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April 18, 2014 / 18 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘PA’

Now We Know the Truth: What’s Behind US ‘Peace Process’ Policy

Wednesday, July 31st, 2013

Originally published at Rubin Reports.

At last we have an explanation for what has been going on with Israel-Palestinian talks. It is credible yet ridiculous. And it is very important.

Here is today’s New York Times.

“In recent weeks, Mr. Kerry and his aides have outlined several basic arguments for why his efforts might bear fruit. Perhaps the most important one, which Mr. Kerry advanced almost the moment he was picked for the State Department post, is that the United States does not have the luxury of staying on the sidelines.” “With the Palestinians poised to take their claim for statehood to the International Criminal Court and United Nations bodies, American officials say the two sides were facing a downward spiral in which the Israelis would respond by cutting off financing to the Palestinian territories and European nations might curtail their investment in Israel, further isolating the Israelis.”

Now, what is this saying?

–The Palestinian Authority (PA) intends to violate all the pledges used over the last 20 years of negotiations and in obtaining the West Bank and, previously, Gaza Strip. (Not a good precedent for the likelihood of their keeping future commitments.)

–For doing so it is not being punished but rewarded.

–The PA will seek statehood not through negotiations with Israel but unilaterally. No Israel agreement will be necessary.

–Note a key assumption here: The United States either will not oppose, or effectively oppose, this effort. Let’s pause here.  You mean the United States cannot lead or pressure such countries as Britain, France, Germany, or Italy in saying “”no.” The New York Times doesn’t point out what a failure of Obama Administration influence that would be. Let’s also note the incompetence and failure of that government to stop leading allies at the UN General Assembly to vote for non-member statehood (a non-binding vote) last year despite a one-year warning the PA would try this.

–To summarize, the United States proposes surrender to a development breaking its more than 20-year-long policy that no comprehensive solution would be achieved without real mutual agreement. –After the “”success” of the unilateral independence for Palestine–remember, with no control of the PA over Gaza–Israel will take action, understandably since it has been sold out by its allies.

–European states, again with no effective action by America, will punish Israel and Israel will be worse off. Where to begin in analyzing this remarkable foundation for policy?

First, as I pointed out, it presumes incompetence and betrayal by the Obama Administration. It presumes that any battle to block either unilateral independence or punishment of Israel for opposing it would be doomed. This includes a refusal for the United State or European states to punish the PA even while they are believed they will eagerly punish Israel.

Incidentally, this explains Kerry’s seeming slip about Palestine already being an independent country! Will the Obama Administration recognize a state of Palestine not achieved through negotiation with Israel?

Second, it presumes that after everything it has done for 20-40 years has proven to be based on false promises, Israel should base itself on more of such promises.

Third, it presupposes that the punishment would be worse than the risk taken by Israel, and ignores any possible costs faced by the Palestinians. Just because the EU has put sanctions–far looser and less significant than they seem–against special economic privileges for Israeli settlements in Europe does that mean the EU will do major sanctions against Israel in its recognized territory? (If Israel has such indications we don’t know about it and, again, it shows how the United States has not fought against this.

Fourth, it assumes that having been given every reason to believe that they hold all the cards, the PA will make any compromises. This is not likely to result in a deal since Kerry has already told them that in a year or two more they can have anything. Here is Mahmoud Abbas radiating confidence that he is about to get a state.  Remember that Kerry’s last Middle East negotiations was when he thought he would easily wean away Syria’s dictatorship from Iran.

And fifth, why would the PA keep any post-treaty commitments? We know that Hamas will not, and that Iran would not accept them. How long before new cross-border attacks and new demands would be made.

Why Bibi Wants a Referendum

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

Here is a good example of why Americans are misled about Mideast issues. In today’s local paper, I came across a  story headlined “Israelis may vote on peace deal.” It began as follows:

JERUSALEM (AP) – Israel’s premier announced Monday he is fast-tracking legislation that would allow him to put any peace deal with the Palestinians to a national referendum – an apparent attempt to silence hard-liners in his party and coalition government. …

Netanyahu said Monday that a referendum is necessary to prevent a rift in Israeli society. Polls have suggested a majority of Israelis support the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel, but many groups are vehemently opposed, including hard-liners among Israel’s West Bank settlers. [my emphasis]

The impression given is that although a majority of Israelis favor an agreement with the Palestinian Authority (PA), the PLO-controlled Palestinian ‘government’, to withdraw from most of Judea and Samaria and perhaps eastern Jerusalem, and turn them over to become a Palestinian state, the peace process is being stymied by “hard-liners.”

The truth does not remotely resemble this. A majority of Israelis know that the PA has little support from the residents of the areas that it controls and none at all in Gaza, where 40% of the Palestinian Arabs live. They also know that the security consequences of a withdrawal from the territories would be unacceptable, and that while the PLO is sincere about wanting to get Israel out of the territories, it is not sincere about making peace.

The poll results mentioned in the story are based on questions like this: “Would you favor the establishment of a peaceful Palestinian state alongside Israel?” Of course a majority of Israelis would agree! Who doesn’t want peace? But at the same time, most realize that under today’s circumstances, an Israeli withdrawal would lead to anything but a peaceful state. They have the continuing example of Gaza, in case they forget what a sovereign Palestinian state is like.

In addition, they know that the gaps between Israel and the PLO on such issues as refugees, Jerusalem, borders, etc. are as wide as ever — perhaps even wider than in 2000 or 2008, when an agreement could not be reached. They know that the PLO has preferred to get its way be manipulating the UN, the Europeans and the US, rather than in meaningful negotiations with Israel in which they might have to give something up. They know that the PLO has avoided talks for years by placing impossible preconditions on them. So they understand that talks are most likely only a way to pressure Israel to make concessions without much chance of success.

And they know that the PLO has sponsored terrorism against Jewish civilians consistently since its beginnings, and that terrorism generally increases when negotiations are taking place. They know that the PA never lets up on its incitement, or on its glorification of the most vicious mass murdering terrorists as heroes.

They know that many of the 118 prisoners that are about to be released as a good-will gesture to bring the Palestinians to the table have murdered Jews for political reasons, and that they will return home to hero’s welcomes. They will comprise a direct affront to the honor of Israel and the Jewish people, demonstrating that we are too weak to punish the murderers of our brothers, sisters and children.

Recent bad ideas, like Oslo and the Gaza withdrawal, were implemented without public approval. Oslo was dropped on Israelis after secret maneuvers by politicians who did not represent them, and after they elected a Prime Minister who opposed a Palestinian state (and who, even after Oslo, opposed withdrawing from much of the territories and opposed granting full sovereignty to the proposed Palestinian entity).

In the case of Gaza, Ariel Sharon held a referendum among members of his own Likud party, 65% of whom rejected his plan — which he put into effect anyway, even after saying that he would respect the views of party members!

If there were a referendum on any proposed agreement with the PA, these are the considerations that would be taken by ordinary Israelis who are not politicians, media personalities or academics. It is hard to imagine that an agreement like the ones that were rejected by the Arabs in 2000 and 2008 would stand a chance among the general public today.

How to Graduate in the Palestinian Authority

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

The Palestinian Authority is offering its younger citizens an easier path to High School graduation, according to a source in the IDF.

Any High School student who gets arrested by the IDF automatically passes 10 of their their matriculation (Bagrut) exams.

Is it any wonder that terrorist attacks are up?

King David Era Find ‘Buried’ by Authorities for Political Reasons

Friday, April 19th, 2013

The initial discovery was made by Benjamin Troper, the training coordinator of the Kfar Etzion field school, who suddenly, while aiding a troubled tourist down a deep cave south of Jerusalem, turned to look at the nearby wall and saw an ancient stone column.

