06/06 Links Pt1: FM lauds Australia for dropping ‘occupied’ Jerusalem label; False Palestinian Unity
“The Palestinians handled this very badly. Such disagreements are usually handled in private,” the senior Australian source said, adding that the Palestinians’ behavior partially led to Canberra’s announcement this week to no longer refer to East Jerusalem as “occupied.” “Erekat’s letter was quite personal and does not reflect the way senior officials would usually write to each other. Apparently, they don’t put much stock in their relationship with Australia, and don’t really have appreciation for our financial support.”
Canberra also has not welcomed the establishment of the new Palestinian unity government, which is backed by Hamas – as the UN, the EU, and many countries have – but also has not severed ties with the PA, as Jerusalem would have liked. Aid will continue to flow to the new government, and Australian officials traveling to the region will continue to visit their counterparts in Ramallah. At the same time, Australia does not bar officials from meeting Israeli officials in East Jerusalem, as opposed to most other countries. (h/t Yoel)
Lieberman lauded Brandis’ stance as a “serious approach to the issue,” adding that the former’s remarks were “free of populism or efforts to kiss up to extreme Islamists, who terrorize anyone who dares tell the truth about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”
“The territories [in question] have been part of Jewish history for thousands of years and were never a part of any Palestinian state, which never actually existed,” Lieberman went on to say.
Lieberman concluded with the hope that “additional countries will find the integrity and courage shown by the government of Australia.”
Judea and Samaria are not Palestinian land; at the very most there is debate about them. We also demand full ownership of them. Our historic, legal, and religious rights to them are greater than those of Saeb Erekat and Abbas.
The fight to legitimize our hold on the land of our life depends to a large degree on our determined activity and a righteous stance. The government in Australia changed, and along with it the definition of construction in east Jerusalem. It is no longer “occupied territory” but Israeli territory, the Jewish people’s only homeland.
Caroline Glick: Ending Abbas’s winning streak
The fact is that Israel has gotten nothing from playing along with American coddling of Abbas. It receives less support from Obama every day. And its willingness to go along to get along has demoralized and angered the Republicans who oppose what Obama is doing. It has given cover to Democrats who are loath to oppose the White House.
The time has come for Israel to stop playing this game, where the PLO gets to materially breach its agreements and so render them effectively null and void, while Israel, the sucker, keeps upholding them.
The time has come for Israel to stop collecting tax revenues for the PA. All of the money Israel collects and transfers to the PA is now serving Hamas directly.
And it isn’t enough to keep collecting, but stop transferring the revenues. The monies always end up being transferred eventually.
The only way to end this is by actually ceasing to serve as the PA’s taxman.
Obama won’t like it. But what’s he going to do? Facilitate Iran’s nuclear weapons program? Blame Israel for Palestinian aggression against it? Recognize and fund Hamas? The only way to get off this train is to get off. And disembarking is also the only way to impact US behavior. No single act by Israel will do more to empower the US Congress to stop funding the Palestinians than that.
And once that happens, a virtuous circle is formed, where at a minimum, Abbas’s winning streak will end.
On May 19 I spoke about my book, The Israeli Solution, in Washington, for The Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET). Video of the speech and a separate video of the question-and-answer session is below.
Sarah Honig Temper Tantrum Tactics
The truth is that neither Abbas, his newfound bedfellows in Gaza nor the masses in both Palestinian Authority halves, remotely desire co-existence side-by-side with a Jewish state. Their aim is the piecemeal Arabization of the de facto entity temporarily called Israel (which is why they won’t concede Jewish-state legitimacy) or its vanquishment as al-Daana anticipates.
In either case the idea is for an Arab Palestine to devastate and supplant the Jewish state.
If Kerry doesn’t realize this, then he’s even more incompetent than is generally presumed. If he realizes this but doesn’t care, then we can only conclude that his temper tantrums had effectively cancelled out any residual reason and self-control.
Half of Israeli Jews oppose annexing parts of the West Bank, but almost the same amount would back such a move, according to the Israel Democracy Institute and Tel Aviv University’s monthly Peace Index Poll, published Thursday.
The poll showed 49 percent of Israeli Jews and 72% of Israeli Arabs disagree with the idea that “Israel should officially annex the areas that are important to it for settlement and security in Judea and Samaria,” but 43% of Israeli Jews and 18% of Israeli Arabs agree with the statement.
