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Every time I have gone to Israel in connection with the peace process on each of my trips I have been met with the announcement of new settlement activity. This does violate United States policy. It is the first thing that Arabs--Arab governments--the first thing that Palestinians in the territories--whose situation is really quite desperate--the first thing they raise when we talk to them. I don't think there is any greater obstacle to peace than settlement activity that continues not only unabated but at an advanced pace.
U. S. Secretary of State James A. Baker, May 22, 1991

A cessation of Palestinian-Israeli violence will be particularly hard to sustain unless the Government of Israel freezes all settlement activity. The Government of Israel should also give careful consideration to whether settlements that are the focal points for substantial friction are valuable bargaining chips for future negotiation or provocations likely to preclude the onset of productive talks.

Report of the Sharm el-Sheikh Fact-Finding Committee (The Mitchell Report) May 20, 2001

The Sharon Government, with the backing of the Labor Party, is continuing the settlement policy in the territories. The creation of new settlements inflames the conflict with the Palestinians and endangers more Israeli soldiers and civilians. The settlements policy also jeopardizes Israel's position in the new world constellation formed in the wake of the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks. The Settlements are an obstacle to any future agreement, and, as in the past, the settlers are endangering Israel's security and leading us on a suicidal path.

Prof. Arie Arnon, Peace Now Update, October 4, 2001

The settlements established in these territories through miserable decisions by all the governments of Israel, are draining the economy, undermining social solidarity and creating huge and harmful gaps between the settlers--who are granted encouragement and benefits by the government--and the citizens who live within the Green Line and carry a heavy burden. The injuries to innocent civilians, the unbearable delays at the roadblocks, the humiliation of hundreds of thousands of human beings, the insolent construction of new settlements--these are the bitter fruit of the occupation of the territories. The occupation is not only eroding the ability of the sovereign state to defend itself, and is not only undermining its moral standing in the eyes of the world, but is also splitting Israeli society. It is retarding its development and sowing violence and hatred within it.

Ha'aretz, Editorial, February 15, 2002

The Six-Day War was forced upon us; however, the war's seventh day, which began on June 12, 1967 and has continued to this day, is the product of our choice. We enthusiastically chose to become a colonial society, ignoring international treaties, expropriating lands, transferring settlers from Israel to the occupied territories, engaging in theft and finding justification for all these activities. Passionately desiring to keep the occupied territories, we developed two judicial systems: one--progressive, liberal--in Israel; and the other--cruel, injurious--in the occupied territories. In effect, we established an apartheid regime in the occupied territories immediately following their capture. That oppressive regime exists to this day.
This is the harsh reality that is causing us to lose the moral base of our existence as a free, just society and to jeopardize Israel's long-range survival. Israel's security cannot be based only on the sword; it must rather be based on our principles of moral justice and on peace with our neighbors--those living next door and those living a little further away. An occupation regime undermines those principles of moral justice and prevents the attainment of peace. Thus, that regime endangers Israel's existence.

Michael Ben-Yair, Attorney General, Israel 1993-1996, Ha'aretz, March 3, 2002

The only way for Israelis to have security is, quite simply, to end the 35-year-old occupation of Palestinian territory. Israelis must abandon the myth that it is possible to have peace and occupation at the same time, that peaceful coexistence is possible between slave and master. The lack of Israeli security is born of the lack of Palestinian freedom. Israel will have security only after the end of occupation, not before.

Marwan Barghouti, General-Secretary of the Fateh Party(West Bank), The Washington Post, January 16, 2002


Albert Einstein –
“I should much rather see reasonable agreement with the Arabs on the basis of living together in peace than the creation of a Jewish State. Apart from practical considerations, my awareness of the essential nature of Judaism resists the idea of a Jewish State, with borders, an army, and a measure of temporal power, no matter how modest. I am afraid of the inner damage Judaism will sustain”...

