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July 29, 2014 / 2 Av, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Abbas’

Knesset Panel OKs ‘Peace Talk Buster’ Bill to Preserve Jerusalem

Monday, October 21st, 2013

A Haredi Knesset Member surprised the government Sunday and mustered a 5-4 committee vote to advance a bill requiring approval of two-thirds of the legislature before Israel could surrender sovereignty over any land in Jerusalem.

The bill states that Jerusalem will “not be divided, or parts of it handed over to anybody” and that “the sanctity of Jerusalem shall not be given to outsiders.”

A “united Jerusalem” is one of Israeli politicians’ favorite mottos never put to the test, but the Knesset Ministerial Committee will force the hand of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

He never will say he is for dividing Jerusalem, but he is not about to allow the bill become law and make Israel the loser in the “blame game” in discussions between Palestinian Authority and Israel negotiators.

United Torah Judaism MK Yaakov Litzman, who sits in the Opposition, proposed the bill to make it virtually impossible to win Knesset approval for dividing the capital. Two Jewish Home ministers and a Likud and Yisrael Beiteinu minister voted for the bill, while Yesh Atid ministers and those from Livni’s party were among those opposing it.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu previously has opposed the idea, and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, who heads the Ministerial Committee, said she would appeal the 5-4 vote. The Prime Minister will make sure the vote goes the other way next time around.

Livni correctly said that her hands would be tied in talks with the Palestinian Authority if the Knesset were to pass the bill into law.

One of the rules of the game that the Obama administration has laid down is that neither side can make any unilateral moves, which would abort the talks. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry already has slapped Mahmoud Abbas’ hands for suggesting that since things are not moving in his direction fast enough, he would consider going back to the United Nations to expand the PA’s presence on international committees.

He and chief negotiator Saeb Erekat also have been called on the carpet for repeatedly negative comments about the talks. On Sunday, Abbas suddenly spoke as if things were just honky-dory, just as Kerry told him to say.

Livni would look stupid, no comments please, if she were to show up at a meeting with Erekat after the Knesset had passed a law that requires 80 Knesset Members to approve dividing the city. The law would destroy the Arab dream of turning Jerusalem into a nightmare for Jews.

MK Litzman scored points with his getting the bill to pass by a narrow vote, but Prime Minister Netanyahu does not want to be the party pooper in the White House, and he will join Livni to make sure the bill does not get to the floor of the Knesset.

The ignorantly uncompromising  position of the Palestinian Authority and the pitifully spineless position of Israel show how stupid the Obama administration looks because it is even more pitifully deaf and blind for imagining that Israel and the Palestinian Authority have any intention of sacrificing their separate existence.

The American government has not yet understood that Israel already has surrendered so much over the past 20 years that the government cannot accept any further serious concessions.

It also has not understood that if the Palestinian Authority surrender even one fingernail, it is doomed, which it is anyway.

And MK Litzman does not understand that Israel is not allowed to bring any principles or ideology to the discussions because the government of Israel has to show it is spineless in order to force the Palestinian Authority into showing it is hopeless.

Peace Is Still Up to the Palestinians

Thursday, October 17th, 2013

It’s difficult to gauge just how stalled the peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, going on behind close doors right now, are. The relative paucity of leaks testifies to both sides not wishing to be blamed for what just about everybody other than Secretary of State John Kerry – the man who orchestrated the new round of negotiations – believes will be their certain failure.

But that has not stopped both Israeli and Palestinian leaders from a degree of posturing about the talks that shows there is little reason for optimism even as Palestinian violence against Israelis seems to be ramping up in recent days.

On the one hand, Prime Minister Netanyahu is being accused of inflaming the situation by referencing the support of Palestinian leaders for the Nazis in a speech given at Bar-Ilan University, the same venue where he formally embraced the two-state solution in 2009.

On the other, leftist Israeli parliamentarians are praising Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud Abbas for what they see as conciliatory statements delivered in a meeting he held with them in Ramallah.

But the supposed contrast between the two, with Netanyahu depicted as harming peace and Abbas promoting it, is deceiving. Far from undermining peace, Netanyahu’s challenge to the Palestinians to overcome their history by finally recognizing the legitimacy of a Jewish state is exactly what is needed if Kerry’s initiative is to be more than a fool’s errand.

As for Abbas, by praising him for leaving out of his speech any deliberate provocations, the peace camp is setting a low bar for their so-called peace partner. Even worse, by ignoring what the Palestinian Authority is saying and doing when the spotlight is not on it as well as by choosing to ignore competing statements by PA officials at the same meeting shows just how little the Palestinians are interested in genuine peace and how the peace camp is repeating the same mistakes it made during the heyday of the failed Oslo process.

