Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Is the Palestinian Authority Better Than Hamas?

Do Palestinians Want Statehood?
-Jonathan Tobin

They are going to the UN not because they wish to actually have a state but because their desire is to avoid negotiations that might give them one if they were ever willing to actually sign a peace agreement with the Israelis.

Just like Hamas, which rails against "occupation" while governing what is functionally a Palestinian state, Abbas clings to policies that keep the status quo in place while still railing against it. The reason is that although its leader is wrongly proclaimed by Washington as a champion of peace, he and his movement are as committed to Israel's destruction as Hamas. Accepting a state in the West Bank means not so much ending the "occupation" of that area as it does accepting that the parts of the country that are left to Israel must be considered part of a Jewish state and that the conflict is therefore ended for all time.

Until Fatah is willing to do that, its talk of statehood at the UN must be considered to be no different than Hamas' blatant rejection of peace on any terms.

And the sooner Western nations catch on to this fact and stop enabling the PA's evasions, the better it will be for Palestinians and their children who need peace more than an unending and bloody war against Zionism.
[Jewish World Review]

Netanyahu: Iranian Effort to Deepen Terrorism in West Bank

Prime Minister Netanyahu told the Cabinet: 
"In recent weeks we have seen a stepped-up Iranian effort to intensify terrorist actions in Judea and Samaria. None other than the Palestinian Authority ambassador in Tehran said that he was enthused by Iranian ruler Khamenei's instructions to send weapons to the West Bank and he added, 'The Zionist regime is an aggressive cancerous growth which, sooner or later, must be eliminated.' It was not a Hamas man who said this, it was the Palestinian Authority ambassador."
(Prime Minister's Office)

Friday, December 26, 2014

Appeasement Foreign Policy

While dangerously close to being partisan, this cartoon takes a shot at President Obama's overall foreign policy.  Pictured are Raul Castro [on lap], Ayatollah Khamenei, Putin & Assad.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Palestinian Narrative Is Bull

Why Is There No Palestinian State? - Jeff Robbins

  • With the Palestinian decision to enlist the UN to impose terms on Israel despite objections by the U.S., the question remains:
    Why is it that the Palestinians rejected Israel's offer for an independent Palestinian state comprised of virtually all of the West Bank, Gaza, and a capital in east Jerusalem in 2000, 2001, and 2008?
  • In his memoir, former President Bill Clinton described Yasser Arafat's rejection of the Palestinian state offered by the Israelis at the end of his second term as tragic. In her memoir, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice describes the even more favorable offer made by Israel in 2008. "In the end," Rice writes, "the Palestinians walked away from the negotiations."
  • The answer is that Israel's proposals for an independent Palestinian state have come with a condition that the Palestinian leadership has regarded as a deal-breaker: a permanent end of the conflict, and a commitment to accept Israel's existence. By contrast, the Security Council end-game sought by the Palestinians is an end-run around any such condition; it would impose on the Palestinians no obligation to end the dispute.
  • As Abbas knows, the Palestinian street opposes any end of conflict with Israel that fails to bring about its disappearance. In May 2009, not long after spurning the "extraordinary terms" described by Rice, Abbas told the Washington Post that he was in no hurry to make peace with the Israelis. Rather, Abbas hoped that international pressure on Israel would force it to capitulate without any corresponding obligation on the Palestinians' part to agree to live in peace.
  • The Palestinians' argument that UN intervention is necessary because they cannot otherwise obtain a state represents a narrative that has been adopted wholesale in certain quarters. Sadly, however, it is a narrative that is tough to square with what has actually occurred.

    The writer is a former U.S. delegate to the UN Human Rights Council.
(Boston Globe)

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Iran + Hamas = Trouble

Hamas Eyes West Bank and Jordan - Pinhas Inbari 

Hamas is now directly threatening Fatah that it will take over the West Bank. Senior Gaza-based Hamas official Mahmoud al-Zahar declared: "Just as we liberated Gaza, just as we established a real national government in it...we will make the same effort in the West Bank as we prepare to extend our presence to all of Palestine."     

Palestinian security forces are now carrying out a wave of arrests of Hamas operatives in the West Bank at the same time that Jordan is making numerous arrests among cadres of the Muslim Brotherhood, as if it had information on preparations for a takeover of the country corresponding to Hamas' preparations for a takeover of the West Bank. The failure of the reconciliation talks with the PA in Ramallah stems from Hamas' insistence on being a Muslim Brotherhood movement and not a national Palestinian one.     

