Dr. Ismail Zayid writes a letter
"unedited, unexpurgated and to the point"



Canadian Foreign Policy

To The Hon. Pierre Pettigrew
Subject: Canada in the UN. 2 December 2004

To the Globe & Mail
Subject: It is the occupation ... 2 December 2004

To the Globe & Mail
Subject: It is the illegal occupation ... 23 November 2004

To Paul Martin, Prime Minister of Canada
"Nothing will shake Canada's commitment to Israel"? 3 November 2004

Historical Revisionism

To the Financial Times, London
Subject: Falsehoods galore... 23 November 2004

To the Halifax Herald:
Subject: The killing of innocent Israeli and Palestinian civilians is unacceptable. 21 November 2004

To the Halifax Herald:
Subject: Intifada was provoked by Sharon, not Arafat. 13 November 2004

To the Globe & Mail
Subject: "A catalogue of misrepresentations and falsehoods". Who introduced terrorism into the Middle East? 12 November 2004

To CBC Radio 'Main Street'
Program "disputes" birthplace of Dr. Ismail Zayid. 12 November 2004

To The Halifax Herald

Subject: Israel's apologists -- Israeli Expansionism is Longstanding. (Two letters) 6 November 2004 and 27 October 2004

[Top]

Canadian "support for Israel" and the "twisted logic" of the Globe and Mail

To The Hon. Pierre Pettigrew
Subject: Canada in the UN

Canada Palestine Association,
P.O. Box 1085,
Halifax, NS, B3J 2X1.

2 December 2004

The Hon. Mr. Pierre Pettigrew, MP.
Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Dear Mr. Pettigrew:

We read with astonishment the reported statement of Ambassador Allan Rock, at the United Nations, on Nov. 30, 2004, "delivering a scathing denunciation of the General Assembly's resolutions isolating and attacking Israel", as reported in The Globe & Mail, Dec. 1.

Ambassador Rock affirms Canada's "support for Israel, especially its right to live in peace with its neighbours within secure boundaries ... and Canada recognizes Israel right to assure its own security." Is Ambassador Rock aware that Israel, throughout its history, has been conducting wars of aggression against its neighbours including wars in 1956, 1967, 1978 and 1982, against Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon? Is Ambassador Rock aware that Israel stands today in illegal occupation of Palestinian territory, the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip, and Syrian territory, the Golan Heights, for 37 years, in defiance of international law and repeated Security Council resolutions? During this illegal oppressive occupation, Israel has been committing atrocities, including detention of thousands without charge or trial, torture, extra-judicial assassination, denial of health care, daily humiliation, demolition of thousands of homes, including entire villages, and expropriation of property for the creation of illegal Jewish colonies [settlements], and other forms of collective punishment. All these actions are in violation of virtually every article of the Fourth Geneva Convention, actions that are defined by international law as war crimes.

The killing of innocent Israeli civilians, in suicide bombing, by desperate individuals under oppressive occupation, is abhorent, as is the almost daily killing of Palestinians by the missile attacks and bombing by Israeli F16's and Apaches, destroying homes and creating homelessness for thousands. If Israel truly cares for the security of its citizens, all it has to do is to comply with international law and terminate completely its illegal occupation.

It was our understanding that Canada stands for international legitimacy and upholding the UN Charter. If this position still stands, Canada's UN ambassador and government should be calling on the UN to enforce its numerous resolutions calling on Israel to terminate its illegal occupation of Palestinian and Syrian territory and comply with international law and the Fourth Geneva Convention. It is noteworthy to remind our government that in accordacnce with Article One of the Fourth Geneva Convention and as a High Contracting Party to the convention, Canada should take action to see that Israel is made to comply with the Convention.

Yours sincerely.

Ismail Zayid, MD.
President, Canada Palestine Association

Cc: pm@pm.gc.ca;
duceppe.g@parl.gc.ca>M.Gille Duceppe;
harper.s@parl.gc.ca
jack@fed.ndp.ca>Mr. Jack Layton
alexa@hfx.eastlink.ca>Alexa McDonough

[Top]

To the Globe & Mail
Subject: It is the occupation ...

