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August 22, 2014 / 26 Av, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Reconciliation’

Unity, Palestinian style

Sunday, May 18th, 2014

So much for Palestinian “unity.”

As expected, the recent Palestinian Authority “unity” deal has done little to curb internecine fighting amongst Palestinian Authority Arabs: A Palestinian website reported Sunday that political arrests continue unabated in both Judea and Samaria and the Gaza Strip.

According to PA-run Ma’an News Service, Fatah-linked security forces have continued detaining Hamas suspects around Judea and Samaria, while Hamas forces in Gaza have done the same to local residents there suspected of membership in Abu Mazen’s faction.

The website said that although the pace of detentions has slowed, there are few signs of political freedom in either jurisdiction: Since the agreement was signed, the Palestinian Authority leadership has taken some small steps to allow Hamas to come out of hiding in Judea and Samaria: After the agreement was signed, Fatah unbanned a Hamas newspaper, Falesteen, for the first time since 2007. And Hamas banners and protesters have openly taken part in some demonstrations, mainly in Qalqilia.

In addition, Fatah has refused to serve the consular needs of Gaza residents since the Hamas takeover in 2007. For example, current regulations call for Gaza residents to apply for passports via the government in Ramallah. But P.A. officials have refused to fulfil those requests. There is no indication that that policy has changed over the past month.

In general, Palestinian Authority forces continue to fear a Gaza-style Hamas take over in Judea and Samaria. Some Israeli security officials brushed off Palestinian threats to break security ties in response to the deaths of two Palestinian rioters on “nakba” day, the Palestinians’ annual commemoration of the “disaster” of Israel’s founding. The security officials say there is little chance that Abu Mazen would order the Palestinian Authority security apparatus to stop cooperating with IDF and Shabak security officials, for a simple reason: Israel’s presence in Palestinian-majority areas of Judea and Samaria are the only reason Hamas hasn’t routed Fatah there.

To prevent this, security forces loyal to Abu Mazen have continued arresting Hamas operatives on a near-daily basis, particularly in Hebron and Tulkarem.

In Gaza, too, Hamas forces have slowed their detentions of Fatah activists, and have moved to make life easier for Fatah loyalists. But Khalil Abu Shamala, secretary of the Freedoms Committee in the Gaza Strip, told Ma’an that Hamas continues to “summons” Fatah members on a regular basis, albeit less frequently than before the reconciliation agreement was signed.

The Freedoms Committee was set up to help implement the political reunification process. The Committee has made several recommendations, including streamlining passport applications for Gaza residents by opening a  branch of the Palestinian Authority Ministry of the Interior in Gaza.

Currently, Gaza residents must apply for passports through the mail to Ramallah, a process which causes substantial burden. Few Gaza residents have received passports since Hamas’ violent takeover of the Strip seven years ago.

Khalil Assaf, a member of the Freedoms Committee in the West Bank, warned Ma’an that the campaigns of arrests “strained the reconciliation atmosphere” in the Fatah-led region.

As of this writing, however, there is no indication that political freedom is on the agenda for either of the major Palestinian factions.

European Jews Ask EU Not to Recognize PA Unity Gov’t

Thursday, April 24th, 2014

European Jewish Congress President Dr. Moshe Kantor has called on the European Union to ignore the upcoming Palestinian Authority unity government.

Speaking at an executive EJC meeting in Jerusalem with top Israeli government officials, Dr. Kantor pointed out that EU leaders had yet to condemn the agreement signed Wednesday between the Fatah and Hamas factions.

“The Europeans have yet to condemn the signing of this unity agreement,” Kantor said. “We hear immediate condemnation every time some houses are built over the Green Line, but Brussels is silent on the Palestinian Authority’s new alliance with Hamas, a group whose charter openly aspires to the genocide of world Jewry.

“The Palestinians ignored their obligations and unilaterally applied to UN organizations, threatened to disband the PA and have now chosen to deal with the manufacturers of terror rather than the purveyors of peace,” he said. “It is perhaps time for the European Union to finally realize that they were applying pressure on the wrong side,” he added.

Dr. Kantor noted that European Jews are constantly hearing that Israel’s relations with Europe are “contingent on the peace process.” He commented that Europe should be able to “separate its excellent trade, economic relations and scientific and hi-tech cooperation with Israel from the conflict.”

The EJC delegation included members of Jewish communities from the UK, France, Italy, Austria, Belgium, Switzerland, Hungary, Romania, Turkey, and Greece, among others.

America Joins Israel in Canceling Talks with PA

Thursday, April 24th, 2014

The U.S. has finally tossed in the towel on trying to force the Palestinian Authority to come to the table to talk with Israel.

