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September 22, 2014 / 27 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Peace Process’

Israel Goes on Offensive with Announcement of New Homes in Samaria

Friday, September 5th, 2014

Israel announced on Friday it is issuing tenders for 283 new homes in the community Elkana, located on the western side of Samaria and approximately 10 miles east of Kfar Saba, on the northern edge of metropolitan Tel Aviv.

The news is certain to draw the ire of the United States at the daily press briefing at the State Dept. which earlier this week virtually ordered Israel to “reverse” its decision to create a new community in Gush Etzion and build homes for Jews in Jerusalem.

Plans for 2,200 new homes for Arabs in Jerusalem did not draw a whisper from the Obama Defense Minister, as reported here on Thursday,

The new homes for Elkana, where more than 4,000 people were reported as a “land grab” by the AFP news agency, a total lie since, as lawyer-journalist Lori Marcus Lowenthau wrote here yesterday, the land is not “grabbed” from anyone because it has no owners since the time of the Ottoman Empire and Jordanian occupation.

This week’s flurry of announcements for new homes is not a coincidence. Palestinian Authority negotiator Saed Erekat met with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry Wednesday to present PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ three-year-ultimatum that Israel withdraw from every inch of land in Judea and Samaria as well as area of Jerusalem where he claims sovereignty.

A Palestinian Authority said that Israel rejected the idea.

State Dept. spokeswoman Jen Psaki said that the meeting between Kerry and Erekat was “constructive.” But did not reveal any details.

Obama-Kerry’s ‘Peace Process’ Team Falling Apart

Friday, September 5th, 2014

David Makovsky, a member of the State Department’s Middle East peace team, is returning to his think tank position.

The departure of Makovsky announced Thursday by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy is the latest signal that the Obama administration is retreating from its intensive efforts to broker an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal.

Talks collapsed in April and, over the summer, team leader Martin Indyk also quit and returned to the think tank that employed him before he joined the effort in 2013, the Brookings Institution.

Other team members have left in recent months and not been replaced.

The team, numbering over a dozen at one point, was considered large for such an effort and represented Secretary of State John Kerry’s intense interest in brokering a deal.

Makovsky is director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy Project on the Middle East Peace Process and is the co-author of the book Myths, Illusions, & Peace with Oslo architect Dennis Ross, another disillusioned leftist.

The “peace process” died and was buried years ago, and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s reincarnation efforts have produced nothing but war, which was going to happen anyway.

President Barack Obama once named George Mitchell as the great savior who was going to rescue the world, all of whose problems were seen as rooted in the lack of a new Arab country for the Palestinian Authority.

Mitchell slowly faded away into oblivion, as did Indyk, both of whom carried on with the American two-faced policy that it was up to both sides to decide the conditions for a peace accord while Kerry nevertheless unabashedly kept dictating the terms of a final agreement, mostly but not totally at the expense of Israel. He managed to lost the trust of both Israel and Mahmoud Abbas.

Even President Obama apparently has finally realized that the “peace process” is a dead-end that will give historians even more evidence in their indictments of his administration whose accomplishments can be counted on one hand with amputated fingers.

JTA contributed to this report.

Obama Silent on Plans for New Homes for Jerusalem (Arabs)

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

Jerusalem’s announcement Wednesday that a new Arab neighborhood for Arabs will be built was met by a thundering silence by the European Union and the United States, which throw a tantrum every time plans are drawn up for a single house for a Jew in parts of the capital claimed by the Palestinian Authority.

The Jerusalem Local Building and Planning Committee approved building 2,200 housing units on 375 acres in the Arav al-Swahara neighborhood.

Approval was secured after pressure by the judicial system, which was approached by a human rights legal council of the Hebrew University. Right-wing activists and Haredi city councilmen previously have blocked the plan, Haaretz reported.

“The planning of neighborhoods in eastern Jerusalem by the municipality is a clear expression of Israeli sovereignty over all parts of the city and strengthens the unity of Jerusalem,” said Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat.

He warned that the city faced a wave of illegal construction and accompanying damage to long-term environmental planning, if it did not act to provide more housing for Arabs.

Barkat’s claim that the new neighborhood will help unify the city will be judged in the future, but the lack of American response is nothing less than another admission that it considers Palestinian Authority demands a “done deal.”

On Sunday, the U.S. State Dept. expressed “concern” over plans for new homes for Jews in Gush Etzion and eastern Jerusalem, claimed by the Palestinian Authority, and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s spokeswoman Jen Psaki went so far as to state on Tuesday that Israel must “reverse” the decision.

Psaki, who apparently thinks she also is Israel’s Housing Minister, said it was “contrary to Israel’s stated goal of negotiating a permanent status agreement with the Palestinians, and it would send a very troubling message if they proceed.”

Kerry then picked up the phone complained to Netanyahu in what has been reported as a very uncordial conversation.

How, pray tell, can building for Jews be an obstacle to a permanent status agreement and building when building for Arabs is not an obstacle?

Any intelligent person, except for those in the Obama administration – and yes, they are very intelligent but equally ignorant – must conclude that President Barack Obama and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry are lying through their teeth when they claim they are not pushing PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ agenda.

They want “negotiations” by holding Abbas’ hand and standing behind Israel with a diplomatic knife to rip Jerusalem apart and returning to the 1049 Temporary Armistice Lines that the want to be permanent, 47 years after the borders were finally dismantled by the Six-Day War in 1967.

Despite all the criticism, including on these pages, of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for caving in so often to American pressure, it really is a wonder that Israel still is one piece considering the open hypocrisy of the White House and State Dept.

Abbas is well aware of that, so he can expect that his negotiator Saeb Erekat, the one who has quite several times but miraculously doesn’t quit, is enjoying a friendly reception in Washington this week.

He reportedly is bringing with him Abbas’ three-year ”plan, to be read “ultimatum,” that Judea and Samaria and half of Jerusalem be rid of Jews by 2017.

US Pushes PA Agenda and Tells Israel to Cancel New Gush Etzion Town

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

The U.S. State Dept. told Israel Tuesday “to reverse” the decision announced earlier this week to clear the way for a new Jewish town on 400 acres of land near Bethlehem.

State Dept. spokeswoman Jen Psaki also castigated the Netanyahu government even planning an announcement for new homes for Jews in eastern Jerusalem, accusing it of acting “contrary to Israel’s stated goal of negotiating a permanent status agreement with the Palestinians, and it would send a very troubling message if they proceed.”

The American statement totally undermine any pretense that the Obama administration is willing to allow the Palestinian Authority and the Israeli government to negotiate and instead is talking for PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas, who has demanded that Israel cease all activity for Jews in Judea and Samaria and half of Jerusalem that it intends to be part of an independent PA state.

Today was not the first time this week that the United States has objected to the declaration of Givaot, an area in Gush Etzion, as state land, but Psaki’s strong language was virtually an order to the Israeli government.

After having expressed “concern” on Sunday, the absence of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s shuttering in fear, kissing Psaki’s foot and repenting for the ghastly act of laying claim to land that belongs to no one, apparently prompted her to use the sledgehammer Tuesday.

After calling on Israel to change its mind on Gush Etzion, which Abbas and President Barack Obama know very well remain under Israeli sovereignty no matter what, Psaki turned her fury on the audacity of Israel to even consider tampering with Jerusalem.

“We are also very concerned by reports that new settlement and East Jerusalem construction or planning announcements may be issued at any time, including for the sensitive area of (Givat HaMatos) in East Jerusalem,” Psaki added. By stating that ”these steps” are contrary to Israel’s stated goal of negotiating a permanent status agreement with the Palestinians,” she took the issue off the negotiating table.

Her boss, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, has stated several times, as has President Obama, that the United States cannot decide the final status for the Palestinian Authority and Israel. Kerry has made suggestions but never has so boldly told Prime Minister Netanyahu to play by American rules, which change with the wind.

Psaki called the Israel announcements “unilateral steps that undermine the prospects for a negotiated two-state solution.” By the same logic, every time the Palestinian Authority builds a home in Judea and Samaria or in areas of Jerusalem it claims, it is a “unilateral action.”

Poll: Hamas Would Rule Judea and Samaria in New Elections

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

Hamas would win election in Judea and Samaria and well as Gaza and Ismail Haniyeh would defeat Mahmoud Abbas if elections were held today, according to a new poll conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research.

Before the war in Gaza, Abbas had a 12 point margin over Haniyeh, 53 percent against 41 percent.

The new survey was carried out on the last day of the war and during the first four days of last week’s cease-fire. If elections were held today, Haniyeh would trounce Abbas by a 2-1 margin, with 61 percent support of the voters as opposed to only 32 percent for Abbas.

The pollster, Khalil Shikaki, said that Abbas probably will recoup some of his losses because Hamas’ popularity previously fell after battles after mini-wars with Israel, but a 2-1 gap will be hard to overcome.

