US withholding reports that are critical of Abu Mazen's 'security forces'On Thursday, Haaretz leaked a draft of the 'joint declaration' between Israel and the 'Palestinians' that's still being worked on this evening. The draft had three proposals for just about every paragraph: US, Israel and 'Palestinians.' In one paragraph the US proposed:
The parties commit to immediate and parallel implementation of the Roadmap.Over the weekend, Caroline Glick slammed the highlighted provision:
The parties agree to form an American, Palestinian and Israeli committee to follow up on the immediate implementation of the Roadmap.
The parties commit themselves to continue the implementation of the ongoing obligations of the Roadmap until they reach a peace treaty.
The US will monitor and judge the fulfillment of the commitments of both sides of the Roadmap.
Unless otherwise agreed by the parties, implementation of the future peace treaty will be subject to the implementation of the Roadmap, as judged by the US.
As the leaked draft document shows, the Americans have sided with the Palestinians against Israel. Specifically, the Americans have taken for themselves the sole right to judge whether or not the Palestinians and the Israelis are abiding by their commitments and whether and at what pace the negotiations will proceed.This 'proposal' is not new. It was raised by US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice three weeks ago and I warned about at the time:
But the Americans have shown themselves to be unworthy of Israel's trust. By refusing to acknowledge Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah party's direct involvement in terrorism and indeed the direct involvement of his official Fatah "security forces" in terrorism, the Americans have shown that their benchmarks for Palestinian compliance with their commitments to Israel are not necessarily based on the reality on the ground. Then too, the US demands for wide-ranging Israeli security concessions to the Palestinians even before the "peace" conference at Annapolis have shown that Israel's security is of little concern to the State Department.
Writing in this morning's Washington Post, columnist David Ignatius claims that US Secretary of State Condoloeeza Rice is 'bridging' between the US and the 'Palestinians' by having the US decide whether the 'Palestinians' have fulfilled their obligations under the first phase of the 'road map.'WorldNetDaily has a report today that - even if only half of it is true - ought to scare the daylights out of every Israeli. According to WND's Aaron Klein, the US is playing deadly games with our security:The bridging process has been evident over the past month as the two sides sought to marry the security guarantees promised in the existing "road map" with the Annapolis document and its "political horizon." The hang-up was that, under the road map, the Israelis demanded security measures as a condition for further movement. To break the logjam, Rice's team drafted compromise language that would allow the United States to act as arbiter of whether the road map's security conditions are being met.As most of you know already, I love the US but I find it very difficult to accept another country as being the arbiter of Israel's security. Who will decide? Based on what criteria? With all due respect, to date, not one 'Palestinian' terrorist organization has been disbanded, not one 'Palestinian' terrorist has been arrested, and not one 'Palestinian' terrorist has had his weapons confiscated by the 'Palestinian Authority.'
This week, for the first time, three hundred 'Palestinian policemen' were sent to patrol Shchem (Nablus). But that patrol was yet another 'goodwill gesture' by Israel to the 'Palestinians' and no one is pretending that the 'Palestinians' can actually patrol the town or fight terror.
I would hate to see that classified as compliance with the first phase of the 'road map' because the Bush administration is in a rush to gain a diplomatic coup before the end of the President's term. We need to let Israel decide when it feels secure - and no one else.
At the request of the Palestinians, the U.S. has been holding back from Israel reports critical of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' purported attempts to fight terrorism in the West Bank, according to diplomatic sources familiar with the reports.Two additional comments:
The U.S. has been closely monitoring Abbas' implementation of commitments to fight armed groups in the West Bank ahead of this week's Annapolis summit. In line with understandings, State Department and U.S. security representatives were to share their observations with Israel while the U.S. also monitors Israeli commitments to dismantle anti-terror road blocks and to take initial steps toward bulldozing what are termed illegal outposts, or Jewish structures built in the West Bank without government permits.
While the U.S. has been reporting to the Palestinians on Israel's actions on the ground ahead of Annapolis, according to informed diplomatic sources, it has withheld some State Department reports critical of Abbas' Fatah security forces purported fight against terror.
According to Israeli security sources, Fatah rounded up some Brigades and PFLP members in the northern West Bank city of Nablus and transferred them to nearby Jericho, where they spent one night in a Fatah compound and were then freed but told they must stay in Jericho until after Annapolis. Most gunmen continue to receive room and board at Fatah compounds.
Several Brigades members rounded up and brought to Jericho, including a deputy commander of the terror group, last week entered U.S.-training courses for Fatah forces under way in the city. The U.S. and EU run regular training courses for Fatah militias to bolster Abbas against Hamas.
Lt. Gen. Keith Dayton, U.S. security coordinator for the Palestinian territories, has been closely monitoring the actions of Fatah forces in the West Bank, particularly Nablus, a city that was to serve as a litmus test for Abbas' ability to impose law and order in the West Bank. Dayton heads the U.S. team to train and arm Fatah and was the principal architect of a U.S. plan to fund Fatah forces.
According to diplomatic sources familiar with his reports, Dayton filed largely positive reviews of the performance in recent weeks of Abbas' forces. But other State Department monitors and U.S. security coordinators wrote reviews highly critical of the U.S.-backed Fatah militias, some noting Abbas' forces carried out mostly symbolic gestures.
The diplomatic sources said the critical U.S. reports were held back from Israel at the request of Abbas' office for fear it would negatively impact negotiations leading up to this week's Annapolis summit.
One Israeli security [official CiJ] speaking to WND, though, balked at the alleged attempt to withhold the information.
"The U.S. is going to tell us something we don't know about Fatah? Holding anything back won't achieve anything," he said.
First, letting the al-Aqsa terrorists go free fits right in with the report I ran earlier today about Fatah letting Hamas terrorists go free.
Second, while that Israeli security official may balk at attempts to withhold information because they "won't achieve anything," if we make the US the arbitrator of whether the sides have fulfilled their obligations under the Roadmap, it won't matter whether we know the US is wrong: Their word will control. We'd have to be insane to let the US make decisions like that when we already know now that they won't be made honestly. Then again, we already know that Olmert, Livni and Barak are insane. They keep doing the same thing over and over again and each time they expect a different result.
Israel Television has just reported on its nightly newscast that this provision is the one in the 'joint declaration' that is being negotiated right now - they are negotiating the specifics of US 'supervision.
Update 10:08 PM
President Bush announced in his welcome to Olmert today that both sides have agreed to the US monitoring described above. (Hat Tip: IMRA)
This conference will signal international support for the Israelis' and Palestinians' intention to commence negotiations on the establishment of a Palestinian state and the realization of peace between these two peoples.Gevalt!
It will also provide an opportunity for the Israelis, the Palestinians, and their neighbors to recommit to implementing the Roadmap, with the U.S. monitoring their progress by the parties' agreement. Finally, the conference will review Palestinian plans to build the institutions of a democratic state and their preparations for next month's donors' conference in Paris.