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May 6, 2016 / 28 Nisan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Camp David’

MK Avigdor Liberman: ‘It’s Israel’s Turn to Help Support Diaspora Jewry’

Saturday, January 9th, 2016

In a small sparsely-furnished office, containing a cherry wood desk, a matching credenza, an Israeli flag, some small personal photos and a large framed print of the father of Zionism, Vladimir Jabotinsky, is seated a man larger than life, the head of Yisrael Beiteinu and former Foreign Minister of Israel: Avigdor Liberman.

When the JewishPress.com met with Liberman late one morning this past week, he was told that most non-Israeli Jews really don’t have a good sense of who he is. So he was asked to explain himself.

ALIYAH, JEWISH CONTINUITY, ABSORPTION

Liberman began this way:

“First of all, my highest priorities are Aliyah, Jewish Continuity and Absorption. My positions are clear right wing without compromise, but very pragmatic.”

One of his pet projects combines all three priorities: he envisions schools of Jewish education everywhere in the Diaspora, along the lines of American schools abroad. Those schools would focus on both Judaism and Zionism.

Liberman explained the need for this educational initiative: “At the Saban meeting, people like [American Jewish journallist] Jeffrey Goldberg talked about the problem of the younger Jewish generation not being so supportive of Israel.”

“He said that the decline in support was due to Israeli government policies. But that’s not the problem,” Liberman said.

The problem is that the “younger generations of Jews don’t really know much about and so don’t care much about Israel.”

This dovetails with Liberman’s preoccupation with Jewish assimilation. He cites statistics and surveys which predict the near total extinction of Jews in only a few more generations.

“Fewer than 10 percent of American Jews have a Jewish, Zionist education. In places like France, Russia, even Canada, there is a 70 percent assimilation rate,” Liberman explains, with horror.

Naturally, the first question is who would fund such a project? Knowing that even many American Jewish Federations have turned away from significant contributions to Jewish day schools, the prospect seems bleak.

But Liberman isn’t looking to the Diaspora as the primary funding source. He explains: “during the 1940’s and ’50’s, Israel was a small, poor country and needed tremendous financial and political support – which it received – from the Jewish Diaspora.

“Now, with Israel’s vibrant economy, it’s our turn to give back and our turn to help support the Jewish people. We are a strong country with a huge budget,” explains Liberman.

Liberman believes that Israel must contribute something on the order of $365 million – which should be met with matching funds – to this vitally important enterprise.

The suavely-dressed, slimmed-down, blue-eyed politician sees this contribution by Israel not just as providing moral support to the waning Diaspora Jewry, but as a crucial investment, “it is for our future as well.”

The idea was first pitched by Liberman nearly a year ago in a speech in the United States. The concept was immediately overshadowed by the subsequent Israeli elections and, increasingly, by the nation’s focus on the then-looming and seemingly catastrophic Nuclear Iran Deal which the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council (the U.S., the U.K., France, China and Russia), plus Germany (the P5+1) was negotiating, and then concluded, with Iran.

Liberman believes his concept is critical if there is to remain a global Jewry outside of Israel. Not surprisingly, one of the reasons Diaspora Jewry with a strong Jewish and Zionist identity matters so much is as a steady source for Aliyah.

But the current governing coalition “does not care about the Diaspora,” Liberman said.

This discussion led naturally to the question of why Yisrael Beiteinu walked away from being in the ruling coalition. It’s of course harder to promote enormous new projects from the outside.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Gaza Jihadist: Israel Killed Arafat for not Signing Agreement

Sunday, September 15th, 2013

Here is the latest jihadist history lesson: Israel killed Yasser Arafat because he refused to sign an agreement at Camp David in 2000.

Islamic Jihad leader Mohammed al-Hindi, speaking during a rally in Gaza City, claimed that Arafat was put under siege after returning from the summit, before being poisoned for his unyielding position, the Bethlehem-based Ma’an News Agency reported Sunday.

Then-Prime Minister Ehud Barak had offered Arafat to create a Palestinian Authority state with approximately 97 percent of its territorial claims. Arafat refused and resume the Intifada, popularly known as the Second Intifada, and also called the Oslo War.

Arafat died in 2004. The Palestinian Authority still claims he was poisoned by Israel. If the Islamic Jihadist theory is correct, it took Israel four years to poison Arafat, who despite being under “siege” men aged to manage a terrorist campaign that killed hundreds of Israeli civilians and soldiers.

The need for the Islamic Jihad to try to invent history shows how desperate it is to survive. Egypt has carried out an aggressive offensive to wipe out Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other terrorist gangs operating in the Sinai and in Rafiah, which straddles the Egyptian-Gaza border.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Yet Another Enemy of Israel Poised to Join US Foreign Policy Team

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

For people who pay close attention to what is happening in the world of U.S. government diplomacy and the players not just on the field, but those on deck, Robert Malley is a name that rings a bell.  For those who care deeply about the security of Israel, the bell that is rung has an ominous, if familiar, tone.

