The American Kafir

2012/03/19

Islamic Jihad seeks ‘balance of terror’ with Israel

Article Link YNet News

Islamic Jihad seeks ‘balance of terror’ with Israel

Group’s military wing leader Abu Ibrahim says ‘our rockets are not meant to kill Israelis, but to make them suffer as we do’; claims group in possession of weapons that could hit beyond Ashdod

Gaza militant group Islamic Jihad seeks to create a “balance of terror” with Israel, a senior member of its military wing has told AFP in an exclusive interview.

Speaking shortly after a truce ended a four-day flare-up in violence between Gaza terror groups and Israel, a senior leader of Islamic Jihad’s Al-Quds Brigade hailed the fact that it forced “a million Israelis to hide in shelters.”

The leader, who goes by the nom-de-guerre of Abu Ibrahim, also warned that the Brigades possesses long-range weapons that could hit Tel Aviv and could be used in its next conflict with the Jewish state.

“What we seek with our rockets is not to kill Israelis, but to maintain a balance of terror,” he told AFP during the interview, conducted at a secret location, flanked by armed bodyguards.

“The fact that a million Israelis were stuck inside shelters and suffered as our people do is more important for us than deaths.”

‘PRC operates with full freedom’

The latest violence between Israel and Gaza militants began on March 9, when the Israeli Air Force assassinated the commander of the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) group.

In response, militants led by the Al-Quds Brigades fired a barrage of rockets into southern Israel over the course of four days, bringing life in much of the region to a standstill.

Around 250 rockets were fired from Gaza, according to Israel, with around 60 of them intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system.

The rockets hit throughout southern Israel, with some reaching around 40 kilometers (24 miles) inside the country. One struck just north of Gedera, which is only about 25 kilometers from the center of Tel Aviv, whose metropolitan area is home to nearly half the Jewish state’s population of 7.84 million.

Abu Ibrahim warned that the Brigades had weapons that could hit beyond the town of Ashdod, which lies some 35 kilometers (20 miles) north of Gaza.

“If the occupation targets any leader of any Palestinian group whatsoever or any citizen, the Brigades will respond with force and expand the reach of the response beyond Ashdod,” he said.

The group possessed “thousands” of rockets and had expanded its arsenal by exploiting “the opportunities offered by the (Arab) revolutions, particularly the fall of the Egyptian regime,” he added.

Still, he said, “it is not easy to transport sophisticated weapons into Gaza,” adding that 70% of its rockets “are made locally by a specialized section.”

“We now have guided missiles similar to Grads and we used them during the last conflict.”

Continue Reading The Entire Article at YNet News

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2012/03/12

PALESTINIAN ROCKET ATTACKS FORCE 500,000 ISRAELIS INTO BOMB SHELTERS

Filed under: Gaza, Iran, Iron Dome, Israel, Missile Defense — - @ 4:24 pm

Source Link: Joel Rosenbergs Blog

PALESTINIAN ROCKET ATTACKS FORCE 500,000 ISRAELIS INTO BOMB SHELTERS: Worst violence in 6 months

Here are the latest developments the Palestinian rocket offensive against Israel, in what is being described as the worst violence on Israel’s southern border in six months:

* More than 150 rockets and missiles have been fired from Gaza at southern Israel in the last 3 days.

* On Sunday alone, about 50 rockets were fired at Israel.

* Israeli schools in the south have been closed, keeping more than 200,000 school children at home.

* The Israeli Air Force has been bombing Hamas rocket launchers and weapons warehouses, and has eliminated four top terror leaders.

* CNN reports that “eight Israelis have been wounded and 500,000 have been forced into shelters.”

* CNN reports that among the Palestinians in Gaza, ”at least 21 people have been killed in strikes since Friday, while at least 75 people have been wounded.”

* The good news is that “the Iron Dome system has intercepted 90 percent of missile attacks on urban centers during the latest rocket bombardment from Gaza,” reports Israeli channel 7. “The expensive systems were inaugurated last year amid controversy over its worth. A primitive Kassam rocket costs terrorists only a few hundred dollars while each Iron Dome anti-missile missile costs $50,000. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu stated Saturday night, ‘We will continue to improve home front defense including by means of additional Iron Dome systems, the effectiveness of which was shown again over the weekend.”

Continue Reading it all at Joel Rosenbergs Blog and Read this article as well MORE THAN 200 ROCKETS FIRED AT ISRAEL: No let up yet in Palestinian offensive against the Jewish State.

Front Page Magazine has this article Game Changer: Israel’s Iron Dome Missile Defense System

Below is from my archive on SCRIBD explaining the Iron Dome.

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2011/12/13

Gingrich Gets It Right

Source Article Link: FrontPageMag

Gingrich Gets It Right

by David Horowitz

In an interview on Saturday, Newt Gingrich put some reality into the surreal discussion of the Middle East conflict and (as he put it) the delusional nature of the current “peace process.” The Palestinians are indeed an “invented people” — invented by the Nasser dictatorship and KGB by the way — and the Hitlerian lie that Israel occupies one square inch of “Arab” let alone “Palestinian” land needs to be buried for any clarity on what the conflict is about, let alone progress towards peace.

Of course there is no peace in the Middle East and there can be no peace so long as the Muslim Arabs want to kill the Jews and destroy the Jewish state. That is the explicit goal of the enemies of Israel in the terrorist entities of Gaza and the West Bank, and also of Israel’s principal enemy the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Newt Gingrich’s gutsy statements — if he will hold to them — could change the nature of the debate not only about how to deal with the Islamic terrorists of the Middle East but with the Islamic jihad itself. For the campaign to destroy Israel is at bottom a campaign to restore the Muslim (not Arab) ummah — as it was under the Turkish empire and the caliphate.

According to CNN, a Palestinian spokesman called Gingrich’s observation that the Palestinians are “an invented people” quote “the most racist I’ve ever seen.” This just shows what brazen liars Palestinian spokesmen are. Everything that Gingrich said was obvious fact. For nearly 2,000 years “Palestine” referred to region not a people — just as “New England” refers to a region not a people. In 1948 the Arabs of the Palestine region were not talking about a Palestinian state and were not referring to themselves as Palestinians. That came in 1964 with the creation of the PLO, engineered by the KGB and the Jew-hating dictator of Egypt, Gamel Abdel Nasser​. Even then the PLO charter (which is still available on the web) (A copy is provided below also a copy of the Palestinian The PLO’s “Phased Plan”) did not call for the liberation of the West Bank or Gaza (annexed by Jordan and Egypt respectively) but for the destruction of the Jewish state. Jew hatred is what has driven the conflict in the Middle East which is more precisely described as a genocidal war against the Jews.



David Horowitz was one of the founders of the New Left in the 1960s and an editor of its largest magazine,Ramparts. He is the author, with Peter Collier, of three best selling dynastic biographies: The Rockefellers: An American Dynasty (1976); The Kennedys: An American Dream (1984); and The Fords: An American Epic (1987). Looking back in anger at their days in the New Left, he and Collier wrote Destructive Generation (1989), a chronicle of their second thoughts about the 60s that has been compared to Whittaker Chambers’ Witness and other classic works documenting a break from totalitarianism. Horowitz examined this subject more closely in Radical Son (1996), a memoir tracing his odyssey from “red-diaper baby” to conservative activist that George Gilder described as “the first great autobiography of his generation.”



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What is Palestine and Palestinians?

2011/12/08

Arabs scared of the truth

Filed under: Arab Nations, Gaza, Israel, Palestine — - @ 7:21 pm

Source Article Link: YNet

Arabs scared of the truth

Op-ed: Time has come for Arabs to stop viewing conflict via distortions, blind hatred

By Nizar Amer

During the many years of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Arab public opinion has adopted a single, focused and uncompromising point of view. In very few cases we hear a different opinion or unusual criticism of the common perception. If the impossible happens and one person or another dares challenge the dominant view, the Arab soil starts to shake and quickly we see charges against the “sinner” In various ways and forms, in a bid to smear him and repress his thoughts.

Many Arab leaders utilize the Palestinian issue as a means to sowing fear among their own peoples. The greater the oppression and deprivation of human rights, the greater the scaremongering dosages and the injection of Israel-hate into the Arab nation’s veins. This is done while the media under these dark regimes strictly refers to the Jewish State as the “Zionist enemy,” lest the simple folk get confused and perceive Israel as a friendly, peace-seeking state.

Naturally, over the years we have seen non-Arabs joining the cycle of manipulation of Arab public opinion: Out of nowhere comes the voice of one Iranian official or another, who slams Israel and expresses his genuine love and concern for the Palestinian people, even though in reality he views the Palestinians as a cheap means for serving his own means.

The years go by yet the conflict persists. At times there are periods of terror and war, and other times we see optimistic winds of reconciliation and understanding. At other junctions, it appears that everyone is simply fed up. Yet recently, something happened in the Arab world: The Tunisian Spring was the first to arrive, while changing many of the old perceptions. The Egyptians waited for the heat of summer to rise up, and now we are witnessing the beginning of the Syrian winter, with growing calls to topple the Alawite regime.

Some Syrian citizens may have realized that the demonic Israeli monster is the product of the government press’ and outlandish TV stations’ imagination. The historical truth shows that Israel fought wars that were forced upon it by those who convinced themselves that Israel is simply fiction, a fleeting phenomenon that shall quickly disappear from the Middle East’s map. In practice, this tiny state scored one victory after another, proving that that it is a living and breathing fact, entrenched deep in this soil.

Gaza versus Ramallah

Israel is being accused of drawing out the negotiations and lacking a genuine, honest will to secure peace among its leaders and citizens. I shall not attempt to discount these claims or lament the hesitation and difficulties produced by the Palestinians. Instead, I shall make do with reviewing two points: The first is historical and pertains to Israel’s peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan. Don’t these agreements attest to Israel’s serious intentions?

Notably, Israel gave up, for peace, the Sinai Peninsula (an area three times Israel’s size and rich with natural resources.) On the northern front, Israel showed on several occasions genuine willingness to secure a fair agreement with the Syrians, yet every time encountered a peace obstacle in the form of the Syrian president (both father and son,) who may have been preoccupied with utilizing his secret police at every corner.

The second point pertains to the Shalit swap. In an Egyptian TV interview, after five and a half years in captivity and in his first encounter with the sun, Shalit chose to express his hope that the conflict shall end and all prisoners shall return to their families. On the other hand, released Palestinian prisoners chose to commit to continuing terrorism and bloodshed. I hoped that these detainees, who tried the path of terror and failed, would choose this time to embark on a new path that does not rely on killing and violence. I had hoped hopes, yet was disappointed.

Gaza residents are suffering, yet the question remains: Who’s responsible for this suffering? Israel can be blamed, as usual, yet if we compare the situation in the Gaza Strip to the situation in the West Bank, and compare Gaza City to Ramallah, it won’t be difficult to spot the huge difference. The reason for this is rather clear and stems from the difference between the Fatah government and Hamas government, which espouses a policy of terror, carnage and violence, also implemented against its own citizens.

This terror policy constitutes the main obstacle to Palestinian reconciliation efforts and the achievement of peace. It’s also important to pay attention to the following point: At this time we are talking about two states for two peoples, yet it seems that three states for two people shall be required. One for Israel, one for Fatah, and a third one for Hamas. We may need more mini-states in case of further splits down the road. Is this reasonable? How can one make peace given such reality? And who should we make peace with? I’m afraid that ultimately we shall have to secure peace with every Palestinian individual separately.

In love with zeal

Many in the Arab street examine the Israeli-Palestinian conflict via the logic of fatalities and quickly produce virtual scales. On one hand they look at the Palestinian fatalities, and usually forget Israel’s fatalities.

The death of innocents is regrettable, regardless of the way and reason it happened. Yet the difference between Hamas and Israel has to do with intention: Hamas activists fire missiles and rockets into the heart of civilian population centers, hoping to kill innocent civilians. On the other hand, Israel attempts to hit Hamas men, and if civilians are hurt as result the reason is usually Hamas’ cynical use of mosques, schools and hospitals as missile-launching platforms, as well as the utilization of their own countrymen as human shields. Of course, at times we see operational mishaps on the Israeli side.

A person of conscience cannot ignore the Palestinian pain, but also should not ignore the killing of Israeli children and civilians with inhumane brutality. The solution to the Palestinian pain will not be achieved via the killing of Israeli innocents or the adoption of terrorism as a policy, but rather, by abandoning the path of violence and returning to negotiations. Let’s hope they understand this soon.

Israel is a democratic state, a world-leader in science, medicine and culture, and boasts free media and a flourishing economy. It is a state that grants its minorities the possibility of self-fulfillment and the ability to play an active role in the life of the nation. However, just like any other state, Israel is facing many challenges, and quite a few problems persist in the process of integrating Arabs into the life of the country as citizens equal to the Jewish majority.

The Arab world is still in love with zealous words and mindless attacks: Impassioned calls, baseless threats, and the flexing of muscles. Needless to say, this way of thinking is useless. Hasn’t the time come for an Arab process of self-reflection? For understanding reality as it is and changing the Arab perception of the conflict? Hasn’t the time come to rely on historical fact and objective arguments, instead of relying on blind hatred and the distortion of the truth?

The time has come to abandon the path of hatred and exploit the opportunities for peace via negotiations, because there is no other way.

Nizer Amer is a member of Israel’s Foreign Service and is stationed in Ankara, Turkey

2011/11/29

A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing: The Victory of the Islamist Justice and Development Party in Morocco

Source Link: Jerusalem Center Blog

A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing: The Victory of the Islamist Justice and Development Party in Morocco

by Jonathan D. Halevi

The Justice and Development Party (Hizb Al-Adala Wa At-tanmia), which is identified with the Muslim Brotherhood, has won the elections in Morocco held on 26 November 2011. The party won 107 of the 395 parliamentary seats. The party said in an official announcement that, according to not-yet-final results, it had won over 100 of the 395 parliamentary seats. According to a constitutional amendment, King Mohammed VI will have to assign the task of forming the government to the leader of the largest party – Abdelilah Benkirane, head of the Justice and Development Party.

This party is the political wing of the Uniqueness and Reform movement which represents the Muslim Brotherhood in Morocco. Its victory constitutes a further triumph for the Islamist movement in the context of the “Arab Spring,” so soon after the victory of the Ennahda movement in the Tunisian elections.

