Israel's Palestinian Dilemmas: Prof. Efraim Inbar, BESA, May 3, 2016— Ever since the Palestinian terrorist wave began in September 2000, the Israeli body politic increasingly has resigned itself to the probability that there is no partner on the Palestinian side with which to reach a historic compromise with the Jewish national (Zionist) movement.
The Myth of Palestinian Sovereignty Claims: Barry Shaw, Arutz Sheva, May 16, 2016— The Israeli Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), of which I am a proud member and the Senior Associate for Public Diplomacy…
The Anti-Israel Poisoning Starts Young: Micah Lakin Avni, Wall Street Journal, May 17, 2016— My father, Richard Lakin, a 76-year-old retired elementary-school principal from Connecticut, was on a bus in Jerusalem last October when two young Palestinian men boarded and began shooting and stabbing passengers indiscriminately.
A Fake Museum for a Fake Palestine: Daniel Greenfield, Frontpage, May 20, 2016 — 150 years ago, Mark Twain visited Muslim-occupied Israel and wrote of “unpeopled deserts” and “mounds of barrenness,” of “forlorn” and “untenanted” cities.
Palestinians and Jordan: Will a Confederation Work?: Khaled Abu Toameh, Gatestone Institute, May 25, 2016
A History of Sustainable Violence: Aaron David Miller, Foreign Policy, May 19, 2016
Palestinian Authority Media Praises Terrorist Who Killed American Tourist: IPT, May 24, 2016
Humanitarian Aid or Political Meddling? Israel, EU Clash on Palestinian Buildings: Ben Sales, J Weekly, Apr. 14, 2016
Prof. Efraim Inbar
BESA, May 3, 2016
Ever since the Palestinian terrorist wave began in September 2000, the Israeli body politic increasingly has resigned itself to the probability that there is no partner on the Palestinian side with which to reach a historic compromise with the Jewish national (Zionist) movement. The hopes for peace that were generated by the Oslo process in 1993 have been replaced by the stark realization that violent conflict will not end soon.
Moreover, the hostile messages about Israel purveyed in the Palestinian Authority (PA) educational system and official media leave little doubt about the rabid anti-Semitism prevalent in Palestinian society, which ensures that conflict with the Jews will continue. And thus, the central premise of the Oslo process seems exceedingly improbable. The premise was that partition of the Land of Israel and the establishment of a Palestinian political entity (what is known as the two-state paradigm) would bring peace and stability. Alas, this paradigm has been deeply discredited.
Aside from and beyond the assessment that the PA has no intention of accepting a Jewish state in any borders, the fact remains that the two sides remain far apart on most of the concrete issues to be resolved. Palestinian demands for control of the Temple Mount and the so-called "right of return," for example, are insurmountable obstacles. Any pragmatic impulse that might otherwise have emerged in Palestinian politics is consistently countered by Hamas, whose growing influence reflects the Islamist tide that is surging across the wider region.
To make matters worse, the assumption that the Palestinians are capable of establishing a state within the parameters of a two-state paradigm has not been validated. The PA was unable to get rid of multiple militias and lost Gaza to Hamas, mirroring the inability of other Arab societies in the region to sustain statist structures. Finally, protracted ethno-religious conflicts end only when at least one of the sides becomes war-weary, and runs out of energy for sustaining the conflict. That is not true of either Israeli or Palestinian society.
As a result of these trends, Israel essentially, if not formally, has given up on conflict resolution in the short run, and instead effectively has adopted a strategy of patient conflict management. But such a strategy brings policy dilemmas of its own. The first dilemma is whether or not to admit that Israel no longer believes that negotiations can lead to a durable agreement in the near term.
Truth has its virtues, but much of the world does not want to hear this particular truth and is still committed to an unworkable formula. There is, in any case, something to be said for acceding to the wishes of the international community by continuing to participate in negotiations. Doing so signals that Israel is ready to make concessions, which maintains the domestic social cohesion necessary for protracted conflict (management) while projecting a positive image abroad. On the other hand, negotiations toward the doubtful "two-state solution" keep a fictitious formula alive and prevent fresh thinking about alternative solutions from emerging. Moreover, the "peace process" requires moderation, which entails swallowing Palestinian provocations and restraining punitive action.
