(Third in a series)
An inside look at the documents that the United States Consulate in Jerusalem accidentally included in the auction sale of file cabinets to a Jerusalem woman reveals two decades of American efforts to create a setting for a new Arab country in Judea, Samaria and Gaza.
Paula (last name withheld from publication) discovered the documents after she bought approximately two dozen file cabinets three years ago for NIS 166 ($42) plus tax. She returned the documents to the American government but only after making sure that the blunder was reported in American media in an effort to prevent it from happening again.
A first-hand look by Israel National News at some of the thousands of documents reveals that as far back as 1985, the U.S. government openly tried to win over Palestinian Authority Arabs as part of covert and overt efforts to undermine the Israeli development of Jewish communities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza.
A June, 1985 letter from the U.S. Information Services (USIS) to the late U.S. Information Agency (USIA) chief Charles Wick, includes the statement, "The United States does enjoy extraordinary close relations with Israel but there are real differences between our countries on issues concerning the occupied territories and Jerusalem."
The American government pumped millions of dollars into cultural exchange programs, Fulbright scholarships and even promoted overseas meetings between the Likud and Fatah party youth movements to try to pave the way to meet Arab demands that the Jewish State return to the 1949 Armistice Line, also known as the Green Line.
The single-minded aim of the USIS and the casual acceptance of terrorist attacks that literally blew up the Oslo peace process were clear in a memo that noted, "A bright spot in the otherwise downhill side of the peace process was an unusual meeting between Likud and Fatah youth leaders in Israel in mid-July . A follow-up meeting in Ramallah...had to be cancelled because of the [suicide] bombing in Jerusalem."
A follow-up meeting in Ramallah...had to be cancelled because of the [suicide] bombing in Jerusalem."
Worries over Netanyahu
Many of the documents were dated in the late 1990s, during the Oslo II talks, and they expose the American worry over Binyamin Netanyahu as Prime Minister following the general elections in 1996.
One of hundreds of programs to promote Arab activities was a $298,531 proposal by the Harvard University in 1996 for a "joint working group on Israel-Palestinian relations [to] help the official process."
Harvard justified the proposal to a receptive USIA by stating, "Despite the breakthrough characters of the mutual recognition that led to the Oslo agreements…there is no certainty that the process will fulfill itself as Israel's election results will make clear. The Likud party won on a platform that clearly reversed policies adopted by the previous Labor government."
USIA documents reveal hundreds of scholarships, programs and lectures aimed at bolstering the Palestinian Authority, which then was headed by Yasser Arafat.
One document from the USIS includes a raving commendation to help PA security official Haj Ismail Jabber, "who has played and will continue to play a key political and security role in the West Bank" and was commander of the Palestinian Authority police in Jericho in 1996.
It continued, "He has an "unwavering commitment to the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)'s agreements with Israel. Haj Ismail ranks as one of those most trusted if not the most trusted by Yasir [sic] Arafat."
However, five years ago, Jabber, who then was the commander of all PA national security forces, was caught pocketing monthly salaries of 7,000 fictitious troops, netting him about $2 million a month.
Many of the USIA documents disclose programs to arrange PA-controlled television interviews with visiting American university academics in an effort to promote popular support for the Arafat regime. The U.S. government also scheduled a gala event for 100 invitees to attend an American-sponsored performance by classical guitarist Jose Passalacqua in 1995.
Other programs included a United States-Palestinian Legal export Exchange program in Gaza City and Ramallah in 1996 "to strengthen the Palestinian Authority legal system."
An example of the pro-Arab groups that received aid is the pro-Arab Quaker Information and Legal Aid Center in Jerusalem. Fulbright scholarships also were plentiful for Arab teachers and professors as well as for teaching seminars in European vacation spots.
Hevron College assistant professor Dr. Ibrahim Alamasri was granted $25,500 for a stay at Indiana University and then requested airfare for his 11-year-old daughter. An American university assistant professor won an award worth $37,520 for a stay at the Bir Zeit University in Ramallah along with a $5,300 a month stipend.
Tomorrow: Document Expose: US Paid $150,000 to Promote Likud-Fatah Parley