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November 28, 2014 / 6 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘peace negotiations’

Jeopardizing Deal, Palestinians to Approach UN for Statehood

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

The PLO leadership on Monday night announced that it is in the process of putting together a plan for the Palestinian Authority to join international organizations under UN direction, as well as sign international conventions, Israel Radio reports.

The plan is being devised by the PLO political committee, on instructions from PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

When the current peace negotiations began, some seven months ago, the Palestinians committed to delay approaching international organizations for recognition, in return for the release of 104 terrorists from Israeli jails.

That one worked out nicely.

The PLO announcement Monday night blamed Israel’s government for the difficulties in the political process.

Jewish Home Chairman and Minister of the Economy Naftali Bennett told Israel Radio there’s no difference between Abbas and his predecessor Yasser Arafat. Bennett said the PA chairman, like Arafat, keeps talking about a million shahids-martyrs marching on Jerusalem and refusing to ever give up the “right of return,” not just for Arab refugees who actually left their homes in Israel in 1948-9, but all of their descendants.

Likud MK Tzachi Hanegbi told Israel Radio that it appears the Palestininas have been objecting to the U.S. attempts to galvanize a statement of principles reflecting the progress that’s been reached on some core issues. Hanegbi believes has been gravitating to an anti-peace position from which he is refusing to depart, over Jerusalem, the right of return and recognizing Israel as a Jewish state.

Senior Labor MK Eitan Cabel told Israel Radio he thinks neither side has been negotiating in good faith, and they each spend their time looking for ways to pin the failure of the talks on the other.

On Sunday, Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki met with Secretary of State John Kerry it the office of the American ambassador to Paris, and told the secretary that the Palestinians oppose recognizing Israel as a Jewish state and insist that East Jerusalem becomes the future Palestinian capital.

Commenting on Kerry’s new shuttle meetings with Arab foreign ministers who are members of an Arab League committee, to solicit their support for the peace process, al-Maliki said Arab diplomats support the Palestinian position on all major issues.

As Peace Talks Wane, Bennett Advising Livni to Negotiate with Aliens

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

To our readers who might be alarmed by the possibility that the Earth, or Israel alone, has been negotiating with creatures from outer space, let me assure you that this was merely a quip by Minister Naftali Bennett, and not a report about an admittedly shocking situation. Also, those readers who object to satirical material on our website, seeing as the headline of this report could be considered somewhat spoofish, let me assure you that every bit of it is absolutely, honest to goodness sober and real.

Now that the bus full of murderous, bestial, horrible Palestinians with Jewish blood of women and children on their hands (feel free to add your own adjective, but it won’t stop anything)…

and the government ministerial committee on legislation has approved 8-3 a kind of annexation of the Jordan valley (to the great relief of the Jordanian king who refuses to have those crazy Palestinians at his border)…

and Chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat had his say (“the decision destroys all efforts for peace with Israel, showing the Israeli government’s indifference toward international law,” which it isn’t), we are officially in the next phase.

It’s the phase where the two opposing sides are attempting to galvanize their own public support, while making the other side look greedy, foolish, nearsighted, dangerous.

The two opposing sides, of course, are Justice Minister and Chief Negotiator Tzipi Livni vs. Jewish Home Chairman and Economy Minister Naftali Bennett. Because, frankly, there’s very little daylight between Tzipi and Erekat, or Tzipi and Kerry, but there’s a blast of Sahara desert sun between Tzipi and Naftali.

On Monday, Livni talked about the viability of the “peace negotiations,” saying “I’m not saying it’s easy, and I have issues with the Palestinians, too”—remember the daylight thing?—but the right’s glee over the fact that the Palestinians are not proving to be an honest partner for peace seems to her to be a fool’s delight, and an excuse.

“The question is not whether or not there’s a partner – we need to mark a target and take action.”

Very good advise to mortgage bankers, by the way: it makes no difference whether or not the borrower can pay it back – he’s over there, give him the money…

“My partner is Zionism,” Livni declared – I’m not making this up. “Today’s negotiation is not being conducted only with the Palestinians, but also with the world, through the United States, which is not merely the go between but an ally, with whom we share common interests.”

And then she added: “We can still reach a deal with the Palestinians and with the world and recruit them to our interests.”

If you feel that this phrase is bizarre, about recruiting the Palestinians and the world to our interests – it sounds just as bizarre in Hebrew.

Naftali Bennett, on his Facebook page, responded quickly: “If there’s no Palestinian partner, we’ll seek a treaty with aliens.”

Which makes for the fantastic image above, posted by Shahaf Pelovitz on Rotter.net.

Livni is livid at the Miri Regev bill to annex, for the first time in almost half a century, yet another part of the land of Israel, the valley alongside the Jordan River.

