A glimpse of the world of education in Sur Baher in East Jerusalem was recently made available by Hamas TV. A broadcast showed how the Jerusalem children in the Islamic Riyad (Gardens of) Al-Aqsa School were taught to sing about desiring death: "May our blood be shed."
They also sang the following in front of the cameras:
"How strong is the army of Al-Aqsa.
I am a soldier, defending its protected area.
How precious is the land of Al-Aqsa.
I shall give up my life for its sake."
This footage of young children singing and being taught these lines in the Islamic Riyad Al-Aqsa School in Sur Baher appeared in a documentary program entitled "The Shahids' (Martyrs') Wedding" on Hamas's Al-Aqsa TV.
In the past, Palestinian Authority TV has also shown children in PA schools reciting poems glorifying Martyrdom death, for example including the words:
"I have let my land drink my blood,
I love the way of Martyrdom."
[PA TV (Fatah), Nov. 14, 2008]
PMW has documented the promotion of Shahada (Martyrdom) to children and adults by both Fatah and Hamas.
Hamas Commander: Israel Will Cease to Exist - Roee Nahmias (Ynet News)
Muhammad Deif, the commander of Hamas' military wing, said in a statement issued Saturday that the Palestinians will not give up their struggle until Israel ceases to exist.
"You will disappear and we will have Palestine," Deif said in a direct message to Israel.
3 PA TV shows present Israeli places
Tiberias, Rosh Hanikra and all of Israel as "Palestine"
by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik
Contrary to the repeated statements by Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas to foreign leaders that the PA recognizes Israel, the PA internally in Arabic continues to deny Israel's existence and to present a world without Israel.
The PA transmits the message to its people that it does not recognize Israel's existence, describing all Israeli land, cities and regions as "Palestinian." Palestinian TV is one tool among many used by the PA to disseminate this message.
In three recent programs on PA TV, which is owned by the PA and operated under the auspices of Mahmoud Abbas's office, Palestinians were presented with a world without Israel, which is the most explicit non-recognition:
1. The Israeli city of Tiberias was said to be "in northern Palestine, close to the Palestinian-Jordanian-Syrian border."
- "Palestine" could not share a border with Syria unless Israel did not exist. Tiberias is in northern Israel and not "northern Palestine."
2. The coast of "Palestine" was said in an educational program to be 224 km. long, reaching Rosh Hanikra in northern Israel.
- The coast of "Palestine" could not be 224 km. long unless there were no Israel, since the coast of the Gaza Strip is only 40 km. long.
3. "Palestine is big - 27,000 sq. km.," said PA TV host.
- The area of "Palestine" could not be 27,000 sq. km. unless Israel were to disappear, since the West Bank and Gaza together are only about 6,000 sq. km.
The following are the transcripts and context of the statements defining Israel as "Palestine":
1. Host: "In Palestine there are very beautiful historical sites and cultural and natural sites... The city of Tiberias is one such area, where history, nature and water come together."
Reporter: "The city of Tiberias is in northern Palestine, close to the Palestinian-Jordanian-Syrian border
Last Friday, Saeb Erekat, the Palestinian Authority's chief peace negotiator with Israel published an op-ed in Britain's Guardian newspaper in which he declared eternal war on the Jewish state. This he did by asserting that any peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians that does not permit the immigration of some 7 million foreign Arabs to Israel will be "completely untenable."
So as far as the supposedly moderate chief Palestinian negotiator is concerned, a peace deal in which Israel cedes Judea and Samaria and Jerusalem to the Palestinians as the Israeli Left desires will not be sufficient for the Palestinians. Unless Israel also agrees to commit national suicide by accepting 7 million foreign Arabs as citizens, the Palestinians will continue to wage their war. So with or without a Palestinian state, as long as Israel exists, the Palestinians will continue to seek its destruction
The Palestinians Are the Real Obstacle to Peace - Moshe Ya'alon
Unfortunately, what stands between the Palestinians and eventual statehood is their insincerity when it comes to real peace. Israel has repeatedly proposed the independence that the Palestinians ostensibly desire. But instead of concluding a deal with Israel, they have demonstrated a total unwillingness to compromise, often favoring terrorism. Is it any wonder Israelis find it ever more difficult to trust the Palestinians?
We do not yet have two states for two peoples because the Palestinians refuse to accept that there even exists a Jewish nation that lays legitimate claim to its land. They reject the entire premise of a state for the Jewish people - not only beyond the pre-1967 lines but even within the 1948 boundaries.
Israel remains committed to the cause of peace. We have no desire to govern the affairs of another people. But our acceptance of a viable Palestinian state awaits a similar Palestinian acceptance of the rights of the Jewish people in the Land of Israel. Erekat, the Palestinian negotiator, recently wrote that such a step would require a modification of the Palestinian narrative. He's absolutely right. Until this happens, there can be no chance for peace. Lt.-Gen. (ret.) Moshe Ya'alon, a former IDF Chief of Staff, is Israel's Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Strategic Affairs. (Foreign Policy)
Jews have no right to Western Wall, PA 'study' says
By KHALED ABU TOAMEH
‘Muslim tolerance allowed the Jews to stand in front of it and weep,’ says Information Ministry official.
The Western Wall belongs to Muslims and is an integral part of Al-Aksa Mosque and Haram al-Sharif (the Islamic term for the Temple Mount complex, meaning the Noble Sanctuary), according to an official paper published on Monday by the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Information in Ramallah.
The paper, which has been presented as a “study,” was prepared by Al-Mutawakel Taha, a senior official with the ministry, to “refute” Jews’ claims to the Western Wall.
PA slams NIS 85 million Kotel development project
'Abbas didn't agree to let Israel control Kotel'
In the past, PA leaders and officials have also denied Jewish rights to the Wall, insisting that the Temple Mount never stood in the area.
The new document claims that the Western Wall, or Al- Buraq Wall, as it is known to Muslims, constitutes Waqf property owned by an Algerian- Moroccan Muslim family.
It claims there isn’t one stone in the wall that belongs to the era of King Solomon.
The “study” also contends that the path next to the Western Wall was never a public road, but was established only for the use of Muslims living in the area or making their way toward the mosques on the Temple Mount.
Palestinians-don't move unilaterally
Unilateral Declaration of Independence Would Be a Serious Palestinian Blunder - Yitzhak Klein
A unilateral Palestinian application to the UN for recognition as a state could prove to be a serious Palestinian blunder. History is strewn with the wreckage of international declarations that did not correspond to actual power relations on the ground, and declarations that are not founded on substance fade into oblivion. This will happen to the Palestinians' attempt to claim territory without controlling it.
Unilateralism is a two-way street. By abrogating the Oslo Accords, the Palestinians make it legitimate for Israel to create, unilaterally, a territorial arrangement that suits its interests. Having abrogated the Oslo Accords and embraced unilateralism, the Palestinians have no right to complain if Israel does so as well. The writer heads the Israel Policy Center. (Jerusalem Post)
See also Israel's UN Envoy Warns PA Against Unilateral State Declaration - Hilary Leila Krieger
Israel's ambassador to the UN Meron Reuben said Tuesday that a Palestinian unilateral declaration of statehood could lead to the disintegration of all agreements previously made between Israel and the Palestinians "because in the agreements it's specifically stated that the sides cannot bring their case to international bodies." (Jerusalem Post)
The Real Truth from an Arab
Abu Toameh: What the Western Media Misses
November 12th, 2010 at 8:26 am Arsen Ostrovsky
A few days ago, I was fortunate to attend a talk by Israeli Arab journalist Khaled Abu Toameh in Jerusalem.
Toameh gave an incredibly wide ranging talk about the peace process, the double standards rife in the West and the media when it comes to coverage of the Middle East and his perspective as a Muslim Arab of Palestinian descent living in Israel (and you thought you had identity issues!).
Toameh has been working as a journalist for almost 30 years now, covering Palestinian affairs, focusing predominantly on the West Bank and Gaza, including for the Palestinian press under the PLO and for various international media outlets in the US and Europe. He is currently at the Jerusalem Post writing on Palestinian issues. Toameh is also an Israeli citizen living in Jerusalem. In other words, he is aptly qualified to comment on the issues of his discussion.
However, if you expected Toameh to jump on the anti-Israel bandwagon with the familiar cries that Israel is an un-democratic apartheid state responsible for all that is wrong including the bubonic plague or to have a single-minded focus on the occupation, you would have been sorely disappointed.
Instead, he spoke openly, courageously and in his words, said it “as it is”. Asked what he thought was the essence of the conflict, Toameh said it was not about money or even settlements, as many so-called pundits often imply, as a precursor to blaming Israel. Rather, his answer was very simple: “This conflict is about Israel’s very existence in this part of the world.”
But before you get any conclusions, Toameh is not a card-carrying Zionist or as somebody once asked him “when did you get on the Israel lobby payroll”. In his own words, he says:
“I’m not pro-Israel, I’m not pro-Palestinian and I’m not pro-American. But as a journalist, I’m pro the facts and pro the truth.”
Here are some of Toameh’s illuminating comments:
I asked Toameh how, as an Arab Muslim Israeli, he responds to accusations that Israel is an apartheid state.
“Israel is not an apartheid state. But there are problems and some discrimination with the Arab minority inside Israel. If Israel were an apartheid state, I, for example, would not be allowed to work for a Jewish newspaper or live in a Jewish neighborhood or own a home. The real apartheid is in Lebanon, where there is a law that bans Palestinians from working in over 50 professions. Can you imagine if the Knesset passed a law banning Arabs from working even in one profession? The real apartheid is also in many Arab and Muslim nations, like Kuwait, where my Palestinian uncle, who has been living there for 35 years, is banned from buying a house. The law of Israel does not distinguish between a Jew and an Arab.”
As for the uniqueness of the Israeli media in the middle East, Toameh added:
“Israel is a free and open country with a democracy, that respects the freedom of the media. You can basically write any anti-Israel story and still walk in downtown Jerusalem or Tel Aviv without having to worry about your safety. Anyone can be a journalist in Israel.”
Toameh says he finds it ironic that as an Arab Muslim living in this part of the world, the only place he can express himself freely is in a ‘Jewish newspaper’, noting that:
“We don’t have a free media in the Palestinian area, we didn’t have one when I was working there in the late 70’s and early 80’s, we didn’t have one when the PLO came here after the signing of the Oslo accords and we still don’t have one under Fatah and Hamas.”
But what about the media’s need for an anti-Israeli angle on stories? Toameh says that when he tried to alert many of his foreign colleagues that Palestinians were dying because of an internal power struggle or gross corruption by Arafat and the Palestinian Authority, their reflex response was:
Where’s the anti-Israel angle to the story? Give us an anti-occupation story. Make our lives much easier. An Arab killing an Arab, that’s not a story for us.
Toameh notes that the same foreign journalists would then ask him: “Are you on the payroll of the Israel lobby?” “Do they [the Jews] pay you to say these things against Arafat and the PLO?” Toameh’s response to them:
“What do the Jews have to do with this? I’m telling you what the Palestinians are saying about there being corruption in the Palestinian Authority. I’m even telling you that the PA is saying that the PA is corrupt.
“It is a sad reflection on the state of society, and in particular, the media industry, that not only are they not sufficiently concerned or outraged at the death of Arabs by Arabs (which coincidentally has claimed many more lives than the Israel – Palestinian conflict), but that they will only muster even an iota of concern if they can put in an ‘anti-Israel’ angle.”
On the proposed loyalty oath as well, Toameh offered a pragmatic response: “I have no problem with it because it applies equally to both Jews and non-Jews alike.”
One of the biggest and most intractable sticking points has consistently been the Palestinian demand for a right of return, which Israel will not agree to because it would mean the death knell of Israel as a Jewish state.
However, Toameh offers a very simple and pragmatic three stage solution, where the Palestinian refugees could:
1. Go to the future Palestinian state;
2. Resettle elsewhere, including other Arab states; and
3. Be offered compensation.
Most tellingly though, and in a statement seldom ever heard from Arabs (or the West), Toameh then asked: “And what about Jewish refugees that were forced to flee Arab nations”, suggesting that the issue of Jewish refugees must also be part of any future solution.
Focusing on the problem from Arab dictatorships and their insistence on inciting their people against Israel, Toameh says that we have a problem in the West in failing to believe what people tell us.
“If Hamas say they want to destroy you, you have no reason not to believe them. And if Ahmadinejad says he wants to destroy you, there’s no need to start analyzing what he means by that. Stop fooling ourselves, and if anyone thinks that Hamas will ever recognize Israel’s right to exist, you’re also living in an illusion. Take it from their mouth directly…the PLO however is different – they will tell you one thing in English and then another in Arabic.”
On the subject of Arab dictatorship, Toameh says:
“Arab dictators survive by constantly blaming the misery of their people on Jews and the West and never accepting responsibility for anything. And by inciting against Israel and the West, you divert attention from problems at home. Why? Because you always need to make sure that your people are busy hating someone else. If they’re not hating Israel and the West, they might wake up one day and come to you, and God forbid, demand reform and democracy.”
The crux of the message is:
“If you keep inciting your people, then they ask ‘well, why are we then making peace with the Jews?’ We should be killing them as Hamas is saying’.”
So what does Toameh think about Mahmoud Abbas, the PA President?
“Abbas is corrupt, discredited, weak and does not have much power. He is reliant on Israel, whose presence in the West Bank is ironically the only reason he has managed to stay in power.”
And if Israel withdrew to the 1967 borders as demanded by Abbas and the PLO:
“Abbas will collapse and Hamas will take over the West Bank in less than a day. If I were Israel, I would not give Abbas one inch of land in the West Bank – not for ideological reasons, but to avoid a situation where Hamas and others would take over the area.”
When we asked him how best to defeat the extremists, radicals and terrorists like Hamas and Hizbullah, Toameh answered:
“The first and most important thing is you go to the Arab governments and tell them, “Stop the incitement that’s feeding these radicals and driving people into their hands.” Sometimes there’s no difference between what is written about Israel and the Jews in the papers in Egypt and Saudi Arabia with what is written by Hamas.”
Noting again the billions of dollars in aid provided by the US and EU to various Arab dictatorships, Toameh says: In other words, and even more clearly, they should tell them: “Stop calling for my death with my money.”
I asked Toameh about what steps were needed to move forward. According to him, the answer is “very simple” and involves the following steps:
1) The Palestinians must start investing money (provided to them mainly by the US and EU) for the welfare of their people instead of incitement. Then dismantle all militias, establish a free press and democratic institutions, end the infighting, insist on good governance and speak with one voice so at least we know who we’re talking to. And then, he suggests, they should go speak with Israel and see what it has to offer them.
2) Deal with the enemies of peace – if you weaken the enemies of peace, like Iran, Hizbullah, Hamas, the moderates will rise and start speaking out. But as long as Iran is breathing down the neck and threatening, together with Hamas and Hizbullah, who are threatening to kill anyone who makes concessions, no moderate Arab will ever dare sign an agreement with Israel. Toameh says:
“I don’t even rule out military action against any of them because this is the only language these guys understand. Talking to them and appeasing them is even more dangerous.”
3) “We can’t move forward when you don’t have a clear, strong, reliable and credible partner on the Palestinian side” says Toameh. According to him: “Abbas is not a partner. He and Fayaad might be nice guys with good intentions – but they cannot deliver. So the PA are not partners because they cannot deliver and Hamas are not partners because they don’t want to be partners.”
Addressing the issue of whether there was a clear and credible partner on the Israeli side, Toameh said:
“I don’t care who is in government in Israel. There is a partner. And my partner is the Jewish people. Why? Because a majority of Jews have already accepted a two-state solution. I see a majority of Jews who don’t care anymore about Gaza. I see a majority of Jews who want to disengage from the Palestinians. I see a majority of Jews over the last 15 years marching toward moderation and pragmatism. I don’t know today of one Jewish mother that wants to send her son back to the streets of Ramallah or Gaza. I don’t know of one Jew who wants to control the lives of the Palestinians and run their education and health system. Sadly though, while the Jewish public has been marching towards pragmatism and realism and moderation, on the Arab side the message remains no, no and no.”
In an incredibly candid address, for me perhaps the most defining statement Toameh made was when I asked him: Would you rather continue living as a member of a minority in Israel or move to another Arab country? Toameh’s response was simple, honest, and telling:
“Israel is a free and open democratic country. I enjoy living here and I would rather live as a second-class citizen in Israel, even though I’m not, than a first-class citizen in any Arab country.”
In a world where it’s all too easy to turn a blind eye to courage, Khaled Abu Toameh is a welcome breath of fresh air. A man, deeply committed to peace, who is seen as a traitor by many and who bravely continues to put his own life on the line each day, Toameh perhaps says it best himself:
“I’m not pro-Israel, I’m not pro-Palestinian and I’m not pro-American. But as a journalist, I’m pro the facts and pro the truth.”
I've been working for Israeli public relations for 27 years, and there were certain "truths" that we were told: That if we adopt UN resolutions, there'll be peace. If we recognize the Palestinian right to self-determination, there'll be peace. If we remove settlements, there'll be peace. And over the past 25 years Israel recognized the PLO as the only legitimate representative of the Palestinian people; relinquished territory; removed settlements. Yet the end result was not the peace that we were promised. In no way am I criticizing the efforts for peace. Peace is a strategic necessity for the State of Israel. But in this case, these "truths" that we were promised only increased violence and extremism.
We represent Western civilization in this area. These extremists who are assaulting Israel, it's a prelude to what can be expected in Western societies. If it's not stopped on Israel's borders, the rest of Western civilization will end up facing the same kind of thing. The writer served as director of the Government Press Office for the past decade. (Jerusalem Post)
Is the Palestinian Authority Preparing Its People for Peace? - Itamar Marcus, Nan Jacques Zilberdik and Barbara Crook
The four-month period of May-August 2010 brought no changes in the quality of the messages being transmitted from the Palestinian Authority and Fatah to Palestinians. An examination of the Palestinian leaders' statements, official media, children's programs and PA and Fatah-controlled events reveals that, contrary to the PA's moderate statements to the West, its statements to its people in Arabic continue to deny Israel's right to exist, define the conflict with Israel in religious terms, promote hatred through demonization and libels, and glorify terror and violence. (Palestinian Media Watch)
It is not about settlements
The Conflict Is Not About Settlements - Geoffrey Alderman
The Palestinian Arab leadership is making a real song and dance about Jewish settlements, but why? After all, these settlements are hardly at the root of the conflict between Israel and its Arab neighbors and their Islamist sponsors. There were no such settlements between 1948 and 1967 but there was still conflict. The war launched against Israel in 1948 at the behest of the Arab League was not about settlements. It was about the Jewish right of national self-determination and the hostility of the Muslim world to the exercise of this right in an area regarded as part of the Realm of Islam. That was what the conflict was about in 1948, 1956, 1967 and 1973. That is what the conflict is still about today. (Jewish Chronicle-UK)
Palestinians Reject Israel Settlement Compromise - Adrian Blomfield
Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, offered Monday to extend a partial freeze on Jewish building in the West Bank in exchange for Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state. Within minutes of the proposal being made public, Palestinian officials had rejected it out of hand. (Telegraph-UK)
velyn Gordon - 09.20.2010 - 9:51 AM
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made a stunning admission last week that has garnered far too little attention. After a de rigueur assertion that the Israeli-Palestinian “status quo is unsustainable,” she added, “That doesn’t mean it can’t be sustained for a year, or a decade, or two or three.”
But if so, why the rush to solve the conflict now, when all signs indicate that a deal is unachievable and another round of failed talks could greatly worsen the situation?
