thanks GOD

where there's a will there's always a way...

إلى الباحثين عن التميز


التميز.. مطلب تبحث عنه النفوس، وتسعى وراءه العقول، وتهوى إليه الأفئدة.. لا يكاد يوجد إنسان على ظهر الأرض إلا وهو يبحث عن التميز والتفرد المطلق والشعور بالتفوق على الآخرين.

ولا شك أن هذا الشعور وهذا المطلب مطلب مشروع، ومن حق كل إنسان أن يكون كذلك، بل من حقه أن يسعى للوصول إلى مطلبه، ما دام القصد مشروعا والوسيلة مشروعة، أما إذا اختل القصد وفسدت النية والوسيلة فقد انتفت المشروعية، ودخل صاحبها في متاهة مضلة ستتلوها متاهات ومتاهات وهلم جرا.

البحث عن التميز هو حديث نفسي إلي، وحديث نفسك إليك، وحديث نفسه إليه، وحديث النفوس السوية إلى أصحابها.. أما أصحاب النفوس الكسولة البليدة التي رضيت بواقعها وبظروفها وبحياتها ومعاشها فلا تفكر بذلك، ولا ترغب حتى بالخوض فيه.. أما أنا وأنت، وهو ونحن جميعا فإننا لا نزال نفكر ونفكر، طويلا بحثا عن التفوق والتميز والإبداع.

كيف أكون داعيا متميزا، وكيف أكون عالما متميزا، وكيف أكون أو تكون طبيبا أو مهندسا أو معلما أو موظفا أو زوجا أو أبا أو أخا أو صديقا أو جارا.. كيف يكون كل هؤلاء من المميزين؟ كيف نكون كذلك وكيف نصل إليه؟

لقد اختصر أبو الطيب المتنبي الموضوع، ودل الراغبين على طريق الوصول في بيت واحد.. فقال
لولا المشقة ساد الناس كلهم .. .. الجود يفقر والإقدام قتال

فالفرق بين حياة السيادة والريادة والتميز والإبداع، وبين حياة البساطة والسكون والدعة والخمول هو تحمل المشقة التي لولاها لساد الناس جميعا وتميزوا وظهروا ونبغوا وعلا شأنهم وذكرهم...
مشقة الجود والكرم والسخاء، ونداوة اليد والنفس، مع مشقة الإقدام والشجاعة والبطولة، مع مشقة الصبر والتحمل والمواصلة والمثابرة.. هذه المشقات التي ميزت بين السادة والعبيد، وبين العمالقة والأقزام، وبين أهل الكرم والبخلاء، وبين أهل البطولة والجبناء.

الجود هو مظنة الفقر والحاجة، والإقدام مظنة القتل والموت، ولكن ذلك لا يعني شيئا لمن سمت نفسه للمعالي، وسلك طريق المشقة والصعوبات، يبتغي بذلك أن يحيا سيدا وأن يموت سيدا كريما يصدق فيه قول الشاعر
لعمرك ما الرزية فقد مال .. .. ولا شاة تموت ولا بعير
ولكن الــرزية فـقــد حـــر .. .. يموت بموته خـلق كـثير

إذا.. فالتميز والتفوق هو اختيار واضح لطريق لا مجال فيه للراحة ولا للموادعة أو الخمول أو السكون، بل هو طريق شاق فيه الجهد كله، وفيه التعب كله، وفيه السهر كله.. فيه لجم النفس والهوى والشيطان بلجام من حديد صلب متين.
التميز مطلب عظيم.. والمطالب العظيمة لا تتحقق بسهولة ويسر؟
وما نيل المطالب بالتمني .. .. ولكن تؤخذ الدنيا غلابا

التميز من جهة أخرى

 تعالوا ـ أحبابي ـ لننظر إلى الموضوع من جهة أخرى، من زاوية أعمق وأصدق وأبلغ.
أليس الوصول إلى الجنة هو الأمنية التي لا تدانيها أمنية، والمطلب الذي لا يعلوه مطلب؟
كيف حدثنا الله عنه؟ يقول الله جل وعلا: {أم حسبتم أن تدخلوا الجنة ولما يعلم الله الذين جاهدوا منكم ويعلم الصابرين}. والمعنى: هل تريدون أن تحققوا أمنياتكم دون جهد وجهاد ومشقة وتعب وصبر وتحمل وجلد؟ هل تريدون الجنة وأنتم كما أنتم دون أن يمسكم ما مس الذين من قبلكم.. {أَمْ حَسِبْتُمْ أَنْ تَدْخُلُوا الْجَنَّةَ وَلَمَّا يَأْتِكُمْ مَثَلُ الَّذِينَ خَلَوْا مِنْ قَبْلِكُمْ ۖ مَسَّتْهُمُ الْبَأْسَاءُ وَالضَّرَّاءُ وَزُلْزِلُوا حَتَّىٰ يَقُولَ الرَّسُولُ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مَعَهُ مَتَىٰ نَصْرُ اللَّهِ ۗ أَلا إِنَّ نَصْرَ اللَّهِ قَرِيبٌ}(البقرة: 214)

أمنية كمال الإيمان
إننا مسلمون جميعا، ولله الحمد والمنة، ولكن من هو المؤمن منا؟ ومن هو المتميز في إيمانه؟
إن الوصول إلى الإيمان هو التميز الذي تنقطع دونه النفوس، وهو المطلب الذي تهون من أجله التضحيات، وهو الغاية التي تبذل فيها ولها الشهور والأيام والساعات واللحظات. وإن التميز الحقيقي هو التميز في الإيمان.. إن التميز أن تكون مؤمنا حقا يصدق فيك قول الله تعالى: {إِنَّمَا الْمُؤْمِنُونَ الَّذِينَ إِذَا ذُكِرَ اللَّهُ وَجِلَتْ قُلُوبُهُمْ وَإِذَا تُلِيَتْ عَلَيْهِمْ آيَاتُهُ زَادَتْهُمْ إِيمَانًا وَعَلَىٰ رَبِّهِمْ يَتَوَكَّلُونَ الَّذِينَ يُقِيمُونَ الصَّلَاةَ وَمِمَّا رَزَقْنَاهُمْ يُنْفِقُونَ}(الأنفال:2، 3)

إن حديث الإيمان أصبح اليوم حديثا مملا ومنفرا ومتعبا عند كثير من الناس.. يقول الناس هذا بألسنتهم، ويقولونه بأفعالهم، ويقولونه بسلوكهم، ويقولونه وهم لا يدرون، وربما أيضا وهم يدرون.. ولكن الحقيقة التي يجب أن نعلمها حيدا أن كل تميز أو إبداع أو تفوق ينقصه إيمان صادق ومؤثر وفاعل وحاكم على التصرفات والأقوال يصبح تميزا دنيويا بحتا، وربما يصير أحيانا مفسدا ومخربا، أو لا أثر له ولا فائدة.

لابد من التساؤل
إذا كنا نبحث عن التميز في الإيمان فإننا لابد أن نتساءل: أين ديننا؟ أين إيماننا؟ أين هي قلوبنا؟ أين خوفنا من الله، أين بكاؤنا من خشية الله؟..
يجب أن نتساءل: أين الآيات التي حفظناها؟ وأين الأحاديث التي رويناها؟ وأين العلوم التي درسناها؟ أين تلك المعارف ولماذا لا تملأ قلوبنا رقة وخوفا وانكسارا بين يدي الله؟ لماذا أصبحت لا تغير طبعا؟ ولا تغير سلوكا؟ ولا تهذب لسانا؟ ولا تؤدب جارحة؟ ولا تزكي نفسا؟. صدق عبد الله بن مسعود حينما قال: "إنما العلم الخشية".
لقد روى البخاري ومسلم عن أنس قال: [خطَب رسولُ اللهِ صلَّى اللهُ عليه وسلَّم خطبةً ما سمِعتُ مثلَها قَطُّ قال: (لو تَعلَمونَ ما أعلَمُ لضَحِكتُم قليلا ولبَكيتُم كثيرًا). قال: فغطَّى أصحابُ رسولِ اللهِ صلَّى اللهُ عليه وسلَّم وجوهَهم لهم خَنينٌ]. يعني من البكاء.. هذا وهم أصحاب محمد صلى الله عليه وسلم الذين رضي الله عنهم ورضوا عنه. ونحن والله أحوج منهم إلى البكاء وفي أمس الحاجة إليه.

أعني بكثرة السجود
كان ربيعة بن كعب غلاما يصب الماء على النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم لكي يوضئه، فقال له النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم: سلني!! فقال ربيعة: أسألك مرافقتك في الجنة.. فقال له عليه الصلاة والسلام: [أعني على نفسك بكثرة السجود].
إنها الحقيقة التي ينبغي الا تغفل أبدا.. إنه لا مجال للتميز، ولا مجال للوصول إلى الغايات إلا بالعمل الدؤوب، أما التخليط والتخبط، أو السير في ركاب الكسالى والخاملين والغافلين والباردين فإنه لن يحقق أبدا أمنية، ولن يحقق تفوقا، ولن يخلق تميزا، ولن يوصل إلى غاية...
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المصادر:
ـ التميز في القرآن والسنة
ـ خطبة لإبراهيم الحارثي

كيف تصبح رجلا


أيها الشاب
 ستمر بك الأيام عجلى، وتتوالى عليك الليالي سريعة، فإذا بك تقف ممتلئا صحة ونشاطا تطاول أباك طولا وقد منحك الله بسطة في الجسم.
وإن مرت بك الأيام وسلمت من عاديات الزمن وطوارق الأيام فسوف تمر بمراحل العمركلها - بإذن الله - قال الله تعالى: وَنُقِرُّ فِي الأَرْحَامِ مَانَشَاء إِلَى أَجَلٍ مُّسَمًّى ثُمَّ نُخْرِجُكُمْ طِفْلاً ثُمَّ لِتَبْلُغُوا أَشُدَّكُمْ[الحج:5] وإن قدر الله لك أمرا آخر فأنت ممن قال الله فيهم: وَمِنكُم مَّن يُتَوَفَّى[الحج:5].
ولا أخالك أيها الشاب وهذه المراحل السريعة تمر أمامك إلا مسارعا للإمساك بها، والتزود من مراحلها. وها هي قدمك بدأت تخطو الخطوات الأولى في مرحلة الشباب والنضج، وهي مرحلة مهمة خصها الرسول بالحديث المشهور: { لاتزول قدم ابن ادم يوم القيامة حتى يسأل عن خمس: عن عموه فيما أفناه، وعن شبابه فيما أبلاه.. } [رواه الترمذي]
وخص النبي مرحلة الشباب هذه لكثرة الإنتاج والعطاء والبذل والإبداع فيها.
أيها الشاب:
مقاييس الرجولة تختلف حسب نظرة المجتمع والأسرة والشاب نفسه، فرجولة المهازيلإضاعة الوقت وازجاء الزمن دون فائدة، ورجولة المرضى والسفهاء السعي وراء الشهواتالمحرمة!
أما رجولة أهل الهمم والمعالي: فهي السعي الحثيث إلى جنة عرضها السماوات والأرض، ومن متطلبات هذا السعي أن تكتسب من العلم أوفره، وأن تنال من الأدب أكثره، ومن معالي الأمور وجميلها ما يزين رجولتك، ويجعلك محط الآمال ومعقد الأماني، بعيدا عن عثرات الطريق ومزالق المسير.

تصبح رجلا أيها الشاب إذا اكتملت فيك مقومات الرجولة الظاهرية من ارتواء الجسم
ونضارته وقوة الشباب وحيويته وظهور الشوارب واللحى! وهذه كلها تشترك فيها أمة مثلك من الشباب.. صالحهم وطالحهم، ومسلمهم وكافرهم، وبرهم وفاجرهم.. وبعض الحيوانات تشترك مع الإنسان في هذه الصفات من عضلات وقوة تحمل!
 
لكنك رجل مميز وشاب متفرد.. نريدك رجلا مسلما لا رجلا مجردا!! ولكي تكون كذلك
فالآفاق أمامك مفتوحة، ودروب الخير سهلة ميسورة، وحصاد العلم قد دان وقرب، وغراس الخلق ينتظر الجاني.. فهيا لتنال نصيبا وافيا من ذلك فتكون رجلا كما نريد، وكما تريد، بل وكما يريد الله عز وجل ذلك، فالأسرة والمجتمع والأمة بحاجة إلى شباب صالحين مصلحين، فهذا الدين يحتاج إلى رجل.. ولكن ليس رجل فحولة فحسب، بل رجل بطولة وصبر، يحمل هم الدعوة ويقوم بها ويصبر على ما يلاقيه، يسعى جادا لنيل العلموالارتقاء في درجاته، عفيف اللسان نزيه الجوارح.. تسارع قدمه إذا سمع الأذان.. ويتردد بين جنباته آيات القرآن.

وبعيدا عن التنظير والكلمات الإنشائية أذكرك بأمور
إن تمسكت بها وأخذت بأطرافها فزت ورب الكعبة:
أولاً: خلقت لأمر عظيم فاحذر أن يغيب ذلك عن بالك طرفة عين فالله عز وجل يقول في محكم التنزيل : وَمَا خَلَقْتُ الْجِنَّ وَالإِنسَ إِلا لِيَعْبُدُونِ[الذاريات:56].
ثانيا: الصلاة.. الصلاة! فإنها عماد الدين والركن الثاني العظيم، ولا حظ فيالإسلام لمن ترك الصلاة، فلا تتهاون ولا تتكاسل ولا تتشاغل عن أدائها في وقتها مع جماعة المسلمين، يقول الرسول: { العهد الذي بيننا وبينهم الصلاة فمن تركها فقد كفر}، وأراك تغتم وتهتم لفقد أمر من أمور الدنيا من ضياع قلم أو فقد محفظة.. ولا تهتم بأن تفوتك تكبيرة الإحرام أوالصلاة مع الجماعة، ووالله لن يفلح من تركها!!

ثالثاً: ما أضاع ساعات الزمن وأيام العمر.. مثل حياة الفارغين، وأصحاب الهوايات الضائعة والأوقات المسلوبة، ممن همهم إضاعة الساعات والأوقات في لهو وعبث، فاحرص على وقتك فإنه أغلى من المال، وإن كان مالك تستطيع أن تحافظ عليه وتنميه وتستثمره، فإن الوقت قاتل وقاطع والأنفاس لا تعود.

رابعاً: العلم طريق الوصول إلى خشية الله عز وجل فسارع إليه وابدأ بالعلم الشرعي الذي تقيم به أمور دينك، وما نلت من علم دنيوي تحتاجه الأمة فاجعل نيتك فيه خدمة الإسلام والمسلمين حتى تؤجر عليه.

خامساً: حسن الخلق كلمة لطيفة طرية على اللسان، ولكن عند التطبيق تتباين الشخصيات ويفترق الرجال إلى أصول وفروع! ولا يغيب عن بالك أن حسن الخلق من صلب هذا الدين؟ فبر والديك، وارفق بأخيك، وأحسن إلى صديقك، وتعاهد جارك.

سادساً: مع تنوع المعارف والعلوم لابد أن يكون لك سهم من تلك الطروحات حتى تكونقوي الفكر، ثابت المعلومة، على اطلاع واسع لتنمي ثقافتك، ومثلك يحذر الطروحاتالفكرية التي يدعيها بعض الموتورين والمرجفين ممن لا يذكرون الله إلا قليلا!

سابعاً: القدوة علم تسير خلفه وتستظل بآرائه وتستلهم طريقه، فمن قدوتك يا ترى؟ولا أعرف لابن الإسلام قدوة سوى محمد وصحبه الكرام وسلفه الصالح.

ثامناً: أنت - ولا ريب - تتطلع إلى غد مشرق وسعادة دائمة وظل وارف، فعليك بتقوى الله في السر والعلن فإنها وصية الله للأولين والآخرين وطريق النجاة يوم الدينمَنْ عَمِلَ صَالِحاً مِّن ذَكَرٍ أَوْ أُنثَى وَهُوَ مُؤْمِنٌ فَلَنُحْيِيَنَّهُ حَيَاةً طَيِّبَةً[النحل:97].

تاسعاً: لتكن قوي الإرادة، ماضي العزيمة، وألق ما تقع عليه عينك من المحرمات، وابتعد عن الرذائل ومواطن الشبه والريب، ولتكن لك قوة داخلية تسخرها لتزكية نفسك وصفاء سريرتك وذلك بمراقبة الله عز وجل على كل حين ومداومة العمل الصالح.

