Tuesday, July 09, 2002

The main goal of this piece in the Christian Science Monitor by Helena Cobban ("Protect Palestinians Now") is to slander Israel with a lot of innuendoes popular on the left. But she makes a lot of inaccurate statements along the way.
The West Bank is an area of steep, arid hills punctuated by occasional vineyards and olive groves. With the area's 2.2 million Palestinians confined to their home communities, the Jewish settlements have extended their control over all the lands reaching to the very edge of the Palestinian cities and villages. It is no longer the Jewish settlements that are isolated outposts amid a "sea" of Palestinians, but the Palestinians who are restrained in tiny areas while the settlers and the Israeli military dominate everything between.

Nonsense. There has been little change on the ground in the West Bank in the past 2 years, except for the cropping up of "settlement outposts" on the periphery of existing settlements and he IDF has been cracking down on these.

Nowadays, Israel's Hebrew-language media carry much open discussion about the advantages of what Israelis refer to as the "transfer" of large numbers of Palestinians from the occupied territories – or even of Palestinians from inside Israel,

Cobban is making this up. You won't find any serious proposals for "transfer" in any of the major Hebrew newspapers.
who have supposedly full Israeli citizenship.

"supposedly" ?!? Israeli Arabs do have full citizenship.
At least one Israeli government minister, Effi Eitam, has expressed his open support of "transfer."

Eitam (a controversial member of a small religious party), has made off-the-cuff remarks about what could happen in the event of regional war. He does not openly promote "transfer" as a policy position.
Understandably, such talk terrifies Palestinians.

"Such talk", as amplified in the Palestinian media enrages Palestinians more than it terrifies them.

Even more urgently, he and other world leaders need to plan now for an international protection mechanism – preferably under UN auspices – to be deployed to the West Bank and Gaza as soon as possible.

Such "internationalization" had been Arafat's goal for a long time as it would enable Palestinian terror to continue while limiting Israel's ability to respond. Fortunately, Bush's speech has reshaped people's expectations: no longer can Arafat get away with using terrorism to try to get Israeli withdrawal without offering a peace agreement.

Update: Here is Daniel Pipes' review of Cobban's history of the PLO.

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