Tag: Palestinian Authority



Time to Tell the Truth About the Palestinian Issue: Alan Dershowitz, The Hill, Jan. 22, 2019  — The front page of the New York Times Sunday Review featured one of the most biased, poorly informed, and historically inaccurate columns about the conflict between Israel and Palestine ever published by a mainstream newspaper.

Preparing for Peace – The Palestinian Way: Khaled Abu Toameh, Gatestone Institute, Jan. 29, 2019— While the Palestinian Authority (PA) continues to arrest and intimidate Palestinian journalists in the West Bank, its loyalists are also waging a campaign against Arab journalists who dare to visit Israel.

Palestinian Authority Still Pays Millions to Terrorists and Uses Foreign Aid to Do So: Steven Emerson, Algemeiner, Jan. 27, 2019 — The Palestinian Authority (PA) transferred over $135 million to imprisoned terrorists in 2018, Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) reports.

Peace: The Missing Israeli Election Issue: Evelyn Gordon, Commentary, Jan. 10, 2019 — Israel’s election campaign has only just begun, but one key issue is already notable by its absence: peace with the Palestinians.

On Topic Links

The Palestinian Civil War: T Dr. Mordechai Kedar, Arutz Sheva, Jan. 24, 2019

Most Palestinians Killed in Gaza Protests Have Terrorist Ties: IPT News, Jan. 22, 2019

Israel Blocks Palestinian Bid to Get Observer Status at UN Disarmament Panel: Raphael Ahren, Times of Israel, Jan. 22, 2019

The Palestinian Jihad Against Peace: Bassam Tawil, Gatestone Institute, Jan. 28, 2019


TIME TO TELL THE TRUTH ABOUT THE PALESTINIAN ISSUE                                                               

Alan Dershowitz                                                                                                            

The Hill, Jan. 22, 2019

The front page of the New York Times Sunday Review featured one of the most biased, poorly informed, and historically inaccurate columns about the conflict between Israel and Palestine ever published by a mainstream newspaper. Written by Michelle Alexander, it is entitled, “Time to break the silence on Palestine,” as if the Palestinian issue has not been the most overhyped cause on campuses, at the United Nations, and in the media.

There is no silence to break. What must be broken is the double standard of those who elevate the Palestinian claims over those of the Kurds, the Syrians, the Iranians, the Chechens, the Tibetans, the Ukrainians, and many other more deserving groups who truly suffer from the silence of the academia, the media, and the international community. The United Nations devotes more of its time, money, and votes to the Palestinian issue than to the claims of all of these other oppressed groups combined.

The suffering of Palestinians, which does not compare to the suffering of many other groups, has been largely inflicted by themselves. They could have had a state, with no occupation, if they had accepted the Peel Commission Report of 1938, the United Nations Partition of 1947, the Camp David Summit deal of 2000, or the Ehud Olmert offer of 2008. They rejected all these offers, responding with violence and terrorism, because doing so would have required them to accept Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people, something they are unwilling to do even today.

I know because I asked Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas that question directly and he said no. The Palestinian leadership indeed has always wanted there not to be a Jewish state more than it has wanted there to be a Palestinian state. The Palestinian issue is not “one of the great moral challenges of our time,” as Alexander insists in her column. It is a complex, nuanced, pragmatic problem, with fault on all sides. The issue could be solved if Palestinian leaders were prepared to accept the “painful compromises” that Israeli leaders have already agreed to accept.

Had the early Palestinian leadership, with the surrounding Arab states, not attacked Israel the moment it declared statehood, it would have a viable state with no refugees. Had Hamas used the resources it received when Israel ended its occupation of the Gaza Strip in 2005 to build schools and hospitals instead of using these resources to construct rocket launchers and terror tunnels, it could have become a “Singapore on the Sea” instead of the poverty stricken enclave the Palestinian leadership turned it into.

The leaders of Hamas as well as the Palestinian Authority bear at least as much responsibility for the plight of the Palestinians as do the Israelis. Israel is certainly not without some fault, but the “blame it all on Israel” approach taken by Alexander is counterproductive because it encourages Palestinian recalcitrance. As Israeli diplomat Abba Eban once observed, “The Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.”

One striking illustration of the bias is the absurd claim by Alexander that “many students are fearful of expressing support for Palestinian rights” because of “McCarthyite tactics” employed by pro-Israel groups. I have taught on many campuses, and I can attest that no international cause is given more attention, far more than it deserves in comparison with other more compelling causes, than the Palestinians. It is pro-Israel students who are silenced out of fear of being denied recommendations, graded down, or shunned by peers. Some have even been threatened with violence. Efforts have been made to prevent from speaking on several campuses, despite my advocacy of a two state solution to the conflict.

Alexander claims that there is legal discrimination against Israeli Arabs. The reality is that Israeli Arabs have more rights than Arabs anywhere in the Muslim world. They vote freely, have their own political parties, speak openly against the Israeli government, and are beneficiaries of affirmative action in Israeli universities. The only legal right they lack is to turn Israel into another Muslim state governed by Sharia law, instead of the nation state of Jewish people governed by freedom and secular democratic law. That is what the new Jewish nation state law, which I personally oppose, does when it denies Arabs the “right of self determination in Israel.”

Alexander condemns “Palestinian homes being bulldozed,” without mentioning that these are the homes of terrorists who murder Jewish children, women, and men. She bemoans casualties in Gaza, which she calls “occupied” even though every Israeli soldier and settler left in 2005, without mentioning that many of these casualties were human shields from behind whom Hamas terrorists fire rockets at Israeli civilians. She says there are “streets for Jews only,” which is a categorical falsehood. There are roads in the disputed territories that are limited to cars with Israeli licenses for security. But these roads are in fact open to all Israelis, including Druze, Muslims, Christians, Zoroastrians, and people of no faith.

The most outrageous aspect of the column is the claim by Alexander that Martin Luther King Jr. inspired her to write it. But he was a staunch Zionist, who said, “When people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews. You are talking anti-Semitism.” It is certainly possible that he would have been critical of certain Israeli policies today, but I am confident that he would have been appalled at her unfair attack on the nation state of the Jewish people and especially on her misuse of his good name to support anti-Israel bigotry.




Khaled Abu Toameh

Gatestone Institute, Jan. 29, 2019

While the Palestinian Authority (PA) continues to arrest and intimidate Palestinian journalists in the West Bank, its loyalists are also waging a campaign against Arab journalists who dare to visit Israel. This month alone, the PA security forces have arrested nine Palestinian journalists, according to the Palestinian Committee for Supporting Journalists.

One of the journalists, Yousef al-Faqeeh, 33, a reporter for the London-based Quds Press News Agency, was taken into custody on January 16. On January 27, a PA court ordered al-Faqeeh remanded into custody for 14 days. His family said that they still do not know why he was arrested. Al-Faqeeh’s wife, Suhad, said that PA security officers raided their house; when Yousef asked whether they had a search warrant, they proceeded to arrest him. “They took him to an unknown destination and did not provide a reason for his arrest,” she said. “They also confiscated his computer and mobile phone.”

The Committee to Protect Journalists condemned the arrest of al-Faqeeh and called on the PA to release him immediately. The other journalists targeted by the PA in the past few weeks are: Mu’tasem Saqf al-Hait, Ayman Abu Aram, Mahmoud Abu Hraish, Mahmoud Abu al-Rish, Zeid Abu Arra, Hazem Nasser, Mohammed Dkeidek and Amir Abu Istaitiyeh.

In the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, only three Palestinian journalists were detained in the past few weeks: Luay al-Ghul, Executive Director of the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate, Salah Abu Salah, an independent reporter, and Huda Baroud, a female investigative reporter who was summoned for interrogation after she prepared a story about “rape within a single family.” The Committee for Supporting Journalists said that the crackdown on Palestinian journalists was aimed at restricting freedom of the media under the PA and Hamas.

These condemnations, however, do not seem to bother Palestinian leaders, who do not tolerate any form of criticism. The Palestinian leaders clearly seem emboldened by the fact that the international community and media are oblivious to the plight of Palestinian journalists. Or, more accurately, the international community does not care when a Palestinian journalist is arrested or harassed by the Palestinian Authority or Hamas. The only stories that attract the world’s attention are those in which Israel is involved.

The silence of the international community has inspired Palestinian leaders to the point where they have now extended their campaign of intimidation to non-Palestinian Arab journalists. When a group of Arab journalists, who hail from Egypt, Lebanon, Algeria and Morocco, recently visited Israel, the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Information issued a strongly-worded statement accusing the reporters of promoting normalization with Israel. “Normalization [with Israel] is an unacceptable and unjustified disgrace,” the ministry said. “The ministry affirms its rejection of media normalization with the occupation and considers it an unacceptable crime under all circumstances.”

The Palestinian Journalists Syndicate, a body dominated by PA President Mahmoud Abbas loyalists, said it is now preparing a blacklist that will include the name of any Arab journalist suspected of engaging in normalization with Israel. The syndicate expressed “shock” over the visit and called for ending all forms of normalization with Israel, including in the media. “What happened was a huge political and national sin.” The journalists, who work in France and Belgium, are now being accused by many Arabs of treason.

The Paris-based magazine Kul Al-Arab said it has terminated all relations with Egyptian journalist Khaled Zaghloul, who was among the group of journalists who visited Israel in December 2018. The editor of the magazine said that his staff, which is “committed to the just and legitimate Arab causes, particularly the Palestinian cause, categorically condemns this unacceptable visit.” Abdel Muhsen Salameh, Chairman of the Egyptian Journalists Union and CEO of Al-Ahram, said that Zaghloul had been fired from the paper in 2011. Ala Thabet, editor in chief of Al-Ahram, distanced himself from the journalist and called on all Arab media outlets to follow suit.

Another prominent Egyptian journalist, Abou Bakr Khallaf, is also facing criticism for visiting Israel. Khallaf, who is based in Turkey, is facing severe criticism after he posted a photo of himself during a visit to the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. His Egyptian colleagues have called for legal and administrative measures against him for engaging in normalization with the “Zionist entity.” Kuwaiti writer Fajer Al-Saeed is also facing condemnations after she took the brave step of calling on Arab countries to normalize relations with Israel.

The Palestinian crackdown on reporters in the West Bank and Gaza Strip is aimed at silencing critics and deterring journalists from reporting on sensitive issues such as financial corruption and human rights violations by the Palestinian Authority and Hamas. For now, it seems that this crackdown has achieved its goal, as most Palestinian journalists living under the PA and Hamas are afraid publicly to voice any form of criticism of their leaders.

The Palestinian incitement against Arab journalists who visit Israel or maintain relations with Israeli colleagues is part of a wider campaign to prevent the Arab countries from normalizing ties with Israel. The Palestinians attach significant importance to their “anti-normalization” campaign, mainly because they believe that US President Donald Trump’s yet-to-be-announced plan for peace in the Middle East envisages normalization between the Arab countries and Israel. By waging a smear campaign against Arabs for allegedly promoting normalization with Israel, the Palestinian leaders are hoping to thwart Trump’s upcoming peace plan. If, in the eyes of the PA leadership, normalization with Israel is an act of “treason,” a “crime” and a “big political and national sin,” the Trump administration may well be wasting its time and prestige on a peace plan that envisions peace between the Arab countries and Israel, at least at this time.

To achieve peace with Israel, Palestinian leaders need to prepare their people — and all Arabs and Muslims — for peace and compromise with Israel, and not, as they are now doing, the exact opposite. Shaming and denouncing Arabs who visit Israel is hardly a way to prepare anyone for peace, or the possibility of any compromise. Meanwhile, the Trump administration and the international community would be doing a real service to the Palestinians if they start paying attention to assaults on public freedoms, including freedom of the media, in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Holding Palestinian leaders accountable for their systematic abuses of public freedoms, assaults on journalists and incitement is the only way to encourage badly needed moderate and pragmatic Palestinians and Arabs to speak out.





Steven Emerson

Algemeiner, Jan. 27, 2019

The Palestinian Authority (PA) transferred over $135 million to imprisoned terrorists in 2018, Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) reports. Based on open-source information and the PA’s own budget, PMW broke down PA terror payments into various categories. More than $62 million was sent to terrorists while they were in jail, while almost $48 million was paid to released prisoners. Roughly $26 million was used to pay other terrorist-related salaries and additional benefits.

PA security personnel jailed on terrorism charges continue to receive higher salaries from a different budget than other prisoners, which underestimates the overall figure of payments transferred to jailed terrorists. Payments are a function of the severity of the attack and prison sentence. The more brutal the attack or murder, the more money a Palestinian prisoner receives. Prisoners with previous arrests receive more money as well. These figures do not include other forms of PA support to Palestinian terrorists, such as payments to the families of “martyrs,” or dead terrorists.

Israel’s Knesset passed legislation last July to impose structured sanctions targeting the PA for its financial incentives to murder program, which promotes violence against Israelis. The PMW report was sent to Israel’s Ministry of Defense to help the government with their annual assessment of the PA’s terror payments. Last year, senior Palestinian officials, including PA President Mahmoud Abbas, issued defiant assurances that they would not end the payments.

Qadri Abu Bakr, who directs the Palestine Liberation Organization’s Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs “emphasized that the leadership … will continue to support the resolve of the prisoners and their families and will not succumb to the Israeli and American pressures calling to stop the Martyrs’ (Shahids) and prisoners’ salaries (rawatib) and allowances (mukhassasat).”

“By Allah, even if we have only a penny left, it will only be spent on the families of the Martyrs and the prisoners, and only afterwards will it be spent on the rest of the people,” Abbas said on official PA TV last July, adding that “martyrs and prisoners” are “stars in the sky,” and these terrorists “have priority in everything.” These statements reaffirm that the PA places more emphasis on taking care of Palestinians convicted of attacking Israelis than other sectors of Palestinian society. In fact, terrorists and their families receive far higher payments than welfare recipients. Despite international pressure to halt this practice, roughly half of the foreign aid that the PA receives is allocated for payments to terrorist inmates and the “families of martyrs.”




