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July 29, 2014 / 2 Av, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘palestinian’

Arab Media Salivate Over Jewish Squabbles About Israel

Monday, June 9th, 2014

Israel’s internal politics have finally become delicious gossip of the day for the Arab media.

‘Once a unifying cause for generations of American Jews, Israel is now bitterly dividing Jewish communities,” the Associated Press reported this morning (Monday) on the Al Arabiya website.

The report was one of the site’s top stories of the day. Worse, it happens to be true.

American college campuses are described as “ideological battle zones over Israeli policy in the Palestinian territories.” The “Open Hillel” movement of Jewish students is challenging speaker guidelines developed by the decades-old Hillel movement, according to the report, and planning its first national conference in October. Even the scuffle between J Street and the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations is covered.

Isn’t it lovely? All of the House of Israel’s dirty laundry out there for public review in living technicolor, to be examined minutely by all of her enemies one by one.

To be fair, the same article reported – albeit in the very last line – that a Pew Research Center survey found that only 12 percent of U.S. Jews believe Palestinian Authority leaders are making a sincere effort to resolve the conflict between the PA and Israel; 38 percent said the Israeli government is actively pursuing peace.

But more to the point, what is abundantly clear is that Jewish actions are news wherever we are, and Jewish news is of interest to Arabs, wherever they are. It’s an important point to remember; one hopes that Israel’s politicians bear it in mind when formulating policy and opening their mouths.

Lawyers Accuse the Palestinians and the UN of Deception

Thursday, May 15th, 2014

JERUSALEM – A group of lawyers have sent a letter to Ban Ki Moon, UN Secretary General, requesting that the UN review and reconsider any acceptance by the UN of the Palestinian requests for accession to international conventions, pending fulfillment of the legal and moral requirements set out in international law and practice.

On April 1st Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud Abbas signed letters to the UN and to the governments of Switzerland and the Netherlands requesting that “the State of Palestine” be granted accession to fifteen international conventions and treaties.

Alan Baker, Head of International Action Division in the Legal Forum for Israel, stated that: “This action by the Palestinian leadership, together with the consequent, hurried acceptance of the Palestinian applications by the United Nations and by the Swiss government, raise serious questions both regarding the flawed perception as to the very existence and legal status of a sovereign state of “Palestine”, as well as to the issue of the potential implications of what are, in effect, serious violations of the 1995 Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement, and of the very integrity of the international law of treaties. It would appear that the conventions to which the Palestinians have requested accession require that only states be permitted to accede. By rushing to accept the Palestinian accession requests, knowing that there exists no genuine Palestinian state, the UN is in fact both misleading itself as well as the international community as a whole, and as such is undermining the very integrity of international treaty law, creating a regrettable precedent.”

Baker, former Israeli Ambassador to Canada and former legal adviser to Israel’s Foreign Ministry, further stated: “The question may well be asked whether the UN, in accepting the Palestinian request to accede to international treaties of which it serves as depositary, is not undermining the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and predetermining the very central issues that remain to be negotiated between the parties. In our considered legal view, had the UN acted in accordance with its proper legal and moral duties pursuant to international treaty law and practice, it should have determined in no uncertain terms that the Palestinian requests for accession to the conventions fail to meet the requirements of international law. It is regrettable that the UN and the other depositories appear nevertheless to have permitted themselves to be manipulated in this way, which, we feel, damages the integrity of the organization, as well as of international law and custom.”

The authors of the letter are from the Legal Forum for Israel, an activist legal organization which represents a body of lawyers and academics who came together from around the world. The Letter was signed by Ambassador (Ret.) Alan Baker, Attorney Yossi Fuchs, co-founder and member of the Legal Forum for Israel and by Nachi Eyal, CEO of the Legal Forum for Israel

Another Synagogue, Mikvah Destruction Ahead in Judea-Samaria

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

Settlers in Judea, Samaria and the Binyamin region are getting ready for government forces intent on more demolitions. This time a synagogue and mikvah are among the targets.

Leaders of the Residents’ Council of Judea and Samaria (Yesha Council) have been negotiating for six months with Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and other officials over the looming destruction. The problem stems from a High Court of Justice order forcing the state to demolish 28 buildings said not to be constructed according to code or built “on private Palestinian land.”

Similar orders are rarely issued, let alone carried out against the thousands of illegally-constructed Bedouin and Arab structures dotting the Israeli landscape within the 1949 Armstice lines (known as the “pre-1967 lines,) let alone the hundreds of thousands carpeting the hillsides in those in the disputed territory of Area C.

All but three of the targeted Jewish structures have since been rebuilt to meet the demands of the state.

But authorities have been ordered to demolish those last three that have yet to meet the regulations. They include a synagogue and a mikvah and are to be destroyed by May 18, this Friday, Ynet reported Wednesday. Since the IDF allegedly does not carry out expulsions on Shabbat, it is expected the evictions will begin on Thursday.

It is expected that orders declaring the surrounding area a “closed military zone” will be issued within the next 24-48 hours in order to prevent interference from protesters.

Hundreds of IDF soldiers, Border Guard personnel and police officers are preparing for the operation along with the Coordinator for Government Activities in the Territories (CoGAT). Generally roadblocks leading into the affected areas are placed to prevent others from coming to the aid of those being evicted.

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.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/khaled-abu-toameh/palestinians-new-enemy-tzipi-livni/2014/01/29/

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