Trump, the Pistol and the Olive Branch: Caroline Glick, Jerusalem Post, Jan. 16, 2017 — With a gun on his hip, on November 13, 1974, PLO chief Yasser Arafat stood before the UN General Assembly and
made the West an offer that it didn’t refuse.
Understanding Israel’s Message on ISIS-Inspired Terror in Jerusalem: Dan Diker, JCPA, Jan. 12, 2017— Speculation over possible ISIS involvement was triggered by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s comment at the scene, “All signs point to the attacker being a supporter of the Islamic State.”
Fatah and Hamas Finally Agree on Something: Stephen M. Flatow, JNS, Jan. 12, 2017— Fatah and Hamas don’t always get along.
A Palestinian Defeat is Good for All: Daniel Pipes, Middle East Forum, Dec. 28, 2016— Israel's Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was photographed on Dec. 21 carrying a copy of Nothing Less than Victory: Decisive Wars and the Lessons of History by John David Lewis (Princeton University Press, 2010).
A Life of Degradation and Bitterness Under Fatah Rule: The Jerusalem Center, JCPA, Jan. 12, 2017
Palestinians: Glorifying Mass Murderers: Bassam Tawil, Gatestone Institute, Jan. 10, 2017
Hamas, ISIS Affiliates, See Opportunity in Terror Truck Attack: Yaakov Lappin, IPT, Jan. 11, 2017
The Cyber Bikini Intifada: Ruthie Blum, Jerusalem Post, Jan. 15, 2017
Jerusalem Post, Jan. 16, 2017
With a gun on his hip, on November 13, 1974, PLO chief Yasser Arafat stood before the UN General Assembly and made the West an offer that it didn’t refuse. At the end of a long speech in which he rewrote history to erase all connection between the Jewish people and the Land of Israel and criminalized the very notion of Jewish freedom, Arafat declared, “Today I have come bearing an olive branch and a freedom fighter’s gun. Do not let the olive branch fall from my hand. I repeat: Do not let the olive branch fall from my hand.”
Arafat’s offer has served since that time as the foundation of European relations with the Palestinians and the wider Islamic world. It has also been the basis of US-PLO relations for the better part of the past four decades. His trade was simple and clear. If you stand with the PLO in its war to annihilate Israel and deny Jewish freedom, then PLO terrorists and our Arab state supporters will leave you alone. If you refuse to join our war against the Jewish state, we will kill you.
Today, Arafat’s successor, Mahmoud Abbas, is reiterating Arafat’s offer. Speaking Saturday at the Vatican after the Holy See decided to recognize “Palestine,” Abbas said that if US President-elect Donald Trump goes ahead with his plan to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem, it will “fuel extremism in our region, as well as worldwide.” Abbas’s spokesman was more explicit. Saturday night, Osama Qawasmeh, spokesman for Abbas’s Fatah PLO faction and member of Fatah’s Revolutionary Council, said that if the US moves its embassy to Israel’s capital city, “The gates of hell will be opened in the region and the world.” Abbas and Qawasmeh also said that the PLO expects that members of the international community will make Trump see the light and abandon his plan.
French President Francois Hollande’s “peace conference” on Sunday was the international community’s way of fulfilling Abbas’s demand. As multiple commentators have noted, the conference’s purpose wasn’t to promote the prospects for peace. It was to constrain Trump’s policy options for handling the Palestinian war against Israel. By bringing together representatives of some 70 countries to insist that Israeli homeowners are the moral equivalent of Palestinian terrorists, Hollande and his comrades hoped to box Trump into their PLO-compliant policy.
Spelling out the demand Trump is required to accept, French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc-Ayrault parroted the Palestinian threats. Asked by the French media Sunday if moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem would provoke the Palestinians, Ayrault said, “Of course.” He then demeaned Trump’s plan to move the embassy as nothing but the regular bluster of American politicians. In his words, “I think he [Trump] would not be able to do it. It would have extremely serious consequences and it’s not the first time that it’s on the agenda of a US president, but none has let himself make that decision.”
Ayrault is correct about Trump’s predecessors. To one degree or another, since the early 1970s, successive US administrations have joined the Europeans in selling Israel down the river to prevent Arafat’s minions from pointing their guns at the American people. Like the Europeans, the Americans have upheld their side of this bargain even when the PLO failed to uphold its end. For instance, in 1973 Arafat ordered his terrorists to storm the Saudi Embassy in Khartoum and take US ambassador Cleo Noel, his deputy, George Curtis Moore, and Belgian diplomat Guy Eid hostage. Arafat then ordered his henchmen to murder the diplomats after then president Richard Nixon rejected his demand to release Robert F. Kennedy’s Palestinian murderer, Sirhan Sirhan, from prison. Instead of responding to the execution of US diplomats by siding with Israel against the PLO, the US covered up and denied the PLO’s responsibility for the attack for the next 33 years.
The US is still covering up for the PLO’s murder of US embassy personnel in Gaza in 2003. At the same time, it is providing the PLO with nearly three quarters of a billion dollars in direct and indirect annual aid, including the training and provision of its security forces. The Europeans for their part have egged the US along throughout the years. France has generally led European efforts to convince the Americans to side with Palestinian as well as Hezbollah terrorists in their war against Israel in the name of “peace.” Sunday morning, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dismissed the Paris conference as a “futile” relic of a period that is about to end. Netanyahu said that the conference’s goal of boxing Israel into an untenable framework for dealing the Palestinians was nothing more than the “final palpitations of a yesterday’s world.” “Tomorrow,” he intoned, “will look a lot different. And tomorrow is very close.”…
[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]
JCPA, Jan. 12, 2017
News headlines across Israel and the world reported that ISIS may have inspired the Palestinian terrorist who committed the deadly January 8, 2017, truck ramming attack in Jerusalem that killed four Israelis and injured 16. Speculation over possible ISIS involvement was triggered by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s comment at the scene, “All signs point to the attacker being a supporter of the Islamic State.” Referring to similar recent ISIS truck ramming attacks in Europe, Netanyahu added, “We know that we have here a series of attacks, and there could be a link between them, from France to Berlin, and now Jerusalem.”
Netanyahu’s announcement underscored an important and often overlooked principle: Radical Islamic terror in Europe and Israel are both motivated by radical and extremist ideologies and must be condemned equally. Israel has been subject to endless justifications and warnings by Western leaders and media that Palestinian terror is largely the result of “settlements,” “occupation,” “lack of peace,” and “lack of a two state solution.”
Netanyahu, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, and the Israeli body politic criticized this frequent differentiation of “good terrorists and bad terrorists.” One recalls muscular Western condemnations of Salafist terror’s “psychopathic monsters” as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry had branded the ISIS terrorists who massacred 130 people and wounded hundreds in simultaneous Paris attacks in 2015. “Psychopathic,” ideologically and religiously motivated terrorists also live and work in Jerusalem. The “truck” terrorist, Fadi al-Qanbar, a father of four young children, lived in the neighborhood of Jabel Mukaber. He was not driven by socioeconomic deprivation or nationalist sentiment. He enjoyed complete freedom of movement and received the same social and economic benefits as Jews and other residents of Jerusalem.
Jabel Mukaber is also known as known as a hotbed of religious jihadi incitement. A neighborhood communal leader said that in the late 1980s the neighborhood became a hotbed of Islamism. Neighborhood children as young as eight and nine years old have declared their intentions to become “martyrs for Allah” according to interviews conducted in Jabel Mukaber by Islamic affairs expert Avi Issacharoff. Jabel Mukaber is also home to the jihadist terrorist cell that massacred Jewish worshipers in a synagogue in Jerusalem’s Har Nof neighborhood in 2014. A sister of Fadi al-Qanbar, confirmed Jabel Mukaber’s growing reputation for radical Islamism. She told Israel’s YNET News, “Praise be to Allah that he (al-Qanbar) became a martyr. It is the most beautiful kind of saintly death. Allah chose him for this martyrdom. Thank God.”
It is true that UN officials and western leaders uncharacteristically and unconditionally condemned the Jerusalem truck ramming terror attack. However, one cannot ignore the context of the these condemnations as a collective expression of diplomatic discomfort in the aftermath of the politically-fueled and distorted resolution passed by the United Nations Security Council on December 23, 2016 that delegitimized Israel’s sovereignty and annulled its sui-generis 3,000 year connection to its capital, Jerusalem.