عاشراً: الدعاء هو العبادة، وكم أنت فقير إلى ربك ومولاك، فبالدعاء يكون انشراح النفس وطمأنينتها وطلب العون من الله عز وجل، فلا تغفل عنه، واحرص على البعد عن موانع الإجابة، وكلما غفلت تذكر كثرة دعاء الأنبياء لأنفسهم وحرصهم على ذلك.

أيها الشاب:
لا تستوحش من إقبال الزمان ودورته، وسيقف ابنك أمامك بعد زمن ليسألك: كيف أصبحرجلا يا أبي؟ وأعتقد - وأنت معي في ذلك - أن نقطة البداية لهذا الجواب هو ما تسيرعليه اليوم وترسمه غدا، فالقدوة مثل أعلى لمن هم حولك، فابدأ واستعن بالله، وأراك قد أصبحت رجلا ينطلق في مضمار الحياة لا ترهبه هبوب الرياح ولا تثنيه مسالك الطريق الوعرة.

وفي الختام:
قد يطرق قلبك سؤال مفاجىء تصوبه نحو قلمي: كل ما ذكرت كلمات وعظية
مكررة نسمعها بين حين وآخر!

وجوابي لصوتك الحبيب: أيها الرجل الشاب! يا من استقبلت الدنيا بوجهك.. إنها كلمات وإن كانت مكررة فأبشر وأمل أن وقعت في نفسك موقعا، فعندها تكون رجلا ولا كل الرجال، بل رجل أثنى الله عز وجل عليه في مواضع عدة من كتابه الكريم. وحسبك هذا الثناء لتكون رجلا.
المصدر : .islamweb.net
 

مخترع الهوت ميل شاب مسلم

 

ذكرت صحيفة الراية القطرية أن مخترع البريد الإلكتروني "الهوت ميل" ليس أمريكيا كما يتصور البعض، وإنما هندي مسلم، والبريد (hotmail) هوت ميل هو أكثر ما يستخدم من أنواع البريد حول العالم وهو تابع لشركة ميكروسوفت الأمريكية وهو ضمن بيئة "ويندوز التشغيلية".. وخلف هذا البريد الساخن قصة نجاح شخصية تستحق أن نذكرها وخصوصا كما يبدو من اسم صاحبها أنه مسلم.. فصاحب هذا الاختراع هو: صابر باتيا.

في عام 1988 قدم صابر إلى أمريكا للدراسة في جامعة ستنافورد وقد تخرج بامتياز مما أهله للعمل لدي إحدي شركات الإنترنت مبرمجا، وهناك تعرف علي شاب تخرج من نفس الجامعة يدعي: جاك سميث. وقد تناقشا كثيرا في كيفية تأسيس شركتهما للحاق بركب الإنترنت، وكانت مناقشاتهما تلك تتم ضمن الدائرة المغلقة الخاصة بالشركة التي يعملان بها، وحين اكتشفهما رئيسهما المباشر حذرهما من استعمال خدمة الشركة في المناقشات الخاصة..

عند ذلك فكر (صابر) بابتكار برنامج يوفر لكل إنسان بريده الخاص؛ وهكذا عمل سرا على اختراع البريد الساخن وأخرجه للجماهير عام 1996.

وبسرعة انتشر البرنامج بين مستخدمي الإنترنت لأنه وفر لهم أربع ميزات لا يمكن منافستها.. والمميزات هي كما يلي:
أن هذا البريد مجاني، وفردي، وسري، ومن الممكن استعماله من أي مكان في العالم.

ظهور بيل جيتس
وحين تجاوز عدد المشتركين في أول عام العشرة ملايين بدأ يثير غيرة (بيل جيتس) رئيس شركة ميكروسوفت وأغني رجل في العالم، وهكذا قررت ميكروسوفت شراء البريد الساخن وضمه إلى بيئة الويندوز التشغيلية..

وفي خريف 97 عرضت على صابر مبلغ (50 مليون دولار) غير أن صابر كان يعرف أهمية البرنامج والخدمة التي يقدمها فطلب 500 مليون دولار وبعد مفاوضات مرهقة استمرت حتى 98 وافق صابر على بيع البرنامج بـ (400 مليون دولار) على شرط أن يتم تعيينه كخبير في شركة ميكروسوفت.

واليوم وصل مستخدمو البريد الساخن إلى 90 مليون شخص، وينتسب إليه يوميا ما يقارب 3000 مستخدم حول العالم.

ابتكارات وأعمال خيرية
أما صابر فلم يتوقف عن عمله كمبرمج، بل ما زال يعمل ويبتكر، ومن آخر ابتكاراته برنامج يدعي (آرزو) يوفر بيئة آمنة للمتسوقين عبر الإنترنت وقد أصبح من الثراء والشهرة بحيث استضافه رئيس أمريكا السابق بيل كلينتون والرئيس شيراك ورئيس الوزراء الهندي بيهاري فاجباني.

وما يزيد من الإعجاب بشخصية صابر أنه ما إن استلم ثروته حتى بني العديد من المعاهد والمستشفيات، وقام بإعمار وبناء مساجد في بلاده، وساعد كثيرا من الطلاب المحرومين على إكمال تعليمهم (حتى إنه يقال إن ثروته انخفضت بسرعة إلى 100 مليون دولار).

إنها قصة نجاح شاب اعتمد على ذكائه وعقله ولم تخدعه مظاهر العظمة الأمريكية الجوفاء ولم يشعر بالدونية وهو يعيش وسط شباب أمريكا وعقول الغرب؛ فكل هذا لا يمنع من الابتكار والمنافسة طالما وجدت الهمة والعزيمة والمثابرة.. فليت شبابنا يتعلمون من صابر باتيا.
ـــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــالمصريون نقلا عن الراية القطرية

Meeting Summary: 5th Meeting on Territory

ملخص

"يقدم الاسرائيليون أفكارهم حول ""باقي المناطق التي يريدونها في الضفة الغربية"". لا يطرح موضوع تبادل الارض من قبل الجانب الاسرائيلي ولكن الفلسطينيون اشاروا أن العملية برمتها تعاني من ""ركود وعدم إحراز اي تقدم"". يتفق الطرفان على ترك المسألة لاجتماع القادة الأعلى درجة. "

النص الكامل

 
Minutes of 5th Meeting on Territory
Monday, 7 April 2008, 18h10
King David Hotel, West Jerusalem
Attendees:
 
Palestinian: Dr. Samih Al-Abed [SA], Azem Bishara [AB], Khaled Elgindy [KE],
Nizar Farsakh [NF] and Fouad Hallak [FH]
Israeli:          Udi Dekel [UD], Dani Tirza [DT], Leah Arad [LA] and Kamil Abu-Rukn [KAR][1]
 
Overview:
  • The Israeli side presented their ideas on the rest of the areas they want in the West Bank (basically the wall with minor modifications—see attached map). While they claimed they are opposed to creating any “islands” or enclaves, their definition of contiguity is quite different than ours.  Thus, their solution to the problem of Palestinian localities that are cut off by their proposed blocs is to build alternate roads and tunnels to ensure connectivity (i.e., “transportation contiguity”).  In a few cases, however, some Palestinian localities remained inside the blocs, for which they did not provide any clear explanation.
  • Parallel with this, the Israeli side informed us of still more areas of the West Bank they wish to take out of the Territory committee. Thus, along with the “Greater Jerusalem” area and areas to be decided after security like the Jordan valley, the Israelis are now insisting that Hebron and Qiryat Arba’ also be discussed by the leadership first, before being addressed by Territory.
  • According to the Israeli side, the sum total of the “bloc” areas presented (which excludes the Jerusalem area, the NML, the Jordan Valley and certain other settlement areas) was less than 600 km2(which represents more than 10% of the West Bank).  However, as noted above, overall Israeli territorial demands are going to exceed 10%.
  • The Israeli side resumed their original highly rigid position with regard to landswaps.  When asked which lands they were prepared to give in return for what they are demanding, the Israeli side claimed there was no decision by the


 
leadership to discuss swaps—despite the fact that Livni herself had said that they would engage on swaps.
  • Given the Israeli side’s persistent rejection of 1967 as a basis and the concept of landswaps, and their increasing territorial demands, the overall tone of the meeting was not constructive.  The Palestinian side expressed displeasure with the Israeli presentation as both unconvincing and indicative of a lack of good faith, and reiterated the position that 1967 is the basis, that all settlements are illegal and must be removed, and that Jerusalem must be part of the discussion on territory.  The response by the Israeli side was to accuse us of taking an “all or nothing” approach, which was not conducive to negotiations and would ultimately lead to the Palestinians receiving nothing.
  • Given the current deadlock and lack of progress, both sides agreed to bring the matter to the plenary level and urge them to give new instructions on how to proceed.
  • Finally, we asked them to clarify the position they took in the previous meeting in which they threatened to continue expanding settlements everywhere if no agreement was reached on borders, and whether this was the official position of the GOI.  However, the Israeli side refused to respond or reiterate that position as a matter of record.
 
