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January 21, 2017 / 23 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘peace’

Peace Now Co-Founder: Netanyahu Behind Arsons to Divert Attention from his Corruption

Friday, November 25th, 2016

Amiram Goldblum, Hans J. and Tilly Weil Professor of Pharmaceutical Chemistry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem School of Pharmacy, posted on his Facebook page Thursday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, through the services of his devoted fans, is behind the wave of arsons plaguing Israel in recent days.

Goldblum, a co-founding leader of Peace Now, who served as its spokesperson for 20 years, initiated the Settlements Watch project of Peace Now, serves on the board of the international council of the New Israel Fund, and ran for the Knesset on the Meretz list (87th spot) suggested that the fires are Netanyahu’s attempt to divert attention from the submarines purchase scandal which, Goldblum insists, “is the worst scandal since the establishment of the State.”

“Netanyahu’s incitement intifada is raging across the country,” Goldblum posted. “It’s difficult not to see the connection between Netanyahu’s incitements following the arsons and the submarines scandal.”

Using “pure logic,” the otherwise brilliant chemist Goldblum argued that “the main benefactor of the fires across the country is Benjamin Netanyahu whose submarines affair only two days ago was given over to the police for an investigation – and, lo and behold, the arsons started right away! Is there a connection between the two issues? Will the [Netanyahu] investigation be as shallow as the fire investigations be deep? Will Netanyahu supporters be found to have been involved? Will Israel police examine the possibility of nationalistic arsons… by Jews in order to smear the Arabs?”

The post, reported by the website Tziutzim, has been taken down since, but we enclose a screenshot validating the story.

professor-amiram-goldblum-facebook-post

Goldblum is the inventor of an algorithm for solving extremely complex combinatorial problems, known as Iterative Stochastic Elimination (ISE). He is on the board of two Hebrew University science-related companies that are based on his research, Sensotrade and Pepticom.

Goldblum’s son, Dan Goldblum, who served in IDF Commando Unit Sayeret Matkal, was badly wounded in the unit’s rehearsal of Operation Bramble Bush to kill Saddam Hussein, in 1992.

JNi.Media

International Peace Conference Would Endanger Israel

Sunday, November 13th, 2016

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has rejected France’s call for an international conference to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But before anyone concludes that only “right-wingers” oppose such a conference, it’s worth recalling that one of the most outspoken critics of the conference idea was Yitzhak Rabin.

The year was 1985, and Rabin was Israel’s minister of defense. Arab leaders had been pushing for the convening of an international peace conference. Rabin and other Israeli leaders were insisting on direct Arab-Israeli negotiations.

The Reagan administration had always supported Israel’s position. But in the spring of 1985, there were media reports that Secretary of State George Shultz was starting to warm up to the idea of an international conference. A worried Rabin flew to the United States for top-level discussions.

Upon his arrival in the U.S., Rabin “made it clear he was concerned about Washington’s apparent weakening on the question of an international conference on the Middle East,” according to AIPAC’s weekly newsletter, Near East Report.

“If they are ready to make peace, let’s negotiate [directly],” Rabin was quoted as saying. “If someone wants to undermine any hope of peace, an international conference and bringing in the Syrians is the best way.”

Rabin said that in his meetings with U.S. officials, “I heard about the ‘international umbrella.’ ” That was a phrase that some administration officials had begun using to try to sugarcoat the bitter pill. The idea was that if the conference took place under the “umbrella” of international auspices, it would somehow increase the chances of achieving peace.

Rabin disagreed. “Whenever anyone mentions umbrella, it reminds me of Chamberlain and Munich,” he declared.

Rabin’s statements were pretty remarkable, when you think about it. He had formerly served as Israel’s ambassador in Washington, so he was keenly sensitive to the need not to anger U.S. officials. Yet he publicly leaked the fact that they were using that deceptive “international umbrella” term. Not only did he leak it, he openly criticized it, right there in Washington.

And he didn’t just criticize it, he used the analogy of Chamberlain selling out to Hitler at Munich. For Rabin to stand in Washington and blast the U.S. administration, even invoking a Nazi analogy, was nothing less than astonishing. It really showed what a terrible threat an international conference (or “umbrella”) poses to Israel.

Such a conference, if held today, would consist of a dozen or more Arab and European countries ganging up on Israel and demanding unilateral concessions to the Palestinians. And given reports that the Obama administration wants to see “progress” on this front before the president leaves office, one must assume the U.S. would side with the Arabs and Europeans.