Most Israeli Jews (60%) oppose unilateral withdrawal from substantial parts of the West Bank, while 25% support it. The opposite trend exists with Israeli Arabs; 68% favor it and 21% oppose. Of those who favor unilateral withdrawal, 77% are left-wing.
The Israeli government on Thursday ordered officials to move forward with plans for another 1,800 settler homes, just hours after issuing tenders for 1,500 housing units, an official said.
“The political echelon has ordered the Civil Administration to advance 1,800 new (housing) units,” the Israeli official told AFP on condition of anonymity, referring to a Defense Ministry unit responsible for all West Bank planning issues.
The order relates to construction in 10 settlements across the West Bank, all of which are at different stages of the planning process.
Israeli government sources said Thursday they were shocked by the international community’s condemnation of new settlement tenders, and contrasted this criticism with what they termed the untenable international readiness to work with the new Hamas-backed Palestinian unity government.
“It is mystifying that in the international community there are those who say that a Palestinian government which has a murderous terrorist organization as a member can advance peace,” the Israeli sources said, “while at the same time there are those in the international community who claim that construction in Jerusalem, the capital of Israel, and in other places that the Palestinians know will remain under Israeli sovereignty in any future arrangement is a step that we must reverse,”
The Palestinian Authority demanded Thursday that Washington take “serious steps” against Israeli settlement building, and promised an “unprecedented” response, after the Jewish state announced plans to build 1,500 new homes in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
“It is time for the American administration to take serious steps against what the government of Israel is doing,” Nimr Hammad, an adviser to PA President Mahmoud Abbas, told AFP.
The meetings were held between U.S. intermediaries and Hamas’ leadership, which lives outside the Gaza Strip in third-party countries ranging from Egypt to Qatar and Jordan. Topics included the ceasefire agreement with Israel and the recently formed unity government between Hamas and Fatah.
During the talks, Hamas gave assurances that allowed the U.S. to support the unity government, despite heavy pressure by the Israeli government for them to condemn it, the diplomatic officials — one American and one Palestinian — said. They said those assurances including a commitment to maintaining a ceasefire with Israel.
State Department deputy spokesman Marie Harf denied the talks. “These assertions are completely untrue,” Harf told BuzzFeed. “There is no such back channel. Our position on Hamas has not changed.” (h/t Yoel)
The Obama Administration, however, has signaled it is ready to continue funding the new Hamas-infused Palestinian Authority.
Therefore, all eyes now fall on Lowey. For her, this is a leadership moment. Will she break with her party and the Administration?
Lowey’s personal and legislative feelings have been made abundantly clear. “At this point, the law is clear, their actions are clear, and the path forward is clear,” Rep. Nita Lowey told the JTA news service immediately after news of the Hamas union became known in late April. Monday, June 2, after the unification ceremony finished in Ramallah, Lowey issued this short warning: “I am deeply disappointed with the announcement today of a Palestinian government that includes the terrorist organization Hamas. As long as Hamas rejects the Quartet principles and the existence of the State of Israel, United States funding for this unity government is in jeopardy.”
On a conference call with reporters on Friday, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) called his trip to Israel “the most amazing trip I’ve ever been on” and expressed his belief that peace is still possible.
However, Manchin also made clear which side he believed needed to change to make peace possible.
“Netanyahu recognizes the right of Palestine to have a state and sovereignty,” Manchin said. “But I don’t see a pathway to negotiations that will lead to peace unless the Palestinians are able to acknowledge that the Jewish people of Israel have a right to their state.”
Despite the current “unity” discourse, the Palestinians remain as divided as before. The only true test for “unity” of a political entity is monopoly over the use of force. As long as the military branch of Hamas remains independent, there is no unity; just evidence of the “Somalization” of Palestinian politics. Islamic Jihad also remains fiercely independent in Gaza, as well as other jihadist organizations. In fact, under the current accord, instead of the PA regaining lost Gaza, Hamas is gaining better access to the West Bank.
Unfortunately, what is happening in the Palestinian territories is part of a larger phenomenon characteristic of much of the Arab world before and after the so-called “Arab Spring.” Lebanon, Somalia Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen and even Egypt are plagued by a plethora of militias eroding the exclusive control of the central authorities. It is not clear to what extent are Palestinians able to move beyond this general Arab political malaise. (h/t Bob Knot)
Given these disturbing developments, StandWithUs urges the U.S., EU, Canada, and Japan to abide by their designation of Hamas as a terrorist group until it accepts the Quartet’s conditions. StandWithUs supports U.S. Congressional demands that the US comply with the Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act of 2006 which prohibits funding “the terrorist organization Hamas or a Hamas-controlled Palestinian Authority” until it accepts the Quartet’s principles. StandWithUs also calls on Congress to exercise greater oversight of U.S. aid to the PA to ensure it does not support funding for Palestinian terrorism.
