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April 27, 2015 / 8 Iyar, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Palestinian Territories’

It’s Official: Justice Brandeis Wants his Name Back

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015

Of all the absurd positions Brandeis University has taken over the years, the latest really may be the final straw.

Last year Brandeis suffered widespread disgrace for revoking an offer to grant an honorary degree to a Muslim-born advocate for women and children’s rights who had been subjected to female genital mutilation and threatened with murder by Islamic fundamentalists for being “anti-Islam.” This year, Brandeis selected as its commencement speaker a former U.S. State Department careerist who thinks the state of Palestine exists and that “Palestine” “granted” to Israel land that “Palestine” had been “assigned” in 1947.

That former administration official, Thomas Pickering, wrote a public letter last year encouraging the U.S. administration to stop kowtowing to Israel — and we all know how eager the Obama administration has been to take orders from Jerusalem.

Pickering has the reputation of being extremely anti-Israel even amongst his peers – and for the State Department, that’s quite an achievement. If Justice Louis Dembitz Brandeis, the ardent Zionist and advocate for the disenfranchised (for him the concepts were naturally compatible) for whom Brandeis University was named, could see what his namesake university was doing, he would demand his name be removed.

REVOCATION OF HONORARY DEGREE TO HIRSI ALI

It was just a year ago that Brandeis University withdrew an offer to award an honorary degree Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a world-class humanitarian, because some dimwitted students, aided and abetted by professors with ossified mindsets, insisted the woman was “Islamophobic.” Hirsi Ali, knows from firsthand experience more about Islam than all the mewling students and professors put together.

The suffix “phobic” means an irrational fear of something. Hirsi Ali’s distaste for Islam is as based in reality as it can get.

Dial forward to this spring, when Brandeis commencement and its speakers is once again a topic.

So what does Brandeis University do? Pick a noncontroversial speaker who is deserving of an honorary degree for being a decent human being, perhaps someone with some connection to the university itself? Nah.

BRANDEIS CHOOSES ANTI-ISRAEL ADVOCATE AS COMMENCEMENT SPEAKER

Instead, Brandeis University announced that its commencement speaker for 2015 is former Ambassador and under secretary of state for political affairs Thomas Pickering, someone who fervently believes Israel is inappropriately coddled by the Obama administration and that the Jewish state has stolen land from the mythical land of Palestine, despite the “Palestinians” having graciously conceded a huge chunk of the land “assigned” to the “Palestinians in 1947.”

That’s right, Israel is coddled by the Obama/Kerry approach to the Middle East conflict, according to Pickering. And the “Palestinians” are the magnanimous yet oppressed party on the losing end of the stick with Israel. This view is out of touch with Zionists – whom Brandeis the justice, if not the university, would have hoped a school bearing his name would graduate.

We know Pickering’s positions and ahistorical understandings because, almost exactly a year ago, Pickering and a few of his like-minded public pals signed a letter published as an op-ed calling on this U.S. administration to stop allowing Israel to walk all over it.

You see, in the eyes of Pickering and his well-known Israel-despising co-signers Zbigniew Brzezinski, Henry Siegman, Lee Hamilton, Frank Carlucci and Carla Hills, this administration should man up and stop allowing the world to think it shares Israel’s views about its security needs and its history. Also, time to jettison those annoying facts that support reality.

UNABASHED ZIONISM OF JUSTICE BRANDEIS

But first, you need to know what kind of Zionist Louis Brandeis was. While a secular Jew, Brandeis became an ardent and unabashed Zionist. Not only was he an early president of the Zionist Organization of America, but he believed in territorial control by the Jews of all the land promised for a Jewish State by Lord Balfour in 1917.

Louis Brandeis was a firm believer in helping to arm the Jews who were attempting to create a Jewish state. He insisted that the contours of the Jewish state had to extend to the north, to the “Litani watersheds” which is in the south of what is now Lebanon, and to the east, to the “plain of Jaulan Hauran,” which is now in northwestern Jordan and southwestern Syria.

It is in the context of Justice Brandeis’s approach to Zionism that the letter written by Pickering and his fellow anti-Israel pen pals must be understood.

