09/05 Links Pt2: Glick: The dilemma of the Jewish leftist; Will Fact Ever Displace Anti-Israel Fiction?
Caroline Glick: The dilemma of the Jewish leftist
Freedland argued that as the two-state solution becomes more and more remote, liberal Zionists “will have to decide which of their political identities matters more, whether they are first a liberal or first a Zionist.”
But this is of course absurd. The only way a person can uphold liberal values is by being a Zionist. Israel is the only country in the region that is a human rights-respecting liberal democracy that is governed by the rule of law.
What is becoming more and more difficult is being a Zionist while being a leftist. As the Left becomes more and more tied to Islamic fanatics, anti-Semitism is going to become more and more of a staple of leftist dogma. And that anti-Semitism will express itself first and foremost as a virulent rejection of Israel and of Jews who refuse to disavow and condemn the Jewish state.
Sotloff reportedly maintained faith with his Judaism in secret while in captivity. He refused food on Yom Kippur and secretly prayed toward Jerusalem.
In so doing, he showed that the evil that controlled him physically, could not penetrate his soul. For this he died a Jewish hero.
Ever since Lawrence Summers asserted that the divestment movement proposals were “anti-Semitic in their effect, if not in their intent,” we have had a model to use in examining the prejudicial implications of BDS in a more thoughtful way. That does not mean that every divestment proposal is anti-Semitic, but it does help us see why people who advocate the elimination of Israel as a Jewish state are promoting a goal that has anti-Semitic effects.
Arguments that Jews have no ancient connection to the land, that Israelites and Hebrews never existed — positions that some academic BDS advocates promote — also have an anti-Semitic component. The demand that the citizens of Israel give up their right to political self-determination and the unsupportable assertion that the Israeli government is an exceptionally egregious human rights violator are also consciously or unconsciously underwritten by the long-term history of anti-Semitism and the history of efforts to isolate and “other” the Jewish people.
Elliott Abrams: What Now for Israel?
“The status quo is unsustainable,” President Obama said of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict soon after taking office in 2009. “The status quo is unsustainable,” then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told AIPAC in March 2010. “The status quo is unsustainable and unacceptable,” United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon averred in 2013. This year, Secretary of State John Kerry, with his customary light touch, informed the Munich Security Conference: “Today’s status quo absolutely, to a certainty, I promise you 100-percent, cannot be maintained. It’s not sustainable.”
What is usually meant by this assertion is something quite specific: that in the “occupied territories” of Gaza and the West Bank, a Palestinian state must very soon be erected—or else. “It is critical for us to advance a two-state solution where Israelis and Palestinians can live side-by-side in their own states in peace and security,” Obama added in that 2009 statement. He has repeated the line endlessly, and so has every world leader except for Iran’s Ayatollah Khamenei (who has a rather different objective in mind).
But 66 years after the founding of the state of Israel, and 47 years after Israel conquered the West Bank and Gaza, the status quo has once again confirmed its (relative) merits, while a history of repeated efforts to upend it precipitously has once again exposed an often reckless folly. The status quo has outlasted the cold war, the Oslo-fed dreams of a “new Middle East,” and the hopes for an Arab Spring; it has endured decades of war and intifada, and has proved more durable than many of the leaders and regimes who have insisted that it cannot and must not be sustained. Israelis who spent this past summer dodging Hamas rockets and sending their sons to fight in Gaza must wonder, not for the first time, why it is “critical” to implement Obama’s solution to their problems rather than to defeat terrorism and more broadly the ceaseless Arab and Muslim assaults on the Jewish state. Why are these not the status quo that the whole world agrees is unsustainable?
Melanie Phillips: The false equation of Jew-hatred and Islamophobia
The Board of Deputies of British Jews, the main representative body of the Jewish community in the UK, managed last week to get itself into a terrible mess.
It issued a joint statement with the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), which not only stated that the Middle East conflict must not poison community relations but also condemned “the targeting of civilians” which was “against our religious traditions.”
This unspecific formulation implied the Board was condemning Israel as well as Hamas for having targeted civilians in Operation Protective Edge. In the row that then erupted, the Board protested that the phrase could only relate to Hamas since Israel never targeted civilians.