“The Hamas-Fatah pact is a recipe for disaster. It promotes the pretense that Hamas is a potential peace partner when in fact, Hamas upholds its racist violent charter which calls for the murder of Jews and destruction of Israel,” said Roz Rothstein, StandWithUs CEO. “We will continue our work educating the public about Israel and the enemies it faces who endanger not just Israel, but also other liberal democracies and the values they wish to advance.”
“Spoken to Palestinian Prime Minister Hamdallah to congratulate him and welcome the formation of a new government,” Hague tweeted.
He added, “Discussed Gaza with PM Hamdallah – I hope it will now be possible to improve humanitarian situation in Gaza and advance the peace process.”
If Abbas fails to do so, it will be clear that the reconciliation is a farce meant to fool the world, Ya’alon said at a meeting with foreign military attachés in Israel, according to Israel Radio,
Ya’alon added that, although Israel desires peace, it is not willing to deceive itself. He blamed the PA for its unwillingness to recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state, and to reach an agreement that will end the conflict for good.
Yesterday the Palestinian Authority announced the formation of a unity government together with the terrorist organization Hamas. Though State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki announced that the U.S. would “work with” the new regime, Israeli officials as well as an array of U.S. lawmakers are deeply skeptical that doing so would be possible—or even legal. Here are a few reasons why.
The Gaza-based group lauded what it called “the shooting attack that took place at the Tapuach Junction in eastern Shechem that led to the death of Alaa Mahmoud Odeh and the wounding of a Zionist soldier,” Ma’ariv said.
Israeli troops shot and killed Odeh, 31, of the village of Awartaa when he pulled out a pistol and opened fire on them, near midnight.
But while Hamas hailed the shooting attack as “heroic,” rival-turned-partner Fatah denied that he was armed. (h/t Yenta Press)
The PA has been paying monthly salaries to nearly 70,000 public servants in Gaza despite the fact that the workers had not been allowed to serve in their positions since Hamas took over the Strip by force in 2007.
On its part, Hamas has employed 40,000 of its own civil servants to work in the PA employees’ stead.
Following the establishment of a Hamas-Fatah unity government earlier this week, Hamas’s employees were expected to begin receiving salaries from the PA itself, while the original PA employees were set to take up again their former posts. However, when the Hamas civil servants approached the banks in order to receive their salaries, they were turned away. Some Hamas employees then proceeded to block entrance to the banks in protest.
The arrests came despite the establishment earlier this week of a unity government between Hamas and Fatah, which controls the PA.
The arrests came ahead of a call by Hamas on Thursday for a general strike in Hebron to mark the annual Naksa Day, or “Day of the Setback,” on June 5, commemorating Israel’s victory in the 1967 Six Day War. During the war Israeli forces captured East Jerusalem, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, the Golan Heights and the Sinai Peninsula.
Several of the detainees were former prisoners held by Israel, according to Internet sites affiliated with Hamas.
On June 2, Hamas and Fatah formed a unity government in the Palestinian Authority after many months of reconciliation talks, with Hamas nominally dissolving its government in the Gaza Strip. The move represents the fruit of a long internal debate within the group’s higher echelons regarding its future course. Rather than adhering to the seven-year-old strategy of prioritizing exclusive control of “Fortress Gaza” with no serious effort to heal the rift with Fatah in the West Bank, Hamas leaders have now changed tack toward a different program: transplanting the Hezbollah model from Lebanon to Palestine.
For Hamas, this means integrating into the general political system while retaining independent, well-equipped armed forces and striving to maintain control of Gaza through its existing grip on local bureaucracy, its wide network of social institutions, and, of course, its 20,000 well-trained military cadres and security personnel.
Isolated in the region and facing a major economic crisis in Gaza, Hamas ceded power to gain breathing space and recuperate, and will remain in the background politically, analysts told AFP Tuesday.
The Islamist movement will instead work at the grass roots level to build up military, financial and social strength while, under the guise of a Palestinian unity deal, it takes refuge under the wing of the internationally recognized Palestine Liberation Organization.
The “Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People” meeting was opened by Abdou Salam Diallo, the Senegalese Chairman of the Committee, who praised the PLO deal with the terror organization, Hamas, as a “significant development”.
After that the Palestinian UN Ambassador Riyad Mansour was given the floor. He was “delighted” that PLO-Hamas government is “enjoying support from day one of almost everyone.”
Next the Palestinian ambassador referred to the creation of the State of Israel as a “catastrophe”. In his words: “What happened to us on May 15 1948 is a catastrophe that led to the creation of tragedy…”.
He finished his speech with declaring the “holy city Jerusalem the capital of our own state.”
French police were warned that Brussels shooting suspect Mehdi Nemmouche posed a danger to European security after spending time in Syria, but failed to act on the intelligence before the May 24 shooting that left four people dead, according to a report in the weekly French news magazine Le Nouvel Observateur.
According to the report, Nemmouche was spotted at the airport in Frankfurt by the German police on March 18 on his way back from Syria, who allegedly warned their French counterparts that Nemmouche was labeled a “danger to national security.”
Last week’s deadly shooting at the Jewish Museum in Brussels allegedly by Mehdi Nemmouche should not be whitewashed by the Globe as an attack by a “militant” who “raid(ed)” a Jewish museum.
There is no place for this kind of sanitization of outright terror which saw an Israeli couple, a French woman, and a 24-year-old Belgian man murdered in cold blood.
It’s time for the world and for our news organizations to call terror by its rightful name.
Police officers on Tuesday tried to arrest a nine-year-old boy for prostrating himself in prayer on the Temple Mount. They were stopped in their tracks by the boy’s mother, who as luck would have it is an attorney.
Former MK Dr. Michael Ben-Ari organized the group of roughly 100 Jews visiting the holiest site in Judaism on Tuesday ahead of Shavuot, the Jewish holiday celebrating the giving of the Torah in which Jews traditionally ascended to the Holy Temple. After originally being informed he would be blocked from visiting the site, Ben-Ari reported on Facebook he had been allowed in.
Ben-Ari on Tuesday posted video of the altercation on Facebook, and lauded it as a case of “taking police to school on the Temple Mount.” He noted that when confronted by the lawyer mother, the officers were sent switching “from threats to stuttering.” (h/t Yenta Press)
A video uploaded to an Arab account on Facebook shows just how impossible the IDF’s job of policing Palestinian Arab rioters has become, after decades in which a sophisticated leftist-Arab effort has made it almost impossible for them to use live fire against their foes.
The video shows two Border Policemen arresting a rioter and attempting to put him in their jeep. However, he resists the arrest, and a group of his comrades presses up against the policemen, confident in the knowledge that the chance they will be fired upon is next to nil. (h/t Bob Knot)
Security officials on Wednesday night foiled a stabbing attempt outside an IDF base in the Binyamin region. The stabber attempted to attack a soldier outside the base, lunging at him and shouting out anti-Israel and anti-Semitic epithets.
Security forces intervened and arrested the perpetrator. There were no injuries in the incident, which came a day before Palestinian Arabs mark “Naksa Day”, to mourn the Israeli victory in the 1967 Six Day War.
Arabs threw stones and firebombs in 64 attack throughout Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem over the Shavuot holiday, according to News0404
The stones and firebombs were thrown at the army and at drivers on the road.
Israeli police raided the Jerusalem studios of the Palestinian Authority (PA) TV on Friday, briefly detaining three staff for questioning over incitement to violence according to a police spokesperson.
“Police carried out searches at the headquarters of the television channel, as part of an investigation into the content of its programs,” spokesperson Luba Samri told AFP.
“Three employees were arrested, questioned and released,” Samri added, saying “no programs were interrupted and the investigation is ongoing.”
Police reportedly investigated the TV station over suspicion that it was broadcasting “incitements to violence.”
A senior Fatah official was reportedly injured on Thursday while taking part in a violent “Naksa Day” riot, in which protesters threw stones at IDF forces at the Kalandia checkpoint just north of Jerusalem.
The official, Mustafa Barghouti, is the General Secretary of the Palestine National Initiative, a member of the Palestinian Authority (PA) parliament, and member of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Central Council.
According to the Arab Ma’an News Agency, Barghouti was injured in his right leg by stun grenades thrown by IDF soldiers to clear the riots he was part of.