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December 11, 2016 / 11 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Times’

Erdan: 90% of Israel’s Waste Water Recycled, 4 Times Higher than Anywhere Else

Thursday, December 1st, 2016

Minister of Strategic Affairs & Public Diplomacy Gilad Erdan paid tribute to Israel’s world-renowned sustainable innovation at this week’s first-ever Israeli CSR Experience Conference hosted by Maala, the country’s CSR standards organization.

“Today, nearly 90 percent of our waste water is recycled,” Minister Erdan stated. “That’s around four times higher than any other country in the world. It is a remarkable achievement and this benefits not only Israel. Israeli companies are helping save water around the world, from Africa to California to India.”

The conference saw leaders from Israel’s business community and key international opinion makers in the sustainability and CSR community gather to address Israel’s social and environmental innovation and the strides it continues to make in the field of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). A plethora of speakers and experts from the likes of Teva, Intel, 3M and Strauss Group headed an all-day summit in Tel Aviv Wednesday; also featured were on-site visits around the country to witness Israel’s cutting-edge sustainability in action.

From the world’s most environmentally friendly recycled paper to water shortage solutions, sustainable healthcare, energy conservation and the green construction and infrastructure of the future, Israel continues to lead the way in sustainable innovation, living up to its status as the world’s top innovator in the field of clean technologies according to the Global Cleantech 100 Index.

“Israel is innovative, creative and dynamic and has more high-tech startups per capita than anywhere else in the world,” Erdan continued. “And these startups in large part are not only focused on creating high profits, but also on finding ways to solve the world’s most pressing problems.”

Companies leading the way in sustainability and innovation within their respective fields featured at the event included Hadera Paper, the world’s most recycled & environment-friendly paper; Netafim – pioneers of drip and micro-irrigation; and Mekorot, the country’s top agency for water management. These companies were recognized at the conference for their extraordinary vision and innovation in addressing some of the country’s most pressing issues.

“This is our first ever international conference and we feel CSR work in Israel has reached a mature enough stage to reflect on our environment with the international CSR community,” said Maala CEO Momo Mahadav. “There is, however, lots of work still to be done and we’ve planned this day to allow as much engagement as possible. Israeli CSR has always focused on domestic needs first, which is a big difference from the international CSR community that focuses on global issues, such as climate change.”

Ninety-eight companies now voluntarily participate in the annual Maala CSR Index, an assessment tool Benchmarking Israeli Companies on their corporate social responsibility Performance, including Teva, Unilever Israel, Strauss Group, Siemens Israel, Microsoft Israel, Intel Israel, El Al and Live Person. These 75 large and 23 small to mid-size companies together employ 310,000, with annual sales of $94 billion, representing approximately one-third of Israel’s GDP.

David Israel

The New York Times Declares War on the Jewish State of Israel

Tuesday, November 1st, 2016

It would seem as if the New York Times has declared political and propaganda war on the Jewish state of Israel. Not on a particular government or policy – but on Israel. For how else could one describe the NYT’s call to pass resolutions in the UN to force a “peace” on Israel? The New York Times – the newspaper of record that could barely mention the Holocaust during WW II except near Ma Kettle’s recipe for apple pie on page 49 (I exaggerate, but that’s the gist of it with some rare exceptions) – has gone on record for a diktat to be imposed on Israel by the UN Security Council, of which Israel has never been a member because of the strong anti-Israel bias in the UN! This diktat that the New York Times is openly calling for, would force on the only Jewish state, a “solution” that a clear majority of its population sees not only as a mortal danger, but also as a great, immoral injustice.

The latest UNESCO resolutions remind us once again – as if we needed reminding – that the UN is hugely populated with four types of nations: the brainless scare-crow, the heartless tin-man, the cowardly lion and Dorothy. The brainless scare-crow are those who seem not to have a clue as to where Israel really is, what’s really the size of our country, the history and what the other side really wants, which is to make Israel into “was Real”. The heartless tin-men are those – like Russia or China – who know, but pursue their supposed interests at the expense of the Jewish nation. The cowardly lion are the Europeans who know that Jerusalem if foremost the capital of the Jewish religion – but act cowardly out of fear of the Arabs, as well as imaginary self-interest. And then there is Dorothy – Israel, who knows that the UN isn’t Kansas, where the rain falls and grain grows, where there is logic, rules of nature and natural morality. All Dorothy wants is to be left alone so she can go home, to the only home she ever knew, lived in and prayed for, and where she was the only sovereign independent state that her home ever knew.

