Sunday, October 26, 2014

Abbas, Incitement and the Responsibility for Murder

...In order to understand what drives a young Palestinian man to carry out such a deadly attack, one needs to look at the statements of PA leaders during the past few weeks. These are the kind of statements that encourage young men such as al-Shalodi to go out and kill the first Jews he meets on the street.

Khaled Abu Toameh..
Gatestone Institute..
24 October '14..

While Hamas's rockets and suicide bombers have been killing Israelis over the past twenty-five years, the Palestinian Authority's rhetoric has not been less lethal.

In fact, it is this fiery rhetoric that has created the inviting atmosphere for launching terrorist attacks against Israel, such as the attack that took place in Jerusalem on Wednesday, October 22.

Chaya Zissel Braun, a three-month-old infant, was killed when a Palestinian man slammed his vehicle into a crowd of people at a light rail stop in the city. Nine people were injured, three seriously, in the attack.

A security camera recorded 3-month-old Chaya Zissel Braun being wheeled in her stroller by her parents, about 15 seconds before they were hit by the terrorist's vehicle.

The Palestinian who carried out the attack was identified as 20-year-old Abdel Rahman al-Shalodi of the Silwan neighborhood in east Jerusalem. He was shot on the scene and later died in hospital.

Abbas and the Palestinian Authority [PA] cannot avoid responsibility for killing the baby.

In order to understand what drives a young Palestinian man to carry out such a deadly attack, one needs to look at the statements of PA leaders during the past few weeks. These are the kind of statements that encourage young men such as al-Shalodi to go out and kill the first Jews he meets on the street.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

More Than Something Is Rotten at Foggy Bottom

...The Obama administration’s public temper tantrums are at this point a regular feature of the president’s second term. That they’re directed at allies is becoming commonplace but still disturbing. That the State Department seems to prioritize retribution against Israel over holding those who kill American citizens accountable unfortunately encapsulates American diplomacy in the age of Obama and Kerry


Seth Mandel..
Commentary Magazine..
24 October '14..

After the Wall Street Journal broke the news that President Obama reined in the U.S.-Israel military partnership while Israel was at war, it could not be plausibly denied that Obama has sought to downgrade the special relationship. But the story was alarming not only because of the lengths Obama was willing to go to tie Israel’s hands but also because it showed the president was chipping away at the rest of the U.S. government’s ability to pick up the slack when Obama tried to hamper Israel’s ability to defend itself.

That has always been the silver lining, and it’s always annoyed much of the American left: other American governmental institutions, such as Congress and the military, are consistently pro-Israel and can thus keep the relationship strong when a president tries to weaken it. And it’s also why it should be of great concern now that another American governmental institution that is usually far less pro-Israel is becoming, under Secretary of State John Kerry, even more antagonistic toward Jerusalem than usual: the U.S. State Department.

Much has been made about the unimaginably incompetent and incoherent management of Foggy Bottom’s communications under spokeswomen Marie Harf and Jen Psaki. But it’s too easy–and not totally accurate–to dismiss Harf and Psaki as misplaced campaign attack hacks. They are out of place at State, but they are there for a reason. And the culture of the diplomatic corps more broadly also resembles the same spiteful ignorance routinely displayed by the president and his secretary of state. The latest example is the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem’s memo to employees referring to Wednesday’s terror attack, in which a Palestinian murdered a Jewish baby, as a “traffic incident.”

After that terror attack, Harf had initially told both sides to exercise restraint. At yesterday’s briefing, Jen Psaki was asked about one of the major sources of gasoline being poured on this fire: the incitement to violence coming from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Here is the exchange:

QUESTION: I’m not making any relation, but there’s been some concern over the last week or two about comments by President Abbas that believe to have incurred incitement. And are you concerned about that? You haven’t really spoken out about that. Do you in any way feel that this is inciting Palestinians to take actions into their own hands?

MS. PSAKI: Well, I think, Elise, one, I mean, we obviously believe that the act last night warrants condemnation evidence (sic) by the statement we released last night. I’m not going to characterize the comments made or not made by President – Prime Minister Netanyahu or the response from President Abbas.

QUESTION: Well, if you haven’t really received a condemnation from President Abbas, then don’t you think you should offer one?

MS. PSAKI: I think our view of it is clear by – evidenced by our statement last night. I would point you to him on any comments that they would like to make.

QUESTION: But what about his comments, like, over the past – I mean, there has just been several comments that people have remarked about that seem to be incurring incitement. Is that not concerning?

