Friday, May 31, 2013

A debt of gratitude to UK Foreign Secretary William Hague, the light from London

...Presumably, before we started annoying virtuous nations with Jewish construction beyond the 1949 armistice lines, all was hunky-dory. We were the toast of the Free World and loved to bits by the Brits. Much of that love was already evident on our first imperiled day as a sovereign state within a nightmarishly untenable mini-patchwork of territory. Already then, in Israel’s scariest neonatal hours, Britain played a proactive role in Arab plans to throw us into the sea.

Sarah Honig..
Another Tack..
31 May '13..

We Israelis owe a debt of gratitude to UK Foreign Secretary William Hague. Were it not for his cogent clarifications last Friday, we’d have never known why we aren’t too popular with enlightened British opinion-molders and with the ever morally superior denizens of the EU.

But thanks to Her Majesty’s top diplomat, who has just graced us with a brief visit, we’re no longer benighted. He has opened our eyes and made us see the light from London.

Israel, he told us via Sky News, has lost support in Britain and elsewhere in Europe due to settlement activities of which the UK “disapproves” and which it “condemns.”

No other problems cloud London’s sky. It’s just all about settlements.

Presumably, before we started annoying virtuous nations with Jewish construction beyond the 1949 armistice lines, all was hunky-dory. We were the toast of the Free World and loved to bits by the Brits.

Much of that love was already evident on our first imperiled day as a sovereign state within a nightmarishly untenable mini-patchwork of territory. Already then, in Israel’s scariest neonatal hours, Britain played a proactive role in Arab plans to throw us into the sea.

The best-trained Arab army, the Jordanian Arab Legion, was established and organized on official orders from London by Maj.-Gen. Frederick G. Peake (a.k.a. Peake Pasha). In 1939, Peake was replaced by Lancashire-born Lt.-Gen. John Bagot Glubb (a.k.a. Glubb Pasha), who remained the legion’s commander until 1956. Glubb led the 1948 Arab Legion’s invasion of Israel and engineered the legion’s conquest of east Jerusalem, in direct contravention of the UN Partition Resolution.

British aircraft bombed and strafed Israel’s underdog fledgling forces. We won’t mention Britain’s pre-state refusal of asylum to desperate Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi Europe nor Britain’s hunt on the high seas postwar for Holocaust survivors and their incarceration for years under appalling conditions in Cyprus prison camps.

We won’t focus on the turning over of strategic positions to Arab marauders at the conclusion of the British Mandate over this land. We won’t dwell on the arming of Arab militias.

There’s plenty more but suffice it to say that an abundance of such British affection was showered on Israel before it could plausibly have been denigrated as a menacing ogre; before Israel survived the genocidal onslaught upon it and won its War of Independence; before Israel was forced to defend itself in the Six Day War and found itself in Judea and Samaria; before Jews dared return to parts of Jerusalem and the so-called West Bank from which Britain had earlier assisted to expel them; and before all this was maligned as criminal occupation and illegal settlement.

A list of 120 terrorists on Abbas' hit parade

Nadav Shragai..
Israel Hayom..
31 May '13..

On Friday, Dec. 31, 1993, the 17th day of the Hebrew month of Tevet, David Bublil and Haim Weizmann were stabbed to death in their sleep in an apartment in Ramle.

One of the murderers was Fatah operative Ala Abu Sata. Together with his fellow attacker, he mutilated the bodies of his victims, even cutting off their ears as proof of his act. Two days later Abu Sata was captured, tried and sentenced to two terms of life imprisonment.

Issa Moussa, a Hamas operative, has also been serving three life terms in Israeli prison since 1993. Moussa was involved in the kidnapping and murder of police officer Nissim Toledano, which had the country in an uproar 21 years ago. He was also involved in the murder of two other police officers, Daniel Hazut and Mordechai Yisrael, on Land Day (March 1993) at Talmei Elazar junction near Wadi Ara.

The potential release of Abu Sata and Issa Moussa came up in discussions of the prisoner-exchange deal that resulted in the release of Gilad Shalit. After a tough argument, they were left in prison. Now Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has made the resumption of the peace talks with Israel conditional on their release and on the release of roughly 120 of their comrades, most of them "heavy-duty" murderers, most of them older men. Most of them committed their crimes before the Oslo Accords were signed, or at around that time.

Many months ago, when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu received the "list of the 120," as Abbas' list is called, his hair stood on end. It was one thing, and a very hard thing at that, to release 1,027 terrorists, hundreds of them hard-core murderers with blood on their hands, in exchange for a single live soldier, Gilad Shalit, who had been held captive by Hamas for years. It's another thing entirely to release a similar rogues' gallery of murderers "in exchange for resuming the talks."

But when the U.S. "asks" -- or, as some claim, applies pressure -- Israel must look into the matter, at least formally. This week, the list reached the desk of Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, who is in charge of the talks with the Palestinians. Although Livni describes them as "despicable terrorists who did terrible things," she is still looking into their cases. The defense establishment is also checking the list. President Shimon Peres, who was asked about the matter in an interview on the evening of the last Independence Day, has already said that Abbas' request "should be considered in a positive light."

Once again, the biggest losers are the Palestinians

...So far, not one Palestinian Authority official has come out in public against the campaign of intimidating Palestinian businessmen. It will not only foil Kerry's plan, but also scare away potential investors. Those making threats do not want to see prosperity; instead they want the Palestinians to continue living in misery in order to keep alive the fight against Israel.

One of the Palestinian businessmen
under attack is Munib al-Masri
Khaled Abu Toameh..
Gatestone Institute..
31 May '13..

After rejecting US Secretary of State John Kerry's new plan to boost the Palestinian economy by investing $4 billion in the private sector, the Palestinians have begun threatening businessmen who want to work with Israeli counterparts.

Kerry's plan, which was revealed at last week's World Economic Forum in Jordan, has been condemned by many Palestinians as a U.S. attempt to bribe them into making political concessions to Israel. But several Palestinian businessmen who attended the conference have welcomed Kerry's economic plan and expressed a desire to meet with Israeli counterparts to talk about joint investments in the West Bank.

Some Palestinian businessmen who dared to meet with Israeli colleagues in the past few days are now facing threats and calls for boycotting them and their companies. The threats are being made by various Palestinian organizations and individuals, as well as by political activists belonging to several Palestinian groups in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

One of the Palestinian businessmen under attack is Munib al-Masri, often described as the wealthiest Palestinian in the world. Al-Masri has been strongly condemned by Palestinians for meeting with Israeli businessmen before, during and after the Jordan conference.

In his defense, al-Masri said that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas knew in advance about the meetings with Israelis. Al-Masri expressed "regret" over the accusations and threats made by Palestinians campaigning against "normalization" with Israel.

Know Thine Enemy by Dr. Mordechai Kedar

The chief means that the Emir of Qatar uses to influence matters in the Middle East is the al-Jazeera channel, the channel responsible for overthrowing the rulers of the Arab world one after another by means of incitement that it has been conducting against them ever since it began broadcasting, toward the end of 1996. ... A central component of the message of the Emir of Qatar and al-Jazeera is that the state of Israel is an illegitimate entity and must be fought with all means available to the Islamic world, mainly by spreading the message that the state of Israel is an illegitimate state that was established by a criminal act and all of its deeds are sin and iniquity.

Dr. Mordechai Kedar..
Mordechai Kedar in English..
31 May '13..