Suggesting that the UN be the arena to “solve” the Arab-Israeli conflict is to suggest passing resolutions to force Israel to surrender to forces that wish her destruction, that do not recognize the basic right to national self-determination in our homeland, that seek to have the international “community” deny our history and the very essence of our religion and way of life. The New York Times suggestion is the move of all three-in-one characters: brainless, heartless and cowardly.

Of course the rumor is that this is a trial balloon of what President Obama wishes to do, which is to try to do more damage to the Jewish Nation during his last two months in office than he has done in the last eight years. There are always some so conceited and chock full of hubris that they think they know the solution to a problem that has eluded solving for almost a century. That’s either the scare-crow or the cowardly lion speaking, because it avoids seeing the reality: the problems of the Middle East – including the threats against Israel’s existence – stem not from anything Israel or the West have done or are imagined to have done, but from Arab society itself, reinforced by the Arab imperialist dream supported by the Arab religion of Islam. Or perhaps it’s a heartless choice to throw Israel under the bus for the sake of closer relations with the Arabs or Iran, which is another Western dream to sucker the East.

One thing I know for sure: the Jewish people have been around and thriving for over three thousand years and we’ll be around and thriving long after the last edition of the NYT is printed and long after anyone remembers who BHO was.

Dovid Ben-Meir

The New York Times Thinks that the Jews from Arab Countries Simply “Immigrated”

Monday, October 31st, 2016

{Originally posted to the author’s website, FirstOne Through}

On October 20, 2016, the New York Times profiled a rising Israeli member of Knesset, Miri Regev.  The article, “Miri Regev’s Culture War,” highlighted her background in Israel’s “periphery,” as part of the Mizrachi or “Eastern” communities.

The Times stated that “Mizrachi” is “a catchall term that includes Jewish communities from Muslim countries in the Middle East and North Africa, as well as the Sephardic Jews, whose origins can be traced to Spain and Portugal, who settled there. These communities immigrated to Israel in mass waves after its founding in 1948 and into the early 1950s, upending its demographic makeup. The Jewish population, almost exclusively Ashkenazi, became more than 40 percent Mizrahi. But it wasn’t just the country’s ethnic composition that changed. The Jewish population that predated the founding of the state was primarily young, secular and idealistic; it was also heavily male. By contrast, the new Mizrahi arrivals tended to be large families from traditional societies. In their ethnic garb, often with no knowledge of Hebrew, they struck the native-born Israeli sabras and the European Ashkenazim as provincial and uneducated.”

Read the passage again.  It sounds like these Jews simply left the MENA {Middle East-North Africa} region because they wanted to go to the newly reestablished Jewish State after Israel was founded in 1948.  Nowhere in the article is there any sense that these Mizrachi Jews suffered any persecution by the Muslim nations. Such poor treatment was only under the elitist Ashkenazi Jews from Israel.

This was a continued insult and mischaracterization of history by the media of the over 850,000 Jews that were forcibly expelled or fled for their lives from communities that they had lived in for centuries, due to Muslims anger over the founding of the Jewish State in a place that they deemed “Arab land.

The Muslim Expulsion of the Jews

Roughly two-thirds of the Jewish refugees from the MENA region (Middle East and North Africa) went to Israel, while one-third fled to France.  France was a natural place for Jews to flee French-speaking Arab countries such as Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia.

Algeria. Pogroms in Algeria began shortly after the Palestine Mandate to reestablish a Jewish homeland took effect, killing dozens in the 1920s and 1930s. During World War II, Jews were stripped of their citizenship when Nazis took over France, As Algeria was technically part of France. The French Vichy regime was particularly harsh to Jews, stripping them of most rights and ability to work.

Even as the war ended, Muslims put in place their own anti-Jewish laws. In 1962, when Algeria declared independence from France, virtually the entire Jewish community fled, seeing the Nuremberg-type laws in Muslim countries, and the fate of Jews in the rest of the MENA region. The majority of Jews went to France, while many moved to Israel.

Egypt. Nationality Laws in 1927 and 1929 gave preference to Egyptians who were Arab-Muslim. The laws made it difficult for Jews to gain citizenship, and in 1947, it is estimated that only 10,000 of the 75,000 Jews in Egypt had citizenship, while the rest were either stateless or were foreign nationals.