After months of shuttle diplomacy and countless attempts by U.S. leaders to shepherd the “peace process” along, the entire effort proved a waste of time and money.

Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) officials announced they had cut a deal for Fatah faction leader and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas – who heads all three entities — to form a new unity government with the Hamas terror organization that rules Gaza.

Hamas has never recognized the State of Israel, and has stated that it never intends to. It is committed to the destruction of the Jewish State, in fact.

“It’s hard to see how Israel can be expected to negotiate with a government that does not believe in its right to exist,” pointed out State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki in a briefing Wednesday on Capitol Hill.

Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is convening the inner diplomacy security cabinet this morning (Thursday) to discuss the current situation and decide whether to continue any contact whatsoever with the Palestinian Authority.

Mr. Netanyahu told Secretary of State John Kerry in a telephone call Wednesday evening that the PA-Hamas deal “shows the Palestinians are back to repeating their familiar pattern of running away from decisions.”

The pattern is indeed not new: Chairman Abbas has done this before – and the last time he reached a “reconciliation” with Hamas, he managed to sucker in not only the United States, but also the European Union and Israel. All three rushed in a panicky jumble to bribe him back to the “peaceful path” by promising him millions of dollars in funding, if only he would vow not to hook up with Hamas.

In the end, the unity government fell through because Hamas backed out – the Ramallah-based PA government won their millions – and everyone was that much richer, except for the Israelis who lost their lives at the hands of the terrorists who were freed in “good will gestures” forced on them by their U.S. friends.

The PA government in Ramallah used the money to quietly raise the salaries of terrorist prisoners sitting in Israeli jails and funnel more money to civil service employees working in Hamas-ruled Gaza offices.

The PA also won an extra bonus – it received considerable military equipment, weapons and training from the United States, Jordan and the EU — with which a number of its “police officers” have since murdered Israeli citizens in terror attacks.

Maariv: Iran Said ‘No’ to Obama’s Plea for Reconciliation

Sunday, October 28th, 2012

A few months after he had been elected, President Barack Obama attempted to renew on a gradual basis U.S. diplomatic relations with Iran, a process that was to lead to establishing embassies and full diplomatic relations. But the Islamic Republic rejected the proposal out of fear for the future of the reign of the Ayatollahs, the Israeli daily Maariv reported on Sunday. The paper claims to have received this information from two Western diplomatic sources close to the Administration.

The American offer was part of an inclusive change of approach to U.S. foreign relations instituted by Obama upon his entry into the White House. The plan was focused on emphasizing negotiations and extending a “diplomatic hand.” Shortly after being elected, the new president announced that he intended to extended his hand to Iran. An announcement of the White House declared that Obama supports “an aggressive and direct diplomacy with Iran, without preconditions.” This was a 180 degree change of the Bush Administration’s approach to Iran. The new Administration was hoping that a rapprochement with Iran would help establish a mutual understanding with Iran regarding its nuclear plan.

At the initial stage, the Americans offered the Iranians the opening of government interests offices—the lowest level of diplomatic relations—in Tehran and Washington. Later on, the Administration was hoping to enter a track of detailed agreements.

Relations between the United States and Iran were severed in 1979, at the conclusion of the Islamic revolution and the ascent of the Ayatollah Khomeini.

According to Maariv, at least two direct meetings were conducted between U.S. and Iran officials starting in the summer of 2009.

Under Secretary of State William Burns and the Iranian head of the negotiations team Saeed Jalili participated in at least one of the two meetings. The two met following the six powers’ meeting with Iran in October of 2009, in Geneva. That direct meeting lasted about an hour. According to an Israeli source close to the negotiations, the Islamic Republic was leery of any sign of normalizing relations with the U.S., and refused to give the Americans “an award.” Iran’s main concern was that the Ayatollah’s regime would be weakened as a consequence of American involvement in Iranian society.

The Administration so far has denied a NY Times report on a new attempt to open a channel of communication with Iran. The White House statement on October 20 read:

It’s not true that the United States and Iran have agreed to one-on-one talks or any meeting after the American elections. We continue to work with the P5+1 on a diplomatic solution and have said from the outset that we would be prepared to meet bilaterally. The President has made clear that he will prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, and we will do what we must to achieve that. It has always been our goal for sanctions to pressure Iran to come in line with its obligations. The onus is on the Iranians to do so, otherwise they will continue to face crippling sanctions and increased pressure.

PA-Hamas unity deadlocked

Friday, November 25th, 2011

Despite PA President Abbas’s claim of no differences anymore between Hamas and Fatah following a reconciliation meeting this week, it appears that Abbas overstated his position. The PA and Hamas face a deadlock as they haven’t agreed on the makeup of the new unity government, without which elections are impossible. Abbas is still demanding that Salam Fayyad remain prime minister, while Hamas is insisting that Fayyad goes.