One could simply say she’s wrong; the status quo is intolerable for suffering Palestinians. But the facts are on her side.
First, the territories are experiencing unprecedented economic growth. The World Bank reported last week that the West Bank economy grew 9 percent in the first half of this year, while Gaza (you remember — that giant Israeli prison locked in hopeless poverty and misery?) grew an incredible 16 percent. For the West Bank, this represents a second year of strong growth; last year’s was 8.5 percent.
The World Bank hastened to declare that we should never mind the facts; growth under occupation is unsustainable. And growth in Gaza (which isn’t occupied) might well be: it was artificially boosted by reconstruction after last year’s war and the abrupt easing of Israel’s blockade in May. But the West Bank’s two-year surge shows that economic reforms like those instituted by Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, coupled with a sharp drop in terror that has let Israel greatly ease its restrictions on Palestinian movement, make long-term growth quite feasible.
Second, West Bankers have evidently learned a lesson from the second intifada: support for terror there is very low, making a resurgence that would upset the current calm unlikely. Indeed, during a visit this month to the Balata refugee camp, once “a hotbed of extremism,” a Haaretz reporter “was hard-pressed to find any passersby who were willing to express support for it.” As resident Imad Hassan explained, “What good did this [terror] do us?”
By contrast, the current calm is doing West Bankers a lot of good, and they’re clearly savoring it. As Haaretz reported following a Ramadan visit to Ramallah last month:
The one phrase not on the lips of local shoppers in their conversations with this Israeli reporter on Wednesday was “the occupation” — unlike during prior visits, when the occupation and the conflict with the Jews were regularly raised. These days, the hot topic is business. Peace negotiations, and even the Gaza Strip, are irrelevant.
In short, West Bankers, too, consider the status quo tolerable; they’re more concerned with business than “the occupation.”
One thing, however, could yet disrupt this status quo: as several CONTENTIONS contributors have noted, negotiations that collapse amid mutual recriminations have triggered violent explosions in the past, and could well do so again.
So to try to achieve an agreement that overwhelming majorities of both Israelis and Palestinians believe is currently unachievable, the Obama administration is risking the violent implosion of a status quo that it admits is sustainable for decades. That isn’t “smart diplomacy”; it’s the irresponsibility of a pyromaniac near a barrel of gunpowder.
Killing of Israelis must be timed
just right, says PA
The following op-ed written by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik was published in today's Jerusalem Post.
Just a question of timing?
by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik
When Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas recently spoke in Washington and publicly condemned the killings of four Israelis by Hamas terrorists near Hebron, it generated a feeling of cautious optimism: "What happened yesterday and what is happening today is also condemned. We do not want at all that any blood be shed, one drop of blood, on the part of the - from the Israelis or the Palestinians," Abbas said.
After years during which glorifying terror and honoring terrorists has been a backbone of PA culture, was this statement heralding real change? Unfortunately, an examination of the internal PA responses to the attack, when not under the watchful eyes of Barack Obama, Binyamin Netanyahu and the world media, quickly erased hope that the PA had distanced itself from terror.
A comparison by Palestinian Media Watch (www.palwatch.org) of the PA response to the murders of four Israeli civilians to their reaction to the deaths during the flotilla confrontations, emphasizes that the PA's response to Hamas's attack was not a condemnation of terror or violence at all.
The central and recurring theme of PA leaders and PA-controlled media in response to Hamas's attack was criticism of the timing of the attack because of the damage done to the Palestinian cause, and not criticism of the killings themselves. The PA's central and recurring theme in response to the deaths on the flotilla was strong condemnation of what the PA repeatedly defined as "a massacre" and "a crime."
The day after the Hamas killings, official PA media reported that "Prime Minister Dr. Salam Fayyad said that the operation which took place tonight in the Hebron area and its timing, harms the efforts being made by the PLO to gather international support for the Palestinian position... He said: 'We condemn this operation, which contradicts the Palestinian interests and the efforts of the Palestinian leadership to gather international support...'" [PLO news agency Wafa, Aug. 31, 2010]
Abbas, when he returned to Ramallah, like Fayyad, lashed out at his political rival, Hamas, for the timing of the shootings: "He [Abbas] said that the recent shooting operations in the West Bank did not constitute resistance: '... For why isn't [Hamas] resistance happening every day, and isn't happening at all, except on the day we went to negotiations?!... Why did resistance become legitimate only today?" [Al- Ayyam, Sept. 6, 2010]
The PA Minister of Religious Affairs Mahmoud Al-Habbash in his Friday sermon after the killings continued this PA line as he condemned the timing, even accusing Hamas of trying to help Netanyahu: "What is the secret of the timing for carrying out armed operations in the West Bank? We want to know the secret of the timing... Suddenly! - the moment that President Abbas reaches Washington, the moment that Netanyahu finds himself in the corner, pressed, forced to adapt and accommodate himself to the international approach, suddenly there is a respite for Netanyahu, and the Palestinians are in distress [because of the attacks]..." [PA TV (Fatah), Sept. 3, 2010]
SO THE PA objected to the timing of the killings. Actually, were the PA sincere in their intention to condemn the killings, the attack in Hebron was a great opportunity for them to send a clear message to their people that violence is wrong and immoral. If it was violence that they wanted to condemn, timing could not have been better. Yet, none of the PA leaders seized this opportunity to condemn violence because it is wrong.
When the Palestinian Authority wants to send a clear message and seriously condemn what it perceives as terror, it knows how to do it. After the flotilla confrontation in May, the PA controlled daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida in a series of articles called Israel "pirates, murderers, barbarians, transgressors of international law, lacking any connection with humanity," [June 3] and referred to Israeli conduct as "more than piracy and more serious than a massacre in its ugliness and its inhumanity. It is worse than a crime... a gang dressed up as a state," [June 5] and called to "protect humanity from Israeli fascism... Another barbaric Israeli massacre, bringing shame upon humanity and the civilized world... Israeli savagery... a massacre against humanity." [June 1] Tayseer Tamimi, then PA Chief Justice of Religious Court "denounced the shameful crime," [Al- Hayat Al-Jadida, June 5, 2010].
Abbas himself demonstrated that when motivated, he too knows how to send a clear message of condemnation."Israel has carried out a great crime" [Al-Ayyam, June 17, 2010], he said, referring to "the killing of innocent people," [Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, June 27, 2010], terming it "premeditated and with determination to kill" [PA TV, May 31, 2010] and that Palestinians were "subjected to state terrorism" [Al- Hayat Al-Jadida, June 3, 2010].
WHEN THE PA wanted to condemn Israel's conduct in the flotilla confrontations, the recurring themes were "a new crime", "a great crime", "a long list of crimes", "enemy crimes", as well as "massacre", "bloody massacre" and "massacre against humanity."
On the other hand, never once was the murder of four Israeli civilians called a "crime" and certainly not "a massacre."
No PA leader condemned these killings saying simply that killing is wrong. In fact, even Abbas in Washington in his condemnation spoke not about a crime, a killing, or a shooting but chose to condemn "what happened yesterday."
Confirming the perception that the PA has not ceased its terror glorification, the PA Minster of Prisoners visited the homes of prisoners serving life sentences for murder, right after the Hamas killings. The celebrations over Abbas's "condemnation" of terror and the killing of Israeli civilians were clearly premature.
This PA focus on the timing of terror must be understood not as a shift in PA tactic but as part of the long-term ongoing Palestinian policy. Senior member of the Palestinian negotiating team, Nabil Sha'ath, after the Palestinian Authority called for the cessation of violence a few months ago, explained repeatedly that the "armed conflict" had to be temporarily put on hold "because of the inability to engage in the armed struggle, which has become undesirable now, although it is the right of the Palestinian people..." [May 20, 2010] "The current distancing from the armed struggle does not mean its absolute rejection ... especially since the armed struggle at the present time is not possible, or is not effective..." [May 20] "It is our right to return to the armed conflict whenever we view that as our people's interest.'" [June 7, all in Al-Hayat Al-Jadida]
THE WORST problem about the PA's criticism of the timing of the Hamas attack is that far from being the condemnation of terror that the world cheered, it is just the opposite: it is a reiteration of terror. The message Palestinians take from their leaders following this murder of four civilians is that terror remains a valid political tool - when the timing is right and when there is political gain. As senior PA leader Muhammad Dahlan explained: "This [the violent resistance] is our right, a legal right. The international community affirms it for us. But it is the responsibility of the leadership to use it when it wants, in the proper place and at the proper time." [PA TV (Fatah) July 22, 2009]
If the PA wants to be a peace partner it must sincerely renounce and condemn terror, and the PA must stop honoring terrorist murderers and turning them into Palestinian heroes. This must be done not in Washington but in the PA areas and in Arabic. If the PA continues to glorify terror and condemn only its poor timing, then Israel still does not have a peace partner
COME PLAY LET'S PRETEND
1. Let's assume that an agreement is signed between Israel
and the Palestinians, just as the Israeli leftists would like to see
it, complete with a signing extravaganza on the White House lawn just
as Obama wishes.
2. Letâ€™s assume that a few months later there are free
democratic elections in Palestine supervised by international
observers headed by Jimmy Carter or Tony Blair.
3. Hamas will win those elections and will take over the
government of Palestine, including command of the Palestine security
â€œpoliceâ€� who have been so well trained by the Americans. This is not
â€œpretendâ€�; this is what will happen, based on the democratic elections
in Gaza and Iraq.
4. How long will it take before kassams, mortars and missiles
are fired from Hamas Palestine into Israel, just as they are from
Gaza? Their potential targets will include Ben Gurion Airport. Again
this is not â€œpretendâ€�. This is what will happen.
5. What will the Israel government let our armed forces do
about it? Not very much, based on experience. Just about what they
do in Gaza.
6. This situation will continue until it becomes unbearable
and a major war breaks out, in which the IDF reoccupies Palestine at
an enormous cost in blood and treasure.
7. This will be the inevitable result of the agreement the
Israeli leftists and Obama want. Anyone who refuses to see this is
still playing letâ€™s pretend.
Just Out: TIME Magazine's Latest Blood Libel About Israel
by Phyllis Chesler
September 4, 2010
The September 13, 2010 issue of TIME Magazine arrived yesterday. The cover
story is titled "Why Israel Doesn't Care About Peace" and is illustrated by
a large Jewish star composed of daisies. Yes, daises=97as in "counting
daisies, don't have a care in the world."
This is precisely the point of Karl Vick's article. He writes:
Israelis are no longer preoccupied with the matter [of peace with the
Palestinians]. They're otherwise engaged: They're making money; they're
enjoying the rays of the late summer =85 they have moved on.
Vick quotes an Israeli real estate agent in Ashdod, one Eli, who tells him:
People are indifferent. They don't care if there's going to be war. They
don't care if there's going to be peace. They don't care. They live in the
According to Vick, Israelis don't care about peace, peace negotiations, or
about the Palestinians because they are simply having too good a time:
sunbathing, swimming, caf=E9-hopping, profiting from start-up companies, an=
according to polls cited by Vick, utterly disconnected from "politics;"
indeed Vick suggests that Israelis resemble Californians more than they
resemble Egyptians. These are all points which scream: Israel does not fit
in; if Israelis were only more impoverished, more indolent, and
paradoxically, even more "laid back," they might be recognizable as
indigenous to the region, a true part of the Middle East.
These are Vick's thoughts, not mine.
Of course, Jews are the original Palestinians and the most indigenous of th=
region's inhabitants; yes, there are many impoverished Israelis, both Jews
and non-Jews; and, let's not forget that there are even some Israelis who
remain permanently on high alert for the next terrorist attack, permanently
scarred by the last ones. For a moment, let's forget about all that. Allow
me to ask: Why doesn't Vick also point out that Palestinians are leading th=
high life on the West Bank and in sumptuous villas on both the West Bank an=
in Gaza; that they, too, are sunbathing, swimming, shopping, dining out, an=
relaxing at the beach=97at least as much as the Islamist thugs who run the
lives of Palestinians will allow it?
Vick and his editors at TIME seem to think that showing six photos of
Israelis at leisure: blowing smoke on a beach chair, lounging on a beach
chair, resting in an army uniform on the beach without a chair, playing wit=
one's baby in a stroller, sitting at a caf=E9=97are proof that Israelis are
engaging in activities which are not admirable, are, in fact, "proof" that
they are not suffering but rather, proof that Israelis simply don't care
about peace with the Palestinians. And Vick brings in polls as well as
expert and person-in-the-street opinions to back up this claim.
Vick writes that real estate is booming, as is business in general, Israeli
"brainiacs" have helped their nation avoid the economic disasters that have
plunged Europe and America into a recession. He literally writes this.
"Israel avoided the debt traps that dragged the U.S. and Europe into
recession. It is known as a start-up nation=97second only to the U.S.
companies listed on the Nasdaq exchange."
Is Vick aware that, consciously or not, intentionally or not, he is countin=
on the world's long-held resentment about Jewish creativity, genius, and
scientific and economic success=97counting on the world's willingness to
scapegoat Israel once again for crimes that it has not committed? Or becaus=
Jews seem to "know something," maybe they are channeling God directly and
thus, the deck is stacked against non-Jews. Vick presents Israel's "success=
as somehow unseemly, because it makes other nations look bad. Does he harbo=
the suspicion that Jewish prosperity has been "stolen" from non-Jews or is
he merely advertising that Jewish gold is there, ripe for the taking?
Buried=97but really buried-- in Vick's four page cover piece are snippets o=
true facts: That the Israelis are weary of peace negotiations which never
succeed because the Palestinians do not want peace; that Arabs and
Palestinians want to destroy the Jewish state and as many Jews as possible.
But Vick fails to convey that negotiations cannot work as long as the
ultra-Nazified Arab Islamic propaganda against Jews and Israel continues to
turn out children who hate Jews and who become human homicide bombs,
snipers, kidnappers, kassam rocket throwers, etc.
Here is what Vick utterly fails to comprehend, namely, that the Israelis ar=
not merely tired, disenchanted, living in la-la land a la southern
Californians (hence, the Jewish star made of daisies on the cover). The
Israelis are actually showing the entire world how to embrace life, even as
they live, trembling, in the shadow of death. They are teaching the world
how to "love life more than they fear death." A new and wonderful book A Ne=
Shoah. The Untold Story of Israel's Victims of Terrorism by Italian
journalist Giulio Meotti, which is not yet out, makes precisely this point.
The Jewish insistence on life may be the key to our survival as a people
despite ceaseless persecution. It might be the lesson, the model, for all
humanity in an era of genocides, civil wars, torture chambers, tyrannies,
and totalitarian regimes. Why is TIME turning things on their head and
refusing to recognize the courage and the heroism of Jewish Israelis who
choose to live in the moment when the moment is all they have? Against all
odds, the Jews simply refuse to give up. As Meotti writes of the numerous
victims of terrorism during the ongoing Intifada of 2000, "Israel teaches
the world love of life, not in the sense of a banal joie de vivre, but as a
Meotti begins where I began in early 2004, when I wrote about a new
Holocaust in the pages of The Jewish Press, a Holocaust which is now based
in Israel. At the time, I was not heard beyond a small circle. I did what
Meotti now does in his opening pages. Meotti fully understands that Israel
is the "first country ever to experience suicide terrorism on a mass scale:
that more than 150 suicide attacks have been carried out plus 500 have been
prevented." According to Meotti, there have been "1,723 people (murdered)
and 10,000 injured" in Israel. Meotti does what I did: He converts these
numbers into the demographic equivalent of attacks on Americans. When I did
so there were somewhat fewer people in both categories. Thus, Meotti writes
that in American population terms, this means that "74,000 Americans" would
have been killed and "400,000 injured."
Vick does not factor this grave reality into his article. Nor does he seem
to know how high the Jewish population growth was in the DP camps right
after the Holocaust. Can he comprehend that permanently endangered Jews=97a
people that has survived as a people for nearly six thousand years=97the
Chosen People=97have always chosen life in the moment, have chosen to seize
life with both hands, even as they memorialize their dead and make sense of
their persecution in a way that illuminates this particular Hell for all
What Meotti is doing is remembering the lives and the deaths of the Israeli
victims of Palestinian terrorism during the last decade. I have only read
the first few chapters but cannot put it down. These are unknown stories,
unnamed victims, whose mortal remains have often evaporated, disintegrated
as surely as those Jews who literally went up in smoke during the Nazi
Holocaust. His stories are mainly of victims who were unarmed and helpless
and who, it turns out, were actually exceptionally kind to others, often to
the very Arab Palestinians who shot them down, bludgeoned them to death, or
blew them up into unrecognizable bone fragments, drops of blood, perhaps a
I look forward to completing Meotti's book. I hope that people more fully
understand that TIME Magazine as well as countless other media in the
Western world, can no longer be trusted to tell the truth.
But the Arab World for Research & Development (AWRAD) based in the de facto
Palestinian capital of Ramallah showed in its August 8-14 survey that
Israel Resource Review
Monograph: As Negotiations Resume: The Palestinian Authority Stand on the “Right of Return”
By Arliene Kushner, Senior Research Policy Analyst, Center for Near East Policy Research
Sat Sep 3 2010
Of primary interest when examining the position of the Palestinian Authority with regard to the “right of return” is the stand of Mahmoud Abbas (aka Abu Mazen), president of the PA.
Abbas’s position on the matter is of long-standing and far precedes his presidency.
Talks will fail because of palestinian right of return claim
n 2000, as Secretary General of the PLO Executive Committee, he wrote about the issues confronted in Camp David. As to the “right of return,” he said:
“We encountered, and will encounter in the future, fierce resistance on this subject from the Israeli government, because the bottom line is that [the return of refugees] means altering the demographic character [of Israel] that the Israelis hope to preserve.
“...It is noteworthy in this matter, and this is also what we clarified to the Israelis, that the Right of Return means a return to Israel and not to the Palestinian State... When we talk about the Right of Return, we talk about the return of refugees to Israel, because Israel was the one who deported them and it is in Israel that their property is found...”
In 2003, he told heads and leaders of the Popular Councils in the Gaza Strip Refugee Camps:
"Peace will not be achieved without the refugees getting back their sacred rights, which cannot be touched... It is the individual right of every refugee, and no one can reach an agreement in this matter without his consent."
A day after the Fatah movement chose Mahmoud Abbas as its candidate for the January elections for PA president (to replace a deceased Arafat), in late November 2004, he told the PA legislature that he would follow in Yasser Arafat's footsteps and demand that Israel recognize the right of return of Palestinian refugees to Israel.
During a memorial for Arafat, who died November 11, 2004, Abbas declared "We promise you [Arafat] that our heart will not rest until we achieve the right of return for our people and end the tragic refugee issue."
And so has Abbas continued this theme over subsequent years.
At the Cairo Conference for “Palestinian National Dialogue, in mid-March 2005, at which Abbas led the PLO/PA faction, a declaration was made reinforcing the Palestinian demand for refugees to "return to their homes" in the current State of Israel.
A subsequent Palestinian National Dialogue Conference - sponsored by PA President Mahmoud Abbas - was held in Ramallah and Gaza on May 25-26, 2006. At the end of the Conference, a statement outlining its principles was released. Among them:
“...the right of return is a sacred right of the Palestinian refugees.
“...The national dialogue conference rejects all attempts that aim to cancel the right of return of refugees and that aims to disperse the refugees in the various countries of the world. The national dialogue conference affirms that the right of refugees is a sacred right in their homeland and it is a collective and individual right that no force in the world can cancel the right of our people and the right of our refugees in their homeland and in their lands and homes.”
