Tag: Fatah


Palestinian Statehood: An Idea Whose Time Has Passed: Stephen M. Flatow, Algemeiner, Dec. 8, 2016— John Kerry and J Street are worried — because they see their cherished dream of a Palestinian state slipping away.

President Trump and the Art of the ‘Ultimate’ Israel-Palestine Peace Deal: Elliott Abrams & Uri Sadot, Foreign Policy, Dec. 4, 2016 — Donald Trump described an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement as “the ultimate deal.”

Abbas' Fatah Victory: Prof. Eyal Zisser, Israel Hayom, Dec. 4, 2016 — Anyone who expected to see dramatic headlines from the discussions of the Seventh Conference of the Fatah Movement, which met last week in Ramallah, met with disappointment.

The Palestinian Jihads Against Israel: Khaled Abu Toameh, Gatestone Institute, Dec. 13, 2016— The Palestinian Islamist movement, Hamas, which is currently celebrating the 29th anniversary of its founding, misses no opportunity to broadcast its stated reason for being: to wage jihad (holy war) in order to achieve its goal of destroying Israel.


On Topic Links


Israel's Prime Minister Welcomes Trump Presidency: Lesley Stahl, 60 Minutes, Dec. 11, 2016

Abbas in a Race Against Time to Choose Successor: Yoni Ben Menachem, JCPA, Nov. 24, 2016

Settlement Bill Marks a Revolutionary Moment in Israeli History: Tovah Lazaroff, Jerusalem Post, Dec. 7, 2016

The UN's Palestine Language: A.J. Caschetta, Gatestone Institute, Nov. 30, 2016




Stephen M. Flatow                                                       

Algemeiner, Dec. 8, 2016


John Kerry and J Street are worried — because they see their cherished dream of a Palestinian state slipping away. Kerry’s criticism of Israel at the Saban Forum on December 4 attracted a lot of attention. But the transcript of his remarks reveals an important moment that the media overlooked. Just as he was about to denounce Israel’s policies, Kerry suddenly turned to the audience and said:


“By the way, just let me ask a question. Raise your hands. I mean, I know some of you may not want to acknowledge it, but how many of you believe in a two-state solution, believe two states is critical? Okay, it’s the vast majority of people here. How many of you don’t — are willing to say so? There’s one hand up, one, two — maybe a few of you don’t want to say.”


Kerry is clearly worried that public support for Palestinian statehood is slipping away. And he’s not the only one. Last week, J Street sent a letter to its supporters in which it complained that the Republican Party left Palestinian statehood out of its platform this year, and that the American Israel Public Affairs Committee reportedly left the issue out of a talking points sheet that it recently distributed.


Here’s another reason for Kerry and J Street to worry. Speaking at the Jewish Media Summit in Jerusalem — also on December 4, Israeli MK Michael Oren said that the election of Donald Trump “spells the end of the two-state solution.” Oren is not some extremist. He is the widely respected former Israeli ambassador to the US, a representative of the moderate Kulanu Party, and himself a supporter of Palestinian statehood (with certain limitations).


It’s time to read the writing on the wall: Palestinian statehood is an idea whose time has passed. But it’s not as if creating a Palestinian state is some kind of cherished principle that has been recognized and supported by everybody since time immemorial. In fact, it’s a very recent proposal, and it has always been fraught with problems. There have been 12 US presidents since 1948. Only two (George W. Bush and Barack Obama) advocated creating a Palestinian state.


I’m not including those who advocated Palestinian statehood after they left office, namely Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton. When presidents are in office, they need to deal with the real world, which is why a bad idea like creating a Palestinian state has never come to fruition. Once presidents no longer have to deal with real-world consequences, they feel free to advocate any irresponsible policy that suits their post-presidential convenience.


There have been 12 different Israeli prime ministers since the Jewish state was established in 1948. Only two of them (Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert) advocated creating a Palestinian state. I’m not including Benjamin Netanyahu, because his concept of a fully demilitarized “Palestine” that accepts Israel as a Jewish state is so far removed from what the Palestinians and their supporters demand, that his position is really only hypothetical.


There have always been two arguments in favor of creating a Palestinian state. Neither of them has withstood the test of time. The first was that Yasser Arafat and the Palestinian Arabs had given up their goal of destroying Israel and had forsaken terrorism. According to this argument, they had changed their ways, so they could be trusted with their own state in Israel’s backyard.


This argument faced two major tests, and failed both times. President George H.W. Bush accepted this argument shortly after his election in 1988, and recognized Arafat and the Palestine Liberation Organization. Eighteen months later, when a major PLO faction tried to attack Israeli beachgoers in Tel Aviv and the nearby US embassy, Bush realized he had been wrong and ended his relationship with Arafat. Then the US recognized Arafat and the PLO a second time, after the Oslo Accords were signed in 1993. That blew up when Arafat tried to smuggle 50 tons of weapons into Gaza on the Karine A in 2002.


The second argument for a Palestinian state was what became known as the “demographic time bomb” — the claim that because of the high Arab birthrate, Israel would need to agree to a Palestinian state or will become an apartheid-like ruler over the Palestinians. Yitzhak Rabin resolved that problem. In 1995, he withdrew Israel’s forces from the cities where 98 percent of the Palestinians reside. Now they are residents of the Palestinian Authority, and they vote in Palestinian elections. They will never be Israeli citizens, will never vote in Israeli elections and will never threaten Israel’s Jewish demographic majority.


So Arafat settled the first debate, and Rabin settled the second. It is now plain as day that the Palestinians have not given up terrorism or forsaken their goal of destroying Israel, and would use a Palestinian state to advance that goal. There may be no solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in our generation; not all international conflicts have solutions. One thing has now become clear: a Palestinian state next to Israel is not the solution.                                      



PRESIDENT TRUMP AND THE ART OF THE                                                       

‘ULTIMATE’ ISRAEL-PALESTINE PEACE DEAL                                                                            

Elliott Abrams & Uri Sadot                                                                                           

Foreign Policy, Dec. 4, 2016


Donald Trump described an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement as “the ultimate deal.” As his administration takes shape and begins to look at the problems it will inherit from President Obama, it would do well to avoid the mistakes of the outgoing administration that doomed its attempt at Middle East peacemaking. Even Obama supporters should use this moment to reflect on a key question: Why have eight years of intensive diplomacy led to little or no results at all?


Obama’s policy was set on his second full day in office, Jan. 22, 2009, with the appointment of George Mitchell as special envoy for Middle East peace. That decision ushered in a strategy heavily focused on Israeli settlements rather than on encouraging practical steps to improve the security and livelihood of the people it supposedly endeavored to help. The administration immediately demanded an absolute freeze on Israeli housing construction not only in the entire West Bank, including in the major blocks that Israel will obviously keep in any peace agreement, but also in Israel’s capital of Jerusalem.


This was a precondition for peace negotiations, Mitchell and Obama said, because settlements were gobbling up land and closing the window for a future negotiation that would partition territory between Israel and a future Palestinian state. The strategy, however, was blind to both the facts and their implications on the ground. Since no Israeli government will agree to stop Jews from building homes in their capital, and with the Palestinian leadership reluctant to negotiate even under these far-reaching terms, peace talks never got off the ground in Obama’s first term. What did the administration learn from all of this? Not much. A repeated effort led by Secretary of State John Kerry four years later — driven by similar logic — predictably ended once again in failure.


Developments that have had massive influence on Israeli public opinion, like the deteriorating prospects for peace in Gaza despite removal of all Israeli settlements there, were viewed from the White House and the State Department as irrelevant. Instead, the Obama administration focused on the construction of homes as the primary threat to a negotiated peace. Just two months ago, a State Department spokesman said “Israelis must ultimately decide between expanding settlements and preserving the possibility of a peaceful two state solution.”


As we approach the 50th anniversary of the “occupation” the State Department keeps calling unsustainable, it is past time to reexamine basic assumptions that have guided the U.S. pursuit of a peace agreement over the past eight years. A series of American administrations have dedicated endless efforts to reach that two-state solution — Bill Clinton did it, as did George W. Bush and Condoleezza Rice, and likewise Barack Obama and John Kerry. None acted as if they believed the two-state solution was dead or dying, despite comments like Kerry’s in 2013 that in a year or two hopes of a settlement would be “over.” Nor does the State Department today, despite its warnings of impending doom.


The bright side is that despite all that doomsday rhetoric, and despite Obama’s failure to secure his goal of a long-term freeze of settlement construction, not much has changed in the status quo during his two terms. A careful look into the numbers shows that neither the population balance between Jews and Palestinians, nor the options for partition in the West Bank have materially changed.


Here is the breakdown on what changed during Obama’s term in office. According to Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics, outside the five major block townships, a total of 6,818 housing units were approved for construction in West Bank settlements between January 2009 and June 2016. That would suggest a population increase of up to 34,000 people, assuming five people per unit. A separate analysis of voter registration data between February 2009 and March 2015 shows an increase of approximately 20,000 residents in the 70 settlements that are outside the major blocks, averaging about 4 percent growth per year.


While it is difficult to get an exact picture of population growth in the West Bank settlements, the ranges are clear. Israeli population in the settlements is growing, but at a rate that reflects mostly births in families already there, and not in-migration of new settlers.


Meanwhile, the Palestinian population is also growing. According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, the Palestinian population of the West Bank, excluding Jerusalem, has increased from 2.1 million in mid-2009 to 2.5 million in mid-2016, thus growing at close to 3 percent a year. That means that in comparative terms, the demographic balance between Israelis and Palestinians in the West Bank has changed very little since Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu’s entry to office. Considering all that data, the working assumptions guiding Obama’s policy — as well as the administration’s alarmist predictions — were simply and flatly wrong…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link           





ABBAS' FATAH VICTORY                    

Prof. Eyal Zisser

Israel Hayom, Dec. 4, 2016


Anyone who expected to see dramatic headlines from the discussions of the Seventh Conference of the Fatah Movement, which met last week in Ramallah, met with disappointment. The headline actually came from head of Israeli military intelligence, Maj. Gen. Herzl Halevi, who assessed that 2017 would see escalation and instability in Judea and Samaria, mostly due to the battle to succeed PA President Mahmoud Abbas, who is already 81 years old.


The fact that the news came from Tel Aviv and not from Ramallah illustrates that the Palestinians' fate is, again, not in their own hand and that the Palestinian national movement is backtracking to where it started, a tool in the hands of the various Arab countries, who dictated what it would decide upon and do. Then, like today, others have their fingers in the Palestinian pie. These include Egypt, which supports Abbas' rival Mohammed Dahlan as heir to the Palestinian throne after Abbas. Jordan, which prevented many of the conference delegates from arriving through its territory, and Qatar and Turkey, as well as Iran in the background, all of whom want to see Hamas in power throughout the PA. We can't forget Israel, under whose auspices the PA exists, and under whose watchful eyes the Ramallah conference took place.


At last week's conference, Abbas was elected for another five-year term. The institutions that would choose his successor were also elected: 21 members of the Fatah Central Committee and 51 members of its Supreme Committee. Only about 1,400 delegates took part in the conference, compared to the 2,600 who attended the conference seven years ago, which means that hundreds of participants would might have bolstered Abbas' rival and guaranteed that he was elected as his successor were kept away…


Ahead of the conference, Dahlan declared that he had no intention of running for PA president and that he supported Marwan Barghouti, who is imprisoned in Israel, as the next Palestinian leader. But at the same time, he put together an alternative conference to take place in Egypt and promote him as successor to Abbas.


Hamas' situation isn't much better. In April, the movement is slated to elect a new leader, but it's doubtful that he will be able to improve Hamas' relations with Egypt, which has effectively imposed a siege on the Gaza Strip, and bring about the economic and security stability that will ensure that Hamas remains in power in Gaza. It seems that the Palestinians are still refraining from the tough decisions their situation demands, and cannot unite around a legitimate, effective leadership and start out on a new path, which would be tough for the Palestinians to swallow, as any concession or compromise always is.


And on the sidelines, one interesting announcement did come out of the conference discussions when Abbas said that thanks to the Oslo Accords, which met with resistance among some Palestinian sectors, some 600,000 Palestinians had "returned" to Judea and Samaria. That declaration comes after candidate for the throne Dahlan said back in the days of the Second Intifada that thanks to the Oslo Accords and the founding of the PA, the number of Israelis wounded and killed had risen from a few in the First Intifada to over 1,000 in the Second Intifada. This was due to suicide bombers deployed by terrorist infrastructures that were operating unhindered in Palestinian cities governed by the PA. Israel should take note of both statements.







THE PALESTINIAN JIHADS AGAINST ISRAEL                                                            

Khaled Abu Toameh

                      Gatestone Institute, Dec. 13, 2016


The Palestinian Islamist movement, Hamas, which is currently celebrating the 29th anniversary of its founding, misses no opportunity to broadcast its stated reason for being: to wage jihad (holy war) in order to achieve its goal of destroying Israel. Those who allege that Hamas is moving toward pragmatism and moderation might take note.


Last week, tens of thousands of Palestinians took to the streets of the Gaza Strip to participate in rallies marking the anniversary of the founding of Hamas. As in previous years, the rallies were held under the motto of jihad and "armed resistance" until the liberation of all Palestine, from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. Another message that emerged loud and clear from the rallies: Hamas will never recognize Israel's right to exist.


This year's rallies once again also served as a reminder of the enormous popularity that Hamas continues to enjoy among Palestinians — not only in the Gaza Strip, but also in the West Bank, where supporters of the Islamist movement celebrated the occasion, but on a smaller scale and with a lower profile, out of fear of the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Israeli security forces. Khalil Al-Haya, a senior Hamas official, outlined in a speech before his supporters in the Gaza Strip his movement's strategy, namely to pursue the fight until the elimination of Israel. "We will not recognize Israel because it will inevitably go away," he declared.


"And we will not backtrack on the option of armed struggle until the liberation of all Palestine. Since its establishment, Hamas has been — and will remain — a Palestinian Islamic national and resistance movement whose goal is to liberate Palestine and confront the Israeli project. The liberation of the Gaza Strip is just the first step toward the liberation of Palestine — all Palestine. There is no future for the Israeli entity on our homeland."


When Hamas leaders talk about the "liberation" of the Gaza Strip, they are referring to the total unilateral Israeli disengagement from that area in 2005. Hamas and many Palestinians have never viewed the full withdrawal from the Gaza Strip as a gesture on the part of Israel. Nor have they ever considered the disengagement as a sign that Israel is no longer interested in controlling the lives of nearly two million Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip.


On the contrary, Hamas and many Palestinians continue to see the Israeli disengagement from the Gaza Strip as a sign of weakness. In fact, this disengagement is why Hamas won the Palestinian parliamentary election in 2006, when it took credit for driving Israel out of the Gaza Strip through suicide bombings and rockets. Back then, this abandonment of land by Israel drove the Palestinian vote for Hamas. It also explains why many Palestinians continue to support Hamas — because they still believe that violence is the way to defeat Israel.


Many Palestinians see Israeli concessions, gestures and unilateral moves as proof of capitulation, rather than positive signs testifying to Israel's peaceful intentions. These "concessions for peace" by Israel further increases Palestinians' appetite for launching armed attacks against Israel. Today, many Palestinians are convinced that they can achieve more through stabbings, vehicular rammings and shooting attacks than sitting with Israel at the negotiating table.


The Qatar-based Hamas leader, Khaled Mashaal, seized the anniversary as an opportunity once again to remind everyone of his movement's real goals. Speaking on the Al-Jazeera TV network, which serves as a platform for the Muslim Brotherhood organization (Hamas is an offshoot of Muslim Brotherhood), Mashaal said: "We are moving forward with our resistance to achieve our national project… We are looking forward to liberating Palestine and cleansing the Al-Aqsa Mosque and protecting it from division and demolition. We also seek the return of the refugees to their homeland and the liberation of our prisoners from Israeli jails."


When he talks about "cleansing" Al-Aqsa Mosque, the Hamas leader is referring to Jewish visits to the Temple Mount. Hamas and the Palestinian Authority have been exploiting these visits to incite their people against Israel. They claim that Jewish visitors are "desecrating" the holy site and should not be allowed to set foot there. These words mirror those used by President Mahmoud Abbas, who said that Palestinians will not allow Jews to "defile with their filthy feet" the Al-Aqsa Mosque (although no Jew has entered the mosque itself).


Mashaal, who in the past few years has been living as royalty in Qatar (the country that is the main patron of Muslim Brotherhood), went on to emphasize that Hamas has "not changed its strategy of liberating Palestine." He also said that, "Military work remains the backbone of liberation." Hamas, he added, "Continues to believe in the full liberation of Palestine and that jihad and resistance are the only means to expel the occupation and liberate Palestine and the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque." According to Mashaal, Hamas continues to look toward Arab and Islamic countries, including Iran, for the military, financial and political support to achieve its goal of destroying Israel.


Hamas's armed wing, Ezaddin Al-Qassam, boasted on this occasion that 22 of its men have been killed since the beginning of 2016, while preparing for the next war with Israel. Most of the Hamas men were killed when the tunnels in which they were working in collapsed. Hamas continues to build new tunnels and renovate those that were destroyed during the last war with Israel in 2014. Hamas says it wants to use these tunnels in the future to infiltrate Israel and kill or kidnap Israeli civilians or soldiers.


Ironically, while Hamas pursues its round-the-clock efforts to prepare for war against Israel, its leaders do not hesitate to depict themselves as victims, and warn of supposed Israeli plans to launch a "new aggression" against Palestinians. Hamas believes that Israel does not have the right to defend itself against rockets and terror attacks. It even considers Israel's self-defense as an "act of terror." Take, for example, Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum's recent assessment. Lashing out at U.S. aid to Israel, Barhoum said that the American military and financial aid to Israel constitutes "official support for terrorism."…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link




On Topic Links


Israel's Prime Minister Welcomes Trump Presidency: Lesley Stahl, 60 Minutes, Dec. 11, 2016 —Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tells 60 Minutes Israel has never been in a better place; part of his optimism relates to the election of Trump

Abbas in a Race Against Time to Choose Successor: Yoni Ben Menachem, JCPA, Nov. 24, 2016—Time is not on the side of 81-year-old Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas. His state of health is not the best, he has heart problems, and soon he will need medical treatment in Jordan after having already undergone a cardiac catheterization. His age is what it is, and his body is letting him know.

Settlement Bill Marks a Revolutionary Moment in Israeli History: Tovah Lazaroff, Jerusalem Post, Dec. 7, 2016—A bill that could be the first step toward annexation of Area C of the West Bank, and which would overturn almost 40 years of judicial rulings on private Palestinian property rights, was approved by a Knesset vote of 58:51 on its first reading Wednesday night.

The UN's Palestine Language: A.J. Caschetta, Gatestone Institute, Nov. 30, 2016—US President-elect Donald Trump won the White House promising to reform our dysfunctional government. But will he also stand up to the even more dysfunctional United Nations?




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Hamas Using Truce to Prepare for Next Clash with Israel: Yaakov Lappin, IPT, May 18, 2015— In the nine months since Hamas fought a 50-day war with Israel, the terrorist group has exploited the months of recent quiet to prepare itself for the next clash, which it assumes will inevitably come.

Fatah’s Armed Militias Warn Israelis: “You Must Leave!”: Khaled Abu Toameh, Breaking Israel News, May 25, 2015 — Many in the international community often refer to the Palestinian Fatah faction, which is headed by Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas, as a “moderate” group that believes in Israel’s right to exist and the two-state solution.

Return or Die?: Alexander Joffe & Asaf Romirowsky, American Interest, May 17, 2015 — Faced with the suffering of their own people, the Palestinians recently decided not to help. Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas rejected a deal with Israel brokered by the United Nations that would allow Palestinian refugees living in Syria to resettle in the West Bank and Gaza.

The Plight of Palestinian Women: Robert Fulford, National Post, Apr. 10, 2015— Their many admirers in the West like to depict Palestinians as innocent victims of imperialism, anxious to live free under their own state but tragically locked within boundaries imposed by Israel.


On Topic Links


Israeli Warplanes Strike Gaza Targets After Rocket Attack: Jerusalem Post, May 27, 2015

Hamas: Masters of Deception: Dr. Shaul Bartal, Israel Hayom, May 28, 2015

Palestine (State of): ‘Strangling Necks’ Abductions, Torture and Summary Killings of Palestinians by Hamas Forces During the 2014 Gaza/Israel Conflict: Amnesty International, May 26, 2015

Amnesty Using Hamas Crimes as Another Excuse to Attack Israel: Elder of Ziyon, Algemeiner, May 27, 2015



HAMAS USING TRUCE TO PREPARE FOR NEXT CLASH WITH ISRAEL                                                     

Yaakov Lappin                                                                                                            

IPT, May 18, 2015


In the nine months since Hamas fought a 50-day war with Israel, the terrorist group has exploited the months of recent quiet to prepare itself for the next clash, which it assumes will inevitably come. Hamas is in the midst of a full-scale rocket rearmament and tunnel reconstruction drive. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) is also preparing its responses for the next time the Gazan regime attacks.