PICKERING PENS SHOCKINGLY ANTI-ISRAEL OP-ED

What follows are some of the more surprising snippets of that letter:

“The United States has allowed the impression that it supports a version of Israel’s security that entails Israeli control of all of Palestine’s [sic] borders and part of its territory.”

“Israel’s confiscation of what international law has clearly established as others’ territory,” Israel’s “illegal land grabs only add to the Palestinian and the larger Arab sense of injustice that Israel’s half-century-long occupation has already generated,” “No Palestinian leader could or would ever agree to a peace accord that entails turning over the Jordan Valley to Israeli control,” “these Israeli demands can hardly justify the permanent subjugation and disenfranchisement of a people  to which Israel refuses to grant citizenship in the Jewish state.”

The Israelis “do not have the right to demand that Palestinians abandon their own national narrative, and the United States should not be party to such a demand.”

The hate-filled five also mocked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s claims that Israel was prepared to make “painful compromises” in his May 2011 speech to a joint session of Congress. According to The Five, every one of the painful compromises – “regarding territory, borders, security, resources, refugees or the location of the Palestinian state’s capital” are ones required of the Palestinian Arabs and “do not reflect any Israeli compromises.”

“Although Palestinians have conceded fully half of the territory assigned to them in the U.N.’s Partition Plan of 1947″ ignoring at least two monumental facts: one, there were no Arabs claiming to be “Palestinians” in 1947, so there was no assignment of land to “Palestinians,” but instead to undifferentiated Arabs in the region, and two, the Arabs to whom the land was assigned refused that assignment and instead chose to go to war rather than have any Jewish state at all in the region.

What are they talking about? There was no concessions by the Arabs, “Palestinians” or otherwise.  Instead, there was a humiliating defeat of the five Arab nations which attacked the tiny ragtag Jewish army and lost.

Pickering and his four pals, after ignoring history, reality, international law and facts, then cheered on what they consider to be the righteous Palestinian Arabs who “are not demanding a single square foot of Israeli territory beyond the June 6, 1967, line.”

So clueless about history are the Pickering plus four, that they again raise the “assigned” territory, attacking Netanyahu for daring to “establish equivalence between Israeli and Palestinian demands,” and insisting that Israel gets still more of the “78 percent of Palestine it already possesses.” Pickering and his pals call this “politically and morally unacceptable,” and demand that the United States “not be party to such efforts.”

BRANDEIS GRINDS IN

When asked why Brandeis chose to honor Pickering, a known anti-Israel public official, a member of the Brandeis Communications team came back – after requesting two extensions – with a woefully shallow response.

Bill Schaller, Brandeis’s “executive director of integrative media,” emailed back that Pickering has had a “long and diverse career, which has often included staunch advocacy for Israel.”

The one example of “staunch” Israeli advocacy Brandeis offered was Pickering’s “efforts to repeal the UN resolution regarding Zionism.”

That resolution, equating Zionism with racism, was passed in 1975 and was finally repealed in 1991.  So even by the University’s lights, Pickering’s last Zionist stand was 24 years ago. And while Pickering may have played a positive role in helping to revoke that heinous United Nations resolution – most people recall New York Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan and U.S. Ambassador John Bolton as central players – his actions regarding the Jewish State within living memory are alarmingly hostile.

Even the United Nations at one time was not anti-Israel. But that world body is currently considered anti-Israel because of its recent history. Pickering should be judged similarly.

In its statement, Brandeis officials explained that it “engage[es] an outside firm to vet the candidates,” in addition to involving Board members and faculty.

Perhaps the university should consider engaging an outside firm to educate its board members and faculty on the namesake of their university.

The author of this article graduated from Brandeis University in 1980. To honor Justice Brandeis, she has torn up her diploma.

UPDATED: Jewish Man Missing, Kidnapping Suspected Near Hebron

Thursday, April 2nd, 2015

Israeli security forces continue to search for a 22-year-old Jewish man who went missing around 4:20 pm Thursday afternoon. Both he and the friend with whom he was driving in the area are residents of Be’er Sheva, according to a report on Israel’s Channel 2 television.

