Put not your trust in princes . . . -- Psalm 146:3
The people of Judah were once warned by a foe that it is folly to lean on a staff made of reeds that will break (Isaiah 36:6). Today's equivalent of princes are the governments and international organizations that make agreements, promises and guarantees to or about Israel, woven of reeds. Now, the princes are dictating to Israel the necessity of getting negotiations with the PLO "back on track" – a track woven of reeds.
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1917 – The Balfour Declaration, issued by the government of Great Britain, pronounced that: His Majesty's Government looks with favor on the establishment of a Jewish National Home in Palestine, to be open to close Jewish Settlement.
1922 – The League of Nations approves the terms of the Balfour Declaration and bestows on Great Britain a Mandate for temporary administration of Palestine, in which it is to carry out the terms of the Declaration and the Mandate.
In 1922, the Emir Abdullah, a protege of the British Government, is driven out of the Hejaz in Arabia. To provide for him, Great Britain takes all of Mandate Palestine east of the Jordan River and gives it to him as the Emirate of Trans-Jordan – later to be the Kingdom of Jordan. It thereby cuts away a full 75 percent of the land of the promised Jewish National Home, and Jews are banned there.
Thereafter, the British Mandatory Government progressively bans Jews from more and more of the remaining territory of Mandate Palestine. Jews are forbidden to live in areas that were designated for close Jewish settlement. Immigration of Jews into the Jewish National Home is progressively cut down, and after 1939 it is virtually halted. The Jews are abandoned to the Nazi Europe, while Arabs from other countries are permitted to enter Palestine illegally and settle the lands first promised to and then forbidden to the Jews.
1945 The United Nations confirms the terms of the League of Nations Mandate.
1947 The U.N. General Assembly passes a resolution approving the establishment of a Jewish State in 17 percent of Mandate Palestine. The member states of the Arab League inform the United Nations that it intends to prevent the establishment of a Jewish State by war and slaughter.
1948 The British Government withdraws from Palestine. Israel declares the restoration of its ancient sovereignty. It is immediately attacked by the military forces of six Arab states, including the Jordan Legion that is trained and led by British officers.
Jewish Jerusalem is under siege by the Jordan Legion, commanded by British officers. The civilian population is under constant bombardment and shelling, cut off from food, water and medicine. The United Nations, that had declared itself a guardian of the Holy City, votes to abandon them to their fate. .
1948-1949 A series of Israel-Arab ceasefires and truces become intervals for the influx of men and weapons to aid the Arab forces, while there is an embargo on weapons to Israel.
In the last years of the Mandate, the British had seized Holocaust survivors trying to reach the Jewish National Home and imprisoned them in camps on Cyprus. Israel now bestows citizenship on them, but the British refuse to release them from the Cyprus prison camps.
1949 The Arab states that attacked Israel and failed to destroy it, now negotiate Armistice Agreements.
JORDAN had seized and now holds control over East Jerusalem, including Temple Mount and the Western Wall, and territories of historic Judea and Samaria that it renames "the West Bank".
In the terms of the Agreement, Jordan is pledged to permit Jewish access to the Western Wall and other Holy Places. From 1949 until the end of its hold in 1967, it forbids any access at all, not only to Israelis but also to all Jews of any nationality.
Between 1948 and 1967, the government of Jordan destroys and/or desecrates the Jewish holy places and historic sites. It turns ancient synagogues into stables. It tears up ancient tombstones from the Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives and used them to pave latrines.
None of this attracts any attention from the international community, the United Nations, or the Vatican.
Throughout the war, Israel had held on to Mount Scopus in Jerusalem. Ob the Mount are the campus of The Hebrew University, that houses the National Library, and Hadassah Hospital, the foremost medical institution in the Middle East, that has always treated all patients alike, Jews or Christians or Muslim. The 1949 Armistice lines left Mount Scopus isolated and surrounded by the Jordanians. It is set down in the Agreement that Jordan will allow Israel access to Mount Scopus and its cultural and medical institutions there. Jordan never fulfills this commitment. Israel builds another University campus and another hospital in other parts of Jerusalem, while the treasures of the Library are held hostage.
