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April 20, 2014 / 20 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘peace’

Biden Tries to Create a New Sharon Legacy of Peace

Monday, January 13th, 2014

Visiting U.S. Vice President Joe Biden got the ball rolling Monday evening to create a legacy of former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon as a man of peace in a meeting with President Shimon Peres, who hosted Biden along with Democratic legislators Rep. Eliot Engel of New York and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida.

Biden declared that the situation has changed in Israel, whose necessity he declared once “was literally to keep from being pushed into the sea by hostile neighbors that were more powerful and had larger armies and more weapons.”

The vice president then declared that the circumstances have changed and that”Israel is a significant power in its own right.”

He then uttered a masterful phrase of doubletalk, stating that “Sharon did not change but changed his focus.”

Stating that Sharon once told him once that he understood the need for peace, Biden jumped to the conclusion that this reflected “the understanding that Israel’s ultimate security rested on a genuine accommodation with the Palestinians borne out of secure borders.”

Perhaps he meant the border with Gaza, where Sharon encouraged the development of Jewish communities to defend Israel’s security and then expelled them and withdrew all of the IDF to defend Israel’s security.

The results were see a few hours before the funeral Monday and only minutes after Sharon’s coffin was in the ground – rocket attacks from northern Gaza, less than two miles from the Sharon family home where the funeral took place.

Now that Biden established Sharon’s legacy of peace, he took up the Obama administration gambit that “the only place where there is a possibility for an island of stability is quite frankly between the Palestinian people and the Israeli people, in two secure states respecting one another’s sovereignty and security.”

Biden’s remarks were tailor-made for Peres, who jumped on the opportunity to be registered in Guinness under the category for the longest playing broken record.

“We have an open window and God knows when it will happen again. … I believe there is a serious attempt to make the right decision and there is only one – two states for two peoples.  They are our neighbors and we have to make peace with them,” said President Peres.

He matched Biden’s doublespeak with a well-crafted phrase. “We cannot change nations but we can change relations.” All that he forget was to be recorded for another Guinness accomplishment of the man who has said more than anyone else in the world, “He who makes in the Heavens will make peace on us and all of Israel.”

Let’s forget the “Amen,” please.

Peres then surprised everyone with news that has never been reported anywhere else. “There are changes on our side and on the Arab side,” he revealed. “The fact is that even the Arab League formerly a negative front against Israel today offers peace, whether we agree with all the proposals or not there is a change that we must consider.”

Interesting.

The Saudi Peace Initiative of 2002, backed by the Arab League, offered “normalization” of relations with the Zionist state. All that Israel had to do was hand back every inch of land from where the Arabs tried to destroy Israel in 1967 and, just for peace, allow the immigration of several million Arabs from foreign countries – including enemy states of Syria and Lebanon.

Taking into account Biden’s doubletalk on Sharon not changing but only changing his view, and Peres’ remark that relations can change with  enemy nations that don’t change, then conditions for war indeed can be called a recipe for peace.

Yitzchak Rabin’s death has been desecrated with the manufacturing of a Legacy of Peace, that, like Biden’s attempt after Sharon’s death.

Why These Negotiations Will Always Fail

Friday, January 3rd, 2014

Peace in the Middle East between Israel and its neighbors—including the Palestinians—is generally described as “elusive.” Why have forty years of active efforts not led to permanent peace in the region? Why 20 years after Oslo is there no great sign that peace stands ready to break out between the Palestinians and Israelis? The simple answer is that parties are negotiating on different planes that can never intersect.

Let’s analyze the ostensible goals of the parties to the current round of talks. The Israelis want peace and one can see why: lower regional threats, less military spending, greater regional cooperation, increased tourism revenue, export of Israeli technology, increased trade with Europe and more. What do the Palestinians get in the peace deal? They get less than half of the land they believe they deserve. They can look forward to a million or more Arab “refugees” showing up, expecting housing, food, work, and schools. They will be saddled with building an economy without natural resources or a strong technical ethos, while international donations will dry up (especially from Muslim countries, for the sin of recognizing a Jewish state). In short, the Israelis have much to gain from peace, while the Palestinian leaders who are running their side of the talks have much to lose.