Evelyn Gordon

Commentary, Jan. 10, 2019

Israel’s election campaign has only just begun, but one key issue is already notable by its absence: peace with the Palestinians. To many Americans—especially American Jews, who overwhelmingly consider this the most important issue facing Israel—the fact that almost none of the candidates are talking about the peace process may seem surprising. But several recent incidents help explain why it’s a very low priority for most Israeli voters.

Not so long ago, of course, the peace process was Israel’s top voting issue, almost its only one. But in a poll published last month, self-identified centrists and rightists both ranked the peace process dead last among six suggested issues of concern. Even self-identified leftists ranked it only third, below corruption and closing socioeconomic gaps.

There are many well-known reasons why Israelis have stopped believing peace is possible anytime soon. They range from the failure of every previous round of negotiations, to Palestinians’ refusal to negotiate at all for most of the last decade, to the fact that every bit of land Israel has so far turned over to the Palestinians—both in Gaza and the West Bank—has become a hotbed of anti-Israel terror. Yet the root cause of all the above receives far too little attention overseas: Israel’s ostensible peace partner, the Palestinian Authority, educates its people to an almost pathological hatred of Israel.

I’ve discussed the way this plays out in Palestinian textbooks and the Palestinian media many times. But nothing better illustrates the problem than three incidents over the past two months. The most shocking occurred in November when a Palestinian accused of selling real estate to Jews in eastern Jerusalem was denied a Muslim burial by order of the imams of Jerusalem’s Muslim cemetery, religious officials at Al-Aqsa Mosque and Jerusalem’s PA-appointed grand mufti. He was finally buried, with approval from Jerusalem’s chief rabbi, in the non-Jewish section of a Jewish cemetery.

Of course, selling land to Jews is a crime in the PA, for which the maximum penalty is death. Just last month, a Palestinian-American was sentenced to life in prison for it. But in Islam, like in Judaism, proper burial is a religious commandment. Consequently, even the most heinous crime—for instance, killing fellow Muslims—does not preclude someone from burial in a Muslim cemetery, just as Jewish criminals are entitled to Jewish burial.

Thus, PA clerics effectively ruled that a major religious commandment was less important than opposing a Jewish presence in Judaism’s holiest city (to which, not coincidentally, the PA adamantly denies any Jewish connection). Grand Mufti Ekrima Sabri even justified his decision by saying that “whoever sells to the Jews of Jerusalem is not a member of the Muslim nation.” But if PA-appointed clerics claim that selling even a single plot of land to Jews makes one an apostate, how exactly is the PA supposed to sign a peace deal that formally grants the Jews even pre-1967 Israel, which Muslims consider to be no less a part of “historic Palestine” than Jerusalem?

That same month, the PA suspended Hebron’s police chief after social media posts showed him trying to help Israeli soldiers fix a stalled jeep (the original posts said he changed the jeep’s tire, but Palestinian sources denied that, and it’s highly unlikely that none of the soldiers could change a tire). Col. Ahmed Abu al-Rub was just doing his job: The jeep was stalled on a Palestinian road and blocking Palestinian traffic so, as a policeman, it was his duty to try to remove the obstacle and get traffic moving again.

But ordinary human interaction with Israelis, aka “normalization,” is anathema to many Palestinians, including many PA officials. Though the PA will (usually) cooperate with Israel on hunting down Hamas terrorists, since it views Hamas as an existential threat to itself, preventing person-to-person contact with Israelis has been official PA policy for over seven years. So how exactly is Israel to make peace when the PA’s hatred runs so deep that a normal neighborly act like helping Israelis with car trouble—for the sake of unsnarling a Palestinian traffic jam—can endanger a policeman’s job?…

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



On Topic Links

The Palestinian Civil War: T Dr. Mordechai Kedar, Arutz Sheva, Jan. 24, 2019—The tension between the Palestinian Authority and the Hamas Organization in Gaza is approaching the boiling point, as a result of several factors…

Most Palestinians Killed in Gaza Protests Have Terrorist Ties: IPT News, Jan. 22, 2019— The vast majority of Palestinians killed in response to weekly violent protests on the Israel-Gaza border are affiliated with Hamas and other terrorist groups, reports the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center.

Israel Blocks Palestinian Bid to Get Observer Status at UN Disarmament Panel: Raphael Ahren, Times of Israel, Jan. 22, 2019— Israel on Monday thwarted the Palestinians’ attempt to obtain observer state status at the United Nations Conference on Disarmament (CD).

The Palestinian Jihad Against Peace: Bassam Tawil, Gatestone Institute, Jan. 28, 2019— Palestinian leaders have recently stepped up their efforts to stop Arab countries from normalizing their relations — or even signing peace agreements — with Israel. The campaign comes against a backdrop of reports about the warming of relations between Israel and some Arab countries, including a recent visit to Oman by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.


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

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

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

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


On Topic Links

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

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

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

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



Khaled Abu Toameh

Gatestone Institute, Oct. 23, 2013


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

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


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


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


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


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


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


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




Nicole Brackman & Asaf Romirowsky

Forbes, Oct. 18, 2013

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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





Lt. Col. Jonathan Halevi

Jerusalem Centre for Public Affairs, Oct. 24, 2013


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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






Mitch Ginsburg

The Times of Israel, Oct. 16, 2013


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


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


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


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


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


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


On Topic


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

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


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


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



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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.




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.



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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


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.”





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.




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.”



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. 


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La victoire de Rohani :

un cadeau empoisonné pour l’Occident

Freddy Eytan

Le CAPE de Jérusalem, 6 juin 2013


La victoire imprévue d’Hassan Rohani et la participation massive des Iraniens aux élections prouvent que les sanctions occidentales imposées à Téhéran sont douloureuses et efficaces. Le peuple iranien souhaite vraiment le changement et en a ras le bol de l’isolement de son pays dans l’arène internationale. Il a trop souffert de la politique désastreuse menée ces dernières années par le grotesque et l’extravagant illuminé Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.


En évitant de descendre dans la rue et d’affronter les Gardiens de la Révolution, les Iraniens pensent par un vote sanction populaire réussir à faire sortir leur pays de la quarantaine et pouvoir renouveler le dialogue régional et international. Cette approche naïve mais sincère est en fait l’idée manigancée par le Guide spirituel, l’Ayatollah Khamenei. Pour apaiser la grogne et la contestation, il a choisi avec la ruse et la manipulation un nouveau président qui aux yeux du monde arabe et des Occidentaux représente le compromis et une certaine modération par rapport à son prédécesseur et ses concurrents malheureux. Qu’on ne se trompe pas, Rohani fait partie de la classe religieuse chiite et agit en connivence avec le chef de l’Etat.


La communauté internationale, notamment la France et les Etats-Unis, s’est empressée de réagir favorablement à l’élection de Rohani comme s’il s’agissait de résultats démocratiques. Leurs réactions hâtives rappellent celles prononcées juste après les révoltes intervenues en Tunisie, en Libye et en Egypte, les qualifiants naïvement de « Printemps arabe »…


Certes, le peuple iranien n’est pas notre ennemi. L’Iran bouge lentement et dans le bon sens, et nous devons encourager la jeune génération, celle de Facebook et de Twitter, à intervenir dans les décisions gouvernementales et rejeter toute tentative des ayatollahs de plonger l’Iran dans l’obscurantisme du Moyen-âge, mais à l’évidence, l’Iran demeure une théocratie chiite et son souverain sera toujours considéré comme le représentant d’Allah jusqu’au jour où un véritable changement démocratique écartera définitivement tous les ayatollahs. D’ici là, vigilance et prudence obligent. Rohani sera jugé par ses actes, par ses réformes et son pouvoir de résister au guide spirituel. Un désaveu pourra également renforcer le désespoir, la frustration et la contestation dans les rues. 


Devant le cadeau empoisonné qu’offre ayatollah Khamenei à l’Occident, notre tâche se complique et nous laisse quasiment seuls dans notre combat existentiel. Nous devons poursuivre sans relâche notre objectif d’empêcher l’Iran de se doter de l’arme nucléaire, et prouver au monde que l’Iran change peut-être de tactique en cherchant à abolir les sanctions et à sortir de son isolement, mais son idéologie et son but n’ont pas changé de cap. La stratégie des ayatollahs demeure la même, à savoir « faire flotter l’étendard chiite au Moyen-Orient et libérer toute la Palestine des occupants sionistes par tous les moyens ». L’intervention iranienne en Syrie et la participation du Hezbollah aux côtés du régime d’Assad pour libérer ensuite le Golan et la Palestine font partie de cette stratégie chiite. Les Etats-Unis et l’Europe peuvent donner une certaine chance à Rohani mais doivent à tout prix éviter de tomber dans le piège tendu par des ayatollahs aux commandes depuis 1979. 



Israël-Autorité palestinienne :

des relations économiques en quête d’horizon politique

Nathalie Hamou

juif.org, 20 juin 2013


Avec le gel des négociations, le concept de «paix économique» a fait long feu. Très dépendante d’Israël, l’économie palestinienne peine à trouver des débouchés. Mais le secteur privé explore de nouvelles voies.


Ramallah et Jérusalem parviendront-elles à relancer leur coopération économique ? Tel est du moins le souhait des ministres des finances israélien et palestinien qui ont annoncé dimanche 16 juin leur intention de renforcer leurs liens. A l’issue d’une rencontre organisée après plusieurs mois d’interruption, Yaïr Lapid et son homologue de l’Autorité Palestinienne, Shoukri Bishara, ont décidé de rétablir les réunions régulières sur des questions techniques « comme les points de passage (…), la fourniture de carburants, d’électricité et d’eau aux Palestiniens et le financement des soins des Palestiniens dans les hôpitaux israéliens », selon un communiqué palestinien.


Un changement de climat qui n’augure pas forcément d’un réchauffement majeur… Signe des temps, lors de la conférence annuelle « Facing Tomorrow » qui se tient du 18 au 20 juin à Jérusalem à l’initiative du Président de l’Etat hébreu, Shimon Pérès, fervent défenseur d’une solution à deux Etats, un seul intervenant palestinien a figuré au menu des deux journées. A en croire les organisateurs de la manifestation à laquelle assistent Bill Clinton ou encore Tony Blair, des invitations ont bien été envoyées côté palestinien, mais les intéressés ont décliné. « A l’heure où le processus de paix reste au point mort (Ndlr : depuis septembre 2009), aucune figure palestinienne ne peut prendre le risque de cautionner un semblant de normalisation avec Israël », souffle un observateur.


D’évidence, les relations économiques entre Israël et les Territoires palestiniennes, régies par les Accords de Paris (1994), n’ont jamais cessé d’exister. Au point que l’économie palestinienne reste largement dépendante d’Israël. L’an dernier, les exportations de produits industriels et agricoles de l’Autorité palestinienne (Cisjordanie) vers l’Etat hébreu, se sont élevées à 550 millions de dollars, soit environ 76% du total. Tandis que les exportations israéliennes (secteurs industriels et agricoles, hors marchandises en simple transit) ont atteint 670 millions de dollars, sur un total supérieur à 40 milliards. « Simplement, il existe une tension entre la sphère publique et privée », note Dan Catarivas, responsable des relations internationales au sein de l’Association des Industriels israéliens.


De fait, le politique interfère régulièrement sur les échanges entre les deux entités. Ces derniers mois, l’Autorité palestinienne a ainsi connu une crise budgétaire, en raison du désengagement des bailleurs de fonds de certains pays arabes ; mais aussi, du fait de la saisie pendant quatre mois des taxes collectées par Israël pour le compte des Palestiniens, suite à la décision de Mahmoud Abbas de demander un statut d’Etat observateur aux Nations-Unies.


Plus généralement, c’est le concept de « paix économique », cher au premier ministre israélien Benyamin Netanyahou, qui semble avoir fait long feu. « Depuis quatre ans, les officiels palestiniens font valoir que la paix économique risque de se substituer à la paix politique et l’ont rejetée, poursuit Dan Catarivas. Ils essayent de réduire les relations économiques avec Israël car à leurs yeux, ces échanges ne font que cautionner l’occupation israélienne. Mais dans les faits, ce raisonnement ne tient pas. Ce qui ne veut pas dire qu’il ne faille pas explorer des voies pour réduire la dépendance de l’économie palestinienne à l’égard d’Israël ».


A en croire ce responsable, les Palestiniens n’ont pour l’heure pas d’autre choix que d’acheter des produits de base israéliens. Pour autant, Israël fournit du travail à plus de 30.000 Palestiniens dans ses zones industrielles, et à 22.500 autres dans ses implantations situées au-delà de la ligne verte, à un niveau salaire trois à quatre fois plus élevé que celui versé par les employeurs palestiniens.


Reste que la rhétorique est bel et bien en train de changer. Lors du dernier Forum économique mondial, qui s’est tenu fin mai sur la rive jordanienne de la mer morte, quelque 300 hommes d’affaires palestiniens et israéliens, à l’origine de l’initiative « Briser l’impasse », ont appelé leurs dirigeants à se rassoir à la table des négociations : un préalable selon eux à la relance de la coopération économique. Ce qui n’empêche pas nombre d’opérateurs du secteur privé de travailler ensemble malgré le « Mur » qui les sépare. A l’image de l’entreprise israélienne Mellanox, qui fait de l’outsourcing avec des programmeurs de Ramallah. Selon PITA, qui chapeaute le secteur high tech palestinien, pas moins de 500 ingénieurs de Cisjordanie, s’inscrivent déjà dans ce schéma…



Un Etat palestinien serait en

contradiction avec la Charte de l’ONU

Zvi Tenney

terredisrael.com, 19 juin 2013


Voici quelques remarques à ce sujet émises dernièrement par des juristes en droit international qui pourraient surprendre nombreux….Certes cela ne peut changer la perception courante et actuelle du conflit, mais il n’empêche qu’il est intéressant d’avoir ces remarques en mémoire, surtout quand on pense à la solution de ce conflit en coopération avec la Jordanie.


L’ONU a dans sa Charte la résolution 80 qui, lorsqu’elle a été votée, a officieusement été appelée la « clause du peuple juif « , car elle conserve intacts tous les droits accordés aux Juifs par le Mandat britannique pour la Palestine, même après l’expiration dudit mandat les 14/ 15 mai 1948.


Cette résolution 80 de la charte de l’ONU a force de traité international car la Charte des Nations Unies dans son entier est un traité international. Appliquée à la Palestine, elle explique que les droits qui ont été donnés aux Juifs sur la terre d’Israël ne peuvent être modifiés d’aucune façon, sauf si un accord de tutelle entre les États ou parties concernés avait transformé le mandat en tutelle, ou en « territoire sous tutelle ».


En vertu du chapitre 12 de la même Charte, l’ONU avait une fenêtre de trois ans pour cela, entre le 24 Octobre 1945 (date où la Charte des Nations Unies est entrée en vigueur) et le 14/15 mai 1948, date où le mandat a expiré, et l’Etat d’Israël a été proclamé.

Comme aucun accord de ce type n’a été passé pendant ces trois ans, les droits donnés aux juifs sous le mandat britannique sur la Palestine ont force exécutoire, et l’ONU se doit de respecter cet article 80 qu’elle n’est d’ailleurs pas autorisée à modifier.


L’ONU n’a donc aucune possibilité de transférer ou de reconnaître le transfert d’une partie des droits qui ont été donnés au peuple juif sur la Palestine à une entité non juive, en l’occurrence, à l’Autorité palestinienne. Tous les juristes de l’ONU le savent, et buttent sur cette résolution incontournable.


Parmi les plus importants des droits conférés aux Juifs, figurent ceux de l’article 6 du Mandat qui reconnaît aux Juifs le droit « d’immigrer librement sur la terre d’Israël et d’y établir des colonies de peuplement « . Ce droit, comme mentionné plus haut, est totalement protégé par l’article 80 de la Charte des Nations Unies .Il faut rappeler que sous le mandat britannique, toute la Palestine était réservée à l’établissement du foyer national juif et du futur Etat juif indépendant, en confirmation de ce qui avait été décidé lors de la conférence de paix de San Remo en Avril 1920.


Aucune partie de la Palestine concernée par le mandat britannique (soit la Cisjordanie, après la création de la Jordanie), n’a été donnée pour la création d’un Etat arabe.


Les droits des Arabes à l’autodétermination leur ont été accordés ailleurs : en Syrie, en Irak, en Arabie, en Egypte, en Afrique du Nord et en Jordanie (après l’accord spécial modifiant le dit Mandat comme mentionné plus haut). Il a été créé en conséquence 21 Etats arabes sur un immense territoire qui va du golfe Persique à l’océan Atlantique.


Il n’y a donc aucune possibilité de créer un Etat arabe supplémentaire indépendant en Cisjordanie, territoires de la Palestine mandataire réservée à l’autodétermination juive.


Créer un tel état sur ces terres attribuées aux juifs serait illégal en vertu de l’article 80 de la Charte des Nations Unies, et outrepasserait l’autorité juridique que l’ONU s’est elle-même donnée…Et cela, en dépit de sa tendance et de sa volonté politique !











Le Sinaï plonge l’Egypte dans un bourbier

Zvi Mazel

Le CAPE de Jérusalem, le 24 mai 2013


Le 22 mai dernier, sept Egyptiens – six policiers et un soldat – kidnappés dans le Sinaï ont été libérés sains et saufs. De longues tractations ont été menées entre un représentant de la sécurité militaire, un cheikh salafiste et un dignitaire de la tribu bédouine Swarka. Selon la version officielle, aucune concession n’a été faite ; cependant les ravisseurs courent toujours. Ils ont compris combien leur position était intenable : l’Egypte a refusé de céder à leur chantage. Pour une fois, la classe politique toute entière et l’opinion publique ont condamné l’opération. L’armée a massé hélicoptères, blindés et forces spéciales en vue d’un assaut ; furieux de l’attaque contre leurs collègues, les policiers ont bloqué le poste frontière de Rafah, et des milliers de Palestiniens se sont trouvés pris au piège. Inquiet, le Hamas a proclamé qu’il n’était pour rien dans l’affaire.


On attend toujours un communiqué de revendication. On sait que les ravisseurs ont réclamé la remise en liberté de dizaines de terroristes djihadistes impliqués dans les attentats de Taba et Charm al-Cheikh en 2004 et du nord Sinaï en 2011. Certains sont sous le coup d’une condamnation à mort. Selon des « sources provenant de milieux salafistes » publiées dans les médias, ces terroristes se réclament de l’organisation « Al Tawrid wa al Jihad », la plus puissante du Sinaï. Se réclamant d’al-Qaeda, elle regroupe des djihadistes égyptiens, des salafistes de Gaza et des Bédouins traditionnellement hostiles au pouvoir central. Tous appartiennent à la faction la plus dure de l’Islam, les « Takfiri », apparus en Egypte dans les années soixante-dix sous l’impulsion de Frères musulmans.


L’un des chefs du djihadisme en Egypte, le cheikh Nabil Naim, a déclaré au quotidien AlShark alAwsat que la Confrérie des Frères musulmans, au pouvoir en Egypte, entretient des liens étroits avec les djihadistes au Sinaï et se garde bien de les heurter. Deux raisons à cela : tout d’abord, ils partagent la même idéologie et aspirent au rétablissement du califat ; ensuite le régime se réserve la possibilité de faire appel à eux dans sa lutte contre l’opposition. C’est pourquoi le président Morsi a freiné les tentatives de l’armée pour libérer les otages par la force. Les généraux pensent, eux, que les organisations terroristes au Sinaï sont un danger pour l’Egypte. Ils n’oublient pas le massacre de seize soldats en août dernier par des djihadistes toujours en liberté. Une vaste opération a pourtant été lancée à l’époque : l’armée a engagé des blindés – en violation de l’annexe militaire au traité de Camp David – avant de les retirer sous la pression d’Israël. Cependant, Israël a accepté l’augmentation du nombre de soldats dans la zone démilitarisée.


Quelques 2 000 terroristes appartenant à des formations djihadistes regroupant des Egyptiens et des Palestiniens associés à des Bédouins opèrent toujours dans le Sinaï. Difficile de les repérer dans un territoire aussi vaste. Ils n’hésitent pas à lancer des raids contre des postes de police, des barrages routiers ou des patrouilles militaires ; opérations qui font peu de victimes mais portent atteinte au moral des troupes et au prestige de l’armée. C’est en vain que l’état-major attend le feu vert du régime pour y mettre fin. On le voit bien dans l’affaire de la dernière prise d’otages : Morsi n’a jamais condamné les kidnappeurs, se contentant de demander la libération des otages. Face à l’indignation publique qui a grandi contre son inaction, il a finalement donné son accord à une opération militaire. Sans attendre, les ravisseurs ont alors libéré les sept hommes.


A l’origine de la situation actuelle, il y a bien sûr l’état catastrophique de la péninsule du Sinaï, négligée depuis des années par le pouvoir central. La frustration née du manque d’infrastructure et de développement fait des Bédouins une proie facile pour les islamistes cherchant à infiltrer la région. Le Hamas, à la tête des réseaux de contrebande d’armes mis en place en coopération avec l’Iran, encourage cette infiltration.


La Confrérie se trouve bien embarrassée, partagée entre la nécessité de pacifier la péninsule et la crainte d’ouvrir un nouveau front alors que grandit l’opposition intérieure. Et puis comment ramener le calme sans s’opposer au Hamas, qui appartient aux Frères musulmans, les a aidés à renverser Moubarak et reste leur allié contre Israël ?


La situation n’est pas moins inquiétante pour Israël. Confronté à des tirs de missiles et à des attaques dans le sud, sans parler du flot d’armes et de munitions qui inonde la péninsule et Gaza, il prend sur lui de ne pas riposter. Heureusement, la coopération discrète entre les services de renseignement des deux pays se poursuit – pour le moment.


Des voix s’élèvent en Egypte pour demander la révision du traité de paix avec Israël. Apparemment les Frères musulmans ne saisissent pas que la solution ne passe pas par davantage de soldats à la frontière avec Israël, mais par une politique de développement économique et sécuritaire dans le Sinaï.


Dura : Israël s’exprime ; mieux vaut tard que jamais

Stéphane Juffa

menapres.org, 24 mai 2013


Le ministère israélien des Relations Internationales et de la Réflexion stratégique a publié, le 19 mai dernier, un rapport établissant la position du gouvernement hébreu sur la Controverse de Nétzarim. Durant sa rédaction, il avait invité Fr2 à participer au comité chargé de l’établir, proposition qui fut rejetée par la chaîne du service public français.


Avant sa publication, le brigadier-général de réserve et directeur adjoint du ministère, Yossi Kupperwasser, avec lequel j’ai eu un tête-à-tête mardi, avait soumis le rapport dont il est l’initiateur à l’ambassade de France à Tel-Aviv pour recueillir ses éventuels commentaires.


Difficile, dans ces conditions, de prétendre aujourd’hui que le ministère ait agi en vase clos, fermant la porte à d’éventuelles critiques, voire à des mises au point. Ce qui n’empêche pas le clan des enderlinards de se plaindre de ce qu’aucun représentant indépendant n’ait participé à l’élaboration du document.


C’est l’hôpital qui se moque de la charité, car il qualifie précisément le mode opératoire de la chaîne et de son correspondant permanent à Jérusalem depuis treize ans. Du premier contact que nous avions pris avec Olivier Mazerolle, début des années deux mille – à l’époque directeur de l’info sur Fr2 -, auquel nous proposions, avec des gages de discrétion, de corroborer les éléments que nous possédions mutuellement sur l’affaire afin d’aider à la recherche de la vérité, Mazerolle avait répondu qu’il "n’en avait strictement rien à foutre".


Et en 2004, lorsque celle qui lui avait succédé, Arlette Chabot, avait posté des gardes armés à l’entrée de l’immeuble de France-Télévisions, dans le seul but d’empêcher les journalistes de la Ména de participer à la conférence de presse qu’elle organisait. Plus récemment encore, quand le Dr. Richard Prasquier, en qualité de président du CRIF, avait passé un accord avec Patrick de Carolis, alors PDG de France Télévisions, en vue de faire examiner Jamal Dura et ses cicatrices par un médecin légiste à Paris, l’accord n’a pas été respecté.


Depuis, la société de télévision publique a tout fait pour que cet examen n’ait pas lieu. Carolis avait d’abord fallacieusement prétendu qu’Israël empêchait le "père" de la mise en scène de quitter Gaza, pour finir par déclarer par écrit – et au mépris de toutes les évidences – qu’il n’avait jamais passé d’accord avec Prasquier. Entre-temps, Jamal Dura, sur lequel Fr2 possède une influence certaine, a quitté plusieurs fois Gaza pour se rendre à l’étranger, mais chaque fois, en évitant consciencieusement de passer par la ville des lumières.


Aujourd’hui, Jamal suggère à l’AFP qu’une commission d’enquête internationale "comprenant des Arabes" ouvre la "tombe de Mohamed", procède à une analyse d’ADN et à l’examen du corps. Mais quelle autorisation attend-il donc ? Si j’étais à sa place, publiquement accusé depuis treize ans d’avoir participé à la mise en scène de la mort de mon fils et d’avoir feint être blessé par des balles, j’aurais effectué cette exhumation depuis longtemps. J’aurais aussi, très probablement, montré mes cicatrices à un médecin français dès la première occasion qui s’offrit à moi.


Le rapport du gouvernement israélien, dans le souci de ne pas envenimer les relations avec la France, épargne l’organe télévisuel du service public dans ses conclusions, de même que l’Etat français.


Il répond ainsi aux contraintes de la diplomatie auxquelles nous ne sommes pas tenus en tant que journalistes totalement indépendants. Car nous différencions deux affaires distinctes au sein de la Controverse de Nétzarim : d’une part, le tournage et la diffusion d’une fausse nouvelle ayant participé à provoquer des guerres et des assassinats et à éloigner les perspectives d’un règlement pacifique du conflit moyen-oriental. De l’autre, les efforts incessants de Fr2 afin d’entraver la marche de la justice, y compris par les pressions qu’elle a exercées sur des témoins et leur instrumentalisation dans le cadre de procès liés à l’affaire, doublés de faux intellectuels.


Comment considérer autrement l’envoi par Chabot d’un caméraman salarié de la chaîne, pour filmer, avec du matériel appartenant à la chaîne, les cicatrices apparaissant sur le corps de Jamal Dura ? Des cicatrices, séquelles de blessures qu’il avait subies en 1992, les faisant passer, à grands renforts de communication, pour les conséquences de balles que le "père" aurait reçues des mains des militaires israéliens en septembre 2000.


Comment nommer autrement le refus, quatre ans durant, de présenter les rushes que Fr2 prétendait détenir, censés montrer l’agonie de l’enfant, alors que ces images n’existent pas.


Les personnes concernées par les suites de cette affaire ne se limitent donc pas au menteur Charles Enderlin et au metteur en scène Talal Abou Rahma, loin s’en faut, avec ou sans rapport gouvernemental israélien. Lequel rapport n’a pas été établi sur la base de nouvelles enquêtes mais par la vérification de documents existants, procédant des enquêtes Shahaf-Ména, les seules à avoir été réalisées sur la Controverse.


En octobre 2000, il n’avait en effet fallu que quelques jours au physicien Nahum Shahaf pour présenter les preuves suffisantes de ce que le reportage français relevait d’une mise en scène. Début décembre, le gouvernement israélien possédait tous les éléments nécessaires pour affirmer qu’on était en présence d’une imposture.


