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April 21, 2014 / 21 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Two State Solution’

Lapid on Jerusalem and the Palestinians

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

The big surprise of Israel’s elections was the rise of Yair Lapid’s “Yesh Atid” (There is a Future) party, which is projected to have received 18-19 seats in the upcoming 19th Knesset. The second biggest party after the Likud, it is presumed that Lapid will join Netanyahu’s next government as a senior partner.

“Yesh Atid” will be influential in setting all aspects of government policy, including the resumption of the peace process and the attempts to come to an agreement with the Palestinians.

What are Lapid’s principles regarding the peace process?

The party’s platform, formulated by Ofer Shelach, a former journalist and number 6 on the party’s Knesset list, states that Israel will strive to return to the negotiations table with the Palestinians with the principle of “two states for two nations” serving as the basis of the process.

Yesh Atid perceives a possible peace process as a response to an ensemble of threats looming over the State of Israel and the only way to effectively minimize these threats in the long term.

What will be the fate of the communities of Judea and Samaria? Yair Lapid chose to launch his campaign in Ariel, which can be telling about his future intentions regarding Judea and Samaria. Yesh Atid’s platform states that within the framework of the negotiations, the large settlement blocks—Ariel, Maale Adumim and Gush Etzion—will remain within the agreed upon boundaries of the State of Israel. During peace negations no new communities will be established, but until the signing of an agreement the natural growth of the existing communities will be taken into consideration.

The Yesh Atid platform further states that Israel’s future borders will be decided on the basis of Israel’s security needs, as well as the reality created since 1967: “Both sides will acknowledge that it is in their mutual interest that the settlement blocks remain in Israel’s hands.” A swap of land is an option, according to Yesh Atid. However, Lapid has stated several times throughout his campaign that the communities in Judea and Samaria constitute a financial burden on Israel’s economy, and that he intends to change that.

The Palestinian refugees’ issue will be settled within the boundaries of a future Palestinian state.

The platform also focused on the rabid antisemitic incitement within the Palestinian educational system, stating its complete end as a part of any future agreement.

As for Jerusalem, the platform clearly states: “Jerusalem is Israel’s eternal capital and its unity is a national symbol of the first degree. Jerusalem will remain united under Israeli sovereignty, for Jerusalem is not merely a location or a city, but the center of the Jewish-Israeli ethos and the holy place that the Jews have yearned for throughout the ages.”

Lapid has made several such public statements. A few days ago, he stated that there is no point in negotiating for Jerusalem, “we have no existence without Jerusalem.” He intends to grant Israeli citizenship to the Arabs of east Jerusalem.

Many questions are left open, and on many of the points Yesh Atid’s platform is ambiguous. In the coming month we’ll find out how Lapid’s new, 19-member party will affect Israel’s future.

Peace Process is Gone, But the Pressure Remains

Sunday, January 20th, 2013

From Barry Rubin‘s recent article, “Murdered Diplomacy“:

…any talk of Israel-Palestinian negotiations, peace process activity, compromise diplomacy, and all that stuff is meaningless now and here’s why:

The U.N. General Assembly made the Palestinian Authority (P.A.)-ruled entity a non-member state. Many in the West rationalized providing supporting votes or abstentions by saying this would do no harm and make Palestinians feel good…

Those of us who opposed this change explained that it means destruction of the 1993 Oslo agreement and the “peace process,” as moribund as it was, by handing the Palestinian Authority (at least on paper) everything it wanted without a single compromise on its part, not even living up to previous commitments.

And since the P.A. has just thrown away all the previous agreements it made with Israel, why should Israel pin its fate on some new one? Just as the P.A. took all the benefits it could from the Oslo agreement and then tore it up the same thing would happen–with a far more dangerous situation resulting–with a peace treaty in which Israel pulled out of the rest of the West Bank and east Jerusalem. Why is it that this issue is never even mentioned in the Western mass media, or by “experts” and politicians as a central aspect of the problem?