There isn’t a single reputable military expert who doesn’t say that without control over the eastern border with Jordan, Israel might as well give back the keys and try a different location—I hear the Fiji Islands are nice year round. Here’s why:

Netanya, where I live, like Tel Aviv, is smack in the middle of the country, where the vast majority of Israelis live, where our industry and commerce are, it’s about as “green line” as they come.

Netanya is also about 6 or 7 miles from the same “green line,” which is nothing but the spot where the Jewish and Arab armies stopped fighting in 1949.

(It has no geographic significance and, for that matter, no legal significance, other than marking a vast no man’s land nicknamed “The West Bank,” which was ceded by its last legal sovereign, the British Mandate in Palestine, back in 1948. The Hashemite Kingdom was never officially recognized as its sovereign—except for the Brits, no one else in the world thought they owned it, and in 1988 it gave up whatever claim it had had over it. When it was conquered by the IDF in 1967, the IDF became its legal sovereign according to international law. Not its occupier, but its sovereign. But that’s a lot of water under the Jordan River bridge.)

Peres Commutes Sentence of 6 Israeli-Arab Killers of IDF Soldiers

Saturday, September 7th, 2013

During the coming months, the Israeli Prison Service is expected to decide on the release of 6 Israeli-Arabs who committed murderous terror attacks. The first review is expected as early as September 17, according to a report in Makor Rishon.

Following the Shalit deal, in which 1,027 terrorists were released in exchange for an Israeli IDF soldier held hostage by Hamas, Israeli President Shimon Peres shortened the prison terms of at least 6 Israeli-Arabs, in jail for terror attacks. Two of the terrorists, Mahar Yunis and Karim Yunis, killed IDF soldier Avraham Greenberg in the 1980s. Four others, Ibrahim Biadsa, Valid Daka, Rushdi Abu-Moch and Ibrahim Abu-Moch killed IDF soldier Moshe Tamam, also in the ’80s.

In addition, in February 2014, another terrorist, Halaf Gumah Ahmad, who killed Israeli citizen Hanan Gur, is expected to be released.

These and other pre-Oslo terrorists were on the list that PA President Abu Mazin demanded be released following the Shalit deal.

These six terrorists were originally given death sentences, which were commuted to life in prison.

But a year and a half ago, Peres and the Pardons Department in the Ministry of Justice decided to commute their life sentences to 35 and 40 years – putting them on the fast track to being released.

Relatives of the murdered men met with attorney Emi Palmor, Director of the Dept. of Pardons in the Ministry of Justice, but she couldn’t provide satisfactory answers to the families as to why the men were being released. Israel’s internal security service, the Shabak, has also recommended that these particular prisoners not be released, and the presidential gesture is also being contested by the Netanyahu government, which was bypassed in the decision.

Two taboos were broken when the decision was made to start releasing these particular terrorists. The first one was releasing Israeli-Arabs in order to appease the Palestinian Authority, and the second was releasing terrorists who murdered IDF soldiers.

Some government officials are claiming that the decision to release these terrorists is purely professional. For 25 years they were denied pardons, while other murderers have been released after shorter stints behind bars.

There is still a chance that these six terrorists won’t be released, as they don’t meet the typical release criteria, one of which is expressing regret for their actions, something most of these terrorists haven’t done.

US: Negotiations Resume Wednesday, ‘Outpost’ Construction Illegitimate

Friday, August 9th, 2013

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.

Govt. to Court: Names of Prisoners Going Free Kept Secret from Bennett

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

On Wednesday, the State asked the High Court to reject a petition of the families of terror victims against the decision to release 104 Palestinian prisoners as part of renewing the peace process.

The State made ​​it clear that the purpose of the ministerial committee formed to decide on which prisoners will be released and when, is to keep the negotiations secret from some coalition partners.

A quick review of the current coalition partners suggests that the party in government who is most likely to oppose the releases is Jewish Home, as well as the majority of the Likud MKs.

“The decision to appoint a small team of ministers, including concerned senior government ministers, was adopted in order to ensure the confidentiality of the discussions that will take place within the team, so as not to reveal the full breadth of the negotiations conducted with the Palestinians in a way that could harm the peace process and even thwart it,” the state told the court.

The “team” includes Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitz, Science Minister Yaakov Peri and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni.

There is not a single Jewish Home Party representative on the “team.”

According to the State’s Attorney’s response to the high court, the first group of Palestinian prisoners with Jewish blood on their hands will be released next week, and the next three groups will be released on the fourth, sixth and eighths month of the negotiations with the Palestinians, depending on the success of the talks.

In its response to the victims of terror petition, the state argued that the release of prisoners is a purely political matter, which the High Court has always considered to be outside of its purview.

