Powered by WebAds

Monday, February 18, 2008

'Palestinians' reopen Orient House in defiance of Olmert junta

In response to the murder of fifteen innocent civilians by a suicide bomber at Sbarro's Pizza in Jerusalem earlier that day, on August 9, 2001, Israeli security forces shut down Orient House (pictured at top left), a building just over the 'green line' in 'east' Jerusalem that the 'Palestinians' had made into a quasi government headquarters in violation of the Oslo Accords they had signed with the Rabin government in 1993 and 1995. In August of this past year, 'moderate' 'Palestinian' President Mahmoud Abbas Abu Mazen appointed former director of the Islamic Wakf Adnan Husseini as his 'adviser on Jerusalem affairs.' The Wakf is the organization that controls anything the Muslims call a holy site, and that currently controls the Temple Mount; the organization is responsible for multiple, daily violations of Israel's Antiquities Law on the Temple Mount. Husseini is also a cousin of the late Faisal Husseini, who held the position under Yasser Arafat. In an interview with the Jerusalem Post shortly after his appointment, Husseini placed a priority on reopening Orient House:
The new adviser told the Post one of his first tasks would be to try to persuade Israel to reopen Palestinian institutions in the city that were closed down by Israel over the past seven years.

One of these institutions, Orient House, served as the unofficial headquarters of the PLO in Jerusalem. Orient House enjoyed the status of an unofficial diplomatic mission - a fact that angered many in Israel, especially as some foreign ministers insisted on holding talks there with leading Palestinian figures.

Israel had argued that the presence of Orient House and other PLO-linked institutions in the city were in violation of the Oslo Accords, which banned the Palestinians from conducting such activities in Israel. The closure of Orient House was followed by similar moves against at least a dozen PLO-affiliated institutions.

"Jerusalem is living without a soul in the absence of Palestinian institutions," Husseini said in an interview with the Post. "The people of Jerusalem have been suffering because of the closure of their institutions. Today, everyone realizes that Jerusalem can't exist without these institutions, which used to provide essential services to the public."
Today, the day after an Israeli government decision to close it for another year, the 'Palestinians' reopened Orient House:
On its website, Orient House is describe as being “the national headquarters of the Palestinian people in Jerusalem” that serves “the well-being of the Palestinian civilian population in Occupied Palestinian Jerusalem.”

PA officials have begun to arrange meetings with foreign diplomats there and in other PA institutions in the eastern section of the capital, according to Voice of Israel government radio.

An aide to PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad confirmed that security and intelligence officers are now operating in eastern Jerusalem on a limited basis, although formal PA departments have not reopened in Orient House. The move is a violation of an Israeli ban on any official PLO presence in the capital.

Hatim Abdul-Qadir, a Fatah leader and PA government aide for Jerusalem affairs, confirmed in an interview with the Bethlehem-based Ma’an news agency that he and other PA officials have been holding meetings with foreign dignitaries at the building.

Abdul-Qadir further admitted that PA security and intelligence officers are also now working out of Orient House, but claimed they do not carry weapons, do not wear military uniforms and are not authorized to make arrests. The senior aide added that the security and intelligence operatives "help resolve certain problems and collect information about the construction of Israeli settlements in [eastern] Jerusalem."
The only way to put a stop to this is for the government to announce that any 'foreign dignitary' who holds meetings with the 'Palestinians' in 'east' Jerusalem will be banned from all meetings with representatives of the Israeli government. That's how Israel succeeded in isolating Yasser Arafat from 2002 onwards. Will the Olmert-Barak-Livni junta have the strength to do it? Don't hold your breath. In fact, they're probably just as happy to grant Abu Mazen a foothold in Jerusalem.


At 5:20 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

The Israeli government is talking of giving up half of Jerusalem. Olmert-Barak-Livni view it as a lost battle. Why fight a war you've already lost.

To their minds, the best that can be done is arrange a surrender advantageous to them - and they're probably right that this is all Israel can do. Having a backbone is not in their political DNA.

At 7:34 PM, Blogger Freedom Fighter said...

Shalom Carl,
I'm going to link to this, if you don't mind..

Actually, there's a lot more the Israeli government can do about this if they wanted to, just as there is a lot more they could do about getting the US embassy moved to Jerusalem...IF they wanted to.

The Orient House is on Israeli sovereign territory. There is absolutely no reason the Jerusalem police (or the IDF) could not move in, evict the miscreants and close it down again.

Then there would be no cause for foreign diplomats to go there.

The same with the embassy. Congress is onIsrael's side on this one, Israel could send a covert message to President Bush that the status quo is unacceptable and that the Israeli government will boycott any meetings or affairs held there, will not accept the credentilas of US diplomats working out of there and not allow Israeli citizens to work there or enter the building until the situation changes would give Bush an opportunity to save face by actually keeping the campaign promise he ran on in 2000.

I have a feeling that faced with public embarrassment, he would do just that.

Of course, as you say. Olmert and Livni would actually have to have a spine to do this.

What is wrong with these people??

At 9:07 PM, Blogger Carl in Jerusalem said...

Freedom Fighter,

Always happy to be linked.

They aren't actually running Orient House in Orient House, which makes it more difficult to close down (the article wasn't real clear about that). But they are running diplomatic meetings in 'east' Jerusalem. I question whether Condi would let Bush do anything about it. And Olmert and Livni won't ask anyway.


Post a Comment

<< Home