Gaza War Diary 9 Mon-Fri. Mar.27-31, 2017 Day 1300-1304 9 Shabbat Shalom! 5pm
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Dry Bones by Ya’acov Kirschen “Exodus without the UN.”
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Gail Winston Winston@winstonglobal.org Gaza War Diary 9 Mon-Fri. Mar.27-31, 2017 Day 1300-1304 9 Shabbat Shalom! 5pm
Dear Family & Friends,
The month of Nissan & Pesach planning, cleaning, cooking, celebrating is now!
Today Shabbat is cooking & smells wonderful!! I’ve been busy with cleaning this week so no
no GazaWarDiaries ‘til today. Sorry about that. Will try to send more next week.
All the very best, Gail/Geula/Savta/Savta Raba x 2/Mom
Our Website brings interesting info: WinstonIsraelInsight.org
1A. ONLY 12% OF ISRAELIS BELIEVE FULL WEST BANK WITHDRAWAL WOULD END CONFLICT By Herb Keinon March 28, 2017 Jpost.Com
Regarding the Temple Mount, fully 83% opposed transferring the Temple Mount to Palestinian sovereignty.
Israeli Forces evacuate Amona synagogue (Feb.2, 2017). (photo credit:Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
Israeli Jews are today significantly less willing to support a withdrawal from the West Bank than they were in 2005, according to a poll released Monday by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.
Likewise, there is much less willingness now to agree with the parameters put forward by former US president Bill Clinton during his last days in office than there was a decade ago. Those parameters include a demilitarized Palestinian state, Palestinian security control of the West Bank, Jerusalem as the capital of both states, and the Temple Mount in Palestinian hands, with Israel retaining control of the Western Wall.
According to the poll conducted by Mina Tzemach, while some 60% of Jewish Israelis would support a withdrawal from the West Bank as part of a peace accord in 2005, only 36% would agree today. Likewise, support for the Clinton parameters has dropped from 55% in 2005 to 29% today.
Dore Gold, the former Foreign Ministry director-general who heads the JCPA, said the survey shows “the Israeli public implicitly understands that the Middle East remains a very dangerous and chaotic region and is not about to stabilize in the near future.”
He said the Trump administration “cannot ignore the trends in Israeli public opinion as it formulates its policy on Middle East diplomacy.”
The poll showed that only 27% of the population retained any belief that negotiations would lead to an agreement in coming years, while 69% said they either tended not to believe that would be the case or did not believe it at all.
While 17% of the Jewish population said Israel should agree to the establishment of a Palestinian state in all of the West Bank, fully 77% said it should not. When the settlement blocs were excluded from a future Palestinian state, the numbers changed dramatically, however, with 37% saying Israel should agree to that situation, but a majority of 57% saying it should not.
Only 12% of the respondents said they believed a withdrawal to the 1967 lines would end the conflict with the Palestinians, while 79% believed that it would not.
Regarding Jerusalem, 41% of respondents said Israel should agree to a situation in which the Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem would be under Arab sovereignty and the Jewish neighborhoods under Israeli control, while just over 50% said Israel should not agree to such an arrangement.
Regarding the Temple Mount, fully 83% opposed transferring the Temple Mount to Palestinian sovereignty.
Asked if Israel should make the establishment of a Palestinian state conditional upon a Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, 71% said it should, compared to 20% who said it should not.
Regarding the Jordan Valley, which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said Israel must retain in any final agreement, 81% thought it was important to hold on to the area in any agreement, while 8% thought that was either not so important or not important at all.
Asked about some kind of confederation between a future Palestinian state and Jordan, 48% favored the idea, while 33% were opposed.
In other questions, 84% agreed with the statement that the world will be critical of Israel regardless of how far it goes to reach a settlement with the Palestinians.
The survey was taken among a representative sample of 521 Jewish Israeli adults via Internet interviews on March 20 and 21. The study has a reported maximum sampling error of 4.4%.
ONLY 12% OF ISRAELIS BELIEVE FULL WEST BANK WITHDRAWAL WOULD END CONFLICT
1B.Netanyahu limits ‘settlement’ building, ceding to Trump’s request [Gail Sez: I’m sorry to send you this Erev Shabbos. Even sicker that it happened. I really didn’t think it would. More tomorrow night or Sunday. I’d appreciate any comments on this. Best, Gail]
March 31, 2017
Construction Worker in E. Jerusalem
Israel’s security cabinet agreed to restrict construction in Judea & Samaria, according to Trump’s position, with an exception granted to the former residents of Amona.
According to an agreement reached Thursday night by the security cabinet, Israel will restrict construction in Judea and Samaria to within the existing communities, with an exception made for the former residents of Amona, who will be relocated to a new site.
The decision was made as a gesture to the Trump administration, which is hoping to broker a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. President Donald Trump’s special representative for international negotiations, Jason Greenblatt, has been meeting with both sides over the past three weeks.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a statement Friday morning, saying that “out of consideration to President Donald Trump’s position, Israel will take necessary steps to minimize the expansion of developed area beyond the footprint of existing settlements in Judea and Samaria and exhibit considerable restriction, to allow the progression of the peace process. Israel will build within the existing developed area, as much as possible.”
Furthermore, “In areas where this is not possible, Israel will build along the existing development line. In areas where neither of these possibilities are feasible, due to legal, security, topographical or additional concerns, Israel will allow building in proximity as close as possible to the existing development line.”
No unauthorized construction will be permitted, Netanyahu said.
At the same time, the former residents of the community of Amona in Samaria will be given a new location near Shilo – the first new “settlement” since 1993 – according to a previous commitment made by Netanyahu. They were evacuated following a ruling by Israel’s High Court of Justice, saying it had been built on private Palestinian property, although no evidence was provided by the claimants.
By: World Israel News Staff
1.Palestinians & the Balfour Declaration at 100: Resisting the Past By Dr. Alex Joffe 3/26/17
Balfour Declaration in Times of London, Nov. 9, 1917, via Wikimedia Commons
BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 433, March 26, 2017
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: On the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, the Palestinians have launched a campaign calling for an official British apology and compensation. This effort illustrates the ways in which honor, internationalization, symbolism, and playing on Western guilt shape the Palestinian culture of denial, which impedes progress towards either a stable Palestinian state or peace with Israel.
A striking aspect of Palestinian culture is its resistance to the realities of the past.
On September 22, 2016, Palestinian Authority (PA) president Mahmoud Abbas addressed the UN. He said, “100 years have passed since the notorious Balfour Declaration, by which Britain gave, without any right, authority or consent from anyone, the land of Palestine to another people.” He went on to demand an apology from Britain. Abbas has had previously threatened to sue London for damages resulting from the declaration and the creation of Israel.
This storm against the past was also on display at a recent conference at University College London that brought together British Islamists and revisionist Israelis to demand that the British government apologize for the Balfour Declaration, with the ultimate aim of exposing “the illegality of the state of Israel while giving practical steps in campaigning towards an end to the Israeli occupation of Palestine.”
What do such efforts tell us about Palestinian culture and the prospects for peace?