“I had gone down that hole dozens of times,” Tropper told Makor Rishon, “but this was the first time, because I was helping the tourist, that I came down looking in that direction.”

What he saw was a bona fide ancient column with a capital, which he recognized from his years as tour guide and from the time he spent working in excavating ancient Jerusalem.

That’s the story of a remarkably rare archeological discovery, which no one has heard about. For some reason, possibly political, the Israeli authorities have been trying to silence this discovery which could usher in a breakthrough in our understanding of the periods of King David and his son, King Solomon.

The column capital Tropper ran, or rather climbed down into, is very likely part of a complete temple or palace buried underground.

Tropper, who expected nothing short of a medal for his fortunate discovery, called over the field school’s director, Yaron Rosenthal, who in turn alerted a senior employee of Israel’s Antiquities Authority. But no medals were to come any time soon.

The find is really big, according to Rosenthal. It may also be a singular opportunity to unearth a whole structure that hadn’t undergone “secondary use,” meaning that it hasn’t been altered by later dwellers of the area. Often, later period folks utilize the components of older structures as building blocks for their own structures.

But even better than that: there are still, to this day, raging debates between the school of archeologists who claim there was a great Jewish dynasty begun by David and Solomon, and the school that doubts there ever really existed two people by those names.

Rosenthal (you know which school he belongs to) believes the discovery will offer startling details about the everyday lives of those Jewish kings.

According to Rosenthal, the reaction of the Antiquities official was “astonishing.” He told him: “Yaron, please, you found it, but we know about it. Now forget the whole thing and keep your mouth shut.”

Apparently they’re very blunt over at Antiquities.

Later, Rosenthal found out that the authority had indeed been aware of the artifact for a year and a half. He is upset both for the fact that they avoided digging up the area to discover what’s down there, and for the fact that they took no steps to mark off the cave, to protect it from damage.

Over the past few months, the defense ministry was drawing the path of the section of the security fence that will separate the Palestinian Authority’s Bethlehem County from South Jerusalem. They knew about it at Antiquities, reports Makor Rishon, but kept mum and let the fence line be drawn about a hundred yards from the site, effectively leaving it in Palestinian hands.

According to Makor Rishon, Antiquities’ director-general Shuka Dorfman and former chief of the central front Gen. Avi Mizrahi were called in to look at the find, a year and a half ago and decided together to silence the discovery.

The question is, based on their track record, how respectful would the future owners of the area, the PA, of a site that could prove beyond doubt that it used to belong to a Jewish empire – the very empire the PA officially says never existed.

The Antiquities Authority’s response to the Makor Rishon inquiry has been that it is aware of the situation and is already making efforts to excavate the important find, while cooperating with all relevant entities.

That’s a huge relief.

Incidentally, inside the cave where the exposed column capital is situated, there is a water hole, where local Arab children go bathing. How long before one of them discovers the ancient relic and calls his daddy over?

US Efforts to Retain PA’s Fayyad May Have Finally Torpedoed Him

Thursday, April 11th, 2013

There have been rumors for years that Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, the Western-trained and most Western-oriented member of the PA leadership, was miserable in his position and that he was going to resign.

He finally did.

At least most media outlets are reporting that Fayyad has resigned.  There are some still reporting that the resignation has not gone through, or that it was not yet tendered or some other speculation, but no one doubts that if it has not yet happened, it will happen soon.

What was the final straw?  Fayyad and acting PA leader Mahmoud Abbas often disagree about finance.  Fayyad is considerd, and for good reason, the financial brains in the PA.  He has a PhD in economics from the University of Texas, taught the subject in Jordan, and worked at the International Monetary Fund for almost a decade.  Since becoming PA prime minister in 2007, Fayyad also held the post of finance minister.

But that changed when Abbas pressured Fayyad into appointing Nabil Qassis as PA’s finance minister last year.