2 December 2004

The Editor,
The Globe & Mail.

Dear Editor;

In your editorial "Rock's UN challenge" December 2, you go at length providing pretexts for Canada's increasing support for Israel at the UN, and criticism of UN resolutions which condemn Israeli oppresive practices against the Palestinians. These practices are in violation of virtually every article of the Fourth Geneva Convention, and hence are tantamount to war crimes, as defined by international law.

Perhaps it is worth reminding you and our government that Israel's illegal occupation of Palestinian and Syrian territories stands, for the last 37 years, in defiance of international law and repeated Security Council resolutions. It is the responsibility of our government and media to stand with the requirement of all states, including Israel, to comply with international law.

Yours sincerely,
Ismail Zayid

[Top]

Subject: It is the illegal occupation ...

23 November 2004

The Editor,
The Globe & Mail

Dear Editor;

In your editorial ["A Mideast opening" Nov. 23] you use the twisted logic of blaming Arafat for the failure for peace efforts in the Palestine/Israel conflict. The cause of violence and continuing conflict is Israeli defiance of international law and repeated Security Council resolutions and refusal to terminate its illegal occupation of Palestinian territory, that has been allowed to stand for 37 years, accompanied with violation of virtually every article of the Fourth Geneva Convention, tantamount to war crimes.

You give credit to Sharon for "Israel's biggest territorial concession to the Palestinians." Since when has withdrawal from a tiny portion of illegally occupied territory deemed a concession?

Sincerely,
Ismail Zayid, MD.

[Top]

To Paul Martin, Prime Minister of Canada
Subject: "Nothing will shake Canada's commitment to Israel"?!

Canada Palestine Association,
P.O.Box, 1085,
Halifax, NS. B3J 2X1

3 November 2004

The Right. Hon. Mr Paul Martin, MP.
The Prime Minister,
Ottawa.

Dear Mr. Martin:

We are writing to express our concern and astonishment at your statement before the Canada Jewish Advocacy group. You state: "Nothing will shake Canada's commitment to Israel." Do we understand you correctly that nothing Israel does or atrocities it commits will shake Canada's commitment to Israel?

The state of Israel stands in illegal occupation of Palestinian and Syrian territories for 37 years, in defiance of international law and repeated Security Council resolutions. Its practices during this occupation include: detention without charge or trial, torture, extra-judicial assassination and murder, daily humiliation of the Palestinian people, denial of health care, demolition of thousands of homes and expropriation of land for the creation of illegal settlements. All these actions are in violation of virtually every article of the Fourth Geneva Convention. These acts are defined by international law as war crimes. These atrocities and war crimes have been repeatedly condemned by UN Human Rights Commission, Amnesty International, International Commission of Jurists, Human Rights Watch and Israeli human rights groups including B'Tselem, and Israeli League for Human and Civil Rights.

It is our understanding that our country, Canada, is committed to upholding the UN Charter, international law and human rights. We are pleased to hear that you are concerned about the reported violations of human rights in Darfur in Sudan, and that you plan to explore that area.

Is your concern for human rights so selective that it does not extend to the Palestinian people and that Israeli violations of human rights and international law are acceptable? Will you be also exploring the occupied Palestinian territories to see with your own eyes the systematic demolition of thousands of homes, by Israeli bombers, in refugee camps and the suffering to which Palestinian refugees are daily subjected, after having been systematically ethnically cleansed from their homeland 56 years ago?

Finally, Sir, do we still understand that nothing will change Canada's commitment to Israel? And how long must Israel remain above international law? It is our hope that your compassion and concern for human rights will extend also to the Palestinian people.

Yours sincerely,
Ismail Zayid, MD.
President, Canada Palestine Association

[Top]

To the Financial Times, London
Subject: Falsehoods galore...

