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August 22, 2014 / 26 Av, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Kerry’

No More Lies, Sec. Kerry, There Is No ‘Existential Threat to Israel’

Sunday, January 26th, 2014

Is Secretary of State, John Kerry correct, or incorrect, when exhorting “the demographic time bomb” to scare Israel into a retreat from geography (Judea and Samaria), in order to, supposedly, secure demography?  According to Kerry, “There is an existential threat to Israel…. I am referring to the demographic dynamic that makes it impossible for Israel to preserve its future as a democratic, Jewish state without resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in a two-state solution.”

Are Jews doomed to become a minority in the combined area of Judea, Samaria and the pre-1967 Israel?

According to the 2013 CIA World Factbook,  Judea and Samaria Arabs  experienced a dramatic decline in fertility rate (the average number of births per woman): from five births in 2000 to 2.91 in 2013.  On the other hand, in 2014, Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics documents a 3.04 Jewish fertility rate and 3.42 when both Jewish spouses are Israeli-born.

“A new Palestinian generation opts for fewer children is the title of an article by Rasha Abou Jalal, a Gaza journalist:  While Islam calls for believers to bear many children and prohibits the use of birth control, new Palestinian generations are defying tradition and leaning toward limiting the number of children they have…. The new generation takes into consideration various economic and cultural factors before deciding to have children.  The idea of limiting childbearing has, therefore, garnered more supporters than before…. The more Palestinians become aware and rational, the less they will procreate, as they pursue a level of education and knowledge that suits them and increases their chances of having a better life….

The Westernization of Muslim demographic trends, from Iran (1.8 births per woman), through Saudi Arabia (2.3), Syria and Egypt (2.9) and North Africa (1.8) has also characterized Muslim women in Judea, Samaria, Gaza and pre-1967 Israel. The unprecedented decline in Muslim fertility has been driven by modernity: accelerated women’s rights, urbanization, education, career mentality and family planning (72% of 15-49 year old married Palestinian women prefer to avoid pregnancy).  Thus, contemporary young Muslim women are reluctant to get married at the age of fifteen and start reproducing at the age of sixteen.  They tend to postpone marriage until after the age of 20 and prefer limited reproduction.

On the other hand, in 2014, the Israeli Jewish fertility rate (three births per woman and trending upwards) is higher than in any Arab country, other than Yemen, Iraq and Jordan.  Jewish demography has been enhanced by a high level of optimism, patriotism, communal responsibility and attachment to roots among religious and secular, hawks and doves, conservative and liberal Israelis, bolstered by economic progress. While the annual number of Arab births – west of the Jordan River – has stabilized since 1995, the annual number of Jewish births has surged from 80,000 in 1995 to about 132,000 in 2013 – a 65% increase!  This dramatic leap occurred despite declining fertility among ultra-orthodox Jews, but due to the substantial rise of secular Jewish fertility.  In 1995 there were 2.3 Jewish births per one Arab birth in Israel; in 2014 – 3.3 births.  In 1995, the number of Jewish births constituted 69% of total Israeli births; in 2014 – 77% and rising.

In 2014, there is a robust 66% Jewish majority in the combined area of Judea, Samaria and pre-1967 Israel – compared with a 9% and 39% in 1900 and 1947 – benefitting from a tailwind of fertility and net-immigration.  This contrasts with declining Arab fertility and annual Arab net-emigration (in 2014, 20,000 from Judea and Samaria).  In 2014, Israel’s Jewish population has reached 6.5 million people, next to 1.7 million Israeli Arabs and 1.7 million Judean and Samarian Arabs – one million less than the number claimed by the Palestinian Authority.  The misrepresentation was conceived in the late 1990s, in response to the arrival of one million Soviet Jews to Israel.  It consists of overseas residents, overseas births, by double-counting Jerusalem Arabs as Israeli Arabs (by Israel) and West Bankers (by the Palestinian Authority), etc..

US Source: Bibi For Settlement Deportations ‘But Not on his Watch’

Sunday, January 19th, 2014

“Netanyahu has made clear that he is ready to undertake an historic move, but he wants to spread it over a long period of time, and to avoid mass evacuations of settlers during his rule,” an American source close to the peace negotiations told Walla. The source added that the prime minister has been making statements to this effect during his recent meetings with U.S. secretary of State John Kerry, and in his conversations last year with President Obama.

“He made clear to Obama as well as Kerry that he is ready to ‘go for it,’ but insisted that the execution, especially the aspect of settlement evacuations, must be gradual and lengthy – and not over 3 to 5 years, as the Palestinians demand,” the American source explained.

