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April 20, 2014 / 20 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Palestine’

Fox Opening in Ramallah Sparks Arab Outrage

Monday, July 22nd, 2013

The Israeli clothing chain Fox is only a few months away from opening a local franchise in Ramallah.

Many local Arabs are outraged that an Israeli chain is opening in territories under their control, as it increases normalization between Jews and Arabs. Furthermore, it goes against the boycott that Abbas has called against all Israeli products.

On the other hand, the Arabs apparently would have no problem with Bar Rafaeli being the local Ramallah branch spokes-model, as she has not served in the IDF.

Australia’s New Deputy PM an Advocate for Palestinians

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013

Australia, one of Israel’s staunchest supporters, now has a deputy prime minister who is a founding member of the Parliamentary Friends of Palestine group, a sign of shifting political sands that may change the country’s attitudes towards the Jewish state.

Anthony Albanese, a longstanding member of the left faction of the Labor Party, was sworn in by Australia’s Governor-General Quentin Bryce Monday as part of Kevin Rudd’s new cabinet. Albanese describes himself as “a strong advocate of justice for Palestinians” but also has been at the forefront of the fight against those promoting a boycott of Israeli goods, blasting the campaign as “clumsy and counterproductive.”

Rudd was parachuted into power last week for his second stint as prime minister after Julia Gillard called a leadership ballot amid plunging polls and rising support for Rudd. He served as prime minister from 2007 to 2010 and said the day after he was re-elected that he doubted he would stick to the federal election date selected by Gillard of September 14, which is Yom Kippur, because of the “massive inconvenience” to Australia’s 110,000-plus Jews.

Rudd’s re-election as party leader sparked a bounce in the polls, but Labor still trails the conservative Liberal Party led by Tony Abbott. The election must be held by November 30.

Michael Danby, a pro-Israel Jewish legislator inside the Labor government, said although Albanese “doesn’t have my views on the Middle East,” he does support a two-state solution.

Weapons Cache Uncovered in Overnight IDF Raid in Shechem

Thursday, June 27th, 2013

IDF soldiers have uncovered a weapons cache during a special raid Wednesday night in Shechem, located in north-central Samaria and where the Palestinian Authority is supposed to be responsible for security.

The cache included two pistols, parts of an M-16 rifle, more than 100 ammunition clips, ammunition and other military equipment.

The IDF has recovered more than 100 bullets, military equipment, improvised weapons, Molotov cocktails, three pistols, five rifles, and three knives in ten different incidents the past two months.

Six shooting attacks have been executed against Israeli civilians by Palestinian terrorists during the same period, the last incident having occurred this past Tuesday morning, when Arabs shot at a public bus that was driving in the Samaria. There were no passengers at the time, and the driver was not injured.

Two weeks ago, another bus was also shot in the same area. That bus was carrying passengers, but no one was injured.

A few days later, more than 30 bullets were shot at an armored army ambulance, five of which hit the armored plating.

The Idiocy of the ‘Two-State Solution’

Thursday, June 20th, 2013

Yesterday Naftali Bennett of the Jewish Home party became the latest member of Israel’s cabinet to call for an end to the pretense that a “two-state solution” could be a ‘solution’ in any sense.

The notion of having a two-state solution established in the Land of Israel is now at a dead end; never in Jewish history have so many people talked so much and expended so much energy in something so futile,

he said. Instead,

Bennett reiterated his stance that Israel should annex — “as quickly as possible” — virtually all the areas [Area C] that were not handed over the Palestinian Authority under the Oslo accords, including the Jewish communities and a handful of Palestinian towns. He further advocated that Israel devise “aggressive” new plans to drastically improve the economic well-being of both the Jewish and Arab inhabitants of Judea and Samaria.

Bennett said that Israel must continue its settlement activity in Judea and Samaria “in full force, because only facts on the ground would make everyone understand that it is an unrealistic proposition to have a Palestinian entity in the Land of Israel.”

Naturally this led to a storm of criticism — in some cases, abuse — from the Palestinians, the Israeli Left, Europe and the Obama Administration, just as last week’s remark by Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon that the government would not support a “two-state solution” did.

So what is the history of the “two-state solution?”

The original Palestine Mandate conceived of the establishment of a Jewish state in part of the area taken from the collapsed Ottoman Empire after WWI. The victorious Allied Powers also established a Mandate in what was to become the present-day state of Iraq, one for Lebanon and Syria, etc. The British took about 70% of the Palestine Mandate and created the Arab state of Transjordan.

