A senior official of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), the senior body of the Palestinian Authority, declared Thursday that there will be no return to talks with Israel without a declared date on “ending the occupation.”
Wassal abu Yousef said that the Palestinian Authority “will not be satisfied with American mediation” because the Obama administration is biased towards Israel.
He added that the formation of a new Israeli coalition government has caused the PLO to make a firm decision against agreeing to talks without Israel’s committing itself to accept its demands by a specific time.
“The Israeli government is more right-wing that the previous administration, and the its settlers’ policy is completely clear,” he told the Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper, as reported by Reshet Bet (Voice of Israel) radio.
The PLO decision puts another nail in the Obama administration’s”peace process” coffin, which has little room for any more nails.
The Vatican officially recognized the Palestinian Authority on Wednesday as a new Arab country. This, despite its lack of any borders, and the fact that it is, in essence, comprised of two complete entities ruled by two completely different governments.
In a new treaty finalized Wednesday but not yet signed, the Vatican welcomed the 2012 decision by the United Nations General Assembly to grant the entity non-member observer state status.
As the first legal document to be negotiated between the Palestinian Authority and the Vatican, the treaty as such constitutes an official recognition of “the state of Palestine.”
PA leader Mahmoud Abbas – who has remained in his position more than four years past the expiration of his legal term in office – is slated to meet with Pope Francis on Saturday.
Since the PA has not seen fit to meet its obligations under the internationally- recognized Oslo Accords, this treaty further exacerbates tensions over the entity’s violations of the agreement.
The PA has sought UN membership as a means of evading its responsibilities under the Accords, which include stopping terror and reaching a final status agreement with Israel through direct negotiations between the parties.
The U.S. State Dept. has expressed “disappointment” and “concern” over Jerusalem’s final approval for 900 new housing units for Jews in northeastern Jerusalem, near the Arab neighborhood of Shuafat.
The homes for Ramat Shlomo have gone through several stages of bureaucratic approvals, giving the impression to foreign readers that seven approvals means 6,300 homes are being built instead of 900.
The 900 units are the same ones that caused a storm of protest in the Obama administration when the project passed another bureaucratic step just about the same minute Vice President Joe Biden landed at Ben Gurion Airport for a visit in 2010.
The Obama administration still spouts the “peace process” and “two-state solution” but in effect has not taken any actions to punish Israel for building or the Palestinian Authority for inciting terror and ditching the “peace process” that President Barack Obama and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry espouse.
The policy of benign neglect made the job of State Dept. spokesman Jeff Rathke a bit difficult at Thursday’s briefing.
He went through the usual routine of saying:
We strongly oppose steps by the Israeli authorities to advance construction in East Jerusalem. This is a disappointing development, and we’re concerned about it just as a new Israeli Government has been announced. Israel’s leaders have asserted that they remain committed to a two-state solution.
Let’s stop right there. None of the journalists at the daily State Dept. briefing, not even ace Associated Press reporter Matt Lee, has thought of asking why building homes for Jews (and in Jerusalem too) means the end of the concept of “two states.”
If they would stop and think about what the Palestinian Authority wants, they would realize that the “two states” would mean that no Jews can live in half of Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria but that Arabs can live in whatever is left of Israel.
If a Jew-free Palestinian Authority country is not racist, what is?
But let’s assume that for the sake of peace, the Obama administration really is not out of its mind and that two states will mean the lion and lamb can sleep side by side – if only Israel would stop building homes for Jews.
That is when things get sticky for the spokesmen became reporters start asking why Washington does not put a stop to Israel’s insistence that Jews have a right to live in all of Jerusalem.
Rathke said, “We need to see that commitment in the actions of Israeli” and that “construction of housing units in East Jerusalem is damaging and inconsistent with that commitment. We continue to engage with the highest levels of the Israeli Government, and we continue to make our position clear that we view this as illegitimate.”
A couple of reporters wondered about action instead of words. One asked:
Well, then what is the point of saying we need to see that commitment? If it becomes the case that you don’t ever see that, or you don’t see the commitment and you don’t do anything about it, what good is saying that we need to see that commitment?
Rathke sang and danced like this:
Well, this is a longstanding U.S. policy. We’re reiterating that policy in relation to this specific development that Said asked about. This is our view and it hasn’t changed.
Every time Israel builds another home for Jews in areas that cause the Obama to express “disappointment” and “concern,” Obama and Kerry lose more credibility among the Arabs.
President Barack Obama has created for himself a trap that was born with his predecessors Carter, Reagan, Clinton and the junior Bush.
Instead of standing by his word that it is up to the Arabs and Israel to make war or peace as they see fit, he went against his own stated common sense that he would not set the conditions for a peace agreement.
The Palestinian Authority fired the first of what will be dozens of shots against the coalition government, asserting that it will “set its sights on killing and reinforcing settlement activities.”
Erekat also told the AFP news agency that the government” will be one of war which will be against peace and stability in our region.
His statement is cause for worry. The statement that the government wants to “kill” is incitement for Palestinian Authority Arabs to prove his point by rioting so that Israeli soldiers have to shoot or be killed.
The Palestinian Authority, frustrated by its failure to manipulate world powers to force Israel to fork over to Mahmoud Abbas all of Judea and Samaria and most of Jerusalem, including the Old City, has resorted to calling the building of every home for Jews in Judea and Samaria a “war crime.”
Once he can convince Western governments, who are scared to death – literally- by the radical Islamist movement in their countries, of the new definition of a war crime, it follows that Israel is at “war” every time a Jew builds a home in Judea and Samaria.
The Obama administration publicly will congratulate the new government and bite its lips, but the United Nations can be expected to complain that the new right-wing government does not suit its agenda, which is the Palestinian Authority agenda.
An important factor is Britain, which is voting today in what pollsters say is a dead-heat between the relative pro-Israel Conservative party and the Labor party, headed by leftist Jew Ed Miliband,
An opinion poll conducted on behalf of the Jewish Chronicle last month revealed that 68.9 percent of British Jews intend to vote Conservative, and only 22.2 percent plan to vote for Labor.
Like Israel, neither party will win a majority and will have to put together a coalition.
Retired neurosurgeon and black Republican Dr. Ben Carson has announced he is running to be his party’s nominee for president in next year’s election.
Dr. Carson visited Israel in December, reported here, an unofficial prerequisite for presidential candidates.
The 63-year-old Republican is from Detroit, lived in Baltimore for more than 35 years and now lives in Florida. He was the first black doctor to head the Johns Hopkins pediatric neurosurgery unit.
His lack of both political experience and ties with such factions as the Tea Party offers Republican voters a distinct choice among the growing number of candidates. However, he does not have the organization and political experience of other contenders, the most popular being Senators Marco Rubio and Rand Paul and former Florida governor Jeb Bush.
Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, also from outside the political world, is considering tossing her hat in the political ring.
Dr. Carson grew up in poverty and has the appeal to white voters as their desired image of an America where anyone can achieve success through hard work and without making himself out to be a victim.
He has been a harsh critic of President Barack Obama, whom Dr. Carson once described as someone who “seems to believe more in a utopian view of cradle-to-grave care.”
He has made headlines, for better and for worse, on the issue of same-sex marriage. Below is an interview on CNN in which he maintained that homosexuality is a choice and that each state should decide for itself whether or not to allow marriages of homosexuals. He said in the interview that many people become homosexuals after being in prison.
After harsh criticism, he apologized, and Dr. Carson stated before announcing his candidacy today:
I’ve come to recognize that when you use certain terms, people can no longer hear anything else you say. As you’ll notice in the last several weeks, I’ve been able to get my points across without inflammatory language.
In his visit to the Western Wall in Jerusalem in December, Dr. Carson placed a note between the bricks and later referred to King Solomon in an interview with CBN and said he asked God for “Solomonic wisdom on what to do” concerning the race for president.
His stand on Israel is clear, and he told Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu,
“Until such time as their neighbors are no longer desirous of their elimination,” Israel’s continued control of the West Bank “makes perfectly good sense.”
Dr. Carson’s strong conservative stand may appeal to Christian evangelists despite his being black.
He said at the national Prayer Breakfast earlier this year that the United States is headed for “moral decay and fiscal irresponsibility.” He also declared:
We have imposed upon people restrictions on what they can say, on what they can think. And the media is the largest proponent of this, crucifying people who say things really quite innocently.
President Barack Obama was sitting a few feet away, and although Carson did not directly blame the president for America’s ills, the White House was upset.
“Within a matter of minutes after the conclusion of the program, I received a call from some of the prayer breakfast organizers saying that the White House was upset and requesting that I call the president and apologize for offending him,” Carson later wrote in his book “One Nation: What We Can All Do to Save America’s Future.”
Carson added in his book, “I said that I did not think that he was offended and that I didn’t think that such a call was warranted.”