Gush Shalom Press Release / 18.12.03
„Ariel Sharon‘s speech of today is a masterpiece of misrepresentation, half-truths and outright lies,“ Gush Shalom declared immediately afterwards. „The polished formulations are hiding the clear intent of annexing more than half the West Bank, while giving up a few far-away and isolated settlements that the army consider as a burden.“
As examples of blatant untruths, Gush Shalom cites:
1. Sharon: The Road Map demands that the Palestinians eliminate terrorism, and that only afterwards Israel is requested to fulfil its obligations.
The truth: The Road Map demands that Israel starts to fulfil its obligations at once, simultaneous with and independent of the steps to be taken by the Palestinians.
2. The Road Map demands from Israel to remove „unlicensed outposts“.
The truth: The Road Map demands from Israel to remove ALL settlements set up after January 2001.
3. Sharon: The Road Map allows Israel to build inside the „built-up area“ of the settlements.
The truth: The Road Map forbids any building activity in the settlements. The „built-up areas“ of the settlements have been planned in advance in such a way that tens of thousands of new houses can be built there.
4. Sharon: Lately we have made life much easier for the Palestinians.
The truth: While life was intolerable even before, it has become much worse lately. Almost no checkpoint has been removed, free movement is impossible, and, worst of all, the „separation fence“ has cut off hundred thousands of Palestinians from their sources of livelihood as well as from their schools, hospitals, universities and even cemeteries.
5. Sharon: The „separation fence“ is necessary for security.
The truth: The present path of the barrier is not separating Israelis from Palestinians, but Palestinians from Palestinians, in order to imprison them in more than a dozen isolated enclaves.
6. Sharon: A „contiguous“ Palestinian state will be set up.
The truth: Between the enclaves that Sharon is creating by the „separation fence“ and other means, there is no real contiguity. Sharon promises to connect the enclaves by artificial means like bridges, roads and tunnels that can be cut off by the army at any moment.
The removal of some outlying settlements is demanded by the army, which does not have enough forces to defend them. Sharon uses the promise of their removal as an alibi for annexing practically all of „Area C“, which comprises more than half of the West Bank.