The Emirate of Qatar is located on the shore of the Persian Gulf, and lives on top of a large gas well. The tremendous amount of money that flows into this country has enriched its two hundred thousand citizens incredibly: they do not pay taxes, they enjoy free educational and health services and laugh all the way to the bank. The money enables them not only to purchase anything they want, but also to have a dramatic influence on the Middle East. As a result of this, the ruler of Qatar has become the most influential person in the Arab World, and he is an active partner in significant international processes.

The chief means that the Emir of Qatar uses to influence matters in the Middle East is the al-Jazeera channel, the channel responsible for overthrowing the rulers of the Arab world one after another by means of incitement that it has been conducting against them ever since it began broadcasting, toward the end of 1996. Using this channel, the ruler of Qatar disseminates the doctrine of the Muslim Brotherhood, which is destined- according to his view - to replace all of the secular ideologies (nationalism, socialism, liberalism) that have penetrated into the Islamic world. A central component of the message of the Emir of Qatar and al-Jazeera is that the state of Israel is an illegitimate entity and must be fought with all means available to the Islamic world, mainly by spreading the message that the state of Israel is an illegitimate state that was established by a criminal act and all of its deeds are sin and iniquity.

Al-Jazeera implements all of the principles of taqiyya - deception, or misrepresentation - in order to seem like a fair and balanced station, a station that calls for democracy, individual rights, minority rights and women's rights, but this whole spectacle - produced with attractive and captivating computer graphics - is meant to advance the agenda of the Emir of Qatar: to amass power, to advance the political Islamic movement, to destroy Israel and to minimize as much as possible the influence of the United States in the world. Using taqiyya, the Emir of Qatar organizes international meetings and conferences that are meant to present a picture that is the opposite of his real agenda.

A month and a half ago I presented here my weekly article entitled "The Islamic Winter Blows into Jerusalem" in which I described the steps that the Emir of Qatar is taking in order to uproot Jerusalem from Israel. I noted there, the incredible sums that Qatar has allocated for the matter, about a half billion dollars from a fund of a billion dollars, and the various ways that money can be used to promote the unholy goals of the Emir of Qatar.

And the money indeed is beginning to have an effect: this week the al-Jazeera channel published in a news item entitled (my comments are in parenthesis, M.K.): "The Campaign in Qatar to Support the Perseverance of the People of Jerusalem (the Muslims, against Israel's attempts to take control of the city, M.K.) " "Ninety prizes were awarded to the public who answered the questions about al-Aqsa (mosque, M.K.)". In this report, under the subtitle "Whoever has donated to it is as if he had prayed in it" (a quote from the Hadith, M.K); yesterday in Doha (the capital of Qatar, M.K.), the Qatari Red Crescent organized an event in support of the al-Aqsa Mosque to collect donations for the projects dealing with health and education in the blessed city and to help its residents to stand steadfast against expulsion and Judaization. As part of the operation, lectures and competitions were organized relating to the situation of al-Quds, its history and its importance for the caliphs of Islam since the days of Umr ibn al-Khattab (the second caliph, who conquered Jerusalem in the year 638 CE from the Byzantines, M.K.) until the Ottoman period.

In the event that was held in coordination with the association of the "Youth for al-Quds", ninety prizes were awarded to members of the audience who answered the questions about the al-Aqsa Mosque and praises relating to praying within it, its spires and its gates. The Islamic propagandist Dr. Wajdi Ghuneim gave a lecture in which he clarified that supporting al-Aqsa with one's money and time is "a very valuable sort of jihad". Ghuneim pointed out that al-Aqsa has a very important place in Islam and it must remain etched in the memory of society because it is the place from which the honorable prophet was transported at night, it is the third most important mosque and it lies on the ground where the dead will gather before Judgement Day and from where they will arise for judgement. Ghuneim urged the public to invest everything that is dear to them in al-Aqsa and not despair of liberating it, "because victory is with those who fight for Bayt al-Maqdis (the classical name of Jerusalem, M.K.) and the surrounding area, "and G-d sustains his light even if the infidels hate it" (Qur'an, Sura 61, Verse 8).

The head of the board of directors of the Red Crescent of Qatar, Dr. Mohamed bin Ghanem al-Ali al-Ma'adid, exhorted the public to donate to al-Aqsa and to the residents of Bayt al-Maqdis, who "suffer from the most terrible oppression and upon whom many restrictive measures are used in order to force them to leave. Al-Ma'adid took care to say that the operation offers important support and that it can help al-Aqsa and its people to cope with the plans to erase (the Islamic identity, M.K.) and Judaize (Jerusalem, according to the plot of, M.K.) the thieving entity (the term meaning Israel for those who won't even say its name, M.K.).

Uzi Landau 'A Palestinian State Is not the Solution'

"The president of the state talks in his own name. After all, he has no authority to speak in the name of the government. I am in the government first and foremost to say these things when it is necessary to say them, and I'm saying it now. "Not only there will not be peace, there will be no coexistence. Nor quiet. An agreement based on these guidelines will only lead to increase in terror. Exactly as the disengagement [from Gaza in 2005] led to increase in terror and strengthening of Hamas."

Mazal Mualem..
Al-Monitor/Israel Pulse..
29 May '13..

The meeting with Tourism Minister Uzi Landau took place a day after he publicly quoted the well-known maxim of former Foreign Minister Abba Eban, "The '67 borders remind us of the borders of Auschwitz." These words were uttered by Landau at the beginning of a government meeting that took place on Sunday (May 26) and were widely quoted in the news broadcasts.

In his parliamentary office in the Knesset, the Yisrael Beiteinu minister tells Al-Monitor that he chose to cite this maxim of Abba Eban, one of the [former] heads of the Labor movement, in light of recent attempts to jump-start negotiations with the Palestinians, this time in the framework of the World Economic Forum that took place in Jordan at the beginning of the week (May 26). At the forum, Israeli President Shimon Peres called for the immediate resumption of negotiations to reach an agreed-upon solution according to the two-state outline.

Isn't the Holocaust comparison somewhat exaggerated? After all, the president proclaims the vision of two states, and allows us to understand that he and the prime minister are in agreement …

"So he is mistaken! But my argument is not with any specific person.

"The president of the state talks in his own name. After all, he has no authority to speak in the name of the government. I am in the government first and foremost to say these things when it is necessary to say them, and I'm saying it now.

"Not only there will not be peace, there will be no coexistence. Nor quiet. An agreement based on these guidelines will only lead to increase in terror. Exactly as the disengagement [from Gaza in 2005] led to increase in terror and strengthening of Hamas."

Former Foreign Minister Abba Eban used that expression in 1969. Dozens of years have passed since then …

"That doesn't make these borders less Auschwitz-like. Before '67, they didn't have Katyusha rockets and missiles to the extent owned today by Hezbollah in the north and Hamas in the south that constitute a strategic threat to Israel. One thing must be clear: A Palestinian state is not the solution."

After quoting Abba Eban, Landau quoted the deceased former Egyptian President Anwar Sadat. "When they told him that Israel was proud of the peace it made with Egypt, and that they call it the largest Arab state, his response was, “Egypt is not the largest Arab state. It is the only Arab state. All the rest, are nothing more than tribes with flags. The vast majority of the Arab states are not real nation states.’"

Six years ago, Landau left the Likud and joined former Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman in the Yisrael Beiteinu party. Landau, son of Etzel underground activist Haim Landau [under the British Mandate of Palestine], who was himself elected as a Knesset member on behalf of the [right-wing] Herut party, left the Likud with a certain sense of lost opportunity and failure. This was because he was not successful in averting former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's disengagement plan from Gaza. According to Landau, the two-state vision that has risen again must be nipped in the bud immediately.