END TIME:  19h40

Meeting Minutes: 4th Plenary Meeting on Territory

ملخص

يناقش المجتمعون احتمال ضم اسرائيل لمنطقة جنوب شرق بيت لحم وخفض عدد الفلسطينيين المقيمين فيها. ورغم تجميد الاستيطان يجادل اعضاء الوفد الاسرائيلي بأن اسرائيل لا تبني وحدات استطيانية جديدة، وأن البناء الذي يتم حاليا هو توسيع لما هو موجود فعلا في القدس ومواقع أخرى، وهو ما يعتقدونه كافيا للوفاء بالتزامات اسرائيل تجاه خارطة الطريق.

النص الكامل

 
Attendees:
Palestinian: Dr. Samih Al-Abed [SA], Khaled Elgindy [KE], Nizar Farsakh [NF] and     
Fouad Hallak [FH]
Israeli:          Udi Dekel [UD], Dani Tirza [DT] and Leah Arad [LA]
 
Overview:
  • The Israeli side presented their ideas on the area southwest of Bethlehem (the Etzion bloc) that they want to annex and the criteria they used in drawing the line: number of settlers, security, topography, road connection, land use (agriculture, commercial, industrial, tourism, infrastructure, recreation, schools transportation) and minimizing the number of Palestinians included and the overall effect on Palestinians in the area. They said it was approximately 54 km2 in size and contains some 49,000 settlers. They said they are flexible on the delineation of the bloc and are not taking an ‘all or nothing’ approach to the issue.
  • The Israeli side continued to insist on deferring Jerusalem and the eastern border and restated that they reject approaching modifications to the border on a reciprocal basis insisting that they are not giving back something that is ours.
  • On contiguity they agreed that it is important for both sides but they argued that tunnels and underpasses should be used to provide contiguity to Palestinians not to Israelis because tunnels present a security risk and the risk to the Israelis is always greater. They also suggested that they would not consider isolated settlements that are deep in the West Bank.
  • In terms of the settlement freeze they argued that they are not building “new settlements”, but only in Jerusalem and the blocs, which they believe is sufficient to meet their Roadmap obligations. They followed this with a thinly veiled threat that in the event that current negotiations do not succeed, they will resume settlement construction everywhere else as well.
  • In the next meeting, the Israeli side will explain the rest of the “settlement blocs” and the other areas they are interested in. There is concern that the Israeli side is trying to drag out the process and procrastinate.

Meeting Minutes (not verbatim):
 
NOTE:     Text in square brackets is either an interpretation (in regular text) or a description (in italics) of what was being said. 
 
