Israelis Proceed With Long-Term Plans
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Israelis Proceed With Long-Term Plans

U.S.,U.N., EU, and the "Cl.ient Arab Regimes" are all the complicitous and responsible parties

MID-EAST REALITIES - www.MiddleEast.Org - Washington - 2/22/2002:

The current Israeli Prime Minister probably had plans to do just what he is now doing long ago. Since become PM he's just been manuevering to get things in place to do so. Even at the Wye River talks after he became Israeli Foreign Minister Sharon refused to even shake Yasser Arafat's hand. Just like with Osama bin Laden, no one should accuse Sharon of not telling in advance what he was planning.

But it's hardly just Sharon. Most of the Israeli political/military establishment is behind the goal of either vanquishing or Bantustanizing the Palestinians. At times they speak and pretend otherwise; but the underlying realities are that they have always worked together far more in tandem than at cross-purposes. When Yitzhak Rabin was Prime Minster -- after years as Defense Minister under Prime Minister Shamir-- he had a private and at secret meeting nearly every Friday with Sharon. Immediately upon loosing the last election to Sharon none other than Ehud Barak tried every trick, with the new PM's strong encouragement, to become Sharon's Defense Minister The current Defense Minister is actually the leader of Israel's Labor Party. Not to mention the slippery dealings of Shimon Peres, supposedly the "peace partner" of Yasser Arafat in the "peace of the brave" -- now the Foreign Minister.

Unlike Arab affairs, to personalize Israeli policies and goals is a considerable mistake -- there are long-term policies and goals strongly and consistently pursued however much the rhetoric and the personalities may at differ. Also unlike the Arab regimes at this point in history, Israel is a country of strong institutions and powerful goals.

Furthermore, in today's context, it should not be forgotten for a moment that the Israelis are pursuing their policies even more intensely than ever immediately after the last visit to Washington by Sharon and his military and intelligence chiefs; and doing so with secret knowledge just what the Americans have planned for Iraq and the coming expansion of the now misnomered "War Against Terrorism".

Middle East slips towards war as Arafat peace offer rebuffed

By Phil Reeves in Jerusalem

[The Independent, UK, 22 February 2002]: The Middle East subsided further into war last night as Ariel Sharon, Prime Minister of Israel, demanded that the Palestinians fully disarm and announced plans to establish barriers sealing off Palestinian areas.

In a televised speech to his nation, after a day in which Israeli armed forces launched another wave of air and ground strikes against the Palestinians, Mr Sharon made clear that he was still committed to military force by declaring that Israel would not rest until the "terrorist network" had been destroyed.

He spoke after nine more Palestinians were killed in attacks on the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and a missile landed inside Mr Arafat's compound as part of Israel's continuing retaliation for a sudden upsurge of Palestinian attacks, particularly the killing of six soldiers at a checkpoint on Tuesday. Mr Sharon appealed for unity within Israel, where for the first time since his election he faces significant criticism from across the political spectrum caused by his failure to subdue the Palestinians and several humiliating setbacks for the Israeli army.

His speech will have disappointed the European Union, which is growing increasingly uneasy at America's apparent lack of any solutions to bring the conflict under control. The White House expressed its "deep concern" about the violence yesterday, but remained bankrupt of new ideas. Almost 50 lives have been lost so far this week.

Mr Sharon outlined a set of conditions that have no chance of success, not least because the Palestinian leadership could not enforce them, even if it wanted to do so.

They included the complete dismantling of the infrastructure of the so-called terrorist Palestinian organisations a category that, in Israel's eyes, includes mainstream political groups. Nor are Palestinians ever likely to accept Mr Sharon's demand for complete disarmament "before progress can be made". He insisted that there must be a total end to Palestinian violence before he is willing to negotiate, a condition that is regarded as wholly unrealistic, and deliberately obstructive, by the international community.

But he did not demand seven days of quiet, which he has insisted on in the past, as a condition for implementing the Mitchell peace plan.

He refused to give details of the so-called buffer zones, which he said were intended to increase the security of Israelis. These were immediately seen by the Palestinians as a plan to reinforce the Israeli occupation.

They are likely to include previously revealed proposals to seal off Jerusalem with more checkpoints and trenches inside occupied Arab areas. Such measures have so far served only to deepen friction between the two sides as they increase Israel's military presence inside the occupied territories. Palestinians see the moves as part of a long-term political plan by Mr Sharon to consolidate Israel's hold over all Jerusalem including its Arab eastern sector and much of the West Bank.

