"Unilateral separation" one way or another
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"Unilateral separation" one way or another

January 15, 2001


"The separation plan would go into effect...in the event of one of the following three scenarios: as a response to a unilateral declaration of statehood on the part of the Palestinians; under a severe security threat; or as part of an agreement with the Palestinian Authority."

In other words, no matter what, the Palestinians are going to get "unilateral separation" -- whether they agree or not.

As the above quote suggests, whether the Palestinians like it or not, they may well now get "Palestinian Statehood" -- as defined by Israel and the U.S. that is -- rammed down their throats.

And the irony is, or is the better word tragedy, that history may record that it is none other than Ariel Sharon who delivers this disfigured and grotesque "Palestinian Statehood" to the gullible world -- using the very concept of their aspirations to further entrap the Palestinian people in a kind of reconstituted Zionist/Hashemite sandwich.

For the "Statehood" the Israelis have had in mind for a very long time now, and for which they have used "Oslo" and Arafat as foreplay along the way, is really the old Begin-Sharon "autonomy plan" that was first put forward two decades ago soon after the original Camp David and the Israeli-Egyptian treaty they brought about.

If the current "peace process" continues in one form or another, history may record that the whole decade of the '90s, the whole time of the Clinton Presidency and all those "invitations" to Arafat to visit the White House, was but time for the Israelis to prepare their "Apartheid Peace", their "unilateral separation", their placement of the Palestinians on surrounded and controlled reservations.

And to disguise their true designs, to make it all palatable to world public opinion, they will call it "Palestinian Statehood" -- torturing and killing the very term itself much as they have the Palestinian people. For the logic of today's grave situation is that the Israelis are trying to use the Palestinians own leaders and their own quest for independence to impose on them Apartheid realities. In fact, they have already taken considerable steps to do just that.

The real goal of the intense "negotiations" of recent times has been to get Yasser Arafat to historically legitimize what has been done by signing another historic agreement on the White House lawn. And now, having failed to achieve that vital symbolism, the Israelis are looking for a way to do the same thing unilaterally. After all, even Ariel Sharon some years ago now publicly declared himself in favor of such "Palestinian Statehood" -- of this kind of retarded, disfigured, and forever controlled Palestinian entity that is. This is the logic and momemtum of what the Americans and Israelis love to call the "Peace Process". This is the true legacy of the Clinton years -- of the President most beholden to and most controlled and manipulated by the Israelis in American history.

By Aluf Benn Ha'aretz Diplomatic Correspondent

[Ha'aretz - 15 January]:
According to a unilateral separation plan prepared under the guidance of Prime Minister Ehud Barak, Israel will set up a line of defense around the settlement blocs in the West Bank that are intended for annexation to Israel under a permanent peace agreement. Israel will also keep control of isolated settlements as well as a wide security zone in the Jordan Valley, as bargaining chips, until a peace agreement is achieved.

Barak determined that the separation plan would go into effect only in the event of one of the following three scenarios: as a response to a unilateral declaration of statehood on the part of the Palestinians; under a severe security threat; or as part of an agreement with the Palestinian Authority.

Barak has also decided to refrain from irreversible steps in the field so as not to prejudice the chances of achieving an agreement in the future. The recent actions of the Israel Defense Forces in the West Bank, such as the moving of the Green Line barriers eastward and the cutting off of Palestinians villages from the trans-Samaria road, were taken to protect the settlements and not as part of a decision to implement a separation.

According to a senior diplomatic source, the security measures "are not alienated from the general considerations of the Camp David understandings, but they are not meant to show that Israel is following any line other than an attempt to reach an agreement."

The objective of the plan is to preserve the Jewish identity of Israel by means of a demographic separation from the Palestinians. The formulators of the plan propose focusing on Israel's vital interests and refraining from unnecessarily expanding the settlement blocs.

In presenting the plan to the political-security cabinet a few weeks ago, the ministers were told that "the more violent and critical the scenario is, the less flexible Israel will be on the various parameters. The security zone in the Jordan Valley will be wider and the settlement blocs more complete."

There is no agreed-upon map for the separation, the diplomatic source said, and in talks with the Palestinians, Israel made sure to present various alternatives. The IDF prefers to strengthen its security hold and expand the "narrow waist" of Israel in western Samaria, while other organizations have suggested leaving more settlements under Israeli control.

The settlement blocs included in the separation plan are around Jerusalem (Ma'aleh Adumim, the Etzion Bloc and Givat Ze'ev), the Ariel-Karnei Shomron bloc, the Kiryat Sefer bloc adjacent to Modi'in and settlements along the Green Line such as Alfei Menasheh, Har Adar, Beit Horon and others.

In order to avoid irreversible actions, the plan proposes not to erect electronic fenses around the settlement blocs, but rather to protect them by means of mobile military forces and obstacles such as concrete blocks and ditches, which provide a line a defense but can be removed in the event of an agreement. "There is no point in investing billions for nothing," the source said.

The separation plan also includes a detailed legal and administrative infrastructure for joining the settlement blocs to Israel, as preparation for a possible annexation in the future. The plan determines how infrastructure currently shared by the settlements and the PA will be redeployed; how the settlements will be made part of various municipal authorities; and which schools the children will attend. Har Adar, for example, will become part of a regional council made up of towns close to the Green Line, while settlements near Kiryat Sefer will be joined to the towns of the Modi'in region.

The plan also deals with the paving of "separation roads" that do not pass through Palestinian villages. The old roads, which Israelis no longer use and are no longer patroled by the IDF, are gradually being transferred to Palestinian control, even without an agreement.

Israel is aiming to annex as few Palestinians as possible, but in the event of a crisis, will have to deal with Palestinian villages that remain within the settlement blocs. Villages in the Etzion Bloc, for example, will be able to maintain their link with the municipal areas of Bethlehem and Beit Jala even after the separation.

The plan was originally formulated as the foundation for a permanent settlement with the Palestinians, based on a political, demographic and economic separation. After the failure of the Camp David summit, however, Barak ordered to prepare also for a unilateral separation in response to a possible Palestinian declaration of independence. The underlying instruction was that the conflict would be solved only through diplomatic means and therefore, the plan should not block the path to the negotiating table in the future.

According to the diplomatic source, the Barak government has not formulated a plan to evacuate isolated settlements in the framework of a unilateral separation or an agreement with the Palestinians. "There is no list of settlements intended for evacuation," the source said, adding that various models regarding the future of the settlements had been discussed. "No one dealt with a plan for physical evacuation and no one will take a chance on dealing with it. We dealt only with blocs that will be annexed to Israel.

January 2001


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