But the MCB claimed the Board had agreed the phrase covered both sides. So the Board enabled the MCB to crow – falsely but plausibly – that the Jews had condemned Israel for war crimes.
People were left scratching their heads at how the Board could have been quite so foolish; indeed, how it could have collaborated at all with the MCB which, along with its affiliates, has links to Islamic extremists, a history of support for Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood and whose past leaders have described Israel as “the Zionist terrorist state.”
The explanation lies at root in the UK Jewish leadership’s misguided and dangerous strategy for dealing with Britain’s Muslims.
Anti-Israel propaganda has been driven from the start by lies distortions and a massive rewriting of history. Blame for everything is piled on the Jews, while the crimes of the Arabs, including the Palestinians, are exonerated.
The American Vice-Consul, along with British officers and the British High Commissioner, Sir Alan Cunningham, stated at the time that the Arabs were encouraging flight while the Jews were doing all in their power to prevent it.
The Hagana’s behavior was the exact opposite of “ethnic cleansing.” Once order was restored, Arabs were appointed to key posts and part of the supplies originally earmarked for the Jewish inhabitants were given freely to the Arabs.
Michael Lumish: “Thank You” to two non-Jewish friends of the Jewish people
I just want to take a moment to thank two non-Jewish friends of the Jewish people who have recently come to some prominence in the ongoing conversation around the Arab-Israel conflict.
Ryan Bellerose is a Native-American Canadian activist, athlete, and writer who has spoken consistently to the idea that Arabs, as a conquering power, cannot claim indigenous status to the land of Israel. After all, if Arabs can make this claim viz-a-viz Jews then why cannot Europeans claim indigenous status in the Americas?
Certainly Chloe Valdary is admirable in this regard and was, in fact, physically assaulted for her advocacy.
Her voice is like a bell in the night.
How is it that a young African-American woman from the US south, not even out of college, yet, understands what most Jewish people seem not to about our own people and has the cajones to stand up before the world and speak that truth?
What Bellerose and Valdary understand is that the struggle for Jewish sovereignty and self-determination is part-and-parcel of the ongoing movement for social justice and universal human rights.
Thus UNRWA has one staffer for every 167 Palestinians while UNHCR has one for every 4,163 non-Palestinians, and UNRWA has $260 for every Palestinian while UNHCR has $148 for every non-Palestinian. Yet the needs of the people UNHCR cares for–who have lost their homes, their jobs and their entire lives–are incomparably greater than those of the Palestinians, most of whom lead completely normal lives.
Much has been written, correctly, about how UNRWA helps perpetuate the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. But to my mind, the greater outrage is the degree to which UNRWA diverts international money and attention from those who need it desperately–like the Syrian refugees–to those who don’t need it at all, like the many Palestinian “refugees” who became Jordanian citizens decades ago.
And unlike the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, this is a problem the West can easily solve. Western nations provide most of UNRWA’s budget, so all they have to do is reallocate this money–some to UNHCR, and some, at least initially, to Jordan, the Palestinian Authority, and perhaps Lebanon, to cushion the shock of suddenly having to provide health, education, and welfare services to millions of people who currently receive those services from UNRWA.
Then, with five million faux refugees out of the picture, perhaps the real ones will finally get the attention they deserve.
Britain. In 2006, a poll for the Sunday Telegraph found that 40% of British Muslims wanted shariah law in the United Kingdom, and that 20% backed the 7/7 bombers. Another poll from that year showed that 45% of British Muslims said that 9/11 was an American/Israeli conspiracy; that poll showed that one-quarter of British Muslims believed that the 7/7 bombings were justified.
Palestinian Areas. A poll in 2011 showed that 32% of Palestinians supported the brutal murder of five Israeli family members, including a three-month-old baby. In 2009, a poll showed that 78% of Palestinians had positive or mixed feelings about Osama Bin Laden. A 2013 poll showed 40% of Palestinians supporting suicide bombings and attacks against civilians. 89% favored sharia law. Currently, 89% of Palestinians support terror attacks on Israel.
In short, tens of millions of Muslims all over the world sympathize with the goals or tactics of terrorist groups – or both. That support is stronger outside the West, but it is present even in the West. Islamist extremism is not a passing or fading phenomenon – it is shockingly consistent over time. And the West’s attempts to brush off the ideology of fanaticism has been an overwhelming failure.
