Tag: Abbas

HAMAS-BACKED, ANTI-ISRAEL PROTESTS, ROCKET FIRE, AND “FIRE KITES” CONTINUE IN GAZA

Truce or War: Hamas’s Bipolar Rule in Gaza: Avi Issacharoff, Times of Israel, July 14, 2018— Several hundred Palestinians participated in clashes at the border fence between Israel and the Gaza Strip last Friday…

Scorched Earth and International Law: Michael Cotler-Wunsh, Jerusalem Post, July 14, 2018— The last few months have given rise to the return of a historical military strategy known as “scorched earth,”…

‘Pay to Slay’ and Why the ‘Occupation’ Continues: Jonathan S. Tobin, JNS, July 9, 2018 — To Israel’s critics, there really is only one issue to discuss with respect to the conflict with the Palestinians: the “occupation.”

Palestinian Sovereignty after Abbas: Dr. Alex Joffe, BESA, July 13, 2018— “Après moi, le deluge” – a form of blackmail – has a long and ignoble history in international affairs.

On Topic Links

Netanyahu Visits Arson-Ravaged Gaza Border, Warns of a ‘Protracted Stuggle’: Stuart Winer, Times of Israel, July 16, 2018

How to Report on the Next War in Gaza: Liel Leibovitz, Tablet, July 11, 2018

Economics Won’t Help. The Palestinians Will Continue with Terror Attacks: Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser, JCPA, July 10, 2018

Oslo is Obsolete: Time for a Victory Mindset: Gideon Saar, Jerusalem Post, July 06, 2018

 

TRUCE OR WAR: HAMAS’S BIPOLAR RULE IN GAZA                                             

Avi Issacharoff

Times of Israel, July 14, 2018

Several hundred Palestinians participated in clashes at the border fence between Israel and the Gaza Strip last Friday, the remnants of the so-called “March of Return” demonstrations, which at times advocated for Palestinian refugees’ return to their homes — in Israel, of course — and at other times pressed for breaking Israel’s “blockade” of Gaza. Hamas is putting considerable time, energy, and money into keeping up a presence at these demonstrations, even though the number of participants has been steadily decreasing.

As the clashes went ahead, thousands of Gaza residents went to the Gaza beach, simply to enjoy themselves on family outings, just like old times. Gaza’s coast is unsafe for bathing due to pollution, but many people went into the water anyway to cool off from the oppressive July heat — an attempt at normalcy in one of the least normal places in the region, or on Earth.

Gaza is a place where poverty, with its accompanying economic and humanitarian hardships, is only growing more severe — a place that gets only four hours of electricity per day followed by a 16-hour blackout. Ice cream and even cold water are in short supply because there is insufficient power to keep them cold. The generator-powered elevators in high-rise buildings only operate on the hour and are idle the rest of the time. Of the water that flows through the pipes only once every five days, approximately 97 percent is undrinkable. Almost every home in Gaza has a device for filtering and improving the water that comes from the faucets.

These are only small examples of the mad state of things in the Gaza Strip. Gaza’s bipolar nature is also evident in bigger issues: Hamas, the terror organization that controls Gaza and seeks Israel’s destruction, has been intermittently working in recent weeks to keep things relatively calm with the Jewish state, even amid periodic escalations of rocket fire and endless fire kites and incendiary balloons flown into and burning the fields of southern Israel. It has also been intermittently trying to reach a long-term cease-fire agreement with Israel, even as it continues to dig terror tunnels and produce long-range rockets.

While ever howling of “hardship” and “the blockade,” Hamas consistently chooses to spend its funds on its terror infrastructure rather than investing in the population. Examples of this abound, from the enormous budget of its military wing to its collection of money from Gaza’s residents to fund its ongoing military activity. A classic example is recent events at the Rafah border crossing.

For some time, the Egyptians have been bringing through the Rafah crossing merchandise and products that they previously barred from entering Gaza, such as construction materials, fuels and other products. Approximately 30 million liters of diesel fuel, supposedly intended for Gaza’s power station, have been brought in since the beginning of the year. Hamas buys the diesel fuel from Egypt, but instead of using it all to fuel the station and produce more hours of electricity per day, it has been using some of the diesel fuel to make a profit. Of the 30 million liters, 17.8 million were taken to Gaza’s power station. Another 12.2 million liters were either sold on the black market to those willing to pay the maximum price for it, or diverted for Hamas’s military purposes. Hamas makes a profit of NIS 2.5 on every liter of diesel fuel sold in Gaza.

The Rafah border crossing has become Hamas’s most significant economic lifeline. It has been open for 70 days since the beginning of the year, compared to only 36 days throughout the whole of last year (This is partly the result of the dramatically improved security situation in Sinai). Hamas collects a tax on all merchandise that enters through the Rafah border crossing, unlike at the Kerem Shalom border crossing with Israel, where the taxes go to the Palestinian Authority.

Two large companies are in charge of the transport of merchandise. On the Egyptian side, the company in charge is Ibna’a Sina’a (The Sons of Sinai), and has ties with the Egyptian security forces. On the Palestinian side, the company in charge is Multitrade, a company that has ties with Hamas. If a Palestinian merchant wants to bring merchandise into Gaza, he must pay close to $5,000 per truck. He must also pay both companies for unloading and loading the stock. In this way, each kilogram of merchandise brings more and more revenue to Hamas’s dwindling coffers. Here it must be added that Hamas is dealing with a severe budgetary problem, even if taking into account Iran’s willingness to provide it with financial aid — a willingness that is once more uncertain due to the economic sanctions that have been imposed upon Iran.

Anyone in Israel who hopes that these measures by Hamas, which every Gazan is aware of, will lead to unrest or demonstrations against the terror group, is bound to be disappointed. According to polls in Gaza, most of the residents believe the Palestinian Authority and its President Mahmoud Abbas are primarily responsible for the situation in Gaza, followed by the “occupation” — meaning Israel, which has no presence in Gaza — and only then Hamas, which controls Gaza.

The question, even before Friday night’s escalation, is where all this is leading, and whether another major conflict is around the corner. Hamas has been exerting quite a bit of effort to let Israel know it has no interest in open conflict. On the other hand, it is doubtful that Hamas will maintain this trend if the humanitarian situation directs public anger in its direction…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]

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SCORCHED EARTH AND INTERNATIONAL LAW

Michael Cotler-Wunsh

Jerusalem Post, July 14, 2018

The last few months have given rise to the return of a historical military strategy known as “scorched earth,” in which approximately 100 fires have ravaged and devastated hundreds of acres of the State of Israel, in particular in agricultural communities along the Gaza border. An hour’s drive from Tel Aviv, devastating fires have been set ablaze by balloons and kites flown over the border that have destroyed thousands of acres of fields, forests and wildlife.

Judging from recent events, it seems that the war of attrition launched against the nascent State of Israel in 1948 has not ended, only morphed. The commitment to its destruction has not vanished, only mutated. Enacting the age-old adage “Plus ca change, plus c’est la même chose,” it seems that those that did not accept the legitimacy of a Jewish homeland in the ancestral home of the Jewish people still do not, and are committed to its destruction utilizing any and all means to achieve their goal.

Ironically, the hope for finding a solution and of realizing the centuries-old dream of peace, persuaded many to adopt a paradigm that would enable a “way out.” According to this well-meaning, responsibility-taking paradigm, it was the results of the Six Day War (launched in a surprise, well-planned campaign by five neighboring Arab countries in 1967) that rendered Israel responsible for the terms and conditions of a much-coveted peace. If only Israel would withdraw from areas that it “conquered” in the aftermath of that war, there would be peace. If only there was a “two-state solution,” Palestinians would no longer carry out murderous attacks against Jews. Living under “occupation” resulted in “understandable” violent reactions according to this narrative, and “settlers” were vilified as the barrier to peace, the root of all evil. Herein lies the paradox. The adoption of this narrative actually fueled Israel’s hope, in keeping with millennia of Jewish tradition, that there is a chance to realize the dream of peace with its neighbors.

With all the incredible progress our world has made in the last century, including Israel’s contributions, despite the advances in health research, desalination of water, production of food, global online resources in education, that harbor the potential of improving the human condition, it seems that the machinery of hate and war has remained the same. Rearing its ugly head, recreating itself and holding the world back from genuine progress, it is a sad reminder of human inability to comprehend the repetition of history and recognize real threats as they arise.

Despite seeming progress, tactics of destruction and strategies of devastation reappear with ever so slight modifications or variations. Close and long-range missiles threaten and are launched into Israel, forcing it to develop self-defense systems such as Iron Dome to protect its civilian population; underground terror tunnels are dug into the country below external borders threatening individuals and communities, forcing Israel to develop technologies that address tunnel warfare; and now, in a cynical abuse of kids’ toys and joy, terror balloons and kites are utilized in an old-new version of scorched-earth practice, destroying decades of hard work, amazing achievement and dreams of a better future.

Once again, thousands of Israeli civilians, men, women and children, are living under daily threat and trauma. Doing the only thing that can be done against the terrorism that seeks to instill fear and paralyze them, they work, shop, write exams, drop kids off at camp or school, doing their utmost to lead a semblance of normal life. In these heroic daily acts that should be understood and acknowledged as such, they are fighting terrorists by denying them the victory of instilling anxiety and dread. Hundreds of volunteers show their support by doing the only thing they can, showing up in solidarity and working with brave firefighters day and night, to minimize the damage and save what can be saved.

In defiant breach of international law, fires are ravaging Israel daily. It is noteworthy that this strategy of destroying the food and water supply of the civilian population in an area of conflict is banned under Article 54 of Protocol I of the 1977 Geneva Conventions. The relevant passage states: “It is prohibited to attack, destroy, remove, or render useless objects indispensable to the survival of the civilian population, such as foodstuffs, agricultural areas for the production of foodstuffs, crops, livestock, drinking water installations and supplies, and irrigation works, for the specific purpose of denying them for their sustenance value to the civilian population or to the adverse Party, whatever the motive, whether in order to starve out civilians, to cause them to move away, or for any other motive.”

The past few months have brought many civilians to the very area that is burning, along the Gaza border, for a gathering that highlights the unacceptable breach of international law and offers much the same clarity as to the enemy that Israel faces. Week after week, we gather to demand the return of the remains of Hadar Goldin, abducted and murdered by Hamas, the very same terrorist organization responsible for the implementation of the scorched-earth strategy. In a cynical abuse of the humanitarian ceasefire, under the auspices of the UN and brokered by the US in the “last blast from the warfare past” in the form of underground tunnels. In a cynical abuse of the understanding of the sanctity of life, and in violation of international law, they have been holding Goldin’s remains for four years. Week after week, en route to the gathering, the heartbreaking changeover from green to black can be seen, the demoralizing smoke in the air can be smelled. Week after week, we continue to go, recognizing the importance of standing together in solidarity, and of understanding and sensing reality…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]

                                                                       

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‘PAY TO SLAY’ AND WHY THE ‘OCCUPATION’ CONTINUES           

Jonathan S. Tobin

JNS, July 9, 2018

To Israel’s critics, there really is only one issue to discuss with respect to the conflict with the Palestinians: the “occupation.” For them, Israel’s presence in the West Bank and parts of Jerusalem—the territories it gained as a result of the 1967 Six-Day War—is an outrage. The fact that Israel has not retreated from these lands, irrespective of any discussion of its rights, history or the potential consequences, remains the sole salient fact about the conflict.

So it’s not terribly surprising that the attempts by both the United States and Israel to pass laws forcing the Palestinian Authority to stop paying subsidies to terrorists and pensions to their families hasn’t persuaded foes of the Jewish state to reverse their thinking. They don’t even seem to consider what Abbas’s Fatah and its Hamas rivals are doing to ensure that peace hasn’t broken out, let alone to stop complaining about the “occupation.”

Yet those who put the lion’s share for the continuation of the conflict on Israel, the Netanyahu government and American supporters really should pay more attention to the facts on the ground. The Knesset passed legislation last week that forced the government to withhold transfer of tax revenues to the Palestinian Authority in proportion to the amounts that Ramallah pays to terrorists imprisoned in Israel, as well as in pensions to the families of those who have committed acts of terror. This so-called “pay to slay” act is a potentially devastating blow to the P.A. since it receives nearly half of the $5.2 billion it spends every year from taxes collected for it by Israeli authorities. This comes after the U.S. Congress passed the Taylor Force Act back in March, which would similarly withhold U.S. aid to the P.A. if it continues subsidizing terrorism.

But the potential loss of so much money hasn’t moved the P.A. to even discuss halting the flow of funds to terrorists and their families. In 2018, it will spend about $360 million, approximately 7 percent of all of its revenues, on the various “heroes and martyrs” funds that go to those who kill or wound Israelis, or seek to do so. On Sunday, P.A. leader Mahmoud Abbas reiterated this stand, saying that nothing would interfere with this practice.

To the Palestinians, this is not merely social-welfare spending for an estimated 35,000 families; it is also a matter of patriotism. The PLO—the parent group of the authority that Abbas rules despotically—has been doing this since it came into existence in 1965. The fact that this predates the “occupation” of the West Bank by two years should serve as a hint to observers as to the true cause of the conflict. But the point here is that the P.A. is not shy about saying why “pay to slay” is integral to what it means to be a Palestinian. Abbas and his Fatah Party, as well as Hamas, sees those who get the money as carrying out the national will of the Palestinian people. They believe these “heroes and martyrs” have every right to “resist” the presence of Jews on any part of the land on which the two peoples live.

That is why we need to ask Israel’s critics what it is they are actually protesting when they talk about the “occupation.” To those who see the existence of a Jewish state on any part of the territory between the Jordan River and Mediterranean Sea as a wrong that should be righted, it doesn’t really matter what the Palestinians do. If you think Israel shouldn’t exist and that Zionism is a racist crime, then all Palestinian acts of “resistance”—up to and including the most bestial acts of terrorism and mass murder—is both understandable and justified. If “occupation” means all of Israel, which is how the most Palestinians consider any land over which Jews have sovereignty, then there’s nothing really to talk about.

Along with Fatah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad, that’s also the perspective of groups that oppose Zionism elsewhere, including the United States. Their concern about the “occupation” isn’t a protest about West Bank settlements. Supporters of BDS and opponents of Zionism, like the Jewish Voice for Peace and IfNotNow groups, are similarly either indifferent to or opposed to Israel’s continued existence, and therefore just as uninterested in Palestinian terror…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]    

 

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PALESTINIAN SOVEREIGNTY AFTER ABBAS

Dr. Alex Joffe

BESA, July 13, 2018

Après moi, le deluge” – a form of blackmail – has a long and ignoble history in international affairs. Fomenting chaos and touting one’s own regime as the only possible safeguard is a basic policy tool of Palestinian Authority (PA) president Mahmoud Abbas. Internationalization of the conflict is another traditional tool. But what happens to the idea of Palestinian sovereignty when those two conflict?

Abbas is 82 years old and, as we are frequently reminded by Abbas himself, in poor health. His increasingly frequent hospitalizations are a reminder that his era of pseudo-stability will soon end. That pseudo-stability takes this form: the Israeli security apparatus keeps Hamas at bay in the West Bank, allowing Abbas to crack down on his rivals; and in exchange, the PA does not support a full-fledged uprising, only terrorism by individuals. The probability of chaos, in the form of Hamas efforts to take over the West Bank or factional warfare between “security services,” is very real.

What will not end is the century-old Palestinian tradition of demanding that the international community take responsibility for the conflict, provide material support, and guarantee a political outcome that is favorable to them. This is done continually in international fora like the UN and through the mechanisms of UNRWA, lawfare, and the international BDS movement. The Palestinians demand that they set the agenda and that the international community provide the muscle and the cash. Reciprocal demands are trivial and lip service only, such as an “end to incitement.” Even so, without fanfare, Palestinian sovereignty, or the promise thereof, is compromised.

The myth of indispensability is an old trick pioneered by the rais himself, Yasser Arafat. Abbas’s brinksmanship trades on the promise of his own mortality to extract material support from Europe and the US, much of which is then stolen, with full knowledge of the donors, by the PA. Abbas’s repeated threats to dissolve the PA are also in line with this strategy. Apparently only he can simultaneously blackmail donors with the threat of uncontrolled violence and ensure that violence is limited through payoffs.

Similarly, threats of violent leadership contests between old-time Fatah members such as Muhammad Dahlan and Marwan Barghouthi, or between nascent strongmen such as Jibril Rajoub, former head of preventive security in the West Bank, and Majid Faraj, chief of general intelligence, have been long discussed. The implicit promise to the West is, to paraphrase an apocryphal statement by US President Lyndon Johnson, they are bastards but at least they’ll be our bastards. Of course, selecting among future blackmailers is no easy task, for Palestinians or the West.

But these internal Palestinian battles have another context – an international one. For one thing, they are funded by the international community and by Arab states through support to the PA. For another, the PA is always demanding that the international community uncritically support it and its political positions. Internationalization of the conflict, by generating antipathy towards Zionists, Israel, and Jews, has been a Palestinian strategy for a century. Third, no Palestinian leader is truly independent. All have become tools of larger movements, from Hajj Amin Husseini onward.

Through the very act of demanding international support, Palestinians long ago lost international leadership of their own issue as Arab and Muslim regimes have used it to rally their own societies and, along with the Soviet bloc (and now the global red-green alliance), to create a wedge against the West. But where does all of this leave the idea of Palestinian sovereignty? By choice and by default, there has never actually been any, nor do Palestinian political elites promise any. The future shape of their own society has been out of their hands for decades. The pattern continues today. By internationalizing the conflict, Palestinian elites demand solutions imposed from outside on their own impossible terms, but settle for payoffs from donors unwilling to exercise their leverage…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]

 

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On Topic Links

Netanyahu Visits Arson-Ravaged Gaza Border, Warns of a ‘Protracted Stuggle’: Stuart Winer, Times of Israel, July 16, 2018—Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday paid a visit near the Gaza border — an area whose residents saw hundreds of rockets and mortar shells fired at them over the weekend and endured months of fires set by Palestinian incendiary kites and balloons — warning Israel was in a “protracted struggle.”

How to Report on the Next War in Gaza: Liel Leibovitz, Tablet, July 11, 2018—After Hamas spent months repeatedly attacking Israel’s border with Gaza, including dispatching fiery kites that consumed 2,260 acres of land—that’s just about three Central Parks laid to waste—Israel responded this week by shutting the Kerem Shalom crossing, banning anything save for food and medicine.

Economics Won’t Help. The Palestinians Will Continue with Terror Attacks: Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser, JCPA, July 10, 2018—The ostensible connection between the Palestinian economy and terrorism is now taking center stage in discussions about the Palestinians.

Oslo is Obsolete: Time for a Victory Mindset: Gideon Saar, Jerusalem Post, July 06, 2018—Finding a solution to any conflict or disagreement between two sides demands the will and mutual understanding. It cannot be accomplished unilaterally.

 

 

DESPITE TERRORISM, HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES & POLITICAL ROWS, PALESTINIAN LEADERS BOLSTERED BY INTERNAT’L LEGITIMACY

We welcome your comments to this and any other CIJR publication. Please address your response to:  Rob Coles, Publications Chairman, Canadian Institute for Jewish Research, PO Box 175, Station  H, Montreal QC H3G 2K7 

 

Contents:

 

EU Gives Hamas Green Light to Attack Israel: Khaled Abu Toameh, Gatestone Institute, Dec. 22, 2014— Less than 48 hours after a top European Union court ruled that Hamas should be removed from the bloc's list of terrorist groups, supporters of the Palestinian Islamist movement responded by firing a rocket at Israel. The attack, which did not cause any casualties or damage, did not come as a surprise.

Hamas's International Triangle of Bases: Gaza, Turkey and Qatar: Yaakov Lappin, IPT News, Dec. 18— In recent years, the Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas has developed into a truly international entity. Today, it enjoys three territorial bases of operation: Gaza, the seat of the Hamas regime, Turkey, and Qatar.

America's Palestine Refugee Policy Is Insane: Asaf Romirowsky & Alexander Joffe, National Interest, Nov. 9, 2014 — One definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

‘Freedom of Speech’ Under Abbas-led Palestinian Authority: Hana Levi Julian, Jewish Press, Dec. 17, 2014— In a society where a land owner is sentenced to death for selling his property as he chooses, it is no surprise to find other freedoms lacking as well.

 

On Topic Links

 

Iran Accelerates Arming of Hizbullah and Hamas for Possible Clash with Israel:  Lt. Col. (ret.) Michael Segall, JCPA, Dec. 22, 2014

Doubts Emerge Over EU Court’s Justification for Annulment of Hamas Terror Designation: Ben Cohen, Algemeiner, Dec. 17, 2014

Hamas Diverting Reconstruction Material to Rebuilding Terror Tunnels: IPT News, Dec. 19, 2014

'Palestinian Rights Activism' Panel Turns Perpetrators into Victims: Andrew Harrod, Jihad Watch, Dec. 18, 2014

 

 

                   

EU GIVES HAMAS GREEN LIGHT TO ATTACK ISRAEL                                                                        

Khaled Abu Toameh                                 

Gatestone Institute, Dec. 22, 2014

           

Less than 48 hours after a top European Union court ruled that Hamas should be removed from the bloc's list of terrorist groups, supporters of the Palestinian Islamist movement responded by firing a rocket at Israel. The attack, which did not cause any casualties or damage, did not come as a surprise. Buoyed by the EU court's ruling, Hamas leaders and spokesmen see it as a "political and legal achievement" and a "big victory" for the "armed struggle" against Israel. Musa Abu Marzouk, a top Hamas leader, issued a statement thanking the EU court for its decision. He hailed the decision to remove his movement from the terrorist list as a "victory for all those who support the Palestinian right to resistance." When Hamas leaders talk about "resistance," they are referring to terrorist attacks, such as the launching of rockets and suicide bombings against Israel. In other words, Hamas has interpreted the court's decision as a green light to carry out fresh attacks as part of its ambition to destroy Israel.

 

The rocket that was fired from the Gaza Strip at Israel only days after the court decision is not likely to be the last. Although the EU court has said that its controversial decision was "technical" and was not a reassessment of Hamas's classification as a terrorist group, leaders of the Islamist movement believe that the move will eventually earn them legitimacy in the international arena. Ironically, the EU court's decision coincided with Hamas celebrations marking the 27th anniversary of its founding. Once again, Hamas used the celebrations to remind everyone that its real goal is to destroy Israel. And, of course, Hamas used the event to display its arsenal of weapons that include various types of rockets and missiles, as well as drones.

Hours before the EU court decision was made public, Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar announced that his movement would never recognize Israel. Zahar also made it clear that Hamas seeks to overthrow the Palestinian Authority [PA] regime and seize control over the West Bank.

 

The EU court's decision also coincided with increased efforts to achieve rapprochement between Hamas and Iran. Recently, a senior Hamas leadership delegation visited Tehran as part of efforts to mend fences between the two sides. The main purpose of the visit was to persuade the Iranians to resume military and financial aid to Hamas. The visit, according to senior Hamas officials, appears to have been "successful."

 

"There are many signs that our relations are back on the right track," explained Hamas's Musa Abu Marzouk. "Hamas and Iran have repaired their relations, which were strong before the Syrian crisis." Relations between Hamas and Iran deteriorated due to the Islamist movement's refusal to support the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad. Now the Iranians are likely to interpret the EU court decision to remove Hamas from the list of terrorist groups as a green light to resume financial and military aid to the movement. Iran's leaders recently announced that they intend to dispatch weapons not only to the Gaza Strip, but to the West Bank as well, as part of Tehran's effort to support those Palestinians who are fighting to eliminate Israel. Moreover, the EU court's move will also embolden other countries that provide Hamas with political and financial aid, first and foremost Qatar and Turkey. Oil-rich Gulf countries such as Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman and Saudi Arabia will now face pressure from many Arabs and Muslims to join Qatar, Turkey and Iran in extending their support to Hamas.

 

The biggest losers, meanwhile, are Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Egypt's President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. Over the past few months, the two men have been doing their utmost to undermine Hamas and end its rule over the Gaza Strip. Abbas has been fighting Hamas by blocking financial and humanitarian aid and arresting its supporters in the West Bank, while Sisi continues to tighten the blockade on the Gaza Strip and destroy dozens of smuggling tunnels along the border with Egypt. The EU court's decision represents a "severe blow to the Palestinian Authority and Egypt," noted Palestinian political analyst Raed Abu Dayer. "As far is Abbas is concerned, the decision grants Hamas political legitimacy and challenges his claim to be the sole legitimate leader [of the Palestinians]. With regards to Egypt, the European court decision calls into question rulings by Egyptian courts that Hamas is a terrorist organization."

