05/02 Links Pt1: What Abbas has learned from Iran; Moving beyond the doomed ‘peace process’
Melanie Phillips: Abbas has learned from Iran’s approach to the west
Has Mahmoud Abbas been taking instruction from Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of Iran
The Palestinian president’s recent moves have been straight out of the Iranian playbook: make moderate noises and however ludicrous they may be, the West will be so desperate to avoid facing up to the reality of murderous extremism it will take them on face value.
Iran has been playing this to perfection. Its newish president, Hassan Rouhani, mouthed enough of the right platitudes to make people assume he was a terrific guy — even though Iran is still proceeding towards nuclear weapon breakout capability.
Abbas has understood what the Iranians grasped: that Washington will do anything to be seen to have achieved a deal. Consequently, the US will not act against him whatever he does, while it dumps on Israel instead.
So Abbas has behaved accordingly. His attitude to the Kerry negotiations was to say no to everything and wait for the US to blame Israel — over the “settlements”, of course, surely the most spectacular red herring ever to have swum in the fetid waters of diplomacy. The US duly obliged.
Caroline Glick: Life under the Obama Doctrine
Since his first days in office, Obama has signaled clearly through his deeds that he had absolutely no interest in blocking Iran’s nuclear progress. On the contrary, Obama’s policies in the Middle East have consistently involved strengthening and legitimizing the Iranian regime and the Muslim Brotherhood at the expense of Israel and the less radical Sunni Arab states.
Out of habit, and in the hopes that something would change, Israel pretended away this reality and continued to follow Washington’s lead, limiting its goals to covert operations against Iran – that Obama leaked to the media – and lobbying Congress for sanctions that never had any chance of blocking Iran’s race to the nuclear finishing line.
Certainly since last November, when Obama signed his nuclear surrender to Iran, Israel has had no excuse for following the US’s lead on Iran. The deal’s sole effect is to enable Iran to become a nuclear power and a regional hegemon.
And so Israel must ignore it. Every day that Israel does not set back Iran’s nuclear progress brings Israel closer to being the subject of nuclear blackmail, Iranian-backed terrorism, and even nuclear Armageddon.
Obama may hide his doctrine behind petulance, populist canards and straw men, but it is clear enough. And that means that as far as Israel is concerned, its goal of securing its survival and prosperity for at least the next two-and-a-half years requires Jerusalem to act on its own and in the face of White House opposition.
Sarah Honig: Another Tack: It’s a rotten line
Nowhere in 242 was a Palestinian state ever mentioned. Neither was Jerusalem ever mentioned and certainly not the Johnny-come-lately demand that it be recognized as the Palestinian capital. According to today’s mind-blowing misrepresentation of 242, it isn’t as if the final borders are to be determined by future negotiations but that reinstating the June 4, 1967 lines is compulsory. This is the diktat. It must be implemented rather than discussed.
Gradually and deliberately, all the partial prudence mustered in 1967 was obfuscated and unconscionably warped. Resolution 242 was manipulatively deformed into the quasi-religious two-state doctrine. The key UN Resolution was first calculatingly counterfeited as obliging Israel to a full and unconditional withdrawal from every inch beyond the 1967 starting line.
Later “fine-tuning” centered on the establishment of a Palestinian State with Jerusalem as its capital. Neither figment had yet been invented in 1967 but both are nowadays treated as if they were cardinal components of 242 from its inception.
With frequent repetitions, the two-state premise gains priority in indoctrinated psyches. Memory is reinforced with each tendentious news report and skewed analysis until the preaching becomes an axiomatic irrefutable precept.
This article addressed the pragmatic and realpolitic issues surrounding Jewish Settlements. The subject also has a substantive moral and legal dimension, for which the continued existence of settlements can be forcefully argued. For example, Article Six of the League of Nations/British Mandate charter explicitly allows for Jewish settlements.
Likewise, Jewish history and culture has not only been embedded in Judea and Samaria since ancient times, but to arguably an even greater extent than the rest of Israel, with of course the notable exception of East Jerusalem.
Yet we see an overt denial of any rights of residence for Jewish people in Judea and Samaria.
The frequent pronouncements, by a variety of Palestinian Authority officials, that Jewish people will not be allowed live in a future Arab-Palestinian state, are met with disinterest. More broadly speaking, there is no substantive expectation that Jewish people will or should be allowed stay in the region. Rather, there is unrelenting hostility to their presence. This popular anti-Israel Western position subscribes to overtly racial argumentation, for not only does it echo the NAZI concept of Judenrein living spaces, it goes further by extending the claim to a region where Jewish people possess an indigenous tie to the land.
