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January 23, 2017 / 25 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Arab League’

On 69th Anniversary of UN ‘Partition Plan for Palestine’ Arabs Still Hopelessly Stuck

Tuesday, November 29th, 2016

On November 29, 1947, by a vote of 33 for, 13 against, and 10 abstained, the UN General Assembly adopted Resolution 181(II) to partition Mandatory Palestine at the end of the British Mandate in 1948. The Plan was accepted by the Jewish Agency for Palestine, despite the fact that it turned Jerusalem into an international city, outside Jewish control, and carved out an enormous section in the center of the country for the future Arab state.

Arab leaders and governments, on the other hand, rejected the partition plan and declared their unwillingness to accept any form of territorial division.

A civil war, known to Jews as The War of Independence and to Arabs as The Catastrophe, broke out in Mandatory Palestine immediately following the adoption of the Resolution by the General Assembly. Then, at midnight on 14 May 1948, the British Mandate expired, and, a few hours earlier, the Jewish People’s Council approved a proclamation, declaring “the establishment of a Jewish state in Eretz Israel, to be known as the State of Israel.” The 1948 Arab–Israeli War began with an invasion of the fledgling country by the Arab States on May 15 1948. Hundreds of thousands of Arabs fled the country, never to return, eventually losing the entire area they could once declare their own.

Moshe Ma’oz, professor emeritus of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, explains why the Arabs reject the 1947 partition plan. Noting that some moderate or pragmatic Arabs were prepared to accept a small Jewish state in part of Palestine.

“But the [Husseini family] – not democratically elected but backed by the Arab League – continued to intimidate its moderate brethren and to maintain its uncompromising position against the Jews. Even according to moderate Palestinian intellectuals, this leadership adopted an extreme policy vis-à-vis the idea of two states, thus grossly ignoring the will of the UN and the Great Powers, and leading the Palestinians into war and tragedy.”

“Indeed, this militant syndrome of the Palestinian leadership significantly contributed to preventing a political solution to the Arab-Jewish dispute over Palestine in 1947, as in 1937,” Ma’oz argues. “This syndrome was inspired by an intense Islamic and nationalist ideology, dominated by the Husseini family and in particular, Hajj Amin al Husseini, the charismatic Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and Head of the Supreme Muslim Council.”

“Denying the right of the Jewish-Zionist community to national self-determination even in part of Palestine, the Husseinis periodically used violence and terror against Jews, as well as against the moderate Palestinian Nashashibi faction that for many years cooperated with the Jewish community and acknowledged its national aspirations,” he reiterates, explaining that “this moderate faction, although supported by many families and notables throughout the country, was not as organized, armed, motivated or influential among the younger generation as the Husseinis. Consequently, the moderate/pragmatic Palestinians were unable to neutralize the powerful militant Palestinian nationalist leadership or induce it to accept a political settlement.”

Fifty years after that catastrophic Arab failure, in 1977, the UN declared an International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, to be celebrated each year on November 29. Special commemorative activities are organized by the Division for Palestinian Rights of the United Nations Secretariat, in consultation with the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People.

One would think that on these commemorative events Arab participants would meditate on and recognize their mistakes of the past, and finally adopt a pragmatic, if not friendly approach to their dominant neighbor, the State of Israel.

Not really, to judge by the tone of Arab media’s observance of the November 29 anniversary. One example is an essay by Dr. Ramzy Baroud, “Symbolic ‘solidarity’ is moral defeat: A Palestinian view,” published on the occasion of November 29, 2016, in The New Arab.

“There was no moral or legal basis for that partition, as communicated in UN resolution 181 (II) into a ‘Jewish State’ and an ‘Arab State,'” Baroud writes, pointing out that “Jewish immigrants were granted over 55 percent of the total size of historic Palestine and the ‘Arab State,’ which never materialized, was accorded the rest.”

A quick glance at the map shows that more than half the Jewish portion was awarded in the arid Negev and Arava deserts down south, while the Arab portion was mostly contiguous and captured the bulk of central Mandatory Palestine.

