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April 24, 2014 / 24 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Binyamin Netanyahu’

America Joins Israel in Canceling Talks with PA

Thursday, April 24th, 2014

The U.S. has finally tossed in the towel on trying to force the Palestinian Authority to come to the table to talk with Israel.

After months of shuttle diplomacy and countless attempts by U.S. leaders to shepherd the “peace process” along, the entire effort proved a waste of time and money.

Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) officials announced they had cut a deal for Fatah faction leader and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas – who heads all three entities — to form a new unity government with the Hamas terror organization that rules Gaza.

Hamas has never recognized the State of Israel, and has stated that it never intends to. It is committed to the destruction of the Jewish State, in fact.

“It’s hard to see how Israel can be expected to negotiate with a government that does not believe in its right to exist,” pointed out State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki in a briefing Wednesday on Capitol Hill.

Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is convening the inner diplomacy security cabinet this morning (Thursday) to discuss the current situation and decide whether to continue any contact whatsoever with the Palestinian Authority.

Mr. Netanyahu told Secretary of State John Kerry in a telephone call Wednesday evening that the PA-Hamas deal “shows the Palestinians are back to repeating their familiar pattern of running away from decisions.”

The pattern is indeed not new: Chairman Abbas has done this before – and the last time he reached a “reconciliation” with Hamas, he managed to sucker in not only the United States, but also the European Union and Israel. All three rushed in a panicky jumble to bribe him back to the “peaceful path” by promising him millions of dollars in funding, if only he would vow not to hook up with Hamas.

In the end, the unity government fell through because Hamas backed out – the Ramallah-based PA government won their millions – and everyone was that much richer, except for the Israelis who lost their lives at the hands of the terrorists who were freed in “good will gestures” forced on them by their U.S. friends.

The PA government in Ramallah used the money to quietly raise the salaries of terrorist prisoners sitting in Israeli jails and funnel more money to civil service employees working in Hamas-ruled Gaza offices.

The PA also won an extra bonus – it received considerable military equipment, weapons and training from the United States, Jordan and the EU — with which a number of its “police officers” have since murdered Israeli citizens in terror attacks.

It’s Prom Time, and Abbas Must Choose a Dance Partner – Israel or Hamas

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

It’s that time of year again — the Fatah terror faction led by Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has for the ‘nth’ time managed to reach a “reconciliation” with the Hamas terrorist organization that rules Gaza.

The two sides agreed Tuesday evening after talks in Gaza City to form a unity government “within the next five weeks,” according to an announcement by officials on both sides released Wednesday.

But Hamas is unwilling to negotiate with – or for that matter, even recognize the existence of – the State of Israel.

So the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) which represents the PA in all its affairs at the United Nations (UN), and thus the PA, meaning Mahmoud Abbas – who heads both – must choose who to take to the prom.

Will it be Hamas? That fickle friend who makes deals every Monday and Thursday, and backs out at the last minute every time the signature page arrives on the desk?

Or will it be Israel, which will certainly mean he will have to sit down this time in earnest at the negotiating table, and actually get down to business?

Either could mean his death.

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said bluntly in response to Wednesday’s announcement that Abbas had reached the crossroads.

“Instead of moving into peace with Israel, he is moving into peace with Hamas. He has to choose. Does he want peace with Hamas, or peace with Israel? You can have one but not the other. I hope he chooses peace; so far, he hasn’t done so.”

The fact that Abbas has continually come up with new ‘preconditions’ to extend the negotiations with Israel beyond the April 29 deadline makes it clear that he wants a way out of the talks that will leave him blameless.

That is a fantasy, since no leader can lead without taking responsibility for his actions.

Netanyahu proposed a plan for extension of the talks – taking a risk that enraged a substantial percentage of the population and its leadership – but Abbas so far has apparently turned his nose up at the offer.

Abbas knows Israel’s red lines but seems determined to stomp across them regardless of the price his people will inevitably pay.

Ultimately, his inability to decide a course on which to steer his people will be his downfall and, tragically, theirs as well.

“Yesterday the Palestinian Authority discussed dismantling,” noted Netanyahu in meeting with reporters. “Today it is mulling uniting with Hamas. Let them decide whether to dismantle or unite.”

Netanyahu: PA Incitement Caused Pre-Passover Terror Attack

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu blamed Palestinian Authority incitement for the terrorist attack that left a 46-year-old police officer dead, and his 28-year-old pregnant wife and nine year old son wounded.

