THE PLO COVENANT
There is plenty of guilty to go around for the hoax that has been perpetrated on the public regarding the supposed changes in the PLO Covenant. Sadly, one of those responsible is President Clinton, who invited Arafat to the White House as a reward. Setting aside the fact that the entire Covenant calls for Israel's destruction, no changes whatsoever were made to the document.
To this day, nobody outside the PLO hierarchy really knows what transpired when the PLO's Palestine National Council (PNC) met in April to discuss the future of the Covenant. Although journalists were permitted to attend all other sessions that the PNC held during its three-day gathering, the PLO barred all journalists from the session dealing with the Covenant. No official roll call has ever been released to show how the individual PNC members voted. As of late May, the PNC itself had still not issued an official text of the resolution that allegedly was passed regarding the Covenant. Indeed, the official PNC statement listing all of the resolutions that were passed during the three-day meeting did not say a word about the Covenant.
Immediately after the vote was taken, PLO media "spinners" leaked several contradictory "unofficial" versions of the resolution. What all of these texts had in common is that they said the PNC had decided not to change the Covenant now, but to authorize a PLO legal committee to look into the possibility of changing the Covenant some day--with no date mentioned.
Ten days passed, and then Peres suddenly produced a letter from Yasser Arafat that provided the "official" text of the resolution passed by the PNC. Peres and his aides gave the media the English version. They kept the Arabic out of public view, but fortunately Ha'aretz obtained a copy and printed it. Lo and behold, the English version, which said that the Covenant had been changed, did not correspond to the Arabic version, which said that the Covenant will be changed some day.
Likud MK Benny Begin brought the matter up
when Foreign Minister Ehud Barak appeared before the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee in early May. "Did Israeli officials collaborate with the PLO to prepare a phony 'official' text after the PNC vote had taken place?," Begin asked. In a most telling response, Foreign Minister Barak refused to deny Begin's allegation, cutting short the discussion by declaring, "I will have to study this matter."
Barak will not have to study it for very long, however, because Begin's opportunities to question him about the Covenant--or about any other topic--have been squashed by a Labor Party parliamentary maneuver. On May 12, Labor MK Haggai Merom, chairman of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, abruptly announced that there would be no more meetings of the Committee "until after elections." That will prevent the opposition from asking embarrassing questions that might cost Labor votes.
More interesting than this is the response of Professor Yehoshua Porat, a member of the ultra-left Meretz Party, who said, "The disinformation campaign regarding the so-called change in passages in the Palestinian Charter...which Shimon Peres is responsible for, is worthy of all condemnation."
But what is most disturbing is that Clinton's
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