Baroud’s recollection of history is understandably different from the Israeli view: “A few months after that unwarranted partition, well-trained Zionist militias moved from several fronts to ‘secure’ the borders of their promised state, only to take over half of what was designated for the future of the Palestinian state, leaving the indigenous Palestinian Arab population of that land with 22 percent of historic Palestine.”

There were no Arab gangs shooting at Jewish civilians in Baroudi’s narrative, nor is there the invasion by well armed Arab forces from three directions. In the same account, the Jews are “immigrants,” the Arabs “indigenous,” despite the fact that the vast majority of Arabs arrived from all across the Middle East in response to the economic renewal brought by European Jews.

Baroud spells it out: “By adopting a popular Palestinian narrative (not an official one), in which all Palestinians – Muslim or Christians, in Occupied Palestine or in “shattat” (diaspora) – are the center of the story, a better understanding of Palestine and its people can be established, and true solidarity can be offered.”

How should they unite around their national narrative? Simple, Baroud explains, “One major platform for their resistance, which strongly bonds Palestinians at home with those in shattat, is the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which pushes for accountability from those who make the Israeli domination over Palestine possible. It advocates for the Right of Return for Palestinian refugees, the end of occupation and equal rights for Palestinians who live in Israel.”

And so, according to him, “any solidarity that deviates from the current aspirations of Palestinians – as articulated by their fighting women and men, by their prisoners on hunger strikes, by their students fighting for the right to education, by these resilient, but often neglected voices – is not true solidarity.”

And so, in the best tradition of the French Royal House of Bourbon, the Arabs of the Land of Israel have forgotten nothing and learned nothing.

JNi.Media

Little Arab Attention as Yasser Arafat Museum Inaugurated

Thursday, November 10th, 2016

The Palestinian Authority on Wednesday inaugurated the Yasser Arafat Museum in a shiny new building in the Muqata compound in Ramallah, marking the 12th anniversary of the late chairman’s death. Arafat’s successor Mahmoud Abbas, Arab League Secretary General Ahmad Abul Ghait and his predecessor Nail Al-Arabi, and former Jordanian Prime Minister Abdel Salam Al-Majali attended the opening ceremony.

Not your A-list by any stretch, and yet Ahmad Suboh, director of the Yasser Arafat Foundation, nevertheless insisted that the attendance by Abul Ghait “is a message that the Palestinian cause is still the first cause of the Arabs and is highly appreciated.”

Construction on the two-story museum began in 2010. It covers an area of 26 acres and cost close to $7 million to build. The museum features photos, looped video, explanatory texts, documents and Arafat’s personal effects, including the Nobel Peace Prize he won following the signing of the Oslo Accords between the Palestine Liberation Organization and Israel in 1993.

The museum depicts Arafat’s role in the rise of “Palestinian” nationalism as a reaction to the arrival of Zionism. However, as Isabel Kershner notes in the NY Times, “the story ends abruptly with his demise, without any conclusion, reflecting his ultimate failure in achieving his goal of Palestinian independence, whether through diplomacy or the gun.”

Nasser al-Kidwa, Mr. Arafat’s nephew and the chairman of the Yasir Arafat Foundation, told the Times “the idea is to have a cultural, educational as well as commemorative institution. We have tried to do it in as accurate a way as possible, without exaggeration or understatement.”

The museum repeated the lie that Arafat was born in Jerusalem, when he was actually born in Cairo, Egypt. Kershner doesn’t correct that error in her report.

And, speaking of understatement, Kershner reports that “Abbas seems to be featured only when unavoidable, like in a picture of the signing of the 1993 Oslo agreement on the White House lawn.” Or, as Kidwa put it, “When he was there, he was there.”

JNi.Media

Mahmoud Abbas Hopes to Sue UK Over 100-yr-old Balfour Declaration

Monday, July 25th, 2016

Barely a year before the 100th anniversary of the issuing of the Balfour Declaration, Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas is hoping to force the United Kingdom to withdraw, renounce or rewrite the document that called for a Jewish homeland in Palestine.

As he watches the rapid, vibrant growth of the Jewish State and the soaring corruption and failures of the PA government – despite billions of dollars pumped in by foreign governments – Abbas has now decided to sue the British government over the Balfour Declaration.