Mahmoud Abbas has now ordered that official documents bear the name “State of Palestine” rather than “Palestinian National Authority,” marking the end of the Oslo framework. Rubin continues,

In other words, the U.N. General Assembly’s action was the single most effective sabotage to a two-state solution since the Palestine Arab leadership’s rejection of a two-state solution based on partition in 1947. Much of the media, “experts,” and Western politicians will no doubt blame Israel and especially the Netanyahu government for the absence of a diplomatic miracle. In fact, though, Israel’s stances have now been rendered irrelevant in this regard. [my emphasis]

In a speech on January 4, Abbas made clear that he sees the Palestinian goal not as the establishment of a peaceful state alongside Israel, but the replacement of Israel by an Arab state. Jonathan D. Halevi describes it,

In his speech Abbas avoids all mention of a historic compromise with Israel that would bring the conflict to an end. Nor does he mention the land-for-peace formula, the establishment of a Palestinian state beside Israel, recognition of Israel, or Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people.

Instead, Abbas chose to reemphasize that the Fatah movement has not changed since the day of its establishment – marked by its first anti-Israel terror attack on January 1, 1965 – and that the Palestinian people remain on the path of struggle. The keywords in his speech were the “dreams” and “national goals” to be achieved; that is, “historical justice,” as the Palestinians view it. Translated into the language of action, that means, according to Abbas, “realizing the dream of return” of the Palestinian refugees and their millions of descendants.

Abbas reinforced his uncompromising message with a pledge to continue the path of struggle of previous Palestinian leaders, mentioning the Mufti of Jerusalem, Hajj Amin al-Husseini, who forged a strategic alliance with Nazi Germany, and heads of Palestinian terror organizations who were directly responsible for the murder of thousands of Israeli civilians, including Halil al-Wazir Abu Jihad (Fatah), Sheikh Ahmed Yassin (Hamas), Abd al-Aziz al-Rantisi (Hamas), Fathi al-Shikaki (Islamic Jihad), George Habash (Popular Front), Abu Ali Mustafa (Popular Front), Abu al-Abbas (Arab Liberation Front), and Izzadin al-Qassam (leader of the jihad war against the Jewish Yishuv and the British in the 1930s).

Abbas refrained from setting red lines for the “Palestinian struggle,” condemning terror, or denouncing Palestinian terror organizations and leaders. All of these, in his view, are equal and suitable partners in the Palestinian struggle, and their ideological platform, even if it is terrorist and/or radical-Islamist, is a source of inspiration for the Palestinian people in their ongoing endeavor to achieve their national goals.

In short, no more “peace process.” But that doesn’t mean the end of diplomatic pressure on Israel. On the contrary, the thugs on the ground in Europe and the Obama Administration now simply want to impose the U.N.’s diktat on Israel.

In an ugly salvo in this direction, the administration spoke through the pen of the friendly Jeffrey Goldberg:

In the weeks after the U.N. vote, Obama said privately and repeatedly, “Israel doesn’t know what its own best interests are.” With each new settlement announcement, in Obama’s view, Netanyahu is moving his country down a path toward near-total isolation…

…what Obama wants is recognition by Netanyahu that Israel’s settlement policies are foreclosing on the possibility of a two-state solution, and he wants Netanyahu to acknowledge that a two-state solution represents the best chance of preserving the country as a Jewish-majority democracy.

I find it impossible to believe that Obama honestly thinks that construction anywhere east of the Green Line is what prevents an agreed-upon two-state solution. And it cannot have escaped his attention that the Palestinians are not on board for any kind of ‘solution’ that isn’t totally one-sided.

Nevertheless, he plows on, playing the good cop to the Europeans’ bad one, pretending that the pressure is for Israel’s own good. For some reason, no issue seems to be as important in U.S. and E.U. policy than shrinking Israel.

Israel can go along with the program and endanger its chances for survival, or it can run the risk of whatever sanctions the Europeans and the U.S. may dish out.

