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December 8, 2016 / 8 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘peace talks’

Palestinian Authority (Again) Rejects New Attempt at Final Status Talks

Sunday, August 28th, 2016

Palestinian Authority leaders have rejected another attempt by world leaders to arrange final status talks with Israel, this time brokered by Moscow.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has recently expressed willingness to host Israeli and Palestinian Authority leaders for direct talks, an idea first raised last week by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

But as has happened with prior such efforts, including an attempt in July by Cairo, and similar efforts by Jordan’s King Abdullah II and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, the bid was rejected.

The Arabic-language Jordanian al-Ghad daily newspaper quoted senior Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) official Wasel Abu Yousef on Sunday as saying the United States was notified of the entity’s “firm stance” on pre-conditions for such talks: 1. total freeze on Jewish construction in Judea, Samaria and anywhere in Jerusalem restored to the capital from 1967 onward; 2. release of the fourth contingent of prisoners listed for freedom during the failed 2014 “peace talks” in spring 2014.

Abu Yousef said “any meeting requires the conditions to be implemented in order to ensure the talks are not just for public relations,” journalist Nadia Sa’ad Eddin reported. “The Occupation Authorities persist in their refusal to meet their obligations while pressing ahead with escalating their aggression against the Palestinian people,” he added.

In any case, he said, the Palestinian Authority is “busy nowadays with the arrangements for local elections, scheduled for October 8…. with a national consensus on the need to make it a success…. and achieve national unity.”

Israel has consistently insisted on “direct bilateral negotiations with no preconditions,” pointing out the obvious fact that agreement to any preconditions would preclude the need for negotiations since acquiescence would have already determined the conclusion.

Israel has rejected the so-called “French initiative” which champions the Palestinian Authority cause and which pressures Israel to accept regionally-determined conditions regardless of the effect on her citizens within a limited timetable.

Hana Levi Julian

Abbas Tells EU ‘No Meeting With Rivlin’ in Brussels

Thursday, June 23rd, 2016

Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas is big on talking all about his desire for peace and a final status agreement with Israel. But acting on those words is quite another story.

Abbas bluntly rejected a proposal by the European Union that he meet with Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin in Brussels. The two men were in the European Union’s main governmental headquarters for meetings with EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, and to address the EU Parliament about the peace process.

Donald Tusk, the president of the EU Parliament tried to broker the meeting between Abbas and Rivlin, but the Palestinian Authority leader refused.

At a joint news conference with Mogherini, Rivlin expressed disappointment in the rejection.

“On a personal level, I find it strange that my friend Abu Mazen refuses again and again to meet with Israeli leaders… Instead, he turns again and again to the support of the internal community,” he said. “We can talk directly,” he pointed out. “We can find a way to build confidence.”

Israel has repeatedly emphasized the importance of direct talks and after decades of failed multilateral talks has rejected that option as a way to reach a final status agreement with the Palestinian Authority.

Hana Levi Julian

Abbas Trots Out Medieval Blood … uh… Water Libel For Speech to EU

Thursday, June 23rd, 2016

Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas hauled out the tattered old myth about Jews poisoning the wells on Thursday and tried to feed it to his audience at the European Union Parliament.

Adapting the medieval anti-Semitic water blood libel for local use, the claim originated with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) which said a prominent rabbi had issued a religious decree “allowing Israeli settlers in the West Bank to poison Palestinian water sources in Palestinian towns.”

Abbas went further, saying in his speech to European lawmakers that it was a special Israeli rabbinical council in Judea and Samaria who had issued the decree.

The lie had already been immediately picked up and passed along by many international media, among them The Independent according to the Israellycool website, which caught the British website’s screaming headline over the horrifying Ramadan holiday disaster.

And now here was the leader that the international community is down Israel’s throat as a “peace partner” spewing out that latest version of a medieval blood libel. Jews were falsely accused in the 14th century of causing disease by poisoning the water across Europe as a plague swept the continent; the blood of countless numbers of Jews ran through the streets as their communities were massacred in response.

It’s not so different from the libelous Al Aqsa Mosque “destruction” lies with which the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority and Gaza’s Hamas terrorist group incessantly attempt to ignite violence against Israel among the Arab population.

And since in “honor” of the holy Islamic month of Ramadan Israel has opened its borders to allow Muslims to pray in Jerusalem at Al Aqsa with far fewer restrictions, Abbas instead was forced to seek a new libel.

“Only a week ago, a number of rabbis in Israel announced, and made a clear announcement, demanding that their government poison the water to kill the Palestinians,” Abbas claimed from the EU Parliament podium. “Isn’t that clear incitement to commit mass killings against the Palestinian people?” He gave no source for the claim. Yet Haaretz reports that Abbas received a standing ovation from the EU lawmakers after his speech.

Quotes from an alleged “Rabbi Mlmad” on the website of the Palestinian Authority foreign ministry supposedly calling for Jews to poison wells, and citing a ‘Council of Rabbis in the West Bank’ were similarly found by international news outlets such as Reuters and others to be impossible to trace.

