Early on Monday morning this week, a convoy of eight PA military vehicles and two vehicles with Israeli plates traveled into eastern Jerusalem, which is under Israeli sovereignty, Israel’s Channel 2 News reported Tuesday night. The convoy included about 50 uniformed PA security personnel, members of Unit 101–the shock troop founded by the late Chairman Yasser Arafat, and the PA Preventive Security.
The convoy’s mission was to detain four PA Arabs suspected of murdering two PA policemen a week ago in the Shechem area. The four suspects were able to evade the local security forces and find shelter in heavily Arab eastern Jerusalem. The PA security force pursued them, weapons drawn, inside Israeli territory.
PA forces entered the Jerusalem municipality’s Arab neighborhoods of Ras Shehadeh, Ras Hamis, and the Shuafat refugee camp. The forces received no approval for their actions, nor did they alert Israeli authorities, or attempt to coordinate the chase.
This highly irregular even took place against the background of the sizzling violence in the PA city of Shechem, where confrontations between an estimated 100 gang members and police have resulted in two policemen shot dead, two wanted men beaten to death by police, and a senior militia leader gone rogue being lynched by police in his jail cell.
According to Arab media reports, many of the militias that sprang into existence during the 2000 second Intifada have become criminal gangs and have been fighting PA police over turf in several cities.
Joint Arab List MK Ahmad Tibi, political advisor to Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat from 1993 to 1999, and PLO representative at the 1998 Wye River negotiations, is not a politician one easily imagines in cahoots with MK and former Navy officer Oded Forer (Yisrael Beiteinu). But last week, at a meeting of the Knesset Finance Committee, the two legislators supported each other’s arguments, even though those arguments were diametrically opposed.
At the meeting, the Finance Ministry requested the Knesset’s approval for a rule that was described as aimed at strengthening economic cooperation with the Palestinian Authority regarding the employment of PA Arab workers. As reporter Zeev Kam of Makor Rishon put it, the rule sounds innocent enough. But, of course, the devil is always in the details.
There are three categories of PA Arab employees: those who work in the PA, those in the Jewish communities of Judea and Samaria, and those who work inside “greenline” Israel. Workers in the latter two categories earn on average three times what their brethren working inside the PA do. This has to do with the fact that Israelis in and out of the greenline just pay more reasonable salaries, but also with the fact that Israel endows these workers with certain tax benefits.
And those tax benefits are what the Israeli Finance Ministry is after, seeking to match the tax rates of PA Arabs working inside and outside the PA. The estimate is that by cutting the tax benefits, the PA stands to earn about $45 million a year — taken from the PA Arabs who are lucky enough to qualify for work for Israeli employers.
Why would Israel be so invested in taking money away from the only PA Arabs who still have something good to say about it, and give it to the PLO, who will spend this money dragging Israel through the mud in international forums? The two representatives of the Finance Ministry at the Knesset Finance Committee explained that the World Bank has recommended the move to impose the same tax rate on all PA Arab workers, regardless of where they work.
Mind you, it took the MKs some time to decipher the financial mumbo jumbo heaped on them by the two civil servants, but in the end, both Tibi and Forer were equally outraged, each for his own reason, and both supporting each other in the strangest example of political bedfellowship.
MK Tibi was annoyed that instead of forcing Israel to pay up the PA tax money it has frozen for a variety of reasons (the PA’s awarding stipends to terrorists’ families, the PA owing the electric company half a billion dollars), the Finance Ministry would simply charge the most vulnerable workers. He was also upset at the fact that when seeking to equate the pay of PA Arabs making $400 a month and those making $1,300 a month, the financiers decided to cut everybody down closer to $400.
Tibi, an obstetrician, suggested bitterly that since there are hospitals in the PA that provide inadequate treatment, “using the same principle a Palestinian patient being treated in an Israeli hospital, instead of receiving two infusion bags should receive only one, to make it even.”
MK Forer said he was at his wits’ end trying to understand the Israeli concern for the welfare of the Palestinian Authority. “There are about 70 thousand Palestinian workers with permits in Israel,” he said. “Out of those only one was involved in a terror attack. Which points to the fact that these people really come here to earn their bread. And you now wish to take more taxes from them, not to fund positive activities, but so the money would go to the Palestinian Authority. And what does the PA do with these monies? Pay those who are in prison for security violations.”