At a public rally in the beginning of 2007, Abbas declared: “The issue of the refugees is non-negotiable... We... reject any attempt to resettle the refugees in other countries”
With regard to the failed negotiations with Olmert, 2008, journalist Ben-Dror Yemini wrote: “Abu Mazen insisted on mass return of the refugees. That was the reason why Abu Mazen discarded the proposal and not, as proclaimed, due to Olmert’s waning days as prime minister. Abu Mazen said so himself, in his own voice.”
At the Fatah Conference held in August 2009, Abbas reaffirmed Fatah’s commitment to the peace process and the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel on the basis of the 1967 borders (sic), with Jerusalem as its capital, and the right of return for Palestinian exiles. 
In the weeks and months leading up to the Proximity Talks with Israel, and now, presumably, direct talks, Abbas has repeatedly included “right of return” among the demands of the PA:
* Aides say Abbas wants guarantees that any such talks would quickly move to seeking final agreements on the core issues of the conflict - borders, settlements, right of return for Palestinian refugees and Jerusalem.
* Binyamin Netanyahu and Mahmoud Abbas will open negotiations on 'core issues' in ... for a demilitarized Palestine, and the right of return for refugees.
* “There is simply no evidence that any behind-the-scenes progress has been made on key ‘final status’ issues (borders, Jerusalem, the Palestinians’ ‘right to return’ to Israel)...”
Writes Sami Moubyed, echoing many analysts:
“Abbas has no war medals on his neatly pressed Western suit, making it very difficult - if not impossible - for him to make any concessions on peace, and get away with it before ordinary Palestinians.
“Making peace needs decorated war heroes - Arafat would not have been able go to Oslo in 1993 without having led the Palestinian resistance for 30 years. Otherwise, he would have been labeled as a traitor by his own people. Arafat was a man who could take decisions, and bear the consequences. He would say: ‘Only this hand [waving his right hand], can sign a peace treaty with Israel!’
“If Abbas decides to make concessions to Israel, and signs a flawed peace treaty, he risks being killed by an extremist Palestinian. Precisely by his death, Arafat has marked the ‘red lines’ of Palestinian politics. What he did not concede during his lifetime nobody will be able to give after his death: abandoning Jerusalem as the capital of the ‘State of Palestine.’ and the right of return for refugees.
It is instructive to consider, as well, statements on the issue of “return” made by other members of Fatah/the PLO/the PA.
Perhaps most striking, and revealing is the statement made by Sakher Habash, member of the Fatah Central Committee, in the course of a seminar on "The Palestinian Refugee from the Political Parties' Perspective," held at Al-Najah University in Shechem in 1998:
“...To us, the refugees issue is the winning card which means the end of the Israeli state. They have, therefore, refused to solve it this way. Meanwhile, we should not seek negotiable solutions.” (Emphasis added)
A number of statements by relevant sources were released on Nakba Day, May 15, 2010 (Nakba: the “Catastrophe” - the day of mourning Israel’s founding).
Fatah released a statement declaring that:
"it will continue struggling until the principle of right of return as well as freedom and independence for the Palestinian people are achieved.
"The return of the Palestinian refugee to his or her home is a constant right that can never be debated and a solution to the refugees issue would never be fair as long as it doesn't include all their historic rights," said the Fatah statement.
Abbas Zaki, member of the Fatah central committee and the former PLO representative in Lebanon:
“We believe wholeheartedly that the Right of Return is guaranteed by our will, by our weapons, and by our faith...The use of weapons alone will not bring results, and the use of politics without weapons will not bring results. We act on the basis of our extensive experience. We analyze our situation carefully. We know what climate leads to victory and what climate leads to suicide. We talk politics, but our principles are clear.” (Emphasis added)
The PA held a central rally in Ramallah, attended by members of the PLO Executive Committee and the Fatah Central Committee. Participants held keys representing their lost homes in Israel, and speakers emphasized the refugees' right to regain their houses and lands and to receive compensation. One of the placards held aloft said "We will return to Haifa, Akko, Lod, Ramle, and Nazareth."
Fatah and Hamas members held a joint march in Gaza under the heading "United, We Shall Return."
The PLO international relations department stated in an official communiqué: "The refugee problem is sacrosanct, and is a top priority for the PLO leadership, which rejects the [option of] settling the refugees permanently in their host countries. The refugees have a legitimate right to return to the homes from which they were expelled... in accordance with [U.N.] Resolutions 194, 242 and 338 and the Arab peace initiative."
Hani Al-Masri, an official in the Palestinian Information Ministry and a columnist for the PA daily Al-Ayyam, wrote: "The Palestinian problem cannot be resolved without finding a just solution to the refugee problem, because [the right of return] is a natural, historical and legal right, and is included in international resolutions. U.N. General Assembly Resolution 194 stipulates that the refugees must return to their homes and to the property from which they were expelled, and in addition must be compensated.
Adel Abd Al-Rahman, columnist for the PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, wrote: "One must defend the right that is sacred to every Palestinian, namely [the right] to return to his homeland, the land of his fathers, based on [his] natural and legal right to [his] land, history and identity, and based on U.N. resolutions, particularly Resolution 194... The right of return is a sacred right that no force or country - not even the Palestinian politicians - can revoke, because it is a political right of the Palestinians as a collective, as well as an individual right, and nobody can [waive it] on behalf [of the individual in question, not even] his father or mother. The right belongs not only to the refugees who were expelled in 1948, but to anyone whose father or mother is Palestinian, regardless of when and where he was born - for Palestine is Arab and Palestinian land, and it belongs to all Palestinians regardless of faith, race, color, gender, or political or ideological orientation...
"[Even] if the Palestinian leadership reaches a historic agreement with the state of Israel, this does not invalidate the Palestinian right of return. Every Palestinian may demand to return to his city, village, or [place of] origin, and [he may voice this demand] from any platform or at any international, national, or regional court, in order to realize the right of return and utilize every means in the struggle to return to the land of his fathers." (Emphasis added)
 Al-Hayat (London), November 24, 2000, as reported in MEMRI Special Dispatch #157, November 28, 2000.
 Al-HayatAl-Jadida (PA), October 25, 2002, cited in MEMRI Special Report # 15, April 29, 2003.
 AP report carried by Haaretz, November 23, 2004.
 Michael Widlanski, ‘In Arafat’s Footsteps,” Frontpage Magazine, April 8, 2005.
 Political Affairs Magazine, June 2, 2006.
 Khaled Abu Toameh, ‘Abbas: Aim guns against occupation,’ Jerusalem Post, January 11, 2007. Abbas made his statement at a public rally.
 Ben-Dror Yemini, Maariv, March 31, 2010.
 Carnegie Endowment for Peace, Web Commentary, August 17, 2009.
 Modhammed Assadi, Reuters, February 19, 2010.
 The Guardian (UK), August 20, 2010.
 John Bolton, NY Daily News, August 25, 2010.
 Intifada - Voice of Palestine, September 1, 2010.
 Jerusalem Newswire, November 24, 2004. Was originally on the website of Fatah on August 12, 1998:
www.fateh.org/e_public/refugees.htm - cited by IMRA: http://www.imra.org.il/story.php3?id=22901.
 English People Daily, May 16, 2010.
 Interview to NBN TV in Lebanon on April 9, 2008, as reported by MEMRI in Report # 1896. Zaki was PLO representative to Lebanon when he gave this interview.
 Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (PA), May 18, 2010; WAFA (PA), May 17, 2010, both cited by MEMRI, Special Dispatch No. 2995, June 3, 2010.
 Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (PA), May 16, 2010, cited by MEMRI, Special Dispatch No. 2995, June 3, 2010.
 WAFA (PA), May 13, 2010, as cited by MEMRI, Special Dispatch No. 2995, June 3, 2010.
 Al-Ayyam (PA), May 15, 2010, as cited by MEMRI, Special Dispatch No. 2995, June 3, 2010.
 Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (PA), May 16, 2010,, as cited by MEMRI, Special Dispatch No. 2995, June 3, 2010.
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Obama's view is way off base.
AWRAD asked a random sampling of Palestinian Arabs to rank various aspects
of the peace process from "essential" to "unacceptable."
Nearly 73 percent of respondents said it is either essential, desirable or
acceptable to use violence against Israeli Jews in order to obtain an
independent Palestinian state. That view is a direct violation of the
Israeli-Palestinian peace accords.
Furthermore, an overwhelming 78.2 percent of respondents said that
eventually establishing "Palestine" from the Jordan River to the
Mediterranean Sea (which includes all of Israel) is "essential." Another
12.5 percent said that goal is "desirable." Only 17.7 percent said a
two-state solution is "essential."
Regarding Jerusalem (presumably before the full takeover of Israel), 84.1
percent said it is essential and 10.3 percent said it is desirable for the
entire city (including the Jewish-dominated western half) to be surrendered
to the Palestinians.
Seventy-five percent of respondents said it is "unacceptable" that a future
Palestinian state will be demilitarized as Israel is demanding.
Even if Israel meets all the Palestinian demands and conditions, a 42.3
percent plurality said Palestinians and Israelis will not coexist in peace.
That makes sense, considering that most Palestinians will still be seeking
the destruction of the Jewish state
•Palestinian Refugees: Frozen in Time, Addicted to Pity - Robert Fulford
Palestinian refugees are a special case. For many reasons, various populations across the planet are displaced; only the Palestinians cling to their "refugee" status decade after decade. Members of other history-battered groups choose to make a new life. Palestinians have a different approach: Sit down, wait, stay angry till the world provides for you.
British historian Andrew Roberts has argued, correctly, that Arab governments "are rich enough to have economically solved the Palestinian refugee problem decades ago." Why haven't they done so? They much prefer to let Palestinians remain poor. Every wretched, ill-fed and ill-housed [and un-educated] Palestinian can be used as a living rebuke to Israel.
The Arab countries love the Palestinians. They just don't want them moving permanently into their neighborhoods. The Arab League advises Arab states to deny citizenship to Palestinians. The Palestinians deserve pity, of course, but pity for what their fellow Arabs have done to them. (National Post-Canada)
How can Israel's security be assured?
For Israel, a Two-State Proposal Starts with Security - Mortimer B. Zuckerman (U.S. News)
•The world remained silent as Israel endured hundreds of Palestinian suicide bombers, stabbings, drive-by shootings, and kidnappings. No censure or demands for a cease-fire impeded Hizbullah in the north and Hamas from the south as they rained thousands of missiles on almost 40% of the Israeli population. Yet every Israeli effort at self-defense is treated as aggression.
•Israelis have observed that every effort to make peace breeds new aggression. They have realized, with understandable bitterness, that every defensive military operation that leaves the aggressor still in control of the attack base results only in the enemy being better prepared the next time.
•If Hamas takes over the West Bank, as it did Gaza, then it and other al-Qaeda-type groups will have access to the overlooks of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.
•The last time Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas received control of an area - namely Gaza in 2005 - PLO forces ran away and left it to Hamas.
PA Incitement Continues During Proximity Talks - Itamar Marcus, Nan Jacques Zilberdik and Barbara Crook (Palestinian Media Watch)
The first two months of Israeli-Palestinian proximity talks have brought no changes in the quality of the messages being transmitted from the Palestinian Authority and Fatah to Palestinians.
Contrary to the PA's moderate statements to the West, its statements to its people in Arabic continue to delegitimize Israel's existence, deny Israel's right to exist, define the conflict with Israel as a religious war for Allah, promote hatred through demonization, slander and libel, and glorify terror and violence.
Gaza's Attack on Modernity - Lorenzo Cremonesi (Corriere della Sera-Italy, 14 July 2010)
Basher Bseiso, 20, a singer from the "Peace Group" (Fariq Salam), very popular among young rap-lovers in Gaza, explains: "We are victims of the repressive religious government which, due to a distorted reading of the Quran, prohibits free music."
Jamal Abu al-Qumsan, 43, director of the most famous art gallery in Gaza, sends out from his home: "Thanks to all of you democratic people, from all over the world, who are fighting the Israeli embargo of Gaza. But please, at the same time, could you also denounce the Hamas repression of intellectual freedom?"
In the culture war in Gaza, the more extremist wings of the religious front want to close the beach to girls; they forbid any privacy for unmarried couples; they consider Western music and fashions as a danger to public "morality."
Hamas has now imposed a "Godfather" regime on its own people. Punishment doesn't only mean prison, or even torture; rather, it means ostracism, losing one's job, denigration, social isolation.
Bseiso speaks with rage of having been beaten up on April 28: "I was riding my motorcycle when a group of Ezzedin Al Qassam militiamen came up alongside me, knocked me to the ground and beat me with sticks."
Until a few days ago, Qumsan couldn't sit down or lie on his back due to the beatings he suffered between May 5 and May 12.
They say that in the former beach house of the President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, the cellars have been turned into torture chambers for the "enemies of Islam
Why Are the Palestinians Opposed to Ending the Occupation? - Jonathan D. Halevi
The dual-headed Palestinian regime in Ramallah (Fatah) and in Gaza (Hamas) has totally rejected Israeli Foreign Minister Lieberman's proposal to recruit the European Union to build power stations to supply electricity, desalination stations, and sewage treatment plants for Gaza. Sami Abu Zuheiri, a Hamas spokesperson, explained that "although Gaza was liberated in practice from the military and settlement presence, it is still from a legal and practical standpoint under occupation." He argued that Israel, "the occupying country," must continue to provide for Gaza's needs.
The Hamas position exemplifies one of the major absurdities of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Hamas, which took pride in liberating Gaza from the Israeli occupation via Jihad, is struggling with all its might to preserve the "Israeli occupation" and obligate Israel to continue transferring supplies to an entity that avowedly declares that it will liberate all of Palestine, liquidate the State of Israel, and kill and expel its Jewish inhabitants.
Why are the Palestinians still adamant in their opposition to receiving total independence on at least part of Palestinian territory? Because the Palestinian leadership has not renounced the idea of liberating Palestine in its entirety. The objective of both the PA and the Hamas government is identical, namely, keeping the lava of the refugee problem at full boil, as this constitutes the key to the ultimate objective of the historic Palestinian odyssey - the liquidation of the State of Israel as a Jewish state. Lt. Col. (ret.) Jonathan D. Halevi is a senior researcher of the Middle East and radical Islam at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. (Global Law Forum)
So called refugees-what about the 850,000 Jews expelled from Arab countries 1948-1950 with no compensation?
While many assume they understand the plight of the refugees, their story is a complex and singular tale. It is a 60-year-old narrative of a people encouraged by UNRWA and the Palestinian leadership to remain as refugees, so that their steadfast goal of the “right of return” might be fulfilled, - which would create a Palestinian state that would essentially replace the state of Israel.
Those advocating the right of return claim that it has a legal basis in Resolution 194 passed in 1948 by the United Nations General Assembly. That resolution, which is actually nothing more than a non-binding proposal, has no basis in international law.
While it does say that refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors should be permitted to do so, it also speaks of resettlement of refugees in another country and compensation for those who do not return.
Sixty years ago UNRWA helped feed anywhere from 450,000 to 750,000 refugees from the 1948 war. Now, UNRWA recognizes not only the original Arabs who claimed to have been displaced, but their descendents as well. Thus the number of people on the UNRWA rolls has grown to more than 4 million. They live in and near 59 UNRWA camps in the West Bank, Gaza, Jerusalem, Syria, Jordan and Lebanon.
While UNRWA is responsible for the camp’s education, health, relief and social service programs it leaves the day to day operations to local Palestinian known as “popular committees,” who operate inside the UNRWA facilities.
Meanwhile, UNRWA spends about half of its budget each year — more than $500 million – on schools. It has a massive payroll, employing more than 7,000 teachers. UNRWA does not produce its own textbooks. Its policy is to adopt the texts and curriculum of the host entity. In the West Bank and Gaza, it uses new textbooks and course guidelines produced and utilized by the Palestinian Authority.
Leading Palestinian Activist: Iran Perpetuates Palestinian Suffering
Evelyn Gordon - 07.19.2010 - 7:33 AM
A remarkable conference took place in Jerusalem last week on “The Danger of a Nuclear, Genocidal and Rights-Violating Iran; the Responsibility to Prevent.” Its purpose was to present a report of that name, signed by 100 international scholars, jurists, and government officials, whose content would presumably be familiar to anyone who has followed events in Iran over the past few years. What made it remarkable was the identity of one of the three presenters.
The other two were unsurprising: Irwin Cotler, the former Canadian justice minister who has campaigned for years to get Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad indicted for incitement to genocide in an international court, and Amnon Rubinstein, a former Knesset member and minister from Israel’s far-left Meretz Party who, unlike most of his colleagues, recognizes the threat posed by the current delegitimization campaign against Israel and has devoted himself since retirement to defending his country’s good name.
But the third was a shocker: Bassem Eid, a West Bank Palestinian who made his name documenting alleged Israeli abuses of Palestinians as chief researcher for B’Tselem, the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories.
Eid has always been an anomaly among the so-called human rights community, in that he objects to abuse regardless of who commits it. That’s what precipitated his break with B’Tselem: after the Palestinian Authority was established in 1994, he wanted B’Tselem to start documenting PA abuses of Palestinian rights as well as Israeli ones. When B’Tselem refused, saying it had no interest in abused Palestinians unless Israel was the alleged perpetrator, Eid left to found his own organization, the Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group.
Still, most human rights activists focus on a particular area; it’s unusual to see a specialist in Palestinian rights throwing his weight behind a report focused on two issues seemingly unrelated to his chief concern: Iran’s genocidal threats against Israel, and its massive abuse of its own people, including “reports of torture, an assault on women’s rights, oppression of minorities such as the Baha’is and Kurds; murder of political dissidents; the denial of gay rights and what Cotler described as ‘the wanton imposition of the death penalty, including the execution of more juveniles than any other country in the world.’”
But as Eid explained, it really isn’t so far afield — because by propping up the Hamas regime in Gaza, Iran is also responsible for massive Palestinian suffering. That suffering, he noted, has been thrown into sharp relief in recent years by the contrast between Gaza’s decline and the West Bank’s impressive development.
So if the world cares about Palestinian suffering as much as it says it does, shouldn’t it also care about Iran’s perpetuation of it? Eid certainly won’t be surprised if the answer is no; after founding PHRMG in 1996, he complained bitterly that the same journalists who flocked to hear his reports on alleged Israeli abuse of Palestinians gave him the cold shoulder when he tried to tell them about PA abuse. But he keeps on trying — eternally hoping that someday, the answer will be yes.
Abbas wants war
All ties to PA should end unless retraction is issued
PA’S ABBAS: “If you [Arab states] want war, and if all of you will fight Israel, we are in favor.”
The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) is calling for a complete cut of ties and financial aid to Mahmoud Abbas’ Palestinian Authority (PA) following Abbas’ remarks to a meeting of Arab writers and journalists in Jordan that he and the PA would be “in favor” of a general Arab war with Israel, were one possible. Abbas was reported in the official PA daily, Al Hayat Al-Jadida as saying, “We are unable to confront Israel militarily, and this point was discussed at the Arab League Summit in March in Sirt (Libya). There I turned to the Arab States and I said: ‘If you want war, and if all of you will fight Israel, we are in favor’” (Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik, ‘Mahmoud Abbas: “If all of you [Arab States] will fight Israel, we are in favor,”‘ Palestinian Media Watch, July 7, 2010). The ZOA is calling for an end to all ties and aid to the PA unless Abbas issues a retraction and apology.
