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October 23, 2014 / 29 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Palestine’

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.

International Law and the ‘Right of Return’

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013

Pro-Palestinian political leaders, media outlets, and activists the world over continuously assert that the Palestinians should be granted a right of return according to international law. However, NONE of these claims hold water if one actually examines international law. For example, the Palestinians rely heavily upon the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which states that “no one should be arbitrarily deprived of the right to enter his country.” Yet, can one consider Palestinians born in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and other Arab countries to be Israeli citizens and thus deprived of the right to enter their country?

Most of the Palestinians living across the Arab world were never born in Israel and have never lived in Israel. Secondly, even the minority who did live in Israel did so under the British Mandate, not under Israeli rule. They fled before they had a chance to receive citizenship rights and their Israeli blue ID cards, because their leadership was opposed to them coexisting with the Jewish people. Such peoples are about as Israeli as Turks who lived in Ottoman-controlled Greece yet left are Greek. So why should the Palestinians be any different? Based on international precedents, Palestinians are entitled to equal rights within their present countries, yet not Israeli citizenship.

Another document that pro-Palestine activists rely on when stating that there should be a Palestinian right of return is UN resolution 194, which states, “The General Assembly… resolves that refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or in equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible.”

UN General Assembly resolutions, however are never legally binding. Instead, they can be viewed as mere suggestions, which Israel can either listen to or ignore. But even if this resolution was legally binding, it states “refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors.” This means that any Palestinian who doesn’t want to live at peace with their neighbors shouldn’t be given a right of return, thus implying that the decades of terrorism orchestrated by the Palestinian leadership and supported by the majority of the Palestinian population means that the Palestinians lost their “right of return.”

Furthermore, the resolution states at the “earliest practicable date.” This means that so long as this proposal cannot be practically implemented, it doesn’t need to happen yet. Because there have been decades of animosity and hatred between Israelis and Palestinians and since the cultural gap between Israelis and Palestinians is gigantic, the idea of a Palestinian right of return seems impractical and it will continue to be so in the foreseeable future.

Given what has happened in Bosnia since the signing of the Dayton Agreements, where ethnic animosity and violence has prevented most refugees from returning to their homes despite the existence of such a right, it seems that a right of return isn’t a good solution for ethnic conflicts. Most Holocaust survivors didn’t want a right of return to Europe, preferring to be resettled in a new country that was free of the traumas that they experienced. Jewish refugees from Arab countries also generally have no desire to return to Arab states, for similar reasons. Given this, is it really in the Palestinians best interest to come to a foreign country whom they have been engaged with in a violent conflict for decades? While the Palestinian refugee crisis needs to be solved, it should be solved in the Arab world, not in Israel.

Visit United with Israel.

For Israel, Better the ‘Blessing’ than the ‘Curse’

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

Jewish thought has never been subtle about life and death, the “blessing” and the “curse.” For Israel, the individual Jew writ large, there exists a fixed and overriding obligation to stay alive.

Although this injunction may hardly come as any sort of surprise, and may hardly seem to merit any claim of significant insight, it does stand in notably stark contrast to the worldview of some of Israel’s principal enemies in the region. More precisely, in order to deal gainfully with a still steadily nuclearizing Iran, and with a determinedly sovereign Palestine, Israel will quickly have to understand certain alien points of view.

The sources of danger for Israel are unambiguous. In a readily decipherable hierarchy of threats, Israel now confronts death and destruction from two increasingly plausible directions: (1) the already-constituted state of Iran, which may ultimately decide to act against Israel in presumed conformance with the end-times expectations of a Shiite apocalypse, and (2) the aspiring state of “Palestine,” which, if shaped by jihadist visions of Sunni Hamas, could decide to make a common war cause with Tehran.

Singly, for Israel, the attack dangers from Iran or Palestine that could derive from any religiously based inversion of life and death, of “blessing” and “curse,” would be considerable and daunting.

Together, perhaps in various unrecognized or even unimagined synergies, the interactive effects of these two particular adversaries could portend very serious and possibly existential concerns for Israel.

These regional enemy inversions of life and death, of “blessing” and “curse,” are rendered more worrisome by (1) the international community’s ritualized unwillingness to remove Iran’s illegal nuclear weapons infrastructure; (2) President Obama’s continuing support for a two-state solution; and, (3) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s grudging but official acceptance of a Palestinian state that has been “demilitarized.”

The Palestinian side (Hamas, Fatah, it makes little real difference) seeks a one-state solution. On all their maps, Israel is drawn as a segment of “Palestine.” As for a demilitarized Palestine, it would never actually happen. This is true, in part, because any post-independence abrogation of earlier pre-state agreements to demilitarize, by a now-sovereign Palestinian state, could be incontestably permissible under authoritative international law.

What shall Israel do in this increasingly confusing regional maelstrom? If Obama’s openly expressed wish for “a world free of nuclear weapons” were ever realized, the survival issue would become moot. Without its nuclear arms, Israel could not endure for very long. Fortunately, this presidential wish is not only foolish but plainly unrealistic. Inevitably, of course, Israel will insist upon retaining the critical deterrence benefits of its essential nuclear forces.