In Egypt, the three-stage elections begin on 28 November 2011, and the Muslim Brotherhood has a chance to make substantial gains. The Muslim Brotherhood in Syria, which is fighting to overthrow the Alawite regime of Assad, is backed by Turkey, which regards it as an alternative to the existing government. In Libya, the new government has undertaken to make Sharia law a primary source of legislation. In Yemen, the Islamist movements have played a central role in the revolt against the rule of Ali Abdullah Saleh. Earlier, in 2006, the Hamas movement – the branch of the Muslim Brotherhood in the Palestinian territories – triumphed in the Palestinian Authority elections, and since then Hamas has entrenched its rule in Gaza and, for all intents and purposes, has become an independent political entity.

The Muslim Brotherhood branches in the various countries are full partners to the worldwide movement’s ideology. Each one, however, has freedom of action to devise its own tactics in line with specific political conditions. In Morocco, the Justice and Development Party chose to downplay the extreme Islamist message and mainly focus on fighting corruption and improving the economy, issues that took the lion’s share of its electoral platform.

That platform, in its brief political section, stated that the party would aim to strengthen dialogue and cooperation with all of the EU countries and Canada while, in Morocco’s relations with the United States, pursuing an appropriate diplomacy and safeguarding national interests. The formulation in the Israeli context was restrained, and included a commitment to the “defense of the just issues of the people and first and foremost the issue of Palestine, and the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and the establishment of its independent state whose capital is Jerusalem, the Palestine problem being a national problem.”1

The ideological platform of the parent party, the Uniqueness and Reform movement, reveals its true Islamist face. The section on the movement’s goals states that it seeks to instill the Islamic religion in the heart of the individual, the family, the society, the state, and the ummah, and to help spread Islam throughout the world.2 The movement expressed unequivocal support for the armed struggle against Israel in the context of the Second Intifada, and for the terror attacks against U.S. forces in Iraq. It referred to “Zionist and American aggression” as “the greatest and most dangerous manifestations of terror that modern history has known.”3

In recent years Abdelilah Benkirane, leader of the Justice and Development Party and the designated prime minister, has made harshly anti-Israel statements that deny Israel’s right to exist and favor the armed struggle against it. Below are some quotations from his words.

From an interview to the Al-Mashaal weekly in 2011:

As for Israel, it has a special status. It is not like the United States but rather, in our view, a state that is waging a war against the people of Palestine. We, not as the Muslim Arab people but as the Moroccan people, do not see the Palestinian problem as a problem of our brothers the Palestinians alone, but as our own problem….If Israel were to live with the Palestinians within a single state as occurred in South Africa, our position would change. However, at present we regard Israel as a hostile state.4

From an interview to the Hamas website that is documented on the Uniqueness and Reform movement’s website, at the time of Benkirane’s arrival in Gaza in March 2009:

The inhabitants of Arab Morocco do not think there is only a duty to identify with the Palestinians, but want to wage a jihad struggle alongside them….Most unfortunately, the political circumstances, the borders, the soldiers, and the legal and military barriers that exist between the Muslims prevent these feelings from being expressed as they should….The Moroccans see the Islamic resistance movement Hamas as the mother of resistance and steadfastness. The Moroccans very much love the Hamas movement…and they love to recall at every occasion the acts of heroism and sacrifice of this great and mighty movement….All of the Moroccans stand beside the Palestinians and the noble Al-Quds [Jerusalem], and if the borders are opened to the Moroccans and the obstacles are removed, you will see how the masses come to help Al-Aqsa and Al-Quds.5

Benkirane, along with tens of other Muslim religious savants, signed two manifestos that openly declare support for jihad as the only way to liberate Palestine in its entirety and call for a hostile stance toward the United States. Below are quotations from the manifestos.

From the manifesto in support of Gaza:

No condemnation of the [Palestinian] struggle; instead, recognition of its legitimacy….Official condemnation of the U.S. stance of supporting and assisting the occupying entity and a call to ambassadors to hold consultations and reconsider relations [with the United States]….The importance of seeking to prepare an untrammeled Islamic legal manifesto that will clarify the Islamic dimension of the Palestine issue and the legitimacy of the jihad and the struggle against the occupying Jews….Adoption of the approach of an economic boycott against Israel and the Zionist entity….An economic jihad to help our brethren in Gaza….Emphasis on support for the path of struggle and for the legitimate jihad in Palestine as the means of its liberation.6

From the manifesto calling for the lifting of the siege on the Palestinian people:

We the undersigned on this manifesto emphasize the complete support of the ummah for the legal and noble Islamic position of the leaders of the Palestinian people, who belong to Hamas and other jihad organizations, in refusing to recognize the state of “Israel” and its fraudulent right to exist in Palestine. We regard recognition [of Israel] as a violation of the tenets of Islamic law and the consensus of the ummah….

We emphasize the right of the Muslim Palestinian people to struggle aggressively for its land…and we view this resistance as legally, Islamically mandated warfare and a political interest, it being forbidden to call for its condemnation or evade it.

We regard every signature on agreements or treaties that renounce the right of struggle, or the right of return of the refugees, or the right of the Islamic identity of Al-Quds in particular and of Palestine in general, as an offense to the ummah, a deviation from its fundamental principles, and a sacrifice of its interests.

We view the jihad-fighting Palestinian resistance, with all of its organizations, as one of the shining stars in the skies of jihad-fighting Islam….

The undersigned affirm to the masses of the ummah that the duty of liberating Jerusalem and rescuing the captured Al-Aqsa Mosque is not only a duty of the Palestinians alone but of the entire ummah, and therefore solidarity with those who cling tenaciously to the sacred land is not an act of voluntary will but, rather, an Islamic legal obligation and a historical responsibility.7

In sum, the media’s accounts of a “moderate” Justice and Development Party winning the Moroccan elections do not accurately reflect this party’s ideology. The purported “moderation” is a tactic aimed at gaining a political foothold, a capacity, as part of the government, to enhance the public’s readiness for Islamic jurisprudence as the source of the country’s constitution and laws.

A party that is a wolf in sheep’s clothing has won the Moroccan elections, and despite its platform’s declarative commitment to strengthen ties with the West, the party’s outlook, its leaders’ statements, and the platform of its parent party point clearly to the stance of the Muslim Brotherhood, which is hostile to the West and its culture and views Israel as a cardinal enemy. The victory of the Muslim Brotherhood in Morocco further energizes the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt for the elections beginning on November 28, and encourages the Brotherhood’s branches that are fighting the existing regime in other countries. The domino effect that began with the revolt in Tunisia is coloring the Middle East green, as the Islamic revolution gradually alters the regional balance of power and, eventually, could well forge a new front to challenge the existing world order.

*     *     *

Notes

1. http://www.profvb.com/vb/t83549.html.

2. http://www.alislah.ma/images/stories/mitak.pdf.

3. http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CBsQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.alislah.ma%2Fcomponent%2Fk2%2Fitem%2Fdownload%2F33.html&ei=3M7RTsvHIOLd0QGxnM0l&usg=AFQjCNHF4vqKa_rZcki3RLMmQDsKu4B26Q&sig2=XxzzY746623ViJKZjn8Kbw.

4. http://www.marsadmag.org/index.php/2011-07-02-10-07-50/114-2011-10-01-03-32-53 הראיון נערך בשנת 2011.

5. http://67.15.234.95/~alislah/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=10398:%20%20&Itemid=8.

6. http://www.saaid.net/mktarat/flasteen/231.htm.

7. http://almoslim.net/node/83562.

*     *     *

Lt. Col. (ret.) Jonathan D. Halevi is a senior researcher of the Middle East and radical Islam at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. He is a co-founder of the Orient Research Group Ltd. and is a former advisor to the Policy Planning Division of the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

2011/11/04

Islamist Jihad ready for all-out war with Israel

Source Article Link: Reuters

Islamist Jihad ready for all-out war with Israel

By Crispian Balmer and Nidal al-Mughrabi

The Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad, which traded deadly fire with Israel at the weekend in Gaza, does not expect a subsequent truce to last long and has at least 8,000 fighters ready for war, a spokesman said.

Islamic Jihad is the second largest armed group in Gaza, after Hamas, which rules the tiny Mediterranean enclave. The two share a commitment to the destruction of Israel and both are classified as terrorist groups by most Western governments.

However, while Hamas has recently spent much of its energy on the business of government, Islamic Jihad has kept its focus firmly on the conflict, gaining in prominence and enjoying significant backing from Muslim supporters, including Iran.

“We are proud and honored to say that the Islamic Republic of Iran gives us support and help,” Abu Ahmed, the spokesman for Islamic Jihad’s armed wing, the Jerusalem Brigades, told Reuters in a rare, long interview.

He denied widespread reports that Iran had provided his group with arms and smiled at suggestions it now receives more sophisticated weaponry from Tehran than Hamas. He also declined to comment on rumors that the Jihadists were trained by Iran.

“What I will say is that we have every right to turn to every source of power for help,” said the burly, bearded Abu Ahmed, occasionally flicking a string of yellow prayer beads.

Islamic Jihad’s latest confrontation with Israel left 12 Palestinian gunmen and one Israeli civilian dead. The fighting ended only after neighboring Egypt brokered a ceasefire with both parties, but Abu Ahmed did not see it lasting long.

“Theoretically the calm has been restored, but in practice it hasn’t really,” he said. Israel, he said, is itching for a fight in Gaza following last month’s prisoner-swap accord, in which Israel released 477 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier held by Hamas since 2006.

Israel says it attacks only in self-defense.

TRADING BLOWS

It killed five senior Islamic Jihad militants on Saturday in retaliation for a rocket attack two days earlier that it blamed on the group. That rocket caused no casualties, but landed deep enough into Israel to set off sirens on Tel Aviv’s outskirts.

Abu Ahmed denied responsibility for the missile, saying this was how Israel had managed to find five top fighters together in the open — because they had not expected to be targeted.

But the Jerusalem Brigades soon hit back, firing numerous rockets into southern Israel, piercing the country’s defensive missile shield. One Israeli man died, at least four others were injured, while cars and a building were also set ablaze.

The group posted a video online showing a missile-launcher on the back of a truck firing a salvo of rockets. It was the first time the group has claimed to have such firepower, although there was no independent confirmation of its use.

“The Jerusalem Brigades really surprised Israel, forcing them to rethink their assessment of us … I don’t think they realized we had that weaponry,” said Abu Ahmed, indicating the vehicle was immediately hidden underground after the attack.

Jerusalem Brigades cells are dotted around Gaza and Abu Ahmed said there was huge demand from youngsters to join.

“We take some, but can’t accept everyone … It is a question of quality, not quantity,” he said, giving for the first time an estimate of the strength of the force. “We have at least 8,000 fighters, who are fully equipped.”

The group got a boost to its standing in August when the new rulers in Egypt started dealing with it directly over truces, rather than through Hamas. Abu Ahmed said Hamas was not involved in the latest fighting and that all the talking was with Egypt.

He played down reports of tensions with Hamas, which since Israel’s military offensive in Gaza in late 2008 has appeared reluctant to go head-to-head with its sworn enemy.

“Certainly in terms of ideology, there is no difference between Hamas and the Islamic Jihad. The difference is in the methodology,” Abu Ahmed said, adding that Hamas’s governmental role meant that it was “more vulnerable to outside pressure.”

He said Islamic Jihad’s biggest problem was the Israeli armed drones that regularly buzz over Gaza seeking out militants. “Warfare has changed. You can’t just hide a gun in your jacket like you could in the 1980s,” he said, adding that the Jihadist fighters were not afraid of sudden death.

“It is a good feeling to be under drone attack. When we chose the path of resistance, we opted either for martyrdom or victory. Martyrdom is the more desirable.”

All Emphasis added by me

2011/11/03

PM Netanyahu’s Speech at Opening of the Knesset’s Winter Session

Source Article Link: Israel Prime Minister Office

PM Netanyahu’s Speech at Opening of the Knesset’s Winter Session

October 31, 2011

Photo By GPO

The Knesset is returning to its winter session at a time when the most dramatic events of our time are taking place in our region.

The Arab street has awoken; old regimes have toppled, others are swaying and new ones are rising.

No-one can guarantee how good or how stable these new regimes will be, nor their attitude towards Israel. Unfortunately, this attitude, which left much to be desired to begin with, is not expected to get any better in some, or most, of the new regimes, not in the foreseeable future.

These new regimes depend on the masses, the raging masses, of which many of the people have been systematically poisoned with anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist propaganda. This incitement began even before the State of Israel was established, and continues at full steam today.

If the results of the elections in Tunisia a few days ago are anything to go by, we will probably see the rise of other governments with a dominant Islamist component.

In most countries in the region, the Islamist movements are the strongest, most organized power, while the liberal forces, striving for freedom and progress, as we define the terms, are divided and weak.

If the positions of the religious extreme do not become more moderate, I doubt that any of the high hopes that blossomed in the Arab spring, will be realized.

It is possible that these hopes will only be fulfilled a generation from now, after this wave subsides, when progress will be given a chance to lead the Arab world along a new path.

If I had to summarize what will happen in our region, I would use two terms: instability and uncertainty.

The collapse of Gaddafi’s regime in Libya, the bloody incidents in Syria, the American forces leaving Iraq, the new government in Tunisia, the upcoming elections in Egypt and many other events – these are all expressions of the immense changes occurring around us. These changes can increase the instability within these countries, and the instability between countries.

Regional powers who have control in the Middle East will try to ensure they have greater influence on the new regimes – influence that will not always support us or be of benefit to us, to say the least. One of these regional forces is Iran, which continues its efforts to obtain nuclear weapons. A nuclear Iran would pose a dire threat on the Middle East and on the entire world. And of course, it poses a grave, direct threat on us too.

To cope with the instability and the uncertainty we are faced with, we need two things: strength and responsibility. Strength in all areas: security, economy, society, everywhere; and responsibility in navigating the stormy sea in which we are sailing. We must continue to strengthen Israel in all areas of security so that we can respond to the new challenges and threats we are facing.

Only a few days ago we were reminded that one of the challenges we face is dealing with the tens of thousands of rockets and missiles in the hands of our enemies, and aimed at our cities.

The Iron Dome batteries and other defense systems provide only a partial solution. They boost the protection of the citizens of the South, and I intend to deploy these systems in other places in the country. But a security philosophy cannot rely on defense alone. It must also include offensive capabilities, which is the very foundation of deterrence.

We operate and will continue to operate intensely and determinately against those who threaten the security of the State of Israel and its citizens.

Our policy is guided by two main principles: the first is “if someone comes to kill you, rise up and kill him first,” and the second is “if anyone harms us, his blood is on his own hands.”

For two thousand years our people could not realize these two basic principles of self defense. The Jewish people paid the ultimate price in the history of the world due to this inability.

This changed when the State of Israel was established, and the Israel Defense Forces was founded. The governments of Israel acted on these principles: they fought those who threatened us and attacked those who harmed us.