Saeb Erekat, a Palestinian former peace negotiator, said after hearing the speech: "I am much more scared than I was half an hour ago. This is a clear-cut message that Mr Sharon wants to silence the voices of moderation and peace in Israel."

In particular, Mr Sharon made no reference to an appeal, made earlier in the day, by Mr Arafat to Palestinians to abide by the ceasefire he declared on 16 December, which was followed by several weeks of relative calm.

This may have been a tactical move by the Palestinian leader, whom Israel accused of repeatedly failing to keep his promises.

But it was coupled with the announcement from the head of Mr Arafat's intelligence services in the West Bank town of Nablus of the arrest of three men accused by Israel of assassinating its Tourism Minister, Rechavam Ze'evi, last year.

Israel has been demanding that Mr Arafat arrest the killers of the far-right 75-year-old minister, who was shot dead by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine in revenge for the assassination of its leader by Israel. Mr Arafat's problems have been compounded by popular Palestinian support for the assassination of the minister, who had advocated the mass expulsion of Arabs from the occupied territories.

The arrests have been one of Mr Sharon's conditions for ending the siege of Mr Arafat's headquarters, which has prevented the latter from travelling for nearly three months. But Mr Sharon said Israel was still checking the reports of the arrests

Israeli cabinet backs greater use of death squads

By Phil Reeves in Gaza City

[The Independent, UK, 21 February 2002]: Plans by Israel's Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, to use yet more military force in the occupied Palestinian territories were yesterday approved by his security cabinet as the violence in the Middle East conflict accelerated still further.

Mr Sharon won support for what he called a "new outline on the war on terror", as Israeli armed forces retaliated after the most deadly attack on its soldiers since the intifada began.

As the region grew steadily more nervous about the backwash from the worsening conflict, Mr Sharon - who is under pressure from Israel's hard right to invade the West Bank and Gaza - told his cabinet that he was opposed to dragging Israel into a fully-fledged war.

But his spokesman, Ranaan Gissin, said Israel would increase its use of "counter-terrorism" methods - a euphemism to describe the work of its death squads, which have assassinated more than 70 Palestinian suspects during the conflict despite widespread criticism. Those involved in "terrorist activity" would "always have to think about where they sleep at night", he said.

His remarks came as Israel launched missile attacks on Palestinian targets from air, land and sea after six Israeli soldiers were killed on Tuesday when Palestinian guerrillas attacked a checkpoint near Ramallah. The losses were the biggest blow of the intifada to Israel's Defence Forces, already hit by embarrassing setbacks and a reservists revolt.

The Palestinians appear to be focusing on Israel's occupation, by killing settlers and soldiers. Marwan Barghouti, a senior Fatah leader, said yesterday that the "struggle" had entered a new phase in which attacks would be mounted on Israeli checkpoints - seen by many Palestinians as one of the most punitive of the many measures levelled against them.

By last night, 18 Palestinians - mostly security personnel - had been killed in the reprisals. In all, 40 people - 10 Israelis and 30 Palestinians, including two suicide bombers - have died since Monday, making this one of the worst periods of the conflict. Israel fired a missile into Yasser Arafat's compound in the West Bank town of Ramallah, where he has been trapped for weeks by Israeli tanks. It landed a few yards from his office and shattered windows but he was not injured.

Although Mr Sharon has said he wished Israel had killed Mr Arafat during the 1982 siege of Beirut, he insists he has no intention of doing so now. His spokesman - reflecting American pressure - said Israel had no intention of physically harming Mr Arafat or of toppling his Palestinian Authority. However, though the Israelis have blown up a police post by his headquarters before, this was the closest attack on the Palestinian leader for years. Mr Arafat was defiant, emerging to declare that "the tanks and the missiles and the planes do not terrify us ... The Israelis insist on avoiding the peace process but we will raise the Palestinian flag on the walls of Jerusalem." Most attacks were early in the day but last night Israeli helicopters fired missiles into Palestinian security bases in Gaza City and the West Bank town of Jenin.

Amid the mess, there is little sign of diplomatic solution. Unusually, Saudi Arabia this week proposed that Arab countries normalise ties with Israel if it quit Palestinian lands occupied illegally in 1967, including the West Bank and Gaza. But it is an offer the Saudis know Mr Sharon will refuse. Israel's Foreign Minister, Shimon Peres, told Saudi television that the idea was "an interesting and positive one". But he also said the basis for progress was "putting an end to terrorist activity", meaning Palestinian attacks on Israelis.

Israeli forces enter Gaza City and strike Arafat's compound

[21 February 2002 - Associated Press]: Israeli tanks and troops entered Gaza early today killing five Palestinians, as Israeli retaliatory strikes intensified.

