INTRODUCTION A terrorist bomb has gone off in the middle of Tel Aviv, killing and injuring a number of civilians, or Israel has just launched another operation into cities such as Jenin and Ramallah, and as you stand by the water cooler during lunch, your co-worker begins to say ‘…You are Jewish, right? I do not know much about the Middle East, but I cannot understand why Israel is being so harsh to these Palestinians, who, from what I can see on the news last night, only want a state and live in peace. Can you help me understand?’ As Jewish people in a primarily non-Jewish world, people have and will always be curious about our religious, cultural and ethnic practices. In current times, when the situation in the Middle East is almost forever on the cover of a national magazine, the subject of an editorial in the city newspaper, or the lead or second story on the nightly national news, people who know Jewish people are apt to ask innocent, yet sometimes very tough and troubling questions. Some may say that, in a religion that believes in the concept of Klal Israel (the community of Israel as a people), it is both your duty and responsibility to answer these questions, and in the best possible manner that you can. Others may disagree with that assertion. It is, in most instances, a personal decision whether or not to respond to these questions. However, if you do wish to respond, it is important that you have a basic sense of history of the Middle East, as well as background information pertaining to a series of questions that are considered to be the most obvious ones that people – friends, family, associates and colleagues – tend to ask with respect to the Middle East. This booklet is NOT intended to be the definitive work on issues and answers concerning the Middle East and the Arab-Israeli and Israeli-Palestinian situations. Further, not every question that you will be asked about the Middle East is in this booklet. This is because of an interest in brevity, as well as a lack of an ability on our part to foresee the entire future.

At the end, there are a number of websites that are provided for you to access at your leisure in order to know more about the situation, and respond to questions about the situation. Having said this, we do hope that this booklet is used as a good beginning for you to understand more about the Middle East In order, a basic history (including Camp David 2000) will be provided, and then questions pertaining to that history the questions that will be addressed in this booklet are in the following areas of concern: • • • • • • • • Whose land is it? What is the Right of Return? Explain to me about these Holy Sites in Jerusalem What was Operation Defensive Shield? Is The IDF Using Excessive Force? So, with Israel using force, both parties are to blame? Is Israel using Apartheid-like tactics? I’m told that if I criticize Israel I will be called anti-Semitic. I hear that Israel knew about 9/11, and that is why not many Jewish people died in the terrorist attacks. Wouldn’t the United States be better off if it supported Israel less? Shouldn’t both Arafat and Sharon go, since neither can make peace? Israel will never negotiate seriously with the Palestinians. Was the Intifada provoked by Ariel Sharon visiting a Muslim Holy Site? Arab states play a neutral role in this process? How can a peaceful resolution be achieved?

• • • • •

Finally, in most sections there is a series of relevant true/false sections. The answers can be obtained by emailing Adam Bronstone at adam@jewishnola.com.


1948 the State of Israel declared her independence as the British mandate ended. in his document known as the Balfour Declaration. President Harry S. The mandates for Mesopotamia (Iraq). Truman recognized Israel within the hour. take responsibility for decisions.000 Jewish refugees escaping Arab countries.000 acres as alternative holdings. who launched terrorist attacks on Jewish communities throughout Palestine." [for more information: www. proposing the co-existence of two states for two peoples. T/F Israel’s boundaries were determined by the UN when it adopted the Partition Resolution in 1947.BASIC HISTORY The establishment of a democratic state One hundred and ninety-seven delegates from sixteen countries attended the first Zionist Congress. which would act as a sort of legislature. neglect from Arab nations Israel set up a commission to deal with compensating Arabs who were forced out. The proposal was accepted by the Jews.]. approve activities and prepare the nation to work in a Parliamentary system on the road to his dream of a Jewish State. It was rejected by the Arabs.000 claimants were paid and given 10. it recognized the right of the Jewish people to a homeland of its own. 1897 by Theodore Herzl. The Arabs who fled during the war and made it to Egypt. 1947 the UN General Assembly adopted Resolution 181 calling for the partition of the British-ruled Palestine mandate into a Jewish state and an Arab state. Lord Balfour delineated the British position on Zionist aspirations. and installed the Hashemites as rulers of Transjordan. In the document resulting from the conference. assured and secured by international law. The young Israeli army suffered unbearable losses. in the land of Israel. Syria and Lebanon were placed in refugee camps by their Arab brothers 3 . The main goal of Zionism was outlined by the Congress: "the establishment of a Jewish homeland. Great Britain unilaterally sliced the larger part of the mandate. and by 1975 11. T/F The Declaration protected the rights of non-Jewish communities in Palestine. T/F The Jews were allotted land in the northern part of Palestine (the Galilee) and in the south (the Negev) and the remainder of the land was given to the Arabs. T/F UN partitioned all of historic Palestine into 2 states." This letter's key significance? Britain recognized the historic link between the Jewish Nation and the land of Israel. • • • • • The Balfour Declaration gave the Jews the right to establish their homeland in the whole of historic Palestine. It also instructed the mandatory authority to facilitate Jewish settlement in all of historic Palestine. On May 15. east of the Jordan River. In 1922. Jews were denied the right to purchase land in Transjordan. Jordan. On May 14. Jews who fled Arab countries were never compensated. Israel absorbed over 700. While the surrounding Arab countries created refugee camps for the Arabs who left the new state. asserting "His Majesty's government looks favorably upon the establishment of a national homeland in Palestine" and promised that Britain would "facilitate the achievement of this goal. T/F Compensation from Israel. but succeeded in defending her citizens. On November 29. the League of Nations recognized the "historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine" and the "grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country. the new state was invaded by the five neighbouring Arab countries and the War of Independence began. and it expressed its support for reaching this goal. Herzl's goal was to convene a public gathering of Jews representing the various communities.mfa. convened in Basle on August 29.1948.gov." In 1917. The resolution. Syria and Palestine were assigned by the Supreme Court of the League of Nations at its San Remo meeting in April 1920. including Transjordan. called for painful concessions.il.

" This is linked to the second unambiguous clause calling for "termination of all claims or states of belligerency" and the recognition that "every state in the area" has the "right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries. it has already partially. and the 'Three NO'S of Khartoum' After its victory in the Six-Day War. The power to create a Palestinian state in Gaza and/or the West Bank rested in the hands of the Arab states when these areas were under Egyptian and Jordanian rule between 1948 and 1967. Israel contributed over $11 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). misinformation and deliberate distortion by Israeli adversaries. the UN Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 242. Any other interpretation leads to the absurd conclusion that the UN resolution was designed to encourage acts of aggression. no peace with Israel. The Security Council did not say Israel must withdraw from "all the" territories occupied after the Six-Day War. This will be done within the framework of the main principles by which the Arab States abide. because the reference clearly applies only to an offensive war. Thus. Can the Arab states say the same? Can the Palestinian Authority say the same? In fact. the resolution has been a source of controversy. no negotiations with it. free from threats or acts of force. Israel signaled to the Arab states its willingness to relinquish virtually all the territories it acquired in exchange for peace. 4 . this clause does no such thing. No such state was created nor was it even requested by the Arab refugees. Despite Israeli overtures. The most controversial clause in Resolution 242 is the call for the "withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict. On the contrary. Moreover. establishing the principles that were to guide the negotiations for an Arab-Israeli peace settlement." Some people read 242 as though it ends here and suggest that the case for requiring a total Israeli withdrawal from the territories is thus proven. 1967. the Arab states objected to the inclusion in 242 of a call for "secure and recognized boundaries" because they feared this implied Resolution 242 . NO recognition of Israel. Ever since.who did not contribute funds to their welfare.3 months after Khartoum conference On November 22. if not wholly. This was quite deliberate. it does not specify how much territory Israel is required to give up. and insistence on the rights of the Palestinian people in their own country." Abba Eban Second. In fact. But these hopes were dashed in September 1967 in the now infamous meeting in Khartoum. Consider the logic: If one country were to attack another. Since Israel withdrew from 91 per cent of the territories when it gave up the Sinai. no recognition of Israel. The Six-Day War. "This is the first war in history which has ended with the victors suing for peace and the vanquished calling for unconditional surrender. between 1950 and 1983." The first point addressed by the resolution is the "inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war. and the defender were to repel the attack and acquire territory in the process." The resolution does not make Israeli withdrawal a prerequisite for Arab action. fulfilled its obligation under 242. far more than any one Arab state. aggressors would have little to lose in launching unwarranted attacks – they would get any lost territory back in any case – and be insured against the main consequence of defeat. NO negotiations with it". where Arab leaders met and adopted a formula of three no's: "NO peace with Israel. this was the Arab response at Khartoum: "(3) The Arab Heads of State have agreed to unite their political efforts at the international and diplomatic level to eliminate the effects of the aggression and to ensure the withdrawal of the aggressive Israeli forces from the Arab lands which have been occupied since the aggression of June 5th. Sudan. Israel hoped the Arab states would enter peace negotiations. namely. the defender would have to return the land.