Jews came under direct attack at the founding of Israel, including bombings of Jewish neighborhoods in 1948 which killed 70, and a bombing in the Cairo Jewish Quarter in 1949 that killed 34.

When the Suez War with Israel broke out in 1956, there was no more room for Jews.  On November 23, 1956, the Egyptian Minister for Religious Affairs declared that “all Jews and Zionists are enemies of the state,” as Egypt moved to expel the Jews and confiscate their property.

Iraq. In the 1920s, Jews were prohibited from teaching Hebrew or Jewish history. In July 1948, Iraq made Zionism a crime, punishable with up to seven years in jail. In October 1948, all Jews who held positions in government were fired. In May 1950, Jews in Iraq were stripped of their citizenship and the government began to seize all Jewish property.

In response to the edicts, in 1951 and 1952, Israel launched Operation Ezra and Nechemia to airlift the Jews out of the country to safety. The Jewish community in Iraq that had stood had close to 130,000 people was quickly down to a mere 3000.

After the Arab armies were defeated in another war in 1967, the remnant of Jews in Iraq would find the situation unbearable. On January 27, 1969, the government hanged nine Jews in the public square to the cheers of Iraqis. The Jewish community in Iraq was soon no more.

Libya.  Jews were attacked by Libyans in the immediate aftermath of World War II, with 140 murdered in a pogrom. The Libyan government’s Nationality Law of 1951 prohibited Jews from having Libyan passports, and Jews were no longer allowed to vote or hold public office. By 1953, Jews in the country were subject to broad economic boycotts. The community of roughly 40,000 Jews dwindled to just 6 people.

Morocco. The Jewish community in Morocco was one of the largest in the MENA region, estimated at over 250,000 people.

After Israel’s declaration of independence in May 1948, two pogroms broke out in Morocco, in the towns of Oujda and Djerrada. The attacks killed 47 people, wounded hundreds and lefts hundreds homeless. Not surprisingly, 10% of the country’s Jews quickly fled the country.

After Morocco declared independence in 1956, an Arabization of the country commenced, cutting Jews off from parts of society. At the same time, the government prohibited emigration to Israel, which lasted until 1963. In 1961, roughly 90,000 Moroccan Jews had to be ransomed in Operation Yakhnin, bringing Jews to Israel. In the aftermath of the 1967 Six Day War, another 40,000 Jews fled to Israel.

Syria. In 1947, the sale of any real estate to Jews was prohibited, Jews were discharged from public office, and in 1949, the governments seized Jews’ financial assets.  In 1950, Jews were forced to leave the farming industry.  Syrians took the message, an initiated pogroms from November 1947 through August 1949, killing many as they looted Jewish homes and stores.

As Jews fled, the country had their assets seized by the state.

More edicts would follow for the Jews that remained.  In 1967, Muslims were placed as principals of all Jewish schools. In 1973, with the onset of the Yom Kippur War, new edicts were enforced that Jews could no longer communicate with anyone outside of Syria.

Tunisia. Tunisia’s independence in 1956 led to an Islamification of society and placed Jews in a secondary dhimmi status. From that point on, all Jewish businesses were forced to take on a Muslim partner.

The old Tunis Jewish cemetery was expropriated in 1957, and the great Tunis synagogue was destroyed in 1960. As Jews began to flee the country in 1961 as they had in the rest of the MENA region, Tunisia only allowed Jews to take one dinar with them, as the country confiscated the rest of their possessions.

Yemen. Sharia law was instituted in 1913, and all Jewish orphans were forcibly converted to Islam. In the 1920s, Jews became excluded from the army and public service.

In 1947, riots in Aden killed 82 Jews, and in 1948, Yemeni Jews began to lose control of their possessions, with laws forcing Jews to transfer all crafts to Arabs before leaving the country.

As a result of the crisis, Operation Magic Carpet airlifted 49,000 Jews out of the country between June 1949 and September 1950.

TOTALS. The number of Jews that fled persecution from homes they lived in for centuries was between 850,000 and 1 million people.

  • Algeria 140,000
  • Egypt 75,000
  • Iraq 135,000
  • Lebanon 5,000
  • Libya 38,000
  • Morocco 265,000
  • Syria 30,000
  • Tunisia 105,000
  • Yemen 55,000

This total of 850,000 Jews does not include the Jews who fled Iran and Afghanistan.


Yet the New York Times chose to write that Jews “immigrated” to Israel, implying no malice on the part of Arabs, nor fear in the hearts of Jews.  The paper implies that the Mizrachi Jews sought to take advantage of the new Jewish State. Maybe for economic opportunities.

