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April 17, 2014 / 17 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Tzipi Livni’

Abbas Inches Towards the ‘No State’ Solution

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

Reality has returned to the traditional Arab-Israeli divide, at least for the time being, and none other than a veteran Arab journalist and retired professor of  journalism wrote on Wednesday that given the hapless Arab strategy, “Palestinians will end up with no state.”

This is no surprise to no one except the U.S. State Dept. Thomas Friedman, the European Union and perhaps President Barack Obama, although it is more probable he couldn’t care less just as long as he can stick the Arab-Israel dossier into his “forget” folder.

With Martin Indyk acting on an emergency rescue mission, armed with everything except a Magen David Adom ambulance, the prediction by Abdallah Schleifer may be a bit too soon.

The fact that Israeli negotiator Tzipi Livni and her Palestinian Authority counterpart Saeb Erekat rushed to meet last night proves they want to save U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s chance for a Nobel Peace Prize, which he would really would deserve if he would worry about the disappearing South American Rain Forest instead of stirring up trouble in Cairo, Moscow, the Ukraine, Jerusalem, Benghazi, Ankara, and Tehran.

The Bethlehem-based Ma’an News Agency reported that Livni and Erekat went at each other’s throats last night in the presence of Indyk, who was unable to tame the peace partners “fierce political battle.”

Specifically, according to Ma’an, “Erekat reportedly told the Israeli side that ‘we are here to negotiate in the name of the UN-recognized State of Palestine, not in the name of a Palestinian Authority whose inputs and outputs are controlled by Israel.’

“Israeli negotiators responded by threatening to put “endless” sanctions on the Palestinians, the sources said….

“Erekat responded to Israeli threats of sanctions by saying the PLO would go after Israeli officials as ‘war criminals’ in international institutions.”

And now for the full and unabridged version from Livni’s spokeswoman in answer to a question put forward by The Jewish Press, to wit: “Can you confirm or deny…that Minister Livni threatened Erekat with sanctions?

“No comment.”

First of all, it shows Livni is not stupid. As much as the Palestinian Authority tries to convince the media establishment that it’s all Israel’s fault that the myth of peace talks has been unmasked, it is not so convincing to anyone outside of the Arab world, so wht argue that 2+2=4 when others know the answer is 5?

The Jewish Press reported here last night that Livni entered the meeting with Erekat to help Abbas climb down from his lofty perch and would exit the meeting with praise for her peace partner. That did not happen, but it’s not over until it’s over.

We also reported that everything is on hold until the Arab League meets next week. It will realize that the time is not yet ripe to ditch the United States and will come up with some mental gymnastics to prolong the agony of the peace talks, or it will go for broke.

Enter Schleifer, the Arab journalist who wrote in Al Arabiya Thursday that with the apparent collapse of the talks, “There is increasing talk about the impossibility of a two-state solution and increasing talk on the Palestinian and pro-Palestinian side of a one-state solution.”

Schleifer is not to be dismissed as another hack writer. He served for nine years as NBC News Cairo bureau chief, was a special correspondent for the New York Times based in Amman, served as Al Arabiya’s Washington D.C. bureau chief and is associated with the Middle East Institute in Washington D.C. as an Adjunct Scholar.

He is a card-carrying champion Palestinian Authority and opponent of the “Occupation,” but at least one of his views of history is on the money

“Back in the 1930s and 40s noble -minded Jews who connected at some level with Zionism were calling for a bi-national rather than exclusively Jewish state, but neither the Zionist leadership nor the Palestinian leadership wanted it which in both cases, figures,” he wrote.

“The whole thrust of the Zionist movement for most Zionists, would be a Jewish state theoretically ready to absorb as many Jews from Europe, America, and the Arab world as would be willing and able to immigrate. And since the overwhelming population in Mandate Palestine was Arab, why would the Arab leadership in Palestine consider a bi-national state as just another way of denying the Palestinians the right to self-determination?”

That is one of the first opportunities that the Arab world missed, upholding a tradition that goes back to Biblical kingdoms, which refused to let Moses lead the people of Israel through their areas on the way to the Promised Land.

Then and now, the anti-Zionists say “no” and the Jews, like Livni, say “no comment. We’ll find a way. We are not known as a Start-Up nation for nothing.”

As for the new “one-state” solution promoted if not threatened by Palestinian Authority activists as well as Jewish anti-Zionists, Schleifer commented, “The one state solution still is a noble idea but noble ideas don’t cut much ice without significant power behind it…Unfortunately, neither a powerful mass movement nor the commitment of strong willed leaders exists as yet for the one state.”