Martin Buber –
“Only an internal revolution can have the power to heal our people of their sickness of causeless hatred...It is bound to bring complete ruin upon us. Only then will the old and young in our land realize how great was our responsibility to those miserable Arab refugees in whose towns we have settled Jews who were brought here from afar; whose homes we have inherited, whose fields we now sow and harvest; the fruits of whose gardens, orchards and vineyards we gather; and in whose cities that we put up houses of education, charity, and prayer.”

Israel's responsibility for Refugees -
The Jewish military advantage was translated into an act of mass expulsion of more than half of the Palestinian population. The Israeli forces, apart from rare exceptions, expelled the Palestinians from every village and town they occupied. In some cases, this expulsion was accompanied by massacres [of civilians] as was the case in Lydda, Tantura, Deir Yassin and others.


The Palestine Monitor
A PNGO Information Clearinghouse

Is Sharon trying to incite suicide bombings?
September 9th, 2003

It has been almost three weeks since Israeli helicopter gun-ships
assassinated Hamas leader, Ismail Abu Shanab formally ending the shaky
ceasefire sustaining the US-backed peace plan.

The fact that the ceasefire was littered with Israeli violations,
including 16 killings of innocent Palestinians, barely made the news.

The fact that Israel has continued its siege and military closure of the
West Bank and Gaza, maintained its policies of assassinations, home
demolitions, military checkpoints, the building of illegal settlements,
the uprooting of trees, the seizure of land and the horrific
construction of an Apartheid wall, actions that completely violate the
Road Map, have also been largely ignored. As will the 17 Palestinian
deaths of the last three weeks, through extra-judicial assassinations,
along with those of a further six Palestinians randomly targeted by
trigger happy Israeli soldiers, including 3 children. There will be
little coverage of all of this in the world’s press, that is of course
until the next young Palestinian, downright desperate with the situation
in which he, his friends and his family find themselves in, and, filled
with hatred of the Israeli occupier, he walks into a busy street café,
or steps on board a crowded bus, and blows himself up.

But this appears to be exactly what Sharon and Shaul Mofaz are working
towards. Has nobody noticed that Hamas have vowed revenge for every
Palestinian being assassinated? Yet still there has been nothing, so
Sharon continues to push and push. There was wide belief that Saturday’s
attempt on Sheik Ahmed Yassin, the Hamas spiritual leader, would be the
last straw but Hamas have remained relatively silent. Can the world’s
press please note this restraint?

Israel continues to defend it’s violations of the Road Map by
highlighting the Palestinian Authority’s inability to reign in
resistance groups, and now day after day the Palestinian Cabinet are
meeting with Hamas trying to maintain a case for holding off any attacks
while Israel goes further and further to provoke them. 24 Palestinians
have been killed since the end of the ceasefire, how many more will be
killed in Sharon’s efforts to provoke Hamas? And bring once again to
the world’s television screens, horrific pictures of innocent Israeli
children inside Jerusalem that reap unaccountable pity and support of
Israel’s attempts to erase Palestine and its people all together. Are
Palestinian children not innocent victims too? Why was the killing of
eight year old Aya Fayad – shot dead whilst riding her bicycle – not so
widely reported in the world’s news?

As long as this devastating conflict between Palestinians and Israelis
continues then the quiescent international community and the world’s
press and its biased reporting must remain as much to blame as the two
opponents. As a recent statement from the Palestine National Initiative
so clearly expressed, a true, lasting peace can only be contracted
between democracies which can negotiate with full representative
support. The Israeli systematic destruction of the PA however, and the
constant Israeli prevention of democratic elections, has fatally
undermined its ability to build up its structures and move towards the
creation of democratic institutions. For this to now happen there must
be an international presence.

Until the international community will answer the calls of the
Palestinian people there will be little change in the cycles of news
coming out of the Middle East. If Israel continues down this path,
showing total carelessness for lives of Israelis, as well as those of
Palestinians, trying desperately to incite a demoralized, desperate
people, there is bound to be just one response. The USA has called on
Israel to consider the consequences of its assaults on Palestinians,
particularly assassination attempts on militant leaders, and it seems,
with malicious calculation, this is exactly what Sharon is doing.

For more information contact: The Palestine Monitor
+972 (0)2 298 5372 or +972 (0)59 387 087