Despite evidence of some flexibility on the part of some Palestinian officials and intellectuals. in the Oslo Accords (1993) and in all subsequent Israeli-Palestinian negotiations to date. They are only alluded to in the second clause of the second article of 242. almost as many Jews fled Arab countries as Palestinians left Israel. T/F During the Six Day War. nor were any UN organizations ever established to help them. The Palestinian insistence on a complete Israeli withdrawal from the territories is not only a deliberate perversion of the language and intent of UNSC Resolutions 242 and 338. T/F Arab leaders agreed to make peace with Israel if Israel relinquished almost all of the territories conquered during the 1967 War. indispensable cornerstone of all Arab-Israeli peacemaking since Camp David (1978). were never compensated by the Arab states.negotiations with Israel. the use of the generic term "refugee" was a deliberate acknowledgment that two refugee problems were products of the conflict — one Arab and another Jewish. In the context of the Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty. T/F Israel expelled Arab villagers from their West Bank houses and refused to let them return home at the end of the war. Israel returned the Sinai Peninsula. In the case of the latter. • • • • • • • • • Israel attacked the Arab countries without provocation. Israel willfully attacked the USS Liberty. T/F UN Resolution 242 calls for Palestinian self-determination. The Jews. it also is a recipe for diplomatic stalemate and continued violence. Resolution 338 It was in the context of the Yom Kippur War of 1973 that the Security Council passed Resolution 338 (October 21. 1973) under Chapter 7 of the Charter. Its centrality was reaffirmed at the Madrid Peace Conference (1991). which calls for "a just settlement of the refugee problem. T/F The correct terminology in Resolution 242 is Administered Territories and not Occupied Territories. the Palestinian Authority officially insists that Resolution 242 demands Israeli withdrawal from all territories taken in 1967. the PLO rejected Resolution 242. which legally bound the parties to the conflict to implement Resolution 242 in all of its parts. T/F Israel refused to negotiate the return of any of the conquered territories. Israeli withdrawal from some areas of the West Bank and Gaza since 1993 — especially since Oslo II of 1995 — is a further step in the fulfillment of 242 and 338." Resolution 242 has been the sole. The Arab League explicitly ruled this out at Khartoum in September 1967. and in the ongoing campaign of violent attacks against West BankGaza Jewish inhabitants and the Israeli soldiers deployed to protect them. however." Nowhere does it require that Palestinians be given any political rights or territory. This maximalist position is consistently reflected in official PA declarations. T/F 5 ." For the record. In fact. Israel officially accepted Resolution 242. 1968. T/F Israel attacked Jordan in order to capture Jerusalem. It said "the implementation of said resolution will lead to the loss of every hope for the establishment of peace and security in Palestine and the Middle East region. In a statement to the General Assembly on October 15. Furthermore. T/F UN Resolution 242 demanded the return of all of the conquered territories.22. It obligated the parties to sit at the negotiating table with the aim of establishing "a just and durable peace in the Middle East. thereby demonstrating its determination to abide by the terms of 242 and 338 when provided formal assurances of peace and security in return. the Palestinians are not actually mentioned in Resolution 242.

named the formula of the “Three Noes” declared no peace with Israel. no negotiations with Israel. T/F\ 6 . no recognition of Israel.• The answer of the Arab leaders.

S. Israeli and Palestinian negotiators reportedly reached agreement in principle on a plan that would leave Israel in permanent retention of about 5 per cent of the West Bank. would be evacuated. On Jerusalem Despite passionate divisions amongst Israelis and Diaspora Jews. under his leadership. with the Palestinians controlling Islamic institutions on the Temple Mount and Israel retaining sovereignty over the Western Wall as well as areas beneath the Temple Mount. President Bill Clinton suggested dividing the Old City along religious lines and the sharing of sovereignty over the Temple Mount. successive Israeli governments have agreed to discuss Jerusalem's status in the framework of finalstatus peace talks with the Palestinians. despite strong domestic and international Jewish opposition However. In return. requesting additional "clarifications" from the Americans. . like Maale Adumim and Gush Etzion. it was accepted by the Barak government. President Bill Clinton in late December 2000." In an unprecedented gesture. Nevertheless. many in isolated and indefensible areas. The Clinton proposal further spoke about Israel's transfer to the Palestinians of territory inside the Green Line to compensate for the remaining 5 per cent of the West Bank to be retained by Israel.CAMP DAVID II: THE OFFER On Settlements: At secret talks in Stockholm in the winterspring of 2000 in preparation for the Camp David summit. The essence of this working agreement drove the discussion about settlements at Camp David II and was incorporated in the "bridging" ideas presented by U. then-U. former Prime Minister Ehud Barak made broad and generous proposals to the Palestinians in order to secure a peace agreement. where the remains of the first and second Temples are believed to be buried. and refused to recognize any Jewish historical and religious attachment to any part of Jerusalem. Accordingly. Arafat signaled to Israel. In so doing. that he did not. However. and to Jews the world over. and would be incorporated into the city. and bring an "end to the conflict. This portion would include three large settlement blocs comprising some 80 per cent of the settlers.THE LONG ROAD TOWARDS PEACE . that most of the remaining settlements. and by extension to the land of Israel. Arafat rejected these ideas.S. Israel would retain sovereign control over the Old City and most Jewish neighborhoods constructed since 1967 would be recognized as permanent parts of "Jewish" Jerusalem. though never formally confirmed by Israeli officials. acknowledge the legitimacy of Jewish claims to the city. the Palestinians declined to unambiguously approve it. at the Camp David II summit in July 2000. Israel reportedly offered to cede sovereignty to the Palestinians over those neighborhoods of East Jerusalem that are predominantly Arab. He demanded exclusive Palestinian/Islamic sovereignty over the Old City. It was generally assumed. and would not. This proposal marked a significant departure from Israel's long-standing interpretation of Resolution 242 according to which Israel is not obligated to withdraw from all territory taken in the June 1967 war. including in particular the Temple Mount and Western Wall. In subsequent discussions. Barak gave conditional approval to this plan. unprecedented and revolutionary though they were in Israel's history. and even to enhance Palestinian control in certain sections of the Old City (with a secure corridor connecting it to the Arab neighborhoods in eastern Jerusalem and nearby villages).