Chronicles Of Crises In Our Communities – 7/07/06

Wednesday, July 5th, 2006

We encourage women and men of all ages to send in their personal stories by e-mail to rachel@jewishpress.com or by mail to Rachel/Chronicles, c/o The Jewish Press, 338 Third Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y. 11215.

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Dear Rachel,

I am an avid reader of your column and a great fan of your words of guidance. Now I am finding myself in dire need of help.

Before I give you all the background info, here is the main issue. My wife was abused (physically and verbally) by her mother. What do I do? Help, please!

I am a chassan in shana rishona. Before we got married, I started to pick up that my wife was not very close with her mother. However, while we were engaged my wife didn’t talk much about it and basically blamed it on being an only daughter who has been smothered by her parents.

Her parents impressed me as good frum machshiv-Torah people. They are foreigners and very hardworking, yet very generous people. They are essentially financing our learning in kollel time for the next few years. They are warm, sweet people who are tremendous ba’alei chesed and are very attached to my wife, as she is their only daughter. After we got married, I noted a deep resentment and some hate/anger on the part of my wife towards her mother. I myself have had strong issues with my parents but have Baruch Hashem worked things out and am now very close and open with them. My hope was and is that my wife (who is much younger than I) would work things out as I did when I was her age – so through my loving encouragement and support, she is trying to be more open with her mother.

Recently my wife finally confided in me that while she does love her mother, she suspects that her negative feelings stem from her mother’s physical and verbal abuse throughout her childhood. Luckily, she was away from home for her seminary year. This is her first year post-seminary, and her wounds are still fresh. She told me that her mother used a belt on her, pulled her by her hair and cursed and berated her. My wife says her mother, who is exceedingly emotional to begin with, acted in anger and frustration rather than with love/discipline. And of all things, my wife has feelings of guilt! Let me tell you, my wife is an accomplished and precocious girl. She has been a top student and is very talented and well-liked. She never told a soul and suffered in silence all these years. Since we married, I have been emotionally functioning as her mother and father as well, since she keeps her distance from them.

My wife says her mother would also be physically/verbally abusive to her father. I must add that my in-laws are European/Russian and had a very challenging life. They themselves were probably raised this way and were possibly beaten by their parents and perhaps fail to realize what they have done to their daughter. They feel they give their children everything and that they spoil their kids. Indeed, they are very giving.

What do I do? As a husband and son-in-law, I want my wife to be happy and I want her to have a mother. Throughout high school she would use her close friends to fill her “mother void.” She deserves to have a good loving relationship with her parents and a strong emotional bond with her mother.

As a son-in-law, I sometimes feel weird around them and resent the fact that I need to be my wife’s mother and father because she is not always comfortable/resents/hates her own parents.

Help me, please, do the best for my wife.

Thank you very kindly.

Eagerly awaiting your response

Dear Eagerly,

To begin with, you must drastically tone down the eagerness to act as mother and father to your wife. The best you can do for her (and for yourself) is to be a devoted husband: mature, supportive, sensitive, caring and loving. Though your wife definitely needs to deal with her hurt and anger, she should be doing so with a competent therapist – without you in the picture.

It may be a challenging task for you to be a pillar of strength and emotional support to your spouse while maintaining and preserving a good relationship with your in-laws – but it is vital that you do just that. Gently explain to your wife that you did not grow up in her home, that her parents have treated you well – and that in no way is this an issue of taking sides. In fact, you can be a bridge between her and her mother in terms of communication, without attempting to reconcile them. (Reconciliation should be a future goal, once the hurt and anger are adequately dealt with.) If she is uncomfortable visiting them, especially for long-term (Shabbosim and Yomim-Tovim), you can and should stop by and visit your in-laws occasionally on your own during the week.

You obviously care very deeply for your wife, but assuming a parental role may wear you thin emotionally and eventually lead to feelings of resentment toward her. She has suffered much in her growing years and is in need of a great deal of love and understanding from you to help her build up her self-esteem. If her self-criticism/condemnation proves to be a burdensome factor in your relationship, you may want to avail yourself of professional counseling – by yourself – to learn how to deal with this aspect.

As your wife’s life partner and ezer kenegdo, you have the lofty mission of preserving a dignified marital partnership and upholding the mitzvah of kibud av v’eim – applicable to in-laws as well as to parents. While such obligation is incumbent upon us all, your “handle with care” assignment is a most challenging one – and will ultimately be more rewarding, in more ways than one.

I wish you much hatzlacha and siyata d’shmaya in fulfilling your goal – of shalom bayis and harmonious relations all around!

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/chronicles-of-crises/chronicles-of-crises-in-our-communities-25/2006/07/05/

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