Haaretz quoted Gulf News as saying the allegation was sourced from the far-left Breaking the Silence organization, a group comprised of former IDF soldiers who criticize Israel and its relations with the PA. But Breaking the Silence denied issuing this one, Reuters reported. And yet Abbas was able to cobble together fiction with fact — a dangerous combination and one that is powerful when presented in the international arena.

“Senior Israel’s such as [opposition leader Isaac] Herzog, the opposition chairman, former Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, former Prime Minister Ehud Barak, the current deputy chief of staff and senior journalists to speak about growing signs of fascism in Israeli society,” he told the European lawmakers.

Abbas neglected to mention that Isaac Herzog is under police investigation, Ehud Barak is no longer in politics because he’s exhausted his credibility across the spectrum and the remarks by the current IDF deputy chief of staff were made within context of a political framework not relevant to general Israeli society.

As with the updated European blood-to-water libel, Abbas cited sources and myths as if they were facts, and fed the fantasies to the European Union Parliament — and his European audience loved it.

Hana Levi Julian

Netanyahu, Kerry to Meet on Restarting Israel-PA Peace Talks

Thursday, June 23rd, 2016

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is slated to meet in Rome with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry early next week, reportedly to discuss the possibility of resurrecting the moribund ‘final status talks’ with the Palestinian Authority.

International pressure on Israel to resume negotiations with the Ramallah government has been growing since French President Francois Hollande launched his ‘Paris initiative’ earlier this year. Under that plan, France would host the leaders of Israel and the Palestinian Authority for talks later this year.

Negotiations which had been limping for years collapsed in April 2014, at around the same time Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas announced his intention to seek a unity government with the Hamas terrorist organization in Gaza.

Hana Levi Julian

Joint Arab Terror Groups Reject Paris Peace Initiative

Sunday, June 5th, 2016

Arab terror groups banded together over the weekend to reject the French peace summit launched Friday by President Francois Hollande in Paris.

Close to 30 world leaders, including U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry attended the conference, which focused on how to advance peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

But neither Israel nor the Palestinian Authority were invited to the gathering. Moreover, although the Palestinian Authority has expresssed its support for the multilateral summit, which allows the PA to once again evade any direct negotiations with Israel over final status issues, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said plainly the conference is simply another repetition of good will put to no use.

Direct talks at home would be a much more efficient use of the time and money spent on this effort, Netanyahu pointed out, since both relevant parties are located less than an hour apart from each other. Nevertheless, Netanyahu has said he is perfectly willing to engage in direct talks with PA leader Mahmoud Abbbas in Paris, if he is unwilling to meet him at home in the Middle East.

PLO Secretary-General Saeb Erekat, former lead negotiator for the PA, however, praised the multilateral French initiative in a statement that called the conference a “very significant step” that would help end Israel’s “colonization and apartheid policies in occupied Palestine.”

Erekat warned the alternative, if the initiative proved unsuccessful, would be a future of “extremism and bloodshed rather than for coexistence and peace. “We negotiated bilaterally with Israel, the occupying power, for over two decades, but they continue to violate all the agreements that we had signed,” he said.

Erekat did not mention the numerous vicious attacks on Israeli civilians by bloodthirsty Arabs from the Palestinian Authority, including some members of the PA’s own security force. Nor did he mention the PA government’s incessant, multilateral institutional incitement against Jews, Israelis and the State of Israel, all violations of Step 1 of the 1993 Oslo Accords.

Gaza’s ruling Hamas terrorist organization, together with the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) terror group, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) issued a joint statement Saturday that said “the ideas suggested by France as an initiative impose a dangerous violation against agreed-upon national rights, especially the right of return.”

In their statement the groups rejected the initiative and all actions that would lead to a return to ‘fruitless negotiations.’ They blamed the world for “increasing settlement building and providing a cover for the Judaization of Jerusalem,” according to the Bethelem-based Ma’an news agency and called on the countries of the world to take ‘serious actions to stop Israeli crimes’ and to end Israel’s blockade of Gaza.

Israel is in agreement with the terrorist groups about the useless outcome of the talks, albeit for different reasons.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said bluntly as early as April, and has continued to say, that “the best way to resolve the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Authority is through direct negotiations.”

Netanyahu has voiced his support for seeking the assistance of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi towards this end; El-Sisi is a leader local to the region who understands the nuances of leadership in the two populations as well or better than anyone else. El-Sisi, however, has expressed support for the French initiative, at least for now.

Hana Levi Julian

Netanyahu Tells French Counterpart ‘Direct Talks Only Way to Peace’

Monday, May 23rd, 2016

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his French counterpart in a meeting Monday in Jerusalem the only way to reach peace between Israel and the Palestinian Authority is through direct talks. Israel is through with multilateral negotiations, he said.

“Though we have some disagreements on the best way to achieve peace, I deeply appreciate your commitment to pursue it,” he told French Prime Minister Manuel Valls.

