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April 24, 2014 / 24 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘PA’

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.

IDF: Jibril Rajoub is Behind Terror Wave

Friday, February 8th, 2013

This week alone over 60 Arab terror incidents were reported in Judea, Samaria, and even in Jerusalem. Seven Israelis were hurt in the attacks, ranging from stoning and firebombs, to a stabbing in Jerusalem. Some IDF officers are openly declaring that they believe we are already in the Third Intifada.

According to a report in Makor Rishon, the IDF now believes that former Palestinian strongman Jibril Rajoub is behind, not only this new wave of terror attacks, but that he is also one of the masterminds behind the new Palestinian PR stunt of creating illegal outposts every Friday.

While Rajoub is a former minister in the Palestinian Authority, he has been increasingly connected to Hamas, which has been making serious inroads into Judea and Samaria.

Senior IDF officials believe that the Palestinian Authority is about to fall apart, and Hamas is poised to replace it.

Now that Rajoub has been identified as one of the leaders of the new wave of terror, the IDF is considering what actions to take against him.

Facebook Apologizes for Closing Anti PA Page

Monday, January 21st, 2013

As The Jewish Press’ Lori Lowenthal Marcus reported last week, Facebook has restored an Israeli –Arab journalist Khaled Abu Toameh for closing his Facebook account and removing posts. Now Facebook has also apologized to Abu Toameh.

Facebook last week closed for 24 hours Khaled Abu Toameh’s account for what it said was “security reasons.” The account was opened one day later with two posts critical of corruption in the Palestinian Authority and in Jordan removed. Abu Toameh had received hate mail and death threats due to the posts.

Abu Toameh wrote in a column published Friday in The Jewish Press that “Facebook’s move came at a time when Arab dictatorships in general, and the Palestinian Authority in particular, have been cracking down on Facebook users.”

Abu Toameh pointed out that some Arab countries, including the PA, have set up teams to monitor Facebook and other social media for critics.

“But the problem becomes worse when Facebook itself starts removing material that bothers dictatorships and tyrants,” he wrote. “One can only hope that the same Facebook employee who ‘accidentally’ removed the article will make the same mistake and close down accounts belonging to terrorist organizations and their leaders.”

Facebook allows Hamas leaders and other known terrorists to maintain pages.

JTA content was used in this report.

Drive to Annex Judea and Samaria Full Steam Ahead

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013

As of this week, it’s no longer just another fringe campaign: the drive to apply Israeli sovereignty over Judea and Samaria – all or parts thereof – is now a bona-fide, full-blown national drive, with the support of government ministers, Knesset Members and candidates, academics, and members of the media. This became abundantly clear on Tuesday night in Jerusalem, when more than 1000 people  crowded into a 900-seat Jerusalem hall – after the original location was abruptly changed – for the Third Annual Conference on the Application of Israeli Sovereignty over Judea and Samaria (Yesha).

Organized by Women in Green, and co-sponsored by the Jewish Press (JewishPress.com), the conference dealt with specific and practical methods by which to actually get the sovereignty ball moving and thus prevent the formation of a Palestinian state.

Talk of a two-state solution, while widely prevalent, is largely irrelevant. It was Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s speech at Bar Ilan University in 2009 that gave the concept new life, and it specifically emphasized that Israel would agree only to a demilitarized Arab state in parts of Judea and Samaria. This being an arrangement that both Fatah and Hamas have categorically turned down, an agreed-upon two-state solution can basically be dismissed.

What will take its place?

What will ensure that active and passive preparations on the ground for such an eventuality do not continue? The answer, according to an increasing portion of the Israeli public, is Israeli sovereignty — at least in part of the areas in question. At the conference, Women in Green co-chair Yehudit Katzover presented the results of a new survey, in which 73.2% of right-wing voters (some 56% of the population)–-not including residents of Yesha or hareidim–support sovereignty. The conference speakers essentially addressed three major issues: 1) How to bring about the desired sovereignty; 2) what will be the status of the Arabs living in Judea and Samaria; and 3) whether to push for full sovereignty over all of Yesha or to work gradually.

