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January 23, 2017 / 25 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Lebanon’

INTO THE FRAY: Two-Statism Gone Mad -Touting a Giant South Lebanon on Fringes of Tel Aviv

Sunday, January 8th, 2017

…we need a clear map showing Israel’s eastern border and the limits of its territorial demands. ..

The eastern border must be based on the required minimum to allow a significant number of settlers to join Israel, but no more than necessary. We must give up Ariel…The “no” to the settlements must be unambiguous. There is no need to evacuate them, and there is no need for a compensation plan for those who leave. The settlements beyond the border should be left to wither economically and be deprived of support. Anyone who wants to live in these areas will do so without the support or protection of the Jewish sovereignty within its borders… The Arab Palestinian people must eventually lay down their arms against the Zionist movement…Until this stage, Israel will continue to militarily hold territory east of the border…

Einat Wilf  “Yes to the Occupation, No to the Settlements”,  Haaretz  Dec 31, 2016.

 

These are difficult times for proponents of the two-state formula that envisages a Jewish state and a Palestinian Arab state co-existing side-by-side, in idyllic peace and prosperity. Their disarray and dismay are becoming increasingly evident as their desperate efforts to “preserve the option of two-states” become increasingly hare-brained—and hair-raising.

 

Traded one failed formula for another

 

For many years, over the last quarter century since the signing of the ill-conceived, and hence ill-fated, Oslo Accords, indeed until relatively recently, dogmatic two-staters insisted that we had a Palestinian “partner for peace”. Initially, they claimed that Judeocidal terrorist, (and Nobel laureate) Yasser Arafat was the guy who “could deliver the goods”, and imported him and his murderous cronies from Tunis, igniting a wave of carnage in Israeli streets, shopping malls, cafes, and buses—casually (read “callously”)  dismissing the murdered and the maimed as inevitable “victims of peace”.

 

Then, having despaired of their blood-stained “peace partner”, un-chastened two-staters pinned their “noble” and “enlightened” hopes on erstwhile holocaust-denier Mahmoud Abbas (aka Abu Mazen). When recalcitrant realities dashed these forlorn hopes, rather than admit error, they doggedly refused to discard their discredited credo. Accordingly, they began a frantic search for some other way to preserve the viability of their failed formula.

To do this, they decided on the inconceivable—and opted for yet another fatally flawed formula, that of “unilateralism”,  which had failed spectacularly in both Gaza and South Lebanon, allowing these areas to become formidable arsenals bristling with weapons capable of threatening virtually all Israel’s major civilian centers.

 

However, aware of the difficulties of promoting such a policy, given the failures of past unilateralism, the authors of the new unilateralism claim that, having allegedly learned from previous mistakes, this time it will be different.

 

Forced to admit what they once denied

 

This time, they claim, although Israel will unilaterally forgo any claims of sovereignty over the vast majority of the territory in Judea-Samaria, and engage in the unilateral removal of Israeli civilian presence there, the IDF will remain deployed—until a satisfactory arrangement can be reached with some yet-to-be-identified Palestinian interlocutor.
However, by conceding the necessity of the continued IDF deployment, the two-staters, turned unilateralists, in effect, admit they had been wrong all along about there being a “partner for peace”.

 

Whew! Just as well we didn’t listen to them then!

 

Yet despite its glaring defects, the new unilateralism has attracted a good number of well-placed and well-funded adherents, both organizations and individuals. These include the well-endowed Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), the public advocacy Blue and White Future (BWF) which works closely with INSS personnel, and the Commanders for Israel Security (CIS) an organization reportedly comprising over 200   former high-ranking officers in the IDF, intelligence services and police.

 

Thus, for example, in a booklet published by CIS, reassuringly entitled Security First, which prescribes “foregoing claims to sovereignty over West Bank territories east of the ‘security fence‘”, despite the bald confession that, at present, there is no Palestinian peace partner. Indeed, it warns that “The situation on the West Bank requires the continued deployment of the IDF until satisfactory security arrangements are put into place within the framework of a permanent status agreement”.