This characterization comes from the same media source that makes every effort to describe Palestinian Arabs as “refugees,” and despondent, even when they are living just a few miles from the homes where their grandparents sought to destroy the nascent Jewish state.

The New York Times has a long history of only parroting the Palestinian Arab narrative in their collective fight against Israel. It has now further chosen to whitewash the crimes of the entire Muslim Arab world that forcibly rid their nations of Jews as they robbed them of their dignity, lives and property.


Related First.One.Through articles:

The Long History of Dictating Where Jews Can Live Continues

UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants September 2016

Help Refugees: Shut the UNRWA, Fund the UNHCR

Palestinian “Refugees” or “SAPs”?

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Paul Gherkin

A Soldier’s Mother: Sukkot and the Times

Wednesday, October 19th, 2016
The holiday of Sukkot is one that is ignored by most non-Observant Jews outside Israel. Here in Israel,both religious and secular Jews make note and honor this important holiday. Outside Israel…not so much.

Growing up, my family didn’t built a Sukkah until I became religious and built it on my own, sometimes with the help of family, sometimes not at all. Since I married, we have had one every year, in every place that we have lived  – never so large and beautiful as in the last few years since we moved to our current house.

Sukkot – the Feast of Tabernacles – is a holiday that I love, almost above all others. Missing is the tremendous amount of work related to Passover, the trepidation built into Yom Kippur, the intensity of Shavuot. Sukkot is quite simply fun. That doesn’t change the incredible symbolism involved, but it does help build the anticipation.

Sukkot is about many things but perhaps the most important message I take from it is trust. We spend our lives working to build homes for our families and make them secure – financially secure, safe from intruders. The home is our haven from the world., the place we hide out when we need down time; the place we run to when we feel oppressed.

Sukkot is about leaving that home and putting ourselves out there at the mercy of God, of the elements (controlled by God). There is no real security against thieves, the darkness, the cold. Over the last year and a bit, there has been a tremendous shift in the world, including the Jewish world.

Israel has become the greatest of Sukkahs for the Jewish people – it is truly here that we are safe in a way we do not feel anywhere else in the world. From France, to England, to Belgium, to Germany and across the United States, anti-Semitism is on the rise again, if in fact it ever really was less.

The United Nations “Education, Science and Culture” Organization (UNESCO) suggests that the place where the greatest home ever built by the Jewish people, has no real connection to the foundations of our religion.

The world seems crazy – craziest of all perhaps, is the election in the United States with candidates that should shock and embarrass every American. And here in Israel, we are an island of quiet and peace. Yes, really. What you hear may sound like we live in a country plagued by violence and yet that is so far from the truth.

Daily, we walk where we want, do what we want. We don’t live in fear of terrorism – the ultimate victory. More often than not, when a terrorist reaches out to kill, he’s shot down by a soldier or an armed and trained civilian within seconds, certainly minutes. Our sons and daughters are on alert everywhere and yes, it’s a crummy way to live, but it is life and it enables us to trust.

We build our Sukkot, decorate them with lights and posters and shimmering objects. As I do every  year, I will hang four small bags from the ceiling – salt, honey, flour and oil. This I learned from my mother-in-law – the basics of food – trust that God will provide.

These are the essential ingredients to the challah I bake each week, the dough rising on my table right now – the simple things in life.

Tonight, so much of Israel will light candles and then eat (and even sleep) in the Sukkah. In my neighborhood, it is hard to find a house or apartment without one (some even have more than one). In a world that is upside down –  we will trust and leave our homes and put ourselves out there because that is the lesson we have learned.

To have faith that God will protect us – from the rain, from the cold, from the Iranians, even, if need be, from the next president of the United States.

It is an amazing feeling to be able to reach out and show that in the place where much of the world thinks we live in violence, we truly feel safe and filled with the joys of this holiday. In a world gone crazy, Israel is our anchor, God our greatest salvation.

May the holiday come in joy and be the truest of celebrations but more, may its message of trust and love be heard around the world. The very walls of our home, of our gates and walls are nothing when the Protector of Israel watches over us.

Paula Stern

Jewish Owned Times Square Club Drops Black Lives Matter Event over Israel

Friday, September 9th, 2016

A concert supporting Black Lives Matter, planned for Sunday, September 11, at 7 and 9:30 PM at Feinstein’s/54 Below, just north of Times Square, under the direction of Tony Award winner Tonya Pinkins, was canceled due to “conflicting viewpoints on the social issue,” Playbill reported this week.

