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September 19, 2014 / 24 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Palestinians’

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.

Turning Point: Obama and Israel, the Next Three Years

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013

Originally published at Rubin Reortps.

It is not every day that one can announce a shift in world history, but this day is today. And we are now in a new era in the Middle East and the world.  This is not a joke–definitely not a joke–and as you will see, it is not an exaggeration.

Let me explain. For the last seven weeks I have been in the United States, mostly in Washington D.C.  I have spoken and listened to many people. As a result, I am in a position to describe for you with a high degree of accuracy what the policy will be for the next 3.5 years, and perhaps for many more.

The administration has crossed a line to, in simple terms, backing the “‘bad guys.”

This is literally true in Egypt, Syria, Sudan, the Palestinian Authority, Bahrain (with its support for the opposition), Qatar, and Turkey.
And in some ways, as we will see, the war on terrorism has been turned into the war for terrorism.

Too extreme? On the contrary, this is not a conservative or liberal analysis but merely a true one. Come along over the next few weeks, and let’s take a serious analysis 0f Obama’s Middle East policy in the second term, from 2013 to January 20, 2017.

The real diplomatic line is: Bad boy, Bibi (and Israel), why can he/they not be moderate and flexible (unlike releasing 100 terrorist murderers in exchange for nothing), like Palestinian Authority Leader Mahmoud Abbas (and the Palestinians, who [Abbas] in fact is inflexible, constantly; escalates demands; and rejects U.S. strategy on the peace process); or like Turkey’s Prime Minister Erdogan (throwing intellectuals and journalists in prison, betraying U.S. strategy 0n Iran, backing anti-American Islamists, and sending former army officers for long jail terms on phony charges)?

During the coming months, and even years, if they are given to me, I will pursue these themes. You may not believe what you read here today or tomorrow, but you will, oh you will see it.

But before we begin, let me repeat that this is going to happen. It will not change, and as shocking as it is, this is already happening. It is unavoidable, because with a president who will not learn, a bought-off elite, a sold-out second-term Congress, and a remarkably cowardly or partisan media, nothing will change. The situation will only get worse and more obvious.

In this series of articles, I will describe eight very likely things that will almost certainly happen during the rest of Obama’s term, extending far beyond Israel, and how to minimize the harm to the interests of the United States and of its would-be Middle Eastern allied people and governments.

Here are the inevitable themes, any one of which would be horrid enough.

ISRAEL CANNOT DEPEND ON THE UNITED STATES.

That doesn’t mean that Obama and others will not provide military aid or say nice words at every event. But there is no commitment that one can assume would be fulfilled nor any Israeli initiative that will really be implemented.

This is a complex issue, but here are some brief points:

The idea that Obama and his team are the greatest friend of Israel is a deadly insult, and I can prove it two minutes.

Minute one: The United States has undermined Israel on many issues. Do I have to provide a list?

Okay, here is a partial list: Egypt (support for a hostile Muslim Brotherhood government); Tunisia (ditto); Sinai  (enablement of insurgency); Hamas (the desire to keep the Brotherhood–an ally of Hamas–government in power in Cairo); Turkey (supporting the Islamist, anti-Israel government); Syria (support of radical Syrian Islamists); Europe (lack of support for Israeli position on peace process); America itself (encouragement of anti-Israel forces among Jewish community and in Obama constituency); Palestinians (lack of criticism or pressure on Palestinian Authority, PA).

I’ll save more for later, but I think this is an impressive list.

Minute two: But, there’s something more here. The most dangerous, insulting argument is this: Secretary of State John Kerry has repeatedly said–and this is the theme of the administration supporters, including Jewish supporters:

The greatest danger to Israel is if Israel does not get peace soon.

This is an absurd lie. The greatest danger to Israel would be for Israel to accept a dangerous and unworkable peace agreement that the other side would not implement.

In other words, the greatest danger for Israel would be to listen to the bad advice of Obama, Kerry, and their supporters.

Consider this; who should be more knowledgeable about their situation and more aware of their real interests, Israel or America? Do people think that Obama knows better than Israelis? Does he care more? That’s absurd and insulting.

Of course, people assume that states and political leaderships put their own interests first, whether or not they understand this. And that lays the basis for overruling Israel’s democracy.

For example, a survey by the very dovish Israeli Democracy Institute (IDI) showed 65.6 percent of Israelis questioned did not expect to see a deal in talks between Israel and the Palestinians within a year. And if you take into the account the don’t-knows and no opinions, that increases the percentage.

Incidentally, spot the gimmick in Reuters’ story:

“The talks resumed last month after a three-year hiatus.” Actually, except for one week there have not been real talks for 13 years.

Second gimmick:

“But even if the Israeli government managed to defy skeptics and secure an accord, the poll…suggested it would struggle to sell it to its people.”

Wrong, the government and  the vast majority of the people agree with each other. But there is a revealing hint here. The U.S. government and its supporters believe that the Israeli government in partnership with Obama should betray the beliefs, aspirations, and security of the Israeli people. And we are not only talking about Jewish settlements, even for those willing to give every one up for real, lasting peace.

In fact, 55.5 percent of the Israeli people–and 63 percent of Israeli Jews–said they were against Israel agreeing to return to the 1967 lines, even if there were land swaps which would enable some Jewish settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem to remain part of Israel.It is not the terms ostensibly offered, but the credibility of the United States and the Palestinians.

Mind you, the figure is higher, because most people feel that this simply won’t work in terms of providing more security and stability.

You cannot understand what has just happened without the analogy of the monster movie. Israel is not naïve, but it was walking down a dark alley and thought that kindly old Uncle Sam–perhaps a bit grumpier lately–had his back; then it peered over its shoulder and froze in horror at seeing a scary monster. Yet you will never ever hear an Israeli politician admit that.

Read Netanyahu’s unprecedented memo on the talks and the prisoner release. It reads as if he saw a ghost; he is trying to signal something very grim and serious, and there is no implication that he believes in any possibility of compensation for this concession.

Faced with a wasted effort of an extremely unilateral Palestinian prisoner release, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government went along because they realized something in the middle: This was not a routine exercise. During the process, they realized that the indifference of the United States to Israel’s interests was extremely high; that Congress was hypnotized; that the Jewish community in its Obama worship was largely neutralized; and that rather than fighting European hostility, the White House was conducting it.

Looking over their shoulder in the misty night, they realized that a very large monster was following them. If you read Netanyahu’s unprecedented memo to the Israeli people as to why the terrorist prisoners were released, you get that clear signal. They realized that the Obama administration was extremely dangerous and that it was necessary to buy time.
Of course, the talks will not go anywhere, because the Palestinians know that they have a strong hand and they will overplay it. But the administration’s willingness to punish Israel to win public relations points and shore up the doomed U.S. alignment with Islamists has to be reckoned with.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/rubin-reports/turning-point-obama-and-israel-the-next-three-years/2013/09/03/

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