Tag: Netanyahu

AFTER LATEST GAZA ROCKET ONSLAUGHT: ISRAEL OPTS FOR CEASEFIRE, LIBERMAN RESIGNS, AND ELECTION TALK BEGINS

Why Israel Let Hamas Win: Caroline B. Glick, Jerusalem Post, Nov. 15, 2018— Israel’s security cabinet’s decision Tuesday afternoon to walk away from the war Hamas initiated Monday and to accept a “ceasefire” is frustrating and infuriating.

Praising Netanyahu’s Caution: Jonathan S. Tobin, JNS, Nov. 15, 2018 — People demonstrated in the streets of Sderot on Tuesday, and who could blame them?

In the Middle East, You Win With Fear: Prof. Efraim Inbar, Israel Hayom, Nov. 13, 2018 — The past six months have brought us violent demonstrations along the Gaza Strip border, cross-border infiltrations, rocket fire and incendiary kites and balloons.

A Rude Awakening for the Palestinian Dream: Dr. Mordechai Kedar, Arutz Sheva, Nov. 7, 2018— When something is built on an unstable foundation, it is only natural for its long term survival to be at risk.

On Topic Links

Israel Heads Toward Elections as Jewish Home Says it Will Leave Coalition: Raoul Wootliff, Times of Israel, Nov. 16, 2018

Netanyahu Showed Why He Is ‘King Bibi’ By Agreeing To Gaza Cease-fire: Charles Bybelezer, Media Line, Nov. 15, 2018

Barring a Miracle, War with Gaza is a Matter of When, Not If: Vivian Bercovici, National Post, Nov. 13, 2018 Restore Deterrence in Gaza Now: Isi Leibler, Jerusalem Post, Oct. 29, 2018

                            

WHY ISRAEL LET HAMAS WIN             

Caroline B. Glick

Jerusalem Post, Nov. 15, 2018

Israel’s security cabinet’s decision Tuesday afternoon to walk away from the war Hamas initiated Monday and to accept a “ceasefire” is frustrating and infuriating. Hamas shot nearly 500 projectiles into Israel in under 24 hours. It blew up a bus with a Kornet anti-tank missile. Sixty Israelis were wounded, several critically. One civilian was killed. Numerous homes were destroyed.

Israel has never experienced any rocket onslaught from Gaza remotely as intense as what Hamas and Islamic Jihad shot off on Monday and Tuesday. And yet, rather than respond with equal – or better yet – far greater force and teach Hamas and Islamic Jihad a lesson they would long remember, the security cabinet sufficed with a couple hundred pinpoint air attacks, and then accepted the IDF’s advice and opted for the ceasefire. In so doing, they left the residents of southern Israel virtual hostages of Hamas and Islamic Jihad who have retained the capacity to attack them at will.

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman’s sudden resignation on Wednesday may help his little party Yisrael Beitenu get reelected to Knesset in the next elections. But if it does, then Liberman will have won his political survival at Israel’s expense. Hamas is entirely justified in presenting Liberman’s resignation as proof that it defeated Israel this week.

Winners don’t quit. Losers do. But beyond being frustrating and infuriating, the cabinet’s decision is a cause for deep concern. Why did the cabinet opt to stand down in the face of Hamas’s unprecedented onslaught? Leaving concerns about the prospect of war in the north with Iran, Hezbollah and Syria out of the picture for a moment, there are on the face of things, two basic explanations for the cabinet’s decision. First, maybe the WhatsApp jokes making the rounds are right. Maybe Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his ministers are a bunch of stupid chickens. Liberman effectively accused them of stupidity and cowardice at his press conference Tuesday afternoon when he announced his resignation.

But there is no evidence that Netanyahu is stupid. To the contrary. As for fear, there is ample evidence that if he and his ministers were fearful, they have good reason to be deeply worried. This brings us to the second and more realistic reason to view the cabinet’s decision to stand down in the face of Hamas’s aggression as a bright red warning light. The source of that concern is the IDF’s General Staff.

Israel does not seek to overthrow the Hamas regime in Gaza. And for good reason. The price of a war to overthrow Hamas would be exorbitant both in terms of the human and monetary cost of war. And the return would be dubious at best. Israel doesn’t have an army big enough to spare three divisions to control a post-Hamas Gaza. The other option often touted by the far Left is that Israel pay the price of overthrowing Hamas and then hand Gaza over to the PLO. The PLO, though, is no less hostile than Hamas. Israel has no interest whatsoever in empowering the PLO by giving it Gaza.

Given the absence of a better alternative to Hamas in Gaza, rather than work to overthrow the terror regime, Israel has focused its efforts on keeping Hamas as weak as possible. And so, since Hamas took over Gaza in 2007, Israel’s effective strategy for dealing with the terror regime can be equated to mowing the grass. Every time Hamas becomes too powerful, Israel finds itself in another round of war with it. The purpose of Israel’s operations is to cut Hamas down to size and walk away, until the next round of war.

But this week, Hamas made clear that Israel needs to mow it down. A terror regime capable of sending 500 projectiles into Israeli territory in less than 24 hours and destroying a bus with an anti-tank missile is a terror regime that has become too powerful. So why didn’t the cabinet order the IDF to mow the grass in Gaza? Why didn’t our leaders order the IDF to kill Hamas commanders Yahye Sinwar and Ismail Haniyeh? Why didn’t they order the IDF to destroy the rocket launchers and the crews that operate them? Why didn’t they order the IDF to destroy Hamas’s bases and missile depots? There are two possible explanations for their decision not to give these orders. Taken separately and together they point to an acute problem with the IDF’s senior ranks that requires immediate attention.

One explanation has been highlighted by retired senior IDF commanders and Yediot Aharonot’s military commentator Yossi Yehoshua. This explanation argues that the cabinet decision to stand down on Tuesday owed to the General Staff’s refusal to take the actions necessary to cut Hamas down to size. The General Staff’s refusal, they say, stems from the role lawyers are now playing in the IDF’s targeting decisions. Since Operation Cast Lead in 2008-2009, military lawyers have been attached to fighting units down to the battalion level. These attorneys are allegedly prohibiting required action by claiming that strategically significant and operationally vital actions like killing Hamas commanders and bombing rocket launching units constitute war crimes…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link: Ed]

Content                                                                                         

PRAISING NETANYAHU’S CAUTION

Jonathan S. Tobin                                                                                                                  

JNS, Nov. 15, 2018 

People demonstrated in the streets of Sderot on Tuesday, and who could blame them? They had spent days running back and forth to bomb shelters and safe rooms, enduring the tension and dangers of being subjected to hundreds of rockets fired at their town, as well as the rest of southern Israel, by Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists from Gaza.

But their reaction to news of a ceasefire between Israel and its foes didn’t bring the usual joy and relief. They were mad that, once again, Hamas had terrorized and held hundreds of thousands of Israelis hostage — and gotten away with it. More to the point, they blamed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for failing them and the country by refusing to respond more forcefully to the 450-plus rockets fired on the country. They said he had not only abandoned them, but encouraged Hamas to repeat this dismal process the next time it suited them. Nor were these demonstrators alone in castigating Netanyahu. Some members of his coalition sniped at him for what they considered timorous behavior.

Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman denounced Netanyahu, and went so far as to resign because of the prime minister’s failure to escalate the conflict against Hamas. Lieberman’s motives were transparently political since he opposed military action only weeks ago. His goal was to position himself to Netanyahu’s right if the country goes to early elections. But opposition leaders also joined in the Bibi-bashing, giving some on the left the rare opportunity to criticize him from the right for allowing a dangerous security situation to develop, and then not resolving it in a satisfactory manner. Most embarrassing was the way his critics in the Knesset and the media used video clips of Netanyahu saying the same things about former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s similar policies towards Gaza when Netanyahu was in the opposition.

But being hoisted on his own petard in this manner didn’t appear to faze the prime minister. Nor should it. The world looks a lot different from the perspective of being the person who must make life-and-death decisions, as opposed to those who can criticize from the sidelines.

The impulse to say enough is enough about the terrorist state in Gaza is almost irresistible. As long as Hamas rules the independent Palestinian state in all but name only, there will always be a dagger pointed at Israel’s throat. While Hamas agrees to ceasefires and now speaks of being willing to accept an agreement in which Israel would be forced back to the 1967 borders, it isn’t interested in peace. Its goal, made painfully obvious by the violent mass protests conducted every Friday at the border with Israel since March, is the elimination of the Jewish state. Long-term peace with it is impossible.

Why then doesn’t Netanyahu seek a final reckoning with it, rather than forcing Israelis to endure weeks like the last one, punctuated every few years by a massive counter-attack — like the operations launched in 2008, 2012, and 2014 — that always stops short of deposing Hamas? Though he is routinely denounced as an opponent of peace, when it comes to the use of military force, Netanyahu is one of the most cautious prime ministers Israel has known. The reasons are part personal and part strategy.

As a young man, like his brother Yonatan, the slain hero of the 1976 Entebbe rescue, Netanyahu served in an elite military unit often sent to do the most difficult and dangerous tasks. He understands the cost of battle and has only ordered troops into battle after every possible alternative is exhausted. Over and above his sure grasp of Israel’s diplomatic and military situation, the fact that he spends Israel’s most precious resource — the lives of its soldiers — only with great reluctance is part of the reason why he is trusted by most Israelis.

More than that, Netanyahu doesn’t believe that sending the army into Gaza is in Israel’s best interests. He knows that even a decisive knockout blow against Hamas would likely make the situation even more unbearable for the Israeli people. The fact is that Israel is in a “no win” situation with respect to Gaza. The fault for this belongs to the late Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who withdrew every soldier, settler, and settlement from the strip in 2005. Though he vowed that if Gaza became a terror base, Israel would strike back and re-occupy it, his successors realized that such a vow was easier said than done.

The cost of such a campaign would be prohibitive in terms of Israeli casualties, and catastrophic when one considers how many Palestinians would be sacrificed as human shields as Hamas made its last stand. The opprobrium that would be directed at Israel from a hypocritical international community that regards the Jewish state as the only one on the planet that doesn’t have a right to defend itself would be a problem. But the real concern would not be foreign criticism, but the fact that the aftermath of even a successful military effort would leave Israel with the issue of governing Gaza. Maintaining an occupation would also be costly. So would an attempt to install the rule of the Palestinian Authority there. PA leader Mahmoud Abbas desperately wants to get control of Gaza, but is only willing to do so by fighting to the last Israeli.

Netanyahu also realizes that, as bad as it is, the status quo — both with respect to Gaza and the West Bank — is better than the available alternatives, all of which would present a greater danger to Israel, and make a Palestinian state more, rather than less, likely. Rather than satisfying the need of his people for a resolution of the Gaza problem, the prime minister is playing the long game. He understands that standing pat and waiting — however long that wait must be for the Palestinians to give up their century-long war on Zionism — without making foolhardy choices to give up territory or to launch wars with unpredictable consequences is the smartest strategy.

The frustration of the residents of Sderot and other Israelis under fire is real and understandable. But as painful as it may be, those who care about the Jewish state and understand the complex politics around it should also acknowledge that Netanyahu is right to avoid another war if at all possible.               

Contents

   

IN THE MIDDLE EAST, YOU WIN WITH FEAR

Prof. Efraim Inbar

Israel Hayom, Nov. 13, 2018

The past six months have brought us violent demonstrations along the Gaza Strip border, cross-border infiltrations, rocket fire and incendiary kites and balloons. This means that a so-called “agreement” or truce is not a viable option. We cannot trust Hamas to keep the calm. Only when Hamas is afraid of IDF retaliation, which has yet to come, will calm prevail. Israelis tend to overlook the fact that in the Middle East, it is fear, above everything else, that governs how people act.

Unfortunately, from time to time, we must give our enemies a violent reminder, lest they continue terrorizing us. The very fact that Hamas continues its actions unabated shows a lack of deterrence, without which no truce is worth the paper it is signed on. Expecting Hamas to honor agreements with the Jewish state it wants to annihilate is inexcusably naive. Extortion that leads to an “agreement” is a prelude to more extortion.

The assumption that boosting the quality of life for Gazans will reduce Hamas’ violence and hatred is fundamentally flawed. There is no place on this planet where there is a direct correlation between quality of life and terrorism. This holds true in the Palestinian case as well.

Recent polls show that Gazans are actually less hostile toward Israel than are their brethren in Judea and Samaria, where the quality of life is better. Perhaps the suffering in Gaza has taught them that prolonged conflict with Israel comes with great pain. While it is true that it takes time to change the behavior of large groups of people, what ultimately makes a population embark on a new political path is the degree to which it suffers. Germans suffered immensely during the two world wars and have since shed their violent past. Egypt also realized that a peace deal with Israel trumps more violence.

The goal of war is to inflict pain on the other side, to make it change its behavior. There is no point in giving Hamas candy while it fights against us. The exact opposite is true: It should be forced to pay a heavy price for its aggressive behavior. This is the message Israel should be sending Hamas, the Palestinian Authority and other enemies. To survive in the Middle East, Israel has to make it clear that it will inflict unimaginable pain on anyone who attacks it.

Israel is naturally reluctant to re-occupy the Gaza Strip. It would also serve no purpose to try to engineer its political system. Israel would not benefit from bringing the hostile Palestinian Authority back to the Gaza Strip. Likewise, it is understandable why Israel does not want to be dragged into a protracted military campaign when its eyes are trained on the most important threat: Iran. That said, the IDF can ratchet up the pressure by several notches without conquering the Gaza Strip, in order to send Hamas the message that more conflict will result in more pain.

Despite the events of this week, Israel must continue with its incursions into the Gaza Strip and even widen their scope. We must prove that we are not afraid of using ground forces to punish those who want us dead. The fear of casualties, however important, should not come at the expense of Israeli deterrence, which is essential for establishing long-term calm on the border and preventing future fatalities.

Only a crushing and devastating blow to Hamas will pave the way for a truce that would not be a victory for the terrorists. Such a truce would survive much longer than a half-baked truce that survives only several months until another extortion scheme.

Contents

   

A RUDE AWAKENING FOR THE PALESTINIAN DREAM                                          

Dr. Mordechai Kedar

Arutz Sheva, Nov. 7, 2018

When something is built on an unstable foundation, it is only natural for its long term survival to be at risk. It is also natural for it to be in need of constant support just to keep from falling. The belief that it will eventually be able to stand on its own two feet causes people to lend their support, but only egregious fools continue to do so if there is no hope of its ever being independent, because in that case, everythiing those supporters have invested is doomed to be irretrievably lost.

The Palestinian Authority is in exactly that position today and this article will expound on the reasons it has no hope of every being able to become a viable and independent entity. The prime reason for this situation is the very reason the PA was founded. In 1993, the Israeli government tried to find someone who would accept responsibility for eliminating the terror network created by the Hamas and Islamic Jihad movements in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip, someone willing to be rewarded for anti-terrorist activity by being granted the authority to rule the area and administer the lives of the Arabs living there. This was the “deal” concocted by the Israelis, and the “contractor” who accepted the challenge was the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) headed by arch-terrorist Yasser Arafat. The Israeli government actually believed that Arafat was serious about eliminating terror and establishing an autonomous administrative system for running those territories.

Of course, this deal was doomed to failure from the start due to the residents of Judea, Samaria and Gaza and also the government of Israel. The Arab residents considered the Palestinian Authority (PA), the governing arm of the PLO, to be the operative arm of Israeli policy, an organization collaorating with Israel by means of the coordinated security system that exists up until this very day.

