The Stockholm Air Traffic Authority grounded all aircraft on Thursday due to a “network communications” problem.
“No planes are allowed to take off at the moment and we’re taking down the planes in the air,” said spokesman Per Froberg. “It’s a network communications problem.” Froberg declined to provide further details.
The move came just as Egyptian and French officials were informing media that Egypt Air Flight MS804 had crashed earlier in the day in the Mediterranean Sea. No cause has yet been determined for the tragedy.
Members of Belgium’s parliament on Wednesday nominated Marwan Barghouti for the Nobel Peace Prize, referring to the security prisoner serving five life sentences as the “Palestinian Mandela” and a symbol of peace. The recommendation cited a group of Nelson Mandela’s fellow prisoners on Robben Island, who in 2013 called for the release of “Palestinian political prisoners” held by Israel.
Before we explore the decision and its possible outcome for Israel, it is essential to establish the differences between Mandela and Barghouti, lest a lie be allowed to be perpetuated unchallenged.
In July 1963, Mandela and about a dozen other members of the African National Congress, including three Jews, were arrested in their farm hideout, in the Rivonia suburb of Johannesburg. Ten of them were tried for recruiting individuals and training them to carry out attacks against the Apartheid government; carrying out such attacks themselves; serving world Communism; and raising funds abroad for their illegal enterprise. Mandela spent the next 18 years in prison.
Barghouti, on the other hand, was convicted of 5 counts of murder of innocent civilians, including authorizing and organizing the March 2002 seafood market attack in Tel Aviv in which 3 civilians, including a Druze policeman, were murdered. He was given five life sentences for five murders altogether, and 40 years imprisonment for an attempted murder.
Now that we’re clear on the differences between the South African and the Arab terrorist, we should note that it is hard to imagine the Norwegian parliament not giving the Nobel peace prize to Marwan Barghouti. In fact, if the Netanyahu government had not been rattled this week by right-shifting coalition changes, it could be expected to support the award, at least tacitly.
Marwan Barghouti, with his record as the leader of the First and Second Intifadas, may be the only viable alternative to rule the Palestinian Authority after Mahmoud Abbas (81) leaves office–most likely on a stretcher. Barghouti has the political skills and experience to run the PA effectively. In fact, at one time he said he supported the peace process, but when he realized that Israel was not ready to capitulate on key issues such as the right of return for Arabs, or the unhindered formation of a terrorist haven on its borders, he launched the 2000 Al-Aqsa Intifada.
At this point, outside the Gaza Strip, only Marwan Barghouti has the street cred and the political wherewithal to rule the PA, which should be a source of concern to Israel. Indeed, this is the final outcome of the Oslo fiasco, the fact that the only legitimate leadership alternatives in both Gaza and Judea and Samaria are murderous criminals with Jewish blood on their hands.
This is the entire rationale of the Belgian nomination, which tells the Norwegian prize committee: “By granting the Nobel Peace Prize to someone who embodies the Palestinian people’s struggle for freedom, but also their aspiration to achieve peace, a leader who can unite Palestinians around a political project that clearly includes a two-state solution on 1967 borders, more threatened than ever by colonization and the absence of a political horizon, the Committee for the Nobel Prize would be helping to resurrect the indispensable hope of creating a way out of the current [political] impasse.”
And they emphasize: “Peace requires the freedom of Marwan Barghouti and all of the political prisoners, and more generally the freedom of the Palestinian people living for decades under occupation.”
It’s a well crafted proposal and, as we mentioned, it is very likely going to yield the authors’ desired outcome. It follows two earlier endorsements of Barghouti, one by Nobel Peace Prize recipient Adolfo Perez Esquivel, the other by a unanimous vote of the Arab League’s Arab Parliament. Once Barghouti gets the nomination, Israel would be urged by all its many friends and well-wishers around the world to respond in kind with its own magnanimous gesture, release the glorious leader from his jail cell and put him on a (roundtrip) flight to Stockholm. The word “opportunity” would be thrown around a lot, and although Barghouti would not offer even one measly concession more than Abbas has done—in fact, he’d likely cut down on all that Abbas “good will”—Israel would still be perceived as the oppressor and illegal occupier, while the new peace prize winner would be crowned king of peace. In fact, whether it lets Barghouti out or doesn’t, Israel would still be condemned.
