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March 31, 2015 / 11 Nisan, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Palestinian Territories’

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.

Obama’s Foreign Fiasco

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

Originally published at Daniel Pipes.

It’s a privilege to be an American who works on foreign policy, as I have done since the late 1970s, participating in a small way in the grand project of finding my country’s place in the world. But now, under Barack Obama, decisions made in Washington have dramatically shrunk in importance. It’s unsettling and dismaying. And no longer a privilege.

Whether during the structured Cold War or the chaotic two decades that followed, America’s economic size, technological edge, military prowess, and basic decency meant that even in its inactivity, the U.S. government counted as much or more in world developments than any other state. Sniffles in Washington translated into influenza elsewhere.

Weak and largely indifferent presidents like Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton mattered despite themselves, for example in the Iranian revolution of 1978-79 or the Arab-Israeli conflict in the 1990s. Strong and active presidents like Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush had greater impact yet, speeding up the Soviet collapse or invading Afghanistan and Iraq.

But now, with Barack Obama, the United States has slid into shocking irrelevance in the Middle East, the world’s most turbulent region. Inconstancy, incompetence, and inaction have rendered the Obama administration impotent. In the foreign policy arena, Obama acts as though he would rather be the prime minister of Belgium, a small country that usually copies the decisions of its larger neighbors when casting votes at the United Nations or preening morally about distant troubles. Belgians naturally “lead from behind,” to use the famed phrase emanating from Obama’s White House.

Obama's 2009 speech in Cairo was a very long time ago.

Obama’s 2009 speech in Cairo was a very long time ago.

Qatar (with a national population of 225,000) has an arguably greater impact on current events than the 1,400-times-larger United States (population: 314 million). Note how Obama these days takes a back seat to the emirs of Doha: They take the lead supplying arms to the Libyan rebels, he follows. They actively help the rebels in Syria, he dithers. They provide billions to the new leadership in Egypt, he stumbles over himself. They unreservedly back Hamas in Gaza, he pursues delusions of an Israeli-Palestinian “peace process.” Toward this end, the U.S. secretary of state made six trips in four months to Israel and the Palestinian territories in pursuit of a diplomatic initiative that almost no one believes will end the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Doha, now more influential than Washington in the Middle East.

Doha, now more influential than Washington in the Middle East.

Meanwhile, the U.S. secretary of defense called Egyptian leader Abdul-Fattah al-Sisi 17 times in conversations lasting 60-90 minutes, yet failed in his pleas that Sisi desist from using force against the Muslim Brotherhood. More striking yet, Sisi apparently refused to take a phone call from Obama. The $1.5 billion in annual U.S. aid to Egypt suddenly looks paltry in comparison to the $12 billion from three Persian Gulf countries, with promises to make up for any Western cuts in aid. Both sides in Egypt’s deep political divide accuse Obama of favoring the other and execrate his name. As dozens of Coptic churches burned, he played six rounds of golf. Ironically, Egypt is where, four long years ago, Obama delivered a major speech repudiating George W. Bush policies with seeming triumph.

Obama’s ambitions lie elsewhere – in augmenting the role of government within the United States, as epitomized by Obamacare. Accordingly, he treats foreign policy as an afterthought, an unwelcome burden, and something to dispatch before returning to juicier matters. He oversees withdrawals from Iraq and Afghanistan with little concern for what follows. His unique foreign policy accomplishment, trumpeted ad nauseam, was the execution of Osama bin Laden.

So far, the price to American interests for Obama’s ineptitude has not been high. But that could change quickly. Most worrisome, Iran could soon achieve nuclear breakout and start to throw its newfound weight around, if not to deploy its brand-new weapons. The new regime in Egypt could revert to its earlier anti-Americanism and anti-Zionism; already, important elements in Egypt are calling for rejection of U.S. aid and termination of the peace treaty with Israel.

As an American who sees his country as a force for good, these developments are painful and scary. The world needs an active, thoughtful, and assertive United States. The historian Walter A. McDougall rightly states that “The creation of the United States of America is the central event of the past four hundred years” and its civilization “perturbs the trajectories of all other civilizations just by existing.” Well not so much perturbation these days; may the dismal present be brief in duration.