More worrisome, the poll revealed that 86 percent of the respondents think that Hamas should resume rocket attacks on Israel if the partial blockade is not completely lifted, and only 15 percent think that Hamas should be dis-armed after all sanctions are lifted.

In addition, 72 percent of Arabs in Judea, Gaza and Samaria support the Hamas strategy of using arms to attack Israelis in Judea and Samaria.

An overwhelming majority of 79 percent believe that Hamas won the war.

Hamas has not enjoyed such high support in Judea and Samaria since 2006, shortly after it ousted Abbas’ Fatah faction from Gaza in a bloody terrorist militia war.

To a certain extent, Abbas’ propaganda machine is directly responsible for Hamas’ overwhelming support. Years of demonizing Israel and Jews in the school system and in Palestinian Authority media has produced the desired effect of widespread hate and distrust of Israel and Jews.

False, malicious and twisted reporting have convinced Arabs in Judea and Samaria that the “occupation” is the cause of all or their problems, and a recent on-the-street survey by a Canadian living in Israel discovered that most Arabs that Israel carried out a “holocaust” in Gaza. Most of those interviewed also are ignorant of the Holocaust or think that the numbers of those butchered by the Nazi was grossly exaggerated, as seen in the video below.

Last month, the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) announced that a Hamas network, directed from Turkey, was planning a coup to overthrow Abbas. Haaretz reported Tuesday that a partial transcript of the investigation revealed that the plan actually was to wait for the Palestinian Authority to collapse and then take over power.

However, Hamas propaganda has consistently tried to undermine the Abbas regime, and every terrorist attack in Judea and Samaria weakens Abbas’ image that he is able to provide security.

Abbas has made a Frankenstein out of the “Peace Process,” demanding everything and accepting no compromise. The longer he cannot come up with the goods, the more his popularity falls. His only hope to force Israel to agree to impossible demands, such as allowing mass immigration of millions of so-called “refugees” and giving up land to connect Gaza with Judea and Samaria, is to go to the United Nations and the International Court. That process, which would provide doubtful result but in any case could take years, and the Arab street has lost its patience.

If U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry still thinks he can fall out of the clouds with his precious peace process, which has proved to be a war process, he will have a hard time pretending that Hamas is not in the picture.

Mashaal Vows Cease-Fire a Step to New ‘Resistance’ War against Israel

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

Hamas’ supreme leader Khaled Mashaal dashed any hopes of long-term peace with Israel in a speech in Qatar on Thursday in which he shot from the hip at Israel and also at his terrorist organization’s new partner, the rival Fatah movement headed by Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

His lengthy speech in Qatar, which has financed Hamas terror and which fought Egyptian cease-fire proposals, followed by one day a “victory” speech by Ismail Haniyeh, the senior Hamas political leader in Gaza. Mashaal’s silence while Haniyeh accepted the cease-fire is a clear sign of a fierce power struggle between Hamas in Gaza and between Mashaal and Qatar, which holds the purse strings.

Mashaal also claimed victory, with lies that Hamas missiles hit the Ben Gurion Airport, which is not true, and that more than 5 million Israelis hid in bomb shelters, a gross exaggeration. However, there is no doubt that Hamas succeeded in scaring the daylight out of millions of Israelis, interrupting a few flights and generally turning half of Israel into sitting ducks.

And this won’t be the last time, regardless of a cease-fire, he warned.

“Whatever happened [in Gaza] is not the end to this story, and this is not the last operation to free Palestine. It was an important stop on the way to victory,” Mashaal declared.

His speech threw every obstacle possible on the road to negotiations with Israel. The talks are supposed to begin in a month, leaving open the possibility, or probability, that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is carrying on secret negotiations that will be formalized in 30 days.

The Prime Minister suffered another blow to any trust that Israelis may have for him with a report on Thursday that he met secretly with Jordanian King Abdullah, and perhaps Abbas, prior to the cease-fire, circumstantial evidence that Israel negotiated under fire, contrary to Netanyahu’s promise.

If Mashaal gets his way, there won’t be any talks because one of the new powers in Gaza is slated to be Abbas, whose security forces would patrol Gaza borders, according to the Egyptian proposal. That would provide Cairo with another tactic to get rid of Hamas.

Mashaal nailed Abbas to the wall in his speech, accusing him of throwing cold water on the resumption of the intifada during the war by allowing his security forces to limit protests.

