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January 20, 2017 / 22 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘peace’

Netanyahu, Putin Speak by Phone on Eighth Night of Chanukah

Sunday, January 1st, 2017

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke by telephone with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday evening, (Dec. 31), the final night of Chanukah.

The two leaders discussed developments in the region, according to a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office.

Their conversation included an “emphasis on Syria and continued security coordination in this sphere, which has already proven itself in preventing misunderstandings,” the statement said.

According to a statement from Moscow, the call was initiated by Jerusalem and the conversation included a discussion about the “Palestinian-Israeli peace process.”

It was the second conversation between the two men in a week. Last Sunday Israel’s prime minister had called Mr. Putin to express condolences over the crash of a military aircraft that resulted in the death of the entire 60-member Red Army Choir, plus 32 others, while on its way to the Middle East.

Israel’s prime minister was among the world leaders who received New Year’s greetings from Russia’s president this week. Mr. Putin “expressed confidence in the successful continuation in 2017 of joint efforts to enhance the entire range of Russian-Israeli relations and constructive cooperation in addressing regional and international issues in the interests of the friendly peoples of the two countries, and for ensuring peace, security and stability in the Middle East.”

Hana Levi Julian

Full Text: Reaction by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Secy Kerry’s Speech [video]

Thursday, December 29th, 2016

PRIME MINISTER BENJAMIN NETANYAHU:

“Before why I explain why this speech was so disappointing to millions of Israelis, I want to say that Israel is deeply grateful to the United States of America, to successive American administrations, to the American Congress, to the American people. We’re grateful for the support Israel has received over many, many decades. Our alliance is based on shared values, shared interests, a sense of shared destiny and a partnership that has endured differences of opinions between our two governments over the best way to advance peace and stability in the Middle East. I have no doubt that our alliance will endure the profound disagreement we have had with the Obama Administration and will become even stronger in the future.

But now I want to express my deep disappointment with the speech today of John Kerry, a speech that was almost as unbalanced as the anti-Israel resolution passed at the UN last week in a speech ostensibly about peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

Secretary Kerry paid lip service to the unremitting campaign of terrorism that has been waged by the Palestinians against the Jewish State for nearly a century.

What he did was spend most of his speech blaming Israel for the lack of peace by passionately condemning a policy of enabling Jews to live in their historic homeland and in their eternal capital, Jerusalem.

Hundreds of suicide bombers, thousands – tens of thousands of rockets – millions of Israelis and bomb shelters are not throwaway lines in a speech. They are the realities that the people of Israel had to endure because of mistaken policies; policies that at the time won the thunderous applause of the world.

I don’t seek applause. I seek the security and peace and prosperity and the future of the Jewish State. The Jewish people have sought their place under the sun for 3,000 years and we’re not about to be swayed by mistaken policies that have caused great, great damage.

Israelis do not need to be lectured about the importance of peace by foreign leaders. Israel’s hand has been extended in peace to its neighbors from Day One, from its very first day. We pray for peace. We’ve worked for it every day since then, and thousands of Israeli families have made the ultimate sacrifice to defend our country and advance peace. My family has been one of them. There are many, many others.

No one wants peace more than the people of Israel. Israel remains committed to resolving the outstanding differences between us and the Palestinians through direct negotiations. This is how we made peace with Egypt. This is how we made peace with Jordan. It’s the only way we’ll make peace with the Palestinians.

That has always been Israel’s policy. That has always been America’s policy. Here’s what President Obama himself said at the UN in 2011. He said, “Peace is hard work. Peace will not come through statements, and resolutions at the United Nations; if it were that easy, it would have been accomplished by now.”

That’s what President Obama said, and he was right. And until last week, this was repeated over and over again as American policy.

Secretary Kerry said that the United States cannot vote against its own policy – but that’s exactly what it did at the UN, and that’s why Israel opposed last week’s Security Council resolution: because it effectively called the Western Wall ‘occupied Palestinian territory.’

Because it encourages boycotts and sanctions against Israel. That’s what it effectively does. And because it reflects a radical shift in U.S. policy towards the Palestinians on final status issues – those issues that we always agreed, the U.S. and Israel – have to be negotiated directly, face to face, without preconditions.