“Security coordination” to the Palestinian Arab mind is a laundered word for cooperation, meaning PA security forces attempt to apprehend the terrorists that belong to organizations other than their own and hand them over to Israel. Many of the Arab residents of Judea, Samaria and Gaza see this as no less than treason. In order to cover up that perceived betrayal and silence its critics, the PA employs thousands in both real and artificial jobs (the kind where the worker does not have to do anything in order to be paid) . For the sake of earning a livng, people are willing to shut their mouths and utter not a word about what they really think of the PA and the reasons for its existence.

No matter, members of the PA know exactly in what esteem the authority is held by the public. To combat this and in order to create legitimacy for themselves and the PA,  they invented a national ethos whose purpose was establishing a state under conditions to which Israel could never agree: the “right” of return for millions of “refugees” to Israel and insistence on Israel’s relinquishing Jerusalem. These impossible demands were raised knowing full well that Israel would never agree to them, and that there would never be a Palestinian Arab state, so that Israel could continue to remain the eternal enemy.  Anyone who thinks that a Palestinian Arab state adjoining Israel would live in peace with it does not comprehend the basic tenet of the Palestinian dream – fanning the flames of Israel-hatred, encouraging terror against its citizens and blaming it for all the ills of Arab society.

That is why – according to the PA media – Israel is the result of a European colonialist venture originating in Europe’s desrie to rid itself of the Jews, the Jews are nothing but cosmopolitan communities with no homeland, Judaism is a dead, not living religion, the Jews have no history in the lands belonging to “Falestin.” In addition, the Palestinian Arabs are victims of a Euroean conspiracy and their legitimate goal is to free all of “Falestin” from the “river to the sea.” Therefore “peace” with Israel can never be more than a temporary ceasefire, with the final goal the destruction of the Jewish state.

Over the past 25 years, more and more Israelis have begun to understand the failed “Oslo Accords” deal their government signed, and that is why the Israeli left, which engineered this fatal mistake, has gradually lost much of the public support it had during the initial euphoric period after the agreements were signed. The “Arab Spring” – which is more reminiscent of a wintery swamp filled with fire, blood and tears – helped the Israelis awaken from the dream of “a new Middle East” described in utopian terms by Oslo Accords master architect, the late Shimon Peres.

Today, it is clear that all Yasser Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas wanted and Abbas still desires is the establishment of a Palestinian Arab state on the ruins of the Jewish one. It is hard to find any enthusiasm among Israelis for continuing to pump oxygen into the artificial entity known as the Palestinian Authority, whose only source of life is the money it gets from other countries and pours into salaries for its employees and the murderous terrorists serving sentences in Israeli prisons…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link: Ed]

 

CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!

Contents 

On Topic Links

Israel Heads Toward Elections as Jewish Home Says it Will Leave Coalition: Raoul Wootliff, Times of Israel, Nov. 16, 2018—The Jewish Home will leave the coalition, bringing down the government and forcing new elections, senior sources in the Orthodox-nationalist party told The Times of Israel Friday.

Netanyahu Showed Why He Is ‘King Bibi’ By Agreeing To Gaza Cease-fire: Charles Bybelezer, Media Line, Nov. 15, 2018—For his entire tenure, the knock on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has been that he reflexively chooses the path of least resistance based exclusively on electoral calculations.

Barring a Miracle, War with Gaza is a Matter of When, Not If: Vivian Bercovici, National Post, Nov. 13, 2018—In the past 24 hours nearly 500 Hamas rockets have pummelled civilian targets in southern Israel, the most intense assault ever launched by the terrorist-run government in the Gaza Strip.

Restore Deterrence in Gaza Now: Isi Leibler, Jerusalem Post, Oct. 29, 2018—All of us abhor military confrontation or war, which inevitably leads to casualties. Today Israel faces a major threat from Hamas in the south; Iran and Hezbollah could become involved if we go for the military option.

CAN NETANYAHU SURVIVE THE “PEACE PROCESS”? SHARANSKY SUCCEED PERES? ISRAELI CHRISTIANS BECOME, FINALLY, ISRAELIS?

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

 

 

 Contents:         

2014 Political Forecast: David M. Weinberg, Israel Hayom, Jan. 6, 2014 — One year ago, I accurately forecasted in these pages that U.S. President Barack Obama would cut a deal with Iran over Israel's objections, allowing Tehran to keep its nuclear enrichment facilities and freeing itself of sanctions by promising to halt 20 percent enrichment.

Inside Israel’s White House: How Netanyahu Runs the Country: Haviv Rettig Gur, Times of Israel, Jan. 6, 2014 — Benjamin Netanyahu will complete his eighth (nonconsecutive) year as prime minister in March 2014, more than any Israeli premier except the state’s founder, David Ben-Gurion.

The End of Dhimmitude: Mordechai Nisan, Jerusalem Post, Jan. 4, 2013 —  We are now witnessing one of the most dramatic developments in the historic configuration of relations among Jews, Christians and Muslims.

 

On Topic Links

 

Israel’s Right: the Light’s on, But Nobody’s Home: Moshe Feiglin, Jewish Press, Jan. 2, 2014

Methodically, If Not Quietly, Miri Regev is Changing the Israeli Consensus: Zvi Bar’el, Ha’aretz, Jan. 6, 2014

Timeline: Ariel Sharon – Milestones of His Career in Israeli Politics: CBC, Jan. 2, 2014

 

2014 POLITICAL FORECAST                                                                 David M. Weinberg      

Israel Hayom, Jan. 6, 2014                             

 

One year ago, I accurately forecasted in these pages that U.S. President Barack Obama would cut a deal with Iran over Israel's objections, allowing Tehran to keep its nuclear enrichment facilities and freeing itself of sanctions by promising to halt 20 percent enrichment. Precisely what happened. I also correctly calculated that Washington would wedge Israel and the Palestinian Authority into renewed peace talks, and that Prime Minister Netanyahu would again freeze plans to build E1. I estimated that the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohamed Morsi wouldn't last long as Egyptian president. Bingo.

 

But I was wrong in expecting a quick breakup of the current Israeli coalition government. (Wait a bit more…) I was also wrong, unfortunately, in envisaging the election of a religious Zionist chief rabbi. And I erred, fortunately, in reckoning that the Syrian civil war would spill over into real conflict on the Golan Heights.

 

Looking into my crystal ball for the year ahead, this is what I see: Obama: The U.S. president truly abhors nuclear proliferation. So he really does not want the Iranians to test or produce a nuclear bomb on his watch. In Geneva, he'll cut whatever deals are furthermore necessary to postpone Tehran's bomb production for a few years; three years to be exact. As for the rest of us, well, Obama doesn't really care about Israel, or the Palestinians, Egyptians, Syrians and Saudis. He isn't going to invest any more American "blood, treasure and tears" in the Middle East. Killer drones against the al-Qaida types do the work from afar just fine. In any case, Obama knows that his legacy boils down to this and this only: Whether or not Americans can keep their existing health insurance plans.

 

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry: All this Mideast peace-processing is a prelude to Kerry's planned run in the Democratic primaries — against Hillary Clinton — for president of the United States. He will be a formidable contender, just as he is a formidable diplomatic juggernaut now. Of course, it's easy for Kerry to beat up on Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, the two Mideast actors most dependent on America. Had he challenged the Russians or Iranians (as he should have), it would've been tougher going. And then he would have been better prepared to take on and beat Hillary. She will be no pushover.

 

Netanyahu: The prime minister has "crossed the Rubicon" and no longer feels any residual political loyalty to Judea and Samaria residents or to hard-right voters. His willingness to rollback Yesha is easily deduced from his insistence on an Israeli military presence only in the Jordan Valley. While he has no near-term plans to drag Israelis from their homes in Bet El or Hebron, his imminent agreement to John Kerry's formula for a Palestinian state based on the 1967 lines will mark a further retrogression in Israel's diplomatic stance. Netanyahu thinks that a rhetorical "framework agreement" with the Americans and the Palestinians is the best way to manage the conflict for several years hence. He thinks it will restrict Palestinian options, prevent the PA from criminalizing Israel in international legal forums, and ward-off European boycotts. But I think he is playing with fire, and that the gambit will backfire on Israel. The world's demands on Israel will only increase following the framework agreement; and, after feting Israel for a few days and praising Netanyahu for a few minutes, the world will be back in no time at all to threaten Israel with boycotts unless it acts on its latest concessions.

 

Abbas: The Palestinian leader is getting very old and frail, and there is no succession plan in place, short of a bitter free-for-all with Hamas leaders in the mix. Abbas is searching for a legacy, which could be a "framework" deal with Israel but could also easily be more unilateral moves against Israel on the global front. Either way, Abbas has got to hurry; I'm not sure he'll be around by this time next year. In the meantime, the Palestinian Authority continues to huff and puff and blow evil smoke at Israel while raking-in the international aid dollars, euros, krones, yens, francs and deutschmarks. It's almost as hard to account for all that money as it is to count the number of times that Saeb Erakat has quit as chief Palestinian negotiator.

 

Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon: "Bogie," as he is often called, is proving to be the most clear-eyed and steady politician in the cabinet. While everybody else is running around scared of an impending "diplomatic tsunami" whereby Israel could be branded a "rogue state" for being on the wrong side of the international consensus on both the Iranian and Palestinian issues, Bogie is calm. When Tzipi Livni screeches "gevalt, we're going to be boycotted" and drives for Israeli withdrawal from Judea and Samaria, Ya'alon responds logically that "In life, everything is a question of alternatives. If the alternatives are a European boycott, or rockets from Nablus, Jenin and Ramallah on our strategic front, and on Ben-Gurion International Airport — then indeed a European boycott is preferable." Let's hope that Ya'alon holds firm.

 

Former Minister Moshe Kahlon: The Likudnik who brought down cellphone costs plans to cash in on his popularity, simmering social-economic discontent and on disenchantment with Yesh Atid. He'll be back this year with a new political party, accompanied by trade unionist Ofer Eini, economist Manuel Trajtenberg, generals Gabi Ashkenazi and/or Shlomo Yanai, and other prominent figures. Netanyahu, Yair Lapid, Isaac Herzog and Aryeh Deri should be worried. Israelis love new political parties, and Kahlon's fresh lineup could tap into public disgruntlement with alacrity.

 

President Shimon Peres: This wily 90-year-old plans to come roaring back into Israeli politics when his term as president of Israel ends this summer. He will set himself up as a shadow prime minister to fervently advance his plans for peace with the Palestinians. He will convene international conferences to wedge Netanyahu against the wall, and cobble-together new Israeli political slates to challenge Netanyahu at the polls. Expect no more of the namby-pamby Peres-sponsored "Tomorrow" conferences, where "bold" entrepreneurs, "provocative" sexologists, and "prominent" European intellectuals talked mumbo-jumbo about "bottling the Jewish genius" and "generating the leaders of tomorrow." Instead, expect an aggressive, focused Peres with a killer instinct, out to remake the Middle East and save Israel — as only he can.

 

Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky: By dint of personality and experience, in deference to Zionist history, and to boost global Jewish unity — Natan should be the next president of the State of Israel. His election should be a slam dunk. Alas, Minister Silvan Shalom of Likud and MK Binyamin (Fuad) Ben-Eliezer of Labor each have better chances of getting the necessary votes in Knesset to become president, because of narrow political calculations. Silvan's election would free up three ministerial portfolios (regional cooperation; Negev and Galilee development; national infrastructure, energy, and water) for other Likud MKs. Fuad can pull in votes from across the political spectrum, including the Center, Left, and Arabs. Too bad. I'm still rooting for Natan.

                                                                           

 Contents
                                       

 INSIDE ISRAEL’S WHITE HOUSE:

HOW NETANYAHU RUNS THE COUNTRY                                       

Haviv Rettig Gur                              

Times of Israel, Jan. 6, 2014

 

Benjamin Netanyahu will complete his eighth (nonconsecutive) year as prime minister in March 2014, more than any Israeli premier except the state’s founder, David Ben-Gurion. And as the years go by, unsurprisingly, Netanyahu is leaving a deepening imprint on the way in which the country is governed. Turnover is relatively high among his innermost circle of advisers and aides, who frequently last as little as two years at his side and all too often, especially in recent years, leave amid a cloud of scandal and negative press. At the same time, the role of some of those advisers has become increasingly central, as the Prime Minister’s Office seems to be filling an ever-more influential role in national policy.

 

“There is an international phenomenon of concentration of foreign policy power in the hands of presidents and prime ministers,” noted Chuck Freilich, a former Israeli deputy national security adviser who has written a book about Israel’s decision-making process. And this consolidation has happened quickly in Israel, where the PMO now handles all major issues of diplomatic and security policy, including the peace talks with the Palestinians, the Iranian nuclear crisis and the most important of Israel’s diplomatic relationships, such as those with the United States, Britain, France and Germany.

 

In the PMO under Netanyahu, that sees a great deal of close consultation with key advisers, a notably expanded role for the National Security Council, and a changing structure of the inner “security cabinet” of top ministers. It also means less influence for the individual ministries and ministers in some areas that used to be their exclusive purview. When Netanyahu was finance minister under prime minister Ariel Sharon, for instance, it was he who recruited Stanley Fischer as governor of the Bank of Israel. When Karnit Flug was appointed Fischer’s successor in October, in a chaotic and protracted process, by contrast, Finance Minister Yair Lapid most emphatically did not exclusively oversee the selection. Likewise, the question of Bedouin resettlement would in previous years have been a matter overwhelmingly for the Interior Ministry. Under Netanyahu, the Prime Minister’s Office has been centrally involved.

Amid the process of consolidation, Netanyahu is said to be more open than some of his predecessors were to the views of trusted staff around him. “Bibi has a dialogical personality,” said one confidant who asked not to be named. “He makes decisions in the course of discussion. He needs a conversation partner to make those decisions.” Netanyahu takes a close interest in the views of those around him, confirmed another source familiar with the prime minister’s deliberative process. “He’s always asking questions, interrogating you for your opinion, and writing down what you’re saying.” That aspect of Netanyahu’s personality is both an advantage and a crutch, the confidant added. The advantage: Netanyahu is “flexible and thorough” when making decisions. “Every decision requires 10 discussions. He’s not hasty like some previous prime ministers.” The disadvantage: “He can seem indecisive, fickle. No decision is final until it’s actually being implemented. Decisions often change in the course of discussion, both because his reasoning continues to develop and because those who know him well know how to focus their arguments to reach certain conclusions.” Whether or not this personality trait is beneficial to forming national policy, there is no doubt it gives an outsize role to those who surround and engage the prime minister in those policy discussions. As power concentrates around a premier who gives added weight to his advisers’ views, those advisers are becoming increasingly important for any understanding of how the machinery of power is managed and critical decisions are made in the State of Israel.     

   

The shift of diplomatic and security policymaking into the hands of the prime minister is a global phenomenon. In part, this is due to inevitable changes in technology, Freilich explained. “Foreign ministries face a real question. Why are they needed? Today, if a prime minister wants to know what the Americans are thinking, he calls up [Secretary] Kerry or [President] Obama. Foreign ministries don’t have the roles they used to have, where ambassadors on the ground were absolutely essential, especially [in light of modern] media and communications.” The issues now handled in the PMO “don’t leave the Foreign Ministry with much of anything of consequence,” noted Freilich. “I think that’s understood by most people today. The Foreign Ministry deals with day-to-day caretaking and maintenance of relations.”                       

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link –ed.]

