web analytics
January 22, 2017 / 24 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘region’

“No Room for the Zionist Entity in the Region”

Monday, August 22nd, 2016

{Originally posted to the Gatestone Institute website}

The dreamers in English still have it: “Hamas and Israel, Israel and Hamas. Maybe one day…who knows.” And then the Arabic-language truth rolls in: “Death to Israel, always!”

Some Arab and Western political analysts have mistakenly interpreted Hamas’s agreement to participate in the Palestinian local and municipal elections, scheduled for October 8, as a sign of the movement’s “pragmatism” and march toward recognizing Israel’s right to exist.

They falsely assume that Hamas’s readiness to take part in the democratic process shows that the leaders of the extremist movement are also prepared to abandon their dream of destroying Israel and abandoning the “armed struggle” against it.

These arguments about Hamas’s purported “pragmatism” and “moderation” were also made back in 2006, when Hamas contested the Palestinian parliamentary election. Then too, many political analysts claimed that Hamas’s decision to run in the election was an encouraging sign that the movement has endorsed a new, moderate approach toward Israel and the peace process.

Reality, however, has proven these assumptions utterly false. Hamas’s victory in the 2006 parliamentary election did not bring about any changes in its extremist ideology. Hamas did not change its charter, which calls for the destruction of Israel. Nor did Hamas abandon its murderous terrorist attacks against Israelis.

To recall, here is what the Hamas charter openly states about this issue:

“The Islamic Resistance Movement [Hamas] believes that the land of Palestine has been an Islamic Wakf throughout the generations and until the Day of Resurrection, no one can renounce it or part of it, or abandon it or part of it. There is no solution to the Palestinian problem except Jihad. The liberation of that land is an individual duty binding on all Muslims everywhere. In order to face the usurpation of Palestine by the Jews, we have no escape from rising the banner of Jihad. This would require the propagation of Islamic consciousness among the masses on all local, Arab and Islamic levels. We must spread the spirit of Jihad among the Islamic Umma [nation], clash with the enemies and join the ranks of the Jihad fighters.”

The 2006 Hamas victory, in fact, further emboldened Hamas and increased its determination to stick to its ideology and terrorism, in addition to the indoctrination and incitement against Israel. The following year, in 2007, Hamas even waged a coup against the Palestinian Authority (PA) and seized full control over the Gaza Strip.

Likewise, Hamas’s decision to participate in the upcoming local and municipal elections will further strengthen the movement and pave the way for it to extend its control from the Gaza Strip to the West Bank.

So, an electoral win or loss for Hamas is totally irrelevant. Hamas is not going to change its ideology or soften its position toward Israel and the “peace process.” And, of course, Hamas is not going to recognize Israel’s right to exist. Its leaders continue to assure their people of that — in public and on a daily basis.

As in the parliamentary election, Hamas may even emerge stronger and more resolved, especially if it wins the upcoming local and municipal elections, as it seems destined to do.

Hamas sees its participation in elections as a golden opportunity for “the reinforcement of its positions and for the encouragement of its Jihad,” as it clearly and unequivocally states in its charter.

In other words, Hamas sees elections as a chance to pursue its fight to eliminate Israel. So Hamas is not running in the upcoming elections in order to provide the Palestinians with improved municipal services, but, as it states in its charter, “in order to make possible the next round with the Jews, the merchants of war” and “until liberation is completed, the invaders are vanquished and Allah’s victory sets in.”

Yet, incredibly, some Western political analysts and Palestinian affairs “experts” dismiss the Hamas charter as irrelevant. This dismissal is now based on statements attributed sporadically to some Hamas leaders and spokesmen in various media outlets. These comments are, for them, “encouraging” and “positive” signs from Hamas. They even take the foolhardy step of advising world leaders to listen to these voices and take them into account when dealing with Hamas.

Let us examine, for a moment, one of those statements.

Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal was recently reported to have voiced his movement’s readiness to recognize Israel’s right to exit if it withdrew to the pre-1967 lines, namely the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip (Israel already pulled out of the Gaza Strip in 2005).