Hamas is in a tight bind. Egypt is systematically destroying the tunnels from Sinai into Gaza and is planning to build a moat that will flood the tunnels to finally seal off Gaza from Egypt. Economically, Gaza has lost its oxygen supply from Sinai. So Hamas has decided to export its crisis from Gaza to the West Bank. Hamas seeks to replace the window to the Arab world that Sinai provided with another window - in the direction of Jordan.

PA sources in Ramallah suspect that the Hamas delegation that recently visited Tehran was seeking Iran's help for carrying out a takeover of the West Bank
The writer, a veteran Arab affairs correspondent, is an analyst for the Jerusalem Center.
(Institute for Contemporary Affairs-Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Santa's MidEast Itinerary

Poignant cartoons from Dry Bones
Palestinian Christmas Lies - Jonathan S. Tobin

Middle East Christians have been largely portrayed as caught in the middle of a bitter war between Jews and Arabs over the Holy Land. But this is a profound misunderstanding of the reality of the conflict.
Though many Christians have been prominent Arab nationalists, their effort to identify with the struggle against Zionism has not led to greater acceptance for Christians within Palestinian society or the Arab and Muslim world in general. To the contrary, over the decades, the Palestinian national movement has taken an increasingly Islamist tone. Today, an Islamist tide that has swept through the region has made Christians an endangered minority.
The same dynamic has led to a massive exodus of Palestinian Christians from the territories. Life in many traditionally Christian towns like Bethlehem has been made increasingly untenable for non-Muslims. By contrast, Israel remains the one nation in the region where Christian rights and those of all religions are respected.


- David Bernstein

Mehdi Hasan, political director of the Huffington Post, UK, posted an article entitled, "If Mary and Joseph Tried to Reach Bethlehem Today, They Would Get Stuck at an Israeli Checkpoint." Actually, since Joseph and Mary were Jews from Nazareth, they wouldn't need to be afraid of Israeli roadblocks needed to combat Palestinian terrorism, but of being murdered by terrorists from Hamas or Fatah.

This sort of historical revisionism would be laughable if it were not so pernicious. It ignores the failure of the Arab side to recognize that the "Zionists" are not "European settler-colonialists," but a people with a three-thousand-year-plus tie to the Land of Israel, whose religion was born there, who ruled two separate kingdoms there, and who have prayed toward Jerusalem for two thousand years in their ancient Hebrew language.

Such denial, coming frequently from even "moderate" Palestinian Authority officials, means that the Arab side can't see any potential peace agreement as a historic reconciliation between two peoples with strong claims to the land, but as at best a humiliating capitulation to foreign occupation that would have to eventually be reversed. Until that mindset changes, there won't be long-term peace, regardless of paper agreements. Writers like Hasan are quite simply the enemies of peace. 
The writer is a professor at the George Mason University School of Law
(Washington Post)

Thursday, December 18, 2014

VideoBite: Big Bad Israel

A sardonic video which scores political points for Israel in a most unusual way

Monday, December 15, 2014

Glick Blasts Danish Ambassador

Dramatic exchange at The Jerusalem Post Diplomatic Conference.
Caroline Glick blasts Danish Ambassador Jesper Vahr.

[Hat tip: Michael W]

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Progress: Arab Prince Calls Out Radical Islam

Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa

Arab Prince Denounces Islamism - Daniel Pipes, PhD

  • On Dec. 5, Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa, 45, the crown prince of Bahrain, candidly analyzed the Islamist enemy and suggested important ways to fight it.
  • The time has come, he says "for us to get rid of" the phrase "War on Terror," a term that dates back to 9/11. "When we faced communism we understood it as an ideology. Terrorism is not an ideology."
  • "We are not only fighting terrorists, we are fighting theocrats." They are also tyrants, isolationists, and misogynists who will need to be fought "for a very long time."
  • He scorns them for being "very much like the seventeenth century" and having "no place in our modern twenty-first" century.
  • He urges us "to discard the term 'War on Terror' and focus instead on the real threat, which is the rise of these evil theocracies." "It is the ideology itself that must be combated. It must be named, it must be shamed, it must be contained, and eventually it must be defeated."
  • As I often say, radical Islam is the problem and moderate Islam is the solution. Now, we may add another influential leader, indeed a crown prince, to the ranks of those Muslims who wish to find a solution.
(Washington Times)