On Refugees: According to informed sources. however. T/F The DoP left open the status of Jerusalem for future discussions. that scuttled the Camp David II talks. T/F Yasser Arafat accepted the offers made by Ehud Barak at Camp David to give the Palestinians greater control over larger areas of East Jerusalem and more authority over the Temple Mount. • • • • • • • • • Israel agreed to the creation of a Palestinian State. This compromise. T/F . humanitarian basis under the principle of family reunification. While prepared to stretch the limits of the prevailing Israeli popular consensus concerning concessions to the Palestinians. supported by Israel. but only after passing security clearance. The vast majority of refugees would be permanently re-settled in their place of current residence or in third countries. T/F The Charter of the PLO was amended and the vocabulary calling for the elimination of Israel was removed. T/F Final status would not be based on UN Resolutions 242 and 338. T/F Based on the agreement in Oslo. the Israeli-Palestinian Declaration of Principles (DoP) outlined the proposed interim self-government arrangements. conditional on the state's absorptive capacity. T/F Israel agreed to withdraw from all of the West Bank and Gaza. to help fund the resettlement program. a number of refugees would have been able to relocate to the future West Bank-Gaza Palestinian state. and b) accept a plan that would effectively bring about Israel's demise as a Jewish state. An international fund would have been established at the instigation of the United States. it was Arafat's insistence on the "right of return". 2001. Emboldened by such pan-Arab support. and with Israeli participation. On January 4. T/F It gave the Palestinians total self-rule and not just self-rule in Gaza and Jericho. According to Clinton's formula. Arab foreign ministers meeting in Cairo. defined as "sacred" the "right" of Palestinian refugees to return to Israel. Ehud Barak simply could not cede to a Palestinian demand that would have Israel: a) accept moral responsibility for a refugee problem that it did not cause. T/F Yasser Arafat renounced terrorism and called for the recognition of the State of Israel in the Charter of the PLO. was unacceptable for the Palestinian leadership and their supporters in the Arab world. along with his stance on Jerusalem. A very limited number would be permitted to enter Israel on an individual. Arafat continues to insist on Israel's acceptance of an absolute right of return of Palestinian refugees as a precondition for ending the current violence and for resuming the diplomatic process.

gov) .org) American Jewish Organizations with Israel Advocacy Resources • AIPAC (aipac.com) Arab News Sources • Al Jazeera (aljazeera.gov.org) United States: • House of Representatives (house. press releases (camera.gov) • Department of State (state.org) • Council for Public Affairs (jewishpublicaffairs.org) Other Online Resources • Jewish Agency Hasbara Guide (jajz.iba.org) • Jerusalem Post (jpost. • Honest Reporting Monitoring of Western media (honestreporting.gov) • Senate (senate. backgrounders.org) .ADDITIONAL RESOURCES Israeli Government Resources • Ministry of Foreign Affairs (mfa.ed.com) • Israel Broadcast Authority (mabat.org) • American Jewish Committee (ajc.ac.il) • Israel Defense Forces (idl.org) • Anti-Defamation League (adl.net) Media Monitoring Sites • Camera Monitoring of western media.eu.org) • Palestinian Media Watch Monitoring of Palestinian media.il/jcss) • Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (jcpa. reports on related issues Think Tanks/Research Institutes • Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies (tau.int) • United Nations (un.il) Israel News Sources • Ha'aretz (haaretzdaily.org) • United Jewish Communities (UJC) (ujc.org) • On-line Myths and Facts (jsource.org) • Washington Institute for Near East Policy (washingtoninstitute.gov) • White House (whitehouse.com) • Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) (memri.org) Government Contacts • European Union (europa.

In 1967 this promise was violated by Egypt’s closure of the Tiran Straits. the Arabs did not accept the partition and attacked the newly formed country. Most fled either to avoid the war or at the urging of Arab leaders who promised a quick victory over the new Jewish state. but so far only Egypt has been willing to enter into such an arrangement where land has been swapped for a peace agreement.000 Arabs fled their homes during the 1948 Arab-Israel War. England France and Israel attack Egypt in response to Egypt’s nationalization of the Suez Canal and blockade of ships leaving Israel. as many as 800. After six days.1) Whose land is it? Claims to the land go as far back as biblical times. In some cases Arabs were forced to flee by individuals of groups fighting for Israel. Israel occupied the Golan Heights.. These refugees do not live in refugee camps as they were absorbed as citizens of Israel. either to avoid the war or at the urging of Arab leaders who promised a quick victory over the new Jewish state. the West Bank and the Sinai Peninsula. These Arabs fled to Jordan. The Palestinians claim that these refugees should be allowed to return to their former homes . but has been continuously attacked by Arabs and Arab countries. creating an Arab state and a Jewish State. however current ownership can be discussed within modern dates. A cease-fire ensued with Egypt declaring it was not an acceptance of Israel. East Jerusalem. Other acts of violence continue against Israel. U. where they were placed in refugee camps and not allowed to become citizens of those countries. Whose land is it? Israel was declared a recognized state in 1948. Syria and Lebanon.000 Arabs left the area voluntarily. with Jerusalem designated as a special international regime administered by the U. Palestinian Refugees When Israel declared their independence in 1948 they were attacked by five Arabsupporting counties. Jewish Refugees Beginning with the establishment of Israel in 1948 and through 1951. As many as 700. no recognition of Israel and maintenance of the rights of Palestinian people in their nation. In 1947 the United Nations passed resolution 181. along with a massive Arab troop build-up prompted Israel to launch a preemptive strike. In 1917 the British conquered the land from the Ottomans (Turkish). Lands outside the 1948 borders were captured by Israel in the 1967 War.000 Jews were expelled from Arab nations or forced to flee as a result of state-sponsored anti-Zionist violence. Resolution 242 calling for the return of territories (not all of the territories) captured also calls for recognition of the State of Israel. This.N. The United Nations adopted Resolution 242. the Gaza Strip. In 1956. The Jews accepted the partition and declared the Establishment of the State of Israel in 1948. As many as 700. which calls for a peaceful settlement including recognition of every State in the area and Israel’s withdrawal from territories. demilitarized and neutral. 2) What is the Right of Return? In order to understand the argument of right of return one first needs to understand that there are two types of refugees. The resolution does not call for the withdrawal from all territories and does not specifically mention Jerusalem.N. Israel returned the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt. Israel withdrew under pressure with the promise that all international waterways would be open to Israeli shipping. The war ended with the Arabs declaring no peace with Israel. In 1979 Israel and Egypt entered into a peace agreement. Israel has many times indicated a willingness to return most of the land in exchange for peace. In 1973 Egypt and Syria attacked Israel again. and were assigned mandatory power over Palestine by the League of Nations in 1920.

President Clinton made it clear that there will be no agreement if the Palestinians insist on the right of return for refugees. T/F . in effect giving them citizenship under Israeli law. T/F Israel has contributed more funds to UNWRA to give monetary assistance to the Palestinian refugees than most Arab states.N. It further states that those choosing not to return should be compensated for loss or damage to property.000 Jews who were displaced from their native countries. Resolution 194 applies to all refugees. Just as Palestinian refugees who do not choose to return should be compensated for loss of property. Israel has many times evidenced a willingness to exchange land for peace. Israel would participate in an international program for compensation and resettlement of refugees to third countries. 1948. Arab states in conjunction with UNWRA voted at the UN not allow Israel to eliminate the refugee camps in Gaza by building suitable housing. T/F UNWRA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency) worked towards the resettling of Palestinian refugees. Resolution 194 U. the arrival of millions of Palestinian refugees into Israel’s borders. • • • • • • • • • The Jews created the refugee problem by expelling one million Palestinians from their homes in 1947.” specified as the new Palestinian state. there would be no Palestinian refugee problem. Some families would be allowed to move back to land within Israel’s borders. although no number has been specified. currently the Occupied Territories. Finally.inside Israel. T/F After Israel captured the Gaza Strip during the Six-Day War. However. would change the demographics of the country such as to give Arab control over the Parliament and effectively end the existence Israel as a Jewish state. T/F UN Resolution 194. Current Status The US/Israel proposal concerning refugees was that Palestinian refugees would return to their “homeland. called upon Israel to repatriate all of the Palestinian refugees. Israeli news reports stated that Israel would be prepared to absorb tens of thousands of refugees. citing U. T/F Arab nations want the Palestinians to remain in refugee camps as “symbols of Israeli oppression and occupation” in order to provide terrorist groups with manpower in their struggle to destroy Israel. Israel has received no indication that the Palestinian refugees are prepared to live at peace with Israel. Additionally. as of yet.7 million Palestinian refugees now listed on the UNWRA rolls.N. T/F No Arab leaders encouraged the Palestinians to flee their houses. Resolution 194 for support. compensation should be awarded to the 800. not just Palestinian refugees.N. roads and sewer systems. adopted on December 11. T/F If the Arabs had accepted the 1947 UN Resolution. U.N. Part of this extends to allowing Palestinian refugees to move back to what would be the State of Palestine. U. Resolution 194 states that refugees wishing to return to their homes should be allowed to do so at the earliest practicable date providing that they are willing to live at peace with their neighbors. T/F There are more than3.

