15 נובמבר, 2007

Open letter to Malcolm Hoenlein from Israeli NGO

attn Mr. Malcolm Hoenlein
Executive VP,
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations
Dear Mr. Hoenlein,
Re: Dissemination of Inaccuracies at Governmental Level  May be the Basis for the Annapolis Conference
We ask your assistance in alerting the Administration in your country to inaccuracies, in official Government pronouncements. These inaccuracies together form a "Big Lie" which is forming the basis for the Annapolis conference.
Unfortunately, this intellectual sloppiness may endanger the State of Israel. We feel it is imperative for you to speak up and set the record straight.  
Governmental money IS going to terrorists - a la Arafat period: The Foreign Minister's newsflash of today, see below, claims the existence of a "mechanism for transferring and monitoring [two billion NIS to the Palestinian Authority], to prevent their use by terrorist organizations". This is absolute nonsense. No such mechanism exists: Knesset Member Slomiansky, a member of the Knesset Finance Committee, requested information about this much-touted "mechanism" many months ago, and no answer was forthcoming from the Prime Minister's office. Since that time, just to prove this point, on at least 2 occasions hundreds of millions of shekels provided to the PA by our government have in fact  wound up in the hands of the Hamas, as reported prominently in the Israeli press.
Abu Mazen's pro-violence statements disregarded - a la Arafat period: The newsflash below also asserts that "the new Palestinian Government provides a renewed opportunity to move forward in the peace process". This conclusion too is fueled by a governmental (here) disregard for the facts on the ground that can only be termed bizarre in the extreme: I refer you to MK Alon's ancient parliamentary inquiry on this issue, long overdue for response. MK Alon's old inquiry to PM Olmert noted the Palestinian leader, Abu Mazen's famous speech indicating that "all guns, all guns, all guns" will be trained on Israel, and requested that the Cabinet at least debate the implications of this speech. I just spoke to the office of MK Alon, which confirmed to me that Mr. Olmert's office has, to date, disregarded his months'-overdue legal obligation to respond to this parliamentary inquiry.
Israeli majority asserted - none exists: Your Secretary of State indicated in her most recent speech: "I believe that most Israelis are ready to leave most of the -- nearly all of the West Bank". Of course, Dr. Rice is relying on an almost identical statement by President Peres to Associated Press shortly after he was inaugurated. But Mr. Peres's statement is utterly false; in fact the polls show the opposite. Our organization supplied the refutation to Mr. Peres (poll results from  Tel Aviv University's reputable Peace Poll project) right after his statement came out, however Mr. Peres has, by omission, declined  to retract this inaccuracy, so if you do not undertake to set the record straight, it seems that no-one will.
This letter is an open letter because we believe these matters must be dealt with, quickly, of course, but also openly.  We would very much appreciate your response confirming that these matters have been brought to the attention of the Administration, and what was the response there.
Susie Dym, spokesperson
Mattot Arim
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Wednesday, November 14, 2007 4:56 PM
Subject: Behind the Headlines: Israeli Confidence Building Measures towards the Palestinians 14 November 2007

 MFA Newsletter

Behind the Headlines: Israeli Confidence Building Measures towards the Palestinians

Israel believes that the new Palestinian Government provides a renewed opportunity to move forward in the peace process toward the realization of the two-state vision. It is in this spirit that Israel has recently taken practical steps to assist the Palestinian government in creating a better environment for progress

Israel believes that the new Palestinian Government - established after the takeover of Gaza by Hamas terrorists in June 2007 - provides a renewed opportunity to move forward in the peace process toward the realization of the two-state vision. It is in this spirit that Israel has recently taken practical steps to assist the Palestinian government, led by President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, in creating a better environment for progress. The following is a brief list of some of the confidence building measure recently taken by Israel towards this end:


1. Releasing Withheld Tax and Customs Revenues – About 1 Billion NIS (approx. $250 million) have already been transferred to the PA, and the remainder of the revenues, another 1 Billion NIS, will be transferred by the end of the year. Israel and the PA have established a mutually acceptable mechanism for transferring and monitoring these funds, to prevent their use by terrorist organizations.


2. Promoting Palestinian Development:


- Promotion of Sewage Project with World Bank in Gaza, now underway in Beit Lahia, and serving the Northern Gaza strip


- MASHAV Projects – More than 230 Palestinian Trainees in such fields as Public Health, Small Business, Agriculture, Import/Export,  Educational Planning and Empowerment of Women and Youth


3. Security-related Measures:


- Easing of Movement – 25 roadblocks and checkpoints were removed in the West Bank


- Amnesty of Wanted Terrorists – About 170 wanted Fatah terrorists were offered amnesty in exchange for renunciation of terrorism and surrendering of weapons.


- Prisoner Release – About 350 prisoners were released in two phases (20 July and 1 October) with a third phase now being contemplated.


- Provisions for PA Security Forces – Israel recently consented to the transfer of supplies and equipment to the PA Security Forces, above and beyond that called for in the Israel-Palestinian agreements.


- Palestinian Security Force Deployment – PA security forces, with Israel's consent, have just been redeployed in Nablus (the largest West Bank city), and other cities are being considered for further redeployments.


4. Re-convening the Bilateral Committees established in the Oslo Accords, in order to address the ongoing needs of the Palestinian Authority:


- Health, Tourism and Agriculture Committees already working


- Legal Committee and Joint Economic Committee (established by the Paris Accord) to begin working soon


5. Expanding Economic Cooperation:


- Meetings of Business Community Leaders – Lately Israel has facilitated and supported several meetings between Israeli and Palestinian business community which have taken place under various non-governmental auspices. For example, the Israeli Manufactures Association has conducted a high level forum with Palestinian counterparts, and the Portland Fund has initiated the establishment of an Israeli-Palestinian Chamber of Commerce.


- Promotion of Economic Projects with International Partners - Turkey's Industrial Zone Project in Tarqumieh and Japan's 'Corridor of Peace' Project in Jericho are two such projects


It is Israel's hope that these measure, and others that will be taken in the near future, will help create and support an atmosphere conducive to progress in the renewed peace-making process - both in the negotiating room and in Palestinian public sentiment.




14 November 2007


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