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The Hamas bluster about having bested Israel in Operation Pillar of Defense should not be dismissed as typical Arab hyperbole.
To be sure, Hamas leaders well know what really happened. According to a study issued by The Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, Israel confounded Hamas’s military at every turn, killed its military leader and much of its officer hierarchy and also destroyed most of its strategic assets. And the performance of the Iron Dome anti-missile system and Israel’s overall civilian defense also proved impressive.
Yet Hamas officials are peddling the notion that Israel’s decision not to invade Gaza was the direct result of Hamas’s fierce resistance – despite the fact that Israel achieved its declared goals through the use of targeted air and naval power.
But there is method to their madness. And there is a message for President Obama and the European Union.
Hamas’s claims of victory necessarily tend to diminish the stature and influence of PA President Mahmoud Abbas, who conceived and last month followed through on the UN General Assembly statehood effort. And while Mr. Abbas was hailed in the Palestinian street after his success at the UN, no one paying attention to the West Bank and Gaza can doubt that Hamas has hit on a winning strategy.
So what Hamas has to say about the Israeli- Palestinian conflict has to be listened to very carefully. And the speech Hamas leader Khaled Mashal gave in Gaza last Saturday was ominous. He reiterated his movement’s refusal to “give up one inch of the land of Palestine” and went on to declare that
Palestine from the river to the sea, from the north to the south, is our land and we will never give up one inch or any part of it…. Palestine was, still is and will always be Arab and Islamic. Palestine belongs to us and to no one else. We can never recognize the legitimacy of the Israeli occupation of Palestine. Palestine belongs to us, and not to the Zionists…. Jihad and armed resistance are the right and real way to liberate Palestine and restore our rights…. Liberating Palestine, all of Palestine, is the duty and right and goal of all Arabs and Muslims….
He also declared that the “right of return” for Palestinian refugees was “sacred” and that Jerusalem was “our eternal capital, which we will liberate inch by inch, neighborhood by neighborhood and stone by stone.”
Even if Mr. Abbas were someone who could be taken at his word (a dubious notion in itself) when he says he is interested in negotiating a settlement with Israel, it is hard to conceive of his being able to deliver, given Hamas’s principles. This is certainly so inasmuch as it is common knowledge that if Israel were to withdraw from any part of the West Bank as part of a peace deal, Hamas would quickly move in and take control as it did in Gaza.
Ironically, if anything, Mr. Abbas’s UN foray added to his problems in this regard. His claim to have succeeded in securing recognition of a Palestinian state via the adoption of the resolution he submitted to the General Assembly will make it impossible to move forward with any negotiations. As we noted last week, that resolution codifies pre-1967 lines. How can he then argue that Palestinians should accept anything less? Of course, this would preclude any negotiations.
Indeed, it will be recalled that Mr. Abbas was highly critical of President Obama over the president’s calling for and then backing off a total settlement freeze: “It was Obama who suggested a full settlement freeze. I said OK. I accept. We both went up the tree. After that he came down with the ladder and he removed the ladder and said to me, jump. Three times he did it.”
Just as he was then precluded from asking for anything less than the American president, he is now similarly proscribed. Therefore, this is no time to pressure Israel to make concessions to the Palestinians in order to bring them to the negotiating table.
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Israel projects global material illumination not always the light of “morality” meant by the Navi
“Mr. Prime Minister, declare a unilateral ceasefire! Remember, Blessed is the peacemaker!”
If the UN Grants national recognition to Palestine, why stop there? Tibet, Chechnya, Basque…
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.
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/settlements-obama-and-the-european-union/2012/12/12/
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