Other anti-peace statements by Mahmoud Abbas:
· On recognizing Israel: “It is not required of Hamas, or of Fatah, or of the Popular Front to recognize Israel” (Al-Arabiya [Dubai] and PA TV, October 3, 2006, Itamar Marcus & Barbara Crook, ‘Abbas dupes US: “Recognition” is functional, not inherent,’ Palestinian Media Watch, October 5, 2006); “I say this clearly: I do not accept the Jewish State, call it what you will.” (Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook, ‘Mahmoud Abbas: “I do not accept the Jewish State, call it what you will,”‘ Palestinian Media Watch, April 28, 2009).
Fighting Israel: “We have a legitimate right to direct our guns against Israeli occupation … Our rifles, all our rifles are aimed at The Occupation” (Khaled Abu Toameh, ‘Abbas: Aim guns against occupation,’ Jerusalem Post, January 11, 2007; Independent Media & Review Analysis, January 12, 2007).
On Jews: “The sons of Israel are corrupting humanity on earth” (World Net Daily, January 11, 2007).
On Israel: “the Zionist enemy” (Associated Press, January 4, 2005; CNN.com, January 7, 2005).
On suicide bombers and other terrorists: “Allah loves the martyr” (Wall Street Journal, January 5, 2005); “Our latest Shahids (Martyrs) are the six who were killed in cold blood by Israeli forces in Nablus [terrorists who killed Rabbi Avshalom Meir Hai] and in Gaza [terrorists carrying explosives and a ladder near Israel’s border fence]” (PA TV (Fatah), Dec. 31, 2009, Itamar Marcus & Nan Jacques Zilberdik, ‘Abbas glorifies recent murderers,’ Palestinian Media Watch, January 5, 2010).
On wanted Palestinian terrorists: “heroes fighting for freedom” (Ed O’Loughlin, ‘Abbas courts Gaza militants for votes,’ Age [Melbourne], January 3, 2005); “Israel calls them murderers, we call them strugglers” (Jerusalem Post, December 25, 2004).
On Palestinian terrorist leaders Yasser Arafat, Hamas’ Ahmad Yasin and Abdel Aziz Rantisi and Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s Fathi Shikaki: “martyrs” (Palestinian Media Center, September 14, 2005); “The ways of the shahids [martyrs] Arafat, Abu Jihad [Khalil Ibrahim al-Wazir], George Habash and even Sheikh Ahmed Yassin – are the ways we recognize. These are the ways in which we are meant to preserve the national interests of the Palestinian people” (Khaled Abu Toameh, ‘Abbas proposes referendum to Hamas,’ Jerusalem Post, November 11, 2008).
· On Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine founder and leader George Habash: “The death of this historic leader is a great loss for the Palestinian cause and for the Palestinian people for whom he fought for 60 years” (‘PFLP founder George Habash mourned as “historic leader for Palestinians”‘,’ Daily Star [Beirut], January 28, 2008).
· On Hamas: “We must unite the Hamas and Fatah blood in the struggle against Israel as we did at the beginning of the intifada. We want a political partnership with Hamas” (Jerusalem Post, February 5, 2007).
· On Yasser Arafat: “It is our duty to implement the principles of Yasser Arafat” (Haaretz, January 3, 2005); “We will continue in the path of the late president until we fulfill all his dreams” (Agence France-Presse, November 11, 2005); “The Palestinian leadership won’t stray from Arafat’s path” (Yediot Ahronot, November 11, 2006).
· On Fatah’s pioneering role in terrorism: “I had the honor of firing the first shot in 1965 and of being the one who taught resistance to many in the region and around the world; what it’s like; when it is effective and when it isn’t effective; its uses, and what serious, authentic and influential resistance is … We [Fatah] had the honor of leading the resistance and we taught resistance to everyone, including Hizbullah, who trained in our military camps” (‘Abbas: Armed ‘resistance’ not ruled out,’ Jerusalem Post, February 28, 2008).
On disarming Palestinian terrorists: a “red line” that must not be crossed (‘Candidate Abbas confronts delicate balance on Hamas,’ Washington Times, January 3, 2005)
· On the so-called ‘right of return’ of Palestinian refugees and their millions of descendants which, if implemented would end Israel as a Jewish state: “The issue of the refugees is non-negotiable … We … reject any attempt to resettle the refugees in other countries” (Khaled Abu Toameh, ‘Abbas: Aim guns against occupation,’ Jerusalem Post, January 11, 2007); “We will not give up the right of return” (Ali Waked, ‘Abbas: We won’t waive right of return,’ Yediot Ahronot, July 12, 2009).
On the Lebanese terrorist group Hizballah: A source of pride and sets an example for the “Arab resistance” (Jerusalem Post, August 6, 2006).
On Saddam Hussein: “Saddam Hussein has entered history as a symbol of Pan-Arab nationalism” (Independent Media Review and Analysis, December 31, 2006).
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “This latest scandalous statement by Mahmoud Abbas, favoring an all-out war against the Jewish state of Israel tops the astonishing list of his extreme, anti-peace, pro-terror statements reproduced above. Abbas has openly said that if only the Arabs could concert their action to wage war on Israel, he would be absolutely in favor of that. In other words, all Palestinian talk about peace is a sham. He neither wants peace nor works for it. He simply wants to obtain from Israel through negotiations – because he can’t wage a successful war to destroy Israel – what he cannot obtain through war, without making peace.
“It is highly significant that Abbas said this publicly, even in Arabic. Abbas knew that this statement, like other anti-peace statements he has made, would be eventually picked up, translated and become more widely known. But he doesn’t care. He knows from experience that no-one will hold him to account, that no one will take note and alter their policy towards him. He knows he will pay no price. He can speak the ugly, vicious truth about Palestinian and Arab aims, knowing there will be no consequences. This underscores the complete fraudulence of the PA and the so-called peace process President Obama is keen to revive.
“Now that Abbas’ war-like and extreme words have been revealed for an English-speaking audience, it is important not to allow mealy-mouthed, sweet-talking Palestinian apologists to try and spin Abbas’ words as having been ‘misinterpreted’ or not having their actual, plain meaning which, to repeat, is this – the PA is negotiating, but only because the Arab world fails to unite and wage war on Israel to eliminate it.
“The only thing Abbas is lamenting here is the weakness of the Palestinian/Arab side. Were Palestinians stronger and able to destroy Israel, they would do so without further discussion, negotiation or hesitation. These are the words of an Palestinian Arab supremacist war-monger – not of a Palestinian peace maker.
“The ZOA calls on the Obama Administration and the Netanyahu government, urging them that neither America nor Israel should negotiate further nor aid in any way Abbas and the PA unless an apology and retraction are issued. Further ties and aid should be conditional upon the PA instituting sweeping, genuine reform to Palestinian aims and society – most importantly, true acceptance of Israel; the arresting of terrorists and dismantling of their networks; and an end to the incitement to hatred and murder within the PA that feeds war and bloodshed
Real story of the flotilla
Timeline of Flotilla Incident as Presented by Eiland Team of Experts =
(English Version), 13 July 2010
Below are videos of the Gaza flotilla incident as presented by the =
Eiland team of experts with English subtitles.
The events leading up to and throughout the flotilla incident are =
recounted in the video, as presented by the team of experts led by Maj. =
Gen. (res.) Giora Eiland in the IDF=E2=80=99s internal inquiry.
In light of weapons smuggling attempts, a maritime closure was =
established during the 2008-2009 Gaza Operation. Under the guise of =
providing humanitarian aid, a number of ships have attempted to reach =
the Gaza Strip, some permitted to enter, while others were stopped.
Due to these attempts, the IDF General Staff and Navy outlined orders to =
prepare for future attempts to break the closure, and in preparing for =
the May 31st flotilla, the IDF planned far in advance with extended =
discussion, and various simulation model scenarios. IDF attaches abroad =
and foreign attaches to Israel were all briefed in advance.
In addition, the Chief of the General Staff, Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi =
sent a letter to the Defense Minister and Prime Minister emphasizing the =
=E2=80=9CCooperation between nation ministries is required and the =
military option which includes seizing, confiscating and detaining the =
ship=E2=80=99s activists is a last resort and at a low =
The video goes on to describe the various ships in the flotilla and the =
courses of their attempted journey to the Gaza Strip, as well as the =
number and extent of Israeli response ships, aircraft, and absorption =
center for the ships=E2=80=99 passengers.
The video also outlines the orders given to the IDF soldiers boarding =
the flotilla ships, including the policy of using gradual force, and =
using live weapons only in life threatening scenarios.
The first phase of the operation: The IDF relayed the message that the =
flotilla ships were in an area of a maritime closure, and offered the =
ships to transfer their cargo from the Ashdod Port to the Gaza Strip. =
The Sofia ship did not respond at all, while the other ships responded =
with refusal and/or profanity.
The IDF forces were divided and each group boarded a different ship. The =
soldiers arrived at the Mavi Marmara at 4:28 AM, but could not board the =
ship due to metal objects being thrown at them, and electric buzz saws =
used by the demonstrators to slice the ladders IDF soldiers needed to =
board the Marmara. After an unsuccessful attempt to board the ship by =
smaller boats, a helicopter arrived at 4:30 AM with 15 IDF soldiers. The =
first rope dropped by the helicopters was tied by the demonstrators to =
the deck of the ship in order to prevent the soldiers=E2=80=99 descent.
Soldiers that descended down the second rope were met by 2-4 =
demonstrators each who wielded knives, axes, and metal poles. The second =
soldier to descend was shot in the stomach by a demonstrator. The =
soldiers who were in danger of their lives were forced to use their live =
weapons. Five soldiers were injured by stabbing, blows and live fire by =
the demonstrators. Within seconds of boarding the ships, three soldiers =
were thrown off the deck by demonstrators. The injured were dragged to =
the hull of the ship.
A reinforcement of soldiers arrives from a second helicopter, which is =
also attacked by demonstrators, and the soldiers are met with violence =
when they attempt to access the lower deck of the ship.
At 4:46 AM a third helicopter arrives to the Mavi Marmara, and the two =
groups of soldiers combine forces on the ship roof and descend to the =
other parts of the ship, where they are also met with lethal violence, =
and thus respond with live fire.
Many of the demonstrators enter inside of the ship as the smaller boats =
arrive at the side of the ship, however some still violently attack the =
incoming boats and the soldiers respond with live fire.
The Commander of the Special Navy Forces boards the ship, and while =
evaluating the forces, it is discovered that three soldiers are missing. =
The missing and injured soldiers are discovered to have been abducted by =
a number of violent demonstrators, who abandon the soldiers and run back =
into the ship when fired at.
Two of the injured soldiers jump off the ship so that they can be picked =
up by the IDF boats. The third injured soldier is on the bow of the boat =
and slipping out of consciousness. IDF soldiers remaining on the boat =
come to his aid.
At 5:17 AM the situation is evaluated and some of the findings: live =
fire was used by demonstrators towards IDF soldiers who were on the =
ship, including one soldier who descended down the rope and was shot in =
the abdomen. Live fire by the demonstrators was also aimed at the =
soldiers on the small Israeli Navy boats next to the Marmara. The first =
occurence of live fire was that used by the demonstrators. In addition, =
a gun with emptied magazines was found in the hull of the ship.
IDF forces had boarded the other ships without incident. Treatment and =
evacuation was carried out for the injured soldiers and demonstrators =
alike. 38 injured were airlifted, 7 of them soldiers.
The three soldiers who had been attempted to be kidnapped and were taken =
to the hull of the ship were witness to an argument between the violent =
demonstrators, and other passengers of the Marmara who asked the violent =
demonstrators to cease their violent activity.
24 of the injured passengers were diagnosed at the Ashdod Port and =
treated in hospitals in Israel.
After the operation ended, the ships arrived at the Ashdod Port =
accompanied by Israeli Naval forces. An intelligence investigation =
following the flotilla incident found that 40 of the IHH activists =
previously boarded the Marmara ship from Istanbul before joining the =
The 8 of the 9 demonstrators killed were members of the IHH or other =
allied groups. Around half of those killed had declared in front of =
their families their aspiration to die as martyrs =
(=E2=80=9Cshahids=E2=80=9D). Footage on the Marmara shows that the =
violence had been prepared: metal poles and chains were prepared, =
slingshots, buzzsaws, gas masks, tear gas, bulletproof vests, knives, =
and more. A briefing had taken place before the IDF had boarded the =
ship, with the leader of the violent demonstrators telling the group to =
attack the IDF soldiers at any cost.
There were 718 total passengers of the flotilla ships. Most were =
released without undergoing any investigation. The last passenger left =
on June 6th.
what have Arabs done for peace? 0 Israel? everything
What have Over the past year, Netanyahu (1) formed a coalition government with parties to both his right and left, (2) proposed immediate negotiations with no preconditions, (3) formally endorsed a two-state solution (as long as one of them is Jewish and the other is demilitarized), (4) removed scores of West Bank roadblocks and checkpoints, (5) implemented an unprecedented settlement moratorium, and (6) plans even more gestures to the perpetually confidence-impaired Palestinians to encourage them to join negotiations to give them a state.
During the same period, the Palestinians have been unwilling to commence direct negotiations unless Israel first conceded the principal issues to be negotiated, and Obama has acted as if he were the Palestinians’ attorney – not bound by U.S. commitments to Israel (the 2004 Bush letter), ignoring longstanding understandings on the meaning of a settlement freeze, manufacturing a crisis about future Jewish housing in the Jewish area of the capital of the Jewish state, voting for a UN resolution singling out Israel on its most sensitive defense issue, etc.
they done for peace?
Abbas continues to honor murderes of Jews
Op-Ed: Only Israel making the effort toward peace
By Lee Rosenberg and Alan Solow · June 29, 2010
CHICAGO (JTA) -- Like the people and governments of Israel, the pro-Israel community in the United States has long sought a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through direct negotiations between the parties that would lead to a lasting peace agreement and Israel’s acceptance by all its neighbors.
The Israeli people dream of peace, and their governments have worked and sacrificed for it. As American supporters of Israel, we are committed to helping them make it a reality.
Since assuming office, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has pursued peace with Israel’s neighbors. Netanyahu declared his vision for peace -- for two states -- last June in a landmark speech at Bar-Ilan University, saying he supported the establishment of a demilitarized Palestinian state alongside the Jewish state of Israel.
Underscoring Israel’s sincerity and willingness to make the most difficult choices in the pursuit of peace, a few months after his speech Netanyahu took another bold step, declaring a 10-month moratorium on all Israeli construction in the West Bank -- a concession that U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton called “unprecedented” in advance of negotiations.
Alongside political gestures, Israel also has taken significant steps to ensure that life improves for Palestinians in the West Bank, such as dismantling hundreds of West Bank roadblocks and checkpoints, and enabling greater freedom of movement between Palestinian cities. Israel’s cooperation also helped produce double-digit economic growth at a time of global recession.
While the current Israeli government, like its predecessors, has proven its desire for peace, the leader of the Palestinian Authority refuses to meet or even speak on the phone with his Israeli counterpart. Given Mahmoud Abbas’ refusal to even sit down to speak face to face about a shared future, how can there be a chance for peace?
During his recent visit to the United States, President Abbas made several public appearances in which he expressed his desire for peace. Many of his comments were significant and noted as such. But words alone are not enough. Abbas still refuses to talk peace directly with Israel’s prime minister, despite American demands that he do so. Abbas has said that his strategy is not to make concessions in negotiations but to encourage the United States, and even more the international community, to pressure Israel for unilateral concessions.
Abbas rebuffed then-Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s sweeping offer in 2008, and like Yasser Arafat before him, refused to even engage in more serious deeper discussions with Israel, which leads us to today, when new preconditions and further refusals to talk with Israel sabotage the dream of peace to which we all aspire.
It’s not just Abbas’ refusal to talk that is problematic. In recent months, the PA has intensified its efforts to delegitimize Israel in the international arena and increased the incitement against Israel. By endorsing the Goldstone Report, the PA has pushed for senior Israeli leaders to be charged with war crimes. The PA also lobbied forcefully but unsuccessfully against Israel’s admission to the prestigious Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
In addition, the PA continues to name schools and streets after terrorists, including Dalal Mughrabi, who killed 37 civilians, and Yahya Ayyash, a suicide bombmaker who is responsible for hundreds of deaths. The PA media carries outrageous programs portraying Israel and Jews in the most negative ways. Rather than seeking to isolate Israel in the international arena and to incite its population to hatred of Israel, the PA needs to prepare its people for genuine peace.
On a topic as complicated and emotional as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it is easy to get caught up in the day’s news cycle and forget the history of Israel’s actual effort, sacrifice and good will in the pursuit of peace.
As American friends of Israel we must, and we will, continue to remind our leaders about how badly Israel wants peace -- and how tragically the PA has only increased its demands and pulled away from the negotiating table.
In the interim, the United States and Israel are attempting to engage the PA through “proximity talks” -- a significant departure from direct talks of the past 20 years. The Palestinian leadership now is refusing to engage directly unless it gets Israel’s concessions in advance, and the PA pays no price for its obstinate stance.
Peace may be a dream, but it takes work and courageous leadership in real life to achieve it. Don’t blame Israel for the lack of progress.
(Lee Rosenberg is president of AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, and Alan Solow is chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish American Organizations.)
What Palestinian nation?
Is the world just plain stupid?*
> */An interesting questionnaire for Palestinian Advocates/** *
> By Yashiko Sagamori
> *If you are so sure that "Palestine, the country, goes back through
> most of recorded history, "I expect you to be able to answer a few
> basic questions about that country of Palestine:
> 1. When was it founded and by whom?
> 2. What were its borders?
> 3. What was its capital?
> 4. What were its major cities?
> 5. What constituted the basis of its economy?
> 6. What was its form of government?
> 7. Can you name at least one Palestinian leader before Arafat?
> 8.. Was Palestine ever recognized by a country whose existence, at
> that time or now, leaves no room for interpretation?
> 9. What was the language of the country of Palestine ?
> 10. What was the prevalent religion of the country of Palestine ?
> 11. What was the name of its currency? Choose any date in history and
> tell what was the approximate exchange rate of the Palestinian
> monetary unit against the US dollar, German mark, GB pound, Japanese
> yen, or Chinese Yuan on that date.
> 12. And, finally, since there is no such country today, what caused
> its demise and when did it occur?
> You are lamenting the "low sinking" of a "once proud" nation.. Please
> tell me, when exactly was that "nation" proud and what was it so proud of?
> And here is the least sarcastic question of all: If the people you
> mistakenly call "Palestinians" are anything but generic Arabs
> collected from all over -- or thrown out of -- the Arab world, if
> they really have a genuine ethnic identity that gives them right for
> self-determination, why did they never try to become independent
> until Arabs suffered their devastating defeat in the Six Day War?
> I hope you avoid the temptation to trace the modern day
> "Palestinians" to the Biblical Philistines: substituting etymology
> for history won't work here.
> The truth should be obvious to everyone who wants to know it. Arab
> countries have never abandoned the dream of destroying Israel; they
> still cherish it today. Having time and again failed to achieve their
> evil goal with military means, they decided to fight Israel by proxy.
> For that purpose, they created a terrorist organization, cynically
> called it "the Palestinian people" and installed it in Gaza, Judea,
> and Samaria. How else can you explain the refusal by Jordan and Egypt
> to unconditionally accept back the "West Bank" and Gaza, respectively?
> The fact is, Arabs populating Gaza, Judea, and Samaria have much less
> claim to nationhood than that Indian tribe that successfully emerged
> in Connecticut with the purpose of starting a tax-exempt casino: at
> least that tribe had a constructive goal that motivated them. The
> so-called "Palestinians" have only one motivation: the destruction of
> Israel, and in my book that is not sufficient to consider them a
> nation" -- or anything else except what they really are: a terrorist
> organization that will one day be dismantled.
