French Toast: Ruthie Blum, Israel Hayom, Apr. 22, 2016— It comes as no surprise that the honchos in Ramallah are welcoming the French initiative to hold a summit of world foreign ministers to discuss and plan an international Israeli-Palestinian peace conference.
The Peace Process Is an Obstacle to Peace: Michael Mandelbaum, Commentary, Apr. 14, 2016— The American presidency has accumulated a number of traditions that anyone holding the office is expected to perpetuate.
Sorry to Tell You, But….: Dr. Mordechai Kedar, Arutz Sheva, Apr. 22, 2016— My dear friends, Jews in Israel and the Diaspora.
What is Zochrot Really Remembering?: Asaf Romirowsky, Times of Israel, Apr. 14, 2016— On March 21-22 the Israeli NGO Zochrot held its “Third International Conference on the Return of Palestinian Refugees“ in Tel Aviv.
On Topic Links
Palestinians Push French Peace Initiative: Rory Jones, Wall Street Journal, Apr. 6, 2016
The "Two State Solution": Irony and Truth: Louis René Beres, Gatestone Institute, Apr. 27, 2016
Biden’s Untimely Assault on Israel: Elliott Abrams, Council on Foreign Relations, Apr. 19, 2016
Israeli Arabs’ Hostility to State Leaves No Room for Compromise: Ariel Ben Solomon, Jerusalem Post, Apr, 3 2016
Israel Hayom, Apr. 22, 2016
It comes as no surprise that the honchos in Ramallah are welcoming the French initiative to hold a summit of world foreign ministers to discuss and plan an international Israeli-Palestinian peace conference. The Palestinian Authority knows full well that "peace" is a euphemism for complete Israeli capitulation to Palestinian demands, with nothing but bloodshed in return. Indeed, if PA President Mahmoud Abbas and his henchmen were actually interested in bringing about an end to conflict with Israel, they could do so in a split second — you know, by putting a stop to their own behavior. This includes, but is not restricted to, glorifying and funding the families of terrorists, particularly those who die for the cause in the process of killing Jews.
Contrary to what those who are either not paying attention or who hate the Jewish state for their own reasons may believe, Abbas' ultimate goal is neither peace nor its companion misnomer, a "two-state solution." No, his aim is to retain an international stamp of legitimacy as a world leader, to protect him from assassination on the one hand and oblivion on the other, and to keep the dollars and euros flowing. Palestinian statehood is therefore not in his interest. But pretending to strive for it while portraying himself and his people as victims of Israeli "occupation" and "brutality" is what he's really after. Meanwhile, he benefits from the West's ostrich syndrome — the very phenomenon responsible for the nuclear deal with the Islamic Republic of Iran, the greatest state sponsor of global terrorism; the one that keeps Palestinian murder machines like Hezbollah in clover. And armed to the teeth.
This is all very old news, as is the fact that an ever-declining Europe and the United States under President Barack Obama would prefer to abdicate all political, moral and military superiority to Third World Islamist thugs than call the shots. It is this Western trait that is at the root of hostility to Israel, which — in spite of its all-too-Jewish inclination to follow suit — dares to defend and steel itself to the Cheshire Cat smiles of its sworn enemies and wagging fingers of its alleged friends. The irony is that Abbas, like the ayatollahs in Tehran, would be the first to agree with this assessment. Indeed, it is the one thing on which Israel and the Palestinians agree, though the latter would never admit it in any language other than Arabic. Nor do PA apologists bother to believe the translations of such sentiments into English, French or German. They would rather spend their energy interpreting the forked-tongue dialect of parties with whom they insist on engaging in diplomacy.
Which brings us back to the Paris plan for renewed talks between Israel and the Palestinians. To avoid being left with scrambled egg on its face, France has decided that the only foreign ministers who will not be invited to next month's pre-peace-conference summit are those of — you guessed it — Israel and the PA. PA Foreign Minister Riad Malki was not too happy about this. But he did receive reassurance from the French that the initiative would not be hindered "in any way" by the Palestinian draft of a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlements as the true obstacle to "peace."
Never mind little details like Monday's bus bombing in Jerusalem, perpetrated by a Palestinian terrorist from Bethlehem, who apparently botched the bigger job he had in mind when the explosive device he was carrying went off before he reached his destination. According to American officials, he may not even have been a terrorist in the conventional sense, but rather one of those "lone wolves" — or, as U.S. Vice President Joe Biden called them, "misguided cowards." Yes, across the ocean, Biden took to the podium at the left-wing J Street conference to chastise the Jewish state, which was still reeling from the 20 wounded victims of the latest act of bloody aggression against innocent people going about their business, in this case, Passover preparations.
"I firmly believe that the actions that Israel's government has taken over the past several years — the steady and systematic expansion of settlements, the legalization of outposts, land seizures — they're moving us and more importantly they're moving Israel in the wrong direction," Biden said, reiterating his administration's "overwhelming frustration" with Israel and "profound questions" about its ability to remain both Jewish and democratic without further and more massive territorial withdrawals than it has already made. Biden failed to mention that all previous Israeli attempts to appease the Palestinians resulted in terrorism the likes of which European capitals haven't even begun to experience — though it appears they are starting to get a taste of it.
Still, they tell themselves that Islamic State terrorism is a different kettle of fish from that of Fatah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad. And that Israel is ultimately a provocateur. It is thus that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded to reports of the upcoming "ministerial" summit and precursor to a wider peace conference with disdain. "Can anyone explain what this initiative is about? Even the French don't know," he said.
THE PEACE PROCESS IS AN OBSTACLE TO PEACE
Commentary, Apr. 14, 2016
The American presidency has accumulated a number of traditions that anyone holding the office is expected to perpetuate. Examples include delivering the State of the Union address to Congress, lighting the national Christmas tree, and presiding over the Israeli–Palestinian peace process. The next president will no doubt continue all three. If he or she follows the pattern established by the most recent incumbents, however, the result of the peace process will be failure. Indeed, the continuation of the peace process as it has been practiced will not simply be futile: It will be positively harmful. The conduct of the peace process has made peace less likely. If it is to continue at all, a fundamental change in the American approach is needed.
Successive administrations have failed at the peace process because they have not understood—or not admitted to themselves—the nature of the conflict they have been trying to resolve. In the eyes of the American officials engaged in this long-running endeavor, making peace has been akin to a labor negotiation. Each side, they have believed, has desired a resolution, and the task of the United States has been to find a happy medium, a set of arrangements that both sides could accept. In fact, each side has wanted the conflict to end, but in radically different and indeed incompatible ways that have made a settlement impossible: The Israelis have wanted peace; the Palestinians have wanted the destruction of Israel.
At the core of the conflict, standing out like a skyscraper in a desert to anyone who cared to notice, is the Palestinian refusal to accept Jewish sovereignty in the Middle East. This attitude has existed for at least a century, since the Arab rejection of the Balfour Declaration in 1917. While much has changed in the region over those 10 decades, the conflict’s fundamental cause has not. The Palestinians’ position is expressed in their devotion to what has come to be called incitement: incessant derogatory propaganda about Jews and Israel, the denial of any historical Jewish connection to Jerusalem and its environs, and the insistence that all the territory between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea belongs to the Arabs, making the Jews living there, in the Palestinian view, contemptible interlopers to be killed or evicted. The Palestinians’ attitude has expressed itself, as well, in their negotiators’ refusal either to accept any proposal for terminating the conflict or to offer any counterproposals of their own. The goal of eliminating Israel also lies behind Palestinian officials’ glorification as “martyrs” of those who murder Israeli civilians, giving their families financial rewards to encourage such killings.
American officials have either ignored or downplayed all of this. They have never emphasized its centrality to the conflict, instead focusing on Israeli control of the West Bank of the Jordan River, which the Israeli army captured from Jordan in the 1967 War and on which Israel has built towns, villages, and settlements. American officials have regarded the “occupation,” as the international community has chosen to call it, of the West Bank as the cause of the ongoing conflict. In fact, the reverse is true. It is the persistence of the conflict that keeps Israel in the West Bank. A majority of Israelis believes that retaining control of all of the territory brings high costs but that turning it over entirely to Palestinian control, given the virulent Palestinian hostility to their very existence, would incur even higher costs. A withdrawal, they have every reason to believe, would create a vacuum that anti-Israel terrorist groups would fill. Ample precedent supports this view: When Israel withdrew from southern Lebanon and Gaza, two terrorist organizations—Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza—took control of the vacated territories and proceeded to launch attacks against the Jewish state.
