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January 19, 2017 / 21 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Mahmoud Abbas’

Full Text: Speech by Secretary of State John Kerry at State Department

Thursday, December 29th, 2016

SECRETARY KERRY: Thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you very, very much. Thank you. (Coughs.) Excuse me. Thank you for your patience, all of you. For those of you who celebrated Christmas, I hope you had a wonderful Christmas. Happy Chanukah. And to everybody here, I know it’s the middle of a holiday week. I understand. (Laughter.) But I wish you all a very, very productive and Happy New Year.

Today, I want to share candid thoughts about an issue which for decades has animated the foreign policy dialogue here and around the world – the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Throughout his Administration, President Obama has been deeply committed to Israel and its security, and that commitment has guided his pursuit of peace in the Middle East. This is an issue which, all of you know, I have worked on intensively during my time as Secretary of State for one simple reason: because the two-state solution is the only way to achieve a just and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians. It is the only way to ensure Israel’s future as a Jewish and democratic state, living in peace and security with its neighbors. It is the only way to ensure a future of freedom and dignity for the Palestinian people. And it is an important way of advancing United States interests in the region.

Now, I’d like to explain why that future is now in jeopardy, and provide some context for why we could not, in good conscience, stand in the way of a resolution at the United Nations that makes clear that both sides must act now to preserve the possibility of peace.

I’m also here to share my conviction that there is still a way forward if the responsible parties are willing to act. And I want to share practical suggestions for how to preserve and advance the prospects for the just and lasting peace that both sides deserve.

So it is vital that we have an honest, clear-eyed conversation about the uncomfortable truths and difficult choices, because the alternative that is fast becoming the reality on the ground is in nobody’s interest – not the Israelis, not the Palestinians, not the region – and not the United States.

Now, I want to stress that there is an important point here: My job, above all, is to defend the United States of America – to stand up for and defend our values and our interests in the world. And if we were to stand idly by and know that in doing so we are allowing a dangerous dynamic to take hold which promises greater conflict and instability to a region in which we have vital interests, we would be derelict in our own responsibilities.

Regrettably, some seem to believe that the U.S. friendship means the U.S. must accept any policy, regardless of our own interests, our own positions, our own words, our own principles – even after urging again and again that the policy must change. Friends need to tell each other the hard truths, and friendships require mutual respect.

Israel’s permanent representative to the United Nations, who does not support a two-state solution, said after the vote last week, quote, “It was to be expected that Israel’s greatest ally would act in accordance with the values that we share,” and veto this resolution. I am compelled to respond today that the United States did, in fact, vote in accordance with our values, just as previous U.S. administrations have done at the Security Council before us.

They fail to recognize that this friend, the United States of America, that has done more to support Israel than any other country, this friend that has blocked countless efforts to delegitimize Israel, cannot be true to our own values – or even the stated democratic values of Israel – and we cannot properly defend and protect Israel if we allow a viable two-state solution to be destroyed before our own eyes.

And that’s the bottom line: the vote in the United Nations was about preserving the two-state solution. That’s what we were standing up for: Israel’s future as a Jewish and democratic state, living side by side in peace and security with its neighbors. That’s what we are trying to preserve for our sake and for theirs.

In fact, this Administration has been Israel’s greatest friend and supporter, with an absolutely unwavering commitment to advancing Israel’s security and protecting its legitimacy.

On this point, I want to be very clear: No American administration has done more for Israel’s security than Barack Obama’s. The Israeli prime minister himself has noted our, quote, “unprecedented” military and intelligence cooperation. Our military exercises are more advanced than ever. Our assistance for Iron Dome has saved countless Israeli lives. We have consistently supported Israel’s right to defend itself, by itself, including during actions in Gaza that sparked great controversy.

Time and again we have demonstrated that we have Israel’s back. We have strongly opposed boycotts, divestment campaigns, and sanctions targeting Israel in international fora, whenever and wherever its legitimacy was attacked, and we have fought for its inclusion across the UN system. In the midst of our own financial crisis and budget deficits, we repeatedly increased funding to support Israel. In fact, more than one-half of our entire global Foreign Military Financing goes to Israel. And this fall, we concluded an historic $38 billion memorandum of understanding that exceeds any military assistance package the United States has provided to any country, at any time, and that will invest in cutting-edge missile defense and sustain Israel’s qualitative military edge for years to come. That’s the measure of our support.