 

Formula for open-ended occupation
The proposal for (re)adoption of unilateral concessions began to emerge in the public discourse about 3-4 years ago. Since then, I have warned, insistently and incessantly, of the appalling errors in the rationale of this misguided idea – see  for example The coming canard: ‘Constructive unilateralism (April 19, 2013); Stupendously stupid or surreptitiously sinister,  (April 25, 2013);  Infuriating, insidious, immoral , (December 19, 2013;) Imbecility squared – Part 1 (June  10, 2016); Imbecility squared- Part 2,  (June 10, 2016). I urge readers to peruse the arguments raised in them, identifying and analyzing the grave perils to which this new unilateralism will expose the nation.

 

Clearly by conditioning the end of IDF deployment on the emergence of “a permanent status agreement with the Palestinians [which] ushers in alternative concrete, sustainable security arrangements”, what new unilateralists such as the CIS are in fact promoting is a formula for open-ended occupation, whose duration is totally dependent on the Palestinian-Arabs.

 

After all, if the IDF is to remain deployed in the “West Bank” until some suitable Palestinian “peace partner” appears, sufficiently pliant to satisfy Israel’s demands but sufficiently robust to resist more radical domestic rivals that oppose those demands, what happens if such a “partner” fails to emerge?

 

Touting a giant South Lebanon on fringes of Tel Aviv

 

Clearly then, all the Palestinian-Arabs need to do to ensnare the IDF in what will inevitably become an increasingly unpopular “occupation”, making  it an easy target for guerilla attacks by a recalcitrant population backed by armed Palestinian internal security services, is…well, nothing.  All they need to do is wait until mounting IDF casualties in a “foreign land” create increasing domestic pressure to “bring our boys back home”, and mounting international  impatience with unending “occupation” create growing external pressure, which will make continued IDF deployment untenable—and withdrawal becomes inevitable, without any “permanent settlement” or sustainable security arrangements.

 

Indeed, the basic element of the new unilateralism—the forswearing of claims to sovereignty over Judea-Samaria, on the one hand; and the continued deployment of the IDF in that territory, on the other—replicate precisely the same conditions that prevailed in South Lebanon until the hasty retreat by the IDF in 2000.

 

 Creating clear and present danger

 

Clearly, under these conditions, any hope that the conflict can be officially resolved with some negotiated final-status agreement is hopelessly detached from reality. After all, why should the Palestinians offer any quid pro quo to negotiate the withdrawal of the IDF when Israel has a-priori conceded sovereignty to them and ceased all construction of the settlements, condemning them to inevitable decay and disintegration? Indeed, what would be the justification for any further IDF deployment in the sovereign territory of others – especially as that deployment itself is likely to be cited as the major grievance precipitating the belligerency between the sides?

 

Accordingly, the proposal for deploying the IDF for an indeterminate period, in territory over which it lays no sovereign claim—and hence, by implication, acknowledges that others have such claims to it—creates an unsustainable political configuration, which, sooner or later, will generate irresistible pressure on Israel to evacuate it—leaving the country exposed to the very dangers the IDF deployment was intended to obviate. Just as it did in Lebanon!! Only this time in territory abutting major trans-Israel transportation axes, adjacent to the country’s major population centers and overlooking its only international airport.

 

 Whether by the bullet or the ballot…

 

But even in the unlikely event that some Palestinian-Arab partner could be located, who agrees, in good faith, to conclude a permanent status agreement and implement acceptable security arrangements that allow the IDF to evacuate Judea-Samaria, how could Israel ensure this agreement will be honored and these arrangements maintained over time?

 

Clearly it could not!

Once the IDF withdraws, Israel has no way of preventing its Palestinian co-signatories to any accord from reneging on their commitments—whether of their own volition, due to a change of heart, or under duress from extremist adversaries. Even more to the point, barring intimate involvement in intra-Palestinian politics, Israel has no way to ensure that their pliant peace-partner will not be replaced—whether by bullet or ballot—by far more inimical successors, probably  generously supported by foreign regimes, who repudiate their predecessors pledges. Indeed, it is more than likely that it would be precisely the “perfidious” deal struck with the “nefarious Zionist entity” that would be invoked as justification for the regime-change.

But whichever of these outcomes emerges in practice, Israel is likely to be confronted with a situation where it no longer has security control in Judea-Samaria and with a hostile regime perched on the hills overlooking the coastal megatropolis.

 

And what do the unilateralists suggest then—you know, as their Plan B? “Protective Edge” on steroids?

 

Dismay and disappointment

 

Given all these grave and manifest perils that the new unilateralism entails, it was with considerable disappointment and dismay that I came across an article written by former MK Einat Wilf, indicating that not only has she become a new unilateralist acolyte, but in fact endorses a far more virulent and vindictive version of it.

 

Why I find her support of this pernicious policy proposal particularly distressing is because, with all my disagreement with her on the two-state issue, Wilf is someone I have always held in high regard, as a forceful and eloquent defender of Israel and Zionism, someone, endowed with grace, intelligence and intellectual courage, whose membership enhanced the level of the Knesset.

 

I was thus commensurately astonished and appalled, not only by the fact that she embraced this futile and feckless formula, but because she was advocating a far more radical form of it.

 

After all, nearly all other unilateralist proposals endorse:

(a) Retaining the large settlement blocs, under Israeli sovereignty. This is usually assumed to include the city of Ariel, with a population of around 20,000 and a fully accredited university with 15,000 students (including Arabs)

(b) Offering some kind of compensation to the Jewish residents of communities that the unilateralist formula envisages as being dismantled.

 

Melding the malicious with the moronic

 

Wilf, however, abruptly dispenses with both these elements (see introductory excerpt), recommending: “We must give up Ariel…The “no” to the settlements must be unambiguous. There is no need to evacuate them, and there is no need for a compensation plan for those who leave. The settlements beyond the border should be left to wither economically and be deprived of support. Anyone who wants to live in these areas will do so without the support or protection of the Jewish sovereignty within its borders…

 

This is a breathtakingly outrageous suggestion—at once, both malicious and moronic.  Although I believe that Wilf is neither, there is hardly a more charitable way to characterize her prescription to throw –or at least abandon—her countrymen to the wolves.  It is doubtless music to the ears of the Judeocidal Palestinian terror organizations, rubbing their hands in eager anticipation at the prospect of being able to slaughter the hated Jews, bereft of “support or protection”.

 

In her callous disregard for the fate of her fellow citizens across the yet to be determined “eastern border”, Wilf seems to lose sight of the fact that original initiators of the “settlement project” were not some wild-eyed, bearded rabbi or shrill settler extremist, but prominent figures in the Labor Party, which she originally represented in the Knesset, such as Shimon Peres and the iconic moderate, Yigal Allon.

 

Wilf’s (anti)Zionism

 

Bizarrely, Wilf professes to be motivated by her concern for Zionism and desire to preserve its principles. However, in their essence, Wilf’s recommendation is the very antithesis of Zionism.

 

After all, the epitome of Zionism has always been to bring Jews living under alien rule to live under Jewish sovereignty, not to abandon Jews living under Jewish rule to live under alien—much less, inimical—sovereignty. Yet this is precisely what Wilf endorses.

 

Indeed, is Wilf really claiming that, in her eyes, Zionist principles can only be preserved by maintaining the option of establishing (yet another) homophobic, misogynistic Muslim-majority tyranny, whose hallmarks would be gender discrimination, gay persecution, religious intolerance and oppression of political dissidents?

 

Does her brand of Zionism really endorse depriving Jews of life and livelihood for no other reason than preserving the possibility of somehow eventually establishing said Muslim-majority tyranny, which, almost certainly, will become a haven for Islamist terror?

Does it? Really?

Dr. Martin Sherman

Iran Offers to Arm Lebanese Military (Again)

Saturday, January 7th, 2017

Iran has made a serious offer to arm the Lebanese military, according to numerous reports in Lebanese media, all quoting Alaeddin Boroujerdi, chairman of the National Security and Foreign Policy Committee of the Iranian Parliament.

Boroujerdi publicly made the offer in a news conference after placing a wreath on the grave of former Hezbollah “Number 2″ terror chief Imad Mughniyeh, assassinated in Damascus in 2008, and that of his son, Jihad, also assassinated more recently.

Mustafa Mugniyeh was appointed by Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah to take command of Hezbollah’s forces on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights in place of his older brother, Jihad, in June 2015.

“Iran’s permanent and firm stance is to stand by the brotherly Lebanese Republic of Lebanon, government and people,” Boroujerdi said. “We therefore reiterate our firm will in the field of arming the Lebanese army.”

The Iranian official added that the issue “has been seriously discussed with [former] Defense Minister Samir Moqbel during his visit to Iran. The matter is at the disposal of the Lebanese government,” he said.

The offer comes on the eve of a visit to Saudi Arabia by Lebanese President Michel Aoun, who reportedly is hoping to convince Riyadh to resume its multi-billion dollar aid package to the Lebanese military.

Saudi Arabia cut its funding to Beirut last February in response to the country’s deepening ties with Iran, the torching of the Saudi Embassy in Tehran and a Saudi Consulate in Iran as well.

The destruction was part of a riot triggered by Saudi Arabia’s execution of an Iranian-backed Shi’ite cleric and activist. Riyadh cut its diplomatic ties with Tehran in January 2016 over the affair.

Aoun is a close ally of the Iranian-backed Hezbollah terrorist organization, which is involved in fighting Saudi-backed opposition forces against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria.

But although Iran has offered arms to Lebanon more than once since 2010, Beirut has been hesitant to accept, according to YaLibnan, due to suspicions about the intentions behind the offers.

Hana Levi Julian

IDF Officials: Hezbollah Took American APCs From Lebanese Army

Thursday, December 22nd, 2016

Senior IDF officials have informed the United States that the Hezbollah terrorist organization is using American armored personnel carriers while fighting in Syria.

Photographs of the APCs, supplied by the U.S. to the Lebanese Army, were seen posted to the internet while being paraded by Hezbollah guerrilla fighters in Syria.

Israeli military officials say it is clear that the APCs were taken from the Lebanese armed forces.

Hana Levi Julian

IDF Prepares for Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Warfare

Wednesday, December 21st, 2016

The IDF is preparing to deal with unconventional threats on Israel’s northern border, including those involving nuclear, biological and chemical warfare.

The “Yahalom” Special Operations Engineering Unit has established the new Seyfan company for this purpose, which last week joined the unit for its first training exercise.

Another new company is to be established next year, according to military sources. At that time, Yahalom is expected to move from its base near Petach Tikvah to Camp Julis in southern Israel.

Military forces fighting on behalf of the Syrian government have been cited numerous times for their use of chemical weapons against the civilian Syrian population during the ongoing civil war across Israel’s northern border.

In addition, there has been recent evidence that the Islamic State (Da’esh or ISIS) terrorist organization may also have begun using chemical weapons in some of their operations as well. As early as 2015, ISIS was trafficking in chemical weaponry in Europe, according to a European Union parliamentary report.

Hana Levi Julian

US Gives Lebanese Army Third Hellfire-Equipped Cessna [video]

Tuesday, December 20th, 2016

The US on Monday delivered to the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) a third Cessna 208B Caravan turboprop aircraft (L-403) capable of launching AGM-114 Hellfire laser-guided missiles, as part of the US efforts to strengthen the Lebanese Army, Lebanese and European media outlets reported.