Despite its extremist ideology, Hamas does not appear interested in sparking another costly and damaging war now, and yet, a large number of potential triggers are in place that could start one anyway. The military wing, the Izzadin Al-Qassam Brigades, has restarted its domestic rocket and mortar production program, and built, in all likelihood, more than 1,000 rockets since the Aug. 26 ceasefire went into effect. The new rockets include dozens of projectiles with a range of more than 75 kilometers, putting central Israeli cities in reach. By the end of Operation Protective Edge last year, Hamas was left with about 3,000 rockets – a third of its original stockpile.


Israel's Iron Dome anti-rocket batteries proved more than capable of shooting down volleys of incoming Gazan rockets that threatened populated areas in the last conflict, intercepting 580 incoming threats.


Despite Israel's effective air defenses, Hamas is pushing to produce more rockets, since they still have the ability to disrupt Israeli civilian life with air raid sirens, force millions to take cover, and harm Israel's economy. Due to Egypt's stringent policy of destroying smuggling tunnels, Hamas is not able to smuggle weapons in from outside, and uses metal workshops in Gaza to make rocket tubes and fins instead. It uses dual use materials like farming chemicals and mixes them together to create explosive warheads.


The IDF destroyed 32 cross-border attack tunnels last summer, which Hamas dug with the intention of injecting murder squads into southern Israel to kill and kidnap Israelis civilians and soldiers. Hamas had employed around 1,000 diggers at relatively low cost, and worked them in shifts to create the underground network. It linked the cross-border tunnels to a series of subterranean passages within Gaza itself. Such tunnels were used for the transport of arms and terrorists, out of view of Israel's air force and intelligence services. Should a new Hamas tunnel be found to cross the border into Israel again, violating Israeli sovereignty, another round of fighting could soon follow.


Meanwhile, the Gazan economy remains stagnant. A small percentage of the $5.4 billion pledged by international donors towards Gaza's reconstruction has reached the Strip. The hold-up in transferring the funds is rooted in an ongoing dispute between Gaza's rulers and the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority (PA), which governs Palestinians in the West Bank. A failure by the PA and Hamas to agree to a joint mechanism to receive the funds means that reconstruction is proceeding slower than a snail's pace. Tens of thousands of Gazan buildings that were damaged or destroyed in the 2014 conflict remain unrepaired.


Hamas, for its part, uses the resources it does have to rebuild its offensive military assets, largely ignoring the plight of Gazan civilians. The longer reconstruction is held up, the more the chances of a renewed conflict grow. Israel, being well aware of this possibility, is making efforts to facilitate the entry of reconstruction material. In April alone, according to figures from the IDF's Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, 63,468 tons of construction materials entered Gaza via Israeli crossings. Since October, 167,673 tons of construction material entered Gaza.


Gazan civilian pressure on Hamas could grow, and the military wing could find an excuse to initiate a new conflict: to force the international community to facilitate reconstruction. Such a move would be designed to deflect domestic pressure away from Hamas. When Hamas initiated war with Israel last June, it did so because Hamas leaders felt regionally barricaded, and their regime was on the brink of economic collapse. Hamas hoped that a conflict would to strengthen its position, and used its military bases, hidden in the heart of residential areas, to attack Israel regardless of the suffering this decision ended up causing to the residents of Gaza.


Today, all of the same factors that caused Hamas to turn towards conflict remain in place. To the south, in Egypt, Hamas's sister movement, the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, is hunted and repressed by the government of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, contributing to Hamas's isolation. Egypt views Gaza as one large terrorist base, where Salafi-jihadist organizations freely arm themselves and move through tunnels into Egyptian territory to carry out attacks. Egypt identifies Hamas a branch of its Islamist domestic foe, the Muslim Brotherhood, and a direct threat to its national security, leading to a ban on the military wing this year. Egypt created a kilometer-wide buffer zone with Gaza, destroying homes on the Sinai-Gaza border, and blocking off hundreds of smuggling tunnels in the process.


Hamas has few regional allies, though it does enjoy some backing from Turkey, Qatar, and an old-new friend has reappeared: Iran. Hamas and Tehran reestablished ties this year despite mutual mistrust, and Iran started bankrolling Hamas's rearmament program to the tune of tens of millions of dollars. In addition, tensions exist between various ruling factions within Hamas, a fact that could lead to future instability…

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





Khaled Abu Toameh                                                                                                                  

Breaking Israel News, May 25, 2015


Many in the international community often refer to the Palestinian Fatah faction, which is headed by Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas, as a “moderate” group that believes in Israel’s right to exist and the two-state solution. What these people do not know is that Fatah, the largest faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), consists of several groups that hold different views than those expressed by Abbas and other English-speaking Fatah officials.


Some of these Fatah groups do not believe in Israel’s right to exist and continue to talk about the “armed struggle” as the only way to “liberate Palestine and restore Palestinian national rights.” One of these groups is called The Aqsa Martyrs Brigade – El Amoudi Brigade. The Aqsa Martyrs Brigades is Fatah’s armed wing, established shortly after the beginning of the second intifada in September 2000. Although the Palestinian Authority leadership maintains that the group has been dissolved and its members recruited into its security forces, scores of gunmen continue to operate freely in Palestinian villages and refugee camps in the West Bank.


Based in the Gaza Strip, the El Amoudi Brigade, which consists of dozens of Fatah gunmen, is named after Nidal El Amoudi, a top Fatah operative killed by the Israel Defense Forces on January 13, 2008, after he carried out a series of armed attacks against Israeli civilians and soldiers during the second intifada. During the last war in the Gaza Strip between Israel and Hamas (“Operation Protective Edge”), the El Amoudi Brigade claimed responsibility for firing dozens of rockets at Israeli cities and IDF soldiers. Sources in the Gaza Strip claim that many of the group’s members are former security officers, still on the payroll of the PA. Other sources claim that the group is funded by ousted Fatah official Mohamed Dahlan, who is currently based in the United Arab Emirates, and the Lebanese Shiite terror group Hezbollah.


It is worth noting that the Palestinian Authority leadership has never distanced itself from the El Amoudi Brigade’s rhetoric and actions. In addition to an official website, Fatah’s El Amoudi Brigade regularly issues threats to pursue the armed struggle against, and destroy, Israel. Last week, the group posted a video with a message to the “Israeli enemy” on the 67th anniversary of the creation of Israel — which Palestinians refer to as “Nakba Day” (Day of Catastrophe). Entitled, “A Message to the Israeli People” and accompanied by Hebrew subtitles, the video declares that the “battle for the liberation (of Palestine) was closer than ever,” and warns Israelis: “Our Nakba (catastrophe) is unforgettable; soon you will have to leave because you have no other choice.” The Fatah video shows the group’s members during military training in the Gaza Strip, in preparation for the next battle against Israel. “We have prepared the best soldiers,” says the song in the background.


In a separate statement on the same occasion, the Fatah group emphasizes that the “armed struggle” against Israel “is the only means to liberate Palestine.” It also stresses that the “right of return” for Palestinian refugees to their former homes inside Israel cannot be compromised and is non-negotiable. “Our people reject all alternative options to the right of return,” the statement read, repeatedly referring to Israel as the “Zionist enemy.” Elsewhere, the Fatah group boasts that its men have been able to manufacture a new 12-kilometer range rocket called 107 that was used against IDF tanks and soldiers during the last war in the Gaza Strip.


The El Amoudi Brigade is not the only armed Fatah militia operating in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Another significant group in the Gaza Strip, which also participated in the last war against Israel, is called the Martyr Abdel Qader Hossaini Brigade. Like its sister group, El Amoudi Brigade, the Martyr Abdel Qader Hossaini militia also supports the armed struggle against the “Zionist enemy.”


A third major Fatah terror group is called the Abu al-Rish Brigades, which has been responsible for many terrorist attacks against Israel and the kidnapping of foreigners in the Gaza Strip. The gang, which describes itself as the “military wing of Fatah,” also refers to Israel as the “Zionist enemy” and claims to have participated alongside Hamas in the last war in the Gaza Strip.


The international community and the media often ignore the fact that Fatah has a number of armed groups that are still openly dedicated to the “armed struggle” and terrorism as a way of “liberating Palestine.” They also ignore that “moderate” Fatah leaders who speak in favor of peace and the two-state solution do not distance themselves from these groups. Several Fatah leaders, in fact, often speak in English about the need for reviving the peace process, while in Arabic they praise and endorse the Fatah gunmen…

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





RETURN OR DIE?                                                                                             

Alexander Joffe & Asaf Romirowsky                                                                                                

American Interest, May 17, 2015


Faced with the suffering of their own people, the Palestinians recently decided not to help. Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas rejected a deal with Israel brokered by the United Nations that would allow Palestinian refugees living in Syria to resettle in the West Bank and Gaza. Abbas stated unequivocally that “we rejected that and said it’s better they die in Syria than give up their right of return.” The Palestine Liberation Organization has also ruled out any military action to help the 18,000 or more refugees who are trapped in the Yarmouk camp near Damascus.


Abbas’s cold-blooded response reveals something fundamental about Palestinian society and identity. Far more than territory, the key Israeli-Palestinian issue is the idea of a Palestinian “right of return”—the belief in a legal and moral right of Palestinian refugees, and more importantly their descendants from around the world, to return to ancestral homes in what was once Mandatory Palestine. This belief is so vital to Palestinian national identity that their leaders would rather they die than give it up and have a chance to live.


United Nations General Assembly Resolution 194 (III) of December 1948 supposedly codifies this “right.” However, a closer look reveals it to be conditional: “refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return.” The resolution also calls for the United Nations “to facilitate the repatriation, resettlement and economic and social rehabilitation of the refugees and the payment of compensation.”


Interestingly, all the Arab States in the UN at the time (Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen) voted against the resolution, since it implicitly accepted the partition of Mandatory Palestine that recognized the Jewish right to a state. But the actual text of the resolution has been irrelevant since the beginning; Palestinian identity has crystallized around the dream of an unconditional “right of return,” as has Palestinian propaganda to the world.


Since 1948, the “right of return” has been repeated innumerable times and has become rooted deeply in Palestinian culture. Abbas himself stated that “the right of return is a personal decision… neither the PA, nor the state, nor the PLO, nor Abu-Mazen [Abbas], nor any Palestinian or Arab leader has the right to deprive someone from his right to return.” Put this way, which Palestinian would be the first to violate a cultural norm?


More amazing still is the extent to which this imaginary right has been embraced elsewhere. One example, of many, is the American Friends Service Committee, a leading architect of the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against Israel, which calls for the “implementation of refugees’ right of return, equality, and justice for Palestinians and Israelis.” This simply means the end of Israel as a Jewish state, hardly equality or justice for both peoples. Such dishonesty about this pivotal Palestinian demand prolongs the crisis. So, too, do high-ranking UNRWA officials who defend the Palestinian “right of return,” in speeches and official web pages, not to mention through pervasive promotion in UNRWA schools. How does promoting the claim that Palestinians are entitled to return to places in Israel once occupied by their parents, grandparents, or even great-grandparents serve the cause of peace?


Yet pointing out, however gently, that they are unlikely ever to return to these places violates a code of silence. Such was the case with former UNRWA spokesman Andrew Whitley. In a 2010 speech to an Arab-American group, he stated, “We recognize, as I think most do, although it’s not a position that we publicly articulate, that the right of return is unlikely to be exercised to the territory of Israel to any significant or meaningful extent… It’s not a politically palatable issue, it’s not one that UNRWA publicly advocates, but nevertheless it’s a known contour to the issue.” UNRWA swiftly condemned Whitley, saying it “unequivocally distances itself from the statements,” and Whitley himself recanted, saying, “I express my sincere regrets and apologies over any harm that my words may have done to the cause of the Palestine refugees and for any offence I may have caused… It is definitely not my belief that the refugees should give up on their basic rights, including the right of return.”


Abbas’s statement takes that “right” a step further still. He has effectively said it is an obligation for Palestinians to die rather than return under the wrong circumstances by moving to the territories of the Palestinian Authority itself and renouncing the desire to settle in what is now Israel. The centrality of the “right of return” to Palestinian identity, along with the concept of “resistance” as a means to restore both “justice” and “honor,” have reliably thwarted any consideration of resettlement. Now Abbas has laid out fully the idea of death before dishonor, or even the possibility of life under Palestinian Authority rule.


There have only ever been two solutions to the Palestinian problem, repatriation and resettlement. While at the beginning Israel offered to accept meaningful numbers of Palestinians, anything short of a complete restoration has always been off-limits politically among Palestinians. Now as Palestinians are dying, the barriers have been raised that much higher.


Al-Jazeera editor Mehdi Hasan recently wrote, “Now is the time for those of us who claim to care about the Palestinian people, and their struggle for dignity, justice, and nationhood, to make our voices heard” but added that “Our selective outrage is morally unsustainable. Many of us who have raised our voices in support of the Palestinian cause have inexcusably turned a blind eye to the fact that tens of thousands of Palestinians have been killed by fellow Arabs in recent decades.” That criticism applies first and foremost to the Palestinian leadership.                                     




THE PLIGHT OF PALESTINIAN WOMEN                                                                                          

Robert Fulford                                                                                           

National Post, Apr. 10, 2015


Their many admirers in the West like to depict Palestinians as innocent victims of imperialism, anxious to live free under their own state but tragically locked within boundaries imposed by Israel. The myth of the virtuous Palestinian flourishes especially on North American campuses where naive students vigorously press the case again Israel. But that sentimental notion collapses under scrutiny. Students in the West would be appalled if they learned a little about the rights of women under the Palestinian Authority (PA). Some of the truth is available even in the official daily paper of the PA, Al-Hayat al-Jadida, published in Ramallah. The position of women today in the West Bank and Gaza provides chilling insight into what life in a Palestinian state will be like if that state ever becomes a reality.


About half of Palestinian women have been exposed to domestic violence, according to Al-Hayat al-Jadida. In 2014 a senior official in the PA Ministry of Women’s Affairs reported a 100 per cent recent increase in “family honour” killings. No one was particularly surprised. Zainab Al-Ghneimi, who runs the Women’s Legal Counselling Centre, says that this is a product of the entire society’s culture. Al-Ghneimi believes that a Palestinian husband assumes the right of ownership. A man is his wife’s guardian, free to command and forbid. She points out that violent husbands are not following Islamic doctrine; no religious text encourages violence against women. But the idea has become so entrenched that it’s now assumed to be correct doctrine.


Typically, Al-Ghneimi says, a man believes he has bought the woman and paid for her. She has become his property and must obey his orders. But it becomes more complicated when women are surveyed. The PA newspaper claims that many women accept violence as their due. About four out of 10 agree that violence is justified if a woman leaves home without notifying her husband. About three-quarters believe it’s justified if she neglects her children. Palestinian Media Watch, an independent online service, says Palestinian laws have been interpreted as allowing violence against women. Mahmoud Abbas, the PA chairman, has been criticized by women’s rights groups for failing to revise the legislation. A headline, “Violence against women in Gaza: The undermining of family life,” ran in Al-Hayat al-Jadida.


The article said that in Gaza violence against women increased after the 50-day rockets-and-bombs struggle with Israel in 2014. A statement from the Palestinian Centre for Democracy and Conflict Resolution in Gaza said poverty explains the increase. Men become more stressed and angry when they can’t support their families and live in crowded conditions with no privacy. “There has also been a reversal in gender roles where women accept low-paying jobs which men consider below their status as the head of families. This has all fed into men’s feelings of inadequacy and to them taking their frustrations out on their female relatives.”


Khaled Abu Toameh, an Israeli Arab reporter with the Jerusalem Post, has recently written an account of how women are treated in Gaza. Hamas imposed strict rules on women after taking control in 2007. Women are required to wear veils, especially in offices and on college campuses. They can’t walk in public except with a male relative. They can’t smoke in a café. They are not allowed to use hairdressing salons owned by men. If mannequins displayed by retailers are shaped like women, they must be dressed modestly.


On the other hand, Gaza women can go to war. Abu Toameh reports that women are being recruited to take military training with the Nasser Eddin Brigades, a famous terrorist militia, known for helping capture the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit and for blowing up an Israeli tank. So far, 40 Palestinian women have graduated from military training camps and another 40 are being taught. These women have the special privilege of being in the company of men who are not their close relatives.


If many Palestinian women believe they are unfairly treated, where can they turn for support? They might consider the UN Commission on the Status of Women, whose stated goal is to “promote gender equality and the empowerment of women.” Last month the commission passed just one political resolution, sponsored by Palestine and South Africa. It declared, to no one’s surprise, that Israel is responsible for unequal treatment of women. That was a logical position. Israel must be guilty in that case, since the UN has already declared Israel guilty in all other violations of human rights.  



On Topic


Israeli Warplanes Strike Gaza Targets After Rocket Attack: Jerusalem Post, May 27, 2015—The Israeli Air Force attacked four targets in the Gaza Strip early Wednesday morning, following an earlier rocket attack on Israeli territory, the IDF spokesperson said.

Hamas: Masters of Deception: Dr. Shaul Bartal, Israel Hayom, May 28, 2015—The Grad rocket that exploded near Ashdod on Tuesday and Israel's retaliation shortly thereafter raised concerns of escalation once again.

Palestine (State of): ‘Strangling Necks’ Abductions, Torture and Summary Killings of Palestinians by Hamas Forces During the 2014 Gaza/Israel Conflict: Amnesty International, May 26, 2015—Hamas forces in Gaza committed serious human rights abuses, including abductions, torture and summary and extrajudicial executions with impunity during the 2014 Gaza/Israel conflict.

Amnesty Using Hamas Crimes as Another Excuse to Attack Israel: Elder of Ziyon, Algemeiner, May 27, 2015 —Some people were surprised that Amnesty International issued a report actually condemning Hamas for brutally killing “collaborators” during last summer’s Gaza war.




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 




Is the Third Intifada Here?: David Brinn, Jerusalem Post, Nov. 5, 2014— There’s a sense of free fall in Jerusalem, of events spinning out of control – they are no longer isolated incidents.

Is the Post-Abbas Mideast Already Here?: Seth Mandel, Commentary, Nov. 5, 2014 — Hamas celebrated an act of suicide terrorism in Jerusalem today that mirrored both late October’s attack at a Jerusalem light rail stop and another attack later today in the West Bank.

The Role of Hamas and Fatah in the Jerusalem Disturbances : Pinhas Inbari, JCPA, Oct. 26, 2014 — The deterioration of the security situation in Jerusalem cannot be understood only on the Israeli-Palestinian level

Palestinians: Stop the Children’s Intifada!: Khaled Abu Toameh, Breaking Israel News, Oct. 30, 2014—The exploitation of children in the fight against Israel has attracted little attention from the international community and the media.

On Topic Links


Israeli Leaders, Left and Right, Hold Abbas Responsible for Jerusalem Terror Wave: Dave Bender, Algemeiner, Nov. 5, 2014

Jordan Recalls Envoy From Israel Over 'Unprecedented Escalation in Jerusalem'.: Tovah Lazaroff & Michael Wilner, Jerusalem Post, Nov. 5, 2014

Jerusalem in the Unholy Grip of Religious Fervor: David Horovitz, Times of Israel, Nov. 6, 2014

Israel Surrenders the Temple Mount: Jerold Auerbach, Algemeiner, Nov. 5, 2014

For Israel, Two-State Is No Solution: Naftali Bennett, New York Times, Nov. 5, 2014



IS THE THIRD INTIFADA HERE?                                                                           

David Brinn                                                                                                

Jerusalem Post, Nov. 5, 2014


There’s a sense of free fall in Jerusalem, of events spinning out of control – they are no longer isolated incidents. And they’re not subsiding – riots on the Temple Mount, ongoing rock attacks on the light rail, rioting in Arab neighborhoods, the attempted assassination of Yehudah Glick, and on Wednesday another fatal sidewalk terrorist attack on the seam line between western and eastern Jerusalem. Anyone who lived here through the first and second intifadas will recognize the same jittery, nervous spirit in the streets. It used to be unsafe to board a bus; now it’s unsafe to stand at a bus stop or light rail station. Pedestrians look suspiciously out of the corner of their eyes as they walk on the street.


They are no longer isolated incidents. Wednesday’s riot at the Temple Mount was not spontaneous. It was premeditated by Palestinians who gathered the night before with their weapons, prepared for a morning attack on Jewish visitors to the site. A few hours later, Ibrahim al-Acri, a Hamas-affiliated resident of Shuafat, mowed down more than a dozen pedestrians, killing a border policeman – another premeditated act of terrorism that was hailed by Hamas as the act of a “holy martyr” defending so-called “Israeli aggression” at al-Aksa Mosque…Whether it’s the third intifada or a new spin-off, Jerusalem is in the throes of the worst spate of Arab violence against Jewish residents in over a decade. The question is not what to call it. The question is: What are our leaders going to do about it? Build more Jewish housing in post- 1967 Jerusalem neighborhoods? Encourage Jewish groups to buy up more property in Silwan? Increase the maximum punishment for rock throwing? Call to change the status quo on the Temple Mount to enable free Jewish prayer? None of those moves appears to be helpful, and they have in fact exacerbated the situation.