 

Even if the EU court decision is reversed in the future, there's no doubt that it has already caused tremendous damage, especially to those Muslims who are opposed to radical Islam. Any victory for Hamas, albeit a small and symbolic one, is a victory for the Islamic State, Al-Qaeda, Islamic Jihad, the Muslim Brotherhood and other fundamentalist groups around the world. The decision has left many Arabs and Muslims with the impression that Hamas, after all, is not a terrorist organization, especially if non-Muslims in Europe say so through one of their top courts. Even worse, the decision poses a real and immediate threat to Israel, as evident from the latest rocket attack. If the Europeans have reached the conclusion that Hamas is not a terrorist organization, then why don't their governments openly invite tens of thousands of Hamas members and supporters to move to London, Paris and Rome? And they should not forget to ask the Hamas members to bring along with them their arsenal of weapons.

 

 

                                                                              

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HAMAS'S INTERNATIONAL TRIANGLE OF BASES:

GAZA, TURKEY AND QATAR

Yaakov Lappin                                                                                                            

IPT News, Dec. 18, 2014

 

In recent years, the Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas has developed into a truly international entity. Today, it enjoys three territorial bases of operation: Gaza, the seat of the Hamas regime, Turkey, and Qatar. According to Israeli intelligence estimates, each base serves a different purpose. The three branches have worked, alternatively, in harmony and in discord, together and independently, in line with the various terrorist activities they pursue. "These are not the same leaderships," one security source said, speaking of the Hamas command structure in each base. "Qatar is home to Hamas's political branch, headed by Khaled Meshaal. In Turkey [in the city of Istanbul], Hamas maintains a military branch headquarters, which sets up terrorist infrastructure. This headquarters is comprised partly of former Hamas prisoners who were ejected from Israel during the [2011] Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange. In Gaza, there are both military and political operatives." Each branch plays a unique role, and relations between them fluctuate.

 

Hamas's headquarters in Istanbul is headed by Salah Al-Arouri, a senior figure in the military wing who is focused on rejuvenating Hamas terrorism cells in the West Bank, and using it as a springboard for orchestrating deadly attacks against Israel. Gaza is home to the main military wing, the Ezzedin Al-Qassam Brigades, whose operatives focus on building up their offensive rocket capabilities, tunnel networks, and, like Arouri, they also seek to also set up West Bank terrorism cells. On Thursday, Hamas held what is described as its largest military exercise since the summer war against Israel. Gaza is also home to Hamas's political wing, headed by Ismail Haniyeh. "They all have their own interests. Those in Gaza have one point of view, those abroad have another. There have, in the past, been disagreements," the source said. One example of such internal conflict was the dispute between Khaled Meshaal and Hamas in Gaza over when to end the summer war with Israel. Meshaal pushed Hamas to continue the fighting, despite growing calls by Hamas in Gaza to agree to a ceasefire. The conflicting positions were partly the result of geography: Hamas in Gaza had a better real time understanding of the heavy costs Israel was inflicting on it during the fighting than the overseas Meshaal, who, from his luxurious Qatari surroundings, could afford the privilege of calling for more fighting.

 

Nevertheless, a basic level of cooperation and consent exists among all three branches. Saleh Al-Arouri in Turkey would not have embarked on a major mission to set up a large-scale Hamas terrorist network in the West Bank, plan atrocities against Israel, and aim to topple the Palestinian Authority and its president, Mahmoud Abbas, without approval from Khaled Meshaal and Hamas in Gaza. Cooperation may not always be close, but it exists. "There are connections," the security source said. "Hamas in Gaza is connected to those trying to orchestrate terrorism in Judea and Samaria. There is a circle of cooperation." Arouri could seek and receive assistance from Gaza, as he has done, but he can also try to work independently. "There are no laws," the source stressed.

 

In recent months, the Shin Bet [Israel Security Agency] uncovered two intricate Hamas terror plots to inflict mass-casualty attacks on Israelis, and to weaken Fatah in the West Bank. Both were tied to Arouri. This discovery has led Israeli defense chiefs to become more vocal about the Hamas base in Turkey. "Hamas's terrorism headquarters are in Gaza and in Istanbul. It is unbelievable that a NATO member is hosting the headquarters of a terrorist organization in its territory," Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon told his Spanish counterpart earlier this month. "We have stopped a coup planned by Hamas, which was organized in, among other places, its Turkish headquarters, against [PA President Mahmoud Abbas] Abu Mazen in Judea and Samaria. We saved him from this revolution. Hence, there is much significance and importance in our having freedom to operate security-wise in Judea and Samaria," Ya'alon stated.

 

Likewise, at the end of November, the Shin Bet and IDF announced that they had broken up a large-scale international Hamas terrorist infrastructure that was in the planning stages of multiple mass-casualty attacks, including an intended bombing of a soccer stadium in Jerusalem. The plot included car bombings, bombing Jerusalem's light rail system, and targeting Israelis overseas. This case illustrates the growing centrality of Istanbul to Hamas terror activities in the West Bank. Hamas's headquarters in Turkey has become a key command and planning center. Earlier this year, the Shin Bet announced the thwarting of another large Hamas network in the West Bank, set up by Saleh Al-Arouri in Istanbul, and headed locally by a Hamas member in Ramallah.

 

Hamas funneled more than a million shekels [more than $250,000] to terror operatives to prepare a series of attacks, which were designed to allow it to shift attention away from Gaza, and ultimately lead to the fall of the Fatah-run Palestinian Authority, according to Israeli investigation. This would be achieved by provoking Israel into harsh responses in the West Bank, destabilizing the area and leading to the toppling of the PA. Hamas has come a long way since the days when its founders, Muslim Brotherhood operatives in the Palestinian territories, set up indoctrination and social support centers. Today, it is an international terrorist organization, which continues to plot new ways to murder and maim Israelis from its various bases, while it dreams of setting up a second Islamist-jihadist regime in the West Bank, as it did in Gaza.

 

                                                                       

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AMERICA'S PALESTINE REFUGEE POLICY IS INSANE                                                     

Asaf Romirowsky & Alexander Joffe                                                                                              

The National Interest, Dec. 19, 2014

 

One definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. By any measurement, Western policy towards United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), the internationally funded agency for Palestinian “refugees,” meets that definition. One example is the newly released 2015 State Department Framework for Cooperation Between UNRWA and the U.S. This exercise in repetition occurred in the wake of a war that again exposed UNRWA’s unsavory and illegal activities, from being “shocked” that its schools were used to store Hamas’ rockets and rote condemnations of Israel, to its employees cheering the murder of Israelis. The framework nevertheless represents the American commitment to prolong the existence of UNRWA, established almost exactly 65 years ago.

 

The bulk of the document deals with UNRWA management. For example, there are the “15 objectives of the Medium Term Strategy” and the “Development of Strategic Response Plans for each of UNRWA’s five fields of operation through a consultative process.” The document also speaks of the “Continued implementation of ongoing management reforms, particularly in the areas of results-based management, resource mobilization, human resources, transition to and management of a new enterprise resource planning (ERP) data management system, and internal communications.” These reflect the professionalization of UNRWA from a temporary relief organization into a multifaceted international organization dealing with Palestinian “basic education, health, relief and social services, microcredit, camp improvement and infrastructure and other assistance,” and “human development of Palestinian refugees by improving living conditions, economic potential, livelihoods, access, and human rights.” In other words, all the things that a Palestinian state should be doing for its citizens at home and outside its borders.

 

They also take for granted that UNRWA will not only continue to exist through at least 2021 (the end of the next five year planning cycle,) but will also grow in both scope and size, then and beyond. There is no talk about limiting UNRWA’s operations, or turning responsibilities over to the Palestinian Authority or to countries that host Palestinian “refugees.” In fact, the only talk about an end to UNRWA is the boilerplate statement that “The goal of U.S. support to UNRWA is to ensure that Palestinian refugees live in dignity with an enhanced human development potential until a comprehensive and just solution is secured.” Left unsaid is the fact that only the United Nations General Assembly can dissolve UNRWA, and that body’s definition of a “comprehensive and just solution” to the Arab-Israeli conflict is unlikely to be realized anytime soon, if ever. The Framework does make a sideways nod to the reality that the 2014 Gaza War generated some bad publicity for UNRWA, during the course of which American legislators demanded investigations into how Hamas weapons found their way into UNRWA schools. For the State Department the matter is pressing particularly given that Section 301(c) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (amended) states that “No contributions by the United States shall be made to (UNRWA) except on the condition that (UNRWA) take all possible measures to assure than no part of the United States contribution shall be used to furnish assistance to any refugee who is receiving military training as a member of the so-called Palestine Liberation Army or any other guerilla-type organization or who has engaged in any act of terrorism.”

 

Thus the new Framework states: “The United States and UNRWA share concerns about the threat of terrorism, including within the context of the United Nation’s firm commitment to counter terrorism and the conditions on U.S. contributions to UNRWA under section 301(c). To this end, UNRWA is committed to taking all possible measures to ensure that funding provided by the United States to support UNRWA is not used to provide assistance to, or otherwise support, terrorists or terrorist organizations. The United States and UNRWA intend to continue to work together throughout 2015 to enhance collaboration and communication on issues related to conformance with conditions on U.S. contributions to UNRWA as detailed in section 301(c). The United States supports UNRWA’s policy to take all possible measures to ensure that staff members understand and fulfill their obligations, under Agency Rules and Regulations, to refrain from prohibited outside activities.” This constitutes an UNRWA commitment to update its human resources manuals, nothing more. There is no mention of UNRWA’s refusal to use U.S. or Israeli terror watch lists to ensure any commitment to combat terrorism.

 

The unreality is compounded by the still more ludicrous statement that the U.S. “notes with appreciation efforts taken by UNRWA during the course of 2014 to strengthen the Agency’s neutrality compliance, including but not limited to the development of social media guidelines for official UNRWA communications…” Whether the UNRWA spokesman crying on camera while being interviewed constitutes “neutrality compliance” is unclear, as is the celebration of the recent Jerusalem murders of rabbis on the Facebook pages of UNRWA teachers. Perhaps it is unreasonable to expect UNRWA employees, the vast majority of whom are Palestinian, to express neutrality. But if that is the case, then the Framework’s endorsement of “UNRWA’s human rights, conflict resolution, and tolerance education program” may also be questioned, or at least its implementation. But a deeper look at the document and the background of the American commitment to UNRWA suggests another vast disconnect. The framework states “All U.S. foreign assistance programs are required to demonstrate performance and accountability, and clearly link programming and funding directly to U.S. policy goals.” How prolonging the Palestinian “refugee” issue through the permanent institutionalizing of UNRWA serves U.S. policy goals is mystifying.

 

Beyond that, UNRWA officials at the top continue to defend the Palestinian “right of return,” in speeches as well as on official web pages, not to mention its pervasive promotion in UNRWA schools. How does promoting the Palestinian ideology that they are entitled to return to places once occupied by parents, grandparents and great-grandparents which are now in Israel, and in the process transform Israel into a Jewish minority state, serve U.S. policy, much less the cause of peace? The new U.S.-UNRWA Framework is foreign policy by inertia. In 2013 that inertia cost $294,023,401, the amount of the U.S. contribution to UNRWA (in addition to $356,700,000 in aid to the Palestinian Authority). U.S. support to UNRWA kept Palestinians in stasis, promoted Palestinian rejectionism, and did not advance the cause of peace, or U.S. policy.

                                                           

Contents                                                                                                        

             

 

‘FREEDOM OF SPEECH’ UNDER ABBAS-LED PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY                                                 

Hana Levi Julian

Jewish Press, Dec. 17, 2014

 

In a society where a land owner is sentenced to death for selling his property as he chooses, it is no surprise to find other freedoms lacking as well. But when the latest poll says as many as two-thirds of the population led by the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority government fear criticizing their leader, Mahmoud Abbas, one has to wonder. The latest approval rating for Abbas was just 35 percent, according to analysts quoted by the Associated Press. Given those numbers, do the actions taken by the PA leadership – and more to the point, Abbas himself – truly represent the sentiment of the PA population? And if not, can the international community really trust anything said by Mahmoud Abbas?

 

Today (Wednesday, Dec. 17) Jordan will present a draft resolution to the United Nations Security Council on behalf of the PA, demanding that Israel withdraw from all territories conquered in 1967 by November 2016, and the world body recognize the PA as a new independent sovereign country. Mind you, the PA “unity government” is comprised of a covert terror organization (Fatah) and an outright terror organization (Hamas) that is still listed as such by the United States, at least, even though the European Union wimped out this week and removed it from its own list of terror groups. In reality, the PA is ruled by two separate governments — those of Fatah and Hamas — in two completely separate regions — Judea & Samaria and Gaza. Each is completely different and separated from each other geographically and ideologically. It is true, however, they are similar in that each is ruled by its leader with an iron fist. But despite their “unity” each of the rulers is unable to enter each other’s territory without risk to life and limb, even with a bodyguard and a full security team. This chaotic administrative nightmare is supposed to be recognized by the world body as one single independent sovereign country.

 

Let’s pretend all that is not important anyway. It is a real stretch to believe the resolution will pass and all will happen as Abbas so fervently fantasizes, but for a brief moment in time, let us imagine it does. Who will provide security to the people of the Palestinian Authority — the actual farmers, the merchants, the simple people of the street, and their children? The PA paramilitary police? Really? Until this point, it is the Israeli army that has helped PA security personnel “keep the peace” in areas under their control. Without the IDF terrorists would have long ago overwhelmed those understaffed forces working for Abbas. Hamas would have controlled those areas of Judea and Samaria, as it does in Gaza. Let us be realistic, ladies and gentlemen, and while we are it, let us also acknowledge the truth about so-called “freedom” under Mahmoud Abbas. There is good reason so many PA Arabs are trying desperately to secure work permits for jobs in pre-1967 Israel. They also marry Negev Bedouin or Jerusalem Arabs with blue Israeli identity cards so they can stay there under “family unity” regulations. Very few Arabs pressure Israel to move that security barrier anywhere that would place their own homes within legislative reach of the Palestinian Authority. Last month Abbas jailed two leaders of the PA’s largest labor union for organizing strikes. His security agents monitor social media and threaten those who criticize the PA leader. Fatah continues its purge of Hamas members in Judea and Samaria in a manner reminiscent of that carried out in 2007 by Hamas in Gaza. Abbas has ditched the electoral process – now five years overdue – in order to remain at the helm, allegedly to prevent Hamas from seizing power in Ramallah. But the 79-year-old leader has also fired every PA prime minister or security chief that showed the potential for replacing him, including Salam Fayyad and Mohammed Dahlan. Both had positive relations with the West…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]

 

 

Contents           

 

 

On Topic

 

Iran Accelerates Arming of Hizbullah and Hamas for Possible Clash with Israel:  Lt. Col. (ret.) Michael Segall, JCPA, Dec. 22, 2014—In recent months, parallel to the key stages of the nuclear negotiations, Iran has completely removed the secrecy surrounding its provision of rockets and missiles to anti-Israeli terror organizations. Today, Iran frequently and publicly acknowledges this assistance, with no fear of the West’s reaction.

Doubts Emerge Over EU Court’s Justification for Annulment of Hamas Terror Designation: Ben Cohen, Algemeiner, Dec. 17, 2014 —The decision of the European Union General Court to annul the designation of Hamas as a terrorist organization has raised concerns that the Palestinian Islamist group will exploit any legal ambiguities over its present status to rebuild its organizational and fundraising network within Europe.

Hamas Diverting Reconstruction Material to Rebuilding Terror Tunnels: IPT News, Dec. 19, 2014 —Hamas is rebuilding its network of underground infiltration tunnels damaged in the war with Israel this past summer, the Jerusalem Post reported, citing an Israel Radio account.

'Palestinian Rights Activism' Panel Turns Perpetrators into Victims: Andrew Harrod, Jihad Watch, Dec. 18, 2014—Israel is a twenty-first century “litmus test of a real commitment to justice,” the “Vietnam,” the “South Africa,” and “moral issue of our time” according to leftwing icon Angela Davis, quoted approvingly by Columbia University professor Rashid Khalidi on November 21 before an audience of about fifty.

 

           

 

 

 

 

               

 

 

 

                      

                

                            

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Contents:         

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SISI: EGYPT’S NEW PHARAOH ALTHOUGH U.S. RELATIONS AWKWARD, & SINAI OFFER REJECTED BY ABBAS, SISI TOUGH ON ISLAMIST THREAT

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Contents:

 

What Egypt's President Sisi Really Thinks: Daniel Pipes, Middle East Forum, Fall 2014— Former air marshal Husni Mubarak, now 86, had ruled Egypt for thirty years when his military colleagues forced him from office in 2011.

Egypt, Abbas, Refugees, and Peace: Jonathan S. Tobin, Commentary, Sept. 4, 2014 — When the Egyptian government reached out to Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas recently, one surprising and one predictable thing happened.

Should Washington Withhold Aid to Egypt?: Yehuda Blanga, Middle East Forum, Fall 2014— Two decades after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the attendant weakening of the radical Arab camp…

AP Interview: El-Sissi, Egypt and the Terror Fight: Washington Post, Sept. 20, 2014 — Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi is feeling vindicated by the world’s alarm over Islamic extremism that is fueling wars and bloodshed across the Middle East.

               

On Topic Links

 

Egypt Set to Boycott Turkey Over Muslim Brotherhood Support: Moshe Cohen, Arutz Sheva, Sept. 29, 2014

Russia and Egypt Agree to $3.5B Arms Deal: Jewish Press, Sept. 17, 2014

Understanding the Israeli-Egyptian-Saudi Alliance: Caroline B. Glick, Jerusalem Post, Aug. 21, 2014

The Mirage of Political Islam: Mustapha Tlili, New York Times, June 3, 2014

                                                

 

 

WHAT EGYPT'S PRESIDENT SISI REALLY THINKS                                                                      

Daniel Pipes

                                               

Middle East Forum, Fall 2014

 

Former air marshal Husni Mubarak, now 86, had ruled Egypt for thirty years when his military colleagues forced him from office in 2011. Three years and many upheavals later, those same colleagues replaced his successor with retired field marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, 59. The country, in short, made a grand round-trip, going from military ruler to military ruler, simply dropping down a generation. This return raises basic questions: After all the hubbub, how much has actually changed? Does Sisi differ from Mubarak, for example, in such crucial matters as attitudes toward democracy and Islam, or is he but a younger clone? Sisi remains something of a mystery. He plays his cards close to the vest; one observer who watched his presidential inaugural speech on television on June 8 described it as "loaded with platitudes and very long." He left few traces as he zoomed through the ranks in three years, going from director of Military Intelligence and Reconnaissance to become the youngest member of the ruling military council and, then, rapidly ascending to chief of staff, defense minister, and president. 

 

Fortunately, a document exists that reveals Sisi's views from well before his presidency: An essay dated March 2006, when he attended the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania. His 5,000-word English-language term paper, "Democracy in the Middle East," has minimal intrinsic value but holds enormous interest by providing the candid views of an obscure brigadier general soon and unexpectedly to be elected pharaoh of Egypt. While one cannot discount careerism in a term paper, Sisi's generally assertive and opinionated tone—as well as his negative comments about the United States and the Mubarak regime—suggest that he expressed himself freely. In the paper, Sisi makes two main arguments: Democracy is good for the Middle East; and for it to succeed, many conditions must first be achieved. Sisi discusses other topics as well, which offer valuable insights into his thinking.

 

Sisi endorses democracy for practical, rather than philosophical, reasons: It just works better than a dictatorship. "Many in the Middle East feel that current and previous autocratic governments have not produced the expected progress." Democracy has other benefits, as well: It reduces unhappiness with government and narrows the vast gap between ruler and ruled, both of which he sees contributing to the region's backwardness. In all, democracy can ac- complish much for the region and those who promote it "do have an opportunity now in the Middle East." In parallel, Sisi accepts the free market because it works better than socialism: "[M]any Middle East countries attempted to sustain government-controlled markets instead of free markets and as a result no incentive developed to drive the economy." It is reasonable, even predictable that Gen. Sisi would view democracy and free markets in terms of their efficacy. But without a genuine commitment to these systems, will President Sisi carry through with them, even at the expense of his own power and the profits from the socialized military industries run by his former colleagues?…

 

Sisi lays down three requirements for democracy to succeed in the Middle East: It must adapt to Islam. He describes "the religious nature" of the Middle East as "one of the most important factors" affecting the region's politics. Islam makes democracy there so different from its Western prototype that it "may bear little resemblance" to the original. Therefore, it "is not necessarily going to evolve upon a Western template" but "will have its own shape or form coupled with stronger religious ties." Those religious ties mean that Middle Eastern democracy cannot be secular; separating mosque and state is "unlikely to be favorably received by the vast majority of Middle Easterners," who are devout Muslims. Rather, democracy must be established "upon Islamic beliefs" and "sustain the religious base." The executive, legislative, and judicial branches all must "take Islamic beliefs into consideration when carrying out their duties." Presumably, this translates into the Islamic authorities under President Sisi reviewing proposed laws to safeguard Islamic values, regardless of what the majority of voters wants.

 

(2) The West should help, but not interfere. The West looms large for Sisi, who fears its negative influence even as he seeks its support. He has many worries: The great powers want a democracy resembling Western institutions rather than accepting a democracy "founded on Islamic beliefs." He interprets the then-named global war on terror as "really just a mask for establishing Western democracy in the Middle East." To meet their energy needs, Westerners "attempt to influence and dominate the region." The wars they started in Iraq and Afghanistan need to be resolved before democracy can take root. Support for Israel raises suspicions about their motives. Sisi's major concern is U.S. rejection of democracies that "may not be sympathetic to Western interests." He demands that the West not interfere when its adversaries win elections: "The world cannot demand democracy in the Middle East, yet denounce what it looks like because a less than pro-Western party legitimately assumes office." Translation: Do not call President Sisi anti-democratic when he pursues policies Washington dislikes…                                                                                                              

[To Read the Full Transcript Click the Following Link—Ed.]                  

           

Daniel Pipes is president of the Middle East Forum

and a CIJR Academic Fellow                    

 

Contents
                       

                                                    

EGYPT, ABBAS, REFUGEES, AND PEACE                                                                              

Jonathan S. Tobin                                                       

Commentary Magazine, Sept. 4, 2014

 

When the Egyptian government reached out to Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas recently, one surprising and one predictable thing happened. The tale of this offer and its rejection tells us all we need to know about Palestinian politics and the changing political landscape of the Middle East. The Palestinian Ma’an News Agency reported today that in a speech given to members of his Fatah Party on Sunday, Abbas said that the Egyptian government had made a startling offer to the PA. The Egyptians told Abbas that they were willing to cede a 618-square mile area of the Sinai adjacent to Gaza for resettlement of the Palestinian refugees, an idea first floated by former Israeli National Security Adviser Giora Eiland. “They [the Egyptians] are prepared to receive all the refugees, [saying] ‘let’s end the refugee story’,” Abbas was quoted by Ma’an news agency as saying. The Palestinian leader noted that the idea was first proposed to the Egyptian government in 1956, but was furiously rejected by Palestinian leaders such as PLO militant Muhammad Youssef Al-Najjar and poet Muin Bseiso who “understood the danger of this.” “Now this is being proposed once again. A senior leader in Egypt said: ‘a refuge must be found for the Palestinians and we have all this open land.’ This was said to me personally. But it’s illogical for the problem to be solved at Egypt’s expense. We won’t have it,” Abbas said.

 

The remarkable thing about this is the decision of the Sisi government to embrace such a practical solution to the long, sad tale of the 1948 Palestinian refugees and their descendants. Like the rest of the Arab world, the Egyptians were never interested in resettling the refugees anywhere, let alone on a huge swath of the Sinai next door to Gaza. Not even during the 19 years during which Egypt illegally occupied Gaza and Jordan illegally occupied the West Bank and part of Jerusalem did either nation seek to ameliorate the suffering of the refugees by offering them the full rights of citizenship or a home anywhere but in the State of Israel. The same applies to every other Arab and Muslim country. All stuck by the demand of a “right of return” aimed at destroying the newborn Jewish state which was at that time absorbing an equal number of Jewish refugees that had fled or been thrown out of their homes in the Arab and Muslim world. Israel’s enemies purposely kept the Palestinian refugees in order to use them as props in their never-ending war on Israel.