Khaled Abu Toameh reminds us in a recent analysis for Gatestone Institute that the resolution has also energized radical Islamic terror against Israel. Just days before the attack, Abu Toameh observed that the recent UNSC resolution served to ‘“Bolster the popular resistance’ against Israel – code for throwing stones and firebombs, and carrying out stabbing and car-ramming attacks against Israelis.” He added that the Gaza-based Hamas and Islamic Jihad see the resolution as another step toward their goal of replacing Israel with an Islamic empire. When Hamas talks about “resistance,” it means suicide bombings and rockets against Israel.
From a jihadi point of view, there is no difference between truck terror in Berlin, Nice, or Jerusalem. Palestinian jihadis and their fellow travelers in ISIS, al-Qaida, Jabhat Fateh al-Sham in Syria, Hamas, Iran’s IRGC and Hizbullah proxy have declared that Islamic terrorism against Europe and Israel stems from the same radical root and aims for the same extremist end: Exclusive Islamic sovereignty across the lands of the Near East and ultimately the entire world.
Hamas praised the Jerusalem truck terror attack as “heroic.” The Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated group features a charter that reminds us of the popular motivation of the Palestinian struggle. It declares, “For our struggle against the Jews is extremely wide-ranging and grave, so much so that it will need all the loyal efforts we can wield, to be followed by further steps and reinforced by successive battalions from the multifarious Arab and Islamic world, until the enemies are defeated and Allah’s victory prevails.”
Palestinian jihad in Jerusalem also enjoys PLO and Palestinian Authority financial and rhetorical support. Brigadier General Yossi Kuperwasser’s January 2017 Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs report “Incentivizing Terrorism: Palestinian Authority Allocations to Terrorists and their Families” confirms that official Palestinian Authority legislation guarantees more than $310 million dollars in annual allocations to terrorists and their families. PA and PLO leadership have long incited Palestinians to murder Israelis. PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas both claim Israel is destroying the al-Aqsa Mosque. This libel was also one of the central sources of incitement to terror in Jabal Mukaber, according to Issacharoff…
[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]
Stephen M. Flatow
JNS, Jan. 12, 2017
Fatah and Hamas don’t always get along. Fatah, the largest faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization, is chaired by Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas. Hamas is the Islamic fundamentalist Palestinian group that rules Gaza. Fatah and Hamas call each other names. They compete against each other in Palestinian elections (on the rare occasions that such elections are held). Sometimes, Fatah goons rough up a Hamas member, and vice versa. There were even armed clashes between the two factions in 2007, leaving more than 100 terrorists dead. But Fatah and Hamas have found at least one thing they agree on: Anyone who massacres Jews is a great guy.
January 5th was the 21st anniversary of the death of the most infamous Hamas bomb-maker of them all, Yahya Ayyash. He also shared his car-bombing techniques, explosive vests and other deadly innovations with Islamic Jihad, the terror group that murdered my daughter, Alisa, and seven other bus passengers near Kfar Darom in 1995. Last week, Hamas honored the “hero” Ayyash with a photo essay on its website, complete with images of the bodies of some of his victims. Ayyash had the blood of hundreds of Israelis and Americans on his hands. That’s why Hamas reveres him.
But guess what? The “moderate” Fatah admires the mass-murderer Ayyash just as much as the “extremist” Hamas. Fatah, too, celebrated Ayyash’s atrocities with a glowing feature about him on its website. “Today is the anniversary of (the death of) the martyr engineer Yahya Ayyash,” Abbas’ group declared. “Revolutionaries never die. The pact of Fatah will remain the pact of the martyrs. We are marching on the path of Yasser Arafat on the way to national unity.”
When Hamas and Fatah call Ayyash a “martyr,” they are not using the term casually. “Martyr,” shahid in Arabic, has a specific religious connotation in Islam. The title is bestowed on a Muslim who died in the course of waging jihad against infidels. According to Islam, the shahid is showered with divine rewards in the afterlife. That’s why there is an Ayyash Street in the PA capital of Ramallah, just as there is an Ayyash Street in Beit Lahia, which is in Hamas-ruled Gaza. You name a street after someone you admire. And there is no one whom both Fatah and Hamas admire more than the “martyr” Ayyash.