Rumors have been circulating for about a week that Robert Malley will soon be named by Secretary of State John Kerry for a senior advisory role with a portfolio that focuses either on Syria or on the Arab-Israeli conflict.

According to various sources Malley is “under serious consideration” or the decision to appoint him is already “a done deal,” according to the Washington Free Beacon.

So what’s wrong with Malley?  He couldn’t possibly be as bad as Samantha Power, or John Kerry or Chuck Hagel, could he?

Well, that depends who you ask.

Robert Malley is so offensive, he was actually kicked off (despite the lipstick smear called “resignation”) the Obama election committee in 2008 for meeting with the terrorist organization Hamas, although he had been one of Obama’s closest advisors for Middle East issues until his affinity for Hamas became public.

Malley is a Harvard-trained lawyer who currently works at the George Soros-affiliated International Crisis Group.  There are those Israel supporters who see Malley as an international crisis all on his own – his father, Simon Malley, was a virulently anti-Israel member of the Egyptian Communist Party and a close confidante of Yassir Arafat.  (Malley’s mother, who raised him, is named Barbara Silverstein – we’re not going there.)

Robert Malley blamed Israel for the failure of the Camp David Peace Talks in an op-ed in the New York Times.  As Ed Lasky pointed out in an on-point article  in 2008, Malley’s recollections of what went wrong at Camp David was in direct contrast to every other major player present, including President Bill Clinton and Clinton’s Middle East Envoy, Dennis Ross.

In another op-ed from the same era, Malley revealed his strong support for the Syrian regime, and scoffed at the idea that Assad should be treated as a pariah.

This past fall Malley explained why he believes it is not only likely, but essential for Hamas and Fatah to unite.

 I think at this point it’s inconceivable that Fatah will eliminate Hamas, and I can’t see that Hamas is going to eliminate Fatah, so the only solution if what you want — if what people want — is to see a meaningful negotiation between an empowered Israeli government, a representative Israeli government, and an empowered and representative Palestinian national movement, the only way to do that is for Palestinian ranks to unify.

And as Adam Kredo at the Washington Free Beacon pointed out, Malley even criticized U.S. President Barack Obama for taking off the table the concept of containing a nuclear Iran – in other words, allowing Iran to obtain nuclear weapons, and then asking the Islamic regime to pretty please not use them was a reasonable position Malley resented Obama’s failure to consider.

So, will Malley be the worst person in the U.S. administration with a foreign policy portfolio that could have a significant impact on Israel?  Maybe not the worst, but as an addition to a group which already have raised serious concerns, if Malley is selected by Kerry it is certain to make things even worse.

 

 

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Cairo Court Dismisses Case To Annul Camp David

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

The Cairo Administrative Court on Tuesday dismissed a lawsuit filed against Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, calling for the annulment of the 1978 Camp David peace accords between Egypt and Israel.

The petitioners argued that limitations on the amount of Egyptian forces which can be present in the Sinai set by the treaty are a threat to Egyptian national sovereignty because of increasing numbers of terror groups in the area.

The court rejected the case as outside its jurisdiction, leaving issues of national sovereignty to the president and his executive branch.

Since the overthrow of former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak and the election of Morsi, calls have increased within Egypt to cancel the peace treaty with Israel.  One of the most vocal of these advocates is Morsi’s advisor, political analyst Mohammed Esmet Seif Dawla.

Dawla argued that not only is the threat to Egypt from the terror groups great, but that Israel may one day attempt to retake Sinai itself.

Malkah Fleisher

New Egyptian President: ‘We Will Revise the Camp David Treaty’

Monday, June 25th, 2012

In an interview with the semi-official Iranian news outlet Fars, Egypt’s new President Mohammed Morsi spoke of his intention to “revise the Camp David treaty” and “restore normal relations with Iran.”

“Our policy towards Israel will be a policy based on equality since we are not weaker than them in any field and we will discuss the issue of the Palestinians’ rights with the related sides since this is highly important,” Morsi said.

“We will revise the Camp David treaty,” he continued, and insisted that such matters would be implemented with the consensus of the various government organs. This statement seems to contrasts with comments he made only hours later in his televised victory speech, where he offered  a vague assurance that he would “preserve international accords and obligations.”

The interview, which took place a few hours before the official announcement of his victory, was published on Monday.

Turning to the region, Morsi said he sought to establish relations “with all countries of the region to revive Egypt’s identity in the region through economic cooperation among the Arab countries…and beside that, supporting the Palestinian nation in its legitimate campaign for materializing its rights.”

Morsi added that “[w]e must restore normal relations with Iran based on shared interests, and expand areas of political coordination and economic cooperation because this will create a balance of pressure in the region.” He also quashed rumors that he planned on visiting Saudi Arabia – Iran’s nemesis in the Gulf region – for his inaugural foreign trip.