But despite the plethora of new Arab states (and Mandates that would become states), violent opposition to Jewish sovereignty in what was left of Palestine arose among the Arabs, and for various reasons — oil among them — Britain abandoned its responsibility to the Jewish people. When the British were ultimately driven out of the region — in great measure by Jewish resistance — they sided with the Arabs in their attempt to abort the creation of a Jewish state.

In the lead-up to the 1948 war, there were various partition proposals to reduce even further the area allocated to a Jewish home, all of which were acceptable to the Jews. There was the Peel Commission report of 1937, which proposed a small Jewish state, a larger Arab state and a chunk including Jerusalem to remain under British administration. And of course there was the UN Partition Resolution of 1947. Both of these were rejected by the Arabs, who did not — as they do not today — accept the idea of any Jewish sovereignty in Palestine.

Note what the various “two-state solutions” were supposed to solve — Arab opposition to Jewish sovereignty. Of course only total elimination of the Jewish state could do that.

After the 1967 war, Israel accepted UNSC resolution 242, under which Israel would give back lands it had occupied to its neighbors in return for peace treaties that would guarantee “secure and recognized boundaries.” The clear intent of the resolution was that Israel would give back some of the land, but not necessarily all of it, particularly because the pre-war boundaries were not ‘secure’.

Israel signed a peace agreement with Egypt and evacuated the Sinai (unfortunately Sadat would not take Gaza as well). But in 1988, Jordan ceded its claims on Judea and Samaria to the PLO. Any peace treaty in the framework of 242, then, would have to be with the PLO.

The Oslo agreements of 1993 were intended to lead to such a peace agreement. As everyone knows, the PLO was not prepared to accept the terms offered at Camp David and Taba in 2000-1, and chose to make war instead — a war in which more than a thousand Israelis (mostly civilians) and possibly 3,000 Arabs (mostly combatants) were killed.

The PLO rejection of the offers was not a matter of technical details, but of fundamental ideological beliefs. This is shown by the refusal of the PLO to change its charter despite a massive effort by US President Clinton to get them to do so, by the persistence of both terrorism and incitement throughout the Oslo period, and by the ultimate recourse to war against Israel’s population.

Nevertheless, another offer was made, this time by PM Olmert in 2008. This offer was even more generous than that made in 2000-1. When its contents were revealed recently, many Israelis were shocked. But that offer was rejected as well.

Israel evacuated every last Jew from the Gaza Strip in 2005. They even dug up bodies from cemeteries and removed them. For reasons that I have never understood, the PLO was furious that the withdrawal wasn’t ‘coordinated’ with them.  Israel got absolutely no credit for giving the Palestinians what they had been saying they wanted for years! Of course, two years later, Hamas came along and viciously took over Gaza, murdering numerous PLO functionaries. But that wasn’t because the withdrawal wasn’t ‘coordinated’. In any event, it showed that evacuating territory near Israeli populations was a bad idea when Hamas ramped up its rocket attacks.

It has always fascinated me that those calling for a “two-state solution” seem to believe that once an agreement is signed and the IDF leaves the territories, then there will be peace. Is there any precedent that the Arabs might not honor an agreement? Could a regime change on the Arab side cause the abrogation of the agreement? Just to ask these questions shows the idiocy of the “two-state solution!”

As Abraham Katsman argues here, the security consequences of a withdrawal from Judea and Samaria are unacceptable:

…history indicates that withdrawal to the pre-1967 lines, absent major changes, is arguably the single most counterproductive act imaginable for long-lasting peace. There is no greater obstacle to peace than the perpetual temptation to launch another war against Israel from such lopsided lines.

What is so sacred about the pre-1967 lines, anyway? In 1967, there was neither peace nor an independent Palestinian entity. Similar lines were part of the 1947 Partition Plan, and were overrun by invading Arab armies. The pre-1967 lines were never an internationally recognized border — thanks to Arab insistence that they not be. They were merely the armistice lines of 1949, an armistice honored mostly in the breach. In 1967, Arab armies finally shredded the armistice by attacking across those lines, in spite of Israeli pleas to Jordan’s King Hussein not to do so. With new ceasefire lines in 1967 and 1973, the pre-1967 lines were rendered meaningless, having lasted all of 18 years, 1949-1967. R.I.P.

Even putting aside Israel’s own legitimate legal, cultural, and historical claims to disputed territories, Israeli withdrawal to those lines won’t happen now due to Israeli aversion to existential vulnerability.

The bottom line for Israel is a sovereign Jewish state with defensible borders. The PLO’s reason for being is to end the Jewish state. What’s surprising is that John Kerry and others continue to think that there’s room for an agreement that could be consistent with both.

Visit Fresno Zionism.

