Wednesday, August 30, 2017
Unless the U.S. is willing to bite the bullet and finally confront Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority, the forthcoming mission to the region by U.S. representatives Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt to “restart the peace process” on behalf of President Donald Trump may prove to be highly counterproductive.
Abbas is coming to the end of his reign. A brutal and corrupt dictator, he is determined that his legacy be that of an embattled “freedom fighter” committed to reversal of the Nakba, his ultimate objective being the restoration of Arab hegemony from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. His means to achieve this necessitate the dismemberment of the Jewish state in stages through terrorism and international pressure.
Until now, he has basically ignored Trump’s requests and demands. Incitement and calls for “resistance” via the media and imams urging Palestinians to kill Israelis and become shahids (martyrs) have reached a record high. Abbas himself whipped up religious hysteria based on the false cry that Jews were taking over and desecrating Al-Aqsa mosque, thus triggering the recent riots and encouraging further terror attacks. Children are brainwashed into regarding Jews as subhuman descendants of apes and pigs, propaganda reminiscent of and frequently replicated from Nazi sources.
The PA and its leaders continue honoring mass murders as freedom fighters, dedicating mosques, city squares, schools and other institutions in their names to commemorate their murderous acts.
Despite personal demands from Trump, Abbas has vowed that he will never close the Palestine National Fund, which provides generous pensions and massive financial awards for imprisoned or killed terrorists and their families, the amounts proportionate to the success of the terrorist act. Incarcerated murderers top the list with monthly payments of 11,000 shekels (more than $3,000), which is augmented with $25,000 if they are released from jail. This year. the fund has distributed $345 million, comprising half of the $693 million the PA receives in foreign aid. Thus the U.S. and European countries have effectively been providing funds to incentivize Palestinians to murder Israelis.
The U.S. Congress has now passed legislation to deduct an equivalent of these funds from aid provided to the Palestinians. The Europeans have taken no action, although Germany, the U.K. and Norway are “reviewing” the situation.
Abbas has responded by vowing to maintain the payouts, which he describes as “social welfare” and in recent weeks has even increased the payments.
His recent proclamation that security arrangements with the Israelis had been terminated was never effectively implemented. The reality is that the Abbas regime would be undermined if it annulled the security coordination whereby police constrain the enormous popular resentment by the people against the regime. While the security arrangements did reduce pressure on the IDF, the party with the most to lose if it were terminated would be the corrupt PA—which would then probably collapse or be taken over by Hamas.
Abbas has now condemned the U.S. as being biased and unfit to act as an intermediary.
The Israelis, on the other hand, appreciate that with the Trump administration in disarray, mixed messages have emerged in relation to the peace process. Trump repeatedly reaffirms that he stands by Israel, but he has yet to fulfill his promise to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem.
U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley has been exceptionally forthright; the recent flow of statements from Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and his departmental releases, however, are highly disconcerting and ominously reminiscent of the Obama era.
Tillerson informed the Senate that the Palestinians were moving forward positively in the peace process and had undertaken to bring an end to “martyr” payments. This was promptly denied. In July, the State Department released a report commending Abbas for having “significantly” addressed incitement. The report also stated that Palestinian terror was prompted “by a lack of hope in achieving Palestinian statehood, Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank, settler violence against Palestinians in the West Bank, the perception that the Israeli government was changing the status quo on the Temple Mount and IDF tactics that the Palestinians considered overly aggressive.” Such observations could match those issued two years ago, at the height of then-U.S. President Barack Obama’s diplomatic campaign against Israel.
This should not be interpreted as an indication that the U.S. has abandoned Israel. It merely reflects the divisions inside the administration, which were unlikely to have emerged had Trump not been diverted by the chaos in other areas. Fortunately, Tillerson has largely been excluded from direct engagement in peace negotiations and Trump has now authorized Kushner and Greenblatt “to restart the peace process.” They will visit the region in the next few days.
To further complicate matters, both the Palestinians and Israelis are entangled in domestic turmoil. Abbas, the duplicitous rogue with the forked tongue, rules as a dictator and has created a culture of death. However, he is aged and his people realize that his time in office is limited. He has never been willing to make any meaningful concessions to Israelis, who were desperate to separate themselves from the Palestinians, and is now unlikely to make any moves in that direction. On the contrary, he has been actively strengthening relations with the Iranians and the Turks who now support him as well as Hamas. But the people are restless and there is already jockeying among those seeking to replace him.
