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October 27, 2016 / 25 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Mahmoud Abbas’

Abbas Political Adviser Nimr Hammad, Dead at 78

Thursday, September 29th, 2016

Nimr Hammad, political adviser to Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas, and the PA’s “ambassador” to Italy, died Thursday at the age of 78 after a “long chronic illness.”

Hammad was hospitalized at the American University Medical Center in Beirut at the time of his death. Abbas extended his condolences to the family. The late adviser is also to be buried in al-Shuhada cemetery in Beirut.

Hammad also served as the Palestinian Authority’s director of media and communications after having been directed by Abbas in 2008 to supervise the WAFA news agency and the Palestine Broadcasting Corporation.

Prior to his service with Abbas, Hammad served as political adviser to the late PLO terror chief Yasser Arafat.

Hana Levi Julian

Angry Arab Reaction to Bahrain Foreign Minister’s Condolence Tweet for Peres

Thursday, September 29th, 2016

Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa’s Thursday tweet, “Rest in peace President Shimon Peres, a man of war and a man of the still elusive peace in the Middle East,” has received a barrage of hostile reactions from across the Arab world, some of them accompanied by pictures of dead civilians killed in 1996 by an IDF operation in Lebanon ordered by Peres on the eve of the elections, which some argued was done to promote his image as a tough leader.


A spokesman for the Islamic Jihad in Gaza said the attempts to paint Peres as a man of peace will not wash his hands of his war crimes against the Arab nations, especially “the Palestinian, Lebanese and Egyptian nations.” He didn’t include Syria or Jordan, so maybe Peres gets a pass there.

Bassam Al-Salhi is a General Secretary of the Palestinian People’s Party and elected member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, who in 2005 received 2.67% of the vote for President of the PA, said that “Peres was one of the most dangerous politicians who used diplomacy to cover up Israel’s policies of occupation and settlement.”

A spokesman for Hamas in Gaza said that “Peres’ hands are awash in the Arab blood of the village of Kana village (in Lebanon), and he left this world before he could be tried for his crimes against humanity.”

Another Hamas spokesman told Ma’an, “Shimon Peres was the last remaining Israeli official who founded the occupation, and his death is the end of a phase in the history of this occupation and the beginning of a new phase of weakness.”

Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas lauded Peres for reaching a “peace of the brave” with the late Yasser Arafat and the late Yitzhak Rabin (it was rumored that Peres got a long better with the former than with the latter).

The Peres Center for Peace facing the sea. (Lior Mizrahi/Flash90)

The Peres Center for Peace facing the sea. (Lior Mizrahi/Flash90)

Finally, Haggai Matar, writing for the vehemently anti-Israel website 972, depicted with a rare power of observation notions harbored, not surprisingly, by the left and the right in Israel regarding Shimon Peres’ renowned legacy, The Peres Center. The center, he writes, “aptly sums up the legacy of the Nobel laureate, former prime minister and president. The Center, which itself has become a forum of extravagance for the wealthy, was built in one of the poorest areas of Jaffa’s Ajami neighborhood. It overlooks the sea, but has its back to Jaffa and its ‘Palestinian’ (our quotes) residents. Behind the decadent palace of peace, just across the poorly paved road, are impoverished and crumbling tenement blocs. In three directions the Center resembles a fortified monstrosity; only on one side, the one facing the sea, a telling westward gaze, is its glass facade magical and inviting. It is, perhaps, the perfect metaphor for Shimon Peres’s legacy.”

Of course, rightwing Jewish pundits the world over are holding themselves back with rare powers of restraint, until after the Friday funeral, and possibly after Yom Kippur (the religious among us, anyway). So, for now, it’s nice to discover a sane evaluation of the man by a lefty…

David Israel

Palestinian Authority Leader Hails Peres As Peace Partner While PA Gov’t Vilifies Him

Wednesday, September 28th, 2016

Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas expressed his “sadness and sorrow” on Wednesday over the death of former President Shimon Peres.

Abbas sent a message of condolence to the family of Israel’s ninth president, according to the official PA news agency, WAFA.

