ZOA Agrees With Peres & New Republic: Stationing “Monitors” In Territories Would Harm Israel
March 15, 2002

NEW YORK- The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) agrees With Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and The New Republic that any outside ‘monitors” used to monitor Israeli and Palestinian Authority actions would inevitably be biased against Israel.

According to the New York Times (March 12, 2002), the Bush administration is proposing to send American personnel to serve as “monitors” of Israeli and Palestinian Authority actions.

Israel Radio reported on July 3, 2001 that Peres told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, “since the Palestinians are carrying out terrorist attacks via underground operations, their activity, by definition, would not be witnessed by observers while the Israeli Army’s activity would be observed-thus leading to the situation that only Israeli activities would be reported by the observers.” (Translation courtesy of IMRA.)

An editorial in The New Republic on August 6, 2001 said that foreign monitors will serve as “an impediment to Israel’s freedom of action in its own defense and a shield for Palestinian terrorism … Doesn’t anybody remember anything about the career of ‘international observers’ and U.N. forces in the Middle East and elsewhere? Who any longer knows the Straits of Tiran? But never mind the 1960s: the experience with UNIFIL in the 1980s and 1990s should be all we need to know. Anyway, there already exists a ‘Temporary International Presence’ in Hebron, and it has accomplished exactly nothing.”

The ZOA notes that terrorists on their way to carry out an attack would not be considered by the observers to be violating an Israel-PA cease-fire, since they did not yet carry out the attack, while Israel would be blamed if it strikes at them. Likewise, terrorists preparing to fire mortar rockets at Israel would not be considered to be violating the cease-fire until after they actually fire the rockets—by which time it would be too late for Israeli troops to prevent them from being fired.

Israel’s previous experiences with outside monitors;

State Department Monitors: The State Department’s periodic reports on Palestinian Authority compliance with the Oslo accords —reports which are based in part on monitoring activity by U.S. diplomatic personnel stationed in Israel— have been consistently biased against Israel. The reports have routinely whitewashed or minimize the PA’s terrorist behavior.

Hebron Monitors: The Jerusalem Post (Aug-9, 2001) quoted senior Israeli Army officers as revealing that members of the Temporary International Presence in Hebron “passed information on IDF troop movements and details on the city’s Jewish residents onto Tanzim militiamen. Lists and photographs detailing troop reinforcements and organization were also reportedly passed on to the Tanzim.

Monitors in Southern Lebanon: The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), which has been stationed in Southern Lebanon since 1978, has always been blatantly anti-Israel. As former Israeli Ambassador to the UN Dore Gold put it: “Hezbollah would launch artillery attacks 50 meters away from a UNIFIL outpost, Israel would shoot back, and UNIFIL would protest against the Israeli response.” (Jerusalem Post, July 3, 2001) There were also numerous documented cases of UNIFIL personnel attempting to physically interfere with Israeli troops pursuing terrorists in southern Lebanon.

Sinai Monitors: The Multinational Force and Observers unit, a largely-American force stationed in the Sinai since the 1970s, has failed to monitor the ongoing massive smuggling of weapons through tunnels from the Sinai to Palestinian Authority-controlled action.

UN Monitors, 1949-1967: The Jerusalem Post (July 3, 2001) noted; “Under the 1949 Armistice Agreement, United Nations military Observers were deployed along the cease-fire lines with Syria, Jordan, and Egypt. In the 18 years before the Six Day war changed these lines dramatically, there were hundreds, if not thousands, of attacks against Israel—in the 1950s from Egyptian-held Gaza and in the 1960s by Fatah, from behind Syrian and Jordanian lines. None of these attacks produced a single condemnation by the United Nations, the body that was ostensibly policing the cease-fire lines. The UN observers could be replied upon to complain, however, whenever Israel retaliated in response to Arab attacks.”

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