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December 4, 2016 / 4 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘peace’

Fundamentally Freund: Jordan’s Chilly Peace with Israel

Monday, October 31st, 2016

Yesterday marked the 22nd anniversary of the signing of the Israel-Jordan peace treaty, an event heralded at the time as a historic breakthrough, one that would bring about a warm and lasting reconciliation between the two countries for generations to come.

So much for the desert-driven delusions of the past.

For while the accord has certainly resulted in mutually beneficial arrangements, such as the 15-year gas deal signed by Jerusalem and Amman last month, the sad fact is that although Jordan may be Israel’s neighbor, it isn’t really much of a friend.

Take, for example, the ongoing soap opera involving UNESCO, the UN agency that has spent a considerable amount of time over the past few weeks trying to deny the undeniable by repudiating Israel’s historical, spiritual and emotional ties to Jerusalem.

When the organization affirmed a resolution last week labeling the Temple Mount a Muslim shrine, our Jordanian pals hailed the decision as a “victory” and unashamedly claimed credit for having drafted the offensive decision.

According to the kingdom’s official Petra News Agency, the text approved by UNESCO “was prepared by the Jordanian Ministry of Foreign and Expatriate Affairs, and presented by the Jordanian mission to UNESCO in coordination with the Palestinian mission.”

The resolution, which was passed under the heading “Occupied Palestine,” was labeled “historic” by Jordan’s Minister of State for Media Affairs Mohammad Momani, who went on to parrot claims by Muslim extremists that Israel was endangering sites such as the Dome of the Rock and the Aksa Mosque, both of which sit on the Temple Mount.

Needless to say, this is hardly the way a true partner in peace should be behaving.

Indeed, Jordan repeatedly and habitually seeks to undermine Israel and its legitimacy at just about every international forum possible.

Two years ago, for example, the UN Security Council debated a diplomatically dangerous resolution that demanded a complete Israeli withdrawal to the pre-1967 lines by the end of 2017 and called for the establishment of a Palestinian state. Guess which country submitted the harshly anti-Israel draft? Fortunately, the resolution failed to pass when it did not garner the required nine votes, but that didn’t stop Jordanian UN ambassador Dina Kawar from stating, “The fact that this draft resolution was not adopted will not at all prevent us from proceeding to push the international community, specifically the United Nations, toward an effective involvement to achieving a resolution to this conflict.”

In other words, Amman would continue to try to coerce the Jewish state in the international arena.

And that is exactly what Jordan’s King Abdullah has frequently done, lambasting and threatening Israel in often ruthless terms.

Two years ago, the unelected monarch accused Israel of “slaughtering our children in Gaza and Jerusalem every five minutes.” And just last month, while speaking at the UN General Assembly in New York, he publicly warned Israel in ominous terms that if it does not “embrace peace” and accept the establishment of a Palestinian state, then the Jewish state will “eventually be engulfed in a sea of hatred in a region of turmoil.”

How sweet of him.

But hostility toward Israel and Jews isn’t confined to the corridors of power in Jordan. There is plenty of evidence to suggest that it is a widely-held sentiment among the vast majority of the Jordanian public.

According to the ADL Global 100 survey of worldwide antisemitism, which was conducted between July 2013 and February 2014, a whopping 81 percent of Jordanians hold antisemitic views. Two-thirds of Jordanians surveyed said they believe that Jews are responsible for most of the wars in the world, while even larger majorities assert that Jews have too much control over global affairs, the media and the business world.

And there is widespread support for extremism among the Jordanian populace.

A 2014 survey conducted by Jordan’s Center for Strategic Studies found that nearly 40% of the Jordanian public does not consider Islamic State (ISIS) to be a “terrorist organization.”

Another poll, conducted by the Washington Institute, revealed that 72% of Jordanians have a “positive” or “very positive” view of Hamas, which was the highest figure observed in any of the six Arab countries surveyed.