The Balfour Declaration is a singular datum for Israelis and Palestinians alike. After lengthy negotiations between the British government and the Zionist movement, Arthur Balfour, the British Foreign Secretary, issued his famous statement on November 2, 1917. Balfour’s letter to Zionist leader Lord Rothschild, in which he stated that the Cabinet viewed “with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people,” was only one of a series of British wartime communications regarding the fate of the Levant. The correspondence between the British High Commissioner for Egypt, Sir Henry McMahon, and Hussein Ibn Ali, Sharif of Mecca, and the secret Anglo-French agreement between Sir Mark Sykes and Charles Georges-Picot were no less consequential in the shaping of the contemporary Middle East.
It took the Arabs some time to voice their opposition to the Declaration. The British report on the 1921 Palestine riots noted that “The Mayor of Tulkarem talks about the Balfour Declaration, and, whether he has or has not a clearer notion of its import than other people, he certainly expresses his opinion about it very definitely.” Palestinian objections to Balfour are neatly captured by historian Bayan al-Hut: “This is a promise that was made by someone who had no right to give it to those who had no right to receive it.”
The British establishment itself was divided and began to respond negatively to Zionism and Balfour in the early 1920s. This reflected the fusion of the establishment’s traditional anti-Semitism with its growing realization that the League of Nations’ mandate for the implementation of the Balfour Declaration was an impossible encumbrance on an empire bled white and financially exhausted by war. This attitude was a pronounced undercurrent throughout the Mandate years. According to Palestinian historian Walid Khalidi, one British official, Acting District Commissioner for the Galilee Blenkinsopp, used to circulate a “refutation” of the Balfour Declaration to his colleagues every year on November 2.
In the past, Palestinians have cast the Mandate as the illegitimate exercise of British imperialism, where, as al-Hut put it, “One people grant[ed] a second people what belong[ed] to a third people.” Nowadays, the opposition to the Balfour Declaration describes it as the beginning of “settler-colonialism.”
This innovation neatly saddles Britain’s carefully cultivated sense of post-imperial guilt with responsibility for “Israeli crimes,” including “complicity” in the supposed “cultural repression” of the Palestinians. At the same time, the approach promises to redeem the long-standing Palestinian sense of besmirched honor at having failed to “resist” Zionism.
But the current effort against Balfour also illustrates other standard Palestinian responses. For one thing, it unironically emphasizes Palestinian powerlessness and Arab weakness in both the past and the present. “Resistance” against the British Empire and the Zionists, both non-violent and violent, failed – and therefore, consistent with historical Palestinian practice, the issue must be internationalized.
The irony, however, is that Balfour’s wholly legal commitment, ratified by the League of Nations in 1920, is assailed much the same way the 1947 UN Palestine partition recommendation was condemned: as illegitimate and unfair. For Palestinians, internationalization must produce the result they want, despite the historical record of its rarely doing so.
There are other traditional elements in the campaign against the Balfour Declaration, not least the mistaking of symbolism for practical action. Presumably an apology would achieve a partial restoration of Palestinian national honor and comprise another step towards the complete eradication of Israel. However, despite vague talk from Palestinian activists demanding “compensation for Balfour” – which would be set against competing claims for compensation by Jewish refugees from Arab countries – it is difficult to see what direct value an apology would have in helping to establish a Palestinian state.
Demands for apologies and compensation have changed little since the UN’s Economic Survey Mission reported on a visit to Gaza in 1949: “In one of the camps, the refugees staged quite a demonstration. A large sign had been printed in English on which were the following, numbered as indicated: 1. Send us back home. 2. Compensate us. 3. Maintain us until we are refreshed. Just what they had in mind by ‘refreshed’ I leave to your imagination.”
The current Palestinian leadership’s sense of timing, and commitment to symbolism, deserves comment. Whereas from the 1960s onward Yasser Arafat navigated the Palestinian movement through the shifting currents of Third Worldism and the Cold War, today that skill is nowhere evident. Protests over the Balfour Declaration anniversary are emerging just as the Arab state system finds itself at its lowest ebb. Syria, Yemen, and Libya are effectively no more, Iraq is divided between an Iranian rump, a shrinking ISIS entity, and an independent Kurdistan (in all but name), and Lebanon is a Shiite-dominated shell. The Palestinian Authority is a pseudo-state that exists only thanks to foreign aid and Israeli security assistance.
The tone of the Balfour Declaration protests – “What is happening in Palestine is the biggest social injustice of our time,” as a conference organizer put it – is therefore not simply a lament for an era when Palestinians were ostensibly at the center of Arab and Muslims politics, but resistance to empirical reality.
The Balfour apology campaign is thus another element in the Palestinian wars against inconvenient historical facts that must be denied, attacked, rewritten, or otherwise assailed, rather than debated, conceded, or shared. This approach accounts for such extraordinary Palestinian claims as Arafat’s denial that there was ever a Jewish Temple in Jerusalem; Saeb Erekat’s statement that the Palestinians are descendants of Epipaleolithic inhabitants, and thus the “real” indigenous population of the land; and the more consequential insistence that Jews are only adherents to a religion and not members of a nation.
Here “resistance” elides into stubborn fabulism. Reality must be made to conform on the basis of both religious ideology and fantastical invented elements. Palestinian examples must be set into broader contexts, from religious claims regarding perfidious and cursed Jews to plaintive historical claims regarding the Muslim discovery of America, the invention of flight, and, more darkly, Zionist attack sharks or the “conspiracy to destroy Islam.”
These concepts – redeeming fallen honor, perpetual victimhood, international responsibility, and achieving through guilt what politics and force of arms cannot – are cultural ideas, transmitted endlessly by Palestinian leaders and through their educational system and media. But they are also reflected in Palestinian politics. At every turn, negotiations get to a stage and then stop because compromise would preclude full “restoration” of what never was. Fighting century-old events and hoping to produce another outcome is consistent with this pattern. It is unlikely to build either a stable Palestinian society or peace with Israel.
Alex Joffe is an archaeologist & historian. He is a Shillman-Ginsburg Fellow at Middle East Forum.
BESA Center Perspectives Papers published through generosity of the Greg Rosshandler Family
Palestinians & the Balfour Declaration at 100: Resisting the Past By Dr. Alex Joffe
While Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is in Washington for his first meeting with President Trump, former Arkansas governor and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee was once again in Israel.
Huckabee told local media that Trump’s commitment to Israel remains as strong as ever, even if his attention is currently on other topics.
2a.ISRAELI MINISTER: THE BIBLE, NOT GOOGLE, GIVES ISRAEL MORAL RIGHT TO LAND BY TOVAH LAZAROFF 3/28/17
“Defense is important and security is important but the most important thing is the moral claim of Israel.”
MK Tzachi Hanegbi. (photo credit:MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST) Israel’s moral claim to land comes from the Bible, not Google, Communications Minister Tzachi Hanegbi said in Washington on Tuesday at an event held in support of placing West Bank settlements within final borders of the Jewish state.
“Defense is important & security is important, but the most important thing is the moral claim of Israel. We are committed to go forward with living in our ancient land, land that was given us not by Google & Wikipedia, but by the Bible,” he said.
The event Hanegbi spoke at was hosted by the Council of Jewish Communities of Judea & Samaria to mark the upcoming 50th anniversary of the Six Day War, titled “Celebrate 50 Years of Rejuvenation in Judea & Samaria.” It was purposely held near the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s (AIPAC) annual policy conference to attract those in attendance there.
This was the first time the council held an event in Washington concurrent with the AIPAC conference to specifically target those attendees, as part of its growing focus on soliciting support abroad for the settlements, both in the United States & the European Union.