23 November 2004

Dear Editor:

The letter by Zalman Shoval is laden with falsehoods, but I will answer only his claim that "Israel was a victim of aggression in 1967." The June 1967 war was planned and orchestrated by Israel, as affirmed in the statements made by Israel's own leaders, at the time:

Yitzhak Rabin, chief of staff of the Israeli army at the time, stated: "I do not think Nasser wanted war. The two divisions he sent to the Sinai would not have been sufficient to launch an offensive war. He knew it and we knew it." [Le Monde, 28 February 1968].

Prime Minister Levi Eshkol stated: "The Egyptian layout in the Sinai and the general military build up there testified to a military defensive Egyptian set-up, south of Israel" [Israeli daily Yediot Ahronot, 18 October 1967].

Modechai Bentov, an Israeli cabinet minister at the time, stated: "All this story about the danger of extermination [of Israel in June 1967] has been a complete invention and has been blown up a posteriori to justify the annexation of Arab territory" [Al Hamishmar, 14 April 1972, and quoted in Le Monde, 3 June 1972].

Menachem Begin, a cabinet minister in June 1967, stated, while prime minister, addressing Israel's National Defence College, on 8 August 1982:

"In June 1967, we again had a choice. The Egyptian army concentrations in the Sinai did not prove Nasser was really about to attack us. We must be honest with our selves. We decided to attack him" [The New York Times, 21 August 1982].

As to "Syrian provocative attacks", let us let Moshe Dayan, Israel's Minister of Defence at the time, tell us the facts as reported by Serge Schmemann [The New York Times, 11 May 1997]:

"He [Moshe Dayan] said he regretted not having stuck to his initial opposition to storming the Golan Heights. There really was no pressing reason to do so, because many of the firefights with the Syrians were deliberately provoked by Israel, and the kibbutz residents who pressed the Government to take the Golan Heights did so less for security than for the farmland...... I know how at least 80% of the clashes were started. We would send a tractor to plow some area, in the demilitarized area, and knew in advance that the Syrians would start to shoot. If they didn't shoot, we would tell the tractor to advance further, until in the end the Syrians would get annoyed and shoot. and then we would use artillery and later the air force also, and that is how it was".

Perhaps it behoves Mr. Shoval, and other Israeli apologists, to take note of Mr. Begin's admonition and be honest with themselves.

Yours sincerely,
Ismail Zayid, MD.

[Top]

To the Halifax Herald:
Subject: The killing of innocent Israeli and Palestinian civilians is unacceptable

21 November 2004

The Editor,
The Halifax Herald.

Dear Editor:

In your editorial ["The next war" 21 November 2004 -- See Appendix]*, you regurgitate the diatribe of Mr. Michael Oren [Israeli 'historian' ....], with no reference to historic facts or context. You do this without reference to a Palestinian point of view, as an attempt of balance.

The Palestinian 'terrorists', you refer to, are people who have been subjected to an illegal occupation, in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip, that has been allowed to stand, for 37 years, in defiance of international law and repeated Security Council reolutions. Under this occupation, the Palestinians are being subjected to detention without charge or trial, torture, extra-judicial assassination, daily humilition, denial of health care, demolition of thousands of their homes, expropriation of their land for the creation of illegal Jewish colonies 'settlements', and collective punishments, all in violation of virtually every article of the Fourth Geneva Convention. These practices are war crimes, and state terrorism, as defined by international law.

The UN Charter recognizes the right of all peoples, including the Palestinian people, to resist foreign occupation. UN Resolution #2787, on 6 December 1971, confirms:

"the legality of the peoples' struggle and liberation from colonial and foreign domination and alien subjugation, notably in Southern Africa .... as well as the Palestinian people, by all means consistent with the Charter of the United Nations."