holy site for Jews and site of the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Israel wants partial sovereignty or other rights over the underground portions of the Temple Mount. a proposal rejected by the PA. T/F Jordan occupied East Jerusalem in 1948. while the Palestinians would be forbidden to conduct archaeological digs and would acknowledge the “Jewish connection” to the site. During this time the Jewish Quarter was destroyed and the ancient Jewish Synagogues were used as latrines and stables. T/F UN Resolution 242 calls East Jerusalem “Occupied Territory”. is administered by Muslim religious authorities. Christians and Muslims) and Jews of all nationalities were barred from the city and the Holy Cites. T/F The Palestinian Authority is destroying antiquities on the . which are built on the site of the First and Second Temples. the Western Wall. Jordan ensured freedom of access and worship for all religions. T/F The Palestinian Authority Waf claims that Judaism has no connection to the Temple Mount. including the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque. T/F The UN recommended the internationalization of Jerusalem when it took up the question of Palestine in 1947.000-year old Mount of Olives Jewish Cemetery were torn up and used to build roads and lavatories. Current Status At Camp David in 2000. T/F The Arabs accepted the idea of an internationalized Jerusalem. Israelis of all religions (Jews. the US/Israel proposal to the Palestinian Authority included a proposal that would see the major Islamic Holy Sites of Jerusalem come under Palestinian control. Hundreds of thousands of Muslim and Christian pilgrims from Arab countries and millions of other visitors have freely visited Jerusalem and its holy sights. Arab neighborhoods would become part of Palestine and the Jewish neighborhoods would remain part of Israel. In this proposal. Gravestones from the 2. the Jewish Quarter of the Old City and most of the Armenian Quarter would remain under Israeli control. T/F From 1948-1967. T/F Jews have been the largest single group of inhabitants in Jerusalem since the 1840’s. This right applies even to citizens of Arab countries that have not recognized Israel as a state. T/F Jerusalem is a holy place for the Arabs and is mentioned in the Koran. Finally. T/F Jerusalem has been the capital of Israel for more than 3000 years. Since its control in 1967. T/F Israel asked Jordan not to enter the Six Day War.3) Explain to me about these Holy Sites in Jerusalem Holy Sites of many religions are located within Jerusalem. • • • • • • • • • • • • • Jews have been living in Jerusalem continuously for nearly two thousand years. Israel has provided the people of all religions full access to their places of worship. T/F Jerusalem was once the capital of an Arab country. Prior to 1967 East Jerusalem was under Jordanian control. sovereignty over the Temple Mount would be handed over to the PA. The Temple Mount.

violent and lifethreatening attacks by Palestinians. During the previous 18 months. the IDF succeeded in capturing many wanted terrorists. Yet this attack. was launched in order to counter the extreme escalation in Palestinian terrorism. often risking the lives of its soldiers to do so.Temple Mount in order to eliminate Judaism’s presence. the IDF took maximum care to prevent harm to Palestinian civilians. The oft-repeated charge that Israel has used excessive force against innocent Palestinian civilians is a distortion of the truth. rather than rely upon heavier weapons which. 29 IDF soldiers were killed (23 of these in Jenin alone) and 127 were wounded. as were large amounts of explosives and other tools of terrorism. while others were killed in the fighting. was not an isolated event. Many explosive belts . the Israeli population had already suffered through 18 months of continuous Palestinian violence and terrorism. Israel is no exception. During Operation Defensive Shield. T/F 4) What was Operation Defensive Shield? In the final days of March 2002. The high moral standards demonstrated by Israeli soldiers during battle stands in sharp contrast to that of the terrorists. only a small percentage of which have been reported in the media. Israeli soldiers and civilians alike have had to face thousands of organized. In the course of the three week operation. When urban operations finally became unavoidable. Undoubtedly. Operation Defensive Shield was aimed at ending the almost daily attacks on civilians. while protecting the lives of the soldiers. 5) Is The IDF Using Excessive Force? Every nation must protect its citizens from threats to their lives. which took place on one of the holiest nights in the Jewish calendar. Israel had made every effort to avoid extensive operations in these areas.ready for use by suicide bombers . nothing could prepare them for the wave of shootings. However. Among the dead were 12 children and 26 elderly persons. who deliberately chose to hide behind their fellow Palestinians. Palestinian terrorists killed more than 130 people in Israel. roadside attacks and incessant suicide bombings that triggered Operation Defensive Shield. In order to effectively attack the infrastructure of terrorism.were found and two dozen bomb-making laboratories were uncovered. During "Bloody March". would place Palestinian civilians at greater risk. Israel preferred to employ infantry in houseto-house searches. By the end of March 2002. Israel hoped to apprehend as many terrorists as possible. No nation can acquiesce to a situation in which its citizens are victimized daily by indiscriminate terrorism. terrorism so deadly that no sovereign state could refrain from reacting. Thousands of guns and rifles were seized. Operation Defensive Shield. . this period's most egregious act of terrorism was the March 27th suicide bombing of the Park Hotel in Netanya in which 29 Jews were killed as they sat down to celebrate the Passover Seder. Israel paid a heavy price for its principles. Israel was forced to defend itself against an unprecedented series of terrorist attacks. The Operation's aim was to attack the infrastructure of Palestinian terrorism in all its parts and components. the Israel Defense Forces [IDF] were forced to operate in densely populated areas. to uncover and destroy arms caches and bomb-making laboratories. which was decided upon at a special Cabinet session on March 28th. and to gather the intelligence necessary to prevent future attacks. since the terrorists chose to conceal their activities by hiding them in the heart of the civilian population.

while disregarding the legal reality. responsibility for these casualties lies with the Palestinian Authority. International law in general and the law of armed conflict in particular recognize that individuals who directly take part in hostilities cannot then claim immunity from attack or protection as innocent civilians. have left Israel no alternative but to take the necessary action itself to avert continued terrorism. to carry out acts of "mega-terrorism". In a small minority of cases. Under these difficult conditions. To date. whether Jewish or Arab. which has initiated the violence and stubbornly refuses to bring it to an end. It also takes care to target only those responsible for the violence. coupled with the PA's active support of this violence. over 600 Israelis have been killed and thousands wounded as a result of this violence. By initiating and participating in armed attacks against Israeli civilians or security personnel. shootings. as Palestinian spokesperson often claim. an individual who becomes a combatant is considered to remain a combatant until hostilities come to an end and not merely during that exact instant when the individual is carrying out or organizing an attack. and when a clear. Whenever possible. lynchings. The widespread use of these terms by Palestinian spokespersons is intended to portray Israel and its actions in a pejorative light. the Palestinians have attempted. In the final analysis. the Israel Defense Forces have acted with the greatest possible restraint. and have forfeited such legal protection. These terms are derived from spheres unrelated to armed conflict and are blatantly misleading descriptions of Israel's justified counter-terrorist operations in a clear situation of armed confrontation. Therefore. taking action only when inaction by Israel would result in loss of innocent lives in imminent terrorist actions. All civilized nations would act in a similar fashion given these circumstances. Israel is forced to carry out other types of preventative operations against these legitimate military targets. Israel only acts in a manner that is in compliance with the principles and practice . and car bombs directed at civilian targets. such individuals have designated themselves as combatants in the conflict. specific and imminent terrorist threat must be countered. Israeli operations are directed toward apprehending terrorists and their accomplices. Furthermore. the Israeli government waited through 18 months of widespread terrorism before launching Operation Defensive Shield. Israel in engaged in a situation best defined as an armed conflict. Israel always strives to use the minimum force necessary to prevent terrorism. precisely targeted operations that are designed to bring about a cessation of these lethal threats. fire-bombings. Israel neither condones nor takes part in "assassinations" or “extra-judicial killings". but fortunately failed. in the present wave of violence. including the Pi Glilot gas and fuel storage facility and the truck bombing of Tel Aviv's largest skyscrapers. Israel has had to undertake preventive. For example. barely receive attention in the international media despite the tens of thousands of potential victims. however. mortar barrages. and bringing them to justice. Currently. By the same token.These attacks have included suicide bombings. and continues to do its utmost to prevent collateral civilian injury or loss of life. when arrests are impossible (mostly due to the fact that the terrorists are given refuge in the heart of PA controlled areas). The Israeli government regrets the loss of any life. roadside ambushes. Attempted attacks on premium targets. The inaction of the Palestinian Authority in the face of widespread terrorist activity in the areas under its control. violent riots.