Ultimately, a narrative focusing on settlement issues confuses a disturbing reality, in which hostility toward settlers is merely symptomatic of a broader malaise. This conflict is motivated by Israel’s very existence, as a principally Jewish State in Dar al-Islam, be it existing behind or beyond its Armistice Lines. (h/t Daphne Anson)
JPost Editorial: Israel’s PA predicament
Israel’s predicament yet again illustrates how detrimental decency can be in geopolitical jostling. The PA exploits Israeli forbearance and broadmindedness to demonize Israel and undermine its legitimacy. The PA’s Ramallah and Gaza City branches both know full well that Jerusalem can hurt them badly. At the same time, they feel free to chip away at Israel’s basic interests, because they are confident it will not employ the punitive powers available to it.
This breeds chutzpah in the PA, bolstered by the fact that Israel – while it suffers from the consequence of its decency – is being threatened by the American secretary of state with an apartheid-state stigma or with escalated BDS ostracism.
Thus Ramallah feels free to apply for state-status in a variety of UN-affiliated institutions and it can thumb its nose at Israel by cozying up to the Hamas terrorist fiefdom, despite the fact that Israel could instantly cripple the PA economy. Time after time, Ramallah and Gaza alike have been placing winning bets that Israel will not react in any serious way.
In recent months, the imperious US Secretary of State and others have warned Israel that unless it rapidly proceeds to establish a full-fledged Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria, the sky will come crashing down on the Jewish state.
The doomsday diviners are certain that unless the “two state solution” is promptly implemented, Israel will molder, or atrophy into apartheid and inch into isolation.
Well, guess what, they’re wrong. The wisdom and utility of a two-state settlement aside, its absence is not a catastrophe. Israel will continue to prosper and achieve, despite long-term lingering conflict with the Palestinians and notwithstanding the apocalyptic agonizing of well-meaning friends like John Kerry.
As Israel approaches its 66th Independence Day next week, it is important to emphasize and re-emphasize this; to shake off the bleak and sinister prognostications of our “friends” and enemies.
The demand for a return to pre-1967 borders is bizarre, to say the least. In 1967, there were no borders, just ceasefire lines drawn in 1948 — lines that symbolized an unstable status quo that led to two wars. Going back to them means returning to a situation that breeds war, not peace.
The “peace process” ignores a fact well established in human history: Every war ends with a winner and a loser; the winner dictates the new status quo and the loser grudgingly accepts.
Israel is perhaps the only winner to be prevented from even thinking about cashing its chips. Each time it won a war, the United Nations and other outsiders intervened to put the whole thing on a different trajectory.
The only way out of the impasse is for Israel to do what winners do: Shape the status quo that suits it.
Indeed, Israeli negotiators were willing to work with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and his team on the wording of the desired declaration, towards a formula that would have described the Jewish people’s and the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination in precisely equivalent terms, and would have also included phrases to guarantee the rights of Israel’s Arab minority.
The Palestinians, however, were adamant in refusing to consider the idea.
Unlike Western policymakers and public-opinion molders, Arab leaders never doubted Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ core ideology. Therefore, they deny him adequate financial support while the Arab oil-producing countries provide Egypt multibillion dollar assistance. Similarly, during the 1980s, Saudi Arabia provided Afghanistan’s Muslim rebels a billion dollars in annual aid, while extending Palestine Liberation Organization Chairman Yassir Arafat a mere $100 million annual aid, which was cut off following Arafat’s and Abbas’ August 1990 betrayal of Kuwait, when they collaborated with Iraqi President Saddam Hussein’s invasion of the sheikhdom. Moreover, Arab countries did not support the PLO and Hamas during their grand confrontations with Israel: the first and second intifadas, the Lebanon War and the series of wars in Gaza.
The Arab attitude toward Abbas is driven by Abbas’ track record of intra-Arab subversion and terrorism. For example, during the late 1950s, Abbas and Arafat fled Egypt for subversion and terrorism, committed as key Muslim Brotherhood activists. In 1966, they fled Syria to Jordan, following their murdering a number of Syrian intelligence officers. In 1970, they were expelled from Jordan to Lebanon, following their attempt to topple Jordan’s Hashemite regime, which ignited a brutal civil war. By 1975, they plundered large parts of southern Lebanon, aiming to overthrow the central regime in Beirut, which triggered the Syrian invasion of Lebanon, a series of civil wars and the destruction of Lebanon. In 1990, Palestinian intelligence cells in Kuwait and Palestinian battalions in Iraq facilitated Saddam’s invasion of Kuwait, which since 1960 was the preferred safe haven for 300,000 Palestinian relatives and allies of Arafat and Abbas. As a result of that egregious betrayal, Kuwait expelled over 200,000 Palestinians. No Arab leader protested that expulsion!.