Housing & Construction Minister Yoav Galant (Kulanu) said, “For us, Judea & Samaria is Israel,” adding that continued control of Area C of the West Bank was existentially necessary for Israel.
“There is no way that Israel can exist” without the Jordan Valley & the mountaintops of Samaria, he said. “Of course, it is difficult to have a strong Jerusalem without [the settlements of] Givat Ze’ev, Ma’aleh Adumim & Gush Etzion & all these places.”
Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely said there were three quick arguments for placing Area C of the West Bank within Israel’s borders, all of which centered around the word “just,” & then mentioned Israel’s victory in the Six Day War.
“It was a just war. It is a just defense. But the most important one, it was based on a just claim.
A just claim of the Jewish people on [the Biblical areas of] Beit El, Shechem, Jerusalem & Hebron,” she said.
“Let me tell you something, if those places are not Jewish, who can tell me that [the modern cities of] Herzliya, Rehovot, Rishon Lezion & Tel Aviv are Jewish,” Hotovely said. “I always say that the occupation is a myth, because we never occupied other people’s land. This is Jewish land [Judea & Samaria]. This should forever be a Jewish land under Israeli law.”
Area C of the West Bank is outside the boundaries of sovereign Israel, but is under IDF military & civilian rule. The Palestinians believe it will part of their future state.
The event came as the Trump Administration is in the midst of attempting to break the three-year deadlock on the peace process between Israelis & Palestinians.
3.When the Law Opposes the Truth Rather Than Protects It by Douglas Murray
https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/10118/canada-islamophobia-censorship 3/27/17 5am
Would we be allowed to ask who ISIS are inspired by?
§ Would they be allowed to say that the perpetrator was a Muslim?
§ Would they be allowed to say that there is a tradition of violence within the Islamic religion which has sadly permitted just such actions for a rather long time. Or would they have to lie?
The Canadian government suffers from many things. Among them is bad timing.
On Thursday of last week, the Canadian Parliament voted through a blasphemy law specifically designed to protect Islam. As Al-Jazeera was happy to report on Friday, the previous day’s vote condemned “Islamophobia and all forms of systemic racism and religious discrimination.” The non-binding motion that the Parliament passed also requested that a Parliamentary committee should launch a study to look at how to “develop a whole-of-government approach to reducing or eliminating systemic racism and religious discrimination, including Islamophobia”. The motion passed by 201 votes to 91.
It is just as well for those 201 Canadian legislators that they were debating all this in their distinguished national Parliament rather than the mother of all Parliaments. For had these legislators been in the House of Commons in Westminster, their thoughts may have taken on a sharper focus.
For one day earlier, the British House of Commons lived through an example of rampant Islamism rather than “Islamophobia”. Although nobody in Westminster decided to turn into a crazy Muslim-hating bigot, they did manage to see what a hateful Muslim bigot could do when armed with the simple weapons of a knife and a motor vehicle.
The Canadian Liberal MP Iqra Khalid, who introduced the motion in Canada, proclaimed that the introduction of a de facto Islamic blasphemy law in Canada was needed because “We need to continue to build those bridges among Canadians, and this is just one way that we can do this.”
Hours before she said that, one of Khalid’s co-religionists was using a bridge built more than a hundred and fifty years earlier for a very different purpose.
Khalid Masood of Birmingham chose to use an older bridge to drive at high speed into crowds of Londoners and tourists. On his rampage, he managed to injure people from 11 countries. He succeeded in killing Kurt Cochran, an American on holiday in London with his wife to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary. He also killed Aysha Frade, a British national of Spanish and Cypriot descent who had been walking across Westminster Bridge to pick up her two young daughters from school. He also killed Leslie Rhodes, a 75-year old retired window-cleaner, described by a neighbour, who sat at his bedside in hospital as he died, as “the nicest man you ever met.”
After this carnage, so similar to the vehicle attacks in recent years in Germany, Israel and France, the 52-year old Khalid Masood ran at the Houses of Parliament and stabbed to death Police Constable Keith Palmer, 48. As all this unfolded, the Houses of Parliament in Westminster were put into lockdown. As with the Islamist attack on the Parliament building at Ottawa in 2014, the assailant got disturbingly close to the very centre of power in the land before being shot dead.
After deliberately driving a car into crowds of people in London last week, Khalid Masood crashed the vehicle into the fence surrounding Parliament & stabbed a police officer to death. (Image source: Sky News video screenshot)
So, we come to the central problem of what the Canadian Parliament did at the same time that the British Parliament was being assaulted. What are we allowed to say about this? Or at least what would we be allowed to say in Canada?
So far, we know that the perpetrator of the London attack was a 52-year old convert to Islam who appeared to have been influenced by Wahhabism, but whose particular aims or intentions remain, for the time-being, unknown. Unlike the murderers of British soldier Lee Rigby in 2013 (one of whom carried on his person a note to his children with numerous Quranic references explaining why he was doing what he was doing, and why it was right) Khalid Masood appears to have left no note. Nor has any suicide-video yet emerged.
But it is not unreasonable to speculate that he was motivated or inspired by ISIS. The group has claimed his attack for their side of the terror ledger and the style of the attack certainly conforms to the type called for by the group. But beyond this, what are we allowed to say? Or what would we be allowed to say in Canada?
Would we be allowed to ask who ISIS are inspired by? The question must linger. It must be hovering over the mind of many a Canadian journalist as they ponder the terrorist attacks that have previously taken place in their country and wonder how they would go about reporting an attack such as that in Westminster last week.
Would they be allowed to say that the perpetrator was a Muslim? Would they be allowed to say that he was a convert? Would they be allowed to mention the Wahhabi point? Or would this tread into the realm of the “Islamophobia”. Let us assume that they would be allowed to mention these things in print. Would they be allowed to go any farther? Would they be allowed to ponder in opinion columns or quote people in reportage who said that Masood & indeed ISIS had not got their ideas from nowhere? Would they be allowed to say that there is a tradition of violence within the Islamic religion, which has sadly permitted just such actions for a rather long time. Or would they have to lie?
History suggests that when the law makes it illegal to tell the truth, a reliable portion of people can be called upon to lie. So it has been in the past. And so it will be with Canada. So it would be anywhere once the law became an opponent of truth rather than the protector of it.
Thanks to the Canadian Parliament & their lack of curiosity about a deeply opaque but ambitious word (“Islamophobia”), the Canadian press public will have to stop certain inquiries into the truth about the events of our time. Who — apart from the good legislators of Canada — could possibly believe that the world will benefit from such censoring? And at such a time as this? To adopt a well-known expression: those whom the gods would destroy they first make ignorant.
Douglas Murray, British author, commentator & public affairs analyst, is based in London, England.
When the Law Opposes the Truth Rather Than Protects It
4.Urgent Messages to the Muslim World by Nonie Darwish
https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/10036/messages-to-muslim-world 3/22/17 5:00 am
§ A dangerous message is being sent to the Muslim world by the West: There is nothing that moderate Muslims or anyone else should fear from radical Islamic terrorism! Look at us Western governments! We are bringing in refugees who cannot be vetted even if they are ISIS infiltrators. In fact, we in the West are so goodhearted that we are encouraging many organizations to operate legally in the West under the banner of the Muslim Brotherhood — even organizations that are sympathetic to the terrorist group Hamas and that are pledging to overthrow us!