“Finally,” Forer said, “taking the example of a plant in [the Samaria Jewish community of] Barkan, a Palestinian who would sell the Israeli merchandize produced in Barkan would suffer severe punishment according to Palestinian law, imprisonment and fines.” In other words, Israel sets out to cut the income of a PA Arab who supports Israeli products, and give the money to the PA which boycotts the same products.
According to Kam’s report, the attempt on the part of the Finance Ministry to sabotage Israeli relations with PA Arabs to support a hostile PA died in committee.
A group of anti-Israel Jewish activists arrived in Hebron to award the city its first movie theater. But in the process, according to local Jewish residents, they destroyed the grazing grounds of a local Arab shepherd.
According to a JTA report by Andrew Tobin, dozens of American Jews spent Friday in Hebron “practicing nonviolent resistance against Israel’s presence,” singing “The World is Built with Loving Kindness” in English and Hebrew, clearing scrap metal, weeds and debris from a dirt lot with several low-slung cement structures, singing Jewish and protest songs, and passing around bags of popcorn labeled “Cinema Hebron” below a “triumphant” sign that read “Cinema Hebron: Coming Soon.” Indeed, the mission last Friday was to endow Hebron its “first Palestinian movie theater.”
Eventually, soldiers and police officers demanded that the activists leave the area, and when said activists sat on the ground, locked arms and sang “Lo Yisa Goy el Goy Herev,” they were pulled up one by one and removed. The Israelis in the group were detained, the Americans were let go (which was their strategy). Around 2 PM the American activists left the Israelis behind bars and proceeded to have a much deserved lunch.
There are many things wrong with the above two paragraphs, and we encourage you to read the entire JTA report to better appreciate our story (Peter Beinart joins US Jews for civil rights-style protest in West Bank). We spoke to Tzipi Shlisel, who is actually quoted by Tobin in his story, where he uses her as the obligatory reactionary settler’s counter-view: “[The activists] think they’re doing a good thing, but they’re really helping the terrorists,” and, “I’ll tell you, in the Holocaust, Jewish people helped Hitler, too.”
Tzipi Shlisel’s father, Shlomo Ra’anan HY”D, was stabbed to death by a local Arab back in 1998, the year when then Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu handed over most of Hebron to PA Chairman Yasser Arafat. Shlisel recalls it was a scene similar to the devastating stabbing of 13-year-old Hallel Yaffa Ariel, in Kiryat Arba two weeks ago.
But Tzipi Shlisel contacted JewishPress.com not because Tobin’s report treated her father’s murder with less empathy than it did the activists’ lunch, or Because Tobin used her as a necessary color stain on his canvas describing brave Jewish activists defying Israeli occupation with action and song. Tzipi Shlisel insists Tobin’s report is partial, and that he missed out on a wealth of historic and cultural information, including the fact that the area the Jewish activists weeded so energetically was prized for its weed by a local Arab shepherd.
The lands in question are in Tel Rumeida (biblical Hebron according to some authorities) which were purchased by the Hebron Jewish community 200 years ago, the first one in 1811, the second in 1816. During the 1949-67 Jordanian occupation, the Abu Aisha clan took over some of those lands. The neighborhood of Admot Yishai was built on a small part of this land, which is otherwise known as the Tel Remeida settlement, over which the Arabs are fighting the Jewish community. “But we have aerial photographs of the entire area, including the ancient olive trees which were purchased along with the land, as is noted in the purchase documents, and these lands all belong to the Jewish community,” Shlisel insists.
Near the neighborhood there’s an area where the army built a bunker behind which there is a copper factory which was shut down for environmental reasons more than 30 years ago. “It generated crazy air pollution, Jews, Arabs, no one could breathe,” Shlisel recalls.
“Eighteen years ago, after my father was stabbed to death by an Arab, the IDF created check points for the Arab traffic near our neighborhoods, and the area around the inactive copper factory is off-limits to Arabs.”
