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October 21, 2014 / 27 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Netanyahu’

Poll: Hamas Would Rule Judea and Samaria in New Elections

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

Hamas would win election in Judea and Samaria and well as Gaza and Ismail Haniyeh would defeat Mahmoud Abbas if elections were held today, according to a new poll conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research.

Before the war in Gaza, Abbas had a 12 point margin over Haniyeh, 53 percent against 41 percent.

The new survey was carried out on the last day of the war and during the first four days of last week’s cease-fire. If elections were held today, Haniyeh would trounce Abbas by a 2-1 margin, with 61 percent support of the voters as opposed to only 32 percent for Abbas.

The pollster, Khalil Shikaki, said that Abbas probably will recoup some of his losses because Hamas’ popularity previously fell after battles after mini-wars with Israel, but a 2-1 gap will be hard to overcome.

More worrisome, the poll revealed that 86 percent of the respondents think that Hamas should resume rocket attacks on Israel if the partial blockade is not completely lifted, and only 15 percent think that Hamas should be dis-armed after all sanctions are lifted.

In addition, 72 percent of Arabs in Judea, Gaza and Samaria support the Hamas strategy of using arms to attack Israelis in Judea and Samaria.

An overwhelming majority of 79 percent believe that Hamas won the war.

Hamas has not enjoyed such high support in Judea and Samaria since 2006, shortly after it ousted Abbas’ Fatah faction from Gaza in a bloody terrorist militia war.

To a certain extent, Abbas’ propaganda machine is directly responsible for Hamas’ overwhelming support. Years of demonizing Israel and Jews in the school system and in Palestinian Authority media has produced the desired effect of widespread hate and distrust of Israel and Jews.

False, malicious and twisted reporting have convinced Arabs in Judea and Samaria that the “occupation” is the cause of all or their problems, and a recent on-the-street survey by a Canadian living in Israel discovered that most Arabs that Israel carried out a “holocaust” in Gaza. Most of those interviewed also are ignorant of the Holocaust or think that the numbers of those butchered by the Nazi was grossly exaggerated, as seen in the video below.

Last month, the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) announced that a Hamas network, directed from Turkey, was planning a coup to overthrow Abbas. Haaretz reported Tuesday that a partial transcript of the investigation revealed that the plan actually was to wait for the Palestinian Authority to collapse and then take over power.

However, Hamas propaganda has consistently tried to undermine the Abbas regime, and every terrorist attack in Judea and Samaria weakens Abbas’ image that he is able to provide security.

Abbas has made a Frankenstein out of the “Peace Process,” demanding everything and accepting no compromise. The longer he cannot come up with the goods, the more his popularity falls. His only hope to force Israel to agree to impossible demands, such as allowing mass immigration of millions of so-called “refugees” and giving up land to connect Gaza with Judea and Samaria, is to go to the United Nations and the International Court. That process, which would provide doubtful result but in any case could take years, and the Arab street has lost its patience.

If U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry still thinks he can fall out of the clouds with his precious peace process, which has proved to be a war process, he will have a hard time pretending that Hamas is not in the picture.

Israeli Children, Parents On Gaza Border Start New School Year with Mixed Feelings

Monday, September 1st, 2014

On Monday, September 1, schools across Israel opened the school year, as 2,105,394 children took their places in the classrooms a week after a 50-day war with Hamas ended in a ceasefire agreement on August 26. In southern Israel, where cities and communities were most affected by Hamas rocket fire and terror attacks, special activities took place to help children ease back into school following a summer spent mostly in bomb shelters.

“There are mixed feelings – there is great happiness going back to a routine,” Sharon, a mother from Kibbutz Or HaNer, near Sderot, told Tazpit News
Agency. “On the other hand, we do not know what will happen next with the ceasefire,” said Sharon, whose children go to school in the Sha’ar HaNegev Regional Council.

“The children were really happy to go back to school, to walk around freely for the first time in months. Just today, the kids and I had ice cream for the first time all summer sitting out on the grass,” Sharon told Tazpit.

