Join Meir Panim’s campaign to “light up” Chanukah for families in need.
The alleged breakthrough orchestrated by Secretary of State Kerry last week between Israel and the Palestinians was the culmination of a series of desperate attempts to project the appearance of progress toward a resumption of real negotiations when, given the current circumstances, none are likely to occur.
For several weeks Mr. Kerry had been going back and forth between the Middle East and Washington and between Jerusalem and Ramallah, talking about a “package of ideas” that would lead to talks. He seemed at first glance to have finally succeeded, but on closer observation his achievement looks like little more than smoke and mirrors since the initial round of talks will focus on hammering out a framework for any subsequent negotiations.
Israel has already said negotiations should be resumed without any preconditions. And the Palestinians continue to insist they will only participate in substantive negotiations if Israel agrees in advance to accept the pre-June 1967 lines as the baseline for negotiations; stop all settlement construction; release all Palestinians imprisoned prior to the Oslo Accords; and recognize a Palestinian “right of return.”
These preconditions are not new and in fact have been sought by the Palestinians for years. So for all the optimistic predictions, we are still at the point of trying to resolve what has eluded resolution since the last round of talks collapsed.
In context it could hardly be otherwise. In a normal world, the Palestinian preconditions represent what they would achieve if they were wildly successful at substantive negotiations. So Israel’s position of no preconditions – leaving these issues for negotiations – would seem to be the more rational approach. Plainly, though, the Palestinians are counting on the U.S. to push Israel into making concessions, thereby narrowing the scope of what would be left for negotiations.
Indeed, there have been various reports circulating that Israel will tacitly stop settlement expansion, release some prisoners and accept some formulation regarding recognition of the 1967 lines. But to this point, except for the prisoner issue, there have been denials from the Israeli side. And, interestingly enough, not one word has surfaced –rumor or otherwise – concerning any Palestinian concessions. In fact, Palestinian spokesmen, including senior PA officials, have been fairly gloating that for them it is still all or nothing.
Sadly, what passes for movement in Washington these days is nothing of the sort. It is inconceivable that with all the upheavals and uncertainties in the Middle East, Israel should be expected to make existential decisions about its future, especially when its supposed negotiating partner holds sway in only part of the Palestinian world and even there is vulnerable to challenge by the strongly organized Hamas, which opposes and promises to thwart any agreement with Israel. Nor can Arab states that offer themselves as guarantors of any agreement be counted on as their governments are at risk from the spirit of insurgency that has gripped the region.
It is also noteworthy that while Israel was being prodded by Mr. Kerry to release jailed Palestinian terrorists, the Obama administration rejected Prime Minister Netanyahu’s request that the U.S. free Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard. Pollard, of course, can do no further harm to America, but the Palestinians released by Israel would include those still capable of killing Israelis. And so it goes.
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The decision to not publicly light the Menorah in Sydney, epitomizes the eternal dilemma of Judaism and Jews in the Diaspora.
Am Yisrael is one family, filled with excruciating pain&sorrow for losing the 4 kedoshim of Har Nof
What is its message of the dreidel?” The complexity and hidden nature of history and miracles.
Police play down Arab terrorism as mere “violence” until the truth can no longer be hidden.
The 7 branches of the menorah represent the 7 pillars of secular wisdom, knowledge, and science.
Obama obtained NO verifiable commitments from Cuba it would desist from acts prejudicial to the US
No one would deny that the program subjected detainees to less than pleasant treatment, but the salient point is, for what purpose?
For the past six years President Obama has consistently deplored all Palestinian efforts to end-run negotiations in search of a UN-imposed agreement on Israel.
It’s not an admiration. It is simply a kind of journalist fascination. It stands out, it’s different from more traditional Orthodoxy.
For Am Yisrael, the sun’s movements are subservient to the purpose of our existence.
Israelis now know Arab terrorism isn’t caused by Israeli occupation but by ending Israeli occupation
Anti-Semitism is a social toxin that destroys the things that people most cherish and enjoy.
Amb. Cooper highlighted the impact of the Chanukah/Maccabee spirit on America’s Founding Fathers
It seems to us that while the Jewish entitlement to the land of Israel transcends the Holocaust, the Jewish experience during that tragic time is the most solid of foundations for these “national rights.”
Last year the Obama administration sought to minimize civilian deaths from drone strikes by generally requiring that missile attacks be limited to instances where Americans were directly threatened and there was a “near certainty” that no civilians would be killed.
If anything, Operation Protective Edge showed that Israel will not pull punches when it comes to combating terror.
Toward the end of Operation Protective Edge this past summer, the president was unusually vocal about Israel’s so-called disproportionate use of force and alleged lack of compliance with international humanitarian law.
There was no accompanying caption, but the cartoon could not help but feed the anti-Semitic canard that Israel was responsible for 9/11.
An accomplished Torah scholar and ardent adherent of Bobov chassidus, he was renowned for his self-effacing dedication and skills as an international lawyer and law professor
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/editorial/john-kerrys-smoke-and-mirrors/2013/07/24/
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