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September 17, 2014 / 22 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Peace Process’

‘Peace Talks’ in the Works on Anniversary of Gush Katif Expulsion

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

Egypt and western leaders are preparing the groundwork for peace talks as Israel reportedly agreed to extend the 72-hour truce with Hamas on Wednesday, the ninth anniversary of the expulsion of Jews from Gush Katif in Gaza.

The current ceasefire is supposed to end 8 a.m. Friday.

Hamas and Islamic Jihad have rejected extending the halt in attacks on Israel and showed its muscle, at least in its tongue, but it warned it will renew missile attacks.

The war against Hamas was a follow-up to the so-called Disengagement plan executed today, on the Hebrew calendar, with the ballyhooed promises that removing Jews and the IDF from Gaza would make Hamas safe for Israel.

Nine years and 15,000 rocket and mortar shell attacks later, Israel lost 67 soldiers and civilians and again was cast as the villain for “disproportionate” retaliation against Hamas.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told foreign journalists Wednesday that Israel is maintaining the ceasefire and will not sit idly if it is violated, but the advantage is now in the hands of Hamas, unless it really is so stupid to go back to war on Friday.

Hamas has held the truce and continues to do so, knowing full well that it now has everything to gain as international leaders converge in Egypt, calculate the damage in Gaza, place the blame on Israel for defending itself “disproportionately” and turning Hamas into a legitimate entity that will be peace-loving if only Israel would allow Gaza to open an airport under the supposed supervision of the United Nations and if Israel simply would release more terrorists from jail.

That is a sensible demand by Hamas since once the terrorist organization used United Nations’ UNRWA organization, which has institutionalized desire for millions of Arabs through its “refugee camps” to store rockets. It also has been filmed using U.N. ambulances to transport its fighters, complete with machine guns. The IDF has provided aerial photography of Hamas firing rockets next to UNRWA facilities, including schools.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has stated that “peace talks” should be a direct continuation or the truce.

“Israel has expressed its readiness to extend the truce under its current terms,” and anonymous Israeli official was quoted as saying by the London Independent. Egyptian media also reported the extension.

The ceasefire gives international leaders room in the media to make their pitch for imposing a Western-style peace on Hamas, which does not recognize any existing agreements between Israel and the Palestinian Authority and which categorically calls for the destruction of the State of Israel.

But that is just idle talk, as far as peacemakers are concerned,

“We must spare no effort to turn the current calm into a durable ceasefire that addresses the underlying issues of the conflict,” U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told Ban the General Assembly.

His Middle East peace envoy Robert Serry, a long-time supporter of Hamas told the meeting of the General Assembly from Cairo “It would be cynical and irresponsible if, yet again, the outcome of the talks would lead us to the previous status quo.”

Ban brought out the heartstrings, and said, “The massive death and destruction in Gaza have shocked and shamed the world. The senseless cycle of suffering in Gaza and the West Bank, as well as in Israel, must end.”

UNRWA chipped in by flying U.N. flags at half-mast across the Palestinian Authority in memory of 11 United Nations staffers killed in the war.

Lost in the verbal volume was the recollection that Gaza once upon a time enjoyed a flourishing economy under the “occupation” until Yasser Arafat’s terrorists, murdering Jews under the euphemism of the Palestine Liberation Organization, helped lead the intifada that began in Gaza.

Hamas Attacks Israel with Mortar Shells during ‘Humanitarian Ceasefire’

Thursday, July 17th, 2014

Hamas managed to honor the United Nations-sponsored five-hour “humanitarian ceasefire” for a grand total of two hours before attacking Israel with mortar shells. It waited until less than a minute after the end of the ceasefire to stage a massive attack on Israel with more than 50 rockets and missiles from the south to north of Tel Aviv Thursday afternoon.

No serious injuries have been reported, but at least one home in Ashkelon sustained damage. The Iron Dome intercepted several missiles fired at Tel Aviv and surrounding cities, including Kfar Saba to the north.

At noon, two hours after the brief ceasefire was upheld by Israel and Hamas, the terrorist regime hit the Eshkol region in the Western Negev with three mortar shells

Hamas also Hamas executed four civilians for collaborating with Israel during the Protect Edge counter-terrorist campaign that began last week. More than a dozen of others have been arrested and face the same fate.

Foreign leaders have not commented on the executions or commented if they represented a “disproportionate response.”

Hamas followed up the mortar shelling with rocket attacks seconds after the official end of the ceasefire, shooting at Ashkelon, Gaza Belt communities and Be’er Sheva within an hour.

By 6 p.m., the Iron Dome system already was in action over the skies of Tel Aviv.

After the initial attacks, the IDF swiftly responded, bombing terror targets in northern and central Gaza.

Israel has suffered a bad name following the bombing of Gaza beach on Wednesday that had been used by terrorists but where children also were playing until the Air Force combed the area killing at least four minors.

Hamas also suffered PR damage when it was exposed again for using civilian areas for terror. UNRWA discovered weapons in one of its school, as reported here.

Foreign leaders or would-be leaders, ranging from former U.S. President Bill Clinton to Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, castigated Israel, Erdogan told a meeting of Islamic scholars in in Turkey, “Since 1948, we have been witnessing this attempt at systematic genocide every day and every month. But above all we are witnessing this attempt at systematic genocide every Ramadan.”

Clinton, whose Oslo Accords unwittingly created “new Middle East” exactly opposite of what he intended, still is on the soap box preaching that Israel is the reason Hamas attacks.

“I believe that Prime Minister Netanyahu could and should make a comprehensive peace agreement with the Palestinians,” he told an Indian news channel Wednesday.

“Over the long run it is not good for Israel to keep isolating itself from world opinion because of the absence of a viable peace process,” he added. “In the short to medium term, Hamas can inflict terrible public relations damage on Israel by forcing it to kill Palestinian civilians to counter Hamas.”

Did he really say “civilians”? Did he really say Israel might suffer, oy veh, “public relations damage.”

Now we have another reason why the U.S. Constitution prevents a president from running for a third term.

There also are other reasons, such as Barack Obama.

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.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/martin-indyk-quits-as-special-me-envoy-for-peace/2014/06/28/

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