A second dilemma is related to the "carrot and stick" approach toward the Palestinians. In the absence of meaningful negotiations, Israel, particularly Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has advocated the promotion of "economic peace" as a part of conflict management, on the assumption that Israel has nothing to gain from hungry neighbors. This is why Israel does not oppose international financial support for the PA, despite the corruption and inefficiency of the latter. Jerusalem also provides water and electricity to the PA, and to Hamas-ruled Gaza, so that Israel's Palestinian neighbors do not dive into total desperation.
But the carrot mitigates the impact of the stick. The Palestinians, it must be recalled, wage war on Israel. Exacting pain from opposing societies is what war is all about, and pain can have a moderating effect on collective behavior. Egypt, for example, decided to change course with regard to Israel because it grew reluctant to pay the costs of maintaining the conflict.
Since the Palestinians have chosen to pursue their goals by causing Israel continued pain – rather than by accepting generous peace deals offered by Ehud Barak (2000) and Ehud Olmert (2007) – Israel has every right to punish them, in the hope that a bit of pain might influence their future choices in a productive direction. But by adopting an "economic peace" approach, Israel creates disincentives to Palestinian moderation, and signals its desperation at the prospect of changing Palestinian behavior.
A third dilemma implicit in the conflict management approach is what to do about the hostile PA, which survives largely because of Israel's security measures and economic backing. The collapse of the PA is one possible outcome of a succession struggle after Mahmoud Abbas leaves the political arena. Whether or not the collapse of the PA is desirable is debatable. On the one hand, the PA propagates vicious hatred toward Israel in its educational system, conducts an ongoing campaign of international delegitimization against Israel, and denies Jewish links to the Land of Israel and to Jerusalem in particular. It glorifies terrorists and allows them to be role models in its schools. It deliberately reinforces the hostility that fuels the conflict, preventing the emergence of a more pragmatic Palestinian leadership.
On the other hand, the PA conveniently relieves Israel of the burden of responsibility for more than one million Palestinians living in the West Bank. PA security forces help combat Hamas influence in the West Bank (although far less than the PA is given credit for). The functioning of the PA, however imperfect, also keeps the Palestinian issue off the top of the international agenda – something that is very much in Israel's interests. A descent into chaos resulting from the total collapse of the PA would invite international intervention.
An additional question for Israel to consider relates to the appropriate level of diplomatic activism on the Palestinian issue. Many advocate Israeli diplomatic initiatives in order to prevent unfavorable plans from being placed on the agenda by global actors. The nature of such initiatives is usually unclear, but activism is part of the Israeli Zionist ethos and "taking initiative" appeals to the impatient Israeli temperament.
On the other hand, a patient wait-and-see approach allows others to make mistakes and gives Israel the latitude to wait on a more favorable environment. In fact, this was the approach favored by David Ben-Gurion. He believed in buying time to build a stronger state and in hanging on until opponents yield their radical goals. Each of these dilemmas leads to a policy gamble. The short-term existential security imperatives of a small state further complicate Israel's choices. Even if Israel's leaders are correct in opting for a conflict management approach for the moment, they are in an unenviable position.
Arutz Sheva, May 16, 2016
The Israeli Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), of which I am a proud member and the Senior Associate for Public Diplomacy, is dedicated to presenting hard facts to politicians, diplomats, journalists, think tanks and the general public on issues relating to Israel and its dispute with the Arab world and the broader international community. By addressing reality and truth, rather than attaching itself to current utopian fantasies in pursuit of peace, IISS presents clear-eyed analysis of problems and causes and, by doing so, lays bare the shallow proposals meant to solve the Israeli-Arab conflicts.
One such myth is the international desire to create a Palestinian state. None of the diplomatic proposers have ever addressed the official positions of the dysfunctional Palestinian political bodies on what constitutes the territorial sovereignty of such a Palestine. The so-called 'moderate' arm of Palestinian politics, the Palestinian Authority, claims to operate under the Palestine National Charter. It is enlightening to learn over what sovereign territory the Palestinian hierarchy intended to rule. It is even more interesting to learn which territory they rejected as being any part of a future state.
