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September 30, 2014 / 6 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Palestinian unity government’

The Tragic Farce of Israeli Confidence Building Measures

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

The recent kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers near Hebron, who are now the subject of a massive Israeli military-security search, should give pause. Israel says it has evidence of involvement by Hamas, the U.S. and European Union-listed terrorist group that calls in its Charter for the worldwide murder of Jews. Hamas, recently incorporated into the Fatah/Palestinian Authority (PA) regime, is still receiving U.S taxpayer funding.

Given these circumstances, Israel needs to put an end to its concessionary policy of ‘confidence-building measures’: removing security checkpoints and roadblocks, freeing convicted and jailed Palestinian terrorists as demanded by the PA, and so on — especially if it emerges that the absence of checkpoints enabled the terrorists to carry out the kidnappings.

That some terrorist acts have been facilitated in this way is beyond argument. The January 2010 murder of Israeli, Meir Chai, by Fatah’s own Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, occurred during a Palestinian terrorist attack made possible by the removal of a road closure and checkpoint, part of ‘confidence-building measures’ previously urged upon Israel by the Obama administration.

In April 2010, then-U.S. envoy George Mitchell again urged Israel to “make a number of gestures to Palestinians, including release of prisoners, removal of checkpoints, transfer of authority over West Bank territories.” Israel acceded to President Obama’s wishes — and that August, Palestinians terrorists murdered four Israelis, including a pregnant woman; as it happens, also near Hebron. The attackers escaped the scene via a route opened by the removal of a checkpoint — part of the “number of gestures” Mitchell had urged upon the Israelis.

Western governments, including the Obama Administration, are continually tantalized at the prospect of renewed negotiations, and the PA has adroitly succeeded in recent years in making Israeli concessions a condition of their resumption. International leaders have willingly obliged.

Here, for example, is a news item from February 2012 about UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon: “The UN chief urged Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to make ‘goodwill gestures’ to bring the Palestinians back to direct negotiations, frozen since September 2010.”

Note that, in such cases, Israelis are not being asked to make these “gestures” in return for anything, merely so that PA will deign to speak to them from across a table. In other words, the intended “gestures” are unilateral Israeli concessions. Unfortunately, peace and has never been facilitated by Israeli unilateral concessions. Quite the contrary.

The 2005 unilateral evacuation of Gaza and eviction of its Jewish residents was received by senior PA official Muhammad Dahlan thus: “The withdrawal from the Gaza Strip is a victory for the Palestinian people’s will. … The withdrawal should take place without an agreement and with no political gains [for Israel].” Rocket assaults on Israel from Gaza increased exponentially.

In 2009 came what Hillary Clinton described as “unprecedented” Israeli unilateral concession at the behest of President Barack Obama: a 10-month unilateral freeze on the construction of Jewish homes in the West Bank. The result? The PA declined to resume talks until almost the very end of this period, only to almost immediately break them off and demand a permanent freeze — something that had never been a feature of previous Israeli/Palestinian talks.

In October 2011, Israel freed 1,027 Palestinian prisoners – including hundreds of convicted terrorists – in exchange for kidnapped Israeli serviceman Gilad Shalit. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal greeted this, not as a step on the road to peace, but as a great victory over Israel. Note that this was not even a unilateral concession, but a negotiated one, and that it was not welcomed as a laudable effort to bring peace closer, but an act of weakness heralding eventual Israeli defeat.

Where Did the Mainstream Media Disappear To (Except the NY Times)?

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014

I am mystified. Nearly every Jewish and Israeli news outlet has been constantly reporting on the ongoing kidnapping of Eyal Yifrah, Gilad Shayar and Naftali Frenkel, yet the mainstream media outside of Israel and the Jewish world has almost completely ignored it.

Let’s say for arguments sake, that they don’t consider the kidnapping of three Jewish boys (including an American citizen) to be newsworthy enough, what about the complete closure on Hebron? Hundreds of Arabs Arrested? Thousands of IDF soldiers going house-to-house? Palestinian Authority parliamentarians arrested in the middle of the night. IAF strikes on Gaza? An Arab killed in clashes in Ramallah? Nothing? Nada?

Really? Can you recall ever seeing anything like this happening? A news blackout on Israel!

