M I D - E A S T R E A L I T I E S - LIE OF THE WEEK
"THE ARABS KILL, WE BUILD"
[MER - While Yasser Arafat pretends to be a tough negotiator over Hebron, the actual reality is that Arafat has surrendered on nearly every key issue since 1991 (however much camaflouged for appearances sake). Professors Edward Said and Noam Chomsky, and writers such as Robert Fisk and Tonya Reinhart, have chronicled this collapse of Arafat's PLO in numerous articles and university forums that have received little attention from the establishment media. In the post-Oslo world the realities for Palestinians are actually considerably worse than was the case before. Under cover of Oslo, a form of neo-apartheid is taking root in the once Holy Land - the master and dominant Jews, the subservient and penned-in Palestinians -- with the "Palestinian 'police'" actually getting their guns and salaries from the Israelis whom they effectively report to. Under cover of Oslo and that mesmerizing slogan "peace process", what remains of the Palestinian territories has been divided into small semi-autonomous Arab "population centers", all surrounded by Israeli tanks, hill-top settlements, "by-pass" roads, and ever-expanding pass-law "check-points". Even the Oslo-agreed road suppoed to connect Gaza with the West Bank has been refused by the Israelis. Meanwhile, as Hebron "redeployment" (not withdrawal) is focused upon by Arafat and his American coach, Dennis Ross, the Israelis continue to "thicken" and expand throughout much of the occupied territories and as never before in the Jerusalem area. Arafat's agreeement at Oslo, and then at Cairo, to terms that made it possible not only for the settlers to remain, but for settlement to continue (as it did under Rabin and Peres as well (though with different rhetoric and excuses) is among the greatest disasters the Palestinian people have ever suffered. Arafat himself has essentially been reduced to no more than occupation-chosen Governor of Gaza and a kind of tribal chief who meets with the real authorities debating over forms of autonomy and hand-outs. The following recent report from a settler-sponsored media source is about one of the more blatant examples of Israeli reality that is being further forced upon the Palestinian reality.]
Settlers Just Keep On Going
[Saturday - 4 Jan 1997] Scores of residents of Beit El, an Israeli settlement in the West Bank, worked throughout the night last night, and succeeded in establishing a new neighborhood - Maoz Tzur - on Mt. Artis, adjacent to Beit El. The neighborhood is named after Ita and Ephraim Tzur, who were murdered by Arab terrorists this past Chanukah (three weeks ago). Huge cranes, semi-trailers, and tractors worked until morning in pitch-darkness to level the rocky terrain and place seven caravans (mobile homes, minus the wheels) atop the hill. The vehicles worked with their headlights off; only a flashlight lit the way as each house made its way up the hill. As the cranes lowered the structures onto the ground, technical teams began connecting them to the water and electrical supply, while the selected families began moving in beds, baby cribs, and other necessities. "It was executed like a military operation," said community leader Yaakov Katz (Ketzaleh). "Complete secrecy surrounded the entire project - even most of the residents of Beit-El had no idea what they would wake up to." One of the families that moved in was that of Avi and Naava Zarbiv and their children. Mrs. Zarbiv is the sister of Ofra Felix, who was killedby Palestinian terrorists in a drive-by shooting just north of Beit-El twoyears ago. Despite numerous questions posed by Israeli and foreigncorrespondents, Beit El leaders had only one sentence to say: "This is the true Zionist response to the murders of Ita and Ephraim Tzur: The Arabs kill - We build."
[Sunday - 5 Jan} BEIT EL FULFILLS ITS OBLIGATIONS, DEMANDS MORE LAND: The community of Beit El has removed the seven trailer homes from Mt. Artis, according to the compromise reached on Friday. Beit El leaders, including Yoel Tzur and Yaakov Katz, will meet at 4:45 this afternoon with Minister of Defense Yitzchak Mordechai in Rabbi Zalman Melamed's office in Beit El to discuss immediate plans for the enlargement of Beit El. The community has three main demands: the transfer of portions of the adjacent IDF base to the community for construction of a new neighborhood; the establishment of an army outpost atop Mt. Artis; and the formation of a local municipal council for the joint community of Beit El and Beit El Bet. Our correspondent asked Yoel Tzur this morning, "Which of the three demands do you see being fulfilled?"