According to Daoud Kuttab, a former Ferris professor at Princeton University, Abbas is “said to have requested in Nawqshod Arab League to help sue britain’s (sic) for Balfour’s declaration.”

Abbas is no novice to rewriting history. He is a longtime Holocaust denier who cleverly acknowledges the “unforgivable crime against the Jewish nation,” as he told Haaretz in 2003,” but whose doctoral dissertation simply blames the Zionist Jews for the demise of their European brethren.

Entitled “The Other Side: The Secret Relationship Between Nazism and Zionism,” Abbas wrote a conspiracy theory about the Holocaust, opining that the Zionists collaborated with the Nazis in order to inspire more immigration to Palestine.

“The Zionist movement led a broad campaign of incitement against the Jews living under Nazi rule in order to around the government’s hatred of them, to fuel vengeance against them, and to expand the mass extermination.” Abbas contends in the book that the Zionists were the Nazis’ “basic partner in crime.”

On November 17, 1917, the British government published a letter written by Foreign Secretary Lord Arthur James Balfour, addressed to Lord Rothschild, endorsing the establishment of a homeland for the Jewish People in Palestine. The text of the letter read as follows:

I have much pleasure in conveying to you. on behalf of His Majesty’s Government, the following declaration of sympathy with Jewish Zionist aspirations which has been submitted to, and approved by, the Cabinet

His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.

I should be grateful if you would bring this declaration to the knowledge of the Zionist Federation.

Hana Levi Julian

Putin to Arab League Summit: ‘Status Quo on Palestine Unacceptable’

Monday, July 25th, 2016

In a message of greeting to the heads of state of the Arab League assembling in Nouakchott, Mauritania on Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that Moscow considers the existing status quo on Palestine unacceptable and called for re-launching the negotiation process, TASS reported.

“We also intend to continue to provide all possible assistance in resolving the Palestinian problem acting through both the bilateral channels and within various multilateral formats,” Putin said, adding, “We believe the existing status quo is unacceptable and favor creating the conditions for the speedy re-launching of the negotiation process that will be aimed at creating an independent, viable and integral Palestinian state with its capital in East Jerusalem peacefully coexisting with its neighbors.”

The annual Arab League summit’s agenda includes combating terrorism and the ongoing civil wars in Libya and Syria. Political analyst Youssef Cherif told Daily News Egypt that the Arab League is having one of its weakest meetings ever, since so many of its member nations are facing internal turmoil. The Moroccan delegation is boycotting the summit, saying the reason for its withdrawal is that “in an absence of decisions and concrete initiatives, this summit will be a mere gathering for speeches that imply fake unity among Arab countries.”

Only nine Arab heads of state are attending the summit—13 heads of states said they will not be able to come. Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi will not be at the summit and Egypt will be represented by Prime Minister Sherif Ismai.

Nevertheless, President Putin urged the Arab League states to fight against terrorism in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen and other tense areas. “Russia is ready to strengthen in every possible way its interaction with the Arab League in ensuring regional security, first and foremost, in the struggle against the threat of international terrorism,” Putin said in his address to the summit.

JNi.Media

Netanyahu Tells Knesset Inquiry of his Suspected Corruption ‘a Lot of Hot Air’ [video]

Tuesday, July 19th, 2016

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday fielded questions he did not get a chance to read in advance from MKs, in a fashion reminiscent of the British Parliament’s Question Time. This was Netanyahu’s first-ever Question Hour appearance.

Question Hour is a new parliamentary feature in the Knesset’s plenary sessions. Each year, the opposition has the right to invite 10 ministers to answer questions they did not see in advance. One of those times, it can be the prime minister. At least three-quarters of the questioners must come from the ranks of the opposition.

MK Yael Cohen Paran (Zionist Camp) asked Netanyahu, “It was written that an allegation is being checked [by police] that your son, Yair Netanyahu, used a passport with a fake name that the Mossad gave him to open a bank account in Panama to which hundreds of thousands of dollars were funneled. I want to ask you, did your son Yair Netanyahu get a falsified passport, and in which situations can a citizen get a passport with a fake name?”