After the Egyptian government denied Roth entry into Egypt on the first anniversary of the killings, he magically raised the casualties that Human Rights Watch attributed to the Egyptian government, declaring on Facebook, “I went to Cairo to present Egypt’s leaders with evidence that police slaughtered 1,000 people at Rabaa Square. They wouldn’t even let me out of the airport.” If Human Rights Watch is a serious organization, it should confirm those killed with visits to the morgue, interviews with the families, and confirmation with state records and visits to graves. It shouldn’t, with a magic wand and in a fit of pique, imply that the numbers are chosen arbitrarily depending on the mood of the analyst.
Initially, Human Rights Watch documented “at least 377 [deaths], significantly higher than the latest Rab’a death toll of 288 announced by the Health Ministry.” With time, that number grew. In its final report, Human Rights Watch put the death toll they could confirm at 817. That’s bad enough (and the Egyptian government, for what it’s worth, places the death toll in the 600-person range). But Roth’s Facebook post on the Human Rights Watch page seems to simply inflate the numbers by 25 percent. Raising the death toll in a fit of anger out of the disrespect a researcher feels at the hands of a foreign government does nothing but diminish the legitimacy of Human Rights Watch’s research.
Confusion followed among Roth’s followers, who are unaccustomed to receiving information via his tweets that does not attempt to damn Israel, usually with a sarcastic remark for good measure. Several dozen replied asking what events Roth was referring to, as the story to which he linked did not feature wrongdoing by the Jewish State or its organs. Two even suggested an error in the link, and helpfully provided an alternative link to unsubstantiated accusations by Palestinian leaders that Israel was confiscating puppies in the West Bank and shooting the creatures in the presence of crying Palestinian children. Those posts were retweeted more than 10,000 times.
Within half an hour the stream of anti-Israel tweets had resumed, leaving Roth’s followers wondering the anomaly was merely a one-time deviation or presaged a new direction for the activist. “I do wish I knew what to expect,” said William Schabas, a Canadian human rights activist. “The world’s attention can only handle so many situations at once, so we have to maintain focus on the places that demand the most
urgent action. If we interpret that to mean an actual concern for human rights, that would mean more problems than we’re comfortable dealing with from our air-conditioned offices in New York and Geneva.”
“Ken Roth understands that, or I thought he did,” said Schabas. “Time will tell. If until that’s clarified a few million more people continue to have their rights trampled and their lives cut short, well, that’s what you get for the shortsighted decision to be oppressed by non-Jews.”
More Jews have left France for Israel so far this year than any other country, a leading Jewish group said on Friday, blaming a “climate of anti-Semitism.”
“France is today the leading country for Jewish emigration to Israel. It has never been before,” said Ariel Kandel, head of the French office of the Jewish Agency for Israel.
Kandel cited figures from the Israeli integration minister showing that, as of August 31, 4,566 Jews had left France for Israel this year.
This was ahead of Ukraine (3,252), Russia (2,632) and the United States (2,218).
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sent a letter to International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ) Executive Director Dr. Juergen Buehler last week, thanking the Christian Zionist organization for its support of Israel during Operation Protective Edge in Gaza.
“The support of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem has been a source of strength and encouragement for the citizens of Israel and the soldiers defending them,” Netanyahu wrote, Israel Hayom reported.
During Operation Protective Edge, the organization raised more than $277,000 for nine public bomb shelters for the residents of communities adjacent to the Israel-Gaza border, including Kibbutz Kfar Aza and the southern Bedouin village of Umm Batin.
Former Arkansas governor and GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee visited Gush Etzion on Thursday, days after Israel’s announcement that it would declare 4,000 dunams of land in the region as state land.
During the visit, Huckabee met with MK Danny Danon (Likud), who explained why it was inappropriate to use the term “annex” when referring to Israel’s declaration that the area is state land.
Danon’s explanation was simple: “You cannot annex something that belongs to you”.
“When Palestinians build neighborhoods in Hevron, it’s legitimate. But it’s also legitimate that Jews will build neighborhoods in Gush Etzion,” he told Huckabee.
Tens of thousands of Americans are expected to attend a pro-Israel rally scheduled to take place next month across from Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. The rally is being organized by former Arkansas governor and Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee.