“Peres was a partner in making the brave peace with the martyr Yasser Arafat and Prime Minister [Yitzhak] Rabin, and made unremitting efforts to reach a lasting peace from the Oslo Agreement until the final moments of his life,” Abbas said, according to WAFA.

Peres is to be laid to rest at the Mount Herzl military cemetery, in the section reserved for Israel’s founding fathers. He will be laid to rest five meters from Rabin.

However, the same official PA news agency also issued a venomous obituary for Peres in which the former president was said to be responsible for the “deaths of Palestinians” and “many crimes.” Peres was described in an official statement from the PA government as having been responsible for having built the Dimona nuclear reactor, and there was no mention of the 93-year-old statesman’s role in “making the brave peace” or for having tried to reach a “lasting peace” via the Oslo Accords — for which he received the Nobel Peace Prize, together with Israel’s late Prime Minister Rabin, and late PLO terror leader Yasser Arafat.

Meanwhile, the Hamas terrorist organization based in Gaza — which is also part of the Palestinian Authority — welcomed the death of the former Israeli president.

Sami Abu Zukhri, a spokesperson for Hamas, said “The Palestinian people are happy at the death of this criminal.

Shimon Peres was one of the last Israeli founders of the occupation. His death marks the end of an era in the history of the Israeli occupation,” he told the AFP news agency.

Peres will be laid to rest on Friday, and it is not yet known whether or not the Palestinian Authority will send a delegation to the funeral.

Hana Levi Julian

Kerry’s Last Ditch Effort to Get Netanyahu to Commit Political Suicide

Sunday, September 25th, 2016

According to a report in Haaretz Sunday, we have no idea what was said in the Friday meeting in New York between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Secretary of State John Kerry. This is important to note, because both versions of the report, Hebrew and English, have zero information regarding the “hastily organized” meeting, and yet the headline and the story are presented as if Kerry had said really mean things to Netanyahu’s face. Maybe he did, maybe he didn’t, no one knows.

Kerry is in the midst of his final attempt to shape the Israel-PA conflict resolution in his image, and he has been going at it with everything he has including the kitchen sink. Haaretz, which cites Kerry’s leaked comments in a Monday, Sept. 19 meeting of the PA donor states, is implying that the Secretary of State, who was “extremely agitated” at last Monday’s meeting, on Friday told Netanyahu that Israel is bound to end up as a binational state, unless it capitulates to the PA’s demands. Could be.

The Kerry-Netanyahu meeting took place following a meeting of the foreign ministers of the “Middle East Quartet” — the US, Russia, the UN, the EU, as well as the foreign ministers of France and Egypt. They all hated the idea of Jews living in Judea and Samaria, and said so in a statement that attacked those pesky Jewish communities who “are steadily eroding the viability of the two-state solution. The Quartet stressed the growing urgency of taking affirmative steps to reverse these trends in order to prevent entrenching a one-state reality of perpetual occupation and conflict.”

As usual, no one considered the possibility of those Jewish communities remaining as part of a new Palestinian State. Just as Netanyahu had noted in his much vilified video a week or so ago, that new Palestinian State must be cleansed of its Jews.

The Ha’aretz report relied heavily on leaked portions from Kerry’s agitated speech before the PA’s donor countries, where he cited the ailing former president Shimon Peres who had warned that continued Jewish life in Judea and Samaria and eastern Jerusalem, in Kerry’s words, “will bring one war, not one state. Make no mistake about it, I believe that is the risk if we continue on the current course.”

It’s almost bizarre to hear Secretary of State Kerry, whose country is mired in an endless war across the entire Middle East, threatening the one country in the region who wins its wars. Save for the Iranian nuclear threat, securing which Kerry was responsible for more than anyone else, Israel has no real enemies in the region, and those who are crazy enough to do war with the Jewish State would not lay down their arms and rockets because it signed a deal with Mahmoud Abbas.

Kerry asked the assembled foreign ministers last Monday: “How does increasing the number of settlers indicate an attempt to create a Palestinian state? The status quo is not sustainable. So either we mean it and we act on it, or we should shut up.”

In his famous recent video, Netanyahu asked (in mock innocence) how can the fact that a few thousand Jews build homes and work the land impede a Palestinian State. It can only do so if the envisioned state must be free from Jews (try Google translating it into German). Israel has a sizeable Muslim minority, close to 20%, why can’t the PA have a sizeable Jewish minority? The argument didn’t catch on, especially not by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who called the Netanyahu idea “absurd.”

Kerry was livid at Israel for not keeping its promises to him 100 percent, and said bitterly, “I was told the Allenby Bridge [between the West Bank and Jordan] would open 24/7. It never did. I was told that the 3G [PA cellular service] agreement signed nearly a year ago would take place within months. It still is not fully implemented.” He also stated that in order to hurry the process towards the two-state solution, “we need to fundamentally change the dynamic by resuming the transition to greater Palestinian civil authority in Area C, which was called for in prior agreements.”

Here’s what happened in Area C: under the 1998 Wye River Memorandum, Israel was going to withdraw from 13% From Area C (full Israeli control), turning it into Area B (PA administration, IDF security). Israel withdrew from 2%, and then, a suicide bombing at the Park Hotel in Netanya during the 2002 Passover seder killed 30 civilians and injured 140. So Israel took back those 2% and launched a campaign to destroy the terror infrastructure across Judea and Samaria.

In the end, the Secretary of State along with the rest of the civilized world want Israel to go back to a situation where those mass bombings are once again possible. Which is what the two-state solution was all about in the first place, from the PLO’s point of view.


Israeli Envoy to UN Danny Danon Says Abbas’ UN Speech is ‘Ticking Time Bomb’

Thursday, September 22nd, 2016

Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon criticized the speech by Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas to the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday.

Danon slammed claims by Abbas in which he spouted accusations about “Israeli extrajudicial killings” of Palestinians and “Israeli aggression against our Muslim and Christian holy sites.” Israel’s Ambassador to the UN responded with a statement in which he said, “Abbas chose to use the UN pulpit to represent Palestinian terror. His dangerous words are sure to lead to even more terror attacks against Israel. The Palestinian youth listening to his speech today, will be the terrorists of tomorrow.” Danon pointed out that there is a direct link between Abbas’s hateful words, and the increase in terror attacks in Israel.

“Abbas’s words are like a ticking time-bomb,” Danon added.

Since the start of the UN General Assembly, there has been a noticeable uptick in the number and intensity of Arab terror attacks against Israeli civilians and security forces. The same phenomenon has occurred at the same time each year.

Hana Levi Julian

Palestinian Authority Leader Mahmoud Abbas’ Speech to UN General Assembly: FULL TEXT

Thursday, September 22nd, 2016

His Excellency, Mr. Peter Thomson, President of the General Assembly, H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen Heads of Delegations:

I had hoped that I would not have been compelled to make this statement today, hoping that the cause of my people would have been justly resolved, would have been genuinely heard, and that hearts and consciences would have acted to lift them from oppression.

As you all are aware, we have accepted the primacy and judgment of international law and resolutions of international legitimacy, and made a historic and immense sacrifice, when the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, accepted to establish the State of Palestine on the 4 June 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital. What more can be asked of us?

We remain committed to the agreements reached with Israel since 1993. However, Israel must reciprocate this commitment and must act forthwith to resolve all of the final status issues.

It must cease all of its settlement colonization activities and aggressions against our cities, villages and refugee camps. It must cease its policies of collective punishment and its demolition of Palestinian homes. It must cease its extrajudicial executions and cease the arrest of our people, and must release the thousands of our prisoners and detainees. It must cease its aggression and provocations against the Holy Al-Aqsa Mosque. For all of these policies and practices prevent an environment in which peace can be realized in our region.

How can anyone seeking peace perpetrate such actions?

In this regard, we reaffirm that we can never accept the continuation of the prevailing situation. We will never accept the humiliation of the dignity of our people. We will never accept temporary or interim solutions. And, our people will never accept to forgo their national institutions and achievements, which they attained through great sacrifice, suffering and pain.