Rival political parties Hamas and Fatah will immediately release political prisoners belonging to the other group, expanding political freedom in territories under their respective control, a Hamas parliamentarian said on Thursday.
Ismail Al-Ashqar, a member of the freedoms committee established under the reconciliation agreement Fatah and Hamas signed last week, told Hamas’s Al-Resalah newspaper that five of the 10 issues discussed in the first committee meeting Wednesday will be implemented even before a government took shape. According to the deal, a technocrat unity government was to be formed within five weeks.
During an Arab wedding procession in Jerusalem’s Old City on Thursday night, the Jewish state’s 3,000-year-old capital bore witness to a multitude of terrorist organization flags.
Participants in the wedding, who received permission from the police to hold the procession in the Old City, waved the flags of terror groups including Hezbollah, Al Qaeda, and Hamas, alongside the flag of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).
As they marched with the flags, the Arab revelers chanted slogans insulting Israel and Judaism, such as “even with the rifle, the (‘Palestinian’) nation will live and will not die,” and “we will write on the pistol: Al-Aqsa (Jerusalem) is holy to us.”
While many diplomats in the European Union are hailing the unity agreement between Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas as a necessary step for peace, the EU’s Ambassador to Israel qualified that praise with a stark reminder of the nature of Hamas.
In remarks made to the Israeli news site Walla, Ambassador Lars Faaborg-Andersen said:
“Reconciliation was necessary for the holding of long overdue elections that are vital for ensuring the development of a culture of democratic accountability in a future Palestinian state. As far as Hamas is concerned, I don’t see any difference between our position and Israel’s. It is a terrorist organization and will remain so as long as it is committed to violence.”
The official, Azzam Al-Ahmed, is a member of the Fatah Central Committee, and has been tasked with overseeing the reconciliation with Hamas. That unity deal led Israel to implement sanctions and cut off all diplomatic ties, including the suspension of peace talks, last Thursday.
Speaking to the Saudi news source Al Madina, Ahmed warned that a total cessation of contact with Israel would lead to the collapse of the PA, and would transfer all responsibility for management of Judea and Samaria to Israel.
The nation’s leading pro-Israel lobbying group will not support new legislation that would cut off U.S. aid to the Palestinians, according to multiple sources tracking the debate.
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the country’s top pro-Israel outfit, is not supporting new legislation by Sen. Rand Paul (R., Ky.) that would cut off aid to the Palestinian government following its decision to form a unity government with the terror group Hamas.
Paul brought his Stand with Israel Act to the Senate floor this afternoon to ask for a unanimous consent vote aimed at expediting action on the measure, according to sources tracking the bill. (h/t MtTB)
Police say an Afula woman whose lifeless body was found with multiple stab wounds was likely the victim of a nationalistically motivated attack.
Shelley Dadon, 19, was found in a parking lot in the Lower Galilee town of Migdal Haemek on Thursday afternoon. Her body had signs of serious trauma, including stab wounds, police said.
On Friday, police officials said they were keeping all possibilities open in the continuing investigation into Dadon’s death, but evidence was mounting that she was killed for nationalistic reasons, Israel Radio reported.
An infant was left with light injuries after stones were thrown at the bus he was riding in on Thursday night.
The perpetrators of the rock throwing attack have yet to be located, but the incident occurred near Jerusalem’s Givat Ze’ev neighborhood, which is located in the north of the city and surrounded by Arab neighborhoods.
Lowenstein Hospital in Ra’anana agreed to take the court’s suggestion and allow Adelle Biton, the three-year-old infant who was critically injured nearly a year ago by Arab terrorists, to stay at the hospital for another four months.
Adelle suffered a critical head injury last March, when Arab terrorists threw rocks at her family’s car as they were driving near Ariel in Samaria. The infant miraculously pulled through and survived despite life-threatening wounds, but aside from a few brief reprieves has remained hospitalized for recuperation.
During the coming four months, the family will try to find an alternate solution for the infant, who has not fully recovered and remains only partially conscious.
Israel summoned Jordan’s ambassador Thursday to protest an “anti-Israeli” article by a former Jordanian foreign minister, in which he based his argument on a Hitler quote, the foreign ministry said.
Spokesman Yigal Palmor said Israel’s embassy in Amman also sent the foreign ministry there an official protest over an article published on Monday by Kamel Abu Jaber in The Jordan Times.
In the second paragraph of the article titled “The big Zionist lie and the task ahead”, Abu Jaber, foreign minister from 1991 to 1993, uses a quote from Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf to make a point about lying — in “the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility”.