                                           

                                                      Contents
                                  

THE END OF DHIMMITUDE                                                                                                          Mordechai Nisan

Jerusalem Post, Jan. 4, 2014

 

We are now witnessing one of the most dramatic developments in the historic configuration of relations among Jews, Christians and Muslims. Christians in Israel’s Galilee are courageously promoting their pre-Islamic non-Arab identity as an old-new collective Aramean/Aramaic-speaking Oriental narrative. This is a cultural and political game-changer with revolutionary significance, for Israel, the Middle East and the global scene. Under the leadership of Father Gabriel Nadaf, an Orthodox priest from Yafia near Nazareth, and Shadi Khalloul, a Maronite activist and army reserve officer from Gush Halav, the Christian Recruitment Forum has been established. While all non-Jews in Israel, excepting the Druse and Circassians, are exempt from the military draft, a new promotional effort has been undertaken to further encourage Christian youth to voluntarily enlist. This initiative expresses both a desire to serve the state and integrate into Israeli society, conveying that Christians are committed to the security and welfare of the Jewish state of Israel.

The rationale behind this Christian campaign and its momentous meaning are profound. From the early days of the Arab war against Zionism, and continuing until today with the Palestinian rejection of a Jewish state, the mainstream Christian community as fellow Arabs in the country allied with the Muslims. The Arab nationalist political parties, from the Communist forerunner to Balad, were led and represented by Christians and Muslims alike. Indeed, the broad modern Arab national revival and movement across the Middle East was inspired by some stalwart Christian ideologues and politicians, like Michel Aflaq and Constantine Zuraiq, cementing an alliance pitting the cross and the crescent against the Star of David.

The mixed Muslim-Christian villages and towns in Israel, like Turan and Ibelin, Eilaboun and Nazareth, were traditionally portrayed as bastions of Arab brotherhood and solidarity, despite the religious cleavage defining marriage and customs. But now the Christian Forum has issued a sharp and urgent message that shatters the Arab house of unity. The religious and legal structure that emerged with and under Islam established Muslim rule over Jews and Christians, who were defined and demoted as tolerated but inferior dhimmi denizens. While maintaining their communal faith and integrity, the dhimmi communities were subjected to the rapacity of excessive and humiliating taxation and to a precarious dependence on the whims of Muslim caliphs, sultans, emirs and walis. Instances of massacre and forced conversions were part of the tapestry of victimology over the many centuries of Muslim supremacy that struck Jews in Yemen, Morocco, Libya and Iraq; and likewise Christians in what had been, prior to early Arab conquests, the majority Christian populations in Egypt and Syria.

The Zionist movement and State of Israel represent in modern times the Jewish national liberation movement against Muslim colonialism in Palestine and Arab imperialism in the Middle East. The triumph of Israel symbolizes successful Jewish resistance in the Hebrew homeland. As such, it signifies the demise of that debilitating mental complex of fear and inferiority, termed “dhimmitude” by the historian Bat Ye’or, which scarred the souls of generations of Eastern Jews, as also Eastern Christians.

From the villages of Yafia and Gush Halav the clarion call for freedom has now been sounded. A new self-consciousness radiates from among the 160,000 Christians in Israel; they represent only two percent of Israel’s population, but their numbers are on the increase in stark contrast to the murder of Christians and their tragic mass flight from Iran, Iraq, Syria and Egypt. Christians were historically massacred by Muslims in Turkey and Sudan. In Israel they are respected citizens and live secure and prosperous lives, as enjoying this situation imposes a moral obligation to be discharged.

No one can doubt that were there to be an Arab Palestine in place of a Jewish Israel, the Christians of Mei’liya and Fassuta would be chased, in the best of circumstances, across the borders. Even now, and predictably so, Arabs are intimidating the nascent Christian shift in alliances in Israel. The Christian Forum in Israel, while only a local development, offers nonetheless a compelling precedent and proud innovation for the West to promote Jewish-Christian cooperation against extremist Muslim forces, as in Europe. As Islam basically destroyed the large historic Christian centers in the Middle East, so it threatens the cultural character and political independence of Christian Europe.

A shadow of dhimmitude has spread over Europe, but the heroic stand taken by some Christians in the Galilee offers direction to cultivate an authentic global Jewish-Christian symbiosis by breaking the old Muslim-Christian pact that was born of Islam’s universal aspirations and appetite to rule. This is a moment of truth and reconciliation in Israel, with Christians identifying the Jews as the sovereign power and brothers-in-arms.

  [Dr. Mordechai Nisan is a retired lecturer in Middle East Studies at the       Hebrew University and a Fellow of the Canadian Institute for Jewish Research.]

 

                                               Contents

 

Israel’s Right: the Light’s on, But Nobody’s Home: Moshe Feiglin, Jewish Press, Jan. 2, 2014 — “If this bill passes, Israel will have to announce that there will be no negotiations over Jerusalem. The real significance of that is that we completely halt the negotiations taking place today.”

Methodically, If Not Quietly, Miri Regev is Changing the Israeli Consensus: Zvi Bar’el, Ha’aretz, Jan. 6, 2014 — Israel’s most important political leader today is Likud MK Miri Regev. She is the only Israeli politician who has managed to learn the secret of how the country is run.

Timeline: Ariel Sharon – Milestones of His Career in Israeli Politics: CBC, Jan. 2, 2014 — Feb. 27, 1928: Ariel Scheinermann is born in Kfar Malal, a town in Palestine, then a British mandate, to a German-Polish father and a Russian mother.

 

 

Visit CIJR’s Bi-Weekly Webzine: Israzine.

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

Wednesday’s “News in Review” Round-Up

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

 

 

Contents:  Weekly Quotes |  Short Takes On Topic Links

 

 


Download a pdf version of today's Isranet Daily Briefing.pdf

 On Topic Links

 

Ya’alon: Every Iranian Embassy in the World is a Base For Terrorism: Jerusalem Post, Dec. 9, 2013

On the “Israel is an Apartheid State” Slander: Manfred Gerstenfeld, Arutz Sheva, Dec. 2, 2013      

A Good Deal For the Bedouin, And For Israel: David M. Weinberg, Jerusalem Post, Dec. 5, 2013

 

WEEKLY QUOTES

 

“It's…critical that the final deal with Iran prevent [establishment of nuclear weapons] from happening. Here's what this means: no enrichment, no centrifuges, no heavy water reactor, no weapons program, no ballistic missiles and a change in Iran's policies – no genocide against Israel, no terrorist support, no undermining of regimes in the Middle East…this is what the next negotiation must establish,” — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, speaking on Monday with visiting Guatemalan President Otto Fernando Perez Molina. (Arutz Sheva, Dec. 10, 2013)   

 

"We’re at a crossroads." — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. Kerry added "We’re at one of those, really, hinge points in history. One path could lead to an enduring resolution in international community’s concerns about Iran’s nuclear program. The other path could lead to continued hostility and potentially to conflict. And I don’t have to tell you that these are high stakes." Kerry said that the administration has not confidently determined whether the Iranian regime has changed its "nuclear calculus," away from a drive toward weaponized uranium. As a senator before leading the State Department, Kerry had a personal hand in crafting sanctions legislation with his former colleagues on Capitol Hill. "This is something that I think you ought to take great pride in," he said. "I voted for these sanctions, like we all did in the United States Senate. I think we were 100 to nothing as a matter of fact. And we put them in place for a purpose. The purpose was to get to this negotiation," he continued. "The purpose was to see whether or not diplomacy and avoidance of war could actually deliver the same thing or better than you might be able to get through confrontation." (Jerusalem Post, Dec. 11, 2013)

 

“The sanctions have proven effective because we dropped them… the thought that the Iranian people, its leaders, or even moderates inside the country will succumb to increased pressure does not reflect a true understanding of what is happening in [Iran]. Iranians must be allowed to take the path that provides them an honorable solution.” — U.S. President Barack Obama addressing the citizens of Israel directly on Saturday. His statement was aimed at rebutting Netanyahu’s long-held assertion that tough sanctions will cause the Iranian regime to halt its development of a nuclear program. (Algemeiner, Dec. 7, 2013)

 

“You do not need to reassure us…you need to listen to us, because we know Iran well.” —Sheikh Khalid bin Hamad al-Khalifa, Bahrain’s Foreign Minister, referring to recent diplomatic overtures made by the U.S. towards Iran. Sheikh Khalid said the Gulf states were keen that any deal with Iran should not be confined to the nuclear weapons issue alone, but must also address other issues such as Tehran’s continued involvement in state-sponsored terrorism, including its support for terrorist groups like Hezbollah. (Telegraph, Dec. 8, 2013) 

 

"The entire deal is dead." — Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, who said the Iranian nuclear deal would be dead if the US Congress imposes new sanctions, even if they do not take effect for six months. "We do not like to negotiate under duress," Zarif added. "If Congress adopts sanctions, it shows lack of seriousness and lack of a desire to achieve a resolution on the part of the United States.” Zarif's comments had little effect on US Senators who are preparing legislation to impose new sanctions on Iran in six months if the deal reached in Geneva goes nowhere. (Jerusalem Post, Dec. 9, 2013)

 

“What this comes down to is the perception that if we kept churning up the pressure, new sanctions, more sanctions, more military threats, etc., that eventually Iran would cave.” —President Obama, who sharply criticized as not viable several Israeli government postures on talks with Iran. Obama took aim at claims by Prime Minister Netanyahu that increased pressure during the interim talks between Iran and world powers would extract greater concessions from Iran. “Wherever we see the impulses of a people to move away from conflict and violence and toward a diplomatic resolution of conflict, we should be ready to engage them,” he said. “We have to not constantly assume that it’s not possible for Iran like any country to change over time.” (Canadian Jewish News, Dec. 9, 2013)

 

“The administration could prove right and the possibility of a diplomatic outcome could be lost.” — Dennis B. Ross, who worked on Iranian issues during Obama’s first term. “That said, the Iranians could hope that by looking reasonable, they can get the sanctions to fall of their own weight.” With Iran threatening that any new sanctions would scuttle its interim nuclear deal with the West, the Obama administration is fighting a fierce battle to convince skeptical Senate Democrats not to pass any new measures against Tehran. (New York Times, Dec. 10, 2013)

 

“On Saturday, President Obama said he could envision a final agreement that would let Iran enrich nuclear material for power production with enough restrictions and oversight to assure the United States, Israel and the rest of the world that it could not produce a nuclear weapon. But he said there was no guarantee that such a deal would emerge.” — Thomas Erdbrink wrote in a New York Times article. Iran has continued to claim the right to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes; the Geneva agreement did not limit its ability to enrich uranium to low levels suitable for producing electricity. On Saturday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani told students in Tehran that Iran’s uranium enrichment centrifuges “would never stop spinning.” But in an apparent reference to the lifting of international sanctions, which have severely damaged Iran’s economy, he added that the “people’s economic lives should also continue to spin.” (New York Times, Dec. 8, 2013)

 

“My delegation has just voted in favor of this report, however, we would like to reiterate my government’s position that our support for this document should in no way be considered as the recognition of the Israeli regime,” — Iran’s representative at the United Nations General Assembly, who met to approve the credentials of member states on Thursday, Dec 5. Iran took the floor to announce its refusal to recognize the State of Israel. (Algemeiner, Dec. 7, 2013)

 

“The ink is barely dry on the interim nuclear agreement signed in Geneva and Iran has already shown its true colors,” —  Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, Ron Prosor, reacting to Iran’s  announcement at the UN General Assembly that it refuses to recognize the State of Israel. Prosor added: “This is a regime that crosses red lines, produces yellow cake, and beats its citizens black and blue.” (Algemeiner, Dec. 7, 2013)

 

“I think now [the Israelis] have really a license to act without having to be scolded for not having consulted the U.S. for their plans” — Mike Huckabee, former Arkansas governor and 2008 Presidential candidate, commenting on the possibility of Israeli retaliation if Iran were to acquire nuclear weapons. The U.S. “has indicated that they are going to act independently of Israel as it relates to Iran,” Huckabee said, calling that a “very foolish policy.” Huckabee also questioned why anyone committed to the safety and security of the future of Israel “would be supportive of the policies of Barack Obama, which you can call the most frighteningly non-supportive [U.S.] policies on the state of Israel since its inception.” “I can’t imagine that somebody could look at those policies and say, ‘Boy, [Obama has] really got the Israelis’ back’—because he doesn’t.”  (Algemeiner, Dec. 9, 2013)

 

“We are closer than we have been in years to bringing about the peace and prosperity and security” — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Friday as he wrapped up his eighth visit to the region as secretary of state. He also likened the effort to bring peace to the Middle East to the late Nelson Mandela’s long struggle to end apartheid in South Africa. Kerry added that “we will approach this final negotiation with an absolute view about Israel’s security,” as well as the safety of the wider Middle East, he said as he prepared to fly to Washington after two days of talks in Israel and the West Bank. (Washington Post, Dec. 6, 2013)

 

"Our best efforts to reach Palestinian-Israeli peace will come to nothing if Iran succeeds in building atomic bombs…a nuclear armed Iran would give even greater backing to the radical and terrorist elements in the region. It would undermine the chances of arriving at a negotiated peace." — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warning that a nuclear Iran would jeopardize the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. (Jerusalem Post, Dec. 9, 2013) 

 

“The first question all Israeli media ask every released prisoner is: ‘Do you regret what you did or not?…I say to the Israelis: There is no Palestinian who did something for the homeland and his nation who will regret it. We don’t regret what we did and we will not regret what we did.” — Asrar Samrin, who was sentenced for the murder of Israeli Tzvi Klein in December 1991. Samrin, a Palestinian Authority terrorist who was serving a life sentence until Israel freed him for the privilege of resuming “peace talks,” has said he and other released prisoners have no regrets for killing because they acted “for the homeland.” Under direct pressure by the Obama administration, Israel recently released 52 of 104 imprisoned terrorists to accommodate the Palestinian Authority’s precondition to return to talks that had been frozen for three years. (Jewish Press, Dec. 8, 2013)

"For an artist to go and play in a country that occupies other people’s land and oppresses them the way Israel does, is plain wrong. They should say no. I would not have played for the Vichy government in occupied France in the Second World War, I would not have played in Berlin either during this time," — Roger Waters, co-founder of British rock group Pink Floyd. Waters compared artists playing concerts in Israel to those who performed in Nazi Germany. "Many people did, back in the day. There were many people that pretended that the oppression of the Jews was not going on. From 1933 until 1946. So this is not a new scenario. Except that this time it’s the Palestinian People being murdered." (Jerusalem Post, Dec. 9, 2013)

 

"The complication in South Africa's relations with Israel, in the context of Palestine, is derived from the fact that we see the struggle of Palestine as similar to that of ours against apartheid" — Solly Tshivhula, a South African diplomat in Ramallah, who said his country's relations with Israel are shaped by South Africa's empathy for the Palestinians. Relations between Israel and South Africa were cool during long years of deadlock in Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. (Associated Press, Dec. 8, 2013)

 

“Many African American/Caribbean residents expressed a genuine concern that as the Jewish community continues to grow, they would be pushed out by their Jewish landlords or by Jewish families looking to purchase homes…I respect and appreciate the Jewish community’s family values and unity that has led to strong political, economic and cultural gains… While I personally regard this level of tenacity, I also recognize that for others, the accomplishments of the Jewish community triggers feelings of resentment, and a sense that Jewish success is not also their success.” — Laurie Cumbo, the councilwoman-elect for the Brooklyn neighborhood of Crown Heights, commenting in an open letter posted to her Facebook page. Cumbo is an ally of New York City mayor-elect Bill de Blasio. (Daily Caller, Dec . 2013)

