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April 19, 2014 / 19 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘palestinian’

In Time for Obama Meeting, CBS Shows 123% Rise in Settlement Housing

Monday, March 3rd, 2014

Hours before a scheduled meeting between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Obama in Washington Monday, Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics released the figures on Jewish housing starts in Judea and Samaria for 2013 and they show a stunning, 123% rise compared to the year before.

According to the CBS, work began on 2,534 new Judea and Samaria homes and apartments in 2013, compared to 1,133 in 2012. Of these, some 1,710 units were in apartment buildings in the larger Judea and Samaria settlements, and 824 were single-family homes in smaller settlements.

The same data shows a 19 percent drop in housing starts in the Tel Aviv area.

The total number of housing starts throughout Israel rose 3.4 percent in 2013 compared to 2012, according to the CBS.

Housing starts in Judea and Samaria have been lower since a 10-month freeze in building in Judea and Samaria settlements that began in November 2009, as part of the Netanyahu government’s capitulation to American pressure.

It took until 2013 for many new housing tenders to be issued for Judea and Samaria settlements, according to the Jerusalem Post.

Housing starts in Judea and Samaria comprise 5.7% of all the starts in Israel. In the south of Israel there was a 12% rise, in the Haifa region 8.1%, in Jerusalem 2.9%, and up north 1%.

The 19% drop in housing starts in Tel Aviv appears dramatic when juxtaposed with the rest of the country.

And now for a word from our friend at Peace Now Yariv Oppenheimer who issued a statement saying that at this rate of growth there’ll be no room left for a Palestinian State.

The other friendly NGO, the “Geneva Initiative,” faulted Netanyahu for creating a one-state solution through his action, and warned that in such a state the Jews would be in the minority.

No they won’t, just check birth rate figures for Jews (on the rise) and for Judea and Samaria Arabs (on the decline since 2005).

Some JTA content was used in this report, but we had to replace all the “west bank” references with the proper “Judea and Samaria.”

A Very Athletic Religion

Sunday, March 2nd, 2014

I’m looking at this picture of Muslim worshipers on their hands and knees in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Ma’ale ha-Zeitim (Ras al Amud) last Friday. In order to prevent riots on Temple Mount, police limited entry to Muslim men over 50, so everyone you see here must be younger. But still, I find the notion of falling down on my hands and knees five times a day both physically demanding and socially awkward.

I can’t stand it when the guy sitting next to me in shul leans too close to my area during davening. In fact, our tradition requires maintaining a bit of open space in front of each person during the Amida—STANDING prayer. I can’t imagine being down on the floor, tight with the guy and the whole shul – what is this Swedish gymnastics?

We do it a few times on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur every year, and it’s very special and inspiring, and I get that this is the way they used to do it in the Temple—once a year, when the High Priest called out the full name of God. But every day? Not happening.

When we do the holy bending on the Days of Awe, I get the submission thing. And I know that Mohammed or someone like him borrowed the falling on the knees thing from the Jews. Nevertheless, if this ever becomes the way we daven all the time, I’ll be davening at home.

Sliman Khader/Flash90

Sliman Khader/Flash90

Israeli Airforce Takes Out another Gaza Motorcycle Terrorist

Sunday, February 9th, 2014

A terrorist from the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) was critically wounded Sunday morning in an Israeli Air-force attack in Deir al-Balah, central Gaza Strip, while riding his motorcycle, according to the IDF Spokesperson’s office.

The assassination attempt was executed in cooperation with the Shabac-GSS. Palestinian sources report a second injury as a result of the same attack.

According to the IDF, the attack’s target, Abdullah Harti, 29, had taken part in shooting rockets into Israel and in planning additional high-trajectory rocket attacks.

“The IDF is seriously concerned about every shooting attempt into the State of Israel and will continue to act with force against any terror attempt. The IDF is laid out and prepared to defend the citizens of the State of Israel,” the IDF Spokesperson stated.

Harti, a resident of the Nuseirat Refugee Camp, had been involved in recent years in planning and executing different kinds of attacks against Israel in the Gaza Strip and along the Sinai border. Among other acts of terrorism, Harti has been collaborating with the Global Jihad Ansar Beit al-Maqdisi group in the northern Sinai, an attack on Rt. 12 in August 2011, and several rocket volleys against Eilat last January.

Palestinians’ New Enemy: Tzipi Livni

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

Originally published at Gatestone Institute.

The Palestinians have now turned against Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, who also heads the Israeli team to the peace talks with the Palestinian Authority [PA].

Livni is probably the most dovish member of the Israeli cabinet. Yet her moderate views and support for the two-state solution have not made her immune to a new campaign against her by the Palestinians.

The Palestinian Authority leadership is now saying that Livni is no longer fit to negotiate with the Palestinians and must be replaced. In other words, any Israeli negotiator who does not accept all Palestinian demands should be excluded from the US-sponsored peace talks.

The reason why the Palestinians are furious with Livni is a statement she made during an interview last Saturday, where she announced that PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s positions are “not only unacceptable to us, but to the whole world, and if he continues to stick to them, then the Palestinians will be the ones to pay the price.”