And then, last month, after Qassis and Fayyad disagreed over a draft budget, Fayyad accepted the resignation of Qassis. According to many reports, Abbas was furious that Fayyad accepted the resignation, and tried to rescind it.

Although a darling of the West, Fayyad has never gained traction as a favorite of the Arab Palestinians.  He ran for public office in 2006, having created a new political party called the “Third Way,” but his party came in last, winning only 2 seats.  Hamas came in first, winning 74 seats, and the party of Abbas, Fatah, came in second with 45.

And even as Prime Minister, Fayyad has had problems with his constituents.  In September a huge banner of him was pelted with shoes (a huge insult in the Arab world) during a protest of big increases in the prices of consumer goods.

But there are few with whom Fayyad’s popularity is lower than Abbas and other Fatah leaders who yearn to have their hands in the international aid piggy bank, just like their old boss Yassir Arafat did.

But for the West, Fayyad is their “Great Arab Palestinian Hope.”

So now the West, especially the U. S., is leaning on Abbas to entice Fayyad to stay just a little bit longer.  Why?  So that the U.S. has the opportunity to try out its latest peace initiative efforts.  Two months is what they are asking.  Sure, it’s reasonable to think that Secretary of State John Kerry will be able to clinch the deal that more experienced foreign policy experts and snake charmers were unable to accomplish over the course of decades.

Please.

But once again the U.S. and EU leaders have been pressuring Abbas and other Arab leaders to retain Fayyad, who is the only fig leaf of sophistication and corruption-free leadership in the PA.  Those qualities are essentials that foreign aid donors require – or should – before agreeing to send still more cash to a never-filled bank account.

But this time the efforts of the U.S. may have done more harm than good. Arab Israeli journalist Khaled abu Toameh explained that western efforts to pressure Abbas to retain Fayyad have instead worked to further discredit the prime minister in the eyes of many Arab Palestinians.

“Fayyad’s enemies have cited these efforts as ‘proof’ that he is a ‘foreign agent’ who has been imposed on the Palestinian Authority by Americans and Europeans.”

So, whether Fayyad is gone today or next week or next month, it will happen and it appears there is little the west can do to keep him in place.

Given that is the case, perhaps it will give the new U.S. peace professionals pause before they attempt to impose any major changes in an already dangerously unstable region.

License to Murder: It’s Not Just Amira Hass

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013

The Palestinian Authority is the official body behind the recent “intifada” of rocks and Molotov cocktails, and Haaretz journalist Amira Hass has long been the Palestinians’ unofficial spokeswoman. When she wrote an article this week legitimizing rock throwing, she was doing her part in the PA’s effort to stretch a defensive umbrella over the young brutes lobbing rocks and incendiary bombs. They are the ones who mortally wounded baby Adelle Biton. They are the ones who seriously injured musician Itzik Kalah’s wife, Tziyona, four months ago near Beitar Ilit. Both events occured in the so-called settlements blocs: the Palestinians do not discriminate.

The Central Command of the IDF won’t admit it, but a rash of so many terrorist attacks at the same time and with such scope is impossible unless it is centrally organized. The PA, meanwhile, is not in the least embarrassed by what it dubs a “popular intifada.”

The terrorist organizers don’t only deploy terrorists. They also deploy collaborators and lawyers, as well as sympathetic media coverage from within the civilian population under attack (in accordance with the doctrines of terrorism first developed in the Soviet Union).

I don’t have any intention of taking on Amira Hass. She turned traitor long ago, and her case is one for the legal authorities. But is Hass the only journalist in the service of the “popular intifada”? What about the other news media—are they doing their job? Or are they also collaborating, by keeping silent?

Helplessness

Most of the media do not report most rock-throwing attacks. I encountered this reality in the past when my wife and I were nearly lynched on our way home from visiting my parents’ graves on the Mount of Olives. Only a few of the media reported on the injury to my head, even though pictures were provided to them on a silver platter. No journalist came to interview me about what I had experienced, about the feeling of helplessness that comes with the inability to protect one’s wife.