That shift happened despite the Palestinians walking away from peace and from peace offers time and time again. Despite their refusal to even negotiate peace for the past eight years. And despite the Palestinian Authority inculcating a culture of hatred towards Israel in an entire generation of young Palestinians.

Israel looks forward to working with President-elect Trump and with the American Congress – Democrats and Republicans alike – to mitigate the damage that this resolution has done, and ultimately to repeal it.

Israel hopes that the outgoing Obama administration will prevent any more damage being done to Israel at the UN in its waning days.

I wish I could be comforted by the promise that the U.S. says we will not bring any more resolutions to the UN. That’s what they said about this previous resolution. We have it on absolute incontestable evidence that the United States organized, advanced and brought this resolution to the United Nations Security Council.

We will share that information with the incoming administration. Some of it is sensitive. It’s all true. You saw some of it in the protocol released in an Egyptian paper. There’s plenty more; it’s the tip of the iceberg.

So they say, ‘but we didn’t bring it’ and they could take John Kerry’s speech with the six points. It could be raised in the French international conference two days from now, and then brought to the UN. So France will bring it. Or, Sweden – not a noted friend of Israel – could bring it.

And the United States could say, ‘Well, we can’t vote against our own policy, we’ve just enunciated it.’

I think the United States, if it’s true to its word, or at least, if it’s now true to its word, should now come out and say, we will not allow any resolutions any more resolutions in the Security Council on Israel. Period. Not ‘we will bring’ or ‘not bring’ — ‘We will not allow any’ and stop this game of charades.

I think that the decisions that are vital to Israel’s interests and the future of its children, they won’t be made through speeches in Washington or votes in the United Nations, or conferences in Paris. They’ll be made by the government of Israel around the negotiating table, making them on behalf of the one and only Jewish state, a sovereign nation that is the master of its own fate.

And one final thought.

I personally know the pain, the loss and the suffering of war. That’s why I’m so committed to peace. Because for anyone who’s experienced it as I have, war and terror are horrible.

I want young Palestinian children to be educated like our children – for peace. But they’re not educated for peace.

The Palestinian Authority educates them to lionize terrorists, and to murder Israelis.

My vision is that Israelis and Palestinians both have a future of mutual recognition, of dignity, of mutual respect: co-existence.

But the Palestinian Authority tells them that they will never accept and SHOULD never accept the existence of the Jewish State.

So I ask you: how can you make peace with someone who rejects your very existence?

See, this conflict is not about houses or communities in the West Bank, or Judea and Samaria, the Gaza district or anywhere else.

This conflict is, and has always been about Israel’s very right to exist. That’s why my hundreds of calls to sit with President Abbas for peace talks have gone unanswered.

That’s why my invitation for him to come to the Knesset was never answered.

That’s why the Palestinian government continues to pay anyone who murders Israelis a monthly salary.

The persistent Palestinian refusal to recognize a Jewish State remains the core of the conflict – and its removal is the key to peace.

Palestinian rejection of Israel and support for terror are what the nations of the world should focus on if they truly want to advance peace and I can only express my regret and say that it’s a shame that Secretary Kerry does not see this simple truth.

Thank you.”

Hana Levi Julian

Obama’s Burden: The Nobel Peace Prize

Wednesday, December 28th, 2016

Attempts to achieve peace through inaction are bound to fail. Just ask the people of Aleppo. Attempts to achieve peace through appeasement are bound to fail. Just ask Neville Chamberlain. Peace only comes from assertive action that destroys a rampaging enemy’s will to survive. Just ask Winston Churchill.

World War Two should have taught us that. Doing nothing in the face of an Assad-inflicted genocide supported by Iran and Russia is sufficient evidence of the inadmissibility of lack of action.

Obama’s legacy to live up to the vain philosophy of the Nobel Peace Prize panel lies in the ashes of Aleppo.

