I met with Mr.Taub in Helsinki in 2008, who was at the Israel’s Senior Legal Adviser at the Ministry For Foreign Affairs. He had this to say concerning European leaders who fail to recognize that the Arabs have a responsibility to handle their affairs as well.
“It really sends a message that these are second class members of the western communities, and that we can’t hold them to the same standards as everyone else. And the correct approach it seems to us, has to be not to lower the standards, but to keep the standards where they are, and to help these Muslim leaders reach them.”
30 December 2013. The Times.co.uk
‘Jack Straw refuses to countenance the possibility that anyone other than Israel might have a part to play in the plight of the Palestinians’
Sir, Jack Straw (Opinion, Dec 26) asserts that Palestinian shacks in the South Hebron hills are being gratuitously demolished by Israel while their residents are charged exorbitant sums for water.
In fact, although these structures were built without regard to planning permission, the Israeli authorities, which under the Israeli-Palestinian agreements are charged with responsibility for planning regulations in the area, invited the residents to submit a master plan to regularise the situation.
The proposed master plan which was submitted was rejected. Not, as Straw suggests, because of gratuitous harassment, but because the planning committee found that it did not provide adequately for welfare services for the residents, and in particular would deprive Palestinian women of access to educational and professional opportunities. The committee has invited the residents to make an amended application.
The price of water is determined by the Palestinian Water Authority, not by Israel. Jack Straw refuses to countenance the possibility that anyone other than Israel might have a part to play in the plight of the Palestinians. Far more damaging than the castigation of Israel, however, is the effect of such condescension and low expectations on the Palestinian side.
Ultimately, the most effective way of dealing with the issue of the South Hebron hills is for the two sides to reach a final status agreement. But ignoring the fact that the Palestinians too have responsibilities will not help bring that agreement closer.
Ambassador of Israel to the Court of St James’s
The salient words of Amb.Avi Granot: