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April 19, 2014 / 19 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Abu Mazen’

One More Try for Peace as Envoy Martin Indyk Arrives in Israel

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

U.S. Special Envoy Martin Indyk raced to Jerusalem Wednesday for emergency meetings with Israeli and Palestinian Authority negotiators over the crashing final status talks.

In Algeria for strategic security talks, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry also urged Israeli and PA leaders to make one more effort to reach an agreement, warning that the Obama administration could not force peace if partners were unwilling.

“You can facilitate, you can push, you can nudge, but the parties themselves have to make fundamental decisions and compromises,” he said. “The leaders have to lead and they have to be able to see a moment when it’s there.” Kerry quoted the old adage of being able to ‘lead a horse to water but not being able to make it drink’ — an analogy that every American child is raised with.

“Now is the time to drink,” Kerry said. “The leaders need to know that.”

Last week Israel balked over the release of a final group of 30 PA terrorist incarcerated in Israeli prisons. The group included 20 Israeli Arab citizens – a controversial issue that had split the coalition government of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu from the start of the talks in July 2013.

The Israeli Arab prisoners acted in their terrorism under the auspices of Fatah and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). Both are led by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, so it is impossible for him to close his eyes to their incarceration. More so, it is impossible for Israeli government ministers to ignore the fact that Abbas, whose nom de guerre is Abu Mazen, is in some ways as much a terrorist as those who are imprisoned. Abbas has claimed “only a few hundred thousand” Jews were killed by the Nazis during the Holocaust. During the years of the Bush Administration he refused to dismantle terrorist organizations as required by the Roadmap peace plan – which collapsed — and refuses to stop media incitement in the PA against Israel as well.

The prisoners were to be freed in stages linked to progress in the talks and the participation of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas – who has not been active at the negotiating table since November 2013. Further exacerbating the problem is the fact that no visible progress appears to have been made on the core issues since that time, with Israel making all the security concessions and endangering its own population.

Last Friday, instead of freeing the terrorists, Israel proposed to extend the talks and offered to free another 400 prisoners, again in stages linked as before to progress in the negotiations.

The talks are not scheduled to end until April 29.

Instead, on Monday infuriated PA leaders signed applications for membership in 15 United Nations agencies and organizations. The move is an outrageous violation of its commitment to both Israel and the United States at the outset of the talks.

Last night (Wednesday), Fatah faction leader Mohamed Shtayyeh also threatened in a statement in Arabic to Sky News to submit an application to the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague – a second violation.

The PA committed at the start of negotiations with Israel in July 2013 not to seek membership in international organizations – including the International Criminal Court at The Hague – until the conclusion of talks on April 29.

But Shtayyeh announced that the PA is also no longer willing to “negotiate” on any issue other than borders and demanded Israel present a map of new borders based on the 1949 Armistice lines, also known as the “1967 lines.” This is a third violation.

The “1967 lines” term is used with bitterness by Arabs and many in the international community to refer to the areas occupied by Jordan from 1948 to 1967, whose borders were dissolved after Israel won the 1967 Six Day War.

If Israel is unable to reach agreement with the PA on borders, the PA threatened to submit applications for membership in 63 international organizations. The strategy is being used as a means of gaining de facto legitimacy as a as an independent sovereign nation.

Moreover, Shtayyeh blamed Israel for the action, saying it came in response to the government decision not to release the final group of terrorist prisoners last week.

PA envoy to the United Nations Riyad Mansour added in a statement to the Bethlehem-based Ma’an news agency – a PA mouthpiece — that the entity is “eligible for membership in up to 550 international organizations.”

Why Do Arabs Oppose Recognizing a Jewish State?

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

Prime Minister Netanyahu suggested to US secretary of state John Kerry that the framework he was drawing up for negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority include Palestinian Arab recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, as the nation-state of the Jewish people. Kerry intended to include this Israeli proposal, but since has backed away from it in view of Arab opposition, first of all from Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah and Palestinian Authority. Just last week, the Arab League voted its support for Abbas’ position.

One of the justifications for this opposition that apologists for the PA/PLO present is that by Israel being a Jewish state, the civil rights of Arab citizens of Israel would be adversely affected.

However, all states belonging to the Arab League define themselves as Arab states. All Arab League member states but Lebanon define themselves constitutionally as Islamic states in one way or another. This does not stop them from opposing Israel being defined as a Jewish national state.

The arguments against Israel as a Jewish state could logically be applied to Arab and Islamic states, and with more justification, since we have the benefit of hindsight to know just how non-Arabs and non-Muslims have been treated in Arab states.

The explanation for the Arab position lies, I believe, in the traditional Arab-Muslim view of Jews as an inferior dhimmi people, a millet [see below] devoid of national rights, and only entitled to live if they pay a yearly head tax on dhimmis called the jizya. The dhimma system applied to all non-Muslims who were subjects of the Islamic state, with individual exceptions. Within this system, the Jews were at the bottom of the barrel, at least in the Fertile Crescent countries, including the Levant, where the Jews’ status was inferior to that of their fellow dhimmis, the Christians.

Whereas the Quran and medieval Arab historiography, such as the the writings of Ibn Khaldun, recognize the Jews as a nation or people, the entrenched Islamic view of Jews as an evil, inferior contemptible millet is now dominant. Moreover, in fact, in practice, that was the actual status of Jews in the Arab-Muslim countries for centuries. Even today in the 21st century Muslims believe that Jews do not deserve the dignity of having a national state of their own, the Quran and the old Arab historians notwithstanding.

This contemptuous view of Jews is clearly stated by the PLO in its charter. Article 20, already denies that the Jews are a people, claiming that they are merely a “religious” group. Jewish tradition holds that the Jews are both a people and a religious group. Here is the relevant text of Art. 20:

“The claim of historical or religious ties between Jews and Palestine does not tally with historical realities nor with the constituents of statehood in their true sense. Judaism in its character as a religion is not a nationality with an independent existence. Likewise the Jews are not one people with an independent identity. They are rather citizens of the states to which they belong.”

Note the contempt for Jews which oozes from this text. The history of Israelite/Jewish kingdoms in the country, as well as of the Roman province of Judea, is denied. The setting of much of the Hebrew Bible lies in the Land Of Israel which the PLO denies in a way reminiscent of Holocaust denial. Further, Jews do not have “the constituents of statehood in their true sense.” Just by the way, the Nazis and other German Judeophobes claimed that the Jews were not capable of being a “state-forming nation.” [see Francis R Nicosia, The Third Reich and the Palestine Question (Austin, TX: University of Texas Press 1985)].

Abbas to NYT: NATO Force Can Patrol Palestinian State

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas told The New York Times he would be willing to allow a U.S.-led NATO force to patrol a Palestinian state for an indefinite amount of time.

Israeli soldiers and Israeli settlements could remain for five years from the state’s establishment, Abbas said in an interview with The New York Times published on Monday. The offer of five years is up from the three that he has previously offered.

Abbas also said that the Palestinian state would be demilitarized; that it would not have its own army, only a peace force.

The third party force will remain “to reassure the Israelis, and to protect us,” Abbas told New York Times reporter Jodi Rudoren and columnist Tom Friedman at his Ramallah headquarters.

“We will be demilitarized,” Abbas told the newspaper. “Do you think we have any illusion that we can have any security if the Israelis do not feel they have security?”

He called recognizing Israel as a Jewish state “out of the question,” and pointed out that Jordan and Egypt did not sign anything to that effect when they signed peace treaties with Israel.

Abbas said that at the end of the nine months set aside for the peace talks, which will come in April, he would be willing to extend the negotiations, if progress is being made.

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.”

Peres Commutes Sentence of 6 Israeli-Arab Killers of IDF Soldiers

Saturday, September 7th, 2013

During the coming months, the Israeli Prison Service is expected to decide on the release of 6 Israeli-Arabs who committed murderous terror attacks. The first review is expected as early as September 17, according to a report in Makor Rishon.

Following the Shalit deal, in which 1,027 terrorists were released in exchange for an Israeli IDF soldier held hostage by Hamas, Israeli President Shimon Peres shortened the prison terms of at least 6 Israeli-Arabs, in jail for terror attacks. Two of the terrorists, Mahar Yunis and Karim Yunis, killed IDF soldier Avraham Greenberg in the 1980s. Four others, Ibrahim Biadsa, Valid Daka, Rushdi Abu-Moch and Ibrahim Abu-Moch killed IDF soldier Moshe Tamam, also in the ’80s.

In addition, in February 2014, another terrorist, Halaf Gumah Ahmad, who killed Israeli citizen Hanan Gur, is expected to be released.

These and other pre-Oslo terrorists were on the list that PA President Abu Mazin demanded be released following the Shalit deal.

These six terrorists were originally given death sentences, which were commuted to life in prison.

But a year and a half ago, Peres and the Pardons Department in the Ministry of Justice decided to commute their life sentences to 35 and 40 years – putting them on the fast track to being released.

Relatives of the murdered men met with attorney Emi Palmor, Director of the Dept. of Pardons in the Ministry of Justice, but she couldn’t provide satisfactory answers to the families as to why the men were being released. Israel’s internal security service, the Shabak, has also recommended that these particular prisoners not be released, and the presidential gesture is also being contested by the Netanyahu government, which was bypassed in the decision.

Two taboos were broken when the decision was made to start releasing these particular terrorists. The first one was releasing Israeli-Arabs in order to appease the Palestinian Authority, and the second was releasing terrorists who murdered IDF soldiers.

Some government officials are claiming that the decision to release these terrorists is purely professional. For 25 years they were denied pardons, while other murderers have been released after shorter stints behind bars.

There is still a chance that these six terrorists won’t be released, as they don’t meet the typical release criteria, one of which is expressing regret for their actions, something most of these terrorists haven’t done.

PA President, Taking Cue from Obama, Demanding State Map

Friday, April 5th, 2013

After decades, perhaps centuries, in which we, Jews, have been able to count on the Arabs to rescue us from the catastrophic errors of our own leaders by committing even worse errors—as the late Abba Eban put it: The Arabs never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity—we may be up against the first Arab who is a whole lot better than us at using opportunities, and how.

Mahmoud Abbas, whom Arabs and Israelis call by his nom de guerre Abu Mazen, has figured out how to outmaneuver his opponent, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and how to defeat the greatest democracy with the strongest army in the region. Frankly, the only real hope Israel has at the moment is that some Palestinian idiot would assassinate the crafty Abbas, and leave Netanyahu to deal with leaders to whom he can measure up.

Secretary of State John Kerry is coming to town next week, ready to twist Israeli arms, and we might as well face up to it: the Obama and Kerry visits have been planned as a one-two punch, with Abu Mazen being heavily prompted to let America do the job for him.

When Barack Obama was making nice with our children in Jerusalem, he made a statement that, at the time, sounded like a rebuke to the Palestinians, who had been insisting that the precondition to renewing talks on peace with the Israelis is a new settlement freeze.

That one was right out of Abba Eban’s book of missing opportunities. Netanyahu tried a settlement freeze early on in his second term. It didn’t bring the Arabs to the table, but it did create a fervent resentment against him among settlers, who responded by doubling Naftali Bennett’s Jewish Home Knesset faction, all at the expense of Bibi’s Likud party.

Palestinian sovereignty and Israeli security are “the core issue,” Obama told Abbas in Ramallah. “If we solve those two problems, the settlement problem will be solved.”

It wasn’t a rebuke, it was golden advise, it was the kind of strategic thinking the Palestinians had not been able to generate, with the glaring exception of the UN assembly statehood vote – which was Abu Mazen’s brainchild, he managed to break the fundamental rules of the Oslo Accords and got away with it relatively unscathed.

Now the PA president has announced that he won’t be asking for settlements freeze as a precondition, he wants to see a map instead. Let Mr. Netanyahu bring to the first meeting of the new round of negotiations his version of where the new Palestinian state should be.

It sounds so harmless. After all, what’s more logical than starting the wheeling and dealing with each side showing where they think the new border should run in the future. One side wants this much, the other side wants only this much – and they’ll reach a compromise.

In reality, this demand robs Netanyahu of his entire arsenal of negotiation moves. In Netanyahu’s play book, you get to map drawing in the distant future, years from now, after a lengthy series of small moves, tweaks, minute gestures, back and forth. If he shows his map at the start, then the future borders become the one and only topic of negotiations, everything else is moot, the battle has been lost before it began.

