Monday, November 18, 2013
Maintaining The Status Quo: not so bad
The Conflict Can Be Managed - Ophir Falk
The current Palestinian president will not retract his demand for the return of refugees and isn't willing to recognize Israel as a Jewish state alongside a Palestinian one.
Even if the Palestinian leader was willing to compromise, he lacks the legitimacy to do so. He is persona non grata in Hamas-held Gaza and almost a decade has passed since he was elected in Ramallah. That weakness binds him to a no-budge position on all the core issues.
Many international disagreements and border disputes are being managed peacefully, and have been for decades. Israel and its Palestinian neighbors can also manage their conflict by agreeing on agreeable issues and agreeing to disagree on issues that are currently unsolvable.
The earth will not quake if the status quo continues in Jerusalem and if Jews and Palestinians are permitted to continue living where they live.
Israelis Don't Scare Easily, Mr. Kerry - Moshe Arens
Secretary of State John Kerry warned last week that unless Israel reaches an agreement with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, it will face renewed Palestinian violence against Israeli civilians - another intifada. Israel has been through two intifadas, and succeeded in putting them both down. It has shown that terror can be defeated. It is a lesson that has been absorbed by those Palestinians who engaged in and supported terror activities.
To attempt to scare Israel into agreeing to Abbas' demands is certainly not conducive to the continuation of the talks. Most important of all, Israelis don't scare easily.
The writer served as Israel's Minister of Defense three times and once as Minister of Foreign Affairs.
So Exactly How Did Yasser Arafat Get So Rich? - Frederick Forsyth
I have seen acres of breast-beating journalism about Palestinian misery but never an examination into where all the donated money has gone over the years. For this is certain: Arab donors and a generous non-Arab world have donated many billions to the Palestinian cause.
For example, since the founding of Israel in 1948 literally billions of pounds have been donated to help Gaza's people have a decent life.
If it had been invested shrewdly and well, Gaza today could be a mini-Monaco. It could have a deepwater freight port, a flourishing fishing port and a leisure harbor crammed with the yachts of wealthy visitors. It could have resort hotels on the sea and farms, ranches and orchards in the hinterland.
It has nothing of these. It is a failed state of poverty, misery and violence. So what happened to all that money?
A lot went on guns, explosives for bombs and material to build rockets to launch at Israel. But the bulk has certainly suffered the fate of most wealth in that neck of the woods.
It has simply been embezzled, not by Israelis but by Palestinians and above all by their leadership cadres.
The donations continue to flow in... and disappear.