Murderer Sleazebag Dies Rioting

Ziad Abu Ein, murdering sleaze

Palestinian Official Died of Heart Attack - Itay Gal     

The official Israeli pathology report on PA Minister Ziad Abu Ein's death contradicted Palestinian claims that he was killed by IDF actions, saying he died of a heart attack.
(Ynet News)

Palestinian Official Dies after Clash with IDF
Senior Palestinian official Ziad Abu Ein, a member of Fatah's Revolutionary Council, was extradited from the U.S. to Israel in 1981 for a 1979 terrorist bombing in Tiberias that killed two Israeli teens and injured more than 30. He was released during a 1985 prisoner swap for three Israeli prisoners captured during the First Lebanon War

Abu Ein, who served as deputy minister for prisoner affairs, died after clashing with IDF soldiers at a demonstration in the West Bank. Abu Ein, 55, collapsed at the site and was evacuated by ambulance. Footage from the demonstration showed him lying on the ground and clutching his chest. The IDF said it had been preventing the entrance of some 200 "rioters" into an Israeli settlement when the clash occurred.
(Times of Israel)

Preliminary Autopsy Report on Ziad Abu Ein      

The autopsy was carried out at the forensics institute in Abu Dis. Participating were Dr. Chen Kugel and Dr. Maya Furman from Israel's National Institute of Forensic Medicine, as well as representatives from the Palestinian forensics institute and doctors from Jordan.    

The death of Ziad Abu Ein was caused by a blockage of the coronary artery due to hemorrhaging underneath a layer of atherosclerotic plaque. The deceased suffered from ischemic heart disease; blood vessels in his heart were found to be over 80% blocked by plaque. Old scars indicating that he suffered from previous myocardial infarctions [heart attacks] were also found.     

The poor condition of the deceased's heart caused him to be more sensitive to stress.
(Israel Ministry of Health)

Palestinians Prevented Israeli Medic from Aiding PA Official - Ben Cohen

Sky News Middle East correspondent Tom Rayner reported that Palestinians prevented an Israeli medic from providing first aid to Ziad Abu Ein.

Critical Moment for Security Coordination - Amos Harel

The consequences of Wednesday's death of PA Minister Ziad Abu Ein following clashes with Israeli soldiers will become clear in another few days. Fatah leader Jibril Rajoub said the PA would stop working with Israel on security - although such a step may be confined to the realm of rhetoric. Even if it happens, Israelis and Palestinians can be expected to resume at least informal contact to make sure they don't lose control of the situation altogether.

Despite the claims of senior PA officials, the footage of Abu Ein's death does not appear to indicate that he was killed on account of IDF violence. Abu Ein was an older man, a heavy smoker with health problems who got caught up in a violent confrontation with Israeli forces that involved shoving. 

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Zionism Thriving

Zionism Is Not in Decline - Amos Yadlin and Uri Sadot

  • Israel is more secure and prosperous now than ever in its history. It wields the strongest military power in the Middle East; the economy is on a steady rise and rich with gas reserves; our demography is healthy; our people are some of the happiest in the world and our society, as exemplified this summer, is close-knit and resilient in times of trial.
  • In 2013, 19,200 new immigrants decided to relocate their homes to Israel, demonstrating that Zionism is not at all on the decline.
  • Adding to its security, Israel now enjoys a wide network of alliances. Security cooperation with the U.S., military aid levels, support in Congress, as well as trade volumes and tourism have never been better. China and India are now increasingly cooperative both in trade and diplomatically. Similarly, trade volumes with Europe have risen steadily.
  • Also worth noting are Israel's improving ties with Canada, Central European states, many countries in Africa, the republics of central Asia, and the once-menacing Russian Federation.
  • Israel's two longest borders, with Jordan and Egypt, have long been pacified by treaties that have endured turbulent periods.
  • The grave threat of conventional armies against Israel has disintegrated together with the Syrian and the Iraqi states.
Maj.-Gen. (res.) Amos Yadlin, former Chief of Defense Intelligence, is director of the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), where Uri Sadot is a research fellow.