Meanwhile, AFP reports, President Mahmoud Abbas will temporarily refrain from unilateral action against Israel at the UN and other international arenas, to give U.S.-brokered peace talks a chance to resume.

For a couple of months, the Palestinians will nobly “refrain from taking a case against Israel to the International Criminal Court,” an anonymous Palestinian source told AFP.

But the same official warned that if Israel failed to halt settlement building, the PA would immediately begin working through the international bodies again.

“Settlement building in E1 is a red line and erecting so much as one stone in the area … would destroy the two-state solution,” he said.

Speaking of stones, the PA has been utilizing those very well, along with firebombs, sending bands of angry, unemployed youths to literally get themselves killed by challenging IDF units all across Judea and Samaria. Two Arab teenagers have already been killed, and young Arabs in the Hebron area continued to clash with Israeli troops all day Thursday, protesting the death of Maysara Abu Hamdiyeh, who was serving a long prison sentence for attempted murder, in Israeli custody. Abu Hamdiyeh died from cancer which the Israeli prison system failed to cure.

Palestinians for the Dissolution of the PA

Monday, January 7th, 2013

Occasionally a journalist must show his readers a disturbing, difficult and complex picture, so that they will not be surprised when reality hits them in the face. It is not my intention to spread anti-Israeli propaganda, but rather to illustrate the prevailing mood that confronts us, for this is the task that I am entrusted with and this is the responsibility that rests on my shoulders.