Netanyahu’s speech was far from the denunciation of the peace process that some of his detractors are depicting. In fact, what he did was merely articulate the simple formula for how the two-state solution could be achieved: Palestinians must recognize that the Jews have a right to their own state. Remembering the past was not merely rehearsing old grudges but a reminder that the notion that Jewish settlements are the real obstacle to peace is absurd. After all, Palestinians have been attacking the Jewish right to live anywhere between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean for a century.

As Netanyahu pointed out, it wasn’t a territorial conflict in the 1920s when anti-Jewish pogroms were initiated or the 1940s when Palestinian leaders embraced Hitler because the Jews didn’t have territory. But all the Palestinians need to get a state alongside Israel is to say they endorse the right to a Jewish state and to renounce the so-called right of return for the descendants of the 1948 refugees. Since that is still apparently too much to ask of the PA, what possible hope can there be for the peace talks?

Israeli left-wingers say they were impressed by Abbas’s discretion with them during their meeting:

“The things that he didn’t say I think were most important,” said Merav Michaeli, a member of Israel’s Labor Party. “He made sure that he doesn’t say anything that makes us uncomfortable.”

But if you think that sounds suspiciously like the shell game the Palestinians played with supporters of the peace process back in the 1990s, it should. Abbas played nice with Israeli critics of the Netanyahu government during his meeting and even belatedly condemned the recent shooting of a 9-year-old Israeli girl in a West Bank settlement. But the “upbeat tone” of his address included nothing about recognizing the legitimacy of a Jewish state or the right of return, the real obstacles to peace.

Tellingly, once Abbas had left and the cameras were off, one of the PA leader’s senior aides and negotiators set the record straight about what the Palestinians are willing to do. Yasser Abed Rabbo not only dropped the happy talk and called Netanyahu an “extremist,” he bluntly said the Palestinians would never recognize “historic Palestine” as the “homeland of the Jewish people.”

Rabbo sat next to Abbas during the love fest with leftist Israelis while the latter refused to say what he felt about the “Jewish state” issue, something that Netanyahu’s critics thought was a good sign. But Rabbo took that attempt at ambiguity and tossed it into the trash. That point was also made apparent in a pamphlet handed out by the PA that depicted it as a made-up issue despite the fact that the original United Nations partition resolution of 1947 specifically referred to the creation of a Jewish state alongside an Arab one.

The point here is not so much that Netanyahu’s stance – which is not unreasonably being seen as an attempt to answer his right-wing critics who fear he is about to cave in to pressure from Kerry and President Obama – is reasonable and that of Abbas and Rabbo is not. Rather, it is that once again the Palestinians are trying to have it both ways, talking peace at one moment and making it clear their goal is continued conflict at another.

The Oslo Accords failed in large measure because the United States and Israel never took Arafat’s doubletalk seriously and chose to ignore Palestinian incitement and provocation. Those Americans and Israelis who fall for the same trick again are merely setting up the region for the same result that followed the collapse of Oslo. That is a price that would be paid in the blood of Israelis and Palestinians.

Secretary Kerry and President Obama would do well to heed Netanyahu’s warnings and avoid falling into the same trap.

Here’s How the IDF Blows up a Terrorists’ Tunnel (Video)

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

The aftermath of a controlled explosion of a terror tunnel into Israel from Gaza looked like a mammoth counterterrorist bombing, but no one in the Gaza Belt area is breathing easier because who knows how many other tunnels have not been discovered?

The IDF revealed on Tuesday that the tunnel, containing several barrels of explosives, reached Israel from central Gaza, near what used to be Gush Katif before the Sharon government expelled all Jews from Gaza and then withdrew all soldiers. Hamas immediately demolished remaining greenhouses and turned the ground into training camps for terrorists.

Last week, another tunnel was discovered reaching Kibbutz Ein HaShlosha, but it has not yet been destroyed.

The tunnel that was blown up, as seen in the video below, was built with 500 tons of cement arches and was “extremely advanced and well prepared,” said Gaza commander Brig. Gen. Michael Edelstein.

The government woke up after the discovery of the second tunnel and decided that maybe it was not such a brilliant idea to allow building materials, such as cement, to enter Gaza. Maybe, just maybe, Hamas and other terrorist organizations will use the cement for non-peaceful purposes.

If Israel was under pressure from the United States, as usual, to ease restrictions on what can enter Gaza, it is just another example of the U.S. government – and it was true under Bush just as it is true under Obama – acting as authority for Israeli security without taking any responsibility.

