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January 21, 2017 / 23 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Palestine Liberation Organization’

Abbas Meets Pope, Opens PA Vatican Embassy, Rejects US Jerusalem Embassy

Saturday, January 14th, 2017

On Saturday, Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas met with Pope Francis at the Vatican and inaugurated the PA embassy there. As he was raising the black, red, white and green flag, Abbas called on the world’s leaders to recognize the State of Palestine when they get together in Paris on Sunday.

“Tomorrow, more than 70 countries will meet in Paris in order to discuss how to bring peace to our region, the holy land,” Abbas said. “We call upon the participants to take concrete measures in order to implement international law and UN resolutions.”

Abbas told reporters he discussed Jerusalem with the Pope, accusing the Israeli government of “turning Jerusalem into an exclusive Jewish/Israeli city, demolishing Palestinian homes, expanding illegal settlements, building an illegal Annexation Wall, dividing families, and isolating our occupied capital from the rest of Palestine.”

Regarding the next US Administration’s stated plan to move its embassy to Jerusalem, Abbas said that “Any attempts at legitimizing the illegal Israeli annexation of the city will destroy the prospects of any political process, bury the hopes for a two-state solution, and fuel extremism in our region, as well as worldwide.”

Speaking to Le Figaro on the eve of the Paris conference, Abbas threatened that, should President Trump go ahead with the embassy move as promised, “there would be several options for us, and we would discuss them with Arab countries.” He suggested that one of those options would be “reversing our recognition of the State of Israel.”

According to the Washington Post, PA leaders called on Muslim preachers on the Palestinian Authority payroll to dedicate their Friday sermons yesterday to opposing the US embassy relocation. The imams even received suggested talking points about the embassy move. The Post reported that the imam of the Jamal Abdel Nasser Mosque in Ramallah warned that moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem would “engulf the region in the flames.”

Actually, according to reliable reports, the region already is engulfed in flames, so this should be a good window of opportunity for the move…

A draft of the Paris conference resolution obtained by AP says the conference will urge Israel and the Palestinians “to officially restate their commitment to the two-state solution,” but “will not recognize” changes, such as the establishment of a Palestinian State without Israeli agreement. The resolution will instead reiterate “that a negotiated solution with two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security, is the only way to achieve enduring peace.”

JNi.Media

Fact Checking John Kerry, the Man who Knows Everything but Understands Nothing

Thursday, December 29th, 2016

John Kerry’s Wednesday speech that, essentially, pinned the future of the entire Middle East on freezing the settlements enterprise, was rife with so many facts and assessments the Secretary of State regurgitated with an air of conviction and Brahmin self-assurance, many listeners might have been misled to accept them at face level. Thankfully, the complete collapse of the Obama foreign policy before international players who are smarter and better than them, should serve as a reminder to the American people that Kerry is one of those highly educated gentlemen who know everything but understand nothing. And so, like many other rightwing journalists this morning, we’ve embarked on the Herculean effort of removing Kerry’s horse manure from the region’s stables.

Right off the bat, Sec. Kerry declared that “the two-state solution is the only way to achieve a just and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians. It is the only way to ensure Israel’s future as a Jewish and democratic state, living in peace and security with its neighbors. It is the only way to ensure a future of freedom and dignity for the Palestinian people. And it is an important way of advancing United States’ interests in the region.”

The two-state idea actually isn’t the only possible solution for all the above noble goals. In fact, it was the two state solution which has failed time and again, since the first time it was introduced by the Peel Commission report of 1937, 80 years ago. There are many reasons why 2-state hasn’t worked and, in fact, resulted in rivers of blood each time it looked like someone was going to take it off the shelf again, but after nearly a century of failure, it is safe to say that it is the least likely solution to do anything but continue to bleed both Jews and Arabs between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.

There’s something almost religious in Kerry’s repetition of the 2-state mantra, in the face of so much failure. It reminds one of the devout Communists of years past, who rejected the examples of Communism’s path of repression, violence and economic failure, arguing that in a place like the Soviet Union it wasn’t done right. If only its principles were applied the way Marx and Engels had intended them to be, you’d see…

There are, in fact, many competing ideas, with their strengths and weaknesses, which claim to achieve the goal of resolving the Jewish-Arab conflict in an equitable manner – ideas John Kerry rejected out of hand Wednesday night, like a true believer.

No American administration has done more for Israel’s security than Barack Obama’s. […] Our assistance for Iron Dome has saved countless Israeli lives.