The Slow but Sure Approach

Three Likud members – Cabinet Minister Yuli Edelstein, MK Ze’ev Elkin, who is widely expected to be named a Cabinet minister following the upcoming elections, and MK Yariv Levine – supported what Elkin called the “salami approach.”  We must learn from the Palestinians, he said, “take what we can now, and discuss the rest later.”

He said that we are “hopefully” now entering a new era in terms of Judea and Samaria: “For the first 25 years after the Six Day War, the ‘status quo approach’ reigned; beautiful Jewish communities were built, but the status of the areas did not change. Since 1993, we began a period of withdrawals – Oslo, then the Disengagement, etc. – and it is now clear to most that this has brought us less security, and increased demands from the PA… We must now begin to take proactive steps to improve our situation, and begin to apply sovereignty, or aspects thereof, on whatever areas we can at any given moment. It will not be easy, but it is necessary.”

The “This Is our Land” Approach

Others demanded full sovereignty now; coincidentally or not, they are not currently in the governing coalition. MK Aryeh Eldad said that Israeli law must be immediately imposed on all of Yesha, and Likud Knesset candidate Moshe Feiglin called upon the Israeli public to internalize the idea that “This Is our Land” – the name of the grass-roots movement he founded 20 years ago – and that sovereignty is the only solution. Popular thinker Caroline Glick echoed her position of the last conference, saying then that sovereignty, whether complete or partial, will cost us the same in terms of international opposition, “so why pay full price for half a job?”
Former MK Elyakim HaEtzni added that Arab autonomy leading to statehood is catastrophic, but that autonomy under the framework of full Israeli sovereignty in Yesha is the desirable way to go.

Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan, running for Knesset on the Jewish Home ticket, quoted the Y’hi khvodparagraph in the Morning Prayers, in which the verse citing God’s choice of the Land of Israel precedes His choice of the people of Israel. And regarding the Arab minority living in our midst, he said that Yehoshua Bin Nun dealt with the same issue by simply insisting that they rid themselves of idol-worship and recognize Jewish control over the land. “This must be our clear red line,” Rabbi Ben-Dahan emphasized: “the recognition that there can be no foreign rule in Eretz Yisrael.”

Caroline Glick also cited Yehoshua Bin Nun, and said that his demand to forego all idol-worship has a parallel today: “They must agree to stop all terrorism.”

Citizenship – or Expulsion?

The issue of Yesha Arabs under Israeli sovereignty was thoroughly explored in an hour-long panel discussion concluding the conference. Glick took the most extreme approach: “All of them should be offered the right to apply to the Interior Ministry for citizenship. Based on past experience in Jerusalem and the Golan [which have both been annexed - HF], we know that most of the Arabs will not apply. And even if they would all become citizens, the Jewish population in Israel would still retain a two-third majority, buttressed by growing birth and Aliyah rates. Nothing is simple, but we need not fear taking the bold steps that are necessary; we have come to inherit our land!”

Dr. Martin Sherman, founder of the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies, former Tel Aviv University lecturer, and former ministerial adviser to Yitzhak Shamir’s government – said there is no choice but to compensate the Arab residents and have them take up residence elsewhere. “Ultimately, there can be only one sovereignty between the Jordan and the Mediterranean – and we’d better make sure it’s ours, not theirs.” Dr. Sherman elaborated that Arab self-rule won’t work, because they have no loyalty to the Israeli government overseeing the autonomy, and that granting full rights would also fail because “two peoples who do not share basic nationalist cultures can simply not live together over time.” Therefore, he concluded, “the only option that remains is compensation/evacuation,” a solution first proposed by the late Rabbi Meir Kahane, whose name was not mentioned at the conference.

