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April 18, 2014 / 18 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Palestinians’

Dutch Water Company Cuts Israel Ties over Territories

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

The largest public water company in the Netherlands has severed ties with Israel’s national water company over its operation in Israeli settlements.

Vitens in ceasing cooperation with Merkorot said in a statement Tuesday on its website that it “attaches great importance to integrity and adheres to international law and regulations. After discussions with stakeholders, the company came to the realization that it is extremely difficult to work together on future projects since they cannot be separated from their political context.”

The Dutch company reportedly also consulted with the Dutch Foreign Ministry. Lilianne Ploumen, the Dutch minister for foreign trade and development cooperation, canceled a visit this week to Mekorot, the Dutch daily NRC Handelsblad reported, according to Haaretz.

Last month, Vitens signed a cooperation agreement with Merkorot to develop several joint projects.

Vitens provides water to 5.4 million people in the Netherlands.

Despite Mekorot also providing water to the Palestinian Authority, it has been slammed in the Dutch media and by the government for drilling for water in the Israeli territories and for what they say is discrimination against the Palestinian Authority in its water supply.

PA Not Part of International Olive Council this Year

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

Opposition by Germany and Britain to the Palestinian Authority bid to join the International Olive Council has forced the Palestinian Authority to freeze their application in applying to become a member state of the intergovernmental Madrid-based organization.

The Palestinian Authority Foreign Ministry in Ramallah prepared the application this past summer in order to be voted upon at the annual olive council meeting held in Madrid last week.

According to European diplomatic sources, cited in Haaretz, British and German representatives claimed that letting the Palestinians join the council could sabotage current Israeli-Palestinian talks led by the United States.

Resuming peace talks were made on the condition that Israel’s release of Palestinian prisoners would be done in exchange for the Palestinian Authority’s promise not to join various UN organizations and not to address The Hague’s International Criminal Court (ICC).

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has committed to continue talks for a nine-month period, during which time the Palestinian Authority has pledged to avoid any diplomatic actions against Israel. Thus far, Israel has released 52 Palestinian prisoners, many of whom were convicted of murdering Israelis, out of the 104 Palestinian prisoners who will be freed as talks progress.

Germany and Britain are the member states of the European Union’s joint delegation to the International Olive Council, which is made up of 16 states in addition to the EU that produce olives and olive oil. If the states within the EU delegation are unable to reach a consensus, then the EU delegation must abstain from voting.

In any case, the Palestinians realized that the European Union would not vote in their favor for the olive council membership and preferred not to suffer diplomatic failure. Palestinian officials told Haaretz that the PA had instead decided to postpone their application to a more “opportune moment.” The next International Olive Council annual session will be held in November 2014.

Minister Katz: Livni Should Give Back the Car Keys

Tuesday, November 5th, 2013

Minister Israel Katz (best transportation minister ever!) said on Tuesday that if the news is correct, and Justice Minister and Chief Negotiator Tzipi Livni is offering a different position from that of the government she serves, she should put down the car keys and go home (to use a transpiration-related metaphor). She has no backing inside the government, nor does she enjoy a popular mandate to promote her own position.

Katz, writing on his Facebook page, emphasized that he is committed to this government and is against the dividing of Jerusalem.

Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar, who is considered a Likud leftist, nevertheless reiterated the position that when it comes to Jerusalem Prime Minister Netanyahu and his government object to dividing Jerusalem and giving up any part of Israel’s sovereignty over the city.

Of course, this government supports Arab rule on Temple Mount and is busy keeping Israeli patriots such as Likud MK Moshe Feiglin from setting foot up there, but that’s just a side issue and this is not the right time for pesky reporters to make their own pesky points.

Speaking on Israel Radio, Minister Sa’ar added that an interim deal with the Palestinians would not be out of the question, if there is a willingness on the other side. But he added that the PA is pushing a hard line and initiating anti-Israeli maneuvers while conducting the talks, which he believes they’re doing to make this round of talks fail in order to invite outside pressure to bear on Israel.

Meanwhile, Finance Minister Yair Lapid told Israel Radio that Jerusalem is not even on the negotiations table with the Palestinians, and nthat the city will not be divided.

“If the Palestinians want a state, they should know it comes with a price, and they will not get everything they desire,” Lapid said.

He did express in faith in the two-state solution, adding that once the process come around to uprooting settlements, Israel will have new elections, or at least conduct a referendum.

Yesh Atid Skips Out of Critical Finance Vote for Beit El

Friday, October 11th, 2013

Three Yesh Atid MK quietly skipped out of the room when the vote came up for financing some settlement related expenses, in particular, reimbursing the residents of Beit El’s Ulpana neighborhood whom the government kicked out of their homes when it destroyed their neighborhood last year.

The three Yesh Atid coalition members did not inform anyone they were not going to be at the vote, and Gila Gamliel (Likud) noticed moments before the vote that the three were missing. She called MK Robert Ilytov (Yisrael Beiteinu) to come in to replace them, to ensure there was still a coalition majority.

If the opposition had noticed, the vote could have gone the other way.

Yesh Atid head, Yair Lapid, recently said in an interview, that he doesn’t care if the Palestinian Authority recognizes Israel as a Jewish State or not, contradicting the negotiating position laid down by PM Netanyahu.

Sources in Yesh Atid say the move was not preplanned, and the 3 MKs left the room for other reasons.”

The only question we have is for chareidi MK Dov Lipman (Yesh Atid), “Are you still so sure your views are aligned with the Yesh Atid party?”

 

 

 

What Will Happen Now with US Middle East Policy?

Thursday, October 3rd, 2013

Originally published at Rubin Reports.

Turkish Reader: Haven’t you understood yet that the US does not care about whether a Muslim country is ruled by Sharia [dictatorship] or by secular [democracy] law as long as that regime is pro-American? Isn’t this U.S. interests “über alles”?

Me: Yes I do care. First, no Islamist government is really going to be pro-American or pro-Western. Second, it won’t be good for that country’s people. Why should I feel differently to handing over Czechoslovakia to Nazi rule or Hungary to Communist rule than Turkey to Islamist rule?

Already there are starting to appear evaluations of what President Barack Obama’s second term will be like. I think that even though the Obama Administration doesn’t know or have a blueprint it is clear and consistent what the Middle East policy would be. It is a coherent program though as I say it is not necessarily fully or consciously thought out. The plan would be for a comprehensive solution which will leave the Middle East situation as a successful legacy of the Obama Administration.

There are three main themes of this plan, though as I say I’m not sure it has really taken shape. By 2016 they will all fail, and leave the West weaker.

The first is with Iran policy. The goal would be to “solve” the nuclear weapons’ issue by making a deal with Iran. One thing that is possible is that the Iranians just deceitfully build nuclear arms. The other that the will go up to the point when they can get nuclear weapons very quickly and then stop for a while. Probably either result will be hailed as a brilliant diplomatic victory for Obama.

This is how the nuclear deal is interpreted by Iran, in a dispatch from Fars new agency: “It seems that the Americans have understood this fact that Iran is a powerful and stable country in the region which uses logical and wise methods in confrontation with its enemies.” In other words America is an enemy of Iran that has backed down.

One thing Iran might get in a deal for “giving up”"its nuclear ambitions would be something in Syria perhaps. It would probably look like this. It is possible that this deal would be in the shape of an unofficial partition of Syria, with the Bashar Assad regime surviving in 40 percent of the country including Aleppo and Damascus; another 40 percent would be controlled by a U.S.-backed rebels, mainly Muslim Brotherhood; and 20 percent would be a Kurdish autonomous area. I want to stress that I don’t believe that this would work and would in fact be the object of another Iranian stalling technique.and effort to gain total victory..