An email the club owners sent ticket buyers reads, “The owners and managers … strongly believe in and support the general thrust of the goals and objectives of BLM. However, since announcing the benefit they’ve become aware of a recent addition to the BLM platform that accuses Israel of genocide and endorses a range of boycott and sanction actions.

“Feinstein’s/54 Below would have preferred to hold the concert in support of the #BlackLivesMatter movement, without endorsing or appearing to endorse the entirety of the Black Lives Matter organization and its platform, but we’ve found that a distinction impossible for us to effect.

“As we can’t support these positions, we’ve accordingly decided to cancel the concert.

“We’re sorry about this unfortunate situation which has not dimmed our commitment to supporting social justice.”

According to Playbill, the evening was organized by Felicia Fitzpatrick, Michael R. Jackson and Jennifer Ashley Tepper, with consultation by Frank Leon Roberts and Adrienne Warren for the Broadway for Black Lives Matter Collective. Participants included Lilli Cooper, Eisa Davis, Andre DeShields, Michael R. Jackson, Marcus Scott, Darius Smith and Brynn Williams, as well as the AAPF-Say Her Name Organization and a representative from the New York chapter of Black Lives Matter.

Feinstein’s/54 Below opened in 2012 as a supper club. In 2015, through a creative partnership with Michael Feinstein, the Ambassador of the American Songbook, 54 Below was renamed Feinstein’s/54 Below.

JNi.Media

A Troubling Debut at the NY Times

Friday, September 2nd, 2016

{Originally posted to the Camera website}

Incoming Jerusalem Bureau Chief Peter Baker filed the first story of his new tenure August 28. Given the complexity of issues relating to Israel and the fraught debates about coverage, readers might have anticipated a carefully balanced, factually nailed-down, serious piece by the new correspondent.

Instead, echoing a Haaretz story about a minor incident involving a female singer who was asked to leave the stage because she was wearing a revealing bikini top at a publicly-funded event, Baker’s debut piece veered from this trivial story to Israel “struggling with its identity and values.”

This struggle, he asserts, is rooted in increasingly influential “Orthodox Judaism” which he links in a lurch of logic to “culture minister, Miri Regev,” who is “seeking to deny state money for institutions that do not express loyalty to the state.”

Judaism, patriotism, identity and values would be large topics for a veteran on the scene and not surprisingly ring both shallow and muddled at the same time in this piece.

In any case, the intended message is clear: Israel is supposedly veering rightward – a bad thing in The Times worldview – and Baker is plugging in items to make the point.

More substantively problematic was the incomplete and deceptive framing of Minister Regev’s efforts related to taxpayer funding of cultural events. Readers might assume her actions as characterized by Baker compel Orwellian public expressions of fealty to the state.

But the “Loyalty in Culture” legislation seeks to remove public funding for extreme anti-Israel projects. It permits a retroactive reduction in the budget for “actions against the principles of the state.” Among these are cultural events that entail: “Denying the existence of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state; incitement to racism, violence, and terror; support for an armed struggle or terror act by a hostile country or terror organization against the State of Israel; marking Independence Day as a day of mourning; an act of vandalism or physical degradation that dishonors the country’s flag or state emblem.”

The Minister is calling for what she terms “freedom in funding” along with freedom of expression. She and those who support passage of the law believe Israel is free not to fund cultural events that promote terror, incite racism, denigrate Independence Day and so on.

Baker likewise cites Regev “proposing to vet the music played by the army’s radio station for its patriotism.”

Here again the facts of the proposal convey something different from The Times innuendo that a censorious government hand will control the popular radio station. Rather, the culture minister expressed the desire to “create cultural justice” at the state-funded radio station, by increasing its play of music by local artists. According to Haaretz, she suggested three options, including “adding a sister station” that would air “Israeli music only,” having the station increase the time devoted to Israeli artists and diversifying the playlist committee to reflect the demography of the country.

In a related story from January 2016, another Times piece cited criticism of Regev’s initiatives but, importantly, also provided a balancing counter-voice. Reporter Steve Erlanger wrote:

“… Mr. Leibler, The Jerusalem Post columnist, defended Ms. Regev and Mr. Bennett as trying to ‘restore a climate that nurtures love of Israel and promotes pride in Jewish heritage’ after years when ‘far-leftists, postmodernists and even post-Zionists took over the Education Ministry.’”