 

“I don’t give a shit about asylum seekers, but the journalists are at fault. They should be hanged; they are like the Jews,” — Karl Simlinger, a mayor in Austria, resigned after he was quoted Tuesday night during a town hall meeting. (Ha’aretz, Dec. 8, 2013)

 

SHORT TAKES

 

IRAN AND POWERS START IMPLEMENTING NUCLEAR DEAL — (Vienna) Iran and six world powers began expert-level talks on Monday to work out details in implementing a landmark accord for Tehran to curb its disputed nuclear program in return for a limited easing of sanctions. The preliminary accord is seen as a first step towards resolving a decade-old standoff over suspicions Iran might be covertly pursuing a nuclear weapons "breakout" capability, a perception that has raised the risk of a wider Middle East war. Officials from Iran and the P5+1 met at the Vienna headquarters of the U.N. nuclear agency, which will play a central role in verifying that Tehran carries out its part of the interim deal. The outcome of the meeting is expected to determine when Iran stops its most sensitive nuclear activity and when it gets the respite in sanctions that it has been promised in return. (Jerusalem Post, Dec. 9, 2013)

 

KERRY TO URGE CONGRESS TO HALT SANCTIONS BILL, AS IRAN THREATENS 'DEAD' DEAL — (Washington) Secretary of State John Kerry is under pressure to convince Congress to hold off on new sanctions legislation against Iran, as he prepares to testify Tuesday amid a renewed effort in the Senate to turn the screws on Tehran. A bipartisan group of senators is preparing to propose new sanctions against Iran. News reports on the bill prompted that country's foreign minister to warn such a step would kill the nuclear deal negotiated last month aimed at curbing Tehran's uranium enrichment program. The Obama administration is adamantly opposed to new legislation at this stage, and Kerry will likely try to persuade lawmakers to hold off, when he testifies Tuesday afternoon before the House Foreign Affairs Committee. (Fox News, Dec. 10, 2013)

 

GULF NATIONS TO CREATE JOINT MILITARY COMMAND — (Dubai) Saudi Arabia and its Gulf Arab neighbors wrapped up a summit meeting in Kuwait on Wednesday by agreeing to establish a joint military command, paving the way for tighter security coordination even as their regional rival Iran pursues outreach efforts in the wake of its interim nuclear deal. Many in the Gulf remain wary of Tehran’s intentions. Saudi Arabia in particular sees a stronger Iran as a threat to its own influence, and it and other Gulf states are major backers of the rebels fighting to overthrow Syrian President Bashar Assad, whose government is backed by Iran. (Washington Post, Dec. 11, 2013)

 

98 DEAD IN CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC AFTER CLASHES — (Bangui) Fighting came to the capital of Central African Republic on Thursday, leaving dozens of casualties and posing the biggest threat yet to the country's new government just as the U.N. Security Council authorized an intervention force to prevent a bloodbath between Christians and Muslims. The authorization is expected to lead to an increase in troops for an African Union-led force and the French. Witnesses and aid workers say at least 98 people are dead in Bangui after a day of clashes between the Muslim armed fighters who rule the country and a Christian militia who opposes them. (National Post, Dec. 6, 2013)

 

CLASHES IN WAKE OF YEMEN MASSACRE — (Aden) Yemeni security forces launched a sweep in the capital to find the perpetrators of a deadly attack on the country’s Defence Ministry, sparking clashes that left five suspected militants and one member of the special forces dead, officials said Friday. The brazen Thursday attack claimed by Al Qaeda’s local branch in Yemen killed 52 people including at least seven foreigners, and underscored the ability of insurgents to take advantage of the country’s instability and tenuous security — even at the headquarters of its military. Al Qaeda gained a major foothold in Yemen’s south amid the chaos that followed the 2011 uprising that ousted longtime President Ali Abdullah Saleh. (Toronto Star, Dec. 7, 2013)

 

FRENCH FORCES KILL SUSPECTED ISLAMISTS IN MALI — (Timbuktu) The French army has confirmed that it killed 19 people in a clash with suspected Islamists in Mali. A spokesman for the operation said the dead men had been buried in the desert after a gun battle north of Timbuktu. He added that there had been no French casualties. France still has up to 3,000 soldiers in Mali, after intervening in January to oust Islamist and secessionist rebels who had occupied the north of the country. The United Nations Minusma force has also deployed more than 6,000 soldiers and police in the country. Despite some success, pockets of al Qaeda-linked fighters still remain. (BBC, Dec. 11, 2013)

 

TRIAL BEGINS FOR "SOLDIERS OF ALLAH" ACCUSED OF MURDERING BRITISH SOLDIER — (London) The trial of two radical Muslims accused of the murder of British soldier Lee Rigby has begun at the Old Bailey court in central London. Islamists Michael Adebolajo, 28, and Michael Adebowale, 22, are each accused of attacking the 25-year-old Rigby by running him over from behind with a car and then attempting to decapitate his motionless body with a meat cleaver and kitchen knives. The killing of Rigby outside the Woolwich Barracks in southeast London on May 22, 2013 shocked the country and has drawn nationwide attention to the rise of radical Islam in Britain. (Gatestone Institute, Dec. 9, 2013)

 

TURKS DETAINED AT AUSCHWITZ FOR ALLEGED NAZI SALUTE — (Krakow) Two Turkish tourists were detained by guards at the Auschwitz museum for appearing to make a Nazi salute. The tourists, a man and a woman, both 22, were taking pictures of each other in front of the gate to the former Nazi death camp under the iconic sign “Arbeit macht frei” — “Work makes you free” — and raised their right hands in the gesture of a Nazi salute. “They probably will be accused of public promotion of Nazi symbols,” which is illegal in Poland, police spokesman Mariusz Ciarka told the Gazeta Wyborcza newspaper. If found guilty of the charge, they could be facing two years in prison. (Times of Israel, Dec. 8, 2013)    

      

UNITED CHURCH OF CANADA’S ISRAELI BOYCOTT CAMPAIGN AN “ASSAULT ON THE JEWISH PEOPLE”— (Toronto) The United Church of Canada’s newest Israeli boycott campaign, this one targeted at consumer items manufactured in the West Bank, was condemned this week by the Toronto-based Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center. “The echoes of the past history of Church-sanctioned antisemitism continue to grow stronger,” said Avi Benlolo, president of the Centre, in a Tuesday statement that also accused the 500,000-strong church of giving “tacit support for the hatred and terror” against the Jewish state. The boycott in question, Unsettling Goods, urges church members to avoid a laundry list of consumer products, from plastic sheds to skin creams to carbonation devices, that are manufactured by Israeli companies with operations on land occupied since the 1967 Six Day War. (National Post, Dec. 5, 2013)

 

MKS LEARN BEDOUIN DID NOT SEE, AGREE TO RESETTLEMENT PLAN, THREATENING BILL'S PASSAGE — (Tel Aviv) Major disagreements over the proposed Prawer-Begin Bedouin resettlement plan raised more doubts from Knesset members, threatening the bill’s passage and indicating that changes would be sought. The controversial bill, meant to regulate Bedouin settlement in the Negev, was debated again in the Knesset Interior Committee on Monday. Former minister Bennie Begin, who helped put together the plan and is guiding the legislation through the Knesset, said that the Bedouin never agreed to his plan nor ever saw it. The agreement listed which Bedouin towns would be expanded, which new ones would be founded for Bedouin and for Jews and what land would be given to Bedouin demanding ownership. (Jerusalem Post, Dec. 10, 2013) 

 

TWO ISRAELIS AWARDED NOBEL PRIZE IN SWEDEN — (Stockholm) Two Israeli-American researchers received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry on Tuesday. Israeli-born Prof. Arieh Warshel, who now lives in California, and South African-born Prof. Michael Levitt, who settled in Israel and also lives in the US, shared the $1.25 million with Austrian-born Prof. Martin Karplus, who fled to the U.S. before the Holocaust. The scientists received praise from the Nobel Prize selection committee for their “development of multi-scale models for complex chemical systems.” (Jerusalem Post, Dec. 11, 2013)

 

ISRAEL, JORDAN, PALESTINIANS TO SIGN WATER AGREEMENT — (Tel Aviv) Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority signed a water-supply agreement to slake rising cross-border demand, a rare step toward economic integration despite persistent political rancor holding up progress on a Middle East peace accord. The deal reached Monday also aims to slow the steady drop in the Dead Sea water level through a pipeline that will be built from the Red Sea. It is one of the few regional cooperation projects surviving from the heyday of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process in the 1990s, when many envisioned a Middle East remade by economic interdependence. "It is no less than a historic agreement," Israeli Water and Energy Minister Silvan Shalom told Israel Army radio. (Wall Street Journal, Dec. 9, 2013) 

 

MONTHLY SUMMARY OF TERRORIST ATTACKS IN ISRAEL FOR NOVEMBER, 2013 —November saw an increase in the number of terror attacks in Israel: 167 attacks as opposed to 136 in October. The main increase is noted in Judea and Samaria with 107 attacks as opposed to 99 in October; as well as an increase in Jerusalem with 53 attacks as opposed to 32 in October. The Gaza Strip kept a similar number of attacks as in October with five attacks. (Israel Security Agency, Nov. 2013)

 

On Topic Links

 

Ya’alon: Every Iranian Embassy in the World is a Base For Terrorism: Jerusalem Post, Dec. 9, 2013 — Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon warned Monday that every Iranian embassy throughout the world also serves as a base for gathering intelligence and planning terror activities.

On the “Israel is an Apartheid State” Slander: Manfred Gerstenfeld, Arutz Sheva, Dec. 2, 2013 — Interview with Ambassador (ret.) Prof. Robbie Sabel: "To better understand the fraud of those who call Israel an Apartheid state, one can enumerate the key characteristics of the South African regime."

A Good Deal For the Bedouin, And For Israel: David M. Weinberg, Jerusalem Post, Dec. 5, 2013) — The government of Israel plans to invest more than NIS 10 billion over the next 10 years in upgrading Bedouin communities in the Negev, including reasonable settlements of Bedouin land claims. So what could be wrong with that?

 

Rob Coles, Publications Editor, Canadian Institute for Jewish Research/L'institut Canadien de recherches sur le Judaïsme,   www.isranet.org Tel: (514) 486-5544 – Fax:(514) 486-8284. mailto:ber@isranet.org

 

 

 

 

Visit CIJR’s Bi-Weekly Webzine (current issue: “Israel’s Levy Report”:  ISRAZINE.

 

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

 

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

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

 

 

 

Prof. Frederick Krantz: Obama, Kerry Threaten Israel’s Security By Linking “Peace Process” & Geneva P5+1 Negotiations With Iran

As the US and the UN P5+1 foreign ministers resume negotiations in Geneva with Iran over its  nuclear status,  Israel’s fate hangs  in the  balance.   The fix seems to be in–Obama clearly is ready to make a deal with Teheran “moderates”, one which Israel’s Netanyahu (seconded, mirabile dictu, by the Saudis) has already clearly denounced as a sell-out. 

   (As I write, news of the French foreign minister’s surprising withdrawal from what he terms a “con game” is being carried by the media—but will this opposition be enough to derail the deal?)

    In apiece published three months ago, I examined Foreign Secretary Kerry’s odd nine-month ultimatum-limit for an agreement with Abbas and the Palestinians, and related it to the growing crisis over Teheran’s rapidly accelerating nuclear program.

   It already was clear that containment, alluded to both by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defense Secretary Hagel Obama, and not military intervention, was Obama’s decided policy.  And, despite pious affirmations of Israel’s right to make its own defense decisions, President Obama and Administration officials  repeatedly underlined US unhappiness with any prospective unilateral Israeli action against Iran.

   I concluded then that what was really at stake between Jerusalem and Washington, was not direct US military action, but the US stance towards Israel if Israel in fact acted against an Iranian nuclear capacity.  In other words, a threatened US lining-up with the already-negative European Union states and their increasing delegitimation campaign against Israel.

   Such a threat, I argued, would also explain another mystery, Prime Minister Netanyahu’s sudden caving in to US Secretary of State Kerry’s pressure to agree to resume negotiations with the hostile Palestinians, as well as his striking pledge—despite almost unanimously negative Israeli public opinion–to release up to 104 convicted Palestinian terrorist murderers, as an unreciprocated initial concession. 

   My earlier analysis has now been borne out by a series of statements Kerry recently made: in Rome with Netanyahu at the end of October, again last week while he was in Jerusalem, Ramallah (wearing a green tie!) and Jordan, and in a joint Israeli-Palestinian television interview just before the resumption of the Geneva P5+1 negotiations with Iran.

   In all these venues, Kerry repeatedly threatened Israel, but not the Palestinians, with dire consequences  were the peace talks to break down.

   Kerry clearly warned that failure of the peace process risked European political and economic marginalization of Israel (and, implicitly, US support for it), and would also create a third Palestinian intifada. In the TV interview, Kerry came down hard on Israel, urging it to end its West Bank “settlements” and “perpetual military occupation” of Judea and Samaria, and explicitly noting that a direct consequence of the talks’ failure “will be an increasing campaign of delegitimization of Israel that has been taking place in an international basis”. 

    In all these remarks, there were no strictures against Palestinian obduracy, the PA’s antisemitic media propaganda, refusal to relinquish insistence on “the right of return”, or to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. (Indeed, so unbalanced were his remarks that one observer wondered if he had become Abbas’s Foreign Minister.)

    Obama now is seen by Israel (and by Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states) as having  compromised his clear pledge that there would never be an Iranian nuclear weapon (just as he reneged on his “red line” post-poison gas attacks commitment to bomb Syria). Instead, he and Kerry—again in concert with Russia–have rushed into direct negotiations with the mullacratic dictatorship, and actively cooperated with Iranian President Rouhani’s diplomatic “charm” campaign.

   (Details leaking our of Geneva indicate a first-stage deal which would see Teheran cease production of 90% enriched uranium but continue refining 3% uranium and    bomb-grade plutonium [while the heavy-water reactor at Arak , for more plutonium, continues to be built]. In return, the U.S. and allies would, as a first step, release some currently escrowed Iranian funds and ease banking restrictions. 

   Netanyahu, as noted earlier [and, evidently, the French foreign minister] denounced this as a sell-out, not least because it leaves Iran’s nuclear facilities intact—achieved stockpiles of fissionable materials are untouched, and 3% uranium can quickly be ginned up to “break-out” weapons-grade by the Iranians’ increasing, and increasingly efficient, centrifuges, 10,000 of which would remain in place).

  That these two processes—peace-process pressure on Israel and the rush to a negotiated diplomatic “settlement” with Iran—are connected and overlap is shown precisely by the nine-month ultimatum given Israel.  Obama wants a diplomatic victory before Israel feels it must move against Teheran: and nine months from the July, 2013 beginning of Israeli-Palestinian talks will put us at  March, 2014. This is the date by which most informed experts see Teheran as achieving clear nuclear break-out, with enough enriched uranium for one or more nuclear weapons. Hence  March, 2014—five months away–is also Israel’s own terminus ad quem for a decision on military action.

    Here, note that a final Iranian-European-U.S nuclear deal before March, 2014 would, politically, make a subsequent Israeli military move against Iran more difficult.  Such an act would be represented as an aggression threatening “peace” both with the Palestinians and the Iranians, and alienating Europe and the UN and, clearly, Obama’s America as well. 