Israelis are also facing domestic problems with the endless campaigns to demonize Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and indict him on charges of corruption. Fortunately, he is unlikely to face major political pressures in relation to the peace process because the opposition would become a laughingstock if it sought to pressure him to make concessions to the PA.
In this context—setting aside the problem of Hamas in Gaza—it is impossible to envisage Trump’s representatives making any progress. Kushner has even recently conceded that he feared that a realistic solution to the impasse at present could well be impossible.
The question is, how will the American representatives respond when, as is likely, Abbas gives them the thumbs up. Will they once again engage in the farce of an ongoing “peace process” that fails to bring Abbas to account? Or will they urge Trump to realize that it is time to state openly that the protective cover for the aggressive Palestinian leaders is over, and call on the world to cease providing them with the power to continue their incitement and terrorism against Israel?
They should outline an economic program, which Israel will certainly endorse, focused on building institutions and creating infrastructure that will enhance the living standards of Palestinians, few of whom have benefited from the huge amounts of foreign aid that their corrupt leaders siphoned off into their own bank accounts. They should also encourage the moderate Arab states to press for a new leadership that would be willing to make peace with Israel.
However, should they decide, yet again, to paper over reality and continue “pursuing peace,” the visit will actually prove to be counterproductive and Israel by itself will be compelled, as was the case hitherto, to look after its own interests.
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Wednesday, August 23, 2017
Video of the week – “WE LIE ABOUT THE FACTS” http://tinyurl.com/yct3ktuk
Prof. Gerald M. Steinberg - http://tinyurl.com/y7xv4msj
The primary threats to Israel's survival do not come from Iran's weapons of mass destruction, or from Palestinian terrorists. Rather, the deeper danger comes from the continuing propaganda campaign that rejects Israel's legitimacy and seeks to rollback the UN partition decision of November 1947. This campaign produced the infamous UN resolution equating Zionism with racism in 1975, which was revived in the 2002 Durban conference. The Israel-bashers have shifted the focus away from the Palestinian responsibility for terrorism and the failure of the Oslo process, while promoting the great lies of massive human rights violations by Israel.
While Arab and Islamic organizations lead the way, such Israel-bashing is promoted by journalists, diplomats (including the UN), academics, and self-proclaimed human rights groups. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) enjoy a halo effect, and their claims to promote noble causes without a political axe to grind exempt them from scrutiny. In reality, however, these NGOs are at the very core of this other axis of evil. By promoting the campaign of hatred and delegitimization directed against Israel, these human rightsNGOs are themselves contributing to the justification of terrorism.
Charges of Israeli war crimes, violations of international law, systematic human rights abusesare commonplace in the reports and press-releases of NGOs such as Amnesty International, OXFAM, Christian Aid and Human Rights Watch. These reports generally rely on information supplied by Palestinians and their political or ideological supporters (often employed by the NGOs or UN agencies with whom they are in close contact), and the claims are rarely subject to independent confirmation. In addition, dozens of Israeli-based and Palestinian groups receive massive funding from abroad to produce a steady stream of anti-Israel political propaganda which has nothing to do with human rights. As documented in the analyses of the NGO Monitor, the lies and distortions are reported by journalists, repeated by diplomats and in UN publications, cited in academic journals, and then reappear as in the NGO websites.
In this propaganda war, it is surprising that some of the NGOs and their ignoble activities are funded by Jewish and Israel-oriented organizations such as the New Israel Fund. The most notorious example -- Physicians for Human Rights Israel, emphasizes illegal Israeli occupation, and uses the medical dimension as a thin cover to promote its ideological agenda. PHR-I's crude propaganda is seen by many as anti-Semitic, and has prompted the Israeli Medical Association to end all cooperation with this group. The cartoons published by PHR-I use stereotypes of Palestinian victims and Israeli oppressors, with no mention of brutal suicide attacks. Similarly, a group calling itself "The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions" uses terms such as "apartheid" to describe Israel efforts to prevent suicide bombings, and encourages Israeli Arab citizens to remember the Nakba (disaster) on May 15. Supports are urged to send donations through the NIF.
The NIF also funds the Nazareth-based Arab Association of Human Rights (HRA) and Adalah. Rather than working primarily to encourage values such as equality and tolerance among Israeli citizens, both Jewish and Arab, and delegitimize terrorism, these groups are at the forefront of the externally directed campaign to distort the Israeli reality. Instead, under the cover of human and civil rights, both groups promote blatant ideological and political agendas anchored in the delegitimation of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state. In its press review, HRA consistently condemns Israeli actions to prevent terrorist attacks. Vital security measures are misleadingly labeled as evidence of discrimination, while facts that do not support this false charge are ignored. Similarly, Adalah has played a leading role in the promoting the myth that Israel is not a democracy.
