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August 28, 2015 / 13 Elul, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘Qatar’

US Mediator for Pal.Arab-Israel Relations Shared Sugar Daddy With Hamas

Monday, September 8th, 2014

Can there be a greater indicator of accuracy for something to appear in the New York Times which supports a controversial position taken by Israel or her friends? Maybe, but it is hard to imagine one.

That is why a story in Saturday’s Times, brought to the attention of those who care by Middle East observer and journalist Jeff Dunetz, is so significant.

Qatar, the blindingly wealthy little country which owns its own (and we do mean own) global communications network, al Jazeera, is considered one of the main financial supporters of the terrorist organization Hamas. That is not news.

What is news is that Qatar also funds the Brookings Institution, and last year it agreed to bestow on Brookings a $14.8 million donation, to be paid out over four years. This wealthy Arab nation had already been generous with Brookings: Qatar helped fund a Brookings affiliate in its country (the Brookings Doha Center), as well as a project on U.S. relations with the Islamic World.

That is the same Brookings Institution at which President Obama’s Special Middle East Envoy, Martin Indyk, tasked with re-igniting the Palestinian Arab-Israeli peace talks, served as vice president and director of foreign policy. He held that position until he went to serve the administration in July of 2013, a position which he left in late June of this year.

Despite his resume (born to a Jewish family, U.S. Ambassador to Israel twice, a researcher for AIPAC at the beginning of his career) Indyk is considered by most strongly pro-Israel observers to be anti-Israel.

According to the Times article, there are quite a few former Brookings employees who caution readers of reports from the Institute that material which reflects poorly on Qatar may well be excised – or simply never written due to self-censorship – because it is understood at Brookings such positions are not acceptable.

“If a member of Congress is using the Brookings reports, they should be aware — they are not getting the full story,” said Saleem Ali, who served as a visiting fellow at the Brookings Doha Center in Qatar and who said he had been told during his job interview that he could not take positions critical of the Qatari government in papers. “They may not be getting a false story, but they are not getting the full story.”

The New York Times article does not focus solely on Indyk, it deals more generally with financing of think tanks by foreign governments. There appears to be plenty of eyebrow-raising to go around.

The special investigation revealed that a little over a dozen U.S. think tanks have been the recipients of tens of millions of dollars from foreign governments. And, the Times claims, those think tanks have been “pushing United States government officials to adopt policies that often reflect the donors’ priorities.”

Ask anyone who cares strongly about Israel and watched last year’s efforts to kickstart the mercifully moribund “peace talks” between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs, and the Qatari moneyed Brookings Institution where Indyk hung his hat looms large.  Indyk’s role as a mediator between two parties, one of whom is at least largely funded by your very own sugar daddy, seems beyond the pale.

Not that Indyk could have been called a Zionist before Qatar’s money belt was cinched around his office building. As Dunetz wrote, “it’s difficult to discern which came first, the hatred or the cash.”

Netanyahu Tries to Sell Bill of Goods that Israel Won Goals in the War

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu gave a miserable sales pitch to the Israeli people Wednesday night in a weak effort to turn around public opinion that is unhappy, if not disgusted, with his agreeing to the cease-fire announced by Hamas and its new war partner, Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas.

The Prime Minister, followed by Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantzת repeated over and over Israel’s achievements in the war

Netanyahu claimed that Israel achieved the goals it set from the beginning, mainly to restore quiet to Israel and to destroy terror tunnels.

He also rewrote his promise earlier this month that there will no cease-fire without disarming Hamas. Magically, that now has become a “long-term” goal.

He buried that promise among the insistence that “Hamas did not get one demand” that it made before the cease-fire.

Netanyahu listed Hamas’ demands as a deep-sea port, an airport, freeing terrorists who were released in the delay of the return of Gilad Shalit and then were re-arrested for returning to terror, mediation of Turkey and Qatar in cease-fire talks.

And what happened to his position that Israel would not negotiate under fire?

Technically, Netanyahu kept its word. Israel negotiators were recalled from Cairo every time Hamas broke a cease-fire and resume rocket fire on Israel.

But negotiations do not require face-to face discussions. Does Netanyahu want everyone to believe that Israel was not updated on the Egyptian-brokered plan and Hamas’s reactions?

Does he really want everyone to believe that Hamas and the Palestinian Authority announced the cease-fire without knowing that Israel would accept it?

And if indeed that is what happened and the cease-fire simply fell on Israel out of the blue, Prime Minister Netanyahu’s acceptance only shows how destructively passive he was, failing to seize the last days of the war to make demands.

More likely, the United States was involved. U.S. State Dept. spokeswoman Jen Psaki said yesterday that Kerry and his point man in the Middle East, Frank Lowenstein, were in constant contact with Netanyahu.

She said the United States was not an active participant in the talks but was part of the action, in one way or the other.

Netanyahu hammered away at all of the achievements that are well-known – the destruction of terror tunnels, the relentless attacks on hundreds of Hamas command centers, rocket launchers and weapons factories and storerooms.

Approximately 1,000 terrorists were killed in the war.

