Yishai is joined by Neil Kressel author of, “The Sons of Pigs and Apes”: Muslim Anti-Semitism and the Conspiracy of Silence”. Kressel explains that in this book he is analyzing a threat to Western liberalism. Tune in to hear the fascinating (sometimes disturbing) scuffles going on behind the scenes of the Middle East news within the world of ideas and academia.
Posts Tagged ‘Palestinians’
The Palestinian authorities have finalized the preparations for the release of 26 prisoners, seen as a confidence building gesture from Israel to help sweeten the bitter pill of resuming direct peace talks.
Officials said Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas will head the reception ceremony Tuesday night at the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) headquarters, where senior PNA officials and the prisoners’ families will also be present.
At the end of the ceremony, 15 prisoners will be brought to their homes in Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip and 11 others will stay in the West Bank.
The delivery of the prisoners was part of a deal to free 104 prisoners arrested before signing Oslo peace accords between Israel and the Palestinians in 1993.
The Palestinians agreed to resume the peace talks sponsored by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry after Israel pledged to gradually free 104 prisoners from its jails during the nine-month period to finalize the peace negotiations between the two sides. There are around 4,500 Arab terrorists kept in Israeli jails.
Qadoura Fares, chairman of the Palestinian Prisoner Club Association, told Xinhua that the Palestinians “refuse the deportation or the expelling of any prisoner out of the Palestinian territories.
“All of them should go home,” he said.
Of the prisoners to be released, 17 were sentenced to life imprisonment and nine others to 20 to 25 years imprisonment. 19 have spent more than 19 years in Israeli jails, Abdul Nasser Ferwana, a Palestinian expert in prisoners’ affairs, told Xinhua.
In Thursday’s State department’s daily press briefing, Spokesperson Jen Psaki announced that the peace negotiations (lovingly nicknamed MEPP) between the Israelis and Palestinians will resume on August 14 in Jerusalem, to be followed by a meeting in Jericho.
In response to a question about the Israeli government’s decision to build between 800 and 1,000 more housing units on the wrong side of the “green line,” Psaki answered: “Our position on settlements has not changed. We do not accept the legitimacy of continued settlement activity and oppose any efforts to legitimize settlement outposts.”
But she was quick to add that Secretary of State John Kerry still “believes both of the negotiating teams are at the table in good faith and are committed to working together to make progress.” Meaning, she thinks the announcement was little more than some muscle flexing in Jerusalem, in preparation for the next bout with the Palestinians, nothing that couldn’t be shut down in a phone call. Indeed, she added, “We are speaking to the Government of Israel and making our concerns known.”
According to Psaki, Ambassador Martin Indyk, who’s been not-achieving peace in the Middle East since late last century, and Deputy Special Envoy Frank Lowenstein, also known as a Kerry staffer, “will travel to the region to help facilitate negotiations.”
But lest you raise your hopes in vain, according to Psaki, Kerry does not expect to make any announcements in the aftermath of this round of talks.
As The Jewish Press reported earlier, Secretary Kerry and National Security Adviser Susan Rice held roundtable discussions with Jewish American and Arab American community leaders last night, and there’s one coming this Friday morning, at the White House. These meetings are expected to serve as “an opportunity to update community leaders on the resumption of direct final status negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians, as well as to hear directly from these community leaders about their perspectives.”
Indyk and Lowenstein also attend these two meetings.
Before the first meeting, Psaki stated the Secretary is “looking forward to these discussions with leaders who have been deeply involved in these issues for many, many years, and who share our goal of achieving a final status agreement with two states living side by side in peace and security.”
Or, as our reporter Lori Lowenthal Marcus put it: “Kerry Briefs Jewish ‘Leaders’ (Cheerleaders?) on MidEast Talks.”
To remind you, the first release of Palestinian prisoners with Jewish blood on their hands is scheduled for Tuesday, on the eve of the talks in Jerusalem.