The rally will be held on Oct. 5, the day after Yom Kippur, and it is expected to be the biggest in the United States since Operation Protective Edge began. Several members of Congress, as well as senators and other public figures, have already confirmed they will attend the rally.
Huckabee, who is currently visiting Israel, is expected to announce his candidacy for U.S. president within the next two months.
Falk’s reasons for assigning only Israel and none of the other nominated states “special case” status are outrageous and can be dismissed on the following grounds:
1. The “League initiatives” to which Falk refers is the Mandate for Palestine unanimously endorsed by the League of Nations in 1922. Syria, Lebanon and Iraq – products of the same Mandates system – are currently humanitarian and politically dysfunctional disaster areas. Yet Falk does not regard them as “special cases”.
2. The views of “the population physically present” were taken into account being both politically and violently expressed from the moment Britain assumed its role as Mandatory. Arab riots in 1920, 1929 and between 1936-1939 expressed opposition to the Jewish National Home. The 1922 decision on Transjordan, the 1937 Peel Commission, the 1939 White Paper restricting Jewish emigration to Palestine, and the 1947 United Nations Special Committee on Palestine all recommended changes to the Mandate’s stated policy to the detriment of the Jewish people.
3. Israel’s legitimacy was not established by the United Nations – but by the League of Nations, seven decades of State building and defeating six invading Arab armies in 1948.
Rivers, a staunch supporter of Israel who became a mainstay on American television defending the Jewish State over the summer, died in New York at age 81 Thursday. She was hospitalized August 28 after going into cardiac arrest in a doctor’s office following a routine procedure. The New York state health department is investigating the circumstances.
“Joan Rivers brought laughter to millions around the world and was proud of her Jewish heritage and a vocal supporter of the State of Israel,” Netanyahu said in a statement. “We will miss her deeply and we send our heartfelt condolences to her family.”
Rivers made waves recently after setting off on a lengthy pro-Israel rant when asked by TMZ for her opinion on this summer’s Gaza conflict, saying Hamas was to blame for the flare-up with Israel as “you cannot throw rockets and expect people not to defend themselves.”
She also said international press should be “ashamed” of their coverage of the conflict, which tends to favor the Palestinian narrative.
Other public figures also weighed in on the death of Rivers, a raucous, acid-tongued comedian who crashed the male-dominated realm of late-night talk shows and turned Hollywood red carpets into danger zones for badly dressed celebrities.
“Here’s a woman, a real pioneer for other women looking for careers in stand-up comedy. And talk about guts — she would come out here and sit in this chair and say some things that were unbelievable, just where you would have to swallow pretty hard… but it was hilarious… The force of her comedy was overpowering.” — Host David Letterman from the taping of Thursday’s “Late Show.”
“Our dear Joan is gone. Knowing her, working with her and enjoying the fun times of life with her was special. She will always be in our hearts…. Joan, we will miss you.” — Comedian Don Rickles in a statement.
“I never saw someone attack a stage with so much energy. She was a controlled lightning bolt. She was a prolific and unpredictable, joyful joke writer. She loved comedy. She loved the audience. She was a great actress and should have done that more. She loved living and working. She was kind. She was real. She was brave. She was funny and you just wanted to be around her. I looked up to her. I learned from her. I loved her. I liked her. And I already miss her very much.” — Comedian-actor-writer Louis C.K. in a statement.
“What a full life. Every woman in comedy is indebted to her. She was there at the beginning and funny to the end. RIP Joan” — Comedian-actress-writer Amy Poehler in a statement.
“My heart is torn in half. She wasn’t done.” — Comedian Sarah Silverman in a tweet.
Max Peltz, a student representative of the Alpha Epsilon Pi (AEPi) chapter at Ohio University took a strong and passionate stand against the bigotry of Student Union president Megyn Marzec, who hijacked the “ALS Ice Bucket Challenge” and dumped fake blood on herself in an effort to demonize Israel.
Peltz highlighted the factual inaccuracies in Marzec’s arguments and explained the evils that Israel encounters on a daily basis before calling on Marzec to remove the “embarrassing” video from the internet during a student senate meeting on Wednesday afternoon. In her video, Marzec called for the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel and falsely alleged that Israel was guilty of committing genocide.
He concluded by requesting that Marzec resign.
