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April 17, 2014 / 17 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Ramot’

Kerry Asking Palestinians for an Extension to Revive Talks

Sunday, June 2nd, 2013

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry phoned Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas twice this weekend, as part of his efforts to revive the peace process, the Palestinian official news agency Wafa reported Saturday.

Abbas reportedly told Kerry that it is crucial that Israel releases prisoners and stops settlement activities.

Last week, Kerry unveiled a $4 billion U.S. plan to boost the Palestinian economy, but the announcement was met with a cool response, as an adviser to Abbas told the press that the leadership would “not offer political concessions in exchange for economic benefits.”

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Almalki estimated Friday that Kerry would fail to achieve a breakthrough before June 7 as Kerry had wanted.

Political advisor to the PA Chairman, Nimer Hamad, said that Kerry asked for the extension to complete his efforts to revive the peace process, a task that was to be completed by the end of thwe coming week.

PLO officials said last week that Kerry has been pushing Abbas to return to negotiations without an Israeli commitment to stop settlement construction, and emphasized that it is inconsistent with the demands of the Palestinian leadership.

On Friday, DOS Spokesperson Jen Psaki told reporters that Kerry had spoken with Prime Minister Netanyahu Thursday, and raise the issue of settlement expansion—which, in reality, come down to 300 residential units in East Jerusalem’s Jewish neighborhoods of Ramot and Gilo. By then, Kerry had only spoken once to Abbas.

Psaki said that the State Dept. feels that “these activities are counterproductive to the cause of peace. They’re not constructive.”

Last week, the EU’s Lady Catherine Ashton called on the Israeli Government to reverse completely its decision on the new units in East Jerusalem. What a way to break the hearts of 300 Israelis who had one the Housing Ministry’s lottery for those units!

A reporter asked about the report in Yedioth Ahronoth, that Kerry submitted a proposal to the Israelis whereby they can keep parts of the Jordan Valley.

Psaki warned against reporting “those reports that suggest there’s been an American proposal put on the table. From the beginning, this has always been a case where the ball is in the court of the Israeli and the Palestinian people. The Secretary’s obviously very committed to this. He feels it’s important for regional stability. There are many world and global powers who are very committed to this, but it is ultimately up to them to make tough choices.”

Kerry Hosts ‘Peace Process Partner’ Livni to Advance PA Demands

Thursday, May 2nd, 2013

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, who is Prime Minister Netanyahu’s de facto “peace process minister,” is in Washington for talks with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who is fresh from winning a supposed “concession” from the Arab League for the American-sponsored peace process.

Kerry has come up with a proposal to adopt most of the Saudi 2002 Peace Initiative, which is virtually everything that Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has demanded.

Kerry’s mission is to make a deal. Getting Israel and the Palestinian Authority to agree on the final status of an independent Arab country under the aegis of the Palestinian Authority would be a glorious triumph for Kerry, possibly the stepping stone to the White House in  2016.

To get there, he is taking the course of least resistance, meaning the Israeli government.

Enter his real peace partner, Tzipi Livni.

Prime Minister Netanyahu holds the portfolio of Foreign Minister until there is a court decision on whether Avigdor Lieberman is guilty of fraud or can return to his former post. In the meantime, Netanyahu hurriedly bought Livni’s tiny party of six Knesset Members into the government by granting her the responsibility for handling the American effort for Palestinian Authority peace talks, one of Livni’s pet hobbies.

She and Kerry have the same goal, a deal at any cost with the prize of international admiration.

He came away from a meeting with the Arab League last week and tried to sell Israel a bill of goods of the Great Concession: The Arab supposedly are prepared to amend the Saudi 2002 Peace Initiative and back “land swaps,” meaning Israel would have their approval for sovereignty over a small amount of the land that was restored to the country in the Six-Day War in 1967.

In return, Israel would fork over an equal amount of land that has been part of the country since 1948.

Qatari Prime Minister Sheik al-Thani, whose kingdom has been unusually aggressive in handing out fat checks to Hamas and is pouring money into Arab areas of Jerusalem as well as the Palestinian Authority, led the Arab League delegation.

He agreed that perhaps – maybe if this and maybe if that, and if Israel behaves – the League could agree to “minor” land swaps.

For Kerry, this was a big concession. He “broke” the back of the Arabs and all that is left for him to do is tell Israel it is the best thing for the country since felafel.

“The Arab League delegation affirmed … the two-state solution on the basis of the 4th of June 1967 line, with the (possibility) of comparable and mutual agreed minor swap of the land,” he declared.