Let’s discuss the Iron Dome for a minute. It is the best terror-containing system known to mankind. The only problem is, containing terrorism is morally corrupt, and a society that dedicates its resources to continuing to live next-door to a community run by terrorists is inherently insane.

True story: During the June 2012 Paris weapons show, the Rafael pavilion was busy with visitors eager to get a look at the new, exciting, Iron Dome system, the greatest achievement in rocket defense ever. But by the end of the show, Rafael hadn’t made a single sale. The Arrow sold well, other systems did great – Iron Dome wasn’t moving. So they contacted their serious clients and asked how come, and those clients told them no one except Israel has any use for these things. Because in any normal, sane country, if some gangsters across the border were to start targeting civilians with rockets – the national army would go and kill them.

The state of Israel did just that in 2002, with Operation Defensive Shield, following a suicide bombing in the Park Hotel in Netanya that killed 30 Jews on the Seder night. It took several weeks and enormous resources, and then years of follow-up. But today the terror infrastructure in the PA is not operational. And the result is a much better life for the civilian Arab population, a touch of prosperity, new construction – and a significant drop in the birth rate, for your information, Mr. Kerry.

To compare, when asked, also in 2012, what’s the end goal of Operation Pillar of Defense in Gaza, An IDF official said: to bring the rocket attacks down to a reasonable number. That’s where the US aid achieved with its assistance for Iron Dome: making sure Israel would not invade Gaza and destroy the terror infrastructure there, the way it had done in Judea and Samaria.

Today, there are a similar number of Jews and Palestinians living between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. They have a choice. They can choose to live together in one state, or they can separate into two states. But here is a fundamental reality: if the choice is one state, Israel can either be Jewish or democratic – it cannot be both – and it won’t ever really be at peace. Moreover, the Palestinians will never fully realize their vast potential in a homeland of their own with a one-state solution.

We hear this a lot from the left: 1. Same number of Jews and Arabs; 2. Can’t have a Jewish and Democratic state with an equal number of Jews and Arabs.

The last time a reliable census was conducted among the Arabs of either Gaza or Judea and Samaria was back in the early 1990s, by Israel. All the current figures provided by either the unelected Hamas or PA governments are not just suspect, they’re most likely fabrications. The only ironclad figures we have are about Israeli Arabs, including those in eastern Jerusalem: according to Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics, as of 2015, they number 1.739 million. Of course, unlike their brethren in the Arab-ruled parts of the land, they enjoy Equality, Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. You know it’s true, because every time one of these things goes wrong, you read about it plenty.

The same CBS census also counted 6.706 million Jews in 2015. Kerry’s claim that there are, essentially, two million Arabs in Gaza and the PA, is not verifiable, and most likely a lie. In reality, it is safe to assume tens of thousands of Arabs immigrate to better places from the PA and Gaza every years – and you would, too, in their place. The recorded fact is that Jewish births are today equal to and even surpassing Arab births, so that the “demographic ticking time bomb” that used to be one of the foundations of 2-state is no longer ticking.

But let’s accept for a moment that Sec. Kerry is right, and a Jewish one-state would comprise an equal number of Arabs and Jews. What makes it so certain that the country couldn’t remain Jewish and Democratic? (Incidentally, Kerry here appears to reflect the anxieties of some rightwing whites in the US, as presented by Presidential candidate Mitt Romney in his leaked 2012 campaign talk, that once the non-whites become more than 50% of the country, that would be it for white presidents.).

In democratic Israel (very much unlike the situation in Gaza and the PA), every Arab citizen enjoys 29 out of 30 his universal human and civil rights which are (source: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights): the right to equality; freedom from discrimination; life, liberty, personal security; freedom from slavery; freedom from torture and degrading treatment; recognition as a person before the law; equality before the law; remedy by competent tribunal; freedom from arbitrary arrest and exile; fair public hearing; be considered innocent until proven guilty; freedom from interference with privacy, family, home and correspondence; free movement in and out of the country; asylum in other countries from persecution; a nationality and the freedom to change it; marriage and family; to own property; freedom of belief and religion; freedom of opinion and information; peaceful assembly and association; participate in government and in free elections; social security; to have desirable work and to join trade unions; rest and leisure; adequate living standard; education; participate in the cultural life of community; a social order; community duties essential to free and full development; freedom from state or personal interference in the above rights.

What the same Israeli Arabs do not enjoy is the right to their own national homeland. They are Israelis, Israel is a Jewish state by definition, and so they are citizens of a Jewish state. Naturally, under the articles cited here, they have the right to the freedom to change their nationality, by moving away and swearing their allegiance to a different sovereign.