Neither option is terribly good, but in my opinion Israel should take the unilateral steps necessary to protect its security — and let the E.U. and Obama do their worst.

Conference on Applying Israeli Sovereignty over Judea & Samaria

Friday, January 11th, 2013

(((CLICK BELOW TO HEAR AUDIO)))

Yishai broadcasts the third segment of this week’s show from the third annual Conference on the Application of Israeli Sovereignty Over Judea and Samaria, a conference held on January 1, 2013 in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Bayit Vegan.

Yishai gets brief interviews during the conference from many leading thinkers including Yisrael Medad of the Menachem Begin Heritage Center, former Jerusalem city council person Nina Fenton, Jerusalem Post columnist and fellow radio host Josh Hasten, Director of the Israel office of the Zionist Organization of America Jeff Daube, Creator of Dapei Katom business directory Elisheva Bloom, Former Israeli Ambassador Yoram Ettinger, Alternative Peace Activist Yehuda Hakohen, and Co-founder of Women in Green along with co-organizer of the conference Nadia Matar. Don’t miss this segment!

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
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Expelling Jews is a Red Line

Monday, January 7th, 2013

I was surprised to read in JewishPress.com, Yair Shamir’s article, where he states that he opposes a Palestinian state.

I was surprised, because over Shabbat, I read in Makor Rishon an interview with his party’s leader, Avigdor Liberman, where Liberman explicitly stated that he would support the uprooting of settlements that aren’t inside settlement blocs, in exchange for peace, including his own home in Nokdim, Gush Etzion.

Liberman continued on to say that peace isn’t possible under the current conditions, only because Abbas isn’t a partner,.

But that last line is more than a bit disingenuous, because on Sunday, I read that Liberman said that seeking a two-state solution will be an important element of the next government.

Like Shamir, Liberman also said that he is also opposed to a Palestinian state.

But as I understand him, Liberman says he supports the creation of autonomous, demilitarized Palestinian areas, or alternatively two states with population transfers. I’m not sure what the differences between any of these plans are at this point. If it walks like a Palestinian duck…

I’ve also heard rumors that Liberman is angry at Shamir for something he recently said. Perhaps it was about opposing the Palestinian state, without adding on the autonomous area bit? Or perhaps it was for attacking Netanyahu for supporting the two-state solution.

I don’t know.

The bottom line is that Liberman has explicitly stated that he accepts the dismantling of settlements, and he will be actively pushing for a resolution based on a two-state solution in his next term, and he openly accepts that uprooting Jews will or at least may be part of that solution.

And to top it off, now there are reports that Netanyahu has delayed E1, by “hesitating” to approve the projects there, and not filing them. That’s a worrisome development.

I don’t know much about Shamir’s actual positions, and whether or not he stands 100% behind Liberman, but since its Liberman and Netanyahu who are setting policy, and not Shamir, I am honestly concerned that a vote for Likud-Beytenu is a vote to expel Jews from their homes.

It’s unfortunate, because there are so many important issues on the Yisrael Beytenu agenda that they want to deal with, such as reforming the electoral system, Hareidi integration, and so on. But instead, Liberman chose to insert a red line like this into his party’s position.

Yesterday, Naftali Bennett, was attacked for his position on not uprooting Jews. He wisely responded that all the Jewish parties should sign an affidavit that they won’t expel Jews. He received cheers and applause for saying that. And his party is only going up because of it.

Today, Rav Ovadiah’s son said the same thing.

The bottom line is this.

The Israeli people do not want any more Jews uprooted, and the Israeli people do not believe that pulling back to any variation of the ’67 lines will bring peace with the Arabs.

It’s unfortunately quite clear that Netanyahu and Liberman do not see eye to eye anymore with what most of the population wants or believes is good for us, and it’s only because the Likud list is a pretty good list, that Likud-Beytenu hasn’t dropped even further or faster.

Expelling Jews is a red line, and no matter what other benefits Likud-Beytenu may bring, it’s a red line that they’ve told us they may very well cross.