§ The West, by taking all the Syrian refugees, is emptying Syria of any kind of resistance to the Caliphate (ISIS). The West’s compassion, by taking in the refugees escaping ISIS, will end up leaving only the radicals to rule unopposed in Syria and Iraq. This, in US foreign policy, is not compassion; it is gross negligence and reckless endangerment.
§ “Tough love” is badly needed when dealing with the Muslim world. We must say: No, we cannot accept your jihadist aspirations. We cannot accept you forcing your way of life on the world; your way of life is unacceptable to us. Before you send your refugees, you must end your “us against them” jihadist culture. The civilized world no longer finds your aspirations for an Islamic Caliphate tolerable.
The first reaction of the U.S. after 9/11 should have been to stop visas from all majority-Muslim countries, except for those of utmost importance. But our politicians’ hands were tied — not by fear of a backlash from Islamic countries, which probably expected a U.S. boycott, but by fear of a backlash from the Western media and Western progressives.
The decision to keep Muslims, refugees and others pouring into the US after 9/11 was wrong and has not done Islam and Muslim reformers a favor. Here is why:
The chaos and bloodshed in the Muslim world, even in the most moderate of Muslim nations, such as Turkey, is between Muslims who want to enforce Islamic Sharia law, totally and upon everyone by a theocratic government, and those who want less Sharia by installing military rule. The West does not understand that the only form of government that can stand up to a totalitarian Islamic theocracy is a military one and no other. Who could imagine that a military junta could be considered the only savior from Islamic tyrannies that require everyone to live totally, 100%, under the laws of Sharia?
When former U.S. President Barack Obama honored the Muslim Brotherhood with his first major speech as president, who were his guests of honor in the first rows? Leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood. The less-radical Islamist military form of governments in the Middle East were left out and thus weakened. Then Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, who had a murky relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood, got the message. He did not attend. With Obama’s move, the balance of power between the two combative forces over control of government immediately favored the Muslim Brotherhood. It officially, for the first time since its founding in 1928, took control of the Egyptian government after the 2011 chaos of the “Arab Spring.” A year later, 22 million Egyptians had to undergo a bloody counter-revolution to bring back the type of government Egyptians have always favored over an Islamic theocracy.
When former U.S. President Barack Obama gave his first major Presidential speech in Cairo, in 2009, his guests of honor in the first rows were leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood. The less-radical Islamist military form of governments in the Mid East were left out & thus weakened. (Image source: White House)
Now, another, dangerous, message is being sent to the ordinary citizens of the Muslim world by the liberal West: There is nothing that moderate Muslims or anyone else should fear from the possible infiltration of radical Islam! Look at us, Western governments! We are bringing in refugees who cannot be vetted even if they are ISIS infiltrators. Although the Muslim Brotherhood is illegal and considered a terrorist organization in several Muslim countries, we in the West do not mind them at all. In fact, we in the West are so kind-hearted and welcoming that we are encouraging many organizations to operate legally in the West under the banner of the Muslim Brotherhood — even organizations that are sympathetic to the terrorist group Hamas and that are pledging to overthrow us! See how we are courageous, self-confident and free of “Islamophobia”!
By embracing the Muslim Brotherhood as not dangerous to free societies and by bringing in refugees from terror-infested areas of the Middle East, we are sending a message to moderate Muslims in the Middle East: Citizens in the West are not even bothering to protect their free system from being conquered by Sharia-lovers, so perhaps the dreams of the Caliphate are not that bad after all.
The West, by taking all the Syrian refugees, is not just sending the above “unintended” message; it is also emptying Syria of any kind of resistance to the Caliphate (ISIS). The West’s compassion, by taking in the refugees escaping ISIS, will end up leaving only the radicals to rule unopposed in Syria and Iraq.
A US foreign policy that recommends absorbing unvetted Muslim refugees has been advocated as compassion, but in fact it is gross negligence and reckless endangerment to U.S. citizens, Western freedoms and democracy.
There are unintended consequences to rescuing all Muslim refugees:
- We are telling Muslim reformists, wrongly, especially in the Middle East, that there is nothing to fear from ISIS infiltration.
- By not declaring the Muslim Brotherhood a terror organization we are yet again legitimizing and empowering it.
- By not showing the proper angry response to Islamic terrorism, the West is not perceived as gracious, but as weak.
By taking in Islam and its refugees without proper vetting, the West is not doing either Islam or Muslims any favor: for the reformists, it is shutting out any hope of reform.
Tough love is badly needed when dealing with the Muslim world. We must say: No, we cannot accept your jihadist aspirations. We cannot accept you forcing your way of life on the world; your way of life is unacceptable to us. Before you send your refugees, you must end your “us against them” jihadist culture. The civilized world no longer finds your aspirations for an Islamic Caliphate tolerable.
If the West has the courage to do that, perhaps one day history will attribute the reformation of Muslim world partly to strength and conviction of Western resolve against tyranny and human suffering.
Nonie Darwish, born & raised in Egypt, is the author of the new best-selling book, “Wholly Different; Why I chose Biblical Values over Islamic Values”.
Urgent Messages to the Muslim World by Nonie Darwish
5.The Origin of “Fake News” in Holocaust Denial by Alan M. Dershowitz
https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/10108/the-origin-of-fake-news-in-holocaust-denial 3/23/17 5:30p
“Fake news” has become a subject of real news. But there’s nothing new about “fake news.” Holocaust deniers have generated fake news for decades. The deniers have funded “research” “institutes,” “journals,” books, magazines, videos, websites, newsflashes – all designed to provide a patina of academic respectability to demonstrable falsehoods.
This entire enterprise is devoted to proving that the holocaust – the systematic murder of more than six million Jews in gas chambers, mass shootings, mobile killing units and other means of implementing the carefully planned genocide – simply did not occur. It was made up whole cloth out of “The Jews” for financial and political gain.
No reasonable person with a modicum of intelligence can actually believe that Hitler is Nazis co-conspirators did not plan the mass extermination of Jews at the Wannsse Conference & that they did not carry it out at death camps, such as Treblinka, Sorbibor, Majdanek & Auschwitz, Birkenau, as well as by SS mobile killing units that gathered Jews in such places as Babi Yar & the Ponary Woods.
Yet, thousands of people, many with academic degrees & some with professorial positions, persist in denying the undeniable. These professional liars are given legitimacy by some reputable scholars such as Noam Chomsky, who not only champions the right of these fake historians to
perpetrate their malicious lies, but who actually lend their names to the quality of the “research“ that produce the lies of denial. In a widely circulated petition signed by numerous scholars, Chomsky and the other signatories actually described the false history of the notorious denier, Robert Faurisson, as “findings” based on “extensive historical research,” thus giving them an academic imprimatur.
I, too, support the right of falsifiers of history to submit their lies to the open marketplace of ideas, where all reasonable people will reject them. The First Amendment to the United States Constitution does not distinguish between truth and lies, at least when it comes to historical events. Just as I defended the rights of Nazis to march through Skokie, and the right of KKK racists to burn crosses on the own property, I defend the right of mendacious holocaust deniers to spin their hateful web of lies. But, unlike Chomsky, I would never dream of supporting the false content of these lies or the phony methodology employed by these liars. Chomsky should be praised for defending the right of Holocaust deniers, but he should be condemned for his complicity in lending substantive and methodological credibility to their false history.