If You Liked the Arab Spring, You’ll Love ‘Palestine’

Thursday, June 13th, 2013

The disarray, ritual violence, rancor, intermittent anarchy, and seemingly endless cycle of replacing one tyranny with another that have characterized the Arab Spring is also the predictable future for “Palestine.”

In the Islamic Middle East, the recurrent myth of “democracy” has conveniently taken on its own twisted grammar and syntax. For the most part, in this tormented and tormenting region, irony has already been upstaged by oxymoron.

Even after being awarded elevated status last year by the UN General Assembly – “Palestine” is now officially a nonmember observer state – feuding Arab authorities in the West Bank and Gaza will continue to vie viciously for consolidated national power. Here, unsurprisingly, Hamas and Fatah killers will obligingly murder and torture one another as best they can. This is what they know best. Significantly, other known or still-unknown jihadist groups will also enter the frenzied struggle for individual and group primacy.

Nonetheless, the warring factions are apt to come together intermittently on the one point of “higher philosophy” that can still bind them together. This utterly consuming worldview, of course, is a ritualized and irremediably primal hatred of Israel. This prospectively genocidal antipathy has its conceptual and historic origins in an antecedent hatred of Jews.

How little is understood in the West. Palestinian opposition to Israel has never really been about land. It has always been about religion and about corollary assurances of immortality.

What, exactly, then, can we expect from “Palestine”? One could argue, it seems, that this new Arab state will inevitably share a sort of mutual vulnerability with Israel, and that it would therefore be well advised to adhere strictly to responsible policies of protracted peace and coexistence.

In reality, however, here is what we can expect. After early episodes of intra-Arab conflict and related war crimes, periods during which time the competing Palestinian factions will fashion crisscross alignments with willing elements in other parts of the Islamic world, the crushing war against Israel will resume. Newly endowed with unprecedented geopolitical advantages against a now diminished Israeli min-state, this newest Arab state will launch substantially advanced rockets against the Jewish state. More than likely, there will be renewed attacks on Israeli schools, buses, and hospitals. After all, there will be an expectedly mad scramble to join the next blood-soaked wave of Islamic martyrs.

To respond effectively, Israel will need to rely more heavily on its capable active defenses. As long as the incoming rockets from Gaza, the West Bank, and possibly Lebanon remain entirely conventional, the inevitable “leakage” from Iron Dome and (possibly) David’s Sling (aka Magic Wand), could still be judged “acceptable.” But once these rockets are fitted with chemical and/or biological materials, such leakage could prove unacceptable.

A particularly serious security problem posed to Israel by any new state of Palestine would be one involving collaboration with Iran. Nowhere is it written that the developing Iranian nuclear threat must somehow remain strategically and tactically unrelated to a seemingly discrete Palestinian threat. Should Iran be permitted to go fully nuclear, which now seems pretty much certain, it could plan, in the future, to fire advanced ballistic missiles with nuclear warheads against Israeli cities. Operationally, this could be undertaken in managed coordination with certain non-nuclear rocket attacks, launched simultaneously from Gaza, West Bank, and/or southern Lebanon.

To meet indispensable protective objectives, Israel’s primary ballistic missile defense system, the Arrow, would require a 100 percent reliability of interception against incoming Iranian missiles.

Achieving such a level of perfect reliability, however, is technically impossible.

The core strategic problem facing Israel, therefore, is one of critical “synergies” or “force multipliers.” Working together against the Jewish state, Palestine, Iran, and assorted other enemies could quickly pose a cumulative hazard that is tangibly greater than the arithmetic sum of its component parts. Perhaps in anticipating this dire prospect, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu continues to speak hopefully of a Palestinian state that would be “demilitarized.”

This expectation is naive and unsupportable. Whatever else it may have agreed to in its pre-state incarnation, any presumptively new sovereign state is entitled to “self-defense.” Under authoritative international law, this right is fundamental, immutable, and (per Art. 51 of the United Nations Charter), “inherent.” Further, to use proper terminology from the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, it is also “peremptory.”

Money Won’t Buy Moderation in the Mideast

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

Originally published at Rubin Reports.

Can the Obama Administration turn radicals into moderates with money?

Way back in 1979, shortly after the Iranian revolution, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini said that people in the West didn’t understand revolutionary Islamism. “They think,” he explained, “the revolution is all about the price of watermelons. It isn’t.” In other words, this is an ideological cause not a money-making attempt where people can be bribed.

Three Examples:

1. The Palestinian Case

On May 26, at the World Economic Forum in Jordan, Secretary of State John Kerry proclaimed a new plan. He wants to find $4 billion from investors. If he does this, he claims, the Palestinian economy will be doing great, people will be employed, and there will be peace.