He feels great urgency. To give his words greater weight, he feels impelled to quote another great statesman, this time former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, regarding the Oslo Agreement that Landau sees as the greatest mistake of all. "It was a true strategic error," says Landau, "Kissinger, who was astonished at the Israeli course of action, said that Israel did it out of mental exhaustion. He did not believe that any reasonable leadership could do something like this. Since Oslo, we have paid with more than 1,000 victims who fell because of terror, so it amazes me that people continue to talk about it. …

"All the talk about two states for two peoples, and the attempts to win over hearts and minds to the belief that if we'll only take this road, peace awaits us — all this is populism. It will only bring more terror."

Nasrallah’s stirring and impassioned harangue

Sarah Honig..
Another Tack..
30 May '13..

Hassan Nasrallah’s stirring and impassioned defense of Damascus despot Bashar Assad went far beyond the Hezbollah chief’s by-now expected bravado. This was something intrinsically different. Nasrallah is a proven master at toying with the emotions of both supporters and foes in Lebanon. This time, though, and perhaps for the first time, he displayed genuine emotion.

It may have been Nasrallah’s usual braggadocio when he vowed to stay in the Syrian conflict “to the end of the road” and to bring victory to his beleaguered ally Damascus despot Bashar Assad. But the significant portions of his harangue were those in which he listed the consequences to Lebanon if Assad should fall.

Nasrallah predicted a catastrophic outcome, from his point of view, in such an eventuality. He said Lebanon would be the next to cave under. The subtext is that Hezbollah would collapse in the Lebanese content. His Shi’ite organization would, in other words, lose its stranglehold over Lebanon.

It was always apparent that Assad was Hezbollah’s patron and benefactor. But now Nasrallah had admitted in no uncertain terms that Assad is not merely an ally but an indispensable mainstay. Hence Nasrallah must do absolutely everything to keep Assad in power, because Nasrallah’s own power hinges on that.

The fates of Assad and Hezbollah are one and the same. If Assad loses his struggle to maintain its sway over Syria, Hezbollah would lose its ability to maintain its sway over Lebanon. Hezbollah is not merely repaying a trusted confederate; Hezbollah is waging the ultimate fight for its power base in Lebanon.

If ever definitive corroboration existed for the crucial deformative role played by Syria in Lebanese domestic affairs, this is it. It is Nasrallah’s proclaimed strategic doctrine. The inseparable tie between Assad and Nasrallah – the two regional malefactors – is now not merely a matter of deduction, cogent as it may be. Their life-and-death symbiosis is out in the open, explicitly acknowledged, and implemented in Syria’s killing fields.

Nasrallah keeps pouring more and more manpower into Syria and anti-Assad forces have now aimed their rockets at Hezbollah’s stronghold in Beirut. Just as Syria is considered a legitimate battleground for Hezbollah, so its Syrian enemies are likely to consider Lebanon a legitimate target for retaliation.

Nasrallah has compelling reasons to fear that Assad’s defeat would send his enemies into Lebanon to root out the last vestiges of Assad’s prime accomplice, i.e. Hezbollah. This is not a conflict of choice for Hezbollah but a desperate fight to the finish.

Hezbollah’s investment in Assad’s preservation has now superseded all its other agendas – including its enmity for Israel. The attacks – attributed to Israel – on convoys transferring weapons of mass destruction from Syria to Lebanon appear to bother Nasrallah remarkably less than the fear for the future of the Assad regime.

Hezbollah is not, of course, the only player in Syria’s immediate vicinity that has a vested interest in safeguarding Assad. The biggest stake in Assad’s well-being is held by the godfather of the pro-Assad axis – Iran. To a great extent Hezbollah is fighting as Tehran’s surrogate.

It does what Iran cannot directly do – openly dispatch combatants to fight Assad’s fight. Iran doubtless has contingency plans in the event that Assad should lose. For the ayatollahs, his fall would be a very bad blow but not a fatal one.

For Hezbollah, Assad’s fall would spell its own. Hezbollah stands to lose everything and this is why it is fully embroiled in Syria’s civil war. Not only can Hezbollah act as Iran’s proxy but it has no option but to do its utmost to tilt the scales in Assad’s favor.

Nasrallah’s fiery oratory notwithstanding, his organization faces odds it never encountered in the past. It is not only pitted against Israel and domestic Lebanese opponents. The entire coterie of fanatic Sunni baddies from all around the Muslim world both castigates and actively opposes it. Hezbollah is more vulnerable and far weaker than at any previous juncture.

This is a heartening development for Israel and a welcome byproduct from its policy of non-intervention.


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The ongoing Palestinian choice to be principle authors of their own misery

Jonathan S. Tobin..
30 May '13..

Secretary of State John Kerry’s effort to revive the Middle East peace process hasn’t accomplished much so far and isn’t likely to do better in the future. But it has posed an interesting challenge to the Palestinians. Given that they don’t wish to further offend the United States or disrupt the flow of Western aid that keeps the corrupt Palestinian Authority afloat, and also don’t wish to return to negotiating with Israel under virtually any circumstances, how do they justify continuing their four-and-half-year-old boycott of peace talks? Their answer to that dilemma is clear: continue to pile on the calumnies against the Jewish state and hope that it will be seen to justify their ongoing refusal to even talk with Israel.

Their reasoning for sticking to this tried and true formula for avoiding peace talks is sound. Given that both Washington and much of the Western media has always been ready to buy into their abuse of Israel and to stick to the idea that the Palestinians are innocent victims rather than the principle authors of their own misery, why shouldn’t they continue to pretend that Israeli building in Jerusalem is an obstacle to peace that prevents them from returning to the table?

But anyone who is familiar with the parameters of past peace talks that they claim to wish to build on understands that their complaints about Jews in Jerusalem or canards about ethnic cleansing are not only false but simply excuses manufactured to justify their unwillingness to play ball with Kerry.

The Palestinian complaints about Israeli building in East Jerusalem dooming peace talks are patently absurd. The plans, which consist of tenders for the construction of 300 apartments in the Ramot neighborhood and 800 in the Gilo area, would in no way affect the Palestinian position or their hopes for an independent state that might include part of the city.

Ramot and Gilo are located in parts of Jerusalem that were illegally occupied by Jordan from 1949 to 1967 and thus are over the “green line” that once divided the city. But these are 40-year-old neighborhoods that are long established, not some remote hilltop settlements in parts of the West Bank that are assumed to be part of a future Palestinian state.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Do peace and freedom interest the media?

...One of the more popular myths that journalists propagate about themselves is that they represent the most reliable force that faces down the domination, by government or industry or religion, of truth. We suggest that any press which is not sufficiently balanced out either by competition, a critical public or a system of regulatory review with an ability to correct and even punish, not only betrays principles of ethics but is inherently undemocratic. Journalists when left to themselves go so far as to assist non-democratic countries or groups in acting illegally and immorally.

Yisrael Medad/Eli Pollak..
Media Comment/JPost..
29 May '13..

In a recent academic article, Beate Josephi, a lecturer at Australia’s Edith Cowan University, postulated that while democracies provide the legal framework for freedom of speech, they do not offer protection for journalistic services, whether in print, broadcast or electronic.

These are largely financed privately by those persons, or conglomerates, who own the media outlets. She suggests that “journalism needs supporters who see value in independent information provision and credible news judgment.”