In response, Netanyahu said, “There’s no passport, no Panama, no bank account, nothing. There is a flood of foolishness, of nonsense, of fabrications, of lies. Although they’ve been dealing with this for many years, they haven’t found anything for one simple reason: there isn’t anything and there never was anything. There’s no fire and no smoke. There’s hot air – a lot of hot air. Spoiler alert – nothing will come of this, because there is nothing. Therefore, I ask all those who are asking questions and those who may have hope in their hearts: don’t hurry to have suits made. Stop the tailors. Spoiler alert – nothing will come of this, because there is nothing.”

“Since there are those who are still interested in all sorts of things like this, I want to give you all a tip: In the beginning of September I am going to Holland and afterwards I’m continuing to the UN General Assembly,” Netanyahu continued. “Since I’ve noticed that these piles (of nonsense) usually come in certain proximity to my political travels, here I’m giving you the time to come up with new things.”

Netanyahu told the House he was delighted to have this opportunity to speak to the MKs, whom he said asked better and more challenging questions than the press does. “I’m enjoying every minute,” he said, and looked it.

Addressing a question by MK Tamar Zandberg (Meretz) on the anti-gay remarks made by Rabbi Yigal Levinstein and why he did not address them, PM Netanyahu said “I’m not a professional internet commentator and neither do I work on MK Zandberg’s schedule, but the comments are unacceptable. The LGBT community is part of us. They are citizens like everyone else. Israel needs to be a home for all Jews.”

Asked by MK Esawi Frej (Meretz) whether he would “launder the land theft in Amona,” the prime minister said “I do not support the laundering or appropriation of lands anywhere, and I suggest that you be careful when using such terms, because they apply to many places. The court ruled that [the Jewish settlement Amona in Samaria] should be evacuated, even if there is no specific ownership over it. It is private land, but it is not known who it belongs to exactly.”

“Amona is a matter of doing justice in an issue that’s been going on for many years. Several proposals have come up, and the Defense Minister asked for a few days to examine the matter. All involved parties would like to see a settlement rather than anything else.”

MK David Amsalem (Likud) asked PM Netanyahu about the US Senate report establishing that the US State Department had interfered with the previous Israeli elections by funding the V-15, or “Victory in 2015” organization, which operated with the explicit goal of causing Netanyahu to lose the election. “I want to explain what is improper about V15,” Netanyahu said. “We have non-profits that need to work with the minimum transparency, but there is one thing that we cannot accept – bypassing the election law. How does the [election] financing law work in Israel? It sets out how each party should fund its election [campaign]. The law limits the amounts. V15 bypassed this. How? They said ‘we’re not giving to a party but rather opposing a party.'”

Netanyahu said the money was used to influence the results of last year’s Knesset election. “We in Likud complained about this loophole and didn’t get relief from the court. It’s clear to me that this is intervention. These are huge sums. This needs to be stopped, for everyone, by the way.”

Addressing a question by MK Elazar Stern (Yesh Atid) on the conversion crisis, PM Netanyahu said, “The rabbinate is not mine. It was established in arrangement in the State of Israel from the time [the country] was established and even before that. I can’t tell you that I have managed to reach a consensus. I haven’t.”

MK Zouheir Bahloul (Zionist Camp) asked Netanyahu about the “expulsion bill.” Netanyahu said, “In the United States [a legislator) can be dismissed with a small majority without any explanation. I believe that in Israel’s Knesset there cannot be MKs who support terror or the annihilation of Israel.”

MK Hilik Bar (Zionist Camp) mentioned a video clip from a 1990s talk show that resurfaced recently, in which Netanyahu said he supports a two-term limit for prime ministers.

Netanyahu – who is now on his fourth term, third consecutive one – said “When I made that remark I was referring to direct elections [for prime minister]. There are restrictions if someone is elected in the presidential system. I voted in favor of changing the system of government in contrast with my party’s position. If you strengthen governance, limit the number of terms, and if you do not strengthen governance, do not limit the number of terms.”

MK Yousef Jabareen (Joint Arab List) asked Netanyahu what his diplomatic plan was. “The desirable solution for us is a demilitarized Palestinian state that recognizes the Jewish state,” he said, adding that the Arab League’s peace initiative could be a basis for peace talks with the Palestinians, but only in a revised form.

“If it’s a script, then certainly we cannot [agree to it]. If it’s a basis to open talks, then sure,” he said.