Since assuming the office of Prime Minister, I have instructed the IDF and security forces to act systematically and decisively against the terrorist leaders and those who carry out the attacks.

That is what we did with the terrorist group from the Sinai a couple of months ago. The person who initiated and organized the attack was eliminated several hours later. That is also how we acted this weekend. And I would express my appreciation once more to the IDF soldiers, to the armed forces and the intelligence units who work tirelessly, around the clock, morning-evening-night, to protect our country and all of us.

We will continue to act strongly to defend ourselves, and we will continue to conduct ourselves responsibly in the complex reality of our region. Some of the Members of Knesset may not have noticed that we live in a complex reality.

We witnessed this complexity two months ago, when an enraged mob attacked the Israeli embassy in Cairo. The mob didn’t care whether we have a treaty or not. Its intentions were clear and its message was obvious. Those were intense and complex moments. I thank Defense Minister, Barak and Foreign Minister, Lieberman. We worked together with the US Administration and the Egyptian Government and we brought the incident to its conclusion, bringing those who were trapped in the embassy, ​​and their families, home.

Reality, which is changing before our very eyes, presents many obstacles that we are faced with from time to time. It also provides us with opportunities that we do not necessarily see. In this changing world, Israel is rapidly becoming a leading force in the cyber field, known as the war of computers.

Thanks to our special abilities in this area, large, important countries want to cooperate with us. This opens up opportunities for establishing new partnerships that were not available to us in the past and I anticipate that it will become a major factor on the international level. In order to strengthen our standing in the cyber arena, I recently established the National Cyber ​​Directorate. That is the future, and we are already there.

Fostering the strength and responsibility required to fortify Israel’s security is also paramount in our quest for peace. In the Middle East, peace is made with the strong, not with the weak. The stronger Israel is, the closer peace will be.

The people in Israel are united in their desire for peace. Yet we seek real peace; peace that is anchored in the right of the Jewish people to a nation-state in its homeland; peace that is based on security.

We are willing to compromise, but not to discard our security. Even before the earthquake shook our region, I stood firm on Israel’s security interests, and today more than ever.

I assure you that in the negotiations for peace, we will continue to insist on our national interests, first and foremost, security.

Last weekend it was said that I am a tough bargainer. I know that was said as criticism, but I take it as a compliment.

Well, Chairman of the Palestinian Authority, President Abbas, I am not tough when it comes to peace. I am tough about the security of the State of Israel and its citizens, and I will continue to be so – that is my utmost duty, my very basic responsibility as the Prime Minister of the State of Israel.

I am willing to make real peace with our neighbors, but I am not willing to risk our security and future. Any peace deal must be accompanied by firm security agreements on the ground; otherwise it just will not last.

For the negotiations to end, they first need to be started. I have called upon the Palestinian leadership time and time again to enter direct negotiations without delay. I appealed to them to do so in my Bar Ilan Speech, I asked them to do it in my speech at the Knesset, I urged them to do it in my speech at the American Congress and I recently proposed it to them at the United Nations , and dozens of other times in between.

I also accepted the Quartet’s proposal for direct negotiations with the Palestinians with no preconditions. Regrettably, the Palestinians continue to refuse to engage in direct negotiations with us. Instead of sitting at the negotiation table, they decided to join the Hamas and take unilateral steps at the United Nations.

We will not idly sit by while these steps harm Israel and severely violate the most basic obligation that the two parties took upon themselves in the peace process – to resolve the conflict between us only through direct negotiations.

Unfortunately, while we support the foundation of a Palestinian state as part of a peace agreement, the Palestinians are trying to reach a Palestinian state without a peace agreement. That is the essence of our reality and anyone with eyes to see and a sense of decency knows it.

And I will not agree to that.

No responsible leader would.

Our friend, the United States, stands firmly at our side and opposes the Palestinian unilateral steps at the United Nations, and we are very grateful for that.

I know that there are those who have doubted the Israeli-American relations. But the alliance between us is deeply rooted and solid. The cooperation between the United States and Israel encompasses many important areas.

The alliance is based on the strong support of the American people for Israel, on shared values ​​and common goals. This support has become even stronger in the last few years.

Like us, the United States attaches great importance to the peace treaties between Israel and Egypt and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

These treaties are an anchor of stability in the region and are clearly an Israeli interest.

Over the last year we also enhanced our ties with other countries in the region from Greece to Cyprus, Romania and Bulgaria.

And regarding Turkey, we see that even when we disagree, we help each other out in times of need due to natural disasters.

That is what Turkey did during the Carmel forest fire and it is what we did after the earthquake in Turkey last week.

I hope that we find the way to improve the relations between the two countries in the future.

Strength and responsibility, they are the driving force behind our actions in the political and security arena, and they are our compass.

The same means are needed for successfully dealing with the great challenges in the economic and social area.

Over the last few years, the world economy has been in a crisis which is not over yet. The sea is stormy there too.

Major Western countries that did not act responsibly, that did not heed the danger, were occupied with chatter and did not do what was required of them – those countries now find themselves on the verge of bankruptcy. Not only have their credit ratings gone down, but many, many people are unemployed.

So far this economic storm has skipped over Israel. There is no doubt that the responsible way in which Israel has conducted itself over the last decade contributed to that fact.

There is one golden rule that every citizen knows from his own home economy: over time, if you spend more money than you make, you will eventually go bankrupt. The overdraft grows and you collapse. This is true for a family and it is true for a country. There are countries around the world that forgot the rule, and are now paying dearly. Israel acted differently, responsibly.

Israel acted differently, responsibly. That is how I acted as Finance Minister, it is how the finance ministers after me acted, and it is how we act today. But you cannot generate the growth that is vital for creating jobs, growth that is vital for resources, for education, health, you cannot generate growth only by responsibly sticking to the budget. In order to make the market grow one must encourage competition. Not cartels, not monopolies, but fair, supervised competition that benefits the consumer. Competition is not the enemy of the consumer. On the contrary – it is the consumer’s greatest friend. It reduces prices, improves service, reduces gaps, and raises the standard of living. Lack of competition in Israel is one of the most severe causes for the increase in the cost of living, and that is why a year ago, Mr. Speaker, not now, not two or three months ago, I established the Committee on Increasing Competitiveness in the Economy. That is why we are advancing the section of the Trajtenberg Committee’s recommendations on increasing competition in the market, and for good reason.

Yesterday, at the Cabinet Meeting held in Tzfat, we approved the recommendations of the committee dealing with taxation; we cancelled the planned increase on excise tax, a step that benefits every Israeli citizen; we reduced the purchase tax and duty on commodities; we gave extra tax credit points to fathers of children up to the age of three, which will be very helpful for young couples. But these are only the first steps.

I am pleased that all the Members of Knesset want to help, and you will all have the opportunity to do so, as I plan to introduce several bills to the Knesset during this session that will help the citizens – guaranteed. Education for preschoolers will cost less, the burden of taxes will not be so heavy and housing will be more available. I am aware of the real difficulties which you speak about, Mr. Speaker, and I am committed to solving them, including resolutions that we will pass during this session, and I hope the opposition will help too.

Members of Knesset, I promised that I would give you an answer. We are committed to acting with the utmost social sensitivity to change priorities, but I do not accept the claim that the free-market system has collapsed, that we must return to a centralized economy run by clerks, an economy in which the government must be involved in everything and control everything, an economy in which the citizens will have to run around government buildings and beg before the bureaucratic powers. We have been there and we are not going back. That is how to kill an economy, how to destroy it.

MK Gilon is concerned about social needs. But you cannot take care of these things if you do not create the resources, and the resources are not generated by the government, but by the free, open economy. So we must balance the needs of economic growth with social needs, and that is precisely what we are doing and are going to do. […] And invest in the periphery of Israel.

Yesterday, we inaugurated, with you, Mr. President, a new medical school in Tzfat. This is great news for the Galilee. After a decade of promises, we will soon start moving military bases to the south, which is great tidings for the south. We are a government that not only promises but does, a government that not only talks about things but realizes them. We are building highways, interchanges, overpasses, trains, and we are finally easing Israel out of the Hadera-Gedera traffic jam.

Yesterday, at Tzfat, I gave an account of my grandfather and father going there 91 years ago. They went from Yaffo or Neve Tzedek, that what Tel Aviv was at the time. They took the Emek (Valley) railroad. They arrived in Tzemach and sailed in a stormy sea to Tiberius. And from there they continued up. Before leaving for Tzfat I asked my father, and he said “a hard, harsh journey.” That is how he described it. Through Rosh Pina, having to change the horses with carriage. This trip, this journey took three days, 91 years ago. A few years ago it would take three hours. I asked the Mayor of Hatzor HaGlilit, Swissa, how long it takes him now. He said one hour and 40 minutes. I told him it’s going to be faster. Not only because of the interchange at HaMovil Junction which has opened up the Galilee, but soon there will be interchanges at Golani Junction and Amiad Junction, and in our vision, among others, there will be one multilane highway, with no traffic lights, all the way from Metula to Eilat. It is not impossible, but it hasn’t been done. We are doing it. We are bringing the periphery of Israel closer.

Our goal is to strengthen the periphery and bring it closer to the center, but ultimately, when the drive to most areas in the country will be so short, we will be able to cancel the term ‘periphery.’ There is no reason in our country … I want to tell you, our country is huge, in spirit, in actions, our nation is skillful, but our country is tiny, and there is no reason why there are places that are cut off, disconnected, distant in such a small country. Therefore, in addition to the roads and the trains and the interchanges and the overpasses – and the entire country can see the great things we are doing at huge investment, whether they want to admit it or not – we are diligently developing the two largest areas of the country, the Galilee and the Negev. That way we will get people out of Gush Dan, we will better their lives and improve the lifestyle of the residents of the Galilee and the Negev, Jews and non-Jews alike. That is a very important social step.

But the biggest social revolution we are creating is in education. After many years of decline – and it was measured; it has been tested in IDF reading tests, standardized tests, international tests – for the first time since the reforms were implemented, and new changes are being introduced now, we can already see a change in direction, we can see an improvement in the test results of Israeli children.

And after a decade we began salvaging higher education. Two years ago, Nobel Prize laureate Ada Yonath, said that she was afraid that without investing in education and in higher education, we would not have any more Nobel Prize winners. And I took what she said seriously, and Professor Trajtenberg who we all now know, is committed to helping create a revolution in higher education.

We have invested, we have started to invest over NIS 7 billion in a multi-year plan, and I was so happy to hear from our new Nobel Prize laureate Professor Dan Shechtman, that he can see the changes that our government is leading. And he is right, because we launched the program to save higher education. I want to promise you, we will continue to invest and we will see many more Israeli Nobel Prize laureates.

Members of Knesset, I have spoken, and I must admit not always successfully, about strength and responsibility.

I also want to talk about something that links the two: unity. Two weeks ago we brought our soldier Gilad Shalit home after being held captive by Hamas for over five years. Like everybody else, I was extremely moved when I saw Gilad step off the helicopter. For a few days the entire country was united, unified, excited about one soldier whom we had brought home. Last week, in coordination with Egypt and with the help of the American government, we released Ilan Grapel, who made aliya alone, volunteered to serve in the paratrooper unit and was injured during the Second Lebanon War. We will continue to work for the release of Uda Tarabin who has been imprisoned in Egypt for 11 years. And I want to tell you and the entire people of Israel, I never, not for a moment, forget Jonathan Pollard, who has been in jail in the United States for 26 years. We will continue to do everything we can to bring him to Israel and we will not cease to try to obtain information about the fate of our missing soldiers.

The unity that brings us to work together for one soldier is a testament to the ability of our people to come together in times of trouble. It is an expression of our strength, our responsibility, our mutual accountability. I believe in the power of this unity in times of trouble in the Knesset too. I believe that in spite of all the disagreements, at the moment of truth we will rise above them and work together for the important and common goals. These are the things that guide us: strength, responsibility and unity. We have one country, together we can protect it.

Thank you.

Another flotilla heads to Gaza

Source Article Link: YNet

Another flotilla heads to Gaza

Two ships carrying 27 activists from around world depart from Turkey en route to Gaza; slated to reach Strip on Friday

By Yitzhak Benhori

'Tahrir' ship before setting sail

New flotilla: Activists in New York announced Wednesday that two ships carrying 27 activists from five states, including the US, are currently sailing through international waters in the Mediterranean Sea en route to Gaza. The vessels departed from Turkey.

“The Canadian ship Tahrir and Irish ship Saoirse have successfully reached international waters, initiating ‘Freedom Wave to Gaza’. The boats have embarked from Turkey and are on the Mediterranean Sea,” the organisers from Ustogaza group said in an e-mailed statement.

The activists said they did not announce the step in advance in order to prevent US and Israeli pressure on countries where their ships docked. The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) called for an end to the blockade on Gaza and said it supported flotilla efforts to end the isolation of Palestinians in the Strip.

The organization, which provides legal aid to terror suspects held in Guantanamo, criticized US Congress for supporting the blockade.

One of the organizers, Jane Hirschmann, pledged to send more ships to show solidarity with Gaza’s population which she said was being imprisoned. “We shall not keep silent,” she said.

Ben, a left-wing activist in the West Bank told Ynet that on board the ships are citizens from the US, Canada, Ireland, Austria, Denmark and the Palestinian Authority. He noted that the ships originally departed from Ireland and Canada.

“The reason we didn’t publically announce the flotilla before reaching international waters was to prevent delays or sabotage which plagued past flotillas,” he said.

Ben added that the ships are slated to reach Gaza shores on Friday and that the activists do not intend to confront IDF soldiers. “There are no weapons on board and we pledged not to use any form of violence but passive resistance,” he noted. According to Ben, the ships carry humanitarian aid worth $30,000.

IDF to stop flotilla

The government has instructed the IDF to stop any vessel trying to break the siege. The IDF’s Spokesperson’s Unit said that Israel intends to offer the activists to transfer the humanitarian aid to Gaza via the Ashdod Port or Egypt. The Navy will not allow the ships to reach Gaza and is preparing to stop it.

The army’s information suggests that among the activists on board the vessels are journalists and an Arab-Israeli citizen. The flotilla was organized by Irish and Canadian pro-Palestinian groups and not the IHH, the army estimates.

IDF officials also believe that the ships carry little medical equipment as the flotilla’s purpose is to create provocation and not necessarily help the Palestinians.

Flooding web with updates

Meanwhile, the activists on board the ships are flooding the web with updates on their mission. Various websites have started following the vessels and are reporting on their whereabouts in the Mediterranean. They were last spotted east of Rhodes.

On activist wrote on his Twitter page that authorities have reduced the number of passengers on board each ship to 12. A journalist participating in the flotilla reported that the Turkish coast guard did not approach the ships.