We will preserve the independence of Palestinian decision-making and will act to fulfill the aspirations of our people via political and diplomatic means and international law and the legitimacy of international resolutions via the United Nations and all international forums, and we will seek to mobilize Arab and international efforts towards this end.

We will not accept the continuation of the prevailing situation.

The 1993 Oslo Accords were intended to end the occupation and achieve the independence of the State of Palestine within five years. Yet, Israel reneged on the agreements it signed and, to this moment, persists with its occupation and continues to expand its illegal settlement enterprise, which undermines realization of the two-State solution on the basis of the 1967 borders.

Does Israel want one State?

Despite the Security Council’s adoption of 12 resolutions condemning Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory since 1967, none of these resolutions has been implemented, encouraging Israel to continue pursuing its plans for the seizure of more Palestinian land in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, with impunity.

The violent actions of Israeli settlers have reached the extent of the formation of terrorist groups that burn and kill entire families, destroy properties, and uproot the trees that are the livelihoods of Palestinian families.

Israel’s disrespect and contemptuous policies have even lead to attempts to “legalize” the settlements and the settlers colonizing our occupied land since 1967.

It even led to the point of the Israeli Prime Minister claiming that the call for cessation of settlements and their dismantlement and evacuating settlers constitutes “ethnic cleansing”. All such attempts are null and void and constitute clear grave breaches under international law.

So, who then is perpetrating ethnic cleansing?

In this regard, I am compelled to again warn that what the Israeli Government is doing in pursuit of its expansionist settlement plans will destroy whatever possibility and hopes are left for the two-State solution on the 1967 borders.

The settlements are illegal in every aspect and any manifestation.

We will therefore continue to exert all efforts for a Security Council resolution on the settlements and the terror of the settlers, and we are undertaking extensive consultations with the Arab countries and other friendly countries on this matter.

We hope no one will cast a veto.

Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Israel’s racial discrimination against the Palestinian people has become a daily reality as it continues to privilege the Israeli settlers on our occupied land, including by granting them permits for residential construction as well as for factories, economic projects and infrastructure such as for road, electricity and water networks. This is happening at the very same time that they are preventing the Palestinian owners of the land from the use of their land and prohibiting them from developing their economy, which is a right of international priority in this era of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in which no country should be left behind.

Military orders continue to be issued to prohibit their use of the majority of their lands in the West Bank, including Jerusalem, the Jordan Valley, and the Palestinian shores on the Dead Sea. And it continues with its illegal blockade of the Gaza Strip. And it continues to illegally alter identity and status of Occupied East Jerusalem and to commit aggressions and provocations against our Christian and Muslim holy sites, especially Al-Aqsa Mosque.

The continuation of the Israeli aggressions against our Muslim and Christian holy sites is playing with fire.

All of these Israeli policies, actions and measures are the reasons for the failure of all international efforts, particularly that of the international Quartet for the past 13 years, just as Israel has sabotaged the efforts of successive American administrations over the decades.

Here, I must once again appeal to you to provide international protection for the Palestinian people, suffering under occupation since 1967 in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip.

I extend my appreciation in this regard to the Security Council members who convened an Arria meeting of the Council to explore the possibilities of international protection for our people, and I urge that these efforts continue.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Netanyahu to UN General Assembly: Road to Peace Runs Thru Jerusalem, Ramallah [video]

Thursday, September 22nd, 2016

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu devoted the lion’s share of his speech at the United Nations General Assembly to his vision of a future in which “someday” Israel will be accepted by the “nations of the world.”

JewishPress.com brings you a video of the prime minister’s address in its entirety, courtesy of the United Nations website.

But one of his first declarations was to acknowledge a debt of gratitude and to reiterate Israel’s loyalty to the United States, “the most generous nation on earth.” He said the two nations have an “unbreakable bond that transcends parties and politics” and said he is “deeply grateful” for America’s “consistent support for Israel at the UN,” — perhaps also an extra bit of insurance against any ninth hour actions by outgoing President Barack Obama. It was, he reminded, Obama who declared, “peace will not come from statements and resolutions.”