to equate the killer and the one who was killed as equal is to attempt to establish a similarity of morality. everyone becomes an equal victim. Let us make a number of distinctions. and the other paid for that crime with her life. This ideology is no different in its desire than that of any other grouping seeking statehood. both are. . Moral equivalency allows the criminal to excuse and justify their crime.. It must be answered. THE PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY CHOOSES TO KILL PEOPLE.of armed conflict. or be deemed a hypocrite. who wanted to continue to live in Israel. charges have been made that Zionism. Ask someone in a polite manner if one could feel equivalency for a criminal who breaks into your house and does damage. then one MUST disagree with Israeli policies. By doing so. or harms your family. In fact many proponents will state that if one disagreed with Apartheid. They were not combatants. when talking about Israel and Apartheid. in 1975. the other is a victim. When confronted with this question. it is important to be clear about the need to distinguish between Israel proper. 6) So. In one respect. A national news magazine ran an article that had a picture of an 18 year old Israeli girl who was killed in a bombing of a civilian bus beside that of the 18 year old Palestinian female who was the suicide bomber of the same bus. and hopefully all would agree with this statement. is also comparable to the apartheid policies of white South Africa. and makes every effort to avoid the involvement of innocent civilians. both parties are to blame? Moral equivalency is an attempt to conclude that both parties – Israel and Palestinian Authority – are equally to blame for the current situation. First. For whatever reasons. However. again. one of these teenage females left her house with the intention of killing unarmed civilians. One is a killer. and none of them woke up that morning with the intent to kill Palestinians.. Second. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS MORAL EQUIVALENCY. Zionism can be no more racist than any other ideology of a nation seeking a homeland. 2002: ". THERE IS NO JUSTIFICATION FOR THE TARGETTED KILLING OF CIVILIANS FOR POLITICAL ENDS. at all times.any comparison between today's Israel and Apartheid-era South Africa is so fundamentally flawed as to be offensive Ever the since the UN General Assembly resolution that made Zionism equal to racism. Both girls are meant to be equal victims of terror in the Middle East. and the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Zionism is defined as the Jewish national movement of rebirth and renewal in the nature homeland for Jews. with Israel using force. as being an unacceptable answer. which is Israel. and its implementation in the West Bank. whose only crime was that they were Jews living in Israel. One committed a crime. GHANDI MADE SALT. The loss of life in the Middle East because of this conflict is tragic. IN ORDER TO ILLUSTRATE HIS DISTATES FOR BRITISH RULE. 7) Is Israel using Apartheid-like tactics? As the Harvard Crimson declared in its editorial of May 8. it is possible to turn some tables.

In Israel proper. If fact. This list includes IBM. Microsoft and Intel. Again. was a scientifically calculated interest in ridding the world of all Jews. It is perfectly acceptable to criticize the policies. strategies and tactics of ANY country and its leadership. with respect to the 1975 Zionism=Racism resolution. non of which have been legally created. this is not the case in Israel. let one be very clear. proving that it has already shown an interest in peaceful relations with countries that show a similar interest in peaceful relations. This thought of link between Israeli actions and the ideology of Zionism and South African Apartheid has driven many to create campaigns calling for the divestment of their organizations of the stocks of firms associated with Israel. such as voting and the holding of office. as was the explicit policies such as those in South Africa. In South Africa. to no one’s surprise. This is aside from the fact that to use the Holocaust against Jewish people degrades and trivializes this calculated plan as merely a strategy rather than the evil it was. 8) I’m told that if I criticize Israel I will be called anti-Semitic. Israeli Arabs who are citizens are full citizens with full rights like any other citizens. The Israeli government is not planning the wholesale and systematic killing of every (or any. unlike in South Africa during Apartheid. and there lies the reason why such a comparison fails. but this is not through a formal set of racial policies. This campaign has been created in the hopes that it will push US companies to force Israel to negotiate with its Arab neighbors. Apartheid-like tactics are also said to be employed by Israel in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. It is true that Israeli Arabs may be underrepresented in certain important circles of society. They do not possess voting rights in the United States. some of the largest firms in the United States. The Nazi ethnic cleansing of 6 millions Jews. South African Apartheid policies and Nazi-like ethnic cleansing tactics. Let us conclude this section by recalling the words of the current UN Secretary-General. At any time. Again. blacks and whites were deemed as such on identity cards. and a number of other minorities. In no way possible it is plausible to suggest that Israelis wish anything of the sort on its Arab and Palestinian neighbors. Arab Israelis are allowed all the freedoms of any other group of Israeli. many people who disagree with the policies of Israel and the support given to Israel by Jewish communities and . critics of Israel make a link between Zionist ideology. Critics point to the demolition of the houses of family members of suicide bombers. Finally. there are at least half a dozen nationally-oriented Israeli Arab politicians. It is therefore no surprise that these Arabs do not have voting and other abilities in Israel. This would be the same for Canadians who live in Canada. where Arabs face no such restrictions. and the presence within open discussion in Israel of an interest by some in a ‘transfer’ of Arab Palestinians to other Arab countries. The only difference between Israeli Arabs and Israeli Jews is that the former are not allowed to serve in the armed forces. and are therefore not accorded the benefits of citizenship. Annan commented that this one was of the great ‘low points’ in the history of the organization. and not allowed to co-mingle or intermarry. Arabs living in these areas are NOT citizens of Israel. The fact that there may be very few intermarriages between Arabs and Jews are a result of many other issues. There are. for that matter) Palestinian. Kofi Annan. and many more at local levels of governance. These people forget that Israeli already has agreements with Jordan and Egypt. Israel is the ONLY democratic country in the whole of the Middle East.