If the terrorists had succeeded, God Forbid, in blowing up a few soldiers and a Jewish town, well, that’s the price of peaceful hallucinations in Foggy Bottom.

The IDF knows there still are dozens, if not hundreds, of terrorists’ tunnels remaining in Gaza,. It knows the location of some of them because after every rocket attack or mortar shelling on Israel, the Air Force immediately bombs a “weapons storehouse” or a “terror tunnel.”

Gen. Edelstein told reporters, “Yes. There are [more tunnels]. We are looking after them and we will do what we need to do in order to meet those threats — either here or in the Gaza Strip.”

That is what he said, but that is not the way the IDF has acted in the past. The government and military’s attitude to terror tunnels reflects Western thinking of dealing with terrorist organizations as if they were run by the State Dept., which enjoys talking to itself.

The latest tunnel that was discovered will be blown up because it was obviously a clear and present danger to Israelis, but no one the Defense Ministry has ever explained why there are no orders to the IDF to blow up all of the other tunnels that are known to exist. If the IDF were to be too aggressive, it might upset the United Nations.

Gen. Edelstein tried to reassure Gaza Belt Jews by saying that the military considered the construction of the tunnel an “extreme violation” of the ceasefire following the Pillar of defense counter terrorist operation last year.

It is nice of the military to consider it a “violation.” Maybe it will complain to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry? Maybe it will complain to the United Nations?

Even better, or worse, maybe it will complain to Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas?

Jews in southern Israel have heard the refrain “The IDF will do whatever necessary to defend the citizens of Israel” so often that it does not even go in one ear anymore.


 

While the US Is Aiding Abbas, the EU Says He’s Crooked

Monday, October 14th, 2013

A London newspaper report of a  European Union audit citing gross corruption in the Palestinian Authority is the latest, but not the last, exposure of a PA regime that is a decaying creature living on borrowed time.

In August, the United States signed a $148 million agreement with the Palestinian Authority to support the budget in Ramallah.

U.S. Consul General Michael Ratney stressed how much the Obama administration supports Abbas government in order to strengthen its institutions, all part of the master plan to show that the Palestinian Authority functions as a state. All it needs, according to the U.S. State Dept., is the stamp of approval that it is a country.

The very idea of creating a new Arab state within Israel’s current borders is a dream for President Barack Obama, so he had no trouble in August to waive restrictions set by Congress to send more tax dollars to Ramallah,  part of a prize for resuming the so-called peace talks that are rapidly on their way to joining previous discussions in the grave from which they were exhumed in July.

Shortly after the U.S. aid, France and the Palestinian Authority signed a $15 million agreement to bail out Abbas’ depleted coffers, which have a bottom line of approximately minus $500 million.

Hamdallah then met EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, one of Israel’s biggest thorns in the you know where, to ask for more money.

When it comes to schooring, Abbas has it all over the Jews.

As usual, the PA says it needs money because Israel is choking it as well as Gaza with the famous siege that does not exist., except for that which the Egyptian military regime has imposed. But  that does not count since it is not part of the Zionist lobby.

Make no mistake about it, says Abbas. “Israel exploits our resources and lands which directly leads to an increase in the deficit which we must contend with,” and “the central reason for this is the Israeli occupation.”

That is the magic code word for Abbas to get whatever he wants. If there is not enough rain, it is because of the occupation. If it is Tuesday and not Wednesday, it is because of the occupation.

Now it is October. It’s salary time again, and guess what? Palestinian Authority  Finance Minister Shukri Bishara told Abbas it has no money to pay its workers, who officially comprise nearly 8 percent of the total population in Judea and Samaria, but in fact the number is far larger.

It has been reported year after that the Palestinian Authority is a welfare state and that it cannot exist on its own.

Anyone who simply travels through Judea and Samaria can see for himself huge villas and thousands of luxury cars. What people don’t see, or don’t want to see, is that many of those homes and cars were paid for by the billions of dollars a year that are controlled by officials who make Congressmen’s pork barrel look like small potatoes.

The Times of London revealed Sunday that a European Union audit shows that corruption and mismanagement managed to waste about $2 billion, which is three or four times the annual deficit and also is nearly equal to the total amount of money the EU has given to the Palestinian Authority in the four-year period ending last year.

This is no news to Palestinian Authority Arabs. The EU auditors could have saved themselves a lot of work and trouble if they simply had asked the local Arabs, just like pollsters did last year, when they discovered that an overwhelming 71 percent of Arabs believe that there is corruption in their government.

