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September 1, 2015 / 17 Elul, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘PA’

European Parliament Members Urge EU Freeze on PA Funding

Sunday, March 8th, 2015

Eleven members of the European Parliament are calling on the European Union to fight terrorist by freezing funds to the Palestinian Authority.

The group has sent a written declaration to the EU, urging the European body to cut its financing to organizations actively involved in promoting terror “as the best way to fight terrorism.”

German Liberal member of the European Parliament, Michael Theurer, is one of the signatories to the declaration.

The European Jewish Press reported this weekend the group has found that the Palestinian Authority and countries such as Pakistan have been financing terror via Hamas and Al Qaeda, among other groups.

“We have many indications … the Palestinian Authority [funnels] EU money towards terrorist organizations, such as Al Qaeda or Hamas,” Theurer said over the weekend. “With this written declaration we are urging the European Court of Justice and he European External Action service to follow up on these indications and deliver final proof so that funding can be frozen,” he said.

More than 400 Palestinian houses have been illegally built with EU assistance in Area C, the area of Judea and Samaria that was designated under the internationally- recognized Oslo Accords to be under Israeli jurisdiction.

No one has addressed the issue, which has been virtually ignored by the international community until Britain’s Daily Mail publication blasted the issue on its website, complete with incriminating photos and maps.

The EU was a signatory to the Oslo Accords, along with Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in the early 1990s. The document designated Area A to be totally controlled by the Palestinian Authority, Area B to be jointly controlled by the PA and Israel, and Area C to be under the total control of the State of Israel.

PLO Votes for Suicide by Voting to Cut Security Ties with Israel

Friday, March 6th, 2015

The PLO’s central council recommended that the Palestinian Authority end security cooperation with Israel, but it won’t happen unless PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas gives an official order.

The resolution raises to a higher level the oft-repeated threat by Abbas to cut off the Palestinian Authority’s head to spite the rest of its body, which exists courtesy of the Israeli security services that help keep Palestinian Authority terrorists from assassinating Abbas.

The PLO council’s decision followed Israel’s withholding of tax funds in response to the PA’s decision to breach what was left of the Oslo Accords after its unilateral steps to apply for membership in the International Criminal Court.

Without the funding, the PA will probably collapse. Without the security cooperation the PA will possibly collapse.

Israel is not taking any chances.

Earlier this week, the IDF carried out its largest training exercise in Judea and Samaria in years, preparing for various contingencies emanating from a collapsed PA or an escalation of terrorism from the PA.

If the PA does collapse, Israel has various options it can implement, such as reinstating the Civil Administration or giving governance of the Arab population over to the local sheikhs, tribal leaders and families, most of whom would be happy to take back control from the PA.

If it does not collapse, the same results might follow because the Ramallah regime increasingly exists on paper, not in reality.

The European Union is running out of money to prop up what has been one of the worse investments since the Edsel, and a New York federal court last week helped tighten the noose on the Palestinian Authority by ruling in favor of relatives of terror victims and ordered the PA to pay damages, which may run up to more than half a billion dollars.

The bottom line is that the EU funds the PA, and Israel turn over tax revenues collected for Ramallah, in order that Abbas can pay salaries to terrorists in Israel jails. Now he has to pay the victims of some of the terrorists whom he pays.

The Palestinian Authority last week also took another suicidal move by publicly destroying some Israeli-made products, such as milk, so that its residents can suffer like their brethren in Gaza and then blame Israel for their misery.

The constant threat to break off security ties is another blank bullet in the revolver the Palestinian Authority holds to its own head.

It has decided not to put a real bullet in the gun.

The Bethlehem-based Ma’an News Agency reported Friday, “PLO officials Nasser al-Deen Shaer and Sameer Abu Aisha, who attended the session, told Ma’an that the decision to halt security coordination will be executed at the appropriate time following discussions with the executive committee.”

Abbas Underscores PLO’s ‘3 NO’s’ in Ramallah Rant

Wednesday, March 4th, 2015

Palestinian Authority and PLO Chairman Mahmoud Abbas is making sure the world gets it straight once and for all:

1. The Palestinians won’t accept a Jewish state
2. They won’t accept the “Islamization of the struggle in the Middle East”
3. They oppose a temporary [Palestinian] state.

Speaking on Wednesday (March 4) before the PLO Central Council in the PA capital, Ramallah, Abbas claimed, “We are moderate Muslims. We are also against the Jewish State because of the many things it would mean in the future.”

Abbas was coy over whether or not the PA would actually disengage itself from cooperating with the Jewish State over security, however. He also dodged questions about the entity’s future joint economic projects with Israel.

He called on the Central Council to “reconsider” the functions of the PA as it is currently structured and claiming a need for a “sovereign authority.”

Of course, the PA has for several years insisted that it already IS an independent “sovereign authority,” calling itself the sovereign State of Palestine. It has been accepted as such by a number of governments in the international community.

The PA leader continued to call on Israel to withdraw from all territories conquered in the 1967 Six Day war, including the parts of Jerusalem wrested from Jordanian occupation and restored to the ancient Jewish capital.

He also continued to precondition the PA’s return to the negotiating table on Israel’s release of Palestinian terrorist prisoners and cessation of any and all construction (including, for example, repairs on a driveway or a balcony to a private home) in any Jewish community in post-1967 areas. In addition, Abbas accused Israel of violating all agreements it has signed with the Palestinians.

In short, Abbas made wild accusations, continued to make ridiculous and unrealistic demands and lay the blame for his own failures at Israel’s doorstep – as usual.

“If Israel recognizes our rights, it would live in peace,” Abbas ranted. “The world must push Israel to wake up. Israel is the one that is hijacking peace and pushing towards tension in the world by continuing its occupation of Palestinian, Syrian and Lebanese lands.”

So having lost his credibility among his own people as well among some of the international community, Abbas has added a new element to his claims about “The Occupation” — now Israel is occupying “Syrian and Lebanese lands.”

What’s next?

PA, PLO to Appeal US Court Ruling — ‘No Money to Pay’ Damages to Terror Victims

Wednesday, March 4th, 2015

The Palestinian Authority says it will appeal a ruling by the U.S. Federal District Court in New York awarding $655.5 million to 10 American families who were victims of terror.

The Court held the PA and PLO civilly and financially responsible for six bombing attacks carried out by Palestinians in Israel between 2002 and 2004. All 10 families were direct victims or related to those who were killed in the attacks.

Responding to the verdict, PLO Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi immediately said the entities would “appeal the ruling.”

According to a translation of the remarks by the Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), Ashrawi said, “We will appeal the ruling, and we wholeheartedly believe that we will win the appeal.” She said the PLO and the PA “had absolutely nothing to do with these actions” and said “We were denied [the status] known as ‘sovereign immunity] to which we are entitled as a sovereign state.” Moreover, she said, “The PA and the PLO lack the funds necessary to pay.”

Lack of funds – given the billions of dollars with which the Palestinian Authority has been blessed by the European Union, the United States, the various Arab nations and even the State of Israel – is a disingenuous claim.

It is particularly silly in light of the millions spent in faithful, generous monthly salaries provided to murderous terrorists incarcerated in Israeli jails. Payments to PA terrorists in Israeli jails are scaled in accordance with the length of their sentences and the amount of damage they wreaked upon their victims.

“The recent ruling of the American court… sets a dangerous precedent that contradicts international law,” claimed Issa Karake, a member of the PA parliament and director of the PA Prisoners’ Affairs Commission. “[It is] forbidden to deal with or appear before these courts, since their objective is to harm the PLO’s standing.” The remark is worthy of one that might have been stated by Iran or Syria.

More reasonable – and more accurate — was a statement by economic expert Dr. Nasser Abd Al-Karim, who warned bluntly, “If the ruling goes into effect after the appeal, it will be final, and it will be obligatory to pay.

“Even if the PA does not pay, it will represent a liability for it and it may encounter difficulties in performing financial transactions and transfers, or in opening bank accounts in the international banking system.”

IDF Central Command Springs Surprise ‘Readiness’ Drill in Judea, Samaria

Monday, March 2nd, 2015

The Israel Defense Forces held a surprise military drill this weekend in Judea, Samaria and all territories won by Israel in the 1967 Six Day War.

The unannounced two-day exercise involved the mobilization of some 13,000 troops.

It was the first time in three years such a drill has been held.

The drill, held by Central Command, was intended to “test the army’s level of readiness,” according to IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot.

Although the exercise was held on the same day the Palestinian Authority threatened to dissolve its security cooperation with Israel, an army spokesperson said the timing was “not necessarily linked to anything specific.”

Last month Israel stopped transferring tax funds it collects on behalf of the PA, after the entity violated the Oslo Accords and unilaterally declared itself an independent sovereign nation and joined world bodies, including the International Criminal Court at The Hague. In response, Israel began to apply the monies to the massive debt owed by the PA to the Israel Electric Company.

The PA followed up by threatening to halt security cooperation as well as other relations with Israel.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry warned PA  chairman Mahmoud Abbas in a phone call last week not to halt security coordination with Israel, Arab media reported.

State Dept. spokesperson Jen Psaki told journalists in a briefing Friday that Kerry and Abbas “discussed current dynamics between the Palestinian Authority and Israel, and the importance of ensuring the financial viability of the Palestinian Authority.”

When reporters tried to pin her down on specifics, Psaki did not deny the report, offering more words without a straight answer.

NY Jury Finds PLO, Palestinian Authority Financially Liable for American Victims of Terror

Monday, February 23rd, 2015

A jury in New York federal district court has found the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority guilty of supporting terrorists in carrying out attacks in which Americans died — a decision in an international case that has dragged on 10 years.

Oddly, not one national network carried “breaking news” about the verdict when it was announced, nor was it mentioned on evening newscasts. No one missed rehashing the previous night’s Oscar awards, the previous day’s video call by al-Shabaab to attack the Mall of America, and various local news events.

The jury found the PA and the PLO knowingly provided support for at least six terrorist attacks in which U.S. citizens were killed and wounded between 2002 and 2004. The plaintiffs were awarded $215.5 million in damages. However, the lawsuit by 10 families comprised of some 36 members was filed under the Anti-Terrorism Act, which actually triples the award of damages, raising the total to $655.5 million.

The law allows U.S. citizens who are victims of international terrorism to sue their attackers in United States court. Eight of the victims were physically injured but all were deeply scarred emotionally by the attacks, testimony showed. Also included among the plaintiffs were the estates of four victims who were murdered in the attacks.

The verdict came in the seventh week of a civil trial that included emotional testimony from survivors of suicide bombings and other attacks in Jerusalem.

More than 450 people were injured, including some permanently maimed, and 33 people died in the attacks.

The targets included a crowded bus stop, a public bus and a school cafeteria on the campus of Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

Many of those involved in the planning and operational aspects of the attacks were proven to have been actual employees of the Palestinian Authority.

In addition, plaintiffs documents that the PA had paid salaries to terrorists imprisoned in Israel – and followed up with “martyr stipends” to the families of suicide bombers.

The practice continues to this day, with such payments promised as incentive to commit future attacks.

Last September, a Brooklyn jury found the Arab Bank liable in a case filed by 300 victims of 24 terrorist attacks for supporting terrorism via Gaza’s ruling Hamas terrorist organization. The case has yet to be concluded, with damages to be set in a second trial.

Congressional Bill Introduced: Europe Must Reject Anti-Israel BDS in Free Trade Deal

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

If Europe wants to enjoy the benefits of what could be the largest free trade deal in history, the leaders of its member nations will have to pay a price: they must agree to reject the anti-Israel Boycott, Divest and Sanctions (BDS) movement, say two U.S. Representatives – one from each side of the political aisle.

The Israel Trade and Commercial Enhancement Act was formally submitted Tuesday afternoon (Feb. 10) on Capitol Hill under bipartisan sponsorship, which is expected to smooth the way for rapid passage.

But there’s a catch. The legislation will “leverage ongoing trade negotiations to discourage prospective U.S. trade partners from engaging in economic discrimination against Israel, said Representatives Juan Vargas (D-CA) and Peter Roskam (R-IL), who co-sponsored the bill.

Additional co-sponsors are to be recruited to the measure after its introduction to the floor. The two lawmakers said they are optimistic the bill will pass through the House of Representatives.

It’s a great deal. It is estimated the measure could add as much as 0.5 percent to the European Union’s annual economic output. The flip side of it, however, involves how the bill impacts the ongoing free trade negotiations between the U.S. and the EU. Foreign companies traded on U.S. stock exchanges will have to disclose links to BDS activities, and whether they have faced any pressure for avoiding participation in any boycotts.

“The bill … establishes a clear U.S. policy of opposing BDS as detrimental to global trade and regional peace and stability,” the two lawmakers wrote in their introduction to the legislation. They also noted that the measure was created in response to a growing trend among countries “primarily in Europe, to isolate and delegitimize Israel through BDS for political purposes.”

“Today, an alarming number of countries within the European Union and beyond have embraced BDS as a form of economic warfare aimed to cripple Israel’s economy and demonize its very existence. These attacks not only threaten Israel, but commercial relations across the globe,” Roskam told reporters.

“The US-Israel Trade and Commercial Enhancement Act will ensure that American free trade partners never engage in this harmful and illegitimate political protest against Israel, while also protecting US companies from foreign lawsuits targeting their associations with Israel.”

Vargas likewise noted, “BDS is a harmful political tactic which seeks to undermine and diminish Israel’s economic strength. We need to reassure our commitment to our ally in the region by clearly defining US policy to oppose this practice and dissuade other nations from adopting BDS policies toward Israel.”

The measure also unequivocally underlines the “strategic importance of trade and commercial relations to the pursuit of sustainable peace and regional stability,” making it clear that boycotts break down the potential for peace between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, the lawmakers said.

Perhaps that bit of wisdom should be directed towards the PA headquarters at its capital in Ramallah: Its latest anti-Israel economic boycott has just been launched, punishing local merchants far more than Israeli manufacturers. Worse, the boycott reinforces for Israelis the utter futility of attempting to secure any lasting agreement with anyone who claims to lead the Palestinian Authority.

Arab governments in the Middle East come and go, and so do those who lead the Arab residents of Judea, Samaria and Gaza. The PA commitments in particular – on paper or otherwise – can be likened to a ritual courtesy one carries out in ceremonial garb. They mean everything for the moment, but are instantly put aside when “reality” steps back into the scene. In that moment, all is forgotten and anything goes, as happened with the obligations of the internationally recognized Oslo Accords.

A bill such as the Roskam-Vargas measure is invaluable, coming at a time when a European groundswell of anti-Semitism appears to be growing into a tsunami and the U.S.-Israel relationship appears to be floundering in ways never seen before. The entire Middle East is in disarray, and Israel may be facing an existential threat from Iran as it gallops towards a nuclear military threshold. It is precisely now, as Iran strengthens its terrorist guerrilla proxies to the north and south of Israel’s borders, that the Jewish State most needs the support of its friends in the international community.

How fortunate that the lawmakers in Congress have chosen this moment to reaffirm — and concretely demonstrate — America’s commitment to Israel, and to underscore the strong relationship both nations share.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/congress-to-require-eu-to-reject-bds-boycott-of-israel-for-free-trade-deal/2015/02/11/

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