However, nothing Israel has done justifies Jordan’s decision Wednesday to recall its ambassador to Israel for consultations, following what it called Israeli ”violations.” That absurd doublespeak – placing the blame for rising Palestinian violence on the Israeli victims – does nothing to calm the situation. And neither does Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas praising Glick’s attacker as a Palestinian hero. It’s clear that the Jerusalem uprising has the backing and support not only of Palestinian terrorist groups but also the PA, purportedly our potential partners in a two-state solution. That eventuality seems farther away with each Palestinian terrorist attack and each security and political response by Israel. All the moves and countermoves seem to be adding fuel to the already scorching fire. Unfortunately, as time has proven, we can’t expect the Palestinian leadership to stop inciting and egging on unrest by creating hysteria over an imaginary Israeli takeover of the Temple Mount – it’s so much easier to foment hate and revenge than it is to actually sit down and try to create a better future for its people. And we can’t expect the current Israeli coalition to take a step back from its policy of building Jewish housing in all parts of Jerusalem or allowing the continuing parade of ministers and politicians onto the Temple Mount campaigning for changing the long-standing status quo.


Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s strategy, as expressed at Wednesday’s official state memorial ceremony for slain prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, is to bring in as much security as necessary to crush this intifada. He has, perhaps rightly, blown off Abbas as a potential partner and sees only a military solution to the battle for Jerusalem. Let’s hope his way is the right one… because the third intifada is apparently here, despite Israel Police Insp.- Gen. Yohanan Danino’s statement to the contrary Wednesday, spoken only an hour or so after the surviving victims of the van attack were whisked away to the hospital. They are no longer isolated incidents.




IS THE POST-ABBAS MIDEAST ALREADY HERE?                                            

Seth Mandel                                                                                                        

Commentary, Nov. 5, 2014


Hamas celebrated an act of suicide terrorism in Jerusalem today that mirrored both late October’s attack at a Jerusalem light rail stop and another attack later today in the West Bank. It is not suicide bombing, but more like a form of Islamist suicide by cop. Terrorists are driving cars into civilians–a tool of attack not new to the conflict but which is currently happening with some regularity–and in the first two attacks the terrorist killed a civilian and the terrorist was also killed, in each case by Israeli police arriving at the scene to stop more violence. In this afternoon’s attack, the third in the last two weeks, the driver of the vehicle sped away.


Hamas and other Palestinian “resistance” groups have not, apparently, abandoned suicide terrorism after all and are now engaged in a renewed campaign. This type of violence is, of course, reminiscent of the second intifada, which is why it has Jerusalem on edge. The Palestinians have responded to each attack by rioting, so they are basically in a consistent state of violent agitation.


There is something more concerning about this latest round of Palestinian violence, however. Though it is perpetrated in some cases by members of Hamas, it has a spontaneous quality to it, and the riots in Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem are keeping the atmosphere that engenders it going seemingly around the clock. And as much as it is reminiscent of past such campaigns of violence, there is indeed something a bit different about this one: it is heralding the arrival of the post-Abbas Palestinian polity. Now it’s true that PA President Mahmoud Abbas is not only still present and accounted for but is also helping to spark the violence by calling for resistance against Jewish civilians in Jerusalem. But Abbas is not leading; he’s merely following in the path of those who started the party without him. Abbas was famously opposed to Yasser Arafat’s decision to launch the second intifada, and he surely knows that chaos and disorder and Hamas-fueled anarchy only undermine his own power. But he can’t stand around with his hands in his pockets either, because support for spilling Jewish blood drives Palestinian popular opinion.


If Abbas survives this current attempted intifada–and make no mistake, Abbas is in the crosshairs of Hamas’s terror campaigns as well–it will be nominally and, in fact, quite pathetically. And the current disorder is precisely why Israel has been protecting Abbas and helping him hold power: Abbas is no partner for peace, but he is the least-bad option available. A powerless, irrelevant, or deposed Abbas means these terror campaigns of Iran’s Palestinian proxies are all that remains of concerted Palestinian strategy. Concern over a post-Abbas Middle East is becoming more common. Last month, the Times of Israel’s Haviv Rettig Gur wrote a typically incisive essay on the state of play between Israel and the Arab world, noting that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu–often one to embrace ideas that seem absurd only to soon solidify into conventional wisdom–was preparing for this eventuality. Last year Jonathan Schanzer explained, quite rightly, that it was time for Abbas to name a successor to ensure continuity in the peace process.


But what if the more dangerous scenario is not an absent Abbas but an irrelevant one? That’s what seems to be playing out right now. It’s possible that an Abbas-led PA is a leaderless PA. There is no old guard and no new blood, but something in between that leaves the Palestinian polity not yet in league with the Islamist fanatics of Hamas in a fluid, precarious state on the precipice. And so we have the vicious yet cartoonish spectacle of the Palestinian president effectively joining a Palestinian intifada that started without him. Arafat wanted an intifada, and he got one. Abbas didn’t, and for a time was able to prevent it. Does Abbas want an intifada now? He can’t possibly be that stupid. But it doesn’t appear to matter. Just what is Abbas actually doing, as leader of the PA? Getting the Palestinians closer to a peace deal? Certainly not; he walked away from it (more than once). Preventing Hamas from setting the terms of the debate? Hardly. Keeping a lid on an angry Palestinian polity inclined to violence? Not anymore. Abbas may or may not get swept away by a new uprising. It’s ironic that what could save him from such a fate is the fact that, increasingly, it might not even be worth the trouble.






IN THE JERUSALEM DISTURBANCES                                                                 

Pinhas Inbari                                                                                                                

JCPA, Oct. 26, 2014


The deterioration of the security situation in Jerusalem cannot be understood only on the Israeli-Palestinian level; it is umbilically connected to the chaos in the Middle East and to the great struggle between the moderate Sunni regimes and the Muslim Brotherhood, which seeks to make the Jerusalem issue a rallying cry of the “Arab Storm.” The Brotherhood’s strategy hopes to unite all of the region’s Islamic movements around the idea of the Muslim Caliphate with the Al-Aqsa Mosque as its hub. As demonstrated during Operation Protective Edge, the Brotherhood flaunted the banner “the siege of Gaza” to incite European Muslims to demonstrate in the streets with their leftist allies, thereby advancing the status of Islam on the Christian continent. Today, the Muslim jihadists use the “Save Jerusalem” campaign to again bring millions of agitated Muslims into the streets of Europe.


Before the recent hit-and-run terror attack on a Jerusalem light rail platform that killed an American-Israeli infant, the head of Hamas’ Political Bureau, Khaled Mashal, published a special announcement calling “on our people to hasten immediately to defend Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa, and on the Muslim nation to send a painful message of rage to the world that the Palestinian people and with them the Arab and Islamic nation will not keep quiet about Israeli crime.” Thus, in Hamas’s view it is the Jerusalem issue that can place the Palestinians at the forefront of the revolution unfolding in the Arab world, and of the Muslim awakening in Europe.


The clarion call of Al-Aqsa was sounded by the eminent Muslim Brotherhood jurist, Doha-based Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, when in Cairo’s Tahrir Square in February 2011, immediately after the ouster of President Mubarak, he called for Al-Aqsa’s liberation. Subsequently, he published a book titled Jerusalem: The Problem of Every Muslim. In the introduction, the preeminent scholar of the Muslim Brotherhood says, “O nation of Islam, arise, the hour has come, and the hour of danger beckons – to Jerusalem, to Jerusalem – Al-Aqsa, Al-Aqsa!” Sheikh Qaradawi got into a bitter polemic with the head of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, after Abbas called to inundate Jerusalem with massive Muslim tourism so as to preserve its Muslim nature in the face of  the “Judaization of the city.” Sheikh Qaradawi has ruled that visiting Jerusalem is forbidden so long as it is under Israeli occupation; Jerusalem must be liberated by force and not by “tourism.” The leader of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel, Sheikh Raed Salah, who belongs to the circles closest to Sheikh Qaradawi, stated that “Jerusalem is the capital of the imminently approaching Islamic Caliphate.”


In monitoring Hamas’s websites, one gets the impression that pressure to sow discord in Jerusalem greatly intensified after the overthrow of former Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi, the crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood there and its designation as a terrorist movement. Meanwhile, a crisis erupted between Saudi Arabia and Qatar over the funding of the Brotherhood branches in the Arab world, including Hamas, based on the claim that these are terror organizations. Presumably, Qatar tried indirectly to help the Brotherhood in Egypt by inspiring support for them on the Jerusalem issue. It is also evident that in Syria, Qatar has funded an attempt to establish terror groups that put Jerusalem at the top of their concerns, such as the “Al-Aqsa Army.” The fact that Khaled Mashal is living in Qatar has helped the Qataris realize that by ratcheting up the Palestinian issue it can reignite the passion of the Arab masses throughout the Arab world in support of the Muslim Brotherhood. As we saw in Operation Protective Edge, Qatar dictated a tough line against a ceasefire in the hope of bringing the Arab masses out into the streets. Qatar failed in the Arab world – but succeeded in Europe.


The use of the Jerusalem issue to exert pressure on the Arab world in general has greatly increased the pressure on Jordan, which was recognized in its peace treaty with Israel as custodian of the Jerusalem holy places.9 The pretension of the worldwide Muslim Brotherhood movement to represent the Jerusalem issue has led the Brotherhood in Jordan to censure the Hashemite government in this regard and question whether Jordan is really safeguarding Al-Aqsa. The fact that the Palestinian Authority has joined Hamas’s campaign to “Save Al-Aqsa,” notwithstanding the agreement that the Authority has signed with Jordan, will likely lead to difficulties between the latter two. King Abdullah has harshly castigated Israel on the Jerusalem issue;11  it must be understood that he himself is in distress. During the two previous intifadas, Fatah of Jerusalem in fact took pains to exclude Jerusalem from the sphere of the conflict. Fatah sources say it was indeed the Fatah Tanzim in Jerusalem that told Arafat, “The interest of the residents of east Jerusalem in steadfastness – sumud – requires excluding them from the sphere of violence.” Hence, whereas the West Bank and Gaza engaged in terror, the Fatah Tanzim made the struggle an issue of sumud, such as safeguarding illegal construction; and even though the Second Intifada was dubbed the “Al-Aqsa Intifada,” Fatah took care to distance it from the holy place.


Today, the situation is the opposite: quiet Gaza is licking its wounds, the West Bank is also – relatively – quiet, while most of the focus is on Jerusalem. The main reason is a drastic decline in support for Fatah in Jerusalem, so that it is the Islamic movements such as Hamas and the international Hizb ut-Tahrir movement, which advocates a caliphate, that are directing the events. For Fatah there is nothing left but to be pulled along by Hamas.


With an eye to the seventh Fatah conference, planned for the end of the year though its date has not yet been set, Abbas met with members of the “Jerusalem district” of Fatah. Fatah sources in Jerusalem say that the makeup of the cadres has been changed so that “street punks” and even the “underworld” have been recruited to foment an intifada in Jerusalem. They have demanded payment for their activity but so far no budget has been provided to them.  Legal costs for those arrested are supposed to have been paid, but receipt of the funds is not certain. Fatah’s Silwan (Jerusalem) branch was quick to glorify the hit-and-run killer of the three-month-old American-Israeli baby, Chaya Zissel Braun, posting an obituary for the murderer on its official Facebook page, and also using the words “heroic Martyr.”


On the issue of funding Fatah activity in Jerusalem, eyes are turned to Qatar, the great financier of all the movements that are undermining regional stability, including in Israel. The large sums evidently being used by the websites of Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood to wage the Jerusalem campaign indicate that much Qatari money has already flowed their way, and Fatah is now waiting in line. Fatah’s very weak standing in the Al-Aqsa compound was apparent in the attack –wild to the point of life-endangering — on Palestinian religious affairs minister Mahmoud al-Habash when he visited the Al-Aqsa Mosque at the end of June this year. His attackers were Hamas and Hizbat ut-Tahrir men, and the Palestinian Authority’s security forces had a very hard time rescuing him. The joint attack also conveyed a message that these two movements, which have struggled over hegemony on the Mount, have reconciled and are now acting in unison. Yet everyone is competing for Qatar money – a fact that only spurs local groups towards greater levels of violence. Fatah’s joining of the Al-Aqsa campaign as a wagon hitched to fundamentalist Qatar may well herald a takeover of Ramallah by the radical Islamic movements – unless the Palestinian Authority regains its bearings in time.





PALESTINIANS: STOP THE CHILDREN’S INTIFADA!                                       

Khaled Abu Toameh                                                                                    

Jewish Press, Nov. 4, 2014


The exploitation of children in the fight against Israel has attracted little attention from the international community and the media. Human rights groups and the UN have chosen to turn a blind eye to this human rights abuse. Instead of condemning it, these groups are busy denouncing Israel for targeting minors. This strategy works out well for Hamas and Fatah, who can always blame Israel for “deliberately targeting” Palestinian children — an allegation the media in the West often endorses without asking questions. Even more worrying is that the Palestinian groups often reward the families, who then become less motivated to stop their children from risking their lives. Adult activists who encourage and send children to take part in violence should be held accountable, not only by Israel but by their own people. If these adults want an intifada, they should be the first to go out and confront Israeli policemen and soldiers.


Hamas, Fatah and other Palestinian groups are using children from east Jerusalem and the West Bank in what appears to be a new intifada against Israel. Nearly half of the Palestinians arrested by Jerusalem Police over the past few months are minors. Some of them are as young as nine. These children are being sent to throw stones and firebombs, and launch fireworks at policemen and IDF soldiers, as well as at Israeli civilians and vehicles, including buses and the light rail in Jerusalem. The exploitation of children in the fight against Israel has attracted little attention from the international community and media. Human rights groups and United Nations institutions have chosen to turn a blind eye to these human rights abuses. Instead of condemning those who exploit the children and dispatch them to confront policemen and soldiers, these groups and institutions are busy denouncing Israel for targeting minors.


Most of the children’s attacks occur after school, so they are not deprived of education. But sadly, some of the Palestinian minors get killed or wounded in clashes with Israeli security forces. Orwa Hammad, a 14-year-old Palestinian-American boy from the village of Silwad near Ramallah, was shot dead by IDF soldiers last week. The IDF says he was spotted preparing to hurl a firebomb at Israeli vehicles. Earlier, 13-year-old Bahaa Bader was shot dead by IDF soldiers in the village of Beit Likya, also in the Ramallah area. An IDF spokesman said soldiers responded with live fire when residents threw firebombs at them as they were exiting the village. Last month, 16-year-old Mohammed Sinokort from the Wadi al-Joz neighborhood of Jerusalem was killed during a stone-throwing incident.


This is not the first time that Palestinian groups use children in the struggle against Israel. During the first intifada, which erupted in 1987, children and women were often at the forefront in clashes with Israeli security personnel…Moreover, the Palestinian groups know that the children who are being sent to confront Israeli soldiers and policemen will not be held accountable. Most of the minors detained by the Jerusalem Police for their involvement in the violence are released to house arrest. In cases where the children are aged nine to 13, they are referred to social welfare authorities without being detained. The majority of these children are going out to throw stones and firebombs at Israelis because they are come from poor families or are lacking in good education and other economic and social privileges. But many of them come from middle-class families and do not live in refugee camps.


These children are victims of a campaign of indoctrination and incitement that is being waged by various Palestinian groups such as Hamas and Fatah. It is a campaign that is being waged through the media, mosques, educational institutions and the fiery rhetoric of leaders and activists. What is even more worrying is that the Palestinian groups often reward the families of the children by hiring lawyers and paying fines imposed on them by Israeli courts. As a result, the families are less motivated to stop their children from risking their lives. There are also reports that Fatah and Hamas activists in Jerusalem have been paying children small sums of money to throw stones and firebombs at Israelis and block roads in several Arab neighborhoods.


Hamas and Fatah had long discovered that children are one of the most effective tools in the fight against Israel — especially because of the damage Israel sustains in the court of international public opinion. Thus far, it appears that the Palestinian groups have been successful in their effort to depict Israel as a country that deliberately targets Palestinian minors whose only crime is that they “resisted occupation.” Dressing children in military uniforms and allowing them to carry rifles and pistols during rallies in the West Bank and Gaza Strip is one way of encouraging them to put their lives at risk. But of course Hamas, Fatah and other Palestinian factions do not see anything wrong with this practice. The adult activists who send and encourage children to take part in violence should be held accountable, not only by Israeli authorities, but also by their own people and international human rights organizations. If these adults want an intifada, they should be the first to go out and confront Israeli policemen and soldiers. The time has come for the international community and media to pay attention to their disturbing conduct and demand that Palestinian groups stop hiding behind children.





On Topic


Israeli Leaders, Left and Right, Hold Abbas Responsible for Jerusalem Terror Wave: Dave Bender, Algemeiner, Nov. 5, 2014 —Multiple Israeli officials on Wednesday condemned Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas for what they charged was his direct and indirect incitement leading to a string of terror attacks, including today’s lethal vehicular assault in Jerusalem.

Jordan Recalls Envoy From Israel Over 'Unprecedented Escalation in Jerusalem'.: Tovah Lazaroff & Michael Wilner, Jerusalem Post, Nov. 5, 2014—Jordan recalled Ambassador to Israel Walid Obeidat for consultations in Amman to protest Israeli “aggression” on the Temple Mount and in Jerusalem in general, further fraying its already tense relationship with the Jewish state.

Jerusalem in the Unholy Grip of Religious Fervor: David Horovitz, Times of Israel, Nov. 6, 2014 —In his ominously titled book, “The End of Days: Fundamentalism and the Struggle for the Temple Mount,” author Gershom Gorenberg quotes a staggering conversation that took place at the Temple Mount immediately after it was captured by Israeli paratroopers on June 7, 1967, while the victorious soldiers still “wandered about the plaza as if they were dreaming.”

Israel Surrenders the Temple Mount: Jerold Auerbach, Algemeiner, Nov. 5, 2014—Since Israel declared independence on May 14, 1948, ending nearly two thousand years of Jewish exile and dispersion, only one other moment has rivaled its stunning historical significance.                                                                                                                                                                 

For Israel, Two-State Is No Solution: Naftali Bennett, New York Times, Nov. 5, 2014—Recent events in the Middle East are a reminder of how the old models of peace between Israel and the Palestinians are no longer relevant. The time has come to rethink the two-state solution.





















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La fête de Hanoukka :

un rappel de l’incroyable courage du Peuple Juif pour défendre Jérusalem

Souhail Ftouh

identitejuive.com, 12 décembre 2012


A partir de ce samedi 8 décembre au soir au dimanche 16 décembre 2012 le Peuple juif célèbre la fête de Hanoukka, une fête que l’on célèbre le 25 Kislev en commémoration de la victoire miraculeuse des Hasmonéens sur les Syro-Grecs dirigés par Antiochus Epiphane et de la ré-inauguration du saint Temple de Jérusalem avec le miracle de la fiole d’huile.


Cette coutume commémore la reconquête de l’Israël du IIè siècle avant J.C., dirigée à l’époque contre le roi gréco-syrien : Antochius. Il avait profané le Temple de Jérusalem et voulait imposer au Peuple Juif l’adoration de divinités grecques.


Judas Maccabée incita ses compatriotes juifs à se révolter. Une poignée de Juifs prend alors, en 165 avant Jésus-Christ, la tête d’une révolte contre le dictât cruel d’Antiochus. Après des mois de combats acharnés, ils réussirent à chasser les Syriens de Jérusalem, les armées grecques sont mises en déroute et les Juifs réinstaurent un service juif au Temple. Hanouka est célébrée en l’honneur de cette victoire.


C’était la victoire des faibles contre les forts : les Hasmonéens , armés par les enseignements de la Thora, se sont battus par idéal. Grâce à leurs prières, ils ont vaincu les épées, les javelots et les flèches. Ils ne souciaient ni de conquête, ni de butin. Leur seul désir était de libérer Jérusalem, de pouvoir, à nouveau, prononcer le Hallel et chanter la gloire divine. Ainsi, dès leur arrivée à Jérusalem, ils chassèrent les prêtres païens qui avaient fait des sacrifices à leurs idoles sur l’autel juif.


Grâce à une petite fiole d’huile, les Juifs victorieux ont pu de nouveau allumer la Menorah et adorer leur ville sainte.


En effet un autre miracle avait eu lieu ; une petite fiole contenant assez d’huile pour une seule journée qui avait été trouvée dans les débris du Temple de Jérusalem après sa destruction, avait miraculeusement permis d’illuminer le chandelier pendant huit jours… C’est pour cela que pendant Hanoukka, la fête des lumières, chaque famille juive est censée allumer une bougie d’un chandelier à huit branches, chaque soir de la semaine.


La fête de Hanoukka reste un rappel de l’incroyable courage du peuple juif pour défendre Jérusalem, site sacré pour le judaïsme. Quand on a la foi et qu’on porte dans son cœur l’amour pour cette ville qui touche le cœur des Juifs plus que d’autres, aucune force ne pourra arracher cette ville aux mains des Juifs. Une ville qui symbolise jusqu’à aujourd’hui l’héroïsme et le sacrifice sans lesquels Jérusalem n’aurait pu être réunifiée.