US/NATO Should Declare Turkey A "State Sponsor of Terror"

The positive secular transformation begun by Ataturk has been undone by Erdogan

Add Turkey to "State Sponsors of Terrorism" List
- Daniel Pipes     

According to Israeli intelligence, Hamas has moved its outside-Gaza headquarters from Damascus to Istanbul [Turkey]; it is headed by Saleh al-Arouri, whom Israel Hayom calls "an infamous arch-terrorist believed to be responsible for dozens of attacks against Israelis."

Arouri recently plotted at least two very ambitious but foiled operations, including "an attack on Teddy Stadium in Jerusalem, and an attack on the light rail train in the capital."

The claim of Hamas planning destruction from its Istanbul base needs to be investigated by the U.S. government and, if found accurate, the Republic of Turkey then placed on the "State Sponsors of Terrorism" list.                                                                                                                     (National Review)

Monday, December 01, 2014

Gordis' Vision: Rabbi Knocks It Out of the Park

Restoring a golden era - Rabbi Daniel Gordis

Even in the darkness of these past few weeks, I believe the golden era can return. Perhaps it’s because I remember a world that not long ago was very different.

When I was in high school and college in the 1970s and early ’80s, American Jewry was, in many respects, in its prime. Jews were moving to the suburbs, getting rich, building enormous synagogues, feeling at home in America in a way their grandparents could not have anticipated.

Yasser Arafat was despised almost everywhere as the murderous inventor of international terror. The notion that the Palestinians would be given a state without making peace with Israel would have been laughable.

Today Europe has turned and anti-Semitism is back in vogue. In our Jerusalem neighborhood, one hears more French with every passing week. On one recent Shabbat afternoon, I stopped a family I’d never seen before and asked them why they came now. They said their kids were getting beaten up in France, so they actually went to the police. But the policeman was a Muslim and he literally refused to take a report. The next week they were here.

Parts of London are too dangerous for Jews to walk in.

And in the Middle East, the West has still not decided to destroy what is clearly the greatest threat to Western civilization since Nazism. The US has put on the ground troops whose number, I assume, is roughly equivalent to the number of police who guard Pennsylvania Avenue on Inauguration Day.

Palestinians continue to slaughter, and Europe rewards them by recognizing a state that does not exist.

Boko Haram kidnaps girls, rapes them and sells them into sexual slavery, and a pouting Michelle Obama holds up a sign that reads #BringBackOurGirls.

A deal with Iran is nowhere in sight, but Secretary of State John Kerry announces nonetheless that his goal is to eliminate sanctions. In large swaths of the Middle East, Islamic State still roams free, like the beef American now like to eat.

How many Americans understand that Boko Haram, al-Qaida, Hezbollah, Hamas and Islamic State are just different forms of the very same cancer that day will strike them, too? BUT I actually remain optimistic.

I do not believe the French will really let hundreds of years of French literature, art, music and philosophy be strangled by Shari’a. One day, the French will hear that yet another town has caved in to Muslim demands, and when they sense that Paris is next, they’ll act. They’ll take France back.

It’ll be very late, and the cost will be high, but the rest of Europe will heave a sigh of relief and follow suit. Does anyone really think Europe will commit suicide? I don’t.

And one day, al-Qaida or Islamic State will hit the US.

Then, somehow, a new leader like FDR or Churchill will find the will to fight back. When Churchill said to Congress in 1943, speaking of Japan’s cities, “in ashes they must surely lie before peace comes back to the world,” he understood that as long as unmitigated evil is permitted to persist, the West is in mortal danger.

He received a standing ovation.

One day, the West will remember that it was values that made our civilization great. It will say to radical Islam: 'We do not plan to die, because we believe our values are better than yours. Your worldview, we believe, is a medieval cancer. You can join the modern world, stop oppressing women, stop killing gays and lesbians, respect a free press and the right of assembly, celebrate difference of opinion and free inquiry and erase the notion of the infidel from your lexicon.'

'Or we will kill you – as many of you as it takes – until the values that we believe make life worth living are no longer under threat.'

When the West returns to its senses, those kids who today cannot fathom what many of us are mourning will finally see what a golden era looks like.

We may not live to see it happen, but still, our duty is to do whatever we can to draw it near, “speedily in our day.” ■

[Jerusalem Post]