   To summarize: “Peace” between Israel and the Palestinians, and a diplomatic deal with the Iranians, are related; they are obverse sides of the same coin, the building-blocs of Obama’s (and Kerry’s) second-term foreign policy.  They are also key to Obama’s post-Presidential legacy, offsetting his dismal record of failures elsewhere—Iraq, Afghanistan, Egypt, Syria, Russia. 

   (They may also be crucial not only to John Kerry’s eligibility for a Nobel prize, but   to his viability, should Hillary falter, for a second run at the U.S. presidency in 2016.)

   Jerusalem, from Obama’s perspective,  stands in the way of both goals. This explains the clear Obama-Kerry readiness to pressure Israel both into an rushed and unstable peace agreement, and into living with the existential threat of an Iranian bomb. Extricating America from Middle East entanglements by playing to Muslim regional interests should also be related to Obama’s wider diplomatic plan, the much-vaunted new “pivot” to Asia.

    Here, if Obama can dissuade Israel from acting against Iran, so much the better; if not, and Israel acts despite his pressure, he can then support European sanctions,  abandon Jerusalem at the UN, and, finally, wash his hands of the uncooperative Jews and their pesky Prime Minister.

   Who is the loser here? Certainly not the Iranians, who would get the easing of sanctions while maintaining their nuclear infrastructure intact. Not the Palestinians, who will either get a sweet, and easily abrogable, “peace” deal (division of Jerusalem, restriction of “settlements”, financial aid, etc.) or an excuse for evading responsibility for a negotiations breakdown. Indeed, as usual, such a breakdown would enable them both to avoid accepting the small, demilitarized state-let they have never wanted and recognizing Israel as a legitimate, and permanent, Jewish state.

   Obama—especially given the weak and divided domestic opposition—is a winner here, not a loser. His appeasement of Iran in solidarity with Western Europe and Russia would be represented, like the Syrian debacle, as a diplomatic triumph, peace in our time. 

   No—the real potential losers are the Jewish state, and the American people.   Were Israel to accept being outmaneuvered it would have to live with the dangers of an eliminationist nuclear Iran as the new regional hegemon; and if it did finally move unilaterally–and remember, the window for such action is closing very quickly–it would, even if successful, face opprobrium and punishment not only from Europe and the UN, but also—and most importantly–from its sole current ally, the U.S. 

   And the American people? Sacrificing democratic Israel would mean they would have to face an inward-turning loss of their own democratic vitality, a declining world role, the rise of increasing tensions and instability in the Middle East, Africa and Asia, and—if domestic economic and social stagnation and political paralysis continue and even deepen—rising internal tensions and divisions as well.

      Still, “winning” in such circumstances is ambiguous.  If Obama and the Europeans  persist in isolating Israel, they may just engender what they are seeking to avoid: forced to choose this spring to choose between possible nuclear destruction at the hands of the messianic and antisemitic Iranian regime and suffering Western sanctions, one assumes (hopes?) Netanyahu will choose sovereign national Jewish survival.  And Israel’s resistance to Western pressures here would, if successful, also   have consequences insofar as the Palestinian issue is concerned.

    Israel going it alone against the Iranians, and in opposition to the US, is a nightmare scenario indeed. That it is even thinkable is a measure of the immense diplomatic-political distance travelled in the last five years of Barack Hussein Obama’s Presidency.  Will Israel find the strength to act alone, despite threats? Will the U.S. Congress find a leader able to rise to the occasion across party lines and oppose Obama’s abandonment of Israel, appeasement of Iran, and weakening of America’s position in the world?

   Finally, will the poorly-led and divided North American Jewish world—remembering in this Hannukah season the valiant struggle of the Maccabees against foreign oppression—now wake up, and come to the defense of the Jewish state?   

                                   (Prof. Krantz is Director of the Canadian Institute for
                                 Jewish Research, and Editor of its ISRAFAX magazine).

MIDDLE EAST “PEACE PROCESS” KERRY AND OBAMA’S M.E. PEACE MIRAGE: A DEAL WITH IRAN—AND WITHDRAWAL FROM THE REGION

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

 

 

 Contents:         

 

 

 

John Kerry’s Middle East Dream World: Jackson Diehl, Washington Post, Nov. 10, 2013 —  Imagine a world in which the Middle East is not descending into carnage and chaos but is on the brink of a monumental series of breakthroughs.                                                                                           No Illusions Concerning the Obama Administration: Isi Leibler, Jerusalem Post, Nov. 11, 2013 — Israel is heading for what could be its most severe confrontation with the United States, despite reassuring words from the Obama administration to the contrary.

Israel: The Impudence Accompanying Betrayal: Barry Rubin, Jerusalem Post, Nov. 17, 2013  — I’ve always been amazed anyone thought the United States would ever act against the Iranian nuclear threat.

The Arab-Israeli Peace Process Is Over. Enter the Era of Chaos: Lee Smith, Tablet, Oct. 30, 2013— This past weekend the White House clarified yet again what’s been apparent to everyone in the Middle East for quite a while now: The United States wants out, for real.

 

On Topic Links

France Calls on Israel to Halt Settlements: Ruth Bender, Wall Street Journal, Nov. 18, 2013

The Kerry Fiasco: Jerold S. Auerbach, American Thinker, Nov. 17, 2013

Hamas and the “Peace Process”: Shoshana Bryen, Frontpage, Nov. 1, 2013

There Will Be War: Mike Konrad, American Thinker, Nov. 15, 2013

        

 

JOHN KERRY’S MIDDLE EAST                                                                DREAM WORLD                                                                               Jackson Diehl

Washington Post, Nov. 10, 2013

 

Imagine a world in which the Middle East is not descending into carnage and chaos but is on the brink of a monumental series of breakthroughs. By next spring, Iran’s nuclear program will be secured and Egypt will be a liberal democracy. Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad has stepped aside. And, not least, Israelis and Palestinians have settled on the terms for a Palestinian state. This is the world that John Kerry inhabited as he shuttled across the world last week: a fantastical realm created by his billowing vision of what he can accomplish as secretary of state. Meanwhile, on this planet, aid agencies reported starvation and an outbreak of polio in Syria; Egypt’s last elected president was put on trial; Israeli and Palestinian leaders described their U.S.-brokered peace talks as broken; and France’s foreign minister suggested the would-be accord with Iran was “a fool’s game.”

 

Call it Kerry’s Magical Mystery Tour. On Nov. 3 in Cairo, he announced that “the road map [to democracy in Egypt] is being carried out to the best of our perception,” after failing even to mention the politicized prosecution of deposed president Mohamed Morsi. On Tuesday, Kerry offered the following explanation of why the Syrian peace conference he’s pushing will succeed: “The Assad regime knows full well that the purpose of” the conference is “the installation of a provisional government.” And “the Syrian government has accepted to come to Geneva.” It apparently follows that Assad will show up and placidly agree to hand over power. If not, Kerry ventured, “the Russians and the Iranians . . . will make certain that the Syrian regime will live up to its obligation.” Kerry’s optimism was far from exhausted. His next stop was devoted to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, both of whom had broken a vow of silence to say the negotiations Kerry persuaded them to begin in July had gone nowhere. Not to worry, said Kerry: “I am convinced from my conversations” with them “that this is not mission impossible; this can happen.” All this was before his weekend trip to Geneva for what became a failed attempt to close a deal with Iran on its nuclear program. Kerry’s conclusion: “I can tell you, without any reservations, we made significant progress.”

 

Stipulated: The mission of the U.S. secretary of state is to tackle big problems diplomatically, even if it means taking on missions impossible. Still, it’s hard to think of a previous chief of Foggy Bottom who has so conspicuously detached himself from on-the-ground realities. To those outside the Kerry bubble, Egypt is ruled by a regime more repressive than any in decades, with a muzzled media and thousands of political prisoners. Syria is mired in an anarchic struggle whose most likely winners appear to be Assad and al-Qaeda, with neither inclined to negotiation. Israelis and Palestinians are further apart on the terms for a settlement than they were at the turn of the century. And the emerging conditions for a deal with Iran threaten to drive a wedge between the United States and some of its closest allies.

 

This raises the question: Does Kerry really believe his rhetoric? In fact, it appears he does, particularly on the Israeli-Palestinian account. Desperate for a legacy at the end of his long career, the former senator has convinced himself that a) the terms for a settlement are readily apparent and b) he has the political skills to convince Netanyahu and Abbas to accept them. Kerry, like President Obama, also is convinced that detente, if not a “grand bargain,” has all along been possible between the United States and Iran, if only the right people (like him) are at the table.

 

Other Kerry stances are the logical result of Obama’s decision to radically retrench U.S. policy in the Middle East. Obama decided at summer’s end to restrict U.S. activity to “core interests” that don’t include the defense of democracy, preventing humanitarian catastrophe or ending “someone else’s civil war.” That means that Kerry, who once pushed to arm the Syrian opposition as a way of “changing Assad’s calculations,” is left with little recourse other than to plead with Russia and Iran to accomplish what the United States will not. Faced with Obama’s dictum that U.S. cooperation with Egypt’s military will continue, Kerry must pretend that the generals are installing a democracy and pray that they take the cue.If any one of Kerry’s dreams comes true, the world would be better off, so I hope skeptics like me will be proved wrong. If not, this secretary of state will be remembered as a self-deceiving bumbler — and his successor will have some large messes to clean up.                                                                      

                                               Contents
                  NO ILLUSIONS CONCERNING THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION

Isi Leibler

Jerusalem Post, Nov. 10, 2013

 

Israel is heading for what could be its most severe confrontation with the United States, despite reassuring words from the Obama administration to the contrary. President Barack Obama’s policies have led to a US retreat at all levels in the global arena, particularly in the Middle East where his disastrous policy of “engaging” with rogue states coincided with alienating, even abandoning, traditional US allies like Egypt and Saudi Arabia. His administration has also totally failed to mitigate the rampant bloodshed, with hundreds of civilians being killed daily in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere in the Arab world.

However, despite all evidence to the contrary, the administration persists in its mantra that the principal problem in the Middle East is the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and displays a determination to impose a settlement on Israelis and Palestinians. It does so – even setting aside the problem of Hamas – despite the fact that the undemocratic Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, whose term expired years ago, is neither willing nor has the authority to make any meaningful concessions to Israel.

The US chooses to disregard to the extreme intransigence of the Palestinians and the massive ongoing incitement by the PA against Israel and continues to pressure the Israelis, their only regional democratic ally, to make additional unilateral concessions, many of which have long-term negative security implications for the future viability of the Jewish state. US Secretary of State John Kerry presents himself as a “friend” of Israel. Yet his offensive off-the-cuff remarks not only depict him as somewhat of a buffoon, but demonstrate that he now openly sides against Israel in the confrontation with the Palestinians.

He utterly failed to act as an honest broker in his November 6 joint interview with Israel’s Channel 2 News and PA TV, when he targeted Israel for criticism and failed to even relate to Palestinian intransigence. He provocatively asked “whether it [Israel] wanted a third intifada,” which he declared would eventuate if the talks failed. He warned that the Palestinians would “wind up with a leadership committed to violence.” Following a meeting in Bethlehem with President Abbas, brushing aside the venomous incitement to hatred manifested daily by the PA, Kerry stated unequivocally that “President Abbas is 100% committed to these talks.” He reiterated that the US considers construction in settlements, including Jewish neighborhoods of Jerusalem, to be “illegitimate,” and went so far as to state that Israel was sending “a message that perhaps you are not really serious.” He never even referred to the PA demand that Palestinian refugees and their 5 million descendants be given the right of return to Israel. He refused to confront the Palestinian leadership over their refusal to reconcile themselves with the reality of Israel as sovereign Jewish entity.

There have been hints, subsequently denied, that if progress was not achieved by 2014, the US would propose bridging proposals – an ominous signal to Israel. Kerry also threatened that if Israel could not find an accommodation, the US would not be able to deter the rest of the world from imposing real sanctions against Israel. Such remarks effectively guarantee Palestinian intransigence by declaring that after the talks collapse, the world will in any event seek to impose a solution on Israel and shall not blame the Palestinians for once again reverting to terrorism. And this is following Israel’s capitulation to intense American pressure resulting in the outrageous release of Palestinian mass murderers who were subsequently glorified by the Palestinians as heroes.

These statements by Kerry parallel other negative vibes from the US: Obama’s failure to condemn Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s provocative anti-Semitic remarks and the repudiation of his commitment to set aside the confrontation with Israel after Netanyahu had been pressured to apologize to him; the US effort to divert attention from its cyber-attacks on the French government’s communications network by hinting that the Israeli Mossad was to blame; and, most damaging of all, despite deliberate Israeli silence over the issue, the formal US announcement that Israel was responsible for bombing the Syrian military base in which missiles en route to Hezbollah were located. That is not how one treats an ally.

Over the past few months, there has been immense pressure directed at Israel and American Jews to ease up on Iran. Although accused of seeking to sabotage American diplomacy with the “moderate” President Hassan Rohani, Netanyahu has never challenged the role of diplomacy. He merely reminded the Americans of the proven duplicity of the Iranians and Rohani himself as he engages in protracted negotiations while proceeding to advance Iran nuclear status. On the basis of Obama’s recent track record, Israelis were increasingly skeptical as to the fulfillment of his repeated commitment to employ military force if necessary to prevent the Iranians from becoming a nuclear power.

These concerns were confirmed when, despite repeated assurances by Kerry that “no deal is better than a bad deal,” the US and the Europeans (other than France) demonstrated a willingness despite all evidence to the contrary to ease the sanctions on the Iranians without receiving anything tangible in return. Clearly, the US administration lied when it promised to brief Israelis in advance of any deal, so as not to surprise them, and gave repeated reassurances that short of an agreement by the Iranians to end their nuclear objectives, no partial deal was contemplated.

A shocked and distraught Netanyahu publicly admonished Kerry for making a “monumental mistake,” accusing him of providing the Iranians with “the deal of the century” and “in no way reducing their nuclear enrichment capability.” Netanyahu stated that under such circumstances, Israel did not consider itself bound by any agreement between Tehran and the six world powers and “will do everything it considers necessary to defend itself and the security of its people.” There is of course the outside possibility that by the time the talks resume next week, Netanyahu’s warnings are heeded and a Munich-like capitulation is averted. But we should be under no illusions.

The next three months will be seriously challenging for Israel. Prime Minister Netanyahu will need to marshal all his resources and seek to salvage what he can of the likely capitulation to the Iranian mullahs in a deal which in no way guarantees that the centrifuges will not soon again resume spinning. In addition, Israel must resist American pressures to make further concessions to the Palestinians which may well have devastating repercussions our future security. To confront these threats, it is imperative that the prime minister devise a strategic plan, engaging the broadest possible coalition, providing a united front, and work closely with the American Jewish community and other pro-Israel groups to orchestrate a major campaign to enlighten the American public and seek congressional support to rein in the appeasers.

For American Jews, this will be a real test of their commitment to the security of the Jewish state. There have been conflicting reports that leading Jewish organizations and representatives of the administration had agreed to defer for two months efforts to intensify sanctions on Iran, but this was adamantly denied by AIPAC and AJC spokesmen. Regrettably, American Jews committed to the security of the Jewish state appear to be heading toward a direct confrontation with an administration willing to diplomatically abandon Israel and appease the most lethal global terrorist state. ADL head Abe Foxman predicted that Kerry’s “outrageous behavior” and his “chutzpah” in lecturing Israel about peace would unite the American Jewish community. The question is will they have the courage to stand up and be counted?