With typical Arab blindness, he wrote, “A right-wing Israeli version of one state [is] based on ethnic cleansing and annexation.” Abbas repeatedly says no Jews would be allowed in a future Palestinian Authority state, but that’s not ethnic cleansing. That is “national identity.”

The kind professor and journalist offer two options. One is a utopian presence of two states “providing both sides with an opportunity to engage people to people without threats to their respective and very different concerns, apprehensions and fears.”

He correctly dismissed that as being viable, putting all the onus, of course, on Israel that constantly creates a hopeless situation by insisting that Jews can live in Judea and Samaria, reserved for Arabs.

And it is that hopelessness that provides the second option. Schleifer wrote, “it is almost inevitable there will be Palestinian jihadi attack killing a large number of Israeli civilians — like a bomb going off at the western Wailing Wall when the plaza is filled to capacity during key Israeli holidays.

“This would provoke a terrible ethnic cleansing of the Arabs of former Jordanian Jerusalem and the West Bank. The ultra-right wing government could then annex all of the West Bank and not worry at all about the ‘demographic threat.’”

Got it? Blame Israel for hopelessness – has anyone recently read the Biblical account of Hagar who sat around waiting for God to save herself and her child Ismael instead of looking for a water bottle?

Blame Israel for hopelessness, blame Israel for the Arab’s blowing up Jews and blame Israel for exploiting the massacre to defend itself by taking charge.

Fine, blame the Jews, what do we care?

Blame the Jews for what Schleifer himself says will happen:

“Short of more sophisticated Palestinian diplomacy backed by a growing BDS movement, the settlements will continue to grow and more and more Palestinian land will be confiscated and more and more Palestinians will be harassed, if not injured or even murdered by the settlers. And the Palestinians will end up with no state.”

So for once Livni is right.

“No comment.”

Kerry, Livni and Abbas Take a Seventh-Inning Stretch

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

Here is an on-the-spot play-by-play report on Wednesday’s action in the Peace Talks Charades.

Tzipi Livin screws up her face and throws a spit ball at the Palestinian Authority, which swings and misses.

John Kerry calls Abbas and reaches first base.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman steps up to the mound and pitches a curve ball by announcing he will vote against any proposal to release Arab murderers who carry Israeli citizenship.

Martin Indyk takes a walk to Jerusalem and scores a triple play with Livni and Saeb Erekat.

Commentator Samantha Power puts in her two cents, which is about all it is worth, and opines that unilateral actions by the Palestinian Authority “will be a profound threat to Israel and devastating to the peace process.”

Duh.

Housing Minister Uri Ariel, playing right field, urges Netanyahu to find another game and cancel the Oslo Accords, forgetting that they sank long ago in Foggy Bottom except when the State Dept. fishes them out for stale news.

Tourism Minister Uzi Landau, the government’s biggest windbag, carries his bat, points to the bleachers, and says that Israel can punish the Palestinian Authority by annexing Judea and Samaria and slapping sanctions on Ramallah.

His home swing misses by a mile, and he takes a shower.

The Arab League, playing shortstop, forces everyone to take a rain check for a week, when it will meet to grunt and groan and come up with a face-saving pitch for Abbas.

Livni and Kerry Help Abbas Climb Down from His High Horse

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry phoned Mahmoud Abbas, and Israeli negotiator Tzipi Livni sat down with her counterpart Saeb Erekat Wednesday, proving that the best way to get both sides talking is to create a crisis.

Livni officially is Justice Minister and unofficially is Kerry’s Under Secretary of Concessions. She talked tough earlier in the day, declaring that the Palestinian Authority “has breached its obligations by applying to the United Nations” and that “if they want a state, they need to understand that it will only be established on the negotiating table.”

Livni is good at talking tough. She is an abysmal failure at even showing a muscle, let alone using it.

She sat down with Erekat and Martin Indyk, President Obama’s Middle East salesman. Even before the discussion, she already was parroting the State Dept. line. “Even when peace seems very far away, and when the other side’s conduct is wrong,… we will return to the negotiating table; we are obligated to return to talks.”

A real fighter she is.

She said so herself, asserting that neither the Palestinian Authority  nor anyone else “can dictate to us whether or not we are fighting for peace.” Her idea of fighting for peace is hitting Israel over the head. Maybe if she hits herself on the head something will sink in, but until then, we can expect luvvy-duvvy words by tomorrow morning on how Erekat really is a peace partner and that the peace talks can be saved, meaning Kerry can be saved.

Despite all the headlines reporting the play-by-play of an imminent collapse in talks, Abbas and Erekat are not about to walk away without the release of the fourth batch of terrorists. Joining the he Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, one of 15 U.N.-linked bodies that have received an official Palestinian Authority request for membership, is not going help get the murderers out of jail.

Kerry kept up contact with Abbas on Wednesday, phoning him and getting assurance that they would continue to talk in the next few days.

Netanyahu has been conspicuously silent, enjoying a rare moment of peace and quiet while everyone else runs around and bumps into each other, knocks each other down and then tries to pick up the pieces.

Report: Senior Israeli Ministers Suspected of Ties with Foreign BDS

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

The website KR8 reports that Israel’s foreign ministry has warned Prime Minister Netanyau regarding activity within his own government to encourage an international boycott against Israel. As a result, according to the report, Ministers Tzipi Livni, Yaakov Perry and Yair Lapid were not included in a recent special cabinet meeting with the Shabac, Israel’s internal security service.

KR8 points out that the three ministers belong to two parties that did not exist a year before the January 2013 national election, and that both have not disclosed the funding from foreign sources which allowed them to run effective campaigns to attract the “floating votes” between Likud and labor.

In Livni’s case, she had been voted out as chair of the Kadima party, disappeared from view for several months and reappeared with the financial muscle that enabled her to pick up 7 Knesset seats. Lapid’s rise to political success was even more resounding, going from no political experience whatsoever to 19 Knesset seats. The Israeli press has not questioned these two stunning feats of political prowess, even after both Livni’s and Lapid’s parties ended up as the only left-leaning coalition partners.

The angry report from the foreign ministry charged that Livni, Lapid and Perry have been so vociferous and adamant about the impending doom of European and American economic sanctions against Israel’s economy, should the Jewish State fail to sign a peace treaty with the Palestinians, that their message is now threatening to become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Recognizing that some inside Israel’s leadership would actually welcome a boycott, European corporations are softening their resistance to BDS pressures.

When weighing capitulation to the BDS against potential Israeli retaliation, especially in the area of technology and hi tech, those European concerns would have likely chosen not to join the boycott. But when the media is flooded by Israeli voices that give legitimacy to the boycotts, it would make sense for the Europeans to associate themselves with the likes of the Danske Bank, Denmark’s largest, which has a long antisemitic record and strong ties with Iran.

Incidentally, speaking of Danske Bank, which has decided to boycott Israel’s Bank Hapoalim for “legal and ethical” reasons related to its operating in the settlements – is now facing allegations from state prosecutors of price manipulation “of a particularly serious nature” in connection with mortgage bond trading in 2009. Six employees have been suspended, and that only the start.

Instant Karma is such a pleasure to watch…

So far, there have been no confirmation to the KR8 story, which does not quote sources. The likelihood at this point that Netanyahu would fire the three erring ministers is low—while the right wing KR8 reporter’s view is that it is practically inevitable. But who know, Purim is just around the corner, and it’s a holiday renowned for a lot of Karma and of turning bad things around in the nick of time.

Palestinians’ New Enemy: Tzipi Livni

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

Originally published at Gatestone Institute.

The Palestinians have now turned against Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, who also heads the Israeli team to the peace talks with the Palestinian Authority [PA].

Livni is probably the most dovish member of the Israeli cabinet. Yet her moderate views and support for the two-state solution have not made her immune to a new campaign against her by the Palestinians.

The Palestinian Authority leadership is now saying that Livni is no longer fit to negotiate with the Palestinians and must be replaced. In other words, any Israeli negotiator who does not accept all Palestinian demands should be excluded from the US-sponsored peace talks.

The reason why the Palestinians are furious with Livni is a statement she made during an interview last Saturday, where she announced that PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s positions are “not only unacceptable to us, but to the whole world, and if he continues to stick to them, then the Palestinians will be the ones to pay the price.”

Livni’s statement has been misinterpreted by Palestinians as a personal “threat” against Abbas. Of course, Livni never made such a threat in her statement and was merely warning against the repercussions of Abbas’s positions on the peace process and his people.

But the PA leadership often interprets Israeli criticism of Abbas as a threat to eliminate him. This is a way of telling the Palestinians that Abbas, like his predecessor Yasser Arafat, is facing threats from Israel for refusing to make concessions on Palestinian rights.

The Palestinian Authority is preparing Palestinians for the possibility that the talks with Israel could end in failure, and that Abbas may be face the same fate as Arafat — isolated and boycotted by Israel and the international community. The goal is to make Abbas appear in the eyes of his people as a “martyr” who paid a heavy price for standing up to Israel and the US.

Less than 24 hours after Livni made her statement, several PA officials and organizations responded by accusing her of “incitement.”

Mahmoud al-Aloul, member of the Fatah Central Committee, said in response to Livni’s remark: “If the Israelis think that threats and pressure on President Mahmoud Abbas would drive him to make concessions on Palestinian rights they are deluding themselves. The threats made by the officials of the occupation government are directed against Abbas’s life, but they won’t affect his positions.”

PA Foreign Minister Riad Malki condemned Livni’s “threat” against Abbas and said he would bring them to the attention of the international community. “We are studying the threats and their implication,” Malki told reporters. “We will distribute Livni’s statements to all foreign ministers and the international community. We can’t remain silent towards these threats. This is a clear threat to Abbas in person and it must be taken seriously.”

Abbas Zaki, another senior Fatah official, claimed that Livni’s “threats” are designed to distract attention from Israel’s refusal to reach a peace agreement with the Palestinians. “The threats show that the Israelis are not mature for peace,” he added.

The radical Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, one of the PLO groups, accused Livni of “political audacity.” The group said that Livni’s demand that Abbas recognize Israel as a Jewish state was completely unacceptable and reflected “despicable arrogance.”

Abbas’s spokesman, Nabil Abu Rudaineh, announced that “Livni’s statements make her unacceptable for negotiations…. She has joined those voices in the Israeli government that are trying to destroy prospects for peace. This is a very dangerous statement.”

The attacks on Livni correspond with a campaign that is already being waged by Palestinians against U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. Over the past few weeks, many Palestinians representing various Palestinian groups have been waging protests against Kerry’s ongoing efforts to reach a deal between the Palestinian Authority and Israel. Kerry is being accused of endorsing the Israeli point of view, especially on security, settlements, Jerusalem and the “right of return” for Palestinian refugees to their former homes inside Israel.

This Palestinian escalation of rhetoric does not bode well for the future of the peace talks. The Palestinians were first unhappy with Kerry, whom they accused of being biased in favor of Israel. Now they are angry with Livni for daring to criticize Abbas. In the end, Israel and the U.S. will be blamed for the failure of the peace process. This is exactly what happened after the botched Camp David summit in 2000, when Arafat held Israel and the U.S. fully responsible for the failure of the peace process. A few weeks later, the Second Intifada erupted. The same scenario is likely to repeat itself unless the Palestinian Authority leadership stops putting all the blame on others.

Thomas Friedman in Israel: Only Livni and Kerry Are Believers

Monday, January 27th, 2014

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Israeli negotiator and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni are the only two people who still believe in negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman said in Tel Aviv Monday night.

“The Israelis are the Palestinians are ambivalent towards their future and towards the chances for peace,” he told a conference with the highfalutin title of “Cross Border Environmental Issues and Water Resources in the Context of the Peace Process.”

On Thursday, Freidman will speak with journalists on the topic “There Goes the Neighborhood.” Seriously, that is what the blurb say, followed by, “How the Arab Awakening, Climate Change and Technology are changing the World around Israel.”

Polls Show No Chance for Obama to Wreck Netanyahu Coalition

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014

Two new polls show that Israel is marching rightward and that the nationalist and religious parties would even be stronger than in the current coalition if elections were held today, mostly at the expense of Yair Lapid

The Likud Beitenu party, which reflects the merger of Likud and Yisrael Beitenu that still may be dissolved, would increase its strength from 31 in the current Knesset to 34, according to a Channel 1 poll, and 40 according to a survey by Geocartography. The second poll also showed that if the two parties were to split, they would win a combined number of 55 mandates

The Jewish Home party, headed by Naftali Bennett, would hold its own, with one poll showing a gain of one seat and the other a loss of one seat. If Likud and Yisrael Beitenu were to split, the strength of Jewish Home would sink to seven.

The left-wing Meretz party, which now has six Knesset Members, would gain one or four seats in the next Knesset, depending on which poll is accepted.

The increased strength of Likud Beiteinu comes at the expense of Yair Lapid and his Yesh Atid party, which was the star of the last election by winning 19 seats. The Channel 1 poll gives it only 9 seats and the Geocartography survey came up with 13.

Despite the difference in the results, the trend is clear – a sharp rise for Likud Beiteinu and a punch in the pace for Lapid. The “champion of the middle class” has lost its luster as the truth quickly emerges that he represents the upper middle class.

He has an ace up his sleeve if he can bring down the price of housing, but that is not about to happen tomorrow, next month or even this year.

The gain of Meretz and Likud Beiteinu at his expense indicates that Lapid’s charisma attracted leftists and center right secular nationalists.

As for the other parties, Shas still is around and will stay or more at less with 11 seats, according to the polls.

Labor, now under the lead of Yitzchak Herzog instead of Shelly, Yachimovich, would drop from the current 15 to 11 or gain one seat.

Both polls reveal that Tzipi Livni’s HaTunah party would be cut in half in the Knesset, from the current six MKs to only 3.

One surprise result is that former MK Aryeh Eldad, Baruch Marzel and Itamar Ben-Gvir, all of them to the right of the right, would win three seats.

Knesset Bill to Cut Number of Chief Rabbis by 50%

Monday, January 20th, 2014

The Knesset Ministerial Committee for Legislation voted Sunday to approve the legislation to create one chief rabbi’s position instead of the current two, proposed by Justice Minister Tzipi Livni of the Hatnua Party, and co-sponsored by Religious Affairs Minister Naftali Bennett and lawmaker Eli Ben-Dahan of the Jewish Home Party.

The bill must be approved by the Cabinet and then pass three readings in the Knesset in order to pass. It would take effect after the ten-year terms of the current chief rabbis, Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi David Lau and Sephardic Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef, expire.

That’s ten years from now. Ten years of double the expenses, double the needless waste.

The fact is, Israel has no need for a chief rabbi—check that, it has no use for a chief rabbi.

Imagine if you will, that someone in the U.S. were to appoint a chief rabbi. Who would listen to him? Not the non-Orthodox, because they either have their own take on halacha-Jewish law, or follow no halacha at all. Presuming the American chief rabbi would be Orthodox, that would eliminate half the Jews in America. Then come the secular Jews, and they would have no need at all for a chief rabbi, because there’s nothing he could say or do that touches on the reality of their lives.

Out of the Orthodox, all the Haredim, both Chassidim and Litwacks, would sneer at the idea that anyone would presume to replace the authority of their rebbe or rosh yeshiva.

So who’s left? Probably the RCA crowd, your everyday frumies, the Jewish Press readers. But the chief rabbi would be—because that’s how these things roll—a Haredi, and the moderate-to-liberal Orthodox won’t have much use for him either.

And that’s the situation in Israel. The chief rabbinate is a goiter on the neck of Israeli Jews, a remnant from a time when the Ottoman Empire, followed by the British Empire, appointed a religious chief over every ethnic group in Palestine. Even back in the 1920s that position bore little more than a symbolic value, depending on the chief rabbi. Today the situation is that Israelis are serving the chief rabbinate rather than the other way around.

Besides being entirely alien to the spiritual needs of the vast majority of Israelis, the chief rabbinate actually stifles the organic growth of religious communities. Siphoning off much needed budgets from social services to the needy, in a country where half the population is poor or near-poor, why spend money on an elaborate service nobody needs?

Local Jewish communities have always been very good at keeping records of marriages and burials. The burial societies, the “Chevra Kadisha,” don’t need a chief rabbi to monitor them – the state comptroller should be very good at that. Concentrating control over the Jewish life cycle in Israel in the hands of Haredi chief rabbis and judges with little or no relationship with the people under their domain is tyranny. Expensive tyranny at that.

So why wait ten years to cut this silliness in half? Cut it now, both halves. Give power back to the local Jewish communities. Let local rabbis decide halacha for their followers wherever they are, just as they’ve been doing in America, or, before the war, in Poland. Wherever we’ve had a thriving, magnificent Jewish community, we didn’t need a chief rabbi. Those were more likely to be state appointed than part of the people they were supposed to serve.

Just like in today’s Israel.

“In a state where there is only one president, one Supreme Court president, one prime minister and one chief of general staff, there is no way to justify the doubling of the position of chief rabbi,” Tzipi Livni said. “We have to rid ourselves of the old-fashioned division of ancestral congregations and start bringing the country together.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/knesset-bill-to-cut-number-of-chief-rabbis-by-50/2014/01/20/

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