From 1949 through 1967, there are relentless terrorist attacks on Israel by "fedayeen" based in Jordan, and free of any restraint by the Jordanian authorities. The United Nations and individual members thereof never criticize this terrorism but shrilly condemn any Israeli reaction to it.
EGYPT is left in control of the Sinai Peninsula. (The Sinai was not Egyptian territory. It was part of the British Mandate, and the British left the administration of it to Egypt.) When the British left Egypt, the Sinai was left to Egyptian administration.) It is also left in control of the Gaza Strip, that it seized by force, and of the islands it had seized flanking the Straits of Tiran that are the entrance to the Gulf of Aqaba.
The Constantinople Convention on Freedom of the Seas requires that the Suez Canal be open to all civilian ships and cargoes of all nations, but Egypt illegally bans Israeli ships, and all cargoes to and from Israel on ships under any flag. When Israel sends a small ship called the "Bat Galim" to test this illegal ban, Egypt seizes the ship and the civilian crew.
It uses its hold on the Straits of Tiran to prevent access to Israel's port of Elath, banning Israeli ships and cargoes to and from Israel.
In Gaza, Egypt maintains military bases that regularly fire across the lines at Israeli civilian targets. Fedayeen terrorist attacks are also launched from Gaza.
SYRIA is left in control of the Golan Heights, overlooking the Galilee of Israel. From 1948 through 1967, it uses this control of the high ground to shell Israeli homes and farms in the valleys below. It tries to deny Israel use of its own water resources. Israeli civilians are repeatedly attacked, wounded, killed, or kidnapped and imprisoned.
1950 The United States, Great Britain and France issue the Tripartite Declaration in regard to Israel and the Arab states. It says:
The three governments, should they find that any of these states was preparing to violate frontiers or armistice lines, would, consistently with their obligations as members of the United Nations, immediately take action, both within and outside the United Nations, to prevent such violation.
[ See further, 1967 below]
1951 The United Nations Security Council passes a resolution calling on Egypt to cease its illegal blockade of the Suez Canal. Egypt ignores this resolution. No further action is taken.
This resolution is historic in one sense: It is the first, last and only time that an organ of the United Nations disapproves of any act of aggression by an Arab state against Israel, and calls upon said Arab state to desist – albeit futilely.
Otherwise, 53 years of Arab wars of aggression, terrorism, incitement to violence, hijackings, illegal blockades and boycotts and virulent anti-Semitic propaganda have not moved the United Nations to a word of disapprobation. Unilateral condemnation of Israel is a sport of which it never wearies.
1956 The Gaza Strip has for years been a base for Egyptian military and terrorist attacks against Israel. Now, Egypt's President Nasser is openly preparing a military assault for the destruction of Israel. He also seizes the Suez Canal from the owners and declares it Egyptian property. Great Britain, France and Israel join in military action against Nasser. Great Britain and France take the Suez Canal. Israel takes the Sinai and the Gaza Strip.
United States Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, acting through President Dwight D. Eisenhower, forces Great Britain, France and Israel to retreat. He refuses Israel's demand that Nasser be required to renounce belligerency against Israel.
President Eisenhower goes on U.S. television and delivers a speech calling for international sanctions against Israel if it does not obey the Dulles dictation. He does promise that if Egypt re-imposes the illegal anti-Israel blockade, there should be "firm action by the society of nations".
Israel withdraws from Sinai and Gaza on assurances that U.N. troops will be stationed there to keep the peace, and Egyptian troops will not re-enter Gaza. Within a few hours of the Israeli withdrawal, Egyptian troops do re-enter Gaza, and it again becomes a base for terrorism.
Egypt also re-imposes the illegal anti-Israel blockade of the Suez Canal. When President Eisenhower is asked about this, he says that he cannot think of anything to do about it.