Prior to setting sail the activists were documented in a video uploaded to the internet. Michael Coleman said he was “the Australian representative on the freedom flotilla. And yeah, there is a sense that this could possibly be déjà vu. I went home from the last flotilla feeling quite frustrated.”

The Alarab website posted a message from Majed Kiyal, a Haifa resident who is also participating in the flotilla.

MK Hanin Zoabi, who participated in 2010’s Gaza flotilla said: “This flotilla is proof that even the Palmer Report could not render an inhumane siege legal.” Zoabi expressed support of the activists and warned against a violent reaction by the IDF.

Elior Levy, Reuters, Hassan Shaalan, Roi Kais and Moran Azulay contributed to this report

NGO: PA doesn’t meet UNESCO statehood guidelines

NGO: PA doesn’t meet UNESCO statehood guidelines

IMPACT-SE report uncovers continued demonization of Israel and Jews in Palestinian textbooks.

By KHALED ABU TOAMEH

The Palestinian Authority does not meet the UNESCO recommendations for becoming a full member in the international organization, according to a study published on Monday by IMPACT-SE – the Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education.

IMPACT-SE is a research organization that monitors and analyzes schoolbooks and curricula across the Middle East with an eye toward determining their compliance with international standards on peace and tolerance, a goal derived directly from UNESCO declarations and resolutions.

“The monitoring of the Palestinian schoolbooks in use for the school year 2011 shows that the fundamentals against Israel and the Jews are upheld,” the study concluded.

It said that the fundamentals included negating both Israel and the Jews.

Israel, for example, is not mentioned among the states of the Levant (which presently consists of the states of Israel, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria as well as the Palestinian territories) and Jewish holy places are never mentioned as such. For instance, Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem is presented as the Bilal bin Rabah Mosque.

According to the study, the Jewish and Hebrew identity of Palestine under the British Mandate is stricken out. One illustration twists a stamp of Palestine under the British Mandate by erasing the Hebrew term ERETZ ISRAEL PALESTINA.

The study also found that there was continued demonization of both Israel and the Jews in the books. Jews are described, among others, as violating treaties, getting rich unduly, deceitful, murdering children, disemboweling women and invading snakes. They are never presented in neutral or positive terms.

The study quotes the following examples from the Palestinian schoolbooks: “The Messenger of God [Muhammad] ordered Zayd Ibn Thabit to learn the language of the Jews in order to be safe from their cheating,” History of the Arabs and Muslims, Grade 6, (2009), page 133; “Your enemies killed your children, split open your women’s bellies, held your revered elderly men by the beard, and led them to the death pits,” Reading and Texts, Grade 8, Part 2, [2003] (reprinted 2007), page 16; and “By your life! How come snakes invade us and we [still] observe a protection covenant [dhimma] which respects commitments?” Arabic Language– Linguistic Sciences, Grade 12, (2010), page 61.

“The Oslo accords and the Declaration of Principles are mentioned and even quoted, but they are not praised and a peacefully negotiated settlement is not advocated or supported,” said the authors of the study.

“In contrast, there is a lot of praise for jihad and martyrdom to free Palestine without defining clearly the territory to be liberated, hence implying that Israel’s territory is also to be liberated.”

The study quotes the following paragraph from a Grade 8 book: “Today the Muslim countries need urgently jihad and jihad fighters in order to liberate the robbed lands and to get rid of the robbing Jews from the robbed lands in Palestine and in the Levant.”

The Shoah is not mentioned at all, though one ambiguous passage reads as follows: “The Jewish question is first and foremost a European problem.”

2011/11/01

Rockets Still Flying From the Real Palestinian State

Source Article Link:Commentary Magazine

Rockets Still Flying From the Real Palestinian State

By Jonathan S. Tobin

The Palestinian Authority scored a major victory today in its campaign to secure international recognition as the government of an independent “Palestine” when UNESCO voted to admit it as a member state. But the actual Palestinian state — the one in Gaza where the Hamas terrorist group exercises virtually untrammeled sovereignty — gave the world another reminder of what such statehood actually means this weekend when it showered southern Israel with a barrage of missiles. One Israeli, 56-year-old Moshe Ami of Ashkelon was murdered in one of the attacks.

Ami’s death and the ongoing missile fire from Hamas and allied Islamist groups such as Islamic Jihad is being treated as just another one of those boring “cycle of violence” stories in most of the mainstream media in which the lead is as often as not about Israeli retaliation strikes aimed at silencing the missile fire. The focus of international diplomacy is, as always, the restoration of a meaningless cease-fire between Hamas and Israel that will last until the next time the rulers of Gaza feel like sending a message to Jerusalem. But the real message here is one that few are heeding. Palestinian independence in Gaza has only meant one thing: the right of terrorists to shoot at Jews with impunity.

The rocket attacks continued Monday night with more rockets landing in southern Israel though one was intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system. As was the case when fire from Gaza was at its height before Israel’s counter-offensive in December 2008, casualty figures caused by these rockets have been small but incessant. Though Israel still retains the ability to hit back hard against those firing the rockets, there is no escaping the fact that so long as Hamas governs Gaza there is no real hope of ending these attacks once and for all.

Israel has no desire to resume the governance of Gaza from which it withdrew completely in August of 2005 only to see the area become a secure missile-firing platform. Nor do the majority of Israelis have any wish to go on controlling areas of the West Bank where most Palestinians live. But those who harp on the evils of the “occupation” or speak of forcing more Israeli territorial withdrawals to save the country from itself rarely consider the consequences of what de facto (if not de jure) Palestinian independence in Gaza has meant to Israel.

The Hamas state in Gaza is a heavily armed terrorist regime that has never hesitated to project force against Israeli targets in order to score political points with a Palestinian political culture that still equates violence with credibility. Further empowering the PA and its Fatah leadership does nothing to quell that violence or to silence the rockets or attempts to duplicate Hamas’s successful kidnapping of Gilad Shalit. Israel’s critics must stop ignoring Gaza and its rockets when they speak of the need for Palestinian self-determination. So long as Palestinian independence is solely expressed via terrorism, the notion of an end to the conflict is purely theoretical. That’s the clear lesson that the actual Palestinian state — as opposed to the pretend one that Fatah pretends to lead — has been teaching us again this week.

Israel and the Apartheid Slander

Source Article Link: NY Times

Israel and the Apartheid Slander

Daniel Hertzberg

By RICHARD J. GOLDSTONE

THE Palestinian Authority’s request for full United Nations membership has put hope for any two-state solution under increasing pressure. The need for reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians has never been greater. So it is important to separate legitimate criticism of Israel from assaults that aim to isolate, demonize and delegitimize it.

One particularly pernicious and enduring canard that is surfacing again is that Israel pursues “apartheid” policies. In Cape Town starting on Saturday, a London-based nongovernmental organization called the Russell Tribunal on Palestine will hold a “hearing” on whether Israel is guilty of the crime of apartheid. It is not a “tribunal.” The “evidence” is going to be one-sided and the members of the “jury” are critics whose harsh views of Israel are well known.

While “apartheid” can have broader meaning, its use is meant to evoke the situation in pre-1994 South Africa. It is an unfair and inaccurate slander against Israel, calculated to retard rather than advance peace negotiations.

I know all too well the cruelty of South Africa’s abhorrent apartheid system, under which human beings characterized as black had no rights to vote, hold political office, use “white” toilets or beaches, marry whites, live in whites-only areas or even be there without a “pass.” Blacks critically injured in car accidents were left to bleed to death if there was no “black” ambulance to rush them to a “black” hospital. “White” hospitals were prohibited from saving their lives.

In assessing the accusation that Israel pursues apartheid policies, which are by definition primarily about race or ethnicity, it is important first to distinguish between the situations in Israel, where Arabs are citizens, and in West Bank areas that remain under Israeli control in the absence of a peace agreement.

In Israel, there is no apartheid. Nothing there comes close to the definition of apartheid under the 1998 Rome Statute: “Inhumane acts … committed in the context of an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over any other racial group or groups and committed with the intention of maintaining that regime.” Israeli Arabs — 20 percent of Israel’s population — vote, have political parties and representatives in the Knesset and occupy positions of acclaim, including on its Supreme Court. Arab patients lie alongside Jewish patients in Israeli hospitals, receiving identical treatment.

To be sure, there is more de facto separation between Jewish and Arab populations than Israelis should accept. Much of it is chosen by the communities themselves. Some results from discrimination. But it is not apartheid, which consciously enshrines separation as an ideal. In Israel, equal rights are the law, the aspiration and the ideal; inequities are often successfully challenged in court.

The situation in the West Bank is more complex. But here too there is no intent to maintain “an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group.” This is a critical distinction, even if Israel acts oppressively toward Palestinians there. South Africa’s enforced racial separation was intended to permanently benefit the white minority, to the detriment of other races. By contrast, Israel has agreed in concept to the existence of a Palestinian state in Gaza and almost all of the West Bank, and is calling for the Palestinians to negotiate the parameters.

But until there is a two-state peace, or at least as long as Israel’s citizens remain under threat of attacks from the West Bank and Gaza, Israel will see roadblocks and similar measures as necessary for self-defense, even as Palestinians feel oppressed. As things stand, attacks from one side are met by counterattacks from the other. And the deep disputes, claims and counterclaims are only hardened when the offensive analogy of “apartheid” is invoked.

Those seeking to promote the myth of Israeli apartheid often point to clashes between heavily armed Israeli soldiers and stone-throwing Palestinians in the West Bank, or the building of what they call an “apartheid wall” and disparate treatment on West Bank roads. While such images may appear to invite a superficial comparison, it is disingenuous to use them to distort the reality. The security barrier was built to stop unrelenting terrorist attacks; while it has inflicted great hardship in places, the Israeli Supreme Court has ordered the state in many cases to reroute it to minimize unreasonable hardship. Road restrictions get more intrusive after violent attacks and are ameliorated when the threat is reduced.

Of course, the Palestinian people have national aspirations and human rights that all must respect. But those who conflate the situations in Israel and the West Bank and liken both to the old South Africa do a disservice to all who hope for justice and peace.

Jewish-Arab relations in Israel and the West Bank cannot be simplified to a narrative of Jewish discrimination. There is hostility and suspicion on both sides. Israel, unique among democracies, has been in a state of war with many of its neighbors who refuse to accept its existence. Even some Israeli Arabs, because they are citizens of Israel, have at times come under suspicion from other Arabs as a result of that longstanding enmity.

The mutual recognition and protection of the human dignity of all people is indispensable to bringing an end to hatred and anger. The charge that Israel is an apartheid state is a false and malicious one that precludes, rather than promotes, peace and harmony.

Richard J. Goldstone, a former justice of the South African Constitutional Court, led the United Nations fact-finding mission on the Gaza conflict of 2008-9.

2011/10/23

Marketing Gilad Schalit

Filed under: Gaza, Gilad Shalit, Hamas, Israel, Muslim Brotherhood, Palestine, Terrorism — - @ 6:11 pm

Marketing Gilad Schalit

Source Article Link: Caroline Glick.com

hamas celebrations.jpgGilad Schalit is home. And that is wonderful. The terrorists Israel released in exchange for the IDF soldier held hostage by Hamas for more than five years are running around Judea, Samaria and Gaza promising to return to terror. And that is a nightmare.

But so far, the Israeli public is happy with the outcome. Indeed, the polling data on the government’s decision to swap 1,027 terrorists for Schalit are stunning.

According to the New Wave poll carried out for Makor Rishon, for instance, 75.7 percent of the public supported the deal and only 15.5 percent opposed it. In a society as rife with internal divisions as Israel, it is hard to think of any issue that enjoys the support of three quarters of the population. But even more amazing than the level of support is that the poll also shows the vast majority of Israelis believe that the deal harms Israel’s national security.

Sixty-one-and-a-half percent of respondents believe the deal increases the Palestinians’ motivation to commit acts of terror. Only 23.4 percent disagree.

The New Wave poll’s results are in line with the polling data reported by other firms. Down the line, the numbers are consistent:

Three quarters of the public supported the deal and two-thirds of the public said it endangers the country. What this means is that two-thirds of the public listened to their hearts instead of their heads in supporting the Schalit-for-murderers swap.

How can this triumph of emotion over reason be explained? Israelis are not a society of overgrown adolescents, enslaved by their urges. So what brought a large majority of Israelis to favor a deal they know endangers them?

Part of the answer was provided in an article in the Globes newspaper on Monday. Titled “Lucky the kidnapping happened in the technological era” and written by Anat Bein-Leibovitz, it analyzed the five-year advertising campaign that shaped public perceptions about Schalit and built public support for a deal that obviously harms the country.

The Shalmor Avnon Amichai firm ran the campaign to free Schalit. Shlomi Avnon, a partner in the agency, described the goals of the campaign as follows: “The first goal was to generate empathy for Gilad and his family. We did not know when the government needed to make a decision, but we wanted the Schalit family to enjoy wide public support when a decision came. It was clear that Gilad’s return would be at a high price to Israel, and in order to make sure that Gilad would be returned, it was critical that there should be public support to put pressure on the government.

“The second goal was to keep Gilad in the public consciousness so that he would not be forgotten…. We attacked on all fronts: emotionally, by comparing Gilad with Ron Arad, and on a security level, by bringing in security personalities who supported his release.

“We made a decision that our target audience was the public and not decision makers, because we knew that with decision makers all could be lost….”

Avnon and his colleagues marketed Schalit like a commercial product. As advertising executive Sefi Shaked explained, “This was a battle between two brands. One was ‘Bring Gilad back,’ and the other ‘Woe if we free murderers.’ The challenge for the Gilad brand was to maintain awareness of it, to keep going forward….They did much better work than the rival brand, which is a strong brand, but it didn’t do much. They gave it the knockout.”

While the PR executives interviewed for the article are correct in their assessment that the Shalmor Avnon Amichai agency’s campaign was well conceived and professionally executed, the fact is that over the past 20 years, hiring PR firms to conceive and implement public campaigns has become standard operating procedure in Israel. And yet, it is hard to think of any such campaign that succeeded as overwhelmingly as the terrorists-for-Gilad campaign did.

For instance, the Council of Jewish Communities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza paid a king’s ransom for its public relations campaign against the withdrawal from Gaza and northern Samaria. The council’s leaders mobilized more than a million Israelis to take part in the campaign that lasted for more than a year. And yet, they failed to accomplish their mission.

Other campaigns were successful in forcing the government’s hand. But they still didn’t enjoy anywhere near the support levels that the Gilad-for-murderers deal did. The campaigns for the Oslo accords with the PLO, for the withdrawal from southern Lebanon, for the release of hostages or bodies in return for terrorists, and for the withdrawal from Gaza and northern Samaria were all successful. But they were carried out in the face of a divided public.