Livni’s statement has been misinterpreted by Palestinians as a personal “threat” against Abbas. Of course, Livni never made such a threat in her statement and was merely warning against the repercussions of Abbas’s positions on the peace process and his people.

But the PA leadership often interprets Israeli criticism of Abbas as a threat to eliminate him. This is a way of telling the Palestinians that Abbas, like his predecessor Yasser Arafat, is facing threats from Israel for refusing to make concessions on Palestinian rights.

The Palestinian Authority is preparing Palestinians for the possibility that the talks with Israel could end in failure, and that Abbas may be face the same fate as Arafat — isolated and boycotted by Israel and the international community. The goal is to make Abbas appear in the eyes of his people as a “martyr” who paid a heavy price for standing up to Israel and the US.

Less than 24 hours after Livni made her statement, several PA officials and organizations responded by accusing her of “incitement.”

Mahmoud al-Aloul, member of the Fatah Central Committee, said in response to Livni’s remark: “If the Israelis think that threats and pressure on President Mahmoud Abbas would drive him to make concessions on Palestinian rights they are deluding themselves. The threats made by the officials of the occupation government are directed against Abbas’s life, but they won’t affect his positions.”

PA Foreign Minister Riad Malki condemned Livni’s “threat” against Abbas and said he would bring them to the attention of the international community. “We are studying the threats and their implication,” Malki told reporters. “We will distribute Livni’s statements to all foreign ministers and the international community. We can’t remain silent towards these threats. This is a clear threat to Abbas in person and it must be taken seriously.”

Abbas Zaki, another senior Fatah official, claimed that Livni’s “threats” are designed to distract attention from Israel’s refusal to reach a peace agreement with the Palestinians. “The threats show that the Israelis are not mature for peace,” he added.

The radical Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, one of the PLO groups, accused Livni of “political audacity.” The group said that Livni’s demand that Abbas recognize Israel as a Jewish state was completely unacceptable and reflected “despicable arrogance.”

Abbas’s spokesman, Nabil Abu Rudaineh, announced that “Livni’s statements make her unacceptable for negotiations…. She has joined those voices in the Israeli government that are trying to destroy prospects for peace. This is a very dangerous statement.”

The attacks on Livni correspond with a campaign that is already being waged by Palestinians against U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. Over the past few weeks, many Palestinians representing various Palestinian groups have been waging protests against Kerry’s ongoing efforts to reach a deal between the Palestinian Authority and Israel. Kerry is being accused of endorsing the Israeli point of view, especially on security, settlements, Jerusalem and the “right of return” for Palestinian refugees to their former homes inside Israel.

This Palestinian escalation of rhetoric does not bode well for the future of the peace talks. The Palestinians were first unhappy with Kerry, whom they accused of being biased in favor of Israel. Now they are angry with Livni for daring to criticize Abbas. In the end, Israel and the U.S. will be blamed for the failure of the peace process. This is exactly what happened after the botched Camp David summit in 2000, when Arafat held Israel and the U.S. fully responsible for the failure of the peace process. A few weeks later, the Second Intifada erupted. The same scenario is likely to repeat itself unless the Palestinian Authority leadership stops putting all the blame on others.

Three Detained for Trying to Smuggle Flag into Temple Mount

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

Three Israelis were detained by police Tuesday morning for trying to smuggle an Israeli flag into the Temple Mount, where they wanted to unfurl it and wave it, a police spokesman said.

One of the men, all of whom were said to be in the 20s and 30s, hid a flag in his underwear, and the two packed the flags in their bags.

Their offense apparently was violating the status quo on the Temple Mount. There is no similar prohibition for Muslims to pray or fly any kind of flag on the Temple Mount.

Last October, 13 Israelis were dragged out and arrested for praying and waving an Israeli flag on the Temple Mount. On Independence Day last year, a group of Israelis tried to enter the Temple Mount and were subjected to what they described as a humiliating search to expose hidden Israeli flags.

“We were separated from the tourists who entered the Temple Mount freely and our ID cards were taken for inspection” Eitaמ Kleinman told the Kol Yehudi radio station.

“A police officer asked us to enter a search room,” Kleinman rlated. “He apologized, explaining that he had to physically search us for a flag. We were shocked; we removed our upper garments and were searched as if we were dangerous criminals.”

After the search they were allowed to enter the Mount, accompanied by officials of the Muslim Waqf who shouted at them.

 

Obama Administration Labels Islamic Jihad Leader as Terrorist

Sunday, January 26th, 2014

The Obama administration has designated Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s deputy secretary general Ziyad al-Nakhalah as a terrorist, the U.S. State Dept. announced.

The Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the Dec. 22 bombing of a bus in Tel Aviv in which quick thinking by two passengers and the bus driver prevented a mass casually disaster.

“Ziyad has repeatedly taken credit for attacks against Israel,” the State Dept. said. “For example, Ziyad took credit for…indiscriminate missile attacks into Israel in 2011, 2009, and 2008.”

U.S. law bans any transactions with designated terrorists and any assets they have that come under the control of any U.S.-based institution are frozen.