As to the construction in outposts, about which the U.S. is so upset – it began with an announcement by Minister Naftali Bennett earlier this week, about renewing construction in East Jerusalem, a legally annexed area under Israeli sovereignty. But, of course, none of it is happening any time soon. As we told you over these screens, Naftali Bennett’s Jewish Home is the one coalition member which is not part of the peace negotiations “team.” By team, of course, they mean anyone but Bennett and Uri Ariel. So, the honorable minister’s ability to turn his promises about construction into actual construction is very similar to your and my ability in the same area.
So he might as well promise a million new uinit. Sounds better and has the same results.
There’s no better way to celebrate the end Ramadan than with mass executions, or at least that’s what Hamas believes.
Timed to coincide with the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Fitr, Hamas plans to publicly execute anywhere up up to 40 people they claim are criminals, who “confessed” to their crimes after being severely tortured, according to a report in YNet. The stated goal of the executions is to help maintain public security.
The last executions in Gaza took place in June 2013, when Hamas executed two people it claimed were collaborating with Israel.
Israel on the other hand, does not execute Gazan terrorists, and instead frees them in exchange for talks with the Palestinian Authority.
Twenty years after Yitzhak Rabin attempted to conjure arch-terrorist Yasir Arafat into a worthy partner for peace, it seems we have not learned the necessary lessons from the past.
As the “peace process” continued to hit bumps along the way, Israel and its American ally attempted many different variations, all of which led to the same failed result. Perhaps the problem with Israeli-Palestinian conflict negotiations lies not with the process but with the people involved in representing the parties at the table.
In most professions, when one fails at his job and leaves the project in question in chaos and disarray, he is not asked to keep working on the task at hand. Not so when it comes to the “peace process industry.”
Saeb Erekat is the main representative for the Palestinian delegation. He has held this position in one form or another since 1991 and has not brought the Palestinians one inch closer to peaceful coexistence with Israel. More troubling, it is clear he never really revised his radical views about the Jewish state. During the second intifada, Erekat accused Israel of massacring 500 Palestinians in Jenin, completely ignoring the facts showing that one-tenth of that number had been killed and most of those were armed terrorists. As recently as 2007, Erekat denied the possibility of the Palestinians ever recognizing Israel as a Jewish state.
Representing the United States at the latest round of talks is former ambassador Martin Indyk. Like Erekat, Indyk has been a major player in the peace industry since the early 1990s, and he also can point to zero achievements in bringing peace and prosperity to our region. On the contrary, when Indyk served as the American ambassador to Israel during Prime Minister Netanyahu’s first term, he was known for his disparaging attitude toward the democratically elected government of Israel.
Since leaving public office, Indyk has revealed his true political leanings. Until his recent appointment by Secretary of State Joh
n Kerry, Indyk chaired the International Council of the New Israel Fund (NIF), an organization that has refused to stop funding groups that call for boycotting Israel.
Finally, we are left with Israel’s chief negotiator. Compared to Erekat and Indyk, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni is a relative newcomer to peace negotiations. Nevertheless, she too has endured countless hours of negotiating with the Palestinians. Most troubling, her views do not represent the majority of the current government and are at odds with the average Likud voter, not to mention the Israeli public, which sharply spurned her in the recent elections.
While serving under Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Livni offered the Palestinians more than 95 percent of the historic Jewish heartland of Judea and Samaria and the unprecedented division of Jerusalem – an offer that was ultimately rejected by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Erekat.
As a father of three small children, there is nothing I want more than to believe that the latest round of talks will lead to true and lasting peace. But we all know that a definition of insanity is the endless repetition of the same experiment in the hope of obtaining a different result. Therefore, all sides should end the insanity and appoint negotiators who have not failed us in the past and who truly represent the best interests of the people they aspire to represent.
The Forward has an article claiming that our “Israeli Bubble” is dangerous and shields us from reality.