Actually, this is a bribe to get the Palestinian Authority back to negotiations with Israel which would also mean, of course, that the Obama Administration can claim a foreign policy success. That’s $4 billion to buy a negotiations’ process that will meet a few times and break down in deadlock, as has happened over 20 years under far better potential conditions and additional billions of dollars of aid to the Palestinians. The initiative is also intended to get the Palestinian Authority to drop plans to seek statehood at the UN; file cases against Israel at the World Court; and to try to join other international institutions as an independent state.

What should the money be spent on according to Kerry? Why on tourism! No doubt tourists are just lining up to go to the West Bank (they certainly aren’t going to go to the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip where the rockets’ red glare has a different meaning).

Notice incidentally that these are not productive investments. Perhaps he could have proposed investment in green energy. After all, the West Bank has much better prospects for solar power than does the United States.

The supposed uses to which the money would be put further signals that this is a political bribe. If this money is found Kerry said the result would be to:

“Increase the Palestinian GDP by as much as 50% over three years…and reduce unemployment by two-thirds…and increase the median wage by 40%.”

Should the secretary of state be talking on such a level of fantasy? Does a single one of his listeners believe this?

Tony Blair, to whom the tourism project was turned over by Kerry, has been the negotiator for the quartet for 11 years. Guess how many visits he has made to Jerusalem? Answer: 87. And basically he’s accomplished zero. Here is the short list of achievements that he even dares claim after 11 years, 87 trips, and vast amounts of money.

Kerry stated:

Experts believe that we can increase the Palestinian GDP by as much as 50% over three years. Their most optimistic estimates foresee enough new jobs to cut unemployment by nearly two-thirds – to 8%, down from 21% today – and to increase the median annual wage along with it, by as much as 40%….

How about their more pessimistic estimates or even their realistic ones? Kerry has chosen the worst possible plan, investment in an industry that is incredibly sensitive to political unrest.

Are Palestinians going to become hotel managers, waiters, lifeguards at swimming pools, and so on?

What will Hamas think about the influx of massive numbers of Western tourists?

The sale of alcohol?

Western women coming in wearing whatever they want?

What would happen to this investment if there was a single terrorist attack in the West Bank, much less one against tourists?

Might events in nearby Egypt and Syria affect Western tourism?

And while Israel is successful at tourism it is a developed country with far more to see. Remember east Jerusalem—the main tourist attraction—is controlled by Israel, not the Palestinian Authority. Once you get beyond Bethlehem which tourists can visit easily while spending a night in an Israeli hotel—what’s there to do in the West Bank?

Is this a good idea for a $4 billion investment?

Kerry continued:

The economics will never work properly or fully without the political process….President Abbas, the economic approach is not a substitute for the political approach. The political approach is essential and it is our top priority. In fact, none of this vision…will happen without the context of the two-state solution.

Question: If billions of dollars have not bought P.A. support for a two-state solution in 20 years why should anything change now?

Real Zionists Use Bing

Thursday, May 16th, 2013

News item:

Internet giant Google has changed the tagline on the homepage of its Palestinian edition from “Palestinian Territories” to “Palestine.”

The change, introduced on 1 May, means google.ps now displays “Palestine” in Arabic and English under Google’s logo.

This was noted in most media outlets, but generally treated as unimportant:

“Google can do anything they want. They’re not a diplomatic entity so they can do Google La-la Land if they want to and that’s fine,” says Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor. “Still, the question remains, this is a highly sensitive international politics issue, so what made Google decide they wanted to take a position on this?”

Google wouldn’t talk about this, but the company put out a statement saying it was following the lead of the United Nations and other international organizations. It also provided several examples of other name changes.

Israel’s deputy foreign minister sent a letter to Google CEO Larry Page, saying Google’s move could hurt peace negotiations.

“I can tell you that it has no diplomatic meaning, and it hasn’t,” says Palmor. “But if people on the Palestinian side believe that they can get anything they want through unilateral steps by international bodies, well in that case they will be more reluctant to talk to Israel.”

As my readers know, I place “peace negotiations” with PLO terrorists somewhere on a line between pointless and dangerous. Rather than an alternative to giving them everything they want unilaterally, they are simply a way of obtaining the same result while maintaining the pretense of bilateral legitimacy.

So that isn’t what I would have told Page. Rather, I would have explained that sovereignty over the territories is disputed and that Israel has a prima facie claim on them in international law going back to the Palestine Mandate. I would have added that today’s “United Nations” is a sham and a scam, dominated by a group of the 56 (‘Palestine’ is no. 57) members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and their “nonaligned” lackeys who have a permanent majority for the elimination of the state of Israel, and probably the Jewish people as well.

