Tag: samaria

EU DROPS ‘GREEN LINE GUIDELINE’ BOMB ON ISRAEL & PEACE PROCESS – WESTERN WALL NO LONGER JEWISH!?

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When Europe Demanded Israel Surrender the Western Wall: Haviv Rettig Gur, The Times of Israel, July 16, 2013—The European Union’s new directive banning any cooperation with Israeli institutions over the Green Line isn’t new, and is actually being implemented for Israel’s benefit, according to the office of the EU’s foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.

 

The EU’s Broken Mideast Compass: Noah Beck, Front Page Magazine, July 18, 2013—The European Union recently sent out a directive barring its 28 members from cooperating with Israeli entities in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The boycott includes “all funding, cooperation, and the granting of scholarships, research grants and prizes” to Israeli entities in East Jerusalem and the West Bank.

 

European Medicine Is Bad for Israel, and for Middle East Peace: Barry Shaw, Jerusalem Post, July 17, 2013—How often have European diplomats and politicians incorrectly forecast events in the Middle East? What they called the Arab Spring turned into the Islamic Winter. Didn’t they force Israel to allow Yasser Arafat, the world’s first Islamic arch-terrorist, to return from his enforced exile in Tunis by acclaiming him as Israel’s peace partner?
 

EU Judea and Samaria Guidelines Harm Palestinians: Daniel Siryoti, Shlomo Cesana and Hezi Sternlicht, Israel Hayom, July 17, 2013—A senior Palestinian Authority official confirmed to Israel Hayom on Tuesday that many in Ramallah were dissatisfied with the European Union's decision to withhold economic grants and incentives to Israeli companies situated in Judea and Samaria.

 

On Topic Links

 

Full Text of the European Union’s Settlement Guidelines: Times of Israel, July 18, 2013

Israel Moves to Quit Flagship EU Project Over Restrictions: Times of Israel, July 18, 2013

Boycott Just Around the Corner: Ephraim Sneh, YNet News, July 17, 2013

The First Casualty of the EU Settlement Directive: John Kerry: Avi Issacharoff, Times of Israel, July 17, 2013

The Baseless Hatred of the EU Towards Israel: Melanie Philips, Melanie's Blog,  July 16, 2013

Netanyahu Working to Get EU to Freeze Publication of New Guidelines: Herb Keinon, Jerusalem Post, July 17, 2013

EU's Yesha Sanctions Could Boomerang: David Lev, Israel National News, July 18, 2013

 

 

 

WHEN EUROPE DEMANDED ISRAEL
SURRENDER THE WESTERN WALL

Haviv Rettig Gur

Times of Israel, July 16, 2013

 

The European Union’s new directive banning any cooperation with Israeli institutions over the Green Line isn’t new, and is actually being implemented for Israel’s benefit, according to the office of the EU’s foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton. The directive contains two main planks: denial of European funding to, and cooperation with, Israeli institutions based or operating over the Green Line, and a requirement that all future agreements between Israel and the EU — and possibly between Israel and individual member states as well — include a clause in which Israel accepts the European Union’s position that all territory over the Green Line does not belong to Israel.

 

As Ashton’s office noted in a statement sent to The Times of Israel Tuesday, the directive was “in conformity with the EU long-standing position that Israeli settlements are illegal under international law and with the non-recognition by the EU of Israel’s sovereignty over the occupied territories irrespective of their legal status under domestic Israeli law.”

 

The European Union has indeed long held that view. It won’t invest or cooperate with communal or civic organizations over the Green Line, and has been one of the most reliable critics of Israeli settlement policy for decades. Even the details of the directive aren’t new. On December 10, 2012, the European Union’s Foreign Affairs Council stated that “all agreements between the State of Israel and the EU must unequivocally and explicitly indicate their inapplicability to the territories occupied by Israel in 1967.”

 

But the fresh directive is still sending a shock wave through Israeli diplomatic circles — not because anyone is surprised about the position it takes, but because of the precision with which the EU indicates it is to be implemented. “They crossed a line,” a senior Israeli official told The Times of Israel Tuesday. “That the EU won’t sign an agreement with Ariel University [in the West Bank] is no secret. But now they are going to force the Hebrew University to promise that no scientist working on a program [that enjoys EU cooperation or funding] lives over the Green Line,” including in apartment complexes down the street from the university campus on Mount Scopus — “or in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City, which has been Jewish a bit longer than the EU.”

 

“That’s absurd,” the official said. In adhering blindly to the Green Line, he claimed, the EU is in effect taking sides in the conflict in a way that distances its position from that of the majority of Israelis who support negotiations and a two-state solution. Indeed, the move has raised hackles with some on the Israeli left, which usually sees EU institutions as allies in the pursuit of peace. As another official noted, the EU’s new policy is in effect demanding that Israel deny — in writing — any rights to the Western Wall, Judaism’s holiest site, as a precondition for signing any agreement with the EU.

 

Ashton’s office tried to explain that the development was a positive one for Israel. “This is important in view of the new opportunities that will be offered to Israel (as an ENP [European Neighborhood Policy] partner) for participation in EU programmes and other funding instruments in the 2014-2020 financial framework,” read the statement issued to The Times of Israel. “We want Israel to play a full part in these instruments and we want to be sure that Israel’s participation is not put in question so that Israel will be able to make use of all possibilities offered by the new financial framework,” it added.

 

Or, in short: This is for your own good, to prevent any future challenges to your ability to get further benefits from the EU down the road — a carrot-and-stick approach where the carrot is further integration into the EU economy, and the stick is the inability of any institution operating over the Green Line to enjoy the fruits of that integration. A spokesman for the EU delegation in Israel told the Associated Press that the new guidelines would not affect Israel’s private sector or companies, but rather bodies like research centers or NGOs. That didn’t stop the Israel’s Manufacturers Association from worrying about the “obstacles” the EU was placing in the way of further economic ties.

 

For decades, European bureaucrats have been hard at work building a world of unbreakable rules and regulations. Applied to a messy, unresolved conflict, the decision to apply one set of rules over another — adhering to the demands of the pre-1967 lines, for example, at the expense of major Israeli population centers beyond those lines — would appear to the Israeli critics of the move to involve choosing sides in the larger conflict.

 

Others on the left see it differently. Labor’s Nachman Shai didn’t praise the EU move, but did regard it as the unfortunate consequence of the government’s misguided, pro-settlement policies, which he said were gradually causing Israel’s isolation. Meretz leader Zahava Gal-on called the directive “very significant,” in distinguishing between sovereign Israel, on the one hand, “and the settlements and occupation,” on the other. Europe, she said, was telling Israel that it can’t simultaneously expect to maintain international credibility as a seeker of peace while building in the settlements. Gal-on’s take was unsurprising. So, too, the outraged protests from less dovish Israeli leaders.

 

What was striking about the latter, though, was that they extended their criticisms to assert that the EU was demonstrating an incapacity to function as a fair-minded peace broker. And that was because, if it does indeed truly seek to implement its latest directive, and condition further dealings with Israel on a government acknowledgement that all territory beyond the Green Line is not part of Israel, the EU may have issued a demand to which few mainstream Israeli leaders will acquiesce.

 

Contents

 

THE EU’S BROKEN MIDEAST COMPASS

Noah Beck

Front Page Magazine, July 18, 2013

 

The European Union recently sent out a directive barring its 28 members from cooperating with Israeli entities in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The boycott includes “all funding, cooperation, and the granting of scholarships, research grants and prizes” to Israeli entities in East Jerusalem and the West Bank.

 

If this is how the EU chooses to spend its limited diplomatic and political resources “to help” the Middle East, then its moral compass is badly broken. The EU still hasn’t even mustered the clarity or courage to join the USA, Canada, and six Gulf states (led by Bahrain) in designating Hezbollah a terrorist organization, even though Hezbollah has committed terrorist acts on EU soil that have killed an EU citizen, and has supported Basher Assad’s butchery in Syria. The EU has also failed to take any decisive action to address the urgent crises in Lebanon, Syria, and Iran (which marches ever closer to nukes and imports ore — for armor and missile production — from Germany and France). And where is the EU’s boycott of Mideast governments that persecute women, execute homosexuals, and condone the slaughter of Christians?

 

If the EU wants to wield its economic clout to impose peace on disputing parties, why not boycott China for its brutal occupation of Tibet? Clearly that occupation doesn’t matter because the EU is China’s largest trading partner. And why isn’t the EU boycotting Northern Cyprus, which is under foreign military occupation by Turkey (against the wishes of the EU)?

 

The hypocrisy is even more flagrant because some EU states are themselves occupying disputed territories on various continents. One of the most notorious examples is the Falkland Islands. What exactly is the UK’s burning security interest in occupying a Latin American island nearly 8,000 miles away? Maybe the EU should boycott the UK as well.

 

In the end, an EU boycott of Israel is just a cheap way to score political points with the oil-producing Arab states and the growing Muslim population on European soil. Indeed, the EU’s anti-Israel directive resembles Stephen Hawking’s ill-fated attempt to inject himself into the Israeli-Palestinian controversy. Just as he absurdly chose to boycott the country largely responsible for the technology that enables him to communicate, the EU shamelessly targets the only country in the Middle East that actually shares the EU’s democratic values, respect for human rights, pluralism, and the rule of law (not to mention shared interests like curbing Iranian nukes, developing natural gas resources in the Mediterranean Sea, and seeing moderates prevail in the volatile Middle East).

 

Putting aside the EU’s abundant hypocrisy, trying to strong-arm Israel into unilateral concessions has already proved to be an abysmal failure when it comes to promoting peace. Just ask President Obama, who in 2009 pressured Israel into a 10-month settlement freeze in the West Bank without requiring any reciprocal gestures from the Palestinians. They quickly realized that they need not negotiate with Israel because Obama was doing that for them. One can hardly blame Palestinians for trying to maximize their negotiating posture, even if it lacks good faith. Thus, peace talks have remained stalled for Obama’s entire presidency, even though Secretary of State John Kerry is now making his sixth peace-pushing trip (in as many months) to the region.

 

It’s also worth noting that the real obstacle to peace — Palestinian rejectionism and terrorism — existed before any of Israel’s settlement-building. Palestinian terrorism and rejectionism from Gaza also continued despite the removal of Israeli settlements (from Gaza in 2005). So Israeli settlements did not create Palestinian extremism and their removal doesn’t necessarily end it.

 

History has also demonstrated that Israeli settlement building has not prevented Israel from making painful territorial compromises for peace: Menachem Begin evacuated the Sinai, Ehud Barak ended Israel’s presence in Southern Lebanon, Ariel Sharon left Gaza, and Benjamin Netanyahu handed over West Bank territories under the Wye Accords.

 

Moreover, the EU seems to have forgotten that Jews have a historical and legal right to be in the West Bank. The “Mandate for Palestine” confirmed by the League of Nations recognized the “historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine” and “the grounds for reconstituting their National Home in that country.” Under Article 6, the Mandate encouraged “close settlement by Jews, on the land, including State lands and waste lands not required for public purposes.” The EU’s boycott falsely implies that Jews have no right to live in the West Bank, and is thus disturbingly reminiscent of the “Judenrein” policies of Nazi Germany, which banned Jews from certain spheres of life only because they were Jews….

 

If the EU wants to ignore international law and history, the many more pressing Mideast issues, and its own hypocrisy, all for the sake of promoting Israeli-Palestinian peace, then it should at least recognize that unilateral pressure on Israel has only reinforced Palestinian inflexibility. Indeed, it is only the Palestinians who have refused to negotiate peace without preconditions. The EU has pressured the wrong party because its Mideast compass is badly broken.

Contents

 

EUROPEAN MEDICINE IS BAD FOR ISRAEL,
AND FOR MIDDLE EAST PEACE

Barry Shaw

Jerusalem Post, July 17, 2013

 

We have arrived at the moment most of us reckoned we would never see. How often have European diplomats and politicians incorrectly forecast events in the Middle East? What they called the Arab Spring turned into the Islamic Winter. Didn’t they force Israel to allow Yasser Arafat, the world’s first Islamic arch-terrorist, to return from his enforced exile in Tunis by acclaiming him as Israel’s peace partner? He spoke about “peace of the brave” as they awarded him with their Nobel Peace Prize, but he gave us “peace of the grave” as soon as he landed in Ramallah. Didn’t they encourage us to forcefully uproot 8,000 people from their homes in the Gaza Strip in the name of peace with the Palestinians, and didn’t we get rockets instead? Now they have the chutzpah to aim an EU directive banning their European members “from cooperating with Israeli entities in the West Bank, Golan Heights, and east Jerusalem.”

 

As Daniel Seaman of the Prime Minister’s Office reminded us on his Facebook page, “the Europeans found an unequivocal voice when it comes to Israel, but still can’t declare Hezbollah a terrorist entity. Ironically, while Europeans try to define our ancestral borders, the Muslims are redefining theirs.” Seaman added, “With Europe’s record regarding the Jewish people’s past [Greece, Rome, Spain, Russia, France, Poland, Germany, Britain], they have no moral say in determining the Jewish people’s future.”

 

But that’s not stopping them. They have officially declared that what they call the West Bank (but Jews call Judea and Samaria) and east Jerusalem are no longer part of the State of Israel. See how they have twisted historical fact and legitimacy. In their eyes, the Jewish homeland went from being mandated the National Home of the Jewish People to a “disputed territory” when recaptured from the Jordanians in 1967, before then being transmuted into “occupied territories” as the Europeans acted to appease the radical Arab voices.

 

When did, fact, history and law dissolve into lies, false definitions and actions that to citizens of the Jewish state seem eerily akin to the Nuremburg laws? What happened to European patience and desire to allow the current peace initiative to take root? Instead of a quiet and orderly diplomatic route to negotiations we now have the heavy hand of European unilateral bias against Israel. As usual, it is dressed up in fine language to make it appear that they are taking altruistic steps for the good of all of us in the region.

 

Europe! You are not our parents, and we are not little children forced to take your nasty-tasting medicine because you insist it is good for us. You are wrong and you should not be surprised if Israel refuses to quietly take your medicine, and here is one reason why: On December 10, 2012, the European Union’s Foreign Affairs Council stated that “all agreements between the State of Israel and the EU must unequivocally and explicitly indicate their inapplicability to the territories occupied by Israel in 1967.”

 

Taken at face value, this means that the Western Wall of the Jewish Temple, which was liberated from Jordan in 1967 and where I have just celebrated a family Bar Mitzvah, and where many thousands of Jews from around the world just commemorated Tisha Be’av, the date of the destruction of both our holy Temples, is not part of the Jewish State of Israel.  This alone should have world Jewry demonstrating their rage and fury. It should also bring out millions of Christians that identify with an ancient heritage that no EU diplomat dare overturn.

 

Earlier this year I wrote an article that appeared in The Jerusalem Post. It was entitled, “Palestinian flags flying over Jerusalem.” It detailed the significant real estate sites that will fall into the hands of Hamas when misguided outside forces side with Palestinians’ evil intent. When writing that piece I never thought such a decisive step in this direction would be taken by Europe within a few short months.

 

The EU blunder has brought that unthinkable moment forward. The Hebrew University, the Rockefeller Museum and Hadassah Hospital are, by the new EU definition, now prime targets for a European boycott. We are not just talking here about Israeli industry located on land that will remain as part of Israel in any future peace agreement, and that employs in excess of 30,000 Palestinian workers to boot, but also of the research, academic and medical centers that do so much good for mankind that lie at the foot of the European guillotine.  And the Europeans think this is in the best interest of people in the region. They have been so very wrong in the past, and are dead wrong today.

 

The author is the Special Consultant on Delegitimization Issues to
The Strategic Dialogue Center at Netanya Academic College.

 

Contents

 

EU JUDEA AND SAMARIA GUIDELINES HARM PALESTINIANS

Daniel Siryoti, Shlomo Cesana and Hezi Sternlicht

Israel Hayom, July 17, 2013

 

A senior Palestinian Authority official confirmed to Israel Hayom on Tuesday that many in Ramallah were dissatisfied with the European Union's decision to withhold economic grants and incentives to Israeli companies situated in Judea and Samaria. "For our part, we approached a number of [European] Union officials, in the [Palestinian] Authority and also in Israel, to try and prevent the decision or at least to keep it unofficial," said the official, who declined to give his name. "It's not just Israeli companies that are going to be hit economically, it's also going to be disastrous economically and socially for the Palestinian community."

 

According to the Palestinian official, the European move will freeze joint projects, force employers to stop hiring Palestinians to work on joint projects with Israelis and lead to widespread layoffs of Palestinians laborers working in Judea and Samaria industrial zones. Sammer Darawsha, who works in a hothouse that is a part of a joint Israeli-Palestinian agricultural project funded by members of the EU and situated near the Halamish settlement, said the decision will "affect everyone, whether Jew or Palestinian. If they take away our livelihoods and food, exactly what kind of peace will be here?"

 

Several manufacturers and exporters were concerned by the EU directive — which prevents the EU from giving grants to Israeli enterprises beyond the pre-1967 borders — estimating that the decision could cause tens of millions of euros in damages. According to the Israel Export and International Cooperation Institute, the EU constitutes Israel's most lucrative trade zone, and is the destination for a third of all Israeli goods. Trade with the EU in 2012 amounted to $36.6 billion. Israel imported $22.4 billion worth of goods from the EU that same year.

 

A top manufacturer warned that "blending politics and business results in a bad mixture, we have had bitter experience with it in the past. There's a sense that Europe is trying to harm the freedom of trade illegitimately."

"It must be understood that the Arab side is also going to be harmed by this directive. Indeed, a generous portion of the labor in Judea and Samaria is Palestinian," a veteran businessman said on Tuesday. Ramzi Gabai, the director of the export institute, said that "there's no room to mix political and economic issues." Tzvika Oren, Manufacturers Association of Israel president and the chairman of the Coordinating Bureau of Economic Organizations, said he "regrets the EU's intention to involve politics with economy."

 

 

Contents

 

On Topic
 

Full Text of the European Union’s Settlement Guidelines: Times of Israel, July 18, 2013—The new European Union directives concerning EU funding for entities established beyond the 1967 border lines including the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights prohibit Israeli companies located beyond the 1967 lines from receiving prizes, grants, or financing.

 

Israel Moves to Quit Flagship EU Project Over Restrictions: Times of Israel, July 18, 2013—Israel has threatened to pull out of the European Union’s flagship innovation project unless the EU backs down from its funding ban on Israeli institutions operating over the pre-1967 lines. Pulling out of major economic initiative could strike a blow at Europe due to Israel’s status strength as a research center

 

Boycott Just Around the Corner: Ephraim Sneh, YNet News, July 17, 2013—The European Union's decision to exclude the settlements from its agreements with the State of Israel is a turning point. The decision means that any activity in a West Bank settlement will not benefit from any aid received from the EU by activities within the sovereign State of Israel (the 1967 lines).

 

The First Casualty of the EU Settlement Directive: John Kerry: Avi Issacharoff, Times of Israel, July 17, 2013—US Secretary of State John Kerry’s efforts to revive talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority suffered a serious blow on Tuesday. But this time it wasn’t the Palestinians or the Israelis who derailed the process, but the US’s ostensible ally in the quest for peace, the European Union.

 

The Baseless Hatred of the EU Towards Israel: Melanie Philips, Melanie's Blog,  July 16, 2013—Consternation in Israel over the EU’s malicious decision to boycott individuals or institutions situated over the ‘Green Line’ between Israel and the disputed territories. This would presumably include boycotting, for example, the Hebrew University which is just over that line or, even more grotesquely, Jewish residents in Jerusalem’s Old City – where ancient Jewish settlement far predated the arrival of a single Arab, dating as it does since King David who built it as the capital of the kingdom of the Jewish people.

 

EU's Yesha Sanctions Could Boomerang: David Lev, Israel National News, July 18, 2013—The European Union is not the only one that can impose sanctions and boycotts, Israeli officials said Thursday. A report in Maariv said that if the EU insists on boycotting Israelis and Jews living and doing business in the lands liberated in the 1967 Six Day War, Israel could boycott some major European Union projects that feature Israel as a central partner.

 

 

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GIVEN M.E. SHIFTS, U.S. WITHDRAWAL, PEACE FOR AN ISRAEL INCREASINGLY ON ITS OWN IS ON THE BACK BURNER

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Contents:                          

 

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

 

What's behind Abbas' new tone?: Dore Gold, Israel Hayom, Jan 11, 2013 —Mahmoud Abbas delivered a speech on Jan. 4, on the anniversary of the founding of Fatah, that may have marked a turning point in the relations between the Palestinian Authority president and the State of Israel. Using extremist rhetoric that he has not adopted before, Abbas spoke about the need of the Palestinians "to renew an oath to the heroic martyrs and to walk in their path."

 

Intellectual Savages?: Giulio Meotti, Jerusalem Post, Jan.13, 2013 —Benighted humanists in Israel and in the West believe that Hamas’s terrorists are brainwashed, poor or illiterate, when in fact the best minds of Palestinian society are at the top of Islamic terrorism. Is it inconceivable that people who have the holy mission of returning to Jaffa and Ashkelon on a carpet of Jewish bodies are also well-educated surgeons, academics and writers?

 

Jewish-Arab Demography Defies Conventional “Wisdom”: Yoram Ettinger, Israel Hayom, Oct. 19, 2012

Jewish majority west of the Jordan River is secure, benefitting from a tailwind in defiance of conventional “wisdom,” which once again is detached from reality. In 2012, Israel’s Jewish demography continues the robust surge of the last 17 years, while Muslim demography, west of the Jordan River and throughout the Middle East, increasingly embraces Western standards. 

 

 

On Topic Links

 

 

The Arabs’ Betrayal of the Palestinians: Joseph Puder, Front Page Magazine, Jan. 14, 2013
The Legal Basis of Israel’s Rights in the Disputed Territories: Alan Baker, JCPA, Jan. 8, 2013

Abbas Reinstates a Radical Political Doctrine: Lt. Col. (ret.) Jonathan D. Halevi, JCPA, January 10, 2013

Protecting the Contiguity of Israel: The E-1 Area and Maale Adumim: Nadav Shragai, JCPA, May 24, 2009

The Arabs Fear a ‘More Jewish’ State of Israel: Dr. Mordechai Kedar, Jewish Press, January 13th, 2013

Israel Investing in Disputed West Bank Sites: YNet News, Jan 15.13

The Palestinian Authority's Inconvenient Truths: Khaled Abu Toameh, Gatestone Institute, January 3, 2013

A View From The Hills: Mainstreaming Annexation: Josh Hasten, Jerusalem Post, Jan. 14, 2013

 

 

 

WHAT'S BEHIND ABBAS' NEW TONE?

Dore Gold

Israel Hayom, Jan 11, 2013
 

Mahmoud Abbas delivered a speech on Jan. 4, on the anniversary of the founding of Fatah, that may have marked a turning point in the relations between the Palestinian Authority president and the State of Israel. Using extremist rhetoric that he has not adopted before, Abbas spoke about the need of the Palestinians "to renew an oath to the heroic martyrs and to walk in their path."

 

In his list of Palestinian "martyrs" are not only recent leaders of Hamas, like Sheikh Ahmad Yassin and of the pro-Iranian Islamic Jihad, like Fathi Shkaki, but also figures from the 1930s, like Izzedine al-Qassam, and especially the notorious Jerusalem mufti, Hajj Amin al-Husseini, who openly collaborated with the Nazis during World War II.

 

What happened to Mahmoud Abbas? Hasn't he been regarded by Israeli leaders for the last twenty years as a moderate who was interested in reaching a peace agreement? What is important is not the vapid debate over whether Abbas can still be regarded as a partner for peacemaking, but rather understanding the hard fact that conditions have changed influencing the declared intentions of leaders. What is essential to internalize is that the political environment in 2013 no longer resembles what the Middle East looked like when Israel began talking to the Palestinians in 1993.

 

There were three very specific geostrategic conditions that prevailed when the political process of the last two decades was originally launched in 1991. These are now undergoing dramatic changes.
 

First, the Soviet Union was collapsing leaving the U.S. the sole superpower dominating the Middle East. With the U.S. armed forces deployed across the region after the American victory in the first Gulf War, the supremacy of American power was not theoretical but very real.

 

Second, with the defeat of Saddam Hussein, the most powerful member of what had been known as the “Rejectionist Front” was no longer a significant factor in the Middle Eastern balance of power. The pro-American Arab pragmatists were the predominant regional force.

 

And third, Iran, which had not yet recovered from its eight-year long war against Iraq in the previous decade, was not in any position to exploit the collapse of the 40-division strong Iraqi Army and assert itself as the new hegemonic power. These three conditions set the stage for the convening of the Madrid Peace Conference in 1991 and later for the signing of the Oslo Agreements in 1993.

 

Yet, in 2013, that unique international constellation plainly no longer exists. The oil-rich Arab states, especially in the Persian Gulf, were concerned that the American withdrawal from Iraq at the end of 2011, marked a new period in which the U.S. would have far less to do militarily with the region and could no longer be depended upon to assure their security.

 

Qatar effectively jumped from the ship of American protection and made up with Tehran already in 2007, when the Bush administration published its National Intelligence Estimate on Iran. This move was interpreted as meaning that Washington was not going to dedicate military resources to resolve the problem of the Iranian march to nuclear weapons.

 

Moreover, with the uprisings in the Arab world since 2011, a new rejectionist front has come to power through Islamist parties that are now ruling from Tunisia to Egypt. Hamas, which already ousted the Palestinian Authority in the Gaza Strip in 2007, serves as a Palestinian affiliate of the Muslim Brotherhood and hence has a built-in advantage over Abbas, given the new regional map that was emerging.

 

Abbas, who in the past looked to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak as his key ally, now had to contend with a Muslim Brotherhood government in Cairo, which worked in favor of his Islamist rival, Hamas. In Middle Eastern capitals, it became widely believed that this shift came about with Washington's approval. This was a huge overstatement, but nonetheless it was a shared perception across the region.

 

Finally, despite the losses it faces in Syria (including Lebanon), Iran has been demonstrating an enhanced ability to project its influence with weapons, training, and in some cases, special forces, by inserting itself into multiple Middle Eastern conflicts, from Iraq to Yemen and from Sudan to the Gaza Strip. Its activism is likely to only increase, should it cross the nuclear threshold.

 

Israel does not have to reach the conclusion that it has no diplomatic options with the Palestinians and that an impasse is inevitable. But to proceed with any initiative in the future it needs to make several important adjustments in its approach. First, the next Israeli government must accept that given what is going on in the Middle East, it is completely unrealistic to propose negotiations to reach a full-blown final status agreement with the Palestinians.

 

Second, given the regional dangers that are on the horizon, any political arrangement in the future must have a much stronger security component than what was proposed in the past. It is unfortunate that in the internal political debate in Israel, politicians often take out of the file cabinet old diplomatic ideas that did not work, without reconsidering whether they are still applicable, if they ever were. More than ever, Israel needs to preserve the ability to defend itself, by itself, no matter how the declared intentions of its neighbors change.

 

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INTELLECTUAL SAVAGES?

Giulio Meotti

Jerusalem Post, Jan.13, 2013

 

Benighted humanists in Israel and in the West believe that Hamas’s terrorists are brainwashed, poor or illiterate, when in fact the best minds of Palestinian society are at the top of Islamic terrorism. Is it inconceivable that people who have the holy mission of returning to Jaffa and Ashkelon on a carpet of Jewish bodies are also well-educated surgeons, academics and writers? Ask Hamas about the paradox of Josef Mengele, a doctor of philosophy, a medical doctor, a refined man who enjoyed music and poetry, but didn’t hesitate to experiment on an order the death of a million of Jews.

 

The Palestinian hatred has not been deciphered by our writers and intellectuals. It’s because we have been told that “they hate us” is the language of xenophobes, the illiberal, the intolerant; that genocidal anti-Semitism was buried in the ashes of Auschwitz; that we have to be polite and self-critical. A seductive combination of post-colonial white guilt mixed with liberal condescension has dulled our moral senses and made us blind to an Islamism that conveys unleashed hatred, contempt, physical aggression, the desire to expel, to destroy and to eliminate the Jews.

 

Nizar Rayan was not only a Hamas terrorist leader. He was a fine historian, academic and intellectual. Author of more than 10 books on Islam, Rayan was killed in Jabalya along with his wife and three children. They remained in the house even after the Israelis had warned them of the raid. Rayan had sent a son on a suicide mission against a Jewish town in northern Gaza and had taken part in an attack on the Israeli port of Ashdod, which killed 10 “sons of pigs and monkeys,” as Rayan call the Jews. Rayan was a gem of the Islamic University of Gaza, he had studied at the prestigious faculty of Um Dorman and had written an essay on the life of the Prophet, titled “Medina becomes Dark,” a best-seller in Saudi Arabia. His library, destroyed in the Israeli raid, contained 10,000 books.

 

Palestinian terrorism is led by academics, surgeons, scientists, scholars, intellectuals, people with an enviable curriculum vitae. Their biographies are the Palestinian version of al-Qaida. They are like Ayman al-Zawahiri, al- Qaida mastermind and a surgeon; Omar Sheikh, the mastermind in the execution of Daniel Pearl, who had studied at the London School of Economics; and the planner of the September 11 attacks, Khalid Sheikh Muhammad, who attended US universities.

 

The head of the July 7 suicide bombers, Muhammad Siddique Khan, taught in Leeds, while the English doctor Bilal Abdullah, who participated in the failed attacks in London and Glasgow in June 2007, was born into one of the richest families in Baghdad. The Hamas leadership is the most educated in the Arab world, with 500 high-level degrees between them. Its leader, Khaled Mashaal, is a professor of physics and was an academic in Kuwait. Gaza’s prime minister, Ismail Haniyeh, was dean of a university and his strongman for religious affairs, Muhammad Tartouri, is a dean of the College of Shari’a in Hevron, epicenter of jihad against the Jews.

 

Even among the Palestinian Arab “secular” terrorists you find many PhDs. Ahmed Sadat, who ordered the killing of Israeli minister Rehavam Ze’evi, is a professor, while terror mastermind George Habash was a doctor. That is because there is no difference between the Hamas Covenant and the Covenant of the PLO. They both want Israel’s territorial truncation and eventual annihilation.

 

Fathi Shaqaqi, the late founder of Islamic Jihad, was a physician. The last of the Hamas’s founders still alive, Mahmoud Zahar, is an excellent doctor, a well-known specialist in the thyroid who founded the Palestinian Medical Society, his wife is a teacher, one of their children had a degree in finance and a daughter is a professor of English.

 

These two doctors are responsible for scores of children, women and elderly being incinerated on Egged buses in Israel; cafes and pizzerias destroyed; malls turned into slaughterhouses; mothers and daughters killed in front of ice cream shops; families exterminated in their own beds; infants executed with a blow to the base of the skull; fruit markets blown to pieces; nightclubs eviscerated along with hundreds of students; rabbinic seminarians murdered during their studies; husbands and wives killed in front of their children; children murdered in their mothers’ arms.

 

A well-known pediatrician was the Hamas leader Abdul Aziz Rantisi, a senior manager of the Arab Medical Society known for his tireless campaign to “kill as many Jews as possible.” Doctor Rantisi ordered that pieces of metal should be added to the explosives in the terrorist’s vest or backpack, with blasts often severing limbs completely. Israeli children have had their faces burned or their hands rendered useless; some have had their sight ruined forever.

 

A talented mathematician is Siyaam Saeed, Minister of the Interior. A former education minister, Nasser Eddin to Sha’er, studied in Manchester and New York. Ibrahim Hamed, the planner of brutal attacks such as the Moment Café, Ben-Yehuda Street and Hebrew University murders has a BA magna cum laude. Baseem Naeem became a surgeon in Germany, Atif Adwan owes its formation to the most brilliant scientific universities in the United Kingdom, while Aziz Dweik learned perfect English at the University of Pennsylvania. Mousa Marzook, accused by Israel of involvement in the murder of Israeli civilians between 1990 and 1994, studied at Louisiana Tech and Columbia University.

 

Of the Palestinian suicide bombers, 47 percent had a college degree, 29% a high school diploma, 24% attended primary school. People like Dia Tawil, who came from a “bourgeois” family with no financial problems, “only” dreamed of killing Israelis. Tawil’s last words were: “Their bones will know the taste of death.”

 

Israel is confronting Islamic revolutionaries ready to drench the holy land with blood and Palestinian Arab pediatricians who send their angels of death to kill Israeli children. But we also live in a time when death – of Jews – is celebrated and romanticized in the “civilized” democracies. These ferocious Palestinian anti-Semites have been sanitized by the Western public opinion which calls them “militants,” as The New York Times did last week…..

 

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JEWISH-ARAB DEMOGRAPHY DEFIES CONVENTIONAL “WISDOM”

Yoram Ettinger

Israel Hayom, Oct. 19, 2012

 

Jewish majority west of the Jordan River is secure, benefitting from a tailwind in defiance of conventional “wisdom,” which once again is detached from reality. In 2012, Israel’s Jewish demography continues the robust surge of the last 17 years, while Muslim demography, west of the Jordan River and throughout the Middle East, increasingly embraces Western standards.

 

According to a June, 2012 study by the Washington-based Population Reference Bureau (PRB), 72% of 15-49 year old Palestinian married women prefer to avoid pregnancy, as are 78% in Morocco, 71% in Jordan, 69% in Egypt and Libya, 68% in Syria, 63% in Iraq and 61% in Yemen.  The PRB study states that “a growing number of women are using contraception, as family planning services have expanded in the Arab region.”

 

The unprecedented fertility decline in the Muslim world was documented in June, 2012 by Dr. Nicholas Eberstadt, a leading demographer at the American Enterprise Institute, and Apoorva Shah of the Hoover Institute.  According to Eberstadt and Shah, “Throughout the worldwide Muslim community, fertility levels are falling dramatically…. According to the UN Population Division estimates and projections, all 48 Muslim-majority countries and territories witnessed fertility decline over the last three decades…. The proportional decline in fertility for Muslim-majority areas was greater than for the world as a whole over that same period, or for the less-developed regions as a whole…. Six of the ten largest absolute declines in fertility for a two-decade period yet recorded in the postwar era (and by extension, we may suppose, ever to take place under orderly conditions in human history) have occurred in Muslim-majority countries…. Four of the ten greatest fertility declines ever recorded in a 20-year period took place in the Arab world…. No other region of the world — not highly dynamic Southeast Asia, or even rapidly modernizing East Asia — comes close to this showing…. The remarkable fertility declines now unfolding throughout the Muslim world is one of the most important demographic developments in our era.”

 

The key developments yielding a drastic decline in Arab fertility, in the Middle East including west of the Jordan River, have been modernity and its derivatives.  For instance, urbanization (70% rural Arab population in Judea and Samaria in 1967 and 75% urban in 2012), expanded women’s education and employment, a record high divorce rate and wedding age, all time high family planning, rapidly declining teen-pregnancy, youthful male net-emigration, etc.

 

The Palestinian Authority (PA) has inflated the actual number of Arabs in Judea and Samaria (1.65 million) by one million, since the arrival of one million Olim from the USSR. Thus, in contrast with internationally accepted demographic standards, the PA counts some 400,000 overseas residents, who have been overseas for over a year, as de-facto residents.  Some 300,000 Israeli I.D. card-bearing Jerusalem Arabs are doubly-counted as Israelis (by Israel) and as Palestinians (by the PA).  The number of births is over-reported, the number of death is under-reported, emigration is ignored, etc.