In an article published March 25, 2014, Palestinian Jordanian columnist As’ad Al-‘Azouni claimed that Israel sends mice and wild boars to Jordan in order to ruin the agriculture there, and that it previously did so in Egypt as well.
Al-‘Azouni is known for publishing antisemitic articles, some of which have been translated and published by MEMRI. For example, in May 2011 he wrote that Jews and peace are antithetical and that Jews are to blame for all wars, corruption, and plots; in May 2012 he claimed that the Talmud is the source of Jewish enmity towards Christianity and Christians; in October of that year he wrote that the Jews signed a deal with Hitler to establish a country in Palestine, and in April 2013 he accused the Jews of being behind the Boston bombing and September 11. The first of these articles (the one published in May 2011) led to his dismissal from the daily Al-Arab Al-Yawm; Al-‘Azouni later wrote that he had been fired because this article had been published on the MEMRI website.
Tunisian Journalist: MEMRI Will Accuse Us of Antisemitism If We Prevent Entry of Israeli Tourists
On April 20, 2014, the Gazan e-daily Dunya Al-Watan (alwatanvoice.com) posted an article by journalist Muhammad Mahmoud ‘Awad on the establishment of a unit of armed female Fatah fighters in Gaza who are undergoing military training and participating in operations against Israel. The members of the unit, called Fidaayat Al-Aqsa, appear in the photos with their faces covered and wearing yellow Fatah headbands. The article presents them as Palestinian freedom fighters, and stresses that they are partners of the men not only in “managing the affairs of the family” and in the “practical training of the [next] generations of the resistance,” but also in carrying out “Palestinian resistance in Gaza.”
These women, it adds, strive to be “an important part of the path of jihad and struggle which was also taken by Dalal Al-Mughrabi, Hanadi Jaradat, and Rim Al-Riyashi.
Mashaal spoke by phone on Wednesday at the funeral of the brothers Adel and Imad Awadallah, two former leaders from the 1990s of Al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’s military branch.
“We have no history and no future other than in jihad and struggle, and beside the path of the struggle, we are also working actively on the path of diplomatic policy and popular mass struggle,” remarked Mashaal.
The Hamas leader explained that aside from jihad, Hamas supports also “pursuing the Zionist entity in international courts and the United Nations (UN).”
The International Criminal Court (ICC) said on Thursday it had rejected a bid by the Muslim Brotherhood of deposed president Mohammed Morsi to probe the military’s alleged crimes against humanity in Egypt, AFP reports.
“A communication seeking to accept the jurisdiction of the ICC over Egypt has been dismissed as not presented on behalf of the concerned State,” the ICC said in a statement quoted by the news agency.
They’ve been quick to claim bombings across Cairo in recent months, targeting security and police officials, but now Egyptian jihadist group Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis (or ‘Supporters of Jerusalem’) has another target in mind.
A soft drinks giant.
On Friday, the Sinai-based group threatened to attack Pepsi Co. for allegedly allowing the Interior Ministry to use their company vans to transport detainees.
“You know who we are and what we can do,” the group addressed the company on Twitter. “This is the last warning and after this, Pepsi Co. can only blame itself. By God, we will not tolerate working with the police whatever the client, the amount and status.”
Senator Patrick J. Leahy, chairman of the Senate subcommittee that oversees foreign aid, said Tuesday that he would not support additional military aid to Egypt in the wake of mass death sentences handed out by Egyptian courts this week, adding significant pressure on the Obama administration to shift course.
For months, Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky, has led a lonely effort to sever American support to one of its most stalwart allies in the Middle East after the military’s overthrow of Egypt’s elected Islamist government. That push appears to be gaining steam.
“I’m not prepared to sign off on the delivery of additional aid for the Egyptian military,” Mr. Leahy, a Vermont Democrat, said on the Senate floor. “I’m not prepared to do that until we see convincing evidence the government is committed to the rule of law.”
Egyptian outlets on Tuesday carried reports that Saudi Arabia would – per a writeup in the English-language Egypt Independent – “announce a large aid package to Egypt if former Defense Minister Abdel Fattah al-Sisi wins the elections,” a scenario that analysts broadly if not universally anticipate will play out.
Saudi officials reportedly indicated that Sisi’s mere election would however be inadequate, and that they would only release resources to Cairo if the rest of Egypt’s political institutions visibly supported him.
The news emerges amid several other moves by the Saudis to bolster both the conventional and potentially nonconventional deterrents of the Arab world in response to what they perceive to be inadequate American concerns over Shiite expansionism.