A number of Palestinians are driven, by desperation under this oppressive occupation, to commit the abhorrent acts of suicide bombing. They do not have the F16's and Apaches, that Israeli leaders and soldiers shower them with their missiles, killing thousands of men, women and children and destroying their homes, in their refugee camps, where they have been waiting for 56 years to be allowed to return to their homes, from which they were ethnically cleansed by Israel. This Right of Return is stipulated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and repeated UN resolutions, which Israel continues to defy.

The killing of innocent Israeli and Palestinian civilians is unacceptable. And if Mr. Oren truly cares for the security of his fellow citizens, he should call on his government to comply with international law and bring about complete termination of this illegal occupation, and thus sceurity for both the Israeli and Palestinian peoples can be attained.

Yours sincerely,

Ismail Zayid, MD.

[Top]

To the Halifax Herald:
Intifada was provoked by Sharon, not Arafat

13 November 2004

The Editor,
The Halifax Herald.

Dear Editor:

In your editorial ['Arafat's death leaves void', 12 November 2004], you accuse Arafat of "launching a bloody, doomed-to-failure Intifada." This is a total falsehood. The Intifada was deliberately provoked by Ariel Sharon who marched, on 29 September 2000, with a thousand armed Israeli soldiers, into the sacred Muslim compund of Al-Aqsa Mosque, in collusion with Ehud Barak, Israel's then prime minister. The peaceful demonstration of Palestinians at the Mosque, against this intrusion, resulted in killing many Palestinian worshippers with Israeli gunfire.

The primary cause for the lack of peace in The Holy Land is Israeli continuing illegal occupation of Palestinian land, in defiance of international law and repeated Security Council resolutions.

It is time that the international community, including the US, should act to enforce UN resolutions and thus ensure peace and security for both the Israeli and Palestinian peoples.

Yours sincerely,
Ismail Zayid, MD.

[Top]

Subject: CBC Radio 'Main Street' disputes birthplace of Dr. Ismail Zayid

12 November 2004

The Producer,
"Main Street" Program,
CBC Radio, Halifax.

Dear Sir/Madam:

I am writing to express my strong objection to your reporter's description of my birthplace, on the CBC Main Street Program today, as "a village in the disputed territories."

I was interviewed this afternoon by your reporter, Mahira Lashman, at The Islamic Centre on Kearney Lake Road in Halifax. I was asked as to my birthplace, and I told your reporter that I was born in the village of Beit Nuba in Palestine. There is nothing disputed about the Palestinian village of Beit Nuba, where I was born, except perhaps in the Israeli colonial lexicon, but certainly not according to international law or historic record.

Finally, I would like a public correction of this erroneous statement. Thank you for your consideration.

Yours sincerely,

Ismail Zayid, MD.
Canada Palestine Association,
P.O.Box 1085,
Halifax, NS, B3J 2X1

[Top]

To the Globe & Mail
"A catalogue of misrepresentations and falsehoods"

Who introduced terrorism into the Middle East?

12 November 2004

The Editor,
The Globe & Mail

Dear Editor:

Your editorial ["Yasser Arafat's ultimate failure" 12 November 2004] is a catalogue of misrepresentations and falsehoods. You speak of the "tragic unforgivable failure [of Arafat] for which he himself bears the primary blame." There is not a word about the systematic ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people from their homeland, in 1948 and 1967. There is not a word about the Israeli illegal occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip that has been allowed to stand for 37 years, in defiance of international law and repeated Security Council resolutions, together with the atrocities committed during this occupation, in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, constituting war crimes.

You state: "If terrorism today is a worldwide phenomenon, we have Mr. Arafat to thank." The 'credit' for the the introduction of terrorism in the Middle East and on the international scene must clearly go to the Zionist movement and Israel.

The late Professor Israel Shahak, a Holocaust survivor, and then Chairman of the Israeli League for Human and Civil rights, wrote: "There is nothing new in the fact that Israel is a terrorist state, which, almost from its inception, has used its intelligence service [the Mossad] to assassinate people on foreign soil with any violence or terror it considers necessary for its ends."

