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October 26, 2014 / 2 Heshvan, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘peace talks’

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

Friday, September 5th, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

JTA contributed to this report.

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

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PA Propaganda Video Compares 9/11 with IDF Bombing of Gaza

Monday, September 1st, 2014

The Palestinian Authority “Pallywood” movie industry has come up with a spectacular comparison of the 9/11 terrorist attack on the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center with the Israeli Air Force’s bombing of a 12-story building housing a Hamas command center.

The Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) translated with English subtitle and published the 20-second video on Monday with the words “Same Terror” emblazoned on the screen as the building in New York and Gaza, followed by billowing smoke

The production is a brilliant piece of propaganda and is convincing to the Palestinian Authority population that knows only what the PA media feeds it.

The video comparison would make anyone who does not know anything about 9/11 that the two bombings really are the “same terror.”

Thirteen years of media messages, that the 9/11 never happened or that the Jews engineered it, have educated a new generation of Arabs to hate Israel and Jews, unlike the fragile co-existence that nurtured Israeli-Arab relations in Judea, Gaza and Samaria from the Six-Day War until the late 1980s, when, Yasser Arafat popularized terror.

The video, of course, does not mention that the IDF warned civilians in the building in the Gaza to evacuate and that no was killed. Approximately two dozen people were wounded. The film also did not tell viewers that nearly 3,000 people were killed in the Al Qaeda aerial attacks.

This is the atmosphere in which U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry wants to re-start peace talks, which presumably involve a Palestinian Authority that is composed of Hamas and the rival Fatah faction, headed by Mahmoud Abbas.

What Could Possibly Still Be On the Table?

Monday, September 1st, 2014

I’ve got to believe that today’s story about Kerry trying to restart Israeli final status talks with the Palestinian Authority is the product of a delusional mind.

Let’s step back a second, and ask what could possibly still be on the table after the summer we just had.

1) PA control over the Jordan Valley?

Nothing would make ISIS happier than no more Israeli forces poised to defend Jordan from invasion and takeover. Not to mention no Israeli forces protecting Israel’s border.

Would the State Department really abandon Jordan that way?

2) Israel pulling out of parts of Judea and Samaria?

Nothing would make Hamas happier than Abbas no longer having IDF protection, so they can more easily overthrow the PA there too.

Would the State Department really abandon Abbas that way?

3) Israel releasing the recidivist terrorists it just recaptured?

Nothing would make Hamas happier or more popular on the street than the release of its terrorists.

Would the State Department really strengthen Hamas that way?

I know there are cynical people that would say the answer to all these questions is yes.

But does anyone really believe the State Department is so delusional, shortsighted and determined to hurt America’s only real ally in the Middle East?

OK. Don’t answer that.

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

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hamas Huffs and Israel Bluffs towards New Ceasefire

Sunday, August 10th, 2014

Rumors of another 72-hour ceasefire are flying along rockets from Gaza on southern Israel Sunday afternoon while Israel maintains it will not hold negotiations under fire.

Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other terrorists, who are separated only by which group can scream louder that the Zionists must be destroyed, attacked Israel from the Gaza border to Ashkelon more than 30 times Sunday morning.

Israel retaliated with a limited number of targeted aerial strikes. Hamas claimed, as usual, that an innocent child –this time a teenager – C was killed.

Israeli negotiators left the so-called ceasefire talks, which Hamas has tried to turn into negotiations for its demands, because of the continued rocket fire that broke the last 72-hour truce Friday morning.

The Arab negotiators threatened on Sunday they would leave Egypt if the Israelis don’t return. The Netanyahu government has not commented and has not offered a clue if negotiators are ready to fly back to Cairo.

Everyone is threatening everyone, but Israel is unlikely to refuse a ceasefire and lose Brownie points on the diplomatic front.

Despite protestations from both sides, talks for a ceasefire are going on behind the scenes. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is part of the action he never loses an opportunity to play with fire. He has talked again with officials from Qatar, which feeds Hamas money and hosts a computer system programmed by which pressing “enter” will set off an underground rocket launcher in Gaza.

One sign of a new ceasefire by Sunday evening was a fresh barrage of rocket attacks on Gaza Belt communities and as far north as Ashkelon. There was minimal property damage and no injuries.

The attacks will give Hamas an opportunity to say that it has scared Israel into a ceasefire and subsequent negotiations. If the rocket fire magically ends one minute before a ceasefire, then Israel can claim as if it stood its ground and refused to talk about a ceasefire before Hamas ran out of breath.

If Hamas really were serious about digging for an extended round of attacks and counter-attacks, it would have fired a missile towards Tel Aviv. It still might launch just to impress itself

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is feeling pressure from a large segment of the population and even from center-left Knesset Members not to go back to another round of allowing Hamas to harass Gaza Belt communities and to retaliate for the rocket explosions as if they were on Tel Aviv.

The problem is that the world already is used to Israel playing the wimp when the rockets are aimed at rural areas and usually explode in open areas. Once in a while there are near-misses of a rocket hitting a classroom of children.

Israel is gaining some international sympathy as even the BBC and The New York Times are beginning to own up to the truth that the number of civilian casualties in Gaza is far less than Hamas claims.

But the momentum is in Hamas’ favor. By all accounts, Gaza has been devastated, and the pictures of the destruction that foreign media publish day after day have incited hundreds of thousands of anti-Zionists around the world to protest. In South Africa, an unprecedented anti-Israel rally drew approximately 50,000 demonstrators.

Western media and many political leaders know that Israel is in the right “but” – meaning, “Hamas is at fault, so let’s sit down and talk about making peace with Hamas.”

This is a dramatic change in reasoning with the same unreasonable conclusion, a change from the mantra that “Israel is at fault, so let’s sit down and talk about making peace with Hamas.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/hamas-huffs-and-israel-bluffs-towards-new-ceasefire/2014/08/10/

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