The extent of this particular benefit, however, may vary, inter alia, according to a number of important factors. These include Jerusalem’s observable willingness to take its bomb out of the “basement,” that is, to make certain limited disclosures of the country’s usable and penetration-capable nuclear forces. Also relevant is the extent to which Israel might choose to reveal selected elements of Tel-Aviv’s nuclear targeting doctrine.

From the standpoint of successful deterrence, it will make a major difference if Israel’s nuclear forces are recognizably counter value (targeted on enemy cities), or counterforce (targeted on enemy weapons, and related infrastructures). In turn, Israel’s decisions on targeting policy may be affected, more or less, by ongoing regime transformations still taking place across the Middle East and North Africa.

“For what can be done against force, without force?” inquired the Roman statesman Cicero. The use of force in world politics is not inherently evil. To the contrary, in preventing nuclear and terrorist aggressions, force, though assuredly not a panacea, is almost always indispensable.

All states have a fundamental (“peremptory,” in the language of formal jurisprudence) right of self-defense. This right is explicit in both codified and customary international law. It can be found, in part, at Article 51 of the UN Charter; also, in multiple clarifications of anticipatory self-defense, a doctrine I have discussed often on these pages.

Israel has legal right to forcibly confront the expected and possibly mutually reinforcing harms of Iranian nuclear missile strikes, and Palestinian terror.

Again, Cicero understood. Failure to use force against a murderous evil imprints an indelible stain upon all that is good. A similar point can be found in the Talmud, which asserts that by being merciful to the cruel, one may become cruel to the merciful. Any such “mercy” must be firmly rejected by both individual Jews, and by the Jewish state.

Day After Day: Palestinians Attack MDA Ambulances

Thursday, April 4th, 2013

In what has become a daily occurrence, Palestinians are routinely throwing rocks at Magen David Adom ambulances,  smashing windshields and seriously endangering the MDA medical crews.

Despite that MDA ambulances and medics treat wounded without bias to race or religion, Palestinians target these life saving efforts, even when the wounded are Palestinians.

 

 

 

 

Over the past few days:

April 2, 2013, 17:15 – Palestinians stone MDA ambulance on the Jerusalem – Hevron highway #60, near the community of Karmei Zur.

April 3, 2013 15:43 – Palestinians stone MDA ambulance on Halhul bypass road, part of the Jerusalem – Hevron highway #60.

April 4, 2013 11:27 – Palestinians stone Neve Zuf community MDA ambulance near the Abud village on road 465.

The dangers of daily Palestinian rock throwing in evident by the ongoing critical condition of 3 year old Adele Biton, wounded by a rock attack which left her critically wounded, and injuring her mother and 2 sisters. (story here)

Just yesterday, The Ofer Base IDF Military Court convicted Waal al-Araja, a member of the Palestinian Authority security forces from Halhoul, of the murder of Asher Palmer and his infant son, Yonatan, in September 2011.  Al-Araja, threw stones from a moving vehicle toward Palmer’s car on the Jerualem – Hevron highway 60, causing the father and son’s death. (story here)

Photos from Hatzala Yehuda vShomron and some of the story from rotter

The Two-Paint Solution

Wednesday, March 20th, 2013

The best way to explain hard concepts is by making analogies to everyday things. Of course you have to be careful that the essential part of the analogy fits. When I was in school, I was told “the map is not the territory” — in other words, in any analogy there will be things that are different from the reality one is trying to describe. You just have to know what’s essential.

So I am going to make one more try at explaining why the “two-state solution” is not a solution, and why the people who claim to want one are either terminally uninformed or evil. Here is my analogy:

One day I was down at the lab when a young scientist came running up to me. “Dr. Fresno!” he called. “Eureka! Eureka! I have invented an automobile that does not require fuel, or even batteries!”

“Great,” I said. “You have solved an important problem. How does it work?”

“Simple. You just paint half of the roof of the car with solar paint. When light strikes it it produces electricity, which operates the electric motors that run it.”

“Hmm,” I said. “But how does it work at night, or on an overcast day? You said there were no batteries.”

“That’s the other half of the roof. You paint it with anti-solar paint. When dark strikes it, it produces electricity…” he began.

“That’s amazing,” I told him. “How on earth do you make paint like that?”

“Oh, I have no idea. But wouldn’t it be a wonderful solution?

Visit Fresno Zionism.

Demographics in Proportion

Wednesday, March 20th, 2013

There seem to be around 2,600,000 Arabs in Judea and Samaria.  That includes “East Jerusalem.” (See here; and here).

There are also 360,000 Jews in Judea and Samaria.  But add on another 300,000 living in Jerusalem’s post-67 neighborhoods.  Total sum equals 650,000 (to be conservative).

In other words, without Jerusalem, the Jews represent 13.48% of the population in those areas.

With Jerusalem, the figure is 16.9%.

The proportion of Arabs in Israel is 20%.

In other words, we have basically a mirror-image.

If Israel can maintain itself with a minority of 20%, “Palestine” can’t be a state with 17% Jews?

Visit My Right Word.

Arab Stone Throwers Injure Jerusalem Bus Passenger

Thursday, March 14th, 2013

At around 10 PM, Egged bus #59 was hit by Arab stone throwers as it drove through French Hill, in the northern part of Jerusalem. One passenger was taken to Hadassah Har HaTzofim hospital, after being injured in the head with a stone.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/arab-stone-throwers-injure-jerusalem-bus-passenger/2013/03/14/

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