This, of course, presents three problems. In the first place, what happens when the media is owned by the public and the money is collected through taxes or license fees, which is a major part of the Israel reality? In the second instance, journalists are notorious for either ignoring or refusing to accept input from the public or most other outsiders unless, of course, the assistance and support is unambiguously in favor of whatever journalists do or publish.

The third problem is: Do we accept her premise that there indeed is “independent information provision”? Is journalism, if left solely in the hands of those that produce the news at ground level, truly independent? Isn’t there bias and prejudice inherent in any, indeed, every news report? One of the more popular myths that journalists propagate about themselves is that they represent the most reliable force that faces down the domination, by government or industry or religion, of truth. We suggest that any press which is not sufficiently balanced out either by competition, a critical public or a system of regulatory review with an ability to correct and even punish, not only betrays principles of ethics but is inherently undemocratic.

Journalists when left to themselves go so far as to assist non-democratic countries or groups in acting illegally and immorally.

One aspect of this is the way the press sees its role in reporting on the promotion of peace.

In a previous column, “Freedom of the press – who really cares?” (May 10, 2012), we treated the duplicity of Israel’s self-proclaimed human rights groups, who promoted the theme that Israel is moving in an alarmingly anti-democratic direction while ignoring the abuse of democracy by the Palestinian Authority. Has the situation improved over this past year? In its 665-page report, released last February, Human Rights Watch assessed progress on human rights during the past year in more than 90 countries. It found that in the PA, journalists and bloggers continue to be harassed. On May 21, 2013, the Palestinian Commission for Human Rights said in its annual report that incidents of abuse by the PA are up 10 percent since last year including “preventing reporters from reporting or arresting them.”

An unfortunate tradition - Rewriting history with pure fantasy

Ben Levitas..
20 May '13..

The public preaching (Jumuah khutba) that was delivered by Maulana Igsaan Hendricks, president of the Muslim Judicial Council, at Masjid-Sulaimani on the eve of the Palestinian Nakba on Friday 10 May, and broadcast live on VOC is immensely troubling. It is troubling because it purports to come from a learned man holding a position of great responsibility in his community.

It is concerning because it perpetuates an unfortunate tradition amongst many Muslims, that finds it necessary to rewrite history and undermine well established facts with pure fantasy and conspiracy theories. While Muslims are ultra-sensitive to any criticism about their religion and its prophet, they are rather less sensitive and often arrogant in their criticism of other faiths.

Hendricks refers to the Balfour Declaration which in 1917 "promised this land to some other people, who never owned the land in the first place." This 'some other people', are not just any people, they are the Jews and they have a long and well documented history which binds them inexorably to the land of Israel.

Although they were displaced from their land in many wars over many millennia, they always considered the land of Israel, as their only home. While in exile, which was an unnatural state of existence, they yearned for their return to Zion (Jerusalem). As Jews they could not fulfil their ‘mitzvot' or required ‘good deeds' while not living in Israel-because many of these ‘deeds' could only be fulfilled at the Holy Temple. These are deeply embedded principles of faith and tradition, that Hendricks cannot just dismiss.

To state that the Jews 'never owned the land' is an outrageous lie. Jews are not just colonists. Jews have always lived in Israel and in Jerusalem they have always been a majority (when not prohibited or exiled by varied occupying powers. Y.) . For 400 years, two Kingdoms of Jews reigned in Judea and Israel (as well as the Second Commonwealth period spanning an additional 400 years ending with the destruction of the Second Temple by the Romans. Y.)  That is recorded in the best selling book of all time. Hendricks's statements are provocative, untruthful and hurtful.

Hendricks then ventures to make make the most outrageous statement that "Prior to 1929, there was absolutely no evidence of the Wailing Wall." He then proceeds to say that; "The Buraq Wall is an integral part of Masjidul-Aqsa. If any Muslim believes it is an exercise of inter-faith or to recognise that the Jewish people have a right to be in front of the Wailing Wall, then it is a sign of extreme arrogance and ignorance."

Can Progressives Support Ethnic Cleansing and Genocide? Of Course, But...

The note I wish to leave Progressives in all this is that they are not so angelic as they imagine themselves to be. Whether they call for ethnic cleansing while deluding themselves they do not, or advocate a scenario so perilously open to the possibility of ending in genocide, the fact is the Progressives are reckless in their thinking, not giving enough care to the fate of either Jew or Arab in Palestine.

Israel Thrives..
30 May '13..

It is my intention in this article to expose the unflattering reality behind white angel wings that certain people imagine themselves sporting. Within the Progressive Left we find a shrinking proportion of Two-State Solution advocates who are either pro-Israel, with their hearts in the right place but unfortunately are lacking critical information, or anti-Zionists who are two-staters because they think the “damage” of setting up the state of Israel can only be contained, not reversed; and we find a growing contingent of people who call for the Binational (One-State) Solution, in the thinking that undoing Zionism is both desirable and possible. I contend that the former group are guilty of calling for ethnic cleansing, despite their denial of the term, and that the latter are unwitting accessories to genocide, by virtue of their incurable naïveté.

Calls for Ethnic Cleansing

A complicated matter needs complex explanations; I am perfectly willing to take the time for reading a subject where, to paraphrase Einstein, things cannot be made simpler than possible. Where, however, the matter is simple, it is just as bad to frame it in complex terms and elaborate wording. Ethnic cleansing is such a matter: Very simply put, anybody who argues that a particular piece of land should be emptied of members of a particular ethnos residing in it is an advocate of ethnic cleansing. It is really that simple and it will not do to complicate matters.

It is told of W. C. Fields (or George Bernard Shaw, alternatively) that he once asked a lady if she was willing to spend the night with him for a million pounds, and she said yes; then he asked her if she was willing to do the same for a few pennies, and she answered, indignantly, “What do you think I am—a prostitute?!” Whereupon he said, “Lady, we have already established that. We are now discussing prices.” With Progressives who call for ethnic cleansing, the same lack of awareness can be found: Having said that a two-state solution would by necessity involve the evacuation of all Jewish residents (“settlers,” in in the revisionist parlance of Arab imperialism) from Judea and Samaria, they are the first to flare in righteous anger when someone suggests that the same two-state solution would reciprocally involve the relocation of all Arabs in pre-1967 Israel to the newly-formed Arab state of Falasteen. “That’s ethnic cleansing!!!” they reply in fiery rage, with the assumption taken for granted that their call for the relocation of Jews is not ethnic cleansing at all.

Let us be clear about two separate facets of this issue: Ethnic cleansing itself and the question whether it is justified. When a supporter of the Two-State Solution, or on the other hand a Helen Thomas clone calling for Jews to go “back home” to the lands where six million were exterminated, says a part or all of Palestine should be emptied of Jews in order for peace to be possible, they are both calling for ethnic cleansing and offering a reason as to why it is justified. That they call for ethnic cleansing is not in dispute—it flows from the cold, hard, objective meaning of the term “ethnic cleansing.” Trying to counter the accusation with a statement like, “It is not ethnic cleansing to kick squatters, settlers, colonists out!”, they do nothing but double down on their calls for ethnic cleansing; the bit about “squatters, settlers, colonists” is not a refutation of the charge of ethnic cleansing, it is a justification of their call for it.

