JERUSALEM (Nov. 16)
The civil administration on the West Bank has instructed the regional governors to “neutralize” pro-Jordanian elements among the local Arab leadership and force them into greater dependency on Israel.
Guidelines to that affect were issued recently by the acting head of the civil administration, Col. Yigal Karmon, according to Haaretz which published them today. They apparently were prompted by fears of rapprochement between King Hussein of Jordan and Palestine Liberation Organization chief Yasir Arafat.
ANGRY PROTESTS IN THE KNESSET
The guidelines raised angry protests in the Knesset today from both government and opposition members. Likud MK Dror Seigerman demanded to know whether Defense Minister Ariel Sharon, who controls the West Bank administration, was acting on his own without consulting Premier Menachem Begin.
While the guidelines instruct the civil administrators to continue the struggle against “radical” pro-PLO mayors — nine of whom were summarily ousted from office this year — they stress the need to bind anti-PLO groups more tightly to Israel. The pro-Jordan Palestinians were described as “unwillingly pro-PLO” since Jordan acceded to the 1974 Arab League summit decision in Rabat, Morocco, to designate the PLO as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.
They were said to include moderate political figures who “will not make a move without Jordan’s consent” and therefore must be neutralized and made more dependent on the Israeli administration. In that connection it was noted that 12,000 Arabs work for the civil administration, 400 in senior positions and 50 in “very senior” positions. The guidelines suggest “they should be strengthened for political ends, for political use in the future.”
ELEMENTS IN THE GUIDELINES
The methods proposed to accomplish that end included “massive removal of those who stand in the way of the system and maximum support for positive elements. This should include pay raises, larger powers and personal encouragement.”
The regional governors were also instructed to submit weekly reports to the civil administration on how the “nationalist and pro-Jordanians” were being treated. They were ordered to intensify supervision over Arab civil service workers who “for years either showed no political tendencies or who were indifferent to or actively jeopardized the administration efforts.”
Singled out for increased support were the anti-PLO Village Leagues organized by the civil administration and armed and financed by Israel. The Leagues, branded “Quislings” by other West Bankers were recently consolidated under Mustapha Dudein, a leader in the Hebron region. They have held a series of “yes to peace” rallies, organized by the civil administration.
But at the last such rally, the Israelis were shaken by a challenge from Dudein that they negotiate directly with the Village Leaguers over the future of the West Bank. Dudein has not accepted the autonomy plan offered by Begin and is on record in favor of President Reagan’s Middle East initiative which Israel has rejected as even a basis for negotiations.
QUESTIONS BY MKS
The guidelines were distributed about two weeks ago. In the Knesset today Seigerman of Likud questioned whether they were issued at the civil administration’s initiative or by the government. If the latter, he said, they meant that Israel has decided to run the affairs of Arabs on the West Bank, leading to ultimate annexation. If this plan is implemented, he warned, it will make the West Bank into “Israel’s Viet Nam.”
The Peace Now movement issued a statement charging that the civil governors were instructed to implement “corrupt colonialist policies” for political ends. The Labor Party young guard called for immediate cancellation of the guidelines. The policies adopted by Sharon are “catastrophic and close off all options for a political settlement,” the Laborites said.
MORE FOREIGN LECTURES OUSTED
Meanwhile, two more foreign lecturers at West Bank universities were forced to leave the country yesterday because they refused to sign a document dissociating themselves from the PLO, a prerequisite for work permits.
They are Mohammad Rashiq, a Palestinian holding a Jordanian passport who lectures in chemistry, and Fairuz Shehadeh, an American citizen who is an English instructor. They were the first non-resident faculty members of Bir Zeit University near Ramallah to be ordered out of the country.
Their expulsion brought to 21 the number of non-resident faculty members at three West Bank universities to be ousted. Another 31 have been ordered to cease teaching immediately. All have refused to sign the document on grounds that its intent was political and violated professional ethics.