AEII Statement at Ohio University Student Senate
Dear President Theobald,
From the moment I walked into orientation as a new medical student at Temple University, I felt welcomed, and honored to be a member of the Temple community. Ever since, I have carried pride in my affiliation with Temple University and have always been eager to speak well of my experiences at the university.
And now, after over 10 years, today marked the first time my pride as a Temple alumna was shaken. “Kike.” “Baby-killer.” “Zionist pig.” “Stupid Jew.” And a punch in the face that brought a Jewish student, Daniel Vessal, to the same Temple University Hospital emergency department where I once rotated as a medical student. These are the actions taken at this year’s Templefest by representatives and alleged acquaintances of the campus student organization, Students for Justice in Palestine. Actions that the campus police responded to by merely sending the alleged assailant home.
The first thing one learns about Salaita is that very little of what he has written seems to have anything to do with the field of study in which he claims expertise and in which he was offered a job, American Indian Studies. Look at the shelf of works authored by Salaita and you’ll see Arab American Literary Fictions, Cultures and Politics; Anti-Arab Racism in the USA: Where it Comes from and What it Means for Politics Today; Modern Arab American Fiction: A Reader’s Guide; a review of a book about Hamas, in which Salaita refers to the terrorist group as “an often contradictory and always compelling social movement”; and other titles that have absolutely nothing to do with the Sioux or the Seminoles. Salaita’s most notable work about Native Americans, The Holy Land in Transit, compares them to the Palestinians. One could argue that such a dearth of publications in a scholar’s stated area of scholarship is telling; but for the sake of grace, let us ignore Salaita’s singular dedication to Palestinian and Arab political causes—an approach more befitting of an activist’s dogmatic and narrow focus than of a scholar’s commitment to curiosity and open-mindedness—and assume that his work transcends the boundaries of discipline and is somehow instructive even if not on topic.
Sadly, reading Salaita’s work does not reward such generosity of spirit. Take, for example, the title of his latest book: Israel’s Dead Soul. Given that the book was published by a serious university press and is therefore bound by more stringent expectations than the ones that govern Twitter, why the inflammatory title?
An article in the University at Buffalo student paper contained a number of anti-Semitic libels in a feature story on the return of the anti-Semitic campus group Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP).
“Manar Kustiro’s grandmother and aunt lived across the street from each other in Beit Hanina in Eastern Jerusalem,” wrote Athira Unni for The Spectrum. “But in 2000, the apartheid wall sprung up between the houses.”
The claim that Israel is an “apartheid state” like apartheid South Africa is used by enemies of the Jewish state to demonize Israel’s existence. Israel features a free and democratic society in which Jews, Christians and Muslims live freely side by side. Practicing Muslims serve in both the Israeli Supreme Court and in the Knesset (parliament).
The security fence was built to protect Israel’s citizens from the threat of Palestinian Islamist suicide bombers.
After explaining that SJP is attempting to get back onto the Buffalo campus, Unni clarifies that the group “is against the ideology of Zionism, which is the belief in the preservation and protection of the Israeli state.”
Yesterday’s Australian featured an article by its Middle East Correspondent John Lyons entitled “Hamas proposal for Israel peace plan”.
The story came entirely out of the blue and must surely be a journalistic coup for Lyons and the Australian Newspaper because hitherto there were no announcements of any meetings of the Hamas political leadership which is known to be spread among various parts of the Palestinian Territories and indeed the rest of the world from bunkers under Gazan hospitals to luxury hotels in Qatar. Not a single word about a meeting of all those minds to radically alter the group’s policies at a time when Hamas was basking in the glory of a defeat snatched from the jaws of defeat in its recent 50 day war with Israel.
Lyons’ piece comes conveniently at a time when Hamas desperately needs a public relations overhaul as evidence emerges thick and fast corroborating Israeli claims that Hamas did in fact set up the recent war, that it was responsible for the killings of the Israeli teenagers and the increase in rocket fire at Israeli civilian targets, that it squandered millions of dollars of foreign humanitarian aid on weaponry and the creation of an infrastructure of terror tunnels, that it used its own population as human shields, that it slaughtered political opponents and suspected collaborators in the streets, that through its members working in UN agencies it manipulated casualty figures to suggest that Israel deliberately targeted only civilians and that it intimidated many journalists into not reporting the whole truth about its conduct during what Israel termed “Operation Protective Edge”.