Morsi’s comments will likely stoke Western fears that an Islamist-led Egypt may further destabilize a region already in turmoil, and impede continuing attempts to isolate Iran over its nuclear program.

Jewish Press Staff

UPDATE: Secretary-General of Muslim Brotherhood Party Appointed Speaker of Parliament

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

In the aftermath of the resounding Islamist victory in Egypt’s parliamentary election, the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Saad el-Katatni was voted as the new parliament’s speaker.

Katatni was quoted recently saying: “A long time has passed since the Camp David accord was signed and like the other agreements it needs reevaluation and this is in the hands of the Parliament.”

The Freedom and Justice Party, the Brotherhood’s political party, won close to 50% of the seats in the recent parliamentary elections.

Jewish Press Staff

Malley’s Disciples

Wednesday, February 13th, 2008

Recent news reports identifying Robert Malley as one of Barack Obama’s foreign policy advisers took the Monitor back a few years, to the summer of 2001 when the previously obscure Malley was suddenly popping up all over the place, castigating Israel for the collapse of the Camp David talks in 2000.

In early July of that year, The New York Times ran an op-ed piece by Malley, who had served as a special assistant for Arab-Israeli affairs to President Clinton, that took issue with those who presumed to blame Yasir Arafat for the failure of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations at Camp David and, later, Taba. (One of those blaming Arafat happened to be Malley’s own former boss, Bill Clinton.)

The following month, the liberal-left New York Review of Books featured a lengthy essay on the same theme by Malley and Palestinian academic/activist Hussein Agha.

(In a prime example of left-wing networking, London’s virulently anti-Israel Guardian carried a brief adaptation of the Malley-Agha essay, and Americans for Peace Now immediately gave it prominent placement on its website.)

Jumping aboard the Malley Express that summer was Deborah Sontag, who’d already demonstrated time and again throughout her regrettable stint as New York Times Jerusalem bureau chief that she was nothing if not an absolute sieve through which flowed any pro-Palestinian argument or viewpoint.

In an extraordinarily long July 26 article (which began on the Times’s front page and sprawled across two inside pages) Sontag, basing much of her account on Malley’s assertions, attempted to refute the (in her words) “simplistic narrative” that Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak’s generous offers at Camp David had been rewarded with Palestinian intransigence and hostility.

(That the Times chose to devote the sheer amount of space it did to Sontag’s seemingly endless editorializing disguised as reportage should have been enough to silence the few who still harbored doubts about the newspaper’s political agenda.)

Reaction to the Sontag piece was quick in coming, starting with the obligatory letters to the editor from pro-Palestinian Arabs, pro-Israel Jews, and self-hating Israelis and Jews (an over-used term to be sure, but how else to describe individuals who argue their enemies’ case better and with more passion than the enemies themselves?).

Detailed criticism of Sontag’s article also appeared on the Web and in various magazines and newspapers. One of the best was a withering analysis in The New Republic by Robert Satloff who opened on a sardonic note:

“Imagine The New York Times covering the sinking of the Titanic with only a passing reference to the iceberg. Absurd? Not really. On July 26 the nation’s newspaper of record devoted 5,681 words to a retrospective by Jerusalem bureau chief Deborah Sontag titled ‘Quest for Mideast Peace: How and Why It Failed’ and mentioned the word ‘intifada’ just once.”

In Sontag’s view, wrote Satloff, “the failure of the peace process was due to bad chemistry (Barak chatting up Chelsea Clinton instead of Arafat at Camp David) and bad timing (Bill Clinton waiting too long to offer his own peace plan). In her telling, the Palestinian uprising is just part of the background landscape. But it is not just part of the background landscape. The uprising so transformed the Israeli-Palestinian political context that by the time the two sides were, in Sontag’s telling, agonizingly close, it no longer mattered …. But to discuss the intifada, its roots, and its impact would complicate Sontag’s tale of imminent peace gone awry, so she sets it aside…”

Satloff characterized Sontag’s article as the product of “lazy reporting, errors of omission, questionable shading, and an indifference to the basic fact that the Palestinian decision to wed diplomacy with violence, not American and Israeli miscues, damned the search for peace.”

This was hardly a surprise to regular readers of Sontag’s tendentious dispatches, just as it was no shock when the Israel-based journalist Judy Lash Balint reported earlier that year that at a special taping of Ted Koppel’s “Nightline” in Jerusalem, “several smartly dressed, attractive, young English-speaking Arabs made sure they saved a chair for New York Times bureau chief Deborah Sontag. When Sontag arrived, she was greeted with kisses by one of the young women in the group.”

Sontag’s massive piece of Malley-fueled revisionism was essentially her swan song as the Times’s Jerusalem bureau chief. She’s been writing for The New York Times Magazine since her return to the U.S. For his part, Malley has continued writing opinion pieces from a decidedly pro-Palestinian perspective and now, apparently, has the ear of the Democratic Party’s front-running presidential hopeful.

Jason Maoz

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/media-monitor/malleys-disciples/2008/02/13/

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