“The next operation needs to use all of the Palestinian capabilities, not just part of them,” Mashaal said. “The resistance is holy and weapons are holy. There is no such thing as a country without weapons.”

A country or not, Gaza still has at least 2,000 rockets as well as anti-tank rockets and presumably anti-aircraft missiles. It still has rocket factories, one of which was filmed in production by Hamas during one of the failed cease-fires during the war.

Netanyahu had demanded that any halt in violence would be accompanied by disarming Hamas, but this week’s cease-fire only left the issue to be put on the negotiating table, along with Hamas’s demands for a deep-sea port and an airport.

Mashaal’s speech was full of hate and crude accusations that Israel inflicted a “Holocaust” on Gaza by “destroying schools and hospitals,” which all but the most extreme anti-Israel media now know were used by Hamas as rocket launching and terrorist command centers.

“We are against what Hitler did to the Jews, and Israel committed a second Holocaust in Gaza. Israel is an embarrassment to Jews and to the entire world,” according to Mashaal.

His rhetoric was aimed at Abbas as well as Israel. If and when negotiations begin, Egypt and the United States will be on the side of Abbas, who despite his unity government with Hamas has proved politically smart by a patient and single-minded tactic of using international support to slowly but surely win concession after concession from Israel until there is nothing left to negotiate.

Netanyahu’s Cease-Fire Agreement Leads the Country into Confusion

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu led the country into confusion Tuesday night by agreeing to a cease-fire that leaves Hamas armed and paved the way for Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas, whose new peace partner is Hamas, to guard the terrorists.

Netanyahu was so sure that his Security Cabinet would balk at agreeing to the ceasefire that he did not even bother to consult with the ministers, approximately half of whom are upset with his decision.

The Prime Minister’s spin was that since the Cabinet has accepted previous cease-fires, there was no need to ask the ministers again.

He also has the  Brooklyn Bridge for sale.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, Economy Minister and Jewish Home party leader Naftali Bennett, and Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch publicly stated they are opposed to Netanyahu’s decision, and Communications Minister Gilad Erdan would have been a doubtful supporter.

Israel lost the opportunity the past week to carry out a quick, penetrating and dangerous ground invasion of Hamas strongholds in Gaza cities. Orders for such a counter-terror motive were ready to be signed, but that is far as they got.

Whether it was the fear of the “day after” anarchy that would follow a ground incursion, the fear of a high number of Israel casualties, the fear of international criticism, the fear of interrupting President Barack Obama’s golf game or the fear of some bogeyman that does not exist, the government and the IDF opted for continuing aerial bombing raids that definitely hurt Hamas but left it strong enough to dictate certain terms of the  cease-fire.

Some security sources bragged to Israeli media how the IDF decimated Hamas and forced it into submission, but while Hamas did not get everything it wanted, Israel got nothing but a halt of rocket fire for the 12th time, or maybe it is the 13th time.

Hamas wildly celebrated the cease-fire, but no one in Israel, except for the small and inconsequential far left, was jumping for joy.

Few people expect the  cease-fire to last, but the problem is that it as long as it does, Israel may be forced into concessions that, like the Oslo Accords, become irreversible when the enemy figures it has conned for all it can get and then goes on to the next round of blackmail.

Israel will open the borders, but Hamas did not receive its demand for a deep-sea port and airport, issues that are up for negotiations in another month, along with the Israeli demand that Hamas dis-arm.

Can you picture Hamas agreeing to dis-arm in return for an airport and seaport unless the facilities will not be supervised so that it can bring in even more advanced weapons?

Israel’s stated goal in the war was to dis-arm Hamas. Netanyahu said there would be no cease-fire without that goal being achieved. He also insisted as late as today that there would be no negotiations under fire.

Those goals and promises clearly were empty.

It is true that Israeli negotiators were not in Cairo, but it is inconceivable that the Office of the Prime Minister simply sat back while Hamas and Egypt, with the help of Hamas’s patron Qatar, tied up the loose ends for a  cease-fire without consulting with Israel.

Moreover, the U.S. State Dept.’s ”man on the ground in the Middle East,” Frank Lowenstein, has been actively involved.

There is no way that the United States was participating in the secret talks without being in touch with Netanyahu, who pulled the wool over the country.

The Prime Minister might not have noticed, but opinion polls that his popularity sunk dramatically the past week, after broad support during the war.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/netanyahus-cease-fire-agreement-leads-the-country-into-confusion/2014/08/26/

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