Mashaal is reported to have told representatives of Asian media organizations during a briefing in Doha, Qatar, that he was prepared to accept Israel’s right to exist and the “two-state solution.”

Within hours, the Hamas leadership denied that Mashaal had made such remarks concerning Israel’s right to exist. Hamas called the reports “lies” and “fabrications” and reiterated its refusal to recognize Israel’s right to exist. “These suspicious and fabricated statements are aimed at distorting the image and positions of Hamas and its leadership,” read a statement issued by the Islamist movement in the Gaza Strip.

Slander and defamation: that is how Hamas views the talk about its leaders’ purported readiness to recognize Israel. This, to them, is the worst thing that could happen to Hamas — to accept the presence of Israel in the Middle East. The Hamas denial is aimed at protecting its reputation and image in the eyes of its supporters, lest they believe, God forbid, that the Islamist movement has abandoned its desire to eliminate Israel.

To set the record straight, another senior Hamas official, Musa Abu Marzouk, declared this week: “The Zionist entity will not be part of this region. We will continue to resist it until the liberation of our land and the return of our people.” With tongue in cheek, Abu Marzouk, who is being groomed as a potential successor to Mashaal, stated that Hamas’s goal behind its decision to participate in the October 8 local and municipal elections was to “serve our people.” Addressing his rivals in President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah faction, the top Hamas official added: “Our differences will not reach the level of enmity. Our only enemy is Israel. Our political rivalry should not exceed its limit.”

How precisely Hamas intends to “serve” the Palestinians by running in the elections is somewhat murky. Abu Marzouk did not talk about building new schools and parks for the Palestinians. When he talks about “serving” the people, he means only one thing: recruiting Palestinians to Hamas and jihad against Israel and the Jews.

In recent weeks, Hamas supporters have been launching various campaigns highlighting the Islamist movement’s “achievements” in the Gaza Strip in a bid to win the hearts and minds of voters. One campaign, entitled, “A More Beautiful Gaza,” features scenes of clean streets and public parks in some parts of the Gaza Strip. Yet the rosy picture that Hamas is painting is silent as to the extraordinarily high rate of unemployment and poverty in the Gaza Strip, or the fact that thousands of Palestinian families have lost their homes in wars with Israel that were the direct result of bombarding Israel with rockets and missiles. Nor does the campaign talk about Hamas’s repressive measures against women and journalists.

This campaign of disinformation is aimed at persuading Palestinian voters that the two million residents of the Gaza Strip are living in a utopia under Hamas, and that this experience now needs to be copied in the West Bank.

There is no doubt that many Palestinians will fall into this trap and cast their ballots for Hamas. They will do so because they will be convinced that Hamas will solve all their economic and social problems and bring them peace and stability at home. But many Palestinians will also vote for Hamas for other reasons. The first of these is that they identify with Hamas’s ideology, as expressed in its charter, and believe that jihad is the only way to “liberate Palestine.” Second, Hamas has managed to convince a large number of Palestinians that a vote for another party or candidate other than Hamas would be a vote against Islam and Allah.

History seems to be repeating itself and the lessons from the Hamas victory in the 2006 parliamentary election have not been learned. Hamas is fooling not only many Palestinians by promising them a better life and prosperity under its rule; it is also fooling some Westerners, who talk about “signs of moderation and pragmatism” coming from the Islamist movement.

Since its establishment in 1987, Hamas has been single-minded about its charter-documented desire to wage jihad against Israel. Its leaders continue to state this in Arabic on a daily basis. It is not rocket science: the movement has not changed and will not do so in the future, regardless of whether it wins or loses any election.

Hamas has made itself perfectly clear. What is not so clear is why some Westerners continue to talk about its “policy shifts.” Also difficult to understand is why some in the West are not asking President Abbas and his Palestinian Authority what they intend to do if and when Hamas wins the local and municipal elections. Finally, why Abbas is pushing ahead with preparations for the elections, when he knows that his Fatah faction could easily lose to Hamas, is a true mystery.