1967 Egypt orders the U.N. force out of the Sinai Peninsula and the Gaza Strip. Secretary-General U Thant complies instantly.
Egypt re-imposes the blockade of Israeli shipping and cargoes through the Straits of Tiran. The U.S. government acknowledges there was a guarantee against this in 1957, but cannot remember where it is filed.
Egypt, Syria and Jordan and the recently established Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) declare the imminent launching of a war for the final destruction of Israel and annihilation of the Jews. Their mighty forces are paraded on television. Their spokesmen at the United Nations trumpet their resolve on war and genocide. Nobody at the United Nations suggests that they refrain.
Great Britain and France declare that they are no longer bound by the Tripartite Declaration that they issued and signed in 1950 (see above). The day the fighting starts, the U.S. State Department declares itself "Neutral in thought, word and deed".
After a Six-Day War of self-defense, Israel is again in possession of the Sinai Peninsula and the Gaza Strip, and also of the Golan Heights.
It now is also in possession of Judea and Samaria and East Jerusalem – portions of the Mandate Jewish National Home that had been forcibly seized by Jordan in 1948. This portion soon emerges from the propaganda mill transmogrified into "occupied Palestinian territory", a newly-invented place that has never existed.
1969-1971 Egypt terminates the 1967 Ceasefire Agreement and launches a bloody War of Attrition along the Suez Canal, causing heavy casualties. Soviet Union military personnel train Egyptian forces for another war against Israel. They build a model of the Suez Canal in the desert, for practice crossings.
The Soviet Union installs missile launchers along the Suez Canal, to give cover to Egyptian forces when they are ready to start the next war. The Israeli air force takes out the missile launchers. The Russians continue to install them, and Israel continues to take them out.
United States Secretary of State William Rogers demands that Israel cease these strikes, and guarantees that no more missile launchers will be installed. Israel agrees. The Russians and Egyptians keep on installing the missile launchers without a break of a single day.
Israel supplies the U.S. State Department with aerial photographs showing the ongoing installation of the banned missile-launchers. The State Department is miffed that Israel exposes the futility of its guarantee. Nothing is done to stop the installation of more missile launchers. Without them, Egypt could not have launched the Yom Kippur War, or would have lost it much sooner than it did.
1973 Egypt and Syria attack Israel during the observance of the holy day of Yom Kippur. The announced goal is, as usual, the destruction of Israel and the annihilation of the Jews.
Early in the war, The Security Council meets and decides not to meet again until it knows which side is winning. When it decides that Israel is winning, it imposes a ceasefire.
1974 Archbishop and Apostolic Vicar Hilarion Capucci is found to be using his official car to run guns and other weapons to the PLO, to be used in terrorist attacks on Jewish civilians. The Archbishop is arrested, tried, convicted and sentenced to prison.
The Vatican expresses distress -- not that an Archbishop should be a party to terrorism but that he should be sent to prison for it. The Vatican promises that if Israel releases the Archbishop, he will be sent to a monastery in South America and never permitted to return to the Middle East or be involved in Middle Eastern affairs. Israel accepts this promise, and releases Capucci.
Within a short time, the Vatican breaks its promise to Israel and permits Capucci to return to the Middle East and resume his activities on behalf of the PLO. When Israel points out this breach of promise, a Vatican spokesman says, "We cannot prevent him from loving the Palestinian people".
Capucci later shows up in Teheran, as an accomplice to the imprisonment of U.S. diplomats.
1978 Israel and Egypt sign a peace treaty. Israel turns over the entire Sinai Peninsula to Egypt, that now for the first time becomes Egyptian territory. Egypt finally ends it illegal blockade of the Suez Canal.
Egypt never permits the development of normal relations of nations at peace. The government-controlled news media continue to pour out hatred and slanders and libels against Israel and all Jews. On two occasions, Egyptian military men massacre Israeli civilian tourists. President Mubarak dismisses the incidents as insignificant.