Ironic, but also predictable. The effectiveness of the barrier is twofold: It has stopped terrorist attacks, and it also has made it possible to live in (West) Jerusalem or in Tel Aviv and pretend that the Occupation doesn’t exist.
Unfortunately, this is a delusion — a bubble — with severe consequences. South Jerusalem, after all, is home not just to the German Colony’s liberals, but also to the neocons at the Shalem Center, now Shalem College, who for decades have peddled the idea that there is no hope for peace with the Palestinians, and (in the words of Daniel Gordis, one of Shalem’s most articulate spokesmen) we should settle in for 100 years of occupation. Regrettable, Rabbi Gordis says, but inevitable.
This is a self-fulfilling prophecy, of course. Claim that there’s no Palestinian partner, undermine those Palestinians who are, and lo and behold, soon there will be no Palestinian partner. If you will it, the 100-year war will be no dream.
But the real delusion is deeper still: that somehow, the rest of the world will sit idly by and allow this situation to worsen, year after year, decade after decade, without finally turning on Israel. In the bubble of southern Jerusalem, Israel is a complex but miraculous place where kids can play in the street, the Jews have a home and bus drivers read Shakespeare. The matzav, the “situation” with the Palestinians, is an unfortunate side-note to an otherwise complicated, fascinating, problematic, multi-faceted, beautiful, tragic enterprise in Jewish self-determination.
Outside the bubble, however, the Palestinian “situation” is not a side-note but the primary tune. It’s everything else about Israel that is merely secondary. To most of the world, Israel is defining itself by the Occupation, and all the rest is commentary.
I disagree. I think we see things much more clearly from here. There are no distortions. When you look into a “bubble” from the outside you won’t get an accurate view.
Over twenty years ago, when one of my daughters was looking for a place to do Sherut Le’umi, National Service, she and a few friends went to a city they considered far from the then intifada and politics of the yishuvim (Jewish communities in YESHA, Judea, Samaria and Gaza) they lived in. They just wanted what they imagined to be a “normal” place. Imagine their surprise when the greatest topic of conversation at the Shabbat table was happening in YESHA. At home they didn’t hear as much.
Here in Shiloh we go on with our lives. The parents of young children are worrying about who will be teaching their kids next year and rushing around to buy books, clothes and school supplies, just like everyone else.
In Yafiz, (and Rami Levy,) Sha’ar Binyamin, where I work, Jews and Arabs are jostling around together shopping. We’re living proof that people like Jay Michaelson who wrote the Forward article haven’t a clue. They’re letting their ideology distort their vision.
The calm here isn’t a lie. The Left and all those who claim that the Arabs will explode in violence aren’t objectively predicting. They are instigating and encouraging Arab violence by making excuses and rationales for the Arabs.
I’m on the inside. I work with Arabs. And if the world, including Israeli Leftists, media, politicians, academics and community workers would just leave things alone we would eventually achieve a true peace. It will take a long, long time, but it can happen.
True peace can’t be negotiated. True peace comes from the inside and works its way out. Faux peace, implemented by “treaties” is external and wears off, like the “democracy” of the “Arab Spring,” which has been proven a deadly farce.
Visit Shiloh Musings.
For the third time this month of Ramadan, Muslims visiting the Tomb of Patriarchs in Hebron have desecrated Jewish religious objects at the site, tearing the Mezuzahs off the doorposts and stealing them. They took advantage of the special visiting privileges the Muslims receive from the IDF during the month of Ramadan, during which, on Fridays and a few special days, the Tomb of Patriarchs is open only to Muslims.
Local police announced they have arrested two Palestinians in connection with the vandalism, but are still searching for the thieves. The act was recorded by surveillance cameras. A member of the Waqf was nearby during the act of vandalism.
In response to the repeated attacks, the site management has decided to limit the access of Palestinians. Muslims aged 18 – 35 will not be permitted in on the special days allocated to Muslims only. Further actions are being considered to prevent these attacks in the future.