Netanyahu and Liberman need to come out and explicitly state that under no circumstances will Jews be expelled during their term in power.

That’s my red line.

Poll: More Israelis Against the Two-State Solution than For it

Thursday, January 3rd, 2013

In a poll commissioned by Israel’s Reshet B, 45.4 percent of Israelis said they were against the view that “two-states for two peoples is the desired solution for a peace agreement with the Palestinians,” while only 40.6 percent said they were in favor.

Fourteen percent had no answer.

The poll of 500 potential voters was conducted by Geocartographia by telephone yesterday and had a 4.2 percent margin of error.

That showing of only 40.6 percent in favor of the two-state solution comes on the heels of another set of polls which claimed that Israelis supported the two-state solution by a margin of 67-68 percent.

The wording of those polls was criticized for presenting a fantasy scenario in which, according to Ha’aretz, the Palestinians would give up their claim to the “right of return” to the State of Israel and ”[t]he Palestinian state would be demilitarized and its boundaries would be based on the 1967 lines with exchanges of equal-sized territory” which “would take into consideration Israel’s security needs and would retain the large settlement blocs in Israeli hands.”

The Geocarographia poll also asked Israelis for whom they were planning to vote, and gave the Jewish Home party 17.5 seats and the Strength to Israel party 6 seats, both of the parties’ best showings yet.

For full results relating to the Knesset elections click here.

Are You Poll Fooled?

Monday, December 31st, 2012

Fooled by this poll?

Poll: Most right-wing Israelis would support Palestinian state, division of Jerusalem The principles of the agreement as presented to respondents were for two states – Israel for the Jewish people and Palestine for the Palestinians, with Palestinian refugees having the right to return only to their new country.

(Molad, the group behind this latest left-wing progressive poll, is a regurgitation other Israel-bashing bullies such as Breaking the Silence, Sheikh Jarah Solidarity, et al. with Avrum Burg which ‘merits’ the worship of Haaretz providing their headline status.)

But didn’t we just read that 67% of Israelis won’t divide Jerusalem? And didn’t we read this:

The May (five months ago!) data is from Tel Aviv University’s Walter Lebach Institute for Jewish-Arab Coexistence…  Some findings:
80 percent of Israelis don’t believe it’s possible to make peace with the Palestinians. Half of them don’t believe it’s ever possible to make peace, while half don’t believe it’s possible in the foreseeable future. About two-thirds support a diplomatic solution, but many more still eagerly buy the convenient argument that there’s no partner.
-Only about 20 percent of secular Jews see the demographic threat as an existential problem and only one-third believe the occupation and the settlements are creating a security threat to Israel.
- Nearly half the respondents consider Palestinian terror a major security problem;
Within the Green Line, the number who consider themselves rightists or right-leaning has increased from 41 percent to 48 percent

Previously in 2008, there was this:

Two-thirds of Israelis support a total or partial resumption of building communities in Judea and Samaria, according to a poll broadcast on Wednesday, as peace talks are due to restart in Washington.

Israpundit reminds us of this poll this past June:

A new poll shows a solid majority of Israelis – 64% – supports the continuation of the settlement enterprise in Judea and Samaria. The remaining 36% support a temporary freeze on Jewish construction there or a complete freeze of construction. While these numbers are unchanged from last year, this year’s poll shows a small increase compared to last year in the percentages of Israelis who think Jewish settlement in Judea and Samaria is a “truly Zionist deed” (64%) and that Judea and Samaria are the country’s security belt (57%)

You should be interested in this late 2010 survey in which respondents were asked (among many others) the following two questions:

“If during peace talks, Israel succeeds in reaching a permanent peace with the Palestinians that is backed by the United States and includes the evacuation of all of the settlements in the West Bank/Judea and Samaria, in your opinion, should Israel sign or not sign such an agreement?”

And “if it includes only the evacuation of the settlements and territories […] that are outside the large settlement blocs, since the large blocs would remain in Israeli hands, in your opinion should Israel sign or not sign the agreement?”

