Henry Siegman, the AJC and the Roadmap

By Ted Belman

Henry Siegman, a former national director of the American Jewish Congress, in his article What the Arabs propose, and what they do not, continues his propaganda efforts against Israel.

CAMERA once did an expose on Harry Siegman

An examination of his body of work reveals Siegman’s analyses to be little more than thinly veiled propaganda promoting the Palestinian perspective on the conflict with Israel. Indeed, the commentary echoes the most extreme themes of the Palestinian narrative with the writer heaping shrill criticism on Israel while excusing Palestinian rejectionism—even when this requires repeatedly ignoring, fabricating and misrepresenting facts and routinely contradicting earlier assertions.

CAMPUS WATCH also did a number on him,

So why would the Council on Foreign Relations, a New York-based American institution, fund this “expert” at the level of $204,151 in salary and benefits, making him, in the most recent year for which tax returns are available, its fourth-highest paid employee? It turns out that much of the funding for the Council’s “U.S./Middle East Project” comes from overseas, including the European Commission, the government of Norway, Kuwaiti and Saudi businessmen, a Lebanese politician, and, for one year, an official of the commercial arm of the Palestinian Authority, Munib Masri.

After advising “The Arab peace initiative has been widely misunderstood, and occasionally even deliberately misconstrued.” he goes on to misunderstand it and misconstrue it.

    “It does not provide a framework for peace negotiations other than what is already specified in the road map that Israel claims it fully supports: Israel’s return to the pre-1967 armistice line as the basis for negotiations for alterations, if any, to that line; the location of a capital of a Palestinian state in East Jerusalem; and a resolution of the Palestinian refugee problem.”

Wrong, wrong, and wrong.

Conveniently he ignores all the preconditions to progress, namely an “end to violence and terrorism.” Furthermore the Arab governments were committed to help the process along. They did less than nothing. They aided and abetted terror and fathered the Mecca Accords which undermines the Roadmap. If the Saudi Plan is essentially the Roadmap, why do we even bother with it. Why not just follow the Roadmap.

Here’s what the Roadmap provides,


The following is a performance-based and goal-driven roadmap, with clear phases, timelines, target dates, and benchmarks aiming at progress through reciprocal steps by the two parties in the political, security, economic, humanitarian, and institution-building fields, under the auspices of the Quartet [the United States, European Union, United Nations, and Russia]. The destination is a final and comprehensive settlement of the Israel-Palestinian conflict by 2005, as presented in President Bush’s speech of 24 June, and welcomed by the EU, Russia and the UN in the 16 July and 17 September Quartet Ministerial statements.

A two state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will only be achieved through an end to violence and terrorism, when the Palestinian people have a leadership acting decisively against terror and willing and able to build a practicing democracy based on tolerance and liberty, and through Israel’s readiness to do what is necessary for a democratic Palestinian state to be established, and a clear, unambiguous acceptance by both parties of the goal of a negotiated settlement as described below. The Quartet will assist and facilitate implementation of the plan, starting in Phase I, including direct discussions between the parties as required. The plan establishes a realistic timeline for implementation. However, as a performance-based plan, progress will require and depend upon the good faith efforts of the parties, and their compliance with each of the obligations outlined below. Should the parties perform their obligations rapidly, progress within and through the phases may come sooner than indicated in the plan. Non-compliance with obligations will impede progress.

A settlement, negotiated between the parties, will result in the emergence of an independent, democratic, and viable Palestinian state living side by side in peace and security with Israel and its other neighbors. The settlement will resolve the Israel-Palestinian conflict, and end the occupation that began in 1967, based on the foundations of the Madrid Conference, the principle of land for peace, UNSCRs 242, 338 and 1397, agreements previously reached by the parties, and the initiative of Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah — endorsed by the Beirut Arab League Summit — calling for acceptance of Israel as a neighbor living in peace and security, in the context of a comprehensive settlement. This initiative is a vital element of international efforts to promote a comprehensive peace on all tracks, including the Syrian-Israeli and Lebanese-Israeli tracks.

Israeli Cabinet Statement on Road Map and 14 Reservations provided,

    [..] The Government of Israel further clarifies that, both during and subsequent to the political process, the resolution of the issue of the refugees will not include their entry into or settlement within the State of Israel.

    5. The character of the provisional Palestinian state will be determined through negotiations between the Palestinian Authority and Israel. The provisional state will have provisional borders and certain aspects of sovereignty, be fully demilitarized with no military forces, but only with police and internal security forces of limited scope and armaments, be without the authority to undertake defense alliances or military cooperation, and Israeli control over the entry and exit of all persons and cargo, as well as of its air space and electromagnetic spectrum.

    6. In connection to both the introductory statements and the final settlement, declared references must be made to Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state and to the waiver of any right of return for Palestinian refugees to the State of Israel.

    7. End of the process will lead to the end of all claims and not only the end of the conflict.

    8. The future settlement will be reached through agreement and direct negotiations between the two parties, in accordance with the vision outlined by President Bush in his 24 June address.

    9. There will be no involvement with issues pertaining to the final settlement. Among issues not to be discussed: settlement in Judea, Samaria and Gaza (excluding a settlement freeze and illegal outposts), the status of the Palestinian Authority and its institutions in Jerusalem, and all other matters whose substance relates to the final settlement.

    10. The removal of references other than 242 and 338 (1397, the Saudi Initiative and the Arab Initiative adopted in Beirut). A settlement based upon the Roadmap will be an autonomous settlement that derives its validity therefrom. The only possible reference should be to Resolutions 242 and 338, and then only as an outline for the conduct of future negotiations on a permanent settlement.

Res 242 mandates “secure” borders and does not require Israel to trade all the land for peace. In addition, Israel’s reservations specifically exclude reference to the Saudi Plan and 1397.

As for refugees which the Roadmap and these reservations are clear on, Siegman writes,

    Olmert’s insistence that any reference to UN resolution 194 – which makes no mention of a Palestinian “right of return” – be omitted from the Arab initiative is a non-starter. Even Palestinians who agree that most refugees will have to be repatriated in the new Palestinian state will not agree to the elimination from the initiative of a reference to a UN resolution that acknowledges, however inferentially, a measure of Israeli moral responsibility for the dispossession of Palestinians from their homes in the war of 1948.

Originally the Saudi Plan did not require adherence to GA Res 194 which recommended only “that the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date”, but the Arab League insisted it be included.

Nowhere did the Resolution refer to a “right of return” or infer “Israeli moral responsibility” as alleged by Siegman.

Thank God he is no longer with the AJC. What does that say about the AJC that he was a National Director for some time. What is his legacy there?

April 10, 2007 | 1 Comment »

Subscribe to Israpundit Daily Digest