Police received a call at the Judea and Samaria District Police 100 Center from a man who said his friend had gone to look for tools to fix a flat tire. It had been more than an hour since he left, but had not yet returned.

IDF operating in Beit Anoun, near the Jewish community of Kiryat Arba and the city of Hebron.

IDF operating in Beit Anoun, near the Jewish community of Kiryat Arba and the city of Hebron.

Palestinian media have already published a photo of the man, as well as his name, but these details are being withheld from Israeli media under gag order.

The incident occurred after the car in which he and his friend were driving broke down at the Beit Anoun junction outside Hebron, near the Jewish community of Kiryat Arba.

Israel Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told Jewish Press.com that police officers and IDF troops immediately launched an intensive search which has since widened to include the areas around the Palestinian Authority towns of Halhul and El Aroub, both located north of Beit Anoun and Hebron.

Officials said the missing man was wearing a KKL hoodie and a pair of jeans.

Israel Police and Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) forces have continued to operate at the intelligence level in the area as well, and by nightfall were working on the assumption he had been kidnapped.

Roads leading to and from the village of Beit Anoun via Highway 60 and Highway 35 were closed in order to stymie any potential kidnappers.

The area of Beit Anoun is close to Hebron and the Jewish community of Kiryat Arba.

Beit Anoun is close to Hebron and the Jewish community of Kiryat Arba.

7:34 PM There are reports that the car did not have a flat tire, and it was parked close to Kiryat Arba so there was no reason for the man to enter Beit Anoun when Kiryat Arba was closer. The explanation the friend gave is problematic; he is being questioned again by security personnel.

The man also left his telephone in the car; it’s not clear whether that was deliberate or accidental.

Regardless of the reason the man entered the Arab village, however, Israeli forces are treating his disappearance as a full-blown security incident.

The area around Halhul and El Aroub is now closed as IDF troops move from house to house searching for the missing man, whose identity still has not been released for publication.

8:09 PM His friend who stayed with the car is a Bedouin. The car did not have a flat tire, but it appears someone did release some air from the tire to make it look flat.

Security forces suspect this began as criminal activity, but has ended up a nationalistic kidnapping, according to Channel 10.

8:13 pm Channel 2 reported that the friend has changed his version of the story three times in telling it to the security forces.

9:20 pm A field command center has been set up in the Kiryat Arba gas station as the search for the missing Israeli mans continues and expands.

UN Raps Israel Over Status of Palestinian Women

Saturday, March 21st, 2015

There was a Prime Minister named Netanyahu He had Israeli children to feed and to school The UN Commission on Women said, “Nu, You should have watched over PA women too!”

Sometimes one just has to sit back and wonder when the members of the United Nations are going to come home from DisneyLand.

On Friday (March 20) the UN Commission on the Status of Women actually passed a resolution blaming Israel for “the grave situation of Palestinian women.”

Anyone who has had a look at the mansions on the hills behind the photo-op shacks along the roads of Judea and Samaria knows what a sham this is. Whatever crisis exists is one of the PA government’s own making, fed by its leadership’s insatiable appetite for Jewish and Arab blood and terror, and drained by the unending parade of foreign aid-supported salaries paid to incarcerated life-sentence terrorist prisoners who performed their “jihad” (holy war) by attacking Israelis — both Jews and Arabs.

“The Israeli occupation remains the major obstacle for Palestinian women with regard to their advancement, self-reliance and integration in the development of their society,” according to the resolution. As usual the international community is asked to pick up the tab for what is called “the dire humanitarian crisis being faced by Palestinian women and their families.”

Oddly, Israel was the only country to be singled out by the commission – oddly, because Iran hangs women for weird reasons, yet that nation was not mentioned — and yet it seems as though the UN Commission on the Status of Women is beginning to mimic the UN Human Rights Council. Perhaps they’ve been taking lessons.

This agency functions under the same international body that has granted these women status as residents of a “non-member observer state” – that is, an independent sovereign nation as yet undeclared officially in the UN Security Council. We have yet to see how long that will last. U.S. President Barack Obama has been threatening to abandon Israel there; if he does, the entire world may change — again.