Saeb Erekat, the chief negotiator for the Palestinian Authority, has issued a length report to the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) that calls for withdrawing recognition of Israel unless Jerusalem recognizes the PA.
The Ma’an News Agency, based n Bethlehem and with close ties to the Palestinian Authority, reported Thursday:
In a report entitled ‘Determining Palestinian-Israeli relations: Changing, not merely improving, the situation’ the PLO official recommends that the Palestinian leadership consider retracting its recognition of Israel until the Israeli government issues a reciprocal recognition of a Palestinian state.
As seen in the video below, Yasser Arafat in 1988 explicitly said at a Stockholm press conference:
We accept two states, the Palestine state and the Jewish state of Israel.’
The declaration helped succeed in advancing the “peace process” by which the PLO, which is the superior body to what now is the Palestinian Authority, wrangled hundreds of concessions from Israel without any compromise on its part.
Arafat’s declaration fell short of satisfying American demands that it recognize Israel’s right to exist under U.N. resolutions 242 and 348 that were the basis for a negotiated peace agreement that never happened.
Arafat also renounced terrorism.
Then-Foreign Minister Shimon Peres recognized Arafat’s remarks for what they were and called them a ”cunning exercise in public relations” while lacking “a commitment in reality.”
Plenty of blood has been spilled since then, as is well-known by relatives of thousands of victims of Palestinian Authority terror.
Mahmoud Abbas, who succeeded Arafat after his death, brilliantly brought the Palestinian Authority to the brink of achieving its stated aim, but he has refused to recognize Israel as a “Jewish” state because doing so would make it almost impossible to force Israel into accepting millions of foreign Arabs into the country, leaving Jews as a minority.
Erekat now has gone even further with his report that urges the PLO not to recognize Israel at all, Jewish or not, unless the same recognition is given to the Ramallah regime.
The chief negotiator went off the face of the Earth and said, according to Ma’an:
Efforts [should] be made for Hamas and Islamic Jihad to join the PLO’s Executive Committee and [he] urged the PLO and Palestinian factions to support popular resistance and the boycott of Israeli settlement products.
The PLO official also recommended that the Palestinian leadership play a better role in assisting the Palestinian diaspora in Lebanon and Syria.
At first glance, it seems that Erekat has lost his marbles.
He knows very wall that Israel will not recognize the Palestinian Authority because doing so would be an implicit agreement to turn over the country to Ramallah.
Erekat knows very well that inviting Hamas and Islamic Jihad into the PLO executive would rip the cover off the Palestinian Authority as sponsor of terror.
He probably does not understand that the Boycott Israel movement has reached its peak and is going the way of the Palestinian Authority, a moribund entity.
So what could be going in his mind?
Considering the mayhem in the Palestinian Authority government, which this week dissolve or did not dissolve depending on which official was the last to speak, Erekat could be jockeying to replace Abbas, who is 80 years old and in the eight year of a four-year term to which he was elected.
Erekat fits the bill to take over the reins because the ambition of any Palestinian Authority leader is exactly the opposite of what the world thinks it wants.
Neither Abbas nor Erekat want to see it become a state because it would collapse like a house of cards, all of which are jokers.
Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman turned down a Swedish diplomatic request to meet next month in Jerusalem.
Sweden’s Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom’s request was rejected in retaliation for her country’s unilateral decision to announce its formal recognition of the “State of Palestine.”
The European Union adopted a resolution on Wednesday supporting in principle the recognition of “Palestine” as well. The motion that passed read, “The [European Parliament] supports in principle recognition of Palestinian statehood and the two-state solution, and believes these should go hand in hand with the development of peace talks, which should be advanced.”