UD:     Last time we spoke a little about “areas of settlement”; I’m not saying “blocs”. We would like to explain to you our position, what we mean by those areas so that you understand better what we mean when we say “settlement area”. So we have prepared a presentation with maps. Like last time we mentioned the Etzion area; we are going to present to you what is Etzion.
SA:      we are ready to listen.
DT:      [Projects  a map of Etzion bloc using ArcMap software and begins describing the various lines and colors, adding layers as he speaks.] This is the reference line, or whatever you want to call it [points to their ‘West Bank Outline’ line]. And this is the line of the settlement area, the area where all the big settlements sit on one part of the land [points to line delineating bloc]. These are not exact lines, but just to give an idea. We can later define it accurately, but for now we are using straight lines. The green lines are the major roads which are used by Israelis and connect them to Jerusalem. All their services are in Jerusalem.
The main road here is Road #60. But we have a problem there. It goes close to Khader and that presents a security problem. We have 49,000 Israelis living in this area with only one road connecting them, which has a security problem. So we have to use another road as an alternative [points to Road #367 which runs south of Etzion] that goes to Beit Shemesh. Betar ‘Illit is using another road that goes north [points to Road #375]. Most people in Betar ‘Illit work in Jerusalem; their life is in Jerusalem.
There are also many agricultural villages that have a connection between them for day to day life. This polygon [referring to entire bloc] is 1% of the land [i.e., the West Bank] as it is approximately 54 km2. There are no Palestinian villages in this area. There are some Palestinians living in the area, but it is not a village. It is only a small hamlet, Khallet Zakariya, and some lonely houses for agriculture.
FH:      You know there is an old man living there. He is more than 100 years old.
DT:      Yes, I know him. Very nice man. But I don’t want to talk about history because if I start we will stay here forever. I like history a lot.
[Adds layer of settlement built-up area] This is the urban area: houses already built or under construction, not the planned areas. We can show you the plans later. Because we believe settlements in the area have to have natural growth.
[Adds  layer of areas that have approved plans] All these are the ones that have permission to build, so they can build on it if they secure the money for it.
[Adds layer of municipal areas] This is the municipal area; you can see some of it does not have planned areas in it. This is the area from which taxes can be collected and where people can build if they get permission from the authorities.
But if we’re talking about settlements in an area we also have to talk about security. So this line shows the 500 meters from the current built-up area, from the last house [adds layer showing 500 m buffer zone around built-up area of each settlement], only what is already built. This is the security area. If Palestinians live within that area we can do nothing about it, we cannot move them. Note, I did not make a security area [i.e., 500 m buffer] for the settlement area as a whole, but we have to consider that. 
We also have to consider the use of the land: agriculture, commercial, tourist industrial, recreational [adds layers showing each designation]. You also have electricity and water infrastructure.
So now you are going to ask me, ‘what about these areas without any land use designation’? [points to the remaining area in the bloc that does not have any land use designation]. Well, we need to make connections. We need to have continuity in this area, so they are not isolated from each other. The lines marked are not exact; we can define them on the ground later. We tried to minimize the Palestinians within this area. Here you see the connection of the area to the rest of Israel and to Jerusalem. [points to area on map] Here you can see this land; we know it is [Palestinian] agricultural land, so we kept it out. We try to minimize the amount of land taken for the corridor connecting Gush Etzion to Jerusalem.
Here you see an illegal outpost [points to Neve Daniel North (Sde Bo’az)] . I know you say all are illegal, but to us this one is illegal and we do not consider it in our area, only legal settlements.
UD:     So the outposts are not drawing the map.
DT:      But we have a problem about connecting Betar ‘Illit with Jerusalem. The main problem in this area is Wadi Fukin because it is an enclave between Beitar Illit and Tzur Hadassa. We don’t want to put any Palestinians in this area. There is a road connecting it to Husan so we exclude it from Gush Etzion.  There are 49,000 Israelis live in this area, and some Israelis come from outside to study here also.  It is about 1% of the West Bank.
SA:      It’s less than 1%, right?
DT:      Yes, less than 1%.
UD:     [jokingly] We are not allowed to say percentage.
SA:      How many settlements are in this area?
DT:      About 10—I don’t know all the names, but it’s not… one minute [adds layer showing settlement names, 9 in all]. There is another one that you don’t see here. It is Geva’ot. It is not a settlement. It’s like a…
NF:      A nahal?
DT:      ... a big school.
LA:      A school or place of study, an educational center.
DT:      No, it was a nahal. Now it’s an educational center.
SA:      You have another line there on the map. There is a separate area there with empty land [points to area of the bloc extending northwards along Road 60]. What is it?
DT:      For security; we need to protect the road. We need height to control the area. It dominates the road so we need to secure it.
UD:     This area is connected to Jerusalem.
SA:      Everything in the West Bank is connected to Jerusalem—even Jenin.
UD:     Yes, and by the same road. If you want to connect Jenin with [MISSING].
SA:      One question about security: will these areas be part of Israel?
UD:     Yes, we need to secure the area. We would like it to see it with Israel.
SA:      We want to understand this issue of security. On the other side of the line, is there security concerns there too?
UD:     Yes, of course. We need to protect our citizens from some terrorist and extremist groups that do not want peace and want to attack us.
SA:      But we will have peace. We are talking after the agreement.
UD:     We talked for many years about peace but people tried to destroy it and in 2000 started violence against us.
SA:      ok, you can move them to other side and they will be secure.
UD:     But we are speaking about this area. We’re trying to explain to you what we mean by “area of settlement”. It’s not just built-up area, but the whole area they need in order to live. We prepared this to show you an example of the areas we discussed before.
SA:      What areas? Show them to us.
DT:      We are only speaking about one area today.
UD:     The areas we mentioned: this one (Gush Etzion), Modi’in ‘Illit, Shomron/Ariel, and some other areas adjacent to the line.
SA:      That’s what we want to know. Where are those other areas.
UD:     As I told you before, the main idea is that most Israelis―80% of the settlers―to stay where they are, and not to have to move them.
SA:      It is your decision?
UD:     It is our objective. Since 10 years and since 15 years.
SA:      [MISSING]
UD:     80% of the people, not the territory.
SA:      So you’ll keep building more and more, and you will keep asking for the same percentage?
UD:     We would like those people to continue to live in the same kind of community as they are now living.
SA:      OK, and this villages—Husan, Battir and Wadi Fukin—don’t you think they want to live together in the same community?
UD:     Yes. We want to keep contiguity for you as well.
SA:      Nahhalin. How do you connect it to them main road, to Jerusalem and Bethlehem?
DT:      Yes, they have a road to connect them, an underpass or tunnel. So it can access Bethlehem.
KE:      When you say tunnels, would you consider connecting your settlements with the same kind of tunnels that you propose—and are actually building on the ground—for Palestinian villages that are separated?
DT:      Yes. We can consider
KE:      So why aren’t you connecting them using tunnels? Why take empty land to connect the settlements?
DT:      Because we have security concerns. Tunnels are present a security concern.  We don’t frighten you…
NF:      Well, we beg to differ on this with you.
KE:      You should ask the people in Gaza and in these villages whether they are frightened of you or your settlers.
SA:      Think of Nahhalin.
DT:      Well, there are Palestinians in this areas who prefer to be on the Israeli side, but we’re not talking about that now. We have to see the needs of not just Israelis, but of the Palestinians who live there as well.
SA:      What is this purple area outside [points to area designated as municipal area of Efrat but is not included in their line for the bloc]?
DT:      This is Giv’at Eitam. It has an approved plan so they can build on it, but it is not being implemented. We know it is big. We are trying to minimize the impact on people there, so we left it out.
UD:     Let’s say this: if we agree on a line, then this will not be part of the settlement area. But if we don’t, we will continue to build in these areas. But we won’t include it for now. It only signifies that there is permission to build.
SA:      [laughing] So you are blackmailing us now.
KE:      How do you reconcile this with Olmert’s commitment, which he made before the entire international community, to freeze settlement activity?
UD:     This is not a new settlement. We said we will not building any new settlements. But we are not going to wait. We are moving all the time. If we reach an agreement then if it is on our side we will build. But if we don’t reach agreement then we will not stop building; we will continue and proceed. This is why we built a security fence. We did not want to build it at first because we said we need to agree the border with you, but then we decided we cannot wait any more and so we built it. But now that we have a process, we are not going to do anything in this area.
FH:      In Jaba there are no agricultural areas, it is empty land, so why did you include it in the bloc?
DT:      It is not empty. It is for topography. We need it to be able to go from Gush Etzion to the west.
SA:      What is the problem with topography?
DT:      It is too vertical. You can build if it is horizontal, but you cannot built in a vertical area.
SA:      So this justifies that you include it? So even topography is working against us.
KE:      The edge of the area you showed us, at Efrat, is roughly 8km deep into the West Bank. Would you accept a similar intrusion into Israeli territory?
UD:     This is not one of the parameter for us. The parameters are facts on the ground. We have to find ways to deal with that reality. We are not interested in poking you in the eye, or making deep intrusions, like you say. Because this is the situation that exists on the ground, and we need to understand it.
NF:      The point Dr. Samih is making is that that reality is fluid and constantly changing. So how do we deal with it if it keeps changing?
UD:     This reality already exists. One or two more houses will not change that reality. There are areas of what we call national consensus that we will keep. As I said before, if we can’t reach agreement, we’re going to go forward [with building everywhere.].
NF:      So, that’s how you define the freeze: not to build new settlements?
UD:     As Olmert said, we will not build new settlements. But in Jerusalem, and in these areas, we will continue to build for the natural growth of these areas.
KE:      Even though the Roadmap says freeze “all settlement activity, including the natural growth of settlements”? How do you reconcile that?
UD:     When we see you fulfill your Roadmap obligations we can talk about ours. You cannot expect us to move only on our obligations. Until then we will do the same. This is now the facts. My opinion is not important. And I’m sure you know that.
SA:      What is the relation between this line and the wall? Can you overlay the two to see the difference?
DT:      It’s a fence. It’s almost the same.
SA:      Show us.
DT:      [Adds layer of the wall and indicates which sections are completed, planned or have pending court cases. The wall line matches the bloc line in all areas except Jaba’ in the south, which is included in latter but not the former, and in the north from Nahhalin to Walaja. (see attached rendition of Israeli map.)]
SA:      So it’s the same.
DT:      It’s mostly the same, because we took the same considerations [as the wall] when we did this line. It’s a balance between security needs and the rights of the people there.
UD:     As you know, during decisions on the fence, we have to use the principle of proportionality to balance between security and the needs of the people. And many times it goes to the court to see this balance.
KE:      So Har Gilo is not part of the bloc?
DT:      It is part of the area of Jerusalem. It is not inside Etzion, even though it is part of the Etzion regional council. Like Qedar, which is in Etzion regional council too, but is not in this area.
UD:     As we said, we are not discussing Jerusalem, up to Battir. We need the leaders to agree.
NF:      In the previous meetings you mentioned that these are the main areas that you are interested in but that there also others that were less important. Can you give us examples of those?
UD:     If there is an Israeli settlement, without any Palestinians or any Palestinian activity there, and they are just on the line, we’d like them to be part of Israel.
DT:      Like Har Adar and Oranit. They are close to the line.
UD:     Just on the line. It is areas where a slight change in the border will save us having to move Israelis.
SA:      What is the depth that you are considering this?
UD:     We are not considering depth. We speak here of realities on the ground. So it is not only Efrat; it is not because it is 8km into the West Bank but because there are all these settlements in this area with connection to Israel.
SA:      No matter how deep it is?
UD:     This is theoretical. We want to move as little as possible of the settlers. We will not ask for an isolated settlement that is deep inside the West Bank. We understand you have problems with Ariel and Ma’aleh Adumim, but we have no parameter to go deep inside [the West Bank].
SA:      You said there are 50,000 Israelis living in this area and that it is 54km2, so that means you are giving each person 1000m2.  What is the density inside Israel?
UD:     I don’t know. This doesn’t mean anything. You can play many games with numbers.
SA:      You mentioned some areas owned by Jews. What is the ratio of land in this area that is owned by Jews?
DT:      We are not talking about private land. There are many lands on both sides that are owned by both people. This is not the issue; we will tackle it later.
SA:      But it is for us. We cannot take somebody’s land and tell them we gave it to the Israelis. He will ask us how we can do that.
KE:      Even your own laws don’t allow you to build settlements on private land—at least in theory, since about 40% of settlements are built of private Palestinian land. So shall we take all those settlements off the table from now, since they are even against your own laws?
DT:      Oh no, not 40%.
KE:      What ever the number, a significant proportion of settlements are built on privately owned land.
DT:      We have to find
UD:     In making the line we try to minimize private land being taken and also minimize the number of people that will need to cross the line to the other side for their livelihood.
SA:      But that will not work if it is at the expense of other people. We have to consider this.
UD:     We each have our realities. It’s not the same. Everyone looks at history in a different way. We are creating a new state. It is something new, that didn’t exist before. Israel already exists.
SA:      And keeps expanding.
UD:     You say “expanding”. I say something else.
KE:      You mentioned your interest in including 70-80% of the settlers. What total number of settlers are you basing this percentage on? Are you saying 80% of the total 480,000 settlers, or only some settlements?
DT:      [to UD] He’s including Jerusalem.
UD:     No, not counting Jerusalem.
NF:      What is the number?
UD:     We don’t have it now. Will have to check
FH:      Do you prioritize your settlements? For example, within a bloc do you consider that a certain settlement is more important? Here in the bloc you took out Tekoa.
UD:     First of all we do not have a policy of prioritizing. And second, if we had, we wouldn’t share it with you.
KE:      Is the area you designated on the map a single organic and indivisible unit, or are you flexible on it? In other words, is it ‘all or nothing’?
UD:     We don’t accept an ‘all or nothing’ approach and we the same from you. So of course we are going to negotiate with you and try to find solutions. We hope you are in the same position. Otherwise there is no point in talking. We like you we can have a nice chat.
SA:      OK, can you talk in specific terms on other areas, like you did for this one?
UD:     No, we’re not ready for that.
SA:      If this is the only area you want, OK, we can consider it.
DT:      [laughing] “We can consider it.”
UD      Would you like us to present this picture for all the other areas?
SA:      Yes.
UD:     Let me check [consults with UD and LA]… They support the idea. But that doesn’t mean it will happen. [laughing] We need to get permission to do that from the upper echelon.
SA:      We will try to talk to our leaders as well. But try to include Jerusalem. We are talking about borders, not just arrangements. We need the full picture including Jerusalem so that we understand what you are taking from us and then we tell you what we want in return. This will shorten the time, instead of just bits and pieces here and there.
UD:     As you know, we are trying to present to you [MISSING]
SA:      You are demanding these areas from us.
UD:     I am not demanding anything from you. We are not taking anything from you.  I just describe our position, our concept, give you information you need to understand our position. It is important for us to describe for us which areas you thinking about it.
SA:      we need next time to see the full picture, to go through all the areas so that we can come back with our proposal.
UD:     I understand… Next time we would like to hear from you. Abu Alaa has said that there are some settlements that you can accept. We would like to hear from you about those areas.
SA:      After you go through all of the areas.
UD:     I agree.
SA:      Or are you not in a hurry?
UD:     We have two major issues that need to wait for decision: Jerusalem and security. Security we initiated today the first meeting with Gen. Hazem Atallah, chief of police, and Amos Gil’ad. There are connections with our issues.
SA:      So maybe we can meet together sometimes?
UD:     We can consider that.
SA:      And we’ll go back to our side and check as well.
NF:      On process, when is the next meeting? Monday?
DT:      I can’t do Monday.
UD:     Let’s say Sunday. We will talk and confirm.
 
