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July 24, 2014 / 26 Tammuz, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Peace Process’

Details of Egyptian Ceasefire Proposal

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

Egypt begins its ceasefire proposal by blowing its own horn that the initiative comes from “its historical responsibility, and out of belief in the importance of achieving peace in the region, protecting the lives of innocents, and ending the bloodshed.”

Talk about chutzpah. That is like a white supremacist trying to preach equality. How many people did the Mubarak, Muslim Brotherhood and al-Sisi people kill during protests against their regimes. Was it 2,000 or 3,000?

“Egypt calls upon Israel and all of the Palestinian factions to enact an immediate ceasefire, due to the fact that escalation and mutual violence, and the victims that will result, will not be in the interest of either party.”

Wait a minute, Egypt. It is not in the t interest of the civilized world that the Hamas terrorist infrastructure be destroyed?

The al-Sisi regime’s proposal first demands, “Israel shall cease all hostilities against the Gaza Strip via land, sea, and air, and shall commit to refrain from conducting any ground raids against Gaza and targeting civilians.”

Is the maritime blockade against the smuggling of terrorists and weapons into Gaza a “hostility”? Does this proposal mean that Israel must open the seas for Iran to send even more advanced weapons to Gaza?

Egypt demands from Hamas, “All Palestinian factions in Gaza shall cease all hostilities from the Gaza Strip against Israel via land, sea, air, and underground, and shall commit to refrain from firing all types of rockets, and from attacks on the borders or targeting civilians.

“Crossings shall be opened and the passage of persons and goods through border crossings shall be facilitated once the security situation becomes stable on the ground.”

What does “stable” mean? A ceasefire that lasts two hours? Or two days? Or maybe even two weeks?

Does “stable “mean that Gaza terrorists attacked Israel “only” with one or two Kassam rockets?

“ Other issues, including security issues shall be discussed with the two sides.

“Method of implementation of the initiative:

“ It has been decided to initiate implementation of the de-escalation agreements at — : — hours (GMT) on — / 7 / 2014, pending the implementation of a full ceasefire within twelve hours of the announcement of the Egyptian initiative and its unconditional acceptance by both sides.”

Apparently, the blanks means that neither Hamas nor Israel is ready to sign as of yet. Making the proposal public is intended to pressure both sides to do so.

“ High-level delegations from both the Israeli government and the Palestinian factions shall be hosted in Cairo within 48 hours of the initiation of the initiative’s implementation, in order to conclude talks for the consolidation of the ceasefire and resume confidence-building measures between the two sides; talks shall be held with each of the two sides separately (in accordance with the agreements for the consolidation of de-escalation in Cairo in 2012).”

In other words, the “peace process” now will involve Hamas and Israel, with Cairo brokering the talks. Next step is U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s getting on stage again and playing out another round of peace talks, with Hamas and Fatah sitting as peace partners for Israel.

The Tragic Farce Of Israeli ‘Confidence-Building Measures’

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

building freezeThe kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers near Hebron should give pause. Israel says it has evidence of involvement by Hamas, which the U.S. and the European Union consider a terrorist group. Hamas, which in its charter calls for the worldwide murder of Jews, was recently incorporated into the Fatah/Palestinian Authority (PA) regime that receives U.S taxpayer funding.

Given these circumstances, Israel needs to put an end to its concessionary policy of “confidence-building measures”: removing security checkpoints and roadblocks, freeing convicted and jailed Palestinian terrorists as demanded by the PA, etc., especially if it emerges that the absence of checkpoints enabled the terrorists to carry out the kidnapping/murders.

That some terrorist acts have been facilitated in this way is beyond argument. The January 2010 murder of Meir Chai by Fatah’s own Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades occurred during a terrorist attack made possible by the removal of a road closure and checkpoint, part of the confidence-building measures previously urged on Israel by the Obama administration.

In April 2010, then-U.S. envoy George Mitchell again urged Israel to “make a number of gestures to Palestinians, including release of prisoners, removal of checkpoints, transfer of authority over West Bank territories.”

Israel acceded to U.S. wishes – and that August, Palestinian terrorists murdered four Israelis, including a pregnant woman, near Hebron. The attackers escaped the scene via a route opened by the removal of a checkpoint, also one of the “number of gestures” Mitchell had urged upon Israel.

Western governments, including the Obama administration, are continually tantalized at the prospect of renewed negotiations, and the PA has adroitly succeeded in recent years in making Israeli concessions a condition of their resumption. International leaders have willingly obliged.

Here, for example, is a news item from February 2012 about UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon: “The UN chief urged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to make ‘goodwill gestures’ to bring the Palestinians back to direct negotiations, frozen since September 2010.”

Note that in such cases Israelis are not being asked to make these “gestures” in return for anything tangible but only so that the PA will deign to speak to them from across a table. In other words, the intended “gestures” are unilateral Israeli concessions.

Unfortunately, peace has never been facilitated by Israeli unilateral concessions. Quite the contrary.

The 2005 unilateral evacuation of Gaza and eviction of its Jewish residents was received by senior PA official Muhammad Dahlan in this manner: “The withdrawal from the Gaza Strip is a victory for the Palestinian people’s will…. The withdrawal should take place without an agreement and with no political gains [for Israel].”

Rocket assaults on Israel from Gaza increased exponentially.

In 2009 came what Hillary Clinton described as “unprecedented” Israeli unilateral concession at the behest of President Obama: a 10-month unilateral freeze on the construction of Jewish homes in the West Bank. The result? The PA declined to resume talks until almost the very end of this period, only to almost immediately break them off and demand a permanent freeze – something that had never been a feature of previous Israeli/Palestinian talks.

In October 2011, Israel freed 1,027 Palestinian prisoners – including hundreds of convicted terrorists – in exchange for kidnapped Israeli serviceman Gilad Shalit. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal greeted this not as a step on the road to peace but as a great victory over Israel. Note that this was not even a unilateral concession but rather a negotiated one, and that it was not welcomed as a laudable effort to bring peace closer but an act of weakness heralding eventual Israeli defeat.

US Refuses to Admit Palestinian Authority Involved in Terror

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

The U.S. State Dept.’s position is that it does not know that Hamas was involved in the kidnap murder of three Israeli teenagers and that despite continuing missile attacks from Gaza, it is “reviewing” events to determine if the Palestinian Authority unity government is “abiding by…the pledges that they made” to refrain from violence.

Israel has categorically identified the terrorists as members of Hamas, and it is no secret that the terrorists from Gaza, where Hamas officially is part of the unity government with Fatah headed by Mahmoud Abbas, but – no – the government of the United States  is “reviewing…circumstances on the ground.”

Hamas terrorists kidnap and kill children and try to kill Israelis with missiles, blowing up factories and hoping to blow up children in a kindergarten, and the United States is “reviewing  circumstances on the ground,” as if it is has a front row seat in a horror movie, except that this is live action.

“Would Hamas’s involvement in something like this[kidnap-murders] be cause for the Administration to rethink its support for the Palestinian – the new Palestinian Government?” Associated Press reporter Matt Lee asked State Dept. Spokeswoman Jen Psaki.

She solemnly answered, “We do look at all kinds of information as it relates to our relationship with the Palestinians, our relationship with any entity that we work with. So I’m not going to make a prediction. I don’t know what the outcome will be of the final findings.”

That is what the State Dept. does – it looks at information. If it furthers its agenda to expel Jews from all of Judea and Samaria and most of Jerusalem, Foggy Bottom doles it out to the hunger media hacks looking for more ammunition to shoot down Israel. If it does not further agenda, it files it away under “delete.”

That explains Psaki’s comments on missile attacks.

Lee asked, “There were also, I think, 14 – more than a dozen rockets that were fired into southern Israel from Gaza today. Is that something that would make you rethink your position as it relates to the Palestinian Government?”

No chance, at least not for now.

First of all, Psaki explained from her agenda pamphlet, the United States is going to take the really bold action to “review” circumstances to see if the Palestinian Authority renounces violence.

So does kidnapping and murdering three young yeshiva students and shooting missiles at Israeli mean that the unity government has not renounced violence?

No need to worry.

Psaki reassured everyone, “We expect, and President Abbas has on many occasions also renounced this type of action. And there’s a certain responsibility in conveying that to any entities that the Palestinians are tied with.”

But not even the State Dept. can fool all of the people all of the time.

“If I shoot you at the same time as saying I renounce violence, that doesn’t really make much sense,” AP reporter Lee said and then added, “what you’re saying, though, is that apart from the teenagers – because we don’t – you don’t know – you’re not sure of the circumstances – just the rocket attacks themselves are not cause to have you rethink your relationship with the government.

“You think right now that they are abiding by the requirements?”

Guess what? Hamas is not involved in the government.

Psaki, reading from her Agenda 101 book, recalled that the “technocratic” government “doesn’t involve members of Hamas… [and] obviously, when there are incidents of violence, when there are rocket attacks, those are certainly cause for concern and we take every incident into consideration.”

Thank God, the Obama administration will show its “concern” but it also can save face for the Palestinian Authority.

Kerry Names Lowenstein as Star ‘Actor’ to Replace Indyk

Sunday, June 29th, 2014

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has appointed his long-time aide Frank Lowenstein as “Acting Special Envoy for Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations” following the departure of “permanent” envoy Martin Indyk, as reported here.

The State Dept.’s verbal acrobatics concerning Indyk’s departure and Lowenstein’s arrival provide plenty of evident that Foggy Bottom’s reality deals with more with its own in-house industry of solving the unemployment problem than with the realities of the Middle East.

Lest anyone think that the peace process has failed, State Dept. Spokeswoman Marie Harf was careful to tell reporters on Friday that Indyk really did not quit or resign.

The official announcement issued in Washington stated only that Indyk “will be returning to his position as Vice President and Director of Foreign Policy at The Brookings Institution.”

Harf objected to the Associated Press’s reporting that Indyk “quit,” a term she said “is a little negative in tone….. He will be leaving his post here. I’m not sure bureaucratically, technically what he has to do, whether that’s submit a letter of resignation. It probably is. “

The concern to put a positive spin even on Indyk’s resignation reflects the State Dept.’s inability to understand who’s on first in  the Israeli-Arab duel of wits to see who can confuse Washington the most, which is not very difficult.

If you thought the peace process is dead, think again.

“Well, we’re in a pause right now,” Harf stated, with a straight face.

Reporters covering the State Dept. long ago have stopped buying its song and dance. One reporter asked Harf that since no talks between the Palestinian Authority and Israel have taken place since late April, why did it take Indyk two months to “leave.”

“I think he’s been working intensively with the parties to see if they could come back to the table in a meaningful way, and we haven’t been able to get there yet,” explained Harf.

That doesn’t fit, because nearly a month ago, no one could answer a reporter’s question exactly what Indyk was doing, except for being somewhere in Foggy Bottom.

He obviously was doing what hundreds, if not thousands, of other State Dept. employees do. They consult, talk, research, travel, and then consult and talk again and again.

Haaretz journalist Guy Rolnik reported on Saturday that a senior Israel diplomat involved in negotiations in Washington for two decades told him six years ago, “There are thousands of people in Washington who earn their living from the peace ‘process.’ Economic crisis or not, there’s a large group that is working on the peace process, working on the terror threats, working on Middle Eastern affairs – and will always work on the ‘process.’”

The “process” serves the interests of the Palestinian Authority very nicely, because without it, Ramallah could not exist, which it does by handouts from the United States and the European Union.

Harf stated the State Dept.’s self-serving need for the “peace process” when she claimed on Friday that there actually has been “progress” in the peace process since Kerry launched the doomed-from-start resumption of the illusion of negotiations last July.