On any other day this would be on Fox, CNN, MSNBC, Huffington Post, you name it. The best I’ve seen is the same rehashed AP piece, or a short notice that Netanyahu blamed Hamas.

The only notable exception to the above is, to their credit, the New York Times, which has been covering the story for days.

Israel has one of the highest concentration of foreign reporters in the world, yet this event is simply not being reported in nearly all the foreign mainstream media outlets.

It’s as if every foreign reporter in Israel was also suddenly kidnapped last week.

I only see one explanation. I think the mainstream media has a major dilemma.

Jewish children were kidnapped by Hamas, a member of the Palestinian Unity Government.

This shows how depraved these “Palestinians” are. It shows how right Israel has been all along. It shows how wrong Obama and Kerry are.

I don’t think the mainstream media is able to spin this story any other way, so their only solution is to completely ignore it.

I can’t think of any other logical explanation.

POSTSCRIPT:
The NY Times was one of the only newspapers to come out against the Hamas-Fatah unity agreement. From their perspective, they understood that Hamas in the government would be an unignorable roadblock to “peace” with the “moderate” Fatah.

What is going on now is good from their perspective; Israel is removing Hamas from Judea and Samaria, leaving Abbas in charge and looking not like a bad guy (which we know he actually also is).

The IDF is creating a tipping point on the ground, where the Israeli government won’t be able to claim “security” as a roadblock, since they’ll have cleaned up the Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists (though not the Fatah terrorist), while entrenching and protecting Abbas even further, not to mention, doing his work for him.

The NY Times apparently sees this as the next step to preparing the ground for “peace”, meaning Israeli pullouts from our historic homeland. And that’s why they’re not afraid to report on it.

Oren: US Should Reject Unity Government, Hamas Behind Kidnapping

Sunday, June 15th, 2014

Former Israeli ambassador to the United States Michael Oren has joined the thus-far quiet chorus of criticism of recognition by the U.S. of the Palestinian Unity Government (PUG).

Oren publicly stated on Sunday morning, June 15, that Israel now knows Hamas is behind the kidnapping of the three Israeli boys from Gush Etzion on Thursday night.

He also wrote that Hamas publicly praised the kidnapping, and has ordered Palestinian Arabs in the territories to obstruct Israel’s rescue efforts.

Ambassador Oren has a bottom line message: the U.S. should rescind its hasty recognition of the Fatah-Hamas Unity Government.

Oren served as Israel’s ambassador to the U.S. from 2009 until 2013.

Ambassador Michael Oren's Facebook post on June 15, 2014.

Ambassador Michael Oren’s Facebook post on June 15, 2014.

Hamas Unity Government Rockets Hit Israel

Saturday, June 14th, 2014

On Saturday afternoon, rockets launched from Hamas-Palestinian Unity Government controlled Gaza hit near the Ashkelon Beach area of Israel.

The rockets landed in an open area, and no damage or injuries were reported.

Despite Ban, Livni Continues to Meet PUG Officials Overseas

Friday, June 13th, 2014

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni continues to meet with Palestinian Unity Government (PUG) officials overseas, according to a report in Walla.

Livni met with PUG Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki in London on Thursday at an international conference on “war crimes and violence against women in conflict zones”.

Walla published a photo of the meeting between Livni and al-Maliki.

PUG sources are saying that Livni also talks on the phone with PUG Intelligence Chief Majed Faraj, PUG negotiator Saeb Erekat and even with Fatah head Jabril Rajoub.

The Israeli government made a decision to cut off all ties with Palestinian Authority officials after they united with Hamas terrorists. Livni has repeatedly flouted that decision. Last month she met with PUG President Mahmoud Abbas, also when overseas.

At a conference in Herziliya earlier this week, Livni, like the US State Department, called on Israel to ignore the unification between the Hamas and Fatah terrorists and deal with the technocratic government. Livni said Israel must fight Hamas, not the Palestinian government [that Hamas is a member of].

Palestinian Unity Watch, Day 10

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

Palestinian Authority security services assaulted a large group of journalists  Wednesday. The group was covering a Hamas protest against the detention of Hamas members by the Palestinian Authority at Lion Square in downtown Ramallah.

