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April 16, 2014 / 16 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Peace Process’

Abbas Inches Towards the ‘No State’ Solution

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

Reality has returned to the traditional Arab-Israeli divide, at least for the time being, and none other than a veteran Arab journalist and retired professor of  journalism wrote on Wednesday that given the hapless Arab strategy, “Palestinians will end up with no state.”

This is no surprise to no one except the U.S. State Dept. Thomas Friedman, the European Union and perhaps President Barack Obama, although it is more probable he couldn’t care less just as long as he can stick the Arab-Israel dossier into his “forget” folder.

With Martin Indyk acting on an emergency rescue mission, armed with everything except a Magen David Adom ambulance, the prediction by Abdallah Schleifer may be a bit too soon.

The fact that Israeli negotiator Tzipi Livni and her Palestinian Authority counterpart Saeb Erekat rushed to meet last night proves they want to save U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s chance for a Nobel Peace Prize, which he would really would deserve if he would worry about the disappearing South American Rain Forest instead of stirring up trouble in Cairo, Moscow, the Ukraine, Jerusalem, Benghazi, Ankara, and Tehran.

The Bethlehem-based Ma’an News Agency reported that Livni and Erekat went at each other’s throats last night in the presence of Indyk, who was unable to tame the peace partners “fierce political battle.”

Specifically, according to Ma’an, “Erekat reportedly told the Israeli side that ‘we are here to negotiate in the name of the UN-recognized State of Palestine, not in the name of a Palestinian Authority whose inputs and outputs are controlled by Israel.’

“Israeli negotiators responded by threatening to put “endless” sanctions on the Palestinians, the sources said….

“Erekat responded to Israeli threats of sanctions by saying the PLO would go after Israeli officials as ‘war criminals’ in international institutions.”

And now for the full and unabridged version from Livni’s spokeswoman in answer to a question put forward by The Jewish Press, to wit: “Can you confirm or deny…that Minister Livni threatened Erekat with sanctions?

“No comment.”

First of all, it shows Livni is not stupid. As much as the Palestinian Authority tries to convince the media establishment that it’s all Israel’s fault that the myth of peace talks has been unmasked, it is not so convincing to anyone outside of the Arab world, so wht argue that 2+2=4 when others know the answer is 5?

The Jewish Press reported here last night that Livni entered the meeting with Erekat to help Abbas climb down from his lofty perch and would exit the meeting with praise for her peace partner. That did not happen, but it’s not over until it’s over.

We also reported that everything is on hold until the Arab League meets next week. It will realize that the time is not yet ripe to ditch the United States and will come up with some mental gymnastics to prolong the agony of the peace talks, or it will go for broke.

Enter Schleifer, the Arab journalist who wrote in Al Arabiya Thursday that with the apparent collapse of the talks, “There is increasing talk about the impossibility of a two-state solution and increasing talk on the Palestinian and pro-Palestinian side of a one-state solution.”

Schleifer is not to be dismissed as another hack writer. He served for nine years as NBC News Cairo bureau chief, was a special correspondent for the New York Times based in Amman, served as Al Arabiya’s Washington D.C. bureau chief and is associated with the Middle East Institute in Washington D.C. as an Adjunct Scholar.

He is a card-carrying champion Palestinian Authority and opponent of the “Occupation,” but at least one of his views of history is on the money

“Back in the 1930s and 40s noble -minded Jews who connected at some level with Zionism were calling for a bi-national rather than exclusively Jewish state, but neither the Zionist leadership nor the Palestinian leadership wanted it which in both cases, figures,” he wrote.

“The whole thrust of the Zionist movement for most Zionists, would be a Jewish state theoretically ready to absorb as many Jews from Europe, America, and the Arab world as would be willing and able to immigrate. And since the overwhelming population in Mandate Palestine was Arab, why would the Arab leadership in Palestine consider a bi-national state as just another way of denying the Palestinians the right to self-determination?”

That is one of the first opportunities that the Arab world missed, upholding a tradition that goes back to Biblical kingdoms, which refused to let Moses lead the people of Israel through their areas on the way to the Promised Land.

Then and now, the anti-Zionists say “no” and the Jews, like Livni, say “no comment. We’ll find a way. We are not known as a Start-Up nation for nothing.”

