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September 3, 2014 / 8 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Oslo Accords’

Peres, Chamberlain, And The Quest For Peace

Wednesday, June 18th, 2014

Shimon Peres’s retirement as Israel’s president will be one more opportunity for journalists to try to sum up a career that has spanned the entire history of his nation. As was true of many other moments when it seemed as if Peres had exited the spotlight for good, eulogies may also be premature today.

Peres is planning on using his time in the future to promote various initiatives and may well seek to play the kingmaker of the left in future efforts to topple or replace Benjamin Netanyahu as the country’s prime minister. But since this is almost certainly the end of his time in public office, some appreciation of his impact on Israel is appropriate.

As an Agence France Presse article noted, at age 90 Peres truly can claim the title of “the last of Israel’s founding fathers.” That’s more than an honorific. As that piece pointed out, as an aide to Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben Gurion, Peres played a significant role in the creation of Israel’s defense establishment and nuclear deterrent. In the 1970s, he was seen as the leader of the more hawkish wing of the Labor Party and supported the building of the first West Bank settlements.

That he eventually became the leading figure in the peace movement and the architect of the failed Oslo process and then later left Labor to join Ariel Sharon’s centrist Kadima Party shows not so much his evolution as a thinker as the fact that opportunism can lead a politician, especially one who was considered an indefatigable schemer, all over the place if he hangs around long enough.

Nevertheless, despite decades of public service during which he held every major office his country could offer and enough achievements to fill several lifetimes, it is for Oslo and the peace process that Peres will be most remembered. That this, his most important initiative, failed cannot be denied and it is on that failure many will judge him. Yet those who are inclined to damn Peres for his colossal misjudgment of the Palestinians would do well to read Winston Churchill’s 1940 eulogy for Neville Chamberlain, the historical figure to which many of the outgoing Israeli president’s fiercest detractors often compared him.

Churchill despised Chamberlain’s appeasement policies as well as having no great personal affection for his former rival. But the death of the man who had come back from Munich waving a piece paper signed by “Herr Hitler” and saying that he had brought his country “peace for our time” did not cause Churchill to revisit Chamberlain’s obvious mistakes. The great orator chose a different frame of reference for thinking about the great appeaser:

It fell to Neville Chamberlain in one of the supreme crises of the world to be contradicted by events, to be disappointed in his hopes, and to be deceived and cheated by a wicked man. But what were these hopes in which he was disappointed? What were these wishes in which he was frustrated? What was that faith that was abused? They were surely among the most noble and benevolent instincts of the human heart – the love of peace, the toil for peace, the strife for peace, the pursuit of peace, even at great peril, and certainly to the utter disdain of popularity or clamour. Whatever else history may or may not say about these terrible, tremendous years, we can be sure that Neville Chamberlain acted with perfect sincerity according to his lights and strove to the utmost of his capacity and authority, which were powerful, to save the world from the awful, devastating struggle in which we are now engaged. This alone will stand him in good stead as far as what is called the verdict of history is concerned.

When in 1994 I asked Peres about the dangers of the path he was charting for Israel at the height of Oslo euphoria, he gave me his standard answer at the time. He said that such questions were like reading the disclaimer on the back of an airline ticket that warned of the possibility of a crash. One had to have faith in the pilot, the plane, and the importance of the destination, he told me, rather than dwell on the negative possibilities. As it turned out, the peace plane he was flying was badly constructed and operated more on his wishes than a grasp of reality, which led to its crash, a result that led to the deaths and injuries of many Israelis.

Countering A Kidnapped Reporter’s Claims

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

Many around the world breathed a sigh of relief at the news that American-Israeli reporter Simon Ostrovsky had been freed, relatively unharmed, by his Russian captors in the Ukraine. Now that he is thankfully out of danger, it can be told: Ostrovsky’s five-part video series on the Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria, titled “Renegade Jewish Settlers,” contains many innuendos and inaccuracies which, in the interests of truth, must be counteracted.

This is especially crucial now that Israel is under attack for having “thwarted” the peace talks with the PLO – when in fact the Palestinian Authority had turned down several opportunities over the past weeks to advance the talks, with barely a protest from the international community.

Specifically, PA leader Mahmoud Abbas refused to accept the American “framework agreement” document; refused to accept the terrorist release/UN deal; and issued “three nos” in his meeting with President Obama: No to recognition of a Jewish state, no to abandoning the “right of return” demand for millions of Arabs and their descendants, and no commitment to reaching an “end of the conflict.”