This commitment to Israel’s security is actually very personal for me. On my first trip to Israel as a young senator in 1986, I was captivated by a special country, one that I immediately admired and soon grew to love. Over the years, like so many others who are drawn to this extraordinary place, I have climbed Masada, swum in the Dead Sea, driven from one Biblical city to another. I’ve also seen the dark side of Hizballah’s rocket storage facilities just across the border in Lebanon, walked through exhibits of the hell of the Holocaust at Yad Vashem, stood on the Golan Heights, and piloted an Israeli jet over the tiny airspace of Israel, which would make anyone understand the importance of security to Israelis. Out of those experiences came a steadfast commitment to Israel’s security that has never wavered for a single minute in my 28 years in the Senate or my four years as Secretary.

I have also often visited West Bank communities, where I met Palestinians struggling for basic freedom and dignity amidst the occupation, passed by military checkpoints that can make even the most routine daily trips to work or school an ordeal, and heard from business leaders who could not get the permits that they needed to get their products to the market and families who have struggled to secure permission just to travel for needed medical care.

And I have witnessed firsthand the ravages of a conflict that has gone on for far too long. I’ve seen Israeli children in Sderot whose playgrounds had been hit by Katyusha rockets. I’ve visited shelters next to schools in Kiryat Shmona that kids had 15 seconds to get to after a warning siren went off. I’ve also seen the devastation of war in the Gaza Strip, where Palestinian girls in Izbet Abed Rabo played in the rubble of a bombed-out building.

Hana Levi Julian

Trump’s Orthodox Zionist Ambassador Eager to Serve in ‘Eternal Capital of Israel’

Friday, December 16th, 2016

President-elect Donald J. Trump on Thursday announced that his bankruptcy lawyer of many years David Friedman, an Orthodox Jew who probably feels more at home in Jerusalem than in Tel Aviv, will be his next Ambassador to Israel. Indeed, the Trump transition team made a note of the fact that Friedman’s bar mitzvah 45 years ago was celebrated at the Western Wall. Friedman, for his part, said he looks forward to serving at his new job at “the US embassy in Israel’s eternal capital, Jerusalem.”

A regular contributor to rightwing news website Arutz Sheva, Friedman told his friends there on Friday: “Mr. Trump’s confidence is very flattering. My views on Israel are well-known, and I would advise him in a matter consistent with those views. America’s geo-political interests are best served by a strong and secure Israel with Jerusalem as its undivided capital.”

Which is why it was no surprise that J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami’s response statement said the barely Zionist group was “vehemently opposed to the nomination,” because “as someone who has been a leading American friend of the settlement movement, who lacks any diplomatic or policy credentials, Friedman should be beyond the pale.”

This may have to do with the fact that Friedman in the past compared J Street to the kapos who cooperated with the Nazis during the Holocaust, except he had some sympathy for them and none for Jeremy Ben-Ami. “The kapos faced extraordinary cruelty,” he wrote. “But J Street? They are just smug advocates of Israel’s destruction delivered from the comfort of their secure American sofas — it’s hard to imagine anyone worse.”

The Republican Jewish Coalition, on the other hand, was besides itself with delight, as its executive director Matt Brooks called Friedman’s appointment “a powerful signal to the Jewish community.” It is estimated that only 28% of Jewish voters picked Trump, but four years are a long time for minds to be changed, especially since the designated Ambassador, a fluent Hebrew speaker, has been so unabashed in advocating US-Israel friendship. The Trump transition team’s statement praised Friedman’s love of Israel:

“The two nations have enjoyed a special relationship based on mutual respect and a dedication to freedom and democracy. With Mr. Friedman’s nomination, President-elect Trump expressed his commitment to further enhancing the US-Israel relationship and ensuring there will be extraordinary strategic, technological, military and intelligence cooperation between the two countries.”

How will the gang in Ramallah take the news from Washington? Not well, most likely. We dug up this typical musing by the next Ambassador in an Arutz Sheva column titled “End the two-state narrative.” It probably would make for a heart-warming Shabbat read over at Amona, if they print it out in time:

“Much has changed over the decades since the two-state narrative began. Palestinian leaders have a much harder time lying to their people. Palestinians can witness – through the internet and first hand experience – the advantages of integration into Israeli society and the bankrupt values and barbarism of radical Islam.

“In addition, Saudi Arabia is running out of money, America and Israel are both energy independent and Israel’s neighbors – Jordan and Egypt – are far more concerned about ISIS and Iran than about Judea and Samaria. The world is a different place, diplomatic and security alignments have shifted, and only Mahmoud Abbas, John Kerry and Hillary Clinton are still stuck in the past, clinging to stale ideas that will only continue to fail.

“Radicalized Palestinian terrorists need to be rooted out and eliminated. But the remainder – perhaps the majority – of Palestinians should finally benefit from the hundreds of millions of dollars in bribes paid by the US State Department to Abbas. Fostering a Palestinian middle class is the solution of the 21st century and it has nothing to do with two states.”

