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July 24, 2016 / 18 Tammuz, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Mahmoud Abbas’

PA President Demands Justice for His Terrorist

Monday, March 28th, 2016

PA President Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) has demanded justice for the Hebron terrorist who was killed by an IDF soldier last week. The terrorist was shot and wounded after he and his partner stabbed an IDF soldier. A few minutes later, another soldier shot and killed the wounded terrorist.

At a press conference on Monday evening, Abbas said that a red line was crossed – referring to the killing of the wounded terrorist.

Abbas demanded there be a court case to ascertain the truth and the soldier gets what’s coming to him – and he didn’t mean a medal.

יו"ר הרשות הפלסטינית, אבו מאזן, ענה במסיבת עיתונאים לשאלת כתב חדשות 10 והגיב לסערת הירי בחברון >> http://bit.ly/1RBtoXMPosted by ‎חדשות 10‎ on Monday, March 28, 2016

Jewish Press News Briefs

Abbas Refuses to Apologize, Blames Israel for Death of American in Jaffa

Thursday, March 10th, 2016

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden arrived in Israel for a two day visit on Tuesday, March 8. Shortly after Biden’s arrival in the region the day before, American graduate student Taylor Force was murdered by a Palestinian Arab terrorist in Jaffa, just blocks away from where Biden was meeting at the Peres Peace Center in Tel Aviv.

On Wednesday, Biden joined with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a press conference in Jerusalem. Both politicians condemned the terrorist attacks that took place in Israel the day before, with a special emphasis on the brutal murder of Taylor Force, the Texas-born Vanderbilt business school student and U.S. Army vet and West Point graduate.

Biden called on Mahmoud Abbas and the rest of the Palestinian Arab leadership and the entire international community to denounce terrorist attacks against Israelis, including the one in which Force was murdered, his wife was badly injured, and 11 others were wounded, according to the Jerusalem Post.

“Let me say in no uncertain terms: The U.S. condemns these acts and condemns the failure to condemn these acts,” Biden said.

But when Biden met with Mahmoud Abbas, the acting head of the Palestinian Authority, later in the day, Abbas pointedly did not do what Biden had insisted he should have done:  he did not condemn the murders that Biden had condemned only hours before.

Instead, Abas offered condolence over the death of the American — as if the man died of some cause having nothing to do with Abbas —  and then slid into assigning blame for the outrage.  Not surprisingly, the Arab leader’s blame finger pointed only at Israel.

The usual suspects were trotted out by Abbas: the “occupation,” the “settlements,” and all kinds of ugly Israeli meanness are what Abbas blamed for the violence that led to Force’s death. Abbas also assumed his typical stance: that of victimhood.

Abbas told Biden that ‘”Israel has ‘killed 200 Palestinians in the past five months,” neglecting to mention that the vast majority of those were perpetrators of attacks or attempted attacks on Israelis.

Of course, this question now hangs in the air:  having condemned “the failure to condemn these acts,” will Vice President Biden, or any member of the current administration, actually confront the fact that Palestinian leader Abbas in fact “fail[ed]” to issue any such condemnation?  And because the answer to that question is obvious, here’s another:  doesn’t the Obama administration deserve to be condemned for failing to condemn Abbas’s failure to condemn?

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

No More Israel-PA Talks, Ever. (Well, Maybe….)

Tuesday, February 16th, 2016

As Israel continues to express its willingness to participate in direct talks with the Palestinian Authority – its erstwhile one-time so-called “peace partner” is playing hard-to-get.

The latest coy little “catch me if you can” play by the PA came this week in response to an initiative by France.

During a visit to Japan on Monday, PA Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki declared his government would “never” re-engage in direct talks with Israel.

In response, the Foreign Ministry issued a statement pointing out that Israel supports the “direct negotiating process with the Palestinians and opposes any predisposed attempt to determine the outcome of the talks.”

Of course, “never” is a very long time in the Middle East; it’s a word that means little here, and “never” has been heard countless times from Abu Mazen – and Hamas – before.

On Tuesday, French Ambassador to Israel Patric Maisonnave met with Alon Ushpiz, head of the diplomatic office for Israel’s Foreign Ministry. Maisonnave presented the details of his government’s plan to convene a peace conference in Paris this summer. The French government hopes to jumpstart the diplomatic process that crashed in April 2014.

Jerusalem allegedly responded favorably to the initiative.

“This principle [of talks] which has accompanied the process from its beginning has won the support of the international community over the years, and also has stood as the basis for peace negotiations with Jordan and Egypt,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement following their meeting.

What’s interesting, however, is the response of the Palestinian Authority and its leader, Mahmoud Abbas – known to the Middle East as Abu Mazen.