Two governments, as a matter of fact, given that the Palestinian Authority is actually comprised of not one, but two governments.

The so-called “unity government” touted by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas under the pact with Gaza’s ruling Hamas terrorist organization requires a separate government for that region. Gaza is still treated as a separate state, as it has been since Hamas seized control and ousted the PA’s leading Fatah faction in 2007.

So two governments, for one Palestinian people, in the one Palestinian Authority which has two Palestinian states comprising one Palestine … ? It’s all very confusing.

Why should Israel be held responsible for the “grave situation” of women whose welfare falls under the aegis of their own government? The government of the entity sponsored the resolution, in fact.

Yes. It does sound a little contradictory doesn’t it? But the resolution was sponsored by South Africa and by the Palestinians. It passed with 13 abstentions, by a vote of 27-2. Only the United States and Israel voted against it.

European Union members – cowards that they are – abstained. We will see how the vote goes one day when such cowardice brings the chickens home to roost.

Israeli Ambassador to the UN, Ron Prosor, denounced the resolution of course. “If anyone has ever doubted that the UN is biased against Israel, today we got further proof,” he said.

“Of the 193 member states in this institution, dozens slaughter innocent civilians and impose discriminatory laws that marginalize women and yet they all get a free pass,” he observed.

Obama Aides Lay Groundwork to Betray Israel at UN Security Council

Saturday, March 21st, 2015

Aides to President Barack Obama told media Friday the U.S. will “reassess” its relationship with Israel in the wake of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s re-election to an historic fourth term.

A White House official couched the nasty reality in more diplomatic language, saying the president had told the prime minister “we will need to re-assess our options following the prime minister’s new positions and comments regarding the two-state solution.”

An official statement distributed following the call said the president had emphasized the U.S. “longstanding commitment to a two-state solution” during his conversation with Israel’s prime minister.

Earlier in the day on Thursday, Netanyahu clarified his position on the issue, explaining his reasons for a statement during the campaign in which he told supporters he would not back the establishment of a Palestinian state during his fourth term. In that clarification Netanyahu talked about the present realities in the Middle East with which Israel has to contend. He also noted that he supports the same conditions for negotiating a sustainable peace that he had set forth in his speech at Bar Ilan University in 2009: a demilitarized Palestinian state led by a government willing to recognize the Jewish State of Israel.

But he pointed to changes on the ground that cannot be denied – or ignored – and that present a real threat.

Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has united his government in Ramallah with that of Gaza’s ruling Hamas terrorist organization, which is allied with the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the Lebanon-based Hezbollah. All three are faithful proxies of Tehran. In addition, Gaza is now home to bases for a number of Salafi global jihad terrorist groups. Among them are the Army of Islam, Al Qaeda, and Daesh, also known as ISIS or the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

Iran and its proxies are also literally parked on Israel’s borders, in Lebanon, Syria, the Syrian side of the Golan Heights and the Sinai Peninsula. A new Palestinian state would be ripe for the picking as well, creating for Israel an existential threat that no leader could allow.

None of which has impressed Obama. At a briefing on Friday, White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters: “Now that our closest ally in the region – and one of the two parties who would be responsible for negotiating a two-state solution – has withdrawn from their commitments, to that ideal, it means that we need to rethink the kinds of policy decisions that we’re going to have to make going forward.”

Never mind the fact that the Palestinian Authority – the first of the two parties responsible for negotiating the two-state solution — withdrew from its commitments several years earlier.

Obama has entirely ignored the fact that the PA, via the PLO, unilaterally dropped out of the internationally-recognized Oslo Accords. He has also turned a blind eye as the PA abandoned its moral and legal obligations to negotiate a final status agreement with Israel, using the United Nations as an excuse to break that deal. The General Assembly of the United Nations participated, allowing itself to be so used by granting the entity non-member observer nation status, which opened the door for the PA to join hundreds of international treaties.

Some members of the American media are also using a double standard to judge Israel’s decisions on its national security and foreign policy.

CNN news anchor Wolf Blitzer interviewed Israeli Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz as part of Israel’s “Likud-led government” and baldly demanded to know: “Do you support what’s called a two-state solution, Israel living alongside, the new state of Palestine.”