In order to boost the confidence of Abbas to remain corrupt, Uncle Sam will pay out approximately $440 million to Ramallah this years, which is less than the $513.4 million doled out last year but still $440 million more than zero, not including support for UNRWA.

Aid to Israel is in the billions, but a large part of it is funneled right back into the United States for purchases of Made in USA defense components.

In the case of the Palestinian Authority, the only money that goes back into the coffers of the United States is that which Abbas forks over in restaurants when schnooring in Washington.

Netanyahu Speech a Gamble that Abbas Won’t Call Israel ‘Jewish’

Sunday, October 6th, 2013

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu hammered away at Palestinian Authority  chairman Mahmoud Abbas refusal to recognize Israel as Jewish state Sunday night in an address at Bar-Ilan University.

The Prime Minister’s speech, four years after his address to the university when he recognized for the first the idea  of “two states,” was devoted to two subjects – Israel as a Jewish state and the Iranian threat.

He was careful to stay on the good side of President Barack Obama, and he underlined how Israel and the United States “see eye-to-eye” on the need to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.

He delivered the same message as in the United Nations last week, but with a  different punch. Prime Minister Netanyahu challenged anyone who believes that Iran is not trying to obtain nuclear weapons to ask it, “Why do you need centrifuges and plutonium?…Seventeen countries have nuclear energy without centrifuges and plutonium. Only someone interested in nuclear weapons wants them.”

In his remarks on the Palestinian Authority, Netanyahu showed the other side of the coin from his 2009 speech at Bar-Ilan. On Sunday, Netanyahu did not offer Abbas any plums. He ripped apart the claim that the “settlements” are the heart of the conflict by noting Arab attacks and pogroms on Israel since 1921.

He methodically opened up the past on the Muslim Mufti in Israel who encouraged the Nazi regime to annihilate   Jews, throughout World War II. Prime Minister Netanyahu noted evidence that the Muft once was hosted by Adolf Eichmann during a visit to the gas chambers at Auschwitz.

That was his starting point for verbally attacking the Palestinian Authority for a long history of denying that Jews have  a right to their own country in Israel.

He constantly challenged Abbas to compromise and recognize Israel as a Jewish state.

Prime Minister Netanyahu has turned the demand into a manta and has repeated it so many times that, given the culture of self-pride in the Middle East, Abbas would appear to be bowing down to the “Zionists” if he were to do so.

But Abbas is getting lots of advice from outside the Palestinian Authority.

Israel’s leftwing coaches him. The New Israel Fund, Yossi Beilin and J Street officials have taught him to say the right things at the right time.

Netanyahu is gambling that Abbas will continue “not to miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity,” as Israel’s late Ambassador  to the United Nations Abba Eban once said of the Arabs.

If Abbas ever does get up the courage to say what Netanyahu has been goading him to do for three years, the Prime Minister will have a big problem.

The United States and the European Union will put him at the head of the parade to the Nobel Peace Prize and declare, “See! Abbas has made a concession. He proves he wants peace. Don’t ask for anything else. Don’t you know how hard it was for him to say the magic word ‘Jewish’? Now shut up and hand over everything he wants.”

Netanyahu has history with him. The Arabs, and particularly the Palestinian Authority, always respond to winning by concessions with the thinking they can have it all. If Abbas were to blink and concede, his life would be in even more danger than today. He would need to the IDF to protect him.

So long as Abbas does not blink, Israel is safe.

Netanyahu also has one other factor in his favor. Abbas does not read The Jewish Press.

PA Security Forces Crack Down of Criminals, but not Terrorists

Sunday, October 6th, 2013

Palestinian Authority “special” security forces swooped down on Jenin, in central Samaria, an impressive show of force that would convince someone who does not know any better, such as the U.S. State Dept.,  that it is working to clear the city of terrorists,

However, their targets were not terrorists but were those “involved in lawlessness and chaos,” according to the official Palestinian Authority WAFA news site, quoting Jenin Governor Talal Dweikat.

He said that the “special National Security force” entered Jenin on Wednesday to help police restore law and order. Lest anyone think that the local Arabs are simply criminals, WAFA pointed out that a “number of people wanted for justice…were involved in chaos, lawlessness and riots that broke out following the Israeli army’s cold blooded killing of Islam Toubasi,” a terrorist who attacked IDF forces trying to round up his colleagues last month.

Once again, Israel is to blame, this time for killing a terrorist who was not interesting enough to be arrested by the “special” security forces.