Sweden was the first major European nation to make such a move, considered a diplomatic slap to Israel and an outright rejection of the internationally-recognized Oslo Accords. The Palestinian Authority has spent years carefully lobbying nations around the world for precisely this result, which allows the entity to evade its responsibilities and obligations under the Oslo Accords to reach a final status agreement via negotiations with Israel.
In response to Sweden’s announcement, Israel’s foreign minister immediately recalled Ambassador to Sweden Isaac Bachman for consultations. Liberman has also roundly condemned the Swedish government’s decision and snubbed its prime minister, Sefan Lofven, over the issue.
Israel has ordered its ambassador to Sweden to return home and has “invited” the Swedish envoy to Israel for a “talk” following Stockholm’s decision Thursday to recognize the Palestinian Authority as a country.
Lieberman stated flat out that Sweden’s new prime minister, Stefan Löfven, “acted before he had time even to study the issue in depth.”
He said Swedish Ambassador, Carl Magnus Nesser, “will be invited for a talk at the foreign ministry in Jerusalem,” but there was no indication when that will happen.
Lieberman lectured Löfven from a distance and said the prime minister “must understand that relations in the Middle East are more complicated than the self-assembly furniture from IKEA and must be dealt with in a responsible and sensitive matter.
“The only way to reach an agreement is honest an negotiation between Israel and the Palestinians and not steps that only reinforce the unreal demands of the Palestinians and move an arrangement further away.”
Löfven took the helm of the country after last month’s general election.
Sweden was the first western European country to recognize the Palestinian Authority, following a similar move by Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Malta, Poland and Romania. Iceland, which is not in the European Union, also has recognized the Palestinian Authority as have more than 110 other countries.
The United States said that Sweden’s recognition was “premature.”
Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström , showing how far Stockholm is detached from reality, insisted that the recognition might “facilitate a peace agreement by making the parties less unequal, supporting the moderate Palestinian forces and contributing to hope at a time when tensions are increasing and no peace talks are taking place.”
Diplomacy is being played out on the stage by pro-Palestinian Authority countries, but they have not noticed that there is no one in the audience. Sweden figures that if enough countries join the cast, Israel will be forced to take a seat and agree to meet all of Mahmoud Abbas’ demands.
Sweden also has not noticed that Abbas is not interested in taking a seat anywhere except behind the intifada.
The youth wing of Sweden’s Liberal party organized a “love bombing” Monday night and pasted heart-shaped papers on the same school that was attacked by neo-Nazi vandals the night before.
Stockholm’s “Vasa Real” school was sprayed with swastikas and slogans, such as “disgusting Jews” and the number 1488 that is a symbol for white power and the Nazi Heil Hitler salute.
“We wanted the pupils at the school to be greeted by love in the morning instead of all the hate they saw on Monday,” young Liberal Bawar Esmail told The Local, Sweden’s largest English daily. “So a group of us got together and cut (out) some heart-shaped paper and put them up on the doors and in the hallways at the school,” he explained. “People passing by joined in, and everyone wrote messages for the students.”
The messages contained words such as “Love overcomes hate” and “Love comes in all shapes and colors.” Others wrote that there were 1,000 times more people lovers than haters in Sweden.
More than 800 children study at the school, which includes three high school classes with Jewish children studying both the Swedish curriculum and Hebrew and Jewish studies.
Sweden took a break from anti-Semitism Tuesday with the awarding of the Nobel Prize in chemistry to Israel-Americans Aryeh Warshel and Michael Levitt, who were named last month as prize winners “for the development of multi-scale models for complex chemical systems.”
The two men and co-winner Martin Karplus each received $1 million from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.
Warshel was born on a kibbutz in Israel, served in the IDF as an officer and has been a professor at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles for more than 40 years.
Levitt was born in South Africa and moved to Israel in 1979 before leaving for the United States. He studied and worked in Israel, where his sons live.