“There is a feeling that the war stopped, but also that it hasn’t. Parents here are full of emotions regarding the return to school after such a difficult summer. Many of us became refugees from the rockets. Just think, teachers who went through this horror themselves are opening the school year,” she added.

Over 4,562 rockets were fired at Israel from the Gaza Strip during the summer, striking civilian population centers throughout the country.

Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, Education Minister, Shai Piron and Finance Minister, Yair Lapid, showed solidarity with southern Israelis today, visiting schools in southern Israel. In Sderot, Prime Minister Netanyahu visited a new religious elementary school with Sderot mayor, Alon Davidi. The prime minister spoke with first grade students who spent the first lesson learning about the Hebrew alphabet.

“I know that you spent your vacation doing things not according to what you planned,” the prime minister said.” I hope that during the upcoming holidays you will have the chance to have some fun, to play and to be with your families and friends,” the Israeli PM told the first graders.

“Be good friends with each other and hunger for knowledge. This is what distinguishes us and gives our people special strength,” he said. “We are the People of the Book and today the people of the tablet as well. We hold on to our heritage and also the future. Study the Bible, our heritage, math, computers and science. Acquire knowledge for the sake of the nation of Israel, for the state of Israel, for the land of Israel, for yourselves and your families.” ”

Among the 2 million students starting school, 149,705 are first graders and 122,750 students are entering the 12th grade. The Absorption Ministry also pointed out that 1,900 students are new immigrants and are entering the Israeli school system for the first time, which includes 250 first graders.

Education Minister, Shai Piron further added that that he was assigning a special assignment to the first graders this school year, which he noted wasn’t homework but classwork. “Look around you. See who may not have many friends and who may have had few visitors this summer. If a kid doesn’t come to school because he is sick, don’t forget to call him. Act with respect to your teachers. And when you speak to each other on the playground, do not forget to use clean language.”

“Our biggest test is not how we act during times of war but how we act during times of peace. The true test is about morality, identity and love of mankind,” said Piron during his visit to the south.

Netanyahu Says Making Gaza ‘Israel’s Fallujah’ Was Too High a Price

Sunday, August 31st, 2014

Crushing Hamas instead of accepting a cease-fire might have turned Gaza into another Fallujah, with Israel paying an exorbitant price in terms of the lives of soldiers as well as risking security on the Syrian front, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said in interviews this weekend.

He noted that the United States in 2004 fought against Islamists in the Iraqi city, one-tenth the size of Gaza, killed thousands of Iraqis and destroyed thousands of homes only to hand over control to the Iraqi government, which last year lost control of the city to Al Qaeda.

The Prime Minister went on a media blitz with three television interviews over the weekend after his popularity sank dramatically in the past week. He was the target of barbs from left and right for accepting a cease-fire with Hamas instead of going for the kill and for not fulfilling his promise that a cease-fire would be conditioned on dis-arming Hamas. Instead, the issue of weapons in Gaza was put off for “negotiations” in 30 days while Hamas insists it never will give up its rockets.

He tried repair the political damage by emphasizing that the “big picture” is more important than destroying Hamas, which can always be done later, if need be.

None other than U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry provided him with an escape hatch by calling for ”global coalition” to fight radical Islamists who are “perilously close to Israel.”

“The Islamic State is galloping toward us [and] al-Qaeda is on the Golan borders,” said Netanyahu, who explained he did want to “not to invest all my assets in this one arena” of Gaza.

“I am preparing for a reality in the Middle East that is very problematic,” Netanyahu said, but Bloomberg News quoted Ben Gurion University political science Prof. Yoram Meital as saying that ISIS and Al Qaeda “have yet to form large enough armies to “significantly pose an existential threat to Israel.” He added, “There is a tendency to exaggerate the power of these groups for political aims.”

Netanyahu said that beheading Hamas, figuratively speaking, still is an option and that there might be a situation in which Israel has to occupy Gaza

He asserted that while he will not tolerate even a drizzle of rockets, invading Gaza at this time would have come at a possibly intolerable loss of soldiers.

Netanyahu did not state, nor has the IDF commented, that a massive invasion of Gaza was not a real option ever since the military pulled out most of its tanks and armored personnel carriers (APCs) from the Gaza front almost immediately after the last temporary cease-fire before the current truce was announced last week. The IDF apparently knew it had won as much as it could at the least possible price.

Buried amid the praise for the military’s dealing Hamas a severe blow from the air and from the ground are well-sourced reports that the army was not prepared for the massive and lethal Hamas defense in the Shejaiya neighborhood of Gaza.

Entering all of Gaza to topple Hamas would have meant facing a well-organized terrorist army in every city in the Gaza, despite the elimination of top Hamas commanders by the Israeli Air Force.

However, there is no doubt, as Netanyahu said, that Hamas did not expect the force with which Israel retaliated following rocket attacks on most of Israel.

The Prime Minister also emphasized in the interviews that Hamas agreed to the same Egyptian cease-fire proposal that it originally rejected.

He did not relate to the difficulty that awaits Israel with diplomatic maneuvering by Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas to use the “peace process” to allow his security forces to patrol Gaza borders.

Netanyahu Meets with House Armed Services Members

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu likened Hamas to radical Islamists in Iraq and Syria in a meeting with members of the U.S. House of Representatives Armed Services Committee Thursday evening.

“We’re faced with common enemies, radical Islamic terrorists who have absolutely no inhibitions on executing people, terrorizing people, targeting innocent civilians,” Netanyahu said at the meeting with a bipartisan delegation led by chairman Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.). “These are common enemies of Israel, the United States and all the civilized countries. And I think we should take a common stand to defeat them.”

McKeon in his response pledged continuing support for Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system, credited with deflecting over 80 percent of targeted missiles in the recent war with Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

“On the House Armed Services Committee, we’re happy with the work we’ve been able to do, working with you on [Iron] Dome and how you’ve used it to protect human life,” he said. “And we will keep that bond and that friendship and that special relationship that we have forever.”

A recent report in the Wall Street Journal outlined tensions between the Netanyahu government and the Obama administration over Israel’s direct lobbying of Congress and the Pentagon for supplementary weapons supplies.

Mashaal Vows Cease-Fire a Step to New ‘Resistance’ War against Israel

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

Hamas’ supreme leader Khaled Mashaal dashed any hopes of long-term peace with Israel in a speech in Qatar on Thursday in which he shot from the hip at Israel and also at his terrorist organization’s new partner, the rival Fatah movement headed by Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

His lengthy speech in Qatar, which has financed Hamas terror and which fought Egyptian cease-fire proposals, followed by one day a “victory” speech by Ismail Haniyeh, the senior Hamas political leader in Gaza. Mashaal’s silence while Haniyeh accepted the cease-fire is a clear sign of a fierce power struggle between Hamas in Gaza and between Mashaal and Qatar, which holds the purse strings.

Mashaal also claimed victory, with lies that Hamas missiles hit the Ben Gurion Airport, which is not true, and that more than 5 million Israelis hid in bomb shelters, a gross exaggeration. However, there is no doubt that Hamas succeeded in scaring the daylight out of millions of Israelis, interrupting a few flights and generally turning half of Israel into sitting ducks.

And this won’t be the last time, regardless of a cease-fire, he warned.

“Whatever happened [in Gaza] is not the end to this story, and this is not the last operation to free Palestine. It was an important stop on the way to victory,” Mashaal declared.

His speech threw every obstacle possible on the road to negotiations with Israel. The talks are supposed to begin in a month, leaving open the possibility, or probability, that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is carrying on secret negotiations that will be formalized in 30 days.

The Prime Minister suffered another blow to any trust that Israelis may have for him with a report on Thursday that he met secretly with Jordanian King Abdullah, and perhaps Abbas, prior to the cease-fire, circumstantial evidence that Israel negotiated under fire, contrary to Netanyahu’s promise.

If Mashaal gets his way, there won’t be any talks because one of the new powers in Gaza is slated to be Abbas, whose security forces would patrol Gaza borders, according to the Egyptian proposal. That would provide Cairo with another tactic to get rid of Hamas.

Mashaal nailed Abbas to the wall in his speech, accusing him of throwing cold water on the resumption of the intifada during the war by allowing his security forces to limit protests.

“The next operation needs to use all of the Palestinian capabilities, not just part of them,” Mashaal said. “The resistance is holy and weapons are holy. There is no such thing as a country without weapons.”

A country or not, Gaza still has at least 2,000 rockets as well as anti-tank rockets and presumably anti-aircraft missiles. It still has rocket factories, one of which was filmed in production by Hamas during one of the failed cease-fires during the war.

Netanyahu had demanded that any halt in violence would be accompanied by disarming Hamas, but this week’s cease-fire only left the issue to be put on the negotiating table, along with Hamas’s demands for a deep-sea port and an airport.

Mashaal’s speech was full of hate and crude accusations that Israel inflicted a “Holocaust” on Gaza by “destroying schools and hospitals,” which all but the most extreme anti-Israel media now know were used by Hamas as rocket launching and terrorist command centers.

“We are against what Hitler did to the Jews, and Israel committed a second Holocaust in Gaza. Israel is an embarrassment to Jews and to the entire world,” according to Mashaal.

His rhetoric was aimed at Abbas as well as Israel. If and when negotiations begin, Egypt and the United States will be on the side of Abbas, who despite his unity government with Hamas has proved politically smart by a patient and single-minded tactic of using international support to slowly but surely win concession after concession from Israel until there is nothing left to negotiate.

Mixed Reactions Among Leaders in Southern Israel to Ceasefire

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

Details of the current ceasefire between Israel and Hamas are being revealed, and the agreement obtained by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are generating mixed reactions among the leaders of the South. The majority of the reactions are against the truce, and all voiced skepticism about its viability. Itamar Shimoni, Mayor of Ashkelon, harshly condemned the ceasefire, calling it a surrender to terror: “The residents of the South wanted a decisive victory, but it seems they will not receive it,” said Shimoni, “We wanted to see Hamas begging for its life, while in fact we are witnessing Israel running to the negotiations table every chance it has to do so.” Shimoni further believes that objectives set for Operation ‘Protective Edge’ were not achieved: “We did not lose 64 soldiers and six citizens for this ‘achievement’. We sat in bomb shelters for two months and incurred heavy financial losses, but not for this ‘achievement’. we expected much more. Hamas made demands while using force, and it seems they will get what they demanded. the conclusion is the terror pays.” Shimoi believes that the current ceasefire with Hamas will not last long: “We have already begun to prepare of the next round of violence, and it will be more deadly and violent than what we have experienced up until now.”

Tamir Idan, Head of the Sdot Negev Regional Council, also believes that the current ceasefire is a surrender to terror. relating to the IDF’s refrain from responding to Hamas’ heavy fire on Israel hours before the ceasefire took effect, Idan stated: “The ceasefire is Israel’s agreement by silence that it is possible to fire relentlessly at Israel with no response just before the commencing of the ceasefire, and this is very grave. We demand that the State of Israel and the IDF stand by their vow to respond to every incident in a harsh and meaningful fashion.” Yair Farjun, Head of the Hof Ashkelon Regional Council, believes the ceasefire has little credibility. “We cannot become indifferent and must remain vigilant, at least in the coming days. the government must stand fast and ensure that the terror organization does not achieve any meaningful objectives, while planning to bring down the Hamas regime if the fire is renewed.”

Alon Shuster, Head of the Sha’ar Ha’Negev Regional Council, is the only leader to voice support for the ceasefire. “The great pain caused by the bloody incidents in the past days emphasizes the need to stop the violence in our region. I support the ceasefire and the negotiations that are supposed to commence in its wake,” said Shuster. Despite his support for the ceasefire, Shuster too is skeptical about its practicability. “If the terror organizations renew their fire that will be the sign for Israel’s government to enter into a deep military campaign in the Gaza Strip that will uproot the Hamas regime. if the terror ceases its crimes and cooperates with a disarmament process, the rehabilitation of Gaza will be possible,” concluded Shuster.

Despite the ceasefire, the residents of the south are reportedly reluctant to return to their homes after fleeing them weeks ago. They have little faith that the truce will hold for long, basing their decision not to return on past experience. As the opening of the school year nears they will have make a final decision if to risk relying on the current truce.

Netanyahu’s Cease-Fire Agreement Leads the Country into Confusion

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu led the country into confusion Tuesday night by agreeing to a cease-fire that leaves Hamas armed and paved the way for Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas, whose new peace partner is Hamas, to guard the terrorists.

Netanyahu was so sure that his Security Cabinet would balk at agreeing to the ceasefire that he did not even bother to consult with the ministers, approximately half of whom are upset with his decision.

The Prime Minister’s spin was that since the Cabinet has accepted previous cease-fires, there was no need to ask the ministers again.

He also has the  Brooklyn Bridge for sale.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, Economy Minister and Jewish Home party leader Naftali Bennett, and Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch publicly stated they are opposed to Netanyahu’s decision, and Communications Minister Gilad Erdan would have been a doubtful supporter.

Israel lost the opportunity the past week to carry out a quick, penetrating and dangerous ground invasion of Hamas strongholds in Gaza cities. Orders for such a counter-terror motive were ready to be signed, but that is far as they got.

Whether it was the fear of the “day after” anarchy that would follow a ground incursion, the fear of a high number of Israel casualties, the fear of international criticism, the fear of interrupting President Barack Obama’s golf game or the fear of some bogeyman that does not exist, the government and the IDF opted for continuing aerial bombing raids that definitely hurt Hamas but left it strong enough to dictate certain terms of the  cease-fire.

Some security sources bragged to Israeli media how the IDF decimated Hamas and forced it into submission, but while Hamas did not get everything it wanted, Israel got nothing but a halt of rocket fire for the 12th time, or maybe it is the 13th time.

Hamas wildly celebrated the cease-fire, but no one in Israel, except for the small and inconsequential far left, was jumping for joy.

Few people expect the  cease-fire to last, but the problem is that it as long as it does, Israel may be forced into concessions that, like the Oslo Accords, become irreversible when the enemy figures it has conned for all it can get and then goes on to the next round of blackmail.

Israel will open the borders, but Hamas did not receive its demand for a deep-sea port and airport, issues that are up for negotiations in another month, along with the Israeli demand that Hamas dis-arm.

Can you picture Hamas agreeing to dis-arm in return for an airport and seaport unless the facilities will not be supervised so that it can bring in even more advanced weapons?

Israel’s stated goal in the war was to dis-arm Hamas. Netanyahu said there would be no cease-fire without that goal being achieved. He also insisted as late as today that there would be no negotiations under fire.

Those goals and promises clearly were empty.

It is true that Israeli negotiators were not in Cairo, but it is inconceivable that the Office of the Prime Minister simply sat back while Hamas and Egypt, with the help of Hamas’s patron Qatar, tied up the loose ends for a  cease-fire without consulting with Israel.

Moreover, the U.S. State Dept.’s ”man on the ground in the Middle East,” Frank Lowenstein, has been actively involved.

There is no way that the United States was participating in the secret talks without being in touch with Netanyahu, who pulled the wool over the country.

The Prime Minister might not have noticed, but opinion polls that his popularity sunk dramatically the past week, after broad support during the war.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/netanyahus-cease-fire-agreement-leads-the-country-into-confusion/2014/08/26/

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