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SECRET DEALS AND THE FUTURE OF JERUSALEM
The following is an excerpt of his pamphlet for voters in Israel...
The Israeli people haven't taken much notice but there have been many secret deals made in the name of "the peace process."
Secrecy has replaced traditional statecraft and become the hallmark of the current government's diplomacy, concealing many of the commitments it has given to the PLO, the U.S., Jordan, and Syria. Secret deals mean that the government is making commitments before they are presented to the Israeli public and ratified by The Knesset, and concealing parts of these secret deals from the public and parliamentarians.
Why carry out policies in secret? Because if an agreement is secret and nobody knows about it, it can't be criticized. If a deal is made but then kept secret, the government has time to "prepare" the public to accept the terms of deal.
Despite the fact that many of secret deals that have been made in the name of the peace process, all have been reported in the Israeli press. However unlike other democracies, Israeli government officials are allowed to skirt the issue by simply
denying the existence of the allegedly deal or to simply refer to the journalist reports as "baseless."
For instance, in early January l996 it was widely reported in the Israeli media that secret negotiations were taking place with the PLO officials over the final status of Jerusalem. Three months prior to these reports, two Israeli newspaper Maariv and
Hatzofe, revealed the existence of secret talks Labor was conducting with the PLO over Jerusalem. The talks, the two papers reported, were being managed by Yair Hershfeld and Ron Pundak, the two academics who negotiated the first Oslo Accord.
Both papers wrote that Hershfeld and Pundak were meeting secretly on a regular basis with Feisel Husseini to cantonize the Holy City and that Husseini had already made a major "concession." He will permit Jews to go on living in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City. According to Hatsofeh, the scope of the talks is very broad, and even include Israel giving up Arab-populated regions of the Sharon and Galilee to the Palestinians, including the whole area known as the Triangle.
When Jerusalem Mayor Ehud Olmert accused the government of negotiating over the future status of Jerusalem in secret talks with the Palestinians, Minister of Internal Security Moshe Shachal denied the existence of such negotiations. No further probe by the press followed. The credibility of the journalists' reports are ultimately deemed "unreliable." Yet either the government is lying, or journalists in different spheres of the Israeli print and electronic media are conspiring to smear the government.
WHAT DOES PRIME MINISTER PERES HAVE IN STORE FOR JERUSALEM?
Prime Minister Shimon Peres' plans for Jerusalem's future are slowly being exposed and, with his back to the wall, he has been engaging in transparent lies to cover the leaks.
The first occurred after Yasir Arafat, during a speech in Johannesburg, revealed the existence of a letter from Peres to the Norwegian Foreign Minister sent in October 1993, committing Israsl to respect PLO governing institutions in Jerusalem. Peres denied that such a letter existed, much to the chagrin of Cabinet
whip Moshe Shachal, who transmitted Peres' message to the Knesset and was furious when the government later admitted that such a letter was actually sent.
In response to the revelation of the letter, Peres told the Knesset forum: "If you are insinuating that we would ever divide Jerusalem, then that's an ugly slander."
Peres is lying if one believes the contents of a letter, this one sent to Pope John Paul II.
In May l994, a close friend of Peres', the French intellectual Mark Halter, told the Israeli weekly newspaper Shishi that he delivered a letter from Peres to the Pope which outlined the Foreign Minister's plans for Jerusalem. According to Halter, "Peres agreed to hand over sovereignty of Jerusalem's Old City to the Vatican."
Halter elaborated on the plan: "The city will stay the capital of Israel but will be administered by the Vatican. The city will have an Israeli mayor and a Palestinian mayor, both under orders from the Holy See. The program was originally submitted to the Vatican by Peres two years ago, just before the Oslo talks began."
The Vaticanization plan was presented to the PLO during the Oslo negotiations and just before the signing of the Declaration of Principles, Arafat agreed not to oppose the plan. The plan also has the support of a number of influential Palestinian intellectuals who were consulted on the idea, including Professor Edward Said. The Peres plan calls for the extra-territoriality of the Old City and the airport at Atarot, which will become a world-wide meeting center.
The plan was first published in the daily Italian newspaper La Stampa on September 10th, l993, three days before Rabin met Arafat in Washington. At the time, Peres ordered the Foreign Ministry to deny that such a program existed.