As the polls show, the consensus formed around the cause of Schalit’s release at all costs does not owe to public approval of terrorist-forhostage swaps. So what formed this consensus?

In Schalit’s case, the reason that the PR campaign worked so well is because the media and the national security community – the two national institutions that are supposed to be the watchdogs of Israel’s national interests against the advertising executives – opted to behave like lapdogs.

Speaking to Globes, the PR executives were unanimous in their judgment that the success of the campaign was due to the media’s total mobilization on behalf of the cause.

As Gil Samsonov put it, “The first target audience was the media, which were mobilized, and everyone did their jobs while minimizing the opposition.”

Yair Geller added that Schalit is “lucky that the abduction happened at a time when the media are the strongest power…. The media left the government no option not to act.”

The executives are correct that the media are the strongest force in Israeli society. Their power owes to the fact that the major media organs are ideologically uniform and therefore act consistently as a pack.

It was the media’s overwhelming support for the Oslo process, for the withdrawals from Lebanon and Gaza, and for previous hostages-for- terrorist swaps that forced the hand of the government time after time. It was similarly the media’s opposition to the PR campaign against the withdrawal from Gaza that doomed it to failure.

By choosing sides, the media ensure there is no substantive public debate about the controversial campaigns they support. Rather than debate the substance of an issue, the media, together with PR firms, personalize disputes.

In the case of the Lebanon withdrawal, the media cast the debate as one between indifferent IDF commanders and concerned mothers of soldiers. The Gaza withdrawal was cast as a dispute between Ariel Sharon, a wise grandfather who loved the country and was democratically elected, and settler zealots who wanted IDF soldiers to die so they could keep their profitable farms and fancy villas. Hostages-for-murderers swaps are cast as battles between innocent soldiers and evil politicians who would let them die.

In all cases, the threat posed by surrendering to Israel’s enemies is ignored or glossed over.

By barring a real debate on the most contentious issues of the day, for the past two decades the media have been able to dictate policy on the most contentious issues facing the country. Still, none of these media victories were won with the consensus support enjoyed by the Schalit campaign.

What distinguished the Schalit campaign from those that preceded it was not the media mobilization but the complicity of the IDF, Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) and Mossad. In all the other campaigns, the security services either opposed the campaigns or stood on the sidelines.

In an interview with Haaretz this past Sunday, Col. Ronen Cohen, who recently retired from IDF Military Intelligence, said the IDF never tried to put together an operation to rescue Schalit. In his words, Schalit’s prolonged captivity “was a resounding failure of the IDF…. The IDF never took responsibility for the soldier and did not even set up a team to deal with bringing him back.”

As a consequence, the IDF gave the government no choice other than to pay a ransom for Schalit.

According to PR executive Geller, the IDF’s abdication of its responsibility to rescue Schalit was influenced by the media’s full mobilization on behalf of the PR campaign. “That [Schalit] was not hurt in a rescue operation is due, among other things, to the high value that the media placed on him.” The IDF was too afraid of media criticism to risk a rescue raid.

Even in the face of the IDF’s abdication of responsibility to save Schalit, the previous heads of the IDF, Shin Bet and Mossad all opposed the swap as dangerous, and so Israel rejected it.

But, in the end, the media won out. Defense Minister Ehud Barak replaced the security bosses with successors who agreed to subordinate their professional judgment to the media’s demands. They all adopted the demonstrably false position that releasing 1,027 terrorists would not endanger Israel. This is what enabled the public consensus to form.

It is possible that now that Schalit and the terrorists are free the media will permit a debate on the wisdom of future deals. For instance, a debate has already begun on mandatory capital punishment for terrorist killers.

But there are more pressing issues that need to be resolved today if we want to prevent the public from being manipulated again into adopting positions wholly at odds with reason and the national interest. The first issue is that of the media.

Given the media’s unchecked power to repeatedly manipulate public opinion to adhere to its radical ideological agenda, it is essential that the government and Knesset step in and reform the media market. Broadcast licensing procedures for television and radio must be deregulated. Television and radio must be open to competition. Broadcasters should be allowed to broadcast whatever they want whenever they want, and the market should dictate who rises and who falls. This is the only way to protect the public against manipulation, and the government from blackmail.

Then there is the IDF. To fix what has clearly become broken in the IDF we must have a serious public discussion about its irresponsible, unprofessional behavior throughout Schalit’s period of captivity. The public must be made aware of the apparent leadership crisis at the top ranks of the IDF in order to force the government to enact necessary changes in personnel and compel serving commanders to change their behavior.

The internal contradiction at the heart of the consensus for ransoming Schalit for terrorists renders it likely that the unanimity now surrounding the deal will evaporate soon. But to prevent PR firms and the media from successfully manipulating the public and blackmailing politicians in the future, we must check the power of the media and hold the IDF accountable for its failures today. Otherwise, it is only a matter of time before the public again is convinced to support policies that it knows endanger the country.

2011/10/18

Will the World Ask Why Palestinians Celebrate Murder?

Source Article Link: Commentary Magazine

Will the World Ask Why Palestinians Celebrate Murder?

Jonathan S. Tobin

The painful debate about Israel’s decision to trade 1,000 imprisoned Palestinian terrorists for kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit​ continues this week with the families of terror victims attempting to sue the government to prevent the swap. Though the vast majority of Israelis support the trade and Prime Minister Netanyahu’s willingness to pay the ransom for Shalit, the impending release of so many murderers is nothing to celebrate. That is, unless you are a Palestinian.

Mass rallies and celebrations are being planned in Ramallah to celebrate the freedom of those who were convicted of mass murders. Who will they be cheering? As the New York Times reports:

Those being freed include the founders of Hamas’s armed wing and militants who kidnapped and killed Israeli soldiers and civilians. A mastermind of the 2001 bombing of a Jerusalem pizzeria who killed 15 will walk out of prison, as will a woman who used the Internet to lure a lovesick Israeli teenager to a Palestinian city and had him murdered.

Most of the prisoners were serving life sentences, some for being involved in attacks like the 2001 bombing of a Tel Aviv nightclub that killed 21 people and a suicide bombing a year later of a Netanya hotel in which 29 died.

Apologists for the Palestinians will argue those in Israeli jails were resisting the “occupation” of the country, though few will own up to the fact that as far as the prisoners are concerned, the territory of pre-June 1967 Israel is just as “occupied” as the West Bank. But even if you think the Palestinian cause is just, how can anyone justify the slaughter of innocents such as at the Sbarro bombing in Jerusalem? Even if you think Israel should withdraw back to the 1967 lines, how can any civilized person condone the Palestinian decision to treat those who committed such atrocities as heroes?

What is on trial this week is not the moral calculus by which Netanyahu decided that saving the life of one Jewish soldier was worth the subversion of justice–freeing murderers as ransom. What ought to be discussed is the upside-down ethos of Palestinian political culture in which the spilling of Jewish blood grants the killer not only absolution but also heroic status.

The world turned away in horror a decade ago when a photograph captured the moment when one of the ringleaders of a Palestinian lynch mob showed his bloodstained hands to a cheering crowd after he had helped murder an Israeli. Yet today, the Palestinian political elite, including many whom our government deems “moderates,” will not only facilitate the release of this miscreant but treat him like a conquering hero.

The prisoner swap has unfortunately reminded us of the depths of degradation to which the Palestinian political culture sank during the second intifada, as mass slaughter became not merely a tool of war but the touchstone of a people’s identity. We would have hoped the passage of years and the realization of the cost in Palestinian suffering that this terror war incurred would have sobered them up. It would be one thing if these murderers were taken back in an atmosphere that showed some recognition their crimes were nothing to emulate. But instead, the release is proving to be yet another indication nothing has changed.

Those, like the Obama administration, who repeat tired clichés about the need for Israel to take risks for peace, never seem to own up to the costs of those risks. The second intifada and the 1,000 Jewish lives lost to terrorists were the price of earlier risks previous Israeli governments took in the hope of securing peace. The celebration that will convulse Palestinian society tomorrow is sad proof that similar risks taken today will also be paid for in blood.

Rather than ask why Israel is willing to trade so many terrorists for one soldier, the world should be asking why the Palestinians are cheering the release of sociopaths.

2011/09/27

Palestinian Nationhood: Truth… The Key to Peace

Filed under: Arab Nations, Gaza, History, Israel, Palestine, United Nations — - @ 9:55 am

This is a great explanation of the historical timeline Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speech was about at the United Nations. W

Source Link: Family Security Matters

Palestinian Nationhood: Truth… The Key to Peace

Written By Gadi Adelman

September is here in the midst of the “Arab Spring”, the month that I have been writing about and speaking about on my radio show for months. The Palestinian Authority (PA) has entered its application for Statehood with General Ban Ki-moon and the UN.

The announcement came from PA President Mahmoud Abbas as he addressed the UN this past Friday. Why the “President” of a non-existent country should even allowed to address the UN can be answered with two words: Yasser Arafat.

On October 14, 1974, the United Nations invited Yasser Arafat, then Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization, to address the General Assembly, pursuant to General Assembly resolution 3210. Arafat was the first representative of a non-governmental organization to address a session of the UN General Assembly. He was also the first leader to address the UN while wearing a holster, although contrary to stories, it did not contain a gun.

Not long after, the PLO was given observer status and the UN recognized the rights of the Palestinians to self-determination in Resolutions 3236 and 3237.

Yes, the PLO, the same organization that spawned such groups as Fatah, Black September, Tanzim and Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade. The same organization that was responsible for hundreds of bombings, hijackings, assassinations as well as other known terror acts. These included the killing of the 11 individuals that made up the entire Israeli Olympic team and their coaches in Munich in 1972, the murder of Cleo Noel, American ambassador to Sudan, in 1973, as well as the 1985 hijacking of the Achille Lauro cruise ship which resulted in the murder of wheelchair-bound Leon Klinghoffer.

What I consider to be an important side note, the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade also claimed responsibility for the November 1975 bombing in Jerusalem, an attack that I survived and which claimed the lives of 7 children.

After October 1974 and Resolution 3210, we saw the “leaders” of the PLO and later the Palestinian Authority (PA) address the UN General Assembly time and again. Friday’s address was far removed from those in the past. This time PA leader Mahmoud Abbas, told the UN and the world,

We aspire for and seek a greater and more effective role for the United Nations in working to achieve a just and comprehensive peace in our region that ensures the inalienable, legitimate national rights of the Palestinian people as defined by the resolutions of international legitimacy of the United Nations.

International legitimacy”, in other words, an independent state or country. Abbas laid out five points during his speech. The first point was, in part,

The goal of the Palestinian people is the realization of their inalienable national rights in their independent State of Palestine, with East Jerusalem as its capital, on all the land of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip, which Israel occupied in the June 1967 war…

During the Six Day War in 1967 Israel captured land through battles and bloodshed. That land later became known as the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. But whose land was this? Was this a state or country known as Palestine? No. The West Bank was part of Jordan and the Gaza Strip was part of Egypt.

That was not the only land that Israel captured.  In addition they captured the Golan Heights which was a part of Syria. So why are the so-called Palestinians not also asking for the Golan Heights? Because the Golan was never a refugee camp of displaced people.

On December 9, 1917, as the First World War was winding down, Jerusalem surrendered to the British forces. Two days later General Allenby entered Jerusalem. This marked the end of four centuries of Ottoman-Turk rule (the Ottoman Empire) and the beginning of thirty years of British rule, otherwise known as the British Mandate.

The mandate system was established in the League of Nations (the forerunner to the UN) by Article 22 which was formulated at the Paris Peace Conference between January and June 1919. Article 22 stated in part,

To those colonies and territories which as a consequence of the late war have ceased to be under the sovereignty of the States which formerly governed them and which are inhabited by peoples not yet able to stand by themselves under the strenuous conditions of the modern world, there should be applied the principle that the well-being and development of such peoples form a sacred trust of civilization and that securities for the performance of this trust should be embodied in this Covenant.

To put it in to simple terms, the territories would be entrusted to advanced nations until such time as the local population could handle their own affairs. This was all incorporated into the Treaty of Versailles on June 28, 1919.

At the end of the British Mandate, on November 29, 1947, the UN General Assembly, by a two-thirds vote (33 to 13 with Britain and nine others abstaining) passed Resolution 181 partitioning Palestine into two states, one Jewish and one Arab. Yes, that is fact. One Jewish, which would later become Israel, and one Arab.

The Jews of Palestine accepted this partition despite the small size and strategic vulnerability of the proposed state. Additionally  this proposed territory was one tenth of the original size that had been promised as a Jewish homeland.

As soon as the vote was announced, the Arab delegations of Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Yemen stormed out, threatening war and the annihilation of all Palestinian Jews. The Arab national movement in Palestine, as well as all of the other Arab states, rejected any partition. They demanded the entire country and threatened to resist the partition by force.

So we need to explain how Trans-Jordan (known today as Jordan) figures in to all this. According to the website History of Nations,

At the end of World War I, the League of Nations as the mandate for Palestine and Transjordan awarded the territory now comprising Israel, Jordan, the West Bank, Gaza, and Jerusalem to the United Kingdom. In 1922, the British divided the mandate by establishing the semiautonomous Emirate of Transjordan.

It must be stressed here that the White Paper (also known as the Churchill White Paper) stated that the Balfour Declaration could not be amended and that the Jews were in Palestine by right. It partitioned the area of the Mandate by excluding the area east of the Jordan River from Jewish settlement. The land was 76% of the original Palestine Mandate land. It was renamed Transjordan and was given to the Emir Abdullah by the British.

A British memorandum that was presented to the League of Nations on September 16, 1922, stated that the provisions of the Mandate document calling for the establishment of a Jewish national home were not applicable to the territory known as Trans-Jordan, thereby severing almost 80% of the Mandate land from any possible Jewish Homeland.

It amazes me that the world forgets the fact that the Arab demands for a state or a “Palestine” were already satisfied once, it’s called Jordan.

The British divided the mandate establishing Trans-Jordan, but that is also how the West Bank and its “refugees” enter the picture.

Once the Arabs rejected the partition of Palestine, the surrounding Arab nations told the Arabs of Palestine to flee due to the impending war. Many went to Trans-Jordan. Again, according to the History of Nations website,

Transjordan was one of the Arab states which moved to assist Palestinian nationalists opposed to the creation of Israel in May 1948, and took part in the warfare between the Arab states and the newly founded State of Israel. The armistice agreements of April 3, 1949 left Jordan in control of the West Bank and provided that the armistice demarcation lines were without prejudice to future territorial settlements or boundary lines.