 

Egypt’s offer was, of course, not merely aimed at finally doing the right thing by the refugees. The Hamas stronghold in Gaza is a threat to the Egyptian military government in Cairo because of its alliance with the Muslim Brotherhood. They also recognize how toxic the situation in Gaza—where hundreds of thousands of the descendants of the refugees live—and the need to get these people out of a bad situation that is only made worse by their exploitation by the Hamas terrorist government of the strip. Resettling the refugees could be the first step in neutralizing Hamas as well as in reforming the political culture of the Palestinians to the point where it might be possible for them to start thinking about making peace instead of sticking to demands for a return to Israel. That is something that could only happen after the demands in Hamas’s charter are fulfilled: the destruction of the Jewish state and the deportation/genocide of its Jewish population. But in making this proposal, Egypt, which was the first Arab country to make peace with Israel, wasn’t just seeking to deal with the threat from Hamas and its jihadist allies to the Sisi regime. It was making clear that the new unofficial alliance between Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan and Israel isn’t mere talk. These Arab countries haven’t suddenly fallen in love with Zionism. The Jewish state is very unpopular even in Jordan, which has a peace treaty with it and also signed an agreement to import Israeli natural gas this week. But all these moderate Arab governments understand that the real threat to their future comes not from Israel but from Iran and its Islamist allies in the Middle East, such as Hezbollah, Hamas, and Islamic Jihad.

 

PA leader Mahmoud Abbas is nominally in the same boat as these governments since he knows that Hamas’s goal is to topple him in the West Bank just as they did in Gaza in 2007. He also has an interest in defusing the Gaza tinderbox and offering some alternative to the “right of return” to a refugee population whose adamant opposition to peace with Israel is one of the primary reasons why the PA has rejected offers of statehood and peace with Israel over the last 15 years. If Abbas is serious about peace with Israel, as his apologists in the West and in Israel insist he is, this is an offer that he should have jumped at. But he didn’t, and from the sound of it, it was not even a close call. Why? Let’s first dismiss the idea that the offer was refused out of solicitude for Egypt as Abbas said. As Egyptians always used to say back in the decades when they were fighting wars against Israel, the Palestinians were always willing to fight Israel to the last Egyptian. Rather, the refusal reflects Abbas’s recognition that although Hamas has followed in the path of his old boss Yasir Arafat and led the Palestinian people to more death and destruction with no hope in sight, it is the Islamists who seem to represent the wishes of the Palestinian people, not the so-called moderates that he leads. Any acceptance of any refugee solution that does not involve “return” to what is now Israel is the political third rail of Palestinian politics. Indeed, the refugees themselves are adamant about their rejection of any solution short of “victory” over Israel.

 

That is why Abbas, though supposedly in favor of a two-state solution, has rejected it every time the Israelis have offered the PA independence over almost all of the West Bank, Gaza, and even a share of Jerusalem. As much as we are told that in the aftermath of the latest war in Gaza that the time of the moderates is upon us, Palestinian opinion polls indicate that they are still backing Hamas. That means they won’t make peace with Israel no matter where its borders are drawn. So long as the refugees remain homeless, when Palestinians speak of Israeli occupation, they are clearly referring to pre-1967 Israel, not the West Bank.

 

Egypt’s offer to the PA is a healthy sign that many in the Arab world are rising above their hatred for Israel and ready to make peace, if not for the sake of the Jews then to help them combat the Islamist terror threat. That is a remarkable thing that should be celebrated. The Palestinian refusal is, however, a very unremarkable confirmation of the fact that they remain unready and unwilling to make peace.            

                                                                                               

Contents
                       

   

                   

SHOULD WASHINGTON WITHHOLD AID TO EGYPT?                                                                                     

Yehuda Blanga                                                                                                                           

Middle East Forum, Fall 2014

 

Two decades after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the attendant weakening of the radical Arab camp, and three-and-a-half decades after the conclusion of the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty and the removal of the foremost threat to Egyptian security, Cairo's continued acquisition of thousands of tanks and hundreds of fighting aircraft seems to make no sense. Yet Washington's withholding of $1.3 billion in annual military aid following the Egyptian army's July 2013 ouster of President Mohamed Morsi sparked an angry retort, with the military regime threatening to turn to its former Russian patron. Why does Cairo continue to adhere to this anachronistic military and strategic raison d'être? Has the U.S. administration overplayed its hand by assuming that the threat of military aid suspension could be leveraged to obtain political influence? And what are the implications of this episode for Egypt and the Middle East as a whole?

 

Despite its 1979 peace agreement with Israel, Egypt has yet to internalize the idea that it is at peace with its neighbor to the east. What prevails between the two countries is a "cold peace" as the Mubarak regime made no attempt during its 30-year reign to further the normalization of bilateral relations or to modify public opinion and perceptions of Israeli citizens in particular and of Jews in general. Thus, "establishment Egypt" and, all the more so, the public at large still view Israel as a potential adversary with whom strategic parity is imperative. Former defense minister Muhammad Tantawi alluded to this in his remarks to the People's Assembly in February 1996: Peace does not mean relaxation. The endless development of military systems and the arms race prove that the survival is for the strongest. … Military strength has grown to be a prerequisite of peace.

 

Accordingly, the Egyptian armed forces have conducted large-scale exercises that simulate a frontal attack on the country—usually from the east. In the three largest such exercises—held in September 1996, April 1998, and February 2009—Egyptian troops simulated parrying an Israeli invasion by transitioning from defensive to offensive operations, crossing the Suez Canal, and regaining full control of the Sinai Peninsula. As a result, the Egyptian defense establishment has pursued a policy of strategic parity with Israel, manifested in a prolonged and comprehensive modernization program that began in the early 1980s and continued for more than twenty years. By the end of the process, the Egyptian armed forces had been transformed into a modern Western military organization and had cast off the Soviet influence that dated back to the mid-1950s. As of 2014, Egypt has the tenth-largest military in the world with approximately 460,000 soldiers in the standing army…

 

Since 1979, Egypt—along with Saudi Arabia—has been one of two cornerstones of U.S. policy in the Arab world. It has served as a mediator in Israeli-Arab and Israeli-Palestinian peace talks; it has worked to moderate and counter trends toward radicalization in the Arab world; and it provides military support for U.S. forces stationed in the region. Egypt's geostrategic importance lies in the fact that it is a bridge between East and West, located as it is at the intersection of the Middle East, North Africa, and Asia, and most importantly through its control of the Suez Canal. In order to move quickly between the Mediterranean Sea and the Persian Gulf, the U.S. fleet transits the Suez Canal with permission from the Egyptian authorities. Any delay or restrictions would require the United States government to station naval forces near the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa and round it in order to reach the Persian Gulf and the Indian Ocean. As a result, Washington would appear to have a vital interest in maintaining good ties with Cairo, despite the regime changes there since 2011.

 

The other main component of the continued military assistance to Egypt has to do with benefits to the U.S. military industry. Every year since 1986, Congress has approved US$1.3 billion in military assistance to Egypt, the second-largest aid package after that given to Israel. But the Egyptian military does not receive this sum in cash: As in the Israeli case, a sizable portion of that largesse is paid out to American military contractors who assemble tanks and warplanes and send them on to Egypt. Since 1986, Washington has transferred 221 F-16 fighter jets with a total value of $8 billion to Egypt as part of its military aid package despite the fact that U.S. military advisors have been saying for years that Cairo had more than enough planes and tanks and does not need any more. Likewise, over a thousand Abrams tanks have been transferred to Egypt since 1992 at a total cost of $3.9 billion though close to 200 of them are in mothballs and have never been used. Such an arrangement can have economic benefits within Egypt as well: The Abu Zaabal tank repair factory (aka Factory 200) in Helwan is the site of a joint production of Abrams tanks that employs thousands of local workers…                                                                                                      

[To Read the Full Transcript Click the Following Link—Ed.]                                                                                                                                                                                                    

Contents
                       

                                          

AP INTERVIEW: EL-SISSI, EGYPT AND THE TERROR FIGHT                                                             

Washington Post, Sept. 20, 2014

 

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi is feeling vindicated by the world’s alarm over Islamic extremism that is fueling wars and bloodshed across the Middle East. The former army general has faced widespread international criticism for his ouster last year of Egypt’s first freely elected president and his ferocious crackdown on Islamists that has killed more than 1,000 and imprisoned more than 20,000. A year later, after el-Sissi’s election as president, his critics fear he is leading his country into autocracy, with pro-democracy dissenters jailed or silenced. But in an interview with The Associated Press — his first with the foreign media since he took office in June — el-Sissi insists all his actions were to combat militancy and save the country from civil war. He said Egypt is a model for fighting terrorism and that the U.S.-led coalition to fight the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria should take note. “More than a year ago, I warned that the region was heading to great danger from extremist thought,” he said. “It didn’t receive proper attention until the events in Iraq took place and the Islamic State swept over the Iraqi-Syrian borders.”…

 

Washington is looking for support by Arab nations for its strategy to strike the Islamic State group. But at the same time, it has been critical of Egypt’s crackdown on Islamists, withdrawing some military aid and straining a longtime alliance. El-Sissi makes his first visit to the United States as president to attend the U.N. General Assembly in the coming week. So far there are no plans for talks with President Barack Obama. El-Sissi said he is ready to help the U.S.-led coalition. Asked if Egypt might provide airspace access or logistical support for airstrikes, he said, “We are completely committed to giving support. We will do whatever is required.” But he appeared to rule out sending troops, saying Iraq’s military is strong enough to fight the militants and that “it’s not a matter of ground troops from abroad.” Most importantly, he said, extremism across the region must be tackled — not just the Islamic State. He warned that the greatest danger came from foreign fighters flooding into the region’s conflicts, saying they will eventually return to their home countries — including in Europe — and spread extremism there. He said they “must be prevented” from entering the region. He said Egypt and Algeria were cooperating “to restore stability in Libya,” but would not comment on reports Egypt had cooperated in airstrikes on militants in the North African nation. He confirmed for the first time that two deadly attacks on Egyptian troops in its western desert were carried out by militants who crossed into Egypt from Libya. He said any strategy must also deal with the causes of militancy by fighting poverty, improving education and moderating religious discourse. “When all that happens together, it will bring a decisive result.”

 

His comments seemed a contradiction: So far, Egypt’s main approach has been the heavy-handed crushing of Islamists, along with other critics, bringing it international condemnation. But the comments also pointed to a characteristic the career military intelligence officer has shown ever since he rose to prominence by ousting Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in July 2013: A self-confidence that he can dramatically change Egypt and that others will fall in line. His government is planning economic reforms that would reduce massive subsidies for fuel and foodstuffs and, he says, funnel the money instead into education and health. El-Sissi said Egyptians set an example for the region, saying they had supported the Brotherhood and elected them to power but then turned against them after Morsi’s year in office. He said Egyptians realized that the idea of political Islam advocated by the Brotherhood “won’t work in Egypt.” Millions joined protests against Morsi, leading to his ouster. If he had not stepped in to remove Morsi and the Brotherhood, Egypt “would be like all the countries that now suffer from widespread violence, internal conflicts and civil wars,” he said, referring to Syria, Libya and Iraq. In the face of criticism over a range of human rights concerns, el-Sissi argued that the need to establish security in Egypt — where Islamic militants have waged a campaign of violence — and repair the economy took priority. Rights groups have condemned a draconian law last year that effectively bans protests by requiring a police permit. Several democracy advocates have been handed long prison sentences under the law. “I would never say that what is happening in Egypt is ideal,” he said. “Of course, I want there to be a very large degree of freedom. But we want to do that without hurting our nation. Our nation is in very difficult circumstances. You see what’s going on in the region,” he said…

 

He argued the number of arrests was not high, saying “security agencies have shown great patience.” The protest law, he said, was the same as ones in Europe that require police permits. Egyptian police, however, rarely give permission for gatherings. Justifying the past year’s crackdown, he said the Brotherhood had “chosen confrontation.” But he said followers of the group could participate in politics in the future if they renounce violence. Parliamentary elections are to be held by the end of the year, he said. The Brotherhood and its political party, however, have been banned. “To anyone who doesn’t use violence, Egypt is very forgiving,” he said. “The chance for participation is there.” He also said he cannot interfere with the judiciary in the case of three journalists from Al-Jazeera English television who have been sentenced to seven years in prison over terrorism-related charges. Their trial was dismissed by human rights groups as a farce, and their convictions brought heavy international criticism. “If I had been in charge at the time, I never would have let the issue go so far. I would have deported them,” he said — though one of the three is Egypt. But he said that if Egypt is to have an independent judiciary, “We can’t accept criticism or comment” on court rulings…                                                                                                                                             

[To Read the Full Transcript Click the Following Link—Ed.]       

           

Contents                                                                       

 

On Topic

 

Egypt Set to Boycott Turkey Over Muslim Brotherhood Support: Moshe Cohen, Arutz Sheva, Sept. 29, 2014—Officials in Egypt are demanding an immediate and total boycott of Turkish goods, and even a breakoff of diplomatic relations between the two countries, Egyptian media reports said.

Russia and Egypt Agree to $3.5B Arms Deal: Jewish Press, Sept. 17, 2014—Russia and Egypt have reached a preliminary agreement for a $3.5 billion arms deals, according to a Reuters report.

Understanding the Israeli-Egyptian-Saudi Alliance: Caroline B. Glick, Jerusalem Post, Aug. 21, 2014 —Hamas’s war with Israel is not a stand-alone event.

The Mirage of Political Islam: Mustapha Tlili, New York Times, June 3, 2014—“You must maintain your power through consent, not coercion; you must respect the rights of minorities, and participate with a spirit of tolerance and compromise; you must place the interests of your people and the legitimate workings of the political process above your party. Without these ingredients, elections alone do not make true democracy.”

 

 

 

               

 

 

 

                      

                

                            

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Contents:         

Visit CIJR’s Bi-Weekly Webzine: Israzine.

CIJR’s ISRANET Daily Briefing is available by e-mail.
Please urge colleagues, friends, and family to visit our website for more information on our ISRANET series.
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Rob Coles, Publications Chairman, Canadian Institute for Jewish ResearchL'institut Canadien de recherches sur le Judaïsme, www.isranet.org

Tel: (514) 486-5544 – Fax:(514) 486-8284 ; ber@isranet.org

DISFUNCTIONAL “PALESTINE” UNDERLIES “P.P.”, “TWO-STATE SOLUTION”, & “P.U.G.” FAILURES &— DESPITE ABBAS’ WORDS—THE KIDNAPPINGS

We welcome your comments to this and any other CIJR publication. Please address your response to:  Rob Coles, Publications Chairman, Canadian Institute for Jewish Research, PO Box 175, Station  H, Montreal QC H3G 2K7 – Tel: (514) 486-5544 – Fax:(514) 486-8284; E-mail: rob@isranet.org

 

FOUAD AJAMI 1945-2014 —Fouad Ajami, who was a senior fellow at Stanford's Hoover Institution and one of the most passionate critics of President Barack Obama's foreign policy in the Middle East, passed away Sunday after a battle with cancer. The 68-year-old Ajami had remained active and engaged in public policy debates right until the end. A week ago, he published an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal placing the blame for the collapse of Iraq squarely at the White House door. "Two men bear direct responsibility for the mayhem engulfing Iraq: Barack Obama and Nouri al-Maliki," he wrote. Ajami believed Obama had failed in his professed duty to provide global leadership: "Today, with his unwillingness to use U.S. military force to save Syrian children or even to pull Iraq back from the brink of civil war, the erstwhile leader of the Free World is choosing, yet again, to look the other way." (Breitbart, June 22, 2014)

 

Contents:

 

Analysis of an Abduction: Return Our Brothers: Dr. Mordechai Kedar, Arutz Sheva, June 19, 2013— On Thursday, June 12, the weekly edition of the IDF newspaper, Bamachane (literally, "in the boot camp") came out.

A Road Map For American Diplomacy in the Middle East: Eric R. Mandel, Jerusalem Post, June 22, 2014— The Obama administration’s attempt to resolve the Israeli- Palestinian conflict once again has failed.

The Peace Process Hoax: Charles Bybelezer, Jerusalem Post, June 16, 2014— There was never any doubt that the international community would recognize a Palestinian terror government.

Dangerous and False Palestinian “Unity”: Prof. Efraim Inbar, Besa Center, June 5, 2014— The new Palestinian “unity” government is not about the reestablishment of one Palestinian political entity that could develop into a functioning Palestinian state.

 

On Topic Links

 

Abbas’s Role: Jerusalem Post, June 19, 2014

New Palestinian Intifada – Against Abbas: Khaled Abu Toameh, Gatestone Istitute, June 23, 2014

Europe's and U.S. Complicity in Kidnapping and Violence: Richard Kemp, Gatestone Istitute, June 20, 2014

Israel Facing Its Third Intifada: Hana Levi Julian, Jewish Press, June 17, 2014

 

 

ANALYSIS OF AN ABDUCTION: RETURN OUR BROTHERS                  

Dr. Mordechai Kedar                                                                                                      

Arutz Sheva, June 19, 2014

 

On Thursday, June 12, the weekly edition of the IDF newspaper, Bamachane (literally, "in the boot camp") came out. On the lower part of the cover the following sentence appeared: "Take precautions. Danger of kidnapping. A large rise in the number of hitch hiking soldiers." That very night Eyal, Gilad and Naftali were abducted as they waited for a lift at the Gush Etzion junction. A week has passed since then and at the time of this writing, we have no knowledge about how the kidnapping occurred, who exactly did it, where the boys are and what the abductors want. The lack of information points to a well planned operation that left no traces. It also points to an  experienced organization, leading to an accusing finger being pointed at Hamas, and specifically at the Izz-a-Din Al-Kassam Brigades.

 

The Israeli government announced publicly that Hamas had committed the kidnapping and launched a wave of arrests of Hamas leaders and activists in Judea and Samaria. I am of the opinion that the IDF has proof of Hamas involvement, but is keeping the details under wraps at present in order to keep the investigation secret. Moreover, the atmosphere Hamas has created also supports the supposition that it was the kidnapper. Speeches by Hamas leaders, especially Khaled Mashaal contained hints that the organization would repeat kidnappings of soldiers or civilians, as they had done with Gilad Shalit and others before him, keeping Israelis in anxious suspense, demanding exorbitant ransoms, holding tough negotiations, using emotional blackmail and demanding a massive prisoner release. The organization's success in freeing over one thousand prisoners for Shalit taught Hamas that this is a method that works. In addition, this method divides the Israeli public, causing controversy over whether or not to free prisoners with blood on their hands. This dispute spawns laws that address the issue of freeing terrorists, initiatives that deepen the ongoing controversy – another achievement for Hamas.

 

Over the last few years Israelis have come to believe that the geographic separation between Gaza and Judea-Samaria mirrors the political situation; that is, Hamas rules Gaza and Fatah rules Judea and Samaria. Even Israeli lawmakers believe this distinction, with the result that the IDF did not receive clear and unequivocal orders to fight the Hamas infrastructure in Judea and Samaria, so that until the kidnapping there were almost no activities aimed at the Hamas organizational network in the area. Coordinated activity with PA forces gave the impression that things were under control and that Israel does not have to worry about the organization or about its military wing. The reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas also played a part. Israel believed that Hamas would turn to the political arena, to governing, elections and perhaps to taking over the PA peacefully and abandoning the continuation of warfare against Israel. The relative quiet on the Gazan front over the last few months lowered Israel's anxiety level vis a vis Hamas military activities, certainly with regard to Judea and Samaria.

 

Proof of Hamas strength among the public was in evidence just last month in the student council elections at BIr Zeit University. The PLO garnered 23 of the 51 seats, Hamas 20, the Popular Front 7 and the Democratic Front 1. There were those in Israel who saw this as a worrying sign of Hamas' growing strength, while others saw it as a sign that Hamas is changing from a terror organization to a political entity. Israel did not realize that Hamas is doing what Hezbollah did in Lebanon: joining politics but continuing terror. After Hamas' electoral success, Hamas leader Hassan Youssef, appeared before the 20 elected Hamas delegates. His speech is on the web for everyone to hear his shouting and to read the following excerpts -with my comments in parentheses. "They say Hamas is finished, there is reconciliation. But I tell you so that all the students can hear, for all the world,to hear, for all the media to hear, we are the only ones, Gaza is the only one that has new weapons. Everyone knows that one day Gaza will be, at some point, under the guise of resistance, able to be the one that takes the enemy by surprise and executes an attack with the help of Allah. (Wild applause).

 

"And I am not saying this without giving it serious thought (repeats this) because (Hamas) resistance in Gaza has much, and Gaza today, all of Palestine, every centimeter of the land of historical Palestine [sic] in Gaza is within reach of rockets from Gaza, glory to Allah.(loud applause and cries)…oh brothers and sisters, let me say my last words: there is no way we will accept this reconciliation (with the PLO) at any price if it entails affecting the equation of our security fist (i.e. the joint security arrangements with Israel under which the PA neutralizes terror), we will under no circumstances allow that here on the West Bank (the audience applauds)…my brothers and sisters, you are strong, you are great,you are mighty, you are laying the foundation for the next stage. You will soon see, I swear to you by Allah, that just as I see you (before me), so will you see the coming victory, by Allah's Will, and on that day the (Muslim) believers will rejoice in the victory of Allah who supports (and brings victory) to whom he wishes to. May Allah bless you…" The fact that the head of a terror organization appeared in an academic institution and was authorized to speak from a speaker's podium covered with the Hamas flag did not give rise to any reaction from the lovers of "academic freedom" in Israel or the world, those who fight Israel, call her an "apartheid state" and call to boycott, sanction and divest from her.

 

Hassan Youssef  made a strong point for connecting Hamas in Gaza with the  movement's presence in Judea and Samaria , but Israel did not see it that way, because it was easier to see everything through the perspective of reconciliation –  "it is not in Hamas' interests to engage in terror at this stage" said all those viewing Hamas with Israeli eyes, attempting to evaluate that movement's behavior using Israeli logic. Unfortunately, the situation was quite different out there as the PA security system did not expose the kidnappers' plans, or ignored them so as not to interfere with efforts for reconciliation. Under the "watchful eyes" of the Palestinian security apparatus, a massive Hamas infrastructure developed, one that carried out an almost perfect kidnapping, escape, concealment of the boys or their transport elsewhere. Almost perfect, because of the fact that one of the victims was able to call the police and whisper something that was not understood properly. A perfect kidnapping would have prevented the victims from connecting with any outside source.

 

Following the kidnapping, Israel decided to do what the PA did not: Israel imprisoned a good many of those freed in the Shalit deal once again, using plain logic:  their release was conditional on the release of an Israeli, and abducting Israelis justifies returning them to prison. Israel also arrested Hamas parliamentary representatives, shut down "charity" organizations and means of communications belonging to Hamas. In brief, Israel is doing what she must do in order to prevent Judea and Samaria from becoming a Gaza-style state. Israel's actions are taking place in a relatively benign international climate, because the entire world is focused on Iraq, whose lands are rapidly being conquered by ISIS, and the organization poses a threat to the northern Iraqi oil industry. Iran is involved, the US is sending troops and the world is hoping that Iraq will survive as a united country. What is going on in Ukraine also takes center stage, more so since the rebels managed to down a Ukranian aircraft and kill close to 50 government troops. In Kenya, the Somalian "Shabbab Almujaddin" militia  slaughtered masses of people, and the World Cup games in Brazil are much more interesting than the kidnapping of three Israelis and Israel's actions against Hamas in Judea and Samaria…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]

 

 

Contents
                                  

A ROAD MAP FOR AMERICAN DIPLOMACY IN THE MIDDLE EAST  

Eric R. Mandel                                                                                                   

Jerusalem Post, June 22, 2014

 

The Obama administration’s attempt to resolve the Israeli- Palestinian conflict once again has failed. This should have surprised no one. The administration should take a break after the recent kidnappings, but don’t count on it. Israel remains the only nation in the Middle East susceptible to American pressure. The administration’s belief that Israel is the intransigent party, and that a breakthrough in this conflict will open up possibilities for engagement throughout the Middle East, will motivate it to try again soon. Failures created by America’s dysfunctional foreign policy in the region (where American influence is almost non-existent) will motivate the administration to return sooner than later to the Israelis and Palestinians.

So what went wrong this time? There is a litany of reasons why these particular negotiations failed. But among them is the fact that these negotiations followed the well-worn pattern of ignoring the fundamental reasons for the conflict. Some make excuses such as “Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is a weak leader,” but this is a symptom of the disease, not a cause. The important question to ask is: “Will this president and those that follow learn the lessons of the past, or will they repeat the same mistakes?” Entering negotiations that are doomed to failure gives the Palestinian people false hope, while the Israelis endure the inevitable subsequent terrorism. America, for its part, suffers another black eye in the international community, which undermines American foreign policy interests and influence throughout the world.

With this in mind and acknowledging that American pressure on Israel will return sooner rather than later, here is a checklist for the next American president to consider with regard to initiating another round of negotiations: • Understand the Arab and Muslim World. The Arab and much of the Muslim world think and negotiate in profoundly different ways than the West. This is not meant to be condescending, but is merely a statement of fact. Whether it is ignorance of the Iranian concept of taddiyah, whereby deceiving your enemy in negotiations is religiously sanctioned, or the assumption that Arabs will follow economic interests over tribal allegiances, lack of understanding of the Arab and Muslim world will lead to failure.

• Brush up on history. Remember that most of the Arab World was artificially created less than 100 years ago. Treating the borders of Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Saudi Arabia as sacrosanct will not only thwart a resolution of Middle East conflicts, but also will make almost impossible territorial resolutions with these countries and with the Kurds.

• Don’t equate elections with democracy. Unless the rule of law, tolerance, pluralism, freedom of speech and freedom of the press precede an election, you must remain skeptical about the results of elections in the Middle East.

• Remember the issues run deep. Realize that even if the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is resolved, it will actually make a relatively small impact on the Arab and Muslim worlds. Sunnis and Shi’ites will still fight for regional hegemony, and Iran will still want a nuclear weapon in pursuit of that goal. The chaos and slaughter in Syria, Lebanon and Iraq will not diminish, while the Saudis will still be just as misogynistic and intolerant as ever.

• Understand that border adjustments in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are a final-status issue. They are not the essence of the conflict. Until one stops treating the conflict as simply a land dispute, there is almost no chance of resolution. At a deeper level, conflict resolution must address whether the Palestinian Arabs can overcome the concept of Dar al-Islam, the Islamic belief that no land once controlled by Muslims can revert to infidel hands, i.e. Jews, Hindus or Christians…
[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]

 

Contents
                                  

THE PEACE PROCESS HOAX                                                                                  

Charles Bybelezer

Jerusalem Post, June 16, 2014

 

There was never any doubt that the international community would recognize a Palestinian terror government. After all, the charter of the PLO – the controlling faction of the Palestinian Authority – explicitly calls for Israel’s destruction, as does the constitution of PA “President” Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party, which itself was founded as a “resistance” group. By corollary, Abbas  refuses to recognize the Jewish state’s right to exist in any borders, presupposing that it has none. But this never prevented the international community, including the United States, from embracing the Palestinian leadership as a “partner for peace” to the tune of billions of dollars annually, a fair portion of which already is allocated to paying the salaries of Hamas bureaucrats in Gaza, not to mention jailed Palestinian murderers.

 

The real question is why Jerusalem expected differently, leaving it unprepared for an eminently predictable scenario. The Israeli government has been operating on a faulty premise since 1993, when it signed the Oslo Accords with arch-terrorist Yasser Arafat, effectively importing his terror infrastructure from faraway Tunis to the Jewish people’s biblical heartland, on the very outskirts of Israel’s major population centers. The peace process was always a hoax, masking – poorly – the perpetual Palestinian refusal to accept the verdict of 1947/48; both of the United Nations and the ensuing war. While this Palestinian revanchism has become increasingly explicit with time, it should have been perceived as the writing on the wall for those who prefer to confront rather than escape reality. The Palestinian national movement – beginning with Haj Amin al-Husseini, the former grand mufti of Jerusalem, Nazi collaborator and Palestinian “godfather” – was founded, and has since been predicated on the total rejection of Jewish sovereignty. It is the raison d’etre of Abbas, as it is for Hamas. This accounts for Abbas’ repeated assertions that there are no conceptual differences between his Fatah party and the designated terror group. For over two decades, then, Israel has been pursuing a fiction – the phony two-state “solution” – which has become a concept “too big to fail.” The international community has invested too much time, effort and “prestige” into the peace process to ever discard it. Meanwhile, the Israeli Left, whose policies have been thoroughly discredited at the ballot box repeatedly but which nevertheless maintains a stranglehold on various influential institutions, including the media, continues to provide cover for the professional peace processors’ fantasies, because in the absence of the process, the Left’s entire political platform would evaporate instantaneously.

 

But Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has, for his part, no excuse to continue the charade. Israel’s prime minister failed his constituency miserably when he accepted the legitimacy of Palestinian statehood in 2009, after vowing not to in his election campaign. The move could perhaps have been justified as a way to curry favor with Washington in order to tackle a more pressing existential matter: Iran’s atomic program. But as it has become increasingly clear that Obama’s embrace of yet another terror regime will, nonetheless, eventually allow Tehran to go nuclear, Netanyahu’s continued support for the two-state lie (especially when considering his supposed ideological predilections) has become indefensible. Netanyahu has been duped countless times by Obama, an unreliable ally who has courted some of Israel’s worst enemies (the latest reports suggest the White House conducted secret back-channel negotiations with Hamas for six months before signing off on its inclusion in the Palestinian government). Nevertheless, Netanyahu repeatedly has folded in the face of pressure by making inexcusable “bold sacrifices” for a peace nobody on the other side wants. Even the recent release of dozens of murderers in exchange for nothing garnered Israel no “points” with anyone…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]

 

[The author is a correspondent for i24 News, and CIJR’s former publications editor—Ed.]       

           

                                                          Contents
 

DANGEROUS AND FALSE PALESTINIAN “UNITY”

Prof. Efraim Inbar                                                                                                      

Besa Center, June 5, 2014

 

The new Palestinian “unity” government is not about the reestablishment of one Palestinian political entity that could develop into a functioning Palestinian state. Already in the early 2000s, the Palestinian Authority (PA) degenerated into a failed state as it lost monopoly over the use of power in the territory under its jurisdiction with the advent of several competing militias. Indeed, in June 2007 Hamas orchestrated a military coup that put the Gaza Strip under the control of this terrorist organization. Despite the current “unity” discourse, the Palestinians remain as divided as before. The only true test for “unity” of a political entity is monopoly over the use of force. As long as the military branch of Hamas remains independent, there is no unity; just evidence of the “Somalization” of Palestinian politics. Islamic Jihad also remains fiercely independent in Gaza, as well as other Jihadist organizations. In fact, under the current accord, instead of the PA regaining lost Gaza, Hamas is gaining better access to the West Bank.

 

Unfortunately, what is happening in the Palestinian territories is part of a larger phenomenon characteristic of much of the Arab world before and after the so-called “Arab Spring.” Lebanon, Somalia Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen and even Egypt are plagued by a plethora of militias eroding the exclusive control of the central authorities. It is not clear to what extent are Palestinians able to move beyond this general Arab political malaise. In fact, it is hard to believe that Hamas will give up control over the Gaza Strip. The de facto statehood which Hamas enjoys is good business, as it allows for the extraction of taxes and fees. In addition, it serves the extremist Hamas ideology that demands building Islamist political structures and keeping alive the military and theological struggle against the unacceptable Jewish state. Hamas has made it clear that it has not mellowed one bit on this issue. It also hopes to get a better foothold in the West Bank to fortify its role in Palestinian society. Hamas seeks to emulate the road taken by Hizballah in gaining political hegemony in Lebanon while maintaining a military force independent of the central government.

 

The reaction of the US and the EU to the new government –business as usual – is counterproductive and morally wrong. This approach helps the Palestinians evade facing their fundamental dilemma in state building: that there is no chance to attain statehood without achieving a monopoly over use of force. Thus the current Western stance, which allows for the continuation of a fragmented Palestinian polity, makes the establishment of a real, stable Palestinian state more unlikely than ever. Continuous economic support for a failing Palestinian order preserves its dysfunctional characteristics and does not encourage the Palestinians to make the needed difficult choices. Moreover, recent Western reactions to Palestinian “unity” are destructive for peace-making. Acceptance of a growing role for Hamas is inimical to Israeli-Palestinian peaceful co-existence. Radical Hamas is totally opposed to such a scenario and is unlikely to give up violence against Israel. After all, the Islamists are encouraged by the trends in the Arab world – whereby political Islam seems to be gaining greater power than ever before, and where the US seems to be in constant retreat.

 

It is not the first time the Europeans and the Americans adopt misguided policies towards the Middle East, displaying naiveté, misunderstanding of Middle East realities, and moral failure. If the West is serious about the two-state paradigm and opposing Islamist terrorism, it must insist that Mahmoud Abbas reject cooperation with terrorist entities such as Hamas. Such cooperation can bring only additional disasters on Palestinian society. Hamas is hardly a democratic or a modernizing force as we have seen from its short rule over Gaza. A growing Hamas input in Palestinian society means growing deficits in human rights, and in economic and educational performance. It will also increase the hatred to Jews and will fuel additional violence that is likely to trigger a tough Israeli response. This is not what the Palestinians need if they are interested in liberty, prosperity and peace.

 

From an Israeli point of view, the mass demonstrations in favor of “unity” and the very few Palestinian voices opposing the deal with Hamas are depressing. The Palestinian “unity” deal reinforces the negative image Israelis have of their close neighbors: that Palestinian society is addicted to violence, where the shaheed (martyr) who attempts to kill as many Jews as possible – is the role model. Palestinian society, under the spell of a nationalist and Islamic ethos, is simply unable to bring itself to a historic compromise with the Zionist movement that would end the conflict. Unfortunately, Palestinian rejectionism has won the day whenever a concrete partition plan was on the agenda. The ascendance of Hamas in Palestinian politics through this false “unity” government, further undermines the search for peace.

 

Contents

 

On Topic

 

Abbas’s Role: Jerusalem Post, June 19, 2014 —Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has denounced the abduction of Naftali Fraenkel, Gil-Ad Shaer, and Eyal Yifrah. He should be commended for doing so.

New Palestinian Intifada – Against Abbas: Khaled Abu Toameh, Gatestone Istitute, June 23, 2014 —What happened in the center of Ramallah on the morning of June 22 could signal the beginning of an uprising, or intifada, against the Palestinian Authority [PA].

Europe's and U.S. Complicity in Kidnapping and Violence: Richard Kemp, Gatestone Istitute, June 20, 2014—The world has undergone gut-churning revulsion this week at the videos of rows of kneeling young Iraqi men callously gunned down by Al Qaida terrorists in Mosul.

Israel Facing Its Third Intifada: Hana Levi Julian, Jewish Press, June 17, 2014—I believe the Palestinian Authority unity government has launched a third intifada.

 

                            

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Contents:         

Visit CIJR’s Bi-Weekly Webzine: Israzine.

CIJR’s ISRANET Daily Briefing is available by e-mail.
Please urge colleagues, friends, and family to visit our website for more information on our ISRANET series.
To join our distribution list, or to unsubscribe, visit us at http://www.isranet.org/.

The ISRANET Daily Briefing is a service of CIJR. We hope that you find it useful and that you will support it and our pro-Israel educational work by forwarding a minimum $90.00 tax-deductible contribution [please send a cheque or VISA/MasterCard information to CIJR (see cover page for address)]. All donations include a membership-subscription to our respected quarterly ISRAFAX print magazine, which will be mailed to your home.

CIJR’s ISRANET Daily Briefing attempts to convey a wide variety of opinions on Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish world for its readers’ educational and research purposes. Reprinted articles and documents express the opinions of their authors, and do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of the Canadian Institute for Jewish Research.

 

 

Rob Coles, Publications Chairman, Canadian Institute for Jewish ResearchL'institut Canadien de recherches sur le Judaïsme, www.isranet.org

Tel: (514) 486-5544 – Fax:(514) 486-8284 ; ber@isranet.org

PALESTINIAN PUZZLE: HAMAS BEFRIENDS HUMAN RIGHTS GROUPS, REFUGEES, AND, ALONG WITH P.A., ASSAD

We welcome your comments to this and any other CIJR publication. Please address your response to:  Rob Coles, Publications Chairman, Canadian Institute for Jewish Research, PO Box 175, Station  H, Montreal QC H3G 2K7 – Tel: (514) 486-5544 – Fax:(514) 486-8284; E-mail:  ber@isranet.org

 

 

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Download an abbreviated version of today's Isranet Daily Briefing.pdf

 

Abbas, Hamas, Flirting With Syria's Assad: Khaled Abu Toameh, Gatestone Institute, Oct. 23, 2013— Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas's gestures toward Syria's President Bashar Assad will only bring him closer to Iran, Hizbullah and radical Palestinian groups that oppose any peace with Israel.

Hamas: Benevolent Savior Of Syrian Refugees?: Nicole Brackman and Asaf Romirowsky, Forbes, Oct. 18, 2013 — Fiction and reality are often indistinguishably juxtaposed in the Middle East. This week, when Hamas called on Palestinians fleeing Syria to come to the Gaza instead of risking their lives at sea, it seemed a surreal caricature.

Hamas Strategy: Manipulate Human Rights Groups: Lt. Col. Jonathan D. Halevi, Jerusalem Centre for Public Affairs, Oct. 24, 2013—Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh delivered a speech at the Rashad a-Shawa Center in Gaza on October 19, 2013, detailing Hamas’ positions on various issues, including adhering to the armed struggle to liberate all of Palestine and pleading for a third intifada (armed insurrection), as well as discussing inter-Palestinian relations and Hamas’ ties with Arab states, especially Egypt and Syria.

How Hamas dug its Gaza ‘terror tunnel,’ and how the IDF found it: Mitch Ginsberg, The Times of Israel, Oct. 16, 2013— The tunnel stretching from the outskirts of Khan Yunis to the fields of Kibbutz Ein Hashlosha was meant to facilitate a complex terror attack involving an assault on soldiers or civilians, with the intention of seizing a captive Israeli and holding him or her as a bargaining chip.

 

On Topic Links

Turkey — Friend or Foe?: Sheryl Saperia, National Post, Oct. 24, 2013       Middle East Peace Talks Go On, Under the Radar: Jodi Rudoren & Michael R. Gordon, New York Times, Oct. 23, 2013

Israel-Palestine Peace Talks: Where Are They?: Neville Teller, Jerusalem Post,  Oct. 23, 2013

Palestinian Authority – Billions in Aid Go Missing: David Singer, Arutz Sheva News, Oct. 22, 2013

Tunnel May Signal Shift In Hamas-Israel Conflict: Adnan Abu Amer, Al-Monitor, Oct. 22, 2013

 

ABBAS, HAMAS, FLIRTING WITH SYRIA’S ASSAD

Khaled Abu Toameh

Gatestone Institute, Oct. 23, 2013

 

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas's gestures toward Syria's President Bashar Assad will only bring him closer to Iran, Hizbullah and radical Palestinian groups that oppose any peace with Israel.

Recently, both the Palestinian Authority and Hamas seem to have changed their policy toward the Syrian conflict. Neither Hamas nor the Palestinian Authority wants to be seen as siding with Al-Qaeda-affiliated groups, most likely out of fear that such support would cost the Palestinians Western sympathy and funding.

 

Since the beginning of the Syrian crisis, relations between the Syrian regime of Bashar Assad regime and the Palestinian Authority and Hamas have been tense. Hamas's public support for the opposition forces led to the expulsion of its leaders from Syria; and the Palestinian Authority's failure to support publicly the Assad regime resulted in tensions between Damascus and Ramallah.

 

After losing faith in the Syrian opposition, the Palestinian Authority and Hamas are now trying to mend fences with the regime of Syria's President, Bashar Assad. The two rival Palestinian parties are hoping that Assad will forgive them for failing to support his regime against the rebels – a move that has resulted, since the beginning of the civil war, in the displacement and death of tens of thousands of Palestinians living in Syria. More than 200,000 Palestinians have been forced to flee their homes in several refugee camps in Syria, while another 2,000 have been killed in the fighting between the Syrian army and the opposition forces.

 

The shift in the Palestinian Authority's stance became evident during Mahmoud Abbas's recent speech at the United Nations General Assembly. Referring to the Syrian crisis, Abbas said, "While we condemn the crime of the use of chemical weapons in Syria, we have affirmed our rejection of a military solution and the need to find a peaceful political solution to fulfill the aspirations of the Syrian people." The Assad regime did not conceal its satisfaction with Abbas's comments, especially his opposition to a "military solution." That Abbas refrained from holding the Assad regime responsible for the use of chemical weapons was also received with a sigh of relief in Damascus.

 

In his September 26, 2013 address to the UN General Assembly, PA President Mahmoud Abbas tried to improve damaged relations with Bashar Assad's regime, stating "while we condemn the crime of the use of chemical weapons in Syria, we have affirmed our rejection of a military solution and the need to find a peaceful political solution to fulfill the aspirations of the Syrian people." After Abbas's speech, Assad agreed to meet with senior PLO official Abbas Zaki, who relayed to him a letter from the Palestinian Authority president. The Syrian news agency Sana quoted the PLO envoy as telling Assad that the Palestinians support Syria in the face of "aggression." This statement means that the PLO has decided to support Assad against the various opposition groups fighting against his regime. Meanwhile, Hamas's efforts to patch up its differences with the Assad regime have thus far been less successful.

 

In the context of these efforts, Hamas leaders and spokesmen have stopped their rhetorical attacks on the Assad regime. In addition, Hamas has been working hard to distance itself from the Syrian "rebels," particularly those affiliated with Al-Qaeda. In a speech in Gaza City last weekend, Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh assured Syria and other Arab countries that his movement does not meddle in their internal affairs. "We never sided with [Arab] country against the other," Haniyeh declared. "We are keen on a unified Arab and Islamic position toward the Palestinian cause." Like Abbas, Haniyeh also called for a "political solution and national understandings" in solving Arab disputes.

 

But while a rapprochement between Hamas and the Assad regime would only serve the Islamist movement's interests and help it rid itself of its growing state of isolation, especially in the aftermath of the downfall of the Muslim Brotherhood regime in Egypt, the renewal of ties between the Palestinian Authority and Damascus does not bode well for the future of the peace process.The Assad regime is not going to change its position toward peace with Israel to appease Abbas and the Palestinian Authority. Abbas's gestures toward Assad will only bring him closer to Iran, Hizbullah and radical Palestinian groups that oppose any peace process with Israel.

 

Contents

HAMAS: BENEVOLENT SAVIOR OF SYRIAN REFUGEES?

Nicole Brackman & Asaf Romirowsky

Forbes, Oct. 18, 2013

Fiction and reality are often indistinguishably juxtaposed in the Middle East. This week, when Hamas called on Palestinians fleeing Syria to come to the Gaza instead of risking their lives at sea, it seemed a surreal caricature.

 

The call — made by Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh — came after the Libyan coast guard opened fire at a boat carrying 374 Palestinian refugees from Syria. The irony is that the Syrian refugees are indeed facing a real human tragedy, but it's not just the Palestinians among them. The Hamas offer — on the surface a generous humanitarian gesture — is in fact a none-too-subtle attempt to refocus global attention on the Palestinian refugee issue while turning a blind eye to the plight of non-Palestinians fleeing from Syria.

 

By all accounts, over a million Syrians have crossed the border seeking safe haven from the deadly violence there, which has killed upwards of 100,000 people in the last three years. The refugees have largely poured into Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq, and Iraqi Kurdistan. These are areas which can ill afford to either house the refugees or endure the destabilizing economic, demographic, and potential political forces for which they become a catalyst. Other Arab nations — Gulf states with the petro-dollars to finance substantial aid efforts — have either refused to host Syrian refugees altogether (Bahrain) or sent token amounts of aid (Qatar, Saudi Arabia) to assist them.

 

The influx of Syrian refugees entering Lebanon (by August 2013, over 670,000) has challenged all conventional wisdom regarding the Palestinians refugees. Lebanon is singularly unequipped to absorb the refugees; the long memory of the shattering effects of an influx of Palestinians displaced by the Black September (1970) campaign of Jordan's King Hussein, and the subsequent decades-long bloody civil war that followed, lingers. The consequences of that war — a total devolution of Lebanon's political, economic, social, and religious infrastructure, a long occupation by Syria's Assad regime, and a shadow-state run by Shi'a dominated and Iran-financed Hezbollah — reverberate through Lebanon.

 

Jordan, which had (in August 2013) absorbed over half a million Syrians, has set aside separate refugee camps for Palestinians and forcibly repatriated some others. Accommodating by far the greatest number of Syrians, Turkey's resources are stretched to the limit and its government has begun accepting international resources; but Ankara is acutely concerned about the potential unrest fomented by the refugees (as well as Syrian rebel and Assad loyalist forces lurking among them).

 

Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey share another dilemma – that of how best to house the refugees. Refugees placed in camps are more easily organized and provided with services. Funding can be more transparently accounted through recognized agencies like UNHCR as well as other NGOs such as the Red Cross. The host countries also seem to believe that such camps can limit the potential political destabilization that rampant assimilation of the refugees into mainstream society may cause.

 

To date the United States has pledged more than $800 million in humanitarian aid for Syrian refugees. None has been specifically earmarked for Palestinians. Yet UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency) continues to press for more money, arguing that its mission to 'provide emergency assistance to Palestine refugees' is endangered by the crisis. Another illustration of how UNRWA attempts to highlight the Palestinians as a "privileged group" that is the only group deserving attention from the world.

 

Unlike Lebanon, the 470,000 Palestinians in Syria have over the decades been granted the right to work in any profession; yet they are not citizens and cannot own property besides the houses in which they reside. Most Palestinians in Syria have never known another home and are effectively Syrian, as other groups in that country's ethno-religious patchwork. Unlike Christians, Druze and other groups now being turned into refugees or internally displaced persons, Palestinians have UNRWA to provide support and act as their advocate.

 

The Syrian refugee crisis highlights not only a temporary jurisdictional conflict between UNRWA and UNHCR; it also brings into focus questions over UNRWA's continued role. More than a bureaucratic snafu, the mandate of UNRWA – to protect and (at least ipso facto) perpetuate the status of Palestinians as refugees – is sharply at odds with that of UNHCR, which seeks to protect, integrate and resettle refugees so that they are no longer considered refugees. It is incumbent on the United Nations to reevaluate UNRWA's continued role. Hamas' exclusive offer reflects a larger 'truism' in global politics: Palestinian refugees – and the Israel/Palestinian dispute – are the fulcrum of conflict in the region and should necessarily draw special attention. The violence in Syria (as well as in Egypt) and the very real human tragedy visited upon over a million people, vividly underscores the spuriousness of the myth of Palestinian centrality.

 

Contents

 

HAMAS STRATEGY: MANIPULATE HUMAN RIGHTS GROUPS

Lt. Col. Jonathan Halevi

Jerusalem Centre for Public Affairs, Oct. 24, 2013

 

Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh delivered a speech at the Rashad a-Shawa Center in Gaza on October 19, 2013, detailing Hamas’ positions on various issues, including adhering to the armed struggle to liberate all of Palestine and pleading for a third intifada (armed insurrection), as well as discussing inter-Palestinian relations and Hamas’ ties with Arab states, especially Egypt and Syria.

 

In his address, Haniyeh expounded the strategy of Hamas, the largest Palestinian terrorist organization and offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood movement. Hamas has established a political entity in the Gaza Strip, and supports a long list of terrorist groups, among them those ideologically identified with al-Qaeda. One of the significant means for attaining Hamas’ goals, according to Haniyeh, is a reliance on human rights organizations and Western left-wing groups whom he termed “liberals,” which, in his view, help the Palestinian people tackle the State of Israel in the political, legal, and public affairs arenas.

 

“We place our confidence on the support of the liberals in the world who oppose the occupation and iniquity caused by the Zionists to our people….Blessings to all the commissions, individuals, civil society groups, and human rights organizations that worked to break the siege on Gaza and who fought against the fence and the settlements. Moreover, we bear in mind those liberals of the world who stood by our cause and against the Zionist war on our land, and this reflects the consciousness of the nations regarding our just cause and the level of transgression and racism undertaken by the Zionist entity against our people,” Haniyeh said.

 

This reliance of a terrorist organization on human rights and left-wing groups as well as other international elements is but a stage in a general strategy by terrorists to employ diplomatic tools to serve as a complementary means to achieve the ultimate goals of Hamas’ Islamic ideology. According to Haniyeh, “It is well known that realizing the project of national liberation on the basis of the experience of peoples and nations requires the combination of (armed) struggle and diplomatic and political action, and diplomatic activity is no less important than armed conflict, and each aspect complements the other. Yet for this to succeed there must be no conflict between these policies and the struggle, the diplomatic action cannot be taken in isolation, neither can it be executed in a careless manner or at a distance from the basic tenets of this issue.”