MS. PSAKI: I don’t think that’s – as you know, President Abbas has renounced violence and consistently sought a diplomatic and peaceful solution that allows for two states. I don’t have any other analysis for you to offer.

That’s right, all Psaki would say is that Abbas “has renounced violence and consistently sought a diplomatic and peaceful solution”–an obviously false statement–along with the strident insistence that she doesn’t “have any other analysis for you to offer.”

Friday, October 24, 2014

Finally starting to see this is not some passing wave of disturbances

...Those who want to "re-liberate Jerusalem" must understand that sovereignty in all parts of the city, including the most remote Arab neighborhoods, cannot be only defined in a rule book alone, it must be seen in the streets, everywhere, over time, by the renewal of Jewish settlements in all parts of Jerusalem, even if it makes Obama angry.

Nadav Shragai..
Israel Hayom..
23 October '14..

An intifada is breaking out in Jerusalem. Wednesday was its 112th day. It may be a (semi) popular movement but it has long not been spontaneous. The disturbances and continuous attacks on Jews in Jerusalem's periphery is organized and funded by elements identified with Fatah and Hamas.

Many of the 900 arrested in this intifada enjoy legal defense funded by the Palestinian Authority. The huge number of incidents, more than 10,000, their wide distribution over Jerusalem's periphery, their nature, the use of "cold weaponry," such as stones, Molotov cocktails and fireworks -- are all reminiscent of the First Intifada.

This time there are no popular resistance committees, but many small organizations that operate on the neighborhood level. They all carry the slogans of a "popular resistance," preached to them by the Palestinian Authority its president, Mahmoud Abbas. The car attacks, like Wednesday's, may be on one man acts for which intelligence cannot be gathered, but their inspiration comes from the general atmosphere in the city, the loss of deterrence, the continued riots at the al-Aqsa mosque that police seem unable to put down.

There have also been isolated incidents of gunfire, primarily from Shuafat into Pisgat Zeev, which could be seen as the next stage in the third intifada in Jerusalem and the transition to using guns, which are present in the Arab towns and have stopped only being used for "celebratory gunshots."

Imagine if the New York Times knew how to sincerely apologize

...But to be honest, what prompted us to write now is not to quote Arab reports to you but rather a fierce desire to hear you say something contrite. Like this for instance:
"Yes, friends, for a moment my colleagues and I here in Israel's capital and in our company's editorial suites in Manhattan, did indeed lose our moral compasses again last night. But we're better now...


Frimet/Arnold Roth..
This Ongoing War..
24 October '14..



Jodi Rudoren
New York Times Jerusalem Bureau
Jerusalem, Israel

Dear Mrs Rudoren

We are writing to you for the first time. It's about something quite shocking you published on your Twitter account this morning.

You Tweeted about an article penned by one of your Jerusalem NYT colleagues. It relates to a sickening attack - one that epitomizes what most people think about when they call an act 'cowardly' - by a violent Palestinian Arab man, Abdel Rahman Al-Shaludi, with a demonstrated commitment to terror and violence, driving a car. But someone in your newspaper tacked the words "police say" onto the headline. So reasonable people are going to know that there's no compelling reason to believe it was what the police say at all.

But what we know is Al-Shaludi very deliberately, and at devastatingly high speed, veered off Jerusalem's Route 1 on which he was traveling on Wednesday evening and drove directly into a cluster of ordinary Israelis standing on the platform of a Jerusalem Light Rail stop, the public transport system that makes it so simple - finally - for Arab Jerusalemites to head into the center of town comfortably, cheaply and often, which they do in large numbers.

The unsuspecting Israelis were mowed down like skittles. All, that is, apart from one, a tiny, pretty girl baby of three months old. She was flung violently into the air, we heard, but what was done to her tiny body is irrelevant to us at this point. Her grieving parents buried her last night.

(Continue)

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Mahmoud Abbas is an enemy of Israel and should be treated accordingly

...He may not don the keffiyeh that was worn by Yasser Arafat, nor wave a gun in the halls of the United Nations. But even if the packaging is slightly different, the contents remain the same. Abbas, like his predecessor, stands in the way of peace and aims to do Israel harm. The time has come to treat him accordingly.

Michael Freund..
Pundicity/JPost..
23 October '14..

For the past decade, ever since Mahmoud Abbas took the reins of the Palestinian Authority in January 2005, the international community has gone out of its way to portray him as a moderate.

Ignoring his long record of anti-Israel incitement and Holocaust denial, American presidents, European prime ministers and even various Israeli leaders often spoke of Abbas in glowing terms, describing him as a man of peace and a visionary.

