Israeli leaders, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin, responded on Thursday evening to harsh and false attacks voiced earlier against Israel by Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas during his speech at the European Union Parliament in Brussels.
Abbas urged the world to take action against “Israeli atrocities” and repeating debunked rumors that Israeli rabbis had “called to poison Palestinian water supplies.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blasted the speech, saying that Abbas had “showed his true face” in Brussels. “Someone who refuses to meet the president and myself for direct negotiations and who spreads blood libels before the European Parliament, is lying when he claims that his hand is extended in peace,” said Netanyahu.
The prime minister was referring to the potential meeting between Abbas and his Israeli counterpart Rivlin proposed by EU Council President Donald Tusk that Abbas bluntly refused to attend.
“Israel is waiting for the day when Abu Mazen stops spreading lies and engaging in incitement,” Netanyahu added, referring to Abbas by his nickname. “Until then Israel will continue to defend itself against Palestinian incitement that motivates acts of terrorism.”
Abbas harshly attacked Israel during his speech, calling its policies towards Arabs from the Palestinian Authority “racist” and “fascist.” He also said the PA is prepared to make peace with Israel — even as he rejected a single meeting with Rivlin while the two were in the same building at the same time, for the very same purpose.
“Our hands are extended with a desire to peace,” he claimed, directing his remarks to Israel. “We have the political will to achieve peace and we ask, do you have the same will to achieve peace and to acknowledge the historic injustice that your state has exacted on our country?”
President Rivlin also responded to Abbas’ speech on Thursday, expressing disappointment that Abbas has refused to meet with him.
“It is strange that Abbas repeatedly refuses to meet with Israeli leaders and then repeatedly turns to the international community for support,” said Rivlin in a statement. “We cannot build on the trust we have built if we do not start talking directly without intermediaries. Direct talks are the only way to build confidence and restore the conditions for peace between Palestinians and Israelis.”
Israeli lawmaker and former Shin Bet domestic intelligence chief Avi Dichter, who chairs the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee also responded to what he called the “falsehoods” propounded by Abbas during his Brussels speech.
“With a series of historical distortions and crocodile tears, Abu Mazen today described the 1948 Palestinian ‘Nakba‘ [Arabic for ‘disaster’], without mentioning the fact that the Arab leaders in 1947 were the ones who determined their fate,” said Dichter.
“The Jewish leaders accepted the partition plan, while the ‘Abu Mazens’ of that time rejected the United Nations proposal and the Arab armies invaded Israel in order to wipe out the Jews and take 100 percent of Israel.”
Former Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon responded to the speech as well, referring to Abbas’ claim that Ya’alon and Ehud Barak, a former Israeli prime minister, recently called Israel was a “fascist” state. While Barak did make a similar accusation, Ya’alon did not.
“Abu Mazen is not only lying as usual, continuing his malicious blood libels against the State of Israel,” wrote Ya’alon on his Facebook page, “he is also exploiting the healthy democratic discourse in Israeli society, which does not exist in his society and is putting words in my mouth I did not say.
“Abu Mazen’s conduct, speeches and evasions of direct negotiations with Israel without preconditions are further proof that he never intended to go for an agreement, including recognition of our right to exist as the only nation state of the Jewish people,” Ya’alon added.TPS / Tazpit News Agency
An Israeli Facebook campaign has going viral in the real world.
In response to the administrative expulsion order of a 15-year-old minor from his parents home in Yitzhar by GOC Home Front Command Chief Maj. Gen. Eyal Eisenberg, Israelis have been posting signs on benches around Israel that say, “This bench belongs to the minor from Yitzhar.”
The young boy has no where else to go to if the army is allowed to throw him out from his parent’s home.
Signs have been posted on benches in Jerusalem, Netanya, Haifa, Rosh HaAyin, Migdal Emek and in additional cities in Israel. A sign has even been posted as far away as Brooklyn, NY.
The IDF hasn’t given an explanation as to why the boy is being expelled from his home as well as all of Judea and Samaria, other than to say the 15-year-old is a threat to national security and has been involved in violent incidents against Arabs.
It sounds like he’s quite the villain, yet if that’s the case, it’s not clear why he hasn’t been brought to trial and thrown in jail.
There’s been no court hearing, and the IDF refuses to present any of their evidence to the boy’s lawyers, making it impossible for the lawyers to defend their client and fight the administrative order.
There was hope that under the new Defense Minister, Avigdor Liberman, the anti-democratic “administrative orders” policies of Moshe Ya’alon would have stopped, but apparently that’s not the case.
Recently, 2 cases were closed against Israelis who were held for weeks in jail by the Shabak, without trial, without evidence, without lawyers and without any regard for their civil rights. They were eventually freed when the Shabak finally accepted the fact that the two were innocent.