Any bright future with Israel working together with its Arab neighbors, he said, would require Palestinian Authority leaders to wake up and join today’s reality, rather than continue to wallow in its love of hate. The automatic majority against Israel that the PA has recruited in its campaign to win statehood by evading direct final status negotiations, will ultimately prove useless, he explained.

“Yes, I know, there might be a storm before the calm. I know there is talk about ganging up on Israel at the UN later this year. Given its history of hostility towards Israel, does anyone really believe that Israel will let the UN determine our security and our vital national interests?

“We will not accept any attempt by the UN to dictate terms to Israel. The road to peace runs through Jerusalem and Ramallah, not through New York.”

Netanyahu also described a day in the life of a boy named “Ali,” walking the hypothetical child through his indoctrination-filled world. He talked about the child’s walk to school past the public monuments named after terrorists who murdered Jews, the curriculum and school events named after terrorists, and the TV, radio and social media programs filled with government leaders promoting murder of Israelis as a worthwhile goal to achieve. He used actual quotes from Palestinian Authority officials — including PA leader Mahmoud Abbas — to make the point.

He added that “Ali’s” mother assured him that if he killed an Israeli and was sent to a prison in Israel, the Palestinian Authority would pay “thousands of dollars” each month to him and the family — “the more Jews he would kill, the more money he would make” — and that when he gets out, the PA would also have a job waiting for him too.

All true, Netanyahu underscored.

He emphasized that it was unrealistic — in fact, impossible — for anyone to expect children raised on such a steady diet of hate to then be able to break free of such brainwashing and suddenly switch gears to “live side by side in peace” with Jewish neighbors.

He warned that the UN obsession with Israel damages the international body far more than it does Israel. “But if UN habits die hard, Palestinian habits die harder,” he said, and pointed to the current lawsuit Abbas said he is filing against the United Kingdom, over the Balfour Declaration.

“Talk about being stuck in the past,” Netanyahu said. Come to think of it, why not a Palestinian class action suit against Abraham for buying that plot of land in Hebron where the fathers and mothers of the Jewish people were buried 4,000 years ago?

“You’re not laughing. It’s as absurd as that. To sue the British government for the Balfour Declaration? Is he kidding? And this is taken seriously here?”

The truth is, the Palestinian Authority conflict with Israel is not based on the issue of settlements, the prime minister said bluntly. It never was. “It’s the persistent Palestinian refusal to recognize the Jewish State in ANY boundaries.” He reviewed the entire history of the State of Israel, beginning with the partition plan offered to both sides of the conflict by the international body, which was rejected in 1947 by the Arab side.

“One thing I will never negotiate, ” he thundered, “and that is the right to the one and only Jewish State!! Had the Palestinians said yes to a state in 1947, there would be no conflict, and when they do finally say yes to a Jewish state we will be able to end this conflict once and for all.

“Not only are they trapped in the past, their leaders are poisoning the future,” he added. Netanyahu called on Abbas to work together to establish peace. He said he is willing to sit down with Palestinian Authority leaders “not tomorrow, not next week, TODAY” for direct talks. “Wouldn’t it be better if instead of talking PAST each other, we talked TO each other? he asked.

He invited Abbas to come to Jerusalem to speak to the Israeli Knesset, and said he is willing to go to Ramallah to speak to the Palestinian Authority parliament.

“Many of you have given up on peace,” he told the assembly. “I remain committed to a vision of peace based on two states for two peoples. I believe as never before that changes taking place in the Arab world today offer a unique opportunity to advance that peace. I commend President El-Sisi of Egypt for his efforts to advance peace and stability in our region.

“Israel welcomes the spirit of the Arab peace initiative and welcomes a dialogue with Arab states to advance a broader peace. [But] I believe that for that broader peace to be fully achieved the Palestinians have to be part of it.”

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/netanyahu-tells-un-general-assembly-road-to-peace-runs-thru-jerusalem-ramallah/2016/09/22/

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