A la mi-2003, l’investigation principale de la Ména était terminée et le même gouvernement se trouvait en situation d’émettre le même rapport que celui qu’il vient de rendre public, à l’exception des dossiers concernant le faux rapport médical jordanien et la question de l’origine des cicatrices, que nous avons révélés quelques années plus tard.


Yossi Kupperwasser ne nie pas les faits, il ajoute simplement – et on ne saurait lui donner tort – que les choses recèlent un poids différent lorsqu’elles sont présentées par un Etat ou par une agence de presse.


Quant au retard dans la présentation des faits, le haut-fonctionnaire l’attribue aux décisions de ceux qui ont précédé l’équipe actuelle au niveau de la prise de décisions. "Après avoir constaté que le reportage continuait à faire d’innocentes victimes, comme à Otzar Hatorah à Toulouse, il nous paraissait urgent de faire connaître le point de vue d’Israël de manière claire et précise", a poursuivi Kupperwasser.


Les premiers effets du rapport ont été immédiats : la plupart des media tricolores, dans leurs articles et autres dépêches, ont cessé de parler de "l’enfant mort en septembre 2000 au carrefour de Nétzarim" pour passer au conditionnel.


Dommage que l’Etat hébreu ne nous ait pas aidés entre 2001 et 2006, alors que la Ména était le seul media à soutenir que l’assassinat de Mohamed procédait d’une mise en scène. Pour être tout à fait précis, les cabinets successifs ne nous ont pas mis les bâtons dans les roues, mais ils n’ont pas levé le petit doigt afin de nous faciliter la tâche.


Dany Seaman, l’ex-directeur du bureau gouvernemental de la presse, faisait figure d’exception, qui s’en allait punaiser nos articles sur l’Affaire sur le tableau des communications de l’immeuble des Jerusalem studios pour s’assurer personnellement qu’Enderlin, de même que les autres journalistes des TV étrangères qui y sont concentrés, ne puissent éviter leur lecture au sortir de l’ascenseur.


En France, les dirigeants du CRIF, très majoritairement acquis à la thèse d’Enderlin, envoyaient des faxes aux associations qui accueillaient nos conférences sur la Controverse, les enjoignant de les annuler, au risque de se voir poursuivre devant les tribunaux. Il aura fallu attendre la présidence de Richard Prasquier pour que le Comité Représentatif des Juifs de France prenne enfin ses responsabilités.


J’ai lu que le même CRIF demande désormais à Fr2 d’ouvrir une enquête sur l’Affaire Dura ; à notre sens, il s’agit d’une erreur, car, ce faisant, l’on met en doute sans la moindre raison l’enquête existante – or on ne recommence une enquête que lorsqu’il y a des raisons de penser que la précédente a été bâclée ! -. Etrangement, je n’ai jamais vu les soutiens d’Enderlin mettre en cause la factualité de nos conclusions. Mais aussi, comment, sur quelles bases, pourraient-ils le faire ?


Nous amassons les évidences : nous en sommes, si je compte bien, à dix-huit preuves et plus de cent-cinquante éléments concordants, contre zéro chez nos adversaires. Iceux s’emploient à intenter des procès ad hominem, à stigmatiser politiquement les partisans de la vérité, à leur intenter des vices de forme et à faire l’apologie du courage et de la probité de Charles.


De cet étrange reporter qui a coupé la fin des images filmées par Abou Rahma, celles sur lesquelles on voit l’enfant "mort" relever la tête et regarder en direction du metteur en scène. Qui les a remplacées par l’affirmation selon laquelle il détenait les images de l’"agonie" de Mohamed, mais qu’elles étaient par trop insupportables pour être montrées aux téléspectateurs (et à qui que ce soit d’autre, d’ailleurs). Et qui, lorsque sommé par la justice de les montrer, a été contraint de reconnaître qu’elles n’existaient pas. Le bougre ! Le mythomane ! Le journaliste-voyou !


Le rapport émis par le gouvernement israélien ne signifie pas la fin de la dispute, loin s’en faut. Au contraire, les esprits s’échauffent à nouveau. A la fin du document Kupperwasser, il manque les mesures à prendre.


En 2003, Tommy Lapid, alors ministre de la Justice, bien que convaincu par les documents de l’enquête que nous lui avions soumis, après mûre réflexion, décida de ne pas poursuivre judiciairement Enderlin, Abou Rahma et France 2. Il m’avait expliqué qu’il n’était pas sain, pour un Etat, d’assigner un journaliste étranger devant ses tribunaux. Même s’il a commis un dol aux conséquences irréparables ; Lapid père soutenait que cela présenterait une image négative du pays et une immixtion dans la liberté de la presse. Lapid avait derrière lui une longue carrière de journaliste, ce qui avait sans doute motivé sa décision.


Je lui demandai : "dans le principe, je partage votre point de vue, mais ne doit-il pas y avoir de limites à la liberté octroyée à un confrère, un Etat doit-il lui accorder l’impunité dans tous les cas ?". Après s’être longuement gratté le menton, le ministre répondit : "Dans ce cas, il n’y a probablement pas de limites".     


Il ne semble pas qu’Israël ait, pour le moment, changé d’avis sur ce point. Mais une assignation reste la seule mesure concrète à prendre. Retirer sa carte de journaliste à Charles me semble un acte pathétique, réclamer cette sanction l’est plus encore. Pour le genre d’activités qu’il mène, il n’a guère besoin de cette carte.


Reste qu’au lendemain de la publication du rapport gouvernemental, je suis mieux dans ma peau que dans la sienne, ou dans celle de nombreuses autres personnalités qui se sont compromises dans la Controverse. Comme le beau-fils du Président Pérès, le Professeur Raphi Walden, qui est intervenu pour soutenir le faux rapport médical jordanien. Un rapport qui détaille les soins apportés à Jamal Dura les 1er, 2, 3 et 4 octobre 2000 à Amman, alors que le "patient" se trouvait à Gaza. Et pas même à l’hôpital Shifa mais à son domicile, dans le camp de réfugiés d’El-Bourej. Après avoir été atteint par treize balles à haute vélocité !


Comme Avi Issacharoff, journaliste à Haaretz, qui, après avoir publié les attendus de Walden sur le rapport jordanien, se refusa de diffuser le contenu de notre analyse.


Les élites du camp de concentration de Gaza

aiment les voitures de luxe

Philosémitisme, 27 mai 2013


La version médiatico-politique officielle en Europe est que le Hamas est populaire parce que vertueux et le Fatah impopulaire parce que corrompu. Ce serait donc pour cette raison que les Palestiniens plébiscitent le Hamas.  La situation mérite d'être nuancée: les élites du Hamas et du Fatah sont aussi corrompues les unes que les autres. Elles s'enrichissent grâce à la contrebande qui passe par les tunnels et aux trafics. Avec les aides faramineuses que leur accorde généreusement, entre autres, le contribuable européen, ces élites peuvent effectivement vivre dans le luxe.


Clarín s'est intéressé à cette question et rapporte que 60% du parc automobile dans la bande de Gaza serait composé de voitures neuves. Les élites du Hamas et les contrebandiers peuvent s'offrir des véhicules haut de gamme des marques Mercedes Benz, BMW et Toyota dont certains modèles coûtent plus de 55.000 dollars et qui viennent d'Egypte. La classe moyenne se contente de voitures coréennes importées d'Israël.  Curieusement on nous parle de blocus de la bande de Gaza.


Sur un autre registre tout aussi tragique, le journaliste Khaled Abu Toameh dénonce le silence de l'Union européenne face à la torture pratiquée par le Hamas et l'Autorité palestinienne. Why Doesn't the EU Condemn Palestinian Torture?. Nous connaissons la réponse – il faut faire croire que les Israéliens sont les seuls à pratiquer la torture, les seuls à être définitivement coupables et les Palestiniens à être définitivement les victimes les plus innocentes. Voir: Le Parlement européen rend hommage à Marwan Barghouti 'homme hors du commun' et aux terroristes palestiniens et Scénario: l'Europe exige la libération du terroriste du marathon de Boston!




Download Today's Isranet Daily Briefing.pdf      




Netanyahy: UN Can't Force Israel To Compromise On Security: Herb Keinon, Jerusalem Post, Nov. 29, 2012— “…there is no force in the world able to sever the thousands-year connection between the people of Israel and the Land of Israel,"


UN: Palestine is Now a Non-Member State; Reality: Palestine Will Continue to be a Non-Existent State: Barry Rubin, PJMedia, Nov. 29, 2012—The Palestinians’ leaders have long believed that an intransigent strategy coupled with some outside force—Nazi Germany, the USSR, weaning the West away from Israel—will miraculously grant them total victory. They aren’t going to change course now but that route leads not forward but in circles.


Round 2 of ‘Israel, Palestine at the ICC’: Yonah Jeremy Bob, Jerusalem Post, Nov.15, 2012— Israel is not a party to the Rome Statute, so it could be difficult or impossible to actually conduct a case against Israel’s citizens without its government’s cooperation….It is far from clear that the ICC would make a final decision to indict any Israelis, in light of the fact that Israel has completed a process of investigations of its soldiers’ actions in Operation Cast Lead.


"Palestine” Does Not Qualify as a “State": Rick Richman, Commentary, Nov.13, 2012— Under the Montevideo Convention (1933), a state “should possess the following qualifications”: (1) a defined territory; (2) a government; (3) capacity to enter into relations with the other states; and (4) a permanent population.


Two Palestinian Goals At UN: Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik, Palestinian Media Watch, Nov. 29, 2012 — First, all lands that are disputed and whose future must be negotiated according to the Oslo Accords, the PA wants declared Palestinian "occupied territory." Second, they claim that UN recognition would change the status of Palestinian terrorists in Israeli prisons to legitimate freedom fighters and prisoners of war.


On Topic Links


Misguided UN Bid: JPost Editorial, Jerusalem Post, Nov. 27, 2012

Accomplices in a Campaign to Annihilate A UN Member: Shlomo Slonim, Jerusalem Post, Nov. 28, 2012

European Votes on PA Statehood Bid Fall Into Place: Jerusalem Post, Reuters, Nov. 28, 2012

Palestine’s Muddled Statehood Strategy: Robert M. Danin, Council on Foreign Relations, Nov. 28, 2012

The UN Vote, the ICC and the Riddle of Palestinian Intentions: Haviv Rettig Gur, Times of Israel, Nov. 29, 2012

Who Wants a Palestinian State?: Moshe Dann, Jerusalem Post, Nov. 26, 2012




Herb Keinon

Jerusalem Post, Nov. 29, 2012


Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: "Israel's hand is always extended in peace, but a Palestinian state will not be established without recognition of the state of Israel as the state of the Jewish people, without an end-of-conflict declaration, and without true security arrangements that will protect Israel and its citizens.


    "I remember the international community's applause that the government of Israel received when it decided to unilaterally withdraw from Gaza. We got applause and then rocket fire. We left Gaza, and Iran entered, exactly like what happened in Lebanon.


    "It does not matter how many will vote against us, there is no force in the world that will cause me to compromise on Israeli security and there is no force in the world able to sever the thousands-year connection between the people of Israel and the Land of Israel,"

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Barry Rubin

PJMedia, November 29, 2012

Twenty-four years ago, almost to the day, in 1988, I stood in a large hall in Algeria and saw Yasir Arafat declare the independence of a Palestinian state. It was forty-one years, almost to the day in 1947, when the UN offered a Palestinian state. Twelve years ago Israel and the United States officially offered a Palestinian state as part of a compromise deal in the Camp David summit of 2000….


Now the UN will probably give Palestine the status of a non-member state….There are two ways to respond to the General Assembly’s likely vote to so designate a state of Palestine. One of them is outrage at the absurdity of how the international system behaves. The other would be to dismiss the gesture as meaningless, even more than that, as something that will even further delay the day that a real, functioning state comes into existence….


In 1993, the PLO made an agreement whose very basis was that a Palestinian state would only come into existence as a result of a deal made with Israel. Instead, the Palestinian side refused to make such a compromise and broke its commitments repeatedly. The ultimate result was Yasir Arafat’s refusal to accept a Palestinian state with its capital in the eastern part of Jerusalem both at the 2000 Camp David meeting and a few months later when President Bill Clinton made a better, and final, offer….


So despite Israel taking risks and making concessions, the Palestinian Authority rejected peace. Today the same group is going to be recognized by the UN as a regime governing a state. Moreover, this is a body that is relentlessly begging Hamas, a group that openly calls for genocide against both Israel and Jews, to join it….


The second issue is whether it will really matter. Yes it entails symbolism, yes it will convince the Palestinians they are getting something when the course they have followed ensures they get pretty close to nothing….To the extent that “President” Mahmoud Abbas convinced West Bank Palestinians that they have achieved some great victory it takes off the pressure for violent action or support for Hamas there. Of course, there is no popular pressure for a negotiated solution. Indeed, I’m not aware of a single Palestinian Authority official who has even claimed for cosmetic purposes that the reason for this move at the UN is to press Israel to compromise or a deal. Its purpose is to make Abbas’s regime look good and be a step forward toward total victory, a Palestinian state unbound by commitments that could be used as a base for wiping out Israel.


But that doesn’t mean it will work. The next morning, the residents of the Palestinian Authority will still be exactly where they are now….You should also understand that in Israel there are no illusions about this whole charade. Few think that a real deal is possible with either of the current Palestinian leaderships…and the UN action will make the public even more opposed to concessions….


At any rate, the UN General Assembly’s action neither contributes to peace nor is it a just decision. Nevertheless, once again we have a case of symbolism over substance.  This is the same General Assembly that received Yasir Arafat as a man of peace in 1974 at the very moment he was masterminding terrorist attacks on Israeli civilians and the following year voted for a resolution that Zionism was racism. Can one really say things have gotten worse?


During the period since then, Israel has survived and prospered. Its enemies in the Middle East have undergone constant instability and economic stagnation (except for those small in population and large in oilfields). The supposed springtime of democracy has quickly turned into just another authoritarian era of repression and disastrous policies that ultimately weaken those countries and make their people poor and miserable. What else is new?