Additionally, Israelis negotiate like Americans and Europeans: they try to cut a deal, but if it does not work, then they fall back to the present conditions. The Palestinians work in a different way: either they get what they want, or they pull out the terror card. Lawyers who reviewed signed confessions of Marwan Barghouti’s lieutenants found a singular pattern: if negotiations in the Arafat period were going well, then Tanzim and the like were told to lay low. If the Israelis were intransigent—on borders, refugees, or the like—then the order was given to attack. Negotiations cannot proceed when one side is willing to take a much greater liberty than the other side is willing to entertain. Picture if one football team had to respect the out-of-bound lines, while the other did not. The Israelis might walk away from talks, but they would not order the murder of Palestinian citizens, leftist propaganda aside. The Palestinians, on the other hand, are more than comfortable using attacks on Israeli citizens as a means to get what they want at the negotiating table—and this is a point that Americans and Europeans diplomats have never understood. They are convinced that everyone thinks like they do: peace is always good, and the rules of negotiations exclude violence between sides.

The reason for this failed understanding is cultural. Let’s look back at the Nazis, some of the greatest murderers ever. One notes that no German soldier was ever commanded to either kill or injure himself in order to gas, shoot, blow up, torch or otherwise kill a Jew. The Nazis were sadists and invented horrific ways to kill Jewish men, women and children; still, they would not have considered personal bodily harm or worse as being required to kill a Jew. The Palestinians, on the other hand, not only are active practitioners of suicide bombings, but polls still show that their citizenry supports such activities. We of a Western mind-frame find it impossible to consider such an act—whom do we hate so much that we would be willing to undertake such horrific activity? Are there any children or aged citizens of any country that we would hope to obliterate with flying shrapnel so as to somehow exact revenge on somebody else who has some tenuous relationship to the ones blown up? I have asked these questions to student groups visiting from the US; no one can answer in the affirmative.
This week marked another gratuitous prisoner release by Israel in the ersatz peace process.

These releases have generally been categorized as “confidence building measures.” Is there anyone who could define or identify any confidence built by releasing 26 murderers? The Palestinians partied with the released convicts and demanded the release of all Palestinian prisoners; Israelis felt anguish at the release and saw protests and complaints against the release of more murderers. What confidence was built by this act? None. The prisoner release is a bribe to the Palestinian leaders to continue with the worthless process of peace-making, so that they can show their base that they are getting something from the talks. The terrorists are free, the Palestinians only want more, and the Israeli leadership is put in the uncomfortable position of explaining why murderers walk free, with nothing to show for it. The Palestinians get their terrorists back, but the act has no tangible effect on the direction, good will or pace of the negotiations.

The current peace talks will enjoy the same fate as their predecessors; and ditto for any future talks. The talks will break down because even the most left-wing Israeli politician is not yet ready to commit national suicide to accommodate the minimal Palestinian demands on dividing Jerusalem, accepting indefensible borders, and welcoming anything more than some token refugees. The Palestinians will blame the Israelis, as will most of the international community. Israel will point the finger at an intransigent Palestinian Authority, and we’ll wait for the whole process to start again sometime in the future.

I would argue that the above analysis is pragmatic and not in the least pessimistic. The Palestinians have too much to lose by making peace and also play by rules not understood or appreciated by the likes of John Kerry or Catherine Ashton. The simple fact is that the Palestinian Authority today enjoys large contributions from international donors and avoids all responsibility for building a functional society designed to absorb four generations of self-made Palestinian “refugees” living in Lebanon, Iraq, Syria and the like. Israel looks forward to a rosier future, one that would include peace; the Palestinian cannot see getting a better deal than they have in the present. And for that, negotiations will—again—go nowhere, however much John Kerry and his Israeli partners try to tell us otherwise.

Foreign Ministry Lectures Abbas on History of Jesus the Jew

Wednesday, December 25th, 2013

Jesus was born a Jew more than 1,500 years before Islam appeared in the world, Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said Tuesday in a mockery of Mahmoud Abbas’’ annual assertion that “Jesus was a Palestinian .”

Abbas wished Christians in the Palestinian Authority, which until only a few years ago harassed and attacked Christians in Bethlehem and elsewhere, a happy holiday and reminded them, “Jesus, the first Palestinian, was born in Bethlehem 2,000 years ago and brought a message and path for millions of people in the world.”