> In fact, there is only one way to achieve peace in the Middle East .
> Arab countries must acknowledge and accept their defeat in their war
> against Israel and, as the losing side should, pay Israel reparations
> for the more than 50 years of devastation they have visited on it. The
> most appropriate form of such reparations would be the removal of
> their terrorist organization from the land of Israel and accepting
> Israel's ancient sovereignty over Gaza, Judea, and Samaria. That will
> mark the end of the Palestinian people. What are you saying again was
> its beginning?*
Israeli National Security Adviser: Palestinians Are "Major Actors in the Delegitimization of Israel," U.S. Toughening Policy Toward Iran - Janine Zacharia
Israeli national security adviser Uzi Arad on Tuesday described the Palestinians as "major actors in the delegitimization of Israel." "In trying to make peace" via the indirect U.S.-led talks, "we are embracing an adversary who is conducting a very effective battle against us internationally." Arad said that Israel still aspires to peace with the Palestinians, but he was skeptical of the value of Israel putting forth any bold new peace initiative. "If we do make an initiative, which incorporates further concessions, it would only validate their current rejectionist position, leading them to say, 'If we wait long enough there will be some more,'" Arad said, referring to the Palestinians.
PMW Incitement Watch How the Palestinians just want violence
by Itamar Marcus, Nan Jacques Zilberdik and Barbara Crook
June 8, 2010
by Itamar Marcus, Nan Jacques Zilberdik and Barbara Crook
US State Department:
"After completing the first round of proximity talks with Israeli and Palestinian leaders, both parties are taking some steps to help create an atmosphere that is conducive to successful talks, including President Abbas's statement that he will work against incitement of any sort...”
[Washington D.C., May 9, 2010]
The start of the proximity talks in May 2010 created hope for the renewal of the Israeli – Palestinian peace process. Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas declared that the PA would fulfill its commitments, with special focus on their stopping incitement.
However, an examination of the Palestinian Authority leaders’ statements, official media, children’s programs and PA-controlled events creates a pessimistic picture: Every condition, principle and expectation set by the US and the Quartet for accepting the Palestinian Authority as a partner in the peace process continues to be violated by the Palestinian Authority in the first month of talks.
Contrasting its moderate statements to Western powers in English, with its own people in Arabic the Palestinian Authority, the Fatah leaders and the Abbas-controlled official PA media continue to deny Israel’s existence, deny Israel’s right to exist, define the conflict with Israel as an uncompromising religious war for Allah, promote hatred through demonization slander and libel, and glorify terror and violence.
Click to view full report in PDF
Education to deny Israel’s existence:
Official PA TV continues to teach children to envision a world in which Israel does not exist and all of Israel is instead part of the “State of Palestine.” The following lesson was on a new educational PA TV children’s program. The map used in the studio is named “Palestine” and includes all of Israel.
Host: "Show me where you've been on the map of Palestine."
Girl: "We went to the Sea of Galilee [northern Israel] and to the Dead Sea."
Boy points on map: "Jaffa, Haifa." [Israeli cities]… and Jenin and Nablus."
Host: "So you've visited many different places in Palestine, and that's very good. It's very good that we're always visiting new places in our state, Palestine." [PA TV (Fatah), May 16, 2010]
News reporting defining Israel as “Palestine” -1:
Even in sports news the Palestinian Authority official media looks for opportunities to deny Israel’s existence. PA-owned Al-Hayat Al-Jadida reported on the coach of an Israeli Arab football team from a city in northern Israel as follows:
"… leading the team to the second division league for the first time in the history of the city of Um El-Fahm, one of the largest Arab cities in northern occupied Palestine."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (Fatah), May 14, 2010]
News reporting defining Israel as “Palestine” -2:
Israeli Arab Journalist Sa'id Hasanein:
"This visit [by Israeli-Arab Um El-Fahm soccer team to Hebron] is a natural action between people of the same nation… There is no difference between all the people of Palestine, and our obligation is to protect it [Palestine], from the [Mediterranean] sea to the [Jordan] river."
Redwan Sidr, secretary of the Al-Khalil Youth Foundation:
"We welcome our brothers [Israeli Arabs]… to the city of the Martyrs, Hebron… I also hope to see a group from Interior Palestine [i.e., Israeli Arabs] in the International Hebron Youth Tournament."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, May 17, 2010]
Maps denying Israel’s existence:
President Obama has called the use of maps as in the above children’s program a security threat to Israel:
“I will never compromise when it comes to Israel's security... Not when there are maps across the Middle East that don't even acknowledge Israel's existence.”
[June 4, 2008, AIPAC Conference]
Yet all the maps on official PA TV since the start of the proximity talks continue the longstanding PA policy of defining all of Israel as “Palestine,” or in the words of President Obama, “don't even acknowledge Israel's existence.”
This map is one example among many that appeared this month.
It was broadcast numerous times on PA TV between May 4 - 17.
In the PA TV children’s program, “The Best House”, a music video called “We are Palestine’s children” featured pictures of map of “Palestine” including all of Israel. [PA TV (Fatah), May 14, 2010]
Denying Israel’s right to exist and calling for end of Israel:
An official PA TV statement lamenting the creation of the State of Israel included the following call for the dismantling of Israel because its land is “stolen” land:
Palestinian narrator: "I'm from Jaffa, I'm from Haifa, I'm from Acre, I'm from Nazareth, I'm from Gimzu, I'm from Zakariya, I'm from Ein Kerem (West Jerusalem). [All are cities and towns in Israel.]
Where are you [Israelis] from? Where are you from?
Of course, you're from Ukraine; of course, you're from Germany, from Poland, from Russia, from Ethiopia, the Falasha (a pejorative term for Ethiopian Jews). Why have you stolen my homeland and taken my place? Please, I ask of you, return to your original homeland, so that I can return to my original homeland. This is my homeland; go back to your homeland!"
[PA TV (Fatah), May 4 and 7, 2010]
PA TV Quiz offers $500 for answering that Israeli city Haifa is a “Palestinian coastal city.”
This PA TV quiz envisioning a world without Israel was broadcast numerous times in May 2010.
PA TV quiz program. Question posed to viewers at home:
"Which of the following is a Palestinian coastal city?"
Note: The only coastal city among the possible answers is the Israeli city of Haifa.
[PA TV (Fatah), May 23- 24, 2010]
Religious war –“Ribat” - against Israel’s creation and existence since 1917
The PA Minister of Religious Affairs, Mahmoud Al-Habbash, continues to define the conflict with Israel as an uncompromising religious war – a “Ribat” - war for Islam. “Peace” as a Palestinian goal is said to take 4th place after the Palestinian “rights”, “cause” and “religion,” none of which will be compromised for peace. Moreover, he elevates the conflict with Israel in religious significance, saying the war was predetermined, being anticipated even in the Quran.
PA Minister of Religious Affairs, Mahmoud Al-Habbash:
"For the past 62 years the Palestinian people have suffered from two things. Since the catastrophe (i.e., the establishment of the State of Israel)– and perhaps even prior to the catastrophe, since the catastrophe, in truth, did not begin in 1948, but began perhaps in 1917 with the cursed [Balfour] Declaration, which gave a promise to those who did not deserve it… Since that date, resolute people, fighters and Ribat (religious Islamic) fighters have not ceased upon our blessed land… This conflict is explicit in the Quran and our obligation with regard to it is clarified by the Quran…
We do not oppose peace. On the contrary, we aspire to peace, but not at the expense of our rights; not at the expense of our cause, and not at the expense of our religion."
[PA TV (Fatah), May 14, 2010]
The Mufti of Jerusalem and Palestine, Sheikh Muhammad Hussein, appointed by the PA, likewise defines the conflict with Israel as an uncompromising religious war – a “Ribat” – that began with the “catastrophe” of Israel’s creation.
"The Mufti of Jerusalem and Palestine, Sheikh Muhammad Hussein, devoted his sermon at the Friday prayers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque yesterday to the subject of the catastrophe (creation of State of Israel) of our people… The Mufti said, addressing the worshippers in the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound: 'Allah has chosen you to carry out Ribat (religious war) in this blessed land… The catastrophe plants much pain in our souls, while at the same time we are planting the willpower to be resolute and the strong desire to carry out Ribat in this blessed land until Allah decides the matter… Sheikh Muhammad Hussein called to continue with resolve, firmness, patience and Ribat in this land, until all plans that aim to harm Palestinian existence in the land and in the holy place, have failed."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (Fatah), May 22, 2010]
The PA official daily crossword puzzle presents a world without Israel.
Clue: "Palestinian city"
Solution: "Jaffa" [part of Tel Aviv]
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (Fatah), May 20, 2010]
Hate promotion, slander, libel and demonization
PA continues to slander Israel, demonize and deny Israel’s history in the land:
"The Israeli apartheid state, possessing no cultural heritage nor any collective symbol for a society born from the womb of the Zionist and Western imperialist attack, aspires and exerts efforts to appropriate and take over symbols and elements of the Palestinian national identity.”
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (Fatah), May 19, 2010]
PATV News reporter demonizes Israel and its creation:
"While the world was raising its voice to judge the Nazis and putting up gallows to hang the criminals in Nuremberg, other criminals were spreading killing, destruction and expulsion in Palestine, before the eyes of the world. This is the free world – the world that could judge the criminals [in Nuremberg], but at the same time created out of the victim a future criminal, and released its reins, under the pretext of a guilt complex – a complex stimulated and invoked only when the victim was clearly Jewish or, later, Israeli."
[PA TV (Fatah), May 16, 2010]
Animalization of Israel and Jews continues in PA cartoons.
A shark in shape of the Star of David representing Israel is eating a map that includes all of Israel yet is marked as "Palestine."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (Fatah), May 23, 2010]
The PA at all levels exaggerated the Gaza flotilla confrontation and used it as an excuse to demonize and promote hatred of Israel. Whereas criticism of Israeli policies is acceptable, the Palestinian Authority used this incident as a launching point for far greater and more intense hate promotion both by slandering and libeling Israel about the incident itself, and by compounding the defamation, saying that this murderous behavior was part of the Israeli behavior and personality. This will be reported on in greater detail in the June PMW Incitement Watch report.
PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas himself accused Israel of premeditated and determined killing:
Mahmoud Abbas: “The significance is that this decision was made in advance. They [Israel] wanted to create a confrontation. They did not want to allow [the ships into Gaza], but were determined from the outset to create a confrontation. They had the opportunity yesterday to relate to these people peacefully, because those who came to Gaza are civilians, peace-seeking people, who did not come to attack. They did not come with weapons or with an army. They came with humanitarian aid. Therefore, it was a decision made in advance, premeditated and with determination to kill and to create a confrontation with these people, and to take them all to ports in Israel. Israel always ignores all international norms, all international laws, all humanitarian laws. [Israel] doesn't care about anything."
[PA TV (Fatah), May 31, 2010]
Promoting and glorifying terror and violence
Honoring terrorists as children sing to future war against Israel
PA TV program "Good Morning Jerusalem" dedicated a program to honoring female terrorist prisoner Sanaa Shehadeh, who is serving 3 life sentences for transporting a suicide terrorist to Jerusalem in 2002. Her two nieces dedicated a song of war to her:
"I want to recite a song for you [female prisoner Sanaa Shehadeh]:
‘What am I doing here while my enemy is on my ancestors’ land?
I want to defend, I want to fight,
I want to carry a machine gun and a rifle.’”
Girls 1 and 2:
"’And tomorrow, when the war starts,
I won't care about you [my enemy], or about the West.
And tomorrow when the war starts,
I won't care about you [my enemy], or about the West.
And we shall strike Israel, we shall strike Israel,
And return you [to us], land of my ancestors;
And return you [to us], land of my ancestors.'"
[PA TV (Fatah), May 28, 2010]
Glorification of terror
Ignoring the American leadership statements condemning the PA glorification of terror, the PA continues to honor terrorists by naming events after them. Worse still, Palestinian children were explicitly told that the naming of an event after the terrorist Abu Jihad is meant to make them see him as a role model:
"Yesterday evening the second Shahid (Martyr) Abu Jihad [football] tournament for children concluded at the Abu Dis [near Jerusalem] youth club; it is held annually under the auspices of Fatah...
Abu Halal (Fatah branch Secretary) spoke about the anniversary of the Martyrdom of the Shahid (Martyr) commander, Khalil Al-Wazir 'Abu Jihad,' and about his journey of struggle. He reminded our children that we shall follow the same path of Abu Jihad and Yasser Arafat."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, May 16, 2010]
Abu Jihad (Khalil Al-Wazir) - A founder of Fatah and deputy to Yasser Arafat. Headed the PLO terror organization’s military wing. Planned many deadly Fatah terror attacks, including the worst in Israeli history, the hijacking of a bus and killing of 37 civilians, 12 of them children.
Football tournament named after terrorist Abdallah Daoud:
Headline: "Shahid (Martyr) [Abdallah Daoud] Abu Al-Qassam [football] tournament for security services teams begins on Friday"
"The lottery for the football tournament named after the Shahid (Martyr) Abdallah Daoud Abu Al-Qassam, was held yesterday at the joint operations headquarters in the Bethlehem district. Participating in the tournament are teams representing the security services in the Bethlehem district..."
[Al-Ayyam, May 17, 2010]
Abdallah Daoud - Responsible for many terror attacks. Was one of the terrorists who stormed the Church of the Nativity in 2002, continuing to fight against Israel for several weeks while using the monks and the religious site as shields.
Football team named after terrorist Majed Abu Sharar:
A report on the Shahid Faisal Al-Husseini football festival, held in Rafiah, mentions the "Martyr Majed Abu Sharar" team:
"The tournament trophy finals were held between the Al-Zarnuka team and the Martyr Majed Abu Sharar team."
[PA TV (Fatah), May 14, 2010]
Majed Abu Sharar – A senior Fatah and PLO terror leader in 1970s.
Deputy Secretary of the Fatah Central Committee and former PA senior official, Jibril Rajoub, likewise glorified terror, comparing the value of “throwing a hand grenade” to “building a school.”
"Building a school and throwing a hand grenade, in my opinion, are resistance. I build the school in order to strengthen the reasons for my people's resolve, as one of several aspects of the resistance, and when there is a need to throw a grenade [or launch] a rocket, I'll do that as well out of my belief in the inevitable victory of my cause and its justness."
[PA TV (Fatah), May 12, 2010]
Honoring terrorist Dalal Mughrabi’s bus hijacking in which 37 were killed:
Jamil Dweik, Chairman of the Al-Razi Institute for Culture and Society:
"The month of March, on the Palestinian calendar, is a very important month, full of events. Its events are likewise important, starting with International Women's Day; via Palestinian Women's Day – the anniversary of the Martyr death of Dalal Mughrabi; Culture Day on March 13, and then the anniversary of the Battle of Karameh..."
[PA TV (Fatah), May 17, 2010]
Dalal Mughrabi - Led the worst terror attack in Israel's history in 1978, when she and other terrorists hijacked a bus and killed 37 civilians, 12 of them children.
Cessation of terror is temporary
In addition to this ongoing terror glorification the PA has repeatedly engaged in apologetics to its population for having acquiesced to the US demand to cease terror at this time during the talks. Twice in two days, senior PA and Fatah leader, Nabil Shaath, made speeches using apologetic language to justify the cessation of violence, which he stressed was because of current conditions. Excuses for cessation of the “armed struggle” that Shaath mentioned included: “At the present time is not possible, or is not effective,” “has become undesirable now,” “international conditions do not permit us,” “the inability to engage in the armed struggle.”
"MP Dr. Nabil Shaath, member Fatah Central Committee and Commissioner of Foreign Relations… emphasized that the Fatah's stated strategy for the struggle is to adopt the growing popular and 'non-violent' struggle against Israel, because of the inability to engage in the armed struggle, which has become undesirable now, although it is the right of the Palestinian people, which all international treaties and resolutions have guaranteed… Shaath said: 'I have said this to the leaders of Hamas, I have said to [Hamas PM] Ismail Haniyeh during my meeting with him in Gaza, that Arab, regional and to engage in the armed struggle… Shaath emphasized that the non-violent struggle is no less honorable than the armed struggle, and that it does not signify submission to Israeli demands."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, May 20, 2010]
Dr. Nabil Shaath, Fatah Commissioner of Foreign Relations:
“The current distancing from the armed struggle does not mean its absolute rejection… He noted that the difficulty of the conflict required the Palestinian people to diversify its activities of struggle – along with an emphasis on the importance of the armed struggle, which laid the basis for the existence of the state and contributed to maintaining the right and presenting it to the world – especially since the armed struggle at the present time is not possible, or is not effective, because of to the difficulties with which the Palestinian people contends."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, May 21, 2010]
Editorials in the PA official daily repeat this excuse for cessation of terror
"I have no doubt that the occupation is destined to pass from the world… I also have no doubt that out of the options for the national struggle to be rid of the occupation, the popular struggle is the one that is needed, since the option of the armed struggle is impossible at the present time."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (Fatah), May 24, 2010]
Fatah leader Abbas Zaki, member Fatah Central Committee, justifies violence:
"Abbas Zaki, member of the Fatah Central Committee, does not believe that a Palestinian-Israeli agreement will be achieved in the shadow of the extreme right-wing [Israeli] government, but he leaves the door open to a 'return to [UN] Resolution 181 and to all forms of the struggle, including the armed struggle, if the negotiations fail… the door is open to a return to the UN, such that Resolutions 242 and 338 will no longer have any value, and there will be a return to Resolution 181 [of November 29, 1947], which is the Partition Plan and the birth certificate of the State of Israel and of the Palestinian State. In addition, [there will be] a return to UN Resolution 3236, which grants the Palestinian people the right to all forms of the struggle, including the armed struggle…’
He called for "a gathering that will bring together the Fatah and Hamas leadership, under Mahmoud Abbas' … and added: 'We are in favor of anyone who defends the homeland and bears arms in order to defend it, because he supports the idea of Fatah and of the resistance. Likewise, we stand with anyone who comes out against the Zionist lobby and isolates Israel and puts it in a corner.'”
[Al-Rad (Jordan), May 22, 2010]
Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton said in the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Ops, on April 23, 2009:
“We will only work with a Palestinian Authority government that unambiguously and explicitly accepts the Quartet's principles:
a commitment to non-violence, recognition of Israel, and acceptance of previous agreements and obligations, including the Road Map.” [“Phase I of Road Map: “All official Palestinian institutions end incitement against Israel.”]
Examining the Palestinian Authority leaders’ statements, its education of youth, and its controlled media, it is clear that the Palestinian Authority has not complied with the conditions indicated by the Secretary of State nor has it fulfilled its commitment to “work against incitement of any sort.”
In the first month since the start of the proximity talks, not only hasn’t the PA “unambiguously and explicitly” accepted these conditions, but they have done the opposite; the Palestinian Authority has “unambiguously and explicitly” denied Israel’s existence, incited to hatred, and glorified terror and violence.
sday, June 8, 2010
Gaza solution begins with Hamas"*
*Interview with Rabbi Jack Moline on washingtonpost.com: "Gaza solution
begins with Hamas"*
*Q: In a statement Monday, Vice President Biden said the U.S. is consulting
with other nations "on new ways to address the humanitarian, economic,
security, and political aspects of the situation in Gaza." What are the
religious and moral considerations in determining those "new ways,"
especially in light of Israel's raid on an aid flotilla from Turkey bound
I don't subscribe to the conventional wisdom that the "Gaza flotilla" was a
watershed event in the Middle East. And the facts contradict the presumption
that the residents of Gaza are suffering wholesale life-threatening
deprivation. They have been deprived of certain materials that Hamas has
consistently diverted from peaceable use to waging war on Israeli civilians.