State Dept. Program Awards East Jerusalem to Arabs

Thursday, July 11th, 2013

Like all good things, this article started with an innocent press release from the U.S. State Department:

“The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the American Alliance of Museums, announced on Wednesday the selection of 11 new projects as part of the Museums Connect program. Museums Connect links U.S. communities with communities around the world through innovative, museum-based exchanges that foster mutual understanding while focusing on important topics like climate change, women’s empowerment, disability awareness, and civic engagement.”

So far, so good.

The projects, according to the note from my government, pair cultural institutions in the United States with partners from 11 international locales and involve community members, particularly youth, to reach beyond institutional walls.

Also good. Who wouldn’t want youth to reach beyond those institutional walls (especially if they’re well medicated).

The awardees of special attention from our Sate Dept. include a program called “Citizenship Unbound: Flag Stories,” uniting the Islamic Art Museum of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with SOMArts Cultural Center, San Francisco, CA, a kind of community-centered museum.

The program “Common Ground: Connecting Communities through Gardens,” unites this summer the Egyptian Agricultural Museum, Giza, Egypt, with Monterey County Agricultural and Rural Life Museum, King City, CA. Sounds a little lopsided – farming in California together with ancient pyramids, but, hey, whatever fuels your tractor.

There are more, similarly “unique” programs in that press release, and then it becomes even more interesting.

A program called “Design Diaries International” puts together the Minnesota Historical Society, Saint Paul, MN—a fine institution, established in 1849 to tell the story of Minnesota’s past, using the power of history to transform lives—with this other fine institution: the Palestinian Heritage Museum, East Jerusalem, Palestinian Territories.

You see? There goes Secretary of State John Kerry, schlepping around the Near-East trying to promote some compromise over the future of East Jerusalem, with both sides in the conflict holding fast to their demands that it’s a deal breaker – Jews cannot live without the City of David, site of two holy temples, the focus of Jewish aspirations for thousands of years, and Muslims must have that area where Mohammed’s horse possibly flew into heaven – when back at home the good people in his employ have already resolved the problem.

According to our State Dept., East Jerusalem is an inseparable part of the Palestinian Territories. End of discussion. Somebody should tell Bibi, I suppose, but, otherwise, we’re done here.

The Palestinian Heritage Museum resides in the girls’ orphanage Dar al-Tifel al-Arabi, on Abu Obeidah Bin Jarrah Steet in Jerusalem. A May 17, 2012 WAFA story announced that the Palestinian Heritage Museum at Dar al-Tifel al-Arabi in East Jerusalem reopened in ceremonies attended by Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and the Assessor for Cooperation at the Italian Province of Pisa, Silvia Pagnin.

With an overall budget of 400,000 euros, the museum “intends to preserve and empower the Palestinian cultural and identity heritage and to train and retrain the museum’s staff.”

According to the Palestinian Visitor Information Center, the museum “displays traditional Palestinian clothing and jewelry previously unseen by the public and will provide courses on the conservation and restoration of antique textiles, jewelry and manuscripts.”

The museum’s other official name is “Empowering Dar al-Tifel Museum and Dar Isaaf al-Nashashibi” project.

In other words, they’re renting space from the girls’ orphanage, they put together a staff and they’re paying them to “train and retrain” with the Italian taxpayer’s hard earned money. Otherwise, it looks like nothing more than an address on which to pin the provocative address “East Jerusalem, Palestinian Territories.”

An EU press release dated July 3, 2013, announced that “The European Union (EU) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) signed on Tuesday a €2.4 million agreement with Al-Quds University aimed at the preservation of Palestinian cultural heritage in Jerusalem’s Old City.”

Among other things, “The program will contribute to the development and protection of Palestinian cultural heritage in the old city of Jerusalem, in addition to the improvement of socioeconomic conditions of its citizens through quality housing and tourism services,” the press release said.

So, the EU and the UN drum up this cockamamie plan, at around two and a half million bucks, to develop and protect Palestinian heritage (like it’s under attack), and our own State Dept. bolsters the same effort by pairing this theoretical museum with a very real one, in Minnesota.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/state-dept-program-awards-east-jerusalem-to-arabs/2013/07/11/

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