The chairman of the Palestinian Authority added, “We try to walk in his path exactly as we Palestinians fight for our freedom.” He did not mention the path of “resistance,” the Arabs’ code word for terror, as being consistent with that of Jesus.

Palmor retorted, “Abbas should take a look at the New Testament before uttering such nonsense, but we can forgive him because he doesn’t know what he is doing.

“He ‘forgot’ that the year of the birth of Jesus was 600 years before the birth of the Prophet Mohammed and Islam. He also forgot a second detail – the fact that Jesus was from a Jewish family and lived as a Jew, and it is reasonable to assume that if he were to arrive in the Palestinian Authority today, the Arabs would gouge out his eyes and teeth.”

Pope’s Prayers for Peace Omit Iran and Korea

Wednesday, December 25th, 2013

Pope Francis’ first Christmas message was full of hope for peace in war-torn Syria and South Sudan, the “often and overlooked” war-torn Central African Republic and – as if the chaos and mutual barbarity are comparable – for a “favorable” outcome” in talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

He made no mention of what are the widely acknowledged two biggest threats to the world’s security – the nuclear threats from Iran and North Korea. He also did not utter a word about neo-Nazism.

Not surprisingly, the Associated Press led off its report with the pope’s prayers for “successful Middle East negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority,” followed by peace in Syria and African countries. An estimated nine million Syrians – one third of the country’s population – are homeless, and hundreds of thousands, if not millions, have been killed and wounded.

The world has not been able to do anything to stop the barbarity in Syria, but Pope Francis prayed that Jesus would “bless the land where you chose to come into the world and grant a favorable outcome to the peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians. Heal the wounds of the beloved country of Iraq, once more struck by frequent acts of violence.”

Speaking to a cheering crowd of 70, 000 outside the Vatican, the pope explained his idea of peace.

“True peace is not a balancing of opposing forces. It’s not a lovely facade which conceals conflicts and divisions. Peace calls for daily commitment,” he intoned.

That brings to mind “commitments” made by Israel and the Palestinian Authority in previous accords. Virtually no one has accused Israel of not living up to commitments. Israel has a list longer than the width of the country of commitments that the Palestinian Authority has not fulfilled – such as halting incitement and tearing apart the terrorist infrastructure.

He has made the establishment of a Palestinian Authority state his highest priority by announcing a visit to Israel and Bethlehem in May.

Pope Francis also called on atheists to join the effort for peace. “I invite even non-believers to desire peace,” he said.

Ketzele to Bibi: Tell the US ‘Peace’ Negotiations Also ‘Bad Deal’

Monday, November 11th, 2013

Former MK Yaakov Katz (Ketzele), responded Sunday on his Facebook page to Benjamin Netanyahu’s impassioned call on the United States not to proceed with the current deal with Iran, because it’s a bad deal. Katz, one of the prominent leaders of Jewish settlement in Judea and Samaria, called on Netanyahu to avoid the other American “gift” to Israel, the so called peace negotiations with the Palestininas.

“Prime Minister Netanyahu, the upcoming deal with [PA Chairman Mahmoud] Abbas is also a bad deal,” Katz proclaimed. “It’s a bad deal for Israel. We’re forced, under American pressure, to negotiate with the Authority headed by Abbas and [Saeb] Erekat.

“Our friend, the U.S. government, forced us at the time to agree to the Gaza elections, and the result was: Hamas took over.

“The U.S. Administration forced elections and democratization on the people of Iraq, and since then they’ve had 12,000 killed each year.

“The Obama Administration forced an election on the Egyptians. The result: the Muslim Brothers, haters of America and Israel, took over.

“In Afghanistan, the Americans forced a so called democratic regime. Since then, not a day goes by there without a car bomb exploding.

“The Obama regime has reached a compromise deal with Syria, which has been exacting the daily slaughter of numerous civilians.

“And now, in Iran, a deal is being cobbled between the Americans and the Iranians, and Prime Minister Netanyahu defines it as ‘a deal which is bad for Israel and bad for the world.’

“In Judea and Samaria live close to 400 thousand Jews. Some 25 thousand live in the Golan, and some 325 thousand in the neighborhoods of East Jerusalem.

“The indecent and unfriendly treatment we’ve been receiving from the Obama Administration is not rational, and may result in a catastrophe for Israeli society, should images like those of the destruction of Gush Katif come back, under American pressure.