A terrorist opened fire at Israeli civilian vehicles traveling along Highway 35, near the western edge of Hevron. Israeli soldiers closed off the area in search of the perpetrators but have yet to make arrests.

Netanyahu issued the statement to media following the murder of Israel Police Chief Superintendent Baruch Mizrahi, of blessed memory. He and his family were traveling on the road to a seder to celebrate Passover in Kiryat Arba at the time of the attack.

Mizrahi is to be laid to rest at 1:00 p.m. local time Wednesday at the military cemetery in Jerusalem, Mount Herzl, in the section reserved for the Israel Police.

Mizrahi served as director of Technology in the SigInt Unit for the Intelligence division of Israel Police since June 2011. He served in various roles in the IDF for 25 years, ending his military career as a Lieutenant Colonel in the 8200 Intelligence Unit.

“Baruch z’l devoted his entire life to two great loves – his family and the State of Israel,” said his commander. His entire unit and Israel Police released a statement expressing their joining the grief of the family and their wishes for a speedy recovery for his wife.

The terrorist responsible for the murder was standing by the side of a road, waiting for targets, armed with an AK-47 assault rifle, also known as a Kalashnikov. He also shot at other cars passing on the road, according to the Tazpit News Agency, which received reports of attacks from other drivers.

The AK-47 is the same weapon supplied to the Palestinian Authority police force by the U.S. government, via Jordan, during military training at an American-funded base in Jericho during the Bush administration under the supervision of U.S. Lt.-Gen. Keith Dayton.

“This reprehensible murder of a man who was traveling with his family to a meal for the Festival of Freedom is the result of the incitement for which the Palestinian Authority is responsible. The Palestinian Authority continues to constantly broadcast – in its official media – programs that incite against the existence of the State of Israel,” he said.

“Last night this incitement was translated into the murder of a father who was traveling with his family to celebrate the first night of Passover. The incitement of the Palestinian Authority continues in that it has yet to see fit to condemn this abominable and reprehensible act,” Netanyahu pointed out.

Government Minister Uri Ariel (Bayit Yehudi) released  a statement warning that every PA prisoner release emboldens the terrorists, and demanded the government cancel all future releases. Ariel said the government should require the PA to cancel any unilateral steps at the United Nations as a precondition to continuing any final status talks.

The United States has supplied more than $161 million dollars to the Palestinian Authority for paramilitary training for its security forces. This includes provision of assault rifles, ammunition and other military supplies. There have been a number of terrorist attacks on Israeli citizens committed by so-called “PA police officers” using this equipment.

Although the United States has had the fantasy that the PA security forces would enforce agreements made by its government to abandon violence and restrain terrorist groups in order to “enable” a “two state solution” — that has not worked out. Instead the PA paramilitary force has simply continued along its traditional path of enforcing the corruption of its leaders. Moreover, some of its members have joined – or returned to — terrorist ranks, bringing along with them new knowledge, training and equipment gifted to them from the American government.

These new police terrorists are more dangerous than the garden-variety operatives because they often appear to be security personnel, while being the very opposite.

Naftali Bennett Urges Netanyahu, ‘Annex Settlement Blocs Now!’

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

Naftali Bennett, head of the Jewish Home (Bayit Yehudi) party, is urging Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to annex Area C, which encompasses all of the Jewish settlement blocs in Judea (Yehuda) and Samaria (Shomron.)

“It is clear that the diplomatic process has run its course and that we are entering a new era,” Bennett wrote to the prime minister in a letter sent Wednesday. “We have been hitting our heads against the wall of negotiations over and over again for years and we keep getting surprised when the wall did not break. The time has come for new thinking.”

Bennett’s “Settlement Blocs First” plan calls to annex Area C, which is controlled entirely by the State of Israel, and offering Israeli citizenship to Arabs living there. Area C, which comprises 60 percent of the Judea and Samaria regional sector, is home to at least 350,000 Jews – none of whom live in Area A (under full PA control) or Area B (under PA civil control and Israeli military control.)

Highway 60, a favorite target for road terror attacks by Palestinian Authority Arabs, is the main artery that runs from the north to the south from Samaria (Shomron) through Judea (Yehuda) to Be’er Sheva and is routed mostly through Area B.

Under Bennett’s proposal, Areas A and B would receive increased autonomy and a massive infusion of financial investment to upgrade the quality of life in those areas.

He explained the plan on the U.S.-based CNN network last night (Wednesday) and said he will begin to publicize it in the international forums. Bennett contended that since Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights and its reunification of Jerusalem was never recognized internationally anyway, another annexation will not make a difference.