 

On the basis of these principles, Haniyeh expanded on Hamas’ strategy, which is committed to conducting an all-out campaign against the State of Israel, which, in addition to Jihad (holy war), also has diplomatic, legal, media, and popular aspects. These measures, with boycott being one of the operative aspects most favored by Haniyeh in this context, are intended to wear down the State of Israel, eroding its staying power and resilience, and thus assisting in bringing about Israel’s ultimate elimination…

 

At the conclusion of his address the Hamas prime minister referred to the dire consequences of the “firm hand” policy employed by the military regime in Egypt vis-à-vis the Gaza Strip, manifested by curtailing the passage of people and goods through the Rafah crossing and the destruction of hundreds of tunnels that enabled uninterrupted imports from Egypt at a level above $1 billion annually, constituting an important source of revenue for the Hamas government.

 

 “In light of this negative development we emphasize the following,” Haniyeh stated. “We place full responsibility for this siege on the Israeli occupation and its consequences and we register a violation of international law, which is tantamount to crimes against humanity, and we appeal to reopen all crossing points and allow all goods into the Gaza Strip, especially construction materials and raw materials according to international law.” Thus, Hamas, which supports an all-out struggle against Israel and backs a boycott of Israel, demands that the State of Israel supply the Gaza Strip with Israeli products.

 

Haniyeh also saw fit once again to plead with left-wing Western organizations to help Hamas on this point, not versus Egypt, which has curtailed exports to Gaza, but with regard to Israel, which he portrayed as the enemy Hamas strives to annihilate. “We call upon our people and our nation and liberals around the world, in Europe and in other places that support our cause, to continue their activity to break the siege and expand them (these activities),” Haniyeh stated. He called on “human rights organizations, civil society groups and the liberals of the world to condemn the Zionist siege of Gaza,” noting that “we call on anyone who can to press legal charges in the International Criminal Court against the Israeli occupation on grounds of war crimes against our helpless Palestinian people.”

 

Regarding the genocide of the Syrian population and the wide-scale massacres taking place in the Arab world in recent years (in Iraq, Libya, Egypt, etc.), the Hamas prime minister did not request the assistance of left-wing groups and human rights organizations. To him, these are merely “internal issues” of these states.

 

Contents

 

 

HOW HAMAS DUG ITS ‘TERROR TUNNEL,’ AND HOW THE IDF FOUND IT

Mitch Ginsburg

The Times of Israel, Oct. 16, 2013

 

The tunnel stretching from the outskirts of Khan Yunis to the fields of Kibbutz Ein Hashlosha was meant to facilitate a complex terror attack involving an assault on soldiers or civilians, with the intention of seizing a captive Israeli and holding him or her as a bargaining chip. Senior Hamas official Moussa Abu Marzouk confirmed as much on Tuesday, two days after Israeli authorities revealed their discovery.

 

“The tunnel which was revealed was extremely costly in terms of money, effort and blood,” Abu Marzouk wrote on his Facebook page. “All of this is meaningless when it comes to freeing our heroic prisoners.” He went on to detail the lucrative nature of the Gilad Shalit deal, in which 1,027 prisoners were released after the Israeli soldier was kidnapped in just such an attack.

 

Slightly less clear was the manner in which such an “extremely advanced and well prepared” tunnel, as the Gaza Division commander called it, was dug and, later, detected. “They’d begin with a shaft, drilling straight down,” said a former Southern Command officer who served in the IDF’s geology unit. “Then they’d start to move horizontally.” The earth in which the tunnelers began drilling, in the eastern Gaza Strip, he said, is characterized by calcium carbonate – a sort of sand that is fossilized with sea shells. Other parts of Gaza have simple sand layers – beneath dunes – and shallower water tables, and are thus, on both accounts, less conducive to tunneling. In the Rafah region, for instance, he said the water table was perhaps 20 meters beneath the surface. In the Khan Yunis-Ein Hashlosha region, northeast of Rafah, the water table, which sits at around sea level, was roughly 60 meters beneath the surface. The Ein Hashlosha tunnel, which was discovered on October 7 and revealed to the public on Sunday, was 20 meters at its deepest. Counterintuitively, the deeper one digs the more stable the tunnel.

 

“Tunneling is a question of stability of the rocks or soils surrounding the underground cavity,” said the IDF reserves officer. “In principle, the deeper the tunnel, the greater the stability.” To illustrate the difficulties of tunneling just beneath the surface in sand, he suggested recalling days at the beach as a child and the constant caving in of all holes “at the face of the excavation near the surface.” Tunneling through uncemented sands, he said, “can be a nightmare in terms of stability.” The fossilized dunes are more difficult to dig through but are likely to be more stable. He said that the tunnelers in the Gaza Strip have “a very good knowledge” of the ground conditions and would likely have chosen the more stable soil as their surface of choice. Nonetheless, the diggers, whom he deemed professionals, took the unusual precaution of supporting the tunnel with cement arches all through its length. “More often one sees wood used as a support structure,” he added.

 

All told, some 3,400 cubic meters of soil were excavated from the earth in carving the tunnel, the geologist estimated. A mountain of earth that size, even if carted away daily on trucks, leaves a traceable signature and is one way in which the IDF is able to spot the hallmarks of a tunnel. Other ways, according to an academic tunnel-detection expert, include devices that measure sub-surface sound, the strength and direction of a magnetic field, and the propagation or spread of radio and light waves. The seismic method is the most intuitive and monitors the tremors created by people moving and digging underground…

 

Finally, Israeli researchers Asaf Klar and Raphael Linker, both of the Technion Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering, developed a system based on fiber-optic cables that can detect a tunnel at a depth of more than 20 meters. The system forms an underground fence that could “analyze the tunneling-induced changes in the optical fiber,” according to the Technion’s literature, and, on the basis of computer software models, pinpoint the location of the tunnel. The tunnel detection expert, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that the Technion-developed system analyzes the shift in the wavelength of a laser beam that travels through a fiber optic cable and in that way detects tunneling activity. And yet, he said, each technique has its drawbacks and “what usually works is a combination of all of these approaches.”

                                                Contents

On Topic

 

Turkey — Friend or Foe?: Sheryl Saperia, National Post, Oct. 24, 2013  Is it time for Canada to designate Turkey as a state sponsor of terror? The question may strike some as surprising.  

                                                                                                        Middle East Peace Talks Go On, Under the Radar: Jodi Rudoren & Michael R. Gordon, New York Times, Oct. 23, 2013 A recent Israeli editorial cartoon depicted the lead Israeli and Palestinian peace negotiators beleaguered on treadmills, with Secretary of State John Kerry between them. Hands on the controls, Mr. Kerry was shown saying, “I’m upping the tempo a bit more.”                                                                                                                                                                                              Israel-Palestine Peace Talks: Where Are They?: Neville Teller, Jerusalem Post,  Oct. 23, 2013: It does not seem beyond the bounds of possibility that, far from breaking up in failure and recrimination, the peace discussions may indeed yield something positive.                                                                                                                            

 

Palestinian Authority – Billions in Aid Go Missing: David Singer, Arutz Sheva News, Oct. 22, 2013: A European watchdog reports that billions have disappeared into PLO leaders coffers.     

 

                                                                                                          Tunnel May Signal Shift In Hamas-Israel Conflict: Adnan Abu Amer, Al-Monitor, Oct. 22, 2013:  There has been a lot of talk in the Gaza Strip about the Israeli army’s announcement on Oct. 10 that it had discovered a tunnel dug by Palestinians from east of Abasan, in southern Gaza, to the nearby kibbutz of Ein Hashlosha, in Israel.
 

 
 

 

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THE PEACE-PROCESS BLUES: ONE-STATE’S OUT, TWO STATES TOO; PALESTINIANS LIE, ABBAS’ NOT LEGALLY “PRESIDENT” & JORDAN’S PRO-ISRAEL: SO, WHAT’S LEFT? THE STATUS QUO!

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 Download an abbreviated version of today's Daily Briefing.

 

Contents:

 

 

Contents:

The One-State IrresolutionDavid A. Halperin & Danielle Spiegel Feld ,Times of Israel, Sept. 19, 2013—Ian Lustick’s requiem for two-states, “Two-State Illusion,” which was prominently featured in this weekend’s New York Times, was a pitiful illustration of the absurdity of arguments for a one-state “solution” to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.


Israel Should Annul the Oslo AccordsDanny Danon, New York Times, Sept. 20, 2013—This month marks 20 years since the signing of the first of the Oslo Accords between the State of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization. Two decades after Yitzhak Rabin and Yasir Arafat stood on the White House lawn with President Bill Clinton, Israelis and Palestinians are again in the midst of the umpteenth round of negotiations.

 

Deceitful Palestinian Statements as Strategic WeaponsDr. Manfred Gerstenfeld, Israel National News, Sept. 23, 2013Interview with Michael Widlanski: History has shown that the Arabic messages to their own people is their true approach.”   "Palestinian leaders have developed ambiguous messages as strategic weapons to disarm, demoralize and deceive foes while gaining third-party support. They use duplicitous statements for different audiences in the tradition of taqiyya—the art of dissimulation.

 

Palestine’s Democratic DeficitNeville Teller, Jerusalem Post, Sept. 22, 2013—Back in New York, accompanied by his prime minister, is the president of the Palestinian Authority (PA) – or the State of Palestine, as the PA decided to rename itself last April, following its upgrade to “non-member observer state” at the UN General Assembly.

 

Does Jordan Want Palestinians in Control of the Border?Khaled Abu Toameh, Gatestone Institute, Sept. 20, 2013 —Palestinian Authority Pesident Mahmoud Abbas says that the Palestinians will not accept any Israeli presence along the border between a future Palestinian state and Jordan. But the question is whether Jordan really wants to have Palestinians on its borders.

 

On Topic Links

 

Tackle Incitement, Stop the KillingsDavid Horovitz, Times of Israel, September 23, 2013

Israel Wants Peace. PeriodIsrael Kasnett, Aljazeera, Sept. 13, 2013
A Palestinian State with Temporary Borders – A Historical CatastropheElyakim Ha’etzni, Israpundit, Sept. 18, 2013
The Fables of Saeb ErakatVictor Sharpe, Canada Free Press, August 22, 2013
The Causes, Consequences and Cures for Palestinian Authority Hate SpeechDavid Pollock, The Washington Institute, Sept. 2013
Could the Failure of the Oslo Process Doom Israel’s Friendship with Jordan?Assaf DavidTablet Magazine, Sept. 23, 2013


 


THE ONE-STATE IRRESOLUTION
David A. Halperin and Danielle Spiegel Feld
Times of Israel, Sept. 19, 2013

 
Ian Lustick’s requiem for two-states, “Two-State Illusion,” which was prominently featured in this weekend’s New York Times, was a pitiful illustration of the absurdity of arguments for a one-state “solution” to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. At the most basic level, what one-state advocates like Lustick are calling for is not actually a solution to the conflict. Instead, as Lustick makes clear, the hope is that the absence of diplomacy will “set the stage” for an escalation in the conflict – “ruthless oppression, mass mobilization, riots, brutality, [and] terror” to be precise – which, in turn, “might be the route to Palestinian independence.” Stated otherwise, Lustick’s plan is to set aside diplomacy, stir up another violent explosion, and hope that through “blood and magic” a Palestinian state may someday emerge from the rubble.
 
Plainly this is a ridiculous proposal. Particularly given the sectarian civil wars broiling across the Middle East it is unbelievably foolish to predict that Israelis and Palestinians would ever give up their independent national aspirations or that a joint state would ever be peaceful.
 
In fact, Lustick’s lopsided treatment of the right to self-determination demonstrates well why the one-state approach is all but guaranteed to produce perpetual strife. While Lustick shows an admirable concern for the idea of Palestinian self-determination, he attaches no importance whatsoever to the idea that Jewish residents of the area should enjoy the same right. Instead, he asks the reader to accept the fact that “Israel may no longer exist as a Jewish and democratic vision of its Zionist founders” and that this would not be “the end of the world.” This double-standard makes no sense and would be greeted with the utmost hostility by Israel’s Jewish inhabitants.
 
There is simply no way to explain why Palestinian self-determination should be assigned the highest importance, while the Jewish right of self-determination is completely dismissed. If vindicating the right to self-determination is important – which we strongly believe it is – the one-state “solution” can never offer anything more than an unsatisfactory half-solution.
 
Lustick attempts to prove that the single state he and the others promote could actually be harmonious, but he’s far from convincing. The “strange bedfellows” he predicts will emerge “once the two-state fantasy blindfolds are off” are not merely strange, they are also virtually unimaginable. For instance, he posits that “secular Palestinians in Israel and the West Bank could ally with… non-Jewish Russian speaking immigrants,” which, incidentally, is among the most conservative demographic groups in Israel; he also predicts that “Israelis who came from Arab countries might find new reasons to think of themselves not as ‘Eastern,’ but as Arab.” Given the fact that many of Israel’s “Eastern” Jews either fled or were expelled from Arab states, it’s ludicrous to forecast such an identity shift taking place.
 
Finally, Lustick comes up far short of proving that the current peace negotiations are merely an exercise in futility and only ends up illustrating just how illogical his arguments are. One of the key pieces of evidence he marshals to try to prove this point is that both Israelis and Palestinians currently hold “contradictory fantasies” as to what two states would look like. But this line of reasoning completely overlooks the fact that the reason we need negotiations is because, while the parties agree that two-states is the desired outcome, they disagree as to what two-states would look like. If they agreed on both the fact that two-states were the ideal and how these states should look, we wouldn’t need negotiations in the first place. In short, proponents of one-state such as Lustick have a long way to go before they can make a persuasive case that the idea of a single state offers a “noncatastrophic path[] into the future.”
 
One-staters like Lustick may themselves oppose the Zionist goal of creating a Jewish and democratic state. They may not care that implementing the one-state solution would once again return the Jewish people to their historical role as a people without a land of their own, a people denied the right to self-determination. They may not be troubled by the prospects of casting the Holy Land into a state of perpetual conflict either. But for all who do care about these things, the alternative to two-states would be anything but “noncatastrophic.” We must continue to do our utmost to ensure such a “one state” never comes to be.
 


David A. Halperin and Danielle Spiegel-Feld are Executive Director and Associate Director of Research & Policy of Israel Policy Forum

 
 

 
This month marks 20 years since the signing of the first of the Oslo Accords between the State of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization. Two decades after Yitzhak Rabin and Yasir Arafat stood on the White House lawn with President Bill Clinton, Israelis and Palestinians are again in the midst of the umpteenth round of negotiations.
 
Despite these efforts, true peace seems as distant as it did before the secret talks in Oslo were revealed to the world. The government of Israel must admit that we made a mistake and declare that the Oslo process has failed. Only by officially annulling the Oslo Accords will we have the opportunity to rethink the existing paradigm and hopefully lay the foundations for a more realistic modus vivendi between the Jews and Arabs of this region.
 
Despite attempts to rewrite recent history by fringe elements, the failure of the Oslo framework cannot be attributed to a lack of will and persistence by Israel. What didn’t we try? We attempted direct negotiations, third-party mediators, public conferences and back-channel talks. We staged withdrawals and unilateral disengagements, established joint Israeli-Palestinian military patrols in Gaza and deployed American-trained security forces in the West Bank. None of this worked.
 
The P.L.O., and later the Palestinian Authority, never truly accepted that Israel, as the national state and homeland of the Jewish people, was here to stay. No amount of impressive ceremonies, cosmetic changes to the P.L.O. charter and Palestinian doublespeak to Western media outlets about their commitment to peace was able to change this grim fact.
 
To understand the mind-boggling scope of Oslo’s failure, it is best to look at the statistics. According to the organization B’Tselem, during the first Palestinian intifada in 1987, six years before Mr. Rabin’s attempt to recast the archterrorist Yasir Arafat as a peacemaker, 160 Israelis were murdered in Palestinian terror attacks. In the mid- to late-1990s, as successive Israeli governments negotiated with the Palestinians, and Mr. Arafat and his cronies repeatedly swore they were doing their utmost to end terrorism, 240 Israelis were brutally killed as suicide bombs and other heinous terrorist acts targeting unarmed civilians were unleashed in every corner of our nation.
 
Things did not get better after Prime Minister Ehud Barak made the Palestinians an offer in 2000 that, judging by his landslide defeat in the election a few months later, was way beyond what most Israelis supported. Between then and September 2010, 1,083 Israelis were murdered by Palestinian terrorists.The Oslo process did not bring peace; it brought increased bloodshed. We must end this farce by announcing the immediate suspension of the accords. Little impact would be felt by average Israelis and Palestinians. Those who would suffer most would be full-time negotiators like Martin S. Indyk and Saeb Erekat, who would find themselves out of a job after 20 years of gainful employment in the peace process industry.
 
What should replace Oslo’s false promise? We should implement what I have called a “three-state solution.” In the future, the final status of the Palestinians will be determined in a regional agreement involving Jordan and Egypt, when the latter has been restabilized. All the region’s states must participate in the process of creating a long-term solution for the Palestinian problem.
 
In the short term, the Palestinians will continue to have autonomy over their civilian lives while Israel remains in charge of security throughout Judea and Samaria, commonly referred to as the West Bank. Following an initial period, the Arab residents of Judea and Samaria could continue to develop their society as part of an agreement involving Israel and Jordan. Similarly, Gaza residents could work with Israel and Egypt to create a society that granted them full civil authority over their lives in a manner that was acceptable to all sides.
 
Most veterans of the peace process will mock this proposal, protesting that there is no way it would be accepted by the Palestinians. Their argument may seem convincing today, but as I often remind my critics, our region is unpredictable. Had you told any Middle East expert five years ago that two successive Egyptian presidents would be deposed and Bashar al-Assad’s regime would be in the midst of a bloody civil war, you, too, would have been mocked. Things change. We can make them change.
 
I am aware that even if the Palestinians accepted this plan, we would still have to deal with a fundamentalist Hamas regime in Gaza and continuing instability in Egypt. No plan for Israeli-Arab peace can be fully implemented until these issues are resolved. In the short term, Israel’s only option is to manage this conflict by refusing to compromise when it comes to the security of Israeli citizens. At the same time, our government should take all steps possible to improve the economic well-being of the Palestinians.
 
The dissolution of the Oslo Accords would serve as the official act validating what we already know — that this failed framework is totally irrelevant in 2013. Once the Palestinians were ready to sit down and seriously discuss how our two peoples, through this new paradigm, could live side by side in peace and prosperity, they would find willing partners across the political spectrum in Israel.
 
It may not be the utopian peace promised to all of us on that sunny day in September 1993, but in the harsh realities of the Middle East, this may be the best we can hope for and the sole realistic chance for our children to grow up in a world less violent than previous generations have had to endure.
 
Danny Danon is a member of the Knesset and the deputy defense minister of Israel.
 
Contents

 

Interview with Michael Widlanski: History has shown that the Arabic messages to their own people is their true approach.”
 
"Palestinian leaders have developed ambiguous messages as strategic weapons to disarm, demoralize and deceive foes while gaining third-party support. They use duplicitous statements for different audiences in the tradition of taqiyya—the art of dissimulation. This is an Islam-approved application of lying to defeat enemies. When conversing in English they may sound peace-loving. Yet they simultaneously broadcast bellicose messages to Arabs in Arabic.
 
“This method of destructive ambiguity was practiced already by the pre-war Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Haj Amin al Husseini. He was heavily involved in spreading false messages about Jews ‘trying to conquer the Temple Mount’ in the early 1920's and later in propaganda broadcasts for the Nazis. Fatah leaders, particularly Yasser Arafat and Mahmud Abbas, follow in Husseini’s footsteps using ambiguity.”
 
Dr. Michael Widlanski is the author of "Battle for Our Minds: Western Elites and the Terror Threat". He teaches at Bar Ilan University and was Strategic Affairs Advisor in Israel’s Ministry of Public Security editing the Orient House Archives of the PLO. He will be Schusterman Visiting Professor at the University of California, Irvine 2013-14.
 
“Communication and especially dissimulation were major motifs in Arafat's life and career. He became leader of the PLO through the microphone and pen and not through the rifle. Arafat became head of Fatah by gaining newspaper attention in Egypt in the 1950's. In 1968, he became the undisputed leader of the PLO after skillful press exploitation of the ‘Battle of Karameh.’
 
“From 1968 through 1974, Fatah/PLO made it clear that it wanted to replace Israel with a ‘democratic Palestine.’ This was a euphemism for what former PLO leader Ahmad Shukeiry had declared: ‘…destroying Israel and driving the Jews into the sea.’ Beginning in 1974, the PLO further ‘moderated’ its tone, but not its real goal. It adopted the ‘Strategy of Stages’ and declared that it would try to gain parts of Palestine/Israel via peaceful means. Thereafter it would employ arms for the final battle. Arafat and Abbas refined this strategy further over the years.
 
Hamas has been more direct than Fatah/PLO in declaring its goals and tactics – destroying Israel with the force of arms. It has since learned from Arafat and Abbas. In recent years, Hamas, too, has had spokesmen who suggest that it might consider letting Israel survive if and when it withdraws to the 1949 armistice lines or the 1947 partition lines.
 
“Despite all claims to the contrary, no PLO leader has given up demands for Palestinian ‘refugees returning to their homes’ in Israel. Yet many prominent Israelis and Americans also promote this fallacy. Arafat, Abbas and negotiators like Yasser Abd-Rabbo, Nabil Sha'ath and Ahmad Qrei'a –also known as Abu 'Ala – have publicly and repeatedly repudiated such Israeli claims on the refugees issue made by Ehud Olmert, Tzippy Livni and especially Yossi Beilin and Shlomo Ben-Ami.
 
“Israel fails in its external communications partly because there is no unified Israeli view."
“Similarly, claims by many Israelis and Americans that the PLO has agreed to recognize and accept Israeli settlement blocs in return for ceding territory in Israel to Palestinian sovereignty, have been repudiated. This is also true about claims that the PLO leadership is willing to accept Israeli control of some holy places in eastern Jerusalem and that Ramallah or Al-Azzaria would serve as a Palestinian capital. Abbas repeatedly told Arab media—as late as August 2013—that there will be no Jews living in Palestinian territory and that Jerusalem will be the Palestinian capital.
 
“Abbas told an Israeli interviewer that he did not want to return to Safed. Thereafter, he declared to Arab interviewers that all Arabs could decide where and when they would go. He specifically said all refugees would have the ‘right” to return to their homes.
 
“Claims that the PLO has amended its charter are false as well. The ‘ceremony’ in 1998 concerning this is deemed a stage act by Palestinians, even though it was sanctioned by Bill Clinton and Benjamin Netanyahu. Leading Palestinians—such as Palestinian National Congress speaker Salim Za'anoun—say that the PLO charter still stands.
 
“Periodically, Arafat and Abbas said that they ‘recognize Israel.’ They thereafter explained in Arabic that they recognize the fact but not the right of Israel's existence. They further rebuff any attempt to recognize Jewish sovereignty or even Jewish nationalism. Abbas has repeatedly rejected Netanyahu's demand that the PLO accept Israel as a predominantly Jewish state. The PLO leadership until today approves maps and text books that refer to all of “Palestine” including Tel Aviv and Haifa, as Arab. Many Israelis and Westerners prefer to believe that PLO leaders ‘do not mean what they say’ in Arabic. However, history has shown that the messages to their own people is their true approach.”
 
Widlanski concludes: “Israel fails in its external communications partly because there is no unified Israeli view. Every struggle has a mental aspect. This is particularly true in battles involving terror. In order to win, Israelis have to educate themselves about the real Palestinian goals and tactics.”
 


 

DOES JORDAN WANT
PALESTINIANS IN CONTROL OF THE BORDER?

Khaled Abu Toameh
Gatestone Institute, Sept. 20, 2013

 
Palestinian Authority Pesident Mahmoud Abbas says that the Palestinians will not accept any Israeli presence along the border between a future Palestinian state and Jordan. But the question is whether Jordan really wants to have Palestinians on its borders. In private off-the-record meetings, top Jordanian officials make it crystal clear that they prefer to see Israel sitting along their shared border.
 
Speaking at a university graduation ceremony in Jericho, Abbas stated that the borders of the Palestinian state would stretch from the Dead Sea in the south and through the Jordan Valley all the way up to the town of Bet She'an in the north. "This is a Palestinian-Jordanian border and that is how it will remain," Abbas said. "The responsibility for security along the border will be in the hands of the Palestinians."
 
Abbas's remarks came in wake of leaks by Palestinian officials to the effect that at the current US-sponsored secret peace negotiations, Israel is demanding full control over the border with Jordan in any peace settlement with the Palestinians. Israel, of course, has its own reasons for refusing to cede control over the strategic Jordan Valley.  Israel's main concern is that the border with Jordan will be used by Palestinian terror groups and Islamist fundamentalist organizations to smuggle weapons and terrorists into the West Bank and Israel.
 