The record of Israel and the terrorist gangs [the Stern, Irgun Zwei Leumi and Haganah] that brought it about is massive and would take volumes to relate, but I will refer only to a few examples:

The Irgun Zwei Leumi, led by Menachem Begin, was responsible for the bombing of King David hotel in Jerusalem in 1946, killing over 90 men,women and children. In 1944, Yitzhak Shamir was responsible for the assassination the British minister, Lord Moyne, in Cairo in 1944. A horrible crime was committed in the assassination of the Swedish nobleman, Count Folke Bernadotte, the UN Mediator, on 17 September 1948, in Jerusalem on the orders of Yitzhak Shamir, who later became prime minister of Israel. Count Bernadotte's sin was his recommendation, as the UN Mediator, that the Palestinian refugees, who were driven out from their homes by Israel, should be allowed to return to their homes. This was the substance of the UN Resolution #194, of 11 December 1948, which remains unfulfilled to this day.

The first act of air piracy in the history of civil aviation was carried out by Israel in 1954, when a civilian Syrian airliner was forced down in Tel Aviv and its passengers and crew held hostage, despite international condemnation.

The first act of shooting down a civilian airliner was deliberately carried out by Israel when a Libyan airliner was shot down by Israeli jet fighters over Sinai in February 1973, on the orders of Israeli prime minister Golda Meir, killing 107 of its passengers and its entire French crew.

Israeli terror was not restricted to Palestinians, Arabs and Europeans but included its own closest supporter and ally, the United States. In 1954, Israeli secret agents bombed the US diplomatic centres in Cairo and Alexandria (known as the Lavon Affair), in an attempt to put the blame on the Egyptians. Israel later honoured the perpetrator, Marcello Ninio.

In June 1967, Israeli forces attacked the US spy ship USS Liberty, and strafed rescue boats, killing 34 and injuring 170 US servicemen, in an attempt to conceal its own secret communications, and again tried to blame it on the Egyptians. To this day, incredible as it may seem, the US Congress refuses to hold an inquiry into this crime, as requested by the surviving crew. Needless to say, no sanctions were imposed or calls to extradite the perpetrators were made.

Zionist terror did not spare Jews. In 1940, Menachem Begin's Irgun Zwei Leumi terrorist gang bombed the ship Patria in Haifa harbor, killing 240 Jewish refugees, so as to put the blame on the British for political gain.

In 1950-1951, Israeli agents were dispatched to Iraq where they tossed hand grenades into the crowded Massauda Shem-Tov synagogue, killing innocent Jewish worshippers, in order to blame it on the Iraqis and encourage reluctant Iraqi Jews to emigrate to Israel.

This a mere sample of the acts of terrorism that Israel conducted and continue to carry out against the Palestinian people in the Occupied Territories and on the international scene.

Yours sincerely,

Ismail Zayid, MD.
President, Canada Palestine Association.

[Top]

The Halifax Herald
Subject: Israel's apologists -- Israeli Expansionism is Longstanding

Nov. 6, 2004

The Editor,
The Halifax Herald.

Dear Editor:

Contrary to the statement by Mike Forsythe [Nov. 6], the quotes I included in my statement [Oct. 30] are accurate, well documented and made by Israel's leaders after June 1967, and thus truly represent who planned and initiated that war.