That is actually a plan. Which is probably why leftist former Israeli peace negotiator Daniel Levy told the NY Times that in naming Friedman Trump is undercutting the security of Israel and the US, forcing the PA Arabs “to further disenfranchisement and dispossession.”

“If an American ambassador stakes out positions that further embolden an already triumphalist settler elite, then that is likely to cause headaches for American national security interests across the region and even for Israel’s own security establishment,” Levy declared. “Especially an ambassador committed to the ill-advised relocation of the US embassy to Jerusalem.”

This means that, come January 20, 2017, the only obstacle to imposing Israeli sovereignty in Area C, if not the entire Judea and Samaria, would be the Netanyahu government that finds itself, for the first time in Israel’s history, to the left of the US Administration regarding the liberated territories.

To cite a certain Arutz Sheva columnist, in his piece titled “US presidents and Israel: Always expect the unexpected,” one must never abandon divine intervention when considering political strategy:

“They say that in Israel, one who believes in miracles is a realist. Looking back some 90 years on the cast of characters who were privileged to hold the most powerful position on the face of the earth, it is nothing less than miraculous that Israel has continued to grow, prosper and flourish. The hand of God is everywhere to be seen in Israel’s development. We should, of course, try to pick the right president, but let’s not forget who’s really running the show. Let’s therefore include prayer, charity and good deeds as an essential part of a pro-Israel strategy.”

JNi.Media

PA Court Sentences Abbas’ Rival Dahlan in Absentia to 3 Years for Embezzlement

Thursday, December 15th, 2016

The Ramallah Anti-Corruption Crimes Court on Wednesday sentenced Muhammad Dahlan, a former senior member of Fatah now living in UAE and a longtime rival of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, to three years in prison for embezzling $16 million.

The court, which tried Dahlan in his absence, added a fine of $16 million to the sentence as payment for embezzling the money, declared him a fugitive from justice.

Ma’an recalled Dahlan’s fierce opposition to Hamas and his “merciless crackdown” on the rival group in the 1990s, when his PLO units rounded up thousands of Islamists who refused to recognize the legitimacy of the PA. Then Dahlan fell from grace in June 2007 after Hamas trounced his fighters in Gaza street battles, expelling Fatah permanently from the territory.

In 2010, after his election to the Fatah central committee, Dahlan was suspended, and an inquiry was launched to examine his finances, accusing him of setting up his own private militia.

In 2011, Dahlan was accused by Fatah leaders of poisoning Yasser Arafat – an honor he shared with Israeli security at the time.

Then, in 2015, the notorious anti-Hamas Dahlan called for integrating all the Palestinian factions, including Hamas and the Islamic Jihad, into the PLO. Meanwhile, several Arab regimes began to push his candidacy to replace Abbas when the time comes. Dahlan then began to accuse Abbas of holding on to his seat without popular support and without democratic elections (his term ran out around 2009).

Back in October, Dahlan told Ma’an the failures of PA leadership could bring the end to the Arabs’ hope for independence. “If this situation continues,” he warned, “we will either yield to the occupation’s conditions and rules – which is impossible at the popular level – or have a popular uprising, which will be very dangerous.”

David Israel

Walter Bingham File – The Week That Was. The Fraudulent Claims Of Private Palestinian Land [audio]

Monday, December 12th, 2016

That Was The Week That Was. The Fraudulent Claims Of Private Palestinian Land

Teaser: Hear: Why the village of Amona and the rest of Judea and Samaria are already Israeli State Land and no further legislation should be necessary.

How: Mahmoud Abbas speaks in contradictions.

And: The Jewish People’s Policy Institute’s ‘thin end of the wedge’ recommendations – to water down the definition of ‘Who is a Jew’.

Also: Modesty vs. Hypocrisy in the Charedi world, as seen by Chiddush, an Israel-Diaspora partnership for religious freedom.

The Walter Bingham File 11DEC2016 – PODCAST

Israel News Talk Radio

Liberman: We’re Blocking Smuggled Weapons of Mass Destruction from Syria to Hezbollah

Wednesday, December 7th, 2016

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beiteinu) on Wednesday afternoon told the EU countries’ ambassadors to Israel that the Jewish State’s primary goal is to protect its citizens, defend its sovereignty and “prevent the smuggling of sophisticated weapons, military equipment and weapons of mass destruction (WMD) from Syria to the Hezbollah.”

Liberman stressed that “we have no intention of intervening in the Syrian civil war, but when I’m asked, time after time, what would be the nature of a possible future order in Syria, I reiterate my position that it makes no difference what kind of order will win out – in any case the Iranians and Assad must leave Syria and must not be part of the new order.”