Ignoring that history and the contemporary reality, some Western countries are voting for this resolution or abstaining for a variety of reasons: cheap public relations’ gain among Arabs and Muslims; a belief that this will shore up the Palestinian “moderates” against the radicals, or that it will encourage the non-existent peace process.


What it will do, however, is to sink the Palestinian leadership even deeper into an obsession with intransigence in practice and paper victories that mean nothing in the real world. And, yes, that’s what the result of this UN vote will be. And of course no matter what is said publicly about unity between the Fatah-ruled Palestinian Authority and the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip there will be no change on that front either.


In 1939, the British offered the Arab states and Palestinian leadership a deal in which they would be handed all of the Palestine mandate as an Arab state if they accepted a few simple conditions, including a ten year transition period. Despite the pleas of some Arab rulers, the Palestinians said no, believing a German victory would give them everything soon. Almost precisely 65 years ago the UN endorsed the creation of a Palestinian Arab state. The Palestinians said, no believing that the military efforts of themselves and their allies would give them everything soon.


The Palestinians’ leaders have long believed that an intransigent strategy coupled with some outside force—Nazi Germany, the USSR, weaning the West away from Israel—will miraculously grant them total victory. They aren’t going to change course now but that route leads not forward but in circles.


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Yonah Jeremy Bob

Jerusalem Post, November 15, 2012


On April 3, 2012, Israel won round one of a crucial legal battle with the Palestinians, slamming the door shut on their attempt to bring Israeli soldiers and leaders before the International Criminal Court on war crimes charges. The Palestinian Authority first filed a declaration attempting to accept the ICC’s jurisdiction, after which it intended to file war crimes cases against Israeli soldiers and leaders relating to Operation Cast Lead, on January 22, 2009. Israel’s win was on a technicality, though not a small one.


According to the Rome Statute governing the ICC, cases can only be filed with the court by referral from the UN Security Council or by a “state.”…The technical problem the Palestinians had…is that Israel argued the Palestinians were not a “state.” Therefore, Israel argued the Palestinians did not have standing or authority to file a case with the ICC. In other words, the ICC could not even start looking into the merits of individual cases.


After more than three years debating the issue, including soliciting around a dozen legal opinions from governments, academics and interested parties across the spectrum, the ICC prosecutor, Luis Moreno- Ocampo, took Israel’s side and said that the PA could not file cases with him because, at the time, there was no state called “Palestine.”…The Rome Statute gives jurisdiction to hear cases from states who join the ICC, even ad hoc and retroactively, as long as the cases arose after July 1, 2002, when the statute took effect.


In the media, the decision was reported as an unequivocal win for Israel, and the Palestinians were openly disappointed, having thought from the three-year process, their success in gaining membership in UNESCO and the solicitations of legal briefs on the issue, that they had a solid chance of winning…


Israel’s Foreign Ministry’s reaction was unexpectedly muted, merely “noting” (as opposed to at least “noting with satisfaction”) Moreno-Ocampo’s decision, and expressed, in diplomatic- speak, disagreement with part of it, saying Israel had “reservations regarding some of the legal pronouncements and assumptions.”


Why would Israel have reservations about a decision closing the door to PA war crimes cases? It turns out that Moreno-Ocampo closed the door, but left it ajar for a “Round 2.” First, in most of his decision, he focused on the UN General Assembly as the decisive organization for defining who is a “state” for the purposes of filing a case with the ICC. This is crucial, because he could have focused on the Security Council, the body that must approve any country to become a member of the UN.


The US has pledged to veto any vote in the UN Security Council declaring Palestine a member state, making that a dead end. Thus, Moreno-Ocampo’s focus on the General Assembly gave the PA a future opening for an end-run on being able to file war crimes cases with the ICC by getting recognized as a non-member state, without Security Council recognition, but with General Assembly recognition.


Moreno-Ocampo even almost told the Palestinians what road to go down to beat the jurisdictional problem, remarking that Palestine’s status was only as an “observer,” and not a “non-member state,” as if to suggest to the PA that if they had been a non-member state already, his decision might have been different.


Finally, Moreno-Ocampo said that his office could reconsider the “allegations of crimes” in Palestine in the future should competent organs of the UN give him direction that the statehood problem was resolved….In essence, Moreno-Ocampo said that if the PA gets voted as a non-member state by the UN General Assembly in two weeks, it can try again to re-file the war crimes cases.


Some commentators have said that Moreno-Ocampo’s “advice” to the Palestinians was non-binding, that the only relevant part of his decision was his ruling that the PA was not a state and that without UN Security Council approval, a “political” vote alone from the UN General Assembly will leave the PA at the same dead end of still not being seen as a state by the ICC.


Besides statehood, there are still plenty of question marks and other obstacles. In June 2012, Moreno-Ocampo finished his term as the first ICC prosecutor, replaced by Fatou Bensouda of Gambia, who was elected to a nine-year term. While some felt that Moreno- Ocampo would have liked to have filed cases against Israel if his hands had not been tied, there is less known about Bensouda, and whether she would take the same stance as her predecessor in a relatively new office with little precedent for how to operate….


[I]n theory, if the Palestinians risk filing with the ICC, Israel (though currently not a party to the ICC) and others might also file against them for human rights violations. Also, as a new institution, diplomatic pressure from the US (though not a party to the Rome Statute) and from some European states could delay or stop a case from moving forward, even if the initial jurisdictional problem was cured.


Further, Israel is not a party to the Rome Statute, so it could be difficult or impossible to actually conduct a case against Israel’s citizens without its government’s cooperation. Finally, it is far from clear that the ICC would make a final decision to indict any Israelis, in light of the fact that Israel has completed a process of investigations – including some prosecutions – of its soldiers’ actions in Operation Cast Lead.


Generally speaking, the ICC is only supposed to make a final decision to file indictments if the state of the accused citizens has done nothing to investigate the allegations. Many argue that only credible investigations are required, not convictions. Despite all of these question marks, there is no question that a vote recognizing Palestine as a non-member state would start a “Round 2” on the war crimes allegations relating to Operation Cast Lead.


Top of Page




Rick Richman

Commentary, November 13, 2012


Back in 2005, after Israel removed every soldier and settler from Gaza, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced that “from this day forward, there will be no security turmoil and weapons chaos and abductions, which are not characteristic of our culture.” He proved a poor prognosticator regarding Palestinian culture: given the chance to live “side by side in peace and security” with Israel, the Palestinians demonstrated they could not do so even with themselves.


Abbas was expelled from Gaza in 2007; there have been no parliamentary or presidential elections since 2006; no functioning Palestinian legislature exists; Abbas is entering the 95th month of his 48-month term; he cannot set foot in half of his purported state (in the words of Israel’s UN ambassador, he cannot even see it with binoculars); he has refused to negotiate with Israel for more than four years; he demands recognition of a Palestinian state while refusing to recognize a Jewish one; and he now seeks admission to the UN as a non-member state even though “Palestine” meets none of the four requirements under international law for a state.


Under the Montevideo Convention (1933), a state “should possess the following qualifications”: (1) a defined territory; (2) a government; (3) capacity to enter into relations with the other states; and (4) a permanent population.  “Palestine” lacks a “defined territory.” A “defined territory” cannot include an area whose status and borders can only be defined, under longstanding international agreements, by negotiations….


“Palestine” lacks a “government.” It is ruled half by a terrorist group and half by an unelected administrative entity. Its last election occurred nearly seven years ago, and it has no capacity (much less inclination) to hold a new one. The government of each half considers the government of the other half illegitimate, and both are correct: one regime took power by a coup, and the other remains in power four years after its term expired….


“Palestine” lacks the “capacity to enter into relations with the other states.” Abbas has no capacity to bind the rulers of Gaza, nor even to implement his own commitments in the area in which he can at least set foot. While in office, he failed to implement his prior obligations, including Phase I of the Roadmap (which mandated the dismantling of Hamas and other terrorist groups), and he is currently an unelected official, unrecognized by half his putative state, with no capacity to bind “Palestine” to anything.


“Palestine” lacks a “permanent population.” Most of the population considers themselves not putative citizens of a new state but perennial “refugees”…who reject any suggestion they should form the permanent population of a new state. They consider themselves instead to be temporary residents (and UNRWA, the UN agency devoted to caring for them, is legally a “temporary” UN body) who seek to “return” to a different state, not to be permanent residents where they currently live.


When you refuse to negotiate a defined territory;… when you lack a government that controls your purported territory;…when you lack the capacity to enter into relations with other states;…when you have residents who reject permanent residence and assert instead a “right” to “return” to another state, you meet none of the requirements for a state.


The irony is that between 2000 and 2008, the Palestinians received three formal offers of a state, and rejected them all…. Now one group of Palestinians seeks UN recognition as a “non-member state,” when they fail to qualify as a state at all, and they ignore the fact they could already have been a member-state three times over (or more), had they simply said yes….


Once again, “Palestine” is all set to be a failed state, no more ready for statehood than it was a year ago. Article 10 of the Montevideo Convention provides that the “primary interests of states is the conservation of peace.” The Palestinian gambit at the UN is not intended to produce peace, but to provide a platform for law-fare. It will do nothing to bring the Palestinians closer to the state they could have had long ago, if a state were really what they wanted, and it will in fact put peace further away.

Top of Page




Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik

Palestinian Media Watch, Nov. 29, 2012


The Palestinian Authority wishes to achieve a number of political gains by having the UN vote today [Nov. 29], recognizing "Palestine" as a non-member observer state. First, all lands that are disputed and whose future must be negotiated according to the Oslo Accords, the PA wants declared Palestinian "occupied territory." Second, they claim that UN recognition would change the status of Palestinian terrorists in Israeli prisons to legitimate freedom fighters and prisoners of war.


1- Changing the status of land under Israeli administration since 1967 to "occupied territory"


PA Foreign Minister Riad Al-Maliki: "If Palestine receives status of a non-member state in the General Assembly, there will be positive effects on all levels in the future… Israel will no longer be able to define the occupied territories as disputed lands. They will become lands of a separate, occupied state."

[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, July 24, 2012]


PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas: "During a speech at a meeting of the Arab League Ministerial Council, President Abbas said: … 'We will hand in the application and request that it be voted on this November 29… We want to establish that the Palestinian territories that were [taken] in 1967 including Jerusalem [are occupied], since Israel has a different approach. It says that the territories occupied in 1967 are disputed territories. In other words, up for negotiations'" [Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Nov. 13, 2012]


2- Changing the status of Palestinian terrorists who have targeted civilians into legitimate fighters and prisoners of war


"Minister of Prisoners, Issa Karake said that the [PA] leadership's application to the UN to wrest [from it] international recognition of a Palestinian state, which is not a member of the UN, will raise the legal status of the prisoners and will offer international protection of their rights and their honor… the prisoners will become captives of a state (i.e., Palestine), hostages and detainees in another state (i.e., Israel). The state's (Palestine's) legal status will turn them into prisoners of war who are detained illegally in the prisons inside Israel." [Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Nov. 13, 2012]…

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Misguided UN Bid: JPost Editorial, Jerusalem Post, November 27, 2012—The PLO’s UN bid is misguided and wrongheaded and will do nothing but add to the long list of historic mistakes made by Palestinian leadership which date back at least to November 29, 1947 when Palestinians failed to grab their chance for nationhood and self-determination.


Accomplices in a Campaign to Annihilate A UN Member: Shlomo Slonim, Jerusalem Post, Nov. 28, 2012—Israelis are frequently asked: Why is Israel opposed to recognizing a Palestinian state? Detach yourselves from the Palestinians like the French detached themselves from Algeria and the two states will live in peace with each other as was originally envisaged under the 1947 Partition Resolution….


European Votes on PA Statehood Bid Fall Into Place: Jerusalem Post, Reuters, Nov. 28, 2012—Lines were drawn in Europe…as the Union failed to agree on a unified approach to a Palestinian bid for a diplomatic upgrade at the United Nations. Germany declared that it would not back the PA's unilateral bid, while Switzerland and Denmark joined a growing list of European countries that do support it.


Palestine’s Muddled Statehood Strategy: Robert M. Danin, Council on Foreign Relations, Nov. 28, 2012—If all goes according to plan, the UN General Assembly will vote on Thursday or soon after to accord Palestine “non-member observer state status” in the United Nations.


The UN Vote, The International Criminal Court and the Riddle of Palestinian IntentionsHaviv Rettig Gur, Times of Israel, Nov. 29, 2012—The Palestinian Authority will seek, and likely win, recognition as a nonmember observer state on Thursday from the 193-member United Nations General Assembly. The move will have little effect on the ground, changing neither Israel’s security calculus nor the internal divisions of Palestinian politics.


Who Wants a Palestinian State?: Moshe Dann, Jerusalem Post, November 26, 2012—Accepting Israel means ending the Palestinian revolution, a national betrayal and an Islamic heresy. In this context, for Palestinians and their supporters, the “peace process” is a metaphor for defeat.


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Charles Bybelezer: Israel’s Futile ‘Goodwill Gestures’

Recently, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu called Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to extend well-wishes on the occasion of Id al-Fitr, the Muslim holiday marking the end of Ramadan.


He did so despite the fact that Abbas continues to shun negotiations with the Jewish state and again has threatened to pursue a unilateral declaration of Palestinian statehood at the UN General Assembly in September.


Netanyahu’s “goodwill gesture” reportedly was followed by similar phone calls to Abbas by Israeli envoy Yitzhak Molcho and Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak. Molcho also called PA Prime Minister Salaam Fayyad.