II y a une vérité qui est intangible ; le Peuple juif existe depuis plus de trois millénaires, il a traversé de multitudes d’épreuves, certaines nations ont essayé de le supprimer et elles ont généré beaucoup de malheurs pour le Peuple juif. Mais ces civilisations ont disparus depuis, mais ce peuple est toujours là.


Le Peuple Juif est le peuple le plus indestructible, après tout ce qui a été fait pour essayer de l’éteindre, Pogroms, Shoah, et je ne parle même pas des massacres au Moyen Age, mais les Juifs sont toujours là !


Si les prêtres juifs du Temple, les Cohanim à l’époque de Hanouka, se sont concentrés sur leurs forces spirituelles pour vaincre les troupes syriennes d’Antiochus c’est parce que jamais ils n’ont baissé la tête et jamais ils n’ont cédé au désespoir.


La véritable puissance du Peuple d’Israël repose donc sur sa foi incandescente et son amour d’Hachem. Cette flamme lui a permis de vaincre tous les ennemis et toutes les servitudes. Aujourd’hui encore, la force du Peuple juif réside dans sa foi concernant la terre d’Israël et Jérusalem comme capitale une et indivisible. Malgré tous les discours de haine qu’on véhicule contre eux, le courage des Juifs est toujours intact pour défendre leur petit morceau de terre. C’est d’ailleurs ce même courage qui a transformé ce désert en un beau pays.


Les deux mille ans d’exil ont appris au Peuple juif à être en adhésion avec ce pays et à savoir que leurs enfants seront toujours prêts à se battre car ils sont simplement déterminés à survivre. Aujourd’hui heureusement Israël est suffisamment fort pour se défendre devant le matraquage systématique et le bourrage de crâne incessant des nouveaux nazis qui contestent Jérusalem comme capitale définitive d’Israël.


La liberté d’Israël sera toujours un fait, car les Israéliens d’aujourd’hui ne toléreront pas que les monstres soient vainqueurs. Tout comme leurs ancêtres, les Hasmonéens, ils portent toujours cette flamme qui leur a permis de vaincre tous leurs ennemis et toutes les servitudes.


Aussi souhaitons-nous à la veille de Hanoukka, un nouveau commencement pour Israël pour UN Seul et Même Roi, le Saint béni d’Israël.


Très joyeuse fête de Hanoukka. Que la lumière de ces bougies illumine tous nos cœurs !


(Ftouh Souhail, avocat et journaliste tunisien, est connu pour avoir publié plusieurs articles à l’appui d’Israël dans divers médias)


Réflexions sur Hanoucca

Guy Millière

dreuz.info, 12 décembre 2012


C’est présentement la fête juive de Hanoucca.


Je suis depuis des années très proche et très respectueux de tout ce qui concerne le judaïsme et le peuple juif, et je suis, depuis des années, particulièrement sensible à la signification de Hanoucca. J’y suis un peu plus sensible cette année dans la mesure où je me suis rendu voici peu à Nice pour une cérémonie décernant des Menoras d’or, organisée par le B’nai Brith. J’ai eu l’honneur d’être l’un des récipiendaires, et j’ai désormais chez moi, en bonne place, la Menora qui m’a été remise.


Je suis particulièrement sensible à la signification de Hanoucca parce que c’est une fête qui renvoie à un soulèvement au sein du peuple juif en un moment où son identité et sa survie en tant que peuple juif étaient menacées. Le soulèvement, on le sait, était celui des Maccabées contre l’hellénisation forcée infligée au peuple juif par les Séleucides, au deuxième siècle avant l’ère chrétienne. Ce soulèvement a sauvé le peuple juif et son identité. Il n’a pas empêché les déchirures ultérieures, la dispersion, les conquêtes de la région par d’autres empires, mais il a constitué un marqueur crucial.


Je suis particulièrement sensible à la signification de Hanoucca parce que nous sommes en un temps où, une fois de plus, l’identité et la survie du peuple juif sont menacés.


En disant cela, je pense à Israël, bien sûr. Et je sais qu’Israël est un pays fort et solide, à même de résister à ceux qui aspirent à le détruire, qu’ils utilisent les voies directes du djihad et parlent comme les dirigeants du Hamas ces jours derniers à Gaza, ou qu’ils utilisent des voies plus indirectes et plus sournoises, tels les dirigeants de l’OLP devenue l’Autorité palestinienne.


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Mais je dois constater que la propagande anti-israélienne, le travail de sape incessant mené par de multiples falsificateurs et opportunistes sans éthique ni honneur, ont porté leurs fruits : l’Europe est désormais, essentiellement, à l’exception d’un pays près, un continent anti-israélien, en position de dhimmitude avancée, prêt à se vendre pour une poignée de dollars venus du Qatar ou d’un autre émirat, pétrifié par la peur de l’islam et de l’islamo-terrorisme. Les Etats-Unis sont en train de fléchir, et les positions « pro-palestiniennes » progressent chez les Démocrates de manière inquiétante.


Je dois constater aussi que le futur s’annonce sombre pour les Juifs en Europe, ce qui signifie que le futur s’annonce sombre pour l’Europe elle-même.


Je dois noter que nous sommes très peu à défendre encore certaines valeurs pourtant essentielles et que, parce que nous le faisons, nous sommes insultés, condamnés au boycott et aux marges qui, dans un contexte de type totalitaire, constituent la dissidence (dois-je le dire : en Union soviétique, on appelait déjà les défenseurs du droit naturel des êtres humains, de la liberté de parole et de pensée et des idéaux juifs et chrétiens des « fascistes », comme le fait, par exemple, le Nouvel Observateur aujourd’hui en France).


Je dois constater en outre, et cela me consterne et me révolte, que le présent est moins sombre pour les Juifs aux Etats-Unis, mais qu’une part majeure de ceux-ci se conduisent comme ceux qui se soumettaient à l’hellénisation au temps des Séleucides. Ceux-là ont voté pour Barack Obama. Ceux-là peuvent parler comme Rahm Emanuel ou comme les membres de J Street, cette association créée pour contrer l’AIPAC et qui se situe sur la gauche de Shalom Arshav, et à hauteur de paillasson pour dignitaire crapuleux de Ramallah. Ceux-là fêtent Hanoucca en ce moment sans discerner, semble-t-il, qu’ils trahissent chaque jour l’esprit de Hanoucca. Ceux-là fêtent Hanoucca sans comprendre que l’esprit de Hanoucca devrait impliquer qu’ils ouvrent les yeux, qu’ils regardent ce qui est en train de se passer en Europe et ce qui est en train de se passer au Proche-Orient.


Ceux-là ne semblent pas voir que lorsqu’Israël est isolé, Israël est menacé, et que lorsqu’Israël est menacé, c’est le peuple juif et le judaïsme qui sont menacés. Ils ont la possibilité et les moyens de se lever, et ils ne se lèvent pas.


Je n’ai pas à les juger et je ne les juge pas. Je dirai seulement qu’ils ont renoncé. Et j’ajouterai comme Norman Podhoretz l’a fait en écrivant Why Jews Are Liberal, qu’ils ne sont plus juifs, et ont choisi une autre voie. Pas très digne, à mes yeux.


J’ajouterai que si Israël est un pays fort et solide, il existe aussi en Israël des gens qui, bien au delà de ce qui sépare la droite de la gauche, se conduisent eux-mêmes comme s’ils n’étaient plus juifs et comme s’ils avaient eux suivi une autre voie, pas très digne elle-même. Un auteur les a décrit comme constituant la « république de Tel Aviv », par comparaison avec la république de Weimar, en laquelle des intellectuels qui se pensaient brillants, dissertaient au nom de grands principes abstraits, sans voir que l’enfer était à leur porte. Les membres de la république de Tel Aviv sont dignes des intellectuels de Weimar. Les pires parmi eux peuvent aller jusqu’à écrire, comme Shlomo Sand, que le peuple juif n’existe pas ou que la terre d’Israel n’a jamais existé. Je vois en eux, et je l’écris, des ennemis de l’intérieur pour Israël, des gens qui contribuent à la propagande anti-israélienne et au travail de sape incessant des falsificateurs et opportunistes que j’évoquais plus haut.


J’espère en l’émergence de descendants spirituels des Maccabées, des gens qui, sans nécessairement prendre les armes, se dresseront : parce qu’ils verront, précisément, qu’Israël, le peuple juif et le judaïsme sont menacés. Aujourd’hui. En cet instant. Il en existe en Israël. Il en existe en Europe et en Amérique du Nord.


Et je suis résolument à leur côté.


J’espère que des gens qui ne sont pas Juifs, comme moi, sauront discerner que, dès lors qu’Israël, le peuple juif et le judaïsme sont menacés, c’est ce qui fonde l’humanité en l’être humain, et ce que la civilisation occidentale a en elle de plus fécond et de plus grand, qui se trouve menacé.


Je suis résolument à leur côté aussi. Leur combat est mon combat, et c’est le combat que je mène depuis des années déjà.


Les dictateurs, c'est mieux que les islamistes élus

Daniel Pipes

The Washington Times, 11 décembre 2012

Adaptation française: Anne-Marie Delcambre de Champvert


Qui est le pire, le Président Mohamed Morsi, l'islamiste élu cherchant à appliquer la loi islamique en Egypte, ou le président Hosni Moubarak, l'ancien dictateur déchu pour avoir tenté d'initier une dynastie? De façon plus générale, un ordre libéral, démocratique a-t-il plus de possibilités d'émerger avec des idéologues islamistes qui triomphent par la voie des urnes ou avec des dictateurs cupides qui n'ont en vue que leur propre survie et leur exercice du pouvoir?


Les actions récentes de Morsi fournissent une réponse, établissant que les islamistes sont encore pires que les dictateurs.


Cette question a été soulevée dans un débat intéressant pour le compte de Intelligence Squared US au début d'octobre lorsque Reuel Marc Gerecht, de la Fondation pour la Défense des Démocraties, et Brian Katulis, du Centre pour le Progrès Américain, ont soutenu que "les islamistes élus c'est mieux que les dictateurs" , tandis que Zuhdi Jasser, du Forum islamique américain pour la démocratie, et moi-même, soutenions le contre-argument. Eh bien, personne n'a vraiment argumenté «pour» personne. L'autre équipe n'a pas approuvé les islamistes, nous n'avons pas, bien sûr, célébré les dictateurs. La question était plutôt quel type de gouvernant est le moindre de deux maux, et peut se battre pour imposer la démocratie.


Katulis a blâmé les dictatures pour favoriser «les sortes d'idéologies» qui ont conduit au 11 septembre et Gerecht a insisté sur le fait que les juntes militaires, et non les islamistes, sont généralement «le vrai danger …. La seule façon que vous avez d'obtenir un ordre plus libéral dans le Moyen-Orient c'est à travers les gens de religion» qui votent pour avoir les islamistes au pouvoir. Katulis a fait valoir que les élus islamistes changent et se transforment, devenant de moins en moins idéologiques et plus pragmatiques ; ils évoluent en réponse à la prise de conscience de la rudesse de la politique qui les fait retomber sur terre pour se concentrer sur les «besoins essentiels» tels que la sécurité et l'emploi.


En Irak, Gerecht a affirmé avoir observé «un véritable raz –de- marée de gens qui étaient autrefois des islamistes purs et durs qui …sont devenus des démocrates assez profondément convaincus, pour ne pas dire libéraux». Quant à l'Egypte, il a noté d'un ton approbateur, mais de façon inexacte que "Les Frères musulmans ont de graves débats internes parce qu'ils n'ont pas compris comment gérer [leur succès]. Or nous ce que nous voulons c'est qu'ils règlent la question en se disputant pour aller de l'avant»


Jasser et moi avons répondu à ce catalogue d'inexactitudes (les juntes militaires ont conduit au 11 septembre?) et de vœux pieux , prenant leurs désirs pour des réalités (les vrais croyants feront des compromis sur leurs objectifs? Une immense vague, véritable raz-de-marée, d'islamistes irakiens sont devenus libéraux?) en affirmant d'abord que les idéologues sont «des dictateurs cortico-dépendants»qui ne se modèrent pas en atteignant le pouvoir, mais se préparent à attaquer, construisent les bases pour rester indéfiniment au pouvoir. Deuxièmement, les idéologues négligent les questions mêmes sur lesquelles nos adversaires ont mis l'accent- la sécurité et l'emploi – en faveur de l'application des lois islamiques. Les dictateurs cupides, en revanche, faute d'idéologie et de vision, n'ont pas une vision de la société et peuvent donc être convaincus de s'orienter vers le développement économique, les libertés personnelles, un processus politique ouvert, et la règle de droit (par exemple, la Corée du Sud).


Et voilà, Morsi et les Frères musulmans ont suivi exactement notre scénario. Depuis qu'il a pris le pouvoir en août, Morsi (1) a mis à l'écart l'armée, s'est ensuite concentré sur l'enracinement et l'expansion de sa suprématie, notamment en émettant une série d'ordres le 22 novembre par lesquels il s'arrogeait des pouvoirs autocratiques et en répandant les théories du complot sioniste à propos de ses adversaires. Il a ensuite (2) donné un coup de boutoir par une constitution orientée islamiste le 30 novembre et a appelé à un brusque référendum le 15 décembre. Absorbé par ces deux tâches, il a pratiquement ignoré les multiples problèmes qui affligent l'Egypte, en particulier la crise économique imminente et le manque de fonds pour payer la nourriture importée.


La prise de pouvoir de Morsi a stimulé les Egyptiens anti-islamistes pour unir leurs forces comme c'est le cas dans le «Front de salut national» et se confronter aux islamistes dans les plus violents combats de rue jamais vus en six décennies, le forçant à retirer partiellement ses ordres du 22 novembre. Ironie du sort, après avoir habilement mis de côté l'armée en août, le fait pour Morsi d'avoir été trop loin a créé des circonstances qui ont renvoyé l'autorité ultime aux généraux, qui peuvent intervenir pour ou contre lui. En choisissant des sympathisants des islamistes comme officiers supérieurs et en offrant des privilèges militaires renforcés dans le projet de constitution, il a, selon toute vraisemblance gagné leur soutien. La loi martiale est probablement pour bientôt


En seulement trois mois, Morsi a montré qu'il aspirait à de plus grands pouvoirs dictatoriaux que ceux de Moubarak et que son régime laissait présager être une calamité encore plus grande pour l'Egypte que ne le fut Moubarak. Il a parfaitement justifié le point de vue de Jasser et mon point de vue: c'est mieux d'avoir des dictateurs que des islamistes élus. Comme je l'ai noté dans le débat, les Occidentaux devraient claquer la porte au nez aux dictateurs idéologiques comme les islamistes tout en faisant pression sur les dictateurs cupides pour permettre [le développement] de la société civile. Cela offre la seule porte de sortie de la fausse alternative entre les deux formes de tyrannie.


La diplomatie israélienne face à une réalité unilatérale

Dore Gold

Le CAPE de Jérusalem, 9 décembre 2012


Jusqu’à ce jour, l’Etat d’Israël a focalisé sa politique sur la nécessité de faire avancer les négociations de paix avec les Palestiniens, et de ce fait, Jérusalem a fait de nombreuses concessions. Aujourd’hui, à la lumière de la résolution en faveur des Palestiniens adoptée à l’ONU, l’Etat juif devrait résister à ne pas résister à ses revendications légitimes pour assurer sa sécurité.


La direction palestinienne avait répandu au cours des derniers mois une rumeur selon laquelle Mahmoud Abbas reprendrait le chemin de la négociation juste après le vote de l’ONU. Certains observateurs avaient même écrit qu’il renoncerait aux conditions préalables qu’il avait imposées en 2009, à savoir: le gel de la construction dans les implantations et notamment dans les quartiers juifs de Jérusalem. Ainsi, les Palestiniens ont présenté leur initiative aux Nations-Unies comme un tremplin positif et constructif vers la bonne voie.


Le 12 novembre dernier, suite à une rencontre avec les ministres des Affaires étrangères de la ligue arabe, Mahmoud Abbas déclare : « nous sommes prêts à reprendre les pourparlers ». Selon le correspondant de l’agence Reuters au Caire, à la veille du vote à l’Assemblée générale, il avait promis de revenir sans délai à la table des négociations.


En fait, Mahmoud Abbas n’a pas voulu reprendre le processus de paix sachant parfaitement que durant cette dernière décennie il n’a pas réussi à arriver à un accord avec Israël.


Déjà en 2009, il avait révélé au « Washington Post » que même la généreuse proposition finale de l’ancien Premier ministre Ehoud Olmert ne pouvait aplanir les divergences pour pouvoir parvenir à un accord de paix. Abbas sait aussi que de véritables négociations avec Israël exigeraient en revanche des concessions palestiniennes. Cependant et depuis 2006, le Hamas est devenu une force montante dans la vie politique palestinienne. Il s’est renforcé après la chute du président Hosni Moubarak au détriment du Fatah et de l’Autorité de Mahmoud Abbas.


En observant la conduite des Israéliens et des Palestiniens nous constatons que chaque partie agit sur un plan diplomatique différent. Les Israéliens représentant divers partis politiques se sont préoccupés par la réussite des négociations. Ils ont essayé de comprendre ce qui est nécessaire pour les Palestiniens pour parvenir à un accord et souvent ils ont proposé des concessions préalables.


Ainsi, lorsque les Palestiniens ont exigé un retrait total de la Cisjordanie vers les lignes d’avant juin 1967, des hommes politiques israéliens ont suggéré d’offrir aux Palestiniens un territoire de la même dimension, sans aucun rapport avec le tracé final de la frontière. Cette flexibilité était destinée à prouver un acte de bonne volonté et présentait l’Etat d’Israël aux yeux de la communauté internationale comme capable de faire des concessions majeures.


Malgré tout, Mahmoud Abbas a adopté une approche unilatérale, et déjà en janvier 2009, lorsqu’Ehoud Olmert était toujours au pouvoir, le ministre palestinien de la Justice s’est directement adressé à la Cour pénale internationale demandant de définir l’Autorité palestinienne comme Etat. Nul ne le doute qu’il visait déjà l’ONU.


Ainsi, Mahmoud Abbas exige depuis des conditions préalables sachant que les Israéliens les rejetteront par avance. Il est conscient que l’approche unilatérale servira d’outil à long terme pour sensibiliser les chancelleries et en particulier les occidentaux.


C’est bien pour cette raison là qu’il na jamais abandonné l’option onusienne et a transformé l’Assemblée générale en tribune pour pouvoir adopter des résolutions hostiles à Israël.


En fait, Mahmoud Abbas combine divers éléments pour délégitimer l’Etat d’Israël et le lien historique indéfectible du peuple juif à Jérusalem et à sa terre trois fois millénaire. Un ouvrage officiel publié récemment par l’Autorité palestinienne met en relief le terme « colonialisme » lorsque qu’on se réfère à Israël, et cela afin de déterminer le sionisme comme un mouvement « raciste » et non un projet d’autodétermination et indépendance du peuple juif.


Dans ce contexte, Israël devrait « changer de disquette » car la tactique antérieure qui était peut être bonne pour une période déterminée lors des négociations ne peut correspondre aux intérêts israéliens dans un scénario d’unilatéralité.


Israël ne sera pas non plus en mesure de mener une campagne internationale contre un retour aux lignes d’avant juin 1967 sans qu’il n’explique les dangers qui pourraient s’abattre sur lui.


En conclusion, Israël aura du mal à obtenir un consensus au sein de la communauté internationale sur la nouvelle construction autour des blocs d’implantations, s’il n’explique pas clairement et systématiquement qu’il existe en Cisjordanie certaines zones auxquelles l’Etat juif ne pourra jamais renoncer!




Charles Bybelezer

On Monday, Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas revealed himself. In the presence of Qatar’s rabidly anti-Israel Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa, and alongside Hamas’ exiled Politburo chief Khaled Meshal, Abbas’ Fatah party signed a reconciliation agreement with Hamas, paving the way for the formation of a Palestinian unity government. With the stroke of a pen, Abbas’ prior assertion that “there are no more differences between [Fatah and Hamas]” was ratified. Abbas now clearly and officially considers, as a primary Palestinian aim, the annihilation of Israel.

And to alleviate all doubt (or misplaced hope), when asked the next day whether the reconciliation agreement would “moderate” Hamas, Political Bureau member Izzat al-Rishq declared: “The Palestinian people maintain their right to all forms of resistance, and we are committed to armed resistance…to confront the…Zionist enemy’s plans.”

As for the so-called “international community,” the response was relatively muted. A spokesman at the US mission in Tel Aviv said the Obama administration would not articulate a “formal position on a speculative event,” but rather would “wait to see what happens.” If only Israel’s “speculative” approval of the construction of a few hundred houses in its capital city drew such careful hesitation.

Surprisingly, the EU also refrained from assuming an official stance. However, given the EU’s reaction in November following a previous round of reunification talks—“[the EU has] consistently called for reconciliation under Abbas’ authority”—no doubt the Europeans still consider Hamas’ inclusion in Palestinian politics as “an opportunity rather than a threat,” as well as, incredibly and without justification, “essential for securing a lasting peace with Israel.”