The legality of Israel’s declaring about 4,000 dunams (close to 1,000 acres) of land as “state land” in Gush Etzion is undisputed, rights group Regavim noted Thursday – despite the actions of leftist groups, the media, and the international community to defame Israel as “annexing” land claimed to be “occupied territory.”
Sunday’s announcement sparked widespread condemnation from Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, the US, and the European Union (EU).
Meanwhile, several media sources – including the New York Times – labeled the move as ‘annexation of occupied land,’ or have accused Israel of violating property rights in the deal.
But according to the Regavim bulletin, the plot of land in question is utterly unoccupied – by Palestinian Arabs or Israelis – despite false reports of it being privately owned by local Arabs.
Tel Aviv is not Israel’s capital. That distinction of course belongs to Jerusalem.
Yet, time and again, newspapers have gotten this fundamental fact about Israel wrong, before eventually being forced to acknowledge their error.
One of the most well-reported instances of a media group being forced to apologize after making such an egregious error occurred on August 7, 2012, when the Guardian finally accepted that they were ‘wrong to state that Tel Aviv…is the capital’ of Israel.
A more recent case involves the Times of London, in a blurb in their print edition on June 28th (about the 2003 terror attack at Mike’s Place in Tel Aviv) that we were going to post about at the time – before the Gaza war broke out and our blog’s coverage naturally shifted focus.
In a meeting with Pope Francis on Thursday in Rome, former president Shimon Peres invited the Arab world to form a “united front” against terrorism.
“Today the Arab world recognizes the growing threat of terror as we do, as well as the extremist activities of the Islamic State and the Islamic Jihad. There are common interests for cooperation between Israel and the Arab world. The Arab world can join forces with Israel, the United States and the European Union in the united front against terror in which religious leaders play a pivotal role, led by Your Holiness,” he told the pope.
“Terrorists do not hesitate to use religion for the benefit of the atrocious crimes which they carry out. They take passages from the Quran and justify beheadings and slaying of women and children. We must put an end to it.”
remarkable thing about this is the decision of the Sisi government to
embrace such a practical solution to the long, sad tale of the 1948
Palestinian refugees and their descendants. Like the rest of the Arab
world, the Egyptians were never interested in resettling the refugees
anywhere, let alone on a huge swath of the Sinai next door to Gaza. Not
even during the 19 years during which Egypt illegally occupied Gaza and
Jordan illegally occupied the West Bank and part of Jerusalem did
either nation seek to ameliorate the suffering of the refugees by
offering them the full rights of citizenship or a home anywhere but in
the State of Israel. The same applies to every other Arab and Muslim
country. All stuck by the demand of a “right of return” aimed at
destroying the newborn Jewish state which was at that time absorbing an
equal number of Jewish refugees that had fled or been thrown out of
their homes in the Arab and Muslim world. Israel’s enemies purposely
kept the Palestinian refugees in order to use them as props in their
never-ending war on Israel.
Egypt’s offer was, of course, not
merely aimed at finally doing the right thing by the refugees. The Hamas
stronghold in Gaza is a threat to the Egyptian military government in
Cairo because of its alliance with the Muslim Brotherhood. They also
recognize how toxic the situation in Gaza—where hundreds of thousands
of the descendants of the refugees live—and the need to get these people
out of a bad situation that is only made worse by their exploitation by
the Hamas terrorist government of the strip.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will propose a timetable for talks with Israel during a meeting with Arab League foreign ministers slated for September 7.
Palestinian supreme judge Mahmoud al-Habbash said Abbas wants to garner support from Arab countries for nine months of talks with Israel.
The plan…includes three months of negotiations dedicated to agreeing on borders, with the remaining six months focused on refugees, Jerusalem, settlements, security and water, al-Habbash said.
Israel would be expected to freeze illegal settlement construction during the duration of the talks and release the last group of pre-Oslo prisoners.
US Administration has rejected Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud
Abbas’s new political initiative for solving the Israeli-Palestinian
conflict, a PA official in Ramallah said Thursday.
The plan, which
envisages a full Israeli withdrawal to the pre-1967 lines within three
years, was presented to US Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday by
Chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat.