The calls came on the heels of other goodwill gestures made by Israel over the last few months aimed at coaxing the Palestinians back to the negotiating table; including, but not limited to:


1. The issuance of thousands of additional Israeli work permits to Palestinian laborers;


2. The advance to the PA on the eve of Ramadan of approximately NIS 200 million in levies collected by Israel on behalf of the Palestinians so that government salaries could be paid;


3. The signing of an economic accord with the PA in order to enhance trade;


4. The signing of a deal to end a hunger strike by Palestinians jailed in Israel, in which Israel even agreed to allow convicted terrorists to pursue academic studies;


5. The tabling of an offer, confirmed by PA Minister of Prisoner Affairs Issa Qaraqe, to release in four stages 125 Palestinian security prisoners, many of whom were convicted of murdering Israelis (the proposal was summarily rejected by Abbas, who demanded the prisoners be released simultaneously);


6. The transfer to the PA of the bodies of approximately 90 deceased terrorists, whose remains subsequently were glorified en masse in official ceremonies.


So the question begs: What exactly have these goodwill gestures achieved?


Answer: Last Tuesday, Mahmoud Abbas issued a statement denying the Jewish People’s historical connection to Jerusalem.


On the 43rd anniversary of an attempt by a non-Jewish Australian—Denis Michael Rohan—to set fire to the al-Aksa mosque, Abbas wrote:  “The fire, set by a criminal under the eyes of the Israeli occupation authorities, was the first [attack] in a series aiming to demolish al-Aksa mosque and build thealleged Temple, in order to uproot [Palestinian] citizens, Judaize [the city] and eternalize its occupation.”


He concluded by assuring his target audience that Israel’s actions “will not undermine the fact that [Jerusalem] will forever be Arabic, Islamic and Christian.”


In response, Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev condemned Abbas’ call for Jerusalem to be “liberated.” He also reaffirmed the 3000-year-old Jewish connection to the city, and stressed that by ignoring Jerusalem’s Jewish heritage the Palestinian president was “ignoring reality.”


Regev then conveyed the Israeli government’s “disappointment.”


In retrospect, however, Regev’s characterization of Abbas’ denial of Jewish history is woefully inaccurate; for Abbas’ revisionism is, in fact, concerted and purposeful, and therefore constitutes an attempt to alter reality.


To this end, Abbas gave two other major international addresses over the past year in which he explicitly denied the Jewish connection to Israel, including Jerusalem.


In February, at the “International Conference for the Defense of Jerusalem” in Doha, Qatar, Abbas accused Israel of “using the ugliest and most dangerous means to implement plans to erase and remove the Arab, Islamic and Christian character” of Jerusalem. He also called on non-Jews to visit the “occupied” city in order to show that “Jerusalem is the cause of every Arab, Muslim and Christian.”


The Doha speech was preceded by Abbas’ now-infamous tirade at the UN General Assembly last September, in which he declared: “I come before you today from the Holy Land, the land of Palestine, the land of divine messages, ascension of the Prophet Muhammad…and the birthplace of Jesus Christ.”


Abbas omitted any mention of Jewish patriarch Abraham, whose presence in Israel superseded both Jesus’ and that of Muhammad’s descendants, and whose divine connection, indeed claim to the Holy Land is indisputable.


Considering the forgoing, how can we explain the Israeli government’s “disappointment” over an entirely predictable and consistent pattern of behavior? To expect anything different of Abbas suggests that it is in fact Israeli officialdom which is “ignoring reality.”


However, given that Netanyahu has had a front-row seat from which to witness Abbas’ slights of speech, a more logical conclusion is that his administration is deliberately ignoring reality. More specifically, Netanyahu must believe that it serves Israel’s interests to downplay Abbas’ overt hostility towards the Jewish state in order to portray him as a “moderate.” This notion is reinforced by Regev’s description of Abbas’ most recent inversion of history as “the usual domain of extremist elements,” a category of Middle Eastern players from which Regev implies the Palestinian leader is excluded. And if Abbas is not an extremist, then by extension he must be a moderate.


Yet Abbas is no friend to Israel and Netanyahu also knows this; Abbas is, after all, the man who pronounced that the Palestinians “won’t agree to recognize something called the Jewish state,” and “will never allow a single Israeli to live…on Palestinian land.” But “moderate” is a relative term, and the Israeli government apparently has concluded that presently Abbas is the best of a bad lot and therefore warrants support.


On the surface the Netanyahu’s policy—choosing the least of various evils, so to speak—appears rational. That is, so long as the damage caused by the lesser evil can be limited and mitigated (if not controlled).


And herein lies the essential dilemma: The Israeli government’s assumption is wrong; Abbas’ diplomatic terrorism, in the words of Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, cannot be contained.


Nor will any amount of political maneuvering change this fact. For entangled in the two-decades-long diplomatic black hole colorfully referred to as the “peace process,” the Israeli government’s decision-making strategy—as evidenced by Netanyahu’s ongoing support of Abbas—has invariably been reduced to choosing between varying degrees of terror (diplomatic vs. armed). And there simply is no bright future for a country whose options range from bad to worse.


Therefore, the charade has to stop, before the cumulative negative effect of pursuing for twenty years a destructive policy—making endless concessions and goodwill gestures in a futile attempt to appease evil—reaches a critical mass leading to “reactor” meltdown.

Which brings us back to Abbas’ repeated and self-serving denials of Jewish history.

The Jewish People’s millennia-old connection to the Land of Israel is the foremost justification for the current and ongoing existence of a Jewish state on that land. If the Jewish People never resided in Israel, so the logic of its enemies goes, then there is no reason for Jews to be there today or to remain there tomorrow. Moreover, it is the Jewish People’s historical connection to its Land which forms the basis of the 20th-century legal validation of the Jewish state.


Remove Abraham from the equation and there is no Balfour Declaration and no British Mandate.


It is this fundamental historical connection that Abbas, along with his financiers and sympathizers worldwide, is attempting to whitewash, with the aim of delegitimizing Israel out of existence.


And, alas, it is working.


Consider, as but one of many examples, South Africa’s recent decision to modify its labeling of products originating from the West Bank so as to exclude the “Made in Israel” tag.

Then consider that the West Bank is in fact located in a geographic region historically known as Judea and Samaria, a portion of the Land of Israel from which the word Jew is derived.

This is what happens when Jewish history is denied and reality is altered.


And, quite frankly, it is hypocritical for the Israeli government to be up-in-arms over Pretoria’s move. For the Israeli government itself supports the ongoing governance of the very man spearheading the campaign of de-legitimization which results in such anti-Israel episodes.  In other words, every time the Israeli government absurdly portrays Abbas as a “moderate,” it invites anti-Israel forces such as South Africa to express their hostility. For, if Jerusalem is “occupied Palestine” as Abbas contends, and Israel is seen supporting Abbas, then certainly the West Bank is occupied too and South Africa has every reason to adopt the Palestinian leader’s position by labeling products accordingly.


This is the twisted logic that makes it reasonable to presume that, unless Israel begins to prevent Abbas and his minions from actively waging their war, in the not-too-distant future countries will begin designating products manufactured in Jerusalem as “Made in Palestine.”

In this respect, it is imperative for Israel to extricate itself from a process whose strategic paradigm consists of opting for lesser evils, and whose inevitable outcome is the country’s de-legitimization.


At any rate, peace cannot be forged with the Palestinians so long as their leadership continues to deny Jewish history; which is, quite literally, an attempt to erase Israel from the pages of time.


(Charles Bybelezer, formerly Publications Editor at the Canadian Institute for Jewish Research, recently moved to Israel to begin working as a Breaking News Editor at the Jerusalem Post.)




Contents : Weekly Quotes | Short Takes On Topic Links



"I strongly reject threats by any member state to destroy another or outrageous attempts to deny historical facts such as the Holocaust" – UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon in his speech at the Non-Aligned Movement conference in Tehran. (Associated Press, National Post, August 30, 2012)
"We should all express our full support to the struggle of those who are demanding freedom and justice in Syria and translate our sympathies into a clear political vision that supports peaceful transfer (of power) to a democratic system," – Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood President Mohammed Morsi at the Non-Aligned Movement conference in Tehran. …[T]he world had a "moral duty" to stand with the Syrian people in their struggle against an oppressive regime that has lost its legitimacy." …[H]aving a democratic system in Syria “reflects the desire of the Syrian people for freedom, justice and equality and at the same time protects Syria from entering into a a civil war or being divided by sectarian clashes.” said Morsi himself a Sunni Muslim opposed to Aliwite dominated Syria. (Associated Press, August 30, 2012)
“We must act resolutely towards the Iranian regime which seeks not only to have a nuclear weapon, but also denies the very existence of the right for Israel to exist,” French Ambassador Christophe Bigot during a ceremony in Jerusalem honoring a Holocaust survivor. “In front of these words and actions, France will not be a passive witness.” (Jerusalem Post, September 4, 2012)
“The international community is not setting Iran a clear red line, and Iran does not see international determination to stop its nuclear project,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjiman Netanyahu at a weekly cabinet meeting. “Until Iran sees a clear red line and such determination, it will not stop the progress of its nuclear project — and Iran must not be allowed to have nuclear weapons.” (New York Times, September 2, 2012)
“Time has run out,” – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to US Ambassador [to Israel] Dan Shapiro. And when the envoy reminded the PM that Obama had vowed not to let Iran acquire WMDs, Netanyahu replied: “Instead of effectively pressuring Iran, Obama and his people are pressuring us not to attack.” At that point, the paper [Yediot Ahranot] reported, “lightning and sparks began to fly.”  (New York Post, September 3, 2012)
“I don’t want to be accused of trying to influence, nor do I want to be complicit if they choose to do it.” General Martin Dempsey, US chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff going beyond any warning that [President] Obama has given Israel in public while again repeat[ing] the familiar American position that an Israeli attack would “clearly delay but probably not destroy Iran’s nuclear program,” and that the international coalition of countries applying sanctions against Iran “could be undone” if [Iran] was attacked “prematurely.” (New York Times, September 2, 2012)
"The Zionist regime separated from America has no meaning, and we must not recognize Israel as separate from America," Ali Fadavi, naval commander in Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, was quoted as saying by the Fars news agency. "On this basis, today only the Americans have taken a threatening stance towards the Islamic Republic," Fadavi said. "If the Americans commit the smallest folly they will not leave the region safely." (Jerusalem Post, September 4, 2012)

“To the credit of the United States, it is the only country that stood by our side in our struggles at the United Nations, the Security Council and UNESCO,” – Israel Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman at a pre-Rosh Hashana toast for activists of his Yisrael Beytenu party. “The US increased funding for Iron Dome. Even if we disagree sometimes and even if there is commentary that suggests otherwise, we must say we that have no better friend than the US.” (Jerusalem Post, September 4, 2012)
[T]he “claim that Jews who migrated to Israel, which is supposed to be their homeland, are ‘refugees’… is a form of deception and delusion.” – Hanan Ashrawi PLO Executive Committee member and an elected member of the Palestinian Legislative Council. “If Israel is their homeland, then they are not ‘refugees’; they are emigrants who returned either voluntarily or due to a political decision…Jews voluntarily and collectively left [Arab lands].” (Jerusalem Post, September 4, 2012)
“Another emergency problem is now arising: that of refugees from Egypt. There is no doubt in my mind that those refugees from Egypt who are not able, or not willing to avail themselves of the protection of the Government of their nationality fall under the mandate of my office.” –  Auguste Lindt, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, in his Report to the UNREF Executive Committee’s Fourth Session (Geneva 29 January to 4 February, 1957) referring to Jews displaced from Egypt.   “I refer to our recent discussion concerning Jews from Middle Eastern and North African countries in consequence of recent events. I am now able to inform you that such persons may be considered prima facie within the mandate of this Office.” Dr. E. Jahn, of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, July 6, 1967. ( Quoted in the Jerusalem Post, September 5, 2012)
“… [T]he Arab nations do not want to solve the Arab refugee problem. They want to keep it as an open sore… as a weapon against Israel.” –  Sir Alexander Galloway former director of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).  (Quoted in Israel National News, Sept, 3, 2012)
"The State of Israel has become – forgive me for being blunt, I'm borrowing from someone who is well aware of the situation, Meir Dagan – the State of Israel cannot be the Mideast mistress that everybody enjoys, but no one actually wants to be involved with." –  Israel Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman at a pre-Rosh Hashanah event  where he said that Israel was having secret diplomatic meetings with other Middle East countries. (Ynet News, September 5, 2012)
"I'm standing in front of that same [brick] wall, I don't see a crack." – Lakhdar Brahimi, the former Algerian foreign minister chosen to replace Kofi Annan by the United Nations and the Arab League to try to find a diplomatic solution to the crisis [in Syria.] "People are already saying people are dying, what are you doing? Indeed, we are not doing much. That in itself is a terrible weight. I know how difficult it is – how nearly impossible. I can't say impossible – nearly impossible," [saying] he was "scared" of the task ahead.  (The Telegraph, September 3, 2012)
"The Afghans are on the fence. If they see there is a strong arm, they will side with the strong arm. Why do you think there are so many green-on-blue? [Afghan soldier attacks on coalition soldiers – Ed.] We told them we are leaving. A lot of them are trying to buy their way back now, so they won't be decapitated when we go. If we leave them on their own, the Taliban will come back in, exterminate anyone associated with the government. Half those people in there [the government] know what is good for them, so they will assist them and say that they were always part of the movement." Bob, a Canadian ex-French Legion soldier stationed in Afghanistan. (National Post, September 1, 2012)
“I am willing to stay all my life here to be rid of Bashar [al-Assad],” –  Mohamed, 33, a Damascus car mechanic [standing] over two of his six children, a small daughter holding her 8-month-old brother, in the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan. The daughter, Nour el Hoda, 11, was glad to be out of Syria, “I was scared of the missiles,” she said. Another resident, also named Mohamed, 34, accompaning his wife, a sister and seven children said, “There is not a rock on top of a rock any more in our village,” he said, choking back tears. “Everything is destroyed.”  Asked whether the revolt worth it Mohamed was not so sure, “We didn’t expect this revolution to go on for so long,” [he] worried for his children. Interjecting, a bystander [countered] “We wish we had started 20 years ago.” But “We are living here like donkeys, like dogs, no one can live in this humiliation.” said Khidam Owair, 43, arriving, with 10 children of her own, from her Syrian village of Dael, where she said, “It is over. Fear. Death. Everybody left. It doesn’t even exist anymore. Assad is bombing us five times a day.” (New York Times, September 2, 2012) (Top)