“In general, we were able to define the gaps between the two parties on all the core issues in a fairly detailed and significant way. That’s something that we broadly knew before that, but I think was one of the things we would say was important. You can’t bridge gaps until you’ve defined them,” Harf explained.

The “peace process” began in 1991 when then-Prime Minister Yitzchak Shamir agreed to debate Yasser Arafat in Madrid. Now, 23 years later, the U.S. State Dept. has made “progress” by figuring out the gaps. The truth is that Washington still does not understand the gaps because it does not understand much of anything that goes on east of Atlantic City, but assuming that it does, is that all the progress that can be reported?

Martin Indyk Quits as Special ME Envoy for Peace

Saturday, June 28th, 2014

Martin Indyk, who only recently, allegedly verbally trashed Israel in a bar tirade has quit as the US’s Special Middle East Envoy for Peace. The State Department denied it ever happened.

Indyk was also accused of being the anonymous source for the US media attacks against Israel.

He’ll be going back to being vice president and director of foreign policy at The Brookings Institution think-tank in Washington.

In Israel, his absence probably won’t be missed.

John ‘Chicken’ Kerry Skips Israel on New Middle East Tour

Monday, June 23rd, 2014

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is on his way back to the Middle East for the umpteenth time, heading for Egypt and Jordan but without chancing a slip on the unwelcome mat in Jerusalem and Ramallah.

More significant is that the State Dept. announced Kerry’s tag-alongs will be  National Security Staff Senior Director for Middle East and North Africa Prem Kumar, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Egypt and Maghreb Affairs William Roebuck, Spokesperson Jen Psaki, and assistant to the Joint Chiefs of Staff,  Vice Admiral Kurt Tidd.

Kerry’s entourage is most notable for who is not going to give the travel agents more business . Absent are Jeffrey Feltmnan, the Assistant Secretary for the region, and former U.S. Ambassador to Israel Martin Indyk, who now is President Barack Obama’s personal hangman for the “peace process.” He has been hanging out in Washington incognito the past several weeks, and the State Dept. has not been able to tell nosey reporters exactly what he is doing, not that he ever knew himself.

“At the President’s direction, Secretary of State John Kerry will travel from June 22-27 to the Middle East and Europe to consult with partners and allies on how we can support security, stability, and the formation of an inclusive government in Iraq, to discuss Middle East security challenges, and to attend the NATO Foreign Ministerial,” the State Dept. declared in a press release.

After visiting Cairo and Amman, “The Secretary will then travel to Brussels, Belgium, to participate in the NATO Foreign Ministerial, which will discuss preparations for the NATO Summit in September as well as the ongoing crisis in Ukraine. In Paris, France, the Secretary will meet with key regional partners and Gulf allies on Middle East security challenges, including Iraq and Syria.”

Nothing about Israel, Nothing about the Palestinian Authority, and nothing about the “unity” government of Fatah and Hamas.

Journalists at the daily State Dept. media briefing don’t even ask about the “peace process” anymore, and the kidnapping of the three missing teenagers only crops up when the reporter for the Al Quds pro-Arab newspaper constantly jabs the spokeswomen about Israel’s “disproportionate” counter-terrorist operations.

It would be interesting to hear his reaction if Israel took “proportionate’ action and kidnapped three Palestinian Authority teenagers and whisked them away without a hint of who abducted them and if they are alive or not.

Kerry and the Obama administration can easily count on the media to forget about the peace process follies, thanks to the Syrian civil war and the collapse of security in Iraq, both countries where the United States made careful preparations for stability. Obama, who declared the assassination of Osama bin Laden was the beginning of the end of Al Qaeda, now is watching the terrorist organization breathing down the backs of Jordan and Baghdad.

Kerry’s predecessor Hillary Clinton, three months after the first peaceful protests three years ago against the regime, defended Syrian President Bassar al-Assad as a “reformer.” Prior to the uprising, when Kerry was head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, he was President Obama’s personal ambassador to Syria to restore diplomatic relations. He is lucky he did not succeed, but he has a pretty clean track record on that score.