So it is hard to answer this question in its context. But I do have an
The religious and moral context of alleviating suffering in Gaza begins with
an insistence by the world community of humanitarians and peace activists
that Israel's right to exist be affirmed. As long as the "partners" in
delivering goods and supplies to the residents they "govern" are on record
as demanding the dismantling of Israel by any means necessary, it is
disingenuous to suggest that outsiders have some special responsibility to
offer aid and comfort to them.
If the goal is comprehensive compassion and fairness, then let's hear Turkey
and and other concerned parties begin by speaking truth to Hamas. If Hamas'
cooperation and moral conduct are forthcoming, then I will join the chorus
of people demanding changes in Israel's policies. Only then I suspect there
won't be a need for one.
'Peace convoy'? This was an Islamist terror ambush
Monday, 31st May 2010
As the international community rushes to condemn Israel for the violence on board one of the ships in the Gaza flotilla, which left a reported 10 people dead and dozens injured, it is now obvious that the real purpose of this ‘armada of hate’ was not merely the further delegitimisation of Israel but something far worse.
Gaza’s markets are full of produce, thousands of tons of supplies are travelling into Gaza every week through the Israeli-controlled border crossings, and there is no starvation or humanitarian crisis. It was always obvious that the flotilla was not the humanitarian exercise it was said to be. Here is footage of the IDF offering to dock the Marmara -- the main flotilla ship -- at Ashdod and transfer its supplies and being told ‘Negative, negative, our destination is Gaza’.
And now we can see that the real purpose of this invasion -- backed by the Turkish Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH), a radical Islamic organization outlawed by Israel in 2008 for allegedly serving as a major component in Hamas’s global fund-raising machine -- was to incite a violent uprising in the Middle East and across the Islamic world. As I write, reports are coming in of Arab rioting in Jerusalem.
The notion – uncritically swallowed by the lazy, ignorant and bigoted BBC and other western media – that the flotilla organisers are ‘peace activists’ is simply ludicrous. This research by the Danish Institute for International Studies details the part played by the IHH in Islamist terror in Afghanistan, Bosnia and Chechnya. According to the French magistrate Jean-Louis Bruguiere testifying at the Seattle trial of would-be al Qaeda Millenium bomber Ahmed Ressamin, the IHH had played ‘[a]n important role’ in the al Qaeda Millenium bomb plot targeting Los Angeles airport. It was also involved in weapons trafficking, and played in addition a key role in galvanizing anti-Western sentiment among Turkish Muslims in the lead-up to the 2003 war in Iraq. ‘Peace activists’ these people most certainly are not.
And this flotilla was but the latest jihadi attack, deploying the Islamists’ signature strategy of violence and media manipulation. Here from MEMRI (via Just Journalism) is a clip showing the hysteria against Israel being whipped up on board before the ships set sail, with the chanting of intifada songs about ‘Khaybar’ – the iconic slaughter of Jews by Muslims in the 7th century which is used as a rallying cry to kill the Jews today -- and threats of ‘martyrdom’. This was not merely a propaganda stunt, but a terrorist attack.
This is what the Jerusalem Post reported earlier today about what happened last night:
According to the IDF, the international activists ‘prepared a lynch’ for the soldiers who boarded the ships at about 2 a.m. Monday morning after calling on them to stop, or follow them to the Ashdod Port several hours earlier.
... Upon boarding the ships, the soldiers encountered fierce resistance from the passengers who were armed with knives, bats and metal pipes. The soldiers used non-lethal measures to disperse the crowd. The activists, according to an IDF report, succeeded in stealing two handguns from soldiers and opened fire, leading to an escalation in violence.
Also in the Jerusalem Post, David Horowitz wrote:
Benayahu said soldiers, who had been dispatched to block the flotilla because of fears that it was carrying weaponry and other highly dangerous cargo into the Hamas-controlled Strip, were attacked with knives and bars and sharpened metal implements.
Benayahu said two pistols that had been fired were subsequently found aboard the one ship, the Marmara, on which the violence erupted. And, most dramatically, he said that one IDF soldier had his weapon snatched away by one of the ‘peace activists’ on board, that this weapon was then turned against the IDF soldiers, who came under fire, and that they had no choice but to shoot back in self-defense.
... What seems urgent now is to make publicly available footage that shows exactly what did unfold. In early afternoon, video footage screened on Israel’s Channel 2 appeared to show one of those aboard the Marmara stabbing an IDF soldier. Any such footage should have been made available hours earlier. Critically, if footage showing a soldier’s weapon being snatched and turned on the IDF troops exists, it should be broadcast, and the sooner the better.
Some of this footage is now available on the web but much of it is hard to follow: as ever, the Israelis have been far too slow in making the most telling images and information available in comprehensible form (including in English rather than in Hebrew, for heaven’s sake!). This clip appears to show masked and armed flotilla activists beating Israeli soldiers (although here is the BBC report accompanying that footage, in which the voiceover appears to be claiming, perversely, that the people in masks were Israeli soldiers. That said, the report on Radio Four’s World at One was fair and balanced).
This clip shows an Israeli soldier being stabbed. This IDF clip and this one show attacks on the commandoes including throwing one off the deck, attacking others with a metal pole and a firebomb and an attempted kidnap of another.
It is also becoming clearer as the day wears on that, far from storming the boats in order to attack those on board, the Israelis were hopelessly ill-prepared for the violence they encountered. Israel’s Channel 10 and IDF radio have reported that the Israeli naval commandos were equipped with paint ball rifles to ensure minimum casualties among the flotilla terrorists, with their hand guns to be used only as a last resort. The terrorists tried connecting the steel cables from the overhead helicopters to the boat's antenna, in order to cause the helicopters to crash. Only when the terrorists beat the soldiers with iron rods, stabbed them with knives and tried to lynch them did the soldiers respond. The Israeli commandoes were pushed down stairs, thrown overboard, and shot at.
Here is a report by an Israel army radio reporter on board:
‘The activists had many things ready for an attack on the soldiers,’ Lev-Rom said, ‘including, for instance, a box of 20-30 slingshots with metal balls; these can kill. There were also all sorts of knives and many similar things. These are what they call “cold” weapons, as opposed to live fire. It was quite clear that a lynch had been prepared.’
Lev-Rom said, however, that it appears the army, ‘even though it prepared for many different scenarios, was not ready for this one. The army seems not to have known what type of people were there and what type of weapons they had. It was hard for Israel to conceive that the ship, sponsored by the country of Turkey, would have such weapons. Israel was prepared to deal with anarchists, and instead had to deal with terrorists – that’s the feeling here.’
Here** is an even more vivid account showing how unprepared the Israeli soldiers were:
Navy commandoes slid down to the vessel one by one, yet then the unexpected occurred: The passengers that awaited them on the deck pulled out bats, clubs, and slingshots with glass marbles, assaulting each soldier as he disembarked. The fighters were nabbed one by one and were beaten up badly, yet they attempted to fight back.
However, to their misfortune, they were only equipped with paintball rifles used to disperse minor protests, such as the ones held in Bilin. The paintballs obviously made no impression on the activists, who kept on beating the troops up and even attempted to wrest away their weapons.
One soldier who came to the aid of a comrade was captured by the rioters and sustained severe blows. The commandoes were equipped with handguns but were told they should only use them in the face of life-threatening situations. When they came down from the chopper, they kept on shouting to each other ‘don’t shoot, don’t shoot,’ even though they sustained numerous blows.
The Navy commandoes were prepared to mostly encounter political activists seeking to hold a protest, rather than trained street fighters. The soldiers were told they were to verbally convince activists who offer resistance to give up, and only then use paintballs. They were permitted to use their handguns only under extreme circumstances.
The planned rush towards the vessel’s bridge became impossible, even when a second chopper was brought in with another crew of soldiers. ‘Throw stun grenades,’ shouted Flotilla 13’s commander who monitored the operation. The Navy chief was not too far, on board a speedboat belonging to Flotilla 13, along with forces who attempted to climb into the back of the ship.
The forces hurled stun grenades, yet the rioters on the top deck, whose number swelled up to 30 by that time, kept on beating up about 30 commandoes who kept gliding their way one by one from the helicopter. At one point, the attackers nabbed one commando, wrested away his handgun, and threw him down from the top deck to the lower deck, 30 feet below. The soldier sustained a serious head wound and lost his consciousness.
Only after this injury did Flotilla 13 troops ask for permission to use live fire. The commander approved it: You can go ahead and fire. The soldiers pulled out their handguns and started shooting at the rioters’ legs, a move that ultimately neutralized them. Meanwhile, the rioters started to fire back at the commandoes.
It is becoming ever more clear that Islamist terror attacks like this are fiendishly staged theatrical events in which the western media – and beyond them, western governments -- play an absolutely essential role in the drama. If those media and governments refused to swallow the lies and instead called operations like this and the players behind it for what they actually are, such terrorist operations would not happen. The Islamist strategy of war against Israel is carefully calibrated to deploy the most effective weapon in its armoury in the cause of jihadi violence – the western media. Right on cue, western governments accordingly deliver their own script in condemning the victims of terror for defending themselves. And so, courtesy of the west’s fifth columnists, yet another nail is driven into the west’s own coffin.
Let’s see whether this time the western elites show any signs of waking from their lethal trance.
Lieberman: Palestinians Reciprocate Israel's Gestures with "Slaps in the Face" - Merav Michaeli
Israel's many gestures to the Palestinians have been reciprocated by "slaps in the face," Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Wednesday. "We took the unilateral step of deciding on a moratorium, a construction freeze in Judea and Samaria. We recognized two states for two peoples. We removed a dramatic number of roadblocks."
"I think we made countless gestures, and what did we get in return? The glorification of terror." "The day before Israel's acceptance by the OECD, [PA Prime Minister] Salam Fayyad approached dozens of countries with a request to sabotage that acceptance. They keep going on with their stories about war crimes during Operation Cast Lead in Gaza. After all, Mahmoud Abbas himself called and asked us, pressured us to continue the military campaign and overthrow Hamas." (Ha'aretz)
Israeli-Palestinian negotiations are doomed to hit a brick wall because no Palestinian leader will accept anything less than what Yasser Arafat rejected at Camp David ten years ago, and no Jewish prime minister will offer anything more, Vice Premier and Regional Development Minister Silvan Shalom said Thursday in an interview. At the same time, Shalom said he was in favor of the U.S.-backed indirect talks because they may bring about a greater understanding between the sides. "It is good that we are talking," he said. "I am in favor of talking."
Shalom said that for all intents and purposes, the PA was already functioning like a de facto state. "True, they don't have borders," he said, "but we also don't have borders." According to Shalom, the focus of the current talks should be on economic projects, development of industrial areas, and joint projects in the spheres of electricity, sewage, water and infrastructure. Likewise, he said, the talks should focus on increasing freedom of movement in the West Bank through lifting roadblocks, and ways the Palestinians could fight terrorism and increase security. (Jerusalem Post)
•The Palestinians Have Not Moved an Inch - Yechiel Shabi
Last week, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas rejected Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's secret offer to establish a temporary Palestinian state on about 60% of the West Bank. According to Netanyahu's pragmatic plan, the talks on final-status issues would continue after the temporary state was formed. Abbas argued that this was an attempt to drag him into lengthy negotiations that would reinforce the temporary state's borders and turn them into final-status borders. What prevents the Palestinians from deciding that half a loaf is better than none? Why does Abbas insist on discussing all the issues that may thwart the talks all at once - Jerusalem, borders, refugees, settlements, and territorial contiguity? Why doesn't he choose to be the first president in history of the first Palestinian state, regardless of how small it is?
One reason is that the Palestinians have not yet renounced their plan to establish "Greater Palestine." Secondly, they feel that Western public opinion and Western governments support them to a greater extent than ever before. While Israel, under Netanyahu, adopted several steps - endorsing the two-state discourse, removing roadblocks, freezing settlement construction, and imposing a de facto freeze in east Jerusalem - the Palestinians have not moved an inch. The writer is a spokesman for Israel's Ministry of Communications. (Ynet News)
Mearsheimer's Mere Slime
David Harris, AJC Executive Director
May 6, 2010
You have to hand it to John Mearsheimer.
Just when you think he can't outdo himself for shoddy scholarship and sheer chutzpah, he surprises. His co-authored screed on the "Israel Lobby," replete with dark images of a conspiracy perpetrated on American foreign policy by sinister pro-Israel forces, was bad enough. Reviews were scathing, and rightly so.
Now Mearsheimer has reached new heights of ignorance and ignominy.
His April 29 speech to the Palestine Center in Washington is a must-read for its misinformed, misguided and mendacious outlook.
Posing as a Middle East maven, he catered to his audience, liberally sprinkling his remarks with defamatory references to Israeli policy. Israel was accused of everything from "massacres" to "brutal assaults," from "massive cleansing" to "racism," from "apartheid" to "colonization."
For Mearsheimer, the historical narrative is straightforward. It's all about Zionist "expansionism" stifling the quest for peace and human dignity. Meanwhile, the Palestinians are nothing more than unfortunate pawns in the Israeli power play, with no control over their own destiny and, heaven forbid, no responsibility for their own predicament.
Mearsheimer refuses to acknowledge that it takes two sides to achieve two states.
Missing, therefore, from his tedious and repetitive text are any references whatsoever to the 1947 Partition Plan, which proposed a two-state solution to the competing claims of Jewish and Arab nationalism - rejected by the Arab side - or the subsequent Arab declaration of war on the fledgling state of Israel the next year.
Is there a war in history which did not produce a stream of refugees? Of course, for Mearsheimer, the responsibility lies solely on Israel's shoulders, even though the Arab side started the war. And don't hold your breath for any mention of Jewish refugees from Arab lands. That would disturb Mearsheimer's idée fixe.
He also entirely ignores how Israel acquired the West Bank and Gaza - the Six-Day War, which threatened Israel's destruction - and subsequent peacemaking efforts along the way.
For instance, he notes that Prime Minister Ehud Barak "seriously flirted with the idea of creating a Palestinian state at Camp David in July 2000," but never explains why it did not come to pass. President Clinton has provided the answer: Yasser Arafat.
Referring to former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert (and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni), Mearsheimer asserts, "It is by no means clear that either of them would be willing or able to make the concessions that would be necessary to create a legitimate Palestinian state. Certainly, Olmert did not do so when he was prime minister."
Really? According to none other than Palestinian Authority negotiator Saeb Erekat, Olmert offered a remarkable deal in 2008, including a shared Jerusalem and territory equaling 100 percent of the West Bank. Like the Clinton/Barak offer of 2000, it was turned down by the Palestinian side.
In other words, Mearsheimer, so eager to protect his airtight narrative of a bellicose Israel uninterested in a two-state peace deal with the Palestinians, simply glides past all evidence to the contrary, including surveys of Israeli public opinion that regularly reaffirm support for a two-state accord.
Here is his assessment of the current state of affairs: "The Palestinians are badly divided among themselves and not in a good position to make a deal with Israel and then stick to it." That sounds reasonable, even if he never once mentions Hamas by name, or the nature of the PA-Hamas conflict. But then there's the very next sentence: "That problem is fixable with time and help from Israel and the United States." Once again, the onus is on Israel, not the Palestinians, to sort out an internecine Palestinian dispute that has endured for years.
And speaking of Hamas, notably absent from Mearsheimer's speech is a single mention of Israel's security environment. In his world, there are no Hamas tunnels, rockets and mortars; no Hizbullah arsenal; no Iranian nuclear program; no Syrian arms transfers; no al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades; and no Palestinian incitement against Israel, Zionism, or Jews.
No, those things presumably don't exist in Mearsheimer's mind. Perhaps they are just figments of the Israeli imagination, or are inflated by Israel to divert attention from its "refusal" to countenance a peace deal, or have no relevance to the Arab-Israeli conflict.
So how does Israel get away with it? Again, for Mearsheimer, the answer is clear-cut. Diabolical forces at play in the United States protect Israel. Who might they be? Christian Zionists, he claims, coupled with a group he maliciously dubs the "new Afrikaners" - Jews in the US who have "blind loyalty" to Israel, "will back Israel no matter what it does," and who will "convince themselves and others that Israel is not an apartheid state."
Well, I may have missed out on President Nixon's list of enemies, but I made Mearsheimer's, and I consider it a badge of honor, irrespective of what slur he uses. And since he lumps together everyone who dares to stand up for Israel's right to exist and defend itself, including many who actively support a two-state deal, the company is quite illustrious.
It includes, for example, Lester Crown and Mort Zuckerman. In 2005, they helped raise funds to purchase greenhouses in Gaza and, in the wake of Israel's unilateral withdrawal, present them as a goodwill gift to local Gazans. The gesture was meant to protect 3,500 jobs and boost the economy. Instead, the greenhouses quickly became targets of Palestinian violence and looting.
It's even more illuminating to see who made Mearsheimer's list of "righteous Jews" in his outrageous "selection" process.
In 2007, Mearsheimer and co-author Stephen Walt claimed to be "'pro-Israel,' in the sense that we support its right to exist, admire its many achievements, want its citizens to enjoy secure and prosperous lives, and believe that the United States should come to Israel's aid if its survival is in danger."
Perplexing, then, that the Jews who made Mearsheimer's cut - and merit his applause - include:
Noam Chomsky, who said of Israel's creation, "I think that a socialist binationalist position was correct then [in 1947], and remains so today." Chomsky has also said that Hizbullah, a group that calls for Israel's destruction and doesn't much love Jews, either, has a "reasoned" and "persuasive" case for keeping its arsenal of missiles.
Richard Falk, who wrote of the second intifada, Suicide bombers appeared as the only means still available by which to inflict sufficient harm on Israel so that the struggle could go on.
Tony Judt, who asserted, "Israel, in short, is an anachronism."
Sara Roy, whose review of a new book about Hamas was rejected by The Fletcher Forum of World Affairs because, according to the editor-in-chief, "All reviewers found the piece one-sided" in favor of Hamas.
Philip Weiss, who proclaims that "my feelings are not neutral about Zionism; I don't like it."
And the list goes on.
If John Mearsheimer actually cares a whit about Israel, why does he admire so many people who want it to disappear?
Mearsheimer has long ago lost any semblance of academic stature on the Middle East - if he ever had it. Instead, he has turned himself into a maniacally obsessed cheerleader for the most rabid anti-Israel voices.
Fortunately, his impact on the real Middle East is nil.
But tragically, his impact on impressionable students passing through his university classroom
Obama Should Ask Abbas to Deliver, as Netanyahu Did, a "Two States" Speech - David Horovitz
The Obama administration, replicating some of its Israel pressure on the Palestinian side, should ask Mahmoud Abbas to stand up and deliver, as Netanyahu did at Bar-Ilan University last year, his version of the "two states" speech, his vision of peaceful coexistence. Let Abbas speak in Arabic, to his own people - with his leadership colleagues on hand to publicly support and applaud him - and let him tell them that the Jews, too, have historic rights to Palestine.
Let him make plain that viable compromise is vital to the future well-being of both peoples. Let him recall that the international community, in partitioning British mandatory Palestine, provided for a Jewish and an Arab entity side by side - that the provision for revived Jewish sovereignty was integral to the right the Palestinians seek to realize for their own historically unprecedented independence.