US SCALES BACK MILITARY EXERCISE WITH ISRAEL(Tel Aviv) The reductions are striking. Instead of the approximately 5,000 U.S. troops originally trumpeted for Austere Challenge 12, as the annual exercise is called, the Pentagon will send only 1,500 service members and perhaps as few as 1,200. Patriot antimissile systems will arrive in Israel as planned, but the crews to operate them will not. Instead of two Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense warships being dispatched to Israeli waters, the new plan is to send one, though even the remaining vessel is listed as a “maybe,” according to officials in both militaries. “Basically what the Americans are saying is, ‘We don’t trust you,’” a senior Israeli military official says. (TIME World, August 31, 2012)
JERUSALEM CAPITAL PLANK NOT INCLUDED IN DNC PLATFORM (Charlotte, N.C.).Language calling for Jerusalem to be recognized as the capital of Israel has been omitted from the 2012 Democratic Party platform. The 2008 platform declared that: "Jerusalem is and will remain the capital of Israel. The parties have agreed that Jerusalem is a matter for final status negotiations. It should remain an undivided city accessible to people of all faiths." That language has been replaced by a broader statement about unshakable U.S. support for the Jewish state — with no mention of Jerusalem at all. Here is what else has been omitted from the 2012 DNC platform: “The United States and its Quartet partners should continue to isolate Hamas until it renounces terrorism, recognizes Israel's right to exist, and abides by past agreements.….The creation of a Palestinian state through final status negotiations, together with an international compensation mechanism, should resolve the issue of Palestinian refugees by allowing them to settle there, rather than in Israel. All understand that it is unrealistic to expect the outcome of final status negotiations to be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949….” [Empahsis added – Ed.] (Politico and YID With LID, September 4, 2012)
IRAN ON THE VERGE OF SEVERE FINANCIAL CRISIS –(Tehran)An apparent classified Iranian intelligence report…warns of an imminent financial crisis…that would cause nation-wide upheaval. Excerpts of the report, posted this week on several Iranian websites, revealed that the government might not be able to pay the full salaries of its employees in the coming three months, which threatens the eruption of massive popular protests across the country. Large portions of the population might suffer from starvation, the report said, adding that riots are expected to take place in border cities where living conditions are rapidly deteriorating. According to the report, Iran’s reserve of foreign currency might run out within the coming six month owing to extreme budget deficiency… Under international sanctions, inflation in the country has reached 33 percent and prices of meat, chicken, and milk saw an unprecedented hike that reached 80 percent last year. (Al Arabiya News, September 5, 2012)
GERMAN STATE DECLARES CIRCUMCISION LEGAL(Berlin) Berlin, Germany’s capital and itself a state, is the first to declare the practice legal following Cologne court ruled in June that non-medical circumcisions on children amounted to a criminal offense. National legislation is also pending to legalize circumcision. The state has authorized only doctors, and not mohels, to perform circumcisions. National legislation could authorize mohels. The state also required that parents be informed of the procedure’s medical risks before consenting, and that doctors do everything possible during the procedure to reduce pain and limit bleeding. (Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Jerusalem Post, September 5, 2012)
PA PAYS JAILED TERRORIST UP TO $3,000 A MONTH(Israel) The Palestinian Authority,  which has been screaming for foreign funds to stay solvent, spends  6 percent of its annual budget to pay $4.5 million a month to jailed terrorists and another $6.5 million [per month] to their families.  All terrorists are awarded equally, regardless of whether they “worked” for Fatah, the party headed by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, or rival Hamas and Islamic Jihad. The…pay schedule allows anyone who has served more than 30 years in jail for murdering Israelis to receive NIS 12,000 ($3,000 a month)… Terrorists such as Hamas’ Abdallah Barghouti, who engineered the deaths of 67 Israelis, pocket $1,000 a month for the first 10 years in jail and an additional $500 a month from the 11th year in jail. The Palestinian Authority’s payments for terror implicitly encourages Arabs with Israeli citizenship to carry out attacks against Jews [as they] are given an extra $125 a month. (Israel National News, September 3, 2012)
CYPRUS HOPES TO IMPORT ISRAELI LIQUEFIED NATURAL GAS(Jerusalem) Cyprus hopes to begin importing between 0.5 and 0.7 billion cubic meters of liquefied natural gas for electricity production, by early 2015, Cypriot Commerce, Industry and Tourism Minister Neoklis Sylikiotis was quoted as saying following the visit to Israel of a high-level Cypriot delegation.
“If all these discussions are completed by the end of the year, then we can have natural gas in early 2015 at lower prices for three to five years,”  Sylikiotis was quoted as saying. (Jerusalem Post, September 4, 2012)

ISRAEL EVACUATES WEST BANK OUTPOST(Migron Outpost, West Bank)  Israeli security forces evicted several hundred Jewish settlers from an illegal hilltop encampment on Sunday… [It was] the largest such evacuation since the 2005 Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip [and] proceeded peacefully despite concerns about potential clashes. [P]olicemen cajoled, escorted and carried some 50 settler families from mobile homes they insisted were put there with the blessing of the government. The eviction came despite months of intense lobbying by settler leaders and allies within Mr. Netanyahu's own Likud party to find a way to avert an evacuation. Government legal authorities insisted that the outpost was indeed erected on Palestinian land and couldn't be defended in court. "We are committed to the rule of law in the country and to strengthening the settlements," Mr. Netanyahu said in a statement Sunday. "There is no contradiction between these things." (Wall Street Journal, September 2, 2012)

ISM USED ACTIVISTS AS TERRORISTS' HUMAN SHIELDS(London) In a detailed, 65-page judgment, a Haifa court found that the bulldozer that killed Rachel Corrie was engaged at the time in a military operation to clear the land and not, incidentally, in demolishing houses [as maintained by ISM]. Corrie was an activist in the International Solidarity Movement (ISM).The area concerned was the "Philadelphia Corridor," separating Gaza from Egypt, which was under continuous sniper fire from Palestinian terrorists. The court concluded that because of the limited field of vision from the operator's seat, the operator of the bulldozer was not aware of Corrie's presence. The court [also] concluded that the ISM was far from being an innocuous, benign humanitarian body and in fact had been engaged in sabotaging the IDF's operations, stationing activists to serve as "human shields" for terrorists wanted by Israeli security forces, and providing assistance to Palestinian terrorists and their families. The court also found that Corrie was aware that she was illegally entering a war zone and deliberately risked her life. (Jewish Chronicle, August 30, 2012)
ALEXANDRIA SYNAGOGUE TO HOLD HIGH HOLIDAY SERVICES (Alexandria) Youssef Gaon, the caretaker of the 180-year-old Eliyahu Hanavi synagogue in Alexandria, Egypt, denied reports that Egyptian authorities had canceled Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur prayers in the city – citing security concerns – saying he would personally lead the services during the High Holidays. “The only difference is a rabbi and cantor who usually lead the services were denied entry to the country,” “Gaon said he would lead the services together with other members of the community [in Alexandria]. Prayers at the synagogue in Cairo will be held as usual. The rabbi who flies in every year was given a visa,” said [a Jewish] official, who asked to remain anonymous not to jeopardize ties with Egyptian authorities. (Jeruslaem Post, September 3, 2012)  (Top)







Jerusalem, August 20, 2012

Baroness Ashton,
…I would like to update you regarding the current situation of Israel's relationship with the Palestinian Authority (PA). As a preamble, I would like to emphasize that the purpose of this letter is to demonstrate Israel's goodwill, desire to build trust and sincere desire to create a positive atmosphere vis a vis the PA, with the goal of bringing our neighbors back to the table of direct negotiations. Unfortunately, we have encountered repeated Palestinian patterns of refusal and consistent attempts to turn to pointless activity, counterproductive to any constructive efforts….
Israel has in recent months undertaken several significant gestures towards the Palestinians: Israeli Finance Minister Yuval Shteinitz and PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad concluded (July 31) arrangements with respect to the transfer of goods between Israel and the PA and related tax procedures. These steps, which were recommended by the International Monetary Fund, will improve the PA's tax system, increase revenues and bolster the Palestinian economy.
In light of the PA's budget crisis, Israel transferred at the beginning of the month of Ramadan (July 27) an advance of NIS 180 million (approximately USD 45 million) of August tax remittances. The money was intended to help the P A pay salaries in time to celebrate the holiday. An agreement was concluded (July 14) to employ an additional 5,000 Palestinian construction workers in Israel; the number of roadblocks was reduced to 10, most of which are normally open; the remains of Palestinian terrorists were returned (May 31). In addition, Israel agreed to develop the gas field off the Gaza shoreline.
Israel is promoting infrastructure projects in Area C, including completion of a master plan. In 2011, 119 infrastructure projects were approved, 58 of them with international financing. Fifteen projects relating to the construction and renovation of infrastructures for schools and clinics have received "fast-track" approval. I won't go into all the details of additional Israeli gestures that were made throughout 2012, all of them with the goal of assisting the Palestinian economy and easing the lives of the residents in the West Bank and Gaza.
Unfortunately, despite these steps, we do not see any willingness or positive attitude on the part of the PA. The opposite is the case: we see a rise in the Palestinian activity against Israel in the diplomatic and legal arenas, with attempts to accelerate illegal construction in Area C (including dragging the EU into this problematic activity), to encourage an economic boycott on the Israeli economy in the territories and to generate repeated negative statements against Israel. In addition, we have encountered a relatively new campaign, blaming Israel for the murder of Yassir Arafat, as well as the ongoing institutionalized incitement in the Palestinian media, attacking Israel and the legitimacy of the State's existence.
Mr. Mahmoud Abbas' unfortunate behavior indicates that he apparently is uninterested or unable — due to his standing in the domestic Palestinian scene vis a vis Hamas, and in light of the regional geopolitical situation — to reach an agreement which would bring an end to the conflict, including addressing all the core issues. Instead he is creating a culture of blaming Israel for delaying the process, while attempting to achieve advantages without negotiation via blackmailing and ongoing attempts to internationalize the conflict.
The situation as I have described it is supported not only by the facts but also may be corroborated by the Jordanians, who made a great effort to facilitate Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs direct dialogue between Israel and the PA. Unfortunately, because of the attitudes of Mr. Abbas and his partners, these efforts did not lead to any progress. This situation is very clear to the Jordanians.
This pattern of refusal is not new. With the Annapolis process, under the previous Israeli government, former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert offered the Palestinians far-reaching concessions and gestures of goodwill, more than any other Israeli government, without success….
Two additional matters should be taken into account: the historic Bar-Ilan speech of Prime Minister Netanyahu, which called for a two state solution, and the unprecedented step of the current government, which, in response to Palestinian demands, temporarily froze the construction in the settlements, in order to renew peace negotiations. As part of the Palestinian systematic pattern of avoiding bilateral negotiations, these steps were met with rejection and with unilateral steps by the Palestinians, under Mr. Abbas' leadership.
In a calculated manner, Mr. Abbas is focusing his dialogue with the international community on the subject of settlements. Unfortunately, the international community tends to accept this discourse lock, stock and barrel, without criticism or a nuanced approach. This is a damaging attitude, which does not reflect the reality on the ground.
The entire area of the settlements constitutes approximately one percent of the area of the West Bank. The last settlement which Israel constructed was in 1991. In the framework of the peace accord with Egypt (1979), Israel took the painful step of evacuating all the settlements and military bases in Sinai. In 2005, Israel evacuated all of our settlements from the Gaza Strip, as well as four settlements in the northern West Bank, but instead of peace and security, we received the Hamas government in Gaza which opposes the existence of Israel, and is unwilling to live in peace with us, as well as 14,000 rockets and  missiles which were indiscriminately shot at towns and villages in southern Israel.
Facts and history, as opposed to the simplistic stereotypes and political bias, contradict the idea that somehow the settlement enterprise is the main obstacle to renewing the negotiations. This premise simply does not stand up to the test of reality or the historic precedent of the peace process between Israel and our neighbors. Both peace accords, with Egypt and Jordan, were signed when settlements existed; the claim that settlements are the obstacle to peace is unfounded.…
The Palestinian Authority is a despotic government riddled with corruption. This pattern of behavior has led to criticism even within his own constituency. Due to Abbas' weak standing, and his policy of not renewing the negotiations, which is an obstacle to peace, the time has come to consider a creative solution, to think "outside the box," in order to strengthen the Palestinian leadership. This is crucial, so that the Israeli gestures to strengthen the economy, stability and strength of the PA will not be turned into a boomerang against Israel.
Despite Mr. Abbas' delays, general elections in the PA should be held, and a new, legitimate, hopefully realistic Palestinian leadership should be elected. The PA elections were due to be held in 2010 and have since been postponed several times. As of today, no new date has been set for elections. Only such a leadership can bring progress with Israel….(Top)
Avigdor Liberman
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs


Efraim Karsh

Middle East Forum, August 2012


…[L]et us assume for the sake of argument that Israel and the PLO-dominated Palestinian Authority (PA) were to sign a formal peace treaty. Would this stop the effort to delegitimize the Jewish state campaign or eliminate anti-Semitism from the European scene? Hardly—for the simple reason that the Palestinian question has next to nothing to do with either of these. Though anti-Zionism has been the core principle of pan-Arab solidarity since the 1930s—it is easier, after all, to unite people through a common hatred than through a shared loyalty—the Arab states (and the Palestinians' international champions) have shown far less concern for the well-being of the Palestinians than for their own interests.