The genesis of the June 1967 war started in April 1967 when Israeli Prime Minister, Levi Eshkol, in a statement at the Knesset, Israel's parliament, threatened to occupy Damascus and establish a government to his liking. His pretext for making this threat, was the shooting incidents in the demilitarized zone, the real purpose of which was clearly exposed in the statement, I quoted [Oct. 30], by Moshe Dayan. In response to reports of Israeli troops massed at the Syrian border, Syria's president Assad called on Egypt for support, on the basis of the Mutual Defense Pact that Syria had with Egypt and other members of the Arab League. Egypt, at the time, was involved in a war in Yemen and had neither the capacity nor the interest in waging a war against Israel. However, he moved two army divisions to Sinai, as a defensive gesture. To confirm that Egypt had no designs in starting a war, Egypt's vice president, Zakaria Mohieddin, was scheduled to meet with US President Johnson on 7 June 1967, to negotiate free Israeli passage in the Tiran Strait, but Israel sabotaged this by invading Egypt on June 5. There are reports that President Johnson was informed of Israeli plans for war and had initially approved that. However, in his memoirs, which were published after he had vacated the presidency, President Johnson made the startling charge that Israel had double-crossed him in May-June 1967. Prime Minister, Levi Eshkol, he stated, had promised that Israel would delay military action, while he negotiated with President Nasser keeping the Tiran Strait open. Johnson believed that he had a couple of weeks in which to solve the problem and conveyed this information to Egypt's President. This is strongly supported by Nasser keeping Egyptian air force completely on the ground to avoid giving the Israelis an excuse to fear any Egyptian attack.

It is relevant to point out that the June 1967 war of aggression by Israel was part of Israel's expansionist program. This program was enunciated by the World Zionist Organisation in 1919, at the Versailles Conference. The Zionist delegation proposed the creation of a Jewish state in Palestine, including the entire territory of Palestine as well as the Syrian Golan Heights and South Lebanon to the Litani River. This expansionist program was confirmed in the statement by David Ben Gurion, Israel's first prime minister, on declaring the creation of Israel on 14 May 1948. He stated: "We are announcing the creation of a state in the western part of our country." Moshe Dayan, as chief of the Israeli army, stated in a broadcast on Israeli radio, on 12 February 1952: "It lies upon the Israeli army to carry out the fight with the ultimate object of creating the Israeli Empire." Menachim Begin, then leader of the Herut Party [later Likud], and later prime minister of Israel, stated in the Israeli parliament, on 12 October 1955: "I deeply believe in launching preventive war against the Arab states without further hesitation. By doing so, we will achieve two targets: Firstly the annihilation of Arab power and secondly, the expansion of our territory." [Emphasis added]. In the fulfilment of these Israeli expansionist designs, we saw Israel waging its aggression against Egypt, in October 1956, in collusion with Britain and France, and again in June 1967, and its invasion of Lebanon in 1978 and 1982.

I think it behoves Israel's apologists to take note of the facts and allow the victims a fair say.

Yours sincerely,

Ismail Zayid

[Top]

27 October 2004

The Editor,
The Halifax Herald.

Dear Editor:

Mike Forsythe, in his letter ["Belligerent enough?" Oct. 27], makes unsubstantiated statements ascribing statements to President Nasser, of Egypt, that in June 1967 his "basic bjective will be the destruction of Israel." This falsehood is clearly exposed by Israel's own leaders at the time who stated:

Yitzhak Rabin, chief of staff of the Israeli army at the time, stated: "I do not think Nasser wanted war. The two divisions he sent to the Sinai would not have been sufficient to launch an offensive war. He knew it and we knew it." [Le Monde, 28 February 1968].

Prime Minister Levi Eshkol stated: "The Egyptian layout in the Sinai and the general military build up there testified to a military defensive Egyptian set-up, south of Israel" [Israeli daily Yediot Ahronot, 18 October 1967].

Modechai Bentov, an Israeli cabinet minister at the time, stated: "All this story about the danger of extermination [of Israel in June 1967] has been a complete invention and has been blown up a poseriori to justify the annexation of Arab territory" [Al Hamishmar, 14 April 1972, and quoted in Le Monde, 3 June 1972].

Menachem Begin, a cabinet minister in June 1967, stated, while prime minister, addressing Israel's National Defence College, on Aug. 8, 1982,: "In June 1967, we again had a choice. The Egyptian army concentrations in the Sinai did not prove Nasser was really about to attack us. We must be honest with our selves. We decided to attack him" [The New York Times, 21 August 1982].