The purpose of the conference would not be to achieve a genuine peace. How do we know? Because the sponsor, France, already declared earlier this year that if the conference failed to produce a Palestinian state, the French would unilaterally recognize one. That’s the goal – not peace, but a Palestinian state, as quickly as possible, no matter the risks to Israel. Which is why the Palestinian Authority’s inciter-in-chief, Mahmoud Abbas, is energetically supporting the conference idea.

During the past year, France has suffered the worst terrorist attacks in the world since 9/11. One would think the French would understand the folly of appeasing Islamic terrorists and oppose creating what would be an overwhelmingly Muslim Palestinian terrorist state. Yet just the opposite has happened.

Why? Because the French are afraid. They are afraid of angering the Muslim world, afraid of more Muslim terrorism. The French believe that since they are defending themselves against ISIS – French planes are bombing Muslim terrorists in Syria and the French police have been shutting down pro-terror mosques – they have to prove they champion Muslim causes. Supporting Palestinian statehood is France’s way of trying to appease the Muslim world.

The international conference proposal is just another way of throwing Israel under the bus. No wonder Israelis – Likud or Labor, right or left – aren’t too excited about that prospect.

Stephen M. Flatow

Trump Once Again Promising to Deal Peace for Israel

Saturday, November 12th, 2016

President Elect Donald J. Trump, possibly the most unpredictable man in American political history, has reiterated his promise to employ his “Art of the Deal” in achieving lasting peace between Jews and Arabs in the Middle East. In an interview to the Wall Street Journal Friday, in which he also said he would leave in place parts of Obamacare, and said he got a “beautiful” letter from Russian President Vladimir Putin upon his victory,  Trump repeated his promise “to help craft a resolution” for the Israel-Palestine situation, which he called “the war that never ends.”

Back in March 2016, candidate Trump told the NY Times regarding the 2-state solution, “I would love to see if a deal could be made. If a deal could be made. Now, I’m not sure it can be made, there’s such unbelievable hatred, there’s such, it’s ingrained, it’s in the blood, the hatred and the distrust, and the horror. But I would love to see if a real deal could be made. Not a deal that you know, lasts for three months, and then everybody starts shooting again. And a big part of that deal, you know, has to be to end terror, we have to end terror.”

Trump then said, “Basically I support a two-state solution on Israel,” with the proviso that “the Palestinian Authority has to recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state. Have to do that. And they have to stop the terror, stop the attacks, stop the teaching of hatred, you know?”

The Trump/Pence campaign website has since then removed all references to the 2-state solution from its “Foreign Policy and Defeating ISIS” positions page. But now, in his WSJ interview, the President Elect confessed to his desire for incorporating what he termed “the ultimate deal,” noting that “as a deal maker, I’d like to do… the deal that can’t be made. And do it for humanity’s sake.”

Walid Phares, a Trump top foreign policy adviser, told BBC Radio on Thursday that an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal is a Trump top agenda item. “He is ready and he will immediately move to try and solve the problem between Palestinian and Israelis,” Phares said. “He told me personally that, as the author of ‘The Art of the Deal,’ it’s not going to be impossible for him to broker a deal between the Israelis and Palestinians. At least he’s going to go in that direction and not waste eight years — four years for now — not doing something for the Palestinians and Israelis.”

Somebody should tell Ivanka Trump and Jason Greenblatt as soon as Shabbat is out. Greenblatt on Thursday told Israel’s Army Radio that “Trump thinks Israel is in a difficult situation and must defend herself. Peace must arrive through a bilateral initiative and he has no plan to get involved in it.”

But that was Thursday.

JNi.Media

Trump’s Chief Israel Adviser: ‘He Does Not Define Settlements as Obstacle to Peace’

Thursday, November 10th, 2016

Donald Trump’s chief Israel adviser Jason Greenblatt on Thursday told Army Radio that his boss “does not define settlements as obstacle to peace, and he would prove this by pointing to the situation in the Gaza Strip, where the Jewish settlements were evacuated and peace still has not arrived.”

Regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Greenblatt suggested that “Trump thinks Israel is in a difficult situation and must defend herself. Peace must arrive through a bilateral initiative and he has no plan to get involved in it.”