Less surprising was UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s message to the PA President: Fatah’s affiliation with a terrorist organization committed to Israel’s destruction should not be viewed as contradictory to, or excluding, negotiating with the Jewish state. In a twisted sense, Ki-moon is correct. Abbas’ partnership with genocidal Hamas will in no manner affect his policy of rejecting direct negotiations with Israel.

For his part, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu left little to the imagination: “Hamas is a terrorist organization that strives to destroy Israel, and which is supported by Iran. I have said many times in the past that the Palestinian Authority must choose between an alliance with Hamas and peace with Israel. Hamas and peace do not go together.… If Abu Mazen [Abbas] implements what has been signed, he will have chosen to abandon the way of peace.…”

Speaking at the signing ceremony in Doha, Abbas reinforced the idea that the unity agreement was reached “not only so that it would be published, but in order to implement it on the ground.”

Netanyahu has spoken. Abbas has chosen. And what a tremendous blessing for Israel’s leader. The phony “peace process,” the thorn in Netanyahu’s, and Israel’s, side, is on hold. And try as they may, there is nothing the professional peace-processors can do about it.

As for Mr. Obama, he will continue to pressure Israel to make unilateral concessions to the Hamas-Fatah terrorist entity. One needs only to consider Obama’s current eagerness to “engage” (i.e., conduct “peace” negotiations with) the Taliban to deduce the President’s unwavering policy of appeasing sworn enemies. Thankfully, neither the US Congress nor Republicans will have any part of it, particularly during an election year. Obama, scavenging for a second term, cannot mistreat the Jewish state: he will need to pander, and should be adequately contained.

More important, however, is Israeli public opinion. Once upon a time, the people of Israel were duped into believing that a man by the name of Yasser Arafat would transform his terror organization into a viable partner for peace. Twenty years and thousands of casualties later, Israelis will not repeat this mistake with Hamas.

And so Mr. Netanyahu has been afforded the opportunity not only to strengthen his political base by casting aside the belligerent Palestinians, but also to shore up public support as he shifts Israel’s attention towards its most urgent priority—Iran.

Rest assured, in the coming months—be it April, May, or June, as strangely, and dangerously, leaked by US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, the military chief of Israel’s purported “best friend”—Netanyahu will need all the allies he can amass.

Ironically, Palestinian “reconciliation” will have played a small but useful part in Netanyahu’s drive to stop Iran’s nuclear weapons program. All eyes can now be focused exclusively on Tehran.

(Charles Bybelezer is Publications Chairman for the Canadian Institute for Jewish Research.)

Jonathan S. Tobin

Contentions, February 7, 2012

There was something interesting about the reaction to the consummation of the Fatah-Hamas unity pact. The agreement, which confirmed the entry of the Islamist terrorist group into the governing structure of the Palestinian Authority and the exit of the PA’s reform-minded Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, provoked the expected harsh words from Israel’s government. In Washington, the reaction from the Obama administration was equally predictable as the State Department spokesperson withheld judgment. Some members of Congress served notice that the PA’s embrace of Hamas meant the end of U.S. aid.

But the main conclusion to be drawn from the reaction to what can only be termed a momentous turn of events is something entirely different. The lack of alarm or even much worry about the impact of Hamas on the peace process makes it clear not only is there no more peace process to worry about, but that the Palestinians have made themselves irrelevant.

Where once the international chattering classes doted upon every aspect of Palestinian politics in a way that confirmed the prevalent myth that Israel’s antagonists were truly at the heart of all the problems of the Middle East, it is no longer possible for even their cheerleaders and apologists to pretend this is so. In the 18+ years since the signing of the Oslo Accords, the Palestinians have talked and bombed their way not only out of peace and the independent state they claimed they wanted but also off the front pages. While supporters of Israel still keep their eyes on the goings-on in Ramallah and Gaza, the rest of the world is gradually moving on.

After so many years of international attention on the aspirations of the Palestinians, after Yasir Arafat’s betrayal of Oslo and his successor Mahmoud Abbas’s similar refusal to talk peace with Israel, it has become increasingly difficult for even Israel’s most persistent critics to hold the attention of Western policymakers.… More to the point, the apathy with which the Fatah-Hamas unity pact has been viewed only makes it more obvious the world has more pressing concerns. Those who long argued the Palestinians were central to all Middle East conflicts have found their faulty arguments are no longer accepted at face value. At a time when it is clear to even the dimmest of foreign policy bulbs the real struggles in the Middle East are those between Islamists, autocrats and democracy activists as well as over the nuclear ambitions of Iran, the audience for the myth of Palestinian centrality has shrunk dramatically.…

It is true the presence of Hamas in the PA government presents a clear threat to Israel in terms of security on the West Bank. But in terms of diplomacy, all it has done is to confirm the irrelevance of the Palestinians.


Wall Street Journal, February 9, 2012

How should the Obama Administration respond to the news that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has signed a deal with Hamas to form a unity government? In 2009, Hillary Clinton was unequivocal. The U.S. “will not deal with, nor in any way fund, a Palestinian government that included Hamas,” said the Secretary of State, unless Hamas renounces terrorism and recognizes Israel.

That stern finger isn’t wagging now. “We are not going to give a grade to this thing until we have a chance to talk to Palestinian Authority leaders about the implications,” said State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland, along with the usual throat-clearing about U.S. red lines. She added that the deal was an “internal matter” for Palestinians.

Which is true. What’s also true is that the U.S. has budgeted some $500 million in direct assistance to the Palestinian Authority (PA) for the current fiscal year, plus another $232 million for the U.N. welfare agency that deals with the descendants of Palestinian refugees. U.S. law prohibits aid to any Palestinian government that includes Hamas. The question for the Administration is whether it will abide by the law—or search for a legal loophole.

That loophole might be a government of supposedly nonpartisan technocrats on whom both factions can agree. This week’s agreement, reached under Qatari auspices, takes one step in that direction by naming Mr. Abbas to succeed Salam Fayyad as prime minister while retaining his post as president. After that, however, the details of the plan become vague. Question: Would the U.S. continue to fund and train a Palestinian security apparatus that merges with Hamas’s paramilitary units? Let’s hope not.

Eventually the U.S. will have to make some determination about the utility of funding a Palestinian government that scorns negotiations with Israel and rarely bothers to pay even lip service to U.S. interests. So it was last year with the Palestinian statehood bid at the United Nations.…

It may not be too late for the U.S. to tell the Palestinians that they cannot bring a terrorist organization into government while continuing to expect American money and sympathy. But that would require sharp and public statements from Mrs. Clinton and President Obama of the kind they have used to rebuke Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The Administration likes to tout itself as the best friend Israel has ever had. Its attitude toward Palestinian “reconciliation” is a test of that boast.

Daniel Pipes

National Review, January 17, 2012

Between 1967 and 1993, just a few hundred Palestinians from the West Bank or Gaza won the right to live in Israel by marrying Israeli Arabs (who constitute nearly one-fifth of Israel’s population) and acquiring Israeli citizenship. Then the Oslo Accords offered a little-noted family-reunification provision that turned this trickle into a river: 137,000 residents of the Palestinian Authority (PA) moved between 1994 and 2002, some of them engaged in either sham or polygamous marriages.

Israel has two major reasons to fear this uncontrolled immigration. First, it presents a security danger. Yuval Diskin, head of the Shin Bet security service, noted in 2005 that of 225 Israeli Arabs involved in terror against Israel, 25 of them, or 11 percent, had legally entered Israel through the family-unification provision. They went on to kill 19 Israelis and wound 83.…

Second, it serves as a stealth form of Palestinian “right of return,” thereby undermining the Jewish nature of Israel. Those 137,000 new citizens constitute about 2 percent of Israel’s population, not a small number. Yuval Steinitz, now the finance minister, in 2003 discerned in the PA encouragement for family reunification “a deliberate strategy” to increase the number of Palestinians in Israel and undermine its Jewish character.…

In response to these two dangers, Israel’s parliament in July 2003 passed the “Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law.” The law bans Palestinian family members from automatically gaining Israeli residency or citizenship, with temporary and limited exemptions requiring the interior minister to certify that they “identify with Israel” or are otherwise helpful. In the face of severe criticism, then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon affirmed in 2005 that “The State of Israel has every right to maintain and protect its Jewish character, even if that means that this would impact on its citizenship policy.…”

Last [month], Israel’s Supreme Court, by a 6-5 vote, upheld this landmark law, making it permanent. While recognizing the rights of a person to marry, the court denied that this implies a right of residency. As the president-designate of the court, Asher Dan Grunis, wrote in the majority opinion, “Human rights are not a prescription for national suicide.”

This pattern of Palestinian emigration toward Jews goes back almost to 1882, when European Jews began their aliyah (Hebrew for “ascent,” meaning immigration to the land of Israel). In 1939, for example, Winston Churchill noted how Jewish immigration to Palestine had stimulated a like Arab immigration: “So far from being persecuted, the Arabs have crowded into the country and multiplied till their population has increased.” In brief, you didn’t have to be Jewish to benefit from the Zionists’ high standard of living and law-abiding society. One student of this subject, Joan Peters, estimates that a dual Jewish and Arab immigration “of at least equal proportions” took place between 1893 and 1948.…

This pattern of Palestinian migration has continued since Israel’s birth. Anti-Zionist they may be, but economic migrants, political dissidents, homosexuals, informants, and just ordinary folk vote with their feet, preferring the Middle East’s outstandingly modern and liberal state to the Palestinian Authority’s or Hamas’s hellholes.…

The Supreme Court’s decision has momentous long-term implications. As Eli Hazan writes in Israel Hayom, “The court ruled de jure but also de facto that the state of Israel is a Jewish state, and thus settled a years-long debate.” The closing of the back-door “right of return” secures Israel’s Zionist identity and future.

Isi Leibler
Jerusalem Post, January 31, 2012

We are told, day after day, that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is a genuine moderate committed to achieving a peace settlement with Israel.… Abbas and his chief negotiator, Saeb Erekat, bolster this theme by uttering soothing statements in English, endorsing peace to the gullible international community. Yet they speak with forked tongues because in Arabic, to their own people, they deny Israel’s right to exist and promote vicious hatred against Jews.

They also claim to have reneged violence. But the PA never conceded that terrorism was immoral. They simply concluded that having failed to achieve their objectives by violence, their goals could best be promoted by temporarily suspending terrorism in order to gain Western support. Abbas made it clear that he “had the honor of firing the first shot in 1965” and was only opposed to terrorist attacks “at this time” for tactical reasons and that “in the future things may change.…”

The true objectives of the PA are reflected in the poisonous hatred against Jews and Israel inculcated into their people through the broad range of institutions they control, permeating every level of society—from kindergarten upwards. This can be traced to the very inception of the Oslo Accords. Before that, the relationship between Palestinians and Israelis, while far from ideal, was certainly better than it is now; current polls indicate that 84 percent of Palestinians endorse the murder of Israelis.

In addition to denying Jewish sovereignty, the PA from the outset indulged in the most horrendous demonization, describing Jews as the descendants of apes and pigs, comparing them to Nazis while simultaneously praising Hitler, accusing them of stealing Palestinian body parts, using human blood during Passover, promoting AIDs and many other loathsome blood libels. This defamatory torrent impacts directly on Israel’s diminished standing in the international community.

In response to this, an important book compiled by Itamar Marcus, [founder of Palestinian Media Watch (PMW)], and Nan Jacques Zilberdik titled Deception: Betraying the Peace Process, has just been released. It meticulously documents the poisonous behavior of the Palestinian Authority during 2010 and 2011 throughout the broad range of institutions they control. It will become an important source for pro-Israeli activists and provide irrefutable evidence in response to those denying the criminality pervading Palestinian society.…

The book and the PMW website chronicle obscene examples of incitement, especially in the wake of the release of the terrorists in the [Gilad] Schalit [prisoner] exchange. Chairman Abbas, who publicly embraced these mass murderers, summed up the PA approach when he stated “every prisoner is for us a saint and we must exalt him.” He subsequently appointed Mahmoud Damra, a notorious terrorist, as his advisor. The state-controlled Palestinian media sanctified the murders committed by the released terrorists. Thus Ahlam Tamimi, the woman who orchestrated the suicide bombing at the Jerusalem Sbarro restaurant which killed 22 civilians including seven children, was quoted proudly proclaiming she would do it again; Abbas al-Sayed who perpetrated the Passover suicide attack at the Park Hotel in Netanya which killed 30 Israelis was described by Abbas as a “hero” and “symbol of the Palestinian Authority.”

Only recently, while commemorating the 47th anniversary of Fatah, the Mufti Muhammad Hussein, the PA’s highest religious authority, appointed by Abbas, proclaimed that the killing of Jews was a major Islamic goal required before the Islamic Resurrection.… Just last week PMW reported how official PA TV conveyed “greetings” to Hakim Awad, the barbaric and unrepentant murderer of the Fogel family, which included a four-month-old infant and children aged three and 11 years. His mother was honored on the program and conveyed “greetings to dear Hakim, the apple of my eye, who carried out the operation in Itamar, sentenced to five life sentences.…”

After reading this book, a number of questions come to mind. The US Congress was considering terminating the funding of the PA general budget unless it terminated incitement, glorification of suicide bombers as heroic role models, payment of over $5 million a month for “salaries” to 5,500 terrorists in Israeli prisons, and pensions to the families of terrorists.… Why does [Israeli] Prime Minister Netanyahu so frequently pay lip service to Abbas as a peace partner and, other than very recently, fail to systematically highlight the criminality of the Palestinian leaders?…

And finally, how can President Obama and Western countries justify their repeated vitriolic condemnations of Israeli construction in Jewish suburbs of Jerusalem and yet have so little to say about a society which indoctrinates its children with such a barbaric worldview? How can Secretary of State Hillary Clinton validate her silence over these issues?…

It is surely delusional to view the current Palestinian leadership as peace partners. Such a calculated policy of deception reflected by the disparity between reality and duplicitous statements designed for foreign consumption is not merely an expression of malice. It is a manifestation of a determined policy to poison the people against any possible accommodation with Israel. It provides a devastating response to the question raised in the introduction to the book. Was a genuine peace process ever intended?






Memri.org, 9 décembre 2011

Ci-dessous des extraits d'un sermon du vendredi délivré à Gaza et diffusé sur la télévision Al-Aqsa le 2 décembre 2011. (Voir les extraits vidéo sous-titrés en anglais:



Prédicateur: Notre étendard est «Il n'y a d'autre dieu qu'Allah» ; notre slogan: «Allah est le plus grand» (…) et notre manteau:

«Mort aux Juifs et à l'Amérique».


Le prophète a dit: Le Jour du Jugement n'arrivera pas tant que vous n'aurez pas combattu les Juifs – vous à l'est du fleuve et eux à l'ouest. Alors les pierres et les arbres diront:

«Ô musulman, ô serviteur d'Allah, il y a un Juif derrière moi: viens l'abattre.»

Ils ne diront pas:

«Ô musulman occidentalisé…»

Ils ne diront pas:

«Ô musulman ignorant de sa religion…»

Ils diront:

«Ô musulman, ô serviteur d'Allah, il y a un Juif derrière moi: viens le tuer.»

Bientôt vous entendrez les pierres et les arbres crier: «Allah Akbar» et dire:

«Ô musulman, ô serviteur d'Allah, il y a un Juif derrière moi, viens le tuer


Kévin Chetrit

Guysen.com, 15 décembre 2011

Alors que la tension semble retomber quelque peu en Israël après les actes de vandalisme de ces derniers jours, l’ensemble de la classe politique Israélienne a fermement critiqué les adeptes du «prix à payer». Au concert de condamnations s’est joint une très large partie du monde religieux.


La condamnation est sans retenue. Les actes de vandalisme de ces derniers jours n’ont pas tardé à faire réagir avec vigueur le gouvernement Israélien. C’est en des termes forts que Benyamin Netanyahou a dénoncé l’attitude des jeunes militants adeptes de la politique du prix à payer.


«Il ne s’agit pas d’un crime idéologique il s’agit simplement de criminalité», a-t-il dit. «Il existe des lois dans ce pays il y a un gouvernement dans ce pays, il y a la démocratie dans ce pays. Personne n'est autorisé à enfreindre la loi».


Mercredi 14 décembre le chef du gouvernement a adopté les recommandations formulées par Yaakov Neeman et Yitzhak Aharonovitch les ministres de la Justice et de la Sécurité intérieure. Les fauteurs de troubles seront désormais jugés par des tribunaux militaires et non plus civils. Benyamin Netanyahou a en revanche rejeté la proposition visant à mettre les émeutiers au même niveau que les terroristes.


A l’unisson du Premier ministre le chef de la diplomatie Israélienne Avigdor Lieberman ont vivement condamné l'attaque de la base militaire d’Efraïm. «De tels actes causent des dommages énormes à la société israélienne», ont-ils déclaré. «Rien ne peut justifier de lever la main et de porter préjudice à des soldats de Tsahal. Il faut éradiquer ce phénomène à la racine».


Une très large partie des leaders religieux du pays se sont joints aux condamnations. Une délégation de rabbins conduite par le Grand Rabbin Sépharade d’Israël, le Rav Shlomo Amar, s’est rendue sur les lieux des heurts. Pour rappeler que «la Torah est opposée à la violence» et que «Tsahal est l'armée du peuple». (…)


Politiques militaires religieux tous sont d’accord: la colère de ces militants est contre-productive, et doit être combattue par tous les moyens.

Joseph Facal

fr.canoe.ca, 15 décembre 2011

Je viens de passer les 10 derniers jours en Égypte, à Alexandrie et au Caire, pour enseigner. J'y avais déjà été en 2009. J'ai retrouvé l'Égypte qui ne change jamais, une masse grouillante, bruyante, klaxonnante d'humains qui finit par donner le vertige, des vendeurs de produits invendables qui sont en fait des mendiants, la quasi-absence de feux de circulation et de poubelles, le sublime et le sordide un à côté de l'autre.




C'est à Alexandrie, huit millions d'habitants, deuxième ville du pays, totalement ignorée des journalistes étrangers et des touristes, où j'étais basé, que les changements m'ont le plus frappé depuis mon dernier séjour. La ville est le bastion des ultraconservateurs religieux.


Beaucoup d'hommes ont en permanence une ecchymose sur le front à force de se cogner par terre avec ferveur pendant la prière. L'immense majorité des femmes porte maintenant le foulard islamique. Celles aux cheveux découverts sont très rares et appartiennent à la minorité copte, nom donné aux chrétiens d'Égypte. Le nombre de femmes totalement voilées a grimpé en flèche.


Dans les rues, les haut-parleurs diffusent des versets coraniques à répétition. Impossible d'y échapper. Pendant que je donnais mon cours, l'appel à la prière du haut du minaret me forçait à fermer la fenêtre pour être entendu de mes étudiants. Il y a de moins en moins de journaux étrangers ou de chaînes de télévision non arabes accessibles. La première phase des élections législatives vient d'avoir lieu. Les grandes villes votaient en premier. Ensemble, les deux formations religieuses extrémistes, les Frères musulmans et les Salafistes, ont obtenu plus de 60 % du vote. Quand les zones rurales, plus pauvres et analphabètes, voteront, le raz-de-marée islamiste sera encore plus fort.


Les partis laïcs ont été balayés. Les jeunes de la place Tahrir, qui ont lancé le mouvement qui fit chuter Moubarak, proposaient aussi quelques candidatures: elles ont été pulvérisées par le rouleau compresseur islamiste. Le résultat final ne fait guère de doute.




Les premières déclarations d'intention des leaders islamistes locaux, totalement ignorées par les médias occidentaux, donnent froid dans le dos. La minorité chrétienne pense qu'elle va y goûter. Mes collègues universitaires basés là-bas, des Français pour la plupart, sont terriblement inquiets.


Les islamistes n'ont joué aucun rôle dans les soulèvements populaires du printemps, mais ils récupèrent maintenant à leur profit le désir de changement. Moubarak ayant fait le vide sur la scène politique pendant des décennies, les islamistes, qui étaient la seule force politique organisée en face de lui, cueillent aujourd'hui le fruit mûr. Les jeunes qui se sont levés pour la liberté seront cruellement déçus.


Je reviendrai sur les causes profondes de la percée islamiste. Je peux me tromper, mais j'ai senti que le pays arabe le plus peuplé est au bord du précipice.

Hélios d'Alexandrie
postedeveille.ca, 15 décembre 2011

Hélios d'Alexandrie traite de la vision islamiste du sexe des femmes dans le contexte de l'histoire du mouvement féministe en Égypte et du récent prêche d'un imam très connu dans ce pays, l'imam al Houieini, expliquant pourquoi la femme doit couvrir son visage. Le prêche est reproduit sur le site elaph.com, qui contient également une vidéo (en arabe).