For example, it was common knowledge that the May 1948 pan-Arab invasion of the nascent state of Israel was more a scramble for Palestinian territory than a fight for Palestinian national rights. As the Arab league's secretary-general Azzam once admitted to a British reporter, the goal of King Abdullah of   Transjordan "was to swallow up the central hill regions of Palestine, with access to the Mediterranean at Gaza. The Egyptians would get the Negev. Galilee would go to Syria, except that the coastal part as far as Acre would be added to Lebanon."
From 1948 to 1967, when Egypt and Jordan ruled the Palestinians of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, the Arab states failed to put these populations on the road to statehood. They also showed little interest in protecting their human rights or even in improving their quality of life—which is part of the reason why 120,000 West Bank Palestinians moved to the East Bank of the Jordan River and about 300,000 others emigrated abroad. "We couldn't care less if all of the refugees die," an Egyptian diplomat once remarked. "There are enough Arabs around."

Not surprisingly, the Arab states have never hesitated to sacrifice Palestinians on a grand scale whenever it suited their needs. In 1970, when his throne came under threat from the PLO, the affable and thoroughly Westernized King Hussein of Jordan had no qualms about slaughtering thousands of Palestinians, an event known as "Black September." Six years later, Lebanese Christian militias, backed by the Syrian army, massacred some 3,500 Palestinians, mostly civilians, in the Beirut refugee camp of Tel Zaatar. These militias again slaughtered hundreds of Palestinians in 1982 in the refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila, this time under Israel's watchful eye. In the summer of 2007, the Lebanese army killed hundreds of Palestinians, including many civilians, in the northern refugee camp of Nahr al-Bared. None of the Arab states came to the Palestinians' rescue. Worse, in the mid-1980s, when the PLO—officially designated by the Arab League as the "sole representative of the Palestinian people"—tried to re-establish its military presence in Lebanon, it was unceremoniously expelled by President Assad of Syria.
This history of Arab leaders manipulating the Palestinian cause for their own ends while ignoring the fate of the Palestinians goes on and on. Saddam Hussein, in an effort to ennoble his predatory designs, claimed that he would not consider ending his August 1990 invasion of Kuwait without "the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of Israel from the occupied Arab territories in Palestine." Shortly after the 1991 Persian Gulf war, Kuwaitis set about punishing the PLO for its support of Hussein—cutting off financial sponsorship, expelling some 440,000 Palestinian workers, and slaughtering thousands. Their retribution was so severe that Arafat was forced to acknowledge that "what Kuwait did to the Palestinian people is worse than what has been done by Israel to Palestinians in the occupied territories."
If the Arab states have shown little empathy for the plight of ordinary Palestinians, the Islamic connection to the Palestinian problem is even more tenuous. It is not out of concern for a Palestinian right to national self-determination but as part of a holy war to prevent the loss of a part of the "House of Islam" that Islamists inveigh against the Jewish state of Israel. In the words of Hamas's covenant: "The land of Palestine has been an Islamic trust (waqf ) throughout the generations and until the day of resurrection…. When our enemies usurp some Islamic lands, jihad becomes a duty binding on all Muslims."

In this respect, there is no difference between Palestine and other parts of the world conquered by the forces of Islam throughout history. To this very day, for example, Arabs and many Muslims unabashedly pine for the restoration of Spain and look upon their expulsion from that country in 1492 as a grave historical injustice….As illustrated by the overwhelming support for the 9/11 attacks throughout the Arab and Islamic worlds, this vision is by no means confined to a disillusioned and obscurantist fringe of Islam; and within this grand scheme, the struggle between Israel and the Palestinians is but a single element and one whose supposed centrality looms far greater in Western than in Islamic eyes….[The above is an excerpt from Karsh’s book The War Against the Jews. For the full article please see the On Topic links below – Ed.] (Top)

Seth J. Frantzman

Jerusalem Post August 28, 2012

Recent articles about the village of Sussiya highlight the struggle that is taking place in ‘Area C’ of the West Bank. In the absence of a Palestinian state the West Bank has continued to percolate along the status quo lines set down in the Oslo agreement. Many commentators miss this in their analysis of what is taking place in terms of “the conflict.” People speak about being “pro-peace,” but if one defines the absence of war as a form of peace, in fact the West Bank is quite peaceful. But that masks the quiet conflict that takes place every day for control over a small sliver of land.

Area C is an abstract invention of a peace agreement that was never fully implemented. In this sense it is a bureau-geographic creature, invented so that it could eventually be disbanded. At Oslo in 1993 and 1995 the West Bank was divided into three sections, one of full Palestinian civil and police control, one of mixed control and an area of full Israeli civil and military control. This last area includes all 121 recognized Jewish communities in the West Bank as well as the other 100-odd Jewish “outposts.” The Jewish population of this area is estimated at 270,000.

Almost every study on the size of Area C puts it at 62 percent of the West Bank, or 3,482 sq. km, which makes it slightly larger than Yosemite national park in the US.  That Area C is often said to include a majority of the West Bank is primarily due to the fact that much of the desert was placed in Area C as part of Israeli military reservations. The entire Jordan valley, except Jericho and several villages, is part of Area C….

The quiet conflict for Area C is being waged because, for all intents and purposes, Israel has given up any interest in the rest of the West Bank. Except for Hebron, Israel long ago withdrew its forces from the Palestinian cities which had been re-occupied during Operation Defensive Shield in 2002.…

There is a remaining piece of the Area C puzzle: The security fence includes about 8.5% of the West Bank between it and the Green Line. This includes the entire area of east Jerusalem that Israel has annexed.  The dispute is over those areas between the security fence and the major Palestinian population centers which run along the mountainous center of the area. Wherever there is a Jewish community there is [a Palestinian] effort to quietly encroach upon that community, to plough up land, to refurbish terraces, plant orchards, farm land and inhabit houses. The notion is that the more Palestinians can make parts of Area C appear to be Palestinian, the more pressure the international community will bring on Israel to release claims to it.

Like ancient Boeotia, which served as a pawn in the war between Athens and Sparta, Area C is a buffer zone that must be conquered and put to use by one side or the other. After all, Area C is all that is left, it is the place where the land is still in dispute, where a ploughed field or a harvested orchard can make or break states. That might sound ridiculous, but each case, each farmstead, each shack, each deed that is presented in court creates waves that impact beyond the lives of the several dozen individuals involved.

The recent news about Area C is what a World Council of Churches 2011 EAPPI document called the “quiet transfer.” According to this brochure the area “was meant to be gradually transferred to Palestinian administration” but instead Israel has been working to remove Palestinians from it.

The UN estimates that there are some 150,000 Arabs living in the area C in 270 “villages, camps and other communities.” However, according to a UN document produced by OCHA in August 2011, “two-thirds of [them] live in localities which are partly located in Area A and B.” Supposedly the remaining third, 50,000 people, are mostly Bedouin and “herders.” The UN estimates there are 27,000 members of these “herding communities” comprising some 5,000 families.

This little group of people is the focus of a massive international campaign. After OCHA spent a year interviewing some members of this group in the spring of 2011, it released a memo called “displacement and insecurity in Area C of the West Bank.” The memo claimed that the herders or Bedouin faced “restrictive and discriminatory planning…restrictions on movement…[and] military harassment.” The EAPPI factsheet published in 2011 piggybacked on this report with claims that Israel had demolished 342 structures in the area and made 656 people homeless.

On August 28, Mya Guarneiri, a Jerusalem based pro-Palestinian activist, wrote an op-ed in The National in Australia that claimed that “dozens of Palestinian and Bedouin villages are threatened with demolition and over 27,000 men, women and children face forced transfer. Most of these people are refugees.”  Notice how she characterizes the entire Palestinian population as being “threatened” with “forced transfer.”

One of the newest stories about the “transfer” was reported in The New York Times when Jodi Rudoren claimed that “the Israeli government has asked the Supreme Court to allow the demolition of eight Palestinian hamlets in the South Hebron Hills.” She went on to claim that it involves “about 1,800 people who live at least part time in a dozen communities that predate Israel’s 1967 seizure of the West Bank from Jordan, and in some cases have been around since the 1800s.”

An Israeli government spokesman quoted in the article noted that “starting from 2009, an increasing trend of augmenting and strengthening the population on the C Grounds is taking place.”  A great deal of misinformation is bandied about regarding these groups. Not only are they said to be refugees from 1948, but they are also then said to have lived in some ancient village since the 1800s. It is claimed that they cannot build houses because Israel does not provide permits in Area C, and yet it is also claimed their houses predate the creation of Area C in 1993 and the conquest of the area in 1967.

Oddly, the “villages” often appear on no maps, aerial photos or documents until the past several decades…. UN notations and the reports often note that the people live only “part time” in a place or sometimes in Area B and sometimes in C. Yet these nomadic herding groups become permanent residents of ancient villages when Israeli policy is concerned.

Area C has to be understood as the last part of this unsettled dispute between Israel and the Palestinians, the focus on it is generated for propaganda purposes to influence people to believe that one side or the other has more rights to it. (Top)



Adam Kramer


 Lately there has been a rising number of Middle East experts, as well as some Israeli officials, calling for a unilateral disengagement from the West Bank. Ehud Barak, Israel’s Minister of Defense, advocated this type of unilateral action during a speech he gave at the Institute for National Security Studies. Others who have expressed support for a similar plan include members of an organization called Blue White Future, who explained their position in an Op-Ed in the New York Times, and Rafael D. Frankel, who outlined his stance in an article in The National Interest.

Given the moribund current peace negotiations with the Palestinians, these pundits are promoting an Israeli pullout from most of the West Bank settlements as a way to achieve peace between the Israelis and Palestinians, and to ensure Israel’s permanence, as a Jewish State. While this plan would ensure the crucial caveat that Israel remain a state with a strong Jewish majority, it is not so clear that Jews are in fact losing their hold on remaining the area’s majority. More importantly, though, an Israeli unilateral withdrawal from the West Bank would be replicating too many of the same mistakes that Israel made in its withdrawal from Gaza, thereby making it a plan that Israel certainly shouldn’t pursue. 

To see what would unfold if Israel were to leave the West Bank, one could look at the events that occurred following Israel’s similar unilateral disengagement from Gaza. Ariel Sharon withdrew from Gaza without negotiations and without fully realizing the future ramifications of his precipitous decision. What has transpired in the seven years since the pullout has been twofold. Firstly, while Gaza was supposed to become a future home-country for Palestinians under the PA, the Strip was quickly over-run by Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists, who proceeded to expel the PA.

Secondly, Israel has certainly not become safer since the disengagement experience but instead has had to endure seven years of almost endless rocket fire from Gaza terrorists into southern Israeli cities.

By unilaterally handing over the West Bank—which is over ten times as large in landmass as Gaza– Israel would not be receiving any security or peace guarantees in return for the land, thereby replicating the Gaza experience. Radical terrorist groups like Hamas or Islamic Jihad that filled the power vacuum in Gaza, would do likewise in the West Bank. Even if the PA and Fatah took steps to ensure this violent takeover would not happen, and instead held their own democratic elections (which is moot), nothing would prevent Hamas’ candidates from winning these elections and then seizing power. Obviously, what would unfold in either situation would be Gaza 2.0: either the terrorist organization Hamas or a terrorist PA ruling over another territory adjacent to Israel.

By handing over the West Bank without peace guarantees from the PA in exchange, which is what these advocates are backing, Israel would be putting itself in an almost impossible security situation, even for Israel’s powerful defense force. The West Bank’s lengthy eastern border with Jordan would need constant monitoring to prevent terrorists from entering the West Bank, as they have been entering Gaza from its now porous border with Egypt. Not to be forgotten is the fact that the West Bank’s western border would only be a few miles from Ben Gurion International Airport; maintaining secure airport use would obviously be an enormous security challenge.

Another security related issue is how to manage Israeli citizens displaced from the West Bank. This issue – of how to resettle, house, and find employment for the displaced persons – was a major issue during the pullout from Gaza. In fact, a recent Israel Hayom article details that many of those who were removed from Gaza back in 2005, still do not have permanent homes or jobs. How would the issue would be handled if it were to be done on a scale ten times greater? 

Many of these leaders who advocate the creation of a de-facto Palestinian state are motivated by a desire to ensure the longevity of Israel as a state with a Jewish majority. They believe that by keeping the status quo, Israel will eventually lose its Jewish majority. Therefore, they believe that the government needs to act with great expediency to maintain the State’s Jewish identity.
In 1950, Jews encompassed over 85% of Israel’s demographic. However, that tremendous majority has now declined a bit, to the point where Jews comprise around 75% of the country’s total population. If this decline were to continue uniformly, as many believe it will, then by the year 2040 or so, Jews would in fact lose their majority.

However, other studies affirm the antithesis. One American-Israel Demographic Research Group, argued that this trend of decline in percentage of Jews will reverse itself,  since Israeli birth rates are rising while Arab birth rates are falling. The population “crisis” is not an imminent threat, and Israel is not in danger of losing its Jewish majority. This report added that previous predictors of Israeli demographics did not end up becoming true, so that predictions that Israel will lose its Jewish majority in only thirty years should certainly be taken with a grain of salt. (A study conducted in the 1960’s had predicted that by the year 1990, Arabs would be the majority in Israel. Obviously, this study has proven false.)

Oftentimes, something that looks good on paper, once it happens in real life, it can end up completely differently.  The Gaza disengagement should teach Israel a strong lesson, that unilaterally evacuating land and allowing terrorist groups to take it over is not the best plan of action. (Top)
[Adam Kramer, 15, is a CIJR 2012 Cohen Summer Intern; he lives in Boston.]




On Topic


∙       Middle East Forum, August 2012
Efraim Karsh

∙       Gatestone Institute, August 16, 2012
Khaled Abu Toameh

∙       Ynet News, August 26, 2012
Asaf Romirowsky

∙       Jeruslaem Post, August 30, 2012
Herb Keinon

∙   New York Times, July 25, 2012
Dani Dayan

∙       CiF Watch, August 12, 2012
Gidon Ben-Zvi



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