 
 
END TIME:  15h50

Meeting Minutes: 1st Meeting on Territory

ملخص

يناقش المجتمعون المطلحات المشتركة والتفاهم المشترك حول مناطق السيادة والحدود. الجانب الاسرائيلي يرفض الدخول في المفاوضات على أساس خط عام 1967 كما ويرفض القبول بمبدأ المبادلة.

النص الكامل

 
Minutes of First Meeting on Territory
Wednesday, 12 March 12 2008, 12:30 PM
KingDavid Hotel, West Jerusalem
Attendees:
 
Palestinian: Dr. Samih Al-Abed [SA], Khaled Elgindy [KE], Nizar Farsakh [NF]
Israeli: Udi Dekel [UD] and Dani Tirza [DT]
 
Overview:
  • The Israeli side refused to engage on the basis of the 1967 line or to accept the principle of a swap—and it was clear that they had no mandate to do so.  They also insisted that the border in Jerusalem be excluded from the work of the territory committee.  However, there was no discussion of the eastern border, including the fate of the Jordan Valley.
  • Parallel with this, they repeatedly noted their desire to “change the language” (Read: terms of reference) of the negotiations, which is consistent with the overall Israeli approach.
  • The Israeli standard is essentially two-fold: (1) realities on the ground and (2) what they referred to as the “West Bank outline map” (i.e., excluding the No Man’s Land and East Jerusalem).
  • Since no agreement could be reached on the starting point for negotiations, the Israeli side proposed that we either: (1) exchange maps of each side’s respective starting points, identify gaps and agree on a new baseline, or (2) send the issue back to the Abu Alaa/Livni track for them to decide.  The Palestinian side rejected the former and was non-committal on the latter.
  • Apart from these major points of contention however, the Israeli side was clearly following an interest-based approach, which provides at least potential opportunities for future progress.
 
Meeting Minutes (not verbatim):
UD:     We have to take every opportunity to find a solution, but it will be difficult.
SA:      Why is it difficult?  Is it because your desire to make an agreement is only your head and not in your heart as well?
UD:     First, there is history, which for some is more important than the future.  Each side has different interpretations of this or that event or symbol. The other problem is implementation, whereby after an agreement each side claims the
 


other is not acting in accordance with what was agreed.  Then we have the problem of terror groups who oppose any agreement and want to stop the process—not just here but all over the region, there are actors who do not want to see any progress.  But we have to go forward.  After our operation in Gaza, your side stopped negotiations. But after the terror attack in Jerusalem, we agreed to continue the process.
SA:      I agree, but you’re only telling half the story.  Also on your side there are people that want to get rid of us, and you did not mention the continuing settlement expansion…
DT:      These are not settlements…
SA:      … like the 750 new units approved in Giv’at Zeev, or other places; it makes people want to respond.  So we need the full story before we can go forward.
UD:     I’m not going to argue with you… but we have to be determined enough to reach an agreement.  Now, about today’s meeting, I don’t know what Abu Alaa and Livni agreed but, as I understand it, we need to agree on a common language when it comes to territory and borders.  From your side, I know there was discussion of percentages, or areas (in sq. km)… In the previous two meetings with Abu Alaa and Livni, we started to explain all the considerations of what we mean when we talk of territory and borders.
SA:      You are jumping directly into discussing areas.  We need to discuss parameters or guidelines.  You spoke of sq. km, but we already have a starting point, which is 1967.  We just need to have all the maps.  This is what we need for a breakthrough.  We must have a common language, agree on common maps and data, and then we can have a discussion about the issues.
UD:     As you know, our guiding principles are UNSC Res. 242, the need for boundaries that can provide security for Israel, and we’re talking about the situation on the ground, as per Pres. Bush’s letter.
SA:      Do you mean the situation as it was then, or now?
UD:     Reality now… But we’re not going to argue.  We can’t change reality on the ground.  We don’t see the 1967 border as a reference, first because we don’t even know exactly where the line is.
SA:      We have all the maps that were signed by you.
UD:     But that wasn’t exactly the line on the ground.
SA:      If not the 1967 line, then what is your reference?
UD:     We said already, the situation on the ground.
SA:      The wall?
UD:     The security fence is not a border.  Unfortunately, it is needed for security.  Every week we intercept 3 to 4 suicide bombers.  As we’ve said before, the fence is not a border and can be moved like we did with Lebanon.
NF:      What is your frame of reference?
UD:     We’re talking about blocs of settlements—not far in the West Bank, but close to the area we are talking about—are to be part of Israel. In Oslo we used the West Bank outline map.
DT:      It is the West Bank outline map, in which under our law Israeli military law is applied.
SA:      This is your law.  In our law, the line is 1967.
DT:      Based on which maps?  There is no…
SA:      This is the standard we’ve worked from, from Oslo to Taba… we are not going to discuss any other line.  If we’re going to waste time this is something else.
UD:     This is your opinion, but not our opinion.  It is very difficult to locate the exact line of the situation that existed on 4 June 1967.  It’s not the same line.  But for us, the baseline we use is the outline of the West Bank.  It may be close, but it’s not the same line.  You mentioned the NML—you can’t say this is “occupied”.
SA:      It doesn’t belong to you either.  The Jordan army was there at least in some places, but the Israeli army was not anywhere (in the NML).
UD:     This is our line. We have proof that the area was split and we consider it part of Israel
NF:      This was a gentlemen’s agreement that was not signed whereby the farmers from each side cultivate up to the middle of the NML, but then a dispute erupted in 1964 whereby this arrangement was dismissed.
UD:     We do not agree.
NF:      OK, then we agree to disagree.
KE:      There two practical problems with your approach.  How can we start from realities on the ground when the situation on the ground keeps changing, even as we speak. Second, how can we identify which areas in Israel would be swapped in exchange for what is being taken in the West Bank if we don’t have a reference line?
UD:     We are not speaking in the same dimension.  We are not speaking about “giving” and “taking”… we are taking about realities.  Our goal is to create a better situation for Palestinians, as well as for Israelis.
NF:      Can you explain to us how you see us moving forward from today’s meeting to an final agreed border?
UD:     Take reality on the ground…  We want the blocs to be included in Israel, and we want contiguity—just like you want contiguity.  And you have to take into consideration the need to protect our citizens, for strategic depth, and the ability of people to continue living normal lives—there is a list that we spoke of before—in addition to other concerns like holy places, water, etc.  If you’re going to talk about “rights” and what we “give back,” we can’t go forward.
SA:      This is not an encouraging way to start out.  All you’ve discussed is what you want to take.  We also have concerns about these issues—water, holy places, etc.  All these can be dealt with.  What is the adjacent area on your side?  We have that data and criteria for it as well.  If you want to just take, then we just keep what we have now.  What do you expect us to say to our people?  Everything you’re doing—the settlements, the wall—is illegal.  This is not a starting point.  If this is your intention, to argue about this, then how can we accept it?  This land that was taken was taken by force and it belongs to people. Who accepts that?
DT:      We’re talking about an agreement between two entities, not private property rights.  That will come later, at the end… because we also have Israelis who owned private property in the West Bank pre-1948. 
SA:      Fine.  We can deal with that too.
DT:      Al-Quds University is built on private property owned by Israelis.  But today we are talking about an agreement between states.
SA:      We have three issues: the 1967 line, exchanging maps and the swap.
UD:     The discussion between us is very important.  It will not help to talk about what is “illegal”.  Only my supreme court will tell me what is legal. We are the only country that has a supreme court that plays such a major role. We can fight over sentences…
SA:      We understand each other from all previous negotiations.
UD:     We didn’t take anything from you.  No Palestinian state existed before.  When you say 1967, it’s not something we can recognize. First, it’s not a border.  Second, we don’t know exactly where it is.  So we have to forget those things.  It doesn’t help to talk about what we “take” or “give”.  Also, percentages don’t help.  But if we agree on a border then we can move forward
NF:      We’re disagreeing over approach.  I still fail to see how this is so.  Yes, the exact 1967 line is hard to know but there are ways to deal with this. With Jordan you had that problem because of the vague definition of the boundary in Wadi Araba (where it said the middle of the wadi) and you split the difference between your interpretation and the Jordanian one.  We can deal with any discrepancies between your interpretation and ours.  But need some sort of starting point.
KE:      The entire international community does not accept Israeli sovereignty in any of the territory occupied in 1967. You are asking us to accept what the whole world is refusing to accept.  This is not logical.
UD:     The international community is not relevant here. We are not agreeing with them; we are agreeing with you on the border between us.  And there  wasn’t a border.  All the maps we agreed upon are based on that line [“WB outline”].
KE:      But even your line is based on the 1967 line.  If we compare your line to 1967 line we’ll find that it coincides everywhere except the Latrun NML and Jerusalem.  You mentioned UNSC Res. 242, which itself means the 1967 line.
UD:     You know the wording of 242 so… Maybe we can start by identifying differences between our West Bank outline and what you call 1967.
SA:      We have maps and you have maps, but if you want an international commission to judge where the line is, this is a waste of time.
UD:     We want to reach an agreement between us.  We don’t need the international community to tell us what to do.
SA:      We cannot take the line you created.
UD:     It’s not created, it is used in our agreements with you in Oslo.  It’s based on this line [“WB outline”]
NF:      The Interim Agreement has no line. It just shows Areas A and B.
UD:     But the percentage of the areas are calculated according to that line.
NF:      That still does not mean that we accept that line.  I can draw 100 different lines and still get the same areas; that is not a standard.
UD:     Let’s check the line you have and what we have.  If it’s 90% the same, we can work on the rest… 
SA:      but we used this line in Camp David and Taba, so why restart the discussion?
UD:     I’m trying to change the language between us, to create a soft language between us.  We don’t want to fight over symbols; we’d like to create a new approach.  If we use symbols, it will be very difficult for you, and for us.  We’d like to have a new approach—not looking at maps signed by Moshe Dayan and Jordanians in the 1950s.
SA:      We also want to be creative and have an open mind to make an agreement acceptable.  But you cannot impose on me facts on the ground that you created and say this is the starting point.  These facts on the ground caused lots of problems for us.  We want to be creative
 