Of course, compared to some of the neighboring countries in the region, Jordan looks like a relative island of stability, one that has thus far succeeded in staving off a descent into Islamist jihadist chaos. But it would be foolish to view Jordan as a friend or ally, because it simply isn’t. It is a country with which we are at peace, but it is a chilly peace that appears to be growing colder with each passing year.

Michael Freund

Arabs Released From PA Prison; Jews Ask Why the Left-Wing Didn’t Help

Wednesday, October 26th, 2016

By Andrew Friedman/TPS

Efrat Mayor Oded Revivi, Dr. Yitzhak Glick and other residents of Gush Etzion expressed satisfaction Tuesday that the Palestinian Authority released four Arab residents of the village of Wadi Nis, but they added sharp criticism for Israeli and international NGOs that remained silent throughout the crisis.

Four residents of the Palestinian Authority village Wadi Nis, adjacent to Efrat, were arrested by Palestinian Authority officials last week for attending a reception marking the Jewish Succot festival in Efrat. The gathering was hosted by Revivi and attended by senior military and police commanders in the Judea and Samaria region.

Palestinian Authority officials initially said the men would be charged with “normalization with Israel,” considered a crime in the Palestinian Authority, but later statements indicated the men were being held in protective custody.

Speaking to Tazpit Press Service (TPS) by phone Tuesday, Revivi said Israeli officials were virtually the only voices that called for the men to be released. He noted Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s call on the international community to work to help free the men, and added that efforts to secure the mens’ release included senior IDF officers.

Revivi also said that several members of the US Congress and State Department did act to get the men released. But he, Netanyahu, Glick and others added that repeated pleas to foreign diplomats, Israeli left-wing groups and international organizations to intercede with the Palestinian Authority on behalf of the detained men fell largely on deaf ears.

“I contacted every member of Meretz and B’tselem to get them to press the PA to release them,” said Dr. Yitzhak Glick, a resident of Efrat and member of Shorashim/Judur, a local co-existence group that brings Jews and Arabs from the Gush Etzion region together. “Zahava Gal-on was the only one to respond, and even she only wrote me a formalistic note that she would try to ‘do something’, but nothing more.

“Even Gershon Baskin, who’s got top-level contacts throughout the Palestinian world and goes around the world crowing about how he negotiated the deal for Gilad Shalit’s release, told me there was nothing he could really do. So I have to ask – where were B’tselem, Human Rights Watch and the rest of the groups that are normally so concerned with Palestinian rights?” Glick steamed.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

IDF Retaliates for Gaza’s Holiday Rocket Attack on Southern Israel

Monday, October 24th, 2016

IDF fighter pilots attacked a Hamas military post in northern Gaza Monday evening in response to a rocket attack launched against southern Israel on the Jewish holiday of Simchat Torah, earlier in the day.

Despite the fact that no projectile managed to reach Israeli territory, IDF radar picked up the launch and its trajectory in the direction of southern Israel.

The launch triggered activation of the Red Alert incoming rocket alert air raid siren in Gaza Belt communities in the Sha’ar HaNegev Regional Council district, where the rocket was apparently headed.

The siren sent residents scrambling for cover, since communities living in those areas have only a 15-second window of time within which to reach to reach a safe space before any projectile launched from Gaza explodes within their area.

The military threat and disruption of community life in Israel – not for the first time and likely not for the last – is what prompted the retaliation by the IDF.

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman told the Al Quds newspaper in the Palestinian Authority that although Israel has no interest in re-taking Gaza, nor does the Jewish State want another war, if necessary, Israel will do what it must if necessary.

“We would destroy them,” Liberman told Al Quds. He added that Hamas is engaging in self-destructive behavior that is to the detriment of its own people.

“In recent years, Hamas has spent at least half a billion dollars on military infrastructure in Gaza,” Liberman noted.

If the terrorist entity were to stop its rocket attacks, arms smuggling and construction of terrorist tunnels – all activities geared towards another war with Israel – the Israeli government would be the first to lift the blockade and assist with building a seaport, airport and industrial zones in the region.