Regarding the UNESCO resolution ignoring the Jewish connection to Jerusalem and the Temple Mount, Greenblat said the President Elect recognizes the right of the Jewish nation to its eternal capital Jerusalem and is disgusted by the resolution.

To keep things balanced, Army Radio also interviewed former US Ambassador to Israel Martin Indyk, who said, with noted condescension, “If the Israeli right knows what Trump position regarding Israel is, I believe they know more than Trump does.”

Indyk urged Israelis to take the President Elect’s promises with a grain of salt, since his position on Israel “is quite unclear, he says different things to different groups. We simply don’t know.”

According to Indyk, Trump will follow all past presidents who promised to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. “He is not the first presidential candidate to promise this, which is why I won’t be surprised if he doesn’t do it,” Indyk said.

JNi.Media

Israel Clarifies Objection to French Peace Initiative: We Won’t Participate

Monday, November 7th, 2016

Israel on Monday clarified to the French that it continues to object to the proposed peace conference in Paris and would not take art in such an event should it be held anyway. Acting National Security Advisor and Head of the National Security Council Brig.-Gen. (ret.) Jacob Nagel and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s diplomatic envoy, attorney Yitzhak Molcho, delivered this unequivocal message to French Special Envoy Pierre Vimont in Jerusalem.

Vimont presented France’s position on advancing the French initiative, including the convening of an international conference at the end of the year. Nagel and Molcho clarified the State of Israel’s unambiguous position – that true progress in the peace process and achieving an agreement can come only through direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, and that any other initiative only pushes the region further away from this process.

It was made clear to the French envoy that Israel will not participate in any international conference convened contrary to its position. Promoting such a conference will make the possibility of advancing the peace process much less likely since it will allow Abu Mazen and the Palestinian Authority to continue avoiding the decision to enter into direct negotiations without preconditions.

Israel is certain and expects that France will not advance a conference or process that contradicts the official position of the State of Israel, an official Israel announcement said on Monday.

David Israel

Report: ‘Peace’ NGOs Sold Entry Permits to PA Arabs

Thursday, November 3rd, 2016

Israel’s Channel 1 News on Wednesday night reported that three leftwing NGOs which are furnished with Israeli government issued entry permits for PA Arabs, intended to encourage peaceful coexistence, have been selling those permits illegally to PA Arabs.

According to reporter Eliran Tal, the going rate for each permit was roughly between $500 and $1,000.

The corrupt behavior was exposed on Tuesday, when two officers working for the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) became suspicious of the entry permits that were presented by a few Arabs at a check point. The suspects were interrogated and confessed to having purchased their permits from the three NGOs.

Police and COGAT plan to summon the heads of all three NGOs for interrogations, to discover whether the sales were initiated from the top or were only endeavors by local staff on the ground.

The identity of the NGOs was not revealed, and it is unknown whether they are Israeli or international. Tal pointed out that the fact that the illegal sale of entry permits took place in the midst of a wave of terror could escalate the investigation from simple fraud and corruption to serious security violations, since those permits could have been used by terrorists seeking to harm Israeli civilians.

David Israel

Obama, Don’t Destroy the Peace Process by Turning It Over to the UN

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016

The Obama administration is sending strong signals that once the election is over it may make a major push to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict at the United Nations. Despite repeated invitations by Prime Minister Netanyahu to President Abbas to meet without preconditions, the stalemate persists. Some blame it on Palestinian unwillingness to recognize Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people and to compromise to the so-called “right of return.”  Others – including the current US administration — lay the blame largely at the feet of the Netanyahu government for continuing to build in the West Bank, most recently approval of between 98 and 300 new homes in Shiloh. Whatever the reasons – and they are complex and multifaceted — President Obama should resist any temptation, during his final weeks in office, to change longstanding American policy: that only direct negotiations between the parties will achieve a lasting peace.

In particular, Obama should veto an expected French resolution in the Security Council establishing an international peace conference under the auspices of the UN. The general parameters of the French resolution would likely call for: “Borders based on the 1967 Lines with agreed equivalent land swaps; security arrangements preserving the sovereignty of the Palestinian State and guaranteeing the security of Israel; a fair, equitable, and negotiated solution to the refugee problem; an arrangement making Jerusalem the capital of both states.”