Arab Officials Destroy Food Supplies Delivered by Israeli Truck to Hebron

Friday, March 20th, 2015

It’s not clear who the unlucky store owner was, but wise was he for not fighting Arab officials who ransacked an Israeli delivery truck in Hebron this week (March 16).

A mob of Palestinians swarmed to watch the spectacle, most occupied with their cell phones, arms extended to record the event for posterity and the Internet.

Boxes of Tnuva milk were flung to the ground, their precious white nutrient spilling all over the street. No Arab babies will grow strong teeth and bones from that spilt milk this weekend – but the wildly cheering crowd could have cared less.

Other goods in a riotous montage of reds, yellows and greens also were splattered as their packaging split when they struck the rough street around the truck.

It seemed to be a straightforward enough sight: “Arabs in Hebron broke into an Israeli delivery truck and destroyed all the packages within, tossing them onto the street to the wild cheers of the crowd,” reported the Elder of Zion blog, who sourced the report from FajerTV.

But according to commentators on the blog, local merchants already long ago restricted deliveries to Palestinian drivers, using Palestinian trucks, and shipments made only after payment received in full. The first, according to a local source, was “due to security reasons,” and the second “because collecting debts in the PA by Israelis is practically impossible.”

The Israel Electric Company has also discovered the reality of that second issue; in fact power to a number of PA communities has been shut down due to the millions of shekels owed to the company by the Palestinian Authority, which has been impossible to collect.

More than one commentator agreed this week that regardless of why Israeli goods are boycotted, a lack of supplies will “still be portrayed as ‘Those dastardly Israelis are intentionally starving the so-called ‘Palestinians’ … Just like you-know-who did to you-know-who…’ “

Another commentator suggested as a solution that if Israel ever decides to transfer funds to the PA, such monies should be given by “filling a food truck with the cash and driving it slowly through Hebron.”

US President Barack Obama Calls to Congratulate Netanyahu

Friday, March 20th, 2015

U.S. President Barack Obama finally called Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to congratulate him — on the Likud party’s success at the polls.

According to a statement issued by the White House, the President “emphasized the importance the United States places on our close military, intelligence and security cooperation with Israel, which reflects the deep and abiding partnership between both countries.

“The President and the Prime Minister agreed to continue consultations on a range of regional issues, including the difficult path forward to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” the statement continued.

“The President reaffirmed the United States’ long-standing commitment to a two-state solution that results in a secure Israel alongside a sovereign and viable Palestine.

“On Iran, the President reiterated that the United States is focused on reaching a comprehensive deal with Iran that prevents Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon and verifiably assures the international community of the exclusively peaceful nature of its nuclear program.”

Obama was preceded by Secretary of State John Kerry, European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, and numerous others in congratulating Netanyahu on the historic re-election for a fourth term – the only prime minister to be so chosen since Israel’s founding father, Prime Minister David Ben Gurion.

The issue of Israel’s security is growing exponentially more serious as the days pass, with terror groups backed by Iran and global jihad organizations surrounding the Jewish State.

Aside from the clear and present danger posed by the Iranian nuclear threat to Israel’s existence, the Daesh global jihad terror group is becoming an increasing concern as well.

This past Wednesday, the European Union formally blamed the group, known also as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria terrorist organization, and as ISIS, for a bloody attack at Tunisia’s iconic Bardo Museum in that nation’s capital. At least 19 people were killed, including 17 foreign tourists, and 20 others were wounded.

“With the attack that has struck Tunis, the Daesh terrorist organization is once again targeting the countries and peoples of the Mediterranean region,” EU foreign policy chief Mogherini said in a statement late Wednesday.

“This strengthens our determination to cooperate more closely with our partners to confront the terrorist threat.”

Israeli security personnel have been closely tracking the progress and growth of Daesh terror cells in the region, particularly in northern Israel, Gaza, Judea, Samaria and other areas within pre-1967 Israel.

A number of Arabs who have become involved with the terror group have been identified and arrested by Israeli security forces. Others who left the country and traveled abroad to fight with Daesh are being tracked.

It is for this reason — among others — that Prime Minister Netanyahu has been adamant about ending assumptions of well-meaning nations who believe they can simply force Israel back to the negotiating table with the PA to sign on to any two-state solution.

The Palestinian Authority’s ‘Israeli Affairs Committee’

Friday, August 30th, 2013

Originally published at the Gatestone Institute.

Instead of preparing Palestinians for peace with Israel, the Palestinian Authority leadership has decided to focus its efforts on winning the support of the Israeli public for a peaceful settlement based on the two-state solution.

In the context of its efforts to “convince” Israelis to accept the two-state solution, the Palestinian Authority recently established a special “Israeli Affairs Committee” with the goal of promoting the idea among the Israeli public.

The committee’s main task, in fact, is to scare Israelis that failure to accept all Palestinian demands would plunge the region into another cycle of violence and bloodshed. The Palestinian Authority is hoping that to avoid another intifada, intimidated Israelis would put pressure on their government to comply with Palestinian demands.

Over the past few weeks, in a bid to “influence” public opinion in Israel, this committee organized a series of meetings between Palestinians and Israelis, Palestinian sources told the London-based Al-Hayat newspaper.

The Palestinian committee, formed by Mahmoud Abbas, includes top PLO and Fatah officials Yasser Abed Rabbo, Nabil Sha’ath, Jibril Rajoub, Hanan Ashrawi and Mohamed Madani.

Last week, the committee organized visits by Israeli parliamentarians to Ramallah, where they held talks with Abbas and other Palestinian officials to discuss prospects for peace in the Middle East.

One of the committee members explained, “Those we are meeting are the leaders of Israeli society and they will decide its fate. The Israeli public no longer knows what is happening here in the Palestinian territories.”

It is always nice, of course, to see Israelis and Palestinians meeting and talking to each other.

But instead of devoting its efforts and energies to trying to persuade the Israeli public to support peace, it would be more helpful if the Palestinian leaders in the West Bank also tried to win the backing of their own people for the peace process.

Why should any Israeli believe the Palestinian Authority when most Palestinians appear to be opposed to the resumption of the peace talks?

Abbas does not even have the backing of the PLO and Fatah leaderships for his recent decision to return to the negotiating table with Israel, and returned to the peace talks with Israel against the advice of the PLO leadership.

Instead of inviting Israeli parliamentarians to Ramallah, Abbas might have tried to persuade the PLO and Fatah to support his efforts to achieve peace with Israel.

The Israeli parliamentarians who met with Abbas in his office last week already support the two-state solution and the peace process.

But most PLO and Fatah leaders remain opposed to the resumption of the peace talks.

As Abbas was meeting with the Israeli parliamentarians, thousands of Palestinians in the streets of Gaza City were demonstrating against the peace talks and two-state solution.

These are the people with whom Abbas needs to work to change their hearts and minds. These are the people who need to be told that peace with Israel will only do good for the Palestinians.

Why should any Israeli believe Abbas when his own supporters continue to wage a campaign to combat “normalization” with Israel?

While Abbas feels free to receive Knesset members in his Ramallah office, other Palestinians continue to receive threats for talking to, or doing business with, Israelis.

What is needed is a special “Palestinian Affairs Committee” that would work toward preparing Palestinians for peace with Israel.

The committee members should be asked to go to every mosque, school and university in the West Bank and Gaza Strip to talk about peace and coexistence with Israel.

The members also need to visit every village and refugee camp to talk to as many people as possible about the importance of peace.

They should also meet with representatives of all Palestinian factions to try to win their support for the peace process.

It would also be a good idea if such a committee would ask the Palestinian Authority to “lower the tone” and stop rhetorical attacks against Israel that drive Palestinians towards more extremism.

Inciting Palestinians against Israel through the media and mosques only serves the interests of Hamas and other radical Palestinians. Moreover, the anti-Israel rhetoric eventually undermines Abbas and anyone who conducts peace talks with Israel.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/khaled-abu-toameh/the-palestinian-authoritys-israeli-affairs-committee/2013/08/30/

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