The burden of standing up to their hypocrisy is on the Progressive-Leftists, as it is one of their tenets that ethnic cleansing is never justified. In the years 1993–2005 there was a window of opportunity when the majority of the Israeli Jewish public believed in the viability of the Two-State Solution, including the prospect of ethnic cleansing Judea and Samaria and Gaza of all Jewish residents as part of bringing that solution about; this culminated in the ethnic cleansing of the Gaza Strip in August 2005. In the course of the 2000s decade, the Arabs closed that window by making it clear to the Israeli Jewish public that they had no intention of settling for Judea and Samaria and Gaza, but wanted everything the Jews have, meaning pre-1967 Israel as well. The Israeli Jews have passed the test of flexibility with flying colors; it is therefore not they but the other side—Arab imperialists and their Progressive-Left supporters—who have some proving to do in that department.

It is already curious that the Progressive-Leftist advocates of the Two-State Solution take it for granted that ethnic cleansing of the Jews is a noble prerequisite to such a solution while the notion of a reciprocal population exchange involving the pre-1967 Israel Arabs is taboo. It is evident that there is a double standard here, and it looks probable that such a double standard has its source in the selfsame anti-Zionist narrative that posits the Jews as interlopers in Palestine. Whatever the case, and whatever the justifications they bring for their plans for all the Jews in certain parts of Palestine and the convoluted explanations as to why such justifications do not apply to Arabs in any part of Palestine, the cold, harsh truth remains that they call for ethnic cleansing. This would not be much of an issue if the Progressives did not claim ethnic cleansing to be a heinous crime, but they do, and since they do so, they must be held to their claim.

The Israeli sun is so incredibly powerful

...Instead, I noticed something. Israel this morning - every morning, isn't depressed about the news and what our neighbors are doing. We are moving, driving, working, playing, living. It's Thursday - that means tomorrow brings a day off work, our weekend. The Sabbath for those who observe - family time.

Paula R. Stern..
A Soldier's Mother..
30 May '13..

For a few weeks now, I've been working on an intensive project for a client, requiring me to work a few days a week in the center of the country - Herziliya/Tel Aviv - Israel's hi-tech center.

There are other places in Israel, other centers, but always, this is considered THE center of Israel's hi-tech. This morning, I was listening to the news, as I usually do, and there is talk of the missiles Russia has promised to Syria; talk of Hezbollah destabilizing Lebanon.

Our neighbors have problems, it is clear and once again, it isn't because of Israel but their own internal issues.

The news says Israelis are rushing to get gas masks; people write of the exercise last week in which air raid sirens sounded all over Israel and we were asked to go into bomb shelters as being another example that Israelis think war is coming.

I've lived here through two almost wars, two wars, and innumerable operations.

War clouds are always hanging over our borders and threatening - sometimes, yes, war comes...more often, I think/I hope - war doesn't come. So many are convinced this time, it will come.

For once, I have my head in the clouds, in work, in family - I just am not there.

Instead, I noticed something. Israel this morning - every morning, isn't depressed about the news and what our neighbors are doing. We are moving, driving, working, playing, living. It's Thursday - that means tomorrow brings a day off work, our weekend. The Sabbath for those who observe - family time.


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Negotiations as simply one of several avenues in pursuing the war on Israel’s existence

...The traditional approach of American and western negotiators has been to play down this kind of rhetoric as ideological baggage that will disappear once meaningful progress has been made. Time and again, this patronizing, even racist, manner, which treats Arab politicians as tantrum-prone children who say things they don’t really mean, has been proved wrong by events. And yet, the template for peace negotiations has barely been modified during the last 20 years.

Ben Cohen..
28 May '13..

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has already visited the Middle East four times since President Barack Obama named him to the post back in February. Perhaps anticipating the large number of yawns that such a statistic is likely to produce, Kerry directly addressed, during his latest jaunt, the growing number of peace process skeptics on both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian divide.

“There have been bitter years of disappointment. It is our hope that by being methodical, careful, patient, but detailed and tenacious, we can lay out a path ahead that can conceivably surprise people, but certainly exhaust the possibilities of peace,” Kerry told them.

However much Kerry would like us to believe that there are routes to peace that haven’t yet been explored, there is a dreary sense of deja vu about his words. Every day, it seems, an American politician declares that time is running out, that windows of opportunity are closing, that the Israeli-Palestinian dimension of the broader Middle East conflict is propelling the region towards apocalypse. Obama himself comes to mind in this regard. In 2010, he told the United Nations General Assembly, “[W]hen we come back here next year, we can have an agreement that will lead to a new member of the United Nations— an independent, sovereign state of Palestine, living in peace with Israel.”

But it’s now 2013, and there is no State of Palestine, only a Palestinian Authority (PA) that shuns direct negotiations in favor of a unilateralist strategy to secure recognition of an independent Palestinian state by everyone except Israel. Moreover, the Palestinians are openly distrustful of U.S. efforts. “I’m hesitant to say we are seeing a miraculous transformation in American policy and its blind strategic alliance with Israel,” said the PLO’s Hanan Ashrawi upon Kerry’s arrival, conveniently regurgitating the widespread myth in the Arab world that American Middle East policy is determined solely by Israeli imperatives.

Nor has Palestinian rhetoric changed for the better. The eliminationist desires of the Palestinian leadership—and I’m not talking here about Hamas, but about our ostensible peace partner, the PA—remain as ingrained as ever. At the end of April, for example, Rabi Khandaqji, the PA governor of the West Bank City of Qalqilya, reaffirmed that the Palestinians would never abandon the so-called “right of return.” Palestinian refugees, Khandaqji declared, would return “to Haifa, Nazareth and Acre”—all cities that lie inside the pre-1967 borders of Israel. This isn’t code for the destruction of Israel. It’s an explicit call for the destruction of Israel.

Appointed Top Adviser to Palestinian Authority President? Murderer of 13 Children

Daniel Greenfield..
29 May '13..

In most countries there are a multitude of qualifications for higher office. In the terror state carved out by international diplomats out of Israel at the behest of Saudi Arabia, there is only one qualification.


Hussein Fayyad, one of the commanders of the terror group that carried out the 1978 Coastal Road massacre, revealed on Tuesday that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas had appointed him as one of his advisers.

The attack, which led to the killing of 38 Israeli civilians, including 13 children, was planned and carried out by Abbas’s Fatah faction.

The coastal massacre began with the murder of an American photographer, Gail Rubin. One of the youngest victims was Ilan Hochman, a 3-year-old boy, seen above.

Ilan died along with his older brother, 6-year-old Roi and his mother, Rebecca Hochman. Their father lost his legs trying to stop the terrorists on the bus.

Here is how it happened.

Was Obama asked by the Palestinians to Target Pro-Israeli 501(c)(3)s?

...Dr. Mohammed Shtayyed made an additional suggestion to Erekat: ... We can’t stop a pregnant lady from having a baby, but look at what we can do. We should look at the 501(c)(3) organizations in the States that make donations to settlers. Let the US administration investigate this.”

Rick Richman..
29 May '13..

A Wall Street Journal editorial notes the Obama administration gave special scrutiny to the tax-exempt status of certain pro-Israel organizations and cites a front-page, 5,000 word article in the New York Times published July 6, 2010 as a possible signal to the IRS:

“Why the special scrutiny for pro-Israel groups? A New York Times article in July 2010 provided a clue: Tax-exempt groups were donating to West Bank settlers, and State Department officials wanted the settlers out. ‘As the American government seeks to end the four-decade Jewish settlement enterprise and foster a Palestinian state in the West Bank,’ the Times wrote, ‘the American Treasury helps sustain the settlements through tax breaks on donations to support them.’