Ayyash’s handiwork included the August 1995 Jerusalem bus bombing in which five people were murdered — including Connecticut school teacher Joan Davenny — and more than 100 were wounded. The words “more than 100 wounded” don’t begin to do justice to what those innocent people endured. Behind the statistic are horrific stories of suffering that lasts for years, often for a lifetime. One was Yonah Peter Malina, who, while growing up in Switzerland, did not even know that he was Jewish. At age 27, Yonah discovered his Jewishness, embraced Zionism and immigrated to Israel. He had been there less than a year when Ayyash’s bomb blew up that bus. Severely injured, Yonah awoke from a coma to find himself paralyzed from the neck down. He spent the next 10 years on a 24-hour respirator until he passed away in May 2005.
Every time the United Nations tells us that Israel is the obstacle to peace, every time the Washington Post tries to convince us that Hamas and Fatah are enemies, every time J Street declares that Abbas is a “moderate” — let’s remember who maimed and ultimately murdered Yonah Peter Malina, and which groups call the killer a “hero” and a “martyr.” In the end, that really tells us all we need to know about the Palestinian cause.
Middle East Forum, Dec. 28, 2016
Israel's Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was photographed on Dec. 21 carrying a copy of Nothing Less than Victory: Decisive Wars and the Lessons of History by John David Lewis (Princeton University Press, 2010). In that book, Lewis looks at six case studies and argues that in them all "the tide of war turned when one side tasted defeat and its will to continue, rather than stiffening, collapsed."
That Netanyahu should in any way be thinking along these lines is particularly encouraging at this moment of flux, when Sunni Arab states focus as never before on a non-Israeli threat (namely the Iranian), Obama's leaving Israel in the lurch at the U.N. Security Council, and insurgent politics disrupt across the West. In other words, the timing's exactly right to apply Lewis' argument to the Palestinians. Actually, Israel successfully pursued a strategy of forcing the taste of defeat on its enemies through its first 45 years, so this would be a return to old ways.
That strategy starts by recognizing that, since the Balfour Declaration of 1917, Palestinians and Israelis have pursued static and opposite goals. The Palestinians adopted a policy of rejectionism with the intent to eliminate every vestige of Jewish presence in what is now the territory of Israel. Differences among Palestinians tend to be tactical: Talk to the Israelis to win concessions or stick to total rejectionism? The Palestinian Authority represents the first approach and Hamas the second.
On the Israeli side, nearly everyone agrees on the need to win acceptance by Palestinians (and other Arabs and Muslims); differences are again tactical. Show Palestinians what they can gain from Zionism or break the Palestinians' will? Labor and Likud argue this out. These two pursuits – rejectionism and acceptance – have remained basically unchanged for a century. Varying ideologies, objectives, tactics, strategies, and actors mean details have varied, even as fundamentals remain remarkably in place. Wars and treaties come and go, leading to only minor shifts.
Deterrence, that is, convincing Palestinians and the Arab states to accept Israel's existence by threatening painful retaliation, underlay Israel's formidable record in 1948-93 of strategic vision and tactical brilliance.
That said, deterrence did not finish the job; as Israelis built a modern, democratic, affluent, and powerful country, the fact that Palestinians, Arabs, Muslims, and (increasingly) the left still rejected it became a source of mounting frustration. Israel's impatient, on-the-go populace grew weary with the slow-moving and passive aspects of deterrence.
That impatience led to the diplomatic process that culminated with the handshake confirming the signing of the Oslo Accords on the White House lawn in September 1993. Those accords, however, quickly disappointed both sides. Things went so wrong in part because Yasir Arafat, Mahmoud Abbas, and the rest of the Palestinian Authority leadership pretended to abandon rejectionism and accept Israel's existence but, in fact, they sought Israel's elimination in new, more sophisticated ways, replacing force with delegitimization.
In part, too, the Israelis made a profound mistake, having entered the Oslo process with a false premise that war can be concluded through goodwill and compromise. In fact, Israeli concessions aggravated Palestinian hostility. The Oslo exercise showed the futility of Israeli concessions to Palestinians when the latter fail to live up to their obligations. By signaling Israeli weakness, Oslo made a bad situation worse. What is conventionally called the "peace process" should more accurately be dubbed the "war process."
This brings us to my key concepts, victory and defeat. Victory means successfully imposing one's will on the enemy, compelling him through loss to give up his war ambitions. Wars end, the historical record shows, not through goodwill but through defeat. He who does not win loses. Thinkers and warriors through the ages concur on the importance of victory as the proper goal of warfare. For example, Aristotle wrote that "victory is the end of generalship" and Dwight D. Eisenhower stated that "In war, there is no substitute for victory." Technological advancement has not altered this enduring human truth.
Israel has just one option to win Palestinian acceptance: a return to its old policy of deterrence, punishing Palestinians when they aggress. Deterrence amounts to more than tough tactics, which every Israeli government pursues; it requires systemic policies that encourage Palestinians to accept Israel and discourage rejectionism. It requires a long-term strategy that breaks the will and promotes a change of heart. The goal here is not Palestinian love of Zion but closing down the apparatus of war: shuttering suicide factories, removing the demonization of Jews and Israel, recognizing Jewish ties to Jerusalem, and "normalizing" relations with Israelis. Palestinian acceptance of Israel will be achieved when, over a protracted period and with complete consistency, the violence ends, replaced by sharply worded démarches and letters to the editor.
Ironically, an Israeli victory liberates Palestinians by compelling them to come to terms with their irredentist fantasies and the empty rhetoric of revolution. Defeat also frees them to improve their own lives. Unleashed from a genocidal obsession against Israel, Palestinians can become a normal people and develop their polity, economy, society, and culture. That said, this change won't be easy or quick: Palestinians will have to pass through the bitter crucible of defeat, with all its deprivation, destruction, and despair. There is no shortcut.
For Washington to be helpful means supporting Israel taking tough steps. It means diplomatic support for Israel, such as undoing the "Palestine refugee" farce and rejecting the claim of Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital. Israeli-Palestinian diplomacy is premature until Palestinians accept the Jewish state. The central issues of the Oslo Accords cannot be usefully discussed so long as one party still rejects the other. But negotiations can re-open and take up anew the Oslo issues if and when Palestinians accept the Jewish state. That prospect, however, lies in the distant future. For now, Israel needs to win.
A Life of Degradation and Bitterness Under Fatah Rule: The Jerusalem Center, JCPA, Jan. 12, 2017—The problem of governmental corruption is that it is not a personal matter but a public problem. The Palestinian Authority/Fatah has failed to learn any lessons from its embarrassing failure in the Legislative Council elections or its humiliating rout in the Gaza Strip.
Palestinians: Glorifying Mass Murderers: Bassam Tawil, Gatestone Institute, Jan. 10, 2017—Palestinian youths are being urged to follow in the footsteps of Yahya Ayyash, a Hamas mass murderer who masterminded a wave of suicide bombings that killed and wounded hundreds of Israelis. Ayyash's expertise in manufacturing explosive devices earned him the nickname "The Engineer" and turned him into a hero in the eyes of many Palestinians.
Hamas, ISIS Affiliates, See Opportunity in Terror Truck Attack: Yaakov Lappin, IPT, Jan. 11, 2017—Hamas launched a public relations campaign in recent days, aimed at capitalizing on a deadly truck attack in Jerusalem Sunday that killed four Israeli soldiers. The campaign sheds a light on Hamas's plans to encourage and launch jihadist atrocities, but also on its vulnerability to the arrival of ISIS as an ideology and movement.
The Cyber Bikini Intifada: Ruthie Blum, Jerusalem Post, Jan. 15, 2017—Along with bloodlust and brawn, Hamas proved last week that it also has brains, at least where its enemies’ weaknesses are concerned. But even though the terrorist organization that controls the Gaza Strip has grown quite proficient at using the Internet to incite violence against Jews, it clearly is still no match for Israel in the realm of cyberspace.