Indeed, earlier this year, when Abbas visited the White House on March 17, US President Barack Obama told reporters, "I have to commend President Abbas. He has been somebody who has consistently renounced violence, has consistently sought a diplomatic and peaceful solution that allows for two states, side by side, in peace and security."

More recently, at the Gaza donor conference held in Cairo on October 12, US Secretary of State John Kerry went out of his way to heap praise on the Palestinian leader, saying, "President Abbas, thank you for your perseverance and your partnership."

But the jig is up. Abbas' behavior, along with his recent anti-Israel remarks, clearly demonstrates that his ostensible moderation is nothing more than a hoax.

Calling Abbas a moderate is the diplomatic equivalent of asserting that Elvis isn't dead, the Boogeyman is hiding under your bed, and Keeping up with the Kardashians is quality entertainment.

Take for example Abbas' decidedly immoderate remarks last Friday to a Fatah Party gathering.

Referring to Jews who wish to visit Jerusalem's Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism, Abbas denounced them as "herds of cattle" and "settlers," and called on Palestinians to use "any means" to stop them.

"It is not enough to say the settlers came, but they must be barred from entering the compound by any means," he said, adding, "This is our Aqsa... and they have no right to enter it and desecrate it" – as if the very presence of Jewish visitors in the area constituted an abomination.

If that's not a call to violence, what is? Needless to say, Abbas' scandalous outburst did not fall on deaf ears. Less than 48 hours later, Palestinian hoodlums defaced the Temple Mount, spray-painting swastikas and other offensive anti-Semitic imagery at the site whose sanctity they claim they wish to protect.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

The 14th century lives on in 21st century Washington

...In essence, blaming the blameless for what they have no involvement in, is as morally reprehensible as the mid-14th century scapegoating of Europe’s Jews during the Black Death. Right across the continent, the recommended remedy was to accuse Jews of poisoning the wells. With adaptations, this still remains the undisputed conventional wisdom.

Medieval manuscript showing Jews burned
at the stake in Flanders according to the
popular antidote to the Black Death
Sarah Honig..
Another Tack..
23 October '14..

In all fairness, it’s not just the Obama Administration which is fond of insinuating that somehow Israel is to blame for all that ails the Mideast. This has been the underlying theme of the US State Department since Israel’s birth in 1948.

The variations in the stance vis-à-vis Israel derive from the intensity of antipathy – the subtlety and sophistication of the tone in which it’s expressed. Given its strident hectoring, the Obama Administration is doubtless America’s least-subtle and least-sophisticated ever.

While past presidents and their secretaries of state took greater pains to pretend not to side with glaring Arab anti-Israel falsehoods, such niceties are all but absent from Barack Obama’s and John Kerry’s rhetoric. Anti-Israel idioms and calumnies are repeated by them as an obvious and infallible politically-correct gospel.

And thus Kerry had the colossal gall last week – significantly at a White House ceremony for the Muslim fest of Eid al-Adha – to claim no less that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (i.e. the Jewish state’s struggle for survival) bolsters the mass appeal of Islamic State radicalism.

Hardly knocking Israelis for a loop, the State Department’s spokeswoman later accused us of getting it all wrong. In deadpan delivery she insisted that Kerry “did not make a linkage between Israel and the growth of ISIL [Islamic State]. Period.”

But her boss’s words speak for themselves and belie her assertion.

Here, verbatim, is Kerry’s syntax-defying wisdom: “As I went around and met with people in the course of our discussions about the ISIL coalition, the truth is we – there wasn’t a leader I met with in the region who didn’t raise with me spontaneously the need to try to get peace between Israel and the Palestinians, because it was a cause of recruitment and of street anger and agitation.”

Translation: “peace between Israel and the Palestinians” means Israeli concessions of the sort that will critically compromise Israel’s self-preservation prospects. Only that and that alone will satisfy the “leaders” with whom the insightful Kerry met “in the region.” These were all Arab and/or Muslim and obviously they “spontaneously” gave voice to their enmity toward Israel – enmity which supersedes any discomfort arising from the hideous internecine Arab feuds.

These non-too-objective leaders are chronically prone to blaming any and all misfortunes on Israel (including the polio epidemic back in the day, followed by cancer, later by AIDS and most recently we’re told that Israel deliberately spreads Ebola). Is it then really any wonder that they would blame Israel for the Islamic fanaticism that overruns Iraq, Syria and threatens other domains?