As for the new “one-state” solution promoted if not threatened by Palestinian Authority activists as well as Jewish anti-Zionists, Schleifer commented, “The one state solution still is a noble idea but noble ideas don’t cut much ice without significant power behind it…Unfortunately, neither a powerful mass movement nor the commitment of strong willed leaders exists as yet for the one state.”

With typical Arab blindness, he wrote, “A right-wing Israeli version of one state [is] based on ethnic cleansing and annexation.” Abbas repeatedly says no Jews would be allowed in a future Palestinian Authority state, but that’s not ethnic cleansing. That is “national identity.”

The kind professor and journalist offer two options. One is a utopian presence of two states “providing both sides with an opportunity to engage people to people without threats to their respective and very different concerns, apprehensions and fears.”

He correctly dismissed that as being viable, putting all the onus, of course, on Israel that constantly creates a hopeless situation by insisting that Jews can live in Judea and Samaria, reserved for Arabs.

And it is that hopelessness that provides the second option. Schleifer wrote, “it is almost inevitable there will be Palestinian jihadi attack killing a large number of Israeli civilians — like a bomb going off at the western Wailing Wall when the plaza is filled to capacity during key Israeli holidays.

“This would provoke a terrible ethnic cleansing of the Arabs of former Jordanian Jerusalem and the West Bank. The ultra-right wing government could then annex all of the West Bank and not worry at all about the ‘demographic threat.’”

Got it? Blame Israel for hopelessness – has anyone recently read the Biblical account of Hagar who sat around waiting for God to save herself and her child Ismael instead of looking for a water bottle?

Blame Israel for hopelessness, blame Israel for the Arab’s blowing up Jews and blame Israel for exploiting the massacre to defend itself by taking charge.

Fine, blame the Jews, what do we care?

Blame the Jews for what Schleifer himself says will happen:

“Short of more sophisticated Palestinian diplomacy backed by a growing BDS movement, the settlements will continue to grow and more and more Palestinian land will be confiscated and more and more Palestinians will be harassed, if not injured or even murdered by the settlers. And the Palestinians will end up with no state.”

So for once Livni is right.

“No comment.”

Kerry, Livni and Abbas Take a Seventh-Inning Stretch

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

Here is an on-the-spot play-by-play report on Wednesday’s action in the Peace Talks Charades.

Tzipi Livin screws up her face and throws a spit ball at the Palestinian Authority, which swings and misses.

John Kerry calls Abbas and reaches first base.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman steps up to the mound and pitches a curve ball by announcing he will vote against any proposal to release Arab murderers who carry Israeli citizenship.

Martin Indyk takes a walk to Jerusalem and scores a triple play with Livni and Saeb Erekat.

Commentator Samantha Power puts in her two cents, which is about all it is worth, and opines that unilateral actions by the Palestinian Authority “will be a profound threat to Israel and devastating to the peace process.”

Duh.

Housing Minister Uri Ariel, playing right field, urges Netanyahu to find another game and cancel the Oslo Accords, forgetting that they sank long ago in Foggy Bottom except when the State Dept. fishes them out for stale news.

Tourism Minister Uzi Landau, the government’s biggest windbag, carries his bat, points to the bleachers, and says that Israel can punish the Palestinian Authority by annexing Judea and Samaria and slapping sanctions on Ramallah.

His home swing misses by a mile, and he takes a shower.

The Arab League, playing shortstop, forces everyone to take a rain check for a week, when it will meet to grunt and groan and come up with a face-saving pitch for Abbas.

Livni and Kerry Help Abbas Climb Down from His High Horse

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry phoned Mahmoud Abbas, and Israeli negotiator Tzipi Livni sat down with her counterpart Saeb Erekat Wednesday, proving that the best way to get both sides talking is to create a crisis.

Livni officially is Justice Minister and unofficially is Kerry’s Under Secretary of Concessions. She talked tough earlier in the day, declaring that the Palestinian Authority “has breached its obligations by applying to the United Nations” and that “if they want a state, they need to understand that it will only be established on the negotiating table.”

Livni is good at talking tough. She is an abysmal failure at even showing a muscle, let alone using it.

She sat down with Erekat and Martin Indyk, President Obama’s Middle East salesman. Even before the discussion, she already was parroting the State Dept. line. “Even when peace seems very far away, and when the other side’s conduct is wrong,… we will return to the negotiating table; we are obligated to return to talks.”

A real fighter she is.

