VIDEO: Big Trouble in Little Jerusalem with John Fitzgerald

Right Side News with John Fitzgerald  – Big Trouble in Little Jerusalem

JERUSALEM: On December 6th, 2017 President Donald Trump unveiled a new policy regarding Israel’s capital city.

WATCH NOW: Right Side News’ John Fitzgerald walks you through the newly recognized capital of Israel.

 

 

In a statement President Trump said:

My announcement today marks the beginning of a new approach to conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

In 1995, Congress adopted the Jerusalem Embassy Act, urging the federal government to relocate the American embassy to Jerusalem and to recognize that that city — and so importantly — is Israel’s capital. This act passed Congress by an overwhelming bipartisan majority and was reaffirmed by a unanimous vote of the Senate only six months ago.

Yet, for over 20 years, every previous American president has exercised the law’s waiver, refusing to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem or to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital city.

Presidents issued these waivers under the belief that delaying the recognition of Jerusalem would advance the cause of peace. Some say they lacked courage, but they made their best judgments based on facts as they understood them at the time. Nevertheless, the record is in. After more than two decades of waivers, we are no closer to a lasting peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. It would be folly to assume that repeating the exact same formula would now produce a different or better result.

Therefore, I have determined that it is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Predictably Hamas have declared another one of their adorable days of rage which are by this point a weekly event. We can expect other Islamic nations like Germany, Sweden and the United Kingdom to follow suit shortly. Of course, the liberal media and most of the world look the other way, too keen to call the President a racist to pay attention when he said:

So today, let us rededicate ourselves to a path of mutual understanding and respect. Let us rethink old assumptions and open our hearts and minds to possible and possibilities. And finally, I ask the leaders of the region — political and religious; Israeli and Palestinian; Jewish and Christian and Muslim — to join us in the noble quest for lasting peace.

Thank you. God bless you. God bless Israel. God bless the Palestinians. And God bless the United States. Thank you very much. Thank you.

Of course on CNN and MSBNC the violence you see on the streets of Israel tonight is the fault of the man who wishes to bring peace to the region. This is the definition of #FakeNews.

SEE ALSO: Last week Right Side News’ John Fitzgerald, analyzed the disruption that took place at the “It’s Okay To Be White” speech given by Lucian Wintrich at the University of Connecticut.

*Please like, subscribe and leave us your thoughts in the comments section.

How Donald Trump Orchestrated ‘the Greatest Land Deal in History’

By: John Grayson.

“Psychological operations” campaigns, or psy-ops, are “planned operations designed to convey selected information and indicators to audiences, to influence their emotions, motives, and objective reasoning, and ultimately the behavior of governments, organizations, groups, and individuals.”

What President Trump did at the UN on December 23, 2016 was on a whole other level. It wasn’t just a “call to arms”. It was a layman’s psy-op, from September to April. The best stories, however, always start in medias res.

With one phone call, Donald Trump gained control over the Israeli/Palestine peace process, effectively destroyed the legacies of Obama, Clinton, and Carter, started up the (eventual) Muslim ban, banked (future) favors from Egypt, and stumped the UN into (again) showing their true anti-Semitic colors.

Here’s how he did it.

 

Friday, December 23:

Egypt was planning to submit a resolution to the UN that would’ve declared the West Bank as occupied territory, including the Western Wall.

Donald phoned Egypt, whom promptly canceled their plans. New Zealand, Senegal, Malaysia, and Venezuela therefore decided to submit the Resolution instead. The Security Council, which has 15 members, voted 14 – 0 in favor of the resolution. The United States (under Obama) however, abstained, whereas previous American foreign policy had dictated a veto.

While Obama claimed that he had nothing to do with the resolution, this was one of the few times the United States had failed to support Israel. Of the 226 anti-Israel Resolutions passed previously, only 17 were abstained from by American foreign policy, making this a significant event for all sides.

The UN Resolution 2334, thusly adopted, “reaffirms that the establishment by Israel of settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, has no legal validity.” As well, the resolution also condemns acts of terrorism, provocative actions, incitement and inflammatory rhetoric – heavily implied against the Palestinian side. “Settlements” include anything annexed after the 1967 war with Jordan.

So on the face of it, it would appear that Obama’s abstaining is in line with his administration’s policies – as a means of supposedly punishing Israel for building the settlements while providing a condemnation of rhetoric that leads to conflict – but not in line with American foreign policy.

Yet while this was the opposite of long-standing American foreign policy doctrine with regards to the two-state solution and the inherent borders therein, this course of action was the best thing possible for Israel, and while it looks like Donald was finally stumped, he’s really just playing the part.

During the Primaries, Marco Rubio mentioned that Donald’s stance of neutrality was anti-Israel in nature. Rubio would be right in that regard, if he were dealing with any other situation wherein one’s anti-war pacifism would only serve to support the inflammatory rhetoric of the opportunity-stealing opposition. However, Donald always has another trick up his sleeve.

 

Donald’s nimble navigating:

The thing to remember is that Donald is pro-Jewish even though he puts on the guise of being indifferent. After all, his daughter’s Jewish, his grandchildren are Jewish, he grew up in New York City and entered the Real Estate Business. Simply put, he has always been pro-Israel:

“You know, you have both sides, really, but one side in particular growing up learning that these are the worst people these people are the worst people, etc. etc.,” he said. “I was with a very prominent Israeli the other day, he says it’s impossible because the other side has been trained from the time they’re children to hate Jewish people.”

As evidenced by his Facebook message a day before the UN vote, despite claiming he’d be neutral, Donald really plays all sides in pursuit of the greater goal. And with the Facebook post and the phone call, Donald changed the game:

“As the United States has long maintained, peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians will only come through direct negotiations between the parties, and not through the imposition of terms by the United Nations. This puts Israel in a very poor negotiating position, and is extremely unfair to all Israelis.”

First off, in even commenting on the matter, he solidified the fact that Obama would abstain purely on the principle of the matter, and ensured that the Democrats would only double-down on their support (due to their irrational hatred of Donald himself).

Previously, the Obama administration wasn’t sure how they’d vote, and were virtue-signaling to gauge liberal reactions. Donald forced them to choose on his terms. Thus, whichever side he took, Obama had to take the opposite. The US Government only ever had two options; abstain, or veto. An Agreement would never be on the table as long as Israel maintained relations diplomatically, and Donald advocating for a “veto” ensured that Obama only had one option left – to abstain.

More importantly, Donald united even more GOP establishment Republicans to his cause. He now had a carrot to dangle over them, as they need Israel to exist to fulfill their religious “End Of Days” prophecy as foretold in the Book of Revelations:

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said in a statement, “[T]he consequences of this disgraceful U.N. resolution should be severe. I look forward to working with Sen. Graham, and with the incoming Administration of President-elect Trump, to significantly reduce or even eliminate U.S. funding of the United Nations, and also to seriously reconsider financial support for the nations that supported this resolution.”

Now we know Donald was responsible for the immediate result, but is this detrimental to his incoming Presidential policy? A reversal of campaign terms (like Obama did to Israel several times over, much to Alan Dershowitz’s chagrin)?

No.

See, Donald isn’t sabotaging his own platform, he’s sabotaging everyone else’s by only appearing to destroy his.

And he’s played people before.

He did it at the Colorado Convention, when he threatened to go 3rd Party if the GOP chose Cruz. He made both himself and Ben Carson into “media victims/underdogs” in highlighting how Cruz stole votes from Carson, as well as in how Cruz was playing by unfair voting rules with Delegates. The same happened with “Pussygate” and his pre-emptive public apology.

He didn’t attack the issue head-on, he made it seem like he was vulnerable. It’s classic misdirection on his part, and while the liberal media was focused on the superficiality of how Donald presents himself, he’d already advanced three, four, five steps ahead.

Trump is no stranger to priming worldviews; he’s working overtime to combat Obama’s policies at every step. After Obama helped pass the UN Resolution, Trump again started enforcing the worldview that everything Barack Obama does turns out terribly. He was, of course, doing this before, but he really ramped up the rhetoric afterwards.

One of his latest Tweets at the time was very dramatic:

Donald J. Trump on Twitter

The world was gloomy before I won – there was no hope. Now the market is up nearly 10% and Christmas spending is over a trillion dollars!

He was actively hammering home the point that Obama was a failure as a President, and that this is simply another one of his terrible decisions.

Donald J. Trump on Twitter

not anymore. The beginning of the end was the horrible Iran deal, and now this (U.N.)! Stay strong Israel, January 20th is fast approaching!

Donald J. Trump on Twitter

Doing my best to disregard the many inflammatory President O statements and roadblocks.Thought it was going to be a smooth transition – NOT!

As petty as it sounds, he’s even resorted to taking the legacy of Obama’s catchphrase.

Donald J. Trump on Twitter

The U.S. Consumer Confidence Index for December surged nearly four points to 113.7, THE HIGHEST LEVEL IN MORE THAN 15 YEARS! Thanks Donald!

Imagine that tweet later being appended with “Obama tried and failed to bring peace to the Middle East for 8 years. I did it in 8 months. Sad!”.

In the media landscape, Donald might appear to have “lost”, but it’s all posturing.  In fact, shortly after, Trump was already considering inviting Israeli PM Netanyahu to the White House as well as moving the American Embassy to West Jerusalem (a section of land even Palestinians officially admit is Israeli territory).

Of course, this isn’t to say that Donald has ensured his victory in a peace deal, but he completely defined the narrative of things to come. A false sense of (Obama’s) security, and people start to believe the lie.

But what’s most important is that Donald just dragged the Palestinian Authority kicking and screaming to the table they’ve always shouted about wanting a seat at:

“Well, Iran has done it again. Taken two of our people and asking for a fortune for their release. This doesn’t happen if I’m president!”

This nutshell of a foreign policy will (now) also extend to “Palestine”, which has kidnapped plenty of Israeli civilians and soldiers before, demanding the release of thousands more Palestinian terrorist prisoners in an exchange.

Now that Donald is our President, this Islamic sabotage will no longer be an acceptable option under a Trump administration.

What also won’t be acceptable are Islamist terror cells in Israel. You know, things Obama never cared to mediate with in his weak eight years as a mediating President…

 

It’s like playing football and scoring on your own team (Obama BTFO):

Obama is really, really bad at foreign diplomacy, as “he has alienated the Saudis, the Egyptians, the Jordanians, the Emirates and other allies by his actions and inactions with regard to Iran, Syria, Egypt and Iraq”. As a contrast, Donald appointed David Freidman as Israeli Ambassador.

For those unawares, David Friedman believes that Palestinian mayhem, rather than the settlements, are to blame (to put it lightly). The Palestinian Leadership considers David’s opinion to be a “green light” to Israeli “extremists” and “racists”.

Bit of an odd reaction to take, isn’t it? Everyone I don’t like is an extremist and racist? Where have we heard that before?

Weird, since if Israel were an apartheid, as Palestinians claim, one wouldn’t be able to vote, work, gain citizenship, reside in, marry, etc. if they weren’t Jewish – everything they can do in Israel. The crux of it is that the “minority” feel they are oppressed, when the reality highlights everything differently. Simply put, they are professional victims, and because no one challenges their narrative, they remain as such.

Obama’s Resolution calls for a two state solution. This is incredibly impractical because the thing we have to understand about the Palestinian Authority is that calling for a two-state solution is more socially acceptable than calling for Israel to not have one at all. For the Palestinians, it’s never been about “settlements” or “UN Statehood recognizance”. It’s all Taqiyya (professional Islamic lying) designed to cripple the stance of the Israelis as much as possible, until all the land is sequestered away.

And this was the official Obama administration policy as well:

“The United States acted with one primary objective in mind: to preserve the possibility of the two state solution, which every U.S. administration for decades has agreed is the only way to achieve a just and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians,” Kerry said Friday. “Two states is the only way to ensure Israel’s future as a Jewish and democratic state, living in peace and security with its neighbors, and freedom and dignity for the Palestinian people.”

See, the Palestinian Authority rejects the Holocaust wholesale (even though they actively participated in it). Hamas calls for the destruction of Israel in their Charter, and the PLO (Fatah’s predecessor) was responsible for the terrorist attacks in the 70s and 80s – the most famous of which was the Munich Massacre – when an Israeli Olympic team was murdered. Not to mention everything else, like the frequent hijackings in the 60s and 70s of Israeli commercial planes.

Additionally, after an earlier attempt to overthrow the Jordanian kingdom (referred to as Black September), the Palestinians realized they were running out of legitimacy in terms of their status as a “victimized” people. This is actually why the Oslo Accords (based on the 1978 Camp David Accords) happened, since Israel didn’t want to govern a hostile population and Jordan and Egypt definitely didn’t want to take them either (the three places considered in the British Mandate of Palestine and the Sevras Treaty). Funny then, how the First Intifada (or, “uprising”) only came to an end after the paperwork was signed. Was it a peace accord, or a ransom negotiation tactic?

As /u/high4power (an Israeli Redditor) states:

Even after the existential wars. We were faced with daily bombers and attacks during active negotiations in the early 90s, and again later by suicide bombers in the early 2000s, and again later when we took those settlements out of gaza with no conditions (Hamas was voted in, sworn on Israel destruction) So we received tens of thousands of rockets in exchange. Consider that anyone who is 21+ lived through those backstabs.

The narrative that jews are subhuman and should be ethnically cleansed from the land of our forefathers is the norm in the palestinian society, which western media often fails to report. We’ve been fooled, especially when we reached out our arm to peace.

Simply put, reality does not have a Palestinian bias. Through Taqiyya, the Palestinians subvert and destroy – and the media and “inter-governmental organizations” / “activism industry” helps them amplify such actions.

And Obama is definitely practicing Taqiyya, as he did with the Iran Deal wherein he gave Iran nuclear capabilities with the Deal in order to build up the country as an excuse for a future invasion.

A sweet side-benefit for Obama was the inherent delegitimization of Israel, a country he’s never respected. It was all Taqiyya, and it would have worked here if it hadn’t been for Donald.

So how did Obama extraordinarily mess up (something Donald has taken full advantage of)?

He passed the UN Resolution under the wrong Chapter!

UN Resolution 2334 was passed under Chapter VI, rather than VII. The former is for resolutions meant for peaceful negotiation and mediation, whereas the latter is for resolutions that require the use of the Security Council’s military forces.

If this deal truly was about peaceful negotiations between two nations already hostile towards each other, then the matter would have been referred to under Chapter VII because the end goal in that format is always to prevent war. Or as VP Mike Pence states, “Peace through Strength”.

In fact, Chapter VII is always a better fit to actually maintain anything more than a courtesy ceasefire – which Hamas uses to stockpile up on food and weapons – if one is truly looking for long-lasting peace. That Chapter allows the Council to “determine the existence of any threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression” and to take military and nonmilitary action to “restore international peace and security”.

The Obama administration was thus fully aware that since this resolution was passed under Chapter VI rather than Chapter VII of the UN Charter, there is no enforcement mechanism required to implement it, that it is not necessarily binding and UN military presence isn’t granted.

Obama’s aim was to give the Palestinians a boost in support and blame the (eventual) breakdown in the peace process on the Trump administration…

Therefore, the entire resolution either highlights that the Palestinian intifadas don’t matter, or they very much do. In this scenario, where there’s been 70 years of war, you only pass something in Chapter VI if you’re angling for UN Statehood in an otherwise purely symbolic gesture with no intent of actually following through. Because it’s evidence that “mediation” is never going to work without military force backing it.

But this Trumpian strategy only works if Palestine is pressured into actually accepting Statehood status, instead of just whining about it. Trump defined any weaseling of Arab nations as a “put up or shut up” moment. Fortunately, given the change of circumstances in which this Resolution was passed, an educated guess can be made as to how it will all end… in Cairo.

What’s extremely telling is that Egypt wanted to pass the UN Resolution first – despite being the long-standing ally of Israel. It’s nothing personal, just incredibly long-term business. It’s not that Egypt is trying to de-legitimize Israel as Obama did, it’s that they’re trying to end the Palestinian “cause” once and for all. They’re tired of playing “politically correct” at the expense of Egyptian lives.

See, Egypt also instituted a blockade after too many Palestinians were utilizing state services (like construction companies and ambulances) to smuggle in weapons for the jihadi cause.

Egypt’s end goal was to recognize Palestine so the next skirmish that occurred would mean Palestine (and all their leadership) were committing acts of war, “justified” for retribution (not necessarily on behalf of Israel).

If necessary, some could be tried for War Crimes, and that is why the Palestinian Authority would previously shout about being accepted, but always shirk away from actual state recognition. It’s like a restaurant owner who yells about being up for certification, saying their kitchens are the cleanest, but never goes through with the inspection because the Health Inspector would find rat excrement in the soup.

Donald, however, understood what Egypt was going for, and framed it accordingly by making that phone call.

While the reversal in Egypt’s opinion is odd (in submitting a proposal and then rescinding it), it revealed a deeper thinking of Donald’s – the resolution couldn’t be passed by Egypt because they needed plausible deniability, they needed diplomacy. The proposal’s rescinding only happened because Donald asked them to do so.

The importance of the phone call in the decision-making process  was actually confirmed by the Sissi government.

To that end, recognizance of Palestine (and the legacy of the brokerage regarding the Suez Canal) has been important for ex-President Jimmy Carter, and he, in championing the Palestinian cause, just got played.

 

Donald’s proposal to ban all Muslims (Jimmy Carter/Bill Clinton BTFO):

The Resolution was ultimately sponsored by countries that have no interests strategically in Israel – Venezuela, Malaysia, Senegal and New Zealand. Deeply, deeply misinformed countries with no dog in the fight.

As Reddit User UWarchaeologist explains why:

The most NZers ever hear about these things is “settlements on occupied Palestinian land breaking international law”. They don’t stop and ask ‘what is a settlement’, what is ‘occupied’, what is ‘Palestinian’ and how do we know whose land it is, or what law applies to it. Most people would just accept that statement at face value, especially when they see ostensibly “neutral” people & countries who ought to know the complexities of the situation agreeing with the UN resolution, and that’s it – the Israel govt must be in the wrong, case closed. My impression is that NZers believe they took a moral and idealistic stand against “illegal settlements”, they want to stick up for the underdog and don’t see themselves as part of some big conspiracy against Israel or Israelis, even though they are justifiably pissed off at how Mossad was using NZ passports. So yeah, that’s not really a sense that there is even another side and an historical basis to the settler argument… so “what we have here is a failure to communicate” – among many other failures of course 😦

As Carter mentions (who, remember, is the anti-war pacifist ex-president whose personal morality enabled the Ayatollah Khomeini to revolutionize Iran):

“I am convinced that the United States can still shape the future of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict before a change in presidents, but time is very short, ” Carter wrote. “The simple but vital step this administration must take before its term expires on Jan. 20 is to grant American diplomatic recognition to the state of Palestine.”

Carter’s sentiment is exactly what Donald wanted, because both Obama and Carter unwittingly played into Trump’s hands. Now the Palestinians have to actually follow through for once in attaining UN Statehood! So how does that affect them (in ways it didn’t before)? Why will Palestinian resistance finally matter, in following the rules of warfare?

 

The Fourth Geneva Convention:

First, let’s do away with any notion that the UN is some bastion of morality and peace in the conflict. In 2015 alone the UN General Assembly adopted 20 resolutions singling out Israel for criticism — and only 3 resolutions on the rest of the world combined. This is despite the Palestinian Authority still paying terrorists salaries, and “losing” over 1.6 billion in aid money

The views of the Palestinian populace are not much better.

The UN has never been neutral (even though they proclaim to be):

The Jewish state is the U.N.’s scapegoat for anything and everything,” Greenfield continued. “These days, the United Nations is a forum for Islamist powers and the rotting remains of the Communist front to continue its war against the free world while seducing weak-minded nations into going along.”

UNRWA schools are turning out students who want to fight for ISIS.  The UN’s email system has been used to distribute child pornography. UN staff members have smuggled drugs, attacked each other with knives and pool cues, not to mention a tractor. This month the UN marked Anti-Corruption Day despite refusing to fight its own corruption. The former President of the UN General Assembly was arrested on bribery charges last year. He had also headed UNICEF’s executive board. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is battling accusations of bribery.

So why is the Fourth Geneva Convention so important?

The Convention essentially makes it illegal for nation-states to either move populations, or establish settlements on occupied land. While violating the Fourth Geneva Convention offers no sanctions, there are talks of this new resolution justifying cases to be sent before the International Criminal Court in The Hague. Basically, there is a code of conduct that both nations must adhere to in order to not be accused of committing war crimes in the first place).

Remember the rhetoric within the UN Resolution, which “reaffirms that the establishment by Israel of settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, has no legal validity”?

the resolution makes it possible to file lawsuits against Israel and Israeli officials as well as Israeli citizens involved in settlement activity at the International Criminal Court and for sanctions to be imposed on Israel both by the UN and by individual countries”.

The Palestinian Authority has been maneuvering to gain the status to take the State of Israel to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

However, neither Israel nor the U.S. are signatories to the Rome Statute which created the ICC, and entities must have the status of states in order to have standing at the ICC.

It’s a double-slap to Palestinians, because not only does it superficially blame Israelis (as is UN tradition), but deeply within, the clause’s existence ensures that the Fourth Geneva Convention is forever intertwined to the Palestinian cause. It doesn’t matter if Palestinians aren’t facing accusations of building settlements, both nations now have to follow the code of conduct set out in the “War Crimes” legislation.

But to the Palestinians, it’s really never been about the “settlements” (which comprise 3% of actual land in the West Bank), it’s always been about the land Israel won in their existential wars after 1967.

 

Those Settlements:

So why are the settlements important to Israel? Because they were de facto spoils of war. And why are the condemnations of violence important to the Palestinians? Because it “undermines their right” to Statehood.

This Resolution may not have been legally binding, but Donald made it spiritually binding. He’s forced the hand of the Palestinians (just as Obama inadvertently did in filing the resolution under the wrong Chapter).

In fact, the argument regarding the settlement’s legality is based on Fourth Geneva Convention, an international treaty governing the treatment of civilians in a war zone or in territory occupied in the course of a war. It was adopted in 1949 as a humanitarian measure in reaction to the annexation of Czechoslovakia by Hitler’s Third Reich. Article 49 of the convention forbids the transfer by an occupying power of its civilians into the occupied territory. Note that the annexation of the West Bank by Jordan occurred in 1947. No one claimed it was illegal.

That’s why the UN is so hypocritical. The Fourth Geneva Convention / Article 49 was always passed as an act of collusion, similar to what we’ve seen last month. The UN is a mouthpiece for the will of the Arab Nations – it always has been. Just as it was during the League of Nations.

Extraordinary tolerance has been granted towards Islamic Nations by those suffering from white guilt, and only now is it so drastically showing. It is no different than the Democratic National Party standing for Progressivism yet promoting Islam which kills gays and stones women.

According to Forward.com:

The territory was slated under the 1947 U.N. Partition Plan to become an Arab state alongside the Jewish state of Israel. When the Palestinians rejected the partition plan and refused to set up their state, Jordan captured the territory and annexed it. Only two countries, Britain and Pakistan, recognized Jordan’s annexation of the West Bank as valid and legal.

Israel maintains that the Geneva Convention doesn’t apply to the West Bank. The treaty states at the outset, in Article 2, that it addresses situations in which one signatory state captures the territory of another signatory state in the course of war. Israel captured the West Bank in 1967 from Jordan, which had no legal claim to it, so it didn’t capture the territory “of” another state.

The issue has been a source of frustration for U.S. administrations ever since Arabs attacked Israel in 1967, only to lose the West Bank and Gaza and then demand the return of the territories. Israel gave back Gaza but its government maintains the tiny Jewish state needs to retain the West Bank and allow settlers there in order to maintain a buffer zone against terrorists and any future invasion.

This is actually a great thing, because according to Foreign Policy:

“British and U.S. diplomats, as well as the American and European press, may be fooled by Palestinian and Peace Now complaints that Bibi is gobbling up Palestinian territory, but the settlers live in those places and know better — construction is slowing down.”

Here’s the official settlement activity report, as released by Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics. Note that how the only reason we hear about “settlements being built” is by the “activist” groups on the ground (the exact same thing we’ve seen in Syria) – many funded by Soros with the clear goal of delegitimizing Israel’s status in the world stage.

You know what the “activist groups on the ground” don’t report (because it’s not in their interest)?

War Crimes (of the 4th Geneva Convention, again, the very charge the Palestinians try to pin on the Israelis).

The Palestinian Authority is no stranger to those accusations, especially during the last (third) intifada!

Here’s the admission of the Palestinian Authority stating it is intentional and religious in nature.

Here’s a report on schools teaching students to hate Jews.

Here’s a bus driver being stabbed by palestinian children passengers as part of the stabbing intifada.

Here’s a random civilian being stabbed by two palestinian teenagers as part of the stabbing intifada.

Here’s another video of palestinian teens trying to stab a Jewish civilian.

Here’s a video of a woman stabbing an Israeli security guard civilian.

Here’s a video of a Palestinian children being taught stabbing games.

Here’s a story about a 19-year old Palestinian killer whose name now bears a stadium in honour of killing 2 Israelis and wounding a mother and her baby.

And who could forget the lovable Farfur, Hamas’ Mickey Mouse – in this episode martyred by the Jews?

None of this will be tolerated by Donald’s administration. When Palestine is granted official UN Statehood, they will be finally held accountable for war crimes, with the “authority” coming from the very institution they thought had finally stumped Trump.

The 4th Convention applies to non-combatants, members of armed forces who have laid down their arms, and combatants who are hors de combat (out of the fight) due to wounds, detention, or any other cause shall in all circumstances be treated humanely, with the following prohibitions:

(a) violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture;

(b) taking of hostages;

(c) outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment

(d) the passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions without previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court, affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples.

All of which the Palestinian Authority and Hamas have violated in recent years.

And here’s the best part: it’s a good pretext for Arab nations to declare war, due to “a violation of UN law”.

Because of the incorrect Chapter filing, and the peer pressure to become signatories to conventions and ratified resolutions they’d rather not be a part of, eventually the UN Resolution will have to be voided by the Palestinians. The filing of the Resolution under the wrong Chapter means that if they want to pursue anything other than peace (and have military strength to back it up) they themselves will have to do the very thing they blame the Israelis of.

And while it is possible that the Arab nations could convince the UN to deploy troops against Israel, on behalf of the PLO, regardless of the logistics of its possibility, it would still look really, really bad diplomatically. Even though they’ve performed such actions before against Israel, they’ve never been held accountable like they will be since the Resolution passed. If it were to happen that the very organization that demands its members follow the UN Resolutions was working back-room deals to violate their own decrees, well, that level of collusion would be completely contradictory in its nature. The UN would become redundant overnight.

In fact, the only nation (and terrorist proxy group) that could really go to bat for the Palestinians is Iran and Hezbollah. And even that relationship will be tenuous (if it’s even possible) as Iran is comprised of Shia Muslims, and Palestinians are majority Sunni Muslims, embroiled in their own religious sectarian war.