While sometimes acknowledging in private that it would not bring peace, American peace processers have in the past nonetheless justified continuing the peace process on the grounds that it served American interests by making it possible to have good relations with Arab governments while at the same time sustaining close ties with Israel. According to this rationale, the Americans could tell the Arab rulers, and those rulers could tell their fervently anti-Zionist publics, that the United States was, after all, working to address their grievances.
In fact, the conflict never had the importance for Arab–American relations claimed for it. The Arab leaders determined their actual policies, toward the United States and toward other countries, on the basis of their own interests, above all their common interest in remaining in power, which seldom had anything to do with Israel. Now, however, with civil wars raging across the region, with the United States drawing back from the Middle East, and with their archenemy Iran becoming increasingly powerful, Arab leaders have dropped even the pretense that the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians matters greatly to them.
The peace process has therefore become unnecessary for the United States, even by the reasoning that sustained it in the past. In its familiar form it is, however, worse than that. It has caused real damage and will continue to do so if not fundamentally changed. In fact, the American conduct of the peace process bears an unhappy resemblance to the custom of treating diseases by placing leeches on the body of the afflicted person: It was based on an inadequate understanding of the pathology it attempted to cure, it did not solve the problem it was intended to fix, and it sometimes made it substantially worse…
[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]
SORRY TO TELL YOU, BUT….
Dr. Mordechai Kedar
Arutz Sheva, Apr. 22, 2016
My dear friends, Jews in Israel and the Diaspora. I am sorry to tell you that the terror attacks we from which we suffer today and from which we suffered yesterday, a week ago, a month, a year and a decade and century ago, are all part of the same war, the same struggle, the same Jihad waged against us by our neighbors for over a century. Sometimes it is a full scale war with tanks, noise, flames, planes and ships and sometimes it is a war on a slow burner known as "terror" with explosions, stabbings and shots. Each of these is Jihad in Arabic, each is aimed at Jews just for being Jewish.
I regret to remind you of the fact that this war began way before the establishment of the Jewish state declared in 1948. The riots and massacres of 1920, 1921, 1929, 1936-39 et al, were not due to a Jewish state or what our enemies call the "occupation" of 1948, and certainly not because of the 1967 "occupation". The bloody and cruel massacre of the Jews of Hevron in 1929 was carried out against Jews who were not part of the Zionist movement, quite the contrary. The Palestine Liberation Movement (Fatah) was founded, may I remind you, in 1959 and The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in 1964, years before the 1967 "occupation" that was a result of Israel winning the Six Day War.
I hate to point out to you that the shouts we heard, mainly in the 1948 War of Independence, were "Itbach al Yahud" – "Butcher the Jews" – and not the "Israelis" or the "Zionists," because their problem is with the Jews who refuse to be dependent on the mercy of Islam, refuse to live as dhimmi, protected ones, the way Islam mandates for Jews and Christians. In the Arab world, children still sing (in Arabic): "Palestine is our country and the Jews are our dogs." The dog, in Islamic tradition, is an unclean animal. Sharia law stipulates that if a Muslim is praying and a dog, pig, woman, Jew or Christian walks in front of him, his prayers are worthless and he must begin the entire ritual once again.
It is not pleasant to tell you this, but Israel's enemies' most popular chant is (in Arabic) – "Kyber, Khyber O Jews, Mohammed's army will yet return." Khyber is an oasis in the Arabian Peninsula that was populated by Jews until Mohammed slaughtered them in 626 C.E. The chant commemorates that event and threatens a repeat performance. The Jews, according to the Koran (Sura 5, verse 82) are the most hostile enemies of the Moslems. Verse 60 states that Allah's curse and fury upon them turned them into monkeys and pigs. Since when do monkeys and pigs have the right to a state? Since when are they entitled to sovereignty?
Despite what you think, peace with Egypt was achieved only after Sadat realized that despite Arab efforts to destroy Israel in the 1948 War of Independence, the 1956 Sinai Campaign, the 1967 Six Day War, 1970 War of Attrition, and even the 1973 Yom Kippur War that took Israel by surprise, the Jewish state managed to push back all the Arab armies and bring the war to their territory. That is why Sadat understood that Israel is not conquerable and that there is no choice other than making peace, even if this peace is temporary and based on the precedent of the 628 C.E. Hudabiya Peace in which Mohammed gave a 10 year hiatus to the infidels of Mecca, but broke it at the end of two years when they fell asleep on the watch.
Yassir Arafat did not sign the Oslo Accords because he believed in peace, but because, calling it the "Hudabiya peace," he saw the agreements as a Trojan horse that would hoodwink the Jews. The only objective of the Oslo Accords was to create a Palestinian entity with an army and weapons that would be used to destroy Israel when the time was ripe. He repeated this constantly, but our decision makers explained that he is only saying it for domestic consumption, and when suicide bombers set themselves off in our streets, the victims were called "victims of peace." Since when does peace require victims? And when will the rifles we allowed them to obtain be turned on us?
It saddens me to tell you that all of Israel's efforts to please the Hamas Gazans failed, and Hamas went on from being a terrorist organization to becoming a terrorist state. Deathly rockets, attack tunnels, suicide bombers – all are considered legitimate in the eyes of Gaza's Jihadist government, so to hell with the lives of the men, women and children living there, and to hell with their welfare, health and assets. The Gazans are pawns in the hands of Hamas, the Jihad and the Salafists, all of whom appointed themselves the liaison between the residents of Gaza and Paradise, having already given them a taste of hell on earth.
It pains me to tell all the soul-weary peace seekers in Israel and the world, that the concrete and iron that you forced us to give the Jihadists in Gaza in order to rebuild their destroyed homes, were used to build tunnels of death both to Gazans and Israelis. Instead of building hospitals, schools and infrastructure, the Jihadists built an infrastructure of death, suffering and disaster. You were wrong again – basing your policy on pipe dreams, delusions and hopes instead of on facts and figures.
Analysts, including me, are not entirely blameless: they said in wondrous harmony that when Hamas has to bear the responsibility for food, electricity and welfare in Gaza, its leaders will become more moderate, realistic and pragmatic.
We were wrong: Hamas, despite leaving the opposition in order to rule, has not ceased its Jihad against Israel and has not removed Israel from the top of its list of priorities, nor has it changed in the slightest its wholly negative view of the "Zionist entity." I hate to ruin the "two states for two peoples" party, but I must, because what is happening in Gaza today is exactly what will happen to the second Palestinian state you are trying to establish in Judea and Samaria. Hamas will be the winner of elections for the legislature, as they were in Gaza in January 2006, and will win the presidential elections as well. If they don't they will take over all of Judea and Samaria in a violent putsch, just as they did in Gaza in 2007. And when that happens, what will you say? "Ooops…we didn't know…we couldn't imagine…?" So now you know and do not have to extrapolate. This should be your working hypothesis. If Gaza's Hamas is digging tunnels of death in the sand today, it will be digging through rocks to build them from Judea and Samaria – and let's see you find them and blow them up when that happens…
[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]
WHAT IS ZOCHROT REALLY REMEMBERING?
Times of Israel, Apr. 14, 2016
On March 21-22 the Israeli NGO Zochrot held its “Third International Conference on the Return of Palestinian Refugees“ in Tel Aviv. The two-day event featured an all-star team of anti-Israeli Israeli speakers from NGOs and academia, all to promote the Palestinian “right of return.” Zochrot’s goal is “rais[ing] public awareness of the Palestinian Nakba” and “recognizing and materializing the right of return,” stressing that “the rights of the refugees to return must be accepted.” Nothing brings together Israel haters, including Americans, like the Palestinian “right of return.”
The name Zochrot connotes remembrance, but echoes the Jewish phrase Yizkor, a prayer said to honor the memory of dead. The point is to blame Israel for the Original Sin of its own creation and ostensibly sole responsibility for the Palestinian refugees. These name signals that these Israelis repent by not forgetting this invented historical narrative. The aim of the group is peace, but the so-called “right of return” has become the largest obstacle to actually achieving peace between Israel and the Palestinians; the Palestinian obsession with remaining refugees — and dependents of the international community — at all costs has become the crutch to avoid any actual state building.
The “right of return” is allegedly found in United Nations General Assembly Resolution 194 (III) of December 1948, but the text reveals this “right” to be conditional: “refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return.” The resolution also calls for the United Nations “to facilitate the repatriation, resettlement and economic and social rehabilitation of the refugees and the payment of compensation.” At the time all the Arab States in the UN (Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen) voted against the resolution, since it implicitly accepted the partition of Mandatory Palestine that recognized the Jewish right to a state. But the actual text of the resolution has been irrelevant since the beginning; Palestinian identity has crystallized around the dream of an unconditional “right of return,” as has Palestinian propaganda to the world.
Among the lead sponsors of the Zochrot conference is the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), the Quaker group that has supported BDS campaigns on college campuses and churches with their partner Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP). The Quakers also work with NGOs that encourage Israelis to refuse to serve in the IDF. Of course, it is the IDF that actually administered relief from 1967 to 1993 and today still coordinates with NGOs who want to assist Palestinians. The AFSC has long experience in the Middle East and should know better. The AFSC spearheaded religious diplomacy about the fate of Jerusalem, which was besieged and divided during the war of 1948. It also delivered aid to Palestinians in Gaza in 1949-1950. But it withdraws after seeing how Palestinians were already becoming dependent on foreign aid, at the expense of their own initiative.
Since 1967, however, the AFSC has become a pointed adversary of Israel, accusing it of responsibility for Palestinian refugees that the AFSC itself refused to support any further after 1950, flirting with anti-Semitism, and today, orchestrating Israel boycotts across the US, all in the name of a Palestinian state. By working with groups like Zochrot the AFSC seeks to turn the clock back even further by demanding Israel effectively be dissolved. Palestinian and their sympathizers in North America and Europe view relief and eventual repatriation (the “right of return”) as absolute rights. And the Arab states, with the exception of Jordan, remain steadfast in their refusal to do anything except warehouse Palestinians in permanent refugee camps. If the AFSC, really wants to remember it should distant itself from NGOs like Zochrot and revisit the lessons of its own mission in Gaza in 1949. The AFSC might remind itself that they left Gaza because they could not bring about a true resolution of the Arab-Palestinian population who refused to becoming anything except permanent refugees. Palestinian demands for a “right of return” are no different than those of 1949, when, as Palestinian protest sign that greeted an American mission in 1948 demanded – “1. Send us back home. 2. Compensate us. 3. Maintain us until we are refreshed.” The AFSC has the sense to reject that mentality then. It should do so now.
On Topic Links
Palestinians Push French Peace Initiative: Rory Jones, Wall Street Journal, Apr. 6, 2016—Palestinian officials said Wednesday they would they would pursue a French-led peace initiative, including an international conference, to break the deadlock in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
The "Two State Solution": Irony and Truth: Louis René Beres, Gatestone Institute, Apr. 27, 2016—There is no lack of irony in the endless discussions of Israel and a Palestinian state. One oddly neglected example is the complete turnaround of former Israeli prime minister Shimon Peres.
Biden’s Untimely Assault on Israel: Elliott Abrams, Council on Foreign Relations, Apr. 19, 2016—Yesterday, Israel was assaulted twice: once by terrorists, and once by the Vice President of the United States. The physical attack was in Jerusalem, where a bomb injured 21 people in a bus, several of them seriously.
Israeli Arabs’ Hostility to State Leaves No Room for Compromise: Ariel Ben Solomon, Jerusalem Post, Apr, 3 2016 —The hostility and harsh rhetoric by Arab Israeli leaders toward the government demonstrates that on many issues a compromise is unlikely to be found.