There was my wife’s angle too. She was the one at the wheel. Aside from the fear and the terror, the trembling and the tears that gripped her, the post-traumatic symptoms, she was left with a sense of betrayal. My wife is a nurse, and she has occasion to provide treatment to residents of the Arab neighborhood where we were attacked, while virtually all the teachers from the little terrorists’ school stood outside watching as their students set upon us. Fittingly or not, the principal brought his daughter to be treated by my wife just one week later.

Then there is my daughter the journalist, who hurried to the scene only to discover that this was the same school about which she had published a number of complimentary news items.

And I have to make mention of the two times when I personally rescued Arabs who found themselves in the midst of angry crowds gathered for funerals of terror victims. Yet none of the Palestinians in the dozens of vehicles around us on the Mount of Olives made a move to save us.

What we have here is a perfect scoop by any measure. But almost nothing was published.

So when did the media report on what was happening in the area? Just one day after I was wounded, when City of David head David Be’eri lightly injured an Arab youth who was throwing rocks at his car as he drove through the area. The footage taken by the photographers who had been invited to film the Palestinian ambush, showing the youth being injured by Be’eri’s car, was broadcast repatedly.

Why does this matter so much to me? Because even aside from the media’s rightful function of delegitimizing terrorism with cold weapons, coverage makes a difference. A big difference. In a country where the media are so powerful that they dictate how many resources go to a given criminal investigation, reports carry a lot of weight. When rocks were thrown at an Arab woman last month in Jerusalem, media pressure brought out a slew of investigative teams, and all those who had been involved were quickly arrested. The powers that be made it crystal clear that the law is supreme, and it is enforced … the problem being that it is enforced selectively.

Israel Won’t Hand Over Maps

Sunday, April 7th, 2013

On Friday, JewishPress.com reported on the change in strategy on the part of the Palestinian Authority.

The PA is now demanding that Israel hand over maps of their vision of a final arrangement, to use them as a starting point for negotiations, as opposed to dealing with the primary issue that Israel is most concerned about, ending the conflict.

Handing over the maps would also have hurt Israel’s negotiating ability, as the negotiations would have then only circled around the depth of Israeli withdrawal from Israeli territories in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem, as opposed to how to actually reach a workable and sustainable peace agreement with the Palestinians, which is not something the Palestinian Authority actually wants to reach.

In response, Israeli government officials said they would not be delivering any maps or a list of other concessions to US Secretary of State John Kerry, as PA President Mahmoud Abbas demanded.

Israel is insisting that any talks begin without any preconditions.

What Obama Didn’t See in Palestine (Israel)

Monday, March 25th, 2013

“I will never compromise when it comes to Israel’s security… Not when there are terrorist groups and political leaders committed to Israel’s destruction. Not when there are maps across the Middle East that don’t even acknowledge Israel’s existence.

  Barack Obama, AIPAC Conference, June 4, 2008

The sharp eyes at Palestinian Media Watch couldn’t help but catch the controversy surrounding the Palestinian Authority’s monument to terrorism in Bethlehem that erased Israel from the map.

In order to hide their true intentions from President Obama, who was set to pass by that area, the Palestinian Authority removed a large monument/map of the “State of Palestine”  located in Bethlehem’s Central Square.

The monument celebrates two events, the UN vote for the “State of Palestine” in 2012, and the first Fatah (PLO) terrorist attack in 1965 (note, that is 2 years before the “occupation”).

The local residents were enraged that their map of an Israel-free Palestine was removed in order to not offend the Obama’s willful fiction of a peace-loving Palestinian Authority.

For more details, read the entire article on Palestinian Media Watch.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/eye-on-palestine/what-obama-didnt-see-in-palestine-israel/2013/03/25/

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