As for the other usual suspects, as Alan Dershowitz previously mentioned, Iraq still hasn’t recovered from Bush era (through actions led by Obama), Egypt and Jordan are steadfast allies with Israel, Libya was destabilized, Syria’s undergoing a civil war, and Saudi Arabia is busy fighting ISIS/won’t be able to get America to do their dirty work.

Indeed, thanks to the boost of confidence they received from the previous Obama administration, they’re now officially a threat. If fact, it is questionable if another reason the Iran Deal was made was specifically to help the Palestinians as their ally in the long run.

The beautiful part about giving the Palestinians Statehood also means that any historical arguments regarding the logistics of war are then completely off the table. Should Palestine start a war with Israel (both being recognized by the UN), the outcome of that war then sets the precedent. To lose in 1967 is one thing. To lose in 2017 will be another.

It’ll be fair game, a clean slate. Not only for the evidence of previous war crimes committed by the Palestinians, but also for actual “land takeovers” and “hostage takings”.

Because you cannot pretend to be for peace and then commit acts of kidnapping, rocket launching, knifing attacks, van attacks, school bus attacks and then claim to be a victim.

And this, of course (if it happens), will only strengthen Donald’s proposal to completely ban all Muslims (rather than those from specific countries). Donald’s been wishy-washy in public about the exact requirements for the ban – first claiming that a full and complete ban would be in place until they could figure out what was going on. Then adjusting his views to include extreme vetting (albeit no contradiction in grammatical terms actually exists).

But why re-invent the wheel to keep out dangerous radicals, when Carter showed us how he did it (a guideline for Donald to follow, no doubt)?

During the hostage crisis, Jimmy Carter banned Iranian students as a result of the Iranian turmoils, an event bolstered heavily by his anti-war pacifism. If there’s an uptick in Jihadi Palestinians, Donald will be ready.

As Carter did to block Iranian immigration:

“The Secretary of Treasury [State] and the Attorney General will invalidate all visas issued to Iranian citizens for future entry into the United States, effective today. We will not reissue visas, nor will we issue new visas, except for compelling and proven humanitarian reasons or where the national interest of our own country requires. This directive will be interpreted very strictly.”

Indeed, the past six presidents have all used the executive power to bar different classes of immigrants:

“Section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 states: “Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate.”

The funny thing is that had Carter not gone on a crusade of pro-Palestinian advocacy, he’d be remembered as a great leader in the region.

Carter maneuvered the Israeli-Egyptian landmark peace treaty. Israel gave the Sinai peninsula back, Egypt agreed to station no soldiers in the Sinai without Israel okaying it, and Egypt and Israel both got the most military weapons and funding from the US amongst American allies. And it wasn’t even equipment that we were going to use, it was obsolete equipment that our own Army wouldn’t buy back from the paramilitary organizations we contracted out labor to!

Egypt and Israel have been peaceful since 1978, and Carter was a large part of that. And that is why Egypt “betrayed” Israel – they both have the same Palestinian problem. Israel and Egypt are allies and both have border enforcements and blockades in place against Gazan/West Bank terrorism. If Carter had understood this and not sided with the Palestinians in spirit, he would have furthered Middle Eastern relations even more!

But he didn’t, and in doing so trashed his legacy.

Funnily enough, even at the “failed” Camp David Summit, hosted by none other than Bill Clinton himself, a man Donald has raked over the coals (in every stance possible) for the last 2 years, he’s been given congratulations by Liberals and Republicans alike for at least recognizing his errors. Bill saw that the problem wasn’t the Jewish negotiating side, but the Palestinians.

In reference to Yasser Arafat congratulating him on trying at the Summit, Clinton replied, “I am not a great man. I am a failure, and you have made me one.”.

In pulling off this deal, Donald trashed the final vestiges of what remains of the legacies of Clinton, Obama, and Carter – all the while setting up the machinations to not only support his Muslim ban (should the need arise), but also to deal with the Palestinian (and by proxy, the Saudi Arabian) problem that both Israel and Egypt were having. With one phone call.

4D Chess, folks. 4D Chess.

The best part of all this? This UN mishap occurred under Obama’s administration, meaning if anything went wrong at that stage, Obama’s tenure would have been to blame.

But Donald was giving so much of himself to this deal, what did he get out of it? Why go through with it in the first place, and what were the ramifications if he didn’t?

Well, Donald’s got a strengthened relationship with a fresh “prince” of Egypt – a man who had only been in power since 2014 – himself fighting the Deep State of the Middle East.

 

Abdul al-Sissi, the “Prince” of Egypt: 

Whatever happened in their meeting, it must have been a pretty big deal for the humanitarian aid worker to be released, from a President who had formerly, and formally, stated “Aya Hegazy is a judiciary matter, as a president I don’t have the authority to intervene”.

We are very happy to have Aya back home,” President Trump remarked, “It’s a great honor to have her in the Oval Office with her brother.”

A senior administration official told the Washington Post that behind the scenes, President Trump told top aides, “I want her to come home.’ More importantly, the official said there was “no quid pro quo offered for her release,”  i.e., it was not a trade off.

However, Antony Blinken, the former deputy Secretary of State under President Obama, said thatwhile he’s pleased Hijazi has been released, he’s skeptical that al-Sissi received nothing in return for her freedom.”

 

Who is Aya Hegazy?:

Aya Hegazy (the American aid worker imprisoned for three years in an Egyptian jail) was released by Abdel Fattah al-Sissi’s government late April. The deal was brokered at the White House on April 3rd. She was released two weeks later. Her trial acquittal came on the 17th after her trial charges were dropped on the 16th.

The Background Story: On March 23, the Cairo Criminal Court adjourned the hearing of the case against the Belady Foundation for the Care of Street Children to May 21, 2016. The special committee summoned to review the evidence has claimed it was not qualified to do so. This is the sixth time the trial has been postponed. The eight defendants, including Egyptian-American Aya Hegazy and her husband, Mohamed Hassanein, have spent nearly two years in pretrial detention. They face charges ranging from running an unlicensed organization to sex trafficking and child abuse.

Basically, Aya was facing trumped up charges, and Trump lobbied al-Sissi for her release behind closed doors.

So who is al-Sissi? Al-Sissi helped orchestrate the Egyptian coup – and in the aftermath of the ousting of former President Mohamed Morsi in 2013, Egypt banned the Muslim Brotherhood and labeled the group a terrorist organization. Reasons for demanding Morsi’s resignation included accusations of increasing authoritarianism and his pushing through an Islamist agenda disregarding the predominantly secular opposition or the rule of law. Prior to Morsi, however, Hosni Mubarak had been in power for 30 years. He was ousted in the 2011 protests.

Just before the meeting, however, Trump was being criticized for giving the appearance of not taking “human rights” seriously. The New York Times said that al-Sissi’s government has persecuted “violent and nonviolent Islamist groups with equal zeal and without due process. It has maligned and harassed human rights activists, rendering their work all but impossible. And it has smothered what remains of the political opposition.” Obvious bias of the NYT aside, even Tim Kaine lobbied against Trump for better awareness of Egypt’s treatment of jailed NGO workers:

“We are alarmed by the repeated delays in the trial and verdict for Ms. Hijazi,” a bipartisan group of senators, led by Tim Kaine (D-Va.), wrote in a letter to Trump on Monday. “She has been unjustly imprisoned since May 2014 and held on unsubstantiated charges related to her nonprofit’s efforts to educate and rehabilitate street children.”

This extended as far as the Middle East, where Trump was criticized for granting Sissi any kind of audience at the White House:

It was hard enough for human rights organizations to get former President Barack Obama to speak up about Hegazy’s case during his second term in office. Today, under President Trump, a man that has called the most brutal dictator in modern Egyptian history, a “fantastic guy”, Hegazy’s chances for freedom have been dashed.

As he welcomed al-Sissi to the White House, Trump unsurprisingly put aside concerns about Egypt’s human rights abuses. And so, Aya Hegazy, an American unjustly detained and blatantly persecuted by a foreign government, did not make the agenda. It seems, then, that Trump’s ‘America First’ principles are little more than empty rhetoric.

Note how this is after The Washington Post ran an op-ed in June 2016 stating that “the Obama administration was ignoring an American imprisoned in Egypt”!

 

The Secret Meeting:

Cairo appeared eager to push for a stronger bilateral relationship that it perceived would do more to benefit its interests than its strained relationship with the Obama administration.

The April 3rd meeting was publicly diagnosed in having four aims:

  1. securing U.S. support for Egypt’s counterterror interests,

  2. pressuring the United States to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization,

  3. promoting Egypt’s economic reform program, and

  4. presenting Egypt as a leading regional power.

Clandestinely, however, Al-Sissi felt the US was involved in what he refers to as the “fourth generation war”, U.S.-backed subversion intended to destroy the anti-Islamist movement within Egypt, and to relinquish control once again to Hosni Mubarak’s pro-Muslim Brotherhood forces.

Fourth-generation warfare, Sissi once explained to cadets at Egypt’s military academy, occurs when “modern communication channels, psychology and the media are . . . deployed to create divisions and harm Egypt from within,” according to the website Mada Masr.

The reason why Aya Hegazy was jailed under al-Sissi’s reign is because she was pro-Muslim Brotherhood (which is not good), working against al-Sissi’s anti-Islamist agenda. This is why al-Sissi didn’t want to release her.

Aya Hegazi was attempting to give “street children” a better life. She was attempting to lift children living in poverty out of their socio-economic class, something that is taboo in the Middle East.

It has long been known that the entirety of the Middle East has been a huge boon to human trafficking. Muslims literally invented the slave trade down in Africa.

Aya was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time…but how does “fourth-generation warfare” work exactly?

 

“The Press Is The Enemy”:

Donald has long decried the “all-talk, no-action politicians” of yesteryear, therefore his fulfillment of proving a solution to al-Sissi’s aforementioned Palestinian/UN problem meant that Egypt could now re-establish diplomatic ties on better terms, with a base level of trustworthiness between the two.

In Egypt, after two revolutions, there’s an information war going on for their minds, and it affects Americans too! The Washington Post and the New York Times are usually a conduit in “determining” the outlook on the Middle Eastern region.

“All these newspapers used to have foreign bureaus,” [Rhodes] said. “Now they don’t. They call us to explain to them what’s happening in Moscow and Cairo. Most of the outlets are reporting on world events from Washington. The average reporter we talk to is 27 years old, and their only reporting experience consists of being around political campaigns. That’s a sea change. They literally know nothing.

The easiest way for the White House to shape the news, he explained, is from the briefing podiums, each of which has its own dedicated press corps. “But then there are sort of these force multipliers,” he said, adding, “We have our compadres, I will reach out to a couple people, and you know I wouldn’t want to name them — ”

I can name them,” I said, ticking off a few names of prominent Washington reporters and columnists who often tweet in sync with White House messaging.

Price laughed. “I’ll say, ‘Hey, look, some people are spinning this narrative that this is a sign of American weakness,’ ” he continued, “In fact it’s a sign of strength!”

“And I’ll give them some color,” Price continued, “and the next thing I know, lots of these guys are in the dot-com publishing space, and have huge Twitter followings, and they’ll be putting this message out on their own.”

This is something different from old-fashioned spin, which tended to be an art best practiced in person. In a world where experienced reporters competed for scoops and where carrying water for the White House was a cause for shame, no matter which party was in power, it was much harder to sustain a “narrative” over any serious period of time. Now the most effectively weaponized 140-character idea or quote will almost always carry the day, and it is very difficult for even good reporters to necessarily know where the spin is coming from or why.

The reason why the Deep State wants Egypt so badly is because it serves a crucial strategic role within the Middle East and Northern Africa.

Al-Sissi has positioned himself as a bulwark against religious extremism and as a strong leader who can maintain stability in Egypt, even as neighboring countries like Libya, Yemen, and Syria have collapsed under civil wars fueled by foreign intervention. On the other hand, the importance of Egypt’s relations with the Gulf allies should not be understated, as the security of the Gulf region is a part of Egypt’s as well.

For Trump, time is of the essence because in November 2016, when Obama was still President, Egypt signed a three-year $12 billion agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that aimed to help the country achieve macroeconomic stability and promote inclusive growth. Egypt has also been negotiating funding agreements to fulfill its ambitious commitments in the IMF program with France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan and other G8 member countries.

According to The Nation, “the economy is on the brink of collapse, with skyrocketing inflation, massive debt, and austerity measures that recently helped secure a stringent new IMF loan”.

But that’s not to say that Egypt is only having problems outside its borders or within its economy, they’ve plenty of problems with jihadi violence right at home.

For example, al-Sissi and his government are major targets of ISIS-related terrorist attempts. Cairo has been battling militants in the Sinai since 2013; in late 2014, the militant group Ansar Beit al-Maqdis pledged loyalty to ISIS. Days later in Amman, Jordan, at the 28th Arab summit, al-Sissi (having already faced enough plots to round up 292 conspirators) called for a “comprehensive” approach – religious reformation.

Whether such reformation is possible is another story, but come to thing of it, the only ones who have a problem with al-Sissi are literal terrorists:

“We’re giving $1.5bn to an autocrat who has killed thousands of people, who has imprisoned tens of thousands of people, including Americans,” said Mohamed Soltan, an American who was jailed in Egypt for nearly two years. “We’re here to shed light on their plight.”

“We need to tell the world what kind of man Trump is bringing to the White House,” Soltan, who was jailed after attending a sit-in against Morsi’s removal in Cairo’s Rabaa al-Adawiya square, told Al Jazeera.

