Sunday, November 20, 2005

 

FOLLOW-UP ON THE RAFAH PASSAGE ISSUE AND THE NEED FOR ACTION

FOLLOW-UP ON THE RAFAH PASSAGE ISSUE
AND THE NEED FOR ACTION

Arlene Kushner akushner@netvision.net.il

Motzei Shabbat (Saturday night) November 19, 2005

As information comes available to me on the issue of the agreement Condoleezza Rice coerced Israel into agreeing to, I will share it and ask that it be share widely by you in turn.

I urge everyone reading this not to simply murmur some words of distress and then turn to other matters. I urge you to make the noise that is neccesary, both here in Israel and in the States.

Getting this information out -- via letters to the editor of various papers and phone calls to the foreign desk editors of those papers -- is critically important. People simply don't know.

At the same time, pressure must be applied to those political figures who are involved. Persist. If a fax doesn't go through, try again or use another number. If an e-mail bounces back, send it again or try another method such as calling instead. And I remind you that hard copy letters, written and mailed, are the single most effective way of getting the message out -- the way that will receive the most attention.

It now appears that before she embarked on this "negotiation," Sec. Rice received encouragement to apply pressure on Israel to make concessions from members of the left wing Israel Policy Forum, the Reform Movement, and Peace Now. It is imperative that Rice and Bush get the clear message now that these people do not represent the only voice within the Jewish community with regard to Israel -- let it be clear that they are no more than a minority!

I remind you again that there is a window of opportunity here with regard to the final signing of this abhorent agreement.

These are new points to use when contacting officials or writing letters:

1) The Rafah agreement does not call for the PA to prevent the movement of terrorists. The text only calls for the PA to prevent the movement of weapons. This is contrast to the Oslo agreements, which did make such a call. Whether the PA honored this is another question. Why are they now being provided with an arrangement that doesn't even require it of them at all? (With thanks to Dr. Aaron Lerner of IMRA on this one.)

Sec. Rice needs to be asked why she was willing to do this.

2) According to Haaretz, this deal that Israel has agreed to contradicts the Disengagement Law passed by the Knesset, which says that "Israel will oversee and guard the external land envelope."

Israeli decision makers must be challenged on this one.

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