She said so herself, asserting that neither the Palestinian Authority  nor anyone else “can dictate to us whether or not we are fighting for peace.” Her idea of fighting for peace is hitting Israel over the head. Maybe if she hits herself on the head something will sink in, but until then, we can expect luvvy-duvvy words by tomorrow morning on how Erekat really is a peace partner and that the peace talks can be saved, meaning Kerry can be saved.

Despite all the headlines reporting the play-by-play of an imminent collapse in talks, Abbas and Erekat are not about to walk away without the release of the fourth batch of terrorists. Joining the he Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, one of 15 U.N.-linked bodies that have received an official Palestinian Authority request for membership, is not going help get the murderers out of jail.

Kerry kept up contact with Abbas on Wednesday, phoning him and getting assurance that they would continue to talk in the next few days.

Netanyahu has been conspicuously silent, enjoying a rare moment of peace and quiet while everyone else runs around and bumps into each other, knocks each other down and then tries to pick up the pieces.

NY Times Comes Out against Freeing Pollard for Peace Talks

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

The New York Times’ editorial on Wednesday called the idea of using Jonathan Pollard as a bargaining chip for peace talks “a lamentable sign of America’s desperation to keep both sides talking.”

The newspaper does not dictate to Obama, but it more often than not reflects his thinking, or the other way around.

In this case, it is questionable if Obama was thinking, and the Times was unusually harsh in its criticism of him and his administration.

It stated that the proposal came from Washington, although it is not known whether the White House or Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu initiated the idea. It may be a moot issue because the general reaction in the United States has been negative, and the Palestinian Authority apparently shot it down.

Mahmoud Abbas and his aides reportedly were furious after hearing about the idea because there is no way they will let Israel get Pollard while arch-terrorist Marwan Barghouti remains in an Israeli prison cell.

The emergence of the convicted spy Jonathan Pollard as a bargaining chip in Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations is a lamentable sign of America’s desperation to keep both sides talking. Peace between Israelis and Palestinians can be achieved only if they want it for themselves, something that is very much in doubt right now.

The editorial called the proposals a “bad idea [that] would do nothing to advance progress on the core issues of a peace deal.”

Abbas’ Phony Request to Join UN ‘Agencies’ a Game of Chicken

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

Palestinian Authority officials handed over requests to 15 United Nations bodies on Wednesday, signaling a snub of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and the end of his Peace Talks stage show.

It ain’t so.

As usual, Mahmoud Abbas and his henchmen are playing with words. The PA dramatically announced Tuesday night that its top committee voted unanimously to ask to join 15 United Nations agencies, violating a promise Abbas made to Kerry eight months ago that the PA would not take such unilateral steps during the talks that officially have another four weeks to go.

The official excuse is that since Israel did not come through last with the release of the final batch of terrorists, including card-carrying Israeli citizen-murderers whom the government never promised to free, the PA can do as it pleases.

After Abbas ostensibly pressed “delete” on Kerry’s program, the Secretary of State triumphantly announced, “Let me make it absolutely clear. None of the agencies that President Abbas signed tonight involve the UN. None of them. And President Abbas has given his word to me that he will keep his agreement and that he intends to negotiate through the end of the month of April.”

Either Kerry is again showing he is ignorant, or Abbas is again proving he is a liar, right?

Almost wrong. Kerry showed he is only partly ignorant, and Abbas showed he not a liar but just a con man.

Remember how the Obama administration and the media establishment always mouth off about the Palestinian Authority’s “negotiations” that are NewSpeak for an ultimatum?

Now add “United Nations Agencies” to the list to the New Arab Dictionary of Twisted English.

Following is the list of the 15 U.N. “agencies” that have received the official Palestinian Authority requests to join:

1. The Four Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 and the First Additional Protocol
2. The Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations
3. The Vienna Convention on Consular Relations
4. The Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in armed conflict
5. The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women
6. The Hague Convention (IV) respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land and its annex: Regulations Concerning the Laws and Customs of War on Land
7. The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
8. The Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties
9. The International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination
10. The Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
11. The United Nations Convention against Corruption
12. The Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide
13. The International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid
14. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
15. The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

Kerry is right. They are not U.N. agencies. He is wrong because indeed they are connected with the United Nations in one form or another.

They are “treaties” and “conventions” but not agencies, a term reserved for such enlightened institutions as the International Monetary Fund and the World Health Organization.