The marketplace is one thing, but let me be clear that I do not believe that any university should tolerate, in the name of academic freedom these falsehoods being taught in the classroom. There is not and should not be academic freedom to commit educational malpractice by presenting provable lies as acceptable facts. Universities must and do have standards: no credible university would tolerate a professor teaching that slavery did not exist, or that the Earth is flat. Holocaust denial does not meet any reasonable standard deserving the protection of academic freedom.
This is not to say that outside the classroom, academics should be limited in their research output, or prevented from publishing improbable claims.
But the difficult questions remain: Where should the line be drawn between demonstrably false facts and controversial matters of opinion that may turn out to contain grains of truth? Should professors be allowed to teach that there are genetic differences between blacks and whites that explain disparities in outcomes? (A Nobel winning Stanford professor of Engineering tried to teach such a course on what he called “dysgenics.”) Should the president of a university be allowed to speculate in public about possible genetic differences between men & women regarding the capacity to do ground-breaking work in math & science? (Harvard’s former President Lawrence Summers lost his job over that.) How should the media deal with obviously false facts put forward by elected public officials?
I have no problem with courses being taught about the phenomenon of Holocaust denial — it is after all a widespread concern – just as I would have no problem with courses being taught about the phenomenon of false history, false facts & conspiracy theories. But the classroom, with its captive audience of students being graded by professors, is never an appropriate place to espouse the view that the Holocaust did not take place. The classroom is not a free and open marketplace of ideas. The monopolistic professor controls what can & cannot be said in his or her closed shop. Accordingly, the classroom must have more rigorous standards of truth than the book market, or the internet.
The responsible media should behave in a similar fashion to the professor in the classroom. They should report on the phenomenon of Holocaust denial but not themselves publish unsubstantiated claims that the Holocaust did not occur. There is no way to impose such standards on the free-wheeling internet, where Holocaust denial is rampant. It isn’t clear whether the apparent recent surge in online Holocaust denial has been caused by an increase in deniers, or whether closet deniers now have public platforms or social media that they previously lacked.
How then does this all relate to the current phenomenon of false political news and facts? How should the media, academics and the general public deal with politically motivated accusations that the “news” or “facts” they publish are false? Should they report on news and facts asserted by politicians that they have fact-checked and found to lack credibility? Who, in a free and open democratic society, is to judge of whether news, facts, history or other forms of expression are false, true – or somewhere in
between? Do we really want governmental (or university) “truth squads” empowered to shut down stalls that are purveying false goods in the marketplace of ideas? And if not, what are the alternatives?
Censorship is, of course, a matter of degree. There is, moreover, a hierarchy of censorship, with the worst being governmental prior restraint, or criminalization of dissent. Following that would be university denial of academic freedom to express unpopular views outside the classroom. (I do not regard it as impermissible censorship for universities to impose reasonable standards of scholarship in the classroom and for hiring and retention decisions.) Then there is refusal by the media to report on events or issues out of fear of losing readership or advertising revenue. Finally there is self-censorship, based on fear of violating community norms.
The government — particularly the executive & legislative branches –must be kept away from the daunting task of striking the appropriate balance between speech & the dangers it may pose, because dissent against the state must remain the paradigm of protected speech. The courts will inevitably have to play a role in striking that balance, but should invoke a heavy presumption in favor of speech. The university administration should maintain reasonable standards. In the classroom and hiring decisions, but it must not interfere with the right of faculty and students to express unpopular or even “false” ideas outside the classroom. And the media should articulate and enforce reasonable journalistic standards in reporting and fact-checking on information that some claim is false. In the unregulated world of the internet and social media, there will neither be universal standards nor all- encompassing censorship. There are no “publishers’ or censors in the cyber world. In the end, the people will decide what to believe, what to doubt and what to disbelieve. And they will not always make wise determinations in a world where lies spread with far greater speed than when Winston Churchill reportedly observed that a lie makes it halfway around the world before the truth can “get its pants on.”
There is no perfect solution to this dilemma. There never has been, and I venture to predict there never will be.
Freedom of speech and the open marketplace of ideas are not a guarantee that truth, justice or morality will prevail. The most that can be said is that freedom of expression is less worse than its alternatives such as governmental censorship, official truth squads or shutting down the marketplace of ideas. Like democracy itself, untrammeled freedom to express hateful and dangerous lies may be the “worst” policy – except for all the others that have been tried over time.
So let the purveyors of fake news – from Holocaust denial to current fake information – try to spread their falsehoods. And let truth tellers respond with facts and evidence.
The Origin of “Fake News” in Holocaust Denial by Alan M. Dershowitz
Netanyahu to allow ministers, Knesset members to ascend Temple Mount after Ramadan. MK Glick: ‘I will petition High Court.’ By Yoel Domb, 27/03/17 22:17
Yehuda Glick – Miriam Alster/Flash90
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has decided to allow ministers and Knesset members to ascend the Temple Mount in three months, after the month of Ramadan is over, according to a Channel 2 report. The final decision will depend on the security situation at the time. Ramadan is a time when religious Muslim fervor and incitement are rampant in mosques.
A discussion on the matter took place at the prime minister’s office. Attendees included Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, the head of the Shabak Israel Security Agency, the Jerusalem District Police Commander and the prime minister’s special advisor Yitzhak Molcho.
The security establishment expressed grave concerns over the possibility that politicians would ascend to Temple Mount during the Pesach festival. However they also reported that there has been a significant rise of 40% in the number of Jews ascending to Temple Mount.
Netanyahu decided after the meeting not to renew the permits for ministers and Knesset members to visit Temple Mount until after the Shavuot festival and the Muslim Ramadan month which coincides with the Jewish month of Sivan. If the security situation permits it, Netanyahu will then renew the permits for Knesset members to visit the Temple Mount.
MK Yehuda Glick (Likud) responded to the report by stating that “in the past ten months I have acted in every possible way to cancel the decision to prohibit Knesset members from ascending Temple Mount. I sat with the legal advisors of the government and the Knesset as well as other officials close to the premier.
“The police and Interior Security Minister have long removed their opposition to MKs ascending Temple Mount. I initiated an Ethics Committee discussion which also agreed to remove the prohibition on ascending Temple Mount. It is distressing that only due to my threatening to go to the Supreme Court was a decision reached on the matter this evening.”
Glick added that “It wasn’t right during the last few months to prevent MKs from ascending the Temple Mount. This is against all the basic laws and I don’t understand why another three months are required to open the gates of the Temple Mount. In the meantime my friends and I are prevented from fulfilling the mitzvah of going up to the Temple Mount. I therefore intend to submit my petition to the Supreme Court as intended in order not to allow another postponement.”
PM to allow MKs to ascend Temple Mount – in 3 months time
7.Haley on the UN: ‘There’s a new sheriff in town’
US Ambassador to UN blasts the body’s anti-Israel bias, vows to end it. By Elad Benari, 28/03/17 1:13
Nikki Haley, the United States Ambassador to the UN, on Monday afternoon spoke at the 2017 AIPAC policy conference in Washington, DC, and stressed that “there’s a new sheriff in town” at the United Nations.
“I was confused” when she saw that Israel was the focus of discussions on the Middle East at the UN, admitted Haley, adding she expected the discussions to focus on issues such as Syria, the Islamic State (ISIS) and Hezbollah, not on Israel.
“I didn’t expect an Israel bashing session. I knew they said it was bad, but until you hear it & see it, you can’t comprehend how ridiculous it is,” she added.
The Ambassador criticized the nuclear deal signed between Iran & 6 world powers.
“When the Iran deal took place, all it did was empower Iran & Russia as well as it emboldened Iran. We’re going to watch Iran like a hawk. We’re going to make sure that everything they do is watched, processed and dealt with,” promised Haley. “Why [the Iran deal] was ever allowed to go through, why it was ever passed, is beyond me. It’s terrible.”
She stressed that she’s not at the UN “to play. What I wanted to make sure is that the United States starts leading. Leading is not saying things when it’s comfortable. It’s saying & doing things when it’s not comfortable.”
The goal “is to have the backs of our allies”, said Haley, and ensure that something like the anti-Israel Resolution 2334, which criticized Israeli “settlements”, never happens again.
“When Resolution 2334 happened & the U.S. abstained, the entire country felt a kick in the gut. Never before have we not had the backs of our friends. We don’t have a better friend than Israel. To see that happen was hurtful…today, everyone at the UN is scared to talk to me about Resolution 2334. I wanted them to understand that it happened, but it will never happen again.”
“The days of Israel bashing [at the UN] are over,” Haley declared. “We have a lot of things to talk about. There are a lot of threats to peace & security, but you’re not going to take our number one democratic friend in the Middle East & beat up on it.”
She cited two recent incidents at the UN in which the United States had Israel’s back and was able to get the UN to change its position.
“When they decided to try to put a Palestinian in one of the highest positions they had ever been given at the UN, we said no & we had him booted out,” she said, referring to the UN’s decision to appoint former PA leader Salam Fayyad as its envoy to Libya.
“Until the Palestinian Authority does what it’s supposed to, there are no freebies for the Palestinian Authority anymore,” stressed Haley.
“Then they tested us again & this ridiculous report comparing Israel to an apartheid state comes out,” she continued, in reference to the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) report which accused Israel of imposing “apartheid” on Palestinian Arabs.
The first thing the American mission did in response to the report was call Secretary-General Antonio Gutteres and demand he pull the report, noted Haley. Gutteres indeed pulled the report and subsequently the head of ESCWA, Rima Khalaf, resigned.
“So for anybody who says that you can’t get anything done at the UN, they need to understand that there’s a new sheriff in town,” declared Haley.
She thanked the public, who welcomed her with warm applause, for their support, but stressed, “All I did was tell the truth.”
Haley on the UN: ‘There’s a new sheriff in town’
A new housing project planned in the town of Efrat south of Jerusalem overcame the last major hurdle recently, when Arab claims to the land were exposed as false.
The claim made by an Arab resident of the nearby village of Al-Khader delayed construction of the housing project by more than a year, blocking all work on the neighborhood, which is planned to include 50 homes.
According to an Israel Radio report, a court proved that that the Arab claimant had no basis of ownership & that the claim on the land was entirely false.
The project was organized by the future residents themselves, who commissioned a contractor to build the 50 homes. Members of the group had already invested vast amounts into the project & the year-long delay caused the prospective homeowners huge amounts of money.
After the status of the land selected for the project had been carefully checked, the group obtained building permits and work began preparing the plots for construction.
This is when a resident of Al-Khader registered a complaint with authorities claiming ownership of the land. But it turned out, the man’s only claim to the land was a small grove of trees he had planted on a plot he never owned.
COMMENT: Yj Draiman •
The objective of the League of Nations Mandate system in the 1920’s was to administer parts of the recently defunct Ottoman Empire (which as occupiers owned over 90% of the land in Palestine aka “The Land of Israel”, some of the land was leased to the Arabs by the Ottoman Empire as sharecroppers. There was no Arab ownership of land in Palestine aka “The Land of Israel” – only some wealthy land owners from Lebanon and local Arab leaders. Much of the land claimed by the Arabs was given to them illegally by the British Mandate authorities who violated their fiduciary obligation and were going to be charged by the League of Nations for those violations; but the League was dismantled after WWII and taken over by the U.N.), which had been in control of the Middle East since the 16th century, “until such time as they are able to stand alone”. In 1948 when the British regime as trustee, abandoned their duty & commitment to help re-establish the Jewish National Home in Palestine aka “The Land of Israel, the Historic Land”.
: Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas this week appointed a new Palestinian Authority prime minister to take the place of the ousted Salam Fayyad, a respected, US-educated economist that the international community fought long & hard to keep in the position.
The new Palestinian prime minister is Rami Hamdallah, a mild-mannered academic who for the past 15 years has served as dean of al-Najah University in Nablus. Hamdallah has absolutely no political experience, so many in Israel see his appointment as a maneuver by Abbas to regain the absolute control once exercised by Yasser Arafat. It should be remembered that Abbas was the long-time right hand and protégé of Arafat.
Fayyad, by contrast, was a political force to be reckoned with, who had amassed his own power base both at home & abroad. Abbas only reluctantly named him prime minister in 2007 under heavy pressure from the international community, which insisted that the Palestinian Authority reverse the rampant corruption that had resulted from a decade of rule by the Arafat-Abbas duo.
Abbas constantly clashed with Fayyad, and for years was believed to be looking for a way to boot the former prime minister.
Hamdallah, it is widely believed, will be much more pliant, which could ultimately bode very poorly for the peace process. “Now Abbas will be able to return to the Palestinian custom, first instituted by Arafat, of stealing international aid,” [June 2013] suggested in its Thursday editorial.
Hamas initially condemned the appointment of Hamdallah due to the fact that the entire Abbas regime continues to rule despite the fact that its term of office ended years ago. However, the Hamdallah appointment is likely to help Hamas in the long-run.
Many Israelis are concerned that should Abbas allow the return of Arafat-levels of corruption, Hamas and other terror groups will once again gain in popularity & score electoral victories if & when the Palestinians are permitted to again vote for their “democratic” government.
10.The Netanyahus’ China Visit By Roie Yellinek 3/27/17
Benjamin & Sara Netanyahu in China, photo by Haim Zach, GPO
BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 434, March 27, 2017
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu visited Beijing on March 20-21, 2017 – his second visit to China during the term of China’s current president, Xi Jinping. The trip was the product of an invitation from Xi, a point emphasized by Netanyahu’s office to deflect criticism over the frequency of his foreign junkets. The official reason for the visit was the marking of the twenty-fifth anniversary of diplomatic relations between the countries, but it could represent an opportunity for Israel to play a more prominent role on the international scene.
The prime minister’s office has stated that beyond marking the anniversary of the Chinese-Israeli bilateral relationship, PM Netanyahu’s visit to China this month had primarily a financial objective. The main goals were to continue building up the countries’ financial relationship, enhance cooperation, draw Chinese investment to Israel, and open the door for more diverse Israeli investment in the Chinese market. In addition, the trip was intended to continue an ongoing dialogue about establishing a free trade agreement between China and Israel, as well as mutual participation in the third Innovation Conference. During his visit, the prime minister met with President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang, and the heads of the largest corporations in China.
Unlike Western foreign policies, which generally prioritize political issues and relations, Chinese foreign policy is focused on financial development. This is consistent with China’s guiding principle of nonintervention in the doings of other countries. Whereas Western countries keep Israel’s political challenges at the forefront of their perceptions, China does not particularly concern itself with the conflict that has been raging around Israel for many years. The Chinese government views Israel, despite its small size, as a producer of natural resources as well as a potential contributor to China’s developing economy.
The visit to China of the Israeli prime minister had the anticipated positive results with regard to the development of the two countries’ financial relationship. The agreements signed, and the show of mutual good will, might lower barriers that exist today inhibiting the penetration of Israeli companies into China. They might even pull more Chinese money into the Israeli economy.
But did the visit have other, less conspicuous purposes? It is not possible to say for certain, but it appears that several non-financial subjects occupied the leaders during their meetings, including relations with the US, the role Russia is playing in the Middle East, and terror threats from Islamic sources.
With the election of Donald Trump to the presidency of the US, the international system is redesigning itself. The relationship between China and the US, too, is going through a stage that can be described as the midpoint between redesign and crisis. This probably stems from the desire of both sides to establish strong negotiating positions.
In mid-February, Netanyahu met with President Trump and was welcomed with great affection. He appears to have Trump’s ear, a point that has intensified China’s interest in him. It is reasonable to assume that the closeness between the prime minister of Israel and the American president will be used by the Chinese government to relay messages and lower the international temperature, which rose after blows were exchanged by the Chinese administration and Trump immediately after the US election.
From Netanyahu’s perspective, allowing himself to be employed as a middleman between China and the US can help him carve out legacy as a leader who affected not only his own country the entire international system. Netanyahu, who is occupied at home by exhausting battles both inside and outside the government, can find refuge by involving himself in other countries’ issues.
Between his visits to China and the US, Netanyahu also found time to visit Russian president Vladimir Putin. According to Kremlin reports, the short visit featured a “comprehensive exchange of opinions”. Presumably the main issues under discussion were the Russian role in fighting Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria and Israeli resistance to Iran’s consolidation of Islamic Shiite terrorist organizations close to the Israeli border.
The Chinese government, which strives for global stability that will support its economy, wants to see the fighting in Syria fade away, to be replaced by a stable and responsible central governing body. In addition, the Chinese government fears consequences inside China from the fighting in Syria. Still, despite ISIS’s direct threat towards China about four weeks ago, the Chinese government does not appear to be taking action against it.
The Chinese government is nevertheless very concerned about the joining of ISIS by several hundred young Uighurs (an Islamic minority from northeast China). These young people, who might return to China trained and motivated to act, could conceivably destabilize the country. The Chinese government does not fear that it will fall, because the number of hostile fighters in question is so small. But because China is run by a single party, any damage to its sovereignty constitutes a threat that has to be prevented.
Israel, which has coped with terror for its entire existence and has developed practical and theoretical tools with which to deal with it, can help China tackle this threat. If this and other security subjects were indeed discussed during the leaders’ meeting, Israel would do well to take steps to promote security as well as financial cooperation with China. In addition, Netanyahu would be well advised to use his proximity to President Trump, the warmth with which he is greeted in China, and the open channel he has with Vladimir Putin to establish Israel as a key state on the international scene.
Roie Yellinek is a doctoral student in Middle East studies at Bar-Ilan U. BESA Center Perspectives Papers are published through the generosity of the Greg Rosshandler Family
The Netanyahus’ China Visit
11.Khaled Mashaal threatened to retaliate against Israel for death of Fuqaha, despite the consequences.
The head of Hamas’ Political Bureau Khaled Mashaal stated Hamas has “accepted the challenge” presented by Israel when it assassinated Mazen Fuqaha, a senior leader of the terrorist organization’s armed wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, and threatened to retaliate.
Fuqaha was mysteriously killed on Friday night at his home in southern Gaza City.
“If Israel is changing the rules of struggle, Hamas along with its armed wing, al-Qassam Brigades, will bear their responsibilities & continue along the way to avenge martyrs, release captives & liberate occupied Palestine,” he threatened.
In a recorded speech broadcast at a ceremony held to mourn Fuqaha in Gaza on Monday evening, Mashaal said he “does not care about the imbalance of power” between Israel & Hamas, stating that “Hamas’ determination is stronger than that of the Israeli occupation.”
“The Zionist occupier took from us a great hero & for this we will not sit quietly,” he said.
Mashaal claimed Fuqaha had planned to carry out an attack on Israel right before his death.
“Fuqaha told me 5 hours before he was murdered that he was about to carry out a large project [terrorist attack] in the West Bank [Judea & Samaria area],” he said.
“There is no victory without martyrs there is no liberation without resistance,” the terror leader concluded.
Israel has neither confirmed nor denied it killed Fuqaha.
By: Aryeh Savir, World Israel News
Khaled Mashaal has threatened to retaliate against Israel for the death of Fuqaha, despite the consequences.
Arlene Kushner From Israel: Muddled Messages 3/27/17
[Please read this through: I have a request for action below.]
If there is anything that is not muddled right now, it is the news that David Friedman has at long last been confirmed as the new US Ambassador to Israel. The vote in the Senate on Thursday was 52 – 46, with Democratic Senators Bob Menendez of New Jersey and Joe Manchin of West Virginia voting for him.
With the Democrats making it as difficult as possible, it was a long haul. But the result is exceedingly positive.
As Mort Klein, President of ZOA put it, “He is the first US ambassador to Israel that has a realistic, rational view of the issues affecting all the parties there.”
We welcome him with gladness.
Speaking of “realistic and rational views,” I share the following, as it begins to make the point about how muddled thinking is when it comes to how Israel is expected to relate to the PA.
Senator Tom Cotton (R – AK) is one of the sharpest guys around, and quite often demonstrates solid judgement in his perspective on a situation. In this region last week for a security assessment, he gave a statement to the JPost in which he said that this was no time for “splashy” peace talks of the sort that Kerry had promoted.
Right he is, of course.
Credit: Steven Purcell
But then the Post said this (emphasis added):
“He [Cotton] questioned whether Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas [might be]…the last, best hope for a comprehensive agreement, given the apparent dearth of moderate leaders waiting in the wings.”
This is not a direct Cotton quote, it is the Post citing him. A bit surprised that Cotton would have considered this possibility, I found myself wondering how much was interpretation of the Senator’s words.
Think about what this says: Since a radical is likely to succeed Abbas as the head of the PA, it might be a good idea to try to forge an agreement when it’s still possible, while Abbas is at the helm. (An “agreement,” as it referred to here, means establishment of a “Palestinian state” as part of a peace treaty with Israel.)
Let’s leave aside two of the most obvious problems: that Abbas himself and his cohorts are not moderates (keep reading for more on this below!), and that Abbas will never forge an agreement with Israel. The man is weak, despised by his own people, and, at 81, on his way out.
If the guessing is that he is less radical than whoever will follow him, precisely what would an agreement Abbas forged with Israel be worth and how long would it last? The “peace” aspect would dissipate quickly, and we would be left with a radical, “non-peaceful” state.
The fact that there is instability in the PA and “an apparent dearth of future moderate leaders” is sufficient reason in & of itself for Israel to avoid a deal with the PA. But this is not said.
A definitive statement about the absolute futility of anticipating a deal always includes in the background the assumption that possibilities for achieving one should at least be considered.
This is how a large portion of the world has been conditioned to think. So much is this the case that the world even fails to consider the fact that a “radical, non-peaceful” (i.e., terrorist) state would be detrimental to everyone and not just Israel.
The on-going issue right now between Israel and the US is the forging of an agreement on how much building Israel will do in Judea, Samaria & eastern Jerusalem.
Once again, I begin with the core problems: First: It is prudent for Israeli leaders to discuss with the US the issues regarding Israeli building; hopefully this exchange, if done cordially and respectfully, can enhance understanding of our position and strengthen ties. Yet, in the end, Israel and the US do not have to be on the same page. The policy of Israel, a sovereign state, need not conform to what the US would prefer to see happen. But the fact that meetings are being held in order to come to an “agreement” implies that this is indeed the expectation.
And then: What we are encountering on the part of the Americans is an underlying assumption that Israel must make concessions of some sort when it is quite apparent that nothing is being negotiated with the PA in terms of, say, revamping PA textbooks or eliminating the program for providing payment to terrorists in Israeli jails.
Even now when there is some measure of good will on the other side (that is, the US side), we’re still confronting that old premise — that “peace” depends upon concessions from Israel. This was the premise of Obama, and of Bush before him; we expected different this time around.
There is a very troubling reason why this assumption ‒ explored below ‒ is being made by the Trump administration.
The good news as I write is that there is still no agreement. Good, because this means that Netanyahu has not jumped to agree to whatever it was that the US has been proposing.
Last week, after Trump envoy Jason Greenblatt had left, Israeli officials were expressing concern about a hold-over from the Obama administration—US National Security Council Middle East staffer Yael Lempert—whose influence “created a strain in the atmosphere”:
“Greenblatt repeated statements that were heard many times during the Obama administration — that Israel is the stronger side in the conflict and therefore is expected to first take conciliatory measures towards the Palestinian Authority. Israeli officials assessed that this argument, as well as human rights issues raised by Greenblatt, echoed similar comments made [in the past] by Lempert, who holds similar views to those of J Street.” (Emphasis added)
This is exceedingly unsettling, to say the least. Daniel Horowitz wrote in “Conservative Review”: “Lempert was literally Obama’s point person in the White House orchestrating his war against Israel. This decision [by Trump to keep her on] is Orwellian.” (Emphasis added)
As to the demands or “proposals” of the Trump administration with regard to building in communities in Judea and Samaria, various scenarios have emerged.
 One early report said that Greenblatt had asked for a freeze on building in isolated communities in Judea & Samaria, with some construction of a limited amount – with a quota – to be permitted in eastern Jerusalem and the settlement blocs.
Netanyahu was said to have rejected this because of the restriction on building outside the blocs. This is a major issue for him because of his promise to build a new community for the residents of Amona.
I will add that any notion of counting how many new houses could be built inside existing community boundaries within the blocs is also terribly offensive.
The Security Cabinet said that Israel has a right to build anywhere [within Area C] and I certainly concur. It is our land, and even the Oslo Accords don’t restrict Israeli building.
 An unnamed Israeli official then denied that Trump wanted construction stopped outside of the blocs.
 But this, even if true, hardly means that Trump is telling us that he supports our right to build. A joint readout at the end of last week, after meetings in Washington between the Israeli delegation and the Trump administration, said (emphasis added):
“The United States delegation reiterated President Trump’s concerns regarding settlement activity in the context of moving towards a peace agreement.”
There we have it: linking of Israel’s concessions on building with the possibility of “advancing peace.”
 To further complicate matters, another senior, unnamed Israeli official then said that it not true that Trump has demanded that all construction be halted past the security fence.
But this is different from limiting the number of houses to be constructed inside the blocs.
 The latest report being circulated indicates that the US might “allow” Israel to build that new community for Amona, after which there would be a partial settlement freeze. There has been no final agreement on this, either, however.
The bottom line here? That joint readout, from which I cited above, also included this (emphasis added):
“The Israeli delegation made clear that Israel’s intent going forward is to adopt a policy regarding settlement activity that takes those [Trump’s] concerns into consideration.”
So, we are likely to concede something, unfortunately. But “taking concerns into consideration” does not mean doing precisely what Trump wants.
Netanyahu is constrained from making too many concessions by the nationalist portion of his coalition. Right now his coalition is shaky in any event, and we have to be grateful that he is looking over his right shoulder.
On this, stay tuned.
As to Trump: Genuine disappointment and enormous bewilderment as to what he is thinking.
I wrote above about the expectation that the successor to Abbas would be “radical,” and pointed out that Abbas himself and his cohorts are no moderates. And here we have some very powerful evidence to bolster my position:
Fatah official Abbas Zaki, who is a senior Fatah official and a member of the Fatah Central Committee, on March 21 published an article in the PA daily “Al Quds.”
It was translated in its entirety by MEMRI and can be seen here:
In the article Zaki argues that “[We, that is Fatah] require the awakening and practical action of tens of thousands of Fatah activists, [who must] join the civil popular resistance against the settlers and occupation forces, and their number will double once they are joined by national and Islamic parties and organizations…” (Emphasis added here and following)
“…the sword remains aimed [at the enemy] and the rifle comes before the olive branch…”
“…what unites the Palestinians is the struggle rather than the dialogue [with Israel]…”
Remember that Fatah, the party of Abbas, forms the core of the Palestinian Authority. These are the people with whom, outrageously, we are expected to “negotiate peace,” and for whom we are supposed to make “gestures.”
Please, put out the word on this everywhere you can – on Facebook, on websites, in discussion groups, in letters to the editor, etc. etc.
And then, please! Write to President Trump with a summary of this information, including the MEMRI URL for authentication.
Ask him why Israel should be expected to make concessions and why he imagines that a genuine peace can be forged with these terrorists. Politely, briefly, tell him that enough is enough, and that he has a significant role to play in forging a new path of truth.
Quote these two statements from a major Fatah leader:
“…the sword remains aimed [at the enemy] and the rifle comes before the olive branch…”
“…what unites the Palestinians is the struggle rather than the dialogue [with Israel]…”
Encourage others to write to the president and put out the word on this as well.
At the AIPAC Conference in Washington yesterday, Israeli Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer declared that for the first time in years, there is no “daylight” between the US and Israel. As you may remember, Obama declared that such “daylight” was a good thing.
But Dermer was referring to the view of Iran and radical Islam shared by the two leaders. I do not belittle this for a second. It is of huge import.
We are still left scratching our heads with regard to the “settlement” issue. Especially is this the case as a Trump who understands the threat of radical Islam should also understand that fostering a Palestinian Arab state is not a good move.
Vice President Mike Pence also addressed AIPAC on Sunday. He said: “Under President Donald Trump, if the world knows nothing else, the world will know this: America stands with Israel…President Trump is committed to “forging a lasting peace in the Middle East… There would undoubtedly have to be compromises for peace [but] President Trump will never compromise the safety and security of the Jewish State of Israel.”
Sigh. Mike Pence is a good guy, and he cares about Israel. But he is reduced here to meaningless platitudes.
What is heartening is that we are seeing the first signs that some people are starting to get it:
Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller was here last week on a visit organized by Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan. While here, he made history, signing a first-ever agreement between the state of Texas and Judea and Samaria.
Credit: Samaria Regional Council
In the picture below, Dagan is to the left, and, obviously, Miller to the right; they are flanking Security Minister Gilad Erdan (Likud).
Not surprising that the initiative came from the very feisty state of Texas. May many similar agreements follow.