Abbas dispatched Erekat and
General Intelligence Chief Majed Faraj to Washington to present the
political initiative to Kerry and other US officials.
David Makovsky, a member of the State Department’s Middle East peace team, is returning to his think tank position.
departure of Makovsky announced Thursday by the Washington Institute
for Near East Policy is the latest signal that the Obama administration
is retreating from its intensive efforts to broker an
Israeli-Palestinian peace deal.
Talks collapsed in April and, over
the summer, team leader Martin Indyk also quit and returned to the
think tank that employed him before he joined the effort in 2013, the
Frankly, this may be little more than wishful thinking. For starters,
most Palestinians no longer trust the corruption-riddled PA to deliver.
However much they may be angry with Khaled Mashaal for using their
families as human shields, Gazans are not rushing to risk the wrath of
Hamas unless the PA will actually help rebuild 5,000 destroyed houses in
the Gaza Strip.
Indeed, the latest polls indicate that Hamas has actually gained
support, at least in the short term, for “standing up to the enemy.”
But even assuming Abbas has a mandate, he has a strange way of signaling to Israelis that he wants peace.
is not willing to discuss the possibility of demilitarizing weapons
from its “military wing,” the Al-Qassam Brigades, or other Palestinian
terrorist organizations operating in the Gaza, one of its leaders
In his first Friday sermon after the war,
Ismail Haniyeh, the deputy head of Hamas’s political bureau, said that
Hamas does not intend to cooperate with any regional or international
decision which would see its arsenal ‘against the resistance’ harmed.
are the holy light of the sanctity of the struggle and the land issue,
and if they want to demilitarize its weapons, we will only agree if the
occupier is also demilitarized and its leaves our land,” Haniyeh said,
likely referring to the entire state of Israel.
“As long as there is an occupation, there will be a struggle,” he added.
Thursday’s indictment of Hussam Hassan Kawasme as the Hamas mastermind
of the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teens in June, government
officials called on Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to do
what he and senior PA officials said then that they would: rethink the
Fatah-Hamas reconciliation process.
One government official
said shortly after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu accused Hamas of
the abduction of Naftali Fraenkel, Gil-Ad Shaer and Eyal Yifrah, Abbas
made a statement that if Hamas was truly responsible, he would
reconsider the unity government.
“Now that Hamas officials are
even taking credit, the evidence is overwhelming,” he said. “Is Abbas
going to follow through?” On June 19, Abbas was quoted in the
Palestinian newspaper Al-Ayyam as saying at a conference in Saudi Arabia
that Netanyahu used the abductions to “act violently against us, wreak
havoc, especially in Hebron, and place the responsibility on us. We will
investigate the issue and its perpetrators. The truth is that whoever
carried this out wanted to destroy us, therefore we will speak to them
differently and take a different approach toward them.”
leader Khaled Mashaal expressed his agreement to the founding of a
Palestinian state within the 1967 Green Line in a meeting with the emir
of Qatar, Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, and Palestinian Authority President
The Hezbollah-affiliated newspaper Al-Akhbar published what it said was the protocol of the meeting.
meeting took place last month in Doha during Israel’s Operation
Protective Edge in Gaza. Abbas and the emir invited Mashaal to join
their meeting to discuss ways to end the fighting between Israel and
Hamas, Palestinian sources said.
“We want a full partnership with
the Palestinian Authority, and in addition we agree to the creation of a
Palestinian state in the 1967 borders,” Mashaal was quoted as saying.
move to indict Israel in the International Criminal Court is “ready,”
Fatah official Dr. Mohammed Ashtiya said Thursday at a news conference
“The indictment against Israel at the International
Court and all of the accompanying documents are ready,” declared
Ashtiya, according to a report in Haaretz. “We are telling the Israelis
and the international community that we are very serious. [Palestinian
Authority President Mahmoud Abbas] is presenting his [plan for
Palestinian statehood] to the international community and this time we
will require a timetable for ending the occupation and not
Ashtiya clarified that the Palestinians have not set a deadline, but believed there would be more clarity by November-December.
Since the start of the armed fighting in eastern Ukraine in April, nearly 2,600 people have been killed and over 340,000 forced to flee their homes, according to the UN. Countless thousands of Jews are among those who left the war-torn region, including some 2,000 welfare clients of the JDC. But another 3,100 clients — elderly, disabled, disadvantaged children — have remained in what’s left of their homes and suffered for weeks without water or electricity.