The defense minister told the ambassadors that in recent months he’s seen a growing cooperation between Hamas and ISIS in the Sinai. “In today’s world it is quite clear that we can’t count on the international community, and every country must count only on itself,” he said.

Liberman also told the ambassadors that it would be unrealistic and impossible to reach a permanent arrangement between Israel and the Arabs in Judea and Samaria, especially in light of the extremist positions of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

“Therefore the idea of a permanent arrangement will be delayed for at least a few years, and meanwhile we must provide for normal life for Jews and Arabs alike in Judea and Samaria,” Liberman said, adding, “Today it’s clear the settlements are not an obstacle to peace, and that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not the focal point nor the cause of instability in the Middle East – and yet, European leaders continue to view the settlements as the biggest problem in the world.”

“At least 500 people are killed every day in the Middle East, from South Sudan to Iraq,” Liberman noted, “which is much more serious and important than hat’s happening in Amona – but you don’t see any mention of it in European media.”

“The fact that you keep talking only about the settlements is hypocritical,” Liberman concluded, telling the ambassadors, “I’m waiting for you to start talking bout North Korea and the Iranian ballistic missiles.”

David Israel

Political Hitman – Abbas says: The P.A. will NEVER Recognize Israel as Jewish [audio]

Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

Mahmoud Abbas say the PA will NEVER RECOGNIZE ISRAEL AS JEWISH – Do we cow to his opinion and throw Jews out of their homes?!

Mahmoud Abbas, the PA’s dictator for life calls for the repeal of the Balfour Declaration, Howie calls for an all-Jewish Israel devoid of Arabs while Sharon claims that land for peace is the only option.

It’s another heated debate on Political Hitman!

Political HITMAN 04Dec 2016 – PODCAST

Israel News Talk Radio

Israeli Minister Yuval Steinitz: Abu Mazen is Israel’s “Number One Enemy”

Thursday, December 1st, 2016

Minister of National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Resources Yuval Steinitz is calling Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) leader Mahmoud Abbas Israel’s “Number One enemy.”

Abbas warned during a Fatah Central Committee meeting in Ramallah on Wednesday after his re-election to the faction’s leadership for another five-year term, that recognition of the State of Israel would not be “eternal,” should it not be reciprocated by the Israelis.

The Fatah leader also heads the Palestinian Authority and is now in his 11th year of a four-year term. He stressed his confidence at the meeting that the entity will eventually gain independence and that the removal of settlements “requires patience.”

In an interview Thursday (Dec. 1) with Israel Radio, Steinitz argued that to withdraw his recognition of Israel, Mahmoud Abbas would have to first start by recognizing it. “Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas) has never recognized the right of the State of Israel to exist, and continues to deny it,” Steinitz said. “He always posited that the Jews had no right to their own homeland state whether in Ramallah or Tel Aviv,” he said.

“Ideologically, Abu Mazen is the Number One enemy to the very existence of the State of Israel, even more so than [former PLO chairman Yasser] Arafat,” he said.

The remarks came on the heels of six anti-Israel resolutions adopted by the United Nations General Assembly this week on “Palestinian and Middle East issues.”

One resolution pertaining to Jerusalem and its holy sites was approved by a 149-7 vote with 8 abstentions and again erased the ancient Biblical Jewish bonds to the Temple Mount. It also said action by Israel, “the occupying Power, to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on the Holy City of Jerusalem … [remains] illegal and therefore null and void and had no validity whatsoever.”

In response, Steinitz called the resolutions as “a sad joke for Israel and for the world.” He also claimed the specific condemnation of Israel, as compared to the horrific acts occurring currently in the Middle East, whether in Syria or Iraq, had “an anti-Semitic orientation.”

Israel Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon severely criticized President of the General Assembly John William Ashe for wearing a Palestinian Authority flag scarf during the November 29 UN General Assembly session held to mark the world body’s annual International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. The event was held on the anniversary date of the General Assembly’s 1947 adoption of Resolution 181, the Partition Plan for Palestine.

“It is unfortunate that the @UN_PGA chose to wear the Palestinian flag at an event whose sole purpose was to slander Israel,” Dannon tweeted.

In his speech, he also displayed the headline than ran in The New York Times following the 1947 vote, posting it on the Twitter social networking site:

“The @nytimes from the day after the Partition Plan vote: ‘Assembly Votes Palestine Partition. Arabs Walk Out.’ This is the whole story.”

Content by Ilana Messika / TPS was used in this report.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/israeli-minister-yuval-steinitz-abu-mazen-is-israels-number-one-enemy/2016/12/01/

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