Following the previous attack, Member of Knesset Orit Struk, a resident of Hebron, told Tazpit News Agency: “The Arabs used the opportunity they had on Friday to desecrate the Mezuzot. We cannot be silent about this incident. During the 700 years of Muslim occupation, the Tomb of the Patriarchs was completely closed to Jews. Today, when the State of Israel is considerate of Muslim holidays and permits them full use of the site – they exploit it to harm Jewish symbols. I expect the Muslim leaders in Hebron and Israel to apologize to the Jewish People and condemn this heinous episode.”
Thanks to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s decision to swallow a painful and embarrassing concession to please the Palestinians, Secretary of State John Kerry had his moment of triumph.
In announcing the start of a new round of Middle East peace talks, Kerry has seemingly justified the way he has concentrated his efforts on an issue that was not in crisis mode and with little chance of resolution while treating other more urgent problems such as Egypt, Syria, and the Iranian nuclear threat as lower priorities.
But now that he has had his victory, the focus turns to the talks where few, if any, observers think there is a ghost of a chance of that the negotiations can succeed despite Kerry’s call for “reasonable compromises.”
The reason for that is that despite the traditional American belief that the two sides can split the difference on their disagreements, as Kerry seems to want, the problem is much deeper than drawing a new line on a map.
Ironically, proof of this comes from a new poll that some are touting as evidence that both Israelis and Palestinians support a two-state solution. The poll was a joint project of the Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research in Ramallah. It shows, among other often-contradictory results, that a majority of Israelis (62 percent) supports a two-state solution while 33 percent oppose it. Among Palestinians, 53 percent support and 46 percent oppose the two-state solution.
But the question to ask about this poll and the conflict is what the two sides mean by a two-state solution. The answer comes in a subsequent query:
We asked Israelis and Palestinians about their readiness for a mutual recognition as part of a permanent status agreement and after all issues in the conflict are resolved and a Palestinian State is established. Our current poll shows that 57% of the Israeli public supports such a mutual recognition and 37% opposes it. Among Palestinians, 42% support and 56% oppose this step.
In other words, Israelis see a two-state solution as a way to permanently end the conflict and achieve peace. But since a majority of Palestinians cannot envision mutual recognition even after all issues are resolved and they get a state, they obviously see it as merely a pause before the conflict would begin anew on terms decidedly less advantageous to Israel.
There are many reasons why the peace negotiations are likely to fail. The Palestinians are deeply split, with Gaza being ruled by the Islamists of Hamas who still won’t even contemplate talks with Israel, let alone peace. Kerry has praised Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud Abbas, but he is weak and hasn’t the ability to make a peace deal stick even in the unlikely event he signs one.
Though Netanyahu went out on a political limb to enable the talks to begin by releasing scores of Palestinian terrorists, Abbas has shown in the past that he will say no, even when offered virtually everything he has asked for. Netanyahu will rightly drive a harder bargain and refuse to contemplate a deal that involves a complete retreat to the 1967 lines or a Palestinian state that isn’t demilitarized. But it’s hard to imagine Abbas ever recognizing the legitimacy of a Jewish state no matter where its borders are drawn.
The real problem, however, isn’t about where negotiators would draw those lines. As the poll indicates, even after Israel withdraws from almost all of the West Bank (reports indicate Netanyahu is ready to give up 86 percent of it), a substantial majority of Palestinians still can’t fathom the possibility of mutual recognition and normal relations.
How can that be?
The reason is very simple and is not something Kerry or his lead negotiator Martin Indyk (a veteran of numerous diplomatic failures who hasn’t seemed to learn a thing from any of them) can fix. Palestinian nationalism was born in the 20th century as a reaction to Zionism, not by focusing on fostering a separate identity and culture from that of other Arab populations. That doesn’t mean Palestinians aren’t now a separate people with their own identity, but it does explain why they see that identity as indistinguishable from the effort to make Israel disappear.