Included in the blocs to be annexed would be Gush Etzion, Ma’ale Adumim, Beit El, Ofra, Ariel and the communities overlooking Ben Gurion International Airport.

Netanyahu Orders Contact Cut with Palestinian Authority

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has ordered all but one Israeli negotiator to cut contact with their Palestinian Authority counterparts.

Netanyahu ordered discussions halted between Israeli and PA representatives on all issues with the exception of security, according to news agencies.

In addition, all government ministries — except the Defense Ministry — are to cease any civilian and economic cooperation with the Palestinian Authority.

Only Israel’s chief negotiator  and former foreign minister Tzipi Livni, head of the Tnua party, was exempted from the ban. The moratorium comes in response to what a government official called the “Palestinians’ grave violation of their commitments in the framework of the peace talks.”

The comment refers to the PA promise made from the outset of the talks to refrain from unilateral attempts to gain membership in international and United Nations agencies, treaties and organizations until after the talks were to end on April 29. Last Monday, April 1, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas broke his word to Israel and the United States, signing and submitting applications to 15 international conventions following a crisis in the talks.

In response, Prime Minister Netanyahu warned earlier this week, “Unilateral steps [on the part of the PA] will be met with unilateral steps on our part.”

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry tried to smooth over new tensions with America’s strongest ally in the region after having appeared to throw Israel under the bus when he met with his own firing squad at a Congressional hearing earlier this week.

Kerry pointed the finger at Israel when asked why the talks failed, claiming “the two sides have taken steps that are not helpful,” State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said in an attempt at “clarification” a day later. “At no stage did he play the blame game,” she claimed. “Kerry even noted especially that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took courageous steps throughout the process.”

But Kerry told the Senate during the hearing that the main reason the talks failed had to do with Israel refusing to free a fourth tranche of PA terrorist prisoners on schedule — a group that included 20 Israeli Arab citizens — preceding a deadline for completion of talks that had to date accomplished nothing other than release from Israeli prisons for 78 other PA terrorists, and no significant concessions from the Palestinian Authority. Kerry also slammed continued construction in established Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria. In addition, he said, “Around noon, when they were to reach an agreement, 700 housing units in Jerusalem were announced and ‘boom.’”

As if the announcement of adding new housing in Jerusalem to relieve a population crisis in the capital, and construction in existing towns and cities was the true point of contention upon which agreed-upon negotiations between “professional” diplomats rose and fell.

The lack of clarity about the real reason for the crash of the talks is not being discussed outside of the closed doors in the capitals of the world, although every world leader understands the truth.

PA leaders do not want this millstone, the burden of forever having the responsibility for running this “independent state” — around their necks. They don’t know how, and they don’t have enough skilled people, properly trained to do it yet. And those they do have do not stay due to the corruption and intrigues that go on that pose a constant risk to their lives. It is a hangman’s noose that will eventually kill each and every one of them because of the risk of failure. So each is looking for different ways to escape it — and to somehow find a way blame Israel in the process.

If we are really lucky, perhaps America will stay out of this process long enough to allow Tzipi Livni and Saeb Erekat to walk everyone back from the brink, and just long enough to prevent any forced agreement or unilateral action being imposed on Israel in the near future.

 

 

Will Kerry Be On Hot Seat at Obama Meeting?

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

Oy. He’s logged thousands of hours flying back and forth, meeting with leaders from Israel, the Palestinian Authority and surrounding Arab nations. Sleepless nights, endless days, Middle Eastern food and where has it all led?

Back to Square One by anyone’s estimation – and very likely in the eyes of President Barack Obama at the White House.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry reports today (Tuesday) to the president so both can decide what to do next about the persnickety tangle that just won’t untangle in the Holy Land.

The problem is, after the better part of a year, John Kerry may have almost nothing to show for all of his efforts and a massive bill to boot. It’s a credibility problem for him – did he read the situation wrong? Or was it simply a matter of the Western mind not understanding the typical Middle Eastern Arab mentality again? And again. And again. Ad nauseum.

Because we who live here have already seen this before in our neighborhood. There have been so many train wrecks down this gorge, we’ve lost count of the number of peace plans we’ve complied with here in the Land of Israel. Most were American.

And Mr. Kerry is another one lacking the basic understanding of Middle Eastern mentality, the Arab mind and how it works, and the way it goes in this region. Briefings on “Arab culture” don’t cut it when it comes to shuttle diplomacy here. It is just not enough when it gets to the nitty gritty.