                                                                            Contents
                                  

 

ISRAEL: THE IMPUDENCE ACCOMPANYING BETRAYAL

Barry Rubin

Jerusalem Post, Nov. 17, 2013

 

I’ve always been amazed anyone thought the United States would ever act against the Iranian nuclear threat. There was never any chance that such a thing would happen. Moreover, there was never any chance the US would let Israel attack Iran. In a Huffington Post article by Steven Strauss, the author quotes Netanyahu: “‘I believe that we can now say that Israel has reached childhood’s end, that it has matured enough to begin approaching a state of self-reliance…. We are going to achieve economic independence [from the United States].’ Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to a Joint Session of the United States Congress – Washington DC, July 10, 1996 (Source: Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs).” Unfortunately, today, almost 20 years later, this is not a fair statement to quote.

Strauss continues: “In 1997, Israel received $3.1 billion in aid from the US. In 2012, Israel was still receiving $3.1 billion annually in US aid.” This, however, is not an appropriate comparison today. Let us look at the current situation: Egypt will receive $2b. in US aid; Saudi Arabia will receive military aid, as will the anti-Assad Syrian rebels; Turkey will receive billions of dollars and probably military equipment.

Moreover, the US and Europe will also reach out to Iran, and Hezbollah and Syria will receive aid from Iran. In addition, the Palestinians have not made the least bit of commitment on a two-state solution . In other words, only Israel would lose. And this is “childhood’s end”? Strauss further notes, “Israel has become an affluent and developed country that can afford to pay for its own defense.” But the point is that other hostile countries will receive more, while Israel will get the same amount. He continues, “…Israel has a well developed economy in other ways.” But again, Israel will be placed at much more of a disadvantage.

The article’s claim that, “Other countries/ programs could better use this aid money,” does not state the reality. “Even domestically, the aid that goes to Israel could be useful. Detroit is bankrupt, and our Congress is cutting back on food stamps, and making other painful budget cuts.” Again, the US does not face immediate threat from its neighbours, while Israel does. Moreover, this argument is shockingly implying that Israel is stealing money from poor people in the US. “Israel and the United States have increasingly different visions about the future of the Middle East,” the article continues. But again, so what? This is absolutely irrelevant. A major (bipartisan) goal of the United States has been the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” Once again, this is a policy that is impossible to implement, but the United States is going to try to force it on Israel anyway. Note that the less security the US and the West provide to Israel, the more difficult it becomes to secure or promote a two-state solution.

Strauss adds, “However, the current Israeli government is clearly not committed to the US vision, and has done everything possible to sabotage American efforts.” The problem with this last point is that the Palestinians have always tried to sabotage this. If this concept hasn’t gotten across in the past quarter century, I can’t imagine when it will get across. The current Israeli government has tried for many years to achieve a two-state solution and has made many concessions. And if Secretary of State Kerry can’t take Israel’s side on this issue, then I can’t imagine how decades of US policy has been carried out. To say that the Israeli government is not committed is a fully hostile statement. This claims Israeli settlement and not Palestinian intransigence has blocked the peace process. Note that the author of this article has “distinguished” credentials: “Steven Strauss is an adjunct lecturer in public policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.” Yet if this is what the US government understands, things will end badly.

Moreover, the issue of Iran and nuclear weapons is not the important point; rather, it is the transformation of the US Middle East position that is significant. I do not believe there is any chance Iran will use nuclear weapons. The problem is that this is reversal of US policy. In other words, it is like going back to 1948 and opposing partition. Finally, what this is all about is money and greed. Many European countries are drooling at the money to be made. For example, Vittorio Da Rold writes (Il Sole 24 ore), “Italian SMEs are hoping for a rapid agreement on the Iranian nuclear issue in order to return as soon as possible to trade without limits with Tehran and the rich Iranian market in hopes of finding new markets in a time when the European market flirts with deflation.”

Contents

 

 

THE ARAB-ISRAELI PEACE PROCESS IS OVER.                                ENTER THE ERA OF CHAOS

Lee Smith

Tablet, Oct. 30, 2013

 

This past weekend the White House clarified yet again what’s been apparent to everyone in the Middle East for quite a while now: The United States wants out, for real. “There’s a whole world out there,” National Security Adviser Susan Rice told the New York Times, “and we’ve got interests and opportunities in that whole world.”

 

To judge by the president’s decision making, Egypt and Syria apparently are no longer important parts of that world, nor is the shakeout from the Arab Spring, or preserving Washington’s special relationship with the Saudi oil kingdom, or other familiar features of American Middle East policy, like democracy promotion, which have been taken for granted by locals and the rest of the world alike. What matters seems to be getting out of the region faster, by making a snap deal with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani over Tehran’s nuclear program. But yeah, administration sources told the Times almost as an afterthought, we still care about the peace process.

 

The problem is that a deal with Iran, when taken together with a U.S. withdrawal from the region, means the end of the peace process. As an Israeli official visiting Washington told me last week, one result of the administration’s minimalist regional profile is that the Arab allies of the United States—from Jordan and Egypt to Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Cooperation Council states—will no longer enjoy the luxury of being able to count on the United States to pursue and protect their national interests, which means that they’ll have to do it themselves in a region where, as President Barack Obama said in his speech at the U.N. General Assembly meeting last month, the leaders “avoid addressing difficult problems themselves.”

 

What that means is that Washington’s Arab partners who are most concerned about Iran, like Saudi Arabia, now have a choice: They can defend themselves with all the weaponry the American defense industry has sold them over the years—or they can get someone else to do it. If most Arab regimes never really cared that much for the Palestinians in the first place, they clearly had even less use for the Israelis. But in the wake of a bad American deal with Rouhani, the Israelis may come in quite handy, as the only local power capable of standing up to a nuclear-armed Iran or stopping the Iranian nuclear program in its tracks…

 

What’s clear amidst all this traffic is that the Israeli-Palestinian peace process is presently the least important and least bloody conflict in the region, after the Syrian civil war, the Libyan civil war, Iraq’s violent partition, Egypt’s military crack-down, etc. From the point of view of national realpolitik, the only people who should be thinking long and hard about the end of the Arab-Israeli peace process are American policymakers.

 

Maybe it’s good news then that the lake of crocodile tears shed for 80 years over the Palestinian cause is about to evaporate into the thin desert air because the United States is leaving, and the Arab regimes obviously have more important things to worry about now—like their own security and survival. Yet from an American standpoint the end of the peace process is unfortunate—and not because it was ever likely to bring about peace between Arabs and Israelis, or usher in a reign of good feeling and peaceful relations across the Middle East….

[To read the full article, click on the following link – ed.]

 

                                                 Contents

 

 

On Topic

 

France Calls on Israel to Halt Settlements: Ruth Bender, Wall Street Journal, Nov. 18, 2013 — French President François Hollande Monday called for the "complete halt" to the building of Israeli settlements during his first visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories since taking office.

The Kerry Fiasco: Jerold S. Auerbach, American Thinker, Nov. 17, 2013 — Who could have imagined it? Secretary of State John Kerry is making his predecessor James Baker seem like Israel's best friend.

Hamas and the “Peace Process”: Shoshana Bryen, Frontpage, Nov. 1, 2013 — The Palestinians have thrown a monkey wrench in the works again –  as they have a pattern of doing every time the “peace process” is supposed to be close to “solving” the problem.

There Will Be War: Mike Konrad, American Thinker, Nov. 15, 2013 —  What was going through the President's head when he eased up on sanctions on Iran?

 

On Topic Links

 

Visit CIJR’s Bi-Weekly Webzine: Israzine.

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

ISRAEL, IRAN, & THE ‘PEACE PROCESS’: AS US ALIENATES EGYPT, ITS IRAN GAMBIT, THE N.Y.T. NOTWITHSTANDING, RISKS ALIENATING ISRAEL

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

 

 

 Contents:         

 

Download today's Isranet Daily Briefing.pdf

What a Nuclear Deal With Iran Could Look Like: Michael Singh, Washington Post, Oct. 18, 2013 With the first round of nuclear talks with Iran’s new, and newly pragmatic, negotiating team in the books, the Washington policy debate about Iran has shifted from whether a deal is possible to what sort of deal is acceptable.

 

How the New York Times Distorted Netanyahu's UN Speech: Alan Dershowitz, Haaretz, Oct. 2, 2013— Why is the American media trying so hard to present Iranian President Rohani's remarks in a positive light while bitterly criticizing Israeli PM Netanyahu's rational and compelling speech?

 

Israeli Officials Say Egypt Peace Treaty is Paramount Amid US Decision to Cut Cairo Aid: Herb Keinon, Michael Wilner, Ariel Ben Solomon, Jerusalem Post, Oct. 11, 2013— Jerusalem official expresses hope for restoration of normal relations between Egypt and America "as quickly as possible.”

 

A Second Chance to Strike First: Robert Fulford, National Post, Oct. 19, 2013 — As Israel faces down Iran, it remembers its nearly fatal error in 1973 – fearing American anger more than the enemy.

 

 

On Topic Links

 

As Iran Shifts, Hard-Liners See Threat to Battle Cry: Thomas ErdBrink, New York Times, Oct.18, 2013

France Covers Obama’s Middle East Retreat: John Vinocur, Wall Street Journal, Oct. 14, 2013

Yitzhak Rabin Was ‘Close to Stopping the Oslo Process’: David M. Weinberg, Jerusalem Post, Oct. 17th, 2013

Why Jordan Relies on Israel to Secure the Jordan Valley: Dan Diker, Real Clear World, Oct. 20, 2013

 

WHAT A NUCLEAR DEAL WITH IRAN COULD LOOK LIKE
Michael Singh

Washington Post, Oct. 18, 2013

 

With the first round of nuclear talks with Iran’s new, and newly pragmatic, negotiating team in the books, the Washington policy debate about Iran has shifted from whether a deal is possible to what sort of deal is acceptable. While such discussions can often seem a miasma of centrifuge counts and enrichment levels, there are, in fact, two distinct paths to a nuclear deal with Iran.

 

The first path is one in which Tehran would receive relief from sanctions in exchange for putting strict limits on its nuclear activities, such as restricting uranium enrichment to low levels. The success of such an agreement would depend on ensuring that Iran could not use declared nuclear activities as a cover for covert activities aimed at developing a nuclear weapon. It would also depend on ensuring that the deal was not easily reversible, so Tehran could not renege once pressure had been alleviated. There are ways that sanctions relief could be made more easily reversible — for example, channeling oil payments to Tehran through a single mechanism that could be blocked in the event of noncompliance — but none of these is fail-safe. The efficacy and durability of a deal over limited enrichment would rest on Iranian transparency. To be meaningful, transparency measures would have to include allowing inspectors unfettered access to sites of their choosing, not just those declared by Iranian officials, and a comprehensive accounting of Iran’s past and present nuclear work, including the military elements of its nuclear program, such as weaponization research.

 

Coming clean in this manner is a prerequisite for the success of any deal that leaves in place dual-use nuclear capabilities. Countries that have divulged their nuclear secrets, such as South Africa, have proceeded to cooperate peacefully with the international community on atomic energy. Those that continued to obfuscate despite agreements, such as North Korea, experienced deeper isolation and external tensions.

 

Iran appears to prefer the latter model. While its officials profess a desire for cooperation, they continue to dismiss as “unfounded allegations” evidence deemed “credible” by the International Atomic Energy Agency that Iran has engaged in nuclear work related to weapons. Iran continues to deny inspectors access to suspected nuclear sites and key personnel, and it seeks to constrict their activities within the bounds of its declared nuclear program…

 

The unlikelihood of a change of heart by Iranian leaders suggests a second, more straightforward path to an agreement: requiring Iran to dismantle its nuclear program in exchange for any relief from sanctions, which would be increased should Tehran refuse to yield. In this model, Iran would have to suspend enrichment- and reprocessing-related activities as demanded by the U.N. Security Council, dismantle its underground enrichment facility at Fordow and export its stockpiles of enriched uranium, among other steps.

 

The obvious objection to such a deal is that it may be too difficult to achieve; even U.S. negotiators have characterized this stance as “maximalist.” But any deal must be evaluated in comparison to plausible alternatives, not in isolation, and Iran’s alternatives are bleak. Iran’s economy is under severe strain because of the sanctions. If Iran tried to “break out” for a nuclear weapon, the United States and Israel have made clear that they would strike a devastating military blow.

 

And contrary to conventional wisdom, time is not on Iran’s side. With each passing day, Iran’s economic predicament deepens and its nuclear program expands. But while the former threatens Iran’s well-being, the latter does not improve it. Adding to its centrifuge inventory and uranium stockpile merely edges Iran closer to Western “red lines” while making it no less vulnerable to attack. The United States possesses powerful leverage in the nuclear talks: Its negotiating position is eminently reasonable. The West is offering Iran something it desperately needs — sanctions relief — in exchange for something it has little ostensible use for — enrichment and reprocessing — given its disavowal of nuclear weapons. That’s hardly a maximalist position.

 

It is commendable that the United States and its allies hope earnestly that Iran would take the path of true transparency and cooperation; indeed, President Hassan Rouhani’s “ charm offensive ” is so beguiling because it appeals to those hopes. But we, and perhaps even Rouhani, cannot compel Iran to make such a fundamental change in course. We can, however, with firmness at the negotiating table and confidence in our leverage make plain the alternatives and force Tehran to confront, rather than evade, the consequences of its choices.

 

Contents

HOW THE NEW YORK TIMES DISTORTED NETANYAHU’S SPEECH

Alan M. Dershowitz

Haaretz, Oct. 2, 2013

 

    I was in the General Assembly when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered his speech about Iranian President Hassan Rohani and Iran’s nuclear program. I heard a very different speech from the one described by The New York Times and other media. Not surprisingly, the Iranians described it as “inflammatory”. More surprisingly, The New York Times described Netanyahu’s speech as aggressive, combative, sarcastic and sabotaging diplomacy, while the only expert it quoted called the speech ineffective and pushing the limits of credibility.

 

What I heard in the Assembly bore little relationship either to the Iranian or the New York Times characterizations. What the people at the talk heard was a compellingly persuasive speech using Rohani’s own words to prove convincingly that his friendly smile is a cover for far more malignant intentions. Herein are a few excerpts not quoted in the Times report. First, with regard to Iran’s nuclear weapons program:

 

There are those who would readily agree to leave Iran with a residual capability to enrich uranium. I advise them to pay close attention to what Rouhani said in his speech to Iran's…Supreme Cultural Revolutionary Council. This was published in 2005. I quote: “A country that could enrich uranium to about 3.5 percent will also have the capability to enrich it to about 90 percent. Having fuel cycle capability virtually means that a country that possesses this capability is able to produce nuclear weapons." Precisely. This is why Iran's nuclear weapons program must be fully and verifiably dismantled. And this is why the pressure on Iran must continue.

 

Next, several statements Rohani made with regard to human rights, terrorism and constructive engagement:

Rohani spoke of, quote, "the human tragedy in Syria." Yet, Iran directly participates in Assad's murder and massacre of tens of thousands of innocent men, women and children in Syria. And that regime is propping up a Syrian regime that just used chemical weapons against its own people.

 

Finally, Netanyahu’s answer to Rohani’s assurance that his country does not engage in deceit and secrecy:

Last Friday Rohani assured us that in pursuit of its nuclear program, Iran – this is a quote – Iran has never chosen deceit and secrecy, never chosen deceit and secrecy. Well, in 2002 Iran was caught red-handed secretly building an underground centrifuge facility in Natanz. And then in 2009 Iran was again caught red-handed secretly building a huge underground nuclear facility for uranium enrichment in a mountain near Qom. Nor did Netanyahu reject diplomacy. Indeed he welcomed it, so long as the diplomatic solution “fully dismantles Iran’s nuclear weapons program and prevents it from having one in the future.”