According to that source, “Netanyahu definitely understands that Israel must go for the agreement, but he doesn’t want to be the one who would in effect deport tens of thousands of settlers from the West bank. As far as he’s concerned, the best scenario would be a gradual agreement, with the final application taking place only on the watch of the next prime minister.”

Two weeks ago, U.S. ambassador to israel dan Shapiro said that during his most recent hops between Jerusalem and Ramallah, Kerry “heard from Netanyahu and Abu mazen (Abbas) things no one had heard from them in the past.”

Shapiro would not go into details, but the American source told Walla that “what Kerry heard from Netanyahu is a willingness on his part to agree on an historic compromise – while insisting on a gradual and lengthy application.”

The same source added that “this demand also holds true regarding settler deportations and the Israeli military presence in the Jordan Valley.”

The source did not go into detail on how the Palestinians had reacted to Netanyahu’s new position, but noted that “there are gaps regarding the schedule.”

All of the above could explain Kerry’s near-euphoric behavior over the past few weeks, despite the string of reports on difficulties and wide gaps in the negotiations. In that context, Walla quotes an Israeli politician who had spoken to the Israeli negotiation staff, who said “the Americans feel that Netanyahu is near his point of ‘crossing the Rubicon,’ which is why they’re not upset about his right-wing sounding statements in the Knesset Likud faction meetings. They believe he must appease the right wing in his own party, but says the truly important things in his meetings with Kerry, especially when the two of them are alone.”

Meanwhile, the Kerry mission in Jerusalem has been hectically meeting with opposition parties on the left and in the Haredi camp, in preparation for a Jewish Home walkout following an “historic” statement from the prime minister.

Which is why Jewish Home must never leave the coalition government, regardless of the upcoming deal. They should hold on to their positions of power, vote against the catastrophic deal, and use their official capacity to defend and protect the settler community. Outside the government they may sound righteous and patriotic, but their worth to the people about to become refugees in their own land would be negligible.

Tough times are coming. Our communities must come together and figure out short and long term ways of evading deportation. Collect food, store water, purchase electric generators, stock up on fuel. Get as much of our resources off the grid as we can, because when they come for us – the grid will be the first thing they’ll turn off.

Kerry Versus Rabin on Israel’s Security

Friday, January 17th, 2014

Two months ago, on November 5, Secretary of State Kerry attended a ceremony in Tel Aviv marking the eighteenth anniversary of Yitzhak Rabin’s assassination. Kerry lauded Rabin as “a great man of peace,” praised Rabin’s efforts to resolve Israel’s conflict with the Palestinians, and urged rededication to Rabin’s vision.

Kerry is now striving to achieve agreement between the parties on elements of a peace accord, including security arrangements and future borders. Media reports say that in the coming weeks he will present his own blueprint addressing these issues. Kerry has repeatedly insisted Israel’s security is a non-negotiable priority in his quest for a path to peace.

Given his warm praise of Rabin and Rabin’s perspectives on the parameters of a genuine, durable peace, one would expect any blueprint from the secretary of state to incorporate what Rabin defined as areas vital for Israel’s defense.

Rabin, like the authors of UN Security Council Resolution 242 – still the foundation stone of Israeli-Arab peace negotiations – recognized that Israel’s pre-1967 armistice lines left the nation too vulnerable to future aggression. He insisted Israel must hold onto a significant portion of the West Bank to block traditional invasion routes and to protect both Jerusalem and the low-lying coastal plain, the latter home to some 70 percent of the nation’s population.

In his last speech in the Knesset before his assassination, Rabin declared:

 

The borders of the State of Israel, during the permanent solution, will be beyond the lines which existed before the Six-Day War. We will not return to the 4 June 1967 lines.

And these are the main changes, not all of them, which we envision and want in the permanent solution:

A. First and foremost, united Jerusalem, which will include both Ma’ale Adumim and Givat Ze’ev — as the capital of Israel, under Israeli sovereignty, while preserving the rights of the members of the other faiths, Christianity and Islam, to freedom of access and freedom of worship in their holy places, according to the customs of their faiths.

B. The security border of the State of Israel will be located in the Jordan Valley, in the broadest meaning of that term.

C. Changes which will include the addition of Gush Etzion, Efrat, Beitar and other communities, most of which are in the area east of what was the ‘Green Line,’ prior to the Six Day War.