Israel is expected to adopt an Arab peace plan? The Arab world is a war zone

...Those “peace-processors” who claim that Israelis should take their fate into their hands are therefore correct, but for the wrong reasons. They would have us rely on the peaceful intentions of jihadists, believe in the sincerity of the Europeans, and trust the competence of the Americans. With a fate like this in your own hands, you need good feet with which to run.

Dr. Emmanuel Navon..
i24 News..
22 October '14..

Recent talks about the Arab Peace Initiative beg disbelief. The Arab world is a war zone. Syria has been destroyed by a more than three years of an ongoing civil war. Iraq and Libya have imploded, replaced by belligerent fiefs. Lebanon has lost its sovereignty to Iran and Hezbollah. The Islamic State organization is spreading despite Western airstrikes, and it might overtake the weak Hashemite Kingdom. ​Iran now controls four Arab capitals: Baghdad, Damascus, Beirut, and Sanaa.​ How foolish and paranoid of Israel, then, not to thankfully grab the peace promised by the world’s most violent, dysfunctional, and war-torn region.

The “Arab Peace Initiative” is an oxymoron. It calls for an Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights to achieve peace with Syria. One minor problem is that Syria no longer exists. Is Israel supposed to sign a peace agreement with Bashar Assad, who barely controls a quarter of his virtual country, or with ISIL?

On the Palestinian issue, the text of the initiative calls for “a just solution to the Palestinian refugee problem to be agreed upon in accordance with UN General Assembly Resolution 194.” The meaning of this article is that Israel should agree on the so-called right of return of the Arabs who lived here until 1948. Once Israel becomes a bi-national state with an Arab majority, in other words once Israel ceases to be the nation state of the Jewish people, it will gain recognition from its neighbors.

In 2008, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert offered Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas a full Israeli withdrawal but without a full-fledged implementation of the Palestinian right of return. Abbas said he could not give in on that crucial issue.

The Arab League cannot deliver peace with Israel on behalf of a Palestinian leadership that is adamant on right of return. Not surprisingly, the Arab Peace Initiative includes the right of return by way of reference to UN Resolution 194.

If Israel had any doubts about the sincerity of its neighbors and their ability to deliver, it can certainly count on European guarantees. No European diplomat would ever buy into flimsy promises or compromise on Israel’s security. The recent donors’ conference on Gaza is a case in point.

Today’s Jerusalem Terror Attack - A Case Study in Media Bias

...The Israeli government built rail access to Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem to better integrate them into Israeli society. Arab Jerusalemites have made the very instruments of Israeli outreach and integration into targets of sporadic violence. That violence resulted, today, in a member of a Palestinian terror group carrying out an attack and murdering a baby. In response, the Palestinians rioted. Welcome to Jerusalem 2014.

Seth Mandel..
Commentary Magazine..
22 October '14..

I mentioned today’s Jerusalem terror attack in my earlier post, but I think it’s worth returning to in light of the information we now have as well as the bias-on-steroids we witnessed in the aftermath of the deadly attack. The only way to understand how major media outlets could behave so disreputably is to keep in mind a point I’ve made here before: the perseverance of the Palestinian narrative of the Arab-Israeli conflict depends entirely on the ignorance and dishonesty of the Western press.

Here, briefly, is what happened:

A three-month-old girl was killed Wednesday afternoon and eight others were injured when a car crashed into a crowd at a light rail station in Jerusalem in what officials said was a likely terrorist attack.

A suspect, identified by an Israeli official as a member of terror group Hamas, attempted to flee the scene on foot and was shot by police, a police spokesperson said.

And here, also via the Times of Israel, is the aftermath:

Major clashes took place Wednesday evening between Palestinians and Israeli police forces in the East Jerusalem neighborhoods of Silwan and Issawiya, following a suspected terrorist attack in which a three-month-old Israeli girl was killed.

Dozens of masked Palestinians set tires and dumpsters ablaze and threw stones and Molotov cocktails at police officers in Silwan and Issawiya, police said in a statement.

If you want to understand the Arab-Israeli conflict, those two stories are a good introduction. The Israeli government built rail access to Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem to better integrate them into Israeli society. Arab Jerusalemites have made the very instruments of Israeli outreach and integration into targets of sporadic violence. That violence resulted, today, in a member of a Palestinian terror group carrying out an attack and murdering a baby. In response, the Palestinians rioted. Welcome to Jerusalem 2014.

But that’s not the end of the lesson. The media’s reaction to the murder was stomach turning–and, unfortunately, not atypical.