Obama’s dereliction of his international and humanitarian responsibilities by failing to implement his infamous “red lines” warning made a mockery of the Nobel Peace Prize. His non-violent policy and impotence to act decisively to save lives gave the green light to the resultant Syrian genocide.

It follows in the awful tradition of Ruanda, Darfur, Sudan. Collectively it shows us that only force against evil-doers will protect innocent lives against acts of unchallenged heinous massacre.

When good men of influence do nothing but complain evil triumphs. Obama was a complainer, not a doer.

In the summer of 2013, John Kerry called Assad’s early chemical attacks on his citizens “a moral obscenity” for which there needed to be “accountability.” We have yet to hear from the accountants as the death toll reaches half a million souls.

The world was watching and waiting as Obama did nothing. Was he burdened by the weight of his Oslo peace medal, or was he an eager proponent of “doing nothing brings peace”? Either way, the lofty goal of peace does not come without action or sacrifice.

The Middle East remains the same Middle East as it was before the misnamed “Arab Spring.” Powerful dictators retain their seats of power. Erdogan, Assad, Sisi, the Ibn Sauds, the Mullahs in Tehran. Al-Qaeda has been outmatched by the more lethal ISIS, another hideous apparition that was dismissed and untouched by Obama.

To stay alive in this bloodbath of a region one must remain strong, tough and vigilant. Appeasement is not an option. It is perceived as weakness and the weak are devoured by the predators of which there are many, hunting alone or in packs for their prey.

To intolerant regimes with global agendas, extending an olive branch is a joke. Realism, sharp awareness of the reality of the neighborhood, a clear-eyed identification of the players and their ambitions is required. This, not the faulty pretense of viewing a virtual utopian world, is the only strategy to navigate the dangerous course to calmer waters.

So, although Obama, in his final days, tells whoever cares to listen that Russia is the evil enemy; in the Middle East perceptions are somewhat different. Israel, for example, has recently been coordinating its essential actions with the Russians against selected targets within Syria. Israel is well aware that Moscow controls Assad’s territory. There is an operational agreement borne out of a number of high profile meetings between Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu and Russian leader Putin and lower level coordination between the two sides that allows Israel to take out and destroy sophisticated weaponry supplied by Iran via the Syrian regime to Lebanese Islamic Hezbollah for a potential future use against the Jewish State. The silence from Assad-supporting Russia to these Israeli attacks is significant.

With Assad regaining territory strengthening his once teetering grip on power it seems increasingly certain that no one is going to remove this Syrian dictator. Obama had the chance and blew it.

This Assad, for all his faults, never seriously threatened Israel. Under a Trump presidency a possibility opens up to coordinate with Putin a future Syria in which the Russian will continue to protect Assad, but also coordinate with America a plan and operate jointly to defeat ISIS, persuade the Iranians to withdraw their Hezbollah proxies so as not to threaten Israel from the Golan Heights, and to dedicate safe zones in which Syrian refugees can be returned, housed and fed until it becomes possible for them to be more permanently housed. This could be a joint Russian-American operation with the funding coming from the surrounding Arab states and supervised by United Nations agencies.

In other words, the noble purpose of the Nobel Peace Prize will be revived through affirmative action – but not by Obama, whose only memorable parting deed, on that will go down in infamy, was allowing an anti-Israel resolution to pass in the UN Security Council..

Barry Shaw

When War Doesn’t End, Peace Doesn’t Begin

Sunday, December 25th, 2016

Israel suffers from a basic inferiority complex. Leaving its Jewish identity behind, it has invented an “Israeli” identity, which is contingent upon the recognition of our Arab neighbors. This foundational flaw channels us into a zero-sum game, precisely expressed by the “Land for Peace” slogan.

Throughout history, the side that wins the war proposes peace in exchange for the opponent’s assets. But Israel has deposited its most important asset – the keys to Israeli identity – into the hands of an enemy weaker than it both militarily and economically. This asset is not at all dependent upon the results of the war. On the contrary, if in theory the enemy would be totally destroyed, we would once again find ourselves alone in the world. Alone with our Jewish identity.