This is the official list of U.N. agencies:

1. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
2. International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)
3. International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)
4. International Labor Organization (ILO)
5. International Maritime Organization (IMO)
6. International Monetary Fund (IMF)
7. International Telecommunication Union (ITU)
8. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
9. United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)
10. Universal Postal Union (UPU)
11. World Bank Group
11.1 International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD)
11.2 International Finance Corporation (IFC)
11.3 International Development Association (IDA)
12. World Health Organization (WHO)
13. World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)
14. World Meteorological Organization (WMO)
15. World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)
16. Former specialized agencies
17. Related Organizations
17.1 Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization Preparatory Commission
17.2 International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
17.3 Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons
17.4 World Trade Organization (WTO)

The Palestinian Authority has not asked to join any of them. It once again is huffing and puffing but not ready to blow the house down. Be patient, because that time will come. If President Barack Obama has his way, it will happen around January 21, 2017, the day after Hillary Clinton, or by some miracle a Republican nominee, will step into the White House.

No one should scoff too much at the PA requests to join the 15 U.N. treaties and conventions because they certainly would give Abbas an entry pass to official agencies. That is the next step, either next month, if Kerry finally gets tired of his games, or next year, or as long as he can write more charters for this black comedy.

For the time, being everything is on hold for a week because that is when the Arab League, which is calling the shots for Abbas, meets to decide the next maneuver.

That gives Obama time to parachute to Earth from outer space, where he dealt the Pollard card to bribe Israel into another immoral release of murders.

Abbas can be satisfied if Israel does not get Pollard. The whole point of this play is not to win anything but just to make sure the other side loses something, and Israeli officials reportedly said Wednesday that Abbas vetoed  being part of the Free Pollard movement, unintentionally doing Obama a giant favor.

So what will the Arabs have lost? They will have lost more time, because as every day passes, his deceit and corruption eat away at the Palestinian Authority’s rotten foundations, which will collapse like a Ponzi scheme.

Kerry Cancels Visit to PA after Abbas Asks to Join 15 UN Agencies

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has cancelled his scheduled visit to Ramallah Wednesday after the Palestinian Authority decided to break a promise made at the beginning of the resumption of peace talks and formally request to join more than dozen U.N. agencies.

“We are no longer traveling tomorrow,” said an American official, who added that Kerry is ” in close touch with team on ground.”

The statement, without any elaboration, followed by less than two hours Abbas’ announcement the evening before Kerry was to storm into Israel and finalize the extension of peace talks, a move that would preclude the PA request to the United Nations.

“The Palestinian leadership has unanimously approved a decision to seek membership of 15 UN agencies and international treaties, beginning with the Fourth Geneva Convention,” Abbas said on television on Tuesday. “The demands [for membership] will be sent immediately” to the relevant agencies, he said.

“This is not a move against America, or any other party – it is our right, and we agreed to suspend it for nine months,” said Abbas.

He is almost right. More accurately, he is lying – again. Kerry and President Barack Obama forced the resumption of talks towards the end of July, meaning that only eight months have expired.

He also lied when he said that the requests to join the U.N. agencies “will be sent immediately.”

“Immediately” means “now.” But it turns out he was holding the letters up his sleeve until Wednesday, when he thought the Secretary of Trouble would fly in and makes another mess out of traffic on the beaten path from Ben Gurion Airport to Jerusalem.

Abbas’ announcement set off firecrackers in the media establishment, which reported that the request to join U.N. agencies would put an end to Kerry’s proposed deal for the Obama administration to free Jonathan Pollard while Israel releases terrorists and agrees to some sort of limited and temporary building freeze.

If Abbas really was serious, he publicly placed dunce caps on Kerry and Obama. Torpedoing the proposed deal that the Americans have worked so hard to forge would be stupid.

If he was playing footsie with Kerry, it backfired.

Abbas in effect announced to Kerry that if Israel does not agree to every one of his demands, the blame will fall on Israel if the talks do not continue. Kerry threw back the challenge at Abbas by cancelling  his trip and leaving Abbas up a tree.

Maybe Abbas is serious and is telling Kerry to get lost. And maybe Kerry really is fed up with him.

But if both of them are acting,  they should sell tickets to their performances. They make great tragic-comedy.

If both of them are serious, Pollard is condemned to jail for the rest of his life, the same fate that hopefully awaits the Arab terrorists who were supposed to be released.

Stay tuned because it’s not over until it’s over.

Pollard Refused to Attend Parole Hearing

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

Jonathan Pollard may have ditched the deal in the making by which the Obama administration would free him from his life sentence in a U.S. federal prison cell if Israel agrees to release terrorists “with blood on their hands” along with several other security prisoners

Patricia Smoot, a member of the U.S. Parole Commission, said on Tuesday that Pollard has waived a planned parole hearing for the same day, the Associated Press reported.

The hearing was to be held at the federal prison in Butner, N.C., where Pollard is imprisoned.

No reason was stated for Pollard’s refusal, but it is possible that he is protesting the proposal that he be exchanged for terrorists. Israel also has promised to limit construction for Jews in Judea and Samaria so U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry can prolong his peace process saga for another year.

Others claim that Pollard did not show up for the hearing because his lawyers postponed it for procedural reasons.

Israel’s Housing Minister Uri Ariel commented on Tuesday, “I was personally told he is against being released in such a shameful deal.”

Pollard previously has objected to his being used as a bargaining chip in a mass release of Palestinian Authority terrorists by Israel.

It won’t be known until Wednesday, when Kerry arrives in Ramallah, if the deal will go through, but Pollard’s refusal to attend a parole hearing could cause problems for the Obama administration. Many U.S. intelligence and defense officials, as well as a large number of dyed-in-the-wool Americans, would prefer that Pollard die in jail, especially if his release is for no other reason than extending the failed peace process for another year.

Why Do Arabs Oppose Recognizing a Jewish State?

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

Prime Minister Netanyahu suggested to US secretary of state John Kerry that the framework he was drawing up for negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority include Palestinian Arab recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, as the nation-state of the Jewish people. Kerry intended to include this Israeli proposal, but since has backed away from it in view of Arab opposition, first of all from Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah and Palestinian Authority. Just last week, the Arab League voted its support for Abbas’ position.

One of the justifications for this opposition that apologists for the PA/PLO present is that by Israel being a Jewish state, the civil rights of Arab citizens of Israel would be adversely affected.

However, all states belonging to the Arab League define themselves as Arab states. All Arab League member states but Lebanon define themselves constitutionally as Islamic states in one way or another. This does not stop them from opposing Israel being defined as a Jewish national state.

The arguments against Israel as a Jewish state could logically be applied to Arab and Islamic states, and with more justification, since we have the benefit of hindsight to know just how non-Arabs and non-Muslims have been treated in Arab states.

The explanation for the Arab position lies, I believe, in the traditional Arab-Muslim view of Jews as an inferior dhimmi people, a millet [see below] devoid of national rights, and only entitled to live if they pay a yearly head tax on dhimmis called the jizya. The dhimma system applied to all non-Muslims who were subjects of the Islamic state, with individual exceptions. Within this system, the Jews were at the bottom of the barrel, at least in the Fertile Crescent countries, including the Levant, where the Jews’ status was inferior to that of their fellow dhimmis, the Christians.

Whereas the Quran and medieval Arab historiography, such as the the writings of Ibn Khaldun, recognize the Jews as a nation or people, the entrenched Islamic view of Jews as an evil, inferior contemptible millet is now dominant. Moreover, in fact, in practice, that was the actual status of Jews in the Arab-Muslim countries for centuries. Even today in the 21st century Muslims believe that Jews do not deserve the dignity of having a national state of their own, the Quran and the old Arab historians notwithstanding.

This contemptuous view of Jews is clearly stated by the PLO in its charter. Article 20, already denies that the Jews are a people, claiming that they are merely a “religious” group. Jewish tradition holds that the Jews are both a people and a religious group. Here is the relevant text of Art. 20:

“The claim of historical or religious ties between Jews and Palestine does not tally with historical realities nor with the constituents of statehood in their true sense. Judaism in its character as a religion is not a nationality with an independent existence. Likewise the Jews are not one people with an independent identity. They are rather citizens of the states to which they belong.”

Note the contempt for Jews which oozes from this text. The history of Israelite/Jewish kingdoms in the country, as well as of the Roman province of Judea, is denied. The setting of much of the Hebrew Bible lies in the Land Of Israel which the PLO denies in a way reminiscent of Holocaust denial. Further, Jews do not have “the constituents of statehood in their true sense.” Just by the way, the Nazis and other German Judeophobes claimed that the Jews were not capable of being a “state-forming nation.” [see Francis R Nicosia, The Third Reich and the Palestine Question (Austin, TX: University of Texas Press 1985)].

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/why-do-arabs-oppose-recognizing-a-jewish-state/2014/04/01/

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