Further details of the plan call for Jerusalem to become the second Vatican of the world with all three major religions represented within but under the authority of the Vatican. A Palestinian state will emerge in confederation with Jordan with its religious capital being Jerusalem but its administrative capital situated elsewhere, possibly Nablus.
In early l994, three weeks before the Cairo agreement was signed, Peres and Arafat met in Bucharest, Rumania, and there decided on a number of fateful issues. Arafat was given pledges that the Al Aqsa mosque will become independent of Israel and that he will be allowed to visit before the change of status.
Ultimately, the sovereignty of Jerusalem will be shared by the PLO and Israel. At this meeting Peres also acquiesced on the right of return for all Palestinians to all currently disputed areas including Jerusalem.
Either the press reports from both of these Israeli and Italian newspapers are false and "baseless," or Shimon Peres has agreed to hand over the sovereignty of Jerusalem to The Vatican in a deal that he forgot to tell the Israeli people about.
LABOR'S SECRET DEAL TO MANIPULATE THE 1992 ELECTIONS
With new elections now in the offing, the question on many people's mind should be whether Labor will resort to the same dirty tricks they orchestrated during the last general elections in 1992?
The story of Labor's secret talks with the PLO in the months leading up to the l992 elections threatened to become a scandal for Labor in mid l995 when it was was revealed in a book written by the PLO's Abu Mazan that Minister of Health Ephriam Sneh carried out a series of secret meetings with the PLO prior to the June l992 elections.
In fact, however, the clandestine contacts go back even further than that and were conducted by Labor party leader Shimon Peres and his aide Yossi Beilin.
The origins of the secret deals began in June l991 when Beilin led a delegation to Cairo of six Labor Mks. He disappeared from his group for several hours without explanation.
Beilin went to the Kings Hotel and there met two high-ranking PLO officials; Said Kamal, the PLO's representative in Cairo, and Mahmud Abbas, a special envoy from Yasir Arafat. Beilin handed Abbas a written message from Peres. In it he asked the PLO leader to use his influence to persuade Israeli Arabs to vote en masse for Labor in the upcoming national elections. In return, if Labor was elected it would immediately freeze settlements, cancel the law prohibiting meetings between Israelis and members of the PLO, and adopt a land for peace diplomacy. At the time of the negotiations, Beilin and Peres were both well aware that the
meeting with Kamal and Abbas was against Israeli law. Abie Nathan had already sat in prison for abrogating it. Peres and Beilin were consorting with the enemy and negotiating on behalf of the Israel government, yet they were not the duly elected
government of Israel. This is called treason.
By January, 1992 two things were becoming clear to Arafat; elections would be held later that year and Shimon Peres would likely lose the party's leadership to Yitzhak Rabin. Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak sent a delegation to Jerusalem to meet with Peres to find out if the deal offered Arafat would be valid if Rabin took over the party. Peres assured the Egyptians that nothing would change.
On January 17, Secretary of State James Baker met with Mubarak and told him that his government would begin a campaign to force Israel into freezing settlements. This message was transmitted by the American ambassador to Egypt to Nabil Shaat, Arafat's diplomatic advisor. Two days later Beilin was in Cairo
on his second known secret mission. Unfortunately for him, he was spotted by Yehoshua Meiri of the Hebrew daily Hadashot entering the lobby of the Ramses Hilton Hotel. Meiri watched him enter a room followed a few minutes later by Nabil Shaat. He later wrote about the meeting in Hadashot in March, l993 as did
two Egyptian newspapers, Al-Gomhouriya and Al-Wafd.
According to Shaat, Peres upped the stakes. If the PLO rallied Arab voters behind Labor helping it to oust the Likud coalition from power, his government would support an "independent autonomous entity" led by the PLO. Where do you
think Peres got his idea that Israel's should support and promote a PLO-led entity in the West Bank.
Shaat had returned to Tunis with promises from the American Secretary of State and the leader of the Israeli opposition that they would work towards a settlement freeze which would clear the way for something close to statehood. While Shaat was satisfied with the assurances he received, he was opposed by about half the
PLO leadership which wanted something concrete before agreeing to play ball with Peres.