[Break: 13h30 - 13h45]
 
SA:      There are some logistical and process issues we can discuss before going back to our previous discussion, such as how often we meet, how many, etc.
UD:     My recommendation is we should see each other once a week, and in each meeting decide the issues to be discussed in the next meeting.  For example, our idea to discuss our line and your line to see what we can agree on; you can bring your people and we’ll bring our people and we’ll discuss the gaps.
SA:      This will take a long time and will take us away from the fundamental issues.  We need a comprehensive agreement on the full border.
UD:     So we have to agree upon the line.  If it’s 80% agreed then we leave it aside as a baseline and focus on the remaining 20%
KE:      Just a point of clarification on what you’re proposing: are you saying the sections of the line that we agree on would be the border, or the baseline?
DT:      No, the baseline.
UD:     Once we agree where the baseline is we can go forward.  Then we can define the line on the ground…  There are no shortcuts.  We have to understand each side’s opinion.
SA:      If we are going to sit and discuss the baseline, which is known to everyone, then this sounds like a way to delay.  It’s an obstacle now.  We’ve discussed this with you since 2000; now you’re coming with something different.
UD:     You didn’t discuss it with us. You can’t tell me that if we don’t use your approach then we are putting obstacles. This is not the way to negotiate.  You have your concept; we have ours.  I would like to see if there really is a big difference in terms of the outcome.  If there is a big gap, then we can reevaluate our approach.  I would like to take reality on the ground.
SA:      We can’t accept that because it was imposed on us. 
UD:     You can’t say that the Armistice Line of 1949 is the reality that existed on 4 June 1967.
KE:      So why not just focus on identifying the 1967 line as it was then, which is a technical exercise?...  Just to clarify, because you seem to be saying two different things.  On the one hand you’re saying the starting point is your “West Bank outline”, which is an arbitrary line that you drew and is not recognized by anyone in the world.  And on the other you’re saying it’s facts on the ground, which you imposed on us and which is changing on a daily basis.  But the two are not same.  You have facts on the ground that go well beyond your “West Bank outline”.  In that sense, Area C is an equally valid starting point. 
UD:     Everything can be taken to extremes… that is not what I said.  I said we do not accept 1967 as a principle.  We want to start with the reality that existed in 1967 and take into consideration current realities on the ground. We’d like to keep the blocs, but this is not new.  We need to define a line.  You have your line and we have ours.
SA:      We oppose the idea of facts on the ground as the starting point.  We all know what the starting point is.
UD:     You cannot say ‘if you don’t accept my way we can’t move forward.’  This is no way to move forward.
DT:      If you want to move forward, let’s map the gaps (between our two lines).  The gaps are Jerusalem, which we are not talking about today (we have no mandate), and the NML, which we can discuss in another meeting.  This is a very minor thing.
SA:      This is not a minor thing.  We’re talking about Jerusalem, which is not a “concept” or “symbol”.  If this is what you want to start with, you are taking us backward.
UD:     There are now two options: either we do this exercise of comparing lines and identifying gaps, or we go back to Abu Alaa and Livni for them to decide in their next meeting.
KE:      Practically, what you’re proposing is to draw only a partial border.  Meaning we’d have a line everywhere except Jerusalem?
UD:     Your leaders speak of an open city for example… so until the upper level comes to agreement we can’t talk about Jerusalem.  After the discussion with the upper level, we will have a solution for Jerusalem, but we don’t have the ability to do that now.
SA:      What is the line that we would stop at in Jerusalem in your view?
UD:     They will have to decide what will be the solution for Jerusalem.
NF:      Physically, where is the stopping point?  Qatannah?  And then to what point?
DT:      Battir.
SA:      This is a state with provisional borders.  I do not have authority to discuss this.
UD:     Check with your leader and I will check with mine.  Abu Alaa and Livni will meet next week.  I will be part of that.  I don’t know, maybe you will come too. But I know they won’t agree and will tell us to try again to come to a solution.
DT:      Regarding common maps, what system are you working from?  UTM?
NF:      We use UTM, but it’s not a problem.  They’re convertible anyway.
UD:     So I understand, we’ve agreed to bring the issue to Abu Alaa and Livni?  Or do we meet to agree on a (new) line?
SA:      We can do both.  We’ll check with them and we can meet.
UD:     I will call you to arrange our next meeting.
DT:      Can you send me the shapefile of your line?
NF:      We’ll have to check.
UD:     Thank you for coming.  Even if we do not see eye to eye, we want to keep talking.
SA:      We agree, but you are taking us back…
 
