none.gif (43 bytes)mer_header02.gif (882 bytes)
October 2000 - Return to Complete Index                 MiddleEast.Org       10/07/00
News, Information, & Analysis That Governments, Interest Groups, and the Corporate Media Don't Want You To Know! 
      If YOU Don't Get MER, YOU Just Don't Get It! 
 To receive MER regularly email to INFOMER@MiddleEast.Org


MID-EAST REALITIES - www.MiddleEast.Org - Washington - 10/08:
   The U.S. "abstention" at the U.N.   This was done primarily to prevent attacks on U.S. Embassies and other American targets which a U.S. veto might well have sparked under current circumstances.  After watering things down as usual, after blustering threats to veto even that, and after personal intervention by Clinton to get the resolution delayed, when other countries called the U.S. bluff and insisted on a vote, they prevailed this time.  Especially with VP Gore and Wife Hillary needing to get elected next month, Clinton took this decision.  But don't get very excited.  There are dozens of U.N. resolutions applying to Israel rusting in a heap of U.N. impotence.  And the U.S. will continue behind-the-scenes preventing the U.N. from playing any serious and effective role with regard to Israel, including blocking any serious international investigation into what has been happening as the Palestinians have understandably demanded.
   The Israelis are clearly preparing to change the overall political landscape again, as they have done many times before including 1967, 1974, 1982, 1991, and 1993.  Having failed to push Syria into a Pax American deal, having failed to bring about a pro-Israeli government in Lebanon, and having failed to pummel Yasser Arafat into signing an "end the conflict" agreement, the Israelis are moving on to other options.  This time it appears they will prevent a Palestinian State, one which would be recognized by much of the world even though it would be nearly totally under Israeli control, by ending the "Palestinian Authority" which seems to have outlived its usefulness.  On Sunday morning the Israeli Army began to to blow up apartment buildings in Gaza that have been used to fire on the Israeli army guarding Jewish settlements, and attack helicopters are reported to be firing on Palestinians in Hebron.  Threats have already been made to attack PA buildings and headquarters.  For the record, the text of PM Barak's speech to Israelis last evening:

   Jerusalem, October 7, 2000

Citizens of Israel, good evening,

We are facing the beginning of a new situation in the State of
Israel. We are witnessing an acute and violent escalation in our
relations with the Palestinians. Responsibility for this rests
with Chairman Arafat and the Palestinian Authority. If he so
wished, he could with a simple command halt the violence.

I call upon the Palestinians to immediately cease the violence
and to agree to the call issued last week by President Clinton to
meet in the coming days to continue discussion of the
implementation of the agreement.

Israel will not conduct negotiations parallel to violence of any
kind. With the same determination that we struggled to seek
peace, we will know how to fight against violence.

Until now I have issued instructions to exercise restraint - not
to act, but to react. If we will not see a change in the patterns
of violence in the next two days, we shall see this as the
breaking off of the peace negotiations by Arafat - a cessation
for which he bears responsibility and which he initiated. We
shall direct the IDF and the security forces to use all means at
their disposal to halt the violence.

A new situation is indeed taking shape. This is one of the most
important struggles in the history of the State of Israel - a
struggle for our very right to live here in this difficult and
tormented region as free people.

Our stance in this situation will in large measure determine our

The struggle will not be an easy one. It may well be protracted.
There will be ups and downs, and, like today, there will be
difficult moments - perhaps even more difficult. But if we will
stand united, we will prevail.

Since Madrid and Oslo, throughout a decade, three or four
consecutive governments in Israel have strived to achieve a peace
agreement with our Palestinian neighbors, on the premise that we
have a partner for peace.

Today, the picture that is emerging, is that there is apparently
no partner for peace.

This truth is a painful one, but it is the truth, and we must
confront it with open eyes and draw the necessary conclusions.

We will not yield to violence. We are a small people, but strong
and courageous. Anyone who challenges us with force, will be met
with force, and immediately.

We will be united. We have no cause to blame ourselves. Our hands
are clean. We have turned every stone and were prepared to
discuss almost every possible idea in order to explore whether
the other side is prepared to pursue the road of peace.

An agreement can be reached, but the other side, for whom the
choice between agreement and violence is not an easy one either -
has apparently chosen violence, and will bear the responsibility
for the consequences of this choice.

Our peace efforts have not weakened us, but rather strengthened
our internal unity. The time now is ripe in the framework of the
overall political process, with the approaching end of the
Clinton administration and the termination of the interim
agreements signed between us and the Palestinians.

We must not lose hope. Peace will come. It will come if we will
know how to insist on our vital rights and the vital interests of
the people of Israel, on the security of Israel, on the unity of
Israel, and on the holy values of Israel.

We will insist on what is most vital - and we will do so

I understand those within the peace camp today, who find
themselves forced, together with us all, to watch the partner in
whom we had hoped to see a greater readiness for peace than he
apparently possesses.

I understand the pain of our fellow citizens of Israel on the
right side of the political map, who are forced to come to grips
with the painful recognition that achieving peace involves
accepting that we will have less than we dreamed of.

But now is the time to prepare for confrontation, to join hands
and to move together - together towards the challenges before us.

This afternoon, three IDF soldiers were kidnapped on Mount Dov
during a routine security patrol along the border, near the gate
leading to the Lebanese village of Shaba.

The three soldiers are now in the hands of the Hizbullah.

The Israeli government views Hizbullah, the government of Syria
and the government of Lebanon as responsible for the well-being
of the soldiers, for holding them safely in satisfactory
conditions, and for sending them quickly home.

The kidnapping of soldiers is very painful, as we all know from
experience. The incident is difficult for us and for the IDF. I
ask that you understand that, for obvious reasons, I cannot go
into detail about our actions or our intentions in this regard in
the days to come.

I would like to say to all citizens of Israel: We are all going
through difficult times. But I am filled with faith that, in the
end, we will emerge from this confrontation and struggle stronger
and more united, without relinquishing our values as a Jewish and
democratic state, or our vital interests, while continuing to
strive for security and peace in Israel.

To the Arab citizens of Israel, I wish to say: We have together
built a democratic society which recognizes the coexistence of
different communities and faiths. We have together built a life
based, first and foremost, on the recognition that we are living
together in a democratic state under the rule of law.

I appeal to you once again to continue the behavior pursued by
the vast majority of the Israeli Arabs, who continue to act
responsibly and maturely, and are not provoked into action by
extremists and inciters.

I appeal to all of us to renew our efforts, to support the rule
of law. No state can allow itself a repetition of the pictures of
blocked roads, closed settlements, of vandalism, or of damage to

All of us, together, are charged with the ultimate duty to
achieve peace and equality, and to fully integrate the Arab
citizens in Israeli society - but to do so within the framework
of an open, progressive and law-abiding society.

On the eve of Yom Kippur, I would like to wish all of us, every
family in Israel, a good year. May you all be inscribed in the
book of life.

Copyright © Mid-East Realities & The Committee On The Middle East.
All rights reserved.  POBox 18367 - Washington, DC 20036.   Email:   MER@MiddleEast.Org
Phone (202) 362-5266        Fax (202) 362-6965      Web:   http://www.MiddleEast.Org