MideastWeb Middle East Web Log
The Hebrew/Yiddish word "Hutzpah," which means extraordinary effrontery, has long since passed into common English usage. Those who do not know the meaning of this word got an object lesson when, six weeks late, Israel submitted its list of illegal outposts that are due to be destroyed under the roadmap agreements. A total of twenty eight outposts were listed. Of these, Israel is committed to remove only twelve, and has announced that it is going to regularize the status of the others.
Illegal or "unauthorized" outposts are those that were constructed after March of 2001, as defined in the Roadmap. This is a "generous" definition. Actually, Israel had agreed at least informally, not to build any new settlements under the Oslo accords, and therefore all the outposts constructed since the Oslo accords are "illegal." Israeli officials have repeatedly promissed to remove these outposts. Indeed, a few of the outposts were removed, opposed by dramatic and sometimes violent demonstrations of the settlers, but invariably, the outposts, which often consist of a few trailers, are soon repopulated. None of the more substantial outposts have been removed. There were over 100 "illegal" outposts according to a November 2003 report by Peace Now. Of these, about 60 were constructed after March of 2001.
The Peace Now report noted:
It is not clear how the 60 outposts of Peace Now were reduced to 28, but we can use our imagination. Outposts were probably "condensed" by calling two or three outposts by the same name or they were "eliminated" by attaching them to existing settlements as if they are "natural expansion." Some outposts consist of only a few trailers, and can be overlooked. In the future, they will become "facts on the ground," but right now they are non-facts. Even more interesting is the intention, advanced by Israel, to make the settlements "kosher" after the fact. Israel has reneged on international agreements and now it wants to decide unilaterally to rewrite the agreements. The roadmap clearly was not intended only to help Israeli zoning planners by removing outposts that didn't agree with Israeli zoning laws. Manifestly, the Palestinians and Americans couldn't care less if the settlements agree with the Israeli master plan for occupying the West Bank. Perhaps the most delicious and interesting aspect was used by Ha'aretz, apparently paraphrasing the Israeli letter to the US, noting that "some of the remaining 16 outposts are in the process of being approved and planned." These outposts all exist. They are therefore going to be "planned" after they were built, a very novel use of the word "planned."
The outposts are mostly unpopulated or have only a few families in them. They are of no strategic significance. Therefore, the only motivation for not evacuating them must be rooted in coalition politics.
The Israeli government is justifiably indignant that the PNA has not lived up to its commitments under the Oslo accords and the roadmap to stop incitement and fight terror. Unfortunately, this complaint loses its moral force in view of the non-compliance of the Israelis. If we won't honestly fulfill our commitments to the US, our closest allies, how can we expect the Palestinians to fulfill their commitments to us?
Original text copyright by the author and MidEastWeb for Coexistence, RA. Posted at MidEastWeb Middle East Web Log at http://www.mideastweb.org/log/archives/00000274.htm where your intelligent and constructive comments are welcome. Distributed by MEW Newslist. Subscribe by e-mail to email@example.com. Please forward by email with this notice and link to and cite this article. Other uses by permission.
Replies: 8 comments
You have GOT to be kidding - right? With all the terrorist groups the PA funds and directs, you are complaining about a few trailers perched on isolated and desolate hills?
Just today there was a report where a palestinian "collaborator" was dragged into the town square and machine-gunned by four executioners while a crowd of spectators cheered and danced around the corpse.
No one dies when a few crazy Israelis set up an outpost, but the fanatic arabs are determined to kill jews no matter what.
You point out that the outposts are unpopulated or have only a few families. However, you imply, this is too provacative to the sensitive arabs, who then are then justified in their murderous zeal.
Posted by rick @ 07/02/2004 07:04 PM CST
This author must be smoking something that is only legal in the Netherlands. Under the Oslo Accords, the "Palestinian Authority" was supposed to stop using terror and combat other groups that were using it as well. Instead, not only did then not stop anyone else but are directly involved in the daily attempted genocide of Jews in Israel. When you compare that violation of the accords (long looked upon as a historic national disaster in Israel) to the building of outposts your moral compass appears out of whack.
Posted by Amir @ 07/02/2004 08:03 PM CST
The previous comments are about moral equivalency. They contend that weighting the issues morally, settlements and outposts are less serious than killing people - or trying to. Well, I agree killing people is worse than trespassing; however, the settlements make a contiguous Palestinian state an impossibility and so lead to more deaths. There is a reason why the multiple agreements juxtapose these issues.
Posted by Carol @ 07/02/2004 08:27 PM CST
Dear Carol. Are you still dreaming that the "Palestinian" Arabs actually want a state of their own? Did you miss the offer made by Barak to Arafat...the one that was turned down as Arafat launched the Oslo War?
Besides, you are forgetting that this is not Palestinian land we are talking about, rather disputed land that both parties have legitimate claims to. If you contend that these territories must be Judenrein than you must also move all Arabs and non-Jews out of "Israel Proper".
Does that make any sense to you?
Posted by Amir @ 07/02/2004 10:52 PM CST
No, Amir, it does not make sense to me. Israel has decided that it is to be a state of all of its citizens, Jew and others, with special immigration rights given to Jews and some related to them. The state of Palestine will decide its own policies. They may decide that those Jews in the occupied territories who are willing to live as Palestinian citizens are welcome to stay. They may not.
Posted by Carol @ 07/03/2004 12:10 AM CST
IT AMAZES ME HOW FEW PEOPLE REALIZE OR CARE THAT ARAFART HAS NOT MOVED ONE INCH TO EVEN BEGIN TO COMPLY WITH THE VERY FIRST OBLIGATION IN THE ROADMAP, WHICH IS TO DESTROY THE TERRORIST ORGANIZATIONS AND INFRASTRUCTURE. BUT HOW CAN HE WHEN SOME OF THEM ARE PART OF HIS OWN ORGANIZATION? WHY IN THE WORLD SHOULD ISRAEL REMOVE ANY SETTLEMENT OR OUTPOST BEFORE THE PLO TAKES STEP # 1?
Posted by MIKE LEVINE @ 07/05/2004 09:35 AM CST
Ultimately Israel must withdraw from most of the territories that it captured in 1967. Israel cannot expect the Palestinians to respect Israel, if Israel does not respect the potential Palestinian state. Israel cannot have perpetually amorphous national boundaries if it expects the Palestinians to relinquish their claims upon the entire Mandate territory (i.e Israel, West Bank & Gaza). This tendency by Israel is arrogance.
Posted by Rod Davies @ 07/06/2004 09:43 PM CST
Comments on some of the replies:
Posted by Ami Isseroff @ 07/08/2004 03:45 PM CST
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