“Did the T-men take their political cues from such stories, or did Administration officials give them orders? Either explanation would be a violation of public trust.”
Let me provide another possible clue, found in the June 16, 2009 minutes of the Palestinian negotiating unit headed by Saeb Erekat–part of the Palestine Papers published by Al Jazeera in 2011.

At the June 16 meeting, Erekat said Benjamin Netanyahu’s June 14 Bar-Ilan speech had sought to put the Palestinians on the defensive. Netanyahu endorsed a two-state solution and stated that in the meantime, “we have no intention of building new settlements or of expropriating additional land for existing settlements,” but would “enable the residents to live normal lives.” He urged the Palestinians to engage in immediate negotiations, without preconditions. Erekat wanted to respond to the speech with a letter to the U.S. that would cite the number of individual housing units under construction. Dr. Mohammed Shtayyed made an additional suggestion to Erekat:

“We should also focus on the government incentives to settlers: loans without interest, land for free, agricultural subsidies in the Jordan valley. We can’t stop a pregnant lady from having a baby, but look at what we can do. We should look at the 501(c)(3) organizations in the States that make donations to settlers. Let the US administration investigate this.” [Emphasis added].

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Fantasy Air Strikes in Ramallah at the Financial Times

Tamar Sternthal..
CAMERA Media Analyses..
28 May '13..

Does Thomas Hill, an employee of Save the Children in the West Bank, believe that he is somehow helping Palestinian children by making up stories about Israeli air strikes in Ramallah?

In a May 24 "life and arts" feature in the Financial Times, Nathan Deuel describes Hill's life in Ramallah, and the job which finds him "travelling weekely to Gaza, Hebron, Nablus and Jerusalem" ("Expat lives: Los Angeles to Ramallah"). "Hill's ability to move around so widely is rare and gives him a good perspective on the region," enthuses Deuel about the California native who relocated to the Middle East in May 2012.

The notion that Hill possesses a "good perspective on the region" is completely demolished as the Californian muses about his Ramallah life: "Things here are inconvenient, but it's safe -- with the exception of the random air strike."

You don't need to live in Ramallah, or travel weekly to Gaza, Hebron, Nablus and Jerusalem, to know that there have been no air strikes in Ramallah -- random or otherwise -- in something like 10 years. And with all due respect to Hill, his "good perspective" does not stretch back that far. According to the article, he and his wife arrived in Israel in May 2012, moved on to Ramallah sometime later. A photo caption at the top of the article (see screen capture below) repeats the false claim that there are air strikes in Ramallah.

Restraint in face of Palestinian violence eroding Israel's deterrence

Hagai Segal..
Israel Opinion/Ynet..
29 May '13..

Following months of academic discussions on whether a third intifada has erupted or not, the time has come for an operational debate on the issue, which will probably conclude that while a third intifada has not been launched, we are in the midst of a pre-intifada period.

Our hostile neighbors are once again investing overtime hours in their old ballistic habits. All day long they throw stones at Israeli vehicles travelling in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, and hurl Molotov cocktails with the frequency in which fireworks light up the sky on Independence Day.

Each Friday, the Islamic day of recreation and rest, the violence surges. After the Palestinians are done eating their lunch they go out and hassle our forces in regular confrontation sites: Nabi Saleh, Na'alin, Qaddum, Silwad, and other villages.

Due to orders from above, during these confrontations IDF soldiers are breaking the international record for restraint in urban or semi-urban warfare. They are attacked with rocks and slingshot pellets, without being able to fire back because such an image may look bad in the press or jeopardize the peace negotiations, which will resume any time now.

The 3 myths about the 2-state 'solution'

Obama stated: Peace - Palestinian statehood "is necessary", "peace is just", "peace is possible".

Daniel Tauber..
For Zion's Sake/JPost..
28 May '13..

President Barack Obama’s visit to Israel last March likely left even his harshest Israeli critics pleasantly surprised. He showered Israel with compliments, joked about prior disagreements, and most importantly, made no demands.

Still, Obama could not completely refrain from addressing the “Israeli- Palestinian conflict,” and delivered one of his signature lecture-speeches on the subject towards the end of his visit.

Though the speech had little policy significance at the time, in retrospect, Obama did something rarely attempted by foreign dignitaries: he made an actual argument for the two-state solution, succinctly capturing the three fragile pillars its proponents rely upon. In so doing, however, he revealed how preposterous a solution it actually is.

“First,” Obama argued, “peace,” or more accurately, Palestinian statehood, “is necessary.” Why? Primarily because of demographics. “Given the demographics west of the Jordan River, the only way for Israel to endure and thrive as a Jewish and democratic state is through the realization of an independent and viable Palestine.”

It’s a familiar argument in Israel, and the prospect of having an Arab majority in the country is indeed scary for any Zionist. But the picture may not be as dire as it seems. A study published in 2005 by the Begin Sadat Center for Strategic Studies at Bar-Ilan University argued that Palestinian numbers had been inflated by as many as 1.4 million persons. Further undercutting the demographic prophecy of doom, figures released by Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics in January showed Jewish birthrates rising and Muslim birthrates in Israel falling. That follows reports of declining Muslim birthrates around the world.

And if the two-state solution has any relevance as a means of solving the demographic problem, then areas from which Israel has withdrawn, like Gaza, home to 1-1.4 million Arabs (depending on the source), must be excluded from the count.

But even if the numbers are as bad as is claimed, Palestinian statehood is not necessarily the required policy response. The demographic predictions relate to a future reality, not reality as it stands today. At most they mean that at a future point Israel would have to withdraw from Judea and Samaria, but not before then.

In the meantime, Israel, with the immense powers of statehood at its disposal, has the opportunity to change the demographic situation by enacting policies which will increase the Jewish majority. Perhaps the most obvious of these tools would be kickstarting the engine that created the existing Jewish population: immigration.

There are today millions of Jews residing in Western countries. Hundreds of thousands in Europe enduring Muslim violence and struggling economies. Even in the US, numerous young Jews can’t find work in their chosen professions and are open to alternative life plans. Israel must tell them that it wants them and it should offer significant incentives to get them to come here.

On the other hand, if Israel creates a Palestinian state, the new security threat would deter immigration, discourage foreign investment and encourage emigration. Simultaneously, it could bring tens or hundreds of thousands of Arab immigrants to our doorstep, thereby transforming predictions about Arab demographics in Judea and Samaria and the country as a whole into a self-fulfilling prophecy.

The world of Miftah - Double standards for Jews and everyone else

Elder of Ziyon..
28 May '13..

Miftah, the Western-funded NGO that refuses to condemn the medieval Jewish blood libel in Arabic, has another article filled with lies - this one about Jerusalem:

Looking at the state of Jerusalem’s eastern sector today, it is understandable why Israel would not want UNESCO or anyone else walking around the Old City, especially the Palestinian-populated parts of it. Because anyone who does, will see the devastation that Israel and its settlers have wreaked on one of the oldest and most beautiful cities in the world.

Devastation? United Jerusalem today is more beautiful than at any time since 70 CE. So what is the devastation?

Excavation works are being conducted in and around the Aqsa Mosque to make way for more Jewish construction at the place where Waqf authorities say Ottoman and Abbasid artifacts have long been tucked away.

Anyone with even a passing knowledge of the subject knows that the Israel Antiquities Authority bends over backwards to save ancient artifacts - belonging to any religion. The Waqf, on the other hand, lies whenever it is convenient to do so, and has purposefully destroyed thousands of priceless ancient Jewish objects.