 

Khaled Abu Toameh

Israel Demolishes Five Illegal Palestinian Authority Arab Structures in Mount Hebron Region

Tuesday, August 9th, 2016

By Jonathan Benedek/TPS

Israel’s Civil Administration in Judea and Samaria demolished five illegal Palestinian Authority Arab structures in Umm al-Khair, which is located in the Mount Hebron region next to the Jewish community of Carmel. Several of the structures bore the European Union flag,

“Law enforcement authorities took action this morning against illegal construction and enforced the law quickly,” said Mount Hebron Regional Council Chairman Yochai Damri.

“I hope this will be the beginning of a trend since there has been a sense that Israel has been turning a blind eye and authorizing illegal construction, which has led to an increase in the amount of illegal building by the Arabs,” continued Damri.

The EU, which frequently sponsors illegal Palestinian Authority Arab construction throughout Judea and Samaria, often attaches the EU logo or flag to the illegal structures so as to provide them with diplomatic protection. At the same time, Israel has implemented building freezes against any Jewish construction in Judea and Samaria in response to massive international pressure from entities such as the European Union.

“We have been dealing with a building freeze in Mount Hebron for over a year,” added Damri. “Each pipe and every caravan is inspected in accordance with the strictest legal tools available while there are those who illegally build and disregard the law just next door.”

Israeli NGO B’Tselem, an organization that has received financial support from the European Union and which claims to “document and educate the Israeli public and policymakers about human rights violations” in Judea and Samaria, condemned the demolition of the illegal structures.

“The latest actions show that the Israeli government is continuing its policy of destroying Palestinian communities in order to expand settlements, which is the same policy that was recently condemned internationally in the Quartet’s report,” said B’Tselem spokeswoman Sarit Michaeli.

Michaeli added that 27 people were living in the structures, including 16 minors, who all lost their homes in previous demolitions.

Meanwhile, Israeli NGO Regavim (The National Land Protection Trust), which claims to “ensure responsible, legal and accountable use of Israel’s national lands,” praised the Civil Administration’s demolition of the illegal Palestinian structures this morning.

“Regavim commends the Israeli authorities for the swift demolition of five illegally built European Union funded buildings in Umm al-Khair, just days after Regavim filed a lawsuit against them,” said Regavim International Director Josh Hasten to Tazpit Press Service (TPS).

Hasten said that Regavim was determined to succeed in completely stopping illegal EU construction in Judea and Samaria.

“After years of lobbying against the EU’s rampant illegal building across Area C in total disregard of international law, Regavim’s work is beginning to bear fruit with a large increase in demolitions of European structures,” Hasted added. “We will not stop until there is a total European exit from Israeli territory.”

“Area C” refers to all areas in Judea and Samaria that are under full jurisdictional control by Israeli authorities.

Damri made sure to thank Regavim for its partnership in fighting against illegal construction in Judea and Samaria and for its “tremendous help and cooperation in this matter,” he said.

Michael Bachner and Tzvi Lev contributed to this report.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

“If we don’t get East Jerusalem, we’ll make sure there is no peace in the region”

Tuesday, June 28th, 2016

Originally posted to the author’s website, Elder of Ziyon}

Here is the Wikipedia definition of extortion:

Extortion is a criminal offense of obtaining money, property, or services from an institution, through coercion. It is sometimes euphemistically referred to as a “protection racket” since the racketeers often phrase their demands as payment for “protection” from (real or hypothetical) threats from unspecified other parties. Extortion is commonly practiced by organized crime groups. The actual obtainment of money or property is not required to commit the offense. Making a threat of violence which refers to a requirement of a payment of money or property to halt future violence is sufficient to commit the offense.

Now explain how this does not fit that definition:

In response to EU support for French initiative to pressure Israel to make yet more concessions for “peace,” Mahmoud Abbas is planning to make a speech sometime within the next 48 hours.

His spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina said, “We welcome this European stance and call for the US administration to support these efforts that lead to real peace, and to exert pressure on the Israeli government to bow to the international will and the international consensus and international legitimacy and the Arab peace initiative. The only way to stability and peace in the region is a Palestinian state with its capital in East Jerusalem. Without it, the region and the world will remain in a state of imbalance and instability.”