Let us begin with Part 1 of Ostrovsky’s video series. He states that since the Six-Day War, “what was supposed to be a temporary occupation of the Palestinian territories has turned into four and a half decades of misery for the Arab residents in the West Bank.”

The implication is that Israel proceeded, after the war, to occupy “Palestinian territories” – when in fact areas defined as such did not exist as such until long afterward. Jordan and Egypt demanded for years that Israel relinquish the area to them, and UN Resolution 242 did not even mention “Palestinians.” Even in the late 1990s, U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said, “We simply do not support the description of the territories occupied by Israel in 1967 as ‘Occupied Palestinian Territory.’ ”

“Decades of misery for the Arab residents?” Why then do polls consistently show that many of them do not want to live under a PA regime in place of Israel? Israel took many proactive measures after 1967 to significantly improve the conditions under which the Arabs had lived during Jordanian and Egyptian occupation – opening universities, sharing agricultural innovations, upgrading health care, and employing more than 100,000 Arabs of Judea and Samaria in Israel.

Even after the Oslo War of terrorism forced Israel to take strict security measures, Palestinian Arabs still remained better off than many of their neighbors. A recent UN Human Development Report ranks the Palestinian Authority just below Egypt, and ahead of Syria and Morocco, in terms of life expectancy, educational attainment and adjusted real income.

Ostrovsky tells his viewers at least twice in the video series that under international law “the settlements are totally illegal.” Let us note that Australia’s foreign minister recently said she knows of no international law to this effect.

More to the point, Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention is often quoted by anti-settlers as forbidding an “Occupying Power” from “deport[ing] or transfer[ring]” its civilians into the territory, but international law experts have shown that this does not apply in the case at hand, for four reasons.

They are, in brief: Judea/Samaria had not been under sovereign control; Jews had a UN charter-protected right (Article 80) to live there; Israel did not transfer them; and the Convention’s objective was to protect citizens from Nazi-like atrocities – irrelevant to the Israeli presence in Judea and Samaria.

Ostrovsky states, “Over 300,000 Israelis have taken it upon themselves to settle what was supposed to be the future Palestinian state.” Who determined it was “supposed to be” a Palestinian state? In 1982, for instance, when the area was already well populated by Jews, President Reagan said, “The U.S. will not support the establishment of an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza.”

Ron Pundak, Active in Many Failed Peace Initiatives, Dead at 59

Saturday, April 12th, 2014

Ron Pundak, who was the executive director of the Peres Center for Peace, an architect of the Oslo Accords, and an active participant in the Geneva Initiative, died from cancer on Friday. Pundak was 59 years old.

Pundak is being widely lauded as a great peace activist and a visionary.

Israel’s President Shimon Peres said that Pundak, was a warrior, a man of values and an intellectual.

“He [Pundak] dedicated his whole life for the achievement of peace with our neighbors. He was willing to do anything for peace, sacrifice his life and dedicated each and every moment of his life to it. Ron was a family man, a great soul and he will be missed,” Peres said.

Israeli politician Tzipi Livni said: “There are war heroes but Ron was hero of peace. He was a Zionist who believed in peace and was not deterred by extremists, cynics and the hopeless.”

However, the Oslo Accords and the Geneva Initiative have both resulted in great harm to Israel.

And at the J Street Conference in 2011, Ron Pundak told the audience something to which they responded with thunderous applause.

“Israel,” Pundak said, “can live with a nuclear Iran and it must not base its policies on a worst-case scenario.”

Funeral arrangements had not yet been made before Shabbat.

Personal Bodyguard: Arafat Lied When Condemning Murder of Civilians

Monday, April 7th, 2014

One of Yasser Arafat’s long-time personal bodyguards told a BBC Arabic interviewer that Arafat intentionally and knowingly lied through his teeth when he publicly denounced the murder of Israeli civilians.

That would not be news if the foreign policy fools in Washington knew something about the Middle East besides what they studied in their post-doctorate studies in International Relations.

That is not to say that anyone tells the whole truth and nothing but the truth in diplomatic games. When Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said he wants a “Two-State” solution after having rejected it for so many years, he certainly knew that he didn’t have to mean it for the simply reason he saw the dark at the end of the tunnel. It was clear there won’t be such a solution considering the Palestinian Authority’s increasing appetite for the whole pie. Mahmoud Abbas has made it clear that he does not intend to leave Israel crumbs and not even the plate.

But when Arafat used to denounce the killing of Israeli civilians, he was not playing games. He was lying, as his former bodyguard Mohammed Al-Daya admits by revealing that Arafat was bowing to the pressure of then-Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) translated and published the interview last week, when Al-Daya stated, “Arafat ‘would condemn the bombing in his own special way, saying, ‘I am against the killing of civilians.’ But that wasn’t true.”