Hebron is divided into the H1 and H2 zones. H1 compromises 80% of Hebron, and Jews are forbidden to go there. The Arabs, on the other hand, can move freely in much of H2.
“Now, when the activists arrived with their tremendous singing, they cleaned up the area thoroughly, it was truly amazing, but the local Arab, a member of the Abu Aisha clan, who’s been claiming that these are his lands, and even says they are registered as his with the city of Hebron, was not consulted.
“Later, a police officer told me there was a military order (tzav aluf — lit. decree issued by a General) to evacuate the activists and that the Arab had filed a complaint with local police,” Shlisel said.
JewishPress.com contacted the local Hebron police station chief who said there had been no complaint filed. But a different source in the Hebron community who asked to remain anonymous told the JewishPress.com that the leftwing activists, one of whom was a former Tanzim activist from the Abu Aisha clan, convinced the Arab shepherd not to file a complaint. The fact is police and IDF soldiers did show up to remove the activists, and the Arab is seen asking police to chase away the American invaders.
In any event, in the video, shot by Shlisel for TPS, the Arab is telling police, “Yalla, take them from here … these are my lands …”
“I heard the same Arab complaining that they pulled out his grazing weed from the ground, that he owns a herd which he keeps in Dura village, and the old factory is one of the area where his goats graze. Those peace activists did a cleanup job on his source of livelihood. They raked and tore up the weeds, and from a Western culture point of view they did a fantastic job, but from this Arab’s point of view they destroyed his grazing field,” Shlisel said.
Responding to an inquiry JewishPress.com emailed Peter Beinart, Sharon Rose Goldtzvik of “Uprise – communications consulting for good guys,” wrote back:
The report you received is incorrect. Early in the day, Israeli police questioned Mr. Abu Aisha’s ownership of the land, and Mr. Abu Aisha quickly produced documents proving that he is indeed the owner. The police then dropped the claim. The “local Arab farmer” you reference was never named and was not present; in fact, there is no evidence that such a complaint was ever filed. Again, Mr. Abu Aisha was able to quickly prove that he owns the property and police recognized his rightful ownership. The IDF later returned with a “closed military zone” order; this was the basis for removing the activists.
I should also mention that the property was a relatively small plot consisting of a couple of cement and cinder block buildings, and a lot of debris. It could not have been used for animal grazing. I don’t know who reported otherwise.
But as can be heard on the video, Abu Aisha is clearly asking police to remove the activists, and says that he often grazes his animals there (watch the last half of the tape, shot by Shlisel for TPS, starting sec. 23).
As to the idea of “Cinema Hebron” (the name of the city in Arabic is Al-Khalil, meaning “friend,” after Abraham who was the friend of God, while Hebron is the colonialist-Zionist name used by the occupiers) Hebron is probably the most conservative religious Muslim city in all of Israel, where men and women are completely segregated, where Hamas rules, and where the very idea of attending a movie, never mind opening a movie theater, could get a man flogged.
That these American “liberators” would be so ignorant of the cultural and religious values of the people they have come to set free with song and hard weeding is possibly the funniest, even hallucinatory, idea of all.
“Which is why the only place where they could advocate having a movie theater in all of Hebron was near the Jewish neighborhoods, where at least no one would stone the living daylights out of them for their insolence, Tzipi Shlisel said, adding, “These human rights group who say they want to help the Arabs are actually ignorant of who these Arabs are. They step on their culture, trampling their values, with great glee and with a loud song on their lips.”
I spent the last 3 weeks in the US and Canada on a speaking and fundraising tour for Standing Together 24/7 IDF and realized Israel, America, Canada and the entire world are in the same predicament when it comes to fighting terrorism. It seems all our governments are having a hard time defining right and wrong. It seems our countries and many of our people have given up on the idea that we are the good guys.
A month or so ago an Islamic terrorist pledged alliance to the Islamic State and murdered 50 people in a gay bar in Orlando.
