Friday, September 02, 2005

Sharon's Plan

I think this post contains interesting ideas about what Sharon has planned for Israel. Could a population transfer be in the works?

Sharon probably believes that while it would be politically infeasible to execute the population transfer of the entire Arab population of the West Bank, as has occasionally been considered since the days of avowed Jewish fascist Vladimir Jabotinsky, it would be politically feasible to transfer those Arabs residing in the area indicated as retained by Israel if Israel simultaneously transferred Jews out of the area indicated as returned to Jordan.

Such a double transfer, while it would of course attract opposition, could not be depicted to (the reasonable, i.e. swing and therefore decisive elements of) world opinion as a one-sided act of aggression. It would largely take on the color of a mutual sacrifice by both sides for the sake of obtaining a peaceful long-term outcome. (Frankly, the more Jews in orange shirts howl in misery about it, the more fair it will appear on the world's TV screens.) Although it would of course create massive protest from the usual suspects, such protest would not rise to the catastrophic levels that a one-sided (Arabs only) transfer would. It would not be likely to trigger general war in the Middle East. It could be plausibly represented to the world as a mutual "exchange of populations" like those that have been carried out before, as between Turkey and Greece in 1923 ( and to rectify ethnic German minorities in Central Europe after WWII.

This is something to be aware of as events unfold.


Anonymous r said...

I don't put anything past Sharon...he has a plan...but can he get away with it?

Meanwhile his US co-patriots are busy,busy..stealing as much as they can from Pal, ..wonder how Rachel Corrie's family feels about this:

Palestinian Authority's U.S. Assets Frozen
Date: September 2, 2005

The U.S. District Court in Rhode Island has ordered all Palestinian assets in the United States frozen after the Palestinian Authority declined to pay a $116 million terrorism settlement awarded to an American family last year. Ironically, this judgement comes as the family of Rachel Corrie waits for a court in Haifa to decide on their claim for just $324 thousand in damages from the government of Israel and the Israel Defense Forces for her death in 2003.

According to a report by the Boston Globe, the frozen assets include a $1.3 billion Palestinian investment fund for economic development in the occupied West Bank and Gaza and bank accounts used to pay Palestinian representatives in Washington. The attorney appointed by an Israeli court to represent the victims, David J. Strachman of Providence, R.I., has initiated a court action to sell off the building owned by the PLO observer mission to the UN in New York.

The case involves the 1996 shooting death of Yaron Ungar, a dual American-Israeli citizen, and his Israeli wife by three Hamas gunmen as they were returning from a wedding in Israel. Under a 1991 antiterrorism law, U.S. citizens may sue in U.S. federal district court for damages caused by foreign terrorist organizations. The defendents in this case include the Palestinian Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority, as well as Hamas. According to Strachman and reported by the Globe, the Hamas members were found in possession of PA issued uniforms, linking them to the terrorist attack. In awarding the settlement last year, the court ruled that since Palestine is not a state, the PA and PLO are not entitled to immunity granted to most countries from such lawsuits.

In a 2001 Boston University alumni publication article, Strachman is quoted as saying of the case, Ungar v. PLO and the Palestinian Authority, which he has worked on for seven years, "We are doing exactly what Congress, and those who wrote this legislation, wanted us to do - create an economic disincentive for terrorists. If the terrorists know that they can be forced to pay a lot, can even be bankrupted, then they may rethink their strategy. Appeals to any sense of morality have failed; appeals to their pocketbooks may work."

The Globe quotes Robert Tolchin, an attorney working with Strachman, as saying "We're looking for money. If you create a cost for doing wrong, people will be motivated to stop doing wrong."

Strachman's "aggressive" (the Globe's word) efforts to receive compensation for the Ungar family threaten Palestinian society on several fronts, according to the Globe:

* Freezing the PA's U.S. assets may destroy the Palestinian banking system, and hence its already-withering economy, since $30 million held by the Bank of America is used by the Palestinian Monetary Authority, the Palestinian equivalent of the U.S. Federal Reserve, in exchange reserves.
* The staff at the PLO mission in Washington have not been paid in three months, and efforts to send a new ambassador to Washington have been stalled because he or she would not be allowed access to a bank account.
* All money transfers to Palestinian missions in ten other countries have been halted by the Bank of America in New York.
* $110 million in US government aid to provide loan guarantees for small businesses in Gaza that was approved by the Overseas Private Investment Corporation last month is contingent upon the Palestinian Investment Fund making a substantial contribution. Since the Fund's assets have been frozen, the U.S. aid cannot be spent in Gaza.

Salam Fayyad, the Palestinian finance minister, is reported to have asked Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice for advice on the matter, since paying the $116 million award would set a precedent for numerous other lawsuits, four of which are already pending in U.S. courts, which would bankrupt the PA and stiffle U.S. efforts for development, democracy, and peace in the region. The Justice Department is expected to submit the U.S. government's position on the selling of the PLO mission in New York next month.

The PLO is being represented by former attorney general Ramsey Clark.

9/03/2005 12:12:00 AM  

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