then does not Israel. attempting to dismiss the term anti-Semitism because of semantics does not erase the fact of its existence and its history. and that is why not many Jewish people died in the terrorist attacks. and should be heard. These include: The holding of Israel to a standard much different. so that teen-age Arabs grow up hating Israel. These range from this myth about 9/11. NOTHING ever justified the killing of thousands of helpless civilians. color or creed. Bin Laden paid for people to hijack planes and fly them into buildings. and ask – if only 10 Canadians died in the Trade Center. The ‘myth’ that fewer Jews died in the terrorist attack on New York City is only one of many such state-sanctioned or approved myths building around the Arab Middle East. is the culture of hatred that is alive. Bin Laden would have attacked the United States regardless of its policies concerning Israel.peoples globally. The first is that one of the problems in the Middle East. For example. Two Jewish academics were taken off the editorial board of an academic journal not because of what they said or did. when most thinking people hear these myths. key and important values such as . Criticism of Israeli policies and support given to Israel becomes anti-Semitic when it crosses a number of boundaries. These positions are fair. 10) Wouldn’t the United States be better off if it supported Israel less? The United States supports. even IF there was an US-Israel relationship to these attacks. and overall western ideas. throughout the world. and walk away. Let us be clear: While Osama Bin Laden does not like Israel. no matter the context? The paralleling of Israel to either/or South Africa or Nazi Germany (see above). 9) I hear that Israel knew about 9/11. and not just with the Palestinians. Usually. and become willing to die in order to destroy Israel. On this topic. this attack was an attack on the United States. race. they recoil in horror. than that of other countries. have the same ‘right’ if it is attacked. or any other country for that matter. it makes sense to count to 20. democracy. Ghandi made salt. Finally. and Martin Luther King marched. and the US as the symbol of those values. The targeting of Israelis and other Jews because of their beliefs concerning Israel. The other picture is to link attacks on the United States to Israel. and Israeli. should we believe that Canada either knew about it beforehand or was the cause of it? It is a classic double standard issue. less terrorism would occur. whatever their nationality. turn the question around. anti-Semitism refers to the hatred of Jews. This attack was an attack on western values. well and fully state-sanctioned in most Arab countries. On other occasions it is worth attempting to point to two larger issues when faced with this question/statement. and the US as the symbol of freedom. and make people believe that if the United States supported Israel less. but because they were Jewish. Moreover. and higher. At some point in some conversations. to that which states that Passover Mazzah is being made with the blood of Palestinian children. if the United States should be able to go into Afghanistan to defend itself in the light of terrorist attacks. whoever practices it. Simply. Explain that these myths are created in order to create a culture of hatred.

when needed. and so do their citizens. liberty. T/F Foreign Aid amounts to less than 1% of the US Federal Budget. in some instances. It is because of these commonly-held values that the relationship between the US and Israel has become profitable over time in economic and. The US-Israeli relationship is one where both parties gain much.freedom. significant Arab and Palestinian leaders have . and Intel have been able to gain favorable access to the Israeli marketplace. Jordan and the Palestinian Authority. The State of Israel embodies all of these traditions and values. T/F US economic aid to Israel continues to decrease while military aid increases. T/F All of US foreign aid to Israel is spent in Israel. since neither can make peace? Since the signing of the Oslo Agreement in 1993. in combat situations. Israel has been able to test. Finally. the use of US bases on Saudi soil for combat purposes. Since the signing of the Oslo Agreement. Economically. Examples include modifications to fighter aircraft. Almost every Arab country receives such assistance. T/F Israel has never repaid loans made to it by the US. tanks and anti-missile defense systems. the United States has traditionally allowed to station military equipment and personnel in Israel and. with an equal number being left and right-leaning. there have been 4 Israeli Prime Ministers. where the Saudi government grants. in 1991 during the Gulf War. capitalism and democratic traditions such as free and fair elections and the right to vote. Since the signing of the Oslo Agreement. and this is one of the main reasons why the United States has. Israel has no such interest in holding US national interest and the defense of its citizens hostage. Because Arab states traditionally used Soviet-made technology. the United States was able to gain valuable insights into Soviet technology. more importantly. In fact. every leader of Israel has. Further. Large and small US firms such as IBM. With that assistance. as well as many organizations that assist Arab issues. such as the Patriot system. Likewise. supported Israel with economic and military aid. T/F 11) Shouldn’t both Arafat and Sharon go. the United States contributes more to the economic well-being of Palestinians than every Arab state combined. stated that there should be a Palestinian state. Israel has been able to develop a modern technologically-oriented country and business climate. • • • • • The United States gives substantial foreign aid to Egypt. at one juncture or another. Israel receives the largest sum of US foreign aid in comparison to every other country in the world. strategic ways. a number of advanced weapon systems that the United States has been interested in developing for national security reasons. This took place for many years because of the Israeli ability to down and capture fighter aircraft and tanks. Microsoft. on a conditional basis. been able to use these resources for national defense. Israel is not the only Middle Eastern country or organization that receives US foreign financial aid. as well as its technological ideas. This differs from the US-Saudi Arabia relationship. since its inception in 1948. In almost every instance these partnerships have been highly beneficial for the US.

It could be interesting to explain the intricacies of the legalisms of the territories.come out publicly and called for an end to the current uprising. but most of that information will go over most people’s heads. this campaign of terror was orchestrated at the highest levels by Yasir Arafat and his Authority. In its education material to both children and university students. The only prohibition in these agreements is that neither side take steps to change the status of the West Bank and . These facts may indicate that it is not the political leanings of personal interests of Israeli leaders. made peace with Jordan. even Ariel Sharon has mentioned on a number of occasions his interest in a Palestinian state. the apparent cause of the breakdown of peace talks. and not being able to do not just with a conservative such as Sharon. aren’t they illegal? The settlements are. In 2002 at the Likud party conference. Arafat appears to have no interest in making the final leap towards statehood. but also ‘doves’ such as Peres and Ehud Barak. The first concerns the settlements and the overall peace process. Israel made peace with Egypt. when the will to make peace was present on both sides. and in 1993 Itzhak Rabin. This is also being done through the creation of myths concerning Israel (see the question on September 11. logistics and financing of terrorist suicide bombings. In 1979. 2001 and blood libel). There are a number of issues that can be broached when asked the ‘settlements’ questions. to date. Such is not the case with the Palestinian Authority. This evidence indicates that the terror campaign was not spontaneous nor was it the only alternative to Israeli initiatives and supposed lack of interest in a peace agreement. The space that Israel occupies in the Middle East is listed as part of ‘Palestine’. the issue of settlements is specifically noted as an issue that will only be discussed during final status negotiations. Indeed. and this is being done through the teaching of the non-existence of Israel as a state. for many people who do not know much about the Middle East. 13) Aren’t the Settlements the reason why the peace process is stalled? And. to the financing of terror campaigns. rather. maps of the Middle East do not include Israel. rather it may be the lack of interest in a final agreement on the part of the one constant in the Middle East over the past 40 years. have acknowledged the importance of a Palestinian state. he opposed a resolution from the floor calling for Israel to end its interest in the creation of a Palestinian state. There is a conscious attempt on the part of the Palestinian Authority to delegitimize Israel’s right to exist. through documents found in his offices. None of the signed agreements between Israel and the Palestinians restrict the building or expansion of settlements. Since 1964. The facts also illustrate that Mr. Yasir Arafat has been the sole leader of the now Palestinian Authority. as well as other former leaders of Israel. highly provocative and illegal. Finally. the final stage of the peace process. or can take in. with one of the most hawkish Israeli Prime Ministers being in office. Documents indicate that Arafat’s Palestinian Authority assisted in the planning. Time and again Sharon. Yasir Arafat has been directly linked. and is much more information that they are asking for. Further. one of the most decorated soldiers in Israeli history. as compared to any Prime Minister of Israel. The facts above illustrate that Israeli leaders from the right and left have been able to make peace with her Arab neighbors.