Israeli media reported that Ben-Shitrit arranged a meeting between high-level Israeli and Palestinian Authority officials this week.

The Prime Minister’s Office has declined to comment on the report.

As for Abu Mazen, on the one hand he personally has refused utterly to resume talks with Israel.

On the other hand he was quoted in a letter allegedly written by Sam Ben-Shitrit, a Jewish Moroccan emissary, as saying “At the beginning of next month I will write a personal letter to [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu proposing a meeting with him.”

That declaration followed a meeting between Abu Mazen and Ben-Shitrit, who was tasked by Morocco’s King Mohammed VI with trying to get the Israel-PA dialogue back on track.

Abbas told Ben-Shitrit at that meeting that he would be willing to meet with Netanyahu without agreed-upon preconditions for re-starting negotiations, according to a report by Israel’s Channel 2 TV.

The veteran Jewish negotiator is the founder and chairman of the World Federation of Moroccan Jews; he has when necessary acted as liaison between Israel and Morocco, since no diplomatic relations exist between the two nations.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power was in Israel on Saturday also to discuss the possibility of relaunching talks with the Palestinian Authority.

Likewise, European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini made a special effort in a conversation with Israel’s prime minister to “get the relationship back on track” between the EU and the Jewish State. She emphasized that the EU’s product labeling policy implemented last November is non-binding and said the European body strongly opposes a boycott of Israel. Mogherini also said the EU supports direct talks as the sole means of reaching a final status agreement between Israel and the PA.

Hana Levi Julian

Bill Introduced to Undo US Ban on Label ‘Made in Israel’ if Beyond Green Line

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016

U.S. Senator Tom Cotton (R-AK) introduced legislation on Monday, Feb. 1, that would undo a regulation recently re-issued by the Obama administration that would ban the right to label any goods produced beyond the 1940 Armistice Line (the “Green Line”) as made in Israel.

The JewishPress.com reported last week that U.S. Custom and Border Protection re-issued a 1997 regulation – written at a very different time, under very different circumstances – which the State Department insisted it will now “strictly enforce.”

The original regulation was issued in 1997.

Prior to that time, the only acceptable designation for anything produced in the area west of Jordan, west of Syria, south of Lebanon and to the east and north east of Egypt was Israel, according to U.S. Customs. But after the Oslo Accords were signed, the State Department directed the Treasury Department to ban the label “made in Israel” for anything made in Judea and Samaria (the “West Bank”).

But in the intervening nearly 20 years, the Oslo Accords have failed, acting Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas announced to the United Nations that his people are no longer bound by the Accords, there is no viable Palestinian Arab leadership and there is no unity between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, the Arab governing party in Gaza.

Even under the Oslo Accords, Israel was given complete control over Area C, while the Arabs were given some or all control over Areas A and B, so insisting that no products made anywhere in the “West Bank” – including Area C – can be labeled Israel is not even consistent with the Oslo Accords.

COTTON REJECTS CLAIM THE REISSUANCE OF THE BAN WAS NOT POLITICALLY MOTIVATED

On Monday Cotton made clear his distaste for the recently re-issued administration’s directive which he said “plays right into the hands of those who are driving insidious efforts to boycott Israeli goods. While some say the directive merely ‎restates an old labeling rule originally drafted 20 years ago with no intention to stigmatize Israel, the truth is the rule was lightly if ever enforced and serves little purpose today.

“Its vigorous enforcement now — coming after a concerted lobbying campaign on the part of groups looking to weaken Israel — will have the undeniable effect of isolating our closest friend in the Middle East and giving other nations an excuse to unfairly treat Israel in trade relations.”

The Arkansas senator rejected the administration’s claim that the labeling effort was simply a bureaucratic matter that was not politically motivated. He called the move the administration’s latest effort to put daylight between the United States and Israel.”

Cotton denounced the current global effort, in some quarters, to delegitimize Israel, calling those behind it, “too weak politically and too wrong morally to succeed in quick and dramatic fashion. They instead seek to achieve their aims gradually with incremental steps like labeling rules. It’s incumbent on all those who stand with Israel therefore to remain ever vigilant.”

That is why, Cotton said on Monday, he introduced the legislation to rescind the administration’s directive requiring the special labeling of Israeli goods produced in Judea and Samaria (“West Bank”) and Gaza Strip.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

U.S. ‘Re-Issues Old Labeling Requirement’ But Ignores its Original, Now Invalid, Basis

Friday, January 29th, 2016

Things continue to go downhill in the diplomatic world of U.S.-Israel relations. This week the U.S. State Department re-issued a nearly 20 year old regulation – written at a very different time, under very different circumstances – and insists it will “strictly enforce” this ancient rule which requires any goods produced in the disputed territories be designated as place of origin other than “Israel.”