Vers une République islamique des Interdictions


Les islamistes, particulièrement les plus «sincères» d'entre eux, sont convaincus d'avoir le vent dans les voiles. Enhardis par leurs succès électoraux en Égypte ils laissent tomber la taqqia qui les a si bien servis et s'en donnent à cœur joie. La surenchère est de mise entre les imams salafistes et les gros bonnets du parti salafiste el Nour (le parti de la lumière); ils prônent à l'unisson un retour pur et simple à l'obscurité des temps primordiaux de l'islam. Les caciques du parti se frottent les mains et préparent un menu législatif de leur cru qui fera de l'Égypte la République Islamique des Interdictions:


  • interdiction de produire, de vendre et de consommer de l'alcool,
  • interdiction pour les femmes de circuler le visage découvert (le niqab sera obligatoire),
  • interdiction pour les femmes de porter des hauts talons (même sous le niqab) pour ne pas exciter la concupiscence des mâles,
  • interdiction pour un couple de se tenir par la main en public,
  • interdiction de publier et de vendre les œuvres littéraires de Naguib Mahfouz (prix Nobel de la littérature) ; ses écrits font de lui un apostat de l'islam (Mahfouz ne sera pas seul longtemps et il est à prévoir que tous les auteurs égyptiens lui tiendront bientôt compagnie),
  • interdiction pour les touristes de sexe féminin de porter le bikini,
  • interdiction de la mixité dans les piscines pour les touristes.


La précédente liste n'est pas exhaustive, on ne saurait penser à tout mais on compte sur le zèle des militants et de ceux qui feront respecter ces interdictions pour colmater les éventuelles brèches que ne manqueront pas d'ouvrir les ennemis de l'islam.


Le féminisme égyptien et le visage de la femme dans l'islam


Les imams salafistes, eux, ont un gros problème avec le féminisme égyptien et pour cause: le mouvement féministe est né il y a plus de cent ans et c'est curieusement une femme voilée du nom de Hoda Chaaraoui (née Hoda Mohamed Soltan) qui a fondé ce mouvement. De retour de France où elle avait complété sa formation académique, Hoda a enlevé le voile qui lui couvrait le visage au moment où elle était accueillie par son père au port d'Alexandrie.


Son geste a fait sensation, il a en même temps frappé l'imagination des femmes et surtout celle des hommes, à tel point que dix ans plus tard on ne rencontrait que très peu de femmes voilées en public. Le voile a été relégué à la poubelle des coutumes, il est devenu le symbole de l'ignorance, de l'obscurantisme et de l'asservissement des femmes. En se débarrassant du voile, les Égyptiennes ont réclamé de nouveaux droits: le droit à l'instruction, le droit à la protection contre les abus de la charia dans le champ matrimonial: restrictions sur la liberté de se déplacer, polygamie, divorce abusif, violence conjugale etc. Le droit de vote est arrivé plus tard et il s'est accompagné du droit de se porter candidate pour un poste électif. Le succès de Hoda Chaaraoui et du féminisme était tel, que durant les années trente et quarante, les épouses et les filles de l'imam d'al Azhar, comme celles des dirigeants du parti des frères musulmans, sortaient tête nue, allaient fréquemment chez le coiffeur et arboraient des toilettes à l'occidentale!


On comprend pourquoi les imams salafistes veulent «régler leurs comptes» avec le féminisme en général et avec Hoda Chaaraoui en particulier, cet épisode édifiant de l'histoire de l'Égypte moderne pèse lourd sur leur estomac. En effet, le rejet du voile par la population égyptienne au début et au milieu du vingtième siècle équivaut pour eux au rejet de l'islam, donc à l'apostasie ; si on suit leur raisonnement, l'Égypte au complet a renié l'islam et on en vient à la conclusion logique que c'est par le rejet de l'islam que l'Égypte a réussi à sortir de l'arriération. Cette équation islam = arriération est difficile à admettre pour les islamistes, d'où leur besoin de démolir l'image de Hoda Chaaraoui et de stigmatiser à jamais l'élan que cette femme a donné à l'Égypte à travers le mouvement féministe qu'elle a incarné.


Comment démolir l'image de Hoda Chaaraoui sans parler de la lutte qu'elle a menée pour la dignité des femmes et pour tirer l'Égypte de l'arriération? À cette question difficile l'imam salafiste Abou Ishaq al Houeini a voulu répondre dans un prêche adressé récemment à des militants. Malheureusement pour lui, son discoursa été filmé et par la suite diffusé partout via internet, Facebook, Twitter et Youtube. L'imam al Houieini y est allé de sa description des évènements entourant le geste historique de Hoda Chaaraoui quand elle a enlevé son voile publiquement en présence de son père. L'imam prétend que son père, qui occupait la haute fonction de président de la chambre des députés (l'assemblée nationale), a été catastrophé par son geste:


«Imaginez une femme qui découvre son visage en public, quelle catastrophe, pensez-y un instant, le visage de la femme c'est comme sa vulve!»


Entendre par là: le geste de Hoda Chaaraoui c'est de la grossière indécence, que les musulmans et les musulmanes se le tiennent pour dit, Hoda Chaaraoui est une impudique, dans le langage des islamistes c'est une pute et vlan!


L'imam al Houeini croyait frapper un grand coup, mal lui en prit car la réaction des gens n'a pas tardé à se manifester. Le public a retenu l'équation de l'imam: le visage de la femme = sa vulve. Les niqabées ont été les premières à se sentir humiliées par l'équation, les pauvres elles ignoraient que leur visage était une partie honteuse, jusque là l'endoctrinement islamique les avait convaincues qu'en se cachant derrière le niqab elles obéissaient à Allah et se rapprochaient de lui. Du coup le niqab, par la vertu de la rhétorique salafiste, a retrouvé sa fonction originelle. Pauvre niqab, d'instrument de libération de la femme il se trouve ravalé au rang de culotte ou de cache-sexe! (…)



philosemitismeblog.blogspot.com, 14 décembre 2011

Les terroristes du Hamas ont célébré le 24e anniversaire de l'organisation en organisant un défilé monstre à Gaza City. A l'occasion de cette commémoration, le Hamas a publié des statistiques et son bilan glorieux (merci l'Europe pour son amitié et sa générosité sans faille).


  • 1.848 "martyrs"
  • 1.365 Israéliens tués
  • 6.411 Isréliens blessés
  • 1.117 attaques terroristes
  • 87 missions suicide (menées par des bombes humaines)
  • 11.093 roquettes et obus de mortier lancés sur Israël

Il est clair que vous ne lirez pas ces magnifiques exploits dans vos quotidiens. Entre-temps, Mahmoud Abbas (reçu aujourd'hui pendant 40 minutes à l'Élysée par son ami Nicolas Sarkozy, qui se plaint que Benjamin Nétanayhou est un fieffé menteur) continue à mentir en prétendant que le Hamas a accepté les frontières de 1967 et une trêve.


Manfred Gerstenfeld

france-israel.org, 15 décembre 2011
Adaptation Marc Brzustowski

Entretien de Manfred Gerstenfeld avec Justus Weiner


«Les territoires disputés de Judée-Samarie/Cisjordanie et de la Bande de Gaza sont administrés par l'Autorité Palestinienne (AP) et, depuis ces dernières années, par le Hamas. Sous ces régimes, les résidents arabes chrétiens sont victimes de violations fréquentes des droits de l'homme, comprenant l'intimidation, les coups, le vol de terre, l'incendie à la bombe d'églises et d'autres institutions chrétiennes, le déni d'emploi, le boycott économique, la torture, le kidnapping, les mariages forcés, le harcèlement sexuel et l'extorsion».


«Les Musulmans qui se sont convertis au Christianisme sont ceux qui sont en plus grand danger. Ils sont souvent laissés sans défense face à la cruauté des fondamentalistes musulmans. Les responsables de l'AP et du Hamas sont directement responsables de beaucoup de violations des droits de l'homme. Les Chrétiens arabes sont aussi victimes de la semi-anarchie qui caractérise la gouvernance de l'AP». (…)


«Traditionnellement, les Chrétiens et les Juifs ont reçu un statut social inférieur connu sous le nom de dhimmitude en Islam. Depuis ce jour, les attitudes musulmanes envers les Chrétiens et les Juifs sont influencées par les notions et préjugés que la dhimmitude a engendrés dans la société islamique. La persécution très répandue des Chrétiens dans divers pays sous domination musulmane apporte de nombreuses preuves de cela.


«Israël est l'unique exception au Moyen-Orient, où la population chrétienne a augmenté depuis 1948. Elle s'est accrue de plus de 400%. Cela inclut aussi des Chrétiens non-arabes, comme les Chrétiens russes qui sont venus en Israël en tant qu'époux/ses de Juifs.


«En tant que dhimmis, les Chrétiens vivant dans les territoires contrôlés par les Palestiniens font l'objet de restrictions légales, politiques, culturelles et religieuses débilitantes. Les groupes musulmans comme le Hamas et le Jihad Islamique ont construit une culture de haine sur les fondations séculaires de la société islamique. De plus, l'AP a adopté la loi islamique dans son projet de constitution.


«Dans un tel environnement, les Chrétiens arabes se sont retrouvés victimes de préjugés et de crimes haineux. Des dizaines de milliers de Palestiniens chrétiens ont abandonné leurs maisons ancestrales et émigré. Ils fuient vers presque n'importe quel pays qui leur fournira un visa. (…)


Weiner pointe du doigt que Yasser Arafat est celui qui a déterminé cette politique qui a conduit à ce changement démographique. «Après la prise de contrôle de Bethléem par l'AP, elle a redéfini les limites municipales des quartiers de la ville. Arafat a également défié la tradition en nommant un gouverneur musulman de la ville. Le Conseil de la ville de Bethléem, qui, selon la loi palestinienne, doit avoir une majorité chrétienne, a été pris d'assaut par les Musulmans. Huit des quinze sièges du conseil sont encore réservés aux Chrétiens, mais le Hamas contrôle le Conseil de la ville en utilisant des alliés chrétiens. Les efforts d'Arafat ont été couronnés de succès, lorsqu'il a converti le monastère grec orthodoxe près de l'Église de la Nativité en résidence personnelle à Bethléem.


«Les problèmes pour les Chrétiens à Bethléem sont typiques de ce qui se passé à travers tout le Moyen-Orient. Comme dans la société palestinienne, les Chrétiens arabes n'y ont ni porte-parole ni protection. Ce qu'ils vivent n'est pas étonnant. Du fait de l'émigration – certaines remontant à deux ou trois générations – soixante-dix pourcents des Chrétiens arabes qui résidaient, à l'origine, en Judée-Samarie/Cisjordanie et à Gaza vivent désormais à l'étranger. Des dizaines de milliers vivent à Sidney, Berlin, Santiago, Détroit et Toronto. L'émigration des Chrétiens arabes s'est démultipliée au cours de la dernière décennie, sans aucun terme prévisible.


«Il est couramment estimé que le nombre de Chrétiens vivant à Gaza totalise seulement 1500 à 3000 personnes au milieu d'1, 2 million de Musulmans. Probablement moins de cinquante mille Chrétiens, en tout et pour tout, demeurent à Jérusalem-Est, en Cisjordanie et à Gaza.»


Weiner conclut: «Les crimes contre les droits de l'homme des Chrétiens arabes dans les territoires disputés sont commis par les Musulmans. Pourtant, de nombreux dirigeants palestiniens chrétiens accusent Israël de ces crimes plutôt que leurs auteurs réels. Ces patriarches et archevêques qui portent un titre chrétien arabe préfèrent obscurcir la vérité et mettent leur propre peuple en danger. C'est souvent pour obtenir des bénéfices personnels ou dû à l'intimidation. Une grande diversité de dirigeants chrétiens a adopté ce principe dans le monde occidental. D'autres qui sont au courant de ces crimes contre les droits de l'homme choisissent de se taire à leur sujet».


(Le Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld préside le Conseil d'Administration du Centre des Affaires Publiques de Jérusalem. Il a publié 20 ouvrages. Plusieurs d'entre eux traitent d'anti-israélisme et d'antisémitisme. Justus Reid Weiner est juriste international spécialiste des droits de l'homme et membre des Associations du Barreau d'Israël et de New-York.)


lessakele.over-blog.fr ©





The Canadian Institute for Jewish Research cordially invites you to its

23rd Anniversary Gala

Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Congregation Shaar Hashomayim
450 Avenue Kensington, Westmount, Quebec, Canada


Former Israeli Defense Minister and Ambassador to the U.S.


Also Featuring


Prof. Barry Rubin
Outstanding internationally-renowned Middle East analyst


Tax receipts will be issued for the maximum allowable amount


For additional information. or to register for the 23rd Anniversary Gala,
please call Yvonne at 514-486-5544 or contact us by e-mail at yvonne@isranet.org


Frederick Krantz


Lenore and I recently had the privilege of spending a month in Jerusalem, into and across the Pessah holiday. As always, being in the Jewish state allays the anxieties which living in the Diaspora engenders—concerns about Hamas and Hezbollah terrorism, Mahmoud Abbas’ threatened “unilateral declaration of independence”, Iran’s progress towards a nuclear weapon, whether the Arab rebellions will result in even more radical, anti-Israel regimes , about the unending European and North American delegitimation campaigns, and so on.

It’s not that one’s concerns over these very real issues suddenly or entirely disappear. Rather, directly experiencing the strength and dynamism of Israel’s democratic Jewish society, unique in a Middle East wracked by dictatorship, underdevelopment, and Islamic extremism, conveys a conviction that Jerusalem can and will endure.

Precisely the normality of everyday life, of the traffic and building cranes and the throbbing hum of street life, and yes, even the tensions and give-and-take of democratic politics, demonstrate that modern Israel, as it celebrates its sixty-third birthday, has the economic, political, and cultural strength, and the robust civic resilience, not only to deal with its violent and hostile neighborhood, but also to lead the Jewish people in the centrally-important struggle against anti-Semitic delegitimation.

The period from Pessah through Yom Hashoah, Yom HaZikaron, and Yom Ha’atzmaut, is a period for serious personal and national reflection. The survival of the Jewish people, across its millennial history, amidst the persecution and the wars of extermination against it, is indeed a miracle. And surely its return to independence in its own Land, even as Hitler and his European henchmen, and then the Arab nations in their turn after 1945, sought to destroy it, can only be read as something miraculous.

Israel’s destiny, some would say mission, among the nations is inscribed in our Tanakh, with its promise of return to our own Land, a return foreseen by our Prophets, from Isaiah and Jeremiah and Ezekiel, to Theodor Herzl, Ze’ev Jabotinsky, and David Ben-Gurion.

Biblical Israel, charged with the joyous burden of witnessing to God’s redemptive plan by sanctifying daily life through doing the commanded mitzvoth, has shaped modern democratic Israel, charging it to be a Zionist beacon of modern civilization, transforming its barren post-Exilic hills and plains and deserts into a modern Land of milk and honey.

Today’s Israelis, backed by a Diasporic world which has steadfastly stood by them, constitute a generation blessed by the sacrifices of the pioneers who came before them, and by the over 23,000 keddoshim who have fallen in the wars and terrorism since the beginnings of Return in the nineteenth century. Who, in 1948, when the just-proclaimed State fought for its very life against invading Arab armies, a scant three years after the nightmare of the Shoah, could have foreseen a Jewish society rivalling America and Western Europe in its economic and technological dynamism and standard of living?

Who, peering into the ashen smoke of the death-camps, could have foreseen Israel’s military strength, expressed in an Israel Defense Force which has not only defeated successive Arab invasions and terror campaigns but is, today, man-for-man perhaps the world’s most effective military force?

Above all, and even as they fought off the various Amaleks who came to destroy them and, poor as they were, nevertheless welcomed waves of refugees from an unstable and hostile world, modern Israelis, religious and secular, have forged a consciously Jewish society. In it, three millennia of our history and culture are expressed in modern political and social institutions, law, and education, informing the daily life some seven million people, today the demographic and spiritual center of the Jewish people.

It is natural, and understandable, that, concerned by the very real problems Israel continues to face, we sometimes forget the solid strength and great achievements expressed daily in myriad ways in Jerusalem, Tel-Aviv, Ashdod, and Haifa, on the kibbutzim and moshavim and in the hesder yeshivoth , up and down and across this cherished Land.

It is also natural that, caught up in the vigorous back-and-forth of Israel’s vigorous and sometimes intensely partisan political life, in the Knesset and municipally, we sometimes forget the substantial unity of Israel’s citizenry on the great issues facing the country.

But walking the quiet streets of Jerusalem on the Shabbat before Pessah, or watchinglife grind to an immediate halt in Tel Aviv as theYom Hashoah shofar-siren calls all to remembrance, in a country where being Jewish in its different expressions is simply assumed, a given, one is again reminded of the miracle of every-day life in the reborn Jewish state.

Yom Ha’atzmaut, just passed, is illuminated by, and teaches, that Jewish sacrifice, of our past and recent, and future history, has not been and will not be in vain. We are today, in our variety, what we have always been, an am segula, a People chosen to demonstrate, to our enemies and our friends and above all to ourselves, what being human, being created in God’s image, is, at its best, capable of, and in so doing to give courage, in a world so often fallen, to give courage to ourselves and to all people of good will, today, and to our posterity in the generations to come.

Am Yisrael Chai—the Jewish people lives!

(Professor Krantz is Director of the Canadian Institute for Jewish Research,
and teaches at Liberal Arts College, Concordia University.)


David Breakstone
Jerusalem Post, May 13, 2011


Back in 2004, the Knesset graciously passed a law allowing me to indulge my passion once a year without having to make any excuses. It legislated that 10 of Iyar—the birthday of the father of our country, which happens to fall five days after we celebrate its independence—would henceforth be known as Herzl Day, and stipulated that it be celebrated by recounting his vision and deeds.…

As our calendar tells me that we are still shedding the shackles of Egyptian bondage while making our way to Mount Sinai, I thought it appropriate to relate to Herzl’s own Jewish journey during a lifetime that lasted merely four years longer than our wandering in the wilderness. It begins with an attachment to the Jewish people essentially divorced from rites and ritual, and culminates in a passionate affirmation of Jewish tradition. Fascinating in itself, this exploration of Herzl’s evolving relationship to his Jewishness might also serve as a catalyst for considering our own—as well as prompting some reflection on our dreams regarding the Jewish state that his brought into being.

To begin with, fairness demands acknowledgment that misconceptions about Herzl’s attitude toward Judaism are not entirely groundless. They originate in his early response to anti-Semitism. Initially he was not terribly bothered by the phenomenon, held his brethren accountable for the animosity they attracted, and even went so far as to assert that there was something positive about it. “We Jews have maintained ourselves…as a foreign body among the nations,” he wrote. “In the ghetto we have taken on a number of anti-social characteristics. Our character has been damaged by oppression and must be repaired through another sort of pressure.…”

Anti-Semitism, he believed, would serve that purpose. “It is the education of a group by the surrounding populations and will perhaps in the end lead to its absorption”—which, shockingly, is what he fleetingly considered to be the best solution to the Jewish problem, as recorded in his diary in 1895: “About two years ago…I wished to arrange for an audience with the pope…and say to him: I will lead a great movement for the free and honorable conversion of Jews to Christianity.”

Such references account for the accusations hurled against Herzl that he was concerned with safeguarding Jewish bodies but not the Jewish soul. Add to this that in Der Judenstaat he wrote of the need to “keep our rabbis within the confines of their synagogues” and suggested the Jewish state might be established in Argentina (followed a few years later by his proposal of Uganda), and it is not difficult to understand why his detractors accuse him of lacking Jewish sensibilities.

But any dismissal of Herzl as an ardent defender of the Jewish faith with a deep affinity for the Land of Israel does him a terrible injustice, drawing conclusions based on isolated snapshots of his life taken out of context, and ignoring his own testimony of metamorphosis.

“Deep in his soul he began to feel the need of being a Jew,” he writes about himself in the short story “The Menorah.” “His Jewish origins…had long since ceased to trouble him…he began to love his Judaism with an intense fervor.”

But even “in the old days,” Herzl bore his Jewish identity with pride. As a student, he was expelled from his fraternity after accusing it of being anti-Semitic. When he had yet to establish himself as a writer, he refused an offer to be published if he would agree to adopt a less Jewish pen name. And he blamed his failure to gain the pope’s support for the Zionist cause in part on his refusal to kiss the papal ring.

While it may have been the “push” of anti-Semitism that first propelled Herzl from a trajectory of engagement with gentile society to an obsession with creating a Jewish one, the “pull” of Judaism quickly became his source of inspiration. In his address to the First Zionist Congress, he declared that “Zionism is a return to the Jewish fold even before it is a return to the Jewish land,” and he later asserted that our aspirations must include not only the settling of Jewish soil, but also “a new blossoming of the Jewish spirit.…”

As to the depth of his connection to the Land of Israel, those who would deny it disregard the words Herzl puts into the mouth of his alter ego in Altneuland upon seeing Jerusalem for the first time: “Recollections of Seder services of long-forgotten years stirred in him. One of the few Hebrew phrases he still knew rang in his ears: Next year in Jerusalem!… And here before him the walls of Jerusalem towered in the fairy moonlight. His eyes overflowed.…”

Those who have yet to be convinced that Herzl believed religion must play a vital role in the Jewish state of which he dreamed need only turn to the last page of Altneuland. Here visitors to this new society inquire of its founders what made its establishment possible. Each answers in accordance with his own perspective: the unity of the Jewish people, new systems of transportation, the forces of nature, self-confidence. “But the venerable Rabbi Shmuel got happily to his feet and proclaimed: ‘God.’”

