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October 7, 2015 / 24 Tishri, 5776
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘peace’

Israel Envisions Regional Cooperation with Arab Nations

Friday, May 29th, 2015

On the eve of New York’s annual Israel Day Parade, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu says he hopes to broaden cooperation between Israel and her Arab neighbors in the region.

Although he was forced into a razor-thin margin when he created his coalition government this time around, the four-term prime minister is clearly working towards a broader vision: region-wide cooperation between Israel and as many of its moderate Arab neighbors as possible.

Speaking in a conversation with political correspondents Thursday at his office, Netanyahu said, “Both from the standpoint of regional security and also to try to resolve the conflict with the Palestinians… this idea of drawing from the Arab states following the changes in the Middle East is a positive concept, one I contemplate constantly.”

Although the “Arab Peace Initiative” of 2002 as presented without any changes was unrealistic – “for example, demanding that Israel return the Golan Heights… the [peace] plan was advanced 13 years ago and since then much has changed in the Middle East'”– the general idea of trying to achieve an understanding with the leading nations of the Arab world is “still a good idea.”

Netanyahu made it clear that both Israel and the Arab countries in the region are feeling threatened by Iran’s nuclear development activities, as well as its support for terror. But he said that he knew Israel’s Arab neighbors also have an interest in the Palestinian issue.

“It is in our interest to resolve this problem and there are certain barriers whose removal we are taking under consideration,” he said.

The prime minister added that he has “no interest in a bi-national state.” He reiterated, however, “The main problem is not the settlements. People have tried to make that the root of the problem, but when Israel pulled out of Gaza, we proved this is wrong. After all was said and done, and the incredibly painful things that took place in the Disengagement from Gaza, did anything stop?”

As far as Netanyahu is concerned, he said, any future agreement on statehood with the Palestinians must be a “long-term agreement that leaves full and practical control over security in the hands of Israel. I really mean it. It’s no whim or trick.”

The main problem for the citizens of Israel, the prime minister said, is the question of “what” will be the authority, “who will be the source for security in the territories that Israel is asked to evacuate…

“This was the ultimate test in Gaza. And today in Gaza, although there is no significant weapons smuggling anymore, how do you prevent domestic weapons manufacturing? What do you do in order to prevent this from happening in Judea and Samaria? I will continue to raise this issue again and again. I believe this is much more significant that people realize.”

The Arab Peace Initiative of 2002 as proposed by Saudi Arabia calls for the return to their homes of origin within the State of Israel for all Palestinian Arab refugees from 1948 and all of their subsequent generations and millions of descendants. It also calls for the establishment of a sovereign state of Palestine – after which all Arab states would establish full normal diplomatic relations with Israel.

It is important to note, however, that in the wake of Israel’s peace treaties with Jordan and Egypt – both of which have already established “full normal diplomatic ties” – it is still extremely dangerous for the average Israeli citizen and certainly for any visibly religious Jewish Israeli tourist to visit either country. In Egypt, the Israeli Embassy in Cairo was utterly destroyed and its employees nearly murdered just two years ago; the embassy has yet to be re-established as anything other than the highly secured private home of the Israeli Ambassador to Egypt.

Norway’s Muslims Protect Oslo Synagogue in Sabbath ‘Peace Ring’

Sunday, February 22nd, 2015

A group of young Muslims organized a symbolic “ring of peace” to encircle the sole functioning synagogue in Oslo as Jew prayed within on Saturday.

At least 1,300 were inspired to join them in the initiative, which came in solidarity with Jews who were targeted last weekend by a radical Islamist terrorist in Denmark.

“This shows there are many more peacemakers than warmakers,” 37-year-old Zeeshan Abdullah, one of the organizers, told the crowd.

“There is still hope for humanity, for peace and love across religious differences and background,” he said.

Still, Norwegian sharp shooters were deployed on buildings around the synagogue. Police superintendent Steiner Hausvik told reporters, “It has been calm as we expected. We had no reason to expect any trouble but we were prepared.”

Jewish community spokesperson Ervin Kohn expressed gratitude and said it was “unique” that Muslims stood up “to this degree against anti-Semitism,” adding that “this fills us with hope, particularly as it’s a grassroots movement of young Muslims.”