And let him declare, therefore, that he recognizes that the demand for a "right of return" for millions of Palestinians to what is now Israel is a dream that must be abandoned, for the Jewish nation has the right to that small sliver of sovereign land of its own. Wouldn't such a speech be an ideal, immediate test of Palestinian intentions? Wouldn't such a speech serve Palestinian, Israeli and American interests? (Jerusalem Post)
Why did the Palestinians not accept the UN vote to partition Palestine into Jewish and Arab state 60 years ago? There could have been a Palestinian State for 60 years?
2. Why do the Palestinians raise their kids to commit suicide by killing inncocent Israeli civilians?
3. Why do they teach Jew hatred in primary grades?
4. Why are their summer camps terrorist training camps?
5. Why do they send missiles to try to blow up schools in Israel daily?
6.Why do they try and run guns from ambulances?
7. Why did Jordan not set up a Palestinian state from 1948-1967 when they controlled the West Bank?
8. Show me one source about an Arab Palestinian people in history prior to 1930?
Palestine was the name the Romans gave the area and Palstinians were Jews.
9. Israeli Prime Minister Barak told Arafat he could take 98% of the West Bank and Gaza and Arafat walked out and started infada 2.
10. Israel is on record willing to create a Palestinian state but not to peeople who won't accept her existence and openly say they want to destroy her.
PalestiniaN ISSUE DISTRACTS USA FROM KEY ISSUE-iRAN
The Palestine Peace Distraction
Announcing a comprehensive plan now—one that is all but certain to fail—risks discrediting good ideas, breeding frustration in the Arab world, and diluting America's reputation for getting things done.
By RICHARD N. HAASS
President Obama recently said it was a "vital national security interest of the United States" to resolve the Middle East conflict. Last month, David Petraeus, the general who leads U.S. Central Command, testified before Congress that "enduring hostilities between Israel and some of its neighbors present distinct challenges to our ability to advance our interests." He went on to say that "Arab anger over the Palestinian question limits the strength and depth of U.S. partnerships with governments and peoples . . . and weakens the legitimacy of moderate regimes in the Arab world."
To be sure, peace between Israelis and Palestinians would be of real value. It would constitute a major foreign-policy accomplishment for the United States. It would help ensure Israel's survival as a democratic, secure, prosperous, Jewish state. It would reduce Palestinian and Arab alienation, a source of anti-Americanism and radicalism. And it would dilute the appeal of Iran and its clients.
But it is easy to exaggerate how central the Israel-Palestinian issue is and how much the U.S. pays for the current state of affairs. There are times one could be forgiven for thinking that solving the Palestinian problem would take care of every global challenge from climate change to the flu. But would it? The short answer is no. It matters, but both less and in a different way than people tend to think.
Take Iraq, the biggest American investment in the Greater Middle East over the past decade. That country's Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds are divided over the composition of the new government, how to share oil revenues, and where to draw the border between the Kurdish and Arab areas. The emergence of a Palestinian state would not affect any of these power struggles.
Soon to surpass Iraq as the largest U.S. involvement in the region is Afghanistan. Here the U.S. finds itself working against, as much as with, a weak and corrupt president who frustrates American efforts to build up a government that is both willing and able to take on the Taliban. Again, the emergence of a Palestinian state would have no effect on prospects for U.S. policy in Afghanistan or on Afghanistan itself.
What about Iran? The greatest concern is Iran's push for nuclear weapons. But what motivates this pursuit is less a desire to offset Israel's nuclear weapons than a fear of conventional military attack by the U.S. Iran's nuclear bid is also closely tied to its desire for regional primacy. Peace between Israel and the Palestinians would not weaken Iran's nuclear aspirations. It could even reinforce them. Iran and the groups it backs (notably Hamas and Hezbollah) would be sidelined by the region's embrace of a Palestinian state and acceptance of Israel, perhaps causing Tehran to look to nuclear weapons to compensate for its loss of standing and influence.
Nor is it clear what effect successful peacemaking would have on Arab governments. The Palestinian impasse did nothing to dissuade Arab governments from working with the U.S. to oust Saddam Hussein from Kuwait in the Gulf War when they determined it was in their interest to do so. Similarly, an absence of diplomatic progress would not preclude collaboration against an aggressive Iran. Just as important, a solution would not resolve questions of political stability and legitimacy within the largely authoritarian Arab world.
Alas, neither would terrorism fade if Israelis and Palestinians finally ended their conflict. Al Qaeda was initially motivated by a desire to rid the Arabian Peninsula of infidels. Its larger goal is to spread Islam in a form that closely resembles its pure, seventh-century character. Lip service is paid to Palestinian goals, but the radical terrorist agenda would not be satisfied by Palestinian statehood.
What is more, any Palestinian state would materialize only amidst compromise. There will be no return to the 1967 borders; at most, Palestinians would be compensated for territorial adjustments made necessary by large blocs of Jewish settlements and Israeli security concerns. There will be nothing more than a token right of return for Palestinians to Israel. Jerusalem will remain undivided and at most shared. Terrorists would see all this as a sell-out, and they would target not just Israel but those Palestinians and Arab states who made peace with it.
The danger of exaggerating the benefits of solving the Palestinian conflict is that doing so runs the risk of distorting American foreign policy. It accords the issue more prominence than it deserves, produces impatience, and tempts the U.S. government to adopt policies that are overly ambitious.
This is not an argument for ignoring the Palestinian issue. As is so often the case, neglect will likely prove malign. But those urging President Obama to announce a peace plan are doing him and the cause of peace no favor. Announcing a comprehensive plan now—one that is all but certain to fail—risks discrediting good ideas, breeding frustration in the Arab world, and diluting America's reputation for getting things done.
As Edgar noted in "King Lear," "Ripeness is all." And the situation in the Middle East is anything but ripe for ambitious diplomacy. What is missing are not ideas—the outlines of peace are well-known—but the will and ability to compromise.
The Palestinian leadership remains weak and divided; the Israeli government is too ideological and fractured; U.S.-Israeli relations are too strained for Israel to place much faith in American promises. The West Bank is the equivalent of a fragile state at best. What is needed are sustained efforts to strengthen Palestinian economic, military and governing capacities on the West Bank so that Israel will come to see the Palestinian Authority as a partner it can work with.
Also needed are efforts to repair U.S.-Israeli ties. The most important issue facing the two countries is Iran. It is essential the two governments develop a modicum of trust if they are to manage inevitable differences over what to do about Iran's nuclear program, a challenge that promises to be the most significant strategic threat of this decade. A protracted disagreement over the number of settlements or the contours of a final settlement is a distraction that would benefit neither the U.S. nor Israel, given an Iranian threat that is close at hand and a promise of peace that is distant.
Mr. Haass is president of the Council on Foreign Relations and the author of "War of Necessity, War of Choice: A Memoir of Two Iraq Wars" (Simon & Schuster, 2009).
Palestinian peace won't stop Syria
Another one: Bill Clinton:If there was an Israeli-Palestinian agreement, "How could the Syrians stay out there alone-cooperating with the Iranians, and letting Hizballah people travel through Syria, and doing all the things they do?"
What's wrong with that?
Answer: Where to begin! There's no real reason that the Syrians can't "stay out there alone." One reason is that they've been doing so for decades, regarding their siding with Iran against other Arab states. Another reason is that they won't be alone even among Arab states and political forces. They have Iran on their side, the strongest single Muslim-majority state in the region and soon to be a nuclear power. They have Hamas (which rules the Gaza Strip) and Hizballah (which runs much of Lebanon and has veto power over the government) and many other allies in that country. They sponsor the Sunni Iraqi insurgents and can depend on a huge slice of Arab and Muslim opinion. They also would have Qatar, Yemen, and Libya, while the Egyptian and Jordanian Muslim Brotherhoods would join forces with them, too.
The Iranians, Syrians, and many others would all denounce the agreement as treason. Oppositionists would try to assassinate any Arab leader who went along with it. There would be riots in every Arab capital.
a new Presidential peace plan is counterproductive
"If [Obama] decides to [issue his own peace plan], I will support it," said Clinton, suggesting that such an action would be like what he did at the Camp David meeting and later in the Clinton peace plan, both in 2000.
What's wrong with this?
Answer: Clinton did not really present his own peace plan in either case. On both occasions, he was presenting a plan which he had cleared with Israel's prime minister. This was appropriate since the Israeli government had agreed to make some major concessions if it received certain things in return. In sharp contrast, however, Obama would be proposing a plan demanding Israeli concessions which not only hasn't been approved by Israel's government but which the president knows it would oppose.
Incidentally, as we will see in a moment Clinton knows-despite his support-that this is a serious mistake. If the president puts forward a plan both sides will reject he does no good and ends up looking very foolish. Moreover, what about Clinton's own experience: offering a great deal to the Palestinian Authority (PA) and watching them turn it down. Shouldn't he be warning Obama--and his spouse--more about how the PA is unwilling or unable to make peace?
Next, what's wrong with this:
"We need to do something to deprive both sides of any excuse not to engage in serious negotiations."
Answer: If the goal is to get talks going, the way to do so is not to propose a comprehensive peace plan which both sides will certainly reject but to start with small things on which they can agree. To put forward such a plan would be the best "excuse not to engage in serious negotiations" of all!
But, by the way, might it be relevant that the PA has refused to talk for 15 months while Israel's government has been ready to meet during this entire period? So Clinton knows Israel is not looking for any excuse not to engage in serious negotiations. The PA is. But to be "even -handed," Clinton is covering up for PA intransigence. And who should know better about PA intransigence then the man who was humiliated by Yasir Arafat's refusal to make peace in 2000?
Peace with west bank won't stop terror
Clinton said that solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would vastly reduce the level of terrorism in the region: "Half of the energy coming out of all this organization and money-raising for terror comes out of the allegations around the unresolved Palestinian issue."
What's wrong with this?
Answer: Suppose you are the kind of Arab who supports terrorist groups politically and gives them money. Would a two-state compromise agreement make you stop doing that? Of course not, you would say that the Palestinian Authority had betrayed the Palestinians, Arabs, and Muslims, while the United States was a horrible enemy that had destroyed the chance for destroying Israel and creating a Palestinian Muslim Arab state from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean.
Consider Hamas. If an agreement was made leaving it aside, would it fold up? Stop terrorism? Cease receiving money? Lose all popular support? Forfeit the backing of Iran, Syria, and the Muslim Brotherhoods? And how in Hades are you going to have and implement such a solution without the Gaza Strip? with West bank won'ty stop terror
Could there be cooperation between states?
Bill CLINTON:If there were a Palestinian state working in partnership...it would be a whole different world. All the Arabs would identify with Israel. They'd have a political and economic partnership. The whole economic basis in the Middle East would shift from oil to ideas."
What's wrong with this? (This is an easy one.)
Answer: First, it assumes a Palestinian state would be at total peace with Israel and would want to cooperate with it. This ignores Palestinian politics, public opinion, the composition of the Fatah leadership, and the large minority of those supporting Hamas and other radical groups (25 percent in the West Bank at minimum) who'd reject any such thing. It is quite possible (and that's putting it conservatively) that the Palestinian government would support (or even sponsor) continuous incitement to destroy Israel and view it as an enemy; cross-border raids; and requests for foreign Arab military aid. To analyze an Israel-Palestinian agreement as operating perfectly is a leap of faith far beyond any Olympic record.
Then there is the equally awesome assumption that a bilateral agreement would make all that cultural-economic mistrust and hatred disappear overnight in Arab states. Egypt has been at peace with Israel for more than three decades with attitudes not changing. What about Muslim hatred of a Jewish state in the region and Arab nationalist horror at the idea of Israel's continued existence? Arab states would still fear Israeli strategic and economic domination. The naïve idea of a Middle East shifting from oil to ideas, of the Arab rulers or masses "identifying" with Israel is not something that a former president should suggest as serious. It's not something any rational adult should predict.
•Gaza-West Bank Split Looks Increasingly Permanent - Jonathan Spyer
Four years after the Hamas victory in elections to the Palestinian Legislative Council, and three years since the Hamas coup in Gaza, the split in the Palestinian national movement has an increasing look of permanence. There is now no process underway toward ending the Palestinian political divide.
Parallel to the rise of Hamas in Gaza, and its ongoing popularity in the West Bank, Fatah is in a process of severe decline. It failed to reform following its election defeat in 2006 and remains riven by factionalism and corruption. The key Palestinian leader in the West Bank today is Prime Minister Salam Fayyad. Fayyad is not a Fatah member, and is in effect an appointee of the West. His gradualist approach is quite alien to Palestinian political culture, despite the undoubted improvements this approach has brought to daily life in the West Bank. It is widely believed that without the security forces trained by Gen. Keith Dayton, which keep Fayyad in place, and more importantly without the continued activities of the IDF in the West Bank, the area would fall to Hamas.
Both the Gaza and West Bank governments are dependent for their economic survival on foreign assistance. Half of the Fayyad government's annual $2.8 billion budget consists of direct foreign aid. The Hamas authorities announced a budget of $540 million, of which $480 million is to come from outside (Iran). The Gaza enclave gives Iran an effective veto over any attempt to revive the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Both Palestinian governments are able to continue to exist because of the interests of rival outside powers that they do so. The split in the Palestinian national movement is thus likely to continue for as long as this regional reality exists. The writer is a senior researcher at the Global Research in International Affairs Center, IDC, Herzliya. (Jerusalem Post)
•The Internal Palestinian Debate - Max Singer
The Palestinians have been involved in a long-term internal debate between those who think they should continue the effort to eliminate Israel, and those who think the fight to destroy it has gone on long enough, and that it's time for the Palestinians to pursue their own interests in peace and prosperity. While those who prefer to keep fighting are on top, there is no chance for a negotiated settlement. Serious negotiations can only begin when the predominant view is that it is necessary to give up the effort to destroy Israel.
Currently the Palestinians do not believe they can militarily defeat Israel. Their willingness to keep fighting is now sustained by two hopes: that Israel is becoming soft and divided and that it will lose its will to defend itself, or that their international campaign to delegitimize Israel will lead to international pressure that forces it into a series of retreats that ultimately makes it unable to defend itself.
A second crucial issue is whether the Palestinians believe it would be honorable to make peace. This depends on whether the Jews are colonial thieves stealing land solely on the basis of force, or whether they are a people that also historically lived in the land and are attached to it. If the Palestinians understood that there are two peoples with long historical and moral claims to the same land, it would be honorable to recognize that fighting is useless and that compromise is an appropriate way to settle the dispute.
Currently, their leadership and elite are adamant in insisting there is no Jewish people, and that there was no Jewish presence in the land before Islam. They officially and energetically deny that there was ever a Jewish Temple on the Temple Mount, despite the many Muslim sources from previous generations that recognized its location in pre-Muslim times. The Palestinian leadership is deliberately making an honorable peace impossible by falsely denying that Jews have a legitimate claim to any of the land. The writer is a senior research associate at the Begin-Sadat Center and a founder and senior fellow of the Hudson Institute. (Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies-Bar-Ilan University)
A palestinian state will not change anything in the Middle East
Would a Palestinian State Solve America´s Middle-East Problems?
Rabbi Daniel M. Zucker
April 09, 2010
Given the current view espoused in much of the media that the Palestinian-Israeli squabble is the root of all or much of America´s poor image in the Arab world, we might want to examine whether creating a Palestinian state—in whichever form of borders—would indeed solve the problems that the United States finds itself confronting in the Middle-East, and whether the creation of a Palestinian state would improve America´s popularity in the region. Will a sovereign Palestinian state solve America´s problems, or will it create more headaches for Uncle Sam?
Before one can answer these questions it is necessary to address the question of what the term "Palestinian state" means. Currently there are two Palestinian areas—Gaza and the West Bank. At the present time these two regions are governed by very different entities: Hamas—the Palestinian chapter of the Moslem Brotherhood, which categorically denies Israel´s right to existence—controls Gaza, and the secular nationalist Fatah, which pretends to tolerate a Jewish state—at least to the extent that it may be willing once again to enter into negotiations with the State of Israel—controls the West Bank. Currently the two Palestinian parties are much divided and seem only united in their disdain of Israel. That commonality has not been enough to unite them in anything else. As a result of this division, Israel has no negotiation partner in Gaza, and a skittish, very reluctant addressee in the West Bank.
But, despite the situation today on the ground being what it is, we may still ask our original set of questions: would the creation of a Palestinian state solve America´s problems in the Middle-East? Put succinctly: no, a Palestinian state will not solve America´s problems in the area; indeed it may only serve to compound them. The rejectionists—the radical Islamic front—Syria, Iran, Turkey, Sudan, (at times Libya), Hizballah, Hamas, al-Jihad al-Islami (PIJ), al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and the various Salafi and other jihadi groups reject the West; Palestine is a convenient focal point, but it is not the prime concern of these anti-Western nations and terror organizations. Even were Israel to cease to exist, these groups and nations would still be opposed to—as Iran commonly terms it—the "Global Arrogance", aka the United States. So, for this group of players, Palestine is a convenient rallying concern, but in reality its status is irrelevant to the antagonism that the members of this group feel towards the West in general and to the U.S. in particular. Indeed, creating a Palestinian state that doesn´t unequivocally recognize Israel´s right to exist as a Jewish state would only serve to strengthen the resolve of the radical Islamic front whose identity is centered in the idea of rejecting any accommodation with the West as its members slowly develop the power to overcome and dominate the West on the way to creating a worldwide Islamic empire.
Saudi Arabia, the Gulf states, and to a certain degree Libya, sit on the fence. Libya is still trying to rehabilitate its image, but Muammar Gaddafi is mercurial and despite making noise about Arab solidarity and solidarity with the Palestinians is not really that concerned about their situation. Saudi Arabia and the Gulf emirates talk about Arab solidarity and their desire to see a Palestinian state before they are willing to normalize relations with Israel, but under the table are co-operating and doing some business with Israel while praying that Israel will solve their Iran problem. They are not incognizant that a Palestinian state will not make it any easier for Israel to solve the Iranian problem. Saudi Arabia financially supports a variety of Sunni Islamist groups and promotes Wahabi madrassas throughout the Muslim world, but its ruling family looks to the West (including Israel) for help in fighting Salafi and Iranian sponsored terrorists that threaten their interests and stability.
This leaves us now with Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, and to a certain extent Iraq—assuming that Ayad Allawi and the Iraqiya party succeed in forming a moderate government. The first three have peaceful relations with Israel (Egypt and Jordan have signed peace treaties with Israel) and an Allawi-led Iraqi government would probably fit into the Egypt-Jordan axis. These four nations all reject Islamic fundamentalism as represented by the Moslem Brotherhood and the Islamic Republic of Iran. Since a Palestinian state that includes Gaza would include an Iranian-supported Hamas-dominated government, these four nations would regard such a Palestinian state as a source of trouble and may not really desire its creation despite all their public statements to the contrary. Certainly to date Egypt has shown very little solidarity with Palestinian Gaza under Hamas´ rule, maintaining a blockade of Gaza far more stringent than that imposed by Israel.
There is also the sad fact that none of the Arab countries are democracies (with the possible exception of Iraq if it emerges with a moderate government). These monarchies and oligarchies (particularly Ba´athist Syria) have needed Israel as a scapegoat in order to divert attention away from their own problems. Real concern for the "plight of the Palestinian refugees" is lacking throughout the Arab world; nowhere have the Palestinians received citizenship in their "brotherly Arab" host countries. Even the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, whose East Bank population is 60% Palestinian, recently revoked the citizenship of any Palestinian that did not live within the Kingdom before June 1967.
