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November 23, 2014 / 1 Kislev, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘livni’

Palestinians Accuse Peace Negotiators of Treason

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

Originally published at the Gatestone Institute.

At the request of the Palestinian Authority leadership, the first round of peace talks with Israel, which was launched in Jerusalem on August 14, was held away from the media spotlight.

The Palestinian Authority leadership requested that no journalist or photographer be permitted to cover the meeting between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators.

Even the location of the peace talks was kept a secret, again at the request of the Palestinian Authority leadership.

The Palestinian Authority’s request for secrecy in the peace talks does not stem from its desire to secure the success of the negotiations.

It is not as if the Palestinian Authority is saying: We care so much about the peace talks that we prefer to avoid media coverage in order to make sure that the peace process succeeds.

The main reason the Palestinian Authority does not want the media to cover the peace talks is related to its fear of the reactions of Palestinians and the Arab world.

Mahmoud Abbas is already facing widespread opposition among Palestinians to his controversial decision — which was taken under heavy pressure from US Secretary of State John Kerry — to return to the negotiating table with Israel.

When the heads of the Israeli and Palestinian negotiating teams, Tzipi Livni and Saeb Erekat, met in Washington earlier this month to announce the launching of the peace talks, many Palestinians and Arabs seized the opportunity to ridicule Erekat and accuse the Palestinian Authority leadership of treason.

A photo of Erekat and Livni standing together in Washington has since been exploited by Facebook and Twitter activists to hurl insults and profanity at the chief Palestinian negotiator.

Palestinian sources in Ramallah said that Erekat felt so offended by the insults and obscene language directed against him that he decided that there was no need for “photo op” with Livni or any other Israeli.

Both Abbas and Erekat are fully aware of the growing opposition among Palestinians and Arabs to the resumption of the peace talks with Israel under the terms of the US Administration.

That is why the two men do not want to be seen sitting in a room with any Israeli representative. They know that any photo of Erekat and Livni shaking hands or sitting together would provide their enemies with additional ammunition.

Those who think that the opposition to the peace talks is coming only from Hamas and other radical groups are either ignorant or turning a blind eye to the reality.

When Abbas agreed to resume the peace talks with Israel, he went against the recommendation of the PLO leadership, whose members rejected Kerry’s attempts to force the Palestinian Authority president to abandon two of his pre-conditions — namely, that Israel accept the pre-1967 lines as the basis for negotiations and freeze all construction in settlements and east Jerusalem neighborhoods.

Last week, the PLO officials once again reminded Abbas of their opposition to the peace talks.

During an August 15 meeting in Ramallah, several PLO leaders told Abbas that they remained opposed “in principle” to the idea of resuming peace talks with Israel under the current circumstances.

The only Palestinian official who has come out in public to voice support for Abbas’s move is the powerless Prime Minister, Rami Hamdallah.

Abbas and Erekat know that Hamdallah’s public endorsement of the peace talks does not carry any weight. After all, Hamdallah is an unelected public servant with no grassroots support or political base.

To further complicate matters for Abbas and Erekat, several Palestinian factions are now in the process of forming a “national alliance” the main goal of which is to thwart any deal between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. This rejectionist front will consist of various PLO and other factions and organizations and could create many problems for the Palestinian Authority.

But there is another reason why the Palestinian Authority leadership does not want media coverage of the peace talks. For many years, the Palestinian Authority has been supporting boycott campaigns against Israel, as well as organizations combating “normalization” with Israelis.

If Palestinian children are condemned for playing football with Israelis, why should it be acceptable for Erekat to be talking with Livni?

Palestinian Authority leaders can only blame themselves for the growing opposition to the peace talks with Israel. Palestinian leaders have simply not prepared their people for peace. These leaders have, instead, delegitimized Israel to a point where it has become a “crime” for any Palestinian to be photographed talking to, or negotiating with, any Israeli.

Definition of Insanity: Failed Negotiators Trying Yet Again

Thursday, August 8th, 2013

Twenty years after Yitzhak Rabin attempted to conjure arch-terrorist Yasir Arafat into a worthy partner for peace, it seems we have not learned the necessary lessons from the past.

As the “peace process” continued to hit bumps along the way, Israel and its American ally attempted many different variations, all of which led to the same failed result. Perhaps the problem with Israeli-Palestinian conflict negotiations lies not with the process but with the people involved in representing the parties at the table.

In most professions, when one fails at his job and leaves the project in question in chaos and disarray, he is not asked to keep working on the task at hand. Not so when it comes to the “peace process industry.”

Saeb Erekat is the main representative for the Palestinian delegation. He has held this position in one form or another since 1991 and has not brought the Palestinians one inch closer to peaceful coexistence with Israel. More troubling, it is clear he never really revised his radical views about the Jewish state. During the second intifada, Erekat accused Israel of massacring 500 Palestinians in Jenin, completely ignoring the facts showing that one-tenth of that number had been killed and most of those were armed terrorists. As recently as 2007, Erekat denied the possibility of the Palestinians ever recognizing Israel as a Jewish state.

Representing the United States at the latest round of talks is former ambassador Martin Indyk. Like Erekat, Indyk has been a major player in the peace industry since the early 1990s, and he also can point to zero achievements in bringing peace and prosperity to our region. On the contrary, when Indyk served as the American ambassador to Israel during Prime Minister Netanyahu’s first term, he was known for his disparaging attitude toward the democratically elected government of Israel.

Since leaving public office, Indyk has revealed his true political leanings. Until his recent appointment by Secretary of State Joh

n Kerry, Indyk chaired the International Council of the New Israel Fund (NIF), an organization that has refused to stop funding groups that call for boycotting Israel.

Finally, we are left with Israel’s chief negotiator. Compared to Erekat and Indyk, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni is a relative newcomer to peace negotiations. Nevertheless, she too has endured countless hours of negotiating with the Palestinians. Most troubling, her views do not represent the majority of the current government and are at odds with the average Likud voter, not to mention the Israeli public, which sharply spurned her in the recent elections.

While serving under Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Livni offered the Palestinians more than 95 percent of the historic Jewish heartland of Judea and Samaria and the unprecedented division of Jerusalem – an offer that was ultimately rejected by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Erekat.

As a father of three small children, there is nothing I want more than to believe that the latest round of talks will lead to true and lasting peace. But we all know that a definition of insanity is the endless repetition of the same experiment in the hope of obtaining a different result. Therefore, all sides should end the insanity and appoint negotiators who have not failed us in the past and who truly represent the best interests of the people they aspire to represent.

(JNS)

Livni, Bennett clash on benefits for Judea and Samaria

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, Israel’s negotiator in renewed Israeli-Palestinian conflict talks, abstained from a cabinet vote approving national benefits including housing subsidies and loans for more than 600 Israeli communities on the grounds that a record number of Judea and Samaria communities were included on the list.

Livni acknowledged that there is “no doubt that we need to provide the citizens living in [the Judea and Samaria communities] with security—that is our responsibility,” but said she believes it is “wrong and contrary to national interests to take funds that should be going toward diminishing social gaps and using them to encourage settlement in these secluded and dangerous settlements.”

While Livni fears the inclusion of Judea and Samaria communities will jeopardize renewed Israeli-Palestinian conflict negotiations, Economy and Trade Minister Naftali Bennett said, “It is our duty to encourage the continued settlement in Judea and Samaria.”

Due to security threats Judea and Samaria communities face, those communities “deserve national benefits,” Bennett said.

Lapid, Livni, Bibi… All the Same Dangerous Mistake

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

According to the headlines P.M. wannabe the present Israeli Finance Minister Yair Lapid doesn’t like the “Leftist” label.

Speaking at a meeting of his Yesh Atid party Monday, Lapid said that he had very clear ideas about Israel’s relations with the PA, and that his views should not come as a surprise to anyone. “Whoever thinks that a diplomatic solution will not entail two states for two peoples is mistaken. Any idea of a bi-national state, whether on the left or the right, would mean the end of Zionism, and I am a Zionist,” Lapid said.

With that, he added that “I do not plan on falling into the classic trap of the left, which at the beginning of negotiations reveals immediately what it plans to give away – a situation that turns what is supposed to be the end of the negotiation process into the beginning. You don’t come to negotiations with just an olive branch in your hand,” Lapid added. “We are looking for a fair divorce from the Palestinians.” (Arutz Sheva).

I don’t think that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would accept it for himself too.  Livni once was comfortably in the more right-wing Likud with Bibi.  Only Shimon Peres isn’t shy about calling himself Left.

The big problem with what all of them, Lapid, Livni, Peres and Netanyahu preach, whether they call themselves, Right, Left or Center is that it’s all the same.  They all believe two dangerous things can and should be done: (1) negotiate with the Arabs for peace; (2) give the Arabs a state they’ll call “Palestine.”

Both of those things will seriously endanger the very existence of the State of Israel.  At the event memorializing Emanuel (Manny) Winston, Caroline Glick and other speakers spoke about the terrible mistakes the State of Israel has been making.  One of them is that we, the State of Israel, demand security rather than sovereignty.  With true sovereignty comes security. The late Manny Winston understood it.  And unfortunately the Arabs do, too.

True peace is not the result of negotiations.  True peace is something that evolves when neither side aims to destroy the other one.  It takes time.  Whenever people claim that if we don’t hurry we’ll miss the “window of opportunity” they are not referring to true peace.

What they, the Left-no matter which label they use for themselves, propose is like a cake or bread quickly baked with too high heat.  On the surface, at least for the first few minutes it may look fully baked, but it will quickly fall, collapse, all wet and soft inside.

Visit Shiloh Musings.

What Disturbs Me Most about the New Coalition

Tuesday, March 19th, 2013

I don’t know if anyone’s happy with the new government, at least not in the Likud and Yisrael Beitenu parties.  There weren’t too many ministerial pickings left over after Bibi handed out the goodies to Livni, Lapid and Bennett.

There’s something that really bothers me about this coalition.  I felt it in my kishkes, and I had trouble saying what it really is…

There’s something inherently undemocratic in a government coalition which aims to change the lives of a large and growing sector of the country/society while refusing them the rights to join the coalition and help draft the laws to make the changes just and possible.

Yes, I’m referring to the forcing of Haredim to be drafted into the IDF.

Now please get me right.  I am not in favor of their (Haredi) universal policy idealizing a life a just learning Torah.  I don’t see it as Jewish.  It’s not.  It’s more like the Christian monasteries and nunneries with the crucial difference that the Haredim marry and are encourage to have lots of children.  It’s also a Christian, not Jewish, belief that “men of the cloth” shouldn’t bear arms, serve in armies etc.

But I don’t think its just nor moral for some sectors of society to try to legislate major changes in the lives of others.  It unfortunately smacks of the early days of the State of Israel when religious immigrant children were sent to secular Aliyat Hanoar schools and worse.

The making of changes must be done gradually and with the cooperation of the affected sector of society.  That means the the only fair, just and democratic way to increase the draft of Haredim must be done with their cooperation.  In recent years more Hareidim have joined the army, and more Hareidim are studying key secular subjects and professions and working.  This will take time.

Blocking Hareidim from the government coalition means that the government will seem like (or actually be) a dictatorship, rather than a democracy.

Netanyahu, Lapid, Bennett and Livni are making a big immoral and undemocratic mistake.

Visit Shiloh Musings.

The ‘Two-State Solution’: Dream or Nightmare?

Tuesday, March 12th, 2013

A “mantra” is supposed to be more like meaningless sounds to repeat as we tune out:

1. Hinduism A sacred verbal formula repeated in prayer, meditation, or incantation, such as an invocation of a god, a magic spell, or a syllable or portion of scripture containing mystical potentialities. 2. A commonly repeated word or phrase.

I sometimes refer to the phrase “two state solution” as a nightmare mostly because too many politicians, diplomats, academics and of course the media keep touting it as a “solution to the conflict between the Jews and the Arabs” without truly thinking about what it means and how it would affect the lives of Israelis and the security of the State of Israel.

The State of Israel and the Arabs aren’t two toddlers fighting over some blocks which can be harmlessly shared.

There are many Arab states, large and affluent, stable, unstable and most do not practice western-style values and democracy.  UNESCO identifies 21 Arab states, while Wikipedia lists 23 Arab states. In addition the Arab League is a regional organization of these states that was formed in 1945. It currently has 22 members.

The touted “moderate” Arabs promoted by the west, i.e., the United States, Europe and international organizations, such as the United Nations, aren’t moderate by international standards.  The so-called Palestinians don’t even get along with each other, and it’s dangerously unrealistic to think that they are capable of governing a state. We keep hearing these fantasies which claim that there’s a safe and just way to divide up Judea and Samaria between Jews and Arabs, which is preposterous.  I grew up in the 1960′s, and I remember what went on in divided Germany, especially Berlin.  These things just don’t work.  And please remember that the raison d’être of the so called Palestinians is the destruction of the State of Israel.

From a Palestinian Media Watch report:

The PA promises its people that in the future, the State of Israel will be completely erased and replaced by a State of Palestine. A Fatah member of Palestinian parliament, Najat Abu Bakr, told PA TV that the PA supports and adopts the “stages plan.” To the world, the PA claims that the Palestinians seek the West Bank and Gaza Strip, when in fact the goal is all of Israel: “It doesn’t mean that we don’t want the 1948 borders, but in our current political program we say we want a state on the 1967 borders.” [PA TV (Fatah), Aug. 25, 2008]Fatah Central Committee member Abbas Zaki reiterated this position on Al-Jazeera TV:

“It is impossible to realize the inspiring idea or the great goal in one stroke… Israel will come to an end… If I say that I want to remove it from existence, this will be great, great, [but] it is hard. This is not a [stated] policy. You can’t say it to the world. You can say it to yourself.” [Al-Jazeera TV, Sept. 23, 2011]

This is very worrying, especially since Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has bought into the lie and has now appointed extreme Leftist Tzipi Livni to negotiate with the Arabs.

