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September 18, 2014 / 23 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘West Bank’

Obama’s Hand-Picked Successor to Abbas Could Re-Ignite ‘Peace Process’

Saturday, September 13th, 2014

The head of Palestinian Authority intelligence, Majid Faraj, is the Obama administration’s hand-picked favorite to succeed an ageing and ailing Mahmoud Abbas, according to several Middle East experts.

Abbas, now 80 and suffering from several medical ailments, chose Faraj in 2009 to head the General Intelligence Services, and he has since proved so much a favorite in the United States that he was secretly honored by the CIA last year for providing information that led to the arrest of terrorist Abu Anas Al-Libi, involved in the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassy in Libya.

The CIA ostensibly honored him for “his efforts to open channels with Washington and with Hamas,” according to an article written for the Globes business news site by Dr. Moshe Elad, an IDF Reserve Colonel and college lecturer.

In truth, the reward was for Faraj’s helping arrest al-Libi, who had gathered information on American targets and carried a $5 million price tag on his head.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry immediately fell in love with Faraj, seeing him as an “officer and gentleman,” the perfect requisites for an American-ordained “peace partner” for Israel. The State Dept. is big on image and soft-sell and does not care about explosive content.

Faraj, in his 50s, is everything that the Palestinian Authority needs in its next round of trying to achieve the dream of shrinking Israel to the “Auschwitz borders” of 1949-1967 and asserting sovereignty over the Old City of Jerusalem, including the Western Wall and the Temple Mount.

The “obvious” successors’ to Abbas are fading out of the picture. Marwan Barghouti, serving five life prison sentences for involvement in suicide bombings and other terrorist attacks that maimed, killed and wounded hundreds of Israelis, is easily the most popular hero for Palestinian Authority Arabs. However, Israel is in no mood to free him, and his history as a terrorist, regardless of his “reform,” makes him less desirable for the American to pitch him as Israel’s greatest friend.

Other would-be successors are – or were – Mahmoud Dahlan, who was Abbas’ strong man in Gaza before Hamas’ revolution eight years ago. Dahlan has since been at virtual war with Abbas and has fled to the Gulf states.

Then there is Jibril Rajoub, former head of the Palestinian Authority security forces who was kicked upstairs to head the Palestinian Soccer League and has branded himself as irrelevant. Last year, he said that if the Palestinian Authority had a nuclear bomb, he would use it on Israel. Last week, he called the Israeli-Palestinian Authority youth soccer game, organized by the Peres Center for Peace, a “crime against humanity.”

Faraj, unlike the old guard “Tunis gang” in the Palestinian Authority, speaks perfect Hebrew and knows the Israeli system thoroughly, partly because he served served six years in several Israel jails. He was born in Bethlehem making him a model for the Palestinian Authority war against the “occupation,” unlike Abbas, who was born in Safed (Tsfat). Branding him a “refugee” from Dehaishe, next to Bethlehem, will win over the international media.

Faraj worked his way up in the ranks of Fatah. He proved his loyalty to Abbas since taking over as head of intelligence and has won the confidence of Abbas and of Israeli officials, so much so that his “black mark” among hawkish Palestinian Authority members is his cooperation with Israeli security authorities.

In 2008, when Khaled Mashaal said that the Abbas regime was illegitimate, he said, according to Elad, “We took care of every person in Hamas whose name was given to us… Out of 64 details on Hamas institutions, we took care of 40. Out of 330 bank accounts of Hamas people, 150 were closed.”

Private TV Crew Catches Arab Rock-Throwers in the Act [video]

Friday, September 12th, 2014

A video crew for a security advising company caught Palestinian Authority Arab rock-throwers on film, leading to their arrest by the IDF Thursday.

Rock-throwing terrorists have been a deadly menace to Israeli drivers in Judea and Samaria, and sometimes beyond, for years because of the easy availability of weapons – rocks – and ridiculous IDF restrictions that forbid soldiers to shoot the “rock terrorists” unless there is a direct threat on their lives.

The aim of the rock-throwers is to murder, either by a direct hit on drivers and passengers or by causing a fatal crash, but that is not enough for the IDF top brass to allow troops to pull the trigger. Instead they shoot in the air and then hope they can catch up with the attackers.

The film crew that was on Highway 60, the major north-south artery in Judea and Samaria, caught two youth on film as they hurled rocks at passing cars near Ofra, north of Jerusalem.

The crew reported the incident to the IDF, and the footage helped soldiers apprehend the culprits.

WaPo’s Undisputed Correction

Sunday, September 7th, 2014

The Washington Post published a correction to a mistake they made in an article…

CORRECTIONS A Sept. 5 A-section article about Jordan agreeing to buy natural gas from Israel incorrectly referred to Israel’s occupation of “Palestinian lands” in the West Bank. The Israel-occupied territories are disputed lands that Palestinians wants for a future Palestinian state.

While obviously I would have preferred if WaPo had used the more historically accurate name “Judea and Samaria”, and we can discuss whether or not Israel can actually occupy its own homeland, or territory designated to it in prior international agreements, the fact that WaPo correctly pointed out that legally the territory is at worst disputed and not “Palestinian lands”, is to be applauded.

When UN Resolution 242 talks about territories, the discussion is between Israel and the Arab states (who have the additional obligations to end their state of belligerence against Israel and find a just solution for the Jewish refugee problem they created when they expelled nearly a million Jews from their homes throughout the Middle East).

Never in the history of the world did Israel occupy the “West Bank” from a “Palestine”.

I glad WaPo got it right, because semantically anyone making a competing claim will automatically transform that subject into “disputed” – but that doesn’t necessarily make that claim valid.

Personally I know plenty of people who claim the East Bank of the Jordan river for Israel, while there are others who claim the opposite,  saying “Jordan is Palestine”. Either way, the lands Jordan is occupying are clearly “disputed” lands too.

H/T Jonathan Schanzer for info on the WaPo correction.

Update: We’ve been told that Camera prompted the correction.

Israel Goes on Offensive with Announcement of New Homes in Samaria

Friday, September 5th, 2014

Israel announced on Friday it is issuing tenders for 283 new homes in the community Elkana, located on the western side of Samaria and approximately 10 miles east of Kfar Saba, on the northern edge of metropolitan Tel Aviv.

The news is certain to draw the ire of the United States at the daily press briefing at the State Dept. which earlier this week virtually ordered Israel to “reverse” its decision to create a new community in Gush Etzion and build homes for Jews in Jerusalem.

Plans for 2,200 new homes for Arabs in Jerusalem did not draw a whisper from the Obama Defense Minister, as reported here on Thursday,

The new homes for Elkana, where more than 4,000 people were reported as a “land grab” by the AFP news agency, a total lie since, as lawyer-journalist Lori Marcus Lowenthau wrote here yesterday, the land is not “grabbed” from anyone because it has no owners since the time of the Ottoman Empire and Jordanian occupation.

This week’s flurry of announcements for new homes is not a coincidence. Palestinian Authority negotiator Saed Erekat met with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry Wednesday to present PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ three-year-ultimatum that Israel withdraw from every inch of land in Judea and Samaria as well as area of Jerusalem where he claims sovereignty.

A Palestinian Authority said that Israel rejected the idea.

State Dept. spokeswoman Jen Psaki said that the meeting between Kerry and Erekat was “constructive.” But did not reveal any details.

US Pushes PA Agenda and Tells Israel to Cancel New Gush Etzion Town

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

The U.S. State Dept. told Israel Tuesday “to reverse” the decision announced earlier this week to clear the way for a new Jewish town on 400 acres of land near Bethlehem.

State Dept. spokeswoman Jen Psaki also castigated the Netanyahu government even planning an announcement for new homes for Jews in eastern Jerusalem, accusing it of acting “contrary to Israel’s stated goal of negotiating a permanent status agreement with the Palestinians, and it would send a very troubling message if they proceed.”

The American statement totally undermine any pretense that the Obama administration is willing to allow the Palestinian Authority and the Israeli government to negotiate and instead is talking for PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas, who has demanded that Israel cease all activity for Jews in Judea and Samaria and half of Jerusalem that it intends to be part of an independent PA state.

Today was not the first time this week that the United States has objected to the declaration of Givaot, an area in Gush Etzion, as state land, but Psaki’s strong language was virtually an order to the Israeli government.

After having expressed “concern” on Sunday, the absence of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s shuttering in fear, kissing Psaki’s foot and repenting for the ghastly act of laying claim to land that belongs to no one, apparently prompted her to use the sledgehammer Tuesday.

After calling on Israel to change its mind on Gush Etzion, which Abbas and President Barack Obama know very well remain under Israeli sovereignty no matter what, Psaki turned her fury on the audacity of Israel to even consider tampering with Jerusalem.

“We are also very concerned by reports that new settlement and East Jerusalem construction or planning announcements may be issued at any time, including for the sensitive area of (Givat HaMatos) in East Jerusalem,” Psaki added. By stating that ”these steps” are contrary to Israel’s stated goal of negotiating a permanent status agreement with the Palestinians,” she took the issue off the negotiating table.

Her boss, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, has stated several times, as has President Obama, that the United States cannot decide the final status for the Palestinian Authority and Israel. Kerry has made suggestions but never has so boldly told Prime Minister Netanyahu to play by American rules, which change with the wind.

Psaki called the Israel announcements “unilateral steps that undermine the prospects for a negotiated two-state solution.” By the same logic, every time the Palestinian Authority builds a home in Judea and Samaria or in areas of Jerusalem it claims, it is a “unilateral action.”

Poll: Hamas Would Rule Judea and Samaria in New Elections

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

Hamas would win election in Judea and Samaria and well as Gaza and Ismail Haniyeh would defeat Mahmoud Abbas if elections were held today, according to a new poll conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research.

Before the war in Gaza, Abbas had a 12 point margin over Haniyeh, 53 percent against 41 percent.

The new survey was carried out on the last day of the war and during the first four days of last week’s cease-fire. If elections were held today, Haniyeh would trounce Abbas by a 2-1 margin, with 61 percent support of the voters as opposed to only 32 percent for Abbas.

The pollster, Khalil Shikaki, said that Abbas probably will recoup some of his losses because Hamas’ popularity previously fell after battles after mini-wars with Israel, but a 2-1 gap will be hard to overcome.

More worrisome, the poll revealed that 86 percent of the respondents think that Hamas should resume rocket attacks on Israel if the partial blockade is not completely lifted, and only 15 percent think that Hamas should be dis-armed after all sanctions are lifted.

In addition, 72 percent of Arabs in Judea, Gaza and Samaria support the Hamas strategy of using arms to attack Israelis in Judea and Samaria.

An overwhelming majority of 79 percent believe that Hamas won the war.

Hamas has not enjoyed such high support in Judea and Samaria since 2006, shortly after it ousted Abbas’ Fatah faction from Gaza in a bloody terrorist militia war.

To a certain extent, Abbas’ propaganda machine is directly responsible for Hamas’ overwhelming support. Years of demonizing Israel and Jews in the school system and in Palestinian Authority media has produced the desired effect of widespread hate and distrust of Israel and Jews.

False, malicious and twisted reporting have convinced Arabs in Judea and Samaria that the “occupation” is the cause of all or their problems, and a recent on-the-street survey by a Canadian living in Israel discovered that most Arabs that Israel carried out a “holocaust” in Gaza. Most of those interviewed also are ignorant of the Holocaust or think that the numbers of those butchered by the Nazi was grossly exaggerated, as seen in the video below.

Last month, the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) announced that a Hamas network, directed from Turkey, was planning a coup to overthrow Abbas. Haaretz reported Tuesday that a partial transcript of the investigation revealed that the plan actually was to wait for the Palestinian Authority to collapse and then take over power.

However, Hamas propaganda has consistently tried to undermine the Abbas regime, and every terrorist attack in Judea and Samaria weakens Abbas’ image that he is able to provide security.

Abbas has made a Frankenstein out of the “Peace Process,” demanding everything and accepting no compromise. The longer he cannot come up with the goods, the more his popularity falls. His only hope to force Israel to agree to impossible demands, such as allowing mass immigration of millions of so-called “refugees” and giving up land to connect Gaza with Judea and Samaria, is to go to the United Nations and the International Court. That process, which would provide doubtful result but in any case could take years, and the Arab street has lost its patience.

If U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry still thinks he can fall out of the clouds with his precious peace process, which has proved to be a war process, he will have a hard time pretending that Hamas is not in the picture.

SodaStream May Close Maaleh Adumim Factory

Monday, September 1st, 2014

The Israeli firm SodaStream, which has been a target of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, is considering closing its factory in Maaleh Adumim when its spanking new plant north of Be’er Sheva begins operation next year.

CEO Daniel Birnbaum told the Israeli economic publication The Marker that the company, which makes home soft drink machines, will make a decision in the next two months.

Birnbaum said the decision would be based solely on economics.

“The considerations will be purely financial, and do not include the European boycott on manufacturing in the territories,” he told the Marker. “Nor will they include the various calls to boycott products of the company because of its location in Maaleh Adumim. The boycott is a nuisance, but does not cause serious financial damage. We are not giving in to the boycott. We are Zionists.”

Birnbaum is not throwing a spin on a possible move out of Maaleh Adumim. The Negev plant is being built almost adjacent to a new interchange of Israel’s high-speed north-south Kvish 6 highway. The new location places SodaStream within an hour from Ben Gurion Airport.

The company could consolidate its operations in whole or in part from the Maaleh Adumim plant. SodaStream also has plants in Ashkelon, the Galilee and 20 others around the world.

It already fired between 100 and 200 workers at the Maaleh Adumim plant, where most of its 1,100 employees are Arabs from Israel and Judea and Samaria.

The plant in the Negev will employ a considerable number of Bedouin.

The company was in the news following the signing of actress Scarlett Johansson as a spokeswoman and the ensuing controversy over its West Bank factory. Johansson resigned as a global ambassador for Oxfam over her position with SodaStream.

 

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/sodastream-may-close-maaleh-adumim-factory/2014/09/01/

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