This is a threat, and a threat that has been made countless times before. It is a Mafia-style protection racket being employed daily to every nation on the planet. “Do what we say and no one gets hurt.”

If you follow the logic through, it means that the Palestinians say that if they don’t get what they demand, even if that demand – Jerusalem – has no basis in history or international law, they will make sure that the world will suffer the consequences.

There isn’t an iota of evidence that a Palestinian state with Jerusalem will result in less Middle East bloodshed than a Palestinian state without Jerusalem. Jerusalem is an arbitrary demand – one of many that Abbas has made, including “return” and prisoners being released and no Jews allowed on their holiest spot. It has nothing to do with statehood, nothing to do with peace, nothing to do with stability.

It has everything to do with erasing the Jewish connection to the land.

The world is being extorted, yet the world is happy to accede to the blackmail that is being practiced openly every day by the “President of the State of Palestine.”

Why isn’t the world outraged at being threatened every day by a two-bit, terror supporting, Holocaust denying criminal?

Because the only ones that have to pay the extortion price is Israel and the Jewish people.

Elder of Ziyon

NCSY Southern Region Teens Win JUMP Competition

Monday, April 25th, 2016

Savannah teens from NCSY Southern Region Richard Epstein, Isaac Lichtman, Shani Locker, Tomer Locker, Uri Locker, Mario Maddox, Jordyn Stoltzman, and Sadie Vetter won this year’s NCSY JUMP (Jewish Unity Mentoring Program). Their mentor was Rabbi Eli Lob, director of Savannah NCSY.

JUMP is an international competition run by NCSY in which teens from various high schools join together in their home cities and run three communal events focusing on topics that benefit their community and the future of the Jewish people.

Winners and judges from NCSY's 2016 JUMP competition

Winners and judges from NCSY’s 2016 JUMP competition

At the beginning of last year, four teens from the team started off JUMP by creating programs within their Jewish community. The youngsters presented their programs in the Goldman Sachs board room and were the runner-ups for the 2015 competition. They returned to Savannah proud of their accomplishments but with a drive to be more successful next time.

This year, the team doubled in size to eight teens. Participants started off with many challenges, deciding which programs to run and how best to work together. They persevered, creating an Amazon business as their fundraiser, a “Shabbat of the Generations” and an anti-BDS event. This time they finished in first place. Savannah NCSY returned home with the 2016 JUMP trophy,

NCSY is dedicated to connecting, inspiring, and empowering Jewish teens and encouraging passionate Judaism through Torah and tradition.

For more information on Southern Region NCSY contact Southern.NCSY.org or cohnt@ncsy.org.

Shelley Benveniste

Time to End PA Pretense to Peace, Says FM Liberman

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

It’s time to unmask the Palestinian Authority’s pretense to peace, Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman said Tuesday while meeting with diplomatic staff at the Presidential Residence in Jerusalem.

“[PA Chairman] Mahmoud Abbas’s actions brought Hamas to power in Gaza and now they will be brought to power in Judea and Samaria,” Mr. Liberman said.

He added that it does not really matter when elections in the Palestinian Authority are held. “Hamas is going to win and take over the Palestinian Authority,” he stated.

“There are those, particularly in Europe, who do not wish to acknowledge that the Palestinians are not interested in peace,” Mr. Liberman said bluntly.

“It’s time to take the mask off Chairman Abbas’s face and say loud and clear that he is a peace refusenik.”

The last democratic elections in the Palestinian Authority were held in January 2006 in response to pressure from the United States, and resulted in a landslide victory by the Hamas terrorist organization. Fatah and Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) leader Abbas retained his title as PA chairman at the time through swift political maneuvering; however, Hamas representatives swallowed the vast majority of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC).

A massive power struggle began within weeks, and a full-scale militia war between Fatah and Hamas was in progress by February in the streets of Gaza. By June 2006, Hamas seized full control of Gaza and expelled Fatah officials from the region altogether. The terror group severed Gaza from the rest of the Palestinian Authority and effectively created its own nation-state. That same month Hamas joined the Lebanon-based Hezbollah terror organization in launching a two-front war against Israel (the “Second Lebanon War”) and kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit in a cross-border raid near the Kerem Shalom crossing in southern Israel.

