Friday, August 30, 2013

The planned terror war of the Second Intifada

...None of these facts prevented then-Prime Minister Shimon Peres from making a formal announcement before the media congratulating Arafat on the decision -- when no such decision had ever actually been made. It was not Arafat who deceived us. We deceived ourselves, and we continue to do so.

Dror Eydar..
Israel Hayom..
30 August '13..

On several occasions, I heard Yossi Beilin, my colleague at Israel Hayom, repeat the claim that the Second Intifada had broken out because of "the provocative visit by [then-Opposition Leader] Ariel Sharon to the Temple Mount." This assertion is characteristic of the deep Israeli Left, which directs most of the blame for the failure of the Oslo Accords at Israel and holds Ehud Barak responsible for the failure of the talks at Camp David -- a failure that led to the outbreak of the terror war that began in September 2000.

But we know that Arafat had planned that war years before. Just like what happened before the Yom Kippur War, in the case of the Oslo Accords, their architects led the peace process while ignoring the obvious signs. Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon writes in his book "The Longer Shorter Way" that when he became head of the Military Intelligence Directorate in 1995, he looked into the rhetoric Arafat used internally, with the Palestinians, to see whether he was preparing the next generation for reconciliation or for war.

What Ya'alon discovered then still applies. Unlike Assad senior, who prepared his officers and the Syrian people for a possible treaty, Arafat continued to use jihadist rhetoric in the speeches he gave in Arabic (while in English he spoke of "the peace of the brave," which is open to interpretation). To this day, the Palestinian school system denies the existence of any link between the Jewish people and the Land of Israel, referring to all the land between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River as Palestine.

Arafat had a symbiotic relationship with the planners of the suicide attacks. The advocates of the Oslo Accords used to say that Arafat had no control over the terrorism and that his people were deceiving him. On January 24, 1996, during a meeting between Peres and Arafat, the name of the most wanted terrorist at the time, Mohammed Deif, came up in conversation: The Israelis asked that he be arrested. Playing innocent, Arafat asked Mohammed Dahlan in Arabic: "Mohammed who?" That was a significant moment for Ya'alon since the Israelis were aware that Arafat and Deif knew each other. Arafat's deception was laid bare for all to see.

Several months later, the Palestinian National Council assembled to revise the sections in the Palestinian National Covenant that denied Israel's right to exist. At the end of the convention, intelligence researchers realized that Arafat had pulled a fast one: While the English version stated that the change would be made right away, the Arabic version could be interpreted as stating that the change would take place at some undefined point in the future. The members of the PNC who opposed the change were told that the binding version was the Arabic one. It was also agreed that the change would be made by a committee of legal experts that would meet within six months. It goes without saying that no such committee ever met.

None of these facts prevented then-Prime Minister Shimon Peres from making a formal announcement before the media congratulating Arafat on the decision -- when no such decision had ever actually been made. It was not Arafat who deceived us. We deceived ourselves, and we continue to do so.

Will the real Preventive Security Service please stand up?

On May 8, 2000, Ehud Barak and Arafat met privately in Ramallah. After their meeting, Arafat told Marwan Barghouti: "Start heating things up." Barghouti obeyed. The ground heated up, and on May 15, the Palestinians -- Fatah, not Hamas -- opened fire on Israeli troops. The next day, Barghouti bragged in the newspaper that his people had fired 6,000 bullets at our troops. Arafat reprimanded him for having boasted in public because he had wanted to make those planned confrontations look like a spontaneous popular uprising.

Even then, it was obvious that Barghouti was Arafat's right-hand man when it came to using violence. One of the lessons that the Palestinian leadership learned from the riots over the opening of the Western Wall tunnels in September 1996 was that they needed to control the organized violence more effectively. That was why, in 1997, Arafat armed the members of Tanzim, Fatah's militia, as sub-agents representing "the Palestinian street."

Signs of escalation began after Pope John Paul II's visit to the region in late March 2000. Mohammed Dahlan's Preventive Security Services perpetrated five terror attacks starting in April. The last of them took place on September 27 -- and all of them took place before Ariel Sharon visited the Temple Mount.

Ya'alon writes in his book that as early as November 1999, Israeli military officials began preparing for the war that began in September 2000. In May 2000, all commanders of the rank of battalion commander and above, in both the regular army and in the reserves, were told to prepare for war. In July, Ya'alon told the same thing to American researchers from the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. Later on, he learned that they had considered his statements about an anticipated conflict orchestrated by Arafat to be "weird."

When Sharon ascended the Temple Mount on September 28, 2000, no unusual events were expected. Arafat lit the flames the next day. Contrary to the Palestinian narrative's description of a spontaneous act, the riots did not begin on the day of Sharon's visit, but the next day. Ya'alon reports that the signal was given during a meeting between Arafat and Barghouti. Although no specific operational order was ever found, none was needed. Understandings, together with the "spirit of command," were well in place.

Barghouti, well aware of Arafat's meaning, had his people waiting on the Temple Mount. The calm ended the day after Sharon's visit. "It was deliberate incitement. Arafat saw the opportunity ... and he gave his people to understand that the big moment had come."

The book written by Arafat's adviser, Mamdouh Nofal, entitled "Intifada: The Shattering of the Peace Process," reports about the meetings Arafat held just before Sharon's visit to the Temple Mount and the night after it took place. During those meetings, Arafat conveyed the spirit and the message of starting the war. Faisal Husseini used the term "Trojan horse": The Oslo Accords were a Trojan horse that was used to "enter Palestine," he said, and in September 2000, "We came out of the horse."

Suha's account

In late December 2009, after then-Shin Bet director Yuval Diskin said that Barghouti was "making a mockery of a great many Israelis," Beilin himself said of Barghouti: "He's more responsible than anyone else for the Second Intifada. ... He came to me when I was justice minister and said, 'Yossi, if there's no Israeli-Palestinian treaty within a few months' -- this was before Camp David -- 'the Palestinian leadership under Arafat won't able to withstand it, and we'll have to be the ones who go out into the street so that Hamas doesn't do it.' … He led it [the Second Intifada]."

Now, I don't understand. If the Second Intifada was planned in advance, what did Sharon have to do with it? At any rate, in light of the intelligence that was gathered, it is obvious that Barghouti acted as Arafat's long arm.

Then there's Suha Arafat. On the seventh anniversary of her husband's death (November 12, 2011), she recalled the events on Palestinian television. "On the personal level, I miss him," she said. "So does Zahwa [their daughter]. ... She knows that Arafat told us to leave before the [Israeli] invasion of Ramallah. He said, 'You must leave Palestine because I want to start an intifada, and I am not willing to hide behind my wife and a little girl.' Everyone said, 'Suha left him.' I never left him. He ordered me to go because he had decided to start an intifada after the Oslo Accords and after the failure of Camp David [in July 2000]."


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