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October 2, 2014 / 8 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Gaza’

Netanyahu, Obama Focus on Different Priorities in White House Talk

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Barack Obama met for about 75 minutes Wednesday evening began shortly after the Israeli leader’s arrival at the White House, and following a brief news conference with the press corps.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and National Security Adviser Susan Rice were also present in the Oval Office during the meeting.

On the agenda for discussion were the American-led air strikes against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), Iran’s nuclear development program and the ongoing question of how to resolve the dilemma of what to do about the Palestinian Authority. It was not known whether the American president planned to discuss security concessions over Gaza as well.

The meeting began at 11 am, and several commentators noted on the Twitter social networking site that Obama didn’t offer any lunch to the Israeli prime minister. “Perhaps Bibi, unlike (India’s Prime Minister) Modi, insisted on food for himself and wasn’t happy to just watch Obama eat,” tweeted one individual.

In a clearly determined bid to maintain a cordial tone, Netanyahu said that he appreciates Obama’s efforts to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon of mass destruction, according to the Reuters news agency.
Obama told Netanyahu that efforts are needed to change the status quo between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, according to LBCI News.

Israel is committed to a “two-state solution” with the Palestinian Authority, Netanyahu told reporters during their pre-meeting briefing. But any agreement, he said, will require “thinking outside the box” and must include “rock solid” security arrangements. Obama and Netanyahu reportedly discussed during their meeting the current status of the relationship between Israel and the terrorist factions in Gaza, including the region’s ruling Hamas terrorist organization.

The two men are clearly focused on different priorities, with Obama keeping his eyes on the threat posed by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and against whom the U.S. is leading coalition air strikes in Syria and Iraq. Netanyahu, meanwhile, has remained concerned about the overriding progress of Iran’s nuclear development program and putting a full stop to the centrifuges that are working overtime to enrich uranium at progressively higher levels.

The Israeli prime minister also noted while speaking to a group of Jewish leaders yesterday in New York that it is important for the U.S. to realize there isn’t much difference between Gaza’s ruling Hamas terrorist organization and ISIS, against whom Obama has declared war.

Both share a “fanatic ideology,” he pointed out, and both use “savage” methods. He warned, “The more they have the capability to realize their ambitions the more they will unleash their pent-up aggression against our common civilizations.”

To emphasize the similarities, Netanyahu shared a photo of an impending public execution of a man whose head was covered with a sack, shot in Gaza.

“This isn’t ISIS,” he pointed out. “This is Hamas.” During Israel’s counter terror Operation Protective Edge this summer, Hamas executed dozens of Gaza residents “just to impose fear and force the population… into submission.” The only difference, Netanyahu said, is that ISIS “beheads its victims,” and Hamas “puts a bullet in the back of their heads.”

To the families of those murdered, the horror is the same, he asserted.

Leak of 2,600 New Homes in Eastern Jerusalem Precedes Obama-Bibi Talks

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

Plans for a previously announced huge construction project in eastern Jerusalem were reported on Wednesday hours before the meeting between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and President Barack Obama Wednesday.

The 2,610 apartment project was not officially announced but was leaked through social network media and by Peace Now.

In fact, it was announced in December 2012 and includes approximately 800 units for Arabs in the nearby neighborhood of Beit Safafa, but everyone is jumping all over themselves as if this is a new plan.

Housing construction in Israel can take years from their announcement until bulldozers go to work. However, establishment media report every bureaucratic step in building plans as if the project is something new, resulting in fictional numbers.

Whether or not the plans for new homes were posted – or re-posted -  again by the government or by Peace Now, as a Housing Ministry official suggested, the report is a clear message to Washington that the Palestinian Authority can forget about dividing the city along the old 1949-1967 borders.

The project is slated for the neighborhood of Givat HaMatos, near Gilo in southern Jerusalem.

Housing Ministry spokesman Ariel Rosenberg did not confirm or deny the new project. But Bloomberg News reported, “Rosenberg said in a phone call that Peace Now probably released the information today to embarrass Netanyahu before his meeting with President Barack Obama.”

Referring to plans to develop an area in Maaleh Adumim, east of Jerusalem, Peace Now stated, “Like the E1 plan, it divides the potential Palestinian state and blocks the possibility to connect the Palestinian neighborhoods in south Jerusalem with the future Palestinian state.”

The European Union stated, “At this delicate moment after the Gaza ceasefire, it is essential to avoid actions that may increase tensions, in particular in East Jerusalem.”

There really is not much tension. The Palestinian Authority’s openly anti-Semitic remarks this week, calling Israel genocidal and comparing Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu with the ISIS leaders, has reduced the entire “diplomatic process” to an illusion.

There is no tension because neither Israel nor the Palestinian Authority really cares what the other side says.

 

 

Gazans Speak Out: Hamas War Crimes

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

This article originally appeared on the Gatestone Institute website.

“If Hamas does not like you for any reason all they have to do now is say you are a Mossad agent and kill you.” — A., a Fatah member in Gaza.

“Hamas wanted us butchered so it could win the media war against Israel showing our dead children on TV and then get money from Qatar.” — T., former Hamas Ministry officer.