It took five years and the release of more than 1,000 PA Arab terrorist prisoners from Israeli jails to return Shalit to his family, miraculously alive.

Although numerous attempts by international Arab leaders since that time to create “unity governments” between Fatah and Hamas have failed, last month the two factions signed another agreement. In the intervening years, Hamas has managed to infiltrate the Ramallah-based PA. Operatives have planted numerous Hamas and the affiliated Islamic Jihad terror cells in villages throughout PA-controlled areas in Judea and Samaria. Both groups are backed by Iran.

Analysts believe that Mr. Liberman is indeed correct; with or without a unity government, eventually Hamas will take over the PA-controlled areas of Judea and Samaria if Israel does not take action to intervene.

And then Israel will not only have Iran in its front yard on the northern border and in its backyard to the south, but also finally in the side yard as well, if not actually within the walls of the house.

Hana Levi Julian

Mercer: For a Good Life, Try Vienna, Avoid Baghdad

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

Vienna retains the top spot as the city with the world’s best quality of living, according to the Mercer 2012 Quality of Living Survey. Zurich, Switzerland, and Auckland, New Zealand, follow in second and third place, respectively, and Munich is in fourth place, followed by Vancouver, which ranked fifth. Düsseldorf dropped one spot to rank sixth followed by Frankfurt in seventh, Geneva in eighth, Copenhagen in ninth, and Bern, Switzerland, and Sydney, Australia, tied for tenth place.

Here’s another common denominator to all the cities above: these are all cities I won’t be caught dead living in. Two of my favorite cities barely made the cut: New York City came in 44th and Tel Aviv 99th. I didn’t see Jerusalem anywhere in the survey, although it could be tucked away in the full list, which you have to buy (not gonna’ happen).

New York came in 30th on the Infrastructure Ranking list (seriously? with the longest and most complex subway system in the world?) and Tel Aviv 58th – hey, ahead of 72nd spot Abu Dhabi!

In the Americas, Canadian cities still dominate the top of the index, with Vancouver (5) retaining the top regional spot, followed by Ottawa (14), Toronto (15) and Montreal (23). Calgary ranks 32nd on the overall quality of living ranking.

Honolulu (28) is the U.S. city with the highest quality of living, followed by San Francisco (29) and Boston (35). Chicago is at 42 and Washington, DC ranks 43rd.

In the Middle East and Africa, Dubai (73) and Abu Dhabi (78) in the United Arab Emirates are the region’s cities with the best quality of living. Port Louis in Mauritius (82), Cape Town (89) and Johannesburg (94) follow, and along with Victoria in the Seychelles (96) and Tel Aviv (99), are the region’s only other cities in the top 100.

The Middle East and Africa have 15 cities in the bottom 20, including Lagos, Nigeria (202); Bamako, Mali (209); Khartoum, Sudan (217); and N’Djamena, Chad (218). Baghdad, Iraq (221) is the lowest-ranking city both regionally and globally.

Yori Yanover

Defense Min. Barak: We Didn’t Want to Conquer Gaza

Thursday, November 22nd, 2012

In an interview with Israel Radio, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said that he considered conquering Gaza throughout Operation Pillar of Defense, but did not take the step because he did not want Israel to remain in the region for a long period of time.

In his first interview since Wednesday night’s ceasefire agreement, in which Barak declared that the Israeli military had accomplished its goals “in full” over the course of the eight day operation, Barak said that while Israel could have removed Hamas from power, it would have meant that Israel would be “forced to stay in for years”, and that it would have been difficult to figure out how to withdraw from Gaza again.

Barak boasted that “while our Chief of Staff will soon be talking to the press, their Chief of Staff is in the ground”, referring to Hamas military chief Ahmded Jabari, who Israel killed on the first day of Pillar of Defense.

Barak said Israel hit Hamas with one thousand times the force with which Hamas hit Israel, and praised the “powerful, effective army”.

Malkah Fleisher

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/defense-min-barak-we-didnt-want-to-conquer-gaza/2012/11/22/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: