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January 21, 2017 / 23 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Palestinian Territories’

Hebron Spokesperson on Azaria Conviction: It Was a Big Mistake [audio]

Thursday, January 5th, 2017

Yishai Fleisher, a spokesperson for the Jewish community in Hebron, told BBC Radio on Wednesday that the public trial and the conviction of Sergeant Elor Azaria of manslaughter charges sent the wrong signal to young IDF soldiers.


“I think most Israelis agree that the action itself, of shooting a downed terrorist was not the smartest decision to make,” Fleisher told the host. “But to try a soldier publicly, to hang him in a public hanging, was a big mistake. Because, in the end of the day, we’re at war with terror, here in Israel.”

Fleisher pointed out that, despite his shooting the terrorist while the latter was already on the ground, Azaria acted in defense o his country, against “a gigantic jihad that encircles us. Therefore we’re sending the wrong signal to our young soldiers, to think too many times before shooting somebody who came to kill Israelis and Jews and who is, really, a jihadist terrorist.”

The host asked whether Israel, being a democracy, is not obligated to show that the rule of law is kept, hence the public exposure o the case.

“I think the question is which rue of law,” Fleisher retorted, explaining, “There are two kinds of law when you dal with this kind of situation. We have criminal justice law, the other is the law of armed conflict. […] If this enemy combatant came into a camp and started knifing soldiers, and was shot, and then he may have moved, may have come across suspicious and a soldier shot him – under the rules of armed conflict that’s not something you take to a trial.”

“In the end of the day,” Fleisher reiterated, “the soldier shot a terrorist who came to kill and was a dangerous enemy combatant,” and not a police officer who stood over a civilian who enjoys the benefits of the assumption of innocence.

“These are not criminals trying to steal a part, but people sworn to destroy the Jewish community in Hebron and in Israel. And the soldier reacted.”

JNi.Media

Arab-American Journalist on Trump’s Pro-Israel Shift: Good Riddance

Thursday, January 5th, 2017

Dr. Ramzy Baroud, a US-Arab journalist who’s been editor of Palestine Chronicle since 1999, on Thursday published an op-ed piece calling the Trump shift in US attitude regarding the Israeli dispute with the Palestinian Authority and the two-state solution a blessing in disguise.

“Unmistakably, a Donald Trump presidency is clearly terrible for Palestinians in the short term,” Baroud writes. “The man does not even attempt to show a degree of impartiality or an iota of balance as he approaches the Middle East’s most protracted and delicate conflict.”

However, in Baroud’s opinion, the fact that Trump is clear and unabashed about his bias in favor of Israel would finally discard the perpetual US ambiguity about Israel and the Arabs in the territories it liberated in 1967.

“Since mid-level US officials agreed to meet with a Palestine Liberation Organization delegation in Tunisia in the late 1980’s, the US has chosen a most bewildering path of peace-making,” he argues, complaining that “the White House set the parameters of the ‘peace process,’ corralled Arabs on many occasions to have them rubber-stamp whatever peace ‘vision’ the US found suitable, and divided the Arabs into ‘moderates’ and ‘radicals’ camps, solely based on how a certain country would perceive US dictates of ‘peace’ in the region.”

According to Baroud, The US did not have a mandate to declare itself “honest peace broker,” especially when, in his view, it has done “everything wrong to jeopardize the accomplishment of the very parameters that it set to achieve the supposed peace.”

On the one hand, he points out, the US called Israel’s settlement enterprise an “obstacle to peace,” while on the other hand it provides Israel with the funds it requires to help Jewish communities thrive in Judea and Samaria. The US, even under President Obama, called for “confidence building measures,” while increasing its military aid to Israel and supporting its actions during the Gaza wars and in repelling terrorism in Judea and Samaria and Jerusalem.

“In other words,” Baroud points out, “for decades, the US has done precisely the exact opposite of what it publicly preached.”

“But that era is, indeed, over,” he rejoices, since, at last, “a Trump Presidency is likely to witness a complete departure from the Washingtonian doublespeak. […] In fact, Trump is set to expose American foreign policy for what it truly is, and has been for decades.”

Of course, with the White House becoming more pro-Israel than many Israeli politicians, “the Palestinians, too, will have to make a choice, face the decades-long reality with a united front, or side with those who intend to ‘reset’ the future [by their] interpretation of biblical prophecies.”

This line of thinking should go a long way to improve the region’s chances for a modicum of relief, never mind the illusive peace. As any beginner therapist would tell you, the first step toward recovery is admitting you have a problem.

JNi.Media

Former Australian PM: Move Embassy to Jerusalem, Cut Off PA Funds

Monday, January 2nd, 2017

Former prime minister Tony Abbott has called for Australia to cut off the $40 million in aid it gives the Palestinian Authority annually, over the Abbas regime’s support for “terrorists and their families.” The Liberal politician also supported moving the Australian embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

Last month Mr Abbott attended the Australia-Israel-UK Dialogue in Jerusalem, as did Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and other federal MPs. Last Thursday, writing under the headline “Jerusalem Diary” for The Spectator Australia, the 60-year-old, London-born Member of Parliament, wrote: “In discussions with the Australian MPs, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah claimed that his people accepted Israel’s right to exist behind secure borders; but this is hard to credit given Palestinian TV’s consistent glorification of suicide bombers, reference to Jews as the ‘sons of monkeys and pigs’ and claims that the state of Israel is a ‘satanic project.’”

Pointing out that “Israel’s GDP per person is about $40,000 a year” and “Palestine’s is about $2000,” Abbot stressed that “this is not due to inherent riches on one side of the [border],” but due to the ineptness and corruption of the PA bureaucracy. He quoted Australia’s “highly-regarded ambassador to Israel, Dave Sharma,” who had told him that “it can cost as much to ship a case of Palestinian beer from the West Bank to port at Haifa than from there to Japan.” Abbot’s concluded that the PA’s ” basic problem […] is a focus on politics over economics and the all-pervading sense of grievance.”

In order to improve the lives of PA Arabs, Abbot recommends “lesser issues that could be fixed before [the issue of Palestinian statehood] is resolved. It should be easier for people and goods to move from Palestine into Israel and Jordan. The UAE should join Jordan and Egypt in operating direct flights into Tel Aviv. And Australia should cut our $40 million a year in aid to the Palestinian Authority while it keeps paying pensions to terrorists and their families.”

And, while he’s at it, Abbot suggested that “another way for Australia to demonstrate its unswerving support for Israel, as the Middle East’s only liberal, pluralist democracy, might be to join any move by the Trump administration to move its embassy to Jerusalem.”

Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop issued a quick statement rejecting Abbot’s ideas: “The Australian Government does not have any plans to move the Australian Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.”

However, she did announce that Australia’s aid program to the PA was already under review: “The Australian aid program has robust risk management and due diligence assessment processes which are also applied to partner agencies and governments,” she stated, noting that “the Australian Government has a zero tolerance policy with regard to fraud and corruption.”

Bishop made it clear that “Australian aid to the Palestinian Territories is under review after the aid program for World Vision in the Palestinian Territories was suspended last year.”

As you may recall, the head of the World Vision operations in the Gaza Strip turned out to be a Hamas agent who diverted much of the aid funds to Hamas military projects as well as to the restoration of Hamas leaders’ villas.

Labor senior politician Kate Ellis also rejected Abbot’s ideas, saying, “What we see here is Tony Abbott using policy on the Middle East to try and undermine [Liberal Prime Minister] Malcolm Turnbull.”

Similarly, Izzat Abdulhadi, head of the General Delegation of Palestine to Australia, told SBS that Abbot’s “statement, argument, is baseless, ideological, biased and lack evidence of the aid to Palestine.” Adding a touch of melodrama, the representative of one of the most corrupt regimes in the Middle East, with Swiss accounts to show for it, said about Abbot: “If he has some issues with the Prime Minister here it should not be [at] the expense of the suffering of the Palestinian children and Palestinian refugees.”

JNi.Media

Australian FM Attacks US, New Zealand, on UN Resolution

Friday, December 30th, 2016

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop (Liberal Party) on Thursday hinted that Australia would have opposed the anti-Israel UN Security Council resolution, thus breaking with the US and New Zealand on Israeli settlements in the 1967 liberated territories, The Australian reported.

Bishop spoke in response to former FM Bob Carr (Labor Party) statement that Donald Trump might allow Israel to annex Judea and Samaria. The Australian Labor party, which has been out of government since 2013, has been debating its position on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Bishop said the government of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull (Liberal) is “firmly committed to a two-state solution,” but, nevertheless, had Australia been a member of the Security Council, it would not have supported last Friday’s resolution demanding an end to Israeli settlements.”

“In voting at the UN, the Coalition government has consistently not supported one-sided resolutions targeting Israel,” Bishop said.

New Zealand co-sponsored the resolution, and the US could have killed it with a nay vote.

Former FM Carr, a senior Labor Party politician, said Trump’s election was likely to “unleash Netanyahu to approve a rash of new settlements and even annex the West Bank […] that would destroy a two-state solution.” He added: “If that happened, nobody would be getting up at a [Labor] conference to shield a Trump-Netanyahu axis from the strongest criticism.”