“They would fire rockets and then run away quickly, leaving us to face Israeli bombs for what they did.” — D., Gazan journalist.

“Hamas imposed a curfew: anyone walking out in the street was shot. That way people had to stay in their homes, even if they were about to get bombed. Hamas held the whole Gazan population as a human shield.” — K., graduate student

“The Israeli army allows supplies to come in and Hamas steals them. It seems even the Israelis care for us more than Hamas.” — E., first-aid volunteer.

“We are under Hamas occupation, and if you ask most of us, we would rather be under Israeli occupation… We miss the days when we were able to work inside Israel and make good money. We miss the security and calm Israel provided when it was here.” — S., graduate of an American university, former Hamas sympathizer.

While the world’s media has been blaming Israel for the death of Gazan civilians during Operation Protective Edge, this correspondent decided to speak with Gazans themselves to hear what they had to say.

They spoke of Hamas atrocities and war crimes implicating Hamas in the civilian deaths of its own people.

Although Gazans, fearful of Hamas’s revenge against them, were afraid to speak to the media, friends in the West Bank offered introductions to relatives in Gaza. One, a renowned Gazan academic, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that as soon as someone talked to a Western journalist, he was immediately questioned by Hamas and accused of “communicating with the Mossad”. “Hamas makes sure that the average Gazan will not talk to Western journalists — or actually any journalists at all,” he said, continuing:

“Hamas does not want the truth about Gaza to come out. Hamas terrorizes and kills us just like Daesh [ISIS] terrorizes kills Iraqis. Hamas is a dictatorship that kills us. The Gazans you see praising Hamas on TV are either Hamas members or too afraid to speak against Hamas. Few foreign [Western] journalists were probably able to report what Gazans think of Hamas.”

When asked what Gazans did think of Hamas, he said:

“The same as Iraqis thought of Saddam before he was toppled. He still won by 90-something percent in the presidential elections. If Hamas falls today in Gaza, people here will do what Iraqis did to Saddam’s statue after he fell. But even though Western journalists may not have been able to speak freely with Gazans, they still need a story to send to their editor by the end of the day. So it is just easier and safer for them to stick to the official line.”

“What was that,” I asked: “‘Blame Israel’?”

“I don’t know about that,” he said. “More like, ‘Never blame Hamas!’. Hamas was making a ‘statement’: Opposing Hamas Means Death. Hamas is a dictatorship that kills us.”

M., a journalist, confirmed his view. “I do not believe any of the people Hamas killed in the last weeks were Israeli spies,” he said. “Hamas has killed many people for criticizing it, and claimed they were traitors working for Israel during the war.”

That conversation took place four weeks before Hamas killed 21 alleged “Israeli Mossad agents.”

Netanyahu Labels UN Views on Israel ‘Disproportional’

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday that the international organization has “disproportionate” view of Israel.

The statement was a polite dig at the United Nations’ constant accusation that Israel always retaliates disproportionately to Hamas rocket and missile attacks.

The Prime Minister also reiterated that Israel’s ”red lines” for accepting the Palestinian Authority as a country are that it be demilitarized and that the PA recognize Israel as a Jewish state.

The Prime Minister also reminded Ban of Israel’s need to act freely to defend the country from a;; threats.

“There is no justice in the fact that the standard applied to Israel is different than that applied to other countries. Israel did not direct its attacks against civilians, and the UN’s conduct toward Israel is disproportionate, Prime Minister Netanyahu, accompanied by Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, told Ban.

“Netanyahu complained that the U.N. Human Rights Council is not focusing its inquiry on Hamas, which used U.N. facilities in order to fire at Israel, and asserted that Israel would struggle against this. He added that the Council was biased against Israel and defends Hamas,” according to a statement from Netanyahu’s office.

He “declared that there was no justice in the fact that the standard applied to Israel was different than that applied to other countries and pointed out that 200,000 civilians have been slaughtered in Syria.”

Netanyahu added that the UN’s conduct toward Israel was disproportionate and stressed that Israel did not direct its attacks against civilians.”

The total inability of the United Nations even to carry out the terms of cease-fire agreements with Israel can be seen in the 2006 agreement, to which Netanyahu referred when he pointed out to Ban that Hezbollah was in violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1701 by continuing to build up its arsenals.

Netanyahu told Ban that Iran is continuing to work towards achieving the ability to arm itself with nuclear weapons.

Ban certainly heard the Prime Minister. It not certain he was listening.

 

ZIM Shanghai Unloads at Port of Long Beach, No BDS Problems

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

The ZIM Shanghai successfully unloaded its cargo at the Port of Long Beach without any delays or problems.

The Shanghai was unable to unload at its previous port of call, the Port of Oakland, after ILWU 10 union workers (International Longshore and Warehouse Union) refused to unload the ship. ILWU 10 claims that violent demonstrators intimidated and physically threatened the workers.

At least two groups were demonstrating at the Port of Oakland, “Block the Boat for Gaza”, and the “Stop Zim Action Committee”. Members of ISM, the “International Solidarity Committee” were also spotted at the protests.