The answers:

A large majority (72%) favors such negotiations, but only 33% think they are likely to bear fruit.   Is there a price for extending the construction freeze? A clear majority (74%) supports Netanyahu’s demand that the Palestinian leadership recognize Israel as the state of the Jewish people as a condition for extending the building freeze in the settlements…

Is there a price for peace? In return for a permanent peace with the Palestinians backed by the United States, half of the Jewish public are willing to evacuate settlements that lie beyond the large settlement blocs (a minority of 43% oppose this). However, only a minority (28%) thinks Israel should sign such an agreement and pay for it by evacuating all of the settlements in the territories (a majority of 65% oppose such an evacuation).

This past April,  in response to a question about the urgency of achieving Israeli-Palestinian peace,

58% of the Jewish respondents and 51% of the Arab respondents defined the issue as urgent or very urgent. At the same time, 58% of the Jewish interviewees and 61% of the Arab ones saw no chance of ending the conflict in accordance with the “two states for two peoples” formula at the present time.

And earlier in January, it was found that

a large majority (76%) preferring that Israel remain a country with a Jewish majority, with one-quarter preferring that Israel continue to rule all of the Land of Israel west of the Jordan. Asked how they would respond if they knew that “continued Israeli rule over the West Bank would lead to one state for Jews and Arabs in the entire Land of Israel that would not have a Jewish majority,” the majority (63%) answered that in this case they would oppose continued rule in the territories. However, the majority (54%) did not agree with the claim that continued rule in the territories will result in a country without a Jewish majority. Some 54% believe that continued rule in the territories will not prevent Israel from remaining a Jewish and democratic state. In other words, the public indeed prefers that Israel be a Jewish state over continued rule over the whole Land of Israel, but most of it does not believe there is a contradiction between the two objectives.

There is No Hamas-Fatah Divide

Friday, December 21st, 2012

Contrary to what many people think, there is no profound division between Fatah and Hamas. Palestinians often shuttle from one to the other; members of the same family belong to different groups. Jibril Rajoub, for example, is often interviewed by the Israeli media as representing Fatah (Palestinian Authority), while his brother, Naif, was a minister in the de-facto Hamas administration.

Before 2007, when Hamas took over the Gaza Strip and suppressed the Fatah presence there, there was a considerable amount of back-and-forth between the organizations. On one occasion a Fatah operative in jail smiled and said he found it hard to say which organization he belonged to. “There are days,” he said, “when I go to sleep Fatah and wake up Hamas…”

Last week, masses of people marched through the streets of Palestinian cities in Judea and Samaria holding green signs with Hamas slogans, all with Fatah’s blessing, and chanting, “death to the Jews,” and “death to Israel.” As one veteran Fatah member said, “In our hearts we are all Hamas.”

Mahmoud Abbas’s so-called “pragmatism” is music to Western ears, but not to the Arabs’.

Thus, when he came back from the UN with the title of “president of Palestine” in his pocket, he allowed Hamas and others to hold parades and rallies, released Hamas prisoners, and has given instructions that those planning terrorist attacks against Israel are to be left to do as they please.

Today the Palestinian Authority can barely stay afloat, and every mass march organized to palliate Hamas can slide into factional Palestinian violence and anti-Israeli terrorism.

Hamas, with the help recently and willingly given it by Mahmoud Abbas, will take over, just as it took over the Gaza Strip. Israel can never accept a radical Islamist emirate in Judea and Samaria of the sort Hamas has created in the Gaza Strip, any more than Paris, London or Washington could accept al-Qaeda or the Taliban in Monaco, Wales or Virginia.

This time, no one can promise that Israeli soldiers will continue to act as bodyguards for Palestinian leaders when their lives are threatened. That movie, which we have all seen, is no longer playing.

Originally published at the Gatestone Institute.