Already the Israeli Supreme Court and the Defense Ministry take “Arab rights” as more important than Jewish security.

The Head of Central Command in the IDF, Maj. Gen. Nitzan Alon, gave orders at week’s end to dismantle the fences protecting two Jewish communities, following the High Court’s ruling in the matter. The High Court found that the fences that surround and protect the communities of Ofra and Adam, in the Binyamin region, need to be dismantled because they prevent access to some Arabs’ agricultural plots. The fences were allegedly built without the necessary approvals. (Arutz Sheva).

This is a dangerous policy.  And that’s why I would have had preferred new elections and no coalition here in Israel.

Visit Shiloh Musings.

Would PA Allow Jews in Jerusalem?

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013

With Tzipi Livni a possibility to head Israel’s negotiating team in talks with the Palestinian Authority, it is important to review her stance on the future status of Jerusalem – and to investigate what really is holding up all chances of a successful peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

In late 2008, Livni was elected to replace Ehud Olmert as head of the Kadima Party. She then proceeded to fail in her attempt to form a new government under her leadership – and the reason for this was her consent to grant Arab control to parts of holy city. This, together with the economic decrees against the “disadvantaged population,” led the Shas Party to refuse to join her government.

As foreign minister in 2008, Livni promised P.A. chief Mahmoud Abbas that Israel would cede it the entire Atarot airport complex in northern Yerushalayim in the framework of a peace agreement. She repeatedly stated that though she believes strongly in historic Jewish rights to the entire Land of Israel, she also believes in the “right of our children to live in peace” – to which end she was willing to make far-reaching territorial concessions even in Yerushalayim.

Is there any chance of reaching an agreement with the PLO that does not include some form of dividing Jerusalem with Muslims? The answer appears to be negative. Former Israeli ambassador to Canada Alan Baker, of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, has written an important and thorough historic study of the issue, concluding that the current P.A. mindset “clearly render[s] hopeless any possibility of peacefully governing Jerusalem.”

Specifically, Baker writes, standing in the way of an agreement is the Moslems’ refusal to recognize the Jewish people’s religious and historic rights to Yerushalayim, even without accepting these as absolute and exclusively binding.

Just a few months ago, Abbas referred to “the alleged [Jewish] Temple” in Jerusalem, and vowed that “there will be no peace, security, or stability unless [all Israelis are] evacuated from our holy city and the eternal capital of our state.”

“This statement,” Baker wrote, “basically denying any Jewish linkage or right to Jerusalem, uttered by the head of the Palestinian Authority who is considered in the international community to be moderate and reasonable, serves as an example of the tremendous political, historical, psychological, legal, and religious challenge that the issue of Jerusalem poses to the Middle East negotiating process.”

Any agreement regarding Jerusalem, he continued, must be “predicated on absolute acknowledgement of, respect for, and acceptance by each side of the historic and religious rights of the other in Jerusalem. Continued mistrust, attempts to dislodge, undermine or destabilize the other side vis-à-vis its own constituency or the international community, and attempts to delegitimize the integrity or historical rights of the other side would clearly render hopeless any possibility of peacefully governing Jerusalem.”

It is not only Abbas who negates Jewish rights in Jerusalem. A P.A. survey in 2011 found that nearly three-quarters of the respondents – 72 percent – support the denial of thousands of years of Jewish history in Jerusalem.

We must remember, too, that Abbas has said no Jews would be allowed to live anywhere in a Palestinian state.

From Israel’s side, 77 percent told Dahaf public opinion pollsters in December that “Israel could not rely on the Palestinians to ensure freedom of worship” even in the framework of a peace agreement. Interestingly, it is not well-known that non-Muslims are prohibited from entering both Mecca and the center of Medina. Undoubtedly, if this fact were to be exposed more widely, it would dramatically increase the number of Israelis who realize the division of Jerusalem means the end of their visits to the Western Wall – for there is no reason to believe that if Jews may not visit Mecca or Medina, they would be able to visit the Temple Mount or anywhere else in the Old City under Muslim rule.

Ambassador Baker notes in his article that even when Israel supported various internationalization schemes in Jerusalem, this was basically to ensure universal freedom of worship in all holy places, not to give up sovereignty. The Arab sides did not accept even this.

Regarding the Arab refusal to accept the 1947 Partition resolution, historian Shlomo Avineri has written that unlike in the Jewish community, there was no debate within the Arab community: There, “an absolutist position – ‘we have all the rights, the Jews don’t have any right’ – continued to be the foundation of their response…”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/keeping-jerusalem/would-pa-allow-jews-in-jerusalem/2013/03/06/

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