if nothing else. and begun to claim that the settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip This claim ignores events both before and after 1967 . the report issues by former senator George Mitchell was adamant in that the visit to the Temple Mount did not cause the uprising. prior to final status negotiations. T/F It demanded a settlement freeze as a condition to the end of Palestinian violence. The Temple Mount is the site of great disagreement between Jews and Muslims in terms of ownership.Gaza Strip. Palestinian leaders switched their ‘story’.when Israel came into control of the territories in a war of self-defense .that prove that it is not the "occupation" that has • • • • The Mitchell Report blamed Israel’s settlement policy for the breakdown of the peace process.would be annexed to Israel. over the course of its fact-finding mission. then-Prime Minister Barak offered to re-deploy and uproot settlements from up to 95% of the West Bank and 100% of the Gaza Strip. and the leadership of the Palestinians was looking for an event that could easy be used for provocative purposes. but recognizes the needs of existing settlements to meet the changing needs of their residents.where the majority of the settler population lives -. rather. is the major point to indicate to people who ask about settlements – settlements are NOT the determining issue with respect to peace in the Middle East. However. The Israeli Government has voluntarily frozen the building of new settlements. After this claim was debunked by the Mitchell Report. it was a good excuse for the uprising to begin. At the end of the day. T/F The term Green Line refers to the unofficial boundary of Israel after the Six Day War. T/F There never have been Jews living in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and therefore their settlements are illegal. This. visited the Temple Mount. it was planned. Ariel Sharon. indicates strongly that settlements are not. there are direct quotes by leaders of the Palestinian movement who agree that the uprising was far from spontaneous. T/F 12) Was the Intifada provoked by Ariel Sharon visiting a Muslim Holy Site? In 2000. The Palestinians refused and turned to violence. T/F The settlement issue refers to all settlements built after 1967 outside this Green Line. Sharon’s visit was possibly ill-advised. Indeed. It was claimed that the Palestinian uprising was a direct cause of the visit by Sharon to the Temple Mount. T/F . T/F Settlements are the only obstacle to peace. major stumbling block in terms of an overall peace agreement. then a member of the Opposition in the Israeli Parliament. • • • The Palestinians and Arab countries are willing to accept Israel’s Green Line boundaries but not the settlements as part of any final settlement. At the Summit. as well as recent (2002) decisions to abolish a number of settlements. However. Settlements in the remaining 5% of the West Bank -. at Camp David the Palestinians were offered the uprooting of settlements from the entire Gaza Strip and much of the West Bank. It is considered one of the holiest sites by both religions. such as unilateral declarations of statehood or annexation. the Barak proposals. Further. such as the expansion of existing homes to accommodate growing families. for Israeli governments of all stripes.

the summit adjourned with President Clinton placing the blame for failure of the talks squarely at Arafat's feet. Israel expressed its willingness to make far-reaching. which began in the wake of the Camp David summit failure. in the negotiations that had been conducted between Israel and the Palestinians since September 1993. Given the nature of the conflict. Israel had sought to resolve its differences with the Palestinians at the negotiating table. Indeed. But Israel did not stop there.been the true cause of Palestinian terrorism. Later Palestinian claims belittling these unprecedented proposals have been refuted by the most senior officials involved in the negotiations. it has often been at its most brutal. a negotiated settlement could only be achieved if both sides demonstrated flexibility during the summit. historic and strategic compromises in order to achieve peace. noting that the offered territory "was contiguous". In fact. The current wave of violence began shortly after intense high-level negotiations were conducted to find a permanent resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. yet the Palestinian Authority was unwilling to abandon its strategy of armed struggle. the Palestinian Authority chose to break off the negotiations without offering any proposals of its own. despite this willingness. and upon negotiation rather than violence. Not only did Palestinian terrorism precede Israel's presence in the territories. Such acts of terrorism make it abundantly clear that the Palestinian terrorists are not opposing "occupation" . enduring agreement. After extensive Israeli withdrawals. In his April 22. at the Camp David summit of July 2000 and again at the Taba talks in January 2001. The decision by the Palestinians to resort to violence has undermined the bedrock foundation of the peace process . unprecedented compromises in order to arrive at a workable. its willingness to make far-reaching political. Israel negotiated the establishment of an elected PA. Consequently. at those moments at which the peace process was most active and the end to the "occupation" closest at hand. but by the Palestinian leadership's rejection of the very negotiations that would have resolved the issue through compromise in a peaceful manner. quite the opposite is true . when it became clear to the Palestinian leadership that reciprocal compromises was necessary and that Israel could not fulfill every Palestinian demand. The Israeli government made known to the Palestinians. former US Special Envoy Dennis Ross characterized the charge that the West Bank would be divided into cantons as "completely untrue". which gradually expanded its jurisdiction and authorities. especially when there is an agreed-upon process of negotiation to . as in 1996.the understanding that the solution must be predicated upon compromise rather than intractability. Thus. The resort to terrorist attacks on civilians can never be justified. a Middle East peace summit was held at Camp David. However. the Palestinian Authority administered a significant portion of territory and 98% of the Palestinian population in the West Bank and Gaza.they are opposing peace through compromise. 2002 television interview. has nothing to do with a spontaneous Palestinian action to "resist the occupation". In July 2000. It is obvious that the current wave of Palestinian terrorism. hosted by US President Bill Clinton and attended by Palestinian Authority [PA] Chairman Yasser Arafat and Prime Minister of Israel Ehud Barak.this resort to violence began as a desperate attempt by the Palestinian leadership to regain world sympathy in the face of widespread criticism for rejecting Israel's peace proposals at Camp David. the violence was not caused by the "occupation". Israel has gone far in addressing Palestinian aspirations in the West Bank and Gaza.

While sounding ‘good’ on paper. It was considered by many Israelis as the most maximalist proposal that Israel could make. would have led to the creation of a Palestinian state of little pieces.resolve the issues under dispute. The Palestinian Authority had been given a real opportunity to resolve the conflict through negotiations and compromise. Egyptian state-run press continues to air and print devastating lies about Israel. if it had been accepted by the Palestinians. was provoked by Ariel Sharon’s visit to the Temple Mount. T/F The Intifada is nothing more than a spontaneous reaction of the Palestinian people against the repressive Israeli occupation of their cities. the PA's deliberate decision to use violence as a political tool is the true and only source of the wave of violence and terrorism that began in September 2000. the question is not whether Israel can negotiate seriously. considerable benefits to its people. Despite fervent Palestinian claims to the contrary. including myths relations to Israeli knowledge about 9/11 and other conspiracy theories. For those who claim this position. T/F The Mitchell Report cleared the Palestinians of starting the alAksa Intifada by saying that Ariel Sharon’s “walk on the Temple Mount” provoked the uprising. The Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister was allowed to campaign for money via a telethon that was sent to the families of suicide bombers. rather than a viable area of land able to support a population. this is non- • • • • The outbreak of violence in late 2000. the Saudi ‘peace plan’ calls for actions on the part of Israel that the latter considers unacceptable. Finally. Examples are numerous: Egypt refused to condemn Arafat even after it was proven that the Palestinian Authority had paid for a shipment of explosives. such as the return of ALL territories captures in 1967. but whether the Palestinian Authority is interested in negotiating seriously. neighbors. 14) Arab states play a neutral role in this process? By and large. There are a multitude of arguments that can refute this comment. It is asserted that the final peace plan forwarded by Israel in 2000. First. The charge that the proposal made by Israel and the United States in 2000 at Camp David was not serious cannot be upheld. However. The Saudi Ambassador to Britain wrote a poem praising suicide bombers. first Egypt in 1979 and then Jordan in 1994. including all of the Golan Heights and East Jerusalem. T/F 13) Israel will never negotiate seriously with the Palestinians. That proposal was a ‘fast-tracking’ of the Oslo process – an attempt to skip the interim stages of negotiations and go directly to a final settlement. T/F The Intifada does not target civilians in Israel and is thus a legitimate social revolution. called the al-Aksa Intifada. Arab states (even those who have agreements with Israel) have played negative roles in the peace process. and to bring tangible. it is indicative of an inability or lack of desire by Israel to negotiate with its Arab neighbors in a meaningful manner. Given Arafat’s rejection of the proposal by his refusal to negotiate seriously. Israel's olive branch was met with a hail of gunfire and a barrage of suicide bombers. Israel has agreed to two peace agreements with its Arab .