For this reason, Israel never strives to truly triumph in war. And in truth, we have never really triumphed. Not one of Israel’s wars ever ended with the written, unconditional surrender of the enemy, as is accepted practice when an existential war between nations ends with the total defeat of one side.

Israel’s internal identity crisis has brought us to the place where “victory” is no longer in our lexicon. Even when the IDF destroys enemy armies with courage and great skill, we do not ever think of taking the final step and forcing the enemy into explicit diplomatic surrender – because then we would have nobody with whom to make peace and receive recognition.

This is why Israel’s wars never finish. Our enemies can always produce new weapons and fresh soldiers and when the concept of triumph is nowhere to be found, the war never really ends and peace cannot ever really begin.

Israel is not truly involved in a peace process. The “peace process” is nothing more than a continuation of the war, simply being fought with different methods. The result is success for the enemy. We experience loss of land and legitimacy, economic damage and internal demoralization.

Israel’s Oslo-process recognition of “Palestinian” justice and right to the Land of Israel and the territorial surrender that came on its heels did not generate more acceptance of Israel’s existence. Just the opposite: Israel’s surrender generated serious loss of its legitimacy in the West. We have manifold more fatalities than before the “peace process,” the economic price tag is huge – but worst of all is the lack of legitimacy in the mentality of Israel’s young generation.

A young Israeli who came of age after the start of the diplomatic process (30-40 year olds today) no longer sees himself as indigenous to this Land. Instead, he feels like a guest here. In his eyes, the salt of the earth and bedrock of the Land’s existence is the Arab. It has become legitimate to expel Jews from their homes, but nobody would ever dream of doing so to Arabs.

We can explicitly say, then, that the enemy defeats us with “peace,” slowly achieving what he wanted and what he failed to gain during war. The Israeli, who understands that he will not be getting peace, hopes that at least by offering “bribes” of territory that he “stole” from the Arab in 1967, the Arab will be so kind as to ignore the “robbery” of 1948.

The loss of legitimacy, however, crossed the 1948 line a long time ago. The “original sin” in reputable Western universities is no longer the Occupation of 1967, and not even the partition of 1948. The “original sin” is the Balfour Declaration of 1917. That declaration was the very beginning of the renewal of Jewish sovereignty in the Land of Israel.

“We established a state for you… we dreamed of a place in which the new Book of Books would be written, to redeem the world. For you, after all, are a treasured nation,” a group of British intellectuals said in explaining their anger at Israel to Professor Ze’ev Tzachor. “The world had expectations of you, and look what you have done.”

All the diplomatic plans proposed to the Israeli public by the entire gamut of politicians stem from the Israeli – not Jewish – mentality. Their horizon is not to actualize their Jewish identity in the national dimension, but rather, the opposite. All the plans assume that the conflict is territorial and thus, surrendering territory will bring peace that will allow us to be accepted as a normal nation among its neighbors.

But it is actually the attempted escape from our identity that blocks any hope for peace. If we need peace in order to receive recognition for the new “Israeli-ness” that we invented for ourselves, and if, as a result, the enemy receives an insurance policy and we are incapable of extracting a price from him that he cannot sustain – why should he give us peace? Why not just remain perpetually in a “peace process”?

An alternative plan can succeed only if it serves the absolute opposite strategic goal: not making the state more Israeli, but making it more Jewish.

Moshe Feiglin

Netanyahu to Hollande: Suspend Peace Summit, I’ll Meet with Abbas

Thursday, December 8th, 2016

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke by phone with French President Francois Hollande Wednesday, Dec. 7 2016, and told him that if there is no international conference in Paris, he would come to meet with Abu Mazen for direct talks without preconditions.

Israel has already announced it would not attend an international conference, which it says would not contribute to achieving peace.

David Israel

‘Peace Index’ Survey Reveals 48% of Israeli Jews Believe Left ‘Disloyal’

Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

The Monthly Peace Index, published on Monday by the Israel Democracy Institute and Tel Aviv University, found that a significant percentage of Israeli Jews consider the Left disloyal. 55% of the Jewish public agree that criticizing policy in times of security tension is illegitimate, and 48% of Israeli Jewish citizens think the political Left is not loyal to the country. 43% think the Left is loyal. In the Arab sector, 69% view the Israeli left as loyal to the country.