 
END TIME:  14h15

Meeting Minutes: Salam Fayyad and Tony Blair

ملخص

"يطرح فياض في الاجتماع مسألة ""تغيير الاستراتيجية نحو غزة"" بحيث لا يصب فتح المعابر في مصلحة تحسين سمعة حماس. أوضح فياض استخدام الاسرائيليين للقوة العسكرية قائلا ""أن الاسرائيليين يحتفظون بحق دخول الاراضي الفلسطينية عندما يكون هناك تهديد أمني، إلا أنهم يفعلون أشياء لا تمت للأمن بصلة."" بلير يؤيد ما ذهب اليه فياض قائلا: ""لست وحدك الذي استخلص مثل هذه القناعات. الجيش الاميركي كذلك."" "

النص الكامل

 
 
MEETING MINUTES
 
 
 
Attendees:
 
Tony Blair, Quartet Representative
Ana Galo, Deputy
Anis Nacrour, Rule of Law and Security Sector Advisor
+1
 
Salam Fayyad
Hassan Abu Libdeh, Head of Palestinian Investment Conference
Nizar Farsakh
Hala Rashed
 
Subject:  Regular meeting btw Fayyad and Blair
 
Date:   11 March 2008, 12:30-1:30
 
Location: PMO
 
 
Topics touched upon:
  •  Gaza crossings (Speak to Nizar for details);
  •  The Generals;
  •  Tarqumiya IZ;
  •  Security deployment in Hebron;
  •  Bethlehem Investment Conference;
  •  Donor funding;
  •  Housing projects.
 
 
Both agreed on the need for a different strategy on Gaza; sitting and waiting for it to be resolved is not a solution.
SF:
The opening of the crossings works both ways. If Hamas is seen as having succeeded in opening them then the message will be that rockets yield results. I told Rice to weigh in on Israel on this but she didn’t get anywhere with them. I heard that what is stopping the deal is that Hamas is asking for unreasonable conditions (checkpoint before the crossing and that they collect duties)
Israel’s dealing unilaterally on Gaza is only undermining the PA. I am not sure how many more blows our government can take before we are rendered completely ineffective. Our ability to engage politically is also hampered by settlement activities and other negative Israeli policies.
People are coasting as if they are winning. I am anxious.
 
TB:
It seems at least that that feeling has dissipated. I saw Bush and Hadley and they said they were very pleased with your visit. I think it is good that you and I and the American generals (Jones, Fraser) are all saying the same thing (i.e. the need to change strategy on Gaza). I’ll be seeing Barak and olmert in this visit. our message should be that the strategy involves doing three things:
  1.  Pacify and stabilize Gaza so that it does not destabilize us: that means ceasefire, opening crossings, engaging Egypt to play a role
  2.  CBMs from Israel in WB: the US and blair team need to work on a series of things to happen on the ground to stabilize and improve the situation in the WB. CBMs like the Bethlehem conference (PIC) where Israel engages constructively by making it a success. in order to have impact, we need radical changes and we need them to be broadcast and announced.
  3.  Proper security plan: We need to get funding for it and start implementing
 
SF:
The path taken by Israel in the last weeks was one of destruction. I am not sure how long my government will last. I am worried that conditions leading to the last intifada are being recreated. Demonstrations after Friday prayer. Shootings. We are gaining strength but we are still very weak. Regional dynamic also influence our internal situation.
 
TB:
The fact that you had warned that that would happen and indeed you were correct made people in the US more receptive to you.
 
SF:
We need to think of what we want for the spring of next year i.e. the next US administration. We’ll use this time to rebuild and ensure that Israel does not do anything that would undermine our efforts. We have some security cooperation with Israel but it is not significant. As to Berlin conference I told the Germans we need to see deliverables from Israel otherwise it will be a bilateral (Palestinian, German) meeting.
Jones apparently is interested in our issues as well. I was impressed by his knowledge. He knows the situation and the status of the Israeli army and thinks strategically. He will have a good role to play.
I proposed to him that if international presence will be part of the permanent status solution then why not have it now in transition? He seemed interested.
Tactically, I plan to approach Israel on specific issues and use the US generals for that. So, the battalion of 1000 being trained, I will deploy in Hebron as part of the plan for that governorate. Tarqumiya IZ is not on the border we need it on the border to get Israeli investors, otherwise it is just an internal IZ we don’t need Israel for it.
 
TB:
Yes, I spoke to jones on this and he agreed that we need a whole package for Hebron. I’m having a long meeting with Barak and am thinking of bringing Jones with me. I understand that if battalion succeeds in Hebron then you can move to another area, but we need to negotiate with Israel to ensure we are all clear on where we are going. Nablus worked but Hebron needs a whole package.
 
SF:
Yes, but if we work in stages then Israel can continue with its bad behavior for 3 more months. I know Israel “reserves the right to enter” Palestinian areas if it feels its security is threatened (i.e, “ticking bombs”) yet they do things that have nothing to do with security. The other day they beat up the Palestinian police in Beit Jala. I do not believe that these actions originate from local commanders and that GOI is not party to it. There is a pattern.
 
TB:
You are not alone to have that conclusion. The US generals also think so.
 
SF:
Of course, hebron is the largest governorate in terms of population and success there will give a great boost but we need to ensure Israel doesn’t do any negative things.
 
TB:
What about the crossings in Gaza?
 
SF:
Hamas should not have role at crossings (collecting duties or controlling access). They have rejected our previous proposals. I’ve heard they have different proposals now.
 
TB:
Will know more when I meet Barak.
We see security as critical for progress but only one piece of many and all need to come together. However, are you sure you want to start with Hebron?
 
SF:
Yes. We are doing hebron anyway. Just waiting for funding to come through.
Let me know you something (pulls out map of Tarqumiya). We want the IZ to be on the Green Line. Israel has made people believe Area C is disputed territory. It’s not; it’s occupied.
 
TB:
It is ironic that Israel says it is building in Givat Zeev because it will be part of Israel in the final status, but denies Palestinians to build in Tarqumiya which supposedly is not going to be part of Israel.
 
SF:
If Israel is making such extrapolations we would rather they not allow us to build in Area C and they not build any settlements. We are interested in building in Area C to break the taboo.
 
TB:
Yes. Yes. Of course, I see that point.
 
Hassan Abu Libdeh gives TB list of names PA wants to invite to Bethlehem conference. We need Israeli clearance for them.
 
TB:
Yes, it shouldn’t take Israel long to do a security check on these people. US consulate in these countries can help doing the security check for Israel.
 
SF:
The Bethlehem conference is more important conceptually than substantively. We want to show that despite immense adversity we are throwing a party. We want to show the other face of Palestine not only to the international community but to our people as well.
 
TB:
The participants need to be able to move around fully while they are here. US generals are working hard not only on securing access to Bethlehem for the event but also for movement around. I will work on having Mike Herzog coordinate with Hassan Abu Libdeh. Also, it would be good to have the list of sponsors.
How is the PDRP going?
 
SF:
Good. Visit to the Gulf was good politically and economically but the results are not immediate. February was difficult. EU saved us in March. We are having difficulty with US money. People on Capitol Hill are displeased with AM’s comments in amman and our efforts to explain them did not succeed. Rice and Welch are trying.
 
TB:
Also, bear in mind that the envisaged security projects are going to need supplementary funds. We can get it but we need a plan with a vision; the way the PDRP succeeded in Paris.
Arab and Saudi money particularly will be more forthcoming if they see changes on the ground. If you have problems in funding I can talk to some people.
As to US I think people are changing their views; no longer unconditional support for Israel. Many asked me whether Israel was doing all it can to help; no one asked that last year. Also, bear in mind that, for the American audience, your unequivocal condemnation of violence is what is critical to letting them listen to you
 
SF:
It would be helpful if you could raise the AHLC with Israelis in order to ensure that the meeting will be and an action-promoting event.
 
TB:
Gordon Brown is thinking of coming out here. If you want me to ask him, to come out in May to Bethlehem, I will.
 
SF:
Yes, please do that.
 
TB:
What about the housing projects?
 
SF:
All projects are not mutually exclusive. The plan is to put the cornerstone of ‘the new city’ will be put on the eve of the Bethlehem conference. Bashar Masri acquired all the land, has the permits, waiting on MOU with MoP but needs infrastructure help. Donor money is needed even if it usually shies away from private sector projects. The mayor of Reston (a town established 40 years ago in Virginia, USA) is advising the group on town planning.

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