Iraq is keeping the experts in Foggy Bottom busy to see how many more mistakes they can make.

Kerry and the Obama administration are licking their chops after the shambles of their nine-month crusade to make matters worse for Israelis and Arabs.

Keeping on top of the rapid-fire crises in the Middle East the past three years has been like trying to catch popcorn while it is jumping around in the machine.

Apologists for Hamas Hitch a Ride on Terror

Thursday, June 19th, 2014

Foreign media have outdone themselves proving their ignorance of Israel by several media establishment articles focusing on the dangers of hitchhiking and burying the thought that there might be something wrong with terrorists kidnapping three Israeli youth trying to thumb a ride home.

The Christian Science Monitor, the BBC and The New York Times and are only three examples of the mindset that has imprisoned “journalists” for decades when it comes to reporting on Israel. It is not open anti-Semitism and it not anti-Zionism, both of which simply are ingrained in the Western mentality that Jews are to blame for anything that goes wrong.

There is lot of truth to that, but that is for God and not journalists to decide. If the Associated Press had been around at the time of the destruction of the Second Temple, it would have reported that the Romans overpowered the Jews. It would not have told its readers that the Jews lost Jerusalem because of “loshon hara,” the practice of speaking evil about others and which Talmudic rabbis noted was the root cause of Israel’s downfall.

Today’s journalists are instant rabbis and know what makes God  allows terrorists to masquerade as Jews and snatch three yeshiva students, as if they were lifeless bumps on the road that terrorists ride to hell.

Only two days after Naftali, Eyal and Gilad were abducted, the Monitor headlined, “Why were kidnapped Israeli teens hitchhiking in the West Bank?”

The journalists writing the article ever thought to ask the question, ”Why were Arabs, wanting a peaceful Palestinian Authority state kidnapping Jewish boys?”

The New York Times’ Isabel Kershner, a known leftist whose lack of objectivity is defined by her refraining from personal visits to Jews in the “occupied territories,” wrote an article headlined, “Abduction of Young Israeli Hitchhikers Spurs Debate on Conduct.”

One would think that the debate on conduct would be over whether it is proper for “militants” trying to pressure Israel to release terrorists, excuse me, “prisoners.” Of course, her concern really was the conduct of Jews, who have the chutzpah not only to live or learn in Judea and Samaria but also to hitchhike there.

And the BBC chimed in with, “Israel: Hitchhiking continues despite kidnap dangers.”

No one should be surprised at this New Age of being “fair,” a world in which there is no wrong but simply two sides of right, with terrorist and hitchhikers weighed together on the same scale. Terrorists are militants, if not freedom fighters, and Jews are settlers, if not illegitimate.

The Monitor article, by staff writer Christa Case Bryant, was preceded by this blurb: “Despite living in a conflict zone, many Israeli settlers hitchhike in the West Bank, often waiting for rides on roads frequented by Palestinian drivers.”

She led off the second paragraph by writing, “No one is questioning why they were hitchhiking late at night on a highway frequented by many Palestinians.” She explained that people try to hitch rides because of lack of patience but, more than that, by “a pioneer ethos fueled by faith and an unswerving belief in their right to this land. Most Israeli settlers are unwilling to be held hostage by fear of their Palestinian neighbors or by the United Nations, which has deemed their presence here illegal under international law.”

There are few settlers who hitch in order to show off or mock Arabs. My wife, I and our five children hitch in the southern Hebron Hills because we have to get from one place to next in an area where there are four or five buses from  6 a.m. to 11 p.m., and we represent the silent and not so silent majority.

Any journalist can find some young man or woman to say how he or she hitches because “this is our land and the Arabs can go to Jordan” but that is just a big mouth with nothing to say.

Settlers prove they can live where they want in Israel and that Arabs can go to Jordan by putting their legs where their mouths are. That is the ideology behind “hilltop outposts,” which, by the way, include an unusually large proportion of kids with super ADD and ADHD who probably would be in jail for drugs if they didn’t find an outlet such as playing the role of the forefather Abraham.

