Santa Cruz Indymedia :
Santa Cruz Indymedia

Setting it straight

Becky, you are too much. You skewed my comments about the UN. I referenced a UN *SECURITY COUNCIL* RESOLUTION, on which exactly 2 Muslim nations currently sit; Syria, and Pakistan. Are you suggesting that the US, UK, France, Spain, Germany, Guinea, Russia, Mexico, Angola, Bulgaria, Cameroon, China, and Chile all hate Israel? You claim the UN is controlled by Muslim countries, can you cite some sources for us? It is actually the US, for the most part, which controls the UN. The US is Israel's strongest backer, and has routinely used its veto power to block UN security Council resolutions which are not favorable to Israel.

Becky wrote:
>How many Arab/Muslim nations have still pledged they are at war with Israel and intent on their destruction? --- 21

Are you aware of the Abdullah Plan? This was put forth by Saudi Arabia at the Arab League Summit in March 2002 and all 23 Arab nations agreed to it. The Abdullah Plan offered security guarantees to Israel, as well as, full diplomatic relations in exchange for the Israelis withdrawing from the West Bank and Gaza. Israel declined.,6512,675015,00.html

Becky wrote:
>Vinnie, if the deal offered the Palestinians was so bad in 2000, why didn't Arafat put up a counter-offer? Instead, he launched the intifada which, statistics bear out, is directed at killing innocent civilians-- a human rights abuse that you have largely been silent about. Fifteen Israelis were killed on March 4th in Haifa. Haifa is nowhere near the West Bank. Mostly college students were killed as they rode the bus to class. 50 people were injured. That means lost eyes, lost limbs, being crippled and paralyzed as well as PTSD. Not a word from you Vinny about this. Its really telling.

First, let me state that I am opposed to the killing of *ANY* civilian, be they Israeli, Palestinian, American, Iraqi, etc... However, the violence directed against Israeli civilians is *rightly* condemned in the mainstream media, while violence commited by the Israeli military against Palestinian civilians goes largely unreported, or if reported, painted as self-defense. True, the negotiatoions ended in 2000 without a treaty, but it was BARAK, not Arafat who ended negotiations at Taba in January 2001. Arafat did have a counter offer, one which was similar to the offer made by Israel at Taba. He accepted the Taba map as a basis for negotiations, but then Barak called off the talks, almost 4 months into the Intifada.

You claim Arafat "launched" the intifada, again I ask you to source this claim. There is absolutely no evidence to suggest that it was pre-planned. According to the Mitchell Report, commisioned by Bill Clinton and headed by former US Senator George Mitchell, "In their submissions, the parties traded allegations about the motivation and degree of control exercised by the other. However, we were provided with no persuasive evidence that the Sharon visit was anything other than an internal political act; neither were we provided with persuasive evidence that the PA planned the uprising." AND "Accordingly, we have no basis on which to conclude that there was a deliberate plan by the PA to initiate a campaign of violence at the first opportunity; or to conclude that there was a deliberate plan by the GOI to respond with lethal force." AND "The Sharon visit did not cause the "Al-Aqsa Intifada." But it was poorly timed and the provocative effect should have been foreseen; indeed it was foreseen by those who urged that the visit be prohibited. More significant were the events that followed: the decision of the Israeli police on September 29 to use lethal means against the Palestinian demonstrators; and the subsequent failure, as noted above, of either party to exercise restraint."

It was more likely that the use of lethal force against demonstrators at the Temple Mount by Sharon and 1,000 Israeli troops was what sparked the spontaneous uprising known as the Al Aqsa Intifada.

I am no fan of Arafat, but you often assert that he is responsible for suicide bombings and other attacks. There is a wing of the PA called the Fatah Movement, that has connections to the Al Aqsa Martyr's Brigade, but there is no evidence of direct ties between Arafat and the suicide bombers. There may possibly be a wink and a nod approach by Arafat, but you constantly present this as a confirmed fact. It is not. Arafat is certainly corrupt, but that doesn't excuse violence by the Israeli military against children, women, and men in the OCCUPIED territories who are only trying to live a meager existence and have nothing to do with terrorism. And by the way, keffiyahs are worn all across the Middle East. The wearing of keffiyahs is a gesture of solidarity with the Palestinian people, not Arafat, and not terrorists.

Becky wrote:
>But Israel does have rule of law, and courts who regularly rule on IDF acts and policies.

Now, if only the Palestinians had a STATE, they too could have courts in which to prosecute criminals.


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