You can join the bench campaign at the link.Jewish Press News Briefs
GOC Home Front Command Chief Maj. Gen. Eyal Eisenberg on Sunday rejected a plea by the parents of a 15-year-old boy who had been ordered to leave his home three weeks ago by an administrative decree, one of the last such decrees issued under former Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon. Eisenberg ordered the minor to be out of his parents’ home and the community of Yitzhar in Samaria by 9 AM Monday.
The administrative order forbids the minor to set foot in Judea and Samaria, and he must observe a nightly curfew at the home of his grandparents, in Petach Tikvah. When it turned out that the Petach Tikvah address was not available, the minor received a temporary stay, pending the hearing on Sunday this week.
It should be noted that the administrative decree does not specify what past actions of the boy in question merited the expulsion from his home environment, other than a general statement about his being a threat to national security.
At the hearing, attorney Chai Haber from the legal aid society Honenu, told representatives of the Major General that his client had nowhere to go. He noted that it is next to impossible to get anyone to agree to board the minor because police are known to keep a close watch on curfew detainees and pay late-night visits to their addresses, knocking on doors and waking up entire neighborhoods.
The Major General’s response has been that the minor must nevertheless vacate his parents premises by 9 AM as ordered.
The minor’s father said on Monday morning, “My son has nowhere to go, he lives here, his family lives here, it’s inconceivable that one day they’d present him with an order of evacuation. The impact of such an expulsion on a minor are unacceptable. Who will take responsibility? Who will care for my child? The Major General sleeps well with his children in his home while my son is being thrown out to the street. We cannot accept this.”David Israel
Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beiteinu) is coming to Washington DC on his inaugural visit as Defense Minister against the background of a dispute between the White House and Congress over increasing US support for Israel’s missile defense research and development. He’ll be meeting with US Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, who maintained a personal friendship with Liberman’s ousted predecessor, Moshe Ya’alon (Likud). Liberman and Carter are expected to discuss the White House proposal for a long-term US military aid, which would be larger than the current package, but conditioned on Israeli agreement not to solicit additional military aid from Congress.
Last Tuesday the Administration opposed a call by Congress to increase funding for Israel’s missile defense program by $455 million, to $600 million, well above the 2017 fiscal year White House budget request.
Israel is looking to expand the US annual military aid package from the current $3.2 billion to upwards of $4.5 billion, a portion of which would go to purchases from Israeli companies. The White House is looking at a more modest increase over 10 years, and for the entire amount to be spent in the US.
According to a senior defense ministry source speaking to Ma’ariv, the military aid package is not the central purpose of the visit, rather the trip is mainly planned for introductory meetings with key players in the defense department and in Congress. “We don’t expect dramatic breakthroughs in the coming week,” the source said.
Liberman will also meet with the Senate Armed Services and Foreign Committees.
On Wednesday, Liberman will attend the Lockheed Martin roll out ceremony for the F-35 fighter planes purchased by the Israeli air force — the first of which is expected to arrive in Israel in December. The defense minister will also tour an Elbit Systems plant and meet in New York with the defense ministry purchasing delegation.
According to Walla, there is a dispute between the professional echelon in the defense ministry and Prime Minister Netanyahu over the American proposal, with the DM staff recommending signing the aid package now, and Netanyahu preferring to wait out this administration and dealing with the next president, Clinton or Trump, either one of whom would be more pro-Israel.
Liberman is much more liked by the current administration than Netanyahu, because back when Secretary of State John Kerry was still pushing for an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement based on the 1967 borders, Liberman, then Israel’s foreign minister, supported the US effort, saying this was the best deal Israel could expect.
In that vein, Liberman is expected to use the opportunity of his US visit to allay fears regarding his hawkish reputation on defense, by making a major dovish statement about the two-state-solution.JNi.Media
At his keynote speech at the 2016 Herzliya Conference, Lt. Gen. (res.) and former Minister of Defense Moshe (Bogie) Ya’alon announced his plan to run for Prime Minister of Israel in the next elections. But he did not reveal in which party.
Ya’alon began by describing the current security situation of Israel and reviewed the different threats it is facing. “Terrorist organizations have taken the place of the nation states. War against them will be costly, not an existential threat towards Israel,” he said. Ya’alon argued that following the nuclear agreement with Iran, even though it continues to be “the number one element thriving to destabilize the region and attempt to hurt Israel through terrorist organizations,” it is not an immediate threat to the existence of the state of Israel.
“Knowing the strategic situation of Israel in detail, and the IDF’s power and capabilities, I can say that today and in the foreseeable future there is no existential threat to the state of Israel,” Ya’alon insisted. “Therefore,” he continued, “it is expected of the leadership to stop scaring the citizens of Israel and giving them the sense that we are on the brink of a second holocaust. It is a cynical attempt to pull the wool over the eyes of the public, because of the perception that if the public is scared, they will forget the everyday challenges they are facing.”
“Last month I resigned my positions as Israel’s minister of Defense and member of the Knesset. In my announcement I declared my plan to return to public life. My intent is to run for the leadership of Israel in the next elections. The last few months have added and clarified for me the perceived differences between the prime minister and myself.”
“What I am truly worried about are not the weapon trucks travelling from Syria to Lebanon, nor Iran’s attempts to terrorize us – Israel can handle these threats. What I am worried about are the cracks in Israeli society, and the breaking down of fundamental values. The attempts to hurt the IDF in a way that endangers its resilience. The fact that the leadership became litigious instead of building an exemplary society.”
“The state of Israel needs change. We need a leadership that will lead Israel according to its conscience and not based on polls and radical responses on social media. We deserve a leadership that does not use underhanded tactics of ‘divide and concur,’ dividing and inciting Israelis against each other to gain an additional month in government.”
“It is the role of a state leadership to connect the different parts of society, not tear them apart. We require a leadership that would not allow attacking judges and Supreme Court. We deserve a leadership that is not busy with incitement and lashing out against judges and enslaving the media for its own survival needs. The media in Israel must be free and unthreatened, and allow people of all opinions on the right and the left to express them. We deserve a leadership that will be a model of tolerance, a leadership that will vigorously fight sexual harassments and violence against women. A leadership that will not base its survival upon hatred and incitement towards leftists, rightists, settlers, Arabs, Kibbutz members, or any other group – only to get a few more votes.”
“Israel must remain a Jewish, democratic state, and part of the family of nations. It must not allow the violent and racist discourse of a radical minority that have infiltrated the mainstream and the leadership to roll us down to the abyss.”
“A change is important for the future of the state of Israel and it is our obligation to execute it for our future. Therefore, I plan to offer an alternative to the current leadership, because we have no other country,” Ya’alon concluded.David Israel
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman held his first meeting with the military top brass in the IDF late Tuesday following the pomp and circumstance involved in his installation as head of the defense ministry.
At his first working meeting with IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eizenkot and the generals, Liberman underlined his vision of the importance of the bond between the army and the civilians.
According to a report broadcast by Israel Radio, the new defense minister told the generals that in a democratic society, matters of war and peace must express the will and enjoy the support of the majority of the people.
Liberman said “We cannot engage in unnecessary conflicts. In Israeli society we are only allowed to fight unavoidable wars.”
Earlier in the day he also held a conversation with his predecessor, former Likud Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, as well.Hana Levi Julian
Israel’s secret police Shabak, or rather the Jewish Section of the clandestine organization, is losing its marbles, according to legal aid society Honenu. Over the past few days it appeared as if the organization has been taking advantage of the crossover period between old and new defense ministers to get in all its most outlandish decrees, including issuing long lists of names which several rightwing activists are now banned from talking to. As is always the case with those administrative decrees, Shabak need not cite specific charges or even suspicions against their target, nor do the accused get to defend themselves. But a Wednesday decree issued by Shabak truly sounded like part of the mad hatter’s party in Alice in Wonderland.
In its latest administrative decree, a 15-year-old boy has been banned from staying in his parents’ home in the community of Yitzhar, south of Shechem in Samaria. The same boy was also banned from contacting 26 people, including his 12-year-old neighbor.
The Yitzhar boy must be some Jewish extremist, since he’s just come off a 4-month house arrest, by decree of former Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon. But last night police raided his home and presented him with two new decrees, which accuse him of “involvement in violent activity against Palestinians.”
One of the new administrative decrees, signed by OC Central Command Maj. Gen. Roni Numa, bans the boy from entering Judea and Samaria, which includes his parents’ home in Yitzhar. The other order, signed by GOC Home Front Command Maj. Gen. Yoel Strick, compels him to remain under nightly house arrest in his grandparents’ home in the Sharon area, inside the green line. That same decree prohibits contact with his younger neighbor, who must be another Jewish extremist.
“Removing a minor from his parents’ home without a court hearing and without evidence is an exceptionally severe move,” Honenu said in a statement, adding that “the ban on contact with 12- and 13-year-olds shows the Shabak is actually spying on these kids, and that the members of the Jewish Section of Shabak have reached rock bottom. When will someone wake up?”
It should be noted in this context that an Israeli politician strongly identified with rightwing Jews has very recently become defense minister and should be supervising the secret police’s shenanigans. Seeing as the new appointee, Avigdor Liberman, hails from a country with a great tradition of Jews being harassed and tormented by the Jewish Section of the secret police, he might want to put an end to it over in the Jewish State.JNi.Media