Iran wants primacy at least in the Shia world – meaning Iraq, Lebanon and Syria. It would just require Iranian patience if Iran is willing to devote extensive resources to this enterprise until it could seize the whole country. The U.S. probably won’t provide ground troops, which is understandable. And would the U.S. provide military and economic aid to an al-Qaida-Salafi-Muslim Brotherhood regime? At any rate the Iranians would either develop nuclear weapons or simply get to the point where they could if they wanted to and then stop, knowing that they could so at any time. Of course, this would relatively ignore Israel’s security needs.

And if a nuclear deal with Iran doesn’t materialize you can tell who will be blamed by an article named, “A Nuclear Deal With Iran Is Within Reach, If Congress Plays Its Part,”" in the prestigious magazine, Roll Call.

The second theme would be an illusion that it would be possible to resolve the Israel-Palestinian conflict as a two-state solution but actually moving toward the Palestinian real goal which is an Arab Palestine. Period. Regarding this issue it is probably that both sides would stall. Only Secretary of State John Kerry believes otherwise.

The Israeli side would mount a strategic retreat by gradual concessions hoping that the Obama Administration would end before too much damage was done. It is clear, for example, that prisoner releases, the granting of economic benefits and the entry of more laborers would be among the concessions given.Of course, this would also relatively ignore Israel’s security needs.

Rouhani on Holocaust: Size Doesn’t Matter

Saturday, September 28th, 2013

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani acknowledged the Holocaust as a crime against the Jews but refused to comment on its scope.

“I have said before that I am not a historian, and that when it comes to speaking of the dimensions of the Holocaust, it is the historians that should reflect on it,” Rouhani told CNN in comments published Tuesday on its website.

“But in general I can tell you that any crime that happens in history against humanity, including the crime the Nazis committed towards the Jews, as well as non-Jewish people, was reprehensible and condemnable as far as we are concerned,” he said.

Rouhani also appeared to liken the Holocaust to Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians.

“This does not mean that on the other hand you can say Nazis committed crimes against a group, now therefore they must usurp the land of another group and occupy it,” he said. “This too is an act that should be condemned. There should be an evenhanded discussion.”

Rouhani in an interview earlier this week with NBC declined to answer a question about the Holocaust, prompting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to say that Rouhani differed little from his predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who denied the Holocaust.

Netanyahu in a statement posted on his Facebook page said Rouhani’s alleged Holocaust denial was one reason he ordered the Israeli delegation to the United Nations not to be present when the Iranian leader spoke Tuesday at the General Assembly.

“The Israeli delegation absented itself from Rouhani’s speech in order not to grant legitimacy to a regime that does not recognize the existence of the Holocaust and which publicly declares its desire to wipe the State of Israel off the map,” Netanyahu said.

President Obama said at the General Assembly that he was ready to engage with Rouhani to bring about a diplomatic solution to tensions over Iran’s suspected nuclear weapons program. Netanyahu has said he believes Rouhani’s claims to moderation are a ruse.

Arab Terrorists Caught Near Beit El

Friday, September 27th, 2013

On Thursday evening, the IDF caught two Arab terrorists that had earlier in the evening thrown multiple fire bombs at buses and cars near Beit El.

Beit El Residents Hit Back at Arab Assailants

Monday, September 16th, 2013

Residents of the “Nof” neighborhood of Beit El found themselves under a barrage of stones this evening as they were outside building their Sukkahs.

The Arab assailants were very surprised to discover that these Beit El residents weren’t very passive when it came to responding to the Arab attacks. The Beit El residents quickly reacted, damaging the vehicles of the assailants.

In other stone throwing incidents today, Arabs threw a rock into an oncoming car near Ramallah. There were no injuries in that attack.

There were also quite a number of other stone throwing incidents today near Hebron, Afikim, Itamar, Efrat, Beit El, Mevoh Dotan, El Hadr, and along Road 60. Vehicles were damaged in some of the attacks.

Reports for HaKol Hayudi were used in this report.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/beit-el-residents-hit-back-at-arab-assailants/2013/09/16/

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