Of course, no one has any idea of what “minor” land swaps could mean, but you can rest your bottom dinar it does not mean that Israel would retain Gush Etzion. Maaleh Adumim? Maybe. Maybe not.

Perhaps the Jerusalem neighborhoods of Ramot, French Hill, Pisgat Ze’ev and Talpiot, among others? Could be.

And Gilo? Probably not.

It does not matter now. The most important thing for Kerry and Livni, his one-woman Israeli government fan club, is to talk it up. It does not matter to them that Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal already has rejected the idea. But they can take of him later and drop Hamas from the list of outlawed terrorist organizations, make it a legal terrorist group, and everything will be just fine.

Livni said the Qatari prime minister’s grand concession of possibly, just maybe, agreeing to a  minor land swap was “very positive news.”

And what would land would Israel give up in this “minor” swap. Most likely, enough land to link Gaza with Judea and Samaria.

Of course there is one not so minor point that Kerry has forgotten. Actually, he has not forgotten because the State Dept. does not know any better.

What Israeli Arab in his right mind would give up all the benefits and security he gets from the Israeli government and become subjects of the Palestinian Authority in order to help Kerry’s political career?

Respected Poll: Large Majority Favor Sovereignty in West Bank

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

A surprising 80 percent of Israelis support the idea of Israeli sovereignty over all or part of Judea and Samaria, according to a new poll released by the respected Geocartography research institute.

The survey was commissioned by the University of Ariel, located in central Samaria, in advance of its annual Conference for Law and Mass Media.

The idea of Israeli sovereignty began to win popularity last year when a government-commissioned report by three legal experts, headed by retired Supreme Court Justice Edmund Levy, concluded that Israelis have the right under international law to live anywhere they want in Judea and Samaria.

The “Levy Committee” also debunked the popular concept, adopted by the United States and almost all of the international community, that Israel “occupies” Judea and Samaria.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu quickly shelved the report for “further study,” obviously not wanting to upset the Obama administration’s continuation of the long-buried “peace process” that it still promotes to an audience of none.

The most surprising results in the Geocartography poll related to the views of those who have left-wing views. More than a majority, in fact 60 percent, stated that Israel has to take sovereignty over at least part of Judea and Samaria.

Even among those who consider themselves thoroughly left wing, 42 percent agreed that international law must recognize Israeli sovereignty in part of the areas that the Palestinian Authority demands for itself, if it ever becomes an independent country

Overall, more than one-third of Israelis support Israeli sovereignty over all of Judea and Samaria, and 25 percent think that it should apply to part of the area.

Most support for sovereignty undoubtedly is for Maaleh Adumim, a city of more than 40,000 located only 10 minutes away from Jerusalem, and the Gush Etzion communities, the largest of which is Efrat, heavily populated by Americans.

The nationalist Women in Green movement applauded the data that emerged from the poll.

“These figures might be surprising for a part of the Israeli public, but this comes as no surprise to us,” said Women in Green leaders  Yehudit Katsover and Nadia Matar.

“ In recent years we have been traveling throughout Israel  and wherever the question of sovereignty is raised, the idea is received favorably, with extensive support,” they added.

Asked by the Jewish Press if proposing sovereignty makes any sense in the wake of the American insistence to continue with its peace process plan, they said, “The Americans know that ‘two states for two peoples’ is, thank God, not a reality.”

Matar and Katsover also argued that with the failure of the peace process, there is no other alternative on the table, making Israeli sovereignty more of a viable option.

They dismissed many problems with sovereignty leaving Israel with a large Arab minority that could wreck the country’s Jewish identity.

The Women in Green leaders explained that there are several solutions to the problem but “first of all, let’s implement sovereignty and then we will deal with the arguments.”

Four different  proposals on coping with the demographics have been proposed, they said.

One idea is to offer all Arabs citizenship on the condition that they pledge loyalty to Israel as a Jewish state.

Another idea to the opposite extreme is to pay Palestinian Authority Arabs to leave Israel.

A third proposed solution is to grant them the status of residents without citizenship.

The fourth idea is to recognize that Palestine is Jordan, where the Arabs in Judea and Samaria could move.

European Union and American officials would be aghast at any of the suggestions, but after 22 years of failed diplomatic attempts to build up a Palestinian Authority that can self-govern and guarantee security for Israel as a neighbor, the peace process in retrospect seems even more far-fetched than Israeli sovereignty.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/respected-poll-large-majority-favor-sovereignty-in-west-bank/2013/04/23/

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