The monthly survey questions a representative sample of 600 Israelis, 500 Jews, 100 Arabs, from Nov. 29  to Dec. 1, 2016.

Trump is good for Israel? 48.5% of the Jewish public believe President-elect Trump is more sympathetic to Israel, while only 1% think he is more sympathetic to the Palestinians. 22% saw him as equally sympathetic to the two sides, and 7% did not see him as favoring either side. 22% were not sure. 60% of Arabs view the President-elect as more sympathetic to Israel.

A whopping 80.5% of the Jewish public agree with the recent statement by Ambassador Ron Dermer that “Israel has no doubt that President-elect Trump is a true friend of Israel.” In the Arab public a very similar rate expect US-Israel relations will flourish under Trump, although that does not necessarily make them happy.

55% of the Jewish public do not fear that the new president’s election will foster a rise in US anti-Semitism. Interestingly, the further to the left a respondent was, the more afraid they were of rising anti-Semitism under Trump. And, in a reversal of historic roles, 73% believe that the Israeli government should intervene on behalf of American Jews and use its ties with the Administration to get it to act against anti-Semitic phenomena.

On December 25, the Samaria settlement of Amona is expected to be demolished and evacuated following a Supreme Court ruling. The Netanyahu government is advancing the Regulations Act to prevent future demolitions and possibly the Amona destruction as well. The Jewish public is divided on this question, with 46% supporting the government’s pro-settlement position, and 43% supporting the attorney-general’s resistance to the proposed law. Among those defining themselves as rightwing, more than two-thirds identify more with the government’s position; among those defining themselves as leftwing, some 80% identify more with the attorney-general’s stance.

The proposed “muezzin law,” prohibiting the use of loudspeakers in Israeli mosques from 11 PM to 7 AM is supported by 56% of the Jewish public. 59% believes understandings can be reached on the problem of the disturbance created by the muezzins’ calls, and that the issue can be resolved in less official ways. 93% of Arab respondents believe that understandings and a satisfactory solution could be achieved in non-legislative ways.

On the idea of annexing all of Judea and Samaria, 49 years after Israel had liberated them, 44% of the Jews in Israel support annexation, 38% object. As for the assertion that “If the territories are annexed and one state is established under Israeli rule, there will be no choice but to give the Palestinians full and equal civil rights,” 48% disagree while 42% agree.

JNi.Media

Peace Now Urging Destruction of War Heroes’ Monuments

Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

Peace Now, representing Arab claimants have told Israel’s Supreme Court they insist on the demolition of monuments to IDF war hero, special force Sayeret Matkal Lieutenant Colonel Emanuel Moreno, who was killed on a secret mission during the 2006 second Lebanon war; and First Lieutenant Asher Ezra who was killed in a chase after terrorists in Lebanon in 1993. Both monuments are slated for demolition by the end of December. They are part of the Netiv Ha’avot neighborhood in Gush Etzion outside Jerusalem, which was slated for demolition no later than March 2018 by the Supreme Court.

The families of both war heroes appealed to Supreme Court President Justice Miriam Na’or asking that the monuments be demolished when the rest of the neighborhood is slated to be razed, to give them time to find a new location.

“Our appeal to you is personal, painful and heartfelt,” the families wrote Na’or. “The site was established in good faith, displacing no one and nothing, and disturbing no one.”

“We were not aware of any problem associated with the location,” the families continued, stressing that the monuments are obviously not housing units. They also wrote they had not been aware of the litigation associated with the location.

Peace Now refused the families’ plea, suggesting “another delay will be used by respondents to torpedo the return of the land to its rightful owners.”

“While acknowledging the sadness involved, the claimants do not bear responsibility for past failures nor the fact that the [memorial’ was built illegally and without their consent. […] The pain caused the Moreno and Asher families was not the fault of the land owners,” Peace Now told Justice Na’or.

David Israel

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/peace-now-urging-destruction-of-war-heroes-monuments/2016/12/06/

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