Propaganda attacks on Israel are not included in NIF's stated goals, but the results undermine the claim to provide an alternative approach in support of Israeli democracy and Zionism. Many Israelis associate this organization primarily with the propaganda campaigns and funding for extremist fringe groups, while NIF's more positive activities are lost in the noise. A number of NIF supporters and officials have resigned following these revelations, and others are demanding a thorough accounting and change in policy. Given the important contributions that NIF makes in other areas, an immediate end to involvement in Israel-bashing disguised as support for human and civil rights would not come to early.
Monday, August 14, 2017
“The Tower” July 26, 2017
Full article - http://tinyurl.com/y7f7qwny
Nadia Murad, a Yazidi survivor of Islamic State captivity and UN [United Nations] goodwill ambassador, visited the Israeli Knesset on Monday to raise awareness for the plight of her people and explain how it relates to Jewish suffering during the Holocaust.
“My visit here today is to ask you to recognize the genocide being committed against my people, in light of our peoples’ common history of genocide,” Murad told a gathering at the Israeli parliament, The Times of Israel reported.
She also expressed her admiration of Jewish resilience in the face of annihilation. “The Jews and the Yazidis share a common history of genocide that has shaped the identity of our peoples, but we must transform our pain into action,” she said, adding, “I respect how you rebuilt a global Jewish community in the wake of genocide. This is a journey that lies ahead of my community.”
In August 2014, Murad was captured in her village of Kocho in northern Iraq by Islamic State fighters. Before she was sold and abused as a slave, she saw six of her brothers killed and her mother executed for being too old to serve as a slave. Islamic State propaganda refers to the indigenous Yazidi people as “devil worshippers” and “unbelievers” unworthy of life.
“Before this genocide, I had little information on the Jewish community because we don’t have many Jewish people in Iraq,” Murad told The Jerusalem Post. “I had zero knowledge about the community until I started this campaign and saw Jewish communities support us.”
“Their ability to stay strong and keep their culture … it’s an example. I personally fell in love with doing that. The Jews are an example. We should do the same,” she added.
Murad’s quest to bring justice to her community and have the atrocities committed against the Yazidi people recognized as a genocide has taken her around the global. She was brought to Israel with the support of IsraAID and Yazda, a Yazidi non-profit organization.
During her stay, Murad met with Israeli lawmakers, visited Yad Vashem [Holocaust Remembrance Center], addressed a delegation of young professional women hosted by the American Jewish Committee, and spoke at Beit Hatfutsot in Tel Aviv on Tuesday.
“We think they’ll (Jews) understand our case more than anybody else,” Murad said. “We have been in many countries, meeting with governments for help for the Yazidi communities. I always wanted to come here to Israel; a lot of victims wanted to come and ask for help from the government and people of Israel,” she concluded.
Thursday, August 10, 2017
Video of the week – Is there an Occupation? http://tinyurl.com/ybx5r6zs
It is often stated that Israel is “occupying” Palestinian land, and has no legal basis to exist. This is a lie - let’s learn the truth, and some history while we’re at it!
The State of Israel was established on May 14, 1948, by the United Nations and with the legal approval of the British, who governed the land where the modern State of Israel exists on at the time - note there was no Arab or Palestinian state there. These maps will show you a continual Jewish presence in the region, however, for thousands of years.
The United Nations partitioned the land, like so;
A home for the Arabs and a home for the Jews. The Jews accepted. However, the Arabs rejected this plan - thus legally forfeiting their state - and staged a war against Israel in which it was attacked by six Arab armies…and Israel won. That left Israel a sovereign state, but Jordan controlled what is now The West Bank, and Egypt controlled Gaza, as that is where the parties involved decided to draw armistice lines. Once again…where is Palestine?
The map now looked like this;
Fast forward to 1967. Tensions in the region had been high, with troops amassing in Israel’s neighbouring countries preparing for war. In a preemptive strike, Israel rolled out “Operation Focus” - an airstrike on the Sinai peninsula. After only six days, facing armies from all of its surrounding countries, Israel had captured land from Syria, Egypt, and Jordan. Once again…no Palestine.
Our borders now looked like this;
However, Israel wanted to make peace with its neighbours - it didn’t want to have to fight anymore.
On March 26th 1979, Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat signed a treaty which gave the Sinai Peninsula back to Egypt, while still letting Israel have control over Gaza, in exchange for peace. And this worked! So, Gaza, an Egyptian territory given legally to Israel? Not occupied.
In 1994, Israel and the Jordanians sat down to discuss peace as well. Jordan gave up control of Judea and Samaria, also known as The West Bank, as well as East Jerusalem, to Israel. Thus, these areas also cannot be considered occupied.
The Golan Heights, also captured by Israel in the 1967 war, were taken from Syria, with whom Israel does not have peace. However, the land was won fairly and under the circumstances of any other country, its annexation would have been an approved one. But understanding bias against Israel is for another post.
So, let’s review.
A sovereign Palestinian state has never been in existence.
East Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria (the West Bank), the Golan Heights, and Gaza were won in a defensive war.
These territories, save for the Golan Heights, were legally given to Israel by the nations sovereign over them.
With this history, Israel cannot be considered an occupier. The proper term for Judea and Samaria, Gaza, and The Golan Heights is not “occupied territories” - rather, “disputed territories”, much like Western Sahara or South Ossetia.
This article can tell you more about Israeli history and activity, such as settlement building, in Judea and Samaria.
See more at: Eretz Yisrael - http://tinyurl.com/yddkxjxu
Wednesday, August 2, 2017
Video Of The Week- How Did Islam Get Involved with the Temple Mount? - http://tinyurl.com/yan32wg9
Article from Gatestone Institute by Khadija Khan July 29, 2017
Full Article - http://tinyurl.com/yb3yy5wa
After massive pressure from the Muslim world and international community, Israel removed all metal detectors and surveillance-camera infrastructure from the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, the location of Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Possibly to obfuscate the reason that the metal detectors were installed in the first place -- a terrorist attack on July 14, in which three Israeli Arab citizens killed two Israeli Druze police officers with weapons they had hidden inside the mosque -- the Palestinian Authority (PA) called on Muslims to boycott the site and launch "days of rage" against the Jewish state.
Palestinians, claiming that the metal detectors were a "desecration" of the mosque -- which is actually located on the holiest site in Judaism and the third-holiest in Islam - entered into violent clashes with Israeli security forces. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan denounced Israel and called on Muslims to "protect" Jerusalem.
Palestinian teenager posted on Facebook his intention to become a "martyr," before entering the home of a Jewish family in the West Bank and slaughtering three of its members. While this terrorist was being treated for his wounds in an Israeli hospital, the Palestinian Authority celebrated his actions and set in motion the mechanism according to which he will receive a salary of more than $3,000 per month for his attempt to become a "martyr" through murdering Jews.
Then, on July 23, a terrorist in Jordan -- the country that has religious custodianship over the Temple Mount through the Islamic Waqf -- attacked an Israeli security officer at the Israeli embassy compound in Amman. In self-defense, the officer shot and killed him, catching another Jordanian in the crossfire. In an deal between Israel and the Jordanian authorities, the guard and other embassy staff were released, apparently in exchange for a promise that the metal detectors would be removed from the entrance to the Temple Mount.
The metal detectors, however, had nothing to do with the real reason for the inflamed atmosphere -- stoked by PA President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah faction and the terrorist organization Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip -- in spite of the fact that the attack that spurred their installation was committed by Israeli Muslims against Israeli Druze. In reality, the security measures were taken by Israel to protect all people entering the site -- where only Muslims are allowed to pray, while Christians and Jews may visit only under strict surveillance.
Proof that the violence was not provoked by measures that were actually aimed at preventing terrorists from infiltrating deadly weapons onto the Temple Mount lies in the fact that metal detectors and are commonplace at most prominent mosques in the Middle East, and more than 5,000 surveillance cameras (and 100,000 security guards) monitor pilgrims to Mecca in Saudi Arabia during the annual Hajj. Furthermore, everyone visiting the Western Wall in Jerusalem, another Jewish holy site, is required to pass through metal detectors before entering the plaza -- a protection taken for granted.
The ongoing incitement against Israelis -- this time using metal detectors as the excuse to claim that the Jewish state is attempting to change the "status quo" on the Temple Mount -- not only disgraces Islam; it hurts the Palestinians whom the world claims to want to defend.
It is time for the international community to recognize this and stop enabling radicals to use the Palestinian people as pawns in their greater agenda, transparent to everyone, including all Muslims: to obliterate Israel through delegitimization.