He explained some basic fundamentals of Islam, something that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry might want to take a look at before he makes any more trouble.

“Islam allows you to lie in three cases,” said Al-Daya. A good Muslim can lie “in order to reconcile two people, [and] if your wife is ugly, you are allowed to tell her she is the most beautiful woman alive.”

So Islam really does have some redeeming character.

The third exception to the prohibition of lying is a bit strange. “You are allowed to lie in politics,” he said, and that opens the trap door to lie about anything and everything so long as it is for political gain.

Enter Arafat.

“When there was a bombing in Tel Aviv,…. Mubarak would call Arafat and say to him, ‘Denounce it, or they will screw you.’ Arafat would say to Mubarak, ‘Mr. President, we have martyrs. The [Israelis] have destroyed us. They have massacred us.’ But Mubarak would say to him, ‘Denounce it, or they will screw you.’”

The former bodyguard concluded that Arafat would state, “’I am against the killing of civilians,’ but that wasn’t true.”

Ever since 1991, when President Bush the Senior dragged Israeli Prime Minister Yitzchak Shamir to Madrid for a debate that turned out to be the beginning of the “Peace Process,” truth went underground.

The entire diplomatic process was born a lie because the “Peace Process” is nothing more than a ”War Process,” as proven by the First Intifada and by the Oslo War – AKA Second Intifada – that followed the Oslo Accords that Arafat signed and then rejected.

The entire Palestinian Authority is a lie, but the “pro-Israel” lefties and the “pro-Israel” Obama administration, the one with an “eternal and unbreakable bond with Israel” whose security it “never will forsake,” have swallowed so many lies that their intestines are putrid. Their bellies are dark with worms, and their brains are so warped that the lie looks like the truth and the truth looks like a lie.

They either are morons or have had an operation to remove their hearing. Otherwise, they would not consider Abbas a “peace partner” when he and his cohorts torture the truth into contortions that would break the back of Plastic Man.

Did Kerry Cancel His Meeting with Abbas Because the PA Broke Its Word?

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

For a second time this week, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry abruptly cancelled a scheduled meeting with Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

Reporters were told late Tuesday evening that Kerry’s meeting today (Wednesday) with Abbas was cancelled, with few details added. “We are no longer traveling tomorrow,” a senior State Department official said simply.

Abbas breached the conditions of his agreement with Israel – and the United States – by signing a PA application for membership in 15 United Nations agencies and organizations. “The demands (for membership) will be sent immediately,” Abbas announced at a briefing. “This is not a move against America or any other party. It is our right and we agreed to suspend it for nine months.”

The deadline for completion of the framework agreement talks was set for April 29. But Abbas has not actively participated in direct talks for months, according to reports quoting government minister Tzipi Livni (Hatnua). Nor has the PA made any “good will gestures” towards Israel comparable to those forced upon the Jewish States by U.S. President Barack Obama.

Meanwhile, the PA’s unilateral move is one that turns the clock back more than a year, dialing back efforts by John Kerry to keep the entity from attempting to unilaterally gain recognition in the U.N. as an independent sovereign nation. It also is a return to its attempt to evade the agreement it signed in the internationally-recognized Oslo Accords in 1993.

Two days earlier the PA chairman was have met with Kerry in Ramallah following talks between Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and the Secretary of State. But the meeting in Jerusalem ran longer than expected and John Kerry had to race for his flight to make a two-day meeting in Brussels.

The Israeli-PA negotiations over a “framework agreement” have been limping along for months now, with Israel making what appears to be all of the concessions. As a ‘good will gesture’ to bring Abbas to the table and keep him there, Israel agreed to free 104 PA terrorist prisoners in four separate tranches linked to the PA leader’s active participation in the talks. Three of the four have already been made, with some 78 terrorists freed.

The fourth and final group of terrorists scheduled to be released last week, however, included 20 Israeli Arab citizens – and at that point both government ministers and the entire Israeli population balked.

Abbas Suggests Obama Promised ’67 Lines, E. Jerusalem Capital

Monday, March 17th, 2014

U.S. President Barack Obama met in the Oval Office with Mahmoud Abbas, the acting leader of the Palestinian Authority late morning on Monday, March 17.