 

The New York Times was particularly critical of Netanyahu's oft-repeated statement that if Iran were to be on the verge of developing nuclear weapons designed to wipe Israel off the map, “against such a threat Israel will have no choice but to defend itself.” But this statement reflects not only Israel’s longstanding policy but American policy as well. President Obama has told me, as he has told others, that Israel must reserve the right to take military action in defense of its own civilian population. It cannot be expected, any more than we can be expected, to outsource the ultimate obligation of every democracy to protect its citizens from nuclear attack. During the Cuban Missile Crisis, President John F. Kennedy made it clear that the United States would not accept nuclear weapons pointed at our cities from bases in Cuba. Does anybody really expect Israel to accept nuclear missiles directed at its cities and towns from an even more belligerent enemy sworn to its destruction?

 

Those of us who were in the General Assembly chamber to hear Netanyahu’s speech heard a rational call for diplomacy backed by sanctions and the ultimate threat of military force as a last resort. It heard the leader of America’s ally, Israel, carefully analyze the words and deeds of the leader of a nation that still describes the United States in the most bellicose of terms. It was one of the most compelling and effective speeches ever delivered at the United Nations. It should be read—or watched on YouTube—by every American, who should then compare what they have seen and heard with what the media told them was said.

 

Several media outlets misinterpreted President Rohani’s speech to make it sound far more acceptable than it would have been had it been correctly translated. The media claimed that Farsi is a difficult language to translate. There was no such excuse with regard with PM Netanyahu’s speech, which was delivered in crystal clear English. The distortion of the Israeli’s Prime Minister’s speech was a deliberate attempt to portray him in a less favorable manner than his actual words warranted. The question remains: Why would the American media bend over forwards to place Rohani in a positive light while bending over backwards to present Netanyahu in a negative light? Is it because we place our understandable hope for peace over the reality that difficult barriers that still exist? Is it because a “friendly” Iranian head of state is a more interesting story than a realistic Israeli head of state?

 

Whatever the reason, distorting reality is neither in the interest of good reporting nor in the interest of peace. If diplomacy is to succeed, it must be based on realpolitik and a hardnosed assessment of both our friends and our enemies. Judged against those standards, the media reporting on the Rohani and Netanyahu speeches did not meet the high standards rightly expected of American journalism.

 

Contents

 

                ISRAELI OFFICIALS SAY EGYPT PEACE                  TREATY PARAMOUNT AMID US DECISION TO CUT CAIRO AID

Herb Keinon, Michael Wilner, Ariel Ben Solomon

Jerusalem Post, Oct. 11, 2013

 

Jerusalem official expresses hope for restoration of normal relations between Egypt and America "as quickly as possible.” As tensions between the US and Egypt simmered over this week’s American decision to withhold aid to Cairo, Israeli officials said on Thursday that for Jerusalem, preserving Israel’s peace treaty with Egypt is paramount. Concerned by the outlook for human rights and democracy in Egypt, the US announced on Wednesday it would withhold deliveries of tanks, fighter aircraft, helicopters and missiles as well as hundreds of millions in cash aid.

 

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s Office had no comment Thursday on the US decision, but an Israeli official said that the most important thing from an Israeli perspective was maintaining the peace treaty with Egypt that the US brokered and to which president Jimmy Carter was a witness. “The American support for Egypt was given in that context,” he said. Obviously, the official added, Israel understood that the US had its laws governing aid, “but we would hope there would be a way to restore normal relations between Egypt and America as quickly as possible.”

 

Home Front Defense Minister Gilad Erdan voiced concern over the effects the decision might have on bilateral ties. “Certainly it can be confirmed that we had been troubled by how decisions of this kind were liable to be interpreted in Egypt, and of course the risk of consequences for relations with Israel,” Erdan said.

 

Former defense minister Labor MK Binyamin Ben- Eliezer, however, was uncharacteristically blunt in his criticism of the US, saying that the US was “essentially and unwittingly” working against its own interests.

“It must be understood that this region is so weak and in order to keep it stable, a superpower of some kind is required to safeguard it,” said Ben-Eliezer, who was considered close to deposed Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak. Ben-Eliezer said that the US policy was of great concern to Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf countries, and that he could envision a situation where they would begin quiet talks with the Russians to secure their interests. Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and one of his senior strategists, Maj.-Gen. (res.) Amos Gilad, were in the United States when the decision to freeze some Egyptian aid was announced. Like other officials, Gilad hinted at Israel’s disappointment. “I try not to criticize our friends publicly,” he told an audience at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy think tank…

 

The US will maintain military aid to Egypt tied by contracts with American defense firms, but will “continue to hold the delivery of certain large-scale military systems and cash assistance to the government pending credible progress toward an inclusive, democratically elected civilian government through free and fair elections,” Jen Psaki, State Department spokeswoman, said in a statement. The State Department clarified, however, that it would continue to give Egypt support for counterterrorism efforts in the Sinai Peninsula. At a State Department briefing, deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf said, “We would never undertake any policy with Egypt that would put Israel’s security at risk.” She added, “We will continue the conversation with our Israeli friends about how to implement this going forward.”

 

The decision to curtail aid does not mean Washington is severing ties with the country, US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Thursday… “Large-scale systems” being withheld include F-16 fighter jets, M-181 tanks, Harpoon missiles and Apache helicopters, according to American administration officials. “We’re talking hundreds of millions of dollars in military assistance,” one senior administration official said, in addition to the complete halt of $260 million in cash assistance to the interim government. “Most of the economic assistance” earmarked for civilian purposes and toward the private sector will continue, another aide said. “This decision just underscores that the United States will not support actions that undermine our principles,” the official said. “This is a way of expressing that.”…

 

Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesman Badr Abdelatty criticized the decision, saying that “Egypt will not surrender to American pressure” and assuring that it is “continuing its path towards democracy as set by the road map.” An Egyptian military source, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the US decision came as no surprise and was expected, according to a report in Ahram Online… The US is viewed negatively by most Egyptians, so a cutoff in aid may serve to further unite Egyptians behind the army. According to a Tweet by the popular Egyptian blogger The Big Pharaoh, Sisi will be able to position himself as a victim of US pressure. He questioned why similar measures were not taken during Morsi’s rule, as he had used autocratic methods to increase his power…

 

The detainment of Morsi by the military has been condemned by the US as a “politicized arrest.” The State Department says the US has “determined not to make a determination” whether the event was a coup. US law would require aid be cut if such a determination were made. US Sen. Robert Menendez (D-New Jersey), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, expressed support for the cut to Egypt’s military aid.

“Assistance to Egypt that supports these common goals should continue,” said Menendez. “But ongoing violence in Egypt is troubling, shows no signs of abating, and given these worrisome developments, a pause in assistance is appropriate until the Egyptian government demonstrates a willingness and capability to follow the road map toward a sustainable, inclusive and nonviolent transition to democracy.”

                                                                        Contents
 

 

A SECOND CHANCE TO STRIKE FIRST

Robert Fulford

National Post, Oct. 19, 2013

 

As Israel faces down Iran, it remembers its nearly fatal error in 1973 – fearing American anger more than the enemy. Every autumn Israel notes with sorrow the anniversary of the Yom Kippur War of 1973, a calamity that most of the world recalls as a marginal event, if we remember it all. For Israelis, it's lodged permanently in the national memory as the victory that felt more like a defeat. For many Israelis it's a piece of history that carries important lessons for the present. On Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish year, Egypt and Syria staged a surprise attack on Israeli positions. Backed by the Soviet Union, they were intent on avenging their defeat in the Six-Day War of 1967.

 

The Israelis turned them back and in about two weeks had troops fighting their way toward Cairo and Damascus. The fighting ended after 19 days with a UN-brokered peace – a relief to everyone who feared that the war might broaden into a U.S.-Soviet conflict. By then 2,656 Israelis had died in action. That's a figure no one wants to forget. This being the 40th anniversary of that war, it's stimulated even more discussion than usual. On Tuesday, during a commemoration of the Yom Kippur War at the Knesset, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made it plain that he was thinking not only of the war in 1973 but also of Israel's current position and the possibility that bombing Iran's nuclear facilities might be necessary. Israel would remain vigilant with regard to its security and would not fall asleep on its watch, he said. The Yom Kippur War had taught Israel that a preventive strike is a possibility that should not be abandoned easily – "It should be weighed carefully as a viable option."

 

These events were the main subject at breakfast yesterday when Yossi Klein Halevi was explaining to a group of Canadians how an Israeli sees this difficult, often frustrating period. Halevi is  on a tour connected to his current book, Like Dreamers: The Story of the Israeli Paratroopers Who Reunited Jerusalem and Divided a Nation. He's a Brooklyn native whose journalism marks him as one of the most sensitive analysts of Israel. In 1973 many in the government, including Prime Minister Golda Meir, knew that Egyptian and Syrian armies were massing near the borders. Everyone knows something went wrong in the Yom Kippur war, Halevi said. The left has always believed it happened because Israelis grew arrogant after the Six-Day War and relied on their military strength when they should have worked toward an agreement with the Palestinians. This argument led to the Oslo peace process, a failure of hope on a grand scale. Those on the right have a different explanation: Israelis lowered their guard and forgot that they lived among nations that want Israel destroyed.

 

But there was something else, as Halevi pointed out. It was suspected at first, then later confirmed, that in 1973 many in the government, including Prime Minister Golda Meir, knew that Egyptian and Syrian armies were massing near the borders. There were other telltale signs: The families of Russian advisers and embassy staff had been flown out of Egypt and Syria. Meir decided against a pre-emptive strike, fearing a negative response from Washington. Public anger about the war effectively ended her government. A few months later she resigned.

 

Now, with the looming possibility of an Iranian nuclear bomb, Israelis face another danger of falling asleep. A pre-emptive strike is constantly debated. An attack on Iran's nuclear system might empower the Iranian opposition, re-igniting the Green Revolution. Israel's government believes that the Iranians have made so much progress that they must be stopped soon, perhaps in a matter of months. Israeli planners have been developing the idea of a strike for years. They believe they could hobble the Iranian project, delaying it for two or three years. What good would that do? It could result in grievous harm to Israel, by inviting rockets from Hezbollah and Hamas, which the Israeli missile defence systems might not be able to fully neutralize. But it could, Halevi suggested, lead to a change for the better. In the Middle East, two years are a long time, as everyone knows who has watched the Arab Spring turn into a springboard for despots. An attack on Iran's nuclear system might empower the Iranian opposition, re-igniting the Green Revolution.

 

Of course Barack Obama opposes an Israeli strike, but his diplomacy has made Israel particularly fearful. Israelis don't trust Obama. They don't like the way he moved into the current talks with Iran and can't see anything good coming from them. Halevi summarized a popular attitude: "Israelis believe the present talks are the result of Iranian deception and American exhaustion." Halevi had one other comment, "This is a devastating moment for Israel."

 

 

Contents

 

 

On Topic

 

 

As Iran Shifts, Hard-Liners See Threat to Battle Cry: Thomas ErdBrink, New York Times, Oct.18, 2013: With the believers pouring out of the Friday Prayer site in Tehran, Ali Akbar and his friends sprang into action, hastily spreading posters of the American flag on the asphalt and switching on their megaphone.

France Covers Obama’s Middle East Retreat: John Vinocur, Wall Street Journal, Oct. 14, 2013: In an interview with the Associated Press on Oct. 4, Barack Obama depicted Iran as a country living with sanctions "put in place because Iran had not been following international guidelines, and had behaved in ways that made a lot of people feel they were pursuing a nuclear weapon."

Yitzhak Rabin Was ‘Close to Stopping the Oslo Process’: David M. Weinberg, Jerusalem Post, Oct. 17th, 2013: The 18th anniversary of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin’s tragic assassination was marked this week with the usual palms and paeans to the Oslo diplomatic process that Rabin undertook.

Why Jordan Relies on Israel to Secure the Jordan Valley: Dan Diker, Real Clear World, Oct. 20, 2013: A report last week in Ma'ariv that fundamental disagreement between Palestinian and Israeli negotiators over the future of the Jordan Valley may soon collapse peace talks comes as no surprise to Middle East observers.

 

Visit CIJR’s Bi-Weekly Webzine: Israzine.

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

 

 

 Download an abbreviated version of today's Daily Briefing.

 

Contents:

 

 

Contents:

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


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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

On Topic Links

 

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

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


 


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

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


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

 
 

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

 

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


 

DOES JORDAN WANT
PALESTINIANS IN CONTROL OF THE BORDER?

Khaled Abu Toameh
Gatestone Institute, Sept. 20, 2013

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

Contents


 

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

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

Visit CIJR’s Bi-Weekly Webzine: Israzine.

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

Lettre ouverte de Netanyahou

sur la question de la libération de terroristes palestiniens

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Votre,

 

Benjamin Netanyahou

 

La reprise des négociations loin des projecteurs et sans illusions

Freddy Eytan

le CAPE de Jérusalem, 20 juillet 2013

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

Israël paye d'avance quand Kerry ressuscite de vieilles lunes

Shoshana Bryen

American Thinker, 30 juillet 2013

Adaptation française : Jean-Pierre Bensimon

   

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

• la capitale d'Israël est Jérusalem.

Les exigences des Palestiniens sont :

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

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

• Jérusalem comme capitale de la Palestine.

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

BOTH PA AND HAMAS WEAKER POST-MORSI, AS DANON RISES ON NETANYAHU’S RIGHT

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

 

 

 Download a pdf version of today's Daily Briefing.

 

Danon Emerging as Netanyahu’s Main Foil: Aron Heller, Times of Israel, June 29, 2013—Danny Danon says he has no problem with his party leader, Israel’s prime minister — so long as he doesn’t make peace. The ambitious deputy defense minister isn’t a household name internationally yet, but at home he has emerged as an unlikely opponent to Benjamin Netanyahu and his strongest opposition within the hawkish ruling Likud Party.

 

Political Persuasion, Palestinian Style: Khaled Abu Toameh, Gatestone Institute, July 3, 2013 —Earlier this week, Hussam Khader, a prominent Fatah activist, woke up to the sounds of gunfire outside his home in the Balata refugee camp in the northern West Bank. Khader, a staunch critic of the Palestinian Authority leadership and government corruption, discovered when he walked out that his car and front door had been sprayed with more than 20 bullets. Some of his terrified neighbors reported seeing masked gunmen fleeing the scene.

 

Morsi Has Fallen, but Hamas May Be as Big a Loser: Mitch Ginsburg, Times of Israel, July 4, 2013—Thursday was a bad day for the Muslim Brotherhood. The Islamist movement’s leaders were rounded up or forced to go into hiding, a day after seeing their man in Egypt’s presidential palace pushed from power by the military.

 

On Topic Links

 

Why ‘A Little More Work’ Won’t Do it, Mr. Kerry: David Horovitz, Times of Israel, July 1, 2013

Livni's Lapses Legitimize the Delegitimizers: Gil Troy, Jerusalem Post, July 2, 2013

Is Hamas Losing Power?: Khaled Abu Toameh, Real Clear World, June 27, 2013

DANON EMERGING AS NETANYAHU’S MAIN FOIL

Aron Heller

Times of Israel, June 29, 2013

 

Danny Danon says he has no problem with his party leader, Israel’s prime minister — so long as he doesn’t make peace. The ambitious deputy defense minister isn’t a household name internationally yet, but at home he has emerged as an unlikely opponent to Benjamin Netanyahu and his strongest opposition within the hawkish ruling Likud Party. A soft-spoken lawmaker with a penchant for sharp suits, Danon is suddenly a major stumbling block toward Palestinian statehood as US Secretary of State John Kerry embarks on his latest push to restart long-dormant peace talks.