 

In 2012, Israel’s Jewish fertility rate (three births per woman) is trending upward, boding well for Israel’s economy and national security, exceeding any Middle Eastern Muslim country, other than Yemen, Iraq and Jordan, which are trending downward.  Iran’s fertility rate is 1.8 births per woman, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States – 2.5, Syria and Egypt – 2.9 and North Africa – 1.8.  The average fertility rate of an Israeli-born Jewish mother has already surpassed three births.  In 2012, the Israeli Arab-Jewish fertility gap is half a birth per woman, compared with a six birth gap in 1969.  Moreover, young Jewish and Arab Israeli women have converged at three births, with Arab women trending below – and Jewish women trending above – three births.

 

In 2012, Jewish births have expanded to 77% of total Israeli births, compared with 69% in 1969. While the ultra-orthodox Jewish fertility rate has declined, due to growing integration into the workforce and the military, the secular Jewish fertility rate has risen significantly. Since 2001, the number of Jewish emigrants has decreased and the number of returning Jewish expatriates has increased. Aliya has been sustained annually since 1882, while Arab net-emigration – especially from Judea and Samaria – has been a fixture, at least, since 1950.

 

The current 66% Jewish majority in the combined area of the pre-1967 Israel, Judea and Samaria would catapult to an 80% majority in 2035, if Israel realizes the clear and present dramatic Aliyah (Jewish immigration) window of opportunity.  At least 500,000 Olim from the former USSR, France, Britain, Argentina and the USA could reach Israel during the next five years, in light of Israel’s economic indicators, the intensification of European anti-Semitism, the Islamic penetration of Europe and the growth of Jewish-Zionist education. The suggestion that Jews are doomed to become a minority between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean is either dramatically-mistaken or outrageously-misleading.

 

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The Arabs’ Betrayal of the Palestinians: Joseph Puder, Front Page Magazine, Jan. 14, 2013—At least one Palestinian leader is honest enough to blame his “brotherly” Arab states for the cash crisis faced by the Palestinian Authority (PA) in Ramallah.  PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, in an interview with the Associated Press on Sunday, January 6, 2013 complained of an immense financial crisis in the PA, largely due to the Arab countries’ failure to dispatch promised millions of dollars in aid. 

The Legal Basis of Israel’s Rights in the Disputed Territories: Alan Baker, JCPA, Jan. 8, 2013—Upon Israel’s taking control of the area in 1967, the 1907 Hague Rules on Land Warfare and the Fourth Geneva Convention (1949) were not considered applicable to the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) territory, as the Kingdom of Jordan, prior to 1967, was never the prior legal sovereign, and in any event has since renounced any claim to sovereign rights via a vis the territory.
 

Abbas Reinstates a Radical Political Doctrine: Lt. Col. (ret.) Jonathan D. Halevi, JCPA, January 10, 2013—Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen), chairman of the Palestinian Authority and leader of the PLO and the Fatah movement presented a radical political doctrine in his speech on January 4, 2013, honouring the anniversary of Fatah’s establishment.

 

Protecting the Contiguity of Israel: The E-1 Area and Maale Adumim: Nadav Shragai, JCPA, May 24, 2009—The E-1 area is a part of the Israeli city of Maale Adumim, located immediately adjacent to Jerusalem. There is an E-1 construction plan that was devised in order to link Maale Adumim and its 36,000 residents to Jerusalem. Every Israeli prime minister since Yitzhak Rabin has supported the plan. The E-1 site covers an area of largely uninhabited, state-owned land.

 

The Arabs Fear a ‘More Jewish’ State of Israel: Dr. Mordechai Kedar, Jewish Press, January 13th, 2013—The elections  are approaching in Israel, and polls are predicting what the Arab media calls, with great dread, “the meteoric rise of the radical right in Israel.” Every article about  the Israeli political map has the latest polls, showing the obvious trend that all of us here are aware of.

 

Israel Investing in Disputed West Bank Sites: YNet News, Jan15.13—Israel is advancing a plan to invest in places it considers part of its national heritage, including nine West Bank sites, the government said Monday in an announcement that could appeal to hard-line voters a week ahead of elections. It triggered an angry Palestinian response.

 

The Palestinian Authority's Inconvenient Truths: Khaled Abu Toameh, Gatestone Institute, January 3, 2013—Western journalists, funders and decision-makers need to know that there are many truths being hidden from their eyes and ears. The truth sometimes hurts; that is why the Palestinian Authority has been working hard to prevent the outside world from hearing about many occurrences that reflect negatively on its leaders or people.

 

A View From The Hills: Mainstreaming Annexation: Josh Hasten, Jerusalem Post, Jan. 14, 2013—In 2011, Women in Green, a grassroots organization dedicated to safeguarding the Land of Israel for the Jewish people, hosted a conference to discuss applying full Israeli sovereignty over Judea and Samaria. The inaugural event was held in a small banquet hall in Hebron, adjacent to the Cave of the Patriarchs.

 

 

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