But to rebuild that trust, Liberman said, “there must be three years without Israeli victims.”

Hana Levi Julian

Day 3: Arab Peacemakers Still Imprisoned by Palestinian Authority; Human Rights Groups Silent

Saturday, October 22nd, 2016

Efrat Local Council head Oded Revivi says he’s concerned about the fate of four Palestinian Authority Arabs who were arrested and taken into custody on Thursday for the “crime” of visiting their Jewish neighbor’s sukkah.

The Arab visitors paid a visit on Wednesday to the Sukkah of Peace, an annual celebration of the Jewish Festival of Sukkot – the Feast of Tabernacles – in Gush Etzion, Judea, hosted by Revivi.

“Three days have passed and our visitors from Wadi Nies are still being held,” Revivi told JewishPress.com on Saturday night. “They have not been released from the Palestinian Authority prison.

“It’s not clear to us where they are or what their condition is. It bothers me to see that humanitarian organizations, human rights groups are not making any outcry about this situation.

“I’m also puzzled by the indifference of the Israeli media to the plight of these four Arabs, who simply expressed their desire for peaceful co-existence and good relations with their neighbors, and chanted slogans of peace.”

The celebration in the Sukkah of Peace attracted more than a hundred guests on Wednesday, and was an opportunity for Arab leaders from nearby Bethlehem and Hebron to mingle with senior IDF and Israeli Police officials, as well as others in the area.

Revivi told JewishPress.com he is trying to intervene on behalf of his Arab guests, but “the fact that human rights groups and Israeli media have taken no interest in this is very disturbing,” he said.

Hana Levi Julian

PA Arrests Arabs Who Visited Jewish Sukkah of Peace

Friday, October 21st, 2016

The Palestinian Authority on Thursday arrested three of its residents who on Wednesday committed the crime of paying a visit to the Sukkah of Peace, an annual celebration of the holiday of Sukkot and the Jewish outreach to our neighbors, offered by Oded Revivi, head of the Efrat local council in Gush Etzion, Judea, Israel’s Channel 2 News reported.

The celebration attracted more than a hundred guests, and was an opportunity for Arab dignitaries from nearby Bethlehem and Hebron to mingle with senior IDF and Israel Police officials, including IDF Operations Dept. Head Major General Alon Nitzan, Judea and Samaria Police District Commander Superintendent Moshe Bareket, Judea and Samaria Division Commander Brigadier General Lior Carmeli, and Etzion Brigade Commander Roman Gofman.

Maj. Gen. Nitzan commented that many disputes can be resolved in this kind of gathering, “including security challenges.”

Revivi told the news channel that he and his council are trying to intervene on behalf of his arrested guests. “Everyone who was present at the sukkah on Wednesday felt the excitement that surrounded this unique event,” Revivi said. “Officers and civilians, Jews and Muslims, sitting together and examining ways to create better neighborly relationships, and how to forge a future of peace.”

“The fact that the Palestinian Authority has chosen to summon for questioning our Palestinian neighbors who had come to drink coffee with us only shows what a great challenge we’re dealing with,” Revivi noted.

JNi.Media

Mexico’s Ambassador to UNESCO Fired Over Infamous Jerusalem Resolution

Tuesday, October 18th, 2016

Andrés Isaac Roemer Slomianski, Mexico’s 52-year-old Jewish ambassador to UNESCO in Paris, was fired over his reluctance to cast a ballot in favor of a resolution that denied the basic reality of his ancestry and that of his countrymen.

“For not having informed diligently and with meticulousness of the context in which the voting process occurred, for reporting to representatives of countries other than Mexico about the sense of his vote, and for making public documents and official correspondence subject to secrecy,” said an official statement released Monday (Oct. 17).

Jewish Mexican news site Enlace Judio took a philosophical tone over the news: “Andrés Roemer lost his job, but the vote of Mexico changed from “for” to “abstain” from the infamous resolution of UNESCO, which ignored the Jewish connection to the Temple Mount and the Wailing Wall.

“For the first time since 2010, Mexico has changed its consistent line of voting in favor of the Palestinian Arab bloc in UNESCO,” the site continued.

“Sadly, the Ambassador to UNESCO was sacrificed, but [he] managed to change a perennial tradition of sticking the Latin American bloc that eventually passed by a majority, an absurd and biased resolution.”

Roemer was poised Tuesday morning to trigger a special clause that would have forced a new vote on the Palestinian Authority’s proposed resolution entitled, “Occupied Palestine.” Mexico eventually settled simply for a statement on its wish to change its vote from “support” to “abstain.” Brazil did the same.

The UNESCO Executive Board went ahead and adopted the resolution, which erases for the world body, at least, the historic link between Jews, Jerusalem and the most sacred sites in Judaism: the Western Wall and the Temple Mount. For Christians, it does the same, erasing the root from which their faith grew.

According to UN Watch, the Mexican envoy had received a clear instruction to vote “for the Palestinians,” despite the assurance from Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto that his nation would not support such a resolution.

But Israeli ambassador to UNESCO Carmel Shama-Hacohen said, “As a Jew his conscience would not allow him to vote for ignoring the historic and religious connection with the Temple Mount and the Western Wall…. It’s possible that his conscience-based decision will result in his being sent home and fired,” Shama-Hacohen added.

On Friday, as Roemer visited with his Israeli counterpart in the sukkah of the embassy in Paris, he told him he was thinking of quitting. Shama-Hacohen advised him to wait, and in a formal letter publicly thanked him for his bravery and his courage. Roemer had just arrived in Paris this summer.

The Mexican envoy is the grandson of a Viennese conductor who escaped from the Nazis and a man of many talents. He is a political analyst, an author and playwright, and has served as a consul general for Mexico in San Francisco. Distantly related to the humorist Art Buchwald, Roemer is also an attorney, an economist and the founder of a think tank. Many refer to him as a “Renaissance man.”

The resolution “runs counter to the reasons that justified [Jerusalem’s] inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage list,” as the agency’s director-general, Irina Bokova herself pointed out in a statement last week. Bokova is now under double security in the wake of death threats that came in response to her remarks.

“The outstanding universal value of the City, and the reason why it was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list, lies in this synthesis, which is an appeal for dialogue, not confrontation,” she said. “We have a collective responsibility to strengthen this cultural and religious coexistence, by the power of acts and also by the power of words. This requirement is stronger than ever, to bridge the divisions that harm the multi-faith character of the Old City.

“When these divisions carry over into UNESCO, an Organization dedicated to dialogue and peace, they prevent us from carrying out our mission,” she added.

Even outgoing United Nations secretary-general Ban Ki-moon stepped back from the precipice on this one, saying in a statement via his spokesperson last Friday, “ The Al Aqsa Mosque/Al Haram al Sharif, the sacred shrine of Muslims, is also the Har HaBayit — or Temple Mount — whose Western Wall is the holiest place in Judaism, a few steps away from the Saint Sepulchre church and the Mount of Olives, which is revered by Christians… any perceived undertaking to repudiate the undeniable common reverence for these sites does not serve the interests of peace and will only feed violence and radicalism.”

His spokesperson reiterated in response to a question from a reporter, “The Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls have an undeniable link to three religions: Christian, Jewish, Muslim. It includes holy sites that are revered by the followers of these three religions. Anything that is perceived as an undertaking to repudiate that fact does not serve the cause of peace.”

Hana Levi Julian

Stoning Attack in Binyamin Region

Tuesday, October 18th, 2016

Arab terrorists attacked Israeli motorists traveling in the Binyamin region on the first intermediate day of Sukkot, also known as the first day of Hol Hamoed.

The attackers hurled stones at the vehicles as they traveled the road south of Dir Niza’am.

No one was physically injured in the attacks, but there were no details made available about damage to the vehicles.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/stoning-attack-in-binyamin-region/2016/10/18/

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