MoveOn.org Backs Palestinians against Israel
Supports Palestinian Right of Return, Blames Israel for Breaking Off Peace Talks, Quotes Electronic Intifada
by Bill Levinson
We came across this through Clifford Lazar’s site. It seems that http://www.moveon.org/moveonbulletin/bulletin19.html (MoveOn.org official bulletin by Noah Winer) turned out to be so embarrasing to MoveOn.org that MoveOn.org took it down. Thanks to web.archive.org, however, we can present our readers with highlights of MoveOn.org’s official position (they can’t blame this one on the Action Forum) about the Palestinians and Israel.
Friday, June 20, 2003
Noah T. Winer, Editor
noah.winer “at” moveon.org
Subscribe online at:
NOTE: In response to feedback about this bulletin, MoveOn.org would like to clarify that The MoveOn Bulletin is a free weekly collection of links, which represent a broad range of views on important political issues. These links aren’t meant to represent the position of MoveOn.org.
We beg to differ. Noah T. Winer is the editor of this bulletin and, as an official representative of MoveOn.org, he is entirely responsible for the content of the page. By posting the indicated links in the context of advocacy as opposed to condemnation, he, and therefore MoveOn.org, are indeed endorsing the indicated positions. In addition, it already seems that MoveOn.org was getting heat over this from pro-Israel people, and the above paragraph shows exactly why MoveOn.org felt compelled to take the bulletin offline. After recovering the material from archive.org, we are hardly surprised. It begins by blaming Israel for breaking off the peace talks:
INTRODUCTION: WHERE DOES THE ROAD MAP LEAD?
In July, 2000 Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak broke off talks with Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat at the Camp David summit hosted by U.S. President Bill Clinton. That September, Ariel Sharon, chairman of the Likud party, made a provocative visit to the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Control over this holy site for both Muslims and Jews is contested by Palestinians and Israelis. The visit implied Israeli sovereignty over all Jerusalem, the eastern portion of which is considered occupied territory by the international community. So began the second intifada, or Palestinian uprising.
As in the first intifada in the late 1980s, the demand is for an end to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem — which has persisted since 1967 — and acknowledgment of the Palestinian refugees right to return to the villages from which they were forced to leave during the 1948 war that established the State of Israel. In the 33 months since, human death has saturated the region: 816 Israelis and 2,384 Palestinians have been killed.
Early in his presidency, George W. Bush avoided substantial involvement in the Israel-Palestine conflict. After September 11, 2001 a number of factors — escalating violence in the area and Israel’s attempt to link September 11th with Palestinian suicide bombings, pressure from the Israel lobby and the Christian Right, and the desire for an increasing U.S. influence in the oil-rich Middle East — prompted Bush to take an active, personal role in promoting an agreement.
That proposed agreement is the Road Map. While the initiative has been praised for calling for an end to violence and for endorsing the formation a Palestinian state, the Road Map provides no mechanism for actually ending the violence, leaves uncertain the borders of the proposed state, and postpones determining the status of the 380,000 Israeli settlers and four million Palestinian refugees. With matters so central to the resolution of the conflict left to be decided at a future date or ignored entirely, the Road Map is still far from being a bona fide peace proposal.
True and lasting peace begins with justice for all the people of the region. That the Road Map will lead in that direction is not at all evident.
From the only joint Palestinian-Israeli public policy think-tank in the world:
“The Road Map is severely lacking in detail. It mentions that the sides will have to negotiate the permanent status issues such as borders, Jerusalem, settlements, refugees, etc. but makes almost no mention of these issues throughout the process in the earlier phases.”
From the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz:
“According to the facts on the ground, the [Palestinian] ’state’ will apparently be comprised of three enclaves cut off from one another inside the West Bank — in addition to the Gazan enclave, and with no guarantee the settlements inside the enclave will be dismantled. The ’separation fence’ has been described as ‘temporary,’ but it is a wall with hefty fortifications taking up a lot of land, and it has already scarred the Tul Karm-Qalqiliyah area, the most prosperous Palestinian farmland, thus sabotaging one of the cornerstones of Palestinian economic security.”
From The Nation:
“For in failing to focus on the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, about to enter its 37th year, and on Israeli settlements, which underpin that occupation, the Road Map misses an opportunity to end this conflict. Instead, it concentrates on Palestinian violence and how to combat it — as if it came out of nowhere, and as if, were it to be halted, the situation of occupation and settlement would be normal.”