While brushing aside offensive statements in their 1964 National Charter that Israel is illegal, that the Balfour Declaration and the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine are all frauds, that Zionism is racism, statements that should automatically disqualify them from statehood, the articles dealing with sovereign territory, are a guide to the perplexed. Article 2 reads "Palestine with its boundaries at the time of the British Mandate (the aforementioned 'fraud') is a regional indivisible unit."
Having disclaimed the UN Partition Plan (UN Resolution 181) as "illegal," an eye-brow raising read is Article 24 of the Palestine National Charter which contradicts Article 2 by, amazingly, rejecting the "West Bank" and Gaza as being part of a sovereign Palestinian state! Article 24: "This Organization does not exercise any regional sovereignty over the West Bank in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, and on the Gaza Strip"
It is stunning to remind ourselves that the Palestinian Arabs not only had no intention of claiming the "West Bank" and Gaza as part of their future homeland, but they expressly and officially excluded them from any part of a sovereign Palestine! They did so because, at the time, they were under the patronage of the Arab world. The Palestinian leadership presented itself as a national liberation movement. As Yasser Arafat said, they saw themselves as part of the Pan-Arab movement to destroy the Jewish State of Israel. “The PLO is fighting Israel in the name of Pan-Arabism. What you call Jordan is nothing more than Palestine,” Arafat said dismissingly to Italian journalist, Arianna Palazzi, in 1970.
So here we have Palestinians rejecting the "West Bank" and Gaza and admitting they are fighting to destroy Israel under the flag of Pan-Arabism, not as a national liberation movement. Could this be the reason they have consistently rejected generous offers by Israel for a two-state solution in return for recognition of Israel’s right to exist in peace and security as the Jewish state?
This leaves only one question hanging in the air. What is the intended target and sovereign territory so desirous for Palestinians? Their National Charter was redrafted in 1968 and, in many ways, became more radical and threatening than the original version. Territorially, they claim every inch of Palestine as it was under the British Mandate. In other words, no Israel.
They devote articles to denying the legitimacy of the Jewish people and Zionism, thereby demonizing and rejecting their neighbor’s rights to self-determination. They have articles lauding the use of terrorism (“armed struggle” and “commando actions”) to achieve their aims. They boldly state that the UN Resolution 181, known as the Partition Plan, and the establishment of the State of Israel “are entirely illegal.” After trashing Jewish rights to exist in peace, and in a shocking twist of hypocrisy, their Article 24 states, “The Palestinian people believe in the principles of justice, freedom, sovereignty, self-determination, human dignity, and in the rights of all peoples to exercise them. All peoples, it seems, except the Jewish people in Israel.
Their Charter continues with its jingoistic violence repeating the calls for a war of liberation, fighting and carrying arms. In 2003, a Permanent Constitution was drafted which claims that Jerusalem has to be the capital of Palestine. The question is why? They already have two de-facto capitals. One in Gaza City, the other in Ramallah. Why a third? No further reference to territory was escribed into this Basic Law draft. Neither has this draft been accepted into Palestinian law. This is mainly due to the domestic conflict between Fatah in Ramallah and Palestinian Hamas controlling Gaza.
The Hamas Charter pledges its allegiance to the Muslim Brotherhood and is dedicated to the destruction of Israel. Its anti-Semitism is there in its opening preamble; “Our struggle against the Jews is very great and very serious.” Note it says “the Jews” not “Israelis.” Article 7 pledges Palestinian Islamic Hamas to the global Caliphate and to its everlasting anti-Semitism. Its final sentence warns; “The Day of Judgment will not come until Moslems fight the Jews, when the stones and the trees will say, ‘O Moslems, O Abdulla! There is a Jew hiding behind me. Come out and kill him!’”…
[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]
Micah Lakin Avni
Wall Street Journal, May 17, 2016
My father, Richard Lakin, a 76-year-old retired elementary-school principal from Connecticut, was on a bus in Jerusalem last October when two young Palestinian men boarded and began shooting and stabbing passengers indiscriminately. Two passengers were killed that awful day and 16 injured, including my father. Despite the efforts of first responders and the nurses and doctors at Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital, my father died two weeks later. He had been shot in the head and stabbed multiple times in the head, face, chest and stomach.