it must be clear to all parties in the regional and international arenas that violence and terrorism do not pay. The international community must therefore hold the Palestinian leadership to account for their wholesale violation of their obligations. It is the hope of the government of Israel that the violence will soon end. Israel calls upon the Palestinians to carry out their obligations under the agreements they signed. Israel has already achieved peace agreements with Egypt. not unilateral violence. cooperate with Israel in preventing violence and peacefully negotiate a solution to outstanding issues between the parties. The underpinning of international law rests upon the principle that signed agreements must be respected. Israel has already demonstrated its willingness to make far-reaching compromises in the service of peace.offer since it is impossible for Israel to agree to such conditions. The Palestinian leadership must finally abandon its strategy of violence and terrorism. its largest neighbor. with whom Israel shares the longest common border. now is the time for the Palestinian leadership to do the same.primarily because terrorism is a global scourge and should not be rewarded with political gains. . To sanction such disregard for signed agreements would undermine a fundamental principle of international legitimacy. Only negotiation not violence and terrorism . The world community has a very important stake in the outcome of these efforts . Israel and the Palestinians were well advanced in the negotiating process. and Israel had put forward far-reaching compromise proposals in order to achieve a mutually acceptable agreement. When terrorism is halted.thing that Israel is building is not. what it is. Israel implores the international community to bring pressure to bear on the Palestinian leadership to end the violence. 16) Isn’t this wall that Israel is building illegal. Israel remains committed to finding a peaceful solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict in general and the Palestinian issue in particular. and with Jordan. Unfortunately. If this fundamental principle is disregarded. Israel has completed a series of interim agreements with the Palestinians. 15) How can a peaceful resolution be achieved? Israel's goal has remained constant: halting the violence. you have to understand what this . Peace can only be built through dialogue. and won’t it be a barrier to peace? First. to renounce terrorism. Furthermore. Israel continues to concentrate its efforts on finding ways to stop the violence in order to return to the negotiating table. all meant to move the parties towards a permanent peace between them. and returning to peace negotiations. the stability of the region and the globe will be threatened. to renounce terrorism and rededicate themselves to the pursuit of a negotiated resolution of the conflict. Since the PLO's declared renunciation of terrorism in 1993. in signed agreements. Today. the Palestinian decision to go back on their 1993 commitments and to pursue violence rather than negotiation rendered the continuation of these talks impossible. and the efforts to build peace will begin again. It is clear that building peace requires historic compromises on the part of all sides. These days more than ever before. the Palestinian leadership has obligated itself. and why Israel is doing it. talking can resume. Before the outbreak of the Palestinian violence. in order to achieve a permanent resolution of the conflict.can ever bring peace.

The Roadmap has three stages. security. Israel withdraws from Palestinian areas occupied from September 28. Palestinians and Israelis resume security cooperation based on the Tenet work plan to end violence. terrorism. Simply put. the barrier being built is not a wall. with clear phases. consistent with the Mitchell report. economic. Israel takes all necessary steps to help normalize Palestinian life. and free. with electronic security devices and only 5% of the total is actual wall. and their compliance with each of the obligations defined in the Roadmap. Stage II: . It is a physical means by which terrorists will find it much harder to cross over the Israel proper (a mere ten minutes way) and kill innocent civilians. Israel also freezes all settlement activity. resulting in a democratic. but owners are being reimbursed. Second. humanitarian. the barrier is not completely following the so-called Green Line border that demarks the ceasefire line of 1967. target dates. the barrier is not a land grab. However. 17) What is the ‘Road Map’? The Roadmap is a performance-based and goal-driven guide. It is mainly a fence. The fence is a last-ditch attempt by Israel to protect itself (which is the right of every country in the world – all of which have their own devices to stop similar such attacks) from a planned campaign of terror. and institutionbuilding fields. and roughly. The goal of the Roadmap is to bring an end of conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.First. independent and viable Palestinian state living side-by-side in peace and security next to Israel. and benchmarks aiming at progress through reciprocal steps by the two parties in the political. United Nations. European Union. Third. timelines. As a performance-based plan. and incitement through restructured and effective Palestinian security services. as many people claim that it is. supportive measures undertaken by Israel. and Russia]. the 1967 line is not a recognized international border like that between Canada and the United States. as security performance and cooperation progress. the barrier is a non-permanent structure erected as a demonstration of Israel’s right to defend itself and its citizens in the wake of terrorism. It was almost meant to be a temporary ceasefire arrangement with no long-term political meaning. under the auspices of the Quartet [the United States. Palestinians undertake comprehensive political reform in preparation for statehood. Israel is not bound by international law to abide by this ‘line’ Finally. including drafting a Palestinian constitution. fair and open elections upon the basis of those measures. the barrier will come down when the Palestinian Authority and other terrorist organizations renounce terrorism and agree to a comprehensive and final peaceful resolution to the conflict in the Middle East through diplomacy. progress will require and depend upon the good faith efforts of the parties. they have the following as their parts: Stage I: The Palestinians immediately undertake an unconditional cessation of violence according to the steps outlined below. A similar fence has been employed for years around the Gaza Strip and this has assisted in a reduction of terrorist attempts coming from this part of the Middle East. Some trees and some Arab-owned property is being confiscated. 2000 and the two sides restore the status quo that existed at that time.

The disengagement requires no Palestinian prerequisites. 19) Do any Arab leaders support this proposal? In June 2003. King Abdullah of Jordan said that “…It is thanks to the efforts of President Bush. The disengagement plan is a part in the process of extracting Israel from long-term governance over the Palestinians." Further. and the rest of the Quartet. because he alone has enough courage to do that. at meeting between Egyptian. 18) Explain to the ‘disengagement plan’. 81% of the Palestinians support reconciliation today compared to 67% last June. The Disengagement Plan was conceived at a time when Yasser Arafat was still alive and head of the Palestinian Authority. Speaking to a group of students. Israeli and Palestinian leaders. Stage III: The final stage of Roadmap convenes the Roadmap sponsors. end of conflict and the creation of a Palestinian state. and how it works with the Road Map? Israel’s Disengagement Plan will remove Israel’s military and civilian presence from the entire Gaza Strip and the Northern West Bank. as a way of bypassing Arafat and serving Israel’s long-term interests of breaking the impasse of violence created by the intifada.” 20) Given their new leadership. . The plan was originally meant to be a unilateral action. what do the Palestinians think of renewed talks with Israel? In exit polling conducted by Khalid Shakika on the day of the Palestinian Authority elections. Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has stated that Israel has no interest in permanently controlling the lives of Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. and the commitments of Prime Minister Sharon and Prime Minister Abbas that we meet here today to transform these dreams into real achievements on the ground. American. Israel and the Palestinians in an international conference leading to a settlement of the final-status issues. new findings have been released concerning Palestinian sentiment towards Israel. These interested parties.Efforts are focused on the option of creating an independent Palestinian state with provisional borders and attributes of sovereignty. However. Disengagement has been endorsed by the U. which makes disengagement a relevant policy for this current government. as well as Israel and the Palestinians. are interested in using the disengagement plan as a springboard to further progress in the road towards peace. The areas Israel is disengaging from will be handed over to the Palestinian Authority. President Mubarak of Egypt is quoted as saying that the Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon "is the only one who is able to solve the crisis taking place in the Middle East region. A majority of 63% endorses a withdrawal from the West Bank and Gaza Strip with the exception of some settlement areas in less than 3% of the West Bank.S. now that Arafat is gone and Mahmoud Abbas has led a series of initial reforms as head of the Palestinian Authority. Israel is committed to coordinating the Disengagement with the Palestinians Disengagement goes well beyond Israel’s obligations under the Roadmap by giving more area and control to the Palestinian Authority than which is defined in Phase I. Further. Jordanian.

mfa. Israeli Defense Force. 2001 Hadassah. M.gov. as well as members of the Federation’s Community Relations Committee.asp) Bard. ‘Busting Myths/Building Understand’. America-Israel Cooperative Enterprise. .BIBLIOGRAPHY Anti-Defamation League.il) The Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans would also like to that a number of students from Tulane University who assisted in the creation of this booklet. Government of Israel (www. (http://adl..il) Ministry of Foreign Affairs.org/main_israel. "Zionism 101 Test" Jewish Federation of Winnipeg. the Women's Zionist Organization of America.idf. Myths and Facts. Government of Israel (www.

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