D. The establishment of blocs of settlements in Judea and Samaria…

 

Nothing has changed in the last eighteen years that would diminish Israel’s need to retain the areas referred to by Rabin. The topography of the region has, of course, not changed, and the nations around Israel have not become more peaceful or more reconciled to Israel’s existence.

Prime Minister Netanyahu’s vision of defensible borders for Israel essentially conforms to the parameters laid out by Rabin.

However, Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas has categorically rejected the territorial accommodations upon which Rabin insisted. He has indicated he will never recognize the legitimacy of Israel as a Jewish state, as the product of that national self-determination universally accorded other peoples, including Arab peoples.

He denies any Jewish historical link to the land of Israel. He praises those who seek Israel’s destruction and clearly aspires to an accord that renders Israel more vulnerable and ultimately indefensible.

According to media reports, aspects of likely proposals by Kerry include, at most, a time-limited Israeli presence in the Jordan Valley and, in general, fall far short of the areas cited by Rabin as vital to Israel.

Some media reports even claim that Ambassador Martin Indyk and others working under Kerry have been trying to persuade former and present Israeli security officials to issue public statements downplaying Israel’s need for defensible borders.

Whatever alternatives Secretary Kerry, and the Obama administration, might propose to Israel’s having borders it can defend, and however much those alternatives are characterized as assuring Israel’s safety, they will in fact be a repudiation of Rabin’s legacy in his defining of key territorial requirements for Israel’s survival and well-being.

Any such dismissing of the Rabin parameters should be rejected by Israel and challenged by all those genuinely concerned with Israel’s security.

For Yaalon, Kerry, Love Means Totally Saying You’re Sorry

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

In the 1970 film Love Story, Ali MacGraw tells boyfriend Ryan O’Neal: “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.” That might just mean there’s no love, lost or otherwise, between Israeli Defense Minister Moshe (Bogey—as in Humphrey Bogart, not Boogie, as in boogie-woogie) Yaalon and U.S. secretary of State John (the Boston Brahmin) Kerry. Because Bogie apologized to Kerry, in both Hebrew and English, for his disparaging comments.

Incidentally, I don’t recall President Barack (Barry) Obama ever apologizing to Benjamin (Bibi) Netanyahu for whining about him on an open mike, in conversation with French President Nicolas (Sarko) Sarkozy, back in 2011. Sarko said, “Netanyahu, I can’t stand him, he’s a liar,” and Barry said, “You’re sick of him, but I have to deal with him every day…”

According to Yedioth, Yaalon said Kerry “operates from an incomprehensible obsession and sense of messianism” and “can’t teach me anything about the conflict with the Palestinians.”

And then he said: “The only thing that might save us is if John Kerry wins the Nobel Prize and leaves us be. We’ve given enough and have received nothing… enough is enough.”

In comparison, Bogey’s saying the Brahmin is obsessive and has a messianic complex, then suggesting someone should give the guy his Nobel Peace Prize already so he’ll leave us alone – well, yes, it’s about as bad. Not the worst thing anyone has ever said about Kerry (Where are the Swiftboaters when you need them?), but of all the things being said every day about the United States, the world’s last remaining superpower decided to pounce on Yaalon.

Because it was a golden opportunity, seeing as the talks are in the toilet, the Palestinians are breaking the Oslo principles once again, going to the UN for recognition, the entire Kerry effort is exposed as so much smoke and mirrors—let’s hit Bogie hard.

According to Yaalon, the negotiations over the past seven and something months have been not so much talks between Israel and the Palestinian as a harsh and bitter fight between himself and the American team. “I am the nut they can’t crack.”

They may be annoyed with Netanyahu, but the Americans hate Yaalon with a passion, because he’s a professional military expert, because he is trusted by most Israelis—Bibi is afraid of him politically, so trust there is not possible, especially when Sara is in the room.

Yaalon sees every little fault in the American proposed security plan and has said publicly that it isn’t worth the paper it’s written on (someone needs to upgrade that putdown to include PowerPoint presentations).

So State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki expressed outrage on Tuesday: “The remarks of the defense minister, if accurate, are offensive and inappropriate, especially given all that the United States is doing to support Israel’s security needs.”

Oh, the remarks are accurate, sister, your boss is 100 percent certifiably obsessive, and nasty, too. And that stuff about securing Israel – do us a favor, go secure someone else.

But, of course, Yaalon can’t quite say that, although I would have loved to see him giving our parental figure a little lip. What are they going to do? Announce they’ll cut off military support because of what Bogie called Kerry?