So that when Sec. Kerry declares: “Moreover, the Palestinians will never fully realize their vast potential in a homeland of their own with a one-state solution,” he actually means that, as we noted above, out of the 30 democratic rights listed here, the Arabs living in a Jewish state would only enjoy 29.

Guess what – there are dozens of democratic countries around the world where residents who do not belong to the state religion are deprived of some national rights. In some democracies, they can never become citizens – but they’re happy to stay anyway, because on all other counts they enjoy the prosperity and freedom of a democracy. The Jewish one-state will be one such example, and her Arab citizens would be delighted to live there. Ask them.

The greatest insult of the Kerry speech – and there were many – came in the following paragraph:

Now, you may hear from advocates that the settlements are not an obstacle to peace because the settlers who don’t want to leave can just stay in Palestine, like the Arab Israelis who live in Israel. But that misses a critical point, my friends. The Arab Israelis are citizens of Israel, subject to Israel’s law. Does anyone here really believe that the settlers will agree to submit to Palestinian law in Palestine?

How does he know that? Was there a survey we haven’t heard about? Was there, at any time, anywhere, a statement from the PLO, or Hamas, inviting the Jewish communities in their areas to stay and enjoy those human and civil rights in the best tradition of democracies everywhere — and the Jews refused?

Did anyone in Ramallah propose to remove the PA state law punishing by death any Arab who sells land to Jews? No, it’s still on the books. It’s, in fact, at the root of many ambiguous Arab land claims against Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria. Because the Arab seller’s life was in danger, many of those sales were not registered officially, so that all the Jewish buyers had to show for their millions of dollars were receipts signed by straw men.

Inherent in Kerry’s slur against the inclination of Jewish homesteaders to obey PA laws is the assumption that the PA would certainly be hostile to these Jews and take steps to harm them.

But many Israelis today are willing to accept Arabs from the PA and from Gaza who would agree to submit to Israeli law. Because almost two million Arab citizens of Israel have been doing just that over the past 70 years. Many of them serve in the IDF, Police and National Service; they enjoy fully autonomous municipal governments; they send their representatives to the Knesset in numbers that accurately reflect their demographic weight.

The time has come for a dialogue between Jews and Arabs towards identifying a one-state solution that works. Once 2-state loses its status as the “state religion,” many alternatives should be examined. Jews and Arabs have lived side by side for centuries in the area between the river and the sea – and the only times they fought one another were when it served the interests of some political entity. As Prime Minister Netanyahu put it recently, if Arabs and Jews really want peace, the fact that there are Jews living in majority-Arab areas should not be a deterrent – not any more than the fact that there are Arabs living in majority-Jewish areas.

Yankee, please, go home.

David Israel

Report: IDF, GSS, Foiled 180 Judea and Samaria Shooting Attacks in 2016

Monday, December 26th, 2016

Over the past year the IDF and GSS foiled 180 planned shooting attacks in Judea and Samaria, a senior officer in the IDF Judea and Samaria Division told military reporters Sunday. Some of the attacks were prevented just before their execution and some in planning stages that involved up to three terrorists. That same Sunday, according to the officer, there had been drive by shots outside a gate leading to the town of Beit El near Ramallah. The vehicle escaped and no one was hurt. It was the 39th shooting attack recorded since January 1 this year.

According to the IDF officer, the center of shooting attacks have moved in recent months from Gush Etzion to the Benjamin region. Most of the terror infrastructures exposed have been local, and only few have functional organizational ties. Hamas may be encouraging attacks, but the terrorist cells are not receiving their orders or their supplies from any known terrorist headquarters. Interrogation of captured cells show they are motivated mostly by news about ISIS attacks in European civilian centers.

“The typical connection of these cell members is familial – they come either from the same clan or neighborhood,” the officer noted.

The most popular targets for these independent cells are IDF positions, hitchhiking stops, and moving vehicles, which they shoot at from an ambush position or in a drive by.

According to the briefing officer, today’s Arab terrorists in the liberated territories are very different from the classic PLO, Hamas, or Islamic Jihad members of the first two intifadas. “These are young Palestinians who no longer talk about the fabric of life, but rather about the quality of life,” he said. “They seek entertainment and spend a lot of money on clothing. The Deheishe refugee camp in the Bethlehem area is seeing a crazy increase in the number of young men working out in local gyms. On the other hand, all of that does not stop them from believing in an extremist ideology and carry out attacks. It has to do with a gap in their understanding of us, it’s a cultural issue.”