The government of Egypt states that it will support any other Arab state or entity against Israel, regardless of the Peace Treaty. From time to time it threatens to abrogate the Peace Treaty, even if Israel has not violated any of the terms.
1994 The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan signs a peace treaty with Israel. It also from time to time threatens to abrogate the Peace Treaty, even if Israel has not violated any of its terms.
2000 Hezbollah terrorists, who control Southern Lebanon, cross the border and kidnap three Israeli soldiers. After nine months, nothing has been learned of their fate.
2001 For nine months, the United Nations falsely denies that its peacekeeping forces in Lebanon took a film of the Hezbollah kidnappers and the vehicles they used. They finally admit that it has the film. It refuses to let Israel have a copy of the film, and offers only to allow Israelis to view a showing of the film after the identities of the terrorist-kidnappers are disguised.
The United Nations argues that to allow Israel to have information about the kidnappers would violate U.N. neutrality. It does not cite which clause in the United Nations Charter requires neutrality between terrorists and the victims of terrorism.
2001 The European Union, whose collective devotion to human rights and humanitarian concerns compels it to embrace most warmly the arch-terrorists and tyrants of the PLO, has made a sport of seeing which member can display the most contempt for Israel.
In the name of supporting humanitarian causes, the EU finances those political and quasi-political fringe groups within Israeli society that it believes will help forward its own chosen program for Israel.
A letter to the President of the European Union from members of the Israeli Knesset and cabinet, defines this practice as:
. . . providing financial support to Israeli groups/institutions/organizations that are all partisan and political in nature. This is a blatant attempt at interfering in the internal affairs of the State of Israel. . . . . The European Union represents democratic states. Its democratic character is an inherent part of its nature. As such, it should refrain from any attempt to influence the internal democratic process of another democratic state. We, the undersigned members of the Israeli Knesset, would like to express our shock and outrage at this attempt at achieving political purposes by extending financial support to Israeli citizens and groups.
As the elected representatives of a democratic, free society, we strongly oppose such attempts at influencing our state's domestic politics and the policies of our government, by financial means. . . . . Considering that the European Union is a democratic institution, that represents free and democratic nations, we are certain that it will act out of similar respect for the sovereignty and freedom of the State of Israel.
To be "certain" that Europe will indeed respect the sovereignty of Israel is another example of leaning on broken reeds.
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Now, the chosen purpose of the world's princes is to get the Israel-PLO negotiations "back on track".
Past negotiations have indeed brought forth agreements -- in which Israel makes unilateral concessions to the PLO. Of course, the PLO does commit itself on paper to certain commitments and obligations of its own:
Oslo Accords: PLO fulfillment of its commitments: 0
Oslo II Accords: PLO fulfillment of its commitments: 0
Hebron Agreement: PLO fulfillment of its commitments: 0
Wye Plantation Agreement: PLO fulfillment of its commitments: 0
Sharm el-Sheik Agreement: PLO fulfillment of its commitments: 0
Tenet Ceasefire Agreement: PLO fulfillment of its commitments: 0
All subsequent ceasefires: PLO fulfillment of its commitments: 0
The princes of the broken reeds do not find this record any impediment to their conviction that if only Israel and the PLO negotiate some more . . . if only Israel can be forced to give away some more . . . . After all, it will get promises and guarantees . . .
Addendum 2001 -- after the original publication of this issue:
In 1991, during the administration of President George H. W. Bush, the United States, sponsors the Madrid Conference at which Israel is invited to meet with Jordan and other Arab States to negotiate peace. In a letter to the Government of Israel, the Government of the United States pledges:
"In accordance with the United States traditional policy, we do not support the creation of an independent Palestintian state. [. . . .] Moreover, it is not the United States' aim to bring the PLO into the process or to make Israel enter a dialogue or negotiations with the PLO."
2001, President George W. Bush announces that it is a "long-standing vision"
of U.S. policy to create a Palestinian State west of the Jordan River. Such
a state would, of course, be under the rule of the PLO. Israel must recognize
the PLO state and surrender the heart of its own homeland to it.