These are the closing words of the novel. They attest eloquently to the zenith of Herzl’s Jewish journey while raising questions about our own. What answer does each of us have as to what has made the miracle of 63 years of Jewish statehood possible? And if the price it has exacted is to be justified, of what must we keep dreaming?

(Mr. Breakstone is vice chairman of the World Zionist Organization,
and founding director of its Herzl Center on Mount Herzl, Jerusalem.)


Sarah Honig
Jerusalem Post, May 13, 2011


“Losing an illusion makes you wiser than finding a truth.”—Ludwig Börne (1786-1837)

One of the wittier and more brilliant satirists ever to have come out of Germany, Börne identified with characteristic precision that indispensable preliminary step in Everyman’s quest for solutions to whatever plagues us. “If you seek wisdom,” he advised, “seek the destruction of the illusions you hold as true more than you seek new truths.”

This is counsel that should be heeded here and now by our inveterate hawkers of megadelusion—Israel’s very own proponents of the two-state solution. Unflaggingly they peddle tattered, intrinsically disorienting delirium. Incredibly they never seem to tire of pulling the wool over their own and our eyes. They present themselves as possessors of singular insight, as harbingers of a greater truth and as wise beyond our plebeian grasp.

They won’t let go of the grand delusion that underlies their self-professed wisdom and purported truth. Their two-state delusion was certainly sweet—simplistically and seductively so. It claimed that all conflicts can be amicably and fairly settled by just dividing up whatever is contested. It touted idealistic goodwill and seemed compellingly rational. But it was from the start delusionary.

By all empirical yardsticks, that delusion has finally and undeniably crumbled into grimy dust. The illusion of a reasonable accommodation with genocidal foes—which without fail anyhow failed the test of coolheaded analysis—ignobly disintegrated when Ramallah’s Fatah and Gaza’s Hamas banded back together, at least pro forma, for the sake of expediency. Whatever their motives and whatever the long-range plans of the old-new partners, their joint venture should persuade even the most diehard of our peaceniks that the time has come to finally wise up and lose the illusion.

The prevalent illusion thus far was that we face two dissimilar Palestinian entities—negotiation-espousing Ramallah and Gaza, whose unaltered goal is Israel’s annihilation. Now that the pair has retied the knot, their deception has been exposed. That should mean that the illusion has been shattered irrefutably once and for all.

In reality the only distinction between the two always was tactical. Ramallah excels at propaganda warfare, while Gaza fires rockets. Ramallah is funded by the Quartet, while Gaza is underpinned by Damascus and Tehran. Both wish to obliterate Israel, but Ramallah is more cunning and Gaza more candidly confrontational.

Neither Ramallah nor Gaza was ever a reliable or viable peace partner. Only our indomitable wishful thinking and obsessive illusion kept conjuring up interlocutors on whom we could unload slices of homeland, directly atop the soft underbelly of our densest population centers.

Gaza’s Hamas thumbs its nose at us and glorifies the IslamoNazism of infamous Second World War-criminal Haj Amin al-Husseini, who from his Berlin residence avidly abetted Hitler’s Final Solution, recruited Muslims to the SS and actively foiled the rescue even of several thousand Jewish children.

Conversely, in his Moscow Friendship University PhD treatise, Fatah figurehead Mahmoud Abbas attempted to dwarf the Holocaust’s proportions drastically, while simultaneously accusing Zionists of colluding in Holocaust perpetration—i.e., it didn’t happen, but Israel is guilty. This history-warping dissertation is compulsory study material in his fiefdom’s schools.

Abbas’s Fatahland is nothing but a more outwardly decorous version of Hamastan. All the rest is desperate illusion.…

Most members of the dysfunctional family of nations indeed advocate the two-state solution, but we alone are delusional. All the others are stimulated by cynical vested interests, which impair our self-preservation prospects. In other words, other states don’t push us into the two-state abyss for our own good. Quite the contrary. Nevertheless, too many of our headliners and opinion-molders voluntarily embrace that detrimental external pressure. They avidly engage in scare-mongering. If we don’t succumb to what’s dictated from abroad, they hector, we’ll be left alone, ostracized, vulnerable and on the verge of extinction.

But are these demoralizers weakening our resolve for altruistic ends? Or, perhaps, are they identifying with foreigners whom they regard as sources of clout and influence? Are they obsequiously out to win coveted international credentials of enlightenment, that would differentiate them from all those bothersome insular, intransigent and politically incorrect Israelis?

A cooperatively toadying disposition could secure Israel’s peaceniks the acceptance they crave, allow them to bask in the limelight of those who really scorn Israel, win accolades in places Israelis should naturally shun, and earn approval from the most disapproving sorts.

The illusion is that serving the purposes of powers whose greedy, shortsighted interests negate one’s own interests will help promote personal or factional aggrandizement. This isn’t a recently evolved illusion. It has been with us for at least two millennia, perhaps the manifestation of a persistent, pesky mutation in the Jewish genome that keeps popping up exasperatingly in all manner of circumstances, no matter how superficially different.

Somehow Jews appear to crave acceptance, to seek to bask in the limelight of those who really revile them, to win accolades in places they should naturally shun, to yearn for approval from the most inimically disapproving sorts. Ingratiating ourselves with our enemies—and friends-of-enemies—seems preprogrammed into too many of us.

The Jews of Germany, who historically comprised one of the most successful of Diaspora communities, were mind-bogglingly susceptible to the aberration. The list of famous Germans who were born Jewish yet strove not to stay Jewish is unbelievably long. For those cursed with Jewish parentage, talent and brains were never enough to make it in intensely Judeophobic surroundings.

Too many Jews with both talent and brains deluded themselves that Christian credentials would secure them the acceptance they craved, allow them to bask in the limelight of those who really reviled them, win accolades in places they should naturally have shunned, and earn approval from the most disapproving sorts.

Razor-sharp Börne was disturbingly typical. He was born in Frankfurt as Leib Baruch, and that critically was a colossal fly in his ointment. He couldn’t even keep a bureaucratic public-sector job because of his Jewishness. His illusion was to ditch said Jewishness by becoming a Lutheran convert with a suitably Teutonic name. Gallingly, though, even that failed to erase the original sin of Baruch’s extraction. Eventually he ended up in Paris banding with other frustrated Jews to fix up the world.

Börne-Baruch’s illusion of ingratiating himself didn’t pan out. He didn’t succeed in currying the favor of non-Jews. To them Börne remained who he was born. Perhaps it was this life experience that led him to conclude that the prelude to any progress is losing one’s illusions.

Illusions won’t lead any of us anywhere—not to peace with Ramallah or with Gaza, and certainly not with both. Before we rummage around for yet more appeasement-expediting supplementary sacrifices, we must rid ourselves of specious illusion. First things first.


Jerusalem Post, May 12, 2011


For Arab Israelis and Palestinians, the creation of Israel was a “nakba,” a catastrophe. On Friday, Arab towns across the nation will kick off three days of Nakba commemorations with marches, conferences and rallies.

Though these ceremonies take place every year, this year is different in a significant and positive way. The absurd practice by which organizations and municipalities were allowed to use state funds to pay for Nakba events has been stopped. Legislation approved by the Knesset in March, known as the “Nakba law,” empowers the state to fine those who finance their commemoration ceremonies with public money.

The Nakba law will not, and was not intended to, prevent Arab Israelis or anyone else from commemorating Israel’s Independence Day in any way they wish to, as long as they do so peacefully. Rather, the legislation has put an end to the folly in which Israel underwrites activities that undermine the very foundations of Zionism by falsely presenting it as an imperialist movement that engaged during the War of Independence in ethnic cleansing and the intentional, wholesale transfer of the Arab population outside the borders of Israel.

However, while it is Arab Israelis’ and Palestinians’ right to commemorate the Nakba in a way that not only incriminates Israelis for crimes they never committed but also places all the blame for failure on the Zionist movement, it is self-defeating and a major obstacle to peace for them to do so.

If Palestinians were to look clearly and objectively at their behavior around the time of Israel’s founding, they would realize that today they are repeating many of the same mistakes.

“Jihadism”—or the hatred of the infidel and a desire to kill him—to a great degree underlay the Palestinian assault on Zionism through the 1920s-1940s period. The leader of the Palestinian national movement during these years, Haj Amin al-Husseini, was a rabidly anti-Semitic Muslim cleric with close ties to the Nazis.

Similarly, today, many Palestinians have chosen to embrace the most extreme form of Islamist leadership. In the West Bank-Gaza elections of 2006, Hamas trounced the ostensibly secular Fatah. And the national unity deal signed on May 7 in Cairo, which enjoys broad Palestinian support, has brought Hamas—a rabidly anti-Semitic Islamist terrorist organization that has launched dozens of suicide bombings and thousands of mortar shells and rockets against the Israeli civilian population—back to the heart of the Palestinian leadership in all its rejectionist, reactionary glory.

It was this sort of religious extremism and intransigence that exacerbated the plight of the Palestinians back in 1948. In the first weeks of the War of Independence, for instance, Jaffa mayor Yousef Heikal tried to reach a non-belligerency agreement with neighboring Jewish Tel Aviv, to allow the citrus crop to be harvested and exported. But Husseini vetoed this and called for “jihad against the Jews.” As a result, many of Jaffa’s Arabs were expelled during the ensuing war.…

In the 1948 War of Independence, after [Arab countries] had rejected the UN partition plan that would have given them a state, Palestinians launched a bloody offensive to prevent the emergence of a Jewish state. If they had won the war, the result would have been a massive slaughter of Jews just a few years after six million Jews had been massacred in the Holocaust.

The violent, unsympathetic and ungenerous Arab population of Palestine repeatedly attempted to destroy any hopes that the Jewish people would return to their homeland after nearly two millennia of exile and after suffering the worst genocide ever known to mankind.

Thankfully, they failed.

The world’s only Jewish state is now surrounded by 21 Arab nations and has shown a willingness to help establish a 22rd state, for Palestinians.

Yet in large part due to their distorted view of history—the Nakba being just one example—Palestinians continue to focus on their victimization and suffering while ignoring personal responsibility for their predicament. One of the crucial psychological barriers to peace today is Arab Israelis’ and Palestinians’ stubborn insistence on ignoring their own role in creating the refugee problem and in the failure to obtain Palestinian political autonomy.

Instead of devoting so much energy to emphasizing their victimization, Arab Israelis and Palestinians would do well to learn from their mistakes. At present, they seem bent on repeating them.






Jerusalem Post, April 28, 2011


“There will be no dialogue with these murderers,” Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said back in June 2007, referring to Hamas. “There will be no dialogue with the forces of darkness.” Abbas made these remarks shortly after Hamas, in a bloody coup, had seized control of the Gaza Strip. It was also a few months after an assassination attempt against him, which he said was engineered by Hamas. Now the same Hamas members whom he once correctly referred to as “murderous terrorists” are to become Abbas’s colleagues in a “national unity” government.

Abbas purports to expect Israel to cooperate with his volte face by entering into a negotiating partnership with this new government—a Palestinian leadership featuring a terrorist group whose members promulgate the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and vow, as a core of their religious conviction, to eradicate the Jewish state from what they insist is Muslim land.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has declared that such negotiations will not happen. The PA has to choose between a peace deal with Israel and one with Hamas, Netanyahu said on Wednesday. Israel would not accept Abbas’s hair-splitting distinctions between the PLO (to which Hamas does not belong), that would supposedly be responsible for handling negotiations, and the new unity government.

The New York Times’ Ethan Bronner predicted that Israel could be blamed for Abbas’s turn to Hamas. The reconciliation, wrote Bronner, “was sure to fuel debate on whether Mr. Netanyahu had done enough in his two years in power to forge a deal with the Palestinian Authority led by Mr. Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, widely considered the most moderate leaders the Palestinians have ever had.”

Presumably, according to this reasoning, if the government had only caved in to every Palestinian demand, even those that endanger Israel’s security, Abbas would never have followed that sizable proportion of his own people who already chose, at the ballot box five years ago, to entrust their future to a reactionary form of Islamic rule that blatantly discriminates against non-Muslims and champions suicide bombings.

As anyone not prejudiced against Israel and willing to credit Palestinians with making their own decisions knows, however, the real impetus behind the reconciliation, which enjoys massive grassroots support on the West Bank and in Gaza, is that many, if not most, Palestinians truly identify with many of the goals and aims of Hamas. Similarly, many, if not most Egyptians, Jordanians and Syrians support the goals and aims of the Muslim Brotherhood in their respective countries, none of which, by the way, are under Israeli “occupation.”

Yasser Arafat fostered the foul notion among his people that there was no historical basis and no modern legitimacy for Jewish sovereignty in this land. Abbas chose not to energetically challenge that mindset. The misnamed new “unity”—which Hamas will destroy at its convenience—is the latest consequence.

Abbas failed to present to his people a compelling vision of a Palestinian state without religious extremism and violence; a state that fosters reconciliation—not with Hamas but with Israel. Instead, his PA has continued to incite against Israel in its school curriculum and its official media and to glorify terrorists who kill Israelis. It has clung to “peace” positions that no Israeli government could accommodate, and chose not to seize upon the unprecedented terms that were offered by former prime minister Ehud Olmert.

Now Abbas is…entering a partnership with an organization that…uses its own people as human shields for its rocket attacks on Israel, that attempted to assassinate him, and whose vision of a Palestinian state is another fundamentalist Muslim regime patterned after Iran. (Tellingly, one of the few senior government officials to have come out in favor of the unity deal is Iranian Foreign Minister Ali-Akbar Salehi who called it a “blessed, positive move”).…

Rapprochement with Hamas should be counterproductive to the PA’s campaign to secure UN recognition in September for an independent state.… No morally minded country should recognize a Palestinian state led by a government whose members reject the Mideast Quartet’s principles of renouncing violence, accepting past agreements, and recognizing Israel’s right to exist. “Should,” however, is the operative word here.…

Eight months ago in Washington, Netanyahu called Abbas his “partner in peace.” He isn’t any more.


P. David Hornik
FrontPage, April 29, 2011



On Thursday, a day after Wednesday’s announcement of a Fatah-Hamas rapprochement in Cairo, Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas said he would keep pursuing peace talks with Israel. Almost concurrently, top Hamas official Mahmoud al-Zahar said Hamas would stick to its stance of neither recognizing nor negotiating with Israel, but “if Fatah wants to negotiate with Israel over trivialities, they can.”

Notable here is that Abbas cannot “keep pursuing” talks with Israel because he has almost totally abandoned such talks since 2009. [Accordingly], his statement appears to reflect a strategy of retaining his image as a moderate despite the reconciliation with Hamas—and al-Zahar’s grudging agreement suggests Hamas is willing to play along with the game.

And at whom is the strategy aimed? Not at Israel, which, Abbas knows, would not negotiate in any case with a Palestinian government that includes Hamas.… Probably not at the U.S. either. Senior congressmen have already threatened to cut off aid to the PA if the deal with Hamas holds. The Obama administration—which has already come out against the PA’s push for a unilateral recognition of statehood at the UN in September—also reacted coolly. But if, as observers generally agree, the Fatah-Hamas deal aims to allow Abbas to present himself as the leader of a united “Palestine”—both the West Bank and Gaza—at the UN in September, thereby strengthening his pitch for statehood, and if the deal can’t reasonably be seen as an attempt to raise his stock with the U.S., then a likely target is Europe.

Abbas knows that merely getting the standard General Assembly bloc of Muslim and underdeveloped countries to recognize “Palestine” would have little impact. Europe—and especially the key countries Britain, France, and Germany—hasn’t yet taken a clear stance on the statehood push. Abbas knows he can’t have “peace”—that is, can’t get along—with both Hamas and Israel, or Hamas and the U.S. for that matter. But Abbas would like to get along with both Hamas and Europe. That is, he would like to have “unity” with Hamas and a ringing European endorsement of his state, too. Being able to claim he represents all of “Palestine”—while still professing readiness for nonexistent “peace talks” with Israel—could be a way of getting Europe on his side.

As for the UN itself, its Middle East envoy Robert Serry already blessed the Fatah-Hamas announcement on Thursday. And as for the EU, it stated on Thursday that, while it still needs to “study the details” of the deal, “We have consistently called for reconciliation and peace under the authority of Abbas as a way to end the division between the West Bank and Gaza.” In other words, while preferring that Fatah have the upper hand, the EU hardly rules out Hamas—even though it officially defines it as a terror organization.

Much depends—with many skeptical—on whether a Fatah-Hamas unity government will indeed be formed and, if so, will last till September. That would require less than five months; the previous, 2007 Fatah-Hamas unity government lasted only three months before dissolving into bloody strife in Gaza. But these are different times, and some believe Hamas was driven to the deal by alarm over the possible fall of its patron in Damascus.

Much will also depend—presumably—on what such a government would do between now and September. One point of the agreement reached Wednesday, for instance, is a mutual prisoner release. Hamas is supposed to release Fatah prisoners held in Gaza; Fatah, Hamas prisoners held in the West Bank. That would mean hundreds of Hamas terrorists roaming freely in the West Bank, where hundreds of thousands of Israelis live. No doubt the U.S. would react negatively, since those Hamas terrorists were imprisoned in the first place by U.S.-trained Fatah forces under the strategy of helping supposedly moderate Fatah suppress and defeat Hamas. But would Europe see such a move as part of “reconciliation and peace”?

On Thursday Israeli president Shimon Peres said: “The world cannot support the establishment of a state part of whose government is a terrorist organization in every respect.” But it remains to be seen. Seemingly, Fatah’s political melding with openly genocidal Hamas should remove its—and the Palestinians’ generally—last fig leaf of purported moderation. But if it’s Jews vs. (declared) genocidists, it’s again not clear which side Europe, and others, come down on.


Dore Gold

Foreign Policy, April 28, 2011


On Wednesday, representatives of Fatah and Hamas, the two main Palestinian factions, announced in Cairo that they had suddenly reached a reconciliation agreement. The emerging deal, which calls for the establishment of a Palestinian unity government to pave the way for elections within a year, has a lot to do with the Palestinians’ drive to gain the U.N. General Assembly’s backing this September for the establishment of an independent state.

But the world should not cheer this bargain. Although the agreement may solve some of the short-term problems of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s statehood drive, it will create larger problems that promise to doom the plan to irrelevancy.…

Abbas’s reconciliation with Hamas contains more risks than it does advantages. Hamas is designated as an international terrorist organization not only by Israel, but also by Canada, the European Union, and the United States. Moreover, it serves as a proxy force for Iran, which provides Hamas with funding, training, and weapons. So even though the Palestinians can always depend on the Non-Aligned Movement bloc for 120 or 130 General Assembly votes, these facts will imperil the Palestinians’ ability to gain the backing of major Western powers, including the EU countries.

Since coming to power in the 2006 Palestinian legislative elections, Hamas has steadfastly refused to accept the conditionsof the Quartet—the Middle East contact group that includes the United States, the U.N., the EU, and Russia—for becoming part of the diplomatic process.… Mahmoud al-Zahar, the senior Hamas leader who participated in the Hamas-Fatah talks, clarified after the agreement was reached: “Our program does not include negotiations with Israel or recognizing it.” As recently as April 17, Hamas’s military wing, the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, reminded its supporters on its website: “We are going on the path of jihad.” Hamas’s intractability will no doubt jeopardize European diplomatic support for the Palestinian statehood drive, as well as financial assistance for any Palestinian government in which Hamas plays a role.

These concerns come on top of other serious European reservations. For example, the 1995 Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement, also known as Oslo II, clearly established: “Neither side shall initiate or take any step that will change the status of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip pending the outcome of the Permanent Status negotiations.” The EU signed Oslo II as a witness. If the EU supports the Palestinian initiative at the U.N., it will be violating a core commitment of the peace process, which is that the territories’ fate should be determined only by direct negotiations between the parties.

The problems with including Hamas don’t stop there. Abbas’s hope is that a General Assembly resolution will reference the pre-1967 boundaries, which have assumed almost holy status among Palestinians. (Never mind that these were only armistice lines from the 1948 war, and were not regarded as final political borders.) In Jerusalem, the pre-1967 line will put the entire Old City, with its holy sites, like the Western Wall, under Palestinian control. Israelis will not agree to such a division of their capital in any case, but will European governments risk putting the Church of the Holy Sepulchre under a regime even partly controlled by Hamas? They know that many members of Gaza’s small Christian community have been seeking refuge abroad in order to flee Hamas rule.…

Abbas needs to choose his priority: working with Hamas, or working with Israel. Faced with the departure of his old regional ally, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, and the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas’s parent organization, Abbas appears to be recalculating his interests.… The pathway to peace is open. But by reaching out to Hamas, Abbas has plainly moved even further away from it.


