01/07 Links Pt1: Can Israel say ‘No’ to the US?, Iranian Cleric: ‘Nukes Necessary to Put Down Israel’
Caroline Glick: The long-term cost of releasing terrorists
One of the reasons that most Israelis now recognize that the peace process is a hoax is that the PLO continues to signal that a “final” accord will not settle all Palestinian claims against Israel. The PLO intends to use a “Palestine” in Judea, Samaria, Jerusalem and Gaza to threaten and weaken Israel’s sovereignty in its remaining territory. The PLO’s demand that Israel free its own citizens from prison for acts of treason and murder is a clear indication that this is in fact the group’s long-term plan.
Kerry’s support for the PLO’s demands on terrorists shows Israel two things.
First, at a minimum, Kerry doesn’t have a problem with the Palestinian claim that Israel’s sovereign rights over non- Jews – and hence Israel’s right to sovereignty generally – is limited at best. Second, it shows that there are no concessions that Netanyahu can make to Kerry that will not have dire long-term consequences for Israel.
Walking away from the phony negotiations will be painful. But as Kerry’s demands indicate, the price for remaining at the table gets higher by the day.
Khaled Abu Toameh: U.S. Fiddles while Palestinians in Syria Starve
The plight of the Palestinian refugees in Syria serves as a reminder to all Palestinians that their Arab brothers do not care about their suffering. In several Arab countries, especially Lebanon, Palestinians continue to be treated as a “fifth column” and an “enemy from within.”
The Palestinians once again feel betrayed by their Arab brothers, who continue to pay lip service to the Palestinian cause while at the same time starving them to death, killing them and displacing them.
As for the international community, no one seems to be worried about the starving Palestinians in an Arab country. After all, this is not taking place in
Israel and no Israelis are involved.
An increasing body of evidence has begun pointing to a major shift in American foreign policy in the Middle East. Over the course of the Obama Administration’s tenure, amid the turmoil of the Arab spring, the United States has shown itself unwilling to defend some of its traditional allies (such as the military in Egypt), or to stand by its own threats and red lines (such as punishing the Syrian regime for using chemical weapons); in many cases willing to cede significant influence to other outside powers (such as Russia); and to attempt to reach a nuclear agreement with Iran that is far more conciliatory to Iranian demands than had been the previous policy (such as allowing for uranium enrichment).
So, I ask you, can Israel afford to say “no” to Kerry’s proposals? Of course! Or, to borrow a phrase from President Barack Obama’s 2008 election campaign: “Yes we can!” Sure, there will be consequences, and strains in our bilateral relationship. But Israel has said “no” before and should not be afraid of doing so again. We cannot put our security at risk and forgo parts of our ancestral homeland, simply to win favor with the powers that be in the White House.
Israel must stand firm and reject any further withdrawals or retreats, regardless of what Mr. Kerry has to say. We cannot return to the 1967 borders or allow a hostile Palestinian entity to arise next door. (h/t Bob Knot)
According to a Monday report in Palestinian newspaper al-Ayyam, citing Western sources, the US negotiating team is investigating the possibility.
The changed language, which would insert a key Israeli demand into the 2002 Saudi-drafted Arab Peace Initiative, would also include the stipulation that Israel’s Arab citizens not be affected by recognition of Israel as a Jewish state.
Secretary of State John Kerry may look like he’s pulling all the stops in pushing an Israeli-Palestinian deal, but, according to newly elected Labor party chairman MK Yitzhak Herzog, the U.S. can also read the writing on the wall. Herzog told Maariv that should there be no significant movement by the end of March, “it looks like the U.S. will take a step back and lower its profile” on the negotiations.
The other is that their goal is not to have two states for two peoples—the concept that Obama, Kerry, and the Israelis have discussed—but a Jew-free Palestinian Arab state on one side of the border and a mixed Jewish-Arab nation on the other whose balance would be altered by an influx of millions of Arabs, vastly overwhelming the Jewish majority and, in the bargain, expunging the explicitly Jewish state the United Nations voted to establish in 1947. While some Israelis have spoken of accepting a token number of these so-called refugees, Lieberman is right to refuse a single one, a stance justified by the international community’s unwillingness to recognize the fact that an equal number of Jewish refugees from the Arab and Muslim world lost their homes after 1948. (h/t NormanF)
An editorial in a regional paper denying Israel’s right to be a Jewish state unleashed on Monday a sharp wave of criticism from Israel’s embassy, German Jews and experts in modern anti-Semitism. According to the chairman of the region’s Jewish community, the commentary is anti-Semitic.
The Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung (Neue OZ), located in the city of Osnabrück in the German state of Lower Saxony, published an editorial on Thursday entitled “Israel as Jewish state: Unacceptable demand.” It compared Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s goal of having the Palestinian leadership recognize Israel as a Jewish state to the creation of an “Apartheid state” or a “theocracy” such as the “Islamic Republic of Iran.”
