AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL Latest Press Releases

Afghanistan: Inquiry into Qala-i-Jhangi fort killings must not be swept under
the carpet
Publish date: 05/12/2001

Amnesty International today reiterated its call for an urgent inquiry into the
large-scale killing of
captured Taleban fighters and others at a fort on the outskirts of Mazar-i
Sharif. It urged the US
and UK to consider requesting a preliminary investigation by either the United
Nations or the International Fact-Finding Commission.

"The events at the Qala-i-Jhanghi fort must not simply be brushed under the
carpet, like so many other killings before them," Amnesty International said.

In letters to the US, UK and the United Front (Northern Alliance), the
organization pointed to UN Security Council resolution 1378 which specifically
calls on all Afghan forces to adhere strictly to their obligations under human
rights and international humanitarian law. As it appears that this provision may
have been breached, Amnesty International is calling on the US and UK, as
members of the Security Council, to request a UN investigation, which should
involve relevant human rights mechanisms including the Office of the High
Commissioner for Human Rights and the UN Special Rapporteur for human rights in
Afghanistan.

Another option is for the US, UK and the United Front to call on the services of
the International Fact-Finding Commission, established under the Article 90 of
Protocol I, Additional to the 1949 Geneva Conventions to assist in investigating
allegations of violations of the laws of war. This Commission, which is composed
of 15 independent experts from around the world, would be willing to consider
any request for such an inquiry.

"This inquiry is needed to break with the past, and prove that for the first
time in decades, human rights and accountability are being taken seriously in
Afghanistan."

"The means to conduct this inquiry are in place; it will not be an easy task,
but is achievable with political will. A future for the Afghan people based on
respect for human rights will only be realised if those with power and influence
take responsibility and instigate this inquiry."

Background

The International Fact-Finding Commission was established under Article 90 of
Protocol I, Additional to the 1949 Geneva Conventions. This Commission is
composed of "fifteen members of high moral standing and acknowledged
impartiality" and is competent to "enquire into any facts alleged to be a grave
breach as defined in the Conventions [the 1949 Geneva Conventions] and this
Protocol or other serious violation of the Conventions or of this Protocol". The
Swiss Government (in its capacity as the depository of the Geneva Conventions
and Protocols) acts as the secretariat for the Commission. Its members include
legal and military experts, judges and medical doctors drawn from all regions of
the world.

For the latest information on the 11 September Crisis visit:
http://web.amnesty.org/11september.htm

Amnesty International, 1 Easton St., London WC1X 0DW web :
http://www.amnesty.org


___________________________
Challenging the Camp David myth

By Meron Benvenisti
Ha'aretz
Thursday, August 02, 2001

Only rarely does the New York Times devote half its front page and two full
pages inside its international news section to a historic description and
analysis of events that don't have immediate news value. A week ago, Deborah
Sontag published a special report called "Quest for Mideast Peace: How and Why
It Failed." Its conclusion: "Many now agree that all the sides, and not just
Arafat, were to blame."

In the New York Review of Books, in an article due to appear next week, Robert
Malley and Hussein Agha, who were involved in the negotiations at Camp David,
reach the same conclusion, backed by eyewitness testimony by several of the
participants.

Ostensibly, Sontag's detailed, balanced and unprejudiced report in the
prestigious newspaper should have been thought-provoking and won accolades. But
it never had a chance. It was perceived as anti-Israeli because, in Sontag's
own words, it dared challenge the "potent, simplistic narrative that has taken
hold in Israel and to some extent in the United States. It says: Mr. Barak
offered Mr. Arafat the moon at Camp David last summer. Mr. Arafat turned it
down, and then `pushed the button' and chose the path of violence."

That narrative is immune to fact or proof because it has become a myth in the
service of a cause and like all myths, once it has caught on, it becomes more
real than reality itself. Israeli society needs the myth, because it is
unifying and justifies all actions, clears the conscience, defines the enemy as
bloodthirsty and allows society to cope with the tough reality of "no
alternative."

The narrative blaming Yasser Arafat now joins a whole string of myths: the Tel
Hai myth, the myth of the runaway refugees in 1948, the myth of the War of
Independence as a defensive war that broke out because of an invasion by Arab
armies, the myth of the few against the many, and the myth of the liberation of
the homeland from the British boot - just to mention a few of the many myths
that have been created here to deal with the reality that gave birth to many
crises and second thoughts about the situation.

Myths are not illusions but a salad of real and legendary events aimed at
creating an image that the society wants to show to the world and itself - and
God help anyone who dares to doubt them. No wonder that nearly every learned
analysis of the "situation" is based on the careful calculation of "the nearly
100 percent Barak offered Arafat, the breaking of the Jerusalem taboo, the
Palestinians' stubborn insistence on the right of return that means the
destruction of Israel and the terrorist attacks that are aimed at winning with
blood what they failed to get through negotiations."

Anyone who tries to present a more complex and balanced view that doesn't clear
the Palestinians but also criticizes Barak for his management and Clinton for
his panic - and particularly criticizes the hubris of trying to "end the
conflict" - is immediately branded an enemy, or "extreme leftist."

But the ramifications of the myth are far-reaching: It's not the settlements
that are an obstacle to peace, because in Arafat's eyes there's no difference
between Psagot and Netanya; it's not the occupation that is the root of the
violence, but the murderous instincts buried in Arafat's genes; there's no
partner for negotiations and the conflict is existential.

The trouble, of course, is that myths are inherently subjective for the society
that creates them for its own needs, and that society's opponents create their
own, contradictory myths, like mirror images. Therefore, there's no chance that
third-party observers will be able to confront either side with objective
facts. In such a binary situation, there is no place for a third party. If you
don't buy the myth, you're against me, so I'll have to hire a better public
relations firm to successfully sell you my self-image.

Nonetheless, you wonder. Why should Deborah Sontag and Robert Malley do the
work for us and tell us the facts that undermine the myth, and why is it so
frightening for us to learn that Camp David's failure had many fathers? After
all, if we can understand the facts, we can learn the lesson and if we stick to
the myth, we'll only continue on the march of folly. It's sad to see that some
of the best of the intellectuals and historians, who handle the myths of the
past so well, don't have the courage to do it in real time.

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