“This Cessna that we see here today will be equipped with Hellfire missiles and a day-time/night-time targeting system,” US Ambassador Elizabeth Richard said at a ceremony in a Beirut Air Base. “It will help the LAF support ground troops, combat extremist groups, and keep Lebanon’s borders secure.”

According to the US Embassy in Beirut, the Cessnas are part of a $30 million package that includes maintenance support and training.

Lebanon’s army is fighting the Islamic State and al-Qaida’s Syrian branch in border areas. It is not currently engaged in hostilities with terrorist group Hezbollah, located in south Beirut.

David Israel

Lebanon’s Prime Minister Sa’ad Hariri Leads 30-Minister Government

Monday, December 19th, 2016

Former Lebanese Prime Minister Sa’ad Hariri launched a new 30-minister government on Sunday, one that ranged from one end of the political spectrum to the other and included all parties with the exception of the right-wing Christian Phalangists. The latter rejected the minister of state portfolio it was offered.

“This is a government of entente,” Hariri said, after six weeks of hard work forming the new coalition following the election of President Michel Aoun.

Hariri, 46, is not a supporter of Iranian-backed Shi’ite Hezbollah, some members of which have been accused of involvement in the 2005 murder of his father, also a prime minister of Lebanon. But a return to power required him to support the Hezbollah candidate for the presidency – Aoun – and to at least tolerate two ministers from the terrorist organization.

The prime minister is also an opponent of Syria and any meddling or other influence from the regime of its President Bashar al-Assad, “spillover” or other “negative consequences” from its savage civil war, AFP reported.

New portfolios in the government include an anti-corruption ministry and a first-time minister of state for women’s affairs.

Hana Levi Julian

Palestinian Authority Received $357 Million From US State Dept in 2016

Saturday, December 17th, 2016

A report last week that the Palestinian Authority received no funding at all in 2016 from the United States has been proven untrue in an expose by the Times of Israel.

According to the report, the Ramallah government has received more funding this year from the U.S. State Department than from any other foreign source.

As a matter of fact, a State Department official provided information to the news outlet on Thursday that proves the United States gave the Palestinian Authority more than $357 million in financial aid in 2016. Add to that another $355,177,827 contributed by the United States in 2016 to UNRWA – the United Nations Relief and Works Agency – which included an allocation of $95 million solely for Gaza and the PA-controlled areas of Judea and Samaria.

UNRWA is the agency dedicated solely to helping “Palestinian refugees” in Lebanon, Jordan and Syria – the only refugees in the world to be defined from one generation to the next, now going into the fifth generation, and numbering past five million, rather than having be accepted and absorbed by their “Arab brethren.”

PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah had told the official Voice of Palestine radio station on December 8 that his government had not received any funds from the United States in 2016, calling it a “financial siege” on the Palestinian Authority.

“We hope that this aid money will be paid,” he said, the Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) translated from a clip of the program.

But it turns out Hamdallah was playing semantics, with a reference to the difference between fiscal year approval and transfer of payment, which the U.S. government disburses via the USAID agency in the form of project funding in a one-year delay, which Hamdallah knows perfectly well. “Projects” can include anything like bills for education funding – utility bills for schools, for example – hospitals, direct payments to contractors who build or repair infrastructure… anything other than salaries for terrorist inmates sitting in Israeli jails.

The monies for 2016 were approved actually in 2015. The monies for 2017 – according to Hamdallah, $263 million, were approved by Congress in 2016. Somehow he has gotten the figure wrong, however: according to the figures from the State Department, $261 million was approved by Congress. TOI was unable to reach Hamdallah’s office for comment on the difference in the numbers.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/palestinian-authority-received-357-million-from-us-state-dept-in-2016/2016/12/17/

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