I’d still pay good money to watch it.

“Secretary Kerry and his team including General Allen have been working day and night to try to promote a secure peace for Israel because of the secretary’s deep concern for Israel’s future,” the pesky Psaki said, sounding like the proverbial disappointed mother.

After all the sacrifices your father and I are making for you, how dare you say hurtful things like that?

Jeopardizing Deal, Palestinians to Approach UN for Statehood

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

The PLO leadership on Monday night announced that it is in the process of putting together a plan for the Palestinian Authority to join international organizations under UN direction, as well as sign international conventions, Israel Radio reports.

The plan is being devised by the PLO political committee, on instructions from PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

When the current peace negotiations began, some seven months ago, the Palestinians committed to delay approaching international organizations for recognition, in return for the release of 104 terrorists from Israeli jails.

That one worked out nicely.

The PLO announcement Monday night blamed Israel’s government for the difficulties in the political process.

Jewish Home Chairman and Minister of the Economy Naftali Bennett told Israel Radio there’s no difference between Abbas and his predecessor Yasser Arafat. Bennett said the PA chairman, like Arafat, keeps talking about a million shahids-martyrs marching on Jerusalem and refusing to ever give up the “right of return,” not just for Arab refugees who actually left their homes in Israel in 1948-9, but all of their descendants.

Likud MK Tzachi Hanegbi told Israel Radio that it appears the Palestininas have been objecting to the U.S. attempts to galvanize a statement of principles reflecting the progress that’s been reached on some core issues. Hanegbi believes has been gravitating to an anti-peace position from which he is refusing to depart, over Jerusalem, the right of return and recognizing Israel as a Jewish state.

Senior Labor MK Eitan Cabel told Israel Radio he thinks neither side has been negotiating in good faith, and they each spend their time looking for ways to pin the failure of the talks on the other.

On Sunday, Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki met with Secretary of State John Kerry it the office of the American ambassador to Paris, and told the secretary that the Palestinians oppose recognizing Israel as a Jewish state and insist that East Jerusalem becomes the future Palestinian capital.

Commenting on Kerry’s new shuttle meetings with Arab foreign ministers who are members of an Arab League committee, to solicit their support for the peace process, al-Maliki said Arab diplomats support the Palestinian position on all major issues.

Sharon’s Message of Faith to Netanyahu

Sunday, January 12th, 2014

I would guarantee that there wasn’t a Jew in Israel eight years ago, including the most leftist, cynical and secularist, who didn’t, even if for just one moment, think to himself that Arik Sharon was being punished by God for the crime of the Gush Katif expulsion.

Whether they afterwards denied or ignored it is irrelevant. For an instant, every Jew in Israel understood Sharon’s debilitating stroke as a sign from the universe.

That’s the problem with miracles and signs, and why we Jews don’t use signs as foundations of our faith: they’re fleeting.

Last Shabbat’s parshah–Beshalach–is full of stories of massive, yet ephemeral miracles. We learn how Bnei Yisrael would experience a miracle, and then simply ignore it a few days later, or worse, experience miracles everyday (like the manna) and regard them as commonplace.

It would seem that the purpose of miracles is not to create blind faith, because it fails miserably in that direction, but to serve as a teaching moment, and occasionally for a course correction.

The manna taught Bnei Yisrael about keeping Shabbat and about trusting in God to provide our “daily bread.” The tearing of Yam Suf helped Bnei Yisrael take their first steps away from fear and servitude under the Egyptians and toward trusting in and serving God.

At the end of the Parsha, Amalek attacks Bnei Yisrael, and we see the miraculous and inexplicable interaction between Moshe’s raised hands and the battle with Amalek. The Parsha ends with Joshua “weakening” Amalek, and us, the Jews, being commanded to wipe out any memory of Amalek from the face of the Earth.

Why was Amalek the first to attack Israel after all the miracles and Egypt’s destruction?

Because Amalek is the antithesis of Israel.

Amalek doesn’t believe in divine providence or divine intervention. Amalek believes in coincidence (“Kerry” in Hebrew). They attacked Israel to prove the ideology of a universe with no direction, judge or justice, where all events are random and hence where morality is inconceivable. The only morality of that ideology is the survival of the strongest. There are no values other than those of the people in charge.

And their kerry-coincidence approach to reality constitutes a very strong belief, which is why Joshua, despite his victory, was only able to weaken it, and why it is something we must continue to fight in every generation.