Creating a Palestinian state would remove the "Palestinian question" from the Arab public agenda, thereby allowing the citizens of each Arab state to focus their attention on the corruption and lack of human rights in their own lands. That is a situation that most Arab leaders do not want to face; therefore, maintaining antagonism against the "Zionist entity", aka Israel, creates definite advantages for these Arab rulers.
While this quick survey has not examined all Arab and Moslem states, it has demonstrated that key Arab and Moslem nations are not likely to change their approach to the West and to the United States because of the creation of a Palestinian state. The Palestinian issue serves as a convenient focal point, but it is not the root of the problem and "solving it" improperly—that is without "de-radicalizing" the Palestinians—will not solve America´s problems at all; it may make things worse: first by introducing another radical nation-state, and secondly by giving the radicals the impression that they are winning, thus emboldening them to a greater degree.
What Washington and most of Europe appear to fail to understand is that the Palestinians and their rejectionist front supporters refuse to recognize the right of the Jewish people to a state of their own in their ancestral homeland. That continued refusal for well over a century is what serves to fuel Israel´s reluctance to return to the untenable-1967 borders. Continual terrorist attacks as well as a non-stop campaign of virulent anti-Semitic incitement from the Palestinian side (as well as much of the Arab and Moslem media) causes Israelis and many of Israel´s supporters to maintain a fortress mentality.
The shame here is that the Palestinians have failed to find leaders that are willing to rise above the use of incitement and also are corruption-proof. There is no argument that Palestinians deserve autonomy in their lives and that the occupation (this refers to the West Bank as Gaza has not been occupied since 2005) is burdensome to the average Palestinian. However, until the Palestinians reject incitement to violence against Israelis and/or Jews, reject corruption in their leaders, and agree to respect the right of a Jewish state to exist, Israel will find it impossible to agree to Palestinian sovereignty. If America and Europe want to help birth a viable sovereign Palestinian state, it would behoove them to emphasize that message very clearly to the Palestinians and other Arab states. If and when the Palestinians and their friends finally absorb that message and actualize it, they will find that a peace agreement with Israel will not be that difficult to forge.
Rabbi Daniel M. Zucker is founder and Chairman of the Board of Americans for Democracy in the Middle-East, a grassroots organization dedicated to teaching our elected officials and the public of the dangers posed by Islamic fundamentalism and the need to establish genuine democratic institutions in the Middle-East as an antidote to the venom of fundamentalism. He may be contacted at contact@ADME.ws.
Palestinian Leaders Do It Again! Throw Away Opportunity Obama is Giving Them and Poke Him in the Eye
By Barry Rubin*
April 13, 2010
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With their unerring skill at erring, Palestinian Authority (PA) leaders are throwing away still another opportunity President Barack Obama is giving them. If Obama is the most pro-Palestinian president in history, his counterparts don't seem to appreciate it very much. It is the Palestinian leadership, not Israel, that will ultimately make Obama look like and be a failure in all of his peace process efforts.
--Last spring, PA leader Mahmoud Abbas in his first visit to Washington made it clear he wasn't interested in a negotiated solution but just planned to wait for the West to force Israel to give him everything he wanted.
--In September, Abbas stood nearby as Obama said he wanted serious final negotiations within two months, then refused while Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he was ready to talk right away.
--Shortly thereafter, Obama asked Abbas not to push the Goldstone report as a sponsor in the UN. Abbas agreed, then broke his word within 48 hours under internal pressure.
--At the end of last October, Obama's Administration made a deal in which Israel would stop all construction on West Bank settlements though it could continue in east Jerusalem. While Obama hoped this would get talks going, Abbas demanded an end to construction in Jerusalem, too, which he knew Israel would not accept. Indeed, he demanded it precisely because he knew Israel wouldn't accept it.
--Finally, Abbas agreed to indirect talks but was "saved" when suddenly the U.S. government accepted the PA's position on Jerusalem construction. Yet even that has not been enough to make the PA support Obama's policy despite the fact that it was so slanted in their favor.
Of course, the U.S. criticism of Israel and the crisis following the announcement of some future Jerusalem construction have been the main news. But that's because the Obama Administration is ready (sometimes it seems, eager) to criticize Israel but did ot ever criticize the PA during its own fifteen months in office. This last point--which I have repeatedly pointed out--has become so embarassingly obvious that finally the State Department made a small peep. [See note at end of article.]
So it is easy to miss the fact that by their behavior the Palestinian leadership has lost any possible material gain from the administration's attitude.
Now, here we are in the biggest crisis of U.S.-Israel relations in more than a quarter-century, arguably the biggest crisis in a half-century, since the Eisenhower Administration pressured Israel to withdraw from Sinai in 1957. Not only is the administration really angry at Israel, but it is considering a plan--though this might never happen--to try to impose a solution.
So what's the PA stance? To denounce the idea of an imposed solution! Such a plan according to press reports would give them a lot of what they want--1967 borders, a quick state, minimal conditions, all of pre-1967 Jordanian-controlled Jerusalem. Not bad, eh? But the Palestinians would have to make some concessions, like settling refugees in the state of Palestine rather than flooding Israel with Palestinian Arabs in an effort to paralyze and destroy its society.
On the PA's radio, chief negotiator Saib Arikat (choose your transliteration) said--what a delicious Freudian slip this is--that the Palestinians "don't want new ideas." His proposal is that the United States just recognizes Palestine as a state immediately and urges the UN to accept it as such, followed no doubt by huge international pressure for an immediate unconditional Israeli withdrawal from everywhere in the West Bank and east Jerusalem.
This isn't going to happen, of course. But once again it signals U.S. officials, if they bothered to look, that they will get no cooperation, not even the tiniest concession, and the barest minimum of kind words from the PA. This also makes clear why a solution is impossible and why it would not solve all U.S. problems in the Middle East.
Because even if--this is just for the sake of explanation--the Obama Administration were to give the Palestinian leadership 99 percent of what it wants, it would still have to force it to concede 1 percent. Also it wojld forecolose--at least in theory--wiping Israel off the map. That would lead to the political settlement being denounced by all Islamists, all militant Arab nationalists, and many Arab governments.
I'm not even sure if the Egyptian and Jordanian media would applaud Obama. The latest Palestinian poll (Palestinian Public Opinion Poll no. 40, Center for Opinion Polls and Survey Studies at An-Najah National University, pril 8-10, 2010) asked:
"Do you accept the creation of a Palestinian state on the area of the 1967 borders as a final solution for the Palestinian problem?"
Of those polled, 44.7 percent (and this is after 17 years of supposed moderate policies by the PLO following the Oslo agreement) said "no." While 51.7 percent said "yes," remember that they were almost certainly assuming the Palestinians would get the precise pre-1967 borders plus the right to move to Israel for almost anyone who wanted to do so.
And so if Obama were to implement any conceivable negotiated solution--even an extremely pro-Palestinian one by Western standards--he'd be labelled as the man who sold out the Palestinians and go down in history as a betrayer and Zionist imperialist. I'd bet money on being able to collect a considerably large set of clippings denouncing him as worse--more "anti-Muslim" and "anti-Arab"--than George W. Bush! And if you think that isn't likely then, forgive me for saying so, you don't really understand how Middle East politics work.
The United States would not be portrayed as a hero because it created Palestine but a villain because it robbed the Arabs of getting everything some day. Terrorism against American targets would go up, as it would argued that the Americans had forever destroyed the chance of wiping Israel off the map. Of course, terrorism against any Palestinian leaders who agreed to such terms would also break out. Abbas's knowing this is one of the reasons he will say "no" to everything.
And don't ever forget that little detail: If Palestine is proclaimed a state, presumably Hamas is the legal government of about half of it, despite the fact that it is a terrorist, antisemitic, genocide-seeking client of Iran which won't even accept the agreement that makes Palestine a state. Here's one example of the ridiculous situation that would prevail: If the Hamas government wanted to import long-range missiles from Iran and Israel tried to stop it by intercepting them with its navy, would the UN then be able to accuse Israel of an act of aggression against a sovereign state?
Again, nothing is going to happen, not because of Israel but because the PA will torpedo any U.S. effort to solve the issue no matter how bad the terms seem for Israel. Meanwhile U.S. policymakers will pretend this isn't happening, that the United States isn't constantly being insulted by the PA.
Unless you understand the above, the whole story of the Arab-Israeli and Israel-Palestinian conflict makes no sense.
Question 1: During the four years of the Obama Administration's term in office, will his officials ever publicly criticize the PA for anything it does, including honoring terrorists who killed Americans? Prediction: No it won't.
Question 2: During the four years of the Obama Administration's term in office, will the Palestinians make any material gain due to his being so supportive of them? Prediction: No they won't because the extremist goals and intransigence of their leadership will prevent thus.
Note: At last the State Department issues a very mild criticism of the PA, after ignoring for almost two weeks the issue in question. On April 8, it made the following statement:
"Regarding the Middle East, we are disturbed by comments of Palestinian Authority officials regarding reconstruction and refurbishing of Jewish sites in the Jewish quarter of Jerusalem's Old City. Remarks by the Palestinian ministry of information denying Jewish heritage in and links to Jerusalem undermine the trust and confidence needed for substantive and productive Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. We also strongly condemn the glorification of terrorists honoring terrorists who have murdered innocent civilians either by official statements or by the dedication of public places hurts peace efforts and must end. We will continue to hold Palestinian leaders accountable for incitement. "
But this isolated statement seems to have been made for form's sake and when compared to the administration's outrage at Israel looks quite limited. I predict we won't be hearing about any follow-up to these issues.
What makes this particularly ridiculous is that the PA named a square in honor of a terrorist who murdered both Israelis and Americans--for more on this issue see HERE--during Vice-President Joe Biden's visit yet there was no talk about the United States being insulted nor was there any major crisis with the PA declared by the U.S. government. Indeed, well after the affair happened, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was insisting that the deed had been done by Hamas, an absurd error which--to my knowledge--has never been formally corrected by her office.
*Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA)
Palestinians Do not want imposed plan now either
The assumption that moderate Arab states will align
themselves with the US on the issues of Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan
only if Israel takes the Palestinian issue off the table assumes that
the leaders of Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt are backward children
who don't know where their interests lie. Those countries are
currently aligned with the US because that position serves their
existential interests, regardless of the Palestinian issue. Progress
or the lack thereof on the Palestinian front does not change the
Egyptian or Jordanian position vis-a-vis the Moslem Brotherhood or the
Egyptian or Saudi position vis-a-vis the threat that Iran poses to
their regimes.(for a very long analysis of the overall geopolitical
issue, see my analysis from Sept. 2007:
http://www.ishhayil.com/2007/09/annapolis.html). The State Department
may rightly believe that progress on the Palestinian front may change
some of the rhetoric of the moderate Arab states, but is will not
change the substance of their interests.
Moreover, an agreement with the PLO dominated PA and the establishment
of a Palestinian state will not affect the anti-American rhetoric of
Al Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran. These actors would view any such
deal -- even the Saudi initiative - as capitulation and collaboration
with the Zionist enemy. It would not improve America's standing or the
safety of American troops (not surprisingly, General Petraeus has
denied expressing the views that Friedman attributes to him), and it
would not undermine the standing of the radical Islamists. Indeed, a
US brokered peace agreement between Israel and a PLO dominated PA
might even bolster their standing as the only true representatives of
Islam and of the interests of the Palestinian people.
Fourth, it is interesting to note that neither author asks himself a
question that begs to be asked: Why is Abu Mazen reluctant to enter
into direct talks with Israel? WHy has he backed away fromm his former
position? Is it really because he is cynically taking advantage of the
overly aggressive statements of President Obama at the beginning of
his tenure? And then another question: Why has Israel not objected
vociferously that it will not accept a Palestinian negotiating
position that turns the clock back 20 years?
Of course, I can not say why with absolute certainty, but in my
opinion, the reason is tied to how Abu Mazen views the political map
and the limits of how far he can negotiate without risking a Hamas
takeover. As things currently stand, I believe that all the directly
concerned parties are of the opinion that an accelerated peace process
looking to immediate "final stage" negotiations and the establishment
of a Palestinian state would inevitably lead to a Hamas takeover of
the West Bank. That is a possibility that the PA, Jordan, Egypt and
Saudi Arabia would not favour. It is also one that Iran would exert
every effort to implement.
Realizing that explains much of what has been going on. It explains
why Abu Mazen has decided to distance himself and insist on proximity
talks, and why he has adopted a tough line. It explains why Salaam
Fayyad stated that the PA would begin establishing institutions of
statehood, yet did not threaten actually to declare statehood, and it
explains why not only Shimon Peres but no less a right-winger than
Tzahi Hanegbi "welcomed" the initiative and called for coordination of
the process with Israel.
This is the Middle East.
Saturday, March 27, 2010
Palestinians make peace impossible
Since he assumed office a year ago, Benjamin Netanyahu has (1) formally offered immediate negotiations with the Palestinians without preconditions, (2) affirmed Israeli support for a two-state solution, (3) declared a moratorium on new West Bank building — and has been met with a total refusal by the peace-partner Palestinians to begin even “proximity talks,” absent a concession that they know that neither Netanyahu nor any other Israeli prime minister will make.
1. does not state their 2 states would include a Jewish state. Abbas has sai the opposite
2. It was the PA, not Hamas that named the square for the mass murderer
3 The PA does not speak for Gaza
4. The PA school curriculum states all of Israel is occupied territory.
5. The PA denby Israel had 2 temples on the mount, even as they fear a third one. Go figure
Posted by truth seeker at 5:33 AM 0 comments
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
PA, not Hamas,names square for mass murderer
the municipality that named the square after the terrorist is run by Hamas. But in fact it has been the PA and Mahmoud Abbas, not Hamas, who have been leading the Palestinians in glorifying Dalal Mughrabi, the terrorist bus hijacker who was responsible for the killing of 37 civilians in 1978. Palestinian Media Watch has documented 15 examples of Mughrabi veneration by Abbas, Fatah, and the PA in recent years. When Hamas is condemned for the terror glorification while it is Abbas and the PA who are guilty, the message to the Palestinian leadership is that they can continue with their incitement to hatred and violence, and no one will call them to account. (Jerusalem Post)
Posted by truth seeker at 9:01 AM 0 comments
Palestinian demands delay peace talks
Netanyahu: PA Demands Could Put Talks on Hold for a Year
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday he feared Middle East peace talks could be delayed for another year unless Palestinians dropped their demand for a full settlement freeze. "We must not be trapped by an illogical and unreasonable demand," Netanyahu told Congressional leaders during a Washington visit. Israeli officials dismissed Palestinian concerns over Israeli building in and near east Jerusalem. They said even Palestinians understood that apartment blocs Israel erected would not be dismantled in any future peace deal. (Ynet News)
Posted by truth seeker at 8:58 AM 0 comments
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Jennifer Rubin-they won't meet face to face
if, in fact, a civil society and change of heart from the Palestinians are preconditions for peace, what then is the point of endless peace conferences and negotiations, especially considering the Palestinians’ lack of authority and of will to make any deal, let alone a comprehensive peace? And — indeed — one wonders whether in all the drama and the fights preceding those talks, the cause of building those institutions and the transition in Palestinian mindset is not set back, rather than advanced. What are we accomplishing, especially when the Palestinians are not even willing to meet face-to-face? Other than employing George Mitchell, keeping Hillary busy, and maintaining Obama’s image as a great “peace maker,” it is hard to fathom
Posted by truth seeker at 8:25 PM 0 comments
Abbas does not want peace
A familiar obstacle to Mideast peace: Mahmoud Abbas
By Jackson Diehl
Monday, March 22, 2010; A17
U.S. diplomats had labored for months to persuade Israelis and Palestinians to resume peace negotiations. Just as it appeared they had succeeded, there came a provocation: Israel took a step toward expanding a Jewish settlement in Jerusalem. Headlines appeared around the globe; the European Union protested; Palestinians cried foul. Some threatened to boycott the new talks unless the decision were reversed.
No, Joe Biden was not in Jerusalem that week of December 2007 -- he was busy running for president. Instead it was Condoleezza Rice, secretary of state of the Bush administration, who managed that mini-crisis. How she did so, and what followed, offers some lessons for her successors in the Obama administration -- who are proving to be remarkably slow learners when it comes to Middle East peacemaking.
Rice and her old boss have been much maligned for failing to pursue Israeli-Palestinian negotiations during most of their time in office. But during her last two years as secretary of state, Rice doggedly pushed for a final settlement -- and, in the end, arguably came as close as any U.S. broker before her. She was fortunate in having, in Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, a partner who was more interested in striking a deal than is Binyamin Netanyahu. But she also studied closely the history of previous peace processes, which maybe explains why she avoided some of President Obama's flagrant mistakes.
As Rice might have told the current White House, lesson No. 1 from history is that there will always be a provocation that threatens to derail peace talks -- before they start, when they start and regularly thereafter. Israeli settlement announcements are among the most common, along with the orchestration by West Bank Palestinians of violent demonstrations and attacks from Gaza by Hamas. The Obama administration saw all three in the past 10 days: It went ballistic over one and barely registered the other two.
The trick is not to let the provocation become the center of attention but instead to insist on proceeding with the negotiations. That is what Rice did when news of the Jerusalem settlement of Har Homa broke. In public, she delivered a clear but relatively mild statement saying the United States had opposed the settlement "from the very beginning." In private, she told Olmert: Don't let that happen again. For Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, the message was equally blunt: You can come to the table and negotiate a border for a Palestinian state, making settlements irrelevant. Or you can boycott and let the building continue.
Not surprisingly, Abbas -- who has taken Obama's public assault on Israel as a cue to boycott -- showed up for Rice's negotiations. The Bush administration privately offered him an assurance: Any Israeli settlement construction that took place during the talks would not be accepted by the United States when it came time to draw a final Israeli border. On settlements, Rice adopted a pragmatic guideline she called the "Google Earth test": A settlement that visibly expanded was a problem; one that remained within its existing territorial boundary was not.
The virtue of all this is that Rice got the Israelis and Palestinians talking not about settlements but what they really needed to be discussing -- the future Palestine. Olmert and Abbas went over everything: the border, the future of Jerusalem and its holy sites, security arrangements, how to handle the millions of Palestinian refugees still living in camps. Privately, they agreed on a lot. Eventually, Olmert presented Abbas with a detailed plan for a final settlement -- one that, in its concessions to Palestinian demands, went beyond anything either Israel or the United States had ever put forward. Among other things it mandated a Palestinian state with a capital in Jerusalem and would have allowed 10,000 refugees to return to Israel.
That's when Rice learned another lesson the new administration seems not to have picked up: This Palestinian leadership has trouble saying "yes." Confronted with a draft deal that would have been cheered by most of the world, Abbas balked. He refused to sign on; he refused to present a counteroffer. Rice and Bush implored him to join Olmert at the White House for a summit. Olmert would present his plan to Bush, and Abbas would say only that he found it worth discussing. The Palestinian president refused.
Behind Obama's deliberate fight with Netanyahu last week seemed to lie a calculation that a peace settlement will require the United States to bend or break Israel's current government. That might be true; it's almost certainly the case that Netanyahu would not accept the terms that Olmert offered. But behind that obstacle lies another -- the recalcitrance of Abbas -- that the new administration has been slow to recognize. It's all there in the annals of Rice's diplomacy -- but then, that was the Bush administration.
Fatah are terrorists too
Fatah is not a moderate organization. They have fought a continuing war against Israel through the courts-both international courts and U.N bodies, and the court of public opinion. They honor the murderers of Jews, and never stop for a day with their media and mosque incitement.