However, there's another reason why Israel remains strongly opposed to surrendering control over its border with Jordan to the Palestinian Authority or a third party. It is no secret that the Jordanians have long been worried about the repercussions of the presence of Palestinians on their border.
In a recent closed briefing with a high-ranking Jordanian security official, he was asked about the kingdom's position regarding the possibility that Palestinians might one day replace Israel along the border with Jordan. "May God forbid!" the official retorted. "We have repeatedly made it clear to the Israeli side that we will not agree to the presence of a third party at our border."
 
The official explained that Jordan's stance was not new. "This has been our position since 1967," he said. "The late King Hussein made this clear to all Israeli governments and now His majesty, King Abdullah, remains committed to this position." Jordan's opposition to placing the border crossings with the West Bank under Palestinian control is not only based on security concerns. Of course, Jordan's security concerns are not unjustified, especially in light of what has been happening over the past few years along the border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt.
 
The Egyptians are now paying a heavy price for neglecting their shared border with the Gaza Strip over the past few decades. This lapse has seen Sinai emerge as a hotbed for Al-Qaeda-linked terror groups that are now posing a serious threat to Egypt's national security.
 
Besides the security concerns, the Jordanians are also worried about the demographic implications of Palestinian security and civilian presence over the border. Their worst nightmare, as a veteran Jordanian diplomat once told Israeli colleagues during a private encounter, is that once the Palestinians are given control over the border, thousands of them from the future Palestinian state would pour into Jordan.
 
The Jordanians already have a "problem" with the fact that their kingdom's population consists of a Palestinian majority, which some say has reached over 80%. The last thing the Jordanians want is to see hundreds of thousands of Palestinians move from the West Bank or Gaza Strip into the kingdom.
 
Although the Jordanians are not part of the ongoing peace talks between the Palestinian Authority and Israel, they are hoping that Israel will not rush to abandon security control over its long border with the kingdom. Understandably, the Jordanian monarchy cannot go public with its stance for fear of being accused by Arabs and Muslims of treason and collaboration with the "Zionist enemy."
 
The Egyptians today know what the Jordanians have been aware of for a long time — that a shared border with Fatah or Hamas or any other Palestinian group is a recipe for instability and anarchy. The Egyptians surely miss the days when the Israel Defense Forces were sitting along the border between Egypt and the Gaza Strip. Even if Abbas's forces initially manage to maintain security and order along the border with Jordan, there is no guarantee as to what would happen in the future.
 
Between 2005 and 2007, Abbas's security forces were in control of the main border crossing between the Gaza Strip and Egypt — before they were expelled by Hamas. It is in Israel's interest to have stability and calm in Jordan. Undermining Jordan's security would create many problems for Israel. To prevent such a scenario, Israel, if and when it reaches a deal with Abbas's Palestinian Authority, needs to take King Abdullah's fears and interests into consideration.

Contents


 

PALESTINE’S DEMOCRATIC DEFICIT
Neville Teller
Jerusalem Post, Sept. 22, 2013
 

Back in New York, accompanied by his prime minister, is the president of the Palestinian Authority (PA) – or the State of Palestine, as the PA decided to rename itself last April, following its upgrade to “non-member observer state” at the UN General Assembly.
 
President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah will be attending sessions of the UN General Assembly, and also a meeting of the ad hoc Liaison Committee comprised of donor countries that finance the PA.  A meeting with President Obama is also scheduled, for discussions about the Palestinian-Israeli peace negotiations. What the two presidents are most unlikely to include on their agenda is the decidedly shaky ground on which Abbas is standing, democratically speaking.
 
The “State of Palestine” that Abbas is intent on establishing, comprises the West Bank, east Jerusalem, and the Gaza strip. The convenient fiction, adopted on all sides, is that Abbas as president of the PA can negotiate on behalf of all Palestinians because the PA is the “sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.”
 
But the 1.4 million Palestinians who occupy the Gaza strip are not ruled by Abbas and his government but by Hamas, which does not recognize Mahmoud Abbas as president of the PA, rejects the peace process out of hand, and would not under any circumstances conform to any agreement that Abbas might reach with Israel.  Abbas may propose that Gaza be included as part of a putative sovereign Palestine in a two-state solution, but Hamas would have to be dislodged from Gaza before that could be realized. How is this to be accomplished? That is the elephant in the negotiating room.
 
Hamas is indubitably an extreme Islamist and terrorist organization which, although winning a majority in the last democratic Palestinian elections held in 2006,  refused to participate with Fatah in a national unity government, and seized power in Gaza in a bloody coup d’état. Nevertheless it has a certain point in challenging the legitimacy of Mahmoud Abbas’s presidency of the PA.
 
After Yasser Arafat's death in 2004, Mahmoud Abbas was endorsed by Fatah's Revolutionary Council as its preferred candidate for the presidential election scheduled for January 9, 2005. Although Hamas boycotted the ballot, Abbas was elected with a convincing majority as president of the PA for a four-year term. His term of office therefore ended on January 9, 2009.
 
Hamas maintained that from the moment Abbas’s mandate expired, Aziz al-Dewik, the speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council, should have become interim president until new elections could be held. At the time, Fatah argued that the Palestinian election law calls for presidential and parliamentary elections to be held simultaneously, four years after the date of the later of those. Since parliamentary elections were held in 2006, a year after the presidential ones, new elections for both should have been held in January 2010. And indeed, in one of a wearisome succession of abortive reconciliation talks between Hamas and Fatah held in Egypt in March 2009, the two sides agreed to hold joint elections by January 25, 2010.
 
They never happened. The PA government decided to postpone them, arguing that it wanted to safeguard national unity. As a matter of interest, in December 2010 the Palestinian High Court ruled that once the cabinet calls for elections, it does not have authority to cancel them. So the cancellation of the elections was itself illegal.
Subsequent intra-Palestinian political disputes between Fatah and Hamas meant that presidential and parliamentary elections were postponed time after time. Finally, in November 2011 an election date of May 4, 2012 was agreed between Fatah and Hamas. Once again, however, a squabble erupted, and a further delay was announced. The election would now be held some time after June 2012.
 
In February 2011, following the resignation of Saeb Erekat as chief negotiator for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, the PA executive committee announced that elections would be held before October that year. The reaction? Fawzi Barhoum, a spokesman for Hamas, said that Abbas did not have the legal right to announce elections.
"Hamas will not take part in this election. We will not give it legitimacy. And we will not recognize the results." It did not take place.
 
In October 2011, Abbas sent a further proposal to Hamas for a general election, preferably to be held in early 2012. The proposal was rejected. Following last year’s upgrade of Palestine to non-member observer state status in the UN, the PA proposed that general elections should follow in 2013, in line with the latest unity talks between Fatah and Hamas. But no date has yet been set, and an election this year now seems impossible.
 
Meanwhile, Abbas sails serenely on, acknowledged on all sides as President of the PA, or President of the State of Palestine, depending on one's preference.  It is as if George W Bush, who became president of the United States in 2005 – the same year that Mahmoud Abbas became PA president – was somehow able to by-pass the elections of 2007 and 2011 and cling to office, and was still US President. The analogy may be fanciful, it could never happen – within the United States.  But it virtually has happened within the Palestinian body politic, and it illustrates how far along the democratic road Palestinians have yet to travel.
 
In the meantime, as president de facto, if not in all eyes de jure, Abbas continues to formulate a new PA government from time to time. After weeks of waiting and speculating, an incoming administration – the 16th since the formation of the PA – was sworn in on September 19. It turned out to be a carbon copy of the outgoing one. Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah and his 24 cabinet ministers, who together had formed the previous government, were sworn in anew in front of the president in the West Bank city of Ramallah.
 
If the president’s own legitimacy is questionable, how stands the government that he swears in? Or any agreements that he reaches on thorny political issues?  Or his authority in respect of that section of territory over which his writ does not run?
Palestine’s democratic deficiencies may yet prove to be a hurdle too high for the peace process to surmount.
 
The writer is the author of One Year in the History of Israel and Palestine (2011).
 

 

 

Tackle Incitement, Stop the KillingsDavid Horovitz, Times of Israel, September 23, 2013—It’s 20 years after that hesitant Yitzhak Rabin handshake with Yasser Arafat on the White House lawn, and tragically little has changed. Palestinians are again killing Israelis — an off-duty young soldier lured to the West Bank on Friday, an on-duty young soldier cynically shot down by a sniper in the West Bank on Sunday.

 

Israel Wants Peace. PeriodIsrael Kasnett, Aljazeera, Sept. 13, 2013—Jerusalem – Israel wants peace. Period. The Jewish people have never held a desire to rule over others and this remains true today. Not only are we ohev shalom ["lovers of peace"], but we are also rodef shalom ["active pursuers of peace"].

 

A Palestinian State with Temporary Borders – A Historical CatastropheElyakim Ha’etzni, Israpundit, Sept. 18, 2013—With the closing year, we are witnessing the weakening of President Barack Obama and the embarrassing differences revealed between him and his Secretary of State, John Kerry.  The result, a temporary alleviation in Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s situation, is no cause for satisfaction given the fact that both sides are despicable butchers and radically hostile to Israel. 

 

The Fables of Saeb ErakatVictor Sharpe, Canada Free Press, August 22, 2013—I wrote an article once titled: Lies, Damned lies, and Palestinian Propaganda in Descending Order. That title paraphrased 19th century British Prime Minister, Benjamin Disraeli’s aphorism: Lies, damned lies, and statistics in descending order.

 

The Causes, Consequences and Cures for Palestinian Authority Hate SpeechDavid Pollock, The Washington Institute, Sept. 2013 —As of mid-2013, while U.S. secretary of state John Kerry shuttles around the Middle East trying to restart Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, the issue of hate speech and incitement continues to cloud his efforts. (Into from larger study of 128pp)

 

Could the Failure of the Oslo Process Doom Israel’s Friendship With Jordan?Assaf DavidTablet Magazine, Sept. 23, 2013—The two-decade-old formula of “two states for two peoples” is dead, and the Arab Spring witnessed its funeral. What seemed, less than three years ago, a powerful show of citizen agency throughout the region has instead devolved into uncertainty, bringing chaos to the doorstep not just of Israel but of the West Bank and Jordan as well.

 

 

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REPRISE DES NÉGOCIATIONS : ISRAËL COMPROMISE POUR LA “PAIX” ?

 

 

 

 

Lettre ouverte de Netanyahou

sur la question de la libération de terroristes palestiniens

 

De temps à autre, lorsque la question est importante pour le pays, les Premiers ministres sont contraints de prendre des décisions qui vont à l’encontre de l’opinion publique. En réalité, s’il fallait ne prendre que des décisions qui avaient le soutien acquis du grand public, la fonction de Premier ministre ne serait plus nécessaire.

 

À l’heure actuelle, il me semble très important pour l’Etat d’Israël d’entamer un processus diplomatique. Cette démarche est importante pour explorer jusqu’au bout toutes les possibilités en vue de mettre un terme au conflit avec les Palestiniens, mais aussi pour renforcer la position d’Israël dans la réalité complexe de l’arène internationale et autour de nous.

 

Les turbulences dans notre région – en Égypte, en Syrie et en Iran – ne posent pas que des défis à l’Etat d’Israël ; elles créent aussi des opportunités considérables pour notre avenir. Pour toutes ces raisons, je crois qu’il est important de s’engager dans un processus diplomatique qui se poursuivra durant au moins neuf mois, afin de vérifier s’il est possible de parvenir à un accord avec les Palestiniens durant cette période. Je tiens à dire qu’avec toute l’importance que j’accorde au processus diplomatique, je n’étais pas prêt à accepter les exigences de retrait et de gel que les Palestiniens imposaient comme conditions préalables pour entamer des négociations.

 

Je n’étais pas prêt non plus à accepter leur revendication de libérer des détenus palestiniens avant le début des négociations. J’étais d’accord pour libérer 104 Palestiniens, par étapes, juste après le début des négociations et selon les progrès réalisés.

 

Cette décision est infiniment difficile, elle est douloureuse pour les familles endeuillées, elle est douloureuse pour la nation toute entière et elle est aussi très douloureuse pour moi. Elle entre en conflit avec la valeur infiniment importante qu’est la Justice.

 

C’est sans doute une injustice quand des salauds qui ont commis des crimes odieux – même si la plupart d’entre eux sont derrière les barreaux depuis plus de 20 ans comme c’est le cas – sont libérés avant d’avoir fini de purger leur peine.

 

La difficulté de cette décision est amplifiée par le fait que ma famille et moi-même connaissons l’atroce prix du deuil provoqué par le terrorisme. Je partage parfaitement cette énorme douleur. Je vis avec elle quotidiennement depuis plus de 37 longues années.

 

Le fait que des gouvernements israéliens précédents aient libéré plus de dix mille terroristes ne me rend pas la décision plus facile et d’ailleurs elle ne l’était pas non plus lorsque j’avais décidé de ramener Guilad Shalit.

 

Le retour de Guilad Shalit à la maison a impliqué une décision infiniment difficile pour moi : la libération de terroristes. Toutefois, j’ai pensé que ramener des enfants à leur foyer avait une valeur si importante qu’il fallait surmonter cette difficulté. Les leaders doivent choisir entre des alternatives complexes et, parfois, la décision qui s’impose est particulièrement difficile lorsque la majorité du public s’y oppose.

 

C’est ainsi que j’ai décidé de mettre fin à l’opération « Pilier de Défense » après l’élimination du terroriste Ahmed Jabari Jabari et après que Tsahal a infligé des coups sévères au Hamas et aux autres organisations terroristes.

 

J’ai pris la décision de mettre fin à l’opération, bien que la majorité du public était en faveur de la poursuive, ce qui signifiait agir par voie terrestre dans la bande de Gaza. En tant que Premier ministre, je pensais que l’objectif dissuasif avait été atteint en très grande partie grâce aux actions déterminées que nous avions menées. Aujourd’hui, presque un an après la fin de l’opération « Pilier de Défense », nous constatons que le calme règne dans le Sud, une situation que nous n’avons pas connue depuis plus d’une décennie. Bien sûr, cette accalmie peut se défaire à tout instant, mais ma politique est claire sur tous les fronts : nous allons, autant que possible, déjouer les menaces contre nous, au moment voulu. Nous réagirons fermement à toute tentative d’attaquer nos citoyens. Au cours des neuf mois à venir, nous saurons si notre interlocuteur palestinien désire, comme nous, mettre fin au conflit.

 

La signature ne sera possible que dans des conditions qui assureront la sécurité des citoyens d’Israël et nos intérêts nationaux vitaux. Si nous parvenons à atteindre un tel accord de paix, je le soumettrai à un référendum. Une telle décision aussi lourde de conséquences ne peut être prise par un vote très serré à la Knesset.

 

Chaque citoyen doit pouvoir avoir une influence directe sur notre avenir et notre destin pour une question aussi cruciale. La meilleure réponse que nous pouvons donner à tous ces assassins qui ont voulu nous vaincre par le terrorisme, c’est que pendant qu’ils étaient en prison durant toutes ces décennies, nous avons construit un pays magnifique, fort et prospère, parmi les plus avancés au monde. Je vous promets que nous allons poursuivre avec détermination dans cette voie.

 

Votre,

 

Benjamin Netanyahou

 

La reprise des négociations loin des projecteurs et sans illusions

Freddy Eytan

le CAPE de Jérusalem, 20 juillet 2013

 

John Kerry a réussi à arracher in extremis un accord de base pour la reprise des pourparlers avec l’Autorité palestinienne. Après plus de trois années de rupture, le processus de paix est enfin relancé à Washington. Obama a enfin compris ses précédentes erreurs et agit désormais avec sagesse et pragmatisme, main dans la main avec son allié israélien. Netanyahou a gagné une première manche et a prouvé que son obstination pour la reprise des négociations sans conditions préalables était une formule juste et réaliste. Toutes les tentatives des Palestiniens d’exiger dès le départ un retour aux frontières d’avant juin 1967 et le gel des implantations ont été vouées à l’échec.

 

Toutes les parties réalisent que la proclamation hâtive d’un Etat palestinien à l’ONU, l’affirmation infondée selon laquelle l’occupation des territoires est illégale, la délégitimation et le boycottage de l’Etat juif, ou encore les dernières sanctions imposées par l’Union européenne, ne serviront à rien sans le consentement du gouvernement israélien et la signature d’un accord de paix. Les Palestiniens devront surtout et avant tout abolir définitivement leur infâme charte datant de 1964. Elle n’a jamais été abolie malgré les Accords d’Oslo et le célèbre « caduque » d’Arafat. Cette charte qui appelle à la libération de toute la Palestine « de la mer au fleuve » figure toujours sur le site officiel de la représentation de « l’Etat de Palestine » à l’ONU. De fait, il n’existe aucune différence entre l’Autorité palestinienne et le Hamas qui lui rejette tout accord avec l’Etat juif et déclare Mahmoud Abbas persona non grata à Gaza.

 

Dans ce contexte, les pourparlers à Washington seront longs et pénibles. Personne ne se fait d’illusions et ne peut garantir qu’ils aboutiront à des résultats tangibles et satisfaisants pour les deux parties. Rappelons que le conflit avec les Palestiniens est unique dans l’Histoire contemporaine ; depuis plus d’un siècle nous n’avons pas trouvé de solution équitable. Ce conflit est explosif, complexe et douloureux car se sont greffées de manière flagrante des considérations religieuses, politiques et stratégiques poussées au paroxysme avec de la violence sous toutes les formes possibles. Ni les Américains ni les Européens ne pourront dicter une solution forcée et agir contre la volonté des parties. Pour pouvoir aboutir à un accord pragmatique et réaliste nous devrions adopter la diplomatie classique et organiser des rencontres loin des projecteurs. Seul le dialogue direct et la confiance mutuelle entre les négociateurs pourront mettre le processus sur les rails et donner enfin un certain espoir à la fois aux Israéliens et aux Palestiniens.

 

 

Israël paye d'avance quand Kerry ressuscite de vieilles lunes

Shoshana Bryen

American Thinker, 30 juillet 2013

Adaptation française : Jean-Pierre Bensimon

   

Comme le chien qui a finalement rattrapé le bus derrière lequel il courait, le secrétaire d'État John Kerry doit à présent se demander ce qu'il va faire du fruit de ses efforts. Il a persuadé, suborné, cajolé, et menacé Israéliens et Palestiniens pour qu'ils retournent à la «table de négociation». Il a promis aux Palestiniens plus de 4 milliards de dollars en «investissements» et en aide publique, ainsi que la libération de 104 prisonniers de l'époque antérieure à Oslo, détenus par Israël : des terroristes avec du sang sur les mains, précédemment considérés comme non libérables.

 

Le prix à payer par les Palestiniens, s'il y en a un, n'est pas clairement affiché, mais ces derniers embouchent les trompettes de la victoire. Israël va libérer des prisonniers et ces prisonniers ne seront pas assignés à Gaza. Israël ne pourra pas obtenir un simple accord intérimaire, mais devra s’engager sur le terrain du « statut final ». Kerry leur a accordé que les lignes de 1949 (les soi-disant frontières de 1967) seront le point de départ de la négociation. D'une façon presque désinvolte, Mahmoud Abbas a dit qu'il s’était engagé en faveur « d'une solution à deux États», et Kerry a fait référence à la vague promesse des États arabes de faire la paix avec Israël si les demandes palestiniennes étaient satisfaites (nous en parlerons plus loin).

 

Ainsi, M. Kerry a mis son plan sur la table, et Israël doit payer d'avance.

 

Une question centrale surgit alors : qu'est-ce qui va être négocié ? Ce ne sera pas la «paix» car la paix n'a pas la propriété d'être négociable. Pour Machiavel la paix est «la condition imposée par le vainqueur au vaincu lors du dernier conflit.» Il peut y avoir une «paix froide», une «paix chaude», ou la «paix des cimetières.» La «paix» de Versailles contenait en germe la seconde guerre mondiale ; la «paix» qui a suivi la seconde guerre mondiale contenait en germe la démocratisation de l'Allemagne et du Japon, mais elle a livré des millions de gens à la férule du communisme soviétique, pour presque un demi-siècle. Si elle y parvient, la paix n’émerge que lorsque les exigences contradictoires des adversaires sont résolues, que ce soit par la négociation ou par la guerre. La seconde guerre mondiale a pris fin quand les alliés sont entrés à Berlin, Hitler étant mort dans son bunker ; la guerre froide s’est achevée quand les pays satellites des soviétiques se sont libérés de l'emprise de Moscou, avec la mort du communisme.

 

Quelles sont les exigences conflictuelles des Israéliens et des Palestiniens ? Peut-on les résoudre pour ouvrir la voie à une paix, quelle qu’elle soit ? Dans leur expression la plus directe, les exigences essentielles d'Israël sont :

 

• la reconnaissance de l'État d'Israël dans la région comme un fait permanent et légitime ; des «frontières sûres et reconnues, sans menaces ni actes de force», promesse consignée dans la résolution 242 de l'ONU.

• « la fin du conflit/ des revendications » les Israéliens supposent que l’accord à venir doit prohiber toute demande palestinienne additionnelle, en termes de territoires ou de droits.

• la capitale d'Israël est Jérusalem.

Les exigences des Palestiniens sont :

• la reconnaissance internationale d'un État indépendant, sans renoncer à leur droit de revendiquer/de restaurer davantage, ou même toute la « Palestine ».

• le droit des réfugiés palestiniens et de leurs descendants de vivre en Israël s’ils le désirent, ou bien d'obtenir une compensation, le choix entre ces options devant être de leur fait et non de la volonté d'Israël.

• Jérusalem comme capitale de la Palestine.

Les positions respectives des deux camps sont incompatibles. C'est cela, et non l'insuffisance des pressions ou l’absence d’un plan adéquat, qui empêche la mise en œuvre aujourd’hui de la mythique «solution à deux États» contenue en filigrane dans les accords d'Oslo de 1993. Dans la vision des Israéliens et des Américains, il y a trois hypothèses sous-jacentes – et erronées – dans le processus d’Oslo, qui viennent hanter comme à l’accoutumée toutes les négociations :

• Le nationalisme palestinien est compris comme l'image en miroir du nationalisme juif. (Le sionisme était fait pour «normaliser» la situation des Juifs sans État en leur attribuant un État.)

• Le nationalisme palestinien peut trouver une pleine expression dans un État croupion coupé en deux, enserré entre un Israël hostile et une Jordanie encore plus hostile.

• Tout cela a un prix qu’Israël, les États-Unis (et peut-être l'Europe) pourront payer aux Palestiniens pour dépasser les autres objections à une souveraineté juive sur une partie quelconque de cette terre.

 

Mais le nationalisme palestinien consiste précisément à restaurer « la terre palestinienne » usurpée par l'établissement d'Israël en 1948, qui est perçu comme une faute de la communauté internationale engluée dans sa culpabilité découlant de l'holocauste. La naqba palestinienne se réfère à l'erreur originale que constitue la naissance d'Israël, exacerbée par son acquisition de territoires supplémentaires en 1967. Imaginer que les Palestiniens puissent s’accommoder des petits morceaux de terre concédés après la guerre d'indépendance d'Israël, quelque chose de plus petit que ce qui avait été offert aux Arabes par le plan de partition de l'ONU de 1947, c’est ignorer la vision palestinienne de l’avenir tel qu'il a été enseigné aux générations successives après Oslo. Sur ce point, et peut-être seulement sur ce point, le Hamas et le Fatah sont en complet accord.

 

M. Kerry aurait été plus avisé de revenir sur deux points. Tout d’abord, il aurait dû insister pour que les Palestiniens remplissent effectivement leur engagement antérieur de mettre un terme à l'incitation contre Israël et les Juifs.

 

Ensuite, plutôt qu'accepter une vague promesse de la Ligue arabe de reconnaître Israël une fois les revendications palestiniennes satisfaites, M. Kerry aurait dû rappeler les obligations de la résolution 242 de l'ONU de «mettre un terme à toutes les revendications et à l'état de belligérance», à la charge des États arabes, pas des Palestiniens. Ce sont eux, et pas les Palestiniens, qui sont entrés en guerre contre Israël en 1967.

 

(Notons ici que l'obligation correspondante Israël, de «retirer les forces armées israéliennes de territoires occupés dans le récent conflit» a été largement remplie. Il y a eu l'évacuation de plus de 90 % des territoires aux termes du traité de paix israélo-égyptien de 1979, le retrait certifié par l'ONU de toute parcelle du territoire libanais en 2000, le retrait des civils et des militaires israéliens de Gaza en 2005, le retrait de l'armée israélienne de certaines parties de la Cisjordanie.)

