Islamic Human Rights Commission

For Immediate Release 07.11.00


A draft report by the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) revised on 21 October, Peace and War: Israel versus the Palestinians, has hailed the use of terrorism as a technique to establish “peace” in the Middle East. The report has urged the Palestinian Authority to clamp down “ruthlessly” on Palestinians who oppose the Oslo agreement. It also encourages the use of “excessive force” against Palestinians throwing stones.

Excusing Israel’s use of live ammunition against stone-throwing civilians, the report argues that CS gas and rubber bullets are usually “not effective in stopping large groups”. It alleges the necessity of Israel’s escalating response to stone-throwers in the form of mobilisation of armour, the sealing off of Palestinian towns, and “the use of helicopter gunships and snipers to provide mobility and suppressive fire.” The document further indicates that Israeli military actions should end with “forced evacuation” of Palestinians from “sensitive areas”.

Accordingly, it argues in a chapter titled ‘The Need for Palestinian Authority Ruthlessness and Efficiency’ that there will be no peace, “if the Palestinian security forces do not act ruthlessly and effectively” against protestors. The uprising must be halted even if that means “using excessive force”. Additionally, the Palestinian Authority “must be able to halt” action by Hamas and Islamic Jihad, “even if this means interrogations, detentions and trials that are too rapid and lack due process.”

On the method to quell Palestinian protests, the report advises both Palestinian and Israeli authorities to pursue “interrogation methods that border on psychological and/or physical torture, arrests and detentions that are ‘arbitrary’ by the standards of civil law, break-ins and intelligence operations that violate the normal rights of privacy, levels of violence in making arrests that are unacceptable in civil cases, and measures that involve the innocent (or at least not provably directly guilty) in arrests and penalties.” The document thus advocates that the Palestinian and Israeli authorities must undertake systematic human rights violations and utilise unhindered terrorism against the indigenous Palestinians, in the name of promoting the “peace process”. Regarding these illegal practices, the draft report remarks that “such measures tend to work”.

The CSIS calls itself “an independent, nonpartisan public policy research organization”. However, as Robert Fisk observes in the Independent, the CSIS “has close links with the United States government”. It receives funds from US “government contracts”, as well as from several hundred “corporations”. The CSIS itself admits in its own words that it “receives the largest amount of corporate contributions of any US public policy institute, reflecting the value that corporate leaders gain from their financial support.” It’s Advisory Committee is “composed of members of the US Congress, high-level energy experts, and chief executives from energy and energy-related companies”. The organisation also has a “long-standing reputation for bringing together leaders from government, the private sector, and academia”, aiming to mobilise “government and private sector leaders in action commissions and other high-level groups to catalyze policymakers to take concrete actions.”

The report itself is written by Anthony H. Cordesman, a former national security assistant to Senator John McCain; he now holds the Arleigh A. Burke Chair in Strategy at the CSIS. He has held senior positions in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the State Department, the Department of Energy, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. His overseas posts included Iran and other Middle Eastern states, the UK, the US delegation to NATO, and as a director in the NATO International Staff.

In conclusion, this report is hardly a credible, independent and objective analysis of the crisis in Palestine. On the contrary, it is heavily biased by US governmental and corporate interests. Both the CSIS and the author of the report have links with the US government and big business. The document relies extensively not on independent references, but on CIA, State Department and Israeli sources. It has also been circulated widely within the US and Israeli governments.

The Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC) strongly condemns the report for its appalling attempt to encourage and legitimise terrorism and war crimes against a civilian population. The report’s recommendations are also illegal according to the standards of international law under the United Nations, to which the United States is a well known signatory. IHRC calls on other human rights organisations to officially condemn the report, and requests that complaints be made directly to the US Attorney General and US Government.

Chairman of IHRC Massoud Shadjareh stated: “New anti-terrorism legislation in the United States purports to shut down, arrest and prosecute anyone supporting terrorism directly or indirectly. Therefore, the US should fulfil its leg al obligation with regard to this report which openly encourages terrorism, by shutting down the CSIS; confiscating its funds; and arresting and prosecuting the author of the report, Andrew H. Cordsman. ”

For more information on the above, please contact the IHRC Press Office on (+44) 20 8902 0888, (+44) 958 522 196, e-mail: