Jerusalem (TPS) ‒ Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took advantage of his meeting with the Czech foreign minister to challenge Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Monday, April 4.
“President Abbas said on Israeli television a few days ago that if I invite him, he’ll come,” Netanyahu told Czech Foreign Minister Lubomír Zaorálek, according to a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office. “I’m inviting him. I’ve cleared my schedule for the week. Any day he can come, I’ll be here.”
“The first order of business will be ending the Palestinian campaign of incitement to murder Israelis,” Netanyahu added. “My door is always open for those who want peace with Israel.”
Last week, Abbas, also known as Abu Mazen, said in a televised interview with Israeli journalist Ilana Dayan that he would be willing to meet Netanyahu “at any time” to negotiate a peace settlement.
“I suggested to him to meet, by the way,” Abbas continued, before stopping himself mid-sentence. “No, no, it’s a secret. He’ll tell you,” he chuckled, going silent at Dayan’s requests that he elaborate.
This is not the first time Netanyahu and Abbas have accused one another of refusing to meet.
Abbas told Israeli journalists in January that a meeting between the two men was arranged and he “agreed and haven’t heard any response from Netanyahu ever since.” Netanyahu’s spokesman, however, called this account “not true.”
Netanyahu dared Abbas that same day at the World Economic Forum in Davos to meet him during an interview with CNN”s Fareed Zakaria.
“I say, okay, you know what Fareed? Issue the invitation to Abu Mazen, President Abbas, and it will give me an excuse to stay in Davos a long time, and we’ll just wait until he comes. Okay?” Netanyahu announced. “I’ve said it any place that I’ve been and he’s refused to come. And that remains the problem.”
It has happened so often: video or other media which appears to show an Israeli soldier or other security official doing something heinous, is later revealed to be a snapshot that distorts reality – either intentionally or otherwise. For when the full context of the incident in question is revealed, there is virtually no culpability on the part of the Israeli.
You might think that the world, and certainly the Israeli government, would be a bit more cautious before condemning an Israeli based on anything other than a diligent investigation.
You might think so, but you’d be disappointed.
It appears that this false rush to judgment may very well be what happened to an Israeli soldier on Thursday, Mar. 24. That soldier was responding to a stabbing attack by Palestinian Arab terrorists. The soldier has been widely portrayed as having shot one of the terrorists point blank in the head, after the terrorist appeared already disarmed – by those not directly involved – and sprawled on the ground.
A video of the soldier shooting the terrorist in the head, taken by a member of the extreme leftist NGO B’tselem, portrays the Israeli as an executioner, and that is how it was labeled and then went viral.
That soldier was not only vilified by the entire shockingly large subset of humanity which stands ready, at any moment, to brand Israelis as bloodthirsty armed villains, but also by Israeli authorities, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
That soldier, from the Kfir Brigade, was thrown in an IDF prison.
Never mind that the initial explanation for the gunshot provided by the soldier in question was that the terrorist was wearing a zipped-up coat despite the heat- which every Israeli or visitor to Israel knows is an issue of concern – that still was not enough to mollify the world audience or the Israeli leadership.
Not even that, according to weather reports, the temperature in Hebron on the day of the incident was 88 degrees fahrenheit/31.1 degrees celsius. A violent terrorist wearing a long-sleeved jacket, zipped up to the neck, should have been of concern to everyone. At least one photo, shared with the world by Hamas’s al-qassam brigades, appears to show a bulge under the jacket.
Hebron terrorist on an 88 degree day, wearing zipped up, long-sleeve jacket covering possible bulge.
In a public statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Media Office on Thursday afternoon, Netanyahu said: “”What happened today in Hebron does not represent the values of the IDF. The IDF expects its soldiers to behave level-headedly and in accordance with the rules of engagement.”
Netanyahu was joined in condemning the IDF soldier by Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon.
Only Knesset Members Oren Hazan (Likud), Betzalel Smotrich (Bayit Yehudi) and Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu) defended the IDF soldier.
Peace Now’s Yariv Oppenheimer was outraged and publicly maligned the Magen David Adom medical personnel for not endangering their lives in order to physically examine and treat the terrorist.
Less than a day after the incident evidence has emerged which could completely vindicate the action of the condemned Israeli soldier.
According to a civilian paramedic who was at the scene, those responding to the stabbing incident feared the terrorist was wearing an explosive vest and he was about to detonate it, which is when the IDF officer shot him.
The eye- and earwitness said he heard it with his own ears, and that if the B’tselem video had an audio recording it would confirm that this is what happened.
Just think what would have happened if the soldier had not responded as he did in such a situation. If the terrorist did have a suicide vest, not only would the terrorist have died, but so would have all of the Israelis and Arabs at the scene. Including the B’tselem videographer.
In a truly explosive revelation, an Israeli paper and now other Israeli media have learned, based on an undercover operation by the pro-Israel Ad-Khan, the non-governmental organization Breaking the Silence has been searching for and then allegedly sharing sensitive military secrets.
Breaking the Silence is an organization aggressively critical of the Israeli Defense Forces which is run by disgruntled IDF veterans.
What’s more, Breaking the Silence has been engaged in this activity while it receives a large portion of its funding from European governments and other foreign entities.
Despite the documentation carefully recovered from a lengthy undercover investigation conducted by Ad-Khan, BtS denies it was gathering classified information.
The videos made by Ad-Khan revealed that Breaking the Silence ask soldiers about purely operational activity of the IDF. BtS claims to be focused solely on the IDF’s treatment of Palestinian Arabs and general human rights issues.
“We do not collect classified information,” Yuli Novak, executive director of Breaking the Silence, told the Israeli paper.
After a report of Ad-Khan’s documentation – which included lengthy videos – aired on Israel’s Channel 2, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said BtS had “crossed a red line.”
The report also broadcast videos showing members of Breaking the Silence gathering testimonies from former soldiers where the questions appear to revolve more around the IDF’s operational activity than rather issues regarding Palestinians and human rights.
Other Israeli leaders also joined the denunciation.
Yair Lapid, chairman of the center-leftist Yesh Atid party said: “”While Israel is fighting terror, Breaking the Silence is taking information and using it against the state.” He added that “Israel must do all it can to protect its soldiers, and this organization has no right to exist in a state that is battling daily for the safety of its citizens.”
The Zionist Union (formerly Labor) party member of knesset Revital Swid said that “Breaking the Silence had lost all of its legitimacy.” Swid said “it was time to condemn all extremism no matter” what side of the political aisle they were on.
Speaker of the Knesset Yuli Edelstein called for an “investigation to clarify which sensitive information [the organization] has in its possession.”
Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely, meanwhile, accused the organization of “blackening Israel’s name” worldwide and said that they had potentially “damaged state security.”
This White House and its environs were just teasing when the inhabitants of that foggy realm said they were stepping back from trying to arm wrestle the inhabitants of the Middle East into creating another terrorist state and undermine the only vibrant democracy in the area. Yes, the news is now out: yet another Arab-Israeli “peace process” plan is in the works, as reported in a news story posted late Monday, March 7, in the Wall Street Journal.
This one, the White House threatens, may involve a United Nations Security Council Resolution that will impose a solution, rather than the Israelis and the Palestinian Arabs working out the details of how they will co-exist “side by side in peace and security.”
In addition to a UN Security Council Resolution, other initiatives may include a presidential speech and a joint statement from the Middle East Quartet: the U.S., the U.N., the E.U and Russia. Sound friendly? It’s not clear which is scarier: another speech on the Middle East by President Obama, or his coordinating a joint statement by a larger group of foreigners, none of which includes Israel. But both, not either-or, are being threatened.
The timing for the launch of this new plan is not yet set in stone, but for sure it will be before President Obama leaves office in January.
An earlier JewishPress.com article mentioned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision not to come to Washington later this month, either to attend in person the AIPAC conference or to meet with Obama, as had been requested. It is not hard to imagine Netanyahu seeking to avoid any arm-twisting on such a mission playing a role in his decision not to come to the States at this time.
The White House let it be known that it was disappointed by Netanyahu’s refusal to show up for the meeting, and allowed that it had found out about it by reading the newspaper – the same story it told about Netanyahu’s acceptance of a Congressional invitation to speak about the proposed Iran treaty.
The concessions to be extracted from each side are likely deal-breakers for both: from Israel, an end to building for Jews beyond the 1949 Armistice Line and handing over what the Americans call eastern Jerusalem to the Palestinian Arabs; from the Arabs, recognition of Israel as a Jewish State and ending the call for a “right of return” to Israel for the descendants of Palestinian Arab “refugees.”
No word on whether the Arabs will be asked to stop the non-stop television shows teaching their children how to murder Jews and die a martyr.
Also no word on who will be the one expected to make any promises for the Palestinian Arabs: Mahmoud Abbas, in the eleventh year of his four year term? One of the jihadi leaders from Hamas? Someone who represents all the so-called Palestinian Arab refugees scattered around the Middle East? Details, shmetails.
Of course the only change in circumstances is Mr. Obama beginning his exit, which has no bearing whatsoever on the people whose lives will be impacted by any new effort on his part.
According to the Journal, Obama’s plan is to create facts on the ground that will constrain the next White House occupant. No word in the White House press guidance on why that’s an appropriate task for someone who won’t have to live with whatever problems are created by the latest Obama “peace” initiative.
Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has decided to cancel his upcoming visit to the US, where he was supposed to speak at the AIPAC conference, as well as possibly meet with President Obama in the White House. Netanyahu will instead address the conference by satellite on March 20.
Among the reasons that Netanyahu cancelled his visit, was that it coincided with US President Obama’s visit to Cuba, and therefore the two would have been unable to meet during his time in the US. The AIPAC conference is from March 20 to 22, and Obama is to be in Cuba from March 21 to 22. The White House claims they offered to meet Netanyahu on March 18.
The Prime Minister’s office explained the cancellation, saying Netanyahu did not want to “travel to Washington at the height of the US election season.”
Netanyahu would like to avoid meeting US presidential candidates before the elections, so as not to appear as if he is interfering in the US elections. His presence at AIPAC would have been a magnet for the candidates.
And finally there is speculation that since the ongoing discussions on the “Memorandum of Understanding” – the military aid package and US-Israel military cooperation agreement – haven’t yet been concluded, there would have been nothing concrete to announce at any Netanyahu-Obama meeting.
Apparently though, the White House only learned of Netanyahu’s cancellation from the media, and are upset they found out that way.
Ned Price, a spokesperson for the White House National Security Council said they had been looking forward to hosting Netanyahu on March 18, and were surprised to learn from media reports that the meeting was cancelled, according to Reuters.
Price wrote in an email, “Reports that we were not able to accommodate the prime minister’s schedule are false.”
Jerusalem (TPS) – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cautiously welcomed on Sunday, February 28 the ceasefire that began in Syria on Saturday, February 27 between the Syrian government and a number of rebel groups.
“We welcome the efforts to achieve a stable ceasefire in Syria that is long-term and substantive,” Netanyahu said after the weekly cabinet meeting. “First and foremost, from a human vantage point, anything to stop the horrific killing there is important.”
Netanyahu, however, expressed the need to be prepared for any aggression against Israel from Iran.
“At the same time, it is important to be clear that any settlement in Syria must include an end to Iranian aggression against Israel from Syrian territory,” stressed Netanyahu.
Through Syria, Iran has supplied weaponry and support to Hezbollah, a Lebanese terrorist organization that has captured Israeli soldiers in the past and launched rocket attacks on Israeli territory. In that light, any Iranian transfer of advanced weapons to Hezbollah poses a national security threat to Israel. Israel also has concerns that Hezbollah is building up a base of operations in Syria.
“We will not agree to the supply of advanced weapons to Hezbollah from Syria and Lebanon,” added Netanyahu. “We will not tolerate the creation of a second terrorist front in the Golan.”
Israel’s absolute rejection of an additional terror front in Syria or Lebanon has been demonstrated by the number of alleged recent Israeli strikes on weapons transfers to Hezbollah, according to foreign reports.
“These have been the red lines and will continue to be the red lines of the State of Israel,” Netanyahu said.