According to the Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedom (MADA) a  Ramallah-based media watchdog group, PA security forces insulted the journalists, confiscated equipment, and prevented them from filming the event.
One victim, Filistin al-Yom cameraman Hadi Al-Dibbs, told MADA that plainclothes security forces attacked and punched him, then tried to seize his camera and prevented him from taking photos. Another man, an independent photographer named Mohammed Jaradat, said police broke into his office overlooking the square having spotted him photographing from the balcony. He was detained and police confiscated his camera. Others were beaten badly enough to require medical treatment from the Red Crescent Society.

In a statement posted on the MADA website, the organization said there has been a sharp escalation since the Palestinian Unity Government agreement was signed on June 2. The organization also demanded the Palestinian Authority investigate the attack and hold the individuals involved responsible.

However, one of the wounded journalists said he did not expect the Palestinian Authority to follow through on the incident. Speaking on condition of anonymity because he is afraid of government retribution, the journalist said those calling on the Palestinian Authority to show responsibility simply do not understand who they are dealing with.

“You want Abu Mazen to ‘investigate’?”, the journalist told The Jewish Press. “The Palestinian Authority has been harassing journalists since it was founded. Why do you think this episode will be any different?”

US Admits: Hamas Unity Government Can Launch Rockets, and Still Receive US Funds

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

US State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki said at a press briefing on Wednesday that the US condemns the rocket fire from Gaza, and expects the Palestinian Unity Government and PUG president to condemn those attacks. But Psaki admits that condemning, not stopping those attacks is the maximum they expect from PUG President Mahmoud Abbas.

Furthermore, Psaki admits that even though Hamas is a member of the Palestinian Unity Government, the US admits that Hamas independently controls Gaza, and admits that Hamas launches rockets at Israel, and admits that the US will ignore all that continue to work with and fund the Palestinian Unity Government of which Hamas is a full member and consequently, a recipient of those US funds.

At the end, Psaki answers that the rocket launches really aren’t large enough of an attack to get the US to change its position.

The questions are great, and it makes for such fascinatingly convoluted reading:

MS. PSAKI: Well, we condemn all rocket fire from Gaza. It is unprovoked aggression against civilian targets and is totally unacceptable. We welcome President Abbas’s prompt and outspoken condemnation of this attack. We note that he has demanded that all the Palestinian factions remain committed to the ceasefire agreement that was signed in Cairo in 2012, and we expect the Palestinian Authority will do everything in its power to prevent attacks into Gaza – from Gaza into Israel. But we acknowledge the reality that Hamas currently controls Gaza.

QUESTION: Well, okay. So the Israelis say that President Abbas, since the unity government has been formed, that he bears responsibility for not disarming this or not preventing this attack and attacks of its kind. Do you agree that President Abbas shares – or it is his responsibility to do that, and that he is – the Israelis could look at him and say this is his fault?

MS. PSAKI: Well, we believe that President Abbas must do all in his power to prevent deterioration in the security situation, but we would also note that he has upheld his responsibility to maintain security coordination with Israel and he has publicly stressed his commitment to do that. And so I think he has made every effort to be – continue to be a partner in this regard.

QUESTION: So this doesn’t have any – this attack doesn’t have anything – won’t have any bearing on your decision to work with the unity government and continue to provide assistance to it?

MS. PSAKI: It does not. Obviously, we’re concerned about it and we condemn it in the strongest terms. But his – President Abbas’s ability to impact these type of attacks is really severely limited at this point in time.

QUESTION: Well, yeah, but isn’t that part of the – I mean, that’s part of the entire problem with agreeing to go along and work with a government, is it not? I mean, the Israelis said the whole time that these attacks are going to continue. If you recognize that his ability is extremely limited to prevent this kind of thing, for there to be security cooperation between him, his government, and the Israelis, how is it that you made the leap to go ahead and say, “All right, this is a government that we can do business with?”

MS. PSAKI: Well, this is one – this was the creation of an interim technocratic government. Obviously, at some point there will be elections. This is an interim period. As we’ve long stated, we’ll – we’re continuing assistance if we – but we’ll be watching closely and if something changes, so will – we’ll act accordingly. But nothing –

QUESTION: So how many more rocket attacks do there have to be before you decide that it’s – that we made a mistake?