In 1950, the country was renamed the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan to include those portions of Palestine annexed by King Abdullah. While recognizing Jordanian administration over the West Bank, the United States maintained the position that ultimate sovereignty was subject to future agreement.

“The armistice agreements of April 3, 1949 left Jordan in control of the West Bank”, so, the West Bank was part of Jordan from 1949 until 1967. It was during this time period that Jordan set up “refugee camps” for the Palestinians because they were not “Jordanians”.

There are many reasons as to why Jordan created these refugees in camps, but simply explained, according to Wikipedia,

At the time, the population east of the Jordan River contained over 400,000 Palestinian refugees who made up one-third of the population of the Kingdom; another third of the population was Palestinians on the West Bank. Only one third of the population consisted of the original inhabitants of Trans-Jordan, which meant that the Jordanians had become a ruling minority over a Palestinian majority. This proved to be a mercurial element in internal Jordanian politics and played a critical role in the political opposition. Since the 1950s, the West Bank had become the center of the national and territorial aspects of the Palestinian problem that was the key issue of Jordan’s domestic and foreign policy. According to King Hussein, the Palestinian problem spelled “life or death” for Jordan and would remain the country’s overriding national security issue.

In reality, the West Bank was Jordan, yet Jordan is not asking Israel for that area back. That is because in 1988, Jordan renounced all claims to the West Bank. It did not want to deal with the “Palestinian” issue yet again.

The same holds true for the Gaza Strip, once an area belonging to Egypt. Once again, we must look at the UN 1947 partition plan. The United Nations 1947 partition plan allotted the coastal strip from Yavneh to Rafiah on the Egyptian border to be an Arab state. But remember the Arabs rejected that offer.

In 1948 before the Arabs attacked the newly formed Israel, most Arab inhabitants in Gaza fled or were expelled, settling around Gaza City. The Israeli Defense Forces captured Gaza in 1948, but Israel gave control of the Gaza Strip to Egypt in negotiations, keeping the towns of Ashdod and Ashkelon. In 1956, Israel again went to war with Egypt and captured Gaza yet again, only to return it again.

When Israel returned the entire Sinai Peninsula to Egypt as part of their peace agreement in 1979, Egypt refused to take the Gaza Strip back. Again, these “people” were not really Egyptians and therefore were not wanted.

These are the facts and they had to be explained. Too many people have no clue how we have gotten to this point. As clear as Netanyahu’s speech was, it did not explain the facts leading up to today.

So now Gaza is somehow Israel’s problem even though Israel left Gaza in 2005. As Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu explained in his UN speech shortly after Abbas spoke,

We withdrew from Lebanon in 2000 and from every square inch of Gaza in 2005. That didn’t calm the Islamic storm, the militant Islamic storm that threatens us. It only brought the storm closer and made it stronger.

Netanyahu did address the problem with territorial compromises,

Now, some argue that the spread of militant Islam, especially in these turbulent times — if you want to slow it down, they argue, Israel must hurry to make concessions, to make territorial compromises. And this theory sounds simple. Basically it goes like this: Leave the territory, and peace will be advanced. The moderates will be strengthened; the radicals will be kept at bay. And don’t worry about the pesky details of how Israel will actually defend itself; international troops will do the job.

These people say to me constantly: Just make a sweeping offer, and everything will work out. You know, there’s only one problem with that theory. We’ve tried it and it hasn’t worked. In 2000 Israel made a sweeping peace offer that met virtually all of the Palestinian demands. Arafat rejected it. The Palestinians then launched a terror attack that claimed a thousand Israeli lives.

“Prime Minister Olmert afterwards made an even more sweeping offer, in 2008. President Abbas didn’t even respond to it.”
He went on to state facts about what happens each time Israel gives land for peace,

Hezbollah and Hamas fired thousands of rockets against our cities from the very territories we vacated. See, when Israel left Lebanon and Gaza, the moderates didn’t defeat the radicals; the moderates were devoured by the radicals. And I regret to say that international troops like UNIFIL in Lebanon and UBAM in Gaza didn’t stop the radicals from attacking Israel.

We left Gaza hoping for peace. We didn’t freeze the settlements in Gaza, we uprooted them. We did exactly what the theory says: Get out, go back to the 1967 borders, dismantle the settlements.

He explained the fact of what happened to the PA in Gaza when Israel withdrew,

But ladies and gentlemen, we didn’t get peace. We got war. We got Iran, which through its proxy Hamas promptly kicked out the Palestinian Authority. The Palestinian Authority collapsed in a day — in one day.

He spoke about the fact of weapons,

President Abbas just said on this podium that the Palestinians are armed only with their hopes and dreams. Yeah, hopes, dreams and 10,000 missiles and Grad rockets supplied by Iran, not to mention the river of lethal weapons now flowing into Gaza from the Sinai, from Libya, and from elsewhere.

When it came to the rights of Arabs in Israel, he again spoke in facts,

The Jewish state of Israel will always protect the rights of all its minorities, including the more than 1 million Arab citizens of Israel. I wish I could say the same thing about a future Palestinian state, for as Palestinian officials made clear the other day — in fact, I think they made it right here in New York — they said the Palestinian state won’t allow any Jews in it. They’ll be Jew-free — Judenrein. That’s ethnic cleansing. There are laws today in Ramallah that make the selling of land to Jews punishable by death. That’s racism. And you know which laws this evokes.

The Palestinian Authority refuses to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, how can Israel be expected to make peace with a neighbor that refuses to recognize them? Netanyahu spoke of this as well,

Ladies and gentlemen, last year in Israel in Bar-Ilan University, this year in the Knesset and in the U.S. Congress, I laid out my vision for peace in which a demilitarized Palestinian state recognizes the Jewish state. Yes, the Jewish state. After all, this is the body that recognized the Jewish state 64 years ago. Now, don’t you think it’s about time that Palestinians did the same?

He explained the fact that the problem is not settlements while pointing out with Abbas’s very own words that the issue is Israel and not the “territories”.

President Abbas just stood here, and he said that the core of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the settlements. Well, that’s odd. Our conflict has been raging for — was raging for nearly half a century before there was a single Israeli settlement in the West Bank. So if what President Abbas is saying was true, then the — I guess that the settlements he’s talking about are Tel Aviv, Haifa, Jaffa, Be’er Sheva. Maybe that’s what he meant the other day when he said that Israel has been occupying Palestinian land for 63 years. He didn’t say from 1967; he said from 1948. I hope somebody will bother to ask him this question because it illustrates a simple truth: The core of the conflict is not the settlements. The settlements are a result of the conflict.

Lastly he offered Abbas and the PA to sit down once again,

In two and a half years, we met in Jerusalem only once, even though my door has always been open to you. If you wish, I’ll come to Ramallah. Actually, I have a better suggestion. We’ve both just flown thousands of miles to New York. Now we’re in the same city. We’re in the same building. So let’s meet here today in the United Nations. Who’s there to stop us? What is there to stop us? If we genuinely want peace, what is there to stop us from meeting today and beginning peace negotiations?

I am sad to report the fact that,  once again, Abbas has failed to respond.

FamilySecurityMatters.org  Contributing Editor Gadi Adelman is a freelance writer and lecturer on the history of terrorism and counterterrorism. He grew up in Israel, studying terrorism and Islam for 35 years after surviving a terrorist bomb in Jerusalem in which 7 children were killed. Since returning to the U. S., Gadi teaches and lectures to law enforcement agencies as well as high schools and colleges. He can be heard every Thursday night at 8PM est. on his own radio show “AmericaAkbar” on Blog Talk Radio. He can be reached through his website gadiadelman.com.

2011/09/23

Stolen History

View this document on Scribd

2011/08/23

Popular Resistance Committees – Trained and funded by Hamas

Source Link: IDF

Popular Resistance Committees – Trained and funded by Hamas

Hamas uses PRC as means of continuing “resistance” against Israel

Date: 22/08/2011, 4:27 PM Author: IDF Website

The Popular Resistance Committees was responsible for the terrorist attacks on Thursday (August 18) in which eight Israelis were killed and dozens more wounded.

The PRC is an independent terrorist organization in the Gaza Strip that is supported, subsidized and trained by the Hamas terrorist organization.

The organization was founded in September 2000 following the outbreak of the Second Intifada, during which over 1,000 Israelis were killed. The PRC operates in coordination with Iranian authorities and the Hezbollah terrorist organization and has conducted multiple terrorist activities against Israeli civilians and IDF soldiers.

The PRC carries out direct attacks against Israel from the Gaza Strip, without any clear national, ideological or religious affiliation in the Gaza political arena.

The PRC is directly supported by the Hamas terrorist organization that controls Gaza.

Hamas allows the PRC to act independently. Hamas views the PRC as a means of continuing “resistance” against Israel while being able to claim that it is not involved in the PRC’s terrorist activities. According to intelligence information, Hamas is directly involved in funding and training the PRC terrorists.

In the past few years, the PRC led several terrorist operations against Israel.

In June 2006, the PRC, in cooperation with Hamas, attacked an IDF post in the Kerem Shalom area, during which IDF soldier Gilad Shalit was kidnapped.

Around the same time, the PRC took responsibility for the murder of Israeli civilian Eliyahu Ashri in Judea and Samaria.

Last Thursday (August 18), the PRC led the terrorist attacks on the Israel-Egypt border near Eilat, killing eight Israelis.

A number of PRC terrorists, including senior operatives, were killed in IDF operations since Thursday’s attacks.

The PRC has taken responsibility for dozens of rockets launched at southern Israel over the past few days.

2011/08/22

Egypt and Israel Caught in an Al-Qaeda Whirlpool?

Source Link: Jerusalem Center

Egypt and Israel Caught in an Al-Qaeda Whirlpool?

Written by Jacques Neriah

A clear strategic context explains the recent flare-up between Israel and the Palestinian extremist organizations in the Gaza Strip, which was sparked by the armed incursion into Israel, across the Egyptian border, of more than twenty Palestinian terrorists from the Popular Resistance Committees. This assault, which left eight Israelis dead, set off the latest round of fighting in southern Israel. It would not have been possible without the growing weakness of the Egyptian regime’s grip on Egypt as a whole and the Sinai Peninsula in particular, especially since the collapse of the police state maintained by ousted president Hosni Mubarak.

Israeli spokesmen as well as politicians repeatedly stressed the fact that Egypt had almost lost control in Sinai. Israelis noted that Egypt’s gas pipeline to Israel, Jordan, and Lebanon had been sabotaged five times since the inception of the post-Mubarak military regime. Israel also issued warnings to its citizens not to stay in Sinai since it had become a haven for terrorists, smugglers, and arms trafficking. Intelligence sources said there were about ten thousand Muslim extremists in Sinai, training and getting logistical support from local Bedouins.

Oddly enough, the Egyptians were ready to admit privately their own limitations in halting the massive smuggling from Sinai into Gaza. According to Wikileaks documents, it was the same Field Marshal Tantawi, today head of the Supreme Military Council and then defense minister under Mubarak, who negotiated with the U.S. administration ways to prevent the influx of weapons from Egypt to Gaza. At that time the Egyptians were contemplating building a steel wall to seal the border with Gaza hermetically (on April 12 the Egyptian daily Al-Masry Al-Youm reported that Egypt had ceased building this wall). Tantawi was also considering an American suggestion to use new technologies meant to destroy underground tunnels, which were used to channel the weapons into Gaza.

The same intelligence sources reported that since Mubarak’s resignation and a more sympathetic Egyptian policy toward the Palestinian cause coupled with a tougher approach to Israel, thousands of rockets along with ammunition and equipment had been smuggled into Gaza from Egypt. Israel was no longer in control of the border. The weapons were transported by Palestinian activists assisted by Bedouins living in Sinai, sometimes with the tacit acquiescence of the Egyptian authorities in the areas and usually without Egypt’s prior knowledge.

To stop the loosening of the Egyptian grip on Sinai, Israel agreed twice to significant Egyptian troop increases to their force deployment in the peninsula, thus changing the parameters set in the military annex of the Israeli-Egyptian Peace Treaty. The latest deployment of more than a thousand troops was made only a few days before the terrorist incursion into Israel and was meant to boost Egypt’s efforts to regain its hold on Sinai. Assessing that the main threat to Egypt’s authority was in northern Sinai, where the gas pipeline splits toward the neighboring countries, Egypt decided to deploy its forces in that area, thus leaving the southern part diluted of forces and open to infiltrations.

However, from day one of the operations against the extremist organizations in northern Sinai, the Egyptian authorities realized to their dismay that the phenomenon is not limited to Sinai but engulfs the whole of Egypt. Islamist cells have been created all over Egypt so as to topple the regime by force. The network of Palestinian organizations in Gaza has already proved to be a threat to Egypt itself. In January 2011 Egypt’s former interior minister, Habib el-Adly, charged that the Gaza-based Palestinian Islamist group Jaish al-Islam was responsible for a New Year’s Eve attack on a Coptic church in Alexandria that left twenty-three Egyptian Christians dead. Jaish al-Islam is an Al-Qaeda affiliate and was formed by members of the Popular Resistance Committees, the organization responsible for last week’s attack within Israel.

Indeed, only two days before that event on Road 12 to Eilat, the Egyptian security forces mounted an attack east of the town of El-Arish in northern Sinai. This revealed yet another spillover of radical Islamic groups from Gaza into Sinai, which threatened Egypt and not just Israel. In the aftermath the following details were released:

  1. The members of the group were part of a Takfiri organization, that is, the same organization of Muslim zealots that assassinated President Sadat in 1981, some of whom subsequently joined the Al-Qaeda militants.
  2. The group was trained militarily in Gaza and in the region of Jabal Hilal in central Sinai, which is now the area where most of the fundamentalists fleeing the Egyptian security forces have found refuge. Jabal Hilal has been a notorious base for Al-Qaeda in the recent past and the location of difficult battles between Al-Qaeda and the Egyptian army, in which, in one case, an Egyptian general was killed.
  3. Those militants were part of the groups that sabotaged the gas pipeline to Israel.
  4. The leader of the Palestinians who allied with the Egyptian members of the El-Arish group was a member of Islamic Jihad in Gaza. He managed to reach El-Arish by using one of the underground tunnels. He had been in prison in Egypt but was able to escape to Gaza in the wake of the Egyptian revolution.
  5. The Egyptians associated with the Palestinians were highly educated (one a mechanical engineer, another with a BA in administration) and came from Suez, Alexandria, Qalyoubiah, and Suhaj. The Egyptian security forces were surprised, since this was the first time a Sinai terrorist cell included members from outside of Sinai.
  6. The interrogations revealed that there was a Takfiri presence almost throughout Egypt. El-Arish was a convenient location because it is close to Gaza and Israel, making it easier to obtain weapons.
  7. The group clearly had a theological, jihadist outlook. Basically they wanted to replace the regime by force according to the tenets of Takfir (in which one Muslim declares another an unbeliever) and of the Egyptian Salafist movement.
  8. Most of the Egyptian detainees had been members of fundamentalist organizations for years.
  9. Their main targets were Egyptian security forces (which they viewed as heretic) and strategic installations such as the gas pipeline.