Entering Gaza City for the first time in nearly 17 months of conflict, tanks went into Sejaieh neighborhood, which straddles the main north-south road through the Gaza Strip, and approached Beach camp, a sprawling refugee complex.

On a hilltop in Sejaieh, troops blew up a local broadcasting station and residents all over the city could see the transmission tower collapse, putting Palestine TV off the air for about an hour.

Shortly before dawn an Israeli helicopter fired at least one rocket at a building in Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's compound in Ramallah, the army said. No casualties were reported.

In a statement, the army's spokesman unit confirmed the attacks and said they were part of a continued response to Palestinian attacks. Residents said Israeli troops pulled out of Gaza City after three hours.

Loudspeakers on mosques called on Palestinians to confront the Israeli invaders, and police and gunmen raced to the scene of the incursions. The sound of heavy gunfire reverberated all over the city: two police were hurt, doctors said.

In southern Gaza, residents said Israeli tanks and bulldozers entered the Rafah refugee camp after midnight and destroyed the house of a militant said to have killed an Israeli woman and two soldiers on Monday, before he was killed by troops. Doctors said four people were killed and 35 wounded by bullets in the incursion. Another was killed at daybreak near the border, witnesses said.

Gaza Public Security chief Maj. Gen. Abdel Razek Majaidie denounced the Israeli incursions as "escalated aggression." He told The Associated Press, "No one can impose or dictate his will on the Palestinian people."

A few hours earlier, Israeli warplanes and helicopters struck Palestinian police structures in Gaza and the West Bank, at the end of a full day of reprisals for a series of Palestinian attacks, including a surprise assault on a West Bank checkpoint in which six Israeli soldiers were killed on Wednesday. In all, 18 Palestinians were killed yesterday.

The roadblock assault appeared to mark a turning point in tactics for both sides. Palestinians said the assault reflected a new focus on targeting Israel's occupation in the West Bank and Gaza as opposed to attacks within Israel itself.

Militants would redirect attacks against settlers and soldiers in the West Bank and Gaza and scale down operations inside Israel, said several Palestinians close to the militant groups.

In response, Israeli officials said they would relate to the conflict as a guerrilla war. Up to now the Israelis have referred to the violence as terrorism, as opposed to guerrilla warfare, implying clashes between irregular forces and Israel's army.

Raanan Gissin, spokesman for Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, said tactics would include small, commando-style raids and more targeted killings of militants suspected of involvement in terrorism against Israelis, but Israel would not target Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, even though it blames him for failing to stop the violence.

Mr Sharon said that Israeli pressure on Arafat is meant to speed his replacement by other leaders. "The heavier the pressure will be, the shorter will be the time when we will perhaps have someone else to negotiate," Sharon told U.S. Jewish leaders, calling Arafat "irrelevant."



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February 2002


Magazine



ISRAELI WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION
(February 28, 2002)
The proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, precisely what the U.S. now insists is the main reason for its expansion of its "war on terrorism" far beyond the what happened and who did it of 9/11, didn't begin with the Arab and Muslim countries, it actually began with American's main ally, Israel.

Thousands of Israeli Soldiers Attack Refugee Camps
(February 28, 2002)
Under cover of diplomatic deception the Israelis, and the Americans, are preparing the way not for a Middle East peace, but rather for a major Middle East war that will attempt to recast the politics and alliances of the region for some time to come.

Israel Further Defies U.N. and Arab League
(February 28, 2002)
More Palestinians have died and been shot in the past weeks than in any other comparable period since the major wars in 1948 and 1967. Adjusted for the size of the U.S. population, about 100,000 Palestinians have been killed by the Israelis, with continual American assistance, just since Intifada II began!

Disappeared...in the Land of the Free
(February 27, 2002)
Since 11 September last year, up to 2,000 people in the U.S. have been detained without trial, or charge, or even legal rights. The fate of most is unknown. Andrew Gumbel investigates a scandal that shames the land of the free.

"Terrorism" For All Seasons and Reasons
(February 27, 2002)
While U.S. Attorney John Ashcroft is busy draping the statue of the Spirit of Justice, and while the White House is busy making excuses for getting rid of the Israeli-centric speechwriter, David Frum, the USG is using the "terrorism excuse" not only to get ready for "regime change" in Iraq but to keep "undesireables" from even speaking up through all kinds of new intimidation and repression techniques.

Diplomatic Deceptions Amidst War and Plunder Plans
(February 26, 2002)
There are so many things going on these days it's not easy to put all the pieces together. But among the things that should be causing people truly concerned about a just and viable Middle East much pause is this: ...