In a Likud faction meeting on Monday following the departure of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry from the region, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fielded questions about the peace process from MKs and assured them that “there will be no evacuation of settlements.”
The lionization of Nazism within Palestinian Authority-controlled areas has been long documented. In a recent interview a Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) official in December was very clear about Arab support for the Nazis during World War II.
“How can the Left seriously contend that the Palestinians are ready to make peace? How can the US Administration?” continued Chetboun. “When the TV programming is irresistibly aimed at children and overwhelmingly projects a message of the disappearance of Israel and the Jewish People, why on earth are we continuing negotiations with the very institution that is poisoning their own children with vicious propaganda?”
1967 borders are “temporary,” real solution is end of Israel – PLO official
“We love Arafat… Israel poisoned him” – Boy’s anti-Israel hate speech broadcast on PA TV
Reconciliation negotiations between Fatah and Hamas resumed secretly on Monday, according to the independent Palestinian news agency Ma’an.
“Our hearts are open and our hands are extended for national unity,” said Ahmad Assaf, a Fatah spokesman. He also said that contrary to rumors, the two parties have not reached an agreement to form a unity government as of yet, but hope to in the near future. (h/t Bob Knot)
Iranian lawmaker and cleric Muhammad Nabavian said on Friday that Iran would be able to build a nuclear bomb in “two weeks” if it gets “access to 270 kilograms of 20 percent [enriched uranium], 10 tons of 5 percent, and 20 thousand centrifuges,” according to reports on Iran’s Radio Farda and in Fararu.
“We are not looking for a nuclear bomb, but having a nuclear bomb is necessary to put down Israel,” Nabavian said, according to an independent translation of his remarks provided to the Washington Free Beacon. (h/t Bob Knot)
Addressing the House of Representatives on December 4, Roskam warned that the Obama administration was seeking to radically alter the US’s long-stated, “unambiguous” policy “that Iran shall not be a nuclear power” in favor of “a policy of containment”, which he insisted was a “dangerous mistake”.
The current agreement, he chided, simply ensured that whilst “the Iranians gain an advantage of time and money, we squander both.”
To counter that, together with a number of other Congressmen from both sides of the House, Roskam has proposed Resolution 445, which would ensure that any final nuclear agreement with Iran would have to include the full dismantlement of the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program, “including its production of a nuclear warhead and ballistic missiles”, and “reaffirms the need for additional economic sanctions against Iran should it fail to meet the negotiated terms of the interim agreement within six months of implementing the deal.”
In Iran, free condoms and government-backed vasectomies are out, replaced by sermons praising larger families and discussions of even offering gold coins to the families of newborns.
Having successfully curbed birth rates for two decades, Iran now is promoting a baby boom to help make up for its graying population. But experts say it is difficult to encourage Iranians to have more children in a mismanaged economy hit by Western sanctions and 36 percent inflation.
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has issued a fatwa (religious edict) banning online chatting between unrelated men and women, Iranian media reported on Monday, according to Al Arabiya.
Ironically, Khamenei’s ruling came a day after Iran’s Foreign Minister touted his country as a “model for democracy” in the region.
Bahrain’s chief prosecutor has formally accused the Iranian military of training opposition fighters to conduct attacks inside the Gulf kingdom, after Manama announced earlier this week that it had seized a boat trying to smuggle explosives from Iran and Syria into the country.
According to the report, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Monday started sending out invitations to the peace conference, but Iran was not on the first list.
The United States Commerce Department has issued an emergency order using US anti-terrorism export control laws against a Turkish company in an attempt to stop it from exporting two Boeing airplane engines to Iran.
Commerce Department officials say that such orders are used rarely to prevent the imminent export of restricted US items to certain countries, including Iran.
AFP reported Monday that lawyers for the terrorist group submitted a request by Morsi to make the ICC the ruling power in Egypt – even though Egypt is not a signatory and Morsi is no longer in power.
They also submitted complaints detailing the military’s “crimes” against the Brotherhood, in its wide-ranging crackdown on the group.
Libya’s Coptic Christians, who number about 300,000, or 5 percent of the population, were allowed to practice their faith under dictator Muammar Qaddafi. But since the strongman was ousted from power, and ultimately killed, Muslim fundamentalists have increasingly filled the power void. Last month, the national assembly voted in favor of making Koranic law, or Shariah, the basis of all legislative decisions, meaning Islam will shape all future banking, criminal and financial cases. (h/t Bob Knot)
The new constitution names Islam as the official religion. While RT reported Sunday that Sharia Law will not be the basis of the constitution, Article 73 of the new plan does demand that the President be exclusively Muslim – as a model of being a good Tunisian citizen.