As to the statement that "Syria was shelling Israeli villages from the Golan", and this was the justification for invading the Golan Heights, General Moshe Dayan, Israel's Defence Minister at the time, is quoted having stated:

"he regretted not having stuck to his initial opposition to storming the Golan Heights. There really was no pressing reason to do so, because many of the firefights with the Syrians were deliberately provoked by Israel, and the kibbutz residents who pressed the government to take the Golan Heights did so less for security than for the farmland.....I know how at least 80% of the clashes there started. In my opinion, more than 80%, but let us talk about 80%. It went this way: We would send a tractor to plow some area, in the demilitarised area, and knew in advance that the Syrians would start to shoot. If they didn't shoot, we would tell the tractor to advance farther, until in the end the Syrians would get annoyed and shoot. And then we would use artillery and later the air force also, and that is how it was." [The New York Times, 11 May 1997.]

This tells you where the belligerence came from.

Yours sincerely,
Ismail Zayid, MD.

[Top]

*
Dear friends:

This is today's editorial in The Halifax Herald, a totally biased outpot, as usual. I will be replying to it and hope others will do too.

Ismail Zayid


Sunday, November 21, 2004
The Halifax Herald Limited

The next war

THE PALESTINIANS have lost Yasser Arafat and the Israelis have won the war on terror.

That blunt assessment -- the second half of it, at least -- comes from Israeli historian, author and think-tank fellow Michael B. Oren. The statistics speak for themselves. More than 400 suicide bombings have been thwarted in 2004 (a 90 per cent success rate), while Israeli casualties are down 70 per cent.

"I count it as a victory because we, Israel, defeated an enemy that had a very specific goal," Mr. Oren told The Chronicle Herald editorial board late last month. "The goal was to unravel _ Israel's society, to ruin the economy, and to break the morale of the Israeli people. ... On every single score, they've lost." At first, it didn't look that way. The Israeli economy tanked. But it has since rebounded. In fact, the terror onslaught boomeranged on the Palestinians as Israeli reprisals and countermeasures -- border closures, the building of a barrier ringing the country, and the assassinations of terrorist leaders -- bore their bitter fruit. It's the Palestinian Authority, society and economy that are unravelling now.

Sadly, the dynamic of the Middle East is such that it does not alternate between war and peace, but war and war, no matter who wins. And so the next war has already begun, says Mr. Oren. With the diminishing effectiveness of suicide bombings, militants have switched tactics, firing missiles into Israel. So far, they've had limited success from Gaza as they target sparsely populated parts of Israel, but the day is coming when a new front will be opened up in the West Bank. From there, they can hit Israeli residential and industrial areas, including airports, says Mr. Oren.

The Israeli response will be both offensive and defensive -- demolishing workshops and launch sites, while fine-tuning early warning systems that give citizens 20 seconds "to hit the dirt," and eventually developing "some low-grade, low-flying anti-ballistic missile" that can knock down projectiles.

But the toughest battle will happen on the international scene, Mr. Oren predicts. "Here, the Palestinians are embarking on an interesting policy, a very sophisticated policy, of making common ground with the Europeans against the United States."

The idea will be to goad the US into abusing its veto power at UN Security Council, and to garner overwhelming support to move the issue from the Security Council to the General Assembly. "It will eventually come to a vote about sanctions of one type or another, the South-Africanization of Israel," Mr. Oren says.

"The United States will put itself in violation of the General Assembly _ but the fact of the matter is that 80 per cent of Israel's trade is with Europe, not the United States.

"One of the few reasons it hasn't happened -- the idea of sanctions comes up in the EU almost every year -- is because European manufacturers don't want it to happen."

Of course, Israel could also pre-empt a gang-up job by removing the prime irritant in the eyes of the international community: settlements on occupied land. This would be the wise and the right thing to do.

Source: http://www.herald.ns.ca/stories/2004/11/21/fEditorial.html#175.raw

Copyright 2004 The Halifax Herald Limited


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