Eastern Ukraine once held 27,000 Jews, according to Jewish community estimates. Today in Donetsk and Lugansk, which have both declared themselves independent republics, there are some 1,600 welfare clients in constant need of life-sustaining aid such as extra food, water, and medications. Astoundingly, workers from JDC affiliates called Heseds continue to provide for them and the 1,500 others in the periphery.
The JDC has helped Jews in extreme crisis situations for the past 100 years. It is known for its quick fundraising abilities, as well as parachuting in aid through cooperative efforts with locals and other welfare organizations. Among its prominent financial supporters are Jewish Federations of North America, the Claims Conference, the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews led by Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein and the UK-based World Jewish Relief.
Garik Zylberbord, 47, a prominent member of the Jewish community in Ukraine, was killed in Donetsk while trying to stop pro-Russian rebels from robbing his neighbor’s home on Saturday, reports Chabad.org.
Rabbi Pinchas Vishedski, a close friend of Zylberbord, described him as someone who became closer to his Judaism over the years, being circumcised (his Jewish name was Eliyahu) and attending synagogue regularly. He was also a generous financial supporter of the community.
“Much more than that, he was a very, very good friend,” lamented the rabbi. “He was like a brother.”
The rabbi’s wife, Dina Vishedski, agreed: “He was like a part of our family. The funeral was very difficult. The Donetsk Jewish community is spread throughout the country, but people came from everywhere. He was a very active person and had many friends. He was a very special person. I have no words.”
Rebuffing suggestions of improved ties with israel, Jordan’s Energy and Mineral Resources Minister noted Thursday that an estimated $15 billion gas deal announced Wednesday is not between the Israeli and Jordanian governments, but was rather forged between the Hashemite kingdom’s electric company and the US Noble Energy group.
While downplaying Israel’s role in the deal, Mohammad Hamed conceded that the resources would be drawn from Israel’s Leviathan’s offshore gas fields.
In an interview with the Jordanian daily Ad-Dustour, Hamed added that the letter of intent signed on Wednesday was not binding and insisted that the price had not been fixed yet, but would only be discussed in later negotiations, Israel Radio reported.
However, the minister said the deal would significantly help the national gas company which had suffered financially in past years, after gas exports from Egypt were stopped due to unrest.
Israeli arms-maker, Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, says they have a solution to keep friendly forces safe from snipers during fighting, like in the recent Operation Protective Edge in Gaza, and elsewhere, Israel’s Channel 2 News reported this week
Rafael‘s SpotLite-P electro-optical system, developed in conjunction with the US Army, helps ground forces locate and stop enemy sniper fire, according to the manufacturer.
The visual system recognizes the muzzle flash from the distant shooter, fires a laser to define the exact coordinates of the outgoing fire, and relays the information to friendly sniper forces and other units, in order to greatly shorten response time.
The system’s FLIR thermography camera and associated gear can spot fire sources at over a kilometer away, and can locate, identify and record several targets at once, the firm boasts.
If tech-rich wearables are ever going to win widespread acceptance, the components that enable them to communicate with servers and access data will have to be tiny. When the equipment is embedded in a tablet or a smartphone, no one notices — but a bulky heart monitor sensor or GPS chip would be unsuitable for a T-shirt or wristwatch for athletes.
It’s a problem Gal Jacobi, CEO of Petach Tikvah-based OriginGPS, has often pondered. His answer — a tiny GPS chip. “Although there has never been more demand for location information, size and power constraints have limited innovation in the wearables space,” said Jacobi. “Developers want to add features to wearable devices without making them bulkier and less fashionable.”
That dilemma led Jacobi to develop the new chip. With dimensions of 10x10x5.8mm and weighing just 2.5 grams, the Micro Hornet GPS chip is the world’s smallest. The Micro Hornet has the added benefit of including an integrated antenna, along with all the filters, radio frequency shields, and processing capabilities of full-sized chips. “The Nano Hornet breaks size and power barriers, making it ideal for devices that require low profile components,” said Jacobi. “We have pushed the boundaries of what’s possible and reduced the thickness of our already industry-leading Micro Hornet by nearly 35 percent.”