“I know how much you care about ending the terrible violence that has plagued our region for far too long, and I want to thank you and President Hollande for your commitment to peace.

“We share the same goals: peace, two states for two peoples, an end to war,” he added, but emphasized his position that the only way to end the conflict is via direct talks, without preconditions.

“This weekend you said that direct talks are very difficult right now,” he told Valls in a reference to comments by Valls explaining the rationale behind a “peace summit” to which neither Israelis nor Palestinians were invited.

“You’re right. They (direct talks) are (difficult), but they’re the only way to proceed towards peace.

“Peace just does not get achieved through international conferences, UN-style,” Netanyahu went on. “It doesn’t get to fruition through international dictats or committees from countries around the world who are sitting and seeking to decide our fate and our security when they have no direct stake in it.

“Peace is achieved through direct negotiations between the parties and in direct negotiations, the Palestinian leadership must face a stark choice and this choice is simple: recognize the Jewish state or continue educating your people that one day Israel will be gone.

The PA, he said, seeks to “create a Palestinian state not to live side-by-side next to Israel, but to eliminate Israel.”

“The Palestinian leadership doesn’t see the French initiative as an inducement to compromise, but rather as a way to avoid it,” Netanyahu insisted. “In fact, the Palestinian Prime Minister, Hamdallah, let slip the other day his hope for an imposed timetable, rather than a negotiated peace,” Netanyahu pointed out, adding that Israel had made peace via direct talks with Jordan and Egypt.

Instead, Netanyahu made a counter offer to Prime Minister Manuel Valls, suggesting a “different French initiative” in Paris: face-to-face talks with PA leader Mahmoud Abbas.

Paris, he said, “is a marvelous place anyway. It can still be called the French initiative, because you would host this genuine effort for peace, but here’s the difference: I will sit alone directly with President Abbas in the Élysée Palace, or anywhere else that you choose. Every difficult issue will be on the table: mutual recognition, incitement, borders, refugees and yes, settlements – everything.

“There is no issue too complex to solve if both sides are willing to talk to each other. And I am more than willing; I am eager. I was injured in battle; I lost a brother; I lost many friends in battle. Israel wants nothing more than peace. And I hope you encourage President Abbas to accept this French initiative: direct negotiations without preconditions, between the Israeli prime minister, the Palestinian president in Paris.”

“I’m ready to clear my schedule and fly to Paris tomorrow,” he added, before quipping: “well, I think tomorrow we’re expanding the government, but the day after tomorrow.”

Valls arrived for a visit to Israel and the Palestinian Authority as part of his mandate to promote the multilateral French initiate. He also met with Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin.

The “French initiative” calls for a first meeting in Paris for foreign ministers from 20 to 30 nations on June 3 without Israel and the Palestinian Authority. A second meeting would follow after the summer, with Israel and Palestinian Authority officials in attendance. Palestinian Authority leaders agreed to the initiative.

But neither meeting would involve direct talks between the two parties, which Israel insists is an essential component to reach a decision on the thorny issues in any final status deal.

Hana Levi Julian

Netanyahu Dares Abbas to Meet: “I’ve Cleared My Schedule for the Week”

Monday, April 4th, 2016

By Jesse Lempel/TPS

Jerusalem (TPS) ‒ Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took advantage of his meeting with the Czech foreign minister to challenge Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Monday, April 4.

“President Abbas said on Israeli television a few days ago that if I invite him, he’ll come,” Netanyahu told Czech Foreign Minister Lubomír Zaorálek, according to a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office. “I’m inviting him. I’ve cleared my schedule for the week. Any day he can come, I’ll be here.”

“The first order of business will be ending the Palestinian campaign of incitement to murder Israelis,” Netanyahu added. “My door is always open for those who want peace with Israel.”

Last week, Abbas, also known as Abu Mazen, said in a televised interview with Israeli journalist Ilana Dayan that he would be willing to meet Netanyahu “at any time” to negotiate a peace settlement.

“I suggested to him to meet, by the way,” Abbas continued, before stopping himself mid-sentence. “No, no, it’s a secret. He’ll tell you,” he chuckled, going silent at Dayan’s requests that he elaborate.

This is not the first time Netanyahu and Abbas have accused one another of refusing to meet.

Abbas told Israeli journalists in January that a meeting between the two men was arranged and he “agreed and haven’t heard any response from Netanyahu ever since.” Netanyahu’s spokesman, however, called this account “not true.”

Netanyahu dared Abbas that same day at the World Economic Forum in Davos to meet him during an interview with CNN”s Fareed Zakaria.

“I say, okay, you know what Fareed? Issue the invitation to Abu Mazen, President Abbas, and it will give me an excuse to stay in Davos a long time, and we’ll just wait until he comes. Okay?” Netanyahu announced. “I’ve said it any place that I’ve been and he’s refused to come. And that remains the problem.”

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/netanyahu-dares-abbas-to-meet-ive-cleared-my-schedule-for-the-week/2016/04/04/

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