Condemning Jews acting responsibly to save antiquities while condoning Muslims destroying them is a bit of a double standard. There might be a term for that.


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Letting Arab terrorists go free: A cultural value in their society but ...

Murderers released: Cultural affirmation,
strategic victory
Frimet/Arnold Roth..
This Ongoing War..
29 May '13..

A couple of days ago, we wrote here ["27-May-13: Quote of the week: Abduct hostages? That's not the Palestinian Arab way, except when it is"] about some of the absurdities that result when Palestinian Arab leaders get the opportunity to be heard in a foreign language. The urge, for people like Mahmoud Abbas who holds tenaciously to the four-year term of his presidency of the Palestinian Authority more than eight years later, to say something politically correct to an English- or other-speaking audience, knowing he will get virtually zero pushback from his Arabic-speaking constituents, must be overwhelming. How else to understand the silliness he put in front of the World Economic Forum conference earlier this week?

But this time, someone was listening and has pushed back. The extremist ideologues of Hamas, the other Palestinian authority, know what foolishness Abbas is capable of saying, and they want to have nothing to do with it. Whatever we can say (and there is much we can say) about the hideousness of the Hamas child-killers and messianic zealots, they say what they think and they think what they say.

This is from a person calling himself Abu Ubaida (plainly not his real name). Using a favored Islamist outlet (it's called Facebook) and quoted by Times of Israel in English translation, he says this in the name of the employer for whom he spokespersons, the so-called Izz ad-Din Al-Qassam Brigades of Hamas:

The kidnapping of IDF soldiers is at the heart of Palestinian culture. Those who refuse to abduct Zionist soldiers renounce the pain and suffering of thousands of prisoners yearning for freedom. Operations to capture enemy soldiers and trade them for our heroic prisoners are at the heart of our people’s culture, and are a source of pride for them and their resistance.


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Another opening week of the UN Human Rights Council, promoting antisemitism around the globe

Anne Bayefsky..
28 May '13..

It is opening week of another session of the UN’s top human rights body, the UN Human Rights Council, and antisemitism will once again be promoted around the globe via an organization built on the ashes of the Jewish people and sworn to hatred’s eradication.

In March of last year, Israel decided not to cooperate with a UN “human rights” establishment that promises equality and delivers discrimination. Under heavy pressure from the Obama administration and European governments not to spotlight the dark antisemitic underbelly of UN “human rights” operations, however, Israel is considering reversing this decision.

Without fundamental reform, such an unfortunate about-turn by Israel would be a major boost to Israel’s delegitimizers.

The current Council session in Geneva is a case in point. From the start on Monday, May 27, the UN human rights chief Navi Pillay, issued an opening statement highlighting her major human rights concerns the world-over. Her preposterous series of countries having “crises” worthy of specific criticism were Syria, Myanmar, Iraq, the Central African Republic, Israel and the United States.

On the other hand, in Pillay’s view, Egypt, Libya and Yemen were “progressing in different ways and at different speeds.”

Omitted from her list altogether was the denial of elementary freedoms to a billion people in China, the downward spiral of rights and freedoms in Russia, the forthcoming sham elections of lead terror-sponsor Iran, or the degradation of an entire female population in Saudi Arabia.

But Israel, according to Pillay, was guilty of “the widespread detention of Palestinians – nearly 5,000.” It was irrelevant that the vast majority of these so-called detainees were prisoners, already tried and found guilty often of horrible crimes, in a country governed by the rule of law.

And that was merely the opening act. On June 10, the Council will give the microphone to terrorist-sympathizer Richard Falk. He is the UN investigator on Israel who has made a career of justifying violent “resistance” from New York to Israel to Boston. A 9/11 conspiracy theorist, Falk recently generated disgust across America for suggesting the victims of the Boston marathon terror attack were “canaries” that “have to die” because of America’s “fantasy of global domination.”

Wants U.S. Cash, Not Peace - Any Guesses?

...In other words, the Palestinians say thanks for the cash but no talks except those that guarantee they get everything they’re asking for while giving nothing in return and even then there’s no guarantee they won’t continue the conflict as their insistence on the “right of return” — which is tantamount to calling for Israel’s destruction — indicates.

Jonathan S. Tobin..
28 My '13..

Secretary of State John Kerry and some Israelis, notably President Shimon Peres, had high hopes for the latest initiative to improve the Palestinian economy. Kerry arrived at the World Economic Summit in Jordan with his usual unrealistic high hopes for the value of his diplomacy but he did not go there without offering serious incentives to the Palestinian Authority to quit its boycott of peace negotiations that has been going on since before Barack Obama became president of the United States. The United States offered a $4 billion plan that was supposed to both boost the Palestinian economy as well as give PA leader Mahmoud Abbas a tangible benefit for cooperating with Washington’s new plan to restart talks with Israel. But the Palestinian answer wasn’t long in coming. Anyone who has paid attention to Palestinian responses to the various ways that President Obama has tried to tilt the diplomatic playing field in their direction or the way they answered various Israeli peace offers in the last 20 years knows that it was the usual one word reply: no.

As the Times of Israel reports:

Slapping down the notion that the PA might be appeased by Kerry’s focus on economic improvements, President Mahmoud Abbas’s economic adviser, Mohammad Mustafa, said ”The Palestinian leadership will not offer political concessions in exchange for economic benefits.” He added, in a statement reported by the Palestinian Ma’an news agency: “We will not accept that the economy is the primary and sole component.”

Mustafa, who also heads the Palestine Investment Fund, said the PA’s priorities are not economic but rather a political framework for the creation of Palestinian state based on the 1967 lines, with East Jerusalem as its capital, that also ensures the rights of refugees and a political compromise, the Palestinian news agency added.

Investors are nonetheless more than welcome to “come to Palestine,” the statement added.
In other words, the Palestinians say thanks for the cash but no talks except those that guarantee they get everything they’re asking for while giving nothing in return and even then there’s no guarantee they won’t continue the conflict as their insistence on the “right of return” — which is tantamount to calling for Israel’s destruction — indicates.

While this is another humiliating setback for Kerry, it’s actually far more significant than that. It exposes the fallacy at the heart of most efforts to create peace between Jews and Arabs for the last century.

Almost from the beginning of the Jewish return to their ancient homeland, many Zionists as well as their foreign friends thought the Arabs inside the country as well as those in neighboring lands would be won over to the new reality once they realized that the Jews brought development and prosperity with them. The influx into the country created tremendous growth even as the conflict escalated over the course of the first half of the 20th century. Throughout this era, Labor Zionists who combined a desire to rebuild the Jewish presence with socialist ideology believed Arab rejectionism was a function of the exploitation of the masses by an elite that profited from conflict. They thought once it was understood that all would benefit from peace and reconciliation, Palestinian Arab workers and peasants would welcome the Jews. Even hardheaded pragmatists like David Ben Gurion thought this way for a long time. They were wrong.

Washington Post Peddles Fictionali​zed Version of Arab League Peace Plan

Leo Rennert..
American Thinker..
27 May '13..

The devil is in the details, and none more so when it comes to peace plans to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. With Secretary of State John Kerry lauding an Arab League initiative as a potential basis for a peace deal, it's important for media coverage to explain content and ramifications fully and accurately.