The Europeans already know better. They make dry observations, back the Arabs (who they know they can rely on to pull out rather than comply) and then fade out before the sun sets in the West. Of course, ‘intel’ ties always continue with Israel; it would be silly to ignore the needs of national security, right?

But the U.S. has yet to learn that Arab leadership is not reliable. The Palestinian Authority talks one way in English and the other way in Arabic and its word is never its word. Peace is not a concept this entity can understand. The definition of ‘honor’ in this culture is not the same as that of the West – it is defined differently in the Middle East.

Think ASIA when you think of PA government “honor.” That is the closest analogy one can summon. It does not involve life, but death – truly. And age doesn’t count. Babies do qualify. Everyone is expendable.

John Kerry is a well-meaning guy. He really thought he could pull this off. And he did have a peace partner. Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu braved his entire coalition to make this last attempt – and almost lost his government over it. In fact, he still might. Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman and Labor leader Isaac Herzog are both taking a shot at widening the fractures so they can climb all over it when new elections come around – and they both hope it’s sooner rather than later.

The last thing Israel needed was to free dozens more terrorists, let alone open the roadblocks to create a new free entrance on to Highway 60 from the Arab side of Hevron. But that’s what Israel did at America’s insistence for the U.S. attempt at new talks with the PA, knowing it was likely to come to naught.

It would be a pity if President Obama were now to rake John Kerry over the coals for following his orders and extending his own personal good faith in the process.

Mr. Kerry is not a young man either, and the constant flights could not have been easy. The stress of struggling to deal with Arab leaders fighting your every effort to reach a compromise could not have been fun. And having to second-guess everyone’s thoughts, words, actions and decisions following each session – although that is the job for which he was trained – must have been the stuff of nightmares.

12 Hours, 2 Meetings for Netanyahu & Kerry; Abbas & Kerry, 0

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has left Israel without speaking to Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, and after two intense meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in less than 12 hours.

Kerry met in Jerusalem with Netanyahu for several hours on Monday evening and then again for another two hours on Tuesday morning before leaving to attend scheduled NATO ministerial meetings in Brussels on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Although there was a possibility that Kerry might have gone to Ramallah for a quick meeting with Abbas late Monday night, he chose not to do so. It is believed he will return to Israel in the coming days, possibly to meet with Abbas at that time instead.

Abbas, meanwhile, chaired his own meeting Monday night with top officials from the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the PA’s leading Fatah faction.

Officials decided to again appeal to United Nations agencies for recognition of the PA as an independent sovereign nation if Kerry does not force Israel to free a final group of 30 terrorist prisoners, according to the PA official who spoke with reporters.

Rumors that long-incarcerated Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard might be freed from a U.S. prison as a way to keep the talks going again were raised, but there has been no confirmation by an official source, U.S. or Israeli, that the report was true.

Likewise, an alleged proposal from Israel last Friday offering to free an additional 400 PA terrorist prisoners in exchange for the PA continuing the talks until the end of 2014, and refraining from its appeal to the United Nations, has not been confirmed.

White House spokesperson Jay Carney has told reporters he has “no update” on the status of Jonathan Pollard, and Israeli government officials are tight-lipped about the latest developments under discussion with the PA.

Kerry May Return as Israel Offers PA New Deal to Extend Talks

Monday, March 31st, 2014

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has informed Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu that he is considering another trip to the region to try and patch up the talks.

This past Friday Israel proposed a new deal to extend the talks with the Palestinian Authority past the April 29 deadline in lieu of freeing a final group of 30 PA terrorist prisoners.

There are rumors the proposal includes the release of hundreds of more PA prisoners incarcerated in Israeli jails, but no reports have been confirmed.

PA officials did not reveal the details of the proposal to international news agencies Sunday but said PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas is reviewing a draft of the plan.

The final 30 Arab prisoners were to be released from Israeli jails last week as part of a four-step process launched at the outset of the talks on condition the PA actively participated in the negotiations in good faith.

But Israel has seen little reciprocal movement from PA leaders. As a result, the government last week blocked the final tranche, especially since the tranche included 20 Israeli Arab citizens contested by a block of ministers from the start.

PA officials this weekend told the A-Sharq Al-Awsat newspaper they expect the United States to pressure Israel into releasing the terrorists. “The leadership does not want to enter immediate conflict and appear responsible for the breakdown of the negotiation process,” the source said.

Netanyahu has warned U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry that his coalition may disintegrate if the prisoners are freed.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/kerry-may-return-as-israel-offers-pa-new-deal-to-extend-talks/2014/03/31/

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