These guidelines may sound reasonable. Indeed, they are strikingly similar to the offers made to and rejected by the Palestinian leadership in 2000-2001 from former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and former US President Bill Clinton and in 2008 by former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. The UN, however, has disqualified itself from playing any constructive role in the peace process. Recent attempts by the UN to intervene in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict have produced unmitigated disasters. The so-called Goldstone Report — which sought to investigate allegations of war crimes committed during the 2009 Israeli intervention in Gaza — was so blatantly biased against Israel that Richard Goldstone himself had to retract some of its key findings in 2011.

Since then, the UN has done nothing to reassure Israel that it is capable of offering an unbiased forum for negotiations. In the past year alone, the UN has singled out Israel for special criticism on issues like health rights, and most laughably, women’s rights, while failing even to mention regimes whose record on these issues is truly abominable. Last year alone, at least twenty separate resolutions were adopted by the UN General Assembly, which singled out Israel for special criticism. Most recently UNESCO attempted to erase millennia of Jewish history with regard to the Temple in Jerusalem. In light of such behavior, the US should not trust that Israel would receive a fair hearing at any UN sponsored peace conference.

As Netanyahu said in his most recent speech to the general assembly, “The road to peace runs through Jerusalem and Ramallah, not through New York.” In other words, the only way forward for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process is bilateral negotiations between the two parties. Netanyahu and Abbas must sit down and agree to necessary but painful compromises aimed at establishing a Palestinian state, while addressing Israel’s security concerns, and the realities on the ground. Resolutions such as the proposed French resolution undermine such efforts by encouraging the Palestinians to believe that direct negotiations — and the mutual sacrifices they would entail — are unnecessary, and that a Palestinian state can be achieved on the basis of UN resolutions alone. It would also make it more difficult, if not impossible, for the Palestinian Authority to accept anything less than that already given them by the UN — which would in turn guarantee the failure of any realistic negotiations.

It is for these and other reasons that American policy has long been to veto or otherwise derail UN attempts to interfere with the Israeli-Palestinian peace process even when it is stalled. As President Obama said in 2013:

“We seek an independent, viable and contiguous Palestinian state as the homeland of the Palestinian people. The only way to achieve that goal is through direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians themselves.”

Hillary Clinton, too, has stated in the past, that she supports bilateral negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians, and her campaign has said that she “believes that a solution to this conflict cannot be imposed from without.”  So, too, has Donald Trump.

Recently, however, several past and present Obama officials have apparently advised the president to support, or at least not veto the French resolution, as well as a one-sided Palestinian push to have the UN declare Israeli settlements illegal. It would be wrong — and undemocratic –for Obama to unilaterally reverse decades of US foreign policy during the lame duck period. After all, in 2011 his administration vetoed an almost identical Palestinian proposal that called for Israel to “immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem”. Similarly, until now, Obama has repeatedly pressured the French and other European nations not to put forward any proposal related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, on the grounds that such initiatives discourage bilateral negotiations. This is surely the view of the majority of the Senate—which has its own constitutional authority to participate in foreign policy decisions. In fact, eighty-eight senators signed an open letter to Obama in which they called on the President to veto any Security Council resolutions regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The period between the election and the inauguration is the only time a president can act without the checks and balances of American Democracy. He should not take action that would tie the hands of his successor.

Obama must realize that no lasting peace can be achieved in the remaining months of his presidency: there are a multitude of complex and contentious issues — most notably the status of Jerusalem, the rights of so-called Palestinian refugees, and the situation in Gaza — that must be thoroughly addressed in order to achieve a lasting peace. Our next president will undoubtedly have to wade into the Israeli-Palestinian peace process again. The new administration — with the agreement of the Senate — should have full latitude to do what it deems most appropriate. It should not be stuck with parameters bequeathed to it by a president desperate to secure a short-term foreign policy “victory” that in the long term will make a resolution of the conflict more difficult to achieve.

If Obama feels that he must intrude in an effort to break the logjam before he leaves office, he should suggest that the current Israeli government offer proposals similar to those offered in 2000- 2001 and 2008, and that this time the Palestinian leadership should accept them in face-to-face negotiations. But he should take no action (or inaction) that invites UN involvement in the peace process – involvement that would guarantee failure for any future president’s efforts to encourage a negotiated peace.

We should hear the views of both candidates on whether the US should support or veto a Security Council Resolution that would tie their hands were they to be elected president. It is not too late to stop President Obama from destroying any realistic prospects for peace.

Alan M. Dershowitz

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/obama-dont-destroy-the-peace-process-by-turning-it-over-to-the-un/2016/11/02/

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