Several days ago, Mahmoud Abbas, head of the PLO and the Palestinian Authority, announced that if negotiations with Israel are not renewed in a way that will lead the Palestinian people toward their goal, he will invite Netanyahu to Ramallah, he “will lay the keys on the table” and dissolve the PA. This announcement, which was given to the newspaper “Haaretz,” was supposed to shock Israel to its foundations, but that is not what happened: the Israeli public – which is preoccupied with upcoming elections – did not go berserk as a result, and the announcement was left hanging in the air.
But the Palestinian public is not indifferent to events, and in recent weeks we have seen an increase in public disturbances in Judea and Samaria. The Arabs who are residents of the disputed territories take Abu Mazen’s announcement in various ways: some fear an outbreak of violent acts that will harm not only Israel but them as well; some fear that dissolution of the PA might cause an economic downturn, but there are some who wish for the dissolution of the PA and not because of Zionist motives.
We bring the words of one of these, Ahmed Muhsin, who, after Abbas’s announcement about dissolving the PA, published the following article (my comments in parenthesis):
“Since the PA is meaningless, dissolve it if you can and leave us be!!”
By Ahmed Muhsin
Western media have publicized Abbas’s announcement and called it “Earth-shattering News”, thus revealing how the West regards the PA. We have no intention of analyzing the announcements, their meaning or their timing (the Israeli pre-election season) but only to raise questions that we have heard from the various shades and sectors of the general public. The people are convinced that the PA is not the seed from which a Palestinian state will sprout.  Those who designed it and brought it here have promised us (so that the masses will applaud them and we will believe in it) that it will bring us peace that will turn us into Singapore in Palestine.
The PA is a bitter experiment for which the Palestinian people have paid a high price, as we see today and as the martyr Abu Amar (Yasir Arafat) remarked in his last days. The result, which we witness and live each and every moment in the occupied territories, is a rapid growth of settlements, the building of the racist separation wall, the Judaization of Jerusalem and the land, a rise in the number of captives and prisoners, security collaboration with the occupiers, dependency of our people on the hook of salaries that the PA pays, to the point where we beg our enemies to pay us what we have earned and beg for crumbs at the doors of donors, who pay and give grants – and nothing comes for free – in addition to the results of the Oslo Accords and the establishment of the PA, which caused the shameful split (between the PLO and Hamas). So where is the threat in dissolving the PA when it is [directed/ toward the occupation and especially to Netanyahu? Must we wait until the outcome of the elections in the occupying country with its militaristic society? Must we wait also for the results of the elections in the United States in order to formulate]] our policy each time anew?
Is the slogan “The PA is a national achievement” true or false? Are those right who claim that the PA is not a Palestinian entity, and that’s why it serves its resignation to its masters (the Israelis)? Is it logical that an entity that is on such a (high) level as the PA, a state with observer status at the UN, should present its resignation to the occupation and call for the occupation to return and its army invade Palestinian land? Is Abu Mazen the only one who has the authority to take the decision to dissolve the PA? Where are the Palestinian institutions, who are interested in the subject? The PLO? The Fatah Movement? The various Palestinian offshoots? Was the issue presented to them and were they consulted on the matter of dissolution of the PA? Or perhaps we belong to the third world and have become a one-man organization, a one-man political entity where all governmental authorities are held by one man?
Was the goal of Abu Mazen’s threat to dissolve the PA and hand over the keys of the West Bank to the Israeli occupation, just another attempt to drag Israel into negotiations by pressuring Israel and the United States; will he give up the condition that settlement activity must be stopped before returning to negotiations? If this is true, can the problem of Palestine endure another twenty years, treading a path with no possibility of arriving at a solution?
Does Abu Mazen have the authority to decide to dissolve the PA? Can such a decision be reached by Palestinians alone (without the involvement of higher bodies such as the Arab League and the UN)? Why – after all of the marching in place – is there no decision to confront the arrogant occupation and call for (violent) resistance as the martyr Yasir Arafat did, may Allah have mercy on him? Is Abu Mazen serious in the threat to dissolve the PA? Or perhaps it is just another empty threat, like previous threats which were not carried out? Does Abu Mazen hear the voices of nationalist demands to return to the situation that preceded the Oslo Accords and its consequences, to escalate the (violent) resistance and to place the responsibility on the occupation, especially in light of the deteriorating situation in the occupied Palestinian territories?
Will Abu Mazen carry out the threat to dissolve the PA? Or perhaps he will respond to the pressure of special-interest groups who stand to gain from the continuation of the PA, are these the topics that provide meaningless descriptions for the hallucinatory analysts of the situation? These people produce declarations] that weaken our determination; they are bullies of surrender, supporters of the (Zionist) lie who defend it at any price, under the illusory signs and slogans that have no connection to reality beyond their own narrow interests.
Is the threat to dissolve the PA the admission of the Oslo architects of its utter failure? Will a power vacuum reign in the occupied territories after the dissolution of the PA? (This is the most concerning situation of all, because then the Arab society in Judea and Samaria might deteriorate into violent internal conflicts, as is currently happening in Syria.) Will the resistance (Hamas) fill this void? (What will the situation be between Hamas and the PLO) after the reorganization of the PLO and activation of its institutions, as it continues to grapple with the occupation until liberation, the return (of the refugees into Israeli territory), the achievement of freedom and independence?
Dissolve it! O Abu Mazen if you could only do that!!! Turn your threat into reality!!! Translate it into deeds!!! Enough already with empty talk and wasting time, because the PA has become meaningless and it doesn’t even have control of its own decisions. It is a mere hired hand, or contractor for the occupation, and there will not be a power vacuum after the dissolution, since the heroic arms of the resistance will be there to deal with the occupation and sweep it off to hell!!!”

This concludes the article, which, in my opinion, reflects the mood of many. In the past seven years, since the second intifada was put down, many have forgotten its horrors and severe consequences, and many youths – who were only children then – have today become “shabab” who lead the resistance against Israel. There is in this situation a generational struggle, between the elders who seek a solution and the youth, who see solution as surrender.

Abu Mazen Negates 2-State Solution, Wants All of Israel

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

On his official Facebook page last Saturday, Palestinian President Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas) negated the concept of 2 states divided on the basis of the Green Line, and said that the Palestinians also have claims to the “lands the Israelis occupied before 1967″.

In his post Abbas says that he doesn’t just claim the West Bank, but wants to take all of the Land of Israel. By the UN to recognizing Palestinian rights to the West Bank, “it also proves that Palestinians have rights to all the land that is occupied.”

In short, Abu Mazen is saying he doesn’t support a two-state solution and an end to the conflict, just an end to Israel.

PM Netanyahu said in July that, “The Palestinians haven’t made peace all these years, ever since Israel began talks with them, because they are not just talking about the West bank, but they also want Haifa and Tel Aviv, and have not given up on that dream.”

Abu Mazen just confirmed that.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/abu-mazen-negates-2-state-solution-wants-all-of-israel/2012/10/17/

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