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September 22, 2014 / 27 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘George Mitchell’

The Tragic Farce of Israeli Confidence Building Measures

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

The recent kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers near Hebron, who are now the subject of a massive Israeli military-security search, should give pause. Israel says it has evidence of involvement by Hamas, the U.S. and European Union-listed terrorist group that calls in its Charter for the worldwide murder of Jews. Hamas, recently incorporated into the Fatah/Palestinian Authority (PA) regime, is still receiving U.S taxpayer funding.

Given these circumstances, Israel needs to put an end to its concessionary policy of ‘confidence-building measures’: removing security checkpoints and roadblocks, freeing convicted and jailed Palestinian terrorists as demanded by the PA, and so on — especially if it emerges that the absence of checkpoints enabled the terrorists to carry out the kidnappings.

That some terrorist acts have been facilitated in this way is beyond argument. The January 2010 murder of Israeli, Meir Chai, by Fatah’s own Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, occurred during a Palestinian terrorist attack made possible by the removal of a road closure and checkpoint, part of ‘confidence-building measures’ previously urged upon Israel by the Obama administration.

In April 2010, then-U.S. envoy George Mitchell again urged Israel to “make a number of gestures to Palestinians, including release of prisoners, removal of checkpoints, transfer of authority over West Bank territories.” Israel acceded to President Obama’s wishes — and that August, Palestinians terrorists murdered four Israelis, including a pregnant woman; as it happens, also near Hebron. The attackers escaped the scene via a route opened by the removal of a checkpoint — part of the “number of gestures” Mitchell had urged upon the Israelis.

Western governments, including the Obama Administration, are continually tantalized at the prospect of renewed negotiations, and the PA has adroitly succeeded in recent years in making Israeli concessions a condition of their resumption. International leaders have willingly obliged.

Here, for example, is a news item from February 2012 about UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon: “The UN chief urged Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to make ‘goodwill gestures’ to bring the Palestinians back to direct negotiations, frozen since September 2010.”

Note that, in such cases, Israelis are not being asked to make these “gestures” in return for anything, merely so that PA will deign to speak to them from across a table. In other words, the intended “gestures” are unilateral Israeli concessions. Unfortunately, peace and has never been facilitated by Israeli unilateral concessions. Quite the contrary.

The 2005 unilateral evacuation of Gaza and eviction of its Jewish residents was received by senior PA official Muhammad Dahlan thus: “The withdrawal from the Gaza Strip is a victory for the Palestinian people’s will. … The withdrawal should take place without an agreement and with no political gains [for Israel].” Rocket assaults on Israel from Gaza increased exponentially.

In 2009 came what Hillary Clinton described as “unprecedented” Israeli unilateral concession at the behest of President Barack Obama: a 10-month unilateral freeze on the construction of Jewish homes in the West Bank. The result? The PA declined to resume talks until almost the very end of this period, only to almost immediately break them off and demand a permanent freeze — something that had never been a feature of previous Israeli/Palestinian talks.

In October 2011, Israel freed 1,027 Palestinian prisoners – including hundreds of convicted terrorists – in exchange for kidnapped Israeli serviceman Gilad Shalit. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal greeted this, not as a step on the road to peace, but as a great victory over Israel. Note that this was not even a unilateral concession, but a negotiated one, and that it was not welcomed as a laudable effort to bring peace closer, but an act of weakness heralding eventual Israeli defeat.

Bennett Tears Apart Kerry’s ‘New Deal’ for Palestinian Authority

Monday, January 20th, 2014

Naftali Bennett, Israel’s Minister of Economy and the head of the Jewish Home party, told a party meeting Monday that the claim that a two-state solution will benefit both the Palestinian Authority and Israel is a lie.

He labeled the “economic” track as another excuse to divide Israel. One of  U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s selling points is a  $4 billion package of goodies for his dream of a Palestinian Authority state alongside an Israel that would be less than half its size since the Six-Day War in 1967.

“A Palestinian state would destroy Israel’s economy,” Bennett said in an unusually aggressive speech that reflects his certainty that Kerry’s peace talk venture is headed to the same destination as its source – the cemetery where the peace process was buried more than three years ago.

Bennett pulled out a map of the “New Israel,” as originally proposed by the Saudi Initiative of 2002 and since adopted in principle by the United Nations and the United States..

“How will Israel’s economy look if a rocket will fall in …central Herzliya? [or] a missile brings down a plane at Ben Gurion Airport?” he asked.

He said that the peace talk promoters are using the economy like they once used “peace” and “demographics” as excuses to divide Jerusalem and separate Judea and Samaria from Israel.

Bennett is sounding more and more assured recently, and his sharp political antenna sense what foreign media and Israel’s anti-Netanyahu media refuse to acknowledge – that Kerry is headed for a crash landing.

He has made the same mistake as every wannabe peacemaker before him – George Mitchell, David Hale, Condoleezza Rice, Hillary Clinton and a host of others who will not be credited even in footnotes when historians look back ask what on Earth the United States was thinking when it thought it could change the Middle East into an extension of Foggy Bottom.

The funny thing it, and it really is sad, is that none of the Western do-gooders looked at the economies of Judea, Gaza and Samaria before and after 1967.

Egypt treated Arabs in Gaza as if they were on the moon, while Jordan at least acknowledged that Arabs in Judea and Samaria were on the same planet, but nothing more.

Growth was stagnant. Education was poor. Infrastructure remained undeveloped. Thanks to the Jordanian prohibition of Christians and Jews from visiting holy sites, tourism was miserable.

All of that changed in 1967. After the war, the Arabs in Judea, Gaza and Samaria were freed from the yoke of their Arab rulers. The entire region blossomed. Israelis flocked to the “occupied” territories to buy cheaper goods and produce.

Israel opened up all holy sites to all religions. Hundreds of thousands of Arabs, not yet called Palestinians, worked in Israel.

Yasser Arafat, born in Egypt, changed all of that.

Bennett should have brought out the graphs of the economy before and after Arafat to show how the Intifada destroyed the Palestinian Authority economy.

The next illogical step, as Bennett warned Monday, is to destroy the Israeli economy.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/bennett-tears-apart-kerrys-new-deal-for-palestinian-authority/2014/01/20/

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