At once point some demonstrators were reportedly told to leave their Hamas flags at home due to the bad publicity their support for the Hamas terrorists was generating.

The ship sailed on to the Port of Long Beach, which is the second busiest container port in the US, after the Port of Los Angeles which it adjoins.

ILWU 10 is currently in a contract battle with the Port of Oakland, and there are claims that the union tried to use the BDS protesters as pawns in their negotiations.

There are questions if ZIM ships will continue to try to use the Port of Oakland anymore. The loss of ZIM’s business would ultimately just hurts the workers and the local community.

Jon Banquer reported on Twitter that the ship experienced no delays at the Port of Long Beach and is now on its way to its next port of call in Russia:

Jon Banquer @JonBanquer ZIM Shanghai unloads/loads with no delays at Port of Long Beach. Ship now on its way to Vostochny Port in Russia #BlockTheBoat #stopzim fail

BDS protesters regularly try to stop ZIM ships from docking and unloading at ports around the United States, but the Port of Oakland is the only port where ZIM ships have had any real problems.

We Stand Behind US Actions in Syria

Monday, September 29th, 2014

The U.S.-led attack on the “Islamic State” (or ISIL, as President Obama prefers to call them) deserves our full support in light of the brave and just decision to attack infrastructure targets under “Islamic State” control, despite the unavoidable ensuing collateral damage.

The U.S. is fighting a war against a dangerous and barbaric enemy, like Israel recently fought against Hamas.

It’s impossible to win a fight with one arm tied behind your back, and President Obama has shown courageous leadership with his decision to take the gloves off and attack the “Islamic State” properly, despite the potentially high cost.

We are sure that the United States Armed Forces are taking all necessary precautions to reduce civilian casualties and infrastructure damage where possible.

In fact, we believe Israel should take a page right out of President Obama’s playbook the next time it needs to fight a war against Hamas or Hezbollah.

Abbas’ United Nations Speech Throws Obama under the Bus

Saturday, September 27th, 2014

Mahmoud Abbas roared into the United Nations Friday with an incendiary speech against Israel that re-buried – again – the American-led “peace process,” cast Israel as a war criminal and managed to provoke a hasty and unusually angry American response that smacked his rhetoric as “provocative.”

The Palestinian Authority chairman, who carried out a brilliant world-wide diplomatic campaign against Israel after he took power following Yasser Arafat’s death in 2004, has been hell-bent on self-destruction ever since it was clear to him that he could not hijack the so-called peace process to put an end to Israel as a Jewish state.

His speech, which called Israel “genocidal,” was a statement that the Obama can go fly a kite while he relies solely on the pro-Arab U.N. General Assembly to reach his objective. Abbas’ diplomatic Kamikaze operation somewhat parallels the Arab world’s wars against Israel in 1949 and 1967. They circled the wagons and poised for a victory, but then saw blood in their eyes and banked on total annihilation of the Zionists.

A hint of what was coming at the United Nations began when Abbas entered to the United Nations Wednesday. U.N. personnel, operating under standing operating procedures, prevented Abbas’ security forces from entering through the same doors.

Abbas’ aides did what they know best to do – use violence, which didn’t work.

On Friday, Abbas spoke and everyone waited for the “bomb” that his aides said he would drop. Maybe he would demand that Israel be tried in the international court for war crimes? Maybe he would announce a new peace proposal? Maybe he would pull out a new trick to put Israel in the corner?

The bomb was suicidal.

Peace talks?

“It is impossible, and I repeat – it is impossible – to return to the cycle of negotiations that failed to deal with the substance of the matter and the fundamental question,” Abbas declared. “There is neither credibility nor seriousness in negotiations in which Israel predetermines the results via its settlement activities and the occupation’s brutality…

“During the past two weeks, Palestine and the Arab Group undertook intensive contacts with the various regional groups in the United Nations to prepare for the introduction of a draft resolution to be adopted by the United Nations Security Council on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and to push forward the efforts to achieve peace….

“This endeavor aspires to correct the deficiency of the previous efforts to achieve peace by affirming the goal of ending the Israeli occupation and achieving the two-state solution, of the State of Palestine, with east Jerusalem as its capital, over the entire territory occupied in 1967, alongside the State of Israel and reaching a just and agreed upon solution to the plight of the Palestine refugees on the basis of resolution 194, with a specific timeframe for the implementation of these objectives as stipulated in the Arab Peace Initiative.”

Abbas proved he was more bark than bite because he did not even hint of a deadline “or else” for Israel to surrender.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu as a peace partner?

“There is no credibility or seriousness” in the Prime Minister’s statements that he wants a “two-state solution.”

Settlers as Jews who could live in peace with the PA if they only would go back to Tel Aviv?

No. Settlers are “racist and armed gangs’ who have “persisted with their crimes against the Palestinian people.”

He said what every person with an IQ over 30 knows – “negotiations” with Israel means that that talks resume based on the “agreed objective” of “ending the Israeli occupation and achieving the independence of the State of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital on the entire Palestinian Territory occupied in the 1967 war.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/abbas-united-nations-speech-throws-obama-under-the-bus/2014/09/27/

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