Hundreds of people were killed as security forces dispersed the protest on August 14, 2013. Soltan’s father, a Muslim Brotherhood official, was also arrested and imprisoned.

Mass trials have since been held for thousands of Brotherhood supporters [when someone is a “Brotherhood supporter, they’re literally ISIS”], and hundreds have received death sentences or lengthy prison terms.

No wonder Trump was able to strike a deal with al-Sissi, both are under constant threat of islamist extremism!

But now that Aya’s free, her saga is mostly over.

What remains is why Trump was able to orchestrate what he did at that time.

In later leaving for his trip to the Middle East, as well as simply not tweeting out derision against Fake News, he gave the liberal media enough rope to hang themselves. Each and every day the media rails against Trump, more and more people feel they’re being unfair against the President unconditionally.

This, however, wouldn’t be the first time a President railed against the media machine. The difference is that when JFK was railing against the Press, he was actually congratulating them. JFK was the Obama of his time, charming and beloved – they also covered up his sexual impropriety.

JFK knew the media was in his pocket given how hard he defended Nixon from the very same liberal slurs that could have befallen him:

“You have no idea what he’s been through. Dick Nixon is the victim of the worst press that ever hit a politician in this country. What they did to him in the Helen Gahagan Douglas race was disgusting.”

Unfortunately, in their haste to feel smug and superior, the liberal media is finally pushing out their last memo from the Deep State – to fire Kushner and blame Ivanka. It’s not because of the “Russian connection”, but because Trump consensually made him out to be his political pinata. Specifically, Donald left Kushner in charge of the “Israel-Palestine” peace-process, and since the Israel-Palestine peace process is considered the bulwark of the interventionist, globalist, Deep State, ShareBlue has had an initiative to get rid of Jared at all costs.

The “problem” is that Trump’s detractors don’t realize that once again, they’re playing into his hands.

As a member of the president’s family, Kushner had to retain a law firm to navigate him through potential legal obstacles to working for his father-in-law– specifically, an anti-nepotism law which states that “a public official may not appoint, employ, promote, advance, or advocate for appointment, employment, promotion, or advancement, in or to a civilian position in the agency in which he is serving or over which he exercises jurisdiction or control any individual who is a relative of the public official.”

But his legal counsel, WilmerHale, concluded last month that precedent was laid for Kushner by Trump’s former rival, Hillary Rodham Clinton, who won a court case in the 1990s in her fight to chair a national task force on health care reform for her husband, then-president Bill Clinton. That case found that existing law bans appointments to agencies and departments, but not within the White House itself.

Indeed, by focusing on a non-existent Russian connection, by focusing on the son-in-law’s identity as a Jew (which is actually somewhat racist – the idea that only a Jew could solve the problem), he’s buying time he doesn’t even need to once again solve problems behind closed doors.

Since he started planning for Middle Eastern peace in September, took the beginning steps in December, and went head-on in April, he’d laid the framework before he’d even left America for his “goodwill” tour between Saudi Arabia and Israel.

People keep assuming things that are valuable to them are valuable to Trump. In harping on his “legacy in the making”, in slandering him for a Russia connection, they fail to realize that Trump doesn’t necessarily have the same goals as everyone else. His primary goal is to “fight for the American people”.

Either way, it looks like this is the continuation of a beautiful friendship.

Whatever Happened to the Term “Palestinian State?”

President Trump meets with PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem, May 23, 2017. (The White House)

Yoni Ben Menachem | JCPA

The Palestinian leadership is expressing growing concern over the possibility of renewing negotiations with Israel and “the deal” that President Trump is planning for both sides. Senior Palestinian Authority officials confirm that since Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ May 3, 2017, meeting at the White House with President Trump and until today, including the meeting between Abbas and the American president in Bethlehem on May 23, Abbas has not heard Trump utter the words “Palestinian state.”

Nor were these words said by emissaries Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt, who met with Abbas at the Palestinian Authority headquarters in Ramallah on June 21, 2017. The message that Kushner brought to Abbas from Trump was that he is “committed to a serious peace deal.” However, during all his conversations with Trump and his emissaries, Abbas emphasized that the only solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the establishment of a Palestinian state along the 1967 lines with east Jerusalem as its capital.

The Americans listened politely and did not respond.

A Tense and Angry Meeting, Say Arab Sources

According to a June 23, 2017, report in the newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat, the meeting between Mahmoud Abbas and emissaries Kushner and Greenblatt was “tense and angry.” The pair did not raise final status issues at all and focused on the demand that the Palestinian Authority stop its incitement of the Palestinian people and payment of salaries to families of prisoners and “martyrs.”

Abbas rejected the demand outright and agreed only to renew the activity of the American-Israeli-Palestinian tripartite committee to discuss the issue of incitement. According to the newspaper Al-Hayat on June 23, 2017, senior Palestinian officials said that Jared Kushner had hinted to Mahmoud Abbas that President Trump would decide whether he would continue his peace initiative only after receiving his report on the results of the contacts with the Palestinian Authority.

U.S. presidential adviser Jared Kushner meets with President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah on June 21, 2017 (PA Press Office)

Kushner protested to Abbas that he had not condemned the murder of Israeli border policewoman Hadas Malka in the June 16, 2017, attack at the Damascus Gate, as well as his refusal to meet with David Friedman, the new American ambassador to Israel.

Abbas did not hide these details from the PLO or the Fatah Central Committee, and he understands well that he has a serious problem here. It is no coincidence that Trump and his emissaries have already studied the material and the history of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians from the Oslo Accords until today.

Abbas understands that he must prepare for the possibility of a confrontation with Trump as soon as both sides are presented with the outline of the “deal” he foresees as a solution to the conflict. If that “deal” does not include an independent Palestinian state along the 1967 lines with east Jerusalem as its capital, it will lead to the breaking off of contacts. From Abbas’ point of view, statehood and east Jerusalem are Palestinian “red lines” that he is unwilling and unable to surrender. He states these points to senior Fatah officials, and repeats them like a broken record to all senior American officials so they cannot come to him later, claiming that the comments were not made clearly.

Abbas has also not heard from President Trump or his envoys that Israel will freeze its settlement construction once negotiations are resumed. He agreed to give up all the preconditions he had demanded in the past during President Barack Obama’s days in order to resume negotiations. However, the Trump administration has not promised him in any way that Israel’s settlement activity in the West Bank and construction in east Jerusalem will cease altogether once negotiations are resumed. It appears that Trump understands that the right-wing government in Israel will collapse if presented with such a demand, and that will lead to elections. This option, therefore, does not currently exist on the agenda.

On the issue of “the Palestinian state,” Abbas fears that the “deal” that Trump speaks about is an expanded autonomy in the West Bank gift-wrapped with a presidential regime, government, parliament, embassies around the world, and the full status of a UN state. But in practice, the overall security responsibility in the West Bank will be in the hands of Israel, including controlling the border crossings and airspace.

President Trump meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem on May 23, 2017. (The White House)

Israel would continue to control security in east Jerusalem and the Temple Mount with special arrangements allowing the Palestinians to place symbols of sovereignty in the eastern part of the city. The Palestinian Authority believes that Trump will not mind if the Palestinians would call this autonomy “Palestine,” but the security arrangements of this plan will ensure that Israel will control the area in terms of security. The large settlement blocs will be brought under full Israeli sovereignty in a territory swap.

Abbas and senior Palestinian Authority officials also have not heard Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu say the words “Palestinian state.” On the contrary, Netanyahu made it clear that he is willing to give the Palestinians a “state minus” and made it clear that that security control along the Jordan River will remain in the hands of Israel, as well as full Israeli sovereignty in east Jerusalem.

The political contacts made between the Trump administration and the Palestinian Authority and Israel are supposed to get new momentum after the Eid al-Fitr Muslim holiday. Senior teams with five people from each side are scheduled to go to Washington for separate discussions. The American administration is still formulating the “deal,” but there is no sign so far that the “deal” includes the establishment of an independent “Palestinian state” whose capital is east Jerusalem.

Senior officials in Fatah say in private conversations that Mahmoud Abbas may still regret that he rejected the deal proposed by former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in 2008, because it now seems that what President Trump is going to offer him is much less than what Olmert offered.

The pressure on the Palestinian Authority leadership is great. Abbas is afraid of betrayal by the “moderate” Arab states on the Palestinian issue. There are signs that they are ready to begin the normalization process with Israel before the Palestinian issue is solved, and after the Riyadh conference attended by President Trump on May 20, 2017, there is a feeling among the Palestinians that Trump can recruit the Arab countries for almost any mission.

President Trump meeting with Saudi leaders in Riyadh, May 20, 1017
(The White House)

There is no doubt that President Trump is trying to square the circle and find a creative solution that both sides will find difficult to reject. Both Israel and the Palestinian Authority still don’t know what he is planning, but it appears the Palestinian side is much more worried than the Israeli side. It appears that the Palestinians who crave to hear the words “Palestinian state” will need to wait at least several more weeks in order to understand the essence of the “deal” formulated by President Trump. In the meantime, they are very worried and probably with good reason.

 

SOURCE: JCPA

Hamas Prepares for the Next Round of War

Yoni Ben Menachem

  • Hamas has never for a moment given up its strategy of destroying Israel. Although the military balance of power is in Israel’s favor, Hamas is constantly improving its capabilities and building its military preparedness for the next round.
  • The key question is who will deliver the preemptive strike in the next conflict. Will Israel surprise Hamas and destroy the tunnels before it can use them, or will Hamas surprise Israel and succeed to move its fighters through the tunnels into Israeli territory?
  • At this moment Hamas has no interest in a military clash with Israel. The movement has indeed rehabilitated the military capabilities targeted in the last war but not the thousands of homes that were destroyed.
  • A serious struggle is being waged over Khaled Mashal’s position as chairman of Hamas’ Political Bureau. The military wing of Hamas, supported by Iran, backs Yahye Sinwar, the commander of the military wing, and Dr. Mahmoud al-Zahar against the candidates favored by Qatar and Turkey.
  • The quiet on the Gaza border with Israel is temporary and deceptive. Both sides are intensively engaged in drawing lessons from Operation Protective Edge and preparing for the next round of warfare.

The semblance of quiet in the Gaza Strip is misleading. Lately the “drizzle” of rockets launched at Israel by the so-called “rebellious organizations” has declined, apparently because the Hamas security mechanism has carried out a wave of arrests among the Salafi, jihadist, pro-Islamic State organizations. These arrests were aimed at placating Egypt. They do not, however, reflect Hamas’ change of intentions toward Israel.

In the town of Rafah on February 2, 2017, the Hamas military wing held a large military ceremony in which a monument was unveiled in memory of the Tunisian engineer Muhammad al-Zouari, a drone specialist who worked for Hamas. On top of the monument was a model of an Ababil drone.

A monument dedicated to Zouari in Gaza with an Ababil drone on top.

A monument dedicated to Zouari in Gaza with an Ababil drone on top.

Hamas claims that Zouari was assassinated by Israeli Mossad agents near his home in Tunisia because he had made a great technological contribution to the anti-Israeli struggle. Hamas credited him with developing unmanned aircraft as well as a small, remotely-controlled submarine.

Abu Ubaida, spokesman of Hamas’ military wing, praised Zouari’s work for Hamas and disclosed that he had often visited Gaza. What he said regarding Israel during the ceremony is worthy of note: “The Palestinian problem is not merely a geographic problem or an internal political struggle between a people and an occupier; it is instead a problem of the Islamic world and an existential, historical, and cultural struggle.”1

Hamas poster.

Zouari at work. Hamas poster.

Hamas has never for a moment given up its strategy of destroying Israel. Although the military balance of power is in Israel’s favor, Hamas is constantly improving its capabilities and building its military preparedness for the next round. It aims to inflict painful strategic blows on Israel in various ways:  short- and long-range rocket fire, attack tunnels, booby-trapped drones, naval commando forces infiltrated into Israeli territory, and even cyber warfare and hacking into IDF soldiers’ computers and telephones.

In early February 2017, Hamas media outlets extensively quoted Israeli leaked media reports on the failures of Operation Protective Edge, which are expected to be revealed in the Israeli state comptroller’s report. Hamas commentators claimed that these failures reflected the Israeli political echelon’s helplessness and confusion during Protective Edge in the summer of 2014, and said it was actually Hamas that won the campaign.2

Hamas’ psychological warfare is likely to continue after the comptroller’s report is published in full.

Hamas Has Recovered Militarily

Senior Israeli security officials confirmed in late January 2017, that Hamas has fully rehabilitated its military capabilities that were damaged in Operation Protective Edge and has even improved some of them, namely in the areas of rocket and mortar fire and tunnel construction.3

Currently, Hamas has several thousand rockets aimed at Israel and dozens of attack tunnels. These tunnels are intended to infiltrate its gunmen into the Gaza-belt area for murder and kidnapping attacks against Israeli civilians and soldiers. The Hamas military wing continues to work round the clock on manufacturing rockets and digging tunnels.

This is a race against time. Israel has launched a major project to build a large wall deep in the ground around Gaza. The aim is to counteract the tunnel phenomenon while also developing advanced technological methods for detecting tunnels.

The key question is who will deliver the preemptive strike in the next conflict. Will Israel surprise Hamas and destroy the tunnels before it can use them, or will Hamas surprise Israel and succeed to move its fighters through the tunnels into Israeli territory?

When Will the Next Military Conflict Occur?