Undoubtedly Mubarak’s fall and the military regime’s commitment to political openness have created a new reality that makes it difficult for the military to control the country as it would wish. One consequence is the weakening of the police structure and the strengthening of illegal opposition forces. On July 14 the new regime dismissed 4000 police officers, of whom 669 were high-ranking and 505 were police generals, while eighteen other generals and 19 brigadier generals also were released from duty but were deferred to justice so as to investigate their responsibility for the killings during the demonstrations. This dramatic move was but another aspect of the new regime’s efforts to “clean the stables.”

The process had begun in the aftermath of Mubarak’s fall with the elimination, in response to popular demand, of the entire repressive apparatus. Egypt’s removal of the police state and subsequent political reforms have made it difficult to maintain domestic security and keep militants under control. Indeed, militants are already taking advantage of the political openness. Moreover, the shakiness of the regime (Egypt has had three cabinet reshuffles since the revolution), which has been more permissive toward criticism of Israel and lax toward anti-Israeli demonstrations, has fostered an environment in which opposition groups feel encouraged not only to attack the regime and demand more freedom, but believe they can maneuver the regime into a hostile stance toward Israel.

Just as the political groups are “asking for the heads” of the former regime, the most extreme of them advocate a radical posture toward Israel that entails declaring the peace treaty null and void. The new era of openness has allowed Islamist actors to emerge as legitimate political entities. The rise of various Islamist factions (the Muslim Brotherhood, Salafists, Sufists, and others) that are striving for power makes it difficult for jihadists to directly threaten the regime’s stability. Realizing that they cannot (despite the broader Arab unrest) confront the Egyptian state head-on, the jihadists are trying to undermine the regime indirectly by exploiting the situation regarding Gaza and Israel and through renewed militancy in Sinai, and also by reviving religious tensions between Copts and Muslims, which reached an unprecedented level in the months after the revolution including the burning of churches, attacks on individuals, and so on.

Field Marshal Tantawi is under much stress both on the domestic and regional levels. Egypt is in the early stages of trying to manage both political and militant opposition in a tense climate, and it is unable to maintain internal security as effectively as it once did. Nevertheless, it seems the regime is realizing that the political openness is not so much to its advantage but rather to its detriment. That is why Tantawi decided to announce only in September the schedule for the constitutional reform, and also to take a tougher hand against demonstrators in Tahrir Square and Alexandria.
Particularly significant is that the cell captured in El-Arish shows that the Takfiri and jihadist movement in Egypt is very much alive and even gaining more terrain. It can be assessed that the Takfiri militants are either part of Al-Qaeda or working hand in hand with their Al-Qaeda operators. Indeed, for decades Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri has wanted to undermine his home country, Egypt, and the Arab unrest now offers an opportunity. His rise to the top of the jihadist hierarchy could also herald an increasing role for Egyptians within the global jihadist network, which would make it easier for Egyptian Takfiri militants to work with Al-Qaeda.

The result is that Al-Qaeda can be expected to make its presence felt in the Egyptian-Gazan-Israeli border area. If so, it will not only complicate matters for Israel and its efforts to deal with Gaza, but could seriously damage the Egyptian-Israeli relationship that has existed since the 1978 Camp David Accords. Only a tight, effective, but mostly tacit partnership between Israel and Egypt can help both parties, each for its own reasons, cooperate in eradicating the fundamentalist cells in Sinai and beyond.

About Jacques Neriah
Col. (ret.) Dr. Jacques Neriah, a special analyst for the Middle East at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, was formerly Foreign Policy Advisor to Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Deputy Head for Assessment of Israeli Military Intelligence

2011/04/05

The NY Times Never Lets The Facts Get In the Way of a Good Blood Libel

Filed under: Gaza, Hamas, Israel, Progressives — Tags: — - @ 10:04 am

Imagine that the NY Times not wanting to print the TRUTH…W

Written By Jeff Dunetz

In a spectacular reversal, this past Friday Judge Richard Goldstone published an op-ed  in the Washington Post which reverses the key charge against Israel in the report about the Gaza War which bears his name. He no longer believes the blood libel put forth in his document, that Israel deliberately targeted Gaza civilians in the war, and  he now believes Hamas was the war criminal.

“We know a lot more today about what happened in the Gaza war of 2008-09 than we did when I chaired the fact-finding mission appointed by the U.N. Human Rights Council that produced what has come to be known as the Goldstone Report. If I had known then what I know now, the Goldstone Report would have been a different document.

When the story broke in the Washington Post, it seemed strange that Judge Goldstone would choose the D.C. paper to print his retraction.  Goldstone has written op-eds in the NY Times defending his report. Others, including former President Jimmy Carter, have also filled the Times opinion pages with defenses of the Goldstone Report, so it would seem logical for the Judge to publish his retraction in the same vehicle he used for its defense.

The answer to this mystery is simple, according to Israeli Newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth,  the New York Times was offered Goldstone’s piece first, but refused to print it.

Yedioth Ahronoth’s English Website YNet reported:

Not only did Judge Richard Goldstone’s words of regret fail to match the global resonance of his original report, it now comes to light that one of the most important newspapers in the world refused to publish his retraction.

Yedioth Ahronoth reported Monday that a source close to Goldstone stated that in the past few days the judge had approached the editor of the New York Times opinion pages requesting to post the article he wrote in the paper – and was told his article was rejected.

Has the New York Times sunk so low that it refuses to allow someone to correct a report that resulted in violent incitement against Israel?  Ynet’s source in the Goldstone camp believes it so:

The editor gave no explanation as to why the article was rejected, but the source believes this was due to the newspaper’s political agenda.

The letter was ultimately published in the more conservative Washington Post over the weekend.

The New York Times said in response that they do not comment on the editorial or reporting process. In recent years the New York Times adopted a highly critical line of reporting towards Israel. Lately, its senior commentator Thomas Friedman has been publishing extremely aggressive articles against Israel and its current government.

The NY Times political agenda was also evident in its coverage of the Goldstone op-ed. The “Gray Lady” does its best to deny that Israel has a right to defend itself against the false charges that it targeted civilians and tries to perpetuate the blood libel charges in the repudiated Goldstone Report. Its article called  Israel Grapples With Retraction on U.N. Report, the Times begins with:

Israel grappled on Sunday with whether a retraction by a United Nations investigator regarding its actions in the Gaza war two years ago could be used to rehabilitate its tarnished international image or as pre-emptive defense in future military actions against armed groups.

Why not begin by saying that Goldstone recanted on his central charge against Israel. Why would it talk about a pre-emptive defense?  The fact is the charge of Israel targeting civilians was false.  If the New York Times was unfairly charged with a serious crime and then cleared, it would try to spread the news loudly and broadly, why is it news that Israel is trying to get the word out?  Maybe because the Times doesn’t believe the retraction. It believed and printed all of the other articles written by Judge Goldstone, but then again those articles made Israel look bad.

Another NY Times article,  Head of U.N. Panel Regrets Saying Israel Intentionally Killed Gazans described the effect of the Goldstone Report as:

Mr. Goldstone’s article fell like a bomb in Israel, where many people considered the 2009 publication of the Goldstone report as one of the most harmful events in recent years. It was viewed as offering spurious justification for damaging accusations, which Israelis considered to be part of a campaign to delegitimize the state and label it as a war criminal.

As if the Times was saying being accused of being a civilian-targeting pariah nation in a United Nations report wasn’t really so bad, but Israelis overreacted.

Read The Rest At NRB

2011/04/04

The Palestinian UN Gamble – Irresponsible and Ill-Advised

Source Link: JCPA

Written By Alan Baker

  • The Palestinian leadership has announced its intention to abandon the negotiation process and to unilaterally seek a UN resolution that will impose a solution upon Israel. Facing a possible veto in the Security Council, the Palestinians are aiming to impose a UN resolution through the General Assembly “Uniting for Peace” procedure, which they hope will be supported by the UN member states.
  • While such a resolution would not have the authority to alter the legal status of the territories, the negative consequences of such a course of action would nevertheless serve to void the very basis of the peace process. It would undermine the legal existence of the Palestinian Authority and violate commitments by Yasser Arafat to settle all issues by negotiation,
  • Such unilateral action outside the negotiation process would constitute a fundamental breach of the 1995 Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement, thereby releasing Israel from its reciprocal commitments.
  • Such unilateral action would undermine the international community’s reliance on Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338 which form the foundation of all the agreements between the parties. It would also place into question the integrity and credibility of any Security Council resolutions or agreements resolving conflicts between states.
  • It would render as meaningless the signatures of the major powers as witnesses to previous negotiated agreements. It would also be incompatible with provisions of resolutions and agreements requiring negotiated solutions to the Jerusalem and refugee issues.

Palestinian Leaders Say the Peace Process Is Over

The international community has recently witnessed a series of widely publicized and authoritative declarations voiced by Palestinian leaders, according to which “the current peace process as it has been conducted so far is over” (Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riad Malki, March 22, 2011), and “the Palestinian leadership institutions (PLO and Fatah) have decided to submit a request to the UN for recognition of a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders, with its capital in East Jerusalem” (Sa’eb Erekat – AFP, March 20, 2011).

These declarations join an earlier plan by Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, announced in August 2009, to unilaterally declare a Palestinian state upon completion of the preparations for Palestinian governing institutions by September 2011.

A “Uniting for Peace” Resolution?

In the face of a probable U.S. veto of any further attempts by the Palestinian observer delegation to the UN to attain a Security Council resolution recognizing a Palestinian state, the Palestinians are aiming to bring about the adoption of a “Uniting for Peace” resolution in the September 2011 session of the UN General Assembly. This resolution would be based on a procedure established in 1950 at the initiative of then-U.S. Secretary of State Dean Acheson in the context of the Korean crisis as a means of overcoming a lack of unanimity among the permanent members of the Security Council which was preventing the Council from fulfilling its duty to maintain international peace in the event of a perceived “threat to the peace, breach of the peace or act of aggression.”1

In such a case, the General Assembly “shall consider the matter immediately” in an emergency special session with a view to adopting a General Assembly resolution that could recommend collective measures and other possible action to deal with a perceived threat to international peace and security.

Emergency special sessions of the General Assembly have been convened under this procedure in over ten instances, including the Korean crisis (1950-1953), the Suez crisis (1956), Hungary (1956), Congo (1960), Afghanistan (1980), and Namibia (1981). The procedure has frequently been used regarding Middle East issues, as in 1967, 1980-82, and in the 10th emergency Special Session which, at the behest of the Palestinians and Arab states, has in fact been continuously active since 1997 to this very day.

Clearly, the factual and legal situations regarding each case are unique and thus cannot be seen as indicative of the outcome or content of any possible future “Uniting for Peace” resolution. In this light, the legal and political background to any Palestinian attempt to unilaterally declare a state and to have it recognized by the UN is quite different from any previous use of the “Uniting for Peace” procedure.

A General Assembly resolution adopted through the “Uniting for Peace” procedure would not provide the General Assembly with any powers beyond the recommendatory powers that it exercises in any other routine resolution. It would not be a mandatory resolution, but could only recommend collective or individual actions by states. It would not have the power to change the status of the territories, nor, in and of itself, to alter Israel’s status vis-à-vis the territories.

Voiding the Oslo Agreements

The projected action by the Palestinians of declaring void the agreed-upon negotiation process, and proceeding to a unilateral process with the approval of the UN, could have a number of very negative consequences for the Palestinians and for the peace process, as well as for the international community.

With respect to the Palestinians:

  • The Palestinian action would be a clear violation of the assurance given by Yasser Arafat in the first formal contact between Israel and the Palestinians, in his exchange of letters with Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1993, according to which “all outstanding issues relating to permanent status will be resolved through negotiations.”2 By leaving the negotiating table, taking unilateral action, and seeking to have the UN impose an outcome on Israel, the Palestinians are in fact undermining the very basis of the “peace process” and of Arafat’s commitment.
  • The Palestinian action would be a clear violation of Article XXXI (7) of the 1995 Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement by which the parties undertook not to “initiate or take any step that will change the status of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip pending the outcome of the permanent status negotiations.”3 Since there is not yet any outcome to the permanent status negotiations, the Palestinian unilateral action runs directly against this commitment and renders it void, and as such opens up the option for Israel to undertake its own unilateral actions regarding the status of the territories, should Israel consider this to be necessary.
  • In generating a fundamental breach of the Interim Agreement, the Palestinians would be responsible for this agreement’s demise. Since the agreement serves as the legal basis and source of authority of the Palestinian Authority itself, its institutions, its parliament, courts, the office of its president, the president himself, and all powers and responsibilities, the PA leadership would, in fact, be placing in question the very legitimacy of their own existence, with all that that would imply.

Voiding the Credibility of the International Community

With respect to the peace process and the international community:

  • The Palestinian action of seeking to impose a solution through the UN would be incompatible with the terms of Security Council Resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973). Resolution 2424 specifically calls upon the parties to agree upon “secure and recognized boundaries,” and thus, by implication, not to impose boundaries outside such an agreed process. Further to this, Resolution 3385 calls for “negotiations…between the parties concerned…aimed at establishing a just and durable peace in the Middle East.”
  • By seeking to bypass these resolutions through action in the UN with the support of the international community, the Palestinians are basically obliging the member states of the UN to remove the foundations from the entire peace process which are based entirely on those two resolutions, as stated in all the agreements and memoranda signed between the parties and witnessed by members of the international community. It is questionable if the members of the international community could agree to be party to an action undermining such central and important Security Council resolutions that they themselves initiated and adopted.
  • Bypassing and voiding Resolutions 242 and 338 would also have consequences on the yet-to-be-conducted peace negotiations between Israel and its neighbors Syria and Lebanon, by removing the central factors around which such peace negotiations are intended to take place.
  • The precedent that this will create could have serious consequences for the credibility of other Security Council resolutions that determine outcomes of other disputes in the world, and render such resolutions completely voidable at the whim of any group of organizations or states that can recruit a majority in the General Assembly.
  • Since the leaders of the U.S., EU, Russia, Norway, Egypt and Jordan are signatories as witnesses to the 1995 Interim Agreement, it may be asked how such states could support a Palestinian action in the UN that is clearly intended to undermine and frustrate that agreement. What value would there be to states and organizations signing as witnesses to important international documents if no credibility, reliability, or integrity are attached to such witnessing?