Kohn advised the rest of the world to “look to Norway.”

There are only approximately 1,000 Jews left in Norway’s population of 5.3 million, while immigration of Muslims, about 3 percent of the population, continues to grow.

Last weekend two people died and five police officers were wounded in two attacks several hours apart by the same radical Islamist terrorist. The suspect, 22-year-old Omar el-Hussein, targeted a free speech event at a cafe and then a Bat Mitzvah at the Copenhagen Great Synagogue in Denmark.

Hussein, born in Denmark to Palestinian parents, had reportedly been released from jail only two weeks earlier after serving a two-year prison term for “grievous bodily harm.”

Western Leaders Head to Ukraine to Try for Peace with Russia

Thursday, February 5th, 2015

US Secretary of State John Kerry, French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel all intend to try and make peace between Ukraine and Russia this week.

Kerry is already in Ukraine to show America’s support for the Kiev government.

Hollande told international media Thursday in Paris that he and Merkel would head first to Kiev and then to Moscow on Friday to present Russian President Vladimir Putin with a proposal “based on the territorial integrity of Ukraine.”

NATO, meanwhile, is unveiling details of a plan to bolster its military presence in eastern Europe in response to the Ukraine crisis, according to the BBC. NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg told the news service it will be the biggest reinforcement of its collective defense since the end of the Cold War, centering on a “spearhead” force of up to 5,000 troops with lead units able to deploy within two days. A network of command centers is being established in Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, Romania and Bulgaria, Stoltenberg said, in response to “the aggressive actions we have seen from Russia, violating international law and annexing Crimea.”

The French president described the months-long conflict with pro-Russia rebels that wreaked havoc in Ukraine as a full-fledged war. “Ukraine is at war. Heavy weapons are being used and civilians are being killed daily,” Hollande said.

Kerry told the BBC in Kiev that the U.S. wants to see a diplomatic solution to the conflict, but will not close its eyes to Russian aggression.

“We want a diplomatic resolution but we cannot close our eyes to tanks that are crossing the border from Russia and coming into Ukraine,” Kerry said at a joint news conference with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.

More than 5,000 people have died in the fighting between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian rebel troops, some of which include Russian “volunteers,” since April 2014. The eastern Ukraine cities of Donetsk and Lugansk are both under rebel control.

No Room for Israeli-Lebanese Peace in Miss Universe

Monday, January 19th, 2015

A Facebook post of Miss Israel and Miss Lebanon together has proven that peace may be beautiful, but beauty is not necessarily peace.

The young women representing Israel and Lebanon in the Miss Universe contest were picture together, prompting widespread anger in Lebanon for their lovely woman disgracing the country by being displayed next to one of those ugly Zionists.

Saly Greige, Miss Lebanon, claims that she made every effort to distant herself from her Israeli counterpart, Doron Matalon, but that the Zionist beauty occupied an opportunity to push her way next to Greige when she took a “selfie” along with Miss Slovenia and Miss Japan and posted it on Instagram.

“Since the first day of my arrival to participate to Miss Universe, I was very cautious to avoid being in any photo or communication with Miss Israel (that tried several times to have a photo with me),” Greige wrote in English on her page.

“I was having a photo with Miss Japan, Miss Slovenia and myself, suddenly Miss Israel jumped in, took a selfie, and put it on her social media.”

Matalon responded to the rejection of the joint photo. “It doesn’t surprise me, but it still makes me sad. Too bad you cannot put the hostility out of the game,” she wrote.



President Rivlin hosts New Year’s reception for leaders of Israel’s Christian communities

Tuesday, December 30th, 2014

President Reuven Rivlin hosted the traditional, annual reception for leaders of Israel’s Christian community leaders on Tuesday to mark the civil New Year.

The President welcomed nine heads of various churches in Israel and senior members of the community and said:

“Over the past months, we have been greatly concerned, by the ongoing religious persecution and restrictions on freedom of worship for minorities in the Middle East. Because of their faith hundreds of thousands are being exiled, forcibly converted, attacked, and brutally murdered.