The Western media’s misunderstanding of hitchhiking also reflects their own paranoia in their own countries. When I took off one summer in the very early 1960s to hitchhike across the country from Baltimore, it was safe, except for the temptations of sin from which God had enough mercy on me to stand in the way.

Perhaps that explains an article in The New York Times Thursday by film director and author John Waters, who, according to the newspaper, “hitchhiked across the United States and lived to tell the tale.” The good ol’ United States really ain’t what it used to be..

Waters told the interviewer. “Picking up a hitchhiker is as much an adventure as it is to hitchhike. It’s a risk on both sides. And they’re good people, I think. Basically trusting. And they’ve been through something. Everyone had survived something, and they wanted to talk about it.”

That is not Israel. This is a small country with a big family that helps each other, even when fighting each other, and which knows its enemies, except for inexperienced teenagers who can’t see through the disguises that their terrorist kidnappers used to snare them off the road last Thursday.

Given the cock-eyed view from the West, it is understandable that Kershner wrote in the second paragraph in her article for the Times, “The abductions also have stirred more hushed debate over the conduct of Jewish settlers in the West Bank — particularly what many consider the cavalier practice of hitchhiking — and the price that Israel has paid to redeem its captives.”

A journalist can always find enough people to give a quote or two to state a prejudiced view, but what you expect when Kershner interviews people in the fancy Azrielli Mall in Tel Aviv and not at the Be’er Sheva bus station?

Everyone, of course, expressed their sympathy for the victims, but one woman added she was “’a little angry about the lack of responsibility” of Israeli youths hitchhiking at night in the West Bank. Another shopper browsing at a bookstore added that the West Bank was ‘prone to trouble.’”

That is about the same one-sided reaction the writer could have gotten, only to the other extreme, if she had interviewed people in the community of Beit El or Yitzhar, in Samaria.

The BBC contributed to the world’s ignorance of Israel by reporting that “travelers are likely to ignore a directive from Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu that ‘bans’ hitchhiking in the wake of the disappearance of three teenagers, it seems.”

It turns out the report is a bald-faced lie because in the very next sentence, the BBC quotes an Israeli newspaper as stating, that the Prime Minister “’directed’ all settlers and travelers in Judea and Samaria [West Bank] not to take rides offered by strangers.”

It is acceptable that the BBC does not understand Hebrew, but does it have a problem with English, also?

The office of Prime Minister Netanyahu said people should not take rides from ”strangers,” and that’s miles of a difference from a directive that “’bans’ hitchhiking altogether.

Buried in this entire discussion is the prejudice of the newspapers that the virtues and sins of hitchhiking are far more of a burning issue than the virtues and sins of your average terrorist kidnapping three yeshiva students.

The reportage is code. When the media establishment jumps on kidnap victims as being reckless because they hitch a ride where they know Arab terrorists may be roaming, it really means that the Jews are to blame because they live, oy, in Judea and Samaria.

That kind of reminds me of 20 some years ago when I was visiting my late parents in Baltimore and gave a talk at some local Jewish meeting on the real meaning of “peace,” the Oslo Accords and the Arabs’ displeasure with my living “beyond the Green Line.”

After what I immodestly considered an eloquent talk about the word “Shalom,” which is a synonym for God, which cannot even be uttered in the bathroom and which does not mean “make a deal,” and after explaining that the Arabs often throw rocks at us and try to shoot us, one gentleman stood up and asked, “Well, if the Arabs don’t want you there, why don’t you just move to Tel Aviv?”

Moving forward in time to September 2013, Sgt. Tomer Hazan was working with a Palestinian Authority Arab in metropolitan Tel Aviv. The Arab convinced his friend, an off-duty soldier to join him after work. They traveled to Samaria, where the Arab murdered his co-worker.

It is difficult to understand.

If the Arabs don’t want Jews living in Tel Aviv, why don’t the Jews just leave and hitch a ride back to Baltimore?

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/first-person/apologists-for-hamas-hitch-a-ride-on-terror/2014/06/19/

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