Impact on Jerusalem

The international community has consistently refused to recognize Israel’s right to establish its capital city in Jerusalem pending a negotiated agreement on the status of the city. Hence, diplomatic missions are not located in Jerusalem, Israel’s capital. In light of this, one might ask how member states of the UN will be able to support a Palestinian resolution affirming a Palestinian right to establish its capital in Jerusalem.

This would be a clearly one-sided act by the international community in violation of all declarations and commitments directed toward a negotiated settlement regarding Jerusalem. Furthermore, it would undermine the commitment between Jordan and Israel in Article 9 of the Jordan-Israel Peace Treaty, according to which: “In accordance with the Washington Declaration, Israel respects the present special role of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in Muslim Holy shrines in Jerusalem. When negotiations on the permanent status will take place, Israel will give high priority to the Jordanian historic role in these shrines.”6

Impact on the Refugee Issue

Similarly, if, as the Palestinians have been intimating, they will seek to include a provision in a “Uniting for Peace” resolution affirming and imposing the right of return of the Palestinian refugees, this would, in fact, conflict with the relevant provision of Resolution 242 calling for “achieving a just settlement of the refugee problem.”7 Assuming that the “refugee problem” refers also to the issue of Jewish refugees resulting from the Middle East crisis, then the unilateral determination regarding Palestinian refugees only would be discriminatory and violate Resolution 242.

It would also violate the relevant undertakings in the Oslo Accords, specifically the 1993 Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements (Article V(3)) which determines that the final status issues to be negotiated (and not imposed by the UN) “shall cover remaining issues, including: Jerusalem, refugees, settlements, security arrangements, borders, relations and cooperation with other neighbors, and other issues of common interest.”

Imposing a UN determination regarding the refugee issue would be incompatible with and undermine the agreement between Jordan and Israel in Article 8 of their 1994 bilateral Treaty of Peace, according to which the refugee issue will be dealt with “in negotiations, in a framework to be agreed, bilateral or otherwise, in conjunction with and at the same time as the permanent status negotiations.”8

The potential confusion, disorder, and substantive damage of a Palestinian-motivated UN resolution – to the Palestinians themselves, to the peace-negotiation process, and to the credibility and reliability of the United Nations and international community in general – is likely to be immeasurable. While the beginnings of such a process might be clear, there can be no foreseeing the final outcome and the concomitant consequences.

The question remains whether the members of the UN who are being drawn by the Palestinians into this irresponsible and ill-advised exercise are fully aware of the damage it may cause.

*     *     *

Notes

1. http://www.un.org/en/ga/sessions/emergency.shtml

2. http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Peace+Process/Guide+to+the+Peace+Process/Israel-PLO+Recognition+-+Exchange+of+Letters+betwe.htm

3. http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Peace+Process/Guide+to+the+Peace+Process/THE+ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN+INTERIM+AGREEMENT.htm

4. http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Peace+Process/Guide+to+the+Peace+Process/UN+Security+Council+Resolution+242.htm

5.  http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Peace+Process/Guide+to+the+Peace+Process/UN+Security+Council+Resolution+338.htm

6. http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Peace+Process/Guide+to+the+Peace+Process/Israel-Jordan+Peace+Treaty.htm

7. http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Peace+Process/Guide+to+the+Peace+Process/UN+Security+Council+Resolution+242.htm

8. See note 6 above.

*     *     *

Amb. Alan Baker, Director of the Institute for Contemporary Affairs at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, is former Legal Adviser to Israel’s Foreign Ministry and former Ambassador of Israel to Canada. He is a partner in the law firm of Moshe, Bloomfield, Kobo, Baker & Co. He participated in the negotiation and drafting of the various agreements comprising the Oslo Accords.

2011/03/31

America: Beware Giving in to the False Concept of Islamophobia

Source INN
Written By Dr. Phyllis Chesler

We are drowning in anti-Israel propaganda, and still it never stops coming.

Simultaneously, the “Palestinian narrative” appears to us as if in a dream, over and over again, always slightly surreal and yet overly familiar. By now the “Palestinian narrative” is a brand and we have all been hypnotized.  This is not surprising.

For more than 40 years, the Soviet, Arab, and Saudi Lobbies, eventually joined by the Iranian Lobby, have funded the demonization of Israel and the popularization of Palestine. The condemnation of Israel for crimes it has never committed (“ethnic cleansing,” “genocide,” “apartheid”) and the call for a Palestinian one-state solution is echoed, similarly, in films, books, poems, academic papers and lectures; we see and hear this on television, at conferences, at campus demonstrations, in the halls of the United Nations, the European Union, in Parliaments, and, of course, in the Arab and Islamic worlds.

By now, the “Palestinian narrative” has effectively rendered Jews unsafe and unwelcome in Europe. Jews who look “Jewish” or “religious” are not safe on the streets of certain European countries such as England, France, Holland, Belgium, and Scandinavia. European pagan, Christian, and Nazi-era Judeophobia has found a new outlet in the obsessive demonization of Israel, the only Jewish state. This is also the way Europeans hope to appease Muslim immigrants who live in Europe but in parallel universes, who are hostile to the Western enterprise, and who demand the right to be brutally intolerant as a Western civil right.

This same false Palestinian narrative has morphed into a belief that all Muslims—who are, themselves, the largest practitioners of religious apartheid in the world, and who persecute all non-Muslims—are, as Muslims, being persecuted in the West. This may be because Islam is not (yet) dominant in the West.

In my opinion, the success of the “Palestinian” narrative is what has led to the unquestioning acceptance of the false concept of “Islamophobia.”

Those Europeans who have challenged the idea of “Islamophobia” and who have told the truth about Islam in Europe—or who have chosen to leave the Religion of Peace—have put themselves in harm’s way. Either they are sued for blasphemy or defamation—or they must live in exile and with bodyguards. Some have been murdered, even butchered.

What about America? Surely that is not true here.

In 2008, America’s FBI found that 66.1% of religious hate crimes targeted Jews, but only 7.5% of religious hate crimes targeted Muslims. On March 29, 2011, The Center for Security Policy released a revised edition of their groundbreaking longitudinal study, Religious Bias Crimes 2000-2009: Muslim, Jewish and Christian Victims — Debunking the Myth of a Growing Trend in Muslim Victimization. (I have provided a PDF Copy of this study at the bottom of this article) It is based on annual FBI statistics and contradicts the assertions that religious bias crimes against Muslims have increased in America and that the alleged cause is widespread “Islamophobia.” In fact, the study shows that religious bias crimes — also known as hate crimes — against Muslim Americans, have remained relatively low with a downward trend since 2001, and are significantly less than the numbers of bias crimes against Jewish victims.

According to the Center’s analysis, in 2009, Jewish victims of hate crimes outnumbered Muslim victims by more than 8 to 1 (1,132 Jewish victims to 132 Muslim victims). From 2000 through 2009, for every one hate crime incident against a Muslim, there were six hate crime incidents against Jewish victims (1,580 Muslim incidents versus 9,692 Jewish incidents). Even in 2001 when religious bias crimes against Muslims increased briefly for a nine-week period, total anti-Muslim incidents, offenses and victims remained approximately half of the corresponding anti-Jewish totals.”

Nevertheless, American Muslims have alleged rampant “Islamophobia” in America. Countless number of Talking Heads have taken this allegation seriously.

Thus, it is not surprising that CNN just aired a documentary which was titled Not Welcome: The Muslims Next Door.

On camera, the Muslims are all so very…peaceful. There is not one angry or hate-filled Muslim man on camera. Not one. Despite the fact that we have seen hundreds, possibly thousands of angry, frightening, violent Muslim demonstrations, including prayer services, all across America and across the Islamic world, and many hate-filled captured Islamic and Palestinian terrorists on camera, CNN’s chosen Muslim-American men of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, including the Sheikh of the planned Islamic Center, are all soft-spoken, emotional, tearful, non-violent. Except for the Sheikh’s American wifewho converted to Islam, the Muslims on camera are all innocent, good, non-white people.

Soledad O’Brien, CNN’s special anchor, likes them, and, as someone with Afro-Cuban as well as Caucasian Australian parents, perhaps she even identifies with them. In any event, O’Brien questions them very politely, sympathetically.

However, the white, Christian-Americans on camera—all of them, without exception—are portrayed as hateful, cruel, insidious, dislikable, selfish, phobic, and no doubt racist. O’Brien interviews them with barely disguised hostility and contempt.

At issue, according to CNN’s website are America’s post-9/11 fears about radical Islam, terrorism, and “Sharia Law.”  As CNN sees it:

“Murfreesboro, Tennessee has just over 100,000 people, 140+ churches, and one mosque. For decades, Muslims have lived and prayed in Murfreesboro without incident, but last May, when the Muslim community gained county approval to build a new 52,000 square foot Islamic center in town, hundreds of Murfreesboro residents took to the streets in protest…. O’Brien chronicles the dramatic fight to block the mosque project in Murfreesboro and the fight over religious freedom; a fight that would ultimately include protests, vandalism, arson and an explosive lawsuit that would involve the U.S. Department of Justice.”

What’s wrong with Murfreesboro is that it is too damn Christian and too damn white. It is not diverse enough.It is not Middle Eastern enough.

O’Brien, herself a Harvard graduate, dresses as a modern American woman. She has absolutely no comment to make about the fact that most of the adult Muslim women on camera are all wearing long, shapeless dresses and severe hijab—while the Muslim men are all dressed in modern, American style. The Sheikh’s wife insists that women are not “oppressed” under Sharia Law, that she is not oppressed, that no Muslim woman she knows has ever been oppressed, etc.

Interestingly enough, the Sheikh has a foreign accent. One wonders why so many Sheiks have been imported from the Middle East to America. Asra Nomani is a religious Muslim feministwho was born in India and raised in America. Her father founded the mosque of Morgantown, West Virginia. Nomani tried to persuade her mosque to become more woman-friendly. She failed. In a PBSdocumentary about this story, Nomani claimed that when Arab Muslims joined her mosque, her battle to bring it into the 21st century failed. On camera, she says:

“Extremists — mainly Arabs — led by one rather physically and verbally violent Egyptian, Hany Ammar, took over. At that point, I began hearing really scary sermons. An unchaste woman is worthless. The West is on a bad path. We must hate those who hate us. Women should be silent in a mosque. Jews are descendants of apes and pigs.”

Incredibly, on camera, Ammar says: “I pray to Allah that you be punished. May Allah get revenge for Ammar.” Ammar is also heard, but not seen, physically attacking a young moderate Muslim man. Ammar’s wife Mona is even more conservative, more aggressive than he is. She minces no words in expressing her contempt, even hatred for Nomani. Like certain kinds of religious women, she is even more zealous in upholding the patriarchal status quo, more aggressively empowered to strike down any other woman who dares challenge male supremacy or Islamic gender apartheid.

Ultimately, Ammar tries to ban Nomani from the mosque. Eventually, both she and her family leave.

Why do I even bring this in? Because Murfreesboro’s Sheikh Ossama Mohamed Bahloul is also a foreign-born Arab Muslim. All this means is that he may (or may not) be a religious Muslim supremacist or an Islamist. Bahloul is an Egyptian-born graduate of Al-Azhar University in Cairo. He was the Imam of the Islamic Society of Southern Texas, in Corpus Christi, and then the visiting Imam for the Islamic Center of Irving, Texas.

Sheikh Bahloul is not a terrorist, nor did he have anything to do with the trial of the Holy Land Foundation, an organization which raised money for Hamas and was based in a suburb of Dallas, Texas. However, he was summoned from Egypt to work in Texas, and left for Murfreesboro a year after the Holy Land trial began. Texas is known as a hotbed of increasingly fundamentalist Islam. Perhaps Bahloul was chosen for his radical beliefs and for his ability to mask them as something else. After all, his wife is dressed as if they live in Cairo, not in America.

To me, this is a sign and signal of a desire to live in a parallel universe, one in which Muslims are taught that they are superior to non-Muslims; one in which Muslims are taught to hate Jews and other infidels;one in which Muslims are taught that Sharia Law is, indeed, superior to American law. That is why CNN invites Harvard Professor Noah Feldman on. He assures people that “Our constitution prohibits any religion from becoming the law of the land.”

It does. But look at how Sharia law and/or Islamic custom has usurped the law of the land both in Europe and in America, where female genital mutilation, child arranged marriage, polygamy, the burqa and honor killings are pandemic.

An Egyptian father killed his two American daughters in Irving, Texas. Yaser Said came from Egypt, married his American-born wife when she was fifteen years old, honor murdered their daughters in 2008, and then fled. He has yet to be found.

A series of attacks were perpetrated against the building of the mosque. “Not Welcome” was spray painted on the sign which announced the mosque opening, arson was perpetrated, a lawsuit was brought. The graffiti and the arson are unacceptable. But no one who opposes the mosque is given a fair hearing or the slightest respect on camera. And, Sheikh Bahloul may be as clever as he is soft-spoken. In a very emotional but determined voice, pitched precisely to gain sympathy for his causehe says:  “This is America. This is too much.”

Ah, so the Egyptian-born Sheikh understands America and fully knows what his rights are here. Funny, he only arrived here post 9/11. Actually, for all I know, he could have arrived here sooneror more recently. None of his many biographies and interviews share this information with us.

Is he, perhaps, asecret lover of Zion, an admirer of the American way of life, a Sufi-style peaceful Sunni Muslim? He graduated from the most prominent school of Islamic learning in the Sunni world. If he is really a man for the 21st century, he will have to take some very prominent and public stands which prove that this is so.



Phyllis Chesler, Ph.D is an Emerita Professor of Psychology and Women’s Studies at City University of New York. She is an author, psychotherapist and an expert courtroom witness. She has lectured and organized political, legal, religious and human rights campaigns in the United States and in Canada, Europe, the Middle East and the Far East.

Dr. Chesler’s thirteen books and thousands of articles and speeches have inspired people on many diverse issues. Her books include: Women and Madness; Women, Money and Power; About Men; With Child: A Diary of Motherhood; Mothers on Trial: The Battle for Children and Custody; Sacred Bond: The Legacy of Baby M; Patriarchy: Notes of an Expert Witness; Feminist Foremothers in Women’s Studies, Psychology, and Mental Health; Letters to a Young Feminist; Woman’s Inhumanity to Woman; Women of the Wall: Claiming Sacred Ground at Judaism’s Holy Site; The New Anti-Semitism. The Current Crisis and What We Must Do About It; and The Death of Feminism. What’s Next in the Struggle for Women’s Freedom.

To subscribe to the Phyllis Chesler mailing list, go to http://www.phyllis-chesler.com/list_subscribe.php


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