The WAFA report exposes unrest within the Palestinian Authority. It reported that Dweikat “said that those who were involved in shooting and throwing firebombs at the governor’s headquarters, damaging cars for Palestinians from inside Israel, destroying public and private property, uprooting trees and spreading chaos and fear among the people will be brought to justice.”

The Arab street is heating up, but the Palestinian Authority has not been able to garner up the courage to crack down on terrorists.

Hamas is working furiously to establish small cells through Judea and Samaria, Israel’s Voice of Israel radio reported Sunday morning.

The Gaza-based terrorist organization has one single immediate objective – kidnapping an Israeli and using him as barter for freeing more Palestinian Authority terrorists and security prisoners.

IDF intelligence may help the PA forces to break up the cells, giving Abbas a chance to prove he is cracking down on terror.

So far, he not only is not doing so but also continues to incite terror.

On same day that Abbas preached peace at the United Nations, a Fatah party official read his speech in Samaria in praise of a terrorist who killed 15 Israelis, according to the Palestinian Media Watch, which translated and exposed the incitement.

Abbas called the terrorist “the most noble among the noble…(with his death) Fatah lost a beacon. He lived as a giant and died as a giant. He should remain in our hearts with this glory, this greatness.”

Psagot Attack Jeopardizing Abbas’ Demand to Free Terrorists

Sunday, October 6th, 2013

The terrorist attack on a nine-year-old girl Saturday night in Psagot in Samaria, reported here, has set off another storm of protests within the Likud party to call off the talks with the Palestinian Authority.

The victim of the latest attack is in good condition after being shot at closed range by a terrorist who had infiltrated into the community, located between Jerusalem and Beit El-Ofra. The terrorist still is at large.

Last month, Palestinian Authority terrorists murdered two Israeli soldiers, one of them having been kidnapped in the metropolitan Tel Aviv area by a PA resident without a work permit. He had intended to use his victim as barter to force Israel to release his brother, a terrorist, but instead threw his victim, Sgt. Tomer Hazan, into a pit.

All of the attacks came at the same time Israeli negotiators java been speaking with their Palestinian Authority counterparts at the rate of approximately once a week.

The resumption of the talks in late July was conditioned on Israel’s releasing 104 Palestinian Authority terrorists but in several stages,  in order test PA  chairman Mahmoud Abbas commitment to stop terror instead of inciting it,

The first group was released before talks began, and senior government coalition members are demanding that Israel, for a change, make the Palestinian Authority pay for not living up to an agreement.

“Anyone that backs terrorists cannot be called a negotiating partner,” asserts Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon of the Likud.

Tzipi Hotovely, another senior Likud Knesset Member and a very popular nationalist, insisted Saturday night that the government halt the talks with the Palestinian Authority.

Jewish Home chairman Naftali Bennett and party MK Shuli Moallem have been against the whole idea of linking peace talks with freeing terrorists.

The attack in Psagot, following two terrorist murders last month, has solidified their case. MK Moallem called the attack on Psagot “a red light” for the government” and added, “Whoever wants to preserve security doesn’t free prisoners.”

Bennett said, “Our ‘partner’ [Abbas] has not changed 20 years after the Oslo Accords,” he said that the murders of the two soldiers “shows us what kind of partner he is. We do not make peace with terrorists who throw dead bodies into a pit. We fight them without mercy.”

But the United States has a different view and likes to quote President Shimon Peres for having said numerous times, “One makes peace with enemies, not with friends, one of the most banal, pithy and naïve statements of the 21st century but one which reflects American impotence.

The recent terrorist attacks would be the death knell for the U.S.-backed peace talks if it weren’t for the fact that President Barack Obama and  U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry  now are doing what they said they would not do – forcing the talks on Israel despite the Palestinian Authority’s lack of will or inability to stop terror.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said on Friday that the talks are going nowhere and that the Palestinian Authority still refuses to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, Maariv reported.

But Martin Indyk, Obama’s personal negotiator for Israel, has stepped into the talks. He met with negotiators on Friday to create a better atmosphere, which means forcing Israel to swallow more dirt and forcing Abbas to smile and talk nicely.

The Palestinian Authority insists on talking about borders, and Israel insists on discussing security, according to several media reports.

The United States already has stated its case on borders by calling every Jew who lives in Judea and Samaria and formerly Jordanian-occupied Jerusalem an “illegitimate” settler.

So much for not forcing an agreement on Israel.

But the issue of releasing terrorists is bound to be the one that will blow up the negotiations – or, more likely, force Israel to concede again, lest it lose Obama’s “good will.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/attack-in-psagot-terrorizes-abbas-demands-for-freeing-terrorists/2013/10/06/

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