“This is a war against extremism, a war being waged against those who want to spread a message of freedom of worship and coexistence, by those who carry the flag of destruction and hatred.

“This is a cause of great worry and pain for all us. We share the Psalms of King David, the words of the Prophets, and a love for Jerusalem, and the Holy Land. As we know, we are all created in the image of God. As the prophet Malachi wrote, ‘Do we not, all have one Father? Did not one God create us?’ We will continue to live together, and build bridges of peace, here, in the land of our fathers.

“May we all, Christians, Muslims, Jews, children of Abraham, together with all those of different faiths, see the fulfillment of the vision of the prophet Isaiah, that ‘Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, and no longer learn war.’ Let 2015 be a year of partnership and friendship. Let it be a year of understanding and mutual respect. I wish you all a peaceful and happy New Year.”


Kerry Says US ‘Not Involved,’ Hopes Israel’s New Gov’t ‘Can Negotiate’

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was cautious Tuesday and offered no direct comment on Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s decision to take the government to new elections by firing Finance Minister Yair Lapid and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni.

In Brussels, he ducked questions from international journalists who asked how he thought the decision might affect relations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

“We hope that whatever government is formed, or whether there are elections, that those elections will produce the possibility of a government that can negotiate and move towards resolving the differences between Israelis and Palestinians, and obviously, the differences in the region,” Kerry said.

The first political poll of the “new season” shows that the next Israeli government is likely to be “more right wing and extreme,” observed PA Foreign Minister Riad Maliki. Speaking from the PA capital of Ramallah in the Samaria region, Maliki estimated that such a government might draw more international support for the Palestinian Authority’s effort to secure recognition as an independent sovereign country.

 The current Israeli coalition broke down over Netanyahu’s decision to submit a bill to define Israel at the legislative level as the “Jewish State.” Although Israel is already defined as such in its declaration of independence, Netanyahu is insisting the definition must be reiterated at the constitutional level in order to send a message to the rest of the world, and in particular to Israel’s enemies.

In the version of the measure authored by Netanyahu (there have been several different versions of the bill, authored by others) Israel’s democratic character is preserved and the rights of all other citizens are maintained, contrary to reports circulated in some international media.

 Hebrew is listed as the national language, with Arabic as an honorary but not mandatory second.

Abbas – “The Palestinian Authority Does Not Exist in Gaza”

Sunday, November 30th, 2014

Palestinian Authority unity government chairman Mahmoud Abbas is refusing to negotiate over land with Israel — a violation of the internationally-recognized Oslo Accords intended to help it reach final status boundaries for the entity and its residents.

Abbas was quoted in a report by Arab affairs journalist Khaled Abu Toameh as saying he “won’t give up one inch of 1967.”

The Palestinian Authority leader claimed that he had evidence “Hamas and Israel are conducting negotiations.”

Even though Hamas joined together with the Fatah faction led by Abbas this past spring, and the two created a PA unity government, Abbas spoke as if the factions were separate.

“The Palestinian Authority does not exist in Gaza,” Abbas said. “Hamas is responsible for Gaza.”

While Abbas is still refusing to make any compromises, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi warned him Saturday at a meeting of the Arab League foreign ministers in Cairo peace will never be achieved in that way.

“International guarantees must be provided in order to encourage Israel to move towards peace,” El-Sisi warned Abbas during the meeting in Cairo.

Meanwhile the Arab League decided at its meeting in any case to back the PA’s attempt to force the United Nations to set a deadline for its recognition as a sovereign nation based on the 1949 Armistice Lines.

“We call on UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to provide international protection Palestinian people on Palestinian land occupied in 1967,” said the Arab League in a statement quoted by CCTV-America on Saturday.

“We will go to the Security Council to request a recognition of a Palestinian State based on the June 1967 borders and place a deadline for this step,” said Abbas. “We will sign full membership in all international organizations including the International Criminal Court.”

Egypt has for the past several months been working on an initiative to secure the borders between Israel and any PA state when and if it ever comes into being.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/pa-leader-wont-negotiate-over-land-with-israel/2014/11/30/

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