From the Nation: “Blame the Jooooooooooooooz.”
FACTS ON THE GROUND: TERRORISM
Human Rights Watch condemns suicide bombing attacks against Israeli civilians as war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Gush Shalom, an Israeli peace group, on the Rantisi assassination attempt.
An Israeli parliament member and 25 former Israeli generals have raised questions about the timing of Sharon’s assassination attempt.
Senator Dick Lugar (R-Indiana), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has raised the possibility of U.S. military intervention “to root out the terrorism that is at the heart of the problem.”
Quoting Gush Shalom, are we? Let’s digress a bit and show what Gush Shalom supports:
Aims of Gush Shalom
The primary aim of Gush Shalom is to influence Israeli public opinion and lead it towards peace and conciliation with the Palestinian people, based on the following principles:
Putting an end to the occupation,
Accepting the right of the Palestinian people to establish an independent and sovereign State of Palestine in all the territories occupied by Israel in 1967,
...Establishing Jerusalem as the capital of the two states, with East Jerusalem (including the Haram al-Sharif) serving as the capital of Palestine and West Jerusalem (including the Western Wall) serving as the capital of Israel. T
…Recognizing in principle the Right of Return of the Palestinian refugees, allowing each refugee to choose freely between compensation and repatriation to Palestine and Israel, and fixing by mutual agreement the number of refugees who will be able to return to Israel in annual quotas, without undermining the foundations of Israel.
The above is the position of the source that MoveOn.org is promoting, and that of Electronic Intifada (see below) is even worse. Now we return to MoveOn.org’s official bulletin by Noah T. Winer.
FACTS ON THE GROUND: OUTPOSTS AND SETTLEMENTS
From the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz:
“Don’t make do with the outposts. There are more than 100 of them, and about 60 went up in Sharon’s days. If he takes down 7-10 he hasn’t done a thing. Many were put up just to pull them out, like a goat from a crowded corral.”
From The Nation:
“A recent poll by Israel’s Jaffee Institute for Strategic Studies shows that 56 percent of Israelis — up from 48 percent last year — would ’support a unilateral withdrawal from the territories in the context of a peace accord, even if that meant ceding all settlements.’ Here is the signpost for a realistic road map that could be charted by the Bush Administration.”
This is the “realistic road map” that MoveOn.org seems to support.
FACTS ON THE GROUND: THE SEPARATION WALL
Gush Shalom reports that the separation wall Israel is constructing in the West Bank is not at all along the internationally recognized 1967 “green line” border. The wall, officially being built for security, annexes illegal settlements into Israel.
A troubling report on the 25-foot tall separation wall from Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronot describes how the system of barbed concrete walls and armed watchtowers will imprison hundreds of thousands of Palestinians without access to their agricultural lands.
The Palestinian Society for the Protection of Human Rights and the Environment on legal efforts to block the wall.
Res ipsa loquitur, the thing speaks for itself. In the above MoveOn.org bulletin, edited by Noah T. Winer, MoveOn.org endorses the following positions:
(1) Israel is responsible for breaking off the peace talks
(2) The “occupation” is responsible for the Palestinians’ violent behavioral choices
(3) The security wall is bad and “imprisons” Palestinians
(4) Israel should cede the settlements unilaterally
(5) The Palestinians have a “right of return”
(6) MoveOn.org promotes positions taken by Gush Shalom and the Electronic Intifada (the same organization that accused Israel of “murdering” Rachel Corrie)
This is hardly inconsistent with Mr. Winer’s bulletin that accuses “Zionists” of divided loyalties–a smear also quite common on MoveOn’s disgraced Action Forum–while citing a known anti-Semitic source (Christison).
Nearly all PNAC participants, whether Jewish or Christian, are right-wing Zionists who support Ariel Sharon’s Likud Party. In 1996, Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, and others drafted a paper for incoming Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urging him to make “a clean break” from the Oslo peace process preferring “peace through strength,” including the ouster of Saddam Hussein.
This essay describes many of the familiar neo-conservatives as having “dual loyalties,” making policy decisions in the interests of the State of Israel as much as the United States.
Res ipsa loquitur, the thing speaks for itself.