MS. PSAKI: Well, again, Matt, you’re familiar, I’m sure, with what the criteria are for delivering assistance. While we’re very concerned about these rocket attacks and we feel President Abbas needs to do everything possible to prevent them, we understand that his ability to do that is severely limited at this point in time.

QUESTION: So but then I don’t understand why – I can’t – I mean, if you think that this guy doesn’t have control over everyone who is either a member of or is backing his unity government, why would you do business with it? Why would you give it money? I mean, if you were one part of – I don’t know, one segment of the Israeli society, political society or otherwise, you could, if you hold Abbas responsible for this attack, hold the United States, in a sense, responsible for this attack because you guys are just continuing to support the unity government.

MS. PSAKI: Well, as you know, there are no members of Hamas in the technocratic unity government – technocratic government, I should call it, which is the accurate –

QUESTION: Right.

MS. PSAKI: – term for it. That is one of our criteria for continuing to provide assistance. We’ll be watching closely over the course of the coming weeks and months.

QUESTION: So even though it is backed by Hamas and you hold Hamas responsible for this rocket attack today, that – you don’t see a connection? No?

MS. PSAKI: I’m not suggesting we don’t understand the connection, Matt. But again, this is a case where President Abbas strongly condemned these actions. We think he should do everything possible to prevent them from happening and to call for and provoke unity among these groups. But we understand at this point in time there’s very little that he can do to prevent them.

QUESTION: Why is it in your interest to continue to deal with the interim government notwithstanding this rocket attack?

MS. PSAKI: Because the Palestinian people and our relationship with the Palestinian Authority is an important relationship to the United States. We continue to believe that support to them is something that is important to the United States.

QUESTION: But if Hamas feels that it can shoot rockets from Gaza into Israel with impunity and this has no effect whatsoever, for example, on its ability to form a unity government with the PA, even if there are no Hamas members in the actual government – you have a disincentive that you could use here, which would be to stop dealing with the unity government or to stop funding it, and that might tell Hamas, “Well, maybe we should think twice about sending rockets in.” But the way you’ve cast it, they can send an unlimited number of rockets in and they can still be supportive of this unity government and you’ll still give the unity government and the PA money.

MS. PSAKI: Well, we made a decision as the United States Government that our assistance to the Palestinian Authority is important to the United States. And so that’s why it is continuing. And they did – have met the criteria, including the Quartet principles that have been laid out. We will be judging this government by its actions and we will address issues as needed moving forward, but nothing has changed at this point in time.

QUESTION: You don’t see this attack as an action of the government?

MS. PSAKI: No, we –

QUESTION: You see it by – you see it as an action by a supporter of the government. Not you, I’m talking about Hamas, right? I mean, you – correct me if I – I mean, if you – well, is that correct? Let’s just start there. You see this as an attack by Hamas on Israel. Is that correct?

MS. PSAKI: Yes.

QUESTION: Yes. You do understand the equivalent – the Israelis say that because Hamas is a – while there are no Hamas members in it, this government, this technocratic government is supported by Hamas, and therefore this is a problem. You don’t agree with that.

MS. PSAKI: Well again, Matt, this is a technocratic government that just formed in the past couple of weeks. We’ll be watching events closely as time continues. The government itself has abided by the principles that we have outlined through the Quartet and what the United States expects as well, and we’ll evaluate accordingly. But nothing has changed as it relates to our assistance.

QUESTION: All right. And then just on Abbas himself, you say that he has condemned it. But the condemnation is really – I mean it’s good, I suppose, that he is not applauding and saying this is a good thing. But he needs to stop it, doesn’t he? Isn’t that the U.S. position?

MS. PSAKI: Well, he’s also demanded that all factions abide by the ceasefire agreement.

QUESTION: Right. But at some point it’s got to be actions, not words, right? So this is – I just – this is not an action enough to get you to – to get the Administration to change its position?

MS. PSAKI: Correct.

QUESTION: Okay.

QUESTION: Clarification: Are you certain that it was Hamas that fired the rocket, or could it be some rogue group from Gaza? Because there are all kinds of rogue groups.

MS. PSAKI: Well, Said, I don’t have any more information. I think we’re all familiar with the connection between Hamas and Gaza and how they control Gaza.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/us-admits-hamas-unity-government-can-launch-rockets-and-still-receive-us-funds/2014/06/12/

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