Wanted: Israeli TV

Dr. Mordechai Kedar of Bar Ilan University, who was asked to speak on the expected Arab reaction to Israeli sovereignty, said, “They haven’t accepted the results of the War of Independence, do we expect them to accept the results of the Six Day War?” Both the Arab world and the international community, Dr. Kedar predicted, can be expected to react moderately to strongly to a declaration of Israeli sovereignty. Part of the solution, he suggested, lies in launching an Israeli satellite TV channel for the general worldwide public. “It would not cost more than $15 million a year,” he assessed.

Co-chairs Nadia Matar and Yehudit Katzover, as well as other speakers, emphasized that the recent report submitted by the Justice Edmond Levy committee, outlining the legal foundation for Jewish settlement in Yesha, must be adopted: “It must take its proper place in open governmental discourse, and action must be taken in accordance with it.” MK Eldad, in a not-subtle dig at the Jewish Home party, demanded that all future coalition partners resign from the next Netanyahu government if the Levi Report is not legislated into law within three months.

The Day Will Come! All the speakers agreed on two things: a Palestinian state would be catastrophic for the State of Israel and must be avoided at all costs, and the very fact of the conference and its success is a great step forward towards applying Jewish sovereignty over all of Israel. In the inspiring words of an unusually uplifting Latma musical skit produced especially for the Conference, “The day will come – it must come –  when only truth will be spoken, and all the world will say, without apology: This is Israel’s land – Israel’s!”

The Palestinian Holy Trinity: Jesus, Arafat and Abbas

Thursday, December 27th, 2012

Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) reports that The Palestinian leadership’s falsification of history by presenting Jesus as an ancient Palestinian has increased in regularity as Christmas was approaching this year. In the last month alone, the PA media has transmitted six additional PA misrepresentations of Jesus as a Palestinian, including a statement by the Governor of the Ramallah district Leila Ghannam: “The Palestinian pain is one and the joy is one. We all have the right to be proud that Jesus is a Palestinian and that Palestine is the birthplace of the religions…”

A Palestinian historian, Khalil Shoka, further added on Dec. 16: “The Christian religion started here [Bethlehem]… The entire world is focused on this city because of its important historical and traditional role… because, in the final analysis, Jesus is a Palestinian.” Sheikh Muhammad Hussein, Mufti of Jerusalem and the Palestinian Territories, said on PA TV on Nov. 30: “The Palestinian nation is rooted in this land since the Canaanites and the Jebusites. The Arab presence – Christian and Islamic – on this land is uninterrupted. Jesus is a Palestinian par excellence.”

In addition, there is an attempt to connect Jesus to the Palestinian leaders themselves. Senior PA leader Jibril Rajoub, a Fatah Central Committee member, said on PA TV on Nov. 29: “The greatest Palestinian in history since Jesus is Yasser Arafat,” and an editorial in the PA official daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida referred to Arafat, Jesus and Abbas as the Palestinian “holy Trinity”: “Jesus is a Palestinian; the self-sacrificing Yasser Arafat is a Palestinian; Mahmoud Abbas, the messenger of peace on earth, is a Palestinian. How great is this nation of the holy Trinity!”

PMW has documented the ongoing PA historical revision, which falsely connects the current Palestinian-Arab population to a fabricated ancient Palestinian-Arab nation. Although there is no record of any Palestinian-Arab history and no people ever identified as being part of a Palestinian-Arab nation until very recently, the PA claims they are an ancient Palestinian people in an attempt to compete with Israel’s well-documented Jewish history in the land.

While Christian tradition and the historical writings of the period portray Jesus as a Jew living in the land of Judea in Israel, the PA consistently tells its people that they are the ones connected to Jesus. This is not only a distortion of Jesus’ personal history as reported in Christian writings, it is also an anachronism. The Romans changed the name of Judea to “Palestine” in order to punish the Jewish nation after its unsuccessful rebellion, a 136 years after the alleged birth of Jesus.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/the-palestinian-holy-trinity-jesus-arafat-and-abbas/2012/12/27/

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