The Israeli military response has changed accordingly, the officer reported. “We are more efficient than before. We no longer attempt to cover vast areas, but operate in a focused way instead.” He explained that the IDF units are more dynamic now, moving to hot spots on the highways based on up-to-the-minute intelligence.

He also suggested that demolishing homes that belonged to terrorists has had a deterrence effect, and part of the reduction in terrorist activity can be attributed to the increase to 21 demolitions this year, up from 7 in 2015.

Another factor has been the IDF’s massive investment in CCTVs and lighting across the liberated territories, as well as in enhancing communications among the forces in the area.

JNi.Media

Palestinian Authority Received $357 Million From US State Dept in 2016

Saturday, December 17th, 2016

A report last week that the Palestinian Authority received no funding at all in 2016 from the United States has been proven untrue in an expose by the Times of Israel.

According to the report, the Ramallah government has received more funding this year from the U.S. State Department than from any other foreign source.

As a matter of fact, a State Department official provided information to the news outlet on Thursday that proves the United States gave the Palestinian Authority more than $357 million in financial aid in 2016. Add to that another $355,177,827 contributed by the United States in 2016 to UNRWA – the United Nations Relief and Works Agency – which included an allocation of $95 million solely for Gaza and the PA-controlled areas of Judea and Samaria.

UNRWA is the agency dedicated solely to helping “Palestinian refugees” in Lebanon, Jordan and Syria – the only refugees in the world to be defined from one generation to the next, now going into the fifth generation, and numbering past five million, rather than having be accepted and absorbed by their “Arab brethren.”

PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah had told the official Voice of Palestine radio station on December 8 that his government had not received any funds from the United States in 2016, calling it a “financial siege” on the Palestinian Authority.

“We hope that this aid money will be paid,” he said, the Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) translated from a clip of the program.

But it turns out Hamdallah was playing semantics, with a reference to the difference between fiscal year approval and transfer of payment, which the U.S. government disburses via the USAID agency in the form of project funding in a one-year delay, which Hamdallah knows perfectly well. “Projects” can include anything like bills for education funding – utility bills for schools, for example – hospitals, direct payments to contractors who build or repair infrastructure… anything other than salaries for terrorist inmates sitting in Israeli jails.

The monies for 2016 were approved actually in 2015. The monies for 2017 – according to Hamdallah, $263 million, were approved by Congress in 2016. Somehow he has gotten the figure wrong, however: according to the figures from the State Department, $261 million was approved by Congress. TOI was unable to reach Hamdallah’s office for comment on the difference in the numbers.

Hana Levi Julian

PA Court Sentences Abbas’ Rival Dahlan in Absentia to 3 Years for Embezzlement

Thursday, December 15th, 2016

The Ramallah Anti-Corruption Crimes Court on Wednesday sentenced Muhammad Dahlan, a former senior member of Fatah now living in UAE and a longtime rival of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, to three years in prison for embezzling $16 million.

The court, which tried Dahlan in his absence, added a fine of $16 million to the sentence as payment for embezzling the money, declared him a fugitive from justice.

Ma’an recalled Dahlan’s fierce opposition to Hamas and his “merciless crackdown” on the rival group in the 1990s, when his PLO units rounded up thousands of Islamists who refused to recognize the legitimacy of the PA. Then Dahlan fell from grace in June 2007 after Hamas trounced his fighters in Gaza street battles, expelling Fatah permanently from the territory.

In 2010, after his election to the Fatah central committee, Dahlan was suspended, and an inquiry was launched to examine his finances, accusing him of setting up his own private militia.

In 2011, Dahlan was accused by Fatah leaders of poisoning Yasser Arafat – an honor he shared with Israeli security at the time.

Then, in 2015, the notorious anti-Hamas Dahlan called for integrating all the Palestinian factions, including Hamas and the Islamic Jihad, into the PLO. Meanwhile, several Arab regimes began to push his candidacy to replace Abbas when the time comes. Dahlan then began to accuse Abbas of holding on to his seat without popular support and without democratic elections (his term ran out around 2009).

Back in October, Dahlan told Ma’an the failures of PA leadership could bring the end to the Arabs’ hope for independence. “If this situation continues,” he warned, “we will either yield to the occupation’s conditions and rules – which is impossible at the popular level – or have a popular uprising, which will be very dangerous.”

David Israel

Israeli Minister Yuval Steinitz: Abu Mazen is Israel’s “Number One Enemy”

Thursday, December 1st, 2016

Minister of National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Resources Yuval Steinitz is calling Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) leader Mahmoud Abbas Israel’s “Number One enemy.”