Bill Shorten, the leader of the Australian Labor Party and the current leader of the opposition in Parliament, last week visited Israel, and met with PM Netanyahu, later tweeting that he is “a good friend of Australia.” His party members have criticized him for spending only a few hours in meetings with PA officials.

Labor is committed to a two-state solution, and its official policy states that “settlement building by Israel in the occupied territories that may undermine a two-state solution is a roadblock to peace.”

An email circulating among party members, sent by the Queensland Labor Friends of Palestine, called on Labor members “to entrench the recognition of Palestine as federal Labor policy before the next federal election,” according to The Australian. But it appears that in the Trump era, Labor leader Shorten realizes this attitude would keep his party in the opposition for many years to come – much like this other Labor party we know…

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

Trump: UN Nothing But a Good Time Club

Tuesday, December 27th, 2016

President-Elect Donald Trump Twitted Monday afternoon: “The United Nations has such great potential but right now it is just a club for people to get together, talk and have a good time. So sad!”

 

At the AIPAC policy conference last March, Trump announced that “the United Nations is not a friend of democracy. It’s not a friend to freedom. It’s not a friend even to the United States of America, where as all know, it has its home. And it surely isn’t a friend to Israel.”

In the part of his speech dedicated to what Trump called “the utter weakness and incompetence of the United Nations,” the candidate quickly shifted to one of his favorite subjects, the soon-to-be-former President Barack Obama.

“He may be the worst thing to ever happen to Israel, believe me, believe me. And you know it and you know it better than anybody,” then presidential candidate Trump continued. “So with the president in his final year, discussions have been swirling about an attempt to bring a Security Council resolution on terms of an eventual agreement between Israel and Palestine.”

“Let me be clear,” Trump stated, “An agreement imposed by the United Nations would be a total and complete disaster. The United States must oppose this resolution and use the power of our veto, which I will use as president 100 percent.

“When people ask why, it’s because that’s not how you make a deal. Deals are made when parties come together, they come to a table and they negotiate. Each side must give up something. It’s values. I mean, we have to do something where there’s value in exchange for something that it requires. That’s what a deal is. A deal is really something that when we impose it on Israel and Palestine, we bring together a group of people that come up with something.

“That’s not going to happen with the United Nations. It will only further, very importantly, it will only further delegitimize Israel. It will be a catastrophe and a disaster for Israel. It’s not going to happen, folks.

“And further, it would reward Palestinian terrorism because every day they’re stabbing Israelis and even Americans. Just last week, American Taylor Allen Force, a West Point grad, phenomenal young person who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, was murdered in the street by a knife-wielding Palestinian. You don’t reward behavior like that. You cannot do it.

“There’s only one way you treat that kind of behavior. You have to confront it.

“So it’s not up to the United Nations to really go with a solution. It’s really the parties that must negotiate a resolution themselves. They have no choice. They have to do it themselves or it will never hold up anyway. The United States can be useful as a facilitator of negotiations, but no one should be telling Israel that it must be and really that it must abide by some agreement made by others thousands of miles away that don’t even really know what’s happening to Israel, to anything in the area. It’s so preposterous, we’re not going to let that happen.”

Finally, obviously anticipating the events of last Friday, Trump promised: “When I’m president, believe me, I will veto any attempt by the UN to impose its will on the Jewish state. It will be vetoed 100 percent.”

David Israel

Israeli Driver Wounded in Shooting Attack Near Ofarim

Monday, December 19th, 2016

Arab terrorists opened fire at an Israeli driver at approximately 1 AM on Monday morning as he traveled on the road near the Shuqba Junction to Halamish (Neve Tzuf). The site is north of Ramallah and just south of the community of Beit Aryeh and Ofarim.

The car was hit multiple times by bullets from a passing car, and the driver was lightly wounded in the face from the broken glass and possibly the bullet too.

Google Map of Samaria and Binyamin region north of Jerusalem, Modi'in Illit.

Google Map of Samaria and Binyamin region north of Jerusalem, Modi’in Illit.

Israeli soldiers set out in search of the attackers and found an abandoned vehicle in the field, and checked it to see if it had been used by the terrorists.

The victim, in his twenties, was treated at the scene before being evacuated by Magen David Adom medics to Tel Hashomer Medical Center with shrapnel wounds to the upper lip area and the cheek, Hatzolah of Judea and Samaria reported.

Last week, the car of a women from Neve Tzuf and her two children were shot at by terrorists in this same general area. No one was injured in that attack, but the car had multiple bullet holes in it.

On Sunday morning, the Israeli government approved a budget for 113 more bulletproof buses to be added to the nation’s fleet.

The proposal advanced by Likud Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz adds the buses over the next four years to the school and civilian bus lines in Judea and Samaria.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/israeli-driver-injured-in-shooting-attack-near-ofarim/2016/12/19/

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