 

Tout cela ne signifie pas qu’un État palestinien soit exclu à jamais, ni qu'Israël doive se résigner à une occupation permanente. Il s'agit simplement de reconnaître que le secrétaire Kerry a réitéré les fautes d'un « processus de paix » bien mal nommé. Aucune paix ne peut émerger dans le cadre d'une «solution à deux États» qui exige qu'une partie ou les deux abandonnent les principes fondamentaux auxquels elles sont profondément attachées. Il incombe aux parties – en particulier les parties extérieures – de reconnaître honnêtement la futilité de la rhétorique qui persiste à exiger que le plomb se transforme en or. Et puis, ayant payé d’avance, ces parties trouveront probablement un coffre vide au moment de la livraison de l'or attendu.

 

CHARLES BYBLEZER: A Brief History of Palestinian Prisoners Releases

 

A Brief History of Palestinian Prisoners Releases

CHARLES BYBLEZER

Jerusalem Post, Apr. 24, 2013

http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Op-Ed-Contributors/A-brief-history-of-Palestinian-prisoners-releases-310960

 

Last Wednesday [Apr. 17], Palestinians worldwide held protests to mark “Prisoner Day,” an annual event meant to highlight the alleged plight of, and to celebrate, Palestinian criminals and terrorists imprisoned in Israel. The matter has gained notoriety over the past two years as the Palestinian Authority has made the release of prisoners a precondition for renewed peace talks with Israel.

 

“The Palestinian leadership gives priority to the prisoners issue and [to] ending their suffering,” PA President Mahmoud Abbas proclaimed earlier this month. “We cannot be silent about their staying behind bars…. [We] have demanded the freeing of all prisoners.”

 

Abbas reportedly stressed the importance of the subject both during last month’s visit to Ramallah by US President Barack Obama, and in a recent meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry, following which a PA official reiterated that “without the release of a significant number of prisoners… there can be no talk about resuming the peace process.”

 

While there is nothing unique about Palestinian preconditions to negotiations – which presently also include that Israel cease construction in settlements; accept the 1967 borders as a basis for talks; and cede territory from Area C in the West Bank, under exclusive Israeli jurisdiction as per stipulations in the Oslo Accords, to Palestinian control – demanding the release of prisoners, many with “blood on their hands,” is particularly perverse and revealing.

 

Abbas predictably assumed this position not long after the October 2011 Gilad Schalit prisoner-swap deal with Hamas, in which 1,027 Palestinians – nearly 20 percent of all Palestinians either imprisoned or detained in Israel at the time – were exchanged for a single captive IDF soldier.

 

Hamas’ popularity ballooned following the deal, so Abbas felt compelled to demonstrate his own pro-terrorist bona fides in order to reinforce his standing as the “legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.”

 

Contrary to popular belief, the Schalit deal was not particularly ground-breaking.

 

In fact, Israel conducted its first prisoner deal directly with a Palestinian terror faction in 1971, when Shmuel Rosenwasser, a night watchman abducted by Fatah forces on January 1, 1970, was exchanged for Mahmoud Hijazi, jailed for his involvement in Fatah’s first terrorist attack on the Jewish state in 1965. Since then, however, the cost of redeeming an Israeli life has increased incrementally, in parallel to the government’s slide further down the proverbial “slippery slope.”

 

On March 14, 1979, IDF soldier Avraham Amram, captured by PLO terrorists the year before during clashes in southern Lebanon, was traded for 76 Palestinians jailed in Israel. On November 23, 1983, six Israeli soldiers, held by Fatah, were swapped for 65 Palestinian prisoners, in addition to some 4,700 Palestinians and Lebanese incarcerated at Ansar camp in the aftermath of the First Lebanon War.

 

In 1985, the stakes were raised even further with the largely-forgotten Jibril Agreement, conducted with the PFLP, which saw Israel exchange 1,150 Palestinian prisoners, including Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, for three IDF soldiers. Many of the Palestinians exchanged in the Jibril Agreement would later form the backbone of the first intifada, which erupted in 1988 (overall, of the 238 prisoners who returned to the Palestinian territories after their release, nearly 50% were eventually re-jailed in Israel). For his part, Yassin went on to found Hamas, which, for obvious reasons, led to his re-arrest by Israeli authorities and a sentence of life imprisonment in 1989.

 

Unbelievably, though, Yassin was exchanged for a second time in 1997 – for two Mossad agents captured in Jordan during a failed attempt to assassinate current Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal – on condition that he renounce suicide bombings against Israel. A free man, Yassin retook the reins of Hamas and immediately dispatched suicide bombers to Israel; attacks which over the course of the next several years killed dozens, if not hundreds, of Israelis and ultimately necessitated Yassin’s targeted killing on March, 22, 2004.

 

Then-prime minister Ariel Sharon best described Yassin’s legacy: “Mastermind of Palestinian terror.”

 

Seemingly undeterred by the experience, Israel released at least 650 additional Palestinian prisoners between the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993 and 2000; in accordance with various agreements such as the Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip (1995) and The Wye River Memorandum (1998), or simply as a “goodwill gesture” to the Palestinian leadership.

 

This policy continued into the millennium, with, for example, the exchange in 2004 of nearly 400 Palestinian and 30 Lebanese prisoners for Elhanan Tannenbaum and the bodies of three other IDF soldiers. (Although this deal was conducted with Hezbollah, the majority of prisoners released were Palestinian, of whom 364 returned to the Palestinian territories and 30% were ultimately rearrested for involvement in terror. In 2011, then-Mossad chief Meir Dagan claimed that “231 Israelis were slaughtered by those freed in the Tannenbaum exchange.”) In 2005, Israel also released 500 Palestinian prisoners following a summit in Sharm e-Sheikh.

 

Notably, after Abbas emerged as leader of the PA, Israel twice attempted to entice him back to the negotiating table, as well as to prop up his new regime, by freeing 422 Palestinian prisoners in two installments, in August and December 2008 respectively.

 

But Abbas refused to talk, instead increasing the scope of his demands, and has since gone so far as to threaten Israel with the prospect of a third, albeit “peaceful,” intifada – likely to be spearheaded by Palestinians exchanged in the Schalit deal, many of whom have already returned to terror – unless his conditions are met.

 

To summarize, then, in four decades, Israel’s policy with respect to Palestinian prisoners has progressed (?) from exchanging one captive Israeli for one jailed Palestinian, to a few dozen, then a few hundred and, most recently, more than a thousand, to releasing Palestinians as part of supposedly reciprocal agreements, to unilaterally and unconditionally freeing Palestinians in hope of coaxing the Palestinian leadership into honoring its obligations. Finally, the blackmail has become simple extortion, with the PA demanding that Israel free Palestinians “or else.”

 

This descent into irrationality was inevitable, as the Palestinians’ decadeslong obsession with prisoners has never been predicated on the quest for justice, but rather is a manifestation of the consecration, and resultant pursuit, of terror which to this day pervades every aspect of Palestinian society. For Hamas, this is understood by most observers; but it no less true of the Abbas-led PA.

 

The so-called “moderate” Palestinian faction habitually names monuments, parks, and public squares – even day camps – after “martyrs” (i.e. terrorists), in addition to conducting ceremonies in their honor and broadcasting programs in its official media lionizing these Palestinian “heroes.” Naturally, the PA annually commemorates Martyrs’ Day.

 

Despite its perpetual financial crisis, the PA allocates more than NIS 200 million each year to paying salaries to Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails and to the families of suicide bombers. Most despicably, the longer the prisoner’s sentence, which invariably is correlated to the severity of their crimes, the higher the salary received.

 

Incredibly, these dispensations, codified in Palestinian law in 2003, were increased by 300% in 2011 by none other than the West’s darling, former PA prime minister Salaam Fayyad. The PA also maintains a Ministry for Prisoner Affairs, headed by Issa Qaraqi, who in his ministerial capacity has repeatedly accused Israel of torturing Palestinian prisoners and even of stealing their organs.

 

This glorification of criminality is, quite simply, mind boggling, and precludes the possibility of any talk of “peace,” as any meaningful Israeli-Palestinian reconciliation is impossible under such circumstances.

 

It also instills significant doubt with regard to the genuineness of Palestinian national aspirations, which are so readily sacrificed to an Israeli agreement to free convicted criminals and terrorists.

 

The peace process itself is equally impugned when the international community entertains, or at least fails to condemn, such a grotesque Palestinian precondition to negotiations.

 

Lastly, it confirms, incontrovertibly, that in the absence of fundamental change on the part of the Palestinian leadership, Israel cannot benefit in any way by succumbing to the vile demand to release its enemies.

PEACE PROCESSORS (KERRY, TWO-STATERS) MISSING PIECES—FROM SAUDI PLAN’S DHIMMITUDE TO ISRAELI LEFT’S “ARCHIMEDEAN POINTS”

Download an abbreviated version of today's Isranet Daily Briefing.pdf 

 

Contents:                          

 

 

John Kerry’s Plan: Still Missing a Peace: Elihu D. Richter, Times of Israel, April 8, 2013—Press reports hint that Secretary of State John Kerry is in Israel with a re-warmed version of the Saudi peace plan. His visit started at Yad Vashem, where, perhaps, he had the opportunity to ponder the catastrophic effects of the kind of incitement now pandemic in the entire Islamic world, including Saudi Arabia. The Holocaust, as we all should know, began with words. Secretary Kerry, your first mission is to work to eradicate the state sponsored incitement and hate language pandemic in the Islamic world. Israelis expect respect for human life and dignity, not dhimmitude.
 

Please … Draw Me a State: Shmuel Rosner, Latitude, New York Times, Apr. 3, 2013—When Barack Obama visited Israel two weeks ago he reiterated the U.S. government’s stock opposition to Israeli settlements in the West Bank: Such activity, he said, undermines peace. “On the other hand,” he added in Ramallah — and these were his words — “The core issue right now is, how do we get sovereignty for the Palestinian people and how do we assure security for the Israeli people?” That is to say, settlements no longer rank high on his agenda because “if we solve those two problems, the settlement problem will be solved.”
 

Keepers of the Two-State Faith: Dr. Emmanuel Navon, Arutz Sheva, March 13, 2013 —Israel’s self-proclaimed intellectuals will agree to grant you a certificate of intelligence only if you pledge allegiance to the two-state solution – and it was palpably evident at the Herzliya Conference – a Broadway show. “The Two State Religion.” It’s not about facts. It’s about faith. 

 

On Topic Links

 

Jewish Enclaves in a Palestinian State?: Gideon Biger and Gilead Sher, INSS Insight, Apr. 8, 2013
What Really Happened in Jerusalem: Charles Krauthammer, Washington Post, Mar. 28, 2013
Borderline Views: the Obama and Kerry Map: David Newman, Jerusalem Post, Apr. 8, 2013
Obama to Push Saudi “Destroy Israel” Peace Plan: Daniel Greenfield, Front Page Magazine, Ap. 8, 2013

 

 

 

JOHN KERRY’S PLAN: STILL MISSING A PEACE

Elihu D. Richter

Times of Israel, April 8, 2013

 

Press reports hint that Secretary of State John Kerry is in Israel with a re-warmed version of the Saudi peace plan. His visit started at Yad Vashem, where, perhaps, he had the opportunity to ponder the catastrophic effects of the kind of incitement now pandemic in the entire Islamic world, including Saudi Arabia. The Holocaust, as we all should know, began with words.

 

Until proven otherwise, The Saudi Plan – or ultimatum – offers 100 years of dhimmitude, the term for the protected but inferior and vulnerable status of non-Moslem religious and ethnic groupings in Islamic society. It purports to offer normal diplomatic and political relations between Israel and the entire Islamic world if Israel goes back to its 1948 borders and accepts the principle of repatriation of the Palestinian refugees. If Israel does not accept these terms, the subtext is quite clear: The Islamic world retains the option of remaining hostile to our existence.

 

This subtext rejects a self-evident principle: that Israel’s existence and security are, as Barack Obama has declared, sacrosanct. That principle derives from the UN resolutions of 1948 and 1967, and not any decision by our neighbours. Israel is the national home of a first nation returning to its native land. Its existence and security are not negotiable At best, the overseer of the Saudi Peace Plan would be Erdogan of Turkey, whose Ottomania frames us as one more dhimmi among subordinated ex-dhimmis….

 

Israelis have good reason to be sceptical about peace plans – but at the same time, to learn from the lessons of past failures and successes and go forward. While there is a cold peace with Egypt – now so fragile – and Jordan, more Israelis have been killed in the 15 years following the Oslo Accords than in the two previous decades of undeclared wars. Therefore the burden of proof is on those who deny that the Saudi plan offers something between dhimmitude at best and a staged dismantling of Israel as the Jewish national home – and turning a blind eye to genocidal terror and incitement to genocidal terror.

 

The plan contains no commitment to ending state sponsored incitement and hate language. The flag of Iran, now more powerful than any of the Arab countries, is one of 29 framing the PA announcement. But Iran’s promotion of genocidal motifs straight out of Mein Kampf, along with its terror directed at world Jewry and Israel, goes back to 1979, 35 years, or almost threefold the life span of the Nazi regime, a sign of intergenerational perpetuation….

 

Yet Iran, with its incitement and hate language, is merely one of several epicentres for state sanctioned, sponsored and supported anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism throughout the Arab and Islamic world. Since 2002, when the plan was first published, the Arab regimes, notably Saudi Arabia and Egypt, seem neither able nor willing to curb this toxic incitement in their media, mosques, school texts and Internet – a precondition for preparing their publics for a new era of mutual respect, tolerance and dignity. Saudi Arabia itself is a major producer of such vicious incitement and hate language in its mosques, political rhetoric, and official media. Because such incitement and hate language ensures the intergenerational transmission of hate, it means that diplomatic and political agreements the regimes will sign will not be sustainable.

 

Since 2002, the Arab League’s and League of Islamic Countries’ message to Israel refers to “normal relations between states.” But the messages to its own populations are still permeated with hate and incitement. None of the Arab states have banned distribution of Mein Kampf and they continue to spread propaganda based on the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. They also continue to use UN diplomatic forums for delegitimizing Israel. Arab diplomats still engage in crude public attempts at delegitimization, such as at the Annapolis “peace summit,” where they refused to enter through the same door with Israeli diplomats. Lawfare and wordfare, not gunfare, are now the methods for promoting agendas explicitly deriving from Mein Kampf.

 

Such gestures, if anything, delegitimize their practitioners. State sanctioned incitement has been repackaged as anti-Zionism. Even the newly “moderate” West Bank PA still engages in varieties of soft incitement, such as omitting Israel from its maps and referring to tolerance in terms of the Islamic-Christian tradition, thus implicitly rendering Israel Judenrein. The plan says nothing about non-state actors, notably Hezbollah – for all practical purposes, an agent of Iran – and Hamas in control of the Gaza Strip, and what they will do, no matter what the leaders of Arab countries decide to sign on to.

 

The plan refers to rights to repatriation of the descendants of approximately 600,000 Palestinian refugees from 1949, but ignores the rights of some 870,000 Jewish refugees from Arab lands and their descendants. Nor is there any reference to the effect of Arab pressures on the British Mandate in bringing about the White Paper, which was, for all practical purposes, a death sentence for millions of Jews caught in Hitler’s Europe. The harsh truth is that neither Palestinian nor Jewish survivors or descendants can return to the homes of their parents.

 

The appalling treatment of religious minorities by many Arab regimes is another reason for scepticism concerning the Saudi plan. Coptic and Assyrian Christians, Baha’is, Armenians, Yazdis and other minority religious group have experienced persecution, expulsions and genocidal mass atrocities in many of the 29 countries, notably Egypt, Iraq, Sudan and Iran. In the PA itself, since the Oslo Accords, the Christian population is rapidly diminishing. Here would be the elements of an Israeli answer to the billion or so people in the Arab and Islamic world.

 

The first requirement of any peace plan has to be respect for life and human dignity of all minorities in the region. This means respecting the sacrosanct status of Israel’s existence and security, and in parallel, stopping the persecution, overt and covert, of religious minorities and eliminating incitement and hate language in school texts, mosques and media. It means fostering more open and direct contacts based on respect for life, and promoting such contacts in matters which promote and protect life, not death: water technology, agriculture, renewable energy, public health and medicine.

 

Secretary Kerry, your first mission is to work to eradicate the state sponsored incitement and hate language pandemic in the Islamic world. Israelis expect respect for human life and dignity, not dhimmitude.

 

Top of Page

 

 

 

 

PLEASE … DRAW ME A STATE
Shmuel Rosner

New York Times, Apr. 3, 2013
 

When Barack Obama visited Israel two weeks ago he reiterated the U.S. government’s stock opposition to Israeli settlements in the West Bank: Such activity, he said, undermines peace. “On the other hand,” he added in Ramallah — and these were his words — “The core issue right now is, how do we get sovereignty for the Palestinian people and how do we assure security for the Israeli people?” That is to say, settlements no longer rank high on his agenda because “if we solve those two problems, the settlement problem will be solved.”

 

The Palestinians didn’t like hearing this; they felt betrayed. As one Palestinian-American writer put it, dropping the demand for a settlement freeze as a precondition to peace talks “means that the next few years will be a settlement construction bonanza.” After all, Obama was the one who once made settlements the buck-stops-here issue; that was supposed to demonstrate his seriousness on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and his willingness to pressure Israel for concessions. But after achieving little and reaping a lot of criticism, he has changed his position. And he expects Palestinians to toe his new line.

 

So why hasn’t the Israeli government been gloating? Post-Passover coma? Overriding worries about the national budget? Not wanting to be a bad sport after Obama’s first official visit as president? No, it’s just that Israeli officials know Obama’s shift is probably a pyrrhic victory. His approval ratings in Israel did go up following his visit and the Israeli government is happy to see Washington drop its demand that settlement construction be frozen, but Obama’s “major calibration” creates more problems for the Israeli government than it solves.

 

Basically, he replaced the contentious issue of settlements with an even more contentious matter: boundaries. As Obama explained in both Ramallah and Jerusalem, drawing the future border of a Palestinian state — “real borders that have to be drawn” — is the crux of the matter. Indeed. Jerusalem had good reasons to object to a settlement freeze — including for making the Palestinians less likely to compromise — but it also knew that any freeze would be, or could be, temporary and reversible. Drawing a border between a state and a would-be state is a far more significant step, and potentially far more permanent.

 

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has always opposed presenting any possible map of Israel’s future borders with a Palestinian state. Even Ehud Olmert — a predecessor of Netanyahu’s and a much more conciliatory leader — wouldn’t leave an unsigned draft of such a map after presenting it to the Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas in 2008.

 

If settlements are about claiming disputed territory, delineating borders is about giving it up, which is a considerably more sensitive move. For Israel, drawing a map without first solving other core issues — the status of Jerusalem, the future of Palestinian refugees — is like using your last bargaining chip halfway through making a deal. Especially in his current coalition, which is built around a strange-bedfellow partnership of centrists and pro-settlers, Netanyahu can hardly be expected to survive politically if he gives up the country’s hand (and land) like this.

 

Netanyahu didn’t want to freeze settlements in the West Bank. But in letting him have his way on that, Obama seems to be asking for something even greater.

 

Shmuel Rosner, an editor and columnist based in Tel Aviv, is senior political editor for The Jewish Journal.

 

 

 

KEEPERS OF THE TWO-STATE FAITH

Dr. Emmanuel Navon

Arutz Sheva, March 13, 2013

 

Israel’s self-proclaimed intellectuals will agree to grant you a certificate of intelligence only if you pledge allegiance to the two-state solution – and it was palpably evident at the Herzliya Conference – a Broadway show. Attending the Herzliya Conference’s panel on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is like following Woody Allen’s therapy through his movies: you know that the patient is hopeless and that the new movie is going to be a mere repetition of the previous one, and yet you maintain the ritual out of snobbism. This year’s panel, however, was more like a flashback. I felt like I was watching the ending scene of Mighty Aphrodite, when the Greek tragedy turns into a Broadway show.

 

The panel included seven speakers: Tzipi Livni (chairperson of the “Hatnuah” party), Shlomo Avineri (a Hebrew-U emeritus professor), Robert Danin (from the US Council on Foreign Relations), Michael Herzog (from the Washington Institute for Near East Policies), Yoaz Hendel (chairman of the Institute for Zionist Strategy), Nati Sharoni (chairman of the Council for Peace and Security), and Dani Dayan (former chairman of the Judea and Samaria Council). The moderator was Barak Ravid, the diplomatic correspondent of Haaretz….

 

Tzipi Livni (whose party represents 5% of the Knesset) opened her remarks by claiming that she speaks for the majority. Then she explained why the establishment of a Palestinian state is so urgent: soon Hamas will be in charge and when that happens signing a deal with the Palestinians will no longer be an option. Is Tzipi Livni aware of her argument’s silliness? If, as she herself admits, Hamas will eventually take over, what is the point of signing with Fatah today a deal that Hamas will trash tomorrow? But what is telling about Tzipi Livni (and about the “majority” she supposedly represents) is not her comical twisted logic, but the way she perceives Israel’s rights. She said that a peace agreement is the Archimedean point of Israel’s existence, and that peace grants legitimacy to Israel. In other words, Israel’s rights and existence are not sui generis, but are only valid if the world (especially Israel’s enemies) approve them.

 

Even Ehud Barak said during the Camp David negotiations in July 2000 that the Archimedean point of Israel’s existence (he used the very same expression) is the Temple Mount. For Tzipi Livni, this Archimedean point is neither divine nor historical (I suspect Ehud Barak was referring to the second option). Rather, Israel only has a right to exist if its critics agree to it.

 

Tzipi Livni has the same “externality” problem on a personal level, which is why she has metamorphosed over the years into the spokesperson of Haaretz. Precisely because Israel’s self-proclaimed intellectuals will agree to grant you a certificate of intelligence only if you pledge allegiance to the two-state solution, and precisely because Livni is an intellectual lightweight who suffers from an inferiority complex vis-à-vis the "branja" (the "in" group of "experts", ed.), she became more royalist than the king. Tellingly, Shlomo Avineri publicly congratulated her during the “debate” for joining the exclusive club of the enlightened ones after years of darkness in the Likud grotto.

 

“Exclusive club” was the expression used by Barak Ravid to describe those who support the two-state solution. This is typically how the Israeli Left tries to intimidate those who don’t toe the party line: we are the star-belly sneetches. Then Ravid harangued the audience about what he called “Israel’s Apartheid against the Palestinians” and claimed that, for this “apartheid” to end, a Palestinian state must be established as soon as possible in all of Judea and Samaria.

 

Robert Danin castigated the Israeli government for claiming that there is no partner for peace. When you keep telling people there is no partner, he said, they end up believing it. Danin didn’t discuss whether or not the PLO is a reliable partner for peace. His argument was not about history, but about psychology: if you can convince people that there is no partner for peace, then you can also convince them that there is a partner for peace. The truth or falsehood of the argument itself is irrelevant. What’s important is to believe. “The Two State Religion.” It’s not about facts. It’s about faith….

 

Michel Herzog made a point which I also find fantastic: we have to negotiate with the Palestinians so that we can say to ourselves and to the world that we tried. Well, what about Camp David in July 2000, what about Taba in December 2000, and what about the Olmert proposal to Abbas in 2008? Didn’t we try then? Hasn’t Herzog been around for the past twelve years?

 

Yoaz Hendel publicly confirmed that he agrees with Tzipi Livni (he had briefly considered running on her list for the 2013 Knesset elections). He also claimed that “the Israeli people accepts the two-state solution” (actually, over 50 MKs oppose it: 12 MKs from the Jewish Home, 28 MKs from Likud-Beitenu [if you exclude Netanyahu, Tzahi Hanegbi, and maybe Sylvan Shalom], and at least 2/3 of the 18 MKs from the two ultra-orthodox parties).

 

Nati Sharoni pledged to “get rid of the occupied territories” and played a short movie by Dror Moreh, the author of The Gatekeepers. The movie explains (with soft background music) how to ethnically cleanse Judea and Samaria from its Jews.

 

Danny Dayan claimed that a two-state solution is unreachable because the gap is too wide between the maximum that Israel is willing to offer and the minimum that the Palestinians are willing to accept (as proven by Abbas’ rejection of Olmert’s proposal). He suggested improving the status quo by granting the Palestinians full civil rights under the rule of the Palestinian Authority, while maintaining Israel’s exclusive security prerogatives.

