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March 29, 2015 / 9 Nisan, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘PA’

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.

Is Dahlan Bibi’s Secret Weapon to Rein Abbas In?

Sunday, January 4th, 2015

Mohammed Dahlan, one of the PLO’s former strong men, reportedly met with a senior Israeli government official in Europe — twice. The rumor is that he met with FM Avigdor Liberman. (Update: New rumors are saying it was a different senior Arab figure and not Dahlan, and Mossad officials were in attendance).

PM Netanyahu has said that the meeting was not authorized by him.

But maybe it was, and maybe this is Bibi’s shot across the Palestinian Authority’s bow.

Mahmoud Abbas is terrified that Dahlan will make a comeback and kick him out. But one of the only realistic ways that could actually happen is with Israeli support.

As Abbas threatens to go to the ICC (and opening himself up to counter-suits, be damned), Bibi may be making it clear to him that Abbas’s job and life depends on Israel’s good graces.

Withholding tax money is a temporary measure — getting replaced with Dahlan — that’s forever.

India May Pull Rug Out From Under Abbas in UN Vote

Monday, December 22nd, 2014

India is giving serious consideration to changing its supporting vote for the Palestinian Authority proposal to expel the Israel Defense Force from all territory conquered in the 1967 Six Day war by 2017, according to The Hindu newspaper.

If India takes such a step, it will be a major change in the country’s foreign policy, which until now has supported the PA in UN votes.

But India is one of Israel’s most important customers in the market for military hardware, and the two nations have tightened ties in recent years. Nevertheless, India has continued to ignore Israel when the chips are down at the UN, and Jerusalem has started to remind its ally that friends don’t treat friends that way.

The PA resolution was submitted to the United Nations Security Council last Wednesday by Jordan. Although it requires a majority of nine votes to pass, the measure can still be vetoed by any of the five permanent members of the Council.

Speaking at a Hanukkah-lighting ceremony with IDF soldiers at a base near Latrun, Netanyahu made it clear that Israel would not allow international pressure to endanger the lives of its citizens.

“In this struggle that we are in, Israel is being attacked on two fronts simultaneously. It is being attacked by the terrorism of Hamas and the other terrorist organizations. It is also under a diplomatic attack led by the Palestinian Authority and which is designed to deny us our very right to defend ourselves and seeks to deny us the legitimacy of our very existence. We are rebuffing both of these attacks.

“Over the weekend we sent a clear message to Hamas – we are not prepared to countenance the firing of even one rocket and we are responding accordingly and in strength. We also have a clear message to those who are leading the diplomatic assault against us.

“It could be that the Palestinians will, in the very near future, submit to the UN Security Council their proposal to unilaterally force on Israel the establishment of a Palestinian state as well as other conditions that are unacceptable to us.

“We expect the responsible elements in the international community to reject this proposal; in any case, we will vigorously oppose it and will, of course, not act in accordance with any diktat.”

Abbas: We Won’t Use Violence – Unless We Will

Sunday, December 21st, 2014

Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas sent mixed messages Sunday regarding violence against Israel, claiming that the PA does not plan to take up weapons against Israel – but then warning of a potential “explosion” of terrorist violence.

Abbas’ comments to an Egyptian television station were translated by Israel’s Reshet Bet.

He stated that the PA would use diplomacy, not weapons, in its efforts to claim the entirety of Judea, Samaria, and Gaza. However, he said, “if the Palestinian people feels there is no hope – it will explode.”

Abbas claimed that the PA would be powerless to prevent an outbreak of violence. His comments come in the wake of several brutal attacks on Jewish civilians.

While Abbas attempted to portray himself as an innocent observer of Arab terrorism, countless reports have shown that the PA intentionally, and systematically, incites Arab youth to commit acts of terrorism. Terrorism is lauded, and those who commit violence against Jewish civilians are embraced as heroes.

Abbas himself has referred to PA terrorists who murdered Israeli children as “heroic brothers.” Among the members of his government was Ziad Abu Ein, who suffered a heart attack in a clash with the IDF two weeks ago and  once murdered two Israeli children in a terrorist attack.

He has also aligned himself with Hamas, which openly seeks Israel’s destruction.

Abbas’ comments Sunday appear to be part of a long-term strategy of protecting his reputation as a “partner for peace” in talks with Israel without giving up his support for terrorism.

PA Arabs Clash with IDF Soldiers in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria

Friday, December 19th, 2014

Palestinian Authority Arabs clashed with Israeli soldiers in various locations throughout Judea and Samaria on Friday.

On the Temple Mount, rioters were waving the flags of the Hamas terrorist organization during violent demonstrations.

The ongoing violence is just more of the weekly Friday ‘Days of Rage’ across the regions, egged on by Islamic clerics during their Muslim Sabbath sermons in the mosques.

The rioters are protesting Israel’s presence in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem – and more to the point, in the Middle East as a whole. They have been taught from birth over the past three generations via the media and in school texts that Jews have no place in “Palestine” and that one day the Arabs will drive them all into the sea. It is towards this goal they are nurtured from birth to the grave, with little else to distract them in most PA curriculums.

Final status talks as mandated under the internationally-recognized Oslo Accords signed by Israel and the Palestinian Authority in the early 1990s have been entirely set aside.

The PA has successfully managed to evade their obligations under this document by managing to achieve status in the United Nations General Assembly as a non-member observer nation called the “State of Palestine.”

Now European nations are beginning to recognize the entity as an independent sovereign country as well, despite its divided, fragmented nature, without any real boundaries and without having carried out any of its agreed-upon responsibilities.

Meanwhile PA Arab terrorists have successfully launched a lethal, third intifada against Israeli citizens, an ominous sign that is being more or less ignored by the international community.

(Ed. Note: Above story was filed on Friday in New York prior to Sabbath.)

Netanyahu ‘Will Not Allow’ PA’s UN Resolution to Endanger Israelis

Thursday, December 18th, 2014

A draft resolution presented by Jordan on behalf of the Palestinian Authority on Wednesday at a session of the United Nations Security Council is now being considered by all 15 members of the world body – and the State of Israel.

The resolution currently calls for the total withdrawal of Israeli military forces from all territories conquered in the 1967 Six Day War by 2017. It also calls for the return of Israel and the Palestinian Authority to final status talks for a so-called “two-state solution.”

If approved in its present form, at the very least the agreement would leave half a million Jews completely without protection in the face of deadly, daily attacks by PA Arab terrorists.

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu also pointed out Wednesday the proposal would also leave the Palestinian Authority population vulnerable as well.

Speaking a a Hanukkah candle-lighting ceremony with employees at the prime minister’s office, Netanyahu said Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, or “Abu Mazen” – the terrorist name by which Abbas is known among other Arabs – “does not understand that they will result in a Hamas takeover in Judea and Samaria, just as previously occurred in Gaza,” Netanyahu said.

“We will not allow this to happen. We will never agree to unilateral diktat. We will always safeguard our security. This is our lesson both from the days of the Maccabees and in our day,” he said.

In the PA capital of Ramallah, meanwhile, Abbas told officials at the Muqata headquarters, “We submitted a draft… aiming to have a deadline to end the Israeli occupation for the lands of the State of Palestine. We discussed with our brothers and friends during all the steps of arranging that draft… [which] assures the two-state solution that should be on the 1967 borders and Jerusalem as a capital for two states with east Jerusalem as a capital for the State of Palestine,” he said.

“We welcome an international conference for negotiations but the talks should not last more than a year, with the end of the Israeli occupation in the State of Palestine before the end of 2017,” he said.

Abbas added the resolution also calls for “an agreement for the Palestinian refugees according to the Arab peace initiative and UN Resolution 194.” None of that was reported anywhere in U.S. media, and it is not clear whether or not, in fact, it is even true. Abbas also claimed the draft resolution calls for a halt to all “settlement activities” and for security preparations allowing for the presence of an international party.

Nine votes are needed to pass the resolution, and any of the five permanent members of the Council can veto it. Britain, Germany and France are also drafting their own versions of a counter proposal.

Israel’s FM Liberman Declines Swedish Meeting Request Over PA Recognition

Thursday, December 18th, 2014

Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman turned down a Swedish diplomatic request to meet next month in Jerusalem.

Sweden’s Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom’s request was rejected in retaliation for her country’s unilateral decision to announce its formal recognition of the “State of Palestine.”

The European Union adopted a resolution on Wednesday supporting in principle the recognition of “Palestine” as well. The motion that passed read, “The [European Parliament] supports in principle recognition of Palestinian statehood and the two-state solution, and believes these should go hand in hand with the development of peace talks, which should be advanced.”

Sweden was the first major European nation to make such a move, considered a diplomatic slap to Israel and an outright rejection of the internationally-recognized Oslo Accords. The Palestinian Authority has spent years carefully lobbying nations around the world for precisely this result, which allows the entity to evade its responsibilities and obligations under the Oslo Accords to reach a final status agreement via negotiations with Israel.

In response to Sweden’s announcement, Israel’s foreign minister immediately recalled Ambassador to Sweden Isaac Bachman for consultations. Liberman has also roundly condemned the Swedish government’s decision and snubbed its prime minister, Sefan Lofven, over the issue.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/israels-fm-liberman-declines-swedish-meeting-request-over-pa-recognition/2014/12/18/

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