A wave of demonstrations swept Gaza on January 9, 2017. Residents were protesting the electricity shortage crisis, and Hamas security forces were forced to fire in the air to block the protestors. Hamas, which has ruled Gaza since 2007, has not been able to solve the electricity shortage.

The residents are suffering through the harsh winter with only three hours of electricity per day.

The anger expressed at the Hamas regime certainly could have led it to deflect the blame toward Israel and instigate a military escalation. Hamas would thereby have sought to divert gazes from its responsibility for Gaza’s dire situation.

The crisis was temporarily averted when Turkey intervened and agreed to send fuel to Gaza, with Qatar providing financial aid for purchasing fuel for Gaza’s power station.

This is a time bomb that, if not finally resolved, could reemerge and explode – in Israel’s face as well.

The electricity crisis is only one aspect of the fragile situation in Gaza with its explosive potential.

The results of a poll published this week in the territories, conducted by the Arab World for Research and Development (AWRAD) of Ramallah,4 reveal that 71 percent of Gaza’s residents think their economic situation has deteriorated in 2016 compared to 2015, and 55 percent also see a worsening of their security situation.

At this moment Hamas has no interest in a military clash with Israel. The movement has indeed rehabilitated the military capabilities targeted in the last war but not the thousands of homes that were destroyed, and the rebuilding continues.

Map of Hamas’ tunnel system in 2014.

Map of Hamas’ tunnel system in 2014. (IDF Spokesman)

Meanwhile, the movement’s leadership has been opening a new page with Egypt. The aim is to bring about an easing of the blockade on Gaza with a series of measures, particularly the opening of the Rafah crossing and even its conversion into a commercial crossing.

In early February 2017, a Hamas security delegation is expected in Egypt to discuss new security understandings with the heads of Egyptian intelligence. The understandings pertain to safeguarding Gaza’s border with Egypt and to the war against the Islamic State branch in northern Sinai. If the talks succeed, the blockade on the Egyptian side of Gaza will be eased substantially. This is something Hamas wants very much. The pressure by the Gaza residents will then diminish, and Gaza will have a small, regular opening to the Arab world without having to be dependent on Israel or the Palestinian Authority.

At the same time, the movement’s leadership has been busy with internal elections. The first stage ended with the election of a new Hamas leadership to represent the security prisoners in Israel.

Internal Political Tensions Emerging

Beneath the surface, a serious struggle is being waged over Khaled Mashal’s position as chairman of the Political Bureau.

The military wing of Hamas, which is supported by Iran, backs Yahye Sinwar, in effect the commander of the military wing, and Dr. Mahmoud al-Zahar against the candidates favored by Qatar and Turkey, Ismail Haniyeh and Mousa Abu Marzouk.

Al Zahar in the center

Al Zahar (center) during the October 2012 Gaza war.

Recently the tensions between these two camps grew when the Turkish deputy prime minister condemned the truck terror attack by Fadi al-Kanbar at the Armon Hanatziv promenade in Jerusalem, which killed four IDF soldiers.

The military wing was enraged when the Hamas leadership in Qatar remained silent about Turkey’s condemnation.

This internal tension should not be underestimated. It, too, could lead to a violent eruption between the camps and an escalation against Israel.

Meanwhile, there have also been preliminary contacts through mediators, on a prisoner-exchange deal between Israel and Hamas in which Israelis would be returned, and Hamas security prisoners would be released. Specifically, this would involve returning the bodies of the missing IDF soldiers Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul, along with Avraham Mengistu of Ashkelon and a Bedouin Israeli, Hisham al-Said, who have been held captive in Gaza since 2014 and 2015 respectively.

In return for the four, Hamas is demanding the release of thousands of terrorists in a deal that, it claims, must be larger than the Shalit deal of 2011.

A military conflict between Hamas and Israel at this time would likely disrupt the talks on a prisoner-exchange deal. With such a deal, Hamas would hope to win glory and sympathy in the Palestinian street.

As noted, the quiet on the Gaza border with Israel is temporary and deceptive. Both sides are intensively engaged in drawing lessons from Operation Protective Edge and preparing for the next round of warfare.

Military logic calls for a surprise move and a preemptive strike by Israel against Hamas’ newly built tunnels and rocket stockpiles. For the time being, though, it appears that Israel’s political echelon wants to continue the status quo.

Hamas’ intentions are very hard to assess. The power struggles within the movement, its relations with Egypt and the Palestinian Authority, and the economic situation in Gaza are variable factors that could lead the Hamas leadership to initiate a military move against Israel at any given moment if it serves the leadership’s interests. Hamas is now prepared for such a move from a military standpoint.

The bottom line is that the Israeli political echelon still has not reached a decision on the future of the Gaza Strip.

Does Israel want to oust the Hamas government? Who would rule Gaza in its stead? Does Israel want to reconquer the entire strip and reinstate the military government, or is it seeking a long-term truce that would see the easing of the blockade, the opening of a seaport with Israeli supervision, and the admission of thousands of workers into Israel?

So long as there is no Israeli decision on these matters, the status quo will continue, and Israel will react to Hamas’ moves instead of being the party that initiates moves, with all that this entails from a military standpoint.

* * *

Yoni Ben Menachem, a veteran Arab affairs and diplomatic commentator for Israel Radio and Television, is a senior Middle East analyst for the Jerusalem Center. He served as Director General and Chief Editor of the Israel Broadcasting Authority.

SOURCE: JCPA

Debunking 11 More False Assumptions Regarding Israel

Stand-by-israel 1Amb. Alan Baker |  JCPA

Further to the recent publication of “Ten False Assumptions Regarding Israel,” which addressed many of the widely-held and universally-disseminated false and mistaken assumptions regarding Israel, a number of additional false assumptions – some even more willful and malicious – are addressed.

1. “Israel is committing genocide, mass murder and ethnic cleansing against the Palestinian People” – a false and malicious blood-libel.

  • This dangerous, cynical and dishonest allegation has become one of the “big lies” disseminated on campuses and within the international human rights community.Its proponents include individuals and organizations that purport to advocate constitutional and human rights, but in fact indulge in the most acute form of legal acrobatics and distortion of facts.They selectively and maliciously misinterpret and twist legal principles, statements, and writings in order to malign Israel and call into question its very legitimacy and basis for its existence.
  • The proponents of this blood libel cynically manipulate and reverse historical fact by accusing Israel of entertaining an “incipiently genocidal mentality towards Arab society,”1 and of committing out of revenge, the very acts perpetrated against the Jewish people.
  • The term “genocide” was coined in 1944 by the Jewish legal scholar Raphael Lemkin, whose entire family was exterminated by the Nazis in Poland for being Jews.2
  • Contrary to these false accusations:
    • Israel has never advocated, devised or entertained any plan, design or campaign, systematic or otherwise, to undermine or destroy the Palestinian people, or to act out of revenge or despair.
    • Israel, the Jewish people, and Zionist movement have never entertained and are prevented both constitutionally and morally from maintaining or implementing any military, political, religious, economic or cultural campaign, or policy intended to destroy the national, ethnical, racial, and religious structure of the Palestinian people.
    • Israel has never sought to prejudice the essential foundations of life of the Palestinian people, or even to question its right to exist as a people.
    • Israel has not indulged in mass-murder.
    • Israel does not engage in ethnic cleansing, which runs solidly against the moral, religious, and ethical codes of the Jewish people.
  • In its 1948, Declaration of Independence, Israel committed itself to ensuring “freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel and complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race, or sex.”3
  • Israel undertook to guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, language, education, and culture. It committed itself to be faithful to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations.
  • Despite the offer of peace, good neighborliness, cooperation, and mutual help in a common effort for the advancement of the entire Middle East, the neighboring Arab states initiated a war in 1948, the declared aim of which was to annihilate the new state of Israel.
  • It was not Israel that initiated this conflict, but Israel was obliged to defend its existence, its integrity and its population. Casualties and displacement of persons during the conflict, as regrettable as they were, were not part of any design or intent to destroy the Palestinian people, but the results of armed conflict.
  • By the same token, the hostilities of 1967 were the specific result of attempts to strangle Israel militarily and economically. Israel’s resulting entry into the West Bank and Gaza areas was not motivated by any design to destroy or remove the Palestinian residents of the areas or to undermine their rights as a people.
    • Attempts to justify a claim of genocide by accusing Israel of “repeated military assaults on Gaza,” as if Israel’s actions were gratuitous and contrived, are no less absurd. They deliberately and manipulatively ignore the thousands of rockets, attack-tunnels and other forms of terror emanating from Gaza and directed against Israel’s civilian population by an internationally acknowledged terror organization.
    • It was not Israel but Hamas that murdered Palestinian children who were digging tunnels for Hamas in Gaza,4 and who executed Palestinian residents of Gaza for “morality crimes” and for “collaboration with Israel.”5
  • Clearly, no serious, bona fide and self-respecting human rights expert or organization could interpret Israel’s acting in self-defense as an act of genocide aimed at destroying a people.
  • In a similar context:
    • It was not Israel that massacred 15,000 Palestinian residents living in refugee camps in Jordan during the nine-day “Black September” Civil War between Jordan and the PLO in 1970.6
    • It was not Israel that expelled 400,000 Palestinians in 1991 from Kuwait in retaliation for the PLO’s support of Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait in 1990. 7
    • It was not Israel that caused the displacement of 390,000 Palestinian refugees in Syria since the Syrian conflict began in 2011.8
    • It was not Israel that laid siege to the Palestinian Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus between 2013-2014 in which 18,000 civilians were trapped, with scarce food, water, and medical supplies, leading to instances in which Palestinian residents starved to death.9
  • From the regional demographic standpoint, since Israel’s entry into the West Bank areas of Judea and Samaria and into Gaza in 1967, the Palestinian Arab population has increased from 954,898 to 4,654,421. This indicates an increase of 387 percent.10In this context, Palestinian life expectancy in the West Bank and Gaza has climbed from 68.5 in 1990 to 72.9 in 2014.One may ask how such statistics could serve as any logical basis, or be considered compatible with the patently false, flawed and manipulative allegation of a purported Israeli genocide of the Palestinian People.

2. “The Jews are not a people and have no rights in the Middle East” – False and Misguided

  • This curious claim would appear to be in total denial of the history of civilization, from pre-Biblical and historic times and up to present day.
  • The very existence of the Jews as an indigenous people, as well as its roots, whether in their historic homeland in the “Holy Land” or throughout the various Jewish diasporas and exiles, are borne out in pre-Bible historic narratives as well as in Biblical scriptures including the Hebrew Bible, the Christian Gospels and the Muslim Koran. This is all backed-up by readily available and duly documented and exhibited archeological proof in museums throughout the world.
  • Judaism, the Hebrew language, and the Jewish People originated some 3,000 years ago in the area of the “Holy Land.” Christianity grew out of Judaism, and the early Christian existence there was an integral part of the Jewish settlement there. The presence of the two Jewish Temples in Jerusalem, and their destruction (in 587 BCE and 70 CE), were acknowledged by Greek, Persian and Roman pagan and Christian authors, travelers and historians, as well as in Koranic references.
  • The right to reestablish a national home for the Jewish People was acknowledged in the 1917 Balfour Declaration. It was given international legal recognition in the 1920 San Remo Declaration by the Supreme Council of Principle Allied Powers. It was subsequently reaffirmed by the League of Nations in 1922 as part of the British Mandate for Palestine, the opening paragraphs of which gave recognition to “the historical connection of the Jewish people within Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country.”11
  • In addition to their historic and legal rights, the Jews, as one of the oldest indigenous and aboriginal peoples still in existence, have indigenous rights that are recognized by the international community.

3. “The establishment of Israel was a catastrophe for the Palestinians” – False

  • The perception of the creation of the State of Israel as a “catastrophe’ (Nakba) reflects a constant and on-going Palestinian narrative rejecting the creation of a national state for the Jewish people in any part of Mandatory Palestine.This absolutist narrative sees uncompromising struggle against Israel as the common national aim of the Palestinians, the very heart of the dispute.
  • However, despite this, the establishment of the state of Israel was nevertheless effected following a recommendation of the international community in the 1947 UN General Assembly partition resolution, to establish two independent states in Mandatory Palestine – a Jewish and an Arab one. This reflected the acceptance by international community of the fundamental rights of the Jewish and Arab populations to govern themselves in their own independent sovereign entities.
  • The State of Israel was not established in place of, nor as an alternative entity to a Palestinian state. It was not established in denial of the existence of the Arab residents of Mandatory Palestine. It was intended to exist together with an Arab state in the area of Mandatory Palestine.
  • Rather than accepting this plan and thereby giving up their absolutist aim to create one Arab state in all the territory of Mandatory Palestine, the Arabs of Palestine, together with neighboring Arab states members of the Arab League, at the violent urgings of the Mufti of Jerusalem and Muslim Brotherhood, rejected the partition plan and went to war against the Jewish state. This despite some elements within the Palestinian Arab community who were prepared to live in peace with the Jews.
  • Despite the fact that the partition plan did not fully realize the hopes of the Jewish population of Mandatory Palestine, they nevertheless chose to accept it in the hope that is would indeed serve as a basis for peaceful coexistence between the Arab and Jewish communities in Mandatory Palestine.
  • It is widely acknowledged that the refusal by the Arab community and the neighboring Arab states, to accept the partition plan, and their subsequent failure to forcibly eliminate the Jewish state, and the sad consequences of such failure including the emergence of the refugee problem, were entirely their own doing. It was not the result of any action, inaction or injustice by Israel. It was the result of short-sighted and unfortunate misjudgment and a lack of clear, rational leadership among the Arab communities.
  • The creation and subsequent acceptance of Israel by the international community were considered by them to be a disastrous blow and a severe mistake. Hence the use of the term “catastrophe” (Nakba) to symbolize the Palestinian refugee issue.Nakba day has become an annual day of mourning, violent demonstrations and virulent incitement and propaganda in the attempt to undermine the legitimacy of Israel.
  • Presenting Israel’s creation as a “catastrophe,” rather than the misjudgment, misguided policies, and decisions by the Arab leaders, represents Israel’s detractors’ attempt to falsify and overturn the historic narrative from one of inherent denial of the right of existence of a Jewish state through aggression and rejectionism, to one of victimhood and denial of rights.
  • It is also indicative of the fact that the Arabs’ original 1948 rejection and denial of the right of existence of the state of Israel has not changed and remains the central aim of their narrative.Through well-orchestrated international brain-washing and incitement, the Palestinian leadership seeks to further this false and fictitious narrative, which is perceived by many to replace the true facts of the events of 1948.
  • This attempt to undermine the very legitimacy of Israel as a Jewish state is particularly evident in recent calls by Palestinian leaders for the revocation of the 1917 Balfour Declaration, and their manipulation of international organizations.
  • Those subscribing to this false narrative, rather than relying on true historical fact, are in fact being manipulated into becoming party to this deception.

4. “Israel prevents the supply of water to the Palestinian population” – False

  • The false allegation by Palestinian leaders that Israel is waging a water war in order to starve the Palestinian population, to prevent them from leading a dignified life as a form of collective punishment, has been willingly taken-up and amplified by international media.
  • Additional false allegations include leaving thousands of Palestinians without access to safe drinking water during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, a period of fasting, which can take place in the summer, at a time when temperatures can exceed 35C. However, the opposite is the case. In order to accommodate Palestinian daytime fasting during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, the water supply was increased during night-time.
  • These accusations were recently repeated in a report issued by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) claiming:

    Palestinians are prohibited from maintaining or digging water wells, while Israel has been extracting much more water than the level stipulated by the 1993 Oslo Accords and confiscating 82 per cent of Palestinian groundwater. The Palestinians are left with no choice but to import their own water from Israel to cover 50 per cent of their consumption.”12

  • The very opposite is in fact the case.Israel undertook in the Oslo Accords to increase the water supply to the Palestinians population in Judea and Samaria by 20 percent. In practice, over the last 15 years, the water supply increased by about 50 percent, most of which was designated for domestic consumption.13
  • World-wide global trends for water consumption indicate a general decrease in per-capita consumption over time due to population growth and deterioration of water resources. The opposite is the case with the Palestinian water usage, as a result of their increased access to water since 1967. In 1967, only 10 percent of Palestinian households were connected to water infrastructure, today, this figure has risen to 95 percent.In fact, access by Palestinians to running water is better than by residents of Amman and Damascus.14
  • The net per-capita domestic water consumption of the Palestinians is higher than the ‘minimum human need estimate’ given by the World Health Organization – 100 liters per day per capita. This quantity is much above the 50 liters per day per capita minimum to sustain life.
  • In contravention of their commitments in the Oslo Accords, and ignoring the resultant dangers of deterioration and salinization of the water quality, the Palestinians unlawfully extract water by drilling and operating unauthorized private wells. These are connected by the Palestinian Authority to the electrical network. In addition, water-theft occurs through unlicensed connections by Palestinian villages to Israel’s water system in order to irrigate fields.
  • Due to mismanagement, faulty maintenance, the Palestinians have not succeeded in independently increasing their water supply.
  • Since hardly any Palestinian farmers install water meters on their wells and about half of the houses in the Palestinian towns and villages have no meters, their governing authorities cannot monitor usage. Thus most Palestinians do not pay for their water consumption and there is no monetary incentive to conserve water.15

5. “Israel violates its obligations in the Oslo Accords” – False

  • Israel considers the Oslo Accords16 to be the major component in maintaining peaceful relations with the Palestinians. To this end Israel has implemented its obligations pursuant to the accords in good faith, irrespective of continuing obstructionism on the part of the Palestinian leadership:
    • Israel redeployed its forces from areas A and B as required in the security annex to the Interim Agreement, and transferred powers and responsibilities in over 40 spheres of civil administration to the PA, as set out in the civilian affairs annex to the Interim Agreement.
    • Despite ongoing threats by the Palestinian leadership to suspend the security cooperation and coordination in mutual security matters agreed to in the security annex, Israel has consistently maintained close security cooperation with the security authorities of the Palestinian Authority, including the provision of weapons for the use of the Palestinian police.
    • Israel regularly transfers funds, taxes and import duties to the Palestinian Authority in the context of its obligations pursuant to the annex on economic relations, irrespective of the huge debts owed by the Palestinian Authority to Israeli bodies for provision by Israel of electricity and to Israeli hospitals for medical treatment.
    • While Israel has attempted to maintain and conduct ongoing daily relations, at the professional level, with the various Palestinian administrative authorities, in order to enable continued implementation of various provisions of the agreements that require reciprocal coordination and cooperation, the Palestinian leadership has refused to permit such cooperation and has obstructed any such ongoing relations.
    • Regrettably the Palestinians refuse to implement the annex on Israeli-Palestinian cooperation programs, including the “People-to-People” Program, initiated by Norway as a program to enhance dialogue and relations at the grass-roots levels.
  • The long list of fundamental breaches by the Palestinians of some of their most central and basic obligations have frustrated and continue to jeopardize any further implementation of the Oslo Accords, or return to negotiations.
  • Such fundamental breaches include:
    • Active support, encouragement and financing of terror and violence against Israel and its population, and the maintenance of terror infrastructure despite obligations to dismantle it;17
    • Wholesale acquisition, manufacture and provision of illegal weaponry for purposes of terror;18
    • Daily hate indoctrination and incitement to violence and terror, from the highest levels of Palestinian leadership and governance, through the Palestinian media and education system and down to elementary schools and kindergartens. This is in clear violation of the Palestinian obligation to foster mutual understanding and tolerance.19
    • Attempts to unilaterally alter the status of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip outside the negotiating process, through unilateral initiatives in the United Nations and its Specialized Agencies and other international bodies, including the false representation of the Palestinian Authority as a state, accession to international conventions and conduct of foreign relations in clear contravention of the accords;20
    • Initiation, organization and support, internally and internationally, of economic and cultural boycotts and sanctions against Israel.21
  • Israel has consistently expressed its readiness to resume and complete negotiations in accordance with the Oslo Accords, without any preconditions, on those core issues agreed-upon by both parties to be permanent status negotiating issues. These include borders, Jerusalem, settlements, refugees, security arrangements, relations and cooperation with other neighbors and other issues of common interest.
  • Regrettably the Palestinian leadership has imposed preconditions to any return to negotiations. Such preconditions, pertaining to the very issues on the negotiating table, in effect obviate any possibility of genuine and bona fide negotiation.
  • This calls into question their bona fides as a viable and serious partner for negotiation.

6. “Israel is denying the ‘right of return’ to millions of Palestinian refugees” – False.

  • There exists no “right of return” for refugees in international law or practice, and no international treaty or binding resolution by any international body imposes any such obligation on Israel.
  • Similarly, none of the agreements and documents agreed upon between Israel and Egypt, the Palestinians and Jordan grants the refugees a right of return.
  • The only specific, non-binding reference to “return” of Palestinian refugees appears in article 11 of UN General Assembly resolution 194(III) of December 11, 1948 where the UN recommended that refugees “wishing to return to their homes and to live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earlies practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return.” 22This resolution, which was rejected by the Arab states, established no right and no obligation.
  • Security Council Resolution 237 of 4 June 1967 regarding “facilitation of the return of those inhabitants who have fled the areas since the outbreak of hostilities,”23 does not speak of a “right” of return and, like most Security Council resolutions, it is in the nature of a recommendation.
  • Throughout the peace process, Israel has acknowledged the need to solve the refugee issue through negotiation. In this context:
  • Israel accepted the UN Security Council resolution 242 (1967) which “affirmed the necessity for achieving a just settlement of the refugee problem,”
  • In the 1978 Egypt-Israel Camp David Agreement (Framework for Peace in the Middle East) Israel and Egypt agreed to establish “procedures for a prompt, just and permanent implementation of the resolution of the refugee problem.” They also established a “continuing committee” of representatives of Egypt, Israel, Jordan and the Palestinians to agree on the modalities of admission of persons displaced from the West Bank and Gaza in 1967.
  • Israel actively participated in the Multilateral Working Group on Refugees established by the 1991 Madrid Peace Conference and headed by Canada.
  • Israel and the Palestinians agreed in the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements of 1993 (Oslo I) that the modalities of admission of displaced persons should be decided by agreement in a “continuing committee,” and the issue of refugees should be one of the major negotiating issues on the permanent status negotiating table.
  • Similar provisions were agreed in the 1995 Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
  • Jordan and Israel agreed, in the 1994 peace treaty between them, on the need to solve the refugee problem both in the framework of the multilateral working group established after the 1991 Madrid Peace Conference, and in conjunction with the permanent status negotiations. The Treaty also refers to UN and other agreed international economic programs concerning refugees and displaced persons.
  • In the same context, Israel has consistently maintained that the issue of Jewish refugees and displaced persons from Arab states constitutes an inherent component of any negotiation on refugees.

7. “BDS is a progressive, non-violent movement in the best tradition of peaceful activism” – False and Deceptive

  • The publicly stated goal of the BDS campaign is to delegitimize and isolate Israel internationally. Its tactic is to portray Israel as the new illegitimate apartheid South Africa, with the strategic objective of causing Israel’s destruction through comprehensive political and economic warfare.
  • BDS leaders and activists characterize their activities as a complementary strategy to the policy of terror and political violence that Hamas, other Palestinian groups, and Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated organizations have long embraced as part of their avowed effort to dismantle Israel as a sovereign state.
  • This is readily evident in the statements of the BDS leadership, including:
    • BDS leader Omar Barghouti “Definitely, most definitely we oppose a Jewish state in any part of Palestine.24
    • Ahmed Moor, BDS student leader and activist, “BDS is not another step on the way to the final showdown; BDS is the final showdown.25
    • As’ad Abu Khalil, BDS activist, California State University “Justice and freedom for the Palestinians are incompatible with the existence of the state of Israel.”26
  • The common chant used by BDS supporters, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” belies any claim that BDS is limited to a political and economic agenda as a means of pressuring Israel to withdraw from the territories.To the contrary, it reveals BDS true intentions to “liberate” both the disputed territories and pre-‘67 Israel from the Jews. This parallels the stated goal of Hamas (an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood), Hizbullah, Fatah, PLO groups, other radical Arab and Islamic organizations, which is to destroy the nation-state of the Jewish people.This has been described by Michael Gove, former British Minister of Justice and Education as a “resurgent, mutating, lethal virus of anti-Semitism” reminiscent of Nazi boycotts of Jews on the eve of the Holocaust.27
  • A basic aim of the BDS campaign is to advocate internationally the delegitimization of Israel and to promote persistent struggle against the existence of a nation-state for the Jewish people in Israel. This is based on a Palestinian narrative that denies both the existence of the Jewish people as a sovereign nation, as well as the historic relationship of the Jewish people to the land of Israel/Palestine.28 This narrative presents the Palestinians as innocent victims of vicious Western and Israeli colonialism.
  • The BDS movement has exercised tactical sophistication in camouflaging its radical linkages and extremist ends in a language of peace, justice, and human rights that appeal to well-meaning Western progressive organizations, groups and individuals who generally support human-rights agendas.In this manner the BDS movement is manipulating and abusing the bona-fides of peace-loving and concerned people by misleading them into believing that it is a genuine social movement propelled by non-violent resistance and economic boycott, seeking to advance a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
  • While economic boycott of Israel is not a new phenomenon and has been used by the Arab League since the establishment of Israel in 1948, its reincarnation in the form of the BDS campaign is significant. In addition to the Muslim terror groups sponsoring and supporting it, it includes new but equally radical actors, including far-left Christian, and even Jewish and Israeli groups and individuals.As part of its effort towards globalization and mainstreaming, it has also penetrated Western mainstream professional groups, trade unions, leading academic institutions, and even the world of cultural and entertainment icons.
  • Rather than advancing prospects for peace and normal relations between the Palestinians and Israel, the BDS campaign is inciting towards, and advancing a policy of total boycott of and anti-normalization with Israel. This serves to enhance polarization and hostility to Israel both in the Gaza and West Bank, as well as in the international sphere.
  • This is clearly the antithesis of any positive and constructive movement towards a peaceful solution and bon-voisinage (good neighborly relations) between the peoples of the area. In fact, it prejudices prospects for any future Palestinian political and economic independence and positive trade and security relationship with Israel. Its consequences include:
    • Encouraging radicalization of the Palestinian public discourse, particularly among Palestinian youth, and undermining agreed-upon areas of security and other forms of cooperation.
    • Distancing and alienating the Israeli public from considering further concessions to reach a peace agreement.
    • Harming the employment security and social benefits to families, and even causing the termination of more than 1000 Palestinian employees and managers, and their families, working in Israeli companies operating in those West Bank Industrial zones agreed upon and established pursuant to the Oslo Accords.
    • Distancing Israeli and foreign investors from investing in the West Bank and Gaza.
  • The BDS campaign has had little effect on Israel’s GDP, and in fact, several countries have taken steps to outlaw the BDS tactics, acknowledging that the path to peace and reconciliation is paved through mutual political social, economic and cultural engagement and normalization. In this context, Palestinian workers and managers, who have lost their employment because of BDS pressure, have begun to publicly oppose the BDS campaign.At the same time, South African black intellectuals who suffered under the apartheid regime have similarly emerged as opponents of the global BDS campaign.
  • A similar sentiment has recently been enunciated by Jordanian Parliament member Abed Almaala:29

    BDS is a reckless act of hatred that threatens the ‎security and stability of not only Israel, but also my country, Jordan, and the ‎entire Middle East.

    BDS is a threat to us all – a threat to America as much as it is a threat to ‎Israel, Jordan and our Palestinian brothers.

    BDS is not only hateful and shameful, but also strengthens Arab dictators who hypocritically criticize Israel for alleged human rights violations when they, themselves, are the world’s top ‎human rights violators.

8. “Israel is undermining the ‘two state solution’”- False and Misleading.

  • Successive Israeli leaders have reiterated Israel’s principled support for the vision of “two states for two peoples living side by side in peace and security,” as the outcome of the negotiation process. This vision, initially foreseen by former Israel Prime Minister Barak in 2000, was enunciated by President George W. Bush in 2002 and is almost universally acknowledged by the international community.To accuse Israel of undermining or torpedoing the two-state solution would appear to be ingenuous, unrealistic and even gratuitous.
  • Logically, a two-state vision cannot be imposed by one-sided and politically generated UN resolutions, by an international conference or any other form of third-party intervention.It can only be realized through active and bona-fide negotiation and agreement between the parties on such basic, reciprocal issues as bilateral borders, mutual recognition, essential security issues and bilateral economic, commercial and political relationships between them.
  • The Palestinian imposition of preconditions to any return to negotiations, prejudging the substantive issues to be negotiated, and their maintenance of an “all or nothing” negotiating strategy are incompatible with any logical, bona-fide negotiating process. Such strategy has consistently undermined efforts to resume negotiations.
  • The Palestinian Authority’s support for and open incitement and encouragement of acts of terror against Israel, their attempts to undermine the very legitimacy of Israel and to initiate judicial proceedings against Israel’s leadership, all demonstrate a clear determination against achieving a negotiated two-state solution or any form of peaceful, neighborly relationship.
  • A viable two-state solution envisages a unified Palestinian leadership. Regrettably this has not materialized. Rather than utilizing Israel’s 2005 withdrawal from the Gaza Strip to advance the two-state solution, the Palestinian leadership quickly lost power and control to the Hamas terror organization which established its own independent terror regime in Gaza.
  • This Hamas regime, identified with the Moslem Brotherhood and in ongoing conflict with the Palestinian Authority, rejects any possibility of political dialogue with Israel, and has launched three major terror campaigns against Israel, in 2009, 2012, and 2014.
  • Failure of the Palestinian Authority to secure a viable governing administration in Gaza, together with the designs of Hamas to extend its control of other Palestinian cities of the West Bank, does not inspire confidence that the Palestinian leadership would be capable of honoring and maintaining security or other agreements with Israel.
  • The lack of a unified and agreed-upon Palestinian governance structure, massive, widely-acknowledged corruption, internal violence, and intense radicalization in schools, mosques and media in the West Bank and Gaza, further prejudice chances of progressing toward a two state solution.
  • Acceptance by the Palestinian leadership of concessions by Israel, while at the same time consistently refusing offers to reach an agreed-upon “end to the conflict” and to negotiate a final status, do not advance the chances of a two state solution.
  • Rejection and prevention by the Palestinian leadership, of viable neighborly relationships at the people-to-people level, and support of boycotts and divestment initiatives all run against any concept of bon-voisinage (good neighborly relations) between the two peoples.

9. “Israel’s maritime blockade of the Gaza Strip is illegal” – False.

  • It is widely acknowledged that the Palestinian Authority’s control in Gaza was usurped by the Hamas, an internationally regarded terror organization, sponsored and supplied with arms by Iran. Hamas and other terror groups such as the Islamic Jihad have turned the area into a base for mounting terror attacks against Israel.To this end Hamas produces, smuggles into the area and stockpiles missiles, guns, and ammunition for use against Israel and its civilian population. It periodically directs such missiles randomly at Israeli civilian targets, in violation of all accepted norms of international humanitarian law.
  • In light of this acknowledged situation of armed conflict, Israel has the prerogative to institute a naval and land blockade with a view to prevent the introduction of weapons and materials that could serve the belligerent purposes of Hamas. The institution of such a blockade is well established in international law and practice.
  • A naval blockade in such a situation once instituted and maintained in accordance with the rules of international law with the appropriate public notification as to the area of sea that it covers effective enforcement, impartiality and consideration of humanitarian needs of the population, is fully in accordance with accepted international law and practice.
  • In accordance with the findings of the UN Secretary General’s Panel of Inquiry on the 2010 Flotilla Incident:

    The fundamental principle of the freedom of navigation on the high seas is subject to only certain limited exceptions under international law. Israel faces a real threat to its security from militant groups in Gaza. The naval blockade was imposed as a legitimate security measure in order to prevent weapons from entering Gaza by sea and its implementation complied with the requirements of international law.”30

  • Despite the ongoing, declared hostile intentions of the Hamas administration in Gaza, and its renewed construction of tunnels and manufacture of rockets for use against Israel, Israel maintains an ongoing civilian policy enabling the transfer of commodities via the different overland crossings, civilian entry to and from the Gaza Strip with emphasis on the evacuation of Palestinian patients for medical treatment in Israel, the promotion of projects by international community, and coordination of operations and aid in agriculture, transportation, trade and industry. Pursuant to the recent agreement between Israel and Turkey, increased amounts of aid from Turkey are passing into the Gaza Strip.

10. Israel is conducting extrajudicial murders and is randomly and cold-bloodedly executing Palestinians – False and Malicious

  • In light of the clear video footage showing random knife attacks against Israelis by incited Palestinians passing through check-points and in other locations, it is incredulous to see how the Palestinian and Arab League leaders and spokesmen have the gall to manufacture a blatantly false narrative, boldly and openly accusing Israel of randomly executing these people in cold-blood.
  • It is no less incredulous to see the extent to which these lies are so readily accepted by the international media, by leading Western and Arab political personalities and even by various foreign and Israeli academics, who rush to accuse Israel’s police who are defending themselves against these knifings, of carrying out “indiscriminate,” “barbaric” or “extrajudicial” executions.
  • By allowing themselves to be influenced by such false and manipulative lies and by accepting and propagating them, the international media and some leading western political personalities are in fact giving encouragement and license to the Palestinian leadership to continue its incitement to such violence by individuals. The Palestinian leadership instigating this incitement knows that it will be viewed sympathetically in the West and that Israel will be condemned for defending against such attacks.
  • Claims by Palestinian leaders considered by the international community to be “moderate,” justifying such terrorist knifings and citing “lack of hope” or “desperation” by the perpetrators of such terror, cannot be considered acceptable by any moral standard.
  • Even the UN General Assembly annually resolves, “Criminal acts intended or calculated to provoke a state of terror in the general public, a group of persons or particular persons for political purposes are in any circumstances unjustifiable, whatever the considerations of a political, philosophical, ideological, racial, ethnic, religious or other nature that may be invoked to justify them.”31

11. “Israel committed war crimes in the Gaza Strip including the indiscriminate murder of children” – False

  • Almost inevitably, whenever Israel is obliged to defend its population and territorial integrity from unbridled and indiscriminate terror emanating from beyond its borders, whether from Hamas in the Gaza Strip or from Hezbollah in Lebanon, Israel is accused of exercising “disproportionate force” and of committing war crimes.
  • Such accusations are gratuitous and inherently false. They ignore the unique and unprecedented nature of the terrorism unleashed against Israel, the tactics and strategy of which deliberately abuse and violate accepted civilized and humanitarian norms, and the realities of combat in the Gaza Strip.
  • The allegations against Israel knowingly manipulate casualty statistics in order to establish false and disproportionate equivalences between Israel, a sovereign country bound by international humanitarian norms, and terror groups that knowingly and deliberately abuse such norms.
  • They ignore the fact that the terror groups deliberately, as a matter of military tactic, take advantage of, and rely on the humanitarian limitations that Israel, as a member of the international community, imposes on its forces in seeking to avoid civilian casualties. Such tactics include:
    • Cruelly forcing civilians, including children to serve as human shields and denying them access to shelter;
    • the deliberate use of private homes, schools, medical facilities and religious locations for storage and operation of rockets and other ammunition, as access-points to operational tunnels and as headquarters for terror activity;
    • willful and indiscriminate targeting of populated civilian centers, public facilities, schools and religious locations within Israel;
    • a declared aim of kidnapping Israeli citizens for purposes of hostage-taking,
  • The use of civilian facilities and the forced use of human shields are a deliberate tactic and widely used strategy in the arsenal of these terror groups. They rely on the likelihood that any military and defensive retaliation by Israel would likely endanger and harm those innocent civilians and thereby generate the accusations levelled against Israel.
  • The Hamas terror organization has proudly admitted that its fighters are instructed to use human shields in order to purposely suffer civilian deaths and thereby increase international pressure and blame on Israel. 32Former Hamas interior minister Fathi Hamad boasted in 2008 that Hamas fighters “formed human shields of the women, the children, the elderly, and the mujahedeen in order to challenge the Zionist bombing machine.”33
  • Such tactics and strategy are widely known and acknowledged throughout the international community. Leading political personalities in the U.S. and Europe, as well as the various international and local organizations and bodies purporting to uphold compliance with humanitarian norms are fully aware of the serious humanitarian dilemmas and challenges faced by Israel in attempting to defend itself against such terrorism, while at the same time minimizing civilian casualties.
  • Leading military experts, after reviewing Israel’s military actions, have commented on the fact that “Israel had gone to extraordinary lengths to limit collateral damage and prevent civilian casualties in the Gaza conflict.”34(Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff).Similarly, the British military expert Col. Richard Kemp has testified to the fact that Israel’s forces “did more to safeguard the rights of civilians in a combat zone than any other army in the history of warfare.”35
  • In the absence of clear and accepted international criteria for dealing with unbridled abuse of humanitarian norms by terror organizations, those making allegations against Israel choose rather to ignore and overlook the dilemmas and challenges faced by Israel in defending itself against such terror.
  • Humanitarian norms are an inherent part of the legal obligations on Israel’s military. Israel’s judicial and military authorities are obligated to investigate accusations of abuse of humanitarian norms, and where relevant to taking the appropriate juridical measures.

SOURCE: JERUSALEM CENTER FOR PUBLIC AFFAIRS

Amb. Alan Baker is Director of the Institute for Contemporary Affairs at the Jerusalem Center and the head of the Global Law Forum. He participated in the negotiation and drafting of the Oslo Accords with the Palestinians, as well as agreements and peace treaties with Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon. He served as legal adviser and deputy director-general of Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and as Israel’s ambassador to Canada. Twitter: @AmbAlanBaker

Notes

1 Center of Constitutional Rights, The Genocide of the Palestinian People: An International Law and Human Rights Perspective; Martin Shaw, Palestine In An International Historical Perspective On Genocide, 9 Holy Land Studies 1, 13 (2010)

2 Raphael Lemkin, Genocide- A Modern Crime, 4 Free World 39 (1945), http://www.preventgenocide.org/Lemkin/freeworld1945.htm

3 http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Peace+Process/Guide+to+the+Peace+Process/Declaration+of+Establishment+of+State+of+Israel.htm

4 http://www.palestine-studies.org/jps/fulltext/42605

5 http://palestinemonitor.org/details.php?id=g1zeffa8678ytm24mikjk

6 http://middleeast.about.com/od/israelandpalestine/f/me080519a.htm

7 http://www.gulfwar1991.com/Gulf%20War%20Complete/Chapter%2010,%20Palestinians%20in%20Kuwait,%20Terror%20and%20Ethnic%20Cleansing,%20By%20Hassan%20A%20El-Najjar.htm

8 https://www.unrwa.org/syria-crisis

9 http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/yarmouk-isis-held-palestinian-refugee-camp-that-has-become-front-line-syrias-civil-war-1495250

10 http://israelipalestinian.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=000636#graph5

11 http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/palmanda.asp – The Palestine Mandate, Council of League of Nations

12 http://unctad.org/en/pages/newsdetails.aspx?OriginalVersionID=1317 – UNCTAD report

13 http://www.water.gov.il/Hebrew/about-reshut-hamaim/The-Authority/FilesWatermanagement/Israel_and_the_Palestinians.pdf

14 http://www.cogat.idf.il/Sip_Storage/FILES/4/3274.pdf

15 http://www.cogat.idf.il/Sip_Storage/FILES/5/2925.pdf pg. 28

16 http://cis.uchicago.edu/oldsite/sites/cis.uchicago.edu/files/resources/CIS-090213-israelpalestine_38-1993DeclarationofPrinciples_OsloAccords.pdf

17 http://jcpa.org/paying-salaries-terrorists-contradicts-palestinian-vows-peaceful-intentions/

18 http://jcpa.org/pdf/The-Gaza-War-2014-Site.pdf

19 https://www.palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=122

20 http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Op-Ed-Contributors/The-oldnew-unilateral-threat

21 http://jcpa.org/unmasking-bds/

22 http://mfa.gov.il/MFA/InternatlOrgs/MFADocuments/Pages/United%20Nations%20General%20Assembly%20Resolution%20194%20-II.aspx

23 http://www.mfa.gov.il/mfa/internatlorgs/mfadocuments/pages/un%20security%20council%20resolution%20237.aspx

24 http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/The-world-from-here-BDS-A-weapon-of-Islamic-warfare-439491, Dan Diker

25 http://jcpa.org/unmasking-bds/ Behind the Contemporary BDS Campaign, Dan Diker

26 https://web.archive.org/web/20160427221237/http://english.al-akhbar.com/node/4289

27 https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/sep/09/gove-against-boycotting-israeli-goods-gaza-conflict

28 http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/plocov.asp, PLO Charter

29 http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_opinion.php?id=17109, Abed Almaala

30 Report of the Secretary-General’s Panel of Inquiry on the 31 May 2010 Flotilla Incident, pg. 4, http://www.un.org/News/dh/infocus/middle_east/Gaza_Flotilla_Panel_Report.pdf

31 United Nations General Assembly Resolution 55-158- Measures to Eliminate International Terrorism- 12 December 2000, http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/ForeignPolicy/MFADocuments/Yearbook13/Pages/221%20%20United%20Nations%20General%20Assembly%20Resolution%2055.aspx

32 http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2014/09/hamas-quietly-admits-it-fired-rockets-from-civilian-areas/380149/

33 https://www.memri.org/tv/hamas-mp-fathi-hammad-we-used-women-and-children-human-shields

34 http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.625194

35 http://www.idf.il/1283-17660-en/dover.aspx

10 Ways Donald Trump Could Try To Reverse The Curse That Obama Has Put On America

Michael Snyder | Economics Collapse Blog

When Barack Obama betrayed Israel at the United Nations, that put a curse on our nation.  But that doesn’t mean that we have to stay cursed.  In the coming days, the new Trump administration should immediately start taking steps to reverse the curse that we are under as a result of what Obama has done.  Perhaps if Donald Trump takes strong enough steps to try to undo what Obama has done, instead of being cursed we can once again return to being blessed.

One thing that Trump will not be able to undo is UN Security Council Resolution 2334.  It would take another UN Security Council resolution to undo it, and the votes simply wouldn’t be there.  UN Security Council Resolution 2334 passed by a vote of 14 to zero with the U.S. abstaining.  And even if Trump could miraculously pull together enough votes, one of the other permanent members of the Security Council (Russia, China, the UK or France) could just veto it.

So it looks like we are stuck with UN Security Council Resolution 2334, but that doesn’t mean that Trump can’t do anything to try to address this matter.

Recently, a Breitbart article suggested five steps that Trump should take regarding Israel once he becomes president, and I would like to add another five to the list.

The following are 10 things that should immediately be done once Trump becomes president to try to reverse the curse that Obama has put on America…

#1 Donald Trump should clearly disavow UN Security Council Resolution 2334 during his Inaugural address.  This would send a clear signal to the rest of the world that this new administration does not stand behind Obama’s betrayal of Israel.

#2 Sanctions should be imposed on every nation that voted in favor of the resolution.  I know that this would be politically tricky and would greatly upset the other permanent members of the Security Council, but it should still be done.

#3 There should be a congressional declaration clearly disavowing UN Security Council Resolution 2334, and Donald Trump should endorse this declaration.

#4 The Trump administration should immediately introduce another UN Security Council resolution that would include language that completely overturns the previous resolution.  Of course that resolution would almost certainly fail, but the point would be to show that the Trump administration is horrified by what has been done, and it would force the rest of the Security Council into a very uncomfortable position.

#5 Trump should immediately move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem.  By law this was already supposed to have happened anyway, but past presidents have always put the move off.  Of course this would cause the Palestinians to riot, but Trump needs to show the world that U.S. policy is not going to be dictated by threats of violence.

#6 Trump should cut off all funding to the Palestinian authority.  Considering how much debt we are in, I don’t know why we are giving them money in the first place.

#7 Trump should publicly announce that his administration will never recognize a Palestinian state.  The rest of the world would get very upset by this, but it is the right thing to do.

#8 Trump should publicly announce that it is the policy of the United States government that every inch of East Jerusalem, the West Bank, the Gaza strip and the Golan Heights belongs to Israel.  I don’t think that Trump would ever do this, but it would be the single most important step that he could take.

#9 The United Nations could be defunded in whole or in part.  But we don’t want to leave the United Nations entirely as some are suggesting.  Now that Trump is going to be president, we want him to use the power that we have on the Security Council to protect Israel.  Because without the U.S. standing in the way, the rest of the world would gang up on Israel in a major way.

#10 Trump should make an immediate presidential visit to Israel during the very first week of his presidency.  This would largely be symbolic, but it would show the rest of the planet that we stand solidly with the Netanyahu government.

And if Barack Obama takes additional action against Israel during the remaining days of his presidency, steps such as I have just outlined above will become even more important.

There are still rumblings that we could see another UN Security Council resolution that would officially establish a Palestinian state before Obama leaves office.  The following comes from an article by Bob Eschliman

The official said the U.N. action could come in the form of declarations by U.N. bodies, including the General Assembly; U.N. sessions on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; or even another United Nations Security Council resolution. He said any further UNSC resolution would depend on the support of the U.S. and European countries after the upcoming Paris Mideast summit slated for Jan. 15.

He said the U.N. action would seek to set the parameters of a future Palestinian state with a clear timeline for negotiations. If the action comes in the form of a resolution at a U.N. body, it could call for an infrastructure to establish mechanisms to enforce last week’s UNSC resolution, which demanded a complete halt to Israeli construction in the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem and declared those territories occupied Palestinian lands.

If the UN Security Council does vote to formally recognize a Palestinian state, all hell will break loose in America.

Let us hope that does not happen, and let us hope that Donald Trump works very hard to repair the damage that has already been done once he gets into office.

SOURCE: ECONOMICS COLLAPSE BLOG

Incentivizing Terrorism: Palestinian Authority Allocations to Terrorists and their Families

Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser

The Palestinian Authority’s annual budget lists hundreds of millions of dollars to fund terrorists in prison, so-called martyrs’ families. The Jerusalem Center’s Yossi Kuperwasser challenges the international donors to end this illegal and immoral practice.

Fore more information see “Incentivizing Terrorism: Palestinian Authority Allocations to Terrorists and their Families” by Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser – http://jcpa.org/paying-salaries-terro…

Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser is Director of the Project on Regional Middle East Developments at the Jerusalem Center. He was formerly Director General of the Israel Ministry of Strategic Affairs and head of the Research Division of IDF Military Intelligence.

The Palestinian Authority’s legislation and allocations of monthly salaries and benefits rewarding imprisoned and released terrorists, and the families of “Martyrs,” amount to $300 million annually. This financial reward clearly demonstrates the PA’s institutional commitment to sponsoring terror against Israel.

The family of Mohammed Tarayreh
The family of Mohammed Tarayreh, who stabbed to death a 13-year-old Israeli girl in her bed, is now eligible for a monthly stipend from the Palestinian “Martyrs’ Fund.” (AP Photo)

Back to Contents

Foreword

by Sander Gerber

The PA maintains longstanding legislation and payments to subsidize terrorists and their families. This amounts to an officially sanctioned PA government incentive system to kill Israelis. When I learned of this in November 2015, I was quite shocked. I proceeded to raise the issue with organized American Jewish community leaders and Israeli policymakers, and was told “everybody knows.” Disconcerted by my own lack of knowledge, I canvassed numerous American political leaders who, without exception, were unaware of the PA legislation/budget. The few leaders who were aware that the PA directly pays terrorists thought that the funding was only $5-6 million; they were shocked to learn that according to the official PA budget online, it was $300 million for 2016.

During the past year, the prevailing opinion was that the wave of knifers against Israelis consisted of young and disaffected “lone wolves.” As I examined the issue more closely, I realized that the “incitement” is much more than just an errant cleric or wayward school board, but rather is an institutional campaign of violence against Israel, coordinated and funded by the PA itself. This “struggle” or war is endorsed by the Palestinian leadership, as evidenced by their 2004 legislation specifying, “The prisoners and released prisoners are a fighting sector and integral part of the fabric of Arab Palestinian society.” PA budget line items are earmarked for funding prisoners, released prisoners, and families of “martyrs.”

Brig.-Gen. Yossi Kuperwasser, my friend, led a distinguished career as an IDF intelligence officer at the most senior level, as well as a brilliant strategist, most recently serving as Director General of the Ministry of Strategic Affairs. In this study, he accurately presents the history and current state of the PA legislation/budget for terror, as well as policy recommendations.

Sander Gerber is CEO and CIO of the Hudson Bay Capital Management. Since 9/11 he has served in advisory roles dealing with international terrorist financing. In 2006, he was appointed as a trustee of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. He served as vice chairman of the Wilson Center for seven years. He is currently a member of the Wilson Cabinet and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR).

Executive Summary

  • The payments of salaries by the PA and the PLO to terrorists and to the families of dead terrorists reflect the core identity of the general Palestinian public as they see it. According to Palestinian leaders, achieving their national goal of establishing their state over all of Palestine commits them to struggling against Zionism in a wide variety of ways, including terrorism. Therefore, terrorists, even more than those who struggle through other means, are heroes fighting for the national and religious cause, and this is why they should be glorified and rewarded without any hesitation.
  • The salary payments to terrorists from all Palestinian terror organizations, including Hamas as well as those who carried out terror attacks after the Oslo agreements came into effect, are made according to Palestinian Authority legislation that refers to the terrorists specifically as “fighters.” It makes clear that the Oslo accords are not considered by the Palestinian leadership and by most of the Palestinian people as a deviation from or an end to the battle against Zionism.
  • The reaction of the donor community and Israel reflects the success of the Palestinians in portraying themselves as victims. The donors are uncomfortable making official Palestinian support of terror an issue of dispute with the PA.
  • The donors and some in Israel are also concerned that steps against the Palestinian Authority opposing this practice may lead to further radicalization of the Palestinians that may cause a deterioration of the fragile situation. The Palestinians perceive this readiness to willfully turn a blind eye towards the payments of the salaries as a green light to continue the solicitation of terror through the payments as well as other kinds of incitement, hate indoctrination, and delegitimization of Israel and the dissemination of this ideology in the West and in Israel itself.
  • Legally, the payments of salaries to terrorists stand in sharp contrast to the Oslo agreements, according to which the PLO directly and the PA through the PLO have committed themselves to stop terror and to refrain from encouraging terror. It is also in stark contradiction to international conventions on counterterrorism and to the laws of most donor countries since this is direct support to terrorists affiliated with organizations designated as terrorist organizations by both the United States and the EU. By supporting the PA financially and enabling it to allocate funds to salaries for terrorists, Israel and the donors act in a way that is not only illogical and immoral but also illegal according to their own laws.
  • The way to handle this problem is primarily by becoming aware of Palestinian ideology and its institutionalization through the payments for salaries for “fighters,” and then clarifying to the Palestinians through legal, economic and political means that this ideology and the policy of paying salaries to terrorists is unacceptable and must change. This should be a condition for assisting the Palestinians, and it is the only way to promote a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. Sticking to the policy of ignoring the salaries would just allow the Palestinian to increase their support for terror and lead to the eternalization of the conflict, with all the harsh consequences that follow.

READ FULL REPORT

A Trumpian Israeli Initiative

areacnowCaroline Glick | CarolineGlick.com

US President-elect Donald Trump won’t even take office for another month, but he has already killed the status quo.

During the election, Trump trounced the untouchable consensus on NATO’s post-Cold War purpose. Questioning the purpose of an alliance formed to fight a war that ended 25 years ago is indisputably a reasonable thing to do. But until Trump came around, no one did.

Since November 7, Trump has continue to reject accepted wisdom. For 44 years no US president would speak with the president of Taiwan. And then President-elect Trump took a call from Taiwan’s President-elect Tsai Ing-wen.

It’s not clear where Trump stands on either NATO or Taiwan. But it is eminently apparent that by ignoring protocol, Trump expanded his maneuver room in his dealings with NATO and China.

Then of course, there is Jerusalem. Since 1948 the US has refused to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital – or even as part of Israel. This policy of non-recognition – embodied by the US refusal to transfer the US embassy to Jerusalem – has been maintained by a bipartisan consensus despite the fact that for the past 20 years, US law has required the State Department to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move the embassy to Jerusalem.

When Trump promised to move the US embassy to Jerusalem, his words were greeted with cynicism.

But then this week his senior advisor Kellyanne Conway said Trump is serious about moving the embassy to Jerusalem.

In one fell swoop, the 68 year old consensus is gone.

35 years ago, on December 14, 1981, Israel took a Trump-like step. Israel took a wrecking ball to received wisdom.

That day, the Knesset passed the Golan Heights Law. Then prime minister Menachem Begin decided on the initiative the day before. In less than 24 hours, the law when from an idea in Begin’s head into the law books.

The Golan Heights law cancelled the Military Government and Civil Administration that had governed the area since 1967 and replaced them with Israeli law and administration.

The Reagan administration was livid. Begin had neither asked Ronald Reagan for permission nor given Reagan a head’s-up on what he was about to do.

Begin was clearly operating on the basis of the “It’s better to ask for forgiveness than for permission” protocol.

In the event, the Americans weren’t really mad.

Reagan prevented the UN Security Council from sanctioning Israel for its action.

The Syrian regime did nothing. The Arab world yawned.

Israel was spared international condemnation in large part because of the way Begin explained the purpose of the law.

The day before the Knesset passed Begin’s law, the Syrian regime announced it would prefer to fight Israel for 100 years than live at peace with it. That statement, like hundreds of similar ones over the 13 years since Israel took over the strategic plateau reinforced yet again, the basic truth that Israel would be responsible for the Golan Heights for a long, long time.

After the law was passed, Begin and his advisors insisted its purpose was administrative. Israel couldn’t wait for a hundred years to register births and deaths and marriages, they explained. The Syrian legal