 

To which Shlomo Avineri replied that Dayan’s proposal meant denying the Palestinians full national rights, and that this constitutes an injustice. Finally there was a debate (this was the only interesting part of the panel). The difference between Shlomo Avineri and Dani Dayan on this issue is not that wide: Avineri doesn’t really believe that a solution is possible, but he wants to keep trying nevertheless. Dayan really doesn’t believe that there is a solution, and thinks it isn’t worth anyone’s time to keep banging your head against the wall.

 

But the debate between the two raised an important question: is it legitimate to grant the Palestinians full civil rights, but to deny them national rights?

 

My answer to this question is positive, for four reasons.

 

First, because the “Palestinians” do not constitute a genuine people. They are part of the Arab nation, a nation that has 22 states.

 

Second, because the Palestinian narrative is a fraud and because the Archimedean point (to use that expression again) of “Palestinism” is the destruction of Israel.

 

Third, because the Palestinians openly admit that they won’t tolerate any Jewish minority in the “Palestinian state” (by contrast, there is a significant Arab minority in the Jewish state).

 

Fourth, because such a state would inevitably be militarized, it would incite its population (as the PA currently does) against Israel and the Jews, it would eventually be run by Hamas, and it would be an ally of Israel’s worst enemies (especially Iran).

 

So, yes, there are very good reasons to grant the Palestinian Arabs full civil rights, but to deny them national rights.

 

As the panel was coming to an end, Barak Ravid tried very hard to find out if Netanyahu might actually take concrete steps toward the establishment of a Palestinian state (the dream of the Israeli Left). Shlomo Avineri said he didn’t think so because of Netanyahu’s “revisionist” upbringing. Referring to Netanyahu, Avineri said the following: “Beware of people who are true believers, because true believers never admit that they are wrong.”

 

Well said, professor. You obviously didn’t realize that you were unintentionally ridiculing the “two-state” believers such as yourself. But I had a good laugh: thank you for turning the Greek tragedy into a Broadway show.

 

Dr. Emmanuel Navon heads the Political Science and Communications Department at the Jerusalem Orthodox College, and teaches International Relations at Tel-Aviv University and at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya.

 

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On Topic

 

 

Jewish Enclaves in a Palestinian State?: Gideon Biger and Gilead Sher, INSS Insight, April 8, 2013 —A massive evacuation of settlements located outside the large settlement blocs, home to about 100,000 residents, will be necessary if future Israeli governments seek (or are required to) implement the principle implied by two states for two peoples.

What Really Happened in Jerusalem: Charles Krauthammer, Washington Post, March 28, 2013—“I honestly believe that if any Israeli parent sat down with those [Palestinian] kids, they’d say, ‘I want these kids to succeed.’ ” — Barack Obama, in Jerusalem, March 21. Very true. But how does the other side feel about Israeli kids?

Borderline Views: the Obama and Kerry Map: David Newman, Jerusalem Post, Apr. 8, 2013—What is required is an innovative way of thinking about borders and their relationship to independence and citizenship.

Obama to Push Saudi “Destroy Israel” Peace Plan: Daniel Greenfield, Front Page Magazine, April 8, 2013—Obama’s love bombing trip to Israel was heavy on flattery and light on substance, but by the end of it Israel had been pressured into surrendering to Islamist Turkey and Hamas had gotten improved access to Israel. It was the first “accomplishment” of Obama’s trip. But not the last. 

 

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Ber Lazarus, Publications Editor, Canadian Institute for Jewish ResearchL'institut Canadien de recherches sur le Judaïsme, www.isranet.org

Tel: (514) 486-5544 – Fax:(514) 486-8284 ; ber@isranet.org

ISRAEL/PA/HAMAS—NO FINAL AGREEMENTS IN THE OFFING; PA’S DEMOCRACY MISSING-IN-ACTION & AGING ABBAS, PA’S LAST PRESIDENT?

Download Today's Isranet Daily Briefing.pdf 

 

Contents:                          

(Please Note: articles may have been shortened in the interest of space. Please click link for the complete article – Ed.)

 

 

The Time for a Final Status Agreement Has Passed: Dore Gold, Algemeiner, Feb. 18, 2013In light of developments over the last few years, there has been a growing realization in Israel that the chances of reaching a complete final status agreement with the Palestinians are presently extremely small.

 

Palestine’s Democratic Deficit: David Keyes, New York Times, Feb. 12, 2013Last week, a 26-year-old Palestinian activist, Anas Awwad, was sentenced in absentia by a court in Nablus, the West Bank, to one year in prison for “extending his tongue” against the Palestinian Authority’s president, Mahmoud Abbas, on Facebook.

Is Abbas the Last Palestinian Authority President?: Mudar Zahran, Jerusalem Post, Feb. 6, 2013After Israel’s most recent military operation in Gaza, which ended with a cease-fire, Hamas has been claiming victory and enjoying popularity with the Palestinians, which comes as a setback for Hamas’s rivals: P.A. President Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah faction.

 

On Topic Links

 

 

Fatah and Hamas Consider Interim Agreement to Manage Split: Daoud Kuttab, Al-Monitor, Feb. 20, 2013

 

Is Territorial Discontinuity a Real Obstacle?: Giovanni Quer, Jerusalem Post, Feb. 18, 2013

The Case for Judea and Samaria: Michael Freund, Jerusalem Post, Feb. 18, 2013

The Neighboring Kingdom of Mahmoud Abbas: Calev Meyers, Times of Israel, February 20, 2013

IDF: Expect Intifada, Not Talks with Palestinian Authority: Chana Ya'ar, Israel National News, Feb. 21, 2013

 

 

 

THE TIME FOR A FINAL STATUS AGREEMENT HAS PASSED

Dore Gold

Algemeiner, Feb.18, 2013

 

In light of developments over the last few years, there has been a growing realization in Israel that the chances of reaching a complete final status agreement with the Palestinians are presently extremely small. This is not just an ideological position coming out of certain quarters in Israel, but it is also the professional view of practitioners who have been involved in the political process itself.

 

Last June in an interview in Haaretz, Professor Itamar Rabinovich, Israel’s former ambassador to Washington and head negotiator with Syria, reached this very conclusion. He added, as part of his proof of this point, that “the bold proposals” by former prime ministers Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert were not even responded to by the Palestinians. Looking back on Olmert’s far-reaching proposals, Mahmoud Abbas himself told The Washington Post on May 29, 2009 that the gaps between the parties were just too wide.

 

There were other voices that reinforced this conclusion. At the end of 2009, Hussein Agha, who has advised Palestinian leaders over the last two decades, and Robert Malley, who was a member of President Clinton’s National Security Council also wrote in the New York Review of Books: “As currently defined and negotiated, a conflict-ending settlement is practically unachievable; even if signed it will not be implemented and even if implemented it will not be sustained.”

 

Events since that time have not made diplomatic movement any easier. What is called the “Arab Spring,” among other things led to the fall of President Mubarak, Abbas’ main regional source of support. Instead a Muslim Brotherhood regime came to power thereby strengthening Abbas’ Hamas rivals. Given the new regional realities that Israel was facing, even Rabinovich warned in Haaretz: “I would not advise entering into far-reaching territorial concessions in a situation of uncertainty.”

 

And yet there is new push underway to move forward with new negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians with the hope of concluding an agreement between them. Britain’s Foreign Secretary William Hague was just in Washington meeting with Secretary of State John Kerry where he called on the Obama administration “to inject the necessary momentum on this issue.” In December, he admitted in the House of Commons that he was consulting with the French and the Germans on how to put pressure on the U.S. to launch a new initiative. There was a diplomatic rumour in January that the Europeans wanted Kerry to put down on the table the parameters of a final settlement before Israel and the Palestinians, including a withdrawal to the 1967 lines.

 

Thus Israel finds itself in a paradoxical situation: just as international pressures are increasing for it to make new concessions in order to restart and advance the political process, there is a growing realization in Israel that the kind of final status agreement that the international community is hoping will be concluded is not about to happen. The Palestinian side knows this as well.

 

Moreover, there is a more fundamental question for Israel about how it should proceed in an era of total uncertainty about whether half the regimes that are currently in power in the Middle East will even be there in a few years. The Muslim Brotherhood, which even beyond Egypt is the main beneficiary of the Arab Spring, has been connected to plots against the governments of Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates. Its revolutionary drive in the region is likely to gain new momentum should Islamist forces take control of Syria.

 

How exactly does the Arab Spring influence Israeli military-strategic considerations? Is Israeli caution warranted here as well? Some try to make the argument that the conventional military threat to Israel is undergoing a transformation allowing Israel to make the very sort of new concessions that the Europeans are demanding.

 

With neighbouring armies, like that of Syria, involved in domestic upheavals, their conventional forces have been badly degraded. Would that mean that Israel can withdraw from territories that in the past were regarded as vital but whose importance may have changed? Historically, Israel based its security on a small standing army that had to neutralize the numerically superior standing forces of its Arab neighbours. To accomplish this goal, the IDF was structured around its reserve formations that would reach their full strength along Israel’s front lines after 48 hours of mobilization.

 

When Yigal Allon, Israel’s deputy prime minister and former commander of the Palmach, first presented his idea of defensible borders for Israel after the 1967 Six-Day War, it was partly based on the idea of providing Israel’s small standing army the topographical conditions it needed to withstand a surprise attack and fight against superior forces, until the reserve formations arrived. But if Israel no longer has to contend with this sort of threat, then could it pull out of the Jordan Valley, which previously every Israeli prime minister from Rabin to Sharon saw as Israel’s forward defence line?

 

This would be an irresponsible conclusion. First of all, the Arab states are likely to build up their conventional armies again in the future once their internal political situation becomes more stable; already Egypt has no problem seeking 200 additional Abrams tanks from the U.S., which will bolster the strength of its armoured forces. Others will follow suit in the years ahead. After all, decisiveness in wars is still a function of the movement of ground armies, and their manoeuvring units, and not the employment of air power alone. America’s two wars against Iraq proved that point conclusively in 1991 and 2003.

 

Secondly, in the immediate term, there is a new ground threat to Israel from terrorist organizations, many of which have many of the attributes of a fully equipped army. In May 2011, former Secretary of Defence Robert Gates noted that Hezbollah had more rockets and missiles than most states. The lethality of terrorist organizations has also dramatically increased with their acquisition of shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles, shore-to ship missiles, and advanced explosives that are far more potent than anything they used before.

 

The growing capabilities of the international terrorist organizations in the Middle East has reached such a scale that they have even become challenging for the region’s regular armies. In Sinai, the Egyptian army fought regularly with al-Qaida in the area of Jabal Hilal, where an Egyptian general was killed in one battle. The Syrian Army has been repeatedly defeated by an al-Qaida affiliate in Syria, known as Jabhat al-Nusra, which has been equipped through Syria’s porous borders. In short, the Arab Spring has led to a different but no less challenging security environment for Israel that will affect how we view the question of our future boundaries.

 

Third, it would be a dangerous error to dismiss the possibility that terrorist organizations will attempt to acquire weapons of mass destruction and use them against their adversaries. Hezbollah is an extension of the Iranian security establishment. Should Tehran be permitted to cross the nuclear threshold, it would be a cardinal error to simply dismiss the possibility that Hezbollah would not eventually get to share in this technology. Hezbollah would not need ballistic missiles; it could put a nuclear device in the same sort of truck it used against the Marine Barracks in Beirut during 1983 or against Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia in 1996.

 

Al-Qaida in Iraq already planned a chemical weapons attack in Amman, Jordan in 2004 that was thwarted. Should Syria’s chemical arsenal fall into the hands of the jihadist groups currently fighting the Assad regime, then unfortunately, non-conventional terror attacks may become more common against those who leave themselves vulnerable. Foreign Secretary Hague, who just warned on Feb. 14, during a speech at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) in London, about a new jihadist threat to Europe coming out of Syria should be the first one who understands the new position Israel finds itself in….

 

Israel learned the hard way the significance of its withdrawal from the Philadephi Route between the Gaza Strip and Sinai, which led to a qualitative leap in the weaponry that Hamas could smuggle and eventually deploy. Before its 2005 disengagement from the Gaza Strip the only rocket that Hamas fired was the short-range Qassam. By 2006, Hamas was using longer-range Grad rockets from Iran against Ashkelon for the first time and enlarging the arc of Israeli cities it could target. In 2012, that arc extended even further once Hamas was equipped with Iranian Fajr rockets that it fired at Tel Aviv. Hamas in Gaza also acquired shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles from Iran and later from Libya’s arsenal, after the fall of Gadhafi. In Oct. 2012, Hamas fired its first SA-7 against an Israeli helicopter.

 

Israel has three choices given the diplomatic reality that it faces. It can just give up and make the concessions that the Europeans are demanding that the Obama administration impose, but that would put the Israeli population in a precarious position that no responsible government could agree to. It can say that given the uncertainty it faces, now is not the time for any diplomatic initiatives.

 

But it could also indicate that it is willing to explore new ideas with the Palestinians, as long as its vital security interests are not undercut, but are fully protected instead. Both sides should seek to reach agreements where possible, leaving harder issues for later. Europe could play a positive role if it encouraged the Palestinians to reach more limited arrangements with Israel instead of insisting on the kind of Israeli concessions for final status agreement that did not lead to a peace treaty before and are unlikely to produce a stable peace today.

 

The result of all this talk coming out of Europe about getting the U.S. to impose a solution will be completely self-defeating as it hardens the Palestinian readiness to come to the negotiating table — since Israel will be delivered on a silver platter anyway — and makes any real diplomatic progress more difficult than ever.

 

Dore Gold  is the current President of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. He also served as an advisor to former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during his first term in office.

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PALESTINE’S DEMOCRATIC DEFICIT

David Keyes

New York Times, Feb. 12, 2013

 

Last week, a 26-year-old Palestinian activist, Anas Awwad, was sentenced in absentia by a court in Nablus, the West Bank, to one year in prison for “extending his tongue” against the Palestinian Authority’s president, Mahmoud Abbas, on Facebook. Thousands have joined a Facebook group to show their solidarity with Mr. Awwad, but the damage has been done. Free speech has been set back, and a chill sent throughout Palestinian society.

 

It should come as no surprise that the Palestinian Authority is cracking down on basic freedoms. From the top down, a culture of repression reigns supreme. President Abbas’s term ended four years ago. He has clung to power as an unelected autocrat for nearly half a decade. In November, a senior adviser to Mr. Abbas, Mohammad Shtayyeh, told me that Mr. Abbas had no desire to continue ruling, but that he simply could not leave because of the divisions in Palestinian society. Suppressing criticism by resorting to a 50-year-old Jordanian law — designed to punish critics of Jordan’s monarchy when it ruled over the West Bank — has not helped burnish the questionable democratic credentials Mr. Abbas so often claims when meeting Western leaders.

 

This is not the first time the Palestinian Authority has used antiquated laws to clamp down on Internet activists.  Last year, the Palestinian blogger Jamal Abu Rihan was arrested for starting a Facebook campaign called “The People Want an End to Corruption.”  Like Mr. Awwad, Mr. Rihan’s crime was “extending his tongue” against the Palestinian leadership.  In April, the university lecturer Ismat Abdul-Khaleq was arrested for criticizing Mr. Abbas on Facebook.  Days later, a journalist, Tarek Khamis, was detained for criticizing the Palestinian Authority’s treatment of Ms. Abdul-Khaleq. George Canawati, the director of a Bethlehem radio station, and the journalist Rami Samar were similarly detained for posting criticisms of the Palestinian Authority on Facebook. 

 

So long as Mr. Abbas says he is committed to peace, there appears to be little pressure from the West on issues of human rights. Human rights for Palestinians, it seems, continue to play second fiddle to the peace process. A good indicator of how committed a government is to upholding peace with its neighbors is its commitment to protecting the human rights of its own citizens.  Nations that disregard the freedoms of their own people are not likely to care much about maintaining peace with their historic enemies. Palestinian human rights, in other words, are key to the peace process. 

 

In Gaza, where Hamas shuts down social media conferences, represses women, tortures dissidents and arrests journalists, there is scant hope for constructive steps toward regional peace.  With the latest crackdown on free speech, the Palestinian Authority seems to be moving in a worryingly similar direction when it comes to human rights. Last August, in a speech encouraging jihad against enemies who set foot on Muslim land, the deputy speaker of the Hamas parliament, Ahmad Bahr, called on God to kill all Jews and Americans as well as their supporters. “Count them one by one, and kill them all, without leaving a single one” he said.

 

Rather than repudiating such genocidal rhetoric, when an Al Jazeera interviewer asked Mr. Abbas last year if there were political and ideological differences between his party, Fatah, and Hamas, he replied, “In all honesty, there are no disagreements between us.” But there should be enormous — indeed unbridgeable — gaps between any potential peace partner and a terrorist organization that acts tyrannically and calls for the annihilation of a people.

 

The sentencing of Mr. Awwad reminds us that despite rhetoric to the contrary, the Palestinian Authority has little respect for democracy and freedom of speech. Rather than continuing to give Mr. Abbas a free pass, the West should roundly criticize crackdowns on dissidents and stand firmly with Palestinian democrats. A positive first step would be linking Western economic aid to the Palestinian Authority’s respect for free speech. Human rights, too often seen as a diversion from the peace process, are in fact the secret to it. 

 

David Keyes is executive director of Advancing Human Rights.

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IS ABBAS THE LAST PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY PRESIDENT?

Mudar Zahran

Jerusalem Post, Feb. 6, 2013

 

After Israel’s most recent military operation in Gaza, which ended with a cease-fire, Hamas has been claiming victory and enjoying popularity with the Palestinians, which comes as a setback for Hamas’s rivals; Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah faction. With Hamas popularity on the rise, Abbas was left with one desperate option to boost his image: pressing his quest for UN recognition of Palestine as an independent state.

 

Still, Abbas has other problems in his own house; there is friction within Abbas’s Fatah, as Abbas’s rival, Muhammad Dahlan, is still very influential and has a huge following. Dahlan was a senior member of the Fatah Central Committee and the chief of the Palestinian Preventive Security Service. For years, he served as the main Palestinian counterterrorism coordination figure with Israel. Abbas’s Fatah managed to expel Dahlan in June 2011 following allegations by Abbas that Dahlan had murdered Arafat using poison.

 

Dahlan lives in exile now, but he has the money and the followers to disrupt Abbas nonetheless, if not necessarily to topple him. It is not unlikely that rivalry between Abbas and Dahlan would evolve into further friction between their followers should Abbas exhibit further signs of weakness or step down. In addition, the Arab Spring has drawn attention from the Palestinian cause as a whole and from Abbas as the poster child for the Arab-Israeli conflict; the media now has Syria, Egypt and other hot-spots to cover over Abbas’s heart-felt speeches, or his meetings with world leaders.

 

As a result, Palestinians in the West Bank are no longer seeing Abbas in the international media, or mingling with world leaders, and are therefore focusing more on their miserable living conditions, which, as revealed by a recent poll by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, 70 percent of them believe are due to PA corruption.

 

Last October, prominent Israeli political scholar and Arabist Mordechai Kedar told a crowd in London that “the biggest victim of the Arab Spring is the Palestinian cause, as the world’s media is no longer occupied with it” – and with the fading significance of the Palestinian cause goes Abbas’s own significance. Adding to Abbas’s woes is that the Palestinians in the West Bank do not seem to be too enthusiastic about his quest to gain UN recognition for Palestine as an independent state. While Abbas’s UN stunt succeeded – Palestine is now an observer state in the UN – its very success could cause Abbas’s disappearance from the political scene, because the Oslo peace agreement requires the Palestinians to not unilaterally seek international recognition as a state, and therefore Abbas’s stunt gives Israel the full legal right to end Oslo altogether.

 

But say he does disappear, due to a “Palestinian Spring,” a coup by his rivals or even retirement – the man is 77 after all – would the PA survive? First of all, the PA is not favoured within its own jurisdiction, as confirmed by the above-mentioned poll by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research. In 2005, renowned scholar Daniel Pipes reported Palestinians under the PA were already saying that “Israel’s hell was better than Arafat’s paradise,” and considering that Arafat had much more credit with the Palestinians than does Abbas, one can only imagine how Palestinians would view a PA without even Abbas.

 

In fact, a 2011 poll conducted by Pechter Middle East Polls in partnership with the Council on Foreign Relations, when asked if they preferred to become a citizen of Palestine, with all of the rights and privileges of other citizens of Palestine, or a citizen of Israel, only 30 percent chose Palestinian citizenship.” True, Abbas’s second in command, Palestinian Prime Minister Salaam Fayad, has a reputation for transparency and decency, but since Abbas appointed him in June 2007, the Palestinian Legislative Council has not confirmed his appointment. It is therefore, unlikely he would be able to secure the presidency.

 

With no heir apparent for Abbas, who could secure public support and control the various military factions? With the PA’s reputation for corruption and the disapproval of it among the Palestinian public, it is possible that the PA’s future will be in jeopardy if Abbas steps down, quits, or retires. While there are a few who argue that the West Bank should be handed to the Hashemite regime in Jordan, King Abdullah faces his own domestic challenges. Despite the media’s low coverage of unrest in Jordan, there is an on-going, relentless public call to topple the Hashemite regime. Those hoping the Jordanian regime could play a future role in the West Bank ignore the possibility that the Hashemite regime itself might not exist in the near future.

 

It is about time those concerned with peace and regional stability start considering contingency plans for a West Bank without Abbas, and possibly even without the Palestinian Authority. There is much to consider, and not necessarily as much time.

 

The writer is a Palestinian-Jordanian living in the UK.

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Is Territorial Discontinuity a Real Obstacle?: Giovanni Quer, Jerusalem Post, Feb. 18, 2013November 19, the UN Security Council voted on a resolution against Israel for the government’s decision to build in the settlements and east Jerusalem. The resolution was vetoed by the US, but European members of the Security Council, including France, the UK, Germany and Portugal, together with India and South Africa, adopted a joint declaration of condemnation for the building plan.

 

 

The Case for Judea and Samaria: Michael Freund, Jerusalem Post, Feb. 18, 2013At the end of January, the United Nations Human Rights Council declared war on Israel, issuing one of the harshest reports against the Jewish state in recent memory. Replete with falsehoods and half-truths, the document is a chilling assault aimed at undermining the legitimacy of Israel’s presence in Judea and Samaria.

 

The Neighboring Kingdom of Mahmoud Abbas: Calev Meyers, Times of Israel, February 20, 2013Anas Awwad, a 26 year old Palestinian Authority resident, was recently sentenced to one year in prison by a Palestinian court in Nablus. What was Awwad’s heinous crime? He dared to upload a post to his Facebook page displaying a photo of Mahmoud Abbas kicking a soccer ball, with the caption, “Real Madrid’s New Striker.” The Palestinian court found Awwad guilty of breaking a Jordanian law, which forbids “cursing the king.”

 

IDF: Expect Intifada, not Talks with Palestinian Authority: Chana Ya'ar, Israel National News, Feb. 21, 2013Israel's military is training for the possibility the Palestinian Authority may soon launch a formal third intifada. A senior IDF officer warned Thursday morning during an interview on Army Radio that army analysts believe it is likely the PA will choose to launch an intifada over returning to the negotiating table for final status talks with Israel.

 

 

Fatah and Hamas Consider Interim Agreement to Manage Split: Daoud Kuttab, Al-Monitor, Feb. 20, 2013While all indications, actions on the ground and public statements appear to show movement in the Palestinian national-reconciliation process, the reality is that it is still facing stumbling blocks.

 

 

Visit CIJR’s Bi-Weekly Webzine: Israzine.

CIJR’s ISRANET Daily Briefing is available by e-mail.
Please urge colleagues, friends, and family to visit our website for more information on our ISRANET series.
To join our distribution list, or to unsubscribe, visit us at http://www.isranet.org/.

The ISRANET Daily Briefing is a service of CIJR. We hope that you find it useful and that you will support it and our pro-Israel educational work by forwarding a minimum $90.00 tax-deductible contribution [please send a cheque or VISA/MasterCard information to CIJR (see cover page for address)]. All donations include a membership-subscription to our respected quarterly ISRAFAX print magazine, which will be mailed to your home.

CIJR’s ISRANET Daily Briefing attempts to convey a wide variety of opinions on Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish world for its readers’ educational and research purposes. Reprinted articles and documents express the opinions of their authors, and do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of the Canadian Institute for Jewish Research.

 

 

Ber Lazarus, Publications Editor, Canadian Institute for Jewish ResearchL'institut Canadien de recherches sur le Judaïsme, www.isranet.org

Tel: (514) 486-5544 – Fax:(514) 486-8284 ; ber@isranet.org