“The issue of releasing prisoners is an integral part of a political process which the government has begun, and which the decision to release the prisoners an integral part of, and will be made along the way in accordance with the progress made by the two sides of the negotiations,” the State Attorney’s Office insisted. “The position of the bereaved families has been and will be brought before the proper authorities and will be considered as part of every decision.”

Poll: Most Israelis are Against a Settlement Construction Freeze and Terrorist Release

Friday, July 26th, 2013

The following is the results from a Mina Tzemach poll on the peace process, broadcasted on the Knesset channel on Thursday:

Is the Israeli government interested in progressing with negotiations? 58% Yes 42% No

Is the Palestinian Authority interested in progressing with negotiations? 29% Yes 71% No

What is the likelyhood that the negotiation will bring about an arrangement? 7% High 29% Average 27% Somewhat Low 12% Low 25 Very Low

Do you support the release of 80 prisoners as a gesture? 77% Against 23% Support

Do you support freezing settlement construction? 55% Against 45% Support

Did the EU boycott help jump start the negotiations? 53% No effect 47% Had an effect

Will the EU boycott hurt Israel’s economy?
21% Will definitely hurt
46% It might hurt
28% It might not hurt
5% It will definitely not hurt

Why Bibi Wants a Referendum

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

Here is a good example of why Americans are misled about Mideast issues. In today’s local paper, I came across a  story headlined “Israelis may vote on peace deal.” It began as follows:

JERUSALEM (AP) – Israel’s premier announced Monday he is fast-tracking legislation that would allow him to put any peace deal with the Palestinians to a national referendum – an apparent attempt to silence hard-liners in his party and coalition government. …

Netanyahu said Monday that a referendum is necessary to prevent a rift in Israeli society. Polls have suggested a majority of Israelis support the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel, but many groups are vehemently opposed, including hard-liners among Israel’s West Bank settlers. [my emphasis]

The impression given is that although a majority of Israelis favor an agreement with the Palestinian Authority (PA), the PLO-controlled Palestinian ‘government’, to withdraw from most of Judea and Samaria and perhaps eastern Jerusalem, and turn them over to become a Palestinian state, the peace process is being stymied by “hard-liners.”

The truth does not remotely resemble this. A majority of Israelis know that the PA has little support from the residents of the areas that it controls and none at all in Gaza, where 40% of the Palestinian Arabs live. They also know that the security consequences of a withdrawal from the territories would be unacceptable, and that while the PLO is sincere about wanting to get Israel out of the territories, it is not sincere about making peace.

The poll results mentioned in the story are based on questions like this: “Would you favor the establishment of a peaceful Palestinian state alongside Israel?” Of course a majority of Israelis would agree! Who doesn’t want peace? But at the same time, most realize that under today’s circumstances, an Israeli withdrawal would lead to anything but a peaceful state. They have the continuing example of Gaza, in case they forget what a sovereign Palestinian state is like.

In addition, they know that the gaps between Israel and the PLO on such issues as refugees, Jerusalem, borders, etc. are as wide as ever — perhaps even wider than in 2000 or 2008, when an agreement could not be reached. They know that the PLO has preferred to get its way be manipulating the UN, the Europeans and the US, rather than in meaningful negotiations with Israel in which they might have to give something up. They know that the PLO has avoided talks for years by placing impossible preconditions on them. So they understand that talks are most likely only a way to pressure Israel to make concessions without much chance of success.

And they know that the PLO has sponsored terrorism against Jewish civilians consistently since its beginnings, and that terrorism generally increases when negotiations are taking place. They know that the PA never lets up on its incitement, or on its glorification of the most vicious mass murdering terrorists as heroes.

They know that many of the 118 prisoners that are about to be released as a good-will gesture to bring the Palestinians to the table have murdered Jews for political reasons, and that they will return home to hero’s welcomes. They will comprise a direct affront to the honor of Israel and the Jewish people, demonstrating that we are too weak to punish the murderers of our brothers, sisters and children.

Recent bad ideas, like Oslo and the Gaza withdrawal, were implemented without public approval. Oslo was dropped on Israelis after secret maneuvers by politicians who did not represent them, and after they elected a Prime Minister who opposed a Palestinian state (and who, even after Oslo, opposed withdrawing from much of the territories and opposed granting full sovereignty to the proposed Palestinian entity).

In the case of Gaza, Ariel Sharon held a referendum among members of his own Likud party, 65% of whom rejected his plan — which he put into effect anyway, even after saying that he would respect the views of party members!

If there were a referendum on any proposed agreement with the PA, these are the considerations that would be taken by ordinary Israelis who are not politicians, media personalities or academics. It is hard to imagine that an agreement like the ones that were rejected by the Arabs in 2000 and 2008 would stand a chance among the general public today.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/fresno-zionism/why-bibi-wants-a-referendum/2013/07/24/

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