Abbas warned during a Fatah Central Committee meeting in Ramallah on Wednesday after his re-election to the faction’s leadership for another five-year term, that recognition of the State of Israel would not be “eternal,” should it not be reciprocated by the Israelis.

The Fatah leader also heads the Palestinian Authority and is now in his 11th year of a four-year term. He stressed his confidence at the meeting that the entity will eventually gain independence and that the removal of settlements “requires patience.”

In an interview Thursday (Dec. 1) with Israel Radio, Steinitz argued that to withdraw his recognition of Israel, Mahmoud Abbas would have to first start by recognizing it. “Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas) has never recognized the right of the State of Israel to exist, and continues to deny it,” Steinitz said. “He always posited that the Jews had no right to their own homeland state whether in Ramallah or Tel Aviv,” he said.

“Ideologically, Abu Mazen is the Number One enemy to the very existence of the State of Israel, even more so than [former PLO chairman Yasser] Arafat,” he said.

The remarks came on the heels of six anti-Israel resolutions adopted by the United Nations General Assembly this week on “Palestinian and Middle East issues.”

One resolution pertaining to Jerusalem and its holy sites was approved by a 149-7 vote with 8 abstentions and again erased the ancient Biblical Jewish bonds to the Temple Mount. It also said action by Israel, “the occupying Power, to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on the Holy City of Jerusalem … [remains] illegal and therefore null and void and had no validity whatsoever.”

In response, Steinitz called the resolutions as “a sad joke for Israel and for the world.” He also claimed the specific condemnation of Israel, as compared to the horrific acts occurring currently in the Middle East, whether in Syria or Iraq, had “an anti-Semitic orientation.”

Israel Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon severely criticized President of the General Assembly John William Ashe for wearing a Palestinian Authority flag scarf during the November 29 UN General Assembly session held to mark the world body’s annual International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. The event was held on the anniversary date of the General Assembly’s 1947 adoption of Resolution 181, the Partition Plan for Palestine.

“It is unfortunate that the @UN_PGA chose to wear the Palestinian flag at an event whose sole purpose was to slander Israel,” Dannon tweeted.

In his speech, he also displayed the headline than ran in The New York Times following the 1947 vote, posting it on the Twitter social networking site:

“The @nytimes from the day after the Partition Plan vote: ‘Assembly Votes Palestine Partition. Arabs Walk Out.’ This is the whole story.”

Content by Ilana Messika / TPS was used in this report.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Stop the Presses: Abbas Reelected Fatah Chief

Wednesday, November 30th, 2016

In an astonishing move that caught the world by surprise, about 1,250 Fatah party politicians opened their seventh conference in Ramallah on Tuesday by reappointing Mahmoud Abbas chairman. At 81, an invigorated Abbas, a.k.a. Abu Mazen, was voted in unanimously, despite speculations that this time the ruling party of the PA would entertain serious discussions of a post-Abbas future.

Fataḥ, formerly the Palestinian National Liberation Movement, is the largest faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). Abbas was elected in January 2005 as President of the Palestinian National Authority until January 2009, but in December 2009 was voted into office indefinitely by the PLO Central Council.

An estimated 75 Fatah representatives from Gaza were not granted permits by Israel to leave the Strip to attend the conference. But its doubtful the vote in Ramallah would have been any different had they been allowed to go through.

The date picked for the conference, as it is done every conference, was November 29, the anniversary of the last time the Arabs in the Land of Israel had a real chance for statehood, which they blew, in the spirit of the late Abba Eban, who said, The Arabs never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity. For the record, Eban did not focus solely on the Arabs who call themselves Palestinians, since he made his immortal observation after the 1973 Geneva Peace Conference with Arab countries (which Syria refused to attend).

November 29 was commemorated by the UN on Tuesday, as the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. UN General Assembly president Peter Thomson honored the occasion by wearing a Palestinian flag scarf, just like the one Yasser Arafat wore when he first appeared at the General Assembly back in 1974 as the chief of Fatah – which was established back in 1959 to “organize the armed resistance against Israel,” almost a decade before the 1967 war.

Which brings to mind another Abba Eban immortal observation, from 2004: If Algeria introduced a resolution declaring that the earth was flat and that Israel had flattened it, it would pass by a vote of 164 to 13 with 26 abstentions.

David Israel

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/stop-the-presses-abbas-reelected-fatah-chief/2016/11/30/

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