It is only our trust in God, our belief in Divine intervention, that will allow us to win the latest round of this ongoing war against the ideology of coincidence.

John Kerry said about Sharon, “He was prepared to make tough decisions because he knew that his responsibility to his people was both to ensure their security and to give every chance to the hope that they could live in peace.”

He wants Netanyahu to forget that Sharon failed miserably in his pursuit of both peace and security. His mad retreat from Gaza, deporting thousands of Jews, destroying homes, synagogues, fields, equipment, resulted in a lot more bloodshed and destruction than ever before. How can anyone look at Sharon’s abysmal record in Gaza and say they would like to repeat it, but this time make it five times or ten times more terrible?

Our modern day prophet of kerry–aptly named Mr. Kerry–wants Netanyahu to forget about God’s guiding hand in Jewish history, and the retribution that befell the late Ariel Sharon.

It’s no coincidence that Sharon died this week, when it appears that Israel is under dire threats, and fateful decisions lie in the hands of one man who must now choose to have faith in the God of our history, or in the man of coincidence and happenstance.

Netanyahu is our Joshua, and we must be his Moshe, holding up our hands to strengthen him, and to remind him of the One who fights our battles, the true source of our strength, victory and survival.

Kerry to Labor Party Leader: If No Deal by March, US Pulls Out

Tuesday, January 7th, 2014

Secretary of State John Kerry may look like he’s pulling all the stops in pushing an Israeli-Palestinian deal, but, according to newly elected Labor party chairman MK Yitzhak Herzog, the U.S. can also read the writing on the wall. Herzog told Maariv that should there be no significant movement by the end of March, “it looks like the U.S. will take a step back and lower its profile” on the negotiations.

At the same time, Herzog was quick to point out, Kerry is filled with optimism regarding the chances of the current talks, telling his Israeli supporter on the left that both Benjamin Netanyahu and Mahmoud Abbas have made brave and significant concessions.

Kerry’s main point in his meeting with Israel’s opposition leader Herzog was to find out how many hands would be raised in the Knesset in support of the Netanyahu concessions.

“He asked us not to enable the toppling of Netanyahu should he lose parts of the right” in his own coalition, “who will decide to vote against him once there’s progress in the talks,” a source in Herzog’s circle told Maariv.

The ever-present danger in volatile votes like this, is that once the prime minister loses the support of a sizeable portion of his own coalition members, the next move is in the hands of the opposition leader, who calls for a vote of no confidence in the prime minister. At this point, if the same coalition members are angry enough, they add their votes to the opposition and take down the government.

Herzog wasn’t going to do that over the “peace process.” But the question remains whether Netanyahu really ahs the votes supporting the uprooting a constantly shifting number of Jews from Judea and Samaria (that number has gone from 150,000 down to 80,000 – neither of which have much reality to them, because the Palestinians want everything and the settlers won’t budge either, at least not without riot police bashing their faces in, which could spell the end of Netanyahu’s marriage with the right).

The same source said they were surprised by the seriousness of the current phase in the talks, and the fact that they now include all the “heavy” subjects, such as the right of return for Palestinians from around the world into Israel proper, the status of Jerusalem, Israeli control over the Jordan Valley, and, presumably, land swaps of settlements and Israeli Arab cities.

According to Maariv, based on information from senior political officials, Kerry plans to set up a direct meeting between Netanyahu and Abbas moments after the American “framework” document is finalized.

Kerry “is determined to hold a political summit meeting between the two leaders, as soon as he succeeds in getting agreements for that famous document,” the sources said.

Mind you, the “framework document” is expected to be merely a list of all the issues about which both sides disagree. Also, the document will not require the two sides to sign it, merely to acknowledge that, indeed, they disagree on those issues.

That’s not a lot to ask for. But there’s a reason for this strange document, which presents as success something which should have been the opening notes of the talks, rather than the sum total of their achievements after 7 months. Kerry intends to use this manufactured “success” as a basis for issuing a one-year extension to the talks, which are slated to conclude—based on the Secretary’s time limit—this February.

No one beats the State Department in smoke and mirror acts (Defense concentrates more on dog and pony).

Which makes our own headline here, based on the revelations in Maariv, about as hokum as anything the Secretary has been scheming. Kerry imposes a deadline, then creates a means to schlep out the deadline ad infinitum, then threatens to take his ball and go home in March, but by the time March rolls in the teams will be deep in phase two – and achieving nothing.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/kerry-to-labor-party-leader-if-no-deal-by-march-us-pulls-out/2014/01/07/

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