Terrorist Arrested in Migdal Oz Shooting

Saturday, January 18th, 2014

On Saturday night, a Palestinian Authority terrorist shot towards the entrance of the town of Migdal Oz in Gush Etzion. The shooting was done with a homemade gun. Three shots were fired.

IDF forces captured the terrorist, and no one was injured in the attack.

Why These Negotiations Will Always Fail

Friday, January 3rd, 2014

Peace in the Middle East between Israel and its neighbors—including the Palestinians—is generally described as “elusive.” Why have forty years of active efforts not led to permanent peace in the region? Why 20 years after Oslo is there no great sign that peace stands ready to break out between the Palestinians and Israelis? The simple answer is that parties are negotiating on different planes that can never intersect.

Let’s analyze the ostensible goals of the parties to the current round of talks. The Israelis want peace and one can see why: lower regional threats, less military spending, greater regional cooperation, increased tourism revenue, export of Israeli technology, increased trade with Europe and more. What do the Palestinians get in the peace deal? They get less than half of the land they believe they deserve. They can look forward to a million or more Arab “refugees” showing up, expecting housing, food, work, and schools. They will be saddled with building an economy without natural resources or a strong technical ethos, while international donations will dry up (especially from Muslim countries, for the sin of recognizing a Jewish state). In short, the Israelis have much to gain from peace, while the Palestinian leaders who are running their side of the talks have much to lose.

Additionally, Israelis negotiate like Americans and Europeans: they try to cut a deal, but if it does not work, then they fall back to the present conditions. The Palestinians work in a different way: either they get what they want, or they pull out the terror card. Lawyers who reviewed signed confessions of Marwan Barghouti’s lieutenants found a singular pattern: if negotiations in the Arafat period were going well, then Tanzim and the like were told to lay low. If the Israelis were intransigent—on borders, refugees, or the like—then the order was given to attack. Negotiations cannot proceed when one side is willing to take a much greater liberty than the other side is willing to entertain. Picture if one football team had to respect the out-of-bound lines, while the other did not. The Israelis might walk away from talks, but they would not order the murder of Palestinian citizens, leftist propaganda aside. The Palestinians, on the other hand, are more than comfortable using attacks on Israeli citizens as a means to get what they want at the negotiating table—and this is a point that Americans and Europeans diplomats have never understood. They are convinced that everyone thinks like they do: peace is always good, and the rules of negotiations exclude violence between sides.

The reason for this failed understanding is cultural. Let’s look back at the Nazis, some of the greatest murderers ever. One notes that no German soldier was ever commanded to either kill or injure himself in order to gas, shoot, blow up, torch or otherwise kill a Jew. The Nazis were sadists and invented horrific ways to kill Jewish men, women and children; still, they would not have considered personal bodily harm or worse as being required to kill a Jew. The Palestinians, on the other hand, not only are active practitioners of suicide bombings, but polls still show that their citizenry supports such activities. We of a Western mind-frame find it impossible to consider such an act—whom do we hate so much that we would be willing to undertake such horrific activity? Are there any children or aged citizens of any country that we would hope to obliterate with flying shrapnel so as to somehow exact revenge on somebody else who has some tenuous relationship to the ones blown up? I have asked these questions to student groups visiting from the US; no one can answer in the affirmative.
This week marked another gratuitous prisoner release by Israel in the ersatz peace process.

These releases have generally been categorized as “confidence building measures.” Is there anyone who could define or identify any confidence built by releasing 26 murderers? The Palestinians partied with the released convicts and demanded the release of all Palestinian prisoners; Israelis felt anguish at the release and saw protests and complaints against the release of more murderers. What confidence was built by this act? None. The prisoner release is a bribe to the Palestinian leaders to continue with the worthless process of peace-making, so that they can show their base that they are getting something from the talks. The terrorists are free, the Palestinians only want more, and the Israeli leadership is put in the uncomfortable position of explaining why murderers walk free, with nothing to show for it. The Palestinians get their terrorists back, but the act has no tangible effect on the direction, good will or pace of the negotiations.

The current peace talks will enjoy the same fate as their predecessors; and ditto for any future talks. The talks will break down because even the most left-wing Israeli politician is not yet ready to commit national suicide to accommodate the minimal Palestinian demands on dividing Jerusalem, accepting indefensible borders, and welcoming anything more than some token refugees. The Palestinians will blame the Israelis, as will most of the international community. Israel will point the finger at an intransigent Palestinian Authority, and we’ll wait for the whole process to start again sometime in the future.

I would argue that the above analysis is pragmatic and not in the least pessimistic. The Palestinians have too much to lose by making peace and also play by rules not understood or appreciated by the likes of John Kerry or Catherine Ashton. The simple fact is that the Palestinian Authority today enjoys large contributions from international donors and avoids all responsibility for building a functional society designed to absorb four generations of self-made Palestinian “refugees” living in Lebanon, Iraq, Syria and the like. Israel looks forward to a rosier future, one that would include peace; the Palestinian cannot see getting a better deal than they have in the present. And for that, negotiations will—again—go nowhere, however much John Kerry and his Israeli partners try to tell us otherwise.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/why-these-negotiations-will-always-fail/2014/01/03/

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