Caroline B. Glick
Jerusalem Post, January 29, 2011


Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s response to the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority’s peace deal with Hamas would be funny if it weren’t tragic. Immediately after the news broke of the deal Netanyahu announced, “The PA must choose either peace with Israel or peace with Hamas. There is no possibility for peace with both.”

Netanyahu’s statement is funny because it is completely absurd. The PA has chosen.

The PA made the choice in 2000 when it rejected Israel’s offer of peace and Palestinian statehood and joined forces with Hamas to wage a terror war against Israel. The PA made the choice in 2005 again when it responded to Israel’s unilateral withdrawal from Gaza with a tenfold increase in the number of rockets and missiles it fired on Israeli civilian targets in the Negev. The Palestinians made the choice in 2006, when they elected Hamas to rule over them. They made the choice in March 2007 when Fatah and Hamas signed their first unity deal. The PA made the choice in 2008 when Abbas rejected then-prime minister Ehud Olmert’s offer of statehood and peace. The PA made the choice in 2010 when it refused to reinstate peace negotiations with Netanyahu; began peace negotiations with Hamas; and escalated its plan to establish an independent state without peace with Israel.

Now the PA has again made the choice by signing the newest peace deal with Hamas.

In a real sense, Netanyahu’s call for the PA to choose is the political equivalent of a man telling his wife she must choose between him and her lover, after she has left home, shacked up and had five children with her new man. It is a pathetic joke.

But worse than a pathetic joke, it is a national tragedy. It is a tragedy that after more than a decade of the PA choosing war with Israel and peace with Hamas, Israel’s leaders are still incapable of accepting reality and walking away. It is a tragedy that Israel’s leaders cannot find the courage to say the joke of the peace process is really a deadly serious war process whose end is Israel’s destruction, and that Israel is done with playing along.

There are many reasons that Netanyahu is incapable of stating the truth and ending the 18-year policy nightmare in which Israel is an active partner in its own demise. One of the main reasons is that like his predecessors, Netanyahu has come to believe the myth that Israel’s international standing is totally dependent on its being perceived as trying to make peace with the Palestinians.… Irrespective of the nakedness of Palestinian bad faith, seven successive governments have adopted the view that the only thing that stands between Israel and international pariah status is its leaders’ ability to persuade the so-called international community that Israel is serious about appeasing the Palestinians.

For the past several months, this profoundly neurotic perception of Israel’s options has fed our leaders’ hysterical response to the Palestinians’ plan to unilaterally declare independence.

The Palestinian plan itself discredits the idea that they are interested in anything other than destroying Israel. The plan is to get the UN to recognize a Palestinian state in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and Gaza outside the framework of a peace treaty with Israel. The PA will first attempt to get the Security Council to endorse an independent “Palestine.” If the Obama administration vetoes the move, then the PA will ask the General Assembly to take action. Given the makeup of the General Assembly, it is all but certain that the Palestinians will get their resolution.

The question is, does this matter? Everyone from Defense Minister Ehud Barak to hard-left, post-Zionist retreads like Shulamit Aloni and Avrum Burg says it does. They tell us that if this passes, Israel will face international opprobrium if its citizens or military personnel so much as breathe in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem without Palestinian permission.

These prophets of doom warn that Israel has but one hope for saving itself from diplomatic death: Netanyahu must stand before the world and pledge to give Israel’s heartland and capital to the Palestinians.

And according to helpful Obama administration officials, everything revolves around Netanyahu’s ability to convince the EU-3—British Prime Minister David Cameron, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel—that he is serious about appeasing the Palestinians. If he doesn’t offer up Israel’s crown jewels in his speech before the US Congress next month, administration officials warn that the EU powers will go with the Palestinians.

And if they go with the Palestinians, well, things could get ugly for Israel.

Happily, these warnings are completely ridiculous. UN General Assembly resolutions have no legal weight. Even if every General Assembly member except Israel votes in favor of a resolution recognizing “Palestine,” all the Palestinians will have achieved is another non-binding resolution, with no force of law, asserting the same thing that thousands of UN resolutions already assert. Namely, it will claim falsely that Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and Gaza are Palestinian territory to which Israel has no right. Israel will be free to ignore this resolution, just as it has been free to ignore its predecessors.

The threat of international isolation is also wildly exaggerated. Today, Israel is more diplomatically isolated than it has been at any time in its 63-year history. With the Obama administration treating the construction of homes for Jews in Jerusalem as a greater affront to the cause of world peace than the wholesale massacre of hundreds of Iranian and Syrian protesters by regime goons, Israel has never faced a more hostile international climate. And yet, despite its frosty reception from the White House to Whitehall, life in Israel has never been better.

According to the latest data released by the Central Bureau of Statistics, Israel’s economy grew 7.8 percent in the last quarter of 2010. International trade is rising steeply. In the first quarter of 2011, exports rose 27.3%. They grew 19.9% in the final quarter of last year. Imports rose 34.7% between January and March, and 38.9% in the last quarter of 2010. The Israel-bashing EU remains Israel’s largest trading partner. And even as Turkey embraced Hamas and Iran as allies, its trade with Israel reached an all time high last year. These trade data expose a truth that the doom and gloomers are unwilling to notice: For the vast majority of Israelis the threat of international isolation is empty.

The same people telling us to commit suicide now lest we face the firing squad in September would also have us believe that the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement is the single greatest threat to the economy. But that lie was put paid this month with the demise of the Australian town of Marrickville’s BDS-inspired boycott.

Last December, the anti-Israel coalition running the town council voted to institute a trade, sports and academic boycott against Israel. Two weeks ago the council was forced to cancel its decision after it learned that it would cost $3.4 million to institute it. Cheaper Israeli products and services would have to be replaced with more expensive non-Israeli ones.

Both Israel’s booming foreign trade and the swift demise of the Marrickville boycott movement demonstrate that the specter of international isolation in the event that Israel extricates itself from the Palestinian peace process charade is nothing more than a bluff. The notion that Israel will be worse off it Netanyahu admits that Abbas has again chosen war against the Jews over peace with us has no credibility.

So what is preventing Netanyahu and his colleagues in the government from acknowledging this happy truth? Two factors are at play here. The first is our inability to understand power politics. Our leaders believe that the likes of Sarkozy, Cameron and Merkel are serious when they tell us that Israel needs to prove it is serious about peace in order to enable them to vote against a Palestinian statehood resolution at the UN. But they are not serious. Nothing that Israel does will have any impact on their votes.

When the Europeans forge their policies towards Israel they are moved by one thing only: the US.

Since 1967, the Europeans have consistently been more pro-Palestinian than the US. Now, with the Obama administration demonstrating unprecedented hostility towards Israel, there is no way that the Europeans will suddenly shift to Israel’s side. So when European leaders tell Israelis that we need to convince them we are serious about peace, they aren’t being serious. They are looking for an excuse to be even more hostile. If Israel offers the store to Abbas, then the likes of Cameron, Merkel and Sarkozy will not only recognize “Palestine” at the UN, (because after all, they cannot be expected to be more pro-Israel than the Israeli government that just surrendered), they will recognize Hamas. Because that’s the next step.

It would seem that Israel’s leaders should have gotten wise to this game years ago. And the fact that they haven’t can be blamed on the second factor keeping their sanity in check: the Israeli Left. The only group of Israelis directly impacted by the BDS movement is the Israeli Left. Its members—from university lecturers to anti-Zionist has-been politicians, artists, actors and hack writers—are the only members of Israeli society who have a personal stake in a decision by their leftist counterparts in the US or Europe or Australia or any other pretty vacation/sabbatical spots to boycott Israelis.

And because the movement threatens them, they have taken it upon themselves to scare the rest of us into taking this ridiculous charade seriously. So it was that last week a group of washed-up radicals gathered in Tel Aviv outside the hall where David Ben-Gurion proclaimed Israeli independence, and declared the independence of “Palestine.” They knew their followers in the media would make a big deal of their agitprop and use it as another means of demoralizing the public into believing we can do nothing but embrace our enemies’ cause against our country.

The time has come for the vast majority of Israelis who aren’t interested in the Nobel Prize for Literature or a sabbatical at Berkeley or the University of Trondheim to call a spade a spade. The BDS haters have no leverage. A degree from Bar-Ilan is more valuable than a degree from Oxford. And no matter how much these people hate Israel, they will continue to buy our technologies and contract our researchers, because Cambridge is no longer capable of producing the same quality of scholarship as the Technion.

And it is well past time for our leaders to stop playing this fool’s game. We don’t need anyone’s favors. Abbas has made his choice.

Now it is time for Netanyahu to choose.





Jpost.Com Staff & Reuters
Jerusalem Post, April 27, 2011


Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah movement and its rival Hamas said on Wednesday they had resolved their deep divisions, opening the way for a unity government and national elections. The deal, which took many officials by surprise, was thrashed out in Egypt and followed a series of secret meetings.… The accord was first reported by Egypt’s intelligence service, which brokered the talks.…

Spokespeople for both Hamas and Fatah confirmed that “all differences” have been worked out between the long-feuding Palestinian political movements.…


Susan L. M. Goldberg
NewsRealBlog, April 28, 2011


It’s the Arab Spring and love is in the air. After a torrid on-and-off affair, rival terrorist political factions Hamas and Fatah are on again. According to mutual best-friend Egypt, things are red-hot.

On Wednesday, Hamas and Fatah engaged in forming an interim government while promising to decide on a date for general elections. According to Egyptian intelligence, “The consultations resulted in full understandings over all points of discussions,” including the color for the bridal party: blood red.

A traditional reception will follow the political nuptials, the highlight of which will be the “beginning anew of the Palestinian struggle,” hosted by Deputy Hamas politburo chief Abu Marzouk.

While details of the guest list have yet to be announced, Fatah Central Committee Member Azzam Ahmad declared that “non-partisan elements that will represent the Palestinian people” will be encouraged to attend. However, analysts speculate that one name will be notably absent from the list: Gilad Shalit, the Israeli Army soldier currently being held captive by Hamas for 1,767 days and counting.

Not surprisingly, the recently liberated Egyptian government played a strategic role in reuniting the former [allies]. Bored with their decades-old union with the Jewish state, the newer, fresher Egypt is seeking to re-brand its image; according to 54% of Egyptians, this means de-friending Israel.

Scoring mutual “Likes” in the process, the interim Egyptian military government and Hamas dictatorship used the opportunity to do a little bonding of their own; relationship-building that was initiated with the release of “scores” of Palestinian prisoners from Egyptian jails over the past few weeks. It is expected that Egypt will play best man to Hamas in the upcoming union. Planned pre-wedding activities include the re-opening of the Rafah border crossing between Sinai and the Gaza Strip, [as well as] a rumoured bachelor party promise: The establishment of Hamas’s “unofficial embassy” in Cairo.…

Speaking on behalf of Israel (the scorned woman in the scenario) Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu issued a desperate plea for mediation, lest her already shaky union with Fatah truly comes to an end. “It’s either us, or Hamas; you can’t have us both!” the prime minister declared.…

[However], prospects for reconciliation between [Israel and Fatah] look dim. For example, Fatah has already declared a desire to dump the couple’s mediator: “An aide to Mr. Abbas stated recently he would sacrifice U.S. financial assistance if this was the price of unity.…” Israel, it would seem, is fooling herself if she thinks her mediator will step in to save the day.

According to…[journalist] Zvi Bar’el, “Even the United States will not be able to object to a united Palestinian government, in which Hamas is a partner. After all, it had agreed to accept and even support, economically and militarily, a Lebanese government in which Hezbollah was partner. Nor will the United States and Europe be able to object to general elections in the territories, or deny their results, when the West is demanding Arab leaders implement democratic reforms.” In short, “Israel could find itself isolated yet again if it objects to the reconciliation or the election.”

Could a Hamas-Fatah union reveal the true nature of [both movements] for the world to see? If so, would that make a difference to the 100 nations now on [their] side? Or will the international community continue to turn a blind eye to what has become the obvious truth in the melodrama: The violent, [newly-minted] partner[s] want [their] victim dead, for good.…

[O]nly one adage can offer any reassurance: “Hell has no fury like a woman scorned.”


Barry Rubin

Pajamas Media, April 27, 2011


Suddenly, after years of persistent failure, Fatah and Hamas—which means the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Hamas—have signed a detailed reconciliation agreement. Why now?

It’s preparation for the [upcoming] UN [General Assembly, where the PA will undoubtedly] claim that it is sole, legitimate representative of the Palestinians. [This will greatly increase the probability that the UN will vote in September] to unilaterally create a Palestinian State.…

[And] why is Hamas going along with this? Because the deal gives it a lot, including the promise of elections in a year. Hamas won the last elections and presumably is confident—especially as it looks at electoral successes for Hezbollah in Lebanon and probably soon for the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt—that it will win again.

But there’s also another reason. Hamas is probably quite happy with the idea that many countries—and perhaps the UN—will recognize an independent Palestinian state unconditionally. In other words, there will be a widely, or internationally, accepted Palestine without the need to make peace with Israel. No concessions need be made. The Palestinians will get everything and give up nothing. They will not be bound in any way by border changes or security guarantees. The struggle to wipe Israel off the map can continue.

It’s Hamas’s dream come true.

Anyone who thinks this helps the peace process is deluded. Hamas will never accept any peace agreement with Israel and will radicalize Fatah’s negotiating position out of competition between the two rivals to prove their militancy. The race to commit the most bloody terrorist acts w[ill] intensify.

Make no mistake. Whether or not this development has any direct effect on the ground, it’s another step toward the death of any real Israel-Palestinian peace process.

(Barry Rubin will be speaking at the Canadian Institute for Jewish Research’s upcoming Gala, scheduled for June 15, 2011.)


Jackson Diehl
Washington Post, April 27, 2011


It’s not yet certain that a political deal announced Wednesday by the long-divided Palestinian Fatah and Hamas factions will stick—similar pacts have been proclaimed and then discarded several times in the last four years.

But one thing is sure: If Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas moves forward with the reconciliation with the Islamic Hamas movement, it will mean he has written off the Obama administration and the peace process it has tried to broker, once and for all.

Negotiations between Abbas and the Israeli government of Benjamin Netanyahu have been dormant since last fall—as has the administration’s diplomacy (When was the last time George Mitchell was seen in public?) But lately the administration has seemed to be preparing for another push. At a conference in Washington this month Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton promised “a renewed pursuit of a comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace by the administration” and said Obama would make a major speech on the subject. Obama himself told Jewish leaders at a White House meeting in March that he believed Abbas was ready to make peace with Israel. But now it seems the Palestinian leader was headed in another direction entirely.…

For Israel and the Obama administration, the reconciliation spells a disaster. According to reports Wednesday, it probably will mean the end of the West Bank administration headed by Salaam Fayyad, a technocrat highly respected by both Americans and Israelis. If so, Congress will almost certainly suspend $400 million in annual U.S. aid. It could mean the reorganization of Fatah’s U.S.-trained security forces, which have worked with Israel to keep the peace in the West Bank for the last several years, and their eventual integration with the cadres of the Iranian-backed Hamas.

The deal will also end any serious prospect of peace talks—since Hamas is most unlikely to accept longstanding Western demands that it accept Israel, renounce violence and abide by past Israeli-Palestinian agreements. In recent weeks Hamas’ fighters have returned to firing mortars and missiles from Gaza at Israeli cities—including one missile that was aimed at a yellow Israeli school bus.

Netanyahu has been working on a new peace initiative that he planned to unveil before the U.S. Congress next month, and that could have involved withdrawals of Israeli troops from parts of the West Bank. [However], the Palestinian [unity] deal will [undoubtedly force Netanyahu to] “slam on the brakes,” an Israeli official told me. “Any effort to move forward [on this front] would be completely stopped.”

Abbas apparently doesn’t mind. For some time he has been working on a different initiative: a plan to seek an endorsement of Palestinian statehood by the UN General Assembly at its meeting in September. The Obama administration has publicly opposed the idea, and Netanyahu has warned that Israel might respond with unilateral steps of its own.

But Abbas seems deeply disillusioned with Obama. He recently trashed the U.S. president in an interview with Newsweek, saying he had mismanaged the issue of Israeli settlements. And the Palestinian leader wrote Netanyahu off as soon as he took office two years ago.…

The Palestinian announcement took the Israelis by surprise; likely the Obama administration was also blindsided.… [Accordingly], the Obama administration will have to scramble to adjust to a radically new situation in yet another Middle Eastern land.


Daniel Greenfield
Daniel Greenfield Blog, April 26, 2011


The State of Israel spent the first 30 years of its modern existence reclaiming its territory, and the next 33 years negotiating the terms on which it would be returned to the neighboring countries which had made war on it, as well as an entirely new terrorist state created in the name of peace and maintained in the name of war.

Thirty-three years after the country’s first “hawkish” conservative PM allowed himself to be browbeaten by Jimmy Carter into turning over territory three times its own present size to an Egypt whose new leaders are now disavowing the accords—its current “hawkish” conservative PM is readying himself to offer a whole new raft of concessions in the hopes of preempting a unilateral solution by [U.S. president] Obama or [Palestinian Authority president] Abbas.

For all the furious New York Times articles, there is little to distinguish Israel’s hawks from its doves once they take up their residence in Beit Aghion on the corner of Lord Balfour’s street. Like their American counterparts, they rapidly trade in the rhetoric about an “Undivided Jerusalem” and “War on Terror” for the burden of realpolitik built on a copy of the Art of Appeasement.

The governing mandate of every Israeli PM since 1992 (and perhaps even earlier) has been to try and make a deal with the Palestinian Arabs work. The folly of this has been amply demonstrated time and time again, filling Israel’s cemeteries and hospitals, destroying its security and international standing, and dividing its people against themselves. And yet all these factors have only spurred on the perception that the deal must be somehow made to work. Somehow.

The doves have tried multilateral negotiations. The hawks tried unilateral concessions. The sum total of their efforts is the creation of two terrorist states, one recognized by the international community…and both at war with Israel inside its own borders.

The first state is run by the KGB trained funder of the Munich Massacre and backed by the international community. The second state is run by the local affiliate of the Muslim Brotherhood, and funded by the Muslim world. These two states, popularly known as the Palestinian Authority and Hamas run Gaza, differ only in their tactics, not their aims.…

Almost two decades of negotiations have led to nothing but eighteen years of terror. A state of affairs ignored by everyone except the people living on the firing line, their family sedans scarred by bullets, their kindergartens equipped with bomb shelters and their children equipped with emergency cell phones to check in after every attack.… Year after year, and leader after leader, the Israeli response has been to push forward in the hopes of finding light at the end of the tunnel. But the tunnel has only gotten darker and narrower. And it is growing obvious to even the dimmest observer that the tunnel of peace is really a dead end. Talk of a “breakthrough” keeps alive the hope that Israel can slim down enough to squeeze through a pinhole that simply doesn’t exist.

Israeli leaders are surrounded by technocrats and diplomats who favor retreating from territory, rather than from bad policies. So the land goes, the people die and the bad policies remain. Though Rabin had remained dubious about the…Oslo Accords, the inevitability of an agreement has been adopted by the entire [Israeli] political establishment. Even the “hawks” spend most of their time moving border lines on a map to find some acceptable formula for a Palestinian state. No one asks anymore whether there should be a Palestinian state. Only how big it should be. And how many Israelis should be evicted from their homes in the name of a lasting peace.

But few Israelis believe in a lasting peace anymore. Instead they expect that some form of negotiated separation will keep their sons at home and away from the firefights in Gaza and the West Bank. Never mind that such a separation is even more of an illusion. Barak’s unilateral withdrawal from Lebanon and Sharon’s unilateral pullout from Gaza put Hezbollah and Hamas into power and brought on the Second Lebanon War and the kidnapping of Gilad Shalit.…

Even fewer in Israel’s political establishment believe that terrorism will ever end. The obligatory Rabin festivals and video clips have taken on the air of a hippie festival, charmingly idealistic and completely unrealistic.… All it takes to make your own terrorist group is a dozen friends and a Dubai bank account. The Palestinian Authority and Hamas are umbrella groups supported by numberless militias, any of whom can form their own terrorist group at any time.…

Israeli leaders search for some magic formula that will either achieve a peace agreement or convince the world that the gangs of suit-decked Palestinian…terrorists are not serious about peace. This futile brand of alchemy, with the goal of turning hate into gold, is futilely perverse.…

The “1967 borders,” [for example], are as legally and demographically random as any other. The “Green Line” is nothing but a convenient talking point. [Even if] all the territory back to the 1967 borders [were transferred to] terrorist hands, their attention would [simply] turn to the territory beyond it. 1967 would give way to 1948. New terrorist attacks would be carried out in the name of claiming even more land for the “refugees”.… And the international community would demand new concessions. And eventually a One State Solution.…

The Israeli flag is the symbol of the House of David, a lad who built a nation by standing up to Goliath. To be worthy of the flag, is to be worthy of the act. Israel survived [the first thirty years of its existence] by standing up to the armies of Islam. Not willingly, but reluctantly, [and only after] all other options had been exhausted. Now, [ however], it faces a political war in which all the diplomatic options will never be exhausted, until its enemies overreach themselves with a full invasion.

And by then, Israel may no longer be capable of defending itself.