It was like there was contest on who can better deflect the fact that this was a radical Islamic terrorist attack! Some immediately called the attack a homophobic attack while others were screaming about gun control. The President seemed to be flexing his executive muscles in order not to say three simple words; RADICAL ISLAMIC TERRORISM
Some tried what I call the ’emotional escape’ and said, ‘what difference does it make! People died and I should be more sensitive.’ It is actually those who refuse to clearly define the Orlando attack as a radical Islamic terrorist attack who are being insensitive and cruel. Those who were murdered can no longer be helped, but to ignore the ideology that brought about the attack is cruelty to future victims.
Is there a gun control problem in America? Absolutely! How else do you explain how a guy who was investigated by the FBI TWICE for his radical Islamic views was still able to attain a gun legally.
Why was he able to attain a gun legally? Because, although the FBI saw red flags waving all over the place, they did not have anything incriminating and did not want to offend the terrorists “religious” beliefs by suspecting his radical views were actually dangerous. The wouldn’t want to offend him!
The liberal way is to defend the rights of all people except those that are actually being threatened by the people liberals are defending and if you dare point out the radical religious views and call them dangerous….you’re a racist!
Yes, there is a gun control problem in the U.S.A, but that is not what murdered the victims in Orlando. The radical Islamic terrorist did not murder people because he had a gun, he had a gun because he was looking to murder people! Read that again and internalize it!
What’s the difference?
Well, if Orlando is a result of a gun problem, is a 17 year old Muslim terrorist who broke into a Jewish home in Hebron and stabbed a sleeping 13 year old Jewish girl 35 times (!!!!) a knife control problem? Was the Boston bombing a pressure cooker problem? The terrorist in France a truck control problem?
Don’t people understand that by calling this a gun problem they are exonerating the perpetrators themselves! Would any of those gun-control people say in 1942 there was a gas problem in Germany? It’s ridiculous!
When it comes to Israel, we are seeing the same inability to define the actual base of the conflict. Many claim this conflict is about land. The fact of the matter is there was a time when all the “disputed” land was already in Arab control.
Between 1948-1967 the entire WB including Jerusalem, the entire Gaza strip and the Golan heights were in Arab control, was there peace? Anyone with any historic integrity should be able to admit that this conflict has nothing to do with the land. Radical Islamic terrorists were murdering Jews long before there were settlements or even a State of Israel. Just ask the Jews of Hebron in 1929 or those who attended the meeting between the Muslim Mufti of Jerusalem and Hitler in 1942!
Those that advocate a Two-State solution are actually strengthening the radical Arab (Mostly radical Muslim) narrative that was created in order to disguise their blind hatred for Jews and the Jewish country with a fabricated historic and political claim. There was no conquering or occupation of Palestine from the Arabs! Can we please stop making believe it happened and can we please stop making believe the solution will come as a result of our adopting a false historical national claim called Palestine! Not only will masquerading the real issue not stop terrorism, it will strengthen it!
Before discussing a solution one has to ask themselves what is the real cause of the problem. Why have Arab countries attacked Israel time and time again? Why did Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and some of their friends attack Israel in 48?
Was it because they were missing land in their countries?
Have you see a map of the Middle East lately!
Why did Nasser call for Israel’s destruction in 1966? Was it because of settlements that did not exist yet?
Why did Arafat start a terrorist organization called the PLO in 1964 with the soul purpose of destroying Israel when there were no settlements or “occupation”? (1964 was 3 years before the Six Day war and before the settlement block existed! The Arabs were under Arab control)
Israel left Gaza completely in 2005 with no demands from the Arabs, did it bring peace? Why did the Arab population democratically vote for a terrorist organization with a clear call to murder Jews? Was it because they wanted Gaza to be free?
When you answer these 5 questions, you will understand what is the source of the conflict and what it is not.
Jerusalem an Arab capital? Really! When was Jerusalem ever an Arab capital or even an important city before the Jews came home? Do I know what the solution is?
The real question is, do you know what the problem is!
So why is the world and some Israelis so blind to this obvious reality? Why can’t Obama say the words radical Islamic terrorism? It’s not really about offending someone and whether you think Obama is a Muslim or not is totally irrelevant. The real issue is the belief in a fantasy word where everything can be solved with diplomacy. See, if Obama would call it radical Islamic terrorism, there would be no diplomatic solution. He knows as well as anyone else that the solution to a terrorist is a bullet.
Calling it a gun control problem basically throws the blame on all of us instead of on the terrorist and makes believe if we just work harder Orlando will not happen again.
Israeli leaders have been apologizing and bending over backwards in order to make offers to those who want us destroyed. Don’t you dare call it a radical Islamic terror problem because that would make the Two State solution as immoral as the Munich agreement that Chamberlain signed with Hitler.
Don’t you dare admit this is a religious war because that would make you a racist! It doesn’t matter that the only people blowing up buses, shooting fathers in front of their family, stabbing little Jewish girls in their sleep and firing rockets at Israel are 100% of the time radical ISLAMIC terrorists!
Forget all those facts. Take a big gulp of the Kool-aid and a puff of the peace drug and make believe all the terrorists want is a small sliver of Israel and they will stop murdering Jews Oh, and while you are apologizing for a crime Israel did not commit, make sure to uphold real apartheid by not allowing Jews to pray on the Temple Mount which is being occupied by radical Islamic terror supporters. We wouldn’t want to God forbid offend them and their beliefs and allow actual freedom of religion! That would have the UN condemning us and calling us racist…. Anyone else see the irony here?
What’s my solution? Let’s say I don’t have one. Does that mean we should adopt one that is historical, national and religious suicide? Doctors don’t know what to do, so they start cutting off limbs?
DEFINE THE PROBLEM!
Solution to radical Islamic terrorism?
Solution to a fabrication of history called Palestine used in order to justify starting wars with Israel and murdering Jews?
Those who support the Palestine Arab narrative are either completely ignorant or intentionally aiding and abetting terrorism! No room for diplomacy there and it’s not because I want war, it’s because they do!
What’s the solution? Let’s start by reminding ourselves that we are the good guys. The fact that the Arabs lost the wars they started does not make them victims, it makes them losers and maybe they should get the hint. #AllahIsAZionist.
Those Arabs who want to live in peace in Israel as a Jewish State? Welcome! Those who want a new State called Palestine on land they think was an Arab country called Palestine?
1. Learn history!
2. Jordan sits on 70+% of British Palestine and has a majority of 73% Arabs who call themselves Palestinians. Make Jordan Palestine!
I love when people hear that they call me unrealistic or say the Jordanians would not agree.
Let me get this straight. Hashemites who have absolutely no connection to this land and who came from Mecca and took over the area of Trans-Jordan don’t want to give the area to Arabs who call themselves Palestinians is an acceptable excuse but it is ok to demand of Jews who have a long history to give up land to those who advocate the destruction of Israel?
You think it is realistic that Israel, which is smaller than New Jersey, split up more of its land to hand it over to those who seek to destroy it but it is unrealistic to demand the Hashemites from Jordan, which is hundreds of times bugger than Israel, give up land to their own brothers? ENOUGH!
Realistic? The ‘peace’ camp gave guns to Yasser Arafat and the world awarded that terrorist the Nobel Peace Prize!
Don’t tell me about being realistic!
No more risk taking, no more concessions to those who start wars and justify terror! Israel is ours by right and it’s time we stop making believe we are the bad guys!
Three choices for our enemies:
3. Accept Israel as the Jewish homeland and live happily.
United Nations Watch, a Geneva-based watchdog organization, expressed concern today that UNESCO may fuel anti-Jewish incitement and violence, and the increasing PA Arabs’ denial of Jewish religious and cultural rights, by adopting an Arab-sponsored draft resolution that denies Jewish ties to Jerusalem’s Western Wall and Temple Mount.
The Jordanian-Palestinian draft text on the Old City of Jerusalem was submitted to the 21-member World Heritage Committee, which meets over the next 10 days in Istanbul for its 40th annual session.
“This inflammatory resolution risks encouraging the past year’s wave of Arab stabbing and shooting attacks in Jerusalem and other parts of Israel, which began with false claims that Israel was planning to damage holy Muslim shrines,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch.
Under the battle cry of “Al-Aqsa mosque is in danger,” incitement in September by Fatah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad sparked a wave of terror attacks across Israel which began on the Temple Mount and eastern Jerusalem. At least 40 have been killed and more than 500 wounded. The Arab attacks include 155 stabbings, 96 shootings, 45 car ramming attacks, and one bus bombing.
The draft now before UNESCO includes the following problematic language:
The draft refers ten times to Al-Haram Al-Sharif, exclusively using the Islamic term for Temple Mount, without any mention that it is the holiest site in Judaism. This is part of a larger campaign at the UN, and particularly in UNESCO, to Islamize sites historically belonging to other faiths.
This year’s proposed draft is even more extreme than the resolution adopted in 2015. The new version three times uses the Islamic term Buraq Plaza while placing the parallel name “Western Wall Plaza” in scare quotes, implying skepticism or disbelief concerning what is the most hallowed site for Jewish worshippers over two millennia, due to the ancient wall’s connection to the Holy Jewish Temple destroyed in 70 CE. Last year’s resolution also sought to diminish the Jewish connection by putting the name Western Wall in parentheses after the Islamic term, yet the new use of quotation marks intensifies the denialism that was famously promoted by Yasser Arafat’s negotiator at Camp David, and which continues in Palestinian Authority statements.
Israel, which is referred to throughout as “the Occupying Power” in Jerusalem, is called to restore “the historic Status Quo,” with the new word “historic”—a change from last year’s text—implying a reversal of any changes since 1967.
Jerusalem’s light rail, which is used daily by thousands of Arab residents among others, is accused of having a “damaging effect” on the “visual integrity” and “authentic character” of the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem—even though the track passes through an existing highway and only facilitates transportation for visitors of all faiths.
The 21 members on the UNESCO world heritage committee are: Angola, Azerbaijan, Burkina Faso, Croatia, Cuba, Finland, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, South Korea, Tunisia, Turkey, Tanzania, Vietnam, and Zimbabwe. Good luck to all of us.
Hillary and Bernie locked horns, clashed, yelled and smashed into each other almost literally last night in Brooklyn, NY. There were cheap shots and there were deep cuts. It can be safely said that the behavioral gap between the Democratic and Republican debates have narrowed significantly, so neither side can claim the high ground any longer. As to the portion of the debate in which we were most interested, US-Israeli relations, we must agree Hillary made us feel a little safer. Sanders started off from the point of view of B’Tselem and J Street, while Hillary at this point is a little to the right of J Street. After last night’s debate, if you’re a Democrat who cares about Israel, we advise you to buy an industrial size laundry clip, put it on your nose and vote for Bill’s wife. Not because we endorse her, we really really don’t, but she scares us a little less than Bernie does.
And now, to what they actually said last night about how they’d like to finally bring peace to the region…
Blitzer: Senator, let’s talk about the U.S. relationship with Israel. Senator Sanders, you maintained that Israel’s response in Gaza in 2014 was, quote, “disproportionate and led to the unnecessary loss of innocent life.”
What do you say to those who believe that Israel has a right to defend itself as it sees fit?
Sanders: Well, as somebody who spent many months of my life when I was a kid in Israel, who has family in Israel, of course Israel has a right not only to defend themselves, but to live in peace and security without fear of terrorist attack. That is not a debate.
But — but what you just read, yeah, I do believe that. Israel was subjected to terrorist attacks, has every right in the world to destroy terrorism. But we had in the Gaza area — not a very large area — some 10,000 civilians who were wounded and some 1,500 who were killed.
Heckler: Free Palestine!
Sanders: Now, if you’re asking not just me, but countries all over the world was that a disproportionate attack, the answer is that I believe it was, and let me say something else.
Sanders: And, let me say something else. As somebody who is 100% pro-Israel, in the long run — and this is not going to be easy, God only knows, but in the long run if we are ever going to bring peace to that region which has seen so much hatred and so much war, we are going to have to treat the Palestinian people with respect and dignity.
Sanders: So what is not to say — to say that right now in Gaza, right now in Gaza unemployment is s somewhere around 40%. You got a log of that area continues, it hasn’t been built, decimated, houses decimated health care decimated, schools decimated. I believe the United States and the rest of the world have got to work together to help the Palestinian people.
That does not make me anti-Israel. That paves the way, I think…
Blitzer: … Thank you, Senator…
Sanders: …to an approach that works in the Middle East.
Blitzer: Thank you. Secretary Clinton, do you agree with Senator Sanders that Israel overreacts to Palestinians attacks, and that in order for there to be peace between Israel and the Palestinians, Israel must, quote, end its disproportionate responses?
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Clinton: I negotiated the cease-fire between Israel and Hamas in November of 2012. I did it in concert with…
Clinton: President Abbas of the Palestinian authority based in Ramallah, I did it with the then Muslim Brotherhood President, Morsi, based in Cairo, working closely with Prime Minister Netanyahu and the Israeli cabinet. I can tell you right now I have been there with Israeli officials going back more than 25 years that they do not seek this kind of attacks. They do not invite the rockets raining down on their towns and villages.
They do not believe that there should be a constant incitement by Hamas aided and abetted by Iran against Israel. And, so when it came time after they had taken the incoming rockets, taken the assaults and ambushes on their soldiers and they called and told me, I was in Cambodia, that they were getting ready to have to invade Gaza again because they couldn’t find anybody to talk to tell them to stop it, I flew all night, I got there, I negotiated that.
So, I don’t know how you run a country when you are under constant threat, terrorist tact, rockets coming at you. You have a right to defend yourself.
That does not mean — that does not mean that you don’t take appropriate precautions. And, I understand that there’s always second guessing anytime there is a war. It also does not mean that we should not continue to do everything we can to try to reach a two-state solution, which would give the Palestinians the rights and…
Blitzer: … Thank you…
Clinton: … just let me finish. The rights and the autonomy that they deserve. And, let me say this, if Yasser Arafat had agreed with my husband at Camp David in the Late 1990s to the offer then Prime Minister Barat put on the table, we would have had a Palestinian state for 15 years.
Blitzer: Thank you, Senator, go ahead — go ahead, Senator.
Sanders: I don’t think that anybody would suggest that Israel invites and welcomes missiles flying into their country. That is not the issue.
And, you evaded the answer. You evaded the question. The question is not does Israel have a right to respond, nor does Israel have a right to go after terrorists and destroy terrorism. That’s not the debate. Was their response disproportionate?
I believe that it was, you have not answered that.
Clinton: I will certainly be willing to answer it. I think I did answer it by saying that of course there have to be precautions taken but even the most independent analyst will say the way that Hamas places its weapons, the way that it often has its fighters in civilian garb, it is terrible.
I’m not saying it’s anything other than terrible. It would be great — remember, Israel left Gaza. They took out all the Israelis. They turned the keys over to the Palestinian people.
Clinton: And what happened? Hamas took over Gaza.
So instead of having a thriving economy with the kind of opportunities that the children of the Palestinians deserve, we have a terrorist haven that is getting more and more rockets shipped in from Iran and elsewhere.
Blitzer: Thank you, Secretary.
Sanders: I read Secretary Clinton’s statement speech before AIPAC. I heard virtually no discussion at all about the needs of the Palestinian people. Almost none in that speech.
Sanders: So here is the issue: of course Israel has a right to defend itself, but long-term there will never be peace in that region unless the United States plays a role, an even-handed role trying to bring people together and recognizing the serious problems that exist among the Palestinian people.
That is what I believe the world wants to us do and that’s the kind of leadership that we have got to exercise.
Clinton: Well, if I — I want to add, you know, again describing the problem is a lot easier than trying to solve it. And I have been involved, both as first lady with my husband’s efforts, as a senator supporting the efforts that even the Bush administration was undertaking, and as secretary of state for President Obama, I’m the person who held the last three meetings between the president of the Palestinian Authority and the prime minister of Israel.
There were only four of us in the room, Netanyahu, Abbas, George Mitchell, and me. Three long meetings. And I was absolutely focused on what was fair and right for the Palestinians.
I was absolutely focused on what we needed to do to make sure that the Palestinian people had the right to self-government. And I believe that as president I will be able to continue to make progress and get an agreement that will be fair both to the Israelis and the Palestinians without ever, ever undermining Israel’s security.
Blitzer: A final word, Senator, go ahead.
Sanders: There comes a time — there comes a time when if we pursue justice and peace, we are going to have to say that Netanyahu is not right all of the time.
Clinton: … you know, I have spoken about and written at some length the very candid conversations I’ve had with him and other Israeli leaders. Nobody is saying that any individual leader is always right, but it is a difficult position.
If you are from whatever perspective trying to seek peace, trying to create the conditions for peace when there is a terrorist group embedded in Gaza that does not want to see you exist, that is a very difficult challenge.
Blitzer: Senator, go ahead.
Sanders: You gave a major speech to AIPAC, which obviously deals with the Middle East crisis, and you barely mentioned the Palestinians. And I think, again, it is a complicated issue and God knows for decades presidents, including President Clinton and others, Jimmy Carter and others have tried to do the right thing.
All that I am saying is we cannot continue to be one-sided. There are two sides to the issue.
(JNi.media) The Palestinian National Fund has existed since the 1960s, but its leaders keep its operations out of the limelight. It manages billions of dollars, has not appointed an active CEO for 15 years to allow the PA Chairman to retain control over it. Part of the money is funneled to PA officials and funds anti-Israel activities, including organizing rallies in support of the boycott against Israel, Calcalist reported Sunday.
Israelis tend to view Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) as a gray and weak leader who lost his control and influence on the Palestinian street, and therefore may no longer be relevant. That may be true, but at least one area in the Palestinian arena the veteran, 80-year-old leader continues to hold tremendous power — he effectively controls the billions of dollars of the Palestinian National Fund, the most important economic institution in the PA, whose activity is conducted mainly in the dark and which has been linked in recent years to a near-complete lack of transparency and widespread corruption. Abbas decides where Palestinian money is directed in the domestic arena, be it for the benefit of the PA resident or to other, more clandestine activities.
Pursuant to the PLO rules, the Palestinian National Fund should be managed by a special council, and its chairman should be a member of the PLO executive committee. In practice, over the past 15 years the fund has been run without Chairman, in violation of PLO rules. A decade ago, then PLO chairman Abbas appointed Ramzi Khouri, head of the office of Yasser Arafat, as CEO. With Arafat gone, Khouri has been a sworn Abbas loyalist. This means that in practice Abbas controls the fund money, and the flow of its funding for anti-Israel propaganda and activities is being carried out with his knowledge and approval.
The Palestinian National Fund is currently funded by donations received from states, organizations, and individuals, as well as from returns on investments in economic projects (companies, real estate, etc.) all over the world, especially in Arab countries. Its exact scope is unknown, but it is estimated at tens of billions of dollars. One of the activities the fund finances is the war of the PLO and the Palestinian Authority against Israel’s international legitimacy.
Although the size of the annual budget for this cause is not known, it appears to be a fairly high on the fund’s list of priorities. Last August, when Chairman of the PLO Foreign Affairs Department Tayseer Khaled received the freed prisoner Khader Adnan in his office in Ramallah. Khaled announced that the priority of his department is “to expand the international boycott against the ‘state of occupation,’ to prosecute Israeli war criminals in the international court and to preventing the Judaization of Jerusalem.” Visitors to the website of the PLO Department of Foreign Affairs can see these priorities plainly, with regular reports from all over the globe on boycott initiatives against Israel and other material portraying Israel in a negative light. Last week the PLO called on Palestinian communities abroad to organize rallies to support for the Palestinian people in Jerusalem.
But the same fund is being used by Abbas to reign in insubordinate PLO members. Last year it was reported that due to disagreements between Abbas and the PLO Executive Committee Secretary-General Yasser Abed Rabbo, the PA Chairman decided to take revenge on the latter and revoked his powers associated with the National Trust funds. Sources close to Abbas explained the move by the authority in the fact that supervising the fund is not the responsibility of the PLO secretary general.
Another example: last year, it was reported that Abbas had ordered stopping allocations to the Popular Front—a PLO member—from the budgets of the National Trust. He did so in response to criticism from this group over security cooperation with Israel in Judea and Samaria.