I would point out that regardless of the votes of the U.N. representatives of these various dictatorships, kingdoms and theocracies, ‘Palestine’ can’t be a state because it doesn’t control the territory it claims, nor does it have defined borders (the application presented to the U.N. refers to the lines of the unimplemented 1947 partition resolution), nor is there a single government. Not only that, it has no economy other than the aid it extorts from the West, and its rulers are a bunch of racists and gangsters (not that this matters in international law, but still…)

Google should understand that by agreeing with said gangsters that ‘Palestine’ is a state, they are in effect agreeing that the Jewish people do not have a legitimate state, and that it is perfectly fine to murder Jews wherever and whenever you can in order to create ‘Palestine’, because these are the basic principles expressed in the charters of the PLO and Hamas, the two ‘Palestinian’ governments.

It’s really pretty simple. You’d think the geniuses at Google could figure it out.

Visit Fresno Zionism.

China’s Peace Plan: Outrageously One-Sided

Wednesday, May 8th, 2013

I’ve heard suggestions that Israel should be looking east for allies, rather than toward the U.S. and Europe. Judging by the four point “peace plan” proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping while both PM Netanyahu and Mahmoud Abbas were in China, maybe that wouldn’t be such a good idea. Do we really need another plan that doesn’t mention recognition of Israel as a Jewish state?

Here are the four points, with a few comments interspersed. You can decide for yourself if this represents a positive breakthrough.

First, the right direction to follow should be an independent Palestinian State and peaceful co-existence of Palestine and Israel. To establish an independent state enjoying full sovereignty on the basis of the 1967 borders and with East Jerusalem as its capital is an inalienable right of the Palestinian people and the key to the settlement of the Palestinian question. At the same time, Israel’s right to exist and its legitimate security concerns should also be fully respected.

Just in case we have any question about whether the Chinese are taking sides, the “Palestinian people” have “inalienable rights” to specific territory while Israel has only a “right to exist.” The word “legitimate” is ambiguous, too — does it mean that Israel’s concerns are legitimate, or does it mean that only “legitimate” concerns should be ‘respected’?

As we know, there are no “1967 borders,” only 1949 armistice lines which neither side accepted as having any permanent significance, and which were understood by the drafters of UNSC resolution 242 as needing to be replaced by “secure and recognized” boundaries. And if “full sovereignty” includes militarization and control of airspace, then that is simply inconsistent with Israel’s security.

Second, negotiation should be taken as the only way to peace between Palestine and Israel. The two sides should follow the trend of the times, pursue peace talks, show mutual understanding and accommodation, and meet each other half way. The immediate priority is to take credible steps to stop settlement activities, end violence against innocent civilians, lift the blockade of the Gaza Strip and properly handle the issue of Palestinian prisoners in order to create the necessary conditions for the resumption of peace talks. Comprehensive internal reconciliation on the part of Palestine will help restart and advance the Palestinian-Israeli peace talks.

Ending violence against innocent civilians, if this means stopping Arab terrorism, would be great. But keep in mind that the PLO promised — when it signed the Oslo accords, and received weapons, money and training for its “police force” — to do just that. PLO-supported terrorism continued, before, during and after the murderous Second Intifada, under Arafat and Abbas, on both sides of the Green Line, and is even increasing today, giving rise to fears of a third intifada. So any agreement must include a way to ensure that the PLO would honor it, as well as a way to restrain Hamas and the other extremist factions.

I recall the ill-fated “Road Map,” whose full name was, “A Performance-Based Road Map to a Permanent Two-State Solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.” It called for “ending terror and violence” and stopping incitement as part of Phase I. Supposedly there would not be a Phase II if this didn’t happen. Of course it didn’t. Along the way, the idea of conditioning Israeli concessions on Palestinian performance seems to have been given up.

Regarding “settlement activities”: the argument has been that even if a “settler” adds a bedroom onto his house within an existing settlement, then he is somehow creating facts on the ground which prejudice a future agreement with the Palestinians. This is illogical, considering that (a) the settlement blocs where most Jews live are expected to remain part of Israel under any reasonable agreement, and (b) there is established precedent for Israel withdrawing from inhabited settlements.

But more important: Arabs, too, are building “settlements,” especially in Area C, the part of Judea/Samaria that is supposed to be under full Israeli control. Will they agree to stop their “activities” as well? Because they are the ones creating facts on the ground today.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/fresno-zionism/chinas-peace-plan-outrageously-one-sided/2013/05/08/

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