by Dr. Aaron Lerner
There they were at yet another beautiful photo op signing ceremony in Washington D.C. solemnly witnessed by the United States and representatives of the other major powers in the world.
Much like the photo op ceremony President Obama would like to have with the same round of optimistic speeches and slaps on the back and of course memorable handshakes of the "peacemakers".
As always there will be reassurances that the United States will stand behind the deal.
And maybe Mr. Obama plans to reinforce that promise by saying "we stand steadfast behind our iron clad promise" [Some cynics joke that he should say "cross my heart (appeal to the bible
belt vote) and hope to die (a gesture to the tradition of the radical Moslems)"]
But we have experience with pieces of paper.
MK Limor Livnat's nephew is being buried today because he wanted to pray at Joseph's Tomb and wasn't willing to wait to see when he would have the chance to be part of the select few chosen for the monthly visit.
That's not what was supposed to be under the agreement.
A once a month visit for a select few is anything but "free, unimpeded and secure access".
But at the end of the day the agreement was just a piece of paper.
Just like the next piece of paper....
THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN INTERIM AGREEMENT ON THE WEST BANK AND THE GAZA
September 28, 1995
Protocol Concerning Redeployment and Security Arrangements
Security Arrangements in the West Bank
2. Area A
b. Jewish Holy Sites
(1) The following provisions will apply with respect to the security
arrangements in Jewish holy sites in Area A which are listed in Appendix 4
to this Annex:
(a) While the protection of these sites, as well as of persons visiting
them, will be under the responsibility of the Palestinian Police, a JMU
shall function in the vicinity of, and on the access routes to, each such
site, as directed by the relevant DCO.
(b) The functions of each such JMU shall be as follows:
(i) to ensure free, unimpeded and secure access to the relevant Jewish holy
(ii) to ensure the peaceful use of such site, to prevent any potential
instances of disorder and to respond to any incident.
(c) Given the Jewish religious nature of such sites, Israeli plainclothes
guards may be present inside such sites.
(2) The present situation and the existing religious practices shall be
Jewish Holy Sites
Pursuant to Article V of this Annex the Jewish Holy Sites are as follows:
1. Joseph's Tomb (Nablus)
2. Shalom Al Israel synagogue (Jericho)
Dr. Aaron Lerner
Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.