 

While Netanyahu attempts to convince the world of his peaceful intentions and sincere commitment to establishing a Palestinian state as part of a final peace settlement, Danon has repeatedly defied the prime minister’s stance while generating the type of political power that could hinder Netanyahu’s ability to make concessions.

 

His rising influence has raised Palestinian suspicions that Netanyahu is unwilling —and unable — to make peace. From his plush office on the 15th-floor of the gleaming, state-of-the-art Defense Ministry complex in Tel Aviv, Danon does nothing to dispel the suspicions. “I think the prime minister knows that if he is presenting the ideology of the Likud Party we all support him,” Danon said, noting that Likud has only had four leaders in its 65-year history. “It means that we do respect our leaders. But if the leader decides to go to the other direction then … there will be changes within the Likud.”

 

The Likud has long been the leader of Israel’s nationalist camp, believing the country should control all of the biblical Land of Israel between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River. But Netanyahu and other party moderates have gradually come to the conclusion that there is no choice but to divide the land between a Jewish state and a Palestinian one.

 

Danon, 42, is among a group of young hard-liners who rose to prominence during a Likud primary vote last year. These officials, including Deputy Foreign Minister Zeev Elkin, Knesset speaker Yuli Edelstein, deputy transportation minister Tzipi Hotovely and coalition whip Yariv Levin, oppose the establishment of a Palestinian state and are strong proponents of building settlements in east Jerusalem and the West Bank. The Palestinians claim both areas, captured by Israel in the 1967 war, for their future state.

 

Danon, a secular father of three, is the most vocal and has become the brightest star and strongest counterforce within the party. He finished fifth in the slate of candidates chosen in last year’s primary, well ahead of many party stalwarts, and this week he was overwhelmingly elected head of the Likud convention with 86 percent of the vote. On Sunday, he is expected to score another landslide victory and become chairman of the Likud Central Committee, a key position that will grant him power to set the agenda of the committee’s 3,500 members and complicate any Netanyahu initiatives.

 

He has also generated an impressive following in America, particularly among Christian evangelicals. His recent English-language book — “Israel: the will to prevail” — outlines his vision of further Israeli control over the West Bank. It won’t find many fans in the Obama administration, but it did receive high praise from two of Danon’s closest American allies: former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee and conservative TV personality Glenn Beck.

 

The front page of Friday’s mass-daily Yediot Ahronot points to Danon’s surge to prominence at home. Under the headline “Between Kerry and Danon,” a cartoon shows Danon and others pinning Netanyahu to the ground. The paper’s humour column has a mock quote from Kerry saying he is optimistic his visit can help promote a “brave and effective negotiation between Netanyahu and Danny Danon.”

 

Danon, until recently a rather anonymous backbencher, has garnered so much influence that Netanyahu’s chief peace negotiator, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, recently called on the prime minister to reject “Danonism” and forge ahead toward peace. The Palestinian chief negotiator, Saeb Erekat, had also cited Danon by name as someone who is killing the prospect of peace. Danon remains undeterred and is convinced Netanyahu does not have the political backing to cede parts of the West Bank. “I think that the majority of people, not only inside the Likud, but also within the Israeli public, will not support such a dangerous initiative,” he said of a Palestinian state. “It is not just my personal opinion. I represent a lot of people … that think like me that the idea of land for peace doesn’t work anymore.”

 

Israel returned the Sinai Peninsula following its 1979 peace accord with Egypt and made small border adjustments after signing peace with Jordan in 1994. It unilaterally withdrew from the Gaza Strip and evacuated Jewish settlers there in 2005. But the Hamas militant group subsequently seized control of the area, and continued rocket fire out of Gaza has stoked fears that a pullout from the West Bank, located close to major Israeli cities, would bring similar and devastating results. That withdrawal also spawned a revolt within the Likud against then-leader Ariel Sharon, who eventually bolted to establish the centrist Kadima Party. Netanyahu, who led the rebel forces, eventually took over as leader.

 

His party has since drifted further to the right, with Jewish settlers taking over key positions and introducing legislation that seeks to give Israel’s Jewish nature precedence over its democratic nature. Political commentator Hanan Kristal said Danon is trying to position himself as leader of the group and a potential future alternative to Netanyahu. “Danon is Bibi from 10 years ago,” he said, referring to Netanyahu by his nickname. “He (Danon) is a Likudnik and he is saying what a lot of them believe. He just says it clearly and without mincing words.”

 

Netanyahu has distanced himself from Danon, insisting his comments do not reflect government policy, but he hasn’t fired him either as some have suggested he should. Danon makes no apologies for his maverick ways. “I don’t do things to try and disturb him,” he said. “We are in the same boat. I don’t want everyone rowing their oars in different directions but I do try to preserve what I believe in.”

 

With Kerry pressing hard to get Israeli and Palestinian leaders to resume peace talks that have been on hold since 2008, and Netanyahu’s centrist coalition partners urging a breakthrough, the prime minister may soon be forced to choose between the unity of his government and the unity of his party. Danon says Netanyahu is free to negotiate as he pleases, but if he ultimately reaches the contours of a deal he will have to bring it to a vote among his party and a general election for the people to decide. “It is not the case today. It is premature to even discuss this because I don’t think the prime minister is going in this direction,” he said.

 

Others disagree. There are jitters in the party that Netanyahu is nearing the point of following in Sharon’s path toward concessions. He has recently been sending signals that he is ready for compromises and has accepted the narrative of former opponents that ending the West Bank occupation is essential for Israel. The prime minister’s office refused to comment on Danon’s rise in Likud. Associates, though, have been quoted anonymously in the media as saying Danon is pushing Netanyahu out of the party with an extremist hostile takeover. “Being prime minister of Israel is a very difficult job,” Danon said. “There are those who are pushing the ship in one direction and it is legitimate for people like me to pull him in a different direction. He is the captain, steering the ship. At the end of the day, the prime minister navigates.”

 

Contents

 

POLITICAL PERSUASION, PALESTINIAN STYLE

Khaled Abu Toameh

Gatestone Institute, July 3, 2013

 

Earlier this week, Hussam Khader, a prominent Fatah activist, woke up to the sounds of gunfire outside his home in the Balata refugee camp in the northern West Bank. Khader, a staunch critic of the Palestinian Authority leadership and government corruption, discovered when he walked out that his car and front door had been sprayed with more than 20 bullets. Some of his terrified neighbors reported seeing masked gunmen fleeing the scene.

 

Although no group or individual claimed responsibility for the shooting attack, Khader has held Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas responsible. Khader is convinced that Abbas or someone close to him wanted to send him a "warning message" — namely to keep his mouth shut.

This was the third attack of its kind against prominent Fatah representatives in the past 18 months.

A few weeks ago, unidentified gunmen opened fire at the car of Majed Abu Shamaleh, an elected Fatah legislator, outside his home in Ramallah.

 

A third Fatah official, Shami al-Shami, who is also an elected member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, was less fortunate. Last year, he was shot and wounded near his home in Jenin. All three Fatah representatives have one thing in common; they represent the young guard of their faction and are known to be outspoken critics of the Palestinian Authority leadership.

 

Palestinians see the shooting attacks in the context of a power struggle between the old guard and young guard of Abbas's ruling Fatah faction in the West Bank.  Headed by Abbas, Fatah's old guard has always sought to block the emergence of a young leadership within the faction. So far, the old guard seems to have been successful in its efforts to maintain exclusive control over the Palestinian Authority. This power struggle surfaced after the signing of the Oslo Accords, when Yasser Arafat and the PLO and Fatah leadership moved from Tunisia and other Arab countries to the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Most young guard Fatah members still feel marginalized by Abbas and his veteran loyalists.

 

At the age of 78, Abbas feels no need to pave the way for the rise of new and younger leaders to power. At this stage, he and his inner circle seem determined to maintain their tight grip on the Palestinian Authority, even if that requires dispatching masked gunmen to scare their critics. This is perhaps why there is no "Palestinian Spring" in the West Bank. When a Palestinian sees masked gunmen shooting at the cars, homes and bodies of prominent Fatah figures, he or she will think ten times before uttering a word against Abbas or a senior Palestinian official in Ramallah.

 

Moreover, this is what is driving an increasing number of Palestinians into the open arms of Hamas and other radical groups. Of course none of those who carried out the three attacks against the Fatah representatives was ever caught. And there is good reason to believe they will never be apprehended or brought to trial. The reason? The attackers, according to Palestinians, are most likely members of the Palestinian security forces or Fatah's armed wing, the Aqsa Martyrs Brigades.

 

It is one thing when Abbas uses Fatah gunmen to intimidate his critics, but it is a completely different story when he or any of his aides resort to the Western-trained and -financed security services to carry out shooting attacks. A sign of how the Palestinian Authority leadership uses its security forces to intimidate critics was provided again this week when another Fatah operative, Sufian Abu Zayda, published an op-ed strongly denouncing Abbas's "autocratic" governance. Abu Zayda is also considered a representative of Fatah's young guard.

 

His article enraged Abbas and his top aides in Ramallah. But instead of responding to the charges raised by Abu Zayda's article, Abbas's office issued a statement on behalf of the "Palestinian security establishment" threatening and condemning the Fatah representative. "This statement is an assault on public freedoms," remarked Abu Zayda. "It would have been preferable had the [Palestinian] security establishment tried to uncover the identity of those behind the shooting attacks instead of preoccupying itself with a political essay."

 

Those who fund autocratic regimes apparently do not care about the long-term repercussions, so long as short-term stability can be secured. The consequences in the long-term are disastrous: they embolden the radicals and help raise new generations of Arabs and Muslims on hatred and anti-Western sentiments.

 

Contents

MORSI HAS FALLEN, BUT HAMAS MAY BE AS BIG A LOSER

Mitch Ginsburg

Times of Israel, July 4, 2013

 

Thursday was a bad day for the Muslim Brotherhood. The Islamist movement’s leaders were rounded up or forced to go into hiding, a day after seeing their man in Egypt’s presidential palace pushed from power by the military. In Gaza, Hamas is likely feeling little better watching events unfold across the border. The Palestinian group, an offshoot of the Brotherhood, may come out to be the big loser in Egypt’s upheaval, right behind ousted President Mohammed Morsi and his cronies, analysts said Thursday.

 

“If Hamas was already screwed before” – with Morsi’s unbendable need for US financial aid trumping his and Hamas’s shared Islamist agenda in the short term – “now it is double screwed,” said Dr. Jonathan Fine,  a lecturer at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya who focuses on terror ideology and religious violence.

 

MK Yisrael Hasson (Kadima), a former deputy commander of the Shin Bet, said in a phone interview that from an Israeli perspective the coup seemed to be a positive development, both regionally and within the internal Palestinian power struggle between Hamas and Fatah.

 

The Muslim Brotherhood, which had “reaped most of the fruits of the Arab Spring,” he said, “have taken a very serious blow.” Likening the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt to the flagship of an armada, he said it was taking water but “has not been sunk.”

 

Hamas, which has designs on a West Bank takeover, had been dealt a blow by the ouster of Morsi and the rise of, at least for now, a more secular leadership in Cairo, Hasson said. The group had seen itself as the vanguard of the Arab Spring — with its own Islamist coup in Gaza in 2007 serving as an example of a triumph over a corrupt and somewhat secular regime. The fall of Morsi may now signal the fragility of Islamist regimes born out of the same spring.

 

As far as Israeli security is concerned, the Kadima MK said it was impossible to know how matters would develop, positing that Hamas, if neglected, could make itself felt by heating up the border. It could also reasonably say that, with a preoccupied Egypt, “now is not the time to let the Jews run wild.” Israel’s security chiefs, he said, will “have to keep their eyes very open, look at things very suspiciously, and they’ll have to not express themselves publicly at all.”

 

What does seem certain, however, is that Hamas has been backed into a very tight spot. “This is a bad blow for the international Muslim Brotherhood, but for its Palestinian affiliate, Hamas, it is especially bad,” said Col. (res) Shaul Shay, a lecturer at IDC and a former military intelligence officer. “They gambled and broke away from Syria, banking on the natural alliance between them and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, and that hasn’t worked out as planned.”

 

Hamas leadership left Damascus in January 2012, in the midst of the civil war, and has since been at odds with Tehran and Bashar Assad’s regime, severing most of its ties to the so-called axis of resistance. Egypt, though not riven by the sort of sectarian hatred that has been ripping Syria apart, is sure to be unstable in the coming years and may have to weather a period of internal violence. Dr. Mordechai Kedar of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies said that in light of such violence, Egypt may well “fasten the grip on the terror issue,” doing its utmost to seal the underground border between Gaza and Egypt so as to stop the flow of arms in a westerly direction. “Hamas now becomes suspect of collaboration with Morsi,” he said.

 

Shay, who said that Hamas would likely be extremely careful in its dealings with Egypt – a country on which it depends, no matter the ruler – also said that the Brotherhood lacks an organized militia and might, therefore, be willing to receive arms from Gaza. “The tunnels accommodate two-way traffic,” he noted.

 

With Egypt engaged in its own internal strife on the mainland, the Sinai Peninsula, already unruly and rife with global jihad terror operatives, could develop into an even greater problem, or it could be put down even more forcefully by the new regime in Egypt.

 

“The situation is so so so unique that almost anything could be correct,” said Hasson, who predicted that the Brotherhood would have to think long and hard “how to stay in the game.”

Contents

 

Why ‘A Little More Work’ Won’t Do it, Mr. Kerry: David Horovitz, Times of Israel, July 1, 2013—Insanity — according to a definition variously attributed to Albert Einstein, Mark Twain, Confucius, and most credibly to a 30-year-old book called “Narcotics Anonymous” — is “doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”

 

Livni's Lapses Legitimize the Delegitimizers: Gil Troy, Jerusalem Post, July 2, 2013—Israel’s Justice Minister and chief Palestinian negotiator, Tzipi Livni, just won what I am going to call the “Legitimizing the Delegitimizers Award” with a foolish, self-destructive speech in Eilat on Monday.  Livni legitimized Israel’s delegitimizers by echoing their unreasonable prejudices against the Jewish state to try encouraging Israeli peacemaking

 

Is Hamas Losing Power?: Khaled Abu Toameh, Real Clear World, June 27, 2013—Recent developments on a number of fronts in the Middle East suggest that Hamas is beginning to lose both power and popularity among Arabs and Muslims. Of course this is good new for moderate Arabs and Muslims, as well as for stability in the region. 

 

Top of Page

 

 

Visit CIJR’s Bi-Weekly Webzine: Israzine.

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

 

Contents:                          

 

 

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

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

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

 

On Topic Links

 

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

 

 

 

JOHN KERRY’S PLAN: STILL MISSING A PEACE

Elihu D. Richter

Times of Israel, April 8, 2013

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Top of Page

 

 

 

 

PLEASE … DRAW ME A STATE
Shmuel Rosner

New York Times, Apr. 3, 2013
 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

KEEPERS OF THE TWO-STATE FAITH

Dr. Emmanuel Navon

Arutz Sheva, March 13, 2013

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Top of Page

 

 

On Topic

 

 

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

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

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

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

 

Top of Page

 

 

Visit CIJR’s Bi-Weekly Webzine: Israzine.

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

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

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

 

 

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

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