The Real George Bush Junior
(February 25, 2002)
The Bush White House is a little spooked, not quite sure what the public will make of all this For this "wholesome" President who has brought "dignity back to the White House", this video documentary about to debut could be the near-equivalent to Bill Clinton's public denials -- and all those senior officials he enlisted on his behalf -- followed by Monica Lewinsky's now-infamous semen-stained little "blue dress".

Blair and Bush to Plot War on Iraq at White House Summit
(February 25, 2002)
After Vice-President Cheney -- former Pentagon chief and former oil company executive -- makes an unprecedented visit to a dozen countries in the Middle East and central Asia that surround Iraq or that will be involved in one way or another in the coming "regime change" war, British PM Tony Blair and Pres George Bush II will hold a war council at the White House.

Pearl Was Israeli
(February 23, 2002)
We now learn that Daniel Pearl, the kidnapped and killed Wall Street Journal reporter, was an Israeli citizen. What more may we learn next?

Sharon Up Against The Wall - Time of Greatest Danger
(February 23, 2002)
Bulls and Tyrants are most dangerous when wounded. And this is now the case with Ariel Sharon and the powerful Israeli military/intelligence/occupation authorities he now commands.

Uncle Sam, Uncle Tom, and Uncle Ben
(February 22, 2002)
We all know who Uncle Sam is. And there are many who think of Colin Powell as Uncle Tom, thought admittedly he usually plays his role so well in public. The Israelis and Sharon have Shimon Peres. And the Americans and Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld have Colin Powell. But...Uncle Ben?

Israelis Proceed With Long-Term Plans
(February 22, 2002)
The current Israeli Prime Minister probably had plans to do just what he is now doing long ago. Since become PM he's just been manuevering to get things in place to do so. Even at the Wye River talks after he became Israeli Foreign Minister Sharon refused to even shake Yasser Arafat's hand.

Palestinians Under Occupation Fight Bravely While Those in Exile Fail Miserably
(February 21, 2002)
As courageous and in some ways remarkable as the Palestinian struggle is against an occupation army with high-tech weapons supplied by the world's only superpower, the Palestinians now face a potentially even more catastrophic fate.

"Where Is The World?" "A Future Not Worth Living"
(February 20, 2002)
The following eye-witness news comes from Dr. Mona El-Farra of the Union of Health Work Committees in Gaza.

More Strikes Ahead; Or More Justification For the New Crusades?
(February 20, 2002)
In a predawn raid Wednesday, Israeli army F-16 warplanes, Apache helicopters and naval boats attacked Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's beachside Gaza City headquarters, killing at least five Palestinians and wounding 10, Palestinian witnesses said.

The New Pentagon "Office of Strategic Influence" - Media Missiles Ahead
(February 19, 2002)
The big "defense" and "entertainment" corporations have bought up the major American media in the past few decades. Now the Pentagon and the State Department are diversifying into the news business in order to still further manipulate the foreign media and international public opinion.

Modern-Day Saudi Arabia - Crimes, Lashes, and Cover-ups
(February 18, 2002)
It's not a crime in Saudi Arabia to stash away hundreds of millions in totally unearned kick-back commissions in secret foreign bank accounts -- oops it's actually billions now with the total of all "Royal" foreign accounts now estimated to be approaching a trillion!

U.S. Truly Becoming the Star Wars Empire
(February 18, 2002)
The American President is in Asia, touring one past and potential future battlefield in Korea. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs is in India touring another. And the Vice-President is preparing for an unprecedented trip that will take him, along with senior military and CIA operatives, to nearly a dozen countries that just happen to surround Iraq.

Saudis To Propose Deal With Israel
(February 17, 2002)
are many ways to do things; and the Saudis have specialized in doing things in the wrong ways for the wrong reasons for a very long time now.

King Bandar of Saudi Arabia
(February 17, 2002)
Is it cowardice or ignorance that lies behind the rule of Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia -- the man effectively in charge of the oil and petrodollar "Kingdom" at this crucial historic time?

To Damn or to Applaud "Speaker Burg"
(February 15, 2002)
The very notion these days of simply "trusting" anyone associated with the Israeli political establishment or more specifically in this case Israel's Labor Party is pretty difficult -- there's such a long history of deceit and mistrust, and such good reasons.

WAR! U.S. and Israel Will Take On Both Iraq and Iran
(February 14, 2002)
Flushed with their "victory" against the primitive Muslim "Taliban" (students) of Afghanistan, the new name of the game for the new Washington -- run more than ever now by the oil companies, the Pentagon/CIA, and the military-industrial-banking complex -- is "regime change".