Radical Palestinians Vastly Outnumber Moderates

Thursday, December 13th, 2012

When Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas returned from New York to Ramallah and told the Palestinians that he obtained UN recognition of a Palestinian state within the pre-1967 lines — namely, the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem — fewer than 5,000 Palestinians, many of them civil servants who receive their salaries from the Palestinian Authority government, turned out to greet him in Ramallah.

When Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal came last week to the Gaza Strip and told Palestinians that armed struggle and jihad were the only way to liberate all Palestine, “from the river to the sea,” and that there was no room for the Zionists in Palestine because the country belonged only to Muslim and Arabs, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians showed up to welcome Mashaal and voice support for his plan to eliminate Israel and replace it with an Islamic state.

Even many Palestinians in the West Bank expressed support for Mashaal, especially when he said that the Palestinians would never “give up one inch of Palestine.”

The Palestinian Authority’s official TV station in the West Bank broadcast Mashaal’s speech live, as well as Hamas celebrations marking the 25th anniversary of the founding of the Islamist movement.

If anything, the widespread support for Hamas’s position is a sign of how much the Palestinians have been radicalized over the past few decades.

A Palestinian leader who talks about a Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem is less popular than one who talks about “liberating Haifa, Jaffa, Beersheba and Safed.”

When Abbas says that a Palestinian state within the pre-1967 lines would lead to a just and comprehensive peace in the Middle East, he is ignoring the fact that a large number of Palestinians think otherwise.

The pro-Hamas rallies in the Gaza Strip, where Palestinians chanted slogans in favor of liberating Palestine “from the river to the sea” and called for more rocket attacks against Israel reflect the authentic voice of the Palestinian “street.”

This is not a voice that supports Hamas so much as one that denies Israel a right to exist. The rallies were not about backing Hamas so much as they were intended to express the true and sincere feelings of many Arabs and Muslims who believe that Israel is an alien body that needs to be uprooted or exterminated.

Were Mashaal given the chance to deliver a speech in the West Bank advocating jihad and armed struggle against Israel he would have attracted tens of thousands of people.

The Palestinian Authority is well aware of the growing anti-Israel sentiments among its constituents; that is why its leaders and spokesmen did not dare utter a word against the Hamas leader when he talked about eliminating Israel.

On the contrary, instead of voicing reservations about Mashaal’s messages of hate and violence, Palestinian officials in the West Bank hailed his speech as “positive.”

Why did they find the speech positive? Simply because Mashaal talked about the need for unity between Hamas and Abbas’s Fatah faction.

How can the Palestinian Authority, which claims it remains committed to the two-state solution, join forces with another group that is openly calling on Muslims and Arabs to wage jihad in order to destroy Israel?

As the case has always been with the Palestinian Authority, it is easier to blame Israel and the US for destroying the two-state solution rather than Hamas and other terror organizations.

This view was expressed this week by Saeb Erekat, the chief PLO negotiator, who once again held Israel and the US solely responsible for the current stalemate in the Middle East peace process.

“As regional and global shifts take place, the window of opportunity is not only closing on the two-state solution, but on the U.S.’s central involvement in the peace process,” Erekat wrote. “Punishing the Palestinians or anyone expressing support for the Palestinians, for taking peaceful diplomatic steps, is counterproductive and dangerous. The two-state solution is the best result for all concerned. The current Israeli government does not see that. It is hoped that their long-term ally, the U.S., will.”

Erekat and the rest of the Palestinian Authority leadership do not see Hamas’s ambition of destroying Israel is an obstacle to peace — nor do they see that the real threat to the two-state solution is Hamas and the unwillingness of many Palestinians to accept Israel’s right to exist.

Abbas, Erekat and other relatively moderate Palestinian leaders represent a dwindling minority of Palestinians that still believes in the two-state solution and peace with Israel. As demonstrated by last week’s Hamas celebrations, an increased number of Palestinians have still not come to terms with Israel’s right to exist.

Originally published by the Gatestone Institute.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/khaled-abu-toameh/radical-palestinians-vastly-outnumber-moderates/2012/12/13/

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