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Funding for the Geneva Initiative

Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom revealed at yesterday Cabinet's meeting that France and Belgium have also offered to foot part of the bill for the extreme left-wing Geneva initiative. The plan calls for the eviction of 100,000 Jews from their homes.
First Publish: 10/27/2003, 11:40 AM

Not only Switzerland is involved in paying for the left-wing Geneva initiative. Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom revealed at yesterday Cabinet's meeting that France and Belgium, as well, have offered to foot part of the bill. Shalom said that the Foreign Ministers of these two countries offered $7 million to Yossi Beilin, the prime mover of the agreement, for the purpose of marketing the plan in the international community.

Israel has protested via diplomatic channels against their intervention in Israel's internal matters, but will not submit a formal protest. Prime Minister Sharon told the ministers that efforts must be made against the adoption of the 'Geneva agreement' and the aid given to it by various European countries.
Swiss Foreign Ministry officials announced two weeks ago that Switzerland was participating in funding the efforts to formulate the Geneva document, though they did not disclose the amount.

The accord was formulated by Israeli politicians from the extreme left such as Yossi Beilin, Amram Mitzna and Avraham Burg, together with Yasser Abed Rabbo of the Palestinian Authority. They plan to sign the agreement with great fanfare in Jordan next week, on the eighth anniversary of Yitzchak Rabin's death.

The document has aroused strong objections from both the left and right, and in both Israel and the PA. Though the Israeli signers say that its main advantage is that the Palestinians have agreed to it, this appears to be a mis-statement. Yasser Arafat, for instance, said that the agreement does not reflect the PA's position, and senior PA official Fares Kadura, who took part in the negotiations, said that the agreement's only purpose was to cause internal squabbling in Israel. Nabil Shaath, Fatah official Hussein A-Sheikh, and others have also come out against the agreement.

The "Palestinian Return Centre" (PRC) convened a conference in London this month in support of the so-called "right of return" for Arabs who left Israel in 1948. The conferees emphasized their allegiance to the Palestinian Liberation Organization, and rejected the Geneva Agreement. In its summing-up statement, the conference "expressed its astonishment how a few persons could assign to themselves the task of compromising the right of return and confine it to return to the areas of self-rule or resettlement in Arab countries... The conference declared that the Palestinian National Authority is obliged to put an end to the initiatives of these individuals..."

In Israel, President Moshe Katzav said that the Geneva understanding "sabotages the Road Map plan and interferes with the government's efforts towards future negotiations with the PA." Tourism Minister Benny Elon said that Yossi Beilin is "cooperating with the enemy" in his attempts to advance this agreement, and Defense Minister Sha'ul Mofaz has labeled the Geneva understanding a "dangerous effort that is harmful to the security of the state." Prof. Shimon Sheetrit, a Labor Party minister in Yitzchak Rabin's government, told Arutz-7 last week that the contacts between unauthorized persons and PA officials are harmful to democracy and that the Attorney-General should take regulatory action.

The Geneva agreement stipulates that 100,000 Jews will be evicted from their homes in Yesha; that the Temple Mount and most of eastern Jerusalem will be given over to foreign control; and that Israel complete its withdrawal from all of Yesha, except for minor changes, within 30 months. In exchange, the Arabs are to agree to allow Israel to limit Arab refugees to 30,000 and others who are eligible for "family reunification."

Yossi Beilin has said many times that the full text of the agreement - a 70-page booklet - will be delivered to every household in Israel, although the funding for such a grandiose operation has not yet been revealed. Beilin, a four-time MK and former Justice Minister, resigned from the Labor Party late last year after he was relegated to a low spot on its list of Knesset candidates. He then joined Meretz, but was not elected to the Knesset.