Arafat Screams "Israeli spy! CIA agent!" at Rajoub
(February 13, 2002)
Jibril Rajoub is not just an "Arafat aide". He's actually the main guy in charge of the West Bank for the "Palestinian Authority", groomed for some time now by both the Americans and the Israelis to possibly take over for Arafat and to help force his people into submission with his thuggish bruttish ways.

Musharraf Panders; Arafat Crippled
(February 13, 2002)
You'd have to be really crazy to buy a used car from Shimon Peres, or even to take it for free as in all likelihood the expensive repairs it would require would be more than it was worth. The idea of buying Peres' warmed over doubly-castrated "peace plan" and "Palestinian State" is even more foolish.

Arafat Slaps and Whips Out His Gun
(February 13, 2002)
The new Intifada, and then the events of 911, have spawned a variety of new press and Internet outlets of various kinds. The aim of many is to try to maintain some control of the information flow to certain constituencies, to "spin" the news in the direction of their sponsors, and to push their own analysts and "experts" onto radio and TV programs.

TV Arabs: Fouad, James, and Clovis - MER FlashBack
(February 12, 2002)
Why have things gotten so depressingly miserable when it comes to mass media coverage of the Middle East, especially in the United States? There is no single answer, no magic bullet solution. The answer is quite complex and multi-faceted in fact.

Kashmir - More Killed and Tortured than in Palestine
(February 12, 2002)
Just like in the once Holy Land, the politically cancerous situation in Kashmir has been left unresolved by the international community and has now become dangerously life-threatening.

911 Was Really 'Massive Blown Back'
(February 11, 2002)
"The course that Sharon, Bush and his British cheerleader, Tony Blair seem set upon will probably in the long run destabilize the Arab moderates, to the delight of the reactionary regimes in Syria, Iraq and Iran and the only true beneficiaries will once again be the extremists and the terrorists."

Standing Ovation for Mark Bruzonsky at University of Chicago
(February 9, 2002)
In Chicago the evening of 31 January 2002 Mark Bruzonsky, Publisher of MER, gave the keynote address at the University of Chicago Model United Nations. For the first time in the history of the keynote talks at this annual event the speaker received a prolonged standing ovation.

Jordanian King Takes Desperate Gamble To Retain Power
(February 8, 2002)
Trying to save the final Hashemite throne, the Royal regime in Jordan has decided to get even more in bed with the U.S. and Israel than ever before. It may work and the final Hashemite regime in power after enthronment by the British and the CIA in the last century may survive for the time being.

Washington Scene - Arab and Muslim "Client Orgs" Totally Lacking in Credibility
(February 8, 2002)
Ariel Sharon is on his fourth visit to Washington since both he and George Bush II took power. It is a War Council, coming at a time of unprecedented danger (Sharon clearly sees opportunity), coming at a time when he finally has Yasser Arafat, now the titular figurehead of the Palestinian people, under a newfangled form of town arrest in Ramallah with tanks pointing in his direction just a stone throw away.

"Transfer" the Palestinians Say Many Israelis
(February 7, 2002)
The Moledet party's media blitz for the mass expulsion of Palestinians is gaining momentum.

Triumphant Sharon
(February 7, 2002)
Ariel Sharon has arrived in Washington triumphant as many never believed could or would happen in their worst political nightmares. He may well be the single man who has had more influence on the Arab-Israeli conflict, and on the history of the entire region, than any other.

King Prostrates Jordan for More U.S. Money and "Support"
(February 6, 2002)
King Abdullah II, born of a British mother, Anglo-American educated including at the Jesuit Center of Georgetown University, and essentially enthroned with the help of the CIA (aided by Princeton grad daughter of the former head of Pan American Airlines, Lisa Halaby, reincarnated as Queen Noor), has been ever so helpful to the Americans as now since he was enthrowed as the former long-time Crown Prince was overthrown.

"I ACCUSE"
(February 6, 2002)


Lie To Them And They Will Come
(February 5, 2002)
For the holidaymaker in search of a sun-soaked Mediterranean beach away from the crowds, Gush Katif sounds ideal. Or so thinks Israel's hardline tourism minister, Binyamin Elon.

Killing and Refusing
(February 5, 2002)
There is a great deal of moral twisting and turning and cover-up going on among the Israelis; and oh so necessary however late in the day. This article in today's Ha'aretz gives the impression that torturing and shooting to death many Palestinians in cold-blood is something new or rare.

King Bandar of Arabia
(February 16, 2002)


Israel sets up Iran as next target for the US
(February 8, 2002)


"Americans Can Be A BloodThirsty Lot"
(February 4, 2002)





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