Unfortunately, this seems not to be the case. Witness, for example, a Washington Post dispatch by correspondents Anne Gearan and William Booth in the May 27 edition, which describes the Arab plan as follows:

"Introduced in 2002 by Saudi Arabia and endorsed again recently by Arab diplomats, the Arab League initiative offers Israel full recognition and normalization with all Arab nations in exchange for Israel withdrawing to its 1967 borders, including pulling out of East Jerusalem, and "just settlement" for Palestinian refugees who wish to return home to live in peace or receive compensation."

Sounds pretty good, doesn't it? Except that the Post's version is flawed by errors and a hidden "poison pill" that would doom Israel as a Jewish state. ("$4 billion plan outlined for West Bank projects - Kerry sees proposal as step to get Palestinians, Israelis talking again" page A9)

For starters, there were no "borders" between Israel and Jordanian-occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank in 1967 -- only a 1949 armistice line dating back to the end of hostilities in the 1948-49 Arab Israeli war. Actual "borders" -- whether permanent or even temporary -- still await a political solution.

Second, while Arab leaders offer to sign a peace agreement with Israel and establish normal relations with Israel in exchange for a complete Israeli withdrawal from East Jerusalem and the West Bank, the plan does not offer Israel "full recognition." "Normal relations" is a vaguer formula than formal recognition and subject to varied interpretations.

The real killer in the Arab plan, however, occurs in how it deals with the question of Palestinian refugees. It calls for a "just solution" to the problem of Palestinian refugees "in accordance with United Nations General Assembly Resolution 194." Gearan and Booth completely ignore UN Resolution 194, which just so happens to be the cornerstone of Arab/Palestinian insistence on a "right of return" to Israel of millions of Palestinian refugees and their descendants.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Not the faintest understanding of what is and isn’t important

Evelyn Gordon..
28 May '13..

While visiting Israel this weekend, Secretary of State John Kerry said that everywhere he goes – Europe, the Gulf States, China, Japan, even New Zealand and Brazil – the first thing he is asked about is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Perhaps his hosts are simply demonstrating tact by starting off with the only issue Kerry shows any real interest in. But if this is truly their number-one concern, we should all be afraid: It means the leaders and diplomats entrusted with managing global crises don’t have the faintest understanding of what is and isn’t important.

Even if we disregard some pretty major problems elsewhere on the planet – for instance, the adventurism of nuclear North Korea, or the serious instability in another nuclear power, Pakistan, where Islamic extremists slaughter thousands of their own countrymen every year – there’s a Middle Eastern problem right next door that’s infinitely more important than the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I am talking, of course, about Syria.

It’s not just that the Syrian conflict has already killed five to 10 times as many people in a mere two years – anywhere from 80,000 to 120,000, depending on whose estimate you believe – as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has in the entire 65 years of Israel’s existence (about 15,000). It’s that unlike the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Syrian conflict is rapidly destabilizing all its neighbors.

Over the last 25 years, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict has manifested itself in two intifadas and two Hamas-Israel wars. Not one of them resulted in refugees fleeing to other countries, fighters pouring in from other countries, or violence inside other countries. The Syrian conflict, however, has produced large quantities of all three.

In Matters of Palestine -- Beware The Snake Oil Salesman

David Singer..
American Thinker..
28 May '13..

Paul Larudee, one of the founders of the Free Gaza and Free Palestine Movements and an organizer in the International Solidarity Movement, has made some incredibly misleading statements in his latest article "The Palestine Liberation Movement is not about Anti-Semitism," published in Dissident Voice on 23 May.

Having studied linguistics and earned a PhD, Larudee should be the first person to understand that the written language is one of the prime means of communication between humans and requires precision in its use to avoid ambiguity and misunderstanding.

Larudee has in his choice of words created a false and misleading impression of the Palestinian cause that bears no relationship to the conflict between Jews and Arabs that has remained unresolved for the last 130 years in relation to the former territory called Palestine.

Larudee claims:

The Palestinian cause has nothing to do with Jews...

Hamas exposes the falsity of Larudee's claim, as the Hamas Covenant makes clear in article 15:

The day that enemies usurp part of Moslem land, Jihad becomes the individual duty of every Moslem. In face of the Jews' usurpation of Palestine, it is compulsory that the banner of Jihad be raised.

The PLO also discredits Larudee's statement, as article 20 of its Charter explicitly states:

Claims of historical or religious ties of Jews with Palestine are incompatible with the facts of history and the true conception of what constitutes statehood. Judaism, being a religion, is not an independent nationality. Nor do Jews constitute a single nation with an identity of its own; they are citizens of the states to which they belong.

Jew-hatred permeates the "Palestinian cause," and Larudee's attempt to whitewash this pernicious conduct is specious and false.

Israelis have taken a beating, but they haven't been beaten...And they dance...

...Supporters of the terrorist cause, whether at the New York Times or the State Department, don't want to see happy Israelis. They want to see frightened Israelis, sobbing Israelis, confused Israelis and hysterical Israelis. They will even settle for angry Israelis. But the last thing they want to see is Israelis who seem indifferent to the torture being inflicted on them.

Daniel Greenfield..
Sultan Knish..
27 May '13..

New York Times bureau chiefs in Jerusalem are expected to set new standards for malicious bias and during his time there, Ethan Bronner was no exception.

A bureau chief anywhere else in the world may be expected to explore the life and color of the city. But in Jerusalem, a New York Times scribe fills the same spot as the bitter goth kid working on the high school paper who is forced to review musicals put on by cheerleaders. What comes out the other end may have a distant resemblance to journalism, but is mostly just gallons of congealed bile.

Ethan Bronner, who has moved up the New York Times totem pole from attacking Israel to attacking America, still visits the old country on occasion and still pens spiteful little pieces about how dumb and shallow the cheerleaders are. The latest Bronner missive sees him attending a wedding and grumbling at how happy everyone seems to be.

At a "raucous wedding", Bronner finds that few people are interested in discussing "the Palestinians or the Arab world on their borders". Instead, "everyone was celebrating". And why wouldn't they be celebrating? It is a wedding. And people at weddings generally don't talk about the people trying to kill them. Average weddings in the United States don't involve detailed discussions of terrorism, even when New York Times reporters are in attendance.

But Bronner's thesis is the same as the one put forward by John Kerry. "People in Israel aren’t waking up every day and wondering if tomorrow there will be peace because there is a sense of security and a sense of accomplishment and of prosperity,” Kerry complained. Israelis are having too many weddings and not suffering enough. The limited autonomy achieved in daily life what the peace process was supposed to.

It's not just about the physical suffering of terrorism. What bothers Bronner is that Israelis aren't conscious of the grievances of their enemies. They don't carry the burden of guilt that comes from knowing that their border controls prevent Hamas from getting the weapons with which they could inflict more death and suffering on Israelis.

The peace process is a myth because its end result was never meant to be peace. Instead it was meant to achieve exactly what it did achieve in the 90s. A state of terror. A way of life that would make every Israeli conscious of the terrorists and their demands all the time. That's not just their plan for Israel. It's their dream for the entire free world. A world liberated from its freedoms.

The left does not set out to solve social problems, but to induce a state of permanent crisis in order to impose a permanent state of insecurity and guilt on the populace. Its solutions always make problems worse because the left views violence as not the problem, but a symptom of the true problem, which is the oppression of the violent by their victims.

The negotiations and concessions were not supposed to bring peace. They were supposed to make Israelis suffer. And through this ritualistic suffering, the descendants of Holocaust survivors would finally understand their burden of guilt to the descendants of the conquerors who had repressed them and ruled over their land for centuries.