That’s a piece of information that readers deserve to have. Readers must hope that going forward they will get some sense of the full context – even if the reporter’s default viewpoint is to fault Israel.

 

Andrea Levin

Does the Times Want Middle East Peace?

Tuesday, August 30th, 2016

{Originally posted to the Commentary Magazine website}

Something very odd has been happening in the Middle East and, as Sunday’s editorial in the New York Times illustrates, it has a lot of liberals seriously depressed. What’s bothering them? It turns out their collective noses are out of joint about progress toward Middle East peace and the fact that the Palestinian campaign that seeks to avoid direct talks and isolate Israel is failing. If that wasn’t bad enough, a series of diplomatic breakthroughs are happening on the watch of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the man that the Times and the so-called “peace camp” has been busy slandering as an opponent of peace.

After several decades of unremitting hostility, some of the fiercest opponents of Israel are starting to view the Jewish state very differently. Covert ties with Saudi Arabia are now becoming more open. Egypt, whose cold peace with Israel remained frozen in open hostility since Anwar Sadat’s assassination, has a government that is no longer shy about treating Israel as an ally if not a friend. Jerusalem’s relations with much of the Third World, especially African nations, are also warming up.

Those who care about thawing tensions between Jews and Arabs should be applauding all of this. That’s especially true of those voices that spend so much time deploring Israel’s isolation and the idea that it is an armed camp that is locked in perpetual combat with the entire Muslim and Arab world. But the Times and others on the left are lukewarm about these positive developments for their own reasons.

The first is that Israel and its Arab neighbors have been drawn together in large part through their mutual antipathy for Obama administration policies, and most specifically about the Iran nuclear deal. The Times has been one of the principal cheerleaders of the pact, which its advocates incorrectly claim has ended the nuclear threat to Israel and the Arab states. But those nations that are targeted most directly by Iran—Israel and Saudi Arabia—understand that U.S. appeasement of Iran advances the latter’s drive for regional hegemony as well as merely postponing the moment when it will achieve nuclear capability. The coming together of other Middle East nations in reaction to this travesty is evidence that those most at risk consider Obama’s false promises and his desire for a general U.S. retreat from the region a clear and present danger to the region.

Just as important is the Palestinian dismay about the willingness of many in the Arab world to embrace Israel as an ally. The irony is that both the Saudis and Egyptians hope to use their new ties with Israel to jump-start peace talks and Israel has signaled its willingness to try again. But that is exactly the opposite of what the Palestinian Authority wants. PA leader Mahmoud Abbas is appalled about the idea of being pushed into negotiations with Israel again because it will force him to either refuse peace offers (as he did in 2008) or to blow up the talks (as he did in 2014) to avoid being cornered again. The PA prefers to stick to its strategy of refusing negotiations while asking the United Nations to recognize their independence without first requiring them to make peace with Israel. New talks with Israel mean that strategy, which allows the PA to keep refusing to recognize the legitimacy of a Jewish state no matter where its borders are drawn, would be thwarted.

Ever since 1967, any hope of Arab reconciliation with Israel has been frustrated by Palestinian rejectionism. But that is a luxury that Cairo and Riyadh can no longer afford because of the nuclear deal and the rise of Islamist terror groups such as Hamas in Gaza, Iran’s Hezbollah auxiliaries in Lebanon as well as ISIS. Egypt rightly sees Hamas and ISIS as direct threats that must be faced. Moreover, Israel’s fears that a withdrawal from the West Bank would lead to a Hamas takeover there are viewed with more understanding in Cairo than they are at the Times.

Contrary to the Times assertion that neither Israel nor the Palestinians want peace, the Arab states understand that it is the latter that is unwilling to negotiate, let alone end the conflict for all time. As the Times notes, better relations between Israel and the Arab nations do not preclude a peace deal with the Palestinians. But those nations can’t wait for a sea change in Palestinian political culture that might permit them to finally say “yes” to peace to occur before they can cooperate with the Israelis to provide for their mutual security.

The outrage here is that when faced with a development that represents genuine progress toward ending the conflict, the Obama administration, its media cheerleaders and the rest of the left are nonplussed. They’re not only still stuck in an outdated concept about the centrality of the Palestinian problem but would prefer to see Netanyahu’s outreach fail rather than concede that they were wrong.

Jonathan S. Tobin

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/does-the-times-want-middle-east-peace/2016/08/30/

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