Israel’s successes in the war cannot be pooh-poohed. Hamas indeed was dealt a crippling blow. Hamas knows very well that the days are over when it can lob mortar shells and launching rockets at the Gaza Belt without a fierce retaliation.

However, the Israeli public, including the influential center and center-left in Tel Aviv, no longer trusts agreements with Arabs and does not trust the Israeli government, no matter who is charge, to walk out of diplomatic negotiations without opened up the chicken barn for the foxes.

“Hamas is isolated politically, and we received legitimacy in the international community,” Netanyahu insisted. He said that Israel won solid backing in the international community, and that is true – today. And maybe tomorrow.

By next week, it will have evaporated into thin air, and once again there will be international demands that Israel make peace by diplomatic suicide.

One of the most disturbing statements at the press conference was made by Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, who boasted that it will take Hamas 10 years to re-build.

So what do we have? A 10-year respite before the next war?

Netanyahu noted that Israel has allegedly enjoyed peace and quiet in the north since the cease-fire that ended the Second Lebanon War in 2006.

Following ISIS Comparisons, Hamas Orders Halt to PUBLIC Executions

Sunday, August 24th, 2014

It turns out Hamas is worried about bad press, or perhaps it’s Qatar who is worried.

Whichever of the two is concerned more, Hamas is apparently finding it difficult to maintain media sympathy when the comparisons between ISIS and Hamas are simply undeniable.

Khaled Abu-Toameh reports that Hamas has given orders to end all executions in public squares and public places.

Based on the wording, Hamas’s executions of Gazan citizens won’t be ending, they’re just ending the executions in public.

Report: Qatar Threatened to Kick Out Hamas

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

Israelis may have to blame Qatar for the current round of rocket fire, if a report published in Arab media is true.

The pan-Arab daily newspaper Al Hayat reports that Qatar has threatened to kick out Hamas political bureau chief Khaled Mashaal if he agrees to any permanent cease-fire deal with Israel brokered by Egyptian mediators in Cairo.

Qatar heavily supports the Muslim Brotherhood, which founded the Hamas terrorist organization, and which backed Egptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s predecessor, former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, whom he forced out of power.

According to a Ramallah-based Fatah official serving with the Palestinian Authority unity government, Hamas has demanded Qatar be allowed to join the cease-fire talks. Egypt refuses to allow this, as does Israel.

Mashaal has been based in Qatar and essentially has served at the pleasure of the regime since fleeing Damascus at the start of the civil war there that was ignited by the region-wide Arab Spring riots in March 2011.

The question now is whether Qatar’s ire over its alientation in Cairo will extend to the influence of areas under the control of the Palestinian Authority unity government in Judea and Samaria.

Israel Used Bunker-Buster Bombs in Raid on Mohammed Deif’s Home

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

The Israeli Air Force tried to eliminate Hamas’s terrorist chief Mohammed Deif in a bunker-buster bombing raid on his home Tuesday night.

Hamas has confirmed that his wife and a daughter were killed. It is not known if he was at his home at the time and, if so, if he was killed or wounded. Hamas silence on his fate raises speculation that he may have been killed or seriously wounded.

Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar Wednesday morning compared Deif with Osama bin Laden, calling him an arch-murderer.

The attempt to kill Deif is a clear signal from Israel that it wants to target terrorist leaders, and it can be assumed that all of them are hiding underground or within areas with a high civilian population.

Israel has plenty of other wanted terrorists to eliminate. One of them is Ismail Haniyeh, who was de facto prime minister of Gaza until Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas partnered up with a unity government earlier this year.

Haniyeh is one of the original founders of Hamas and still leads the terrorist organization under the camouflage of a “technocrat” unity government that supposedly does not include Hamas.

But Hamas is more than a terrorist group. Like Hezbollah in Lebanon, it finances, with the help of Qatar and Iran, and operates schools welfare and social services. It is intertwined in the daily lives of Gazans, who are dependent on Hamas for necessities of life.

If Israel wants to go for broke, it can aim for Khaled Mashaal, the supreme leader of Hamas but whose base is in Qatar, his benefactor.

Sources in the Israel government said Tuesday it has evidence that Mashaal purposely torpedoed the last 24-hour extension of the cease-fire in order to stop Egypt from pushing its proposal for a longer-term truce that does not satisfy Hamas demands.

Israel radio reported that Qatar, which opposes Egyptian mediation efforts, gave Mashaal an ultimatum to resume rocket fire or face expulsion

Khaled Mashaal, Mahmoud Abbas Set to Meet in Qatar

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

Exiled Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal, who lives in Qatar, is set to meet Thursday in the Qatari capital of Doha with Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas, who remains head of the Palestinian Authority.

On the agenda will be the latest cease-fire proposal advanced by Egypt, and everything else that is going on in the region and affecting their two factions.

It is Mashaal, egged on by Qatar and possibly also Iran, who has stopped Hamas in Gaza from settling on an Egyptian-brokered cease-fire agreement with Israel thus far.

Mashal is no friend of Abbas, particularly since Hamas has worked hard to sabotage the recent ‘reconciliation’ deal with which he tried to build a new Palestinian Authority unity government.

The Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) released for publication on Monday that top Hamas leader Salah al-Arouri ordered a strategic campaign of attacks against Israel from the comfort of his home in Turkey, which backs the terrorist organization.

Arouri reportedly intended the budding third intifada to destablize the political and security situation in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem, and thereby sabotage the new PA unity government.

But in a joint counter terror operation by the IDF and Shin Bet, 93 Hamas terrorists were arrested in Judea and Samaria. A large number of weapons caches were picked up, and a massive amount of money was seized as well.

Brigadier General Tamir Yadi, Commander of the Judea and Samaria Division, told journalists, “Over the last few months, the IDF and ISA uncovered a vast Hamas terror infrastructure. Upon receiving the intelligence from the ISA, the brigade’s forces prepared to embark on a number of arrests and counter terrorist operations in Beitunia, Deir Qaddis, Bethlehem and Dir Abu Mash’al. “IDF forces made a significant step against terrorism, demolishing the houses of those responsible for the kidnapping and murder of the three boys, which led to operation “Brothers’ Keeper”.

“The mission sends a severe message to those that wish to take part in terrorism, that such acts will not go unpunished and bare a direct retaliation. We will continue to use all our resources and abilities in order to deter such acts of terrorism. The IDF, in cooperation with the ISA and other security forces, will continue to operate against terror infrastructures in the Judea and Samaria Division,” he added.

Since Hamas seized control over Gaza in 2007, creating in effect a separatist state out of the region and wresting it away from the rest of the Palestinian Authority, the terror group has sabotaged numerous attempts by Abbas to ‘reconcile’ and form a unity government. Each time, the two factions announce an agreement — and then Hamas finds a way to slide out of it at the last minute.

The sticking point is, in reality, the fact that the Ramallah-based government has been made to understand by U.S. and European backers that it will receive no funding if it does not renounce violence, abandon terror, uphold prior legal agreements and formally recognize the existence and legitimacy of the State of Israel.

Hamas is committed to the absolute annihilation of Israel; it is written in the group’s founding charter, which it has never amended and has said it never will.

But Mashaal has been hosted by Qatar since leaving his headquarters in Damascus at the start of the Syrian civil war three years ago, when tensions rose between the regime of President Bashar al-Assad and the Hamas-led Palestinian Arab enclave there.

Rumored Ceasefire Deal Excludes Dis-Arming Hamas

Monday, August 18th, 2014

Hamas will continue to cease all rocket attacks, and Egypt and Israel will open border crossings but dis-arming Hamas is not in the cards for now, according to various reports that Hamas has agreed to a partial truce, mostly on its terms. The Israeli Cabinet is discussing the proposal at this moment.

The official word from the Office of the Prime Minister is “no comment.”

Israel has contended that Hamas must be cleansed of its weapons, but the reported truce agreement simply puts the issue off for negotiations at some later date.

Various sources have reported that the Israeli negotiators initialed the proposal, leaving the Cabinet with little choice but to give rubber stamp approval.

With less than two hours to go before the current five-day extension of a temporary cease-fire ends, Hamas has held up its end of the bargain not to attack Israel even with one mortar shell or rocket.

Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas turns out to be the winner if the truce takes effect because his forces would be deployed in Gaza. Hamas also is a winner.

Abbas’s Fatah movement and the rival Hamas terrorist organization are bitter friends, but their unity government is a vehicle for Hamas to remain active in Gaza, in one form or another. The chances of Hamas allowing Fatah to replace its terrorist army and dismantling rockets are zero.

Hamas may have agreed to allow Abbas to return to Gaza, after having been thrown out in a bloody terror war more than eight years ago, because of the threat that European, American or United Nations officials would police the border and make it less likely than Hamas could hold on to its weapons and produce more while the world thinks it is clamoring for peace.

The truce, if approved, gives Hamas a new lease on life after having been abandoned by almost the entire world outside of Iran, Turkey and Qatar.

The Al-Quds newspaper reported that the proposal has 11 points, the most important of which for Hamas is the re-opening of border crossings from Israel and Egypt.

Israel also reportedly has agreed to shrink the buffer zone along the Gaza-Israeli border from 300 to 100 meters by November, after which Abbas’ forces would patrol the area.

If it works for a few weeks or even a few days, Abbas then can claim that the same mechanism will work in a future Palestinian Authority state and that his forces can protect Israel from terror. Then, John Kerry steps up to the mound and starts pitching his “peace process” again.

In case anyone has not noticed, Israeli security forces on Monday arrested smashed a huge Hamas terrorist network in Judea and Samaria and eastern Jerusalem. Dozens of terror cells planned large-scale attacks on Israel, including the Temple Mount, and planned to stage a coup to oust Abbas, whose forces soon are supposed protect Israel from Hamas in Gaza,

One of the biggest losers in the truce, if it is implemented, will be Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, whose Likud party is going to be frothing at the mouth over the agreement.

It remains to be seen if there will be even a bigger loser in the future – the Israeli people.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/rumored-ceasefire-deal-excludes-dis-arming-hamas/2014/08/18/

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