This old-new restriction came up in one of the most unlikely of places, the Cargo Systems Messaging Service, which is part of U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

The very short introduction explains that the message was issued in order to “provide guidance to the trade community regarding the country of origin marking requirements for goods that are manufacture in the West Bank.”

This latest message from the Cargo Messaging Service was issued literally in the dead of night – 12:53 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 23. Hmmm.

And the “requirements” to which that message is referring, are ones that require labeling of goods produced in the disputed territories, or as the U.S. likes to call them – despite chastising Israel constantly for “creating facts on the ground” – the West Bank and Gaza but not Israel.

Although the labeling requirements are the very same ones recently at issue when the European Union forbade goods produced in the disputed territories to have Israel as an option and only permit labels such as “Gaza,” “Gaza/West Bank” or “West Bank,” the reason for the 20 year old U.S. regulation has a very different origin.

The U.S. requirements were imposed in the wake of the infamous Oslo Accords – those withered on the vine principles recently rejected in a public statement to the United Nations by acting Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas.

The Accords are referred to in the U.S. Regulations by its formal name, the “Israel-PLO-Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements.” Yeah, that long-dead horse.

And the original, and therefore controlling reason why the U.S. source labeling rule came into play had nothing to do with promoting a boycott of Israel, or even, as some now claim, a “truth in advertising” initiative.

The situation that was understood to need correction back in the 1990’s had to do with fair trade agreements. The U.S. and Israel had such an agreement, but the U.S. could not have an FTA with Gaza or with the now-Palestinian Authority controlled area in the “West Bank” (Judea and Samaria).

In the wake of the Oslo Accords, when peace was threatening to break out all over, the U.S. decided it also made sense to create an FTA between the U.S. and the Palestinian Arab government. And that was an additional impetus for creating new labels for items produced by Palestinian Arabs in Gaza or in the “West Bank.”

In an additional and unintentional point of irony, the Palestinian Authority, back in the 1990’s, urged the State Department, and the State Department acquiesced, to the joint labels of Gaza and West Bank “so as to reaffirm the territorial unity of the two areas.”

What a joke.

During Thursday’s daily press briefing, Deputy State Department Spokeperson Mark C. Toner assured journalists the matter was “simply a restatement of previous requirements” which “in no way supersedes prior rulings or regulations, nor does it impose additional requirements with respect to merchandise imported from the West Bank, Gaza Strip, or Israel.”

Toner emphasized, with respect to the resistance of the old requirements: “there’s nothing new. This is simply a reissuance of guidance.”

The basis for the original regulation – the one everyone insists is all that is in play – was the Oslo Accords and the creation of a new state – one that remains stillborn – and the wrongly anticipated unification of Gaza and the Palestinian Arab governing force in the “West Bank.” Those bases were weak back in 1997, but they are now long-decayed legs upon which to place this labeling requirement.

And that’s the reason the regulations have not been enforced until now. There is no viable Palestinian State. There is no enforceable Oslo Accords. There is no unity Palestinian Arab government.

If that is all true, the new-old regulations should remain null and void.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

MK Avigdor Liberman: ‘It’s Israel’s Turn to Help Support Diaspora Jewry’

Saturday, January 9th, 2016

In a small sparsely-furnished office, containing a cherry wood desk, a matching credenza, an Israeli flag, some small personal photos and a large framed print of the father of Zionism, Vladimir Jabotinsky, is seated a man larger than life, the head of Yisrael Beiteinu and former Foreign Minister of Israel: Avigdor Liberman.

When the JewishPress.com met with Liberman late one morning this past week, he was told that most non-Israeli Jews really don’t have a good sense of who he is. So he was asked to explain himself.

ALIYAH, JEWISH CONTINUITY, ABSORPTION

Liberman began this way:

“First of all, my highest priorities are Aliyah, Jewish Continuity and Absorption. My positions are clear right wing without compromise, but very pragmatic.”

One of his pet projects combines all three priorities: he envisions schools of Jewish education everywhere in the Diaspora, along the lines of American schools abroad. Those schools would focus on both Judaism and Zionism.

Liberman explained the need for this educational initiative: “At the Saban meeting, people like [American Jewish journallist] Jeffrey Goldberg talked about the problem of the younger Jewish generation not being so supportive of Israel.”

“He said that the decline in support was due to Israeli government policies. But that’s not the problem,” Liberman said.

The problem is that the “younger generations of Jews don’t really know much about and so don’t care much about Israel.”

This dovetails with Liberman’s preoccupation with Jewish assimilation. He cites statistics and surveys which predict the near total extinction of Jews in only a few more generations.

“Fewer than 10 percent of American Jews have a Jewish, Zionist education. In places like France, Russia, even Canada, there is a 70 percent assimilation rate,” Liberman explains, with horror.

Naturally, the first question is who would fund such a project? Knowing that even many American Jewish Federations have turned away from significant contributions to Jewish day schools, the prospect seems bleak.

But Liberman isn’t looking to the Diaspora as the primary funding source. He explains: “during the 1940’s and ’50’s, Israel was a small, poor country and needed tremendous financial and political support – which it received – from the Jewish Diaspora.

“Now, with Israel’s vibrant economy, it’s our turn to give back and our turn to help support the Jewish people. We are a strong country with a huge budget,” explains Liberman.

Liberman believes that Israel must contribute something on the order of $365 million – which should be met with matching funds – to this vitally important enterprise.

The suavely-dressed, slimmed-down, blue-eyed politician sees this contribution by Israel not just as providing moral support to the waning Diaspora Jewry, but as a crucial investment, “it is for our future as well.”

The idea was first pitched by Liberman nearly a year ago in a speech in the United States. The concept was immediately overshadowed by the subsequent Israeli elections and, increasingly, by the nation’s focus on the then-looming and seemingly catastrophic Nuclear Iran Deal which the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council (the U.S., the U.K., France, China and Russia), plus Germany (the P5+1) was negotiating, and then concluded, with Iran.

Liberman believes his concept is critical if there is to remain a global Jewry outside of Israel. Not surprisingly, one of the reasons Diaspora Jewry with a strong Jewish and Zionist identity matters so much is as a steady source for Aliyah.

But the current governing coalition “does not care about the Diaspora,” Liberman said.

This discussion led naturally to the question of why Yisrael Beiteinu walked away from being in the ruling coalition. It’s of course harder to promote enormous new projects from the outside.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Was Your Congressman One of 32 Who Called for Closing PLO Office in US?

Tuesday, December 29th, 2015

The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has praised Congressmen for demanding what the State Dept. rejected.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, running for the Republican party nomination for president, signed up 31 other Congressmen, as reported here last week, to write a letter to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry demanding that the Obama Defense Minister close the PLO offices in Washington.

The Congressmen argued:

The United States government has an obligation to publicly denounce the PLO’s actions and should immediately revoke its waiver.

Allowing the PLO to maintain an office in Washington, D.C. provides no benefit to the United States or the peace process. Closing the PLO office in Washington, D.C. would send a clear statement that the kind of incitement to violence perpetrated by the PLO and its leaders will not be tolerated.

The State Dept. rejected the demand. The ZOA came to the Congressmen’s defense because “Mahmoud Abbas’ Palestinian Authority (PA) has never fulfilled its obligations under the Oslo Accords to outlaw terrorist groups, extradite terrorists, confiscate illegal weaponry and end the incitement to hatred and murder in the PA-controlled, media, mosques, schools and youth camps that fuels the conflict.”

The ZOA added:

The PA even gives pensions to families of Jew-killing terrorists. And the larger the number of Jews murdered-the larger the pension. President Obama and Secretary Kerry say nothing about any of these PA terrorist actions. The PA should be placed on the US list of terrorist entities, and should not have an office in our Capital.

ZOA National President Morton A. Klein added, “Put quite simply, the PLO does not merit the diplomatic immunity and the status that comes with it. President Obama gave Abbas’ PA this upgrade despite the fact that the PA has not altered its behavior, even while receiving annually hundreds of millions of dollars in US tax-payer funded aid.

Below are the names of the Congressmen, all of them Republicans, who signed the letter:

Ted Cruz  and Randy Weber from Texas; Mark Meadows, North Carolina; Ilan Ros-Lehtinen,  Ron DeSantis, Jeff Miller, Carlos Curbelo, Ted Yoho, Bill Posey, Mario Diaz-Balart, and Curt Clawson from Florida;

Jeff Duncan, South Carolina; Doug Lamborn, Colorado; Scott DesJarlais, Tennessee;  Scott Perry, Pennsylvania; Jody Hice, Georgia;

Tim Huelskamp, Kansas; Lee Zeldin, New York, Gary Palmer, Alabama; John Fleming, Louisiana, Jim Jordan, Ohio; Morgan Griffith and David Brat from Virginia;

Matt Salmon, Paul A. Gosar and David Schweikert, Arizona; Stevan Pearce, New Mexico; Scott Garrett, New Jersey; and

Ken Calvert, Marlin Stutzman from California and David B. McKinley and Alex Mooney from West Virginia.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/was-your-congressman-one-of-32-who-called-for-closing-plo-office-in-us/2015/12/29/

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