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Transfer is Not a Dirty Word

By Ben Shapiro

"After World War II, Poland was recreated by the Allied Powers. In doing so, the Allies sliced off a chunk of Germany and extended Poland west to the Oder-Neisse line. Anywhere from 3.5 million to 9 million Germans were forcibly expelled from the new Polish territory and relocated in Germany.

"British Prime Minister Winston Churchill was pleased with the result. In 1944, he had explained to the House of Commons that "expulsion is the method which, so far as we have been able to see, will be the most satisfactory and lasting. There will be no mixture of populations to cause endless trouble... a clean sweep will be made. I am not alarmed by the prospect of the disentanglement of populations, nor even by these large transferences, which are more possible in modern conditions than they ever were before."

Sharon: Palestinians Have Themselves to Blame for Security Barrier

By Ross Dunn (VOA-Jerusalem)

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon says that Palestinians have only themselves to blame for the building a security barrier in and around the West Bank. He says the barrier is the direct result of Palestinian terrorism, as the Palestinian Prime Minister, Ahmed Qureia, called the project an obstacle to peace.

Sharon told a news conference in Jerusalem on Sunday that the security barrier is a logical response by Israel, which has the right to defend itself. He said the project would probably never have been initiated were it not for the fact that Palestinians had launched a campaign of suicide bombings and other terror attacks against Israelis. "I want to tell you, you know who built the fence. Terror built the fence. If not for the terror, maybe we would not have done it at all."

Sharon's comments came after his Palestinian counterpart, Ahmed Qureia, toured a section of the barrier near the West Bank town of Qalqilya. The town is now largely enclosed by the structure. Qureia told reporters at the site that the barrier is, his words, "a racist separation wall" that will turn areas of the West Bank into a series of cantons.

And this, he said, is totally unacceptable to the Palestinian leadership. "It's a discrimination. It's a real violation [of human rights]. It will give not keep any opportunity to keep President Bush's vision for two states. If this will continue, its [the peace process is] finished."

He called on the international community to put pressure on Israel to halt the project and warned time is running out for the two sides to reach a negotiated settlement of their conflict.

But in Tel Aviv's Rabin Square Sunday evening, the message being broadcast was "The people of Israel are not ready to surrender." Organizers reported 150,000 people attending the rally - reaching the number hoped for by the Yesha Council. Police estimated that well over 120,000 were in attendance.

Knesset member Gila Gamliel (Likud) opened the evening saying: "This square is filled not with residents of Yesha, but with Jews from the North, South, Center and Coastal Plane - all of Israel - to support and strengthen the residents and the children of Yesha."

Minister of Housing Effie Eitam (NRP) issued an emotion filled plea to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. "Arik," said Eitam from the podium, "we, your friends are here to strengthen you. We know that the last watch before dawn is always the toughest - but the morning is almost here. We are witnessing the success of our war against the enemy and you wish to hand him victory? Is this the time to surrender and flea the battlefield - in the middle of combat?

"We were with you in battle, Arik. Zambish [Zeev Chever, friend of PM Sharon and chairman of Amana, which handles the logistics of the settlement enterprise - ed.],said. "We are with you in this battle for our roads, cities and homes. But we will not cooperate in the destruction of Jewish communities - we will not cooperate in expelling a single Jew from their home!"

Fellow cabinet member Uzi Landau suggested that if the Prime Minister insisted on unilateral measures, Arabs not Jews should be moved. "If Jewish communities can be relocated, Arab communities can also be relocated," he said. Banners and signs crowded the large square in central Tel Aviv. "The settlers are Israel's security fence!" read one large banner.

Responding to the rally, Sharon said: "Things are decided not by demonstrators but by the government. The government adopted the road map and if there are members of the government there they also participated in that decision. I believe in order to reach peace Israel will not be able to hold all the Jewish communities. That's been said by me many times."

Sharon: No Statehood for Palestinians Without Israeli Support

By Ross Dunn (VOA-Jerusalem)

Israel has rejected a threat by the Palestinian leadership to unilaterally declare an independent state in the absence of a peace agreement. Officials in the office of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said they do not accept that Palestinians have the right to establish their own state without the support of Israel. The officials were responding to a statement by the executive committee of the PLO, the Palestine Liberation Organization.

Senior members of the committee said Saturday that they considered they had the right to unilaterally declare a state for Palestinians made up of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem - the areas that Israel took during the 1967 Middle East war.

Officials in Sharon's office told Israel's Army Radio that the Palestinian Authority was not even able to manage the self-rule areas under its jurisdiction. Therefore, they said, there could be no discussion of statehood. The PLO statement follows Sharon's recent threats to unilaterally cut his people off from the Palestinians, if peace talks do not succeed.

On Thursday, Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia issued his own threat, proposing to push for a one-state solution of Arabs and Jews. Under his plan, Palestinians would seek to gain citizenship in an area that would include all of what is now Israel, plus the West Bank and Gaza Strip. His plan would likely spell the end of Israel as a Jewish state. Demographers said that the higher birth rate of Palestinians would quickly put Jews in the minority.

But chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat distanced the rest of the leadership from Mr. Qureia's plan, saying it does not constitute official policy. Erekat told Israel Army Radio that the Palestinian Authority was committed to establishing a state within the boundaries of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem. He said Qureia's comments are a reflection of Palestinian fears that Israel's refusal to stop settling Jews in these areas could eventually destroy all hopes of a two-state solution to the conflict.

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