Obama spoke first, welcoming Abbas to his office. As noted elsewhere in The Jewish Press, Obama made several absurd comments, such as commending Abbas as someone “who has consistently renounced violence, has consistently sought a diplomatic and peaceful solution that allows for two states, side by side, in peace and security; a state that allows for the dignity and sovereignty of the Palestinian people and a state that allows for Israelis to feel secure and at peace with their neighbors.”

But Abbas also played with Obama’s words.

Obama uttered his standard “everybody understands the outlines of what a peace deal would look like, involving a territorial compromise on both sides based on ’67 lines with mutually agreed upon swaps,” and never said a word about Jerusalem.

In Abbas’s responsive remarks, he transformed what Obama said into something quite different. Abbas made it sound as though Obama said that there would be a Palestinian State with the “’67 lines” (actually, the 1949 Armistice Lines) as its western border, and with eastern Jerusalem as its capital.

Abbas also managed to shoehorn in a reference to the refugee issue, as if Obama had acknowledged a connection between eastern Jerusalem and the refugees. And Abbas also created a link to the “promise” of the release of still more convicted murderers as part of the “peace process.”

The other significant issue mentioned by Abbas was his claim that “in 1993, we recognized the state of Israel.”

In 1993, Yassir Arafat signed the Oslo Accords, as did Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. In September of that year, Arafat issued a statement that the PLO “recognizes the right of the State of Israel to exist in peace and security.”  Not a Jewish State, just the State of Israel. Few people believe that Arafat ever believed or intended to suggest that he or his followers had any intention of allowing the Jewish State of Israel to exist in peace and security.

Still, not bad for a speech containing fewer than 400 words.

PA Demands Acceptance by Israel as a State without Peace Talks

Thursday, February 13th, 2014

Palestinian Authority officials have stated that Israel is trying to “exert pressure” in peace talks by not agreeing to accept a document from Gaza with the letterhead of “State of Palestine.”

The document was a request from officials in Gaza to allow 190 residents to leave Gaza for medical care in Israel, including Arab hospitals in Judea and Samaria. Israeli military officials objected to the letterhead, and the patients were allowed to cross into Israel after “State of Palestine” was blurred out.

That would seem to the end of the matter, with an “all’s well that ends well” conclusion.

But the Palestinian Authority regime in Ramallah, along with its Hamas colleagues in Gaza, as usual tried to turn the issue against Israel, blaming it not only for blocking medical care but also for supposedly exploiting sick people for political purposes.

“This is a political decision from the Israelis to exert pressure in the negotiations,” a senior Palestinian official at the Gaza district coordination office told the Bethlehem-based Ma’an News Agency.

If that isn’t “calling the kettle black,” what is?

Besides all of the “core issues” on Jerusalem, so-called refugees and borders, the heart of the Palestinian Authority-Israeli dispute is PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s refusal to agree to a “State of Palestine” unless all arguments and issues are settled without any further demands.

The letter from Gaza was no more and no less than cynical exploitation of ailing men, women and children to “exert pressure in the negotiations,” to borrow the quote from the PA official.

Once Israel accepts a document from Hamas as being from the “State of Palestine,” U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry can put it on a silver platter and present it to President Barack Obama. Once the “State of Palestine” is a fait accompli, the “core issues” fall like a house of dominoes because as head of an official state.”

Abbas can declare that the sun rises in the west and sets in the east and so it will be, at least on paper. He can divide Jerusalem, define Israel’s borders and go the United Nations to pass a resolution that UNRWA should send to Israel several million Arabs living under U.N. occupation foreign countries.

International wire services, of course, were not content to let their readers draw conclusions without biased information. Maher Abukhater is an “a Palestinian journalist based in Ramallah” and is The Los Angeles Times’ source for information for everything they know about Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

His “objectivity” can be understood by his former position as managing editor of Al-Fajr English weekly and The Palestine Times. There is not one former managing editor of any Israeli newspaper who reports for any major foreign news organization, or even a minor one. Let’s see The New York Times hire me to cover Israel.

Abukhater made sure that his readers in the United States know that “the PLO declared independence unilaterally in 1988 and was recognized as a ‘non-member observer state’ by the United Nations in 2012.”

What does that have to do with the price of tea in China?

The PLO declared itself an independent state, so that makes it one?

When Israel, declared by the United Nations as a full member and independent country, passes a law that  it is the sovereign authority over and in Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, used by foreign armies to wage war in 1967, that is not acceptable.

Abukhater then hit his readers over the head with the hammer and wrote, “More than 130 countries today recognize Palestine’s existence as a state, but Israel refuses to do so.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/pa-demands-israel-accept-pa-as-a-state-without-peace-talks/2014/02/13/

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