JNi.Media

Organization of Islamic Cooperation to Meet on Israeli ‘Escalation’ in Golan Heights

Sunday, April 24th, 2016

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) will meet Tuesday to discuss what is being called “the Israeli escalation against the occupied Syrian Golan.” The driving force behind the meeting was a request by Kuwait, which holds the rotating chair of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers.

Kuwait wants the group to ‘take a unified and strong position… on the Israeli government’s [cabinet meeting] held in the occupied Syrian Golan” — that is, the government held its cabinet meeting last week for the first time on the Israeli Golan Heights, ruffling just about everyone’s feathers that day except those in Israel.

The Arab nation was likewise upset by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s remarks on that day, in which he stated “the Golan Heights will forever remain under Israeli sovereignty.”

This is not news to any Israeli — after all,the Golan was annexed to Israel decades ago, in 1981 – but the OIC considered the statement a provocation. A statement released by the Arab organization named it a “serious escalation and flagrant violation of the resolutions of international legitimacy and international law.”

In fact, every single bit of territory won by Israel in the 1967 Six Day war – a defensive, existential war for survival – is still in fact considered by the international community a violation of some resolution or regulation decided in the global forum.

Last Thursday a similar meeting was held by the Arab League, calling for a special criminal court to hold a session on Israel. European nations such as Germany joined the United States – Israel’s “best friend” – and Syria in their condemnation of Netanyahu’s statement.

The move by the U.S. was particularly odd, given that Netanyahu has been especially careful not to criticize President Barack Obama publicly in any way despite provocations by his staff.

For half a century, half of the Golan Heights has been a sovereign part of the State of Israel. Prime Minister Netanyahu simply reiterated the fact that it is not realistic nor sane to expect the state to return such a strategic territory to an enemy nation bent upon Israel’s destruction.

Hana Levi Julian

Hezbollah More Isolated Among Arab Nations With Closer Ties to Iran

Friday, April 8th, 2016

While the Lebanon-based Iranian proxy Hezbollah terror organization is growing in its worldwide influence, it is slowly being squeezed into isolation in the Arab world.

Both the Beirut Arab satellite operator “Nilesat” and “Arabsat” have cut their transmissions of the Al-Manar television channel.

Al Manar is the official media outlet of Hezbollah.

For the time being, Hezbollah is carrying on its media activities via the Russian satellite, broadcasting on RT Arabic (Russia Today), according to telecommuncations expert Tony Hayek, who was quoted by A-Sharq Al-Awsat, owned by Saudi Arabia.

The group itself has also been squeezed out of Arab brotherhood organizations, largely through the efforts of Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, which withdrew a significant sum for military aid from Lebanon this year.

The Gulf Cooperation Council and then the Arab League as well both officially declared Hezbollah to be a terrorist entity. The declaration carries severe implications financially as well as socially for members of the group when they travel abroad and in terms of their banking affairs.

Hezbollah is listed as a terrorist organization in the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Canada and Israel. However, the EU and UK make a distinction between the group’s military and “political” wings.

The terror group’s Lebanese parliamentarian, Nawwaf Moussawi accused Lebanese authorities of not taking effective measures against the A-Sharq Al-Awsat newspaper.

The Saudi-owned newspaper, which is based in London, carried a satiric cartoon about the Iranian proxy group earlier in the month. According to a report by the newspaper its Beirut offices were targeted by a gang of unnamed attackers.

The vandals broke into the offices of the newspaper in Lebanon, and wrecked the premises. Seven of the attackers are currently being held by authorities; an eighth is still at large. Trial of the detainees set to begin Monday, A-Sharq Al-Awsat reported.

Even as its star may be fading in the Middle East, however, Hezbollah is growing new tentacles elsewhere in the world.

A Hezbollah terrorist cell in Europe was recently arrested by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency for drug trafficking and money laundering.

The terrorist organization has established business relationships with a number of drug cartels in South America, according to DEA acting deputy administrator Jack Riley.

Hezbollah has been known for years to be running operations through Mexico as well.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/hezbollah-more-isolated-among-arab-nations-with-closer-ties-to-iran/2016/04/08/

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