“We turn to Prime Minister Netanyahu: Say on this matter, too, that what the Americans demand of us is ‘bad for Israel and bad for the world,” just as you did about the emerging deal between the U.S. and the E.U. and Iran.

“What’s true about Iran is true seven times over right here, in our capital and our country.”

Peres Stains the Memory of Rabin with the ‘Status Quo Fallacy’

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

Wednesday was “let’s fight over the meaning of Yitzchak Rabin’s death” day in Israel, with President Shimon Peres and leading center-leftists still defaming the memory of the slain Prime Minister and exploiting it for its agenda that was signed long ago by the U.S. State Dept.

President Peres headed the hit parade at the Mount Herzl Cemetery in Jerusalem and began by rightfully noting that Rabin was a veteran warrior who fought for Israel’s independence and survived the enemy, only to die at the hands of a Jew whose “crime never will be forgiven.”

He then went on the usual peace tangent, equating Rabin with the quest for peace as if he knows better than God what Rabin would have said had he lived long enough to see dozens of suicide bombings, missiles on Jerusalem neighborhoods and trading 1,000 terrorists, many of whom returned to their favorite pastime of killing Jews, for some bodies of soldiers or the return of one live soldier.

But this is nothing new. We go through this every year, for 18 years now, since Rabin was gunned down. The inherent assumption is that there is no peace because the government does not do enough for peace. The government, if it’s not headed by Labor, is to blame and never mind the Arabs’ rejection of Labor government leader Ehud Barak’s offer to give it almost everything it supposed wanted plus the silver platter.

Everyone is entitled to an opinion, but when Peres “remembered” Rabin on Wednesday by declaring, “Those who delude themselves that the status quo between us and the Palestinians will continue may become a victim of their delusions,” the only one who suffers delusions are Shimon Peres and his  flock of cluckers.

It was 25 years ago, in mid-1988, when the Intifada was six-months old. Any armchair Zionist from the United States or Europe who drove through the winding hills of Judea and Samaria saw the isolated Jewish communities under the shadow of hundreds of Arab villages tucked away in every valley and exposed in every turn of the back road.

“This cannot continue” was the refrain I remember hearing.

On the surface, nothing much has changed. There are dozens more Jewish communities, but there also are hundreds more Arab communities.

Politically, the same gap remains.

But the status quo has changed because what really matters is not Bush’s Roadmap nor John Kerry’s peace plans. United Nations resolutions in favor of the Palestinian Authority don’t matter. Not even Israel’s “goodwill” gestures matter.

What matters is that the Arab population at large couldn’t care less about a Palestinian Authority state.

If there is a status quo that exists and cannot continue it is the corrupt and impotent Palestinian Authority. The only meaningful riots among the Arabs are those against their own so-called leaders.

There is not one dominant urban center in the Palestinian Authority. There is Ramallah north of Jerusalem, Jenin further north, and there is Jenin even further north, closer to Lower Galilee than to the Ramallah.

There is Kalkilya bordering Kfar Saba on the northern edge of metropolitan Tel Aviv; there is Jericho, in the middle of nowhere in the Jordan Valley; and there is Tulkarm overlooking Netanya. In between all of these cities, there are miles and miles of rural villages.

Each city has its only culture and identity. Hevron Arabs never would feel at home in Jericho, and those in Shechem would not feel at home in Hevron. They all have different mentalities, as different as Ashkenazi and Sephardi Jews.

But those two Jewish tribes are bound together by Jewish blood and the need for a State of Israel.

The Arabs are not.

Nothing binds them. Even a common hate of Israel does not bind them because facts on the ground show that while they would love to see Israel annihilated, they would choose three square meals a day if given the choice between the two. They can’t have both because the Palestinian Authority never has had a will to become a ruling entity.

Israel has relinquished rule over most of the Palestinian Authority, but it cannot function. The security it provides for its own people is far less than Israel provided before the Intifadas.

Hamas and Local Salafi Jihadist (Al Qaeda) Reconciling

Sunday, October 13th, 2013

Abu Abdullah Al-Maqdis, a leader in Gaza’s Jihadi Salafist movement, affiliated with Al Qaeda, told the Asharq Al-Awsat  website that Hamas and the Salafist have been working towards a reconciliation in Gaza.

Al-Maqdis said the two will begin implementing their agreement over the next few months.

According to the site:

“The 8-point agreement reportedly includes clauses granting the Salafists freedom to operate in politics, the military, religious advocacy, and civil and social organizations. It also includes an explicit end to the phenomenon of political assassinations and the formulation of a joint committee to deal with any disputes that could lead to new crisis between the two groups.

In return for this, the jihadist Salafist factions will commit to the ceasefire and other decisions made by the ruling Hamas movement.”

Foreign intermediaries who helped arrange for the agreement include Islamic clerics from Kuwait and Qatar, as well as the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood’s Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, a popular Al Jazeera Islamic televangelist who has been barred entry from the UK and France.

Al-Qaradawi, who openly supports suicide bombings against Israel, is known for his quote stating that Muslims will continue Hitler’s work:

“Throughout history, Allah has imposed upon the Jews people who would punish them for their corruption…The last punishment was carried out by [Adolf] Hitler. By means of all the things he did to them – even though they exaggerated this issue – he managed to put them in their place. This was divine punishment for them…Allah Willing, the next time will be at the hand of the believers.”

With the fall of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Hamas has been reaching out to other Islamic regimes for support, including Turkey and Iran.

Israeli Organization Empowers Arab and Druze Women

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013

Under the auspices of MASHAV-Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation, Mazal Renford has worked to promote the cause of both Palestinian and Israeli Arab women. In her capacity as director of Haifa’s Golda Meir Mount Carmel International Training Center, Renford has made great strides to this end. Speaking to participants at the Stand With Us International Women’s Conference, Renford discussed her work to “bring Israelis and Palestinians together,” which involves frequent consultations with Palestinian women from Judea and Samaria.

According to Renford, “If we educate for peace, maybe one day we will enjoy it.” As “a city of peaceful coexistence” where Jews, Christians, Muslims, Druze and Bahais live side by side, Renford believes Haifa is the ideal location for her work. Renford’s organization was founded on former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir’s belief that “women weren’t taken into consideration in the process of development,” despite their pivotal importance. In this regard, Renford emphasizes that “Israel has been a pioneer in promoting” women’s development, with the Golda Meir Mount Carmel International Training Center providing Palestinian women an opportunity to “come, learn how to set up a business, and stand up for their rights.”

Vered Sawied, a former mayor of Netanya who is presently working for the Prime Minister’s Office as an Advisor for Social and Welfare Issues, notes that while Israeli Jewish women often struggle to find the right balance between work and family, “the situation in Arab society is more difficult.” For this reason, explains Sawied, Israel set up an authority to provide jobs for Arabs as well as specific scholarships for Arab women seeking to enter the hi-tech profession.

Hiba Zaidan, a young Druze PhD student, credits Israeli professors and her family with helping her advance. She claimed that in Druze society, it is considered taboo for a woman to drive, go to school, or even leave the village without an escort. This has created major problems for Druze women who wish to work and study outside the village.

However, Zaidan also emphasized that Druze society is changing due to courageous and bold strides made by Druze women, with many of them now driving and studying to be teachers. She noted, however, that psychological research at the PhD level is still very rare for Druze women. “Lots of people in my village were against me getting a PhD,” she stated. She added that her Israeli professors were very understanding of her situation and always offer her assistance.

Dr. Janan Faraj-Falah was the first Druze woman in Israel to receive her PhD and today works as a lecturer at the University of Haifa, as well as the Arab Academic College for Education. Her book “The Druze Woman” is widely acclaimed both in Israel and around the world as the first book to discuss the status of women in the Druze community. Additionally, she is the founder of the Women’s Vision of Akko Foundation, which brings Jewish and Arab women together to work towards peace.

According to Dr. Faraj-Falah, “I established this association to improve women’s status and support peace. Women bring life into this world so women can also bring peace.” Some of her organization’s projects include constructing peace gardens in which Jewish and Arab children play, teaching Arabic to Jewish women and Hebrew to Arab women, and bringing both Jewish and Palestinian writers together for joint meetings. She emphasizes, “We will continue our march for peace and never give up.” Her work is supported by Renford, who notes, “Bringing Arabs and Jews together can make a big difference.”

Visit United with Israel.

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