Over the past seven months I’ve spent a lot of time trying to understand what would cause two educated Palestinian men in their early 20s to board a public bus and butcher a group of innocent civilians, many of them senior citizens. I’m sorry to report that the Palestinian reaction to the attack has led me to believe that the “peace process” is more one-sided than ever.
My father grew up a fighter for civil rights in America. He took those values with him in 1984 when he emigrated to Jerusalem, where he taught English to Arabs and Jews. He was a kind, gentle-hearted man who dedicated his life to education and promoting peaceful coexistence. Yet Palestinian newspapers praised Baha Alyan, one of the terrorists who murdered my father, as a “martyr and intellectual.” Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has met with the families of the attackers and praised them as “martyrs.” A Palestinian scout leader said Baha Alyan, who was shot and killed by a security guard before he could kill more innocent passengers, was “an example for every scout.”
Muhammad Alyan, the father of Baha Alyan, has been invited to speak at Palestinian schools and universities about his son the “martyr.” He recently spoke to children at Jabel Mukaber Elementary School in East Jerusalem, about a half a mile from where my father lived. Tragically, many Palestinian children, perhaps most, are still taught to honor terrorists and fight for the destruction of Israel.
All of this would break my father’s heart. In 2007 he published a book called “Teaching as an Act of Love” summarizing his life’s work and educational philosophy. The message of his book is that every child is a miracle that should be nurtured with love. After Baha Alyan’s father visited Jabel Mukaber Elementary School, I asked school officials if I could come and share my father’s message of peace and coexistence. My offer was rejected.
As long as Palestinian leaders nurture a culture of hate, encouraging school children to go out and kill, more violence is inevitable. By encouraging hatred, they distance all of us from the love and belief in peaceful coexistence for which my father stood. My father’s book begins with a quote from William Penn: “I expect to pass through life but once. If therefore, there be any kindness I can show, or any good thing I can do to any fellow being, let me do it now, and not defer or neglect it, as I shall not pass this way again.” My father lived by those words. If only his murderers had as well.
Frontpage Magazine, May 20, 2016
150 years ago, Mark Twain visited Muslim-occupied Israel and wrote of “unpeopled deserts” and “mounds of barrenness,” of “forlorn” and “untenanted” cities. Palestine is “desolate,” he concluded. “One may ride ten miles hereabouts and not see ten human beings.” The same is true of the Palestinian Museum which opened with much fanfare and one slight problem. While admission is free, there’s nothing inside for any of the visitors to see except the bare walls.
The Palestinian Museum had been in the works since 1998, but has no exhibits. The museum cost $24 million. All it has to show for it are a few low sloping sandy buildings indistinguishable from the dirt and a “garden” of scraggly bushes and shrubs. The Palestinian Museum is open, but there’s nothing inside. It’s hard to think of a better metaphor for Palestine than a bunch of empty buildings designed by Irish and Chinese architects whose non-existent exhibits were the brainchild of its former Armenian-American director. It’s as Palestinian as bagels and cream cheese. Or skiing, hot cocoa and fjords.
Over the Palestinian Museum flies the proud flag of Palestine, which was originally the flag of the Iraqi-Jordanian Federation before the PLO “borrowed” it, and visitors might be greeted by the Palestinian anthem composed by Greek Communist Mikis Theodorakis. If it sounds anything like the soundtrack from Zorba the Greek, that’s because they both share the same composer. All of Palestine is so authentically Palestinian that it might as well be made in China. At least that’s where the stained Keffiyahs worn by the stone throwers hurling rocks at passing Jewish families while posing heroically for Norwegian, Canadian and Chilean photojournalists are made.
Palestine is an empty building with nothing in it. It’s a political Potemkin village. There’s a flag, an anthem, a museum and all the trappings of a country. But if you look closer, there’s nothing inside. The Palestinian Museum’s chairman, Omar al-Qattan, who was born in Beirut and lives in the UK, said that the “Palestinians” needed positive energy so badly that opening an empty museum made sense. Just think how much positive energy can come from realizing that you have no culture, heritage or history to put in your museum.
But actually the Palestinian Museum had to open in time for the Nakba. The Nakba is the annual commemoration of the failed invasion of Israel by foreign Muslim armies. The invasion by Egyptian, Iraqi, Syrian and Jordanian forces began on May 15. Egypt’s General Muhammad Haidar declared that the invading Muslim forces would be occupying Tel Aviv in two weeks.
Egyptian forces hit the village of Kfar Darom which had a few hundred residents and a few dozen militia members. They hit it with tanks, armored vehicles, infantry battalions, artillery and bombers. The invading colonial Muslim forces lost two soldiers for every single Jewish militia defender. Instead of taking Tel Aviv in two weeks, they were stuck laying siege to a tiny village for two months. That’s the Nakba. And you can see why the Muslim settlers in Israel have an annual day of mourning over the miserable defeat of their invading armies at the hands of the indigenous Jewish population. Like its museum, all of Palestine is one long endless fraud. The opening of the Palestinian Museum will be attended by President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority. Abbas was elected to a four-year term in 2005. It’s been a while since his term expired. The Palestinian Authority is just the PLO in drag. It claims authority over some territories that it doesn’t administer and has no control over.
But the empty Palestinian Museum isn’t about to let setbacks like a complete lack of things to put inside its bare walls get it down. Instead it’s doing what the PLO has always done in troubled times. It’s invading Beirut. Even though the Palestinian Museum has nothing to display, it’s opening a satellite museum in Beirut. If this “Palestinian” invasion goes anything like the last one, the satellite Palestinian Museum will be murdering Christians inside of a week. Beyond Beirut, the Palestinian Museum plans satellite museums in San Diego, London, Dubai and Gaza. In the Islamic fashion, the lack of an inner soul is compensated for with external expansionism.
Meanwhile the empty Palestinian Museum had found a prestigious new director, Mahmoud Hawari, a scholar whom it described as “the lead curator at the British Museum”. Hawari though isn’t a curator of anything. He’s a visiting academic. The foundation behind the Palestinian Museum blamed its new director for misleading them with a bad curriculum vitae. But it has yet to change its website. But Palestine has always been based on lies. Why should the Palestinian Museum break that tradition?…
[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]
Palestinians and Jordan: Will a Confederation Work?: Khaled Abu Toameh, Gatestone Institute, May 25, 2016—Talk about a confederation between the Palestinians and Jordan has once again resurfaced, this time after a series of unofficial meetings in Amman and the West Bank in the past few weeks. Jordan, fearing that such confederation would end up with the Hashemite kingdom transformed into a Palestinian state, is not currently keen on the idea.
A History of Sustainable Violence: Aaron David Miller, Foreign Policy, May 19, 2016—Shortly after becoming secretary of state in 2013, John Kerry spoke to the American Jewish Committee and made it clear that the status quo between Israelis and Palestinians was simply “not sustainable.” A year later, at the Brookings Institution’s annual Saban Forum, Kerry made his point again. “The status quo between the Israelis and the Palestinians is not sustainable,” he said, “and the alternatives to peace are neither acceptable nor viable.”
Palestinian Authority Media Praises Terrorist Who Killed American Tourist: IPT, May 24, 2016—Palestinian Authority (PA) media continue to glorify terrorist Bashar Masalha who attacked civilians in Tel Aviv and murdered an American tourist on March 8, Palestinian Media Watch reports.
Humanitarian Aid or Political Meddling? Israel, EU Clash on Palestinian Buildings: Ben Sales, J Weekly, Apr. 14, 2016 —In a ramshackle village off a dirt road in the West Bank’s central hills, near an inhabited shack with a cloth roof and tin walls, stands an outhouse bearing a peeling sticker with the European Union flag. The text below the flag reads “Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection.”