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September 18, 2014 / 23 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘peace’

Abbas, Kerry to Hold Second Paris Meeting

Thursday, February 20th, 2014

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas have agreed to meet for a second day to discuss core issues in the Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations.

Kerry and Abbas met for two hours on Wednesday evening  in Paris, where they “had an in-depth discussion about the core issues” surrounding a peace deal and agreed to continue the discussion on Thursday, according to news reports citing an unnamed senior State Department official.

Kerry reportedly will present in the coming weeks a framework agreement for continuing the nine-month, U.S.-brokered peace negotiations, which currently are scheduled to end on April 29.

Deputy State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf, told reporters Wednesday night in Vienna that recent remarks by chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat, including suggesting that Israel is planning an incursion into Gaza to take the focus off of the peace negotiations, and that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is hoping for Abbas’ assassination, are “unhelpful.”

“The secretary will make clear that these kinds of comments are disappointing, that they are unhelpful, especially coming from someone involved in the negotiations, indeed the lead negotiator,” Harf told reporters.

She would not address Israeli news reports that Kerry’s proposal will include a request that the Israeli government freeze all construction in settlements outside of the large blocks of communities that Israel intends to keep in a final status deal.

When asked to clarify whether the official U.S. position recognizes Israel as a Jewish state, Harf replied that it does. She cited President Obama’s Sept. 24, 2013 speech to the United Nations General Assembly, when Obama said: “I’ve made it clear that the United States will never compromise our commitment to Israel’s security, nor our support for its existence as a Jewish state.”

Report: US to Squeeze Israel into De Facto Surrender of Settlements

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

The Obama administration’s next step in satisfying the Palestinian Authority is to demand that Israel clamp a building freeze on Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria that it assumes eventually will be destroyed and whose families will be expelled, Army Radio reported Wednesday.

The radio network quoted unnamed American negotiators as saying that a partial building freeze will be necessary to coax PA  chairman Mahmoud Abbas  into continuing  U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s peace talk strategy, which has been a thin camouflage for forcing Israel to accept most of Abbas’ conditions for the creation of the Palestinian Authority as a country.

So far, Kerry has not demanded or suggested that Abbas make any moves to stop incitement, control terror, recognize Israel as a Jewish state, accept the presence of Jews in Judea and Samaria, or forfeit all demands that Israel accept foreign Arabs immigrants.

The report came hours before  U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met with Abbas in Paris.

The office of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has not responded to the report, and if reporters ask the U.S. State Dept. about it at today’s daily press session, they will undoubtedly receive the same answer to every other rumor – “no comment” but stated in approximately 200 words of a song and dance.

Netanyahu cannot be expected to reject anything, given his lengthy record of capitulating on almost every issue in years of off-and-on discussions with the Palestinian Authority and Obama administration officials.

The only red line that Netanyahu has held is the demand that Abbas call Israel a Jewish state, a questionable condition that makes Israel appear anywhere from proud to silly, depending on one’s view.

The stakes get higher each time a concession is made. Agreeing to freeze construction for Jews in outlying Jewish communities would be a de facto surrender of all Jews living there. On paper, the Prime Minister could argue that if Kerry’s efforts fail, Israel would renew construction.

But history shows that every concession by Israel becomes another fact on the ground that allows negotiations to drag on until another concession is demanded,

If Netanyahu were to agree, the coalition government could crumble, leaving Netanyahu with the option of calling elections or risking a break-up of the Likud-Beiteinu party and chancing the success of forming a new government with Labor and the Haredi Shas and United Torah Judaism parties.

If the report in Army radio is a trial balloon and Netanyahu doesn’t buy it, it is going to burst. Once these kinds of ideas are floated, they become a firm condition for Abbas, who so far has been able to depend on Kerry to most of his negotiating with Israel.

The entire “peace talk” marathon is getting messier and messier for Israel. It agreed to start the “nine-month” process last July by freeing 104 terrorists, in four batches.

Ever since that first show of weakness, Netanyahu’s positions have fallen like dominoes because he  is negotiating from weakness and with one hand tied behind his back.

Kerry knows it and is squeezing him for political blood.

Peres Says He is Stepping Down in July – No Matter What

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

President Shimon Peres categorically rejected on Wednesday any suggestion, as reported here,  that he would agree to extend his five-year term of office if Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu were to ask him to do so.

The Prime Minister reportedly wants Peres to serve an extra year in order to give the Knesset time to enact a new law that would take the power away from the Knesset to elect him and instead put the ballot into the hands of public at large with a separate election.

Peres already have made plans for his “retirement.” Although he has broken all bounds of tradition by often acting more like a prime minister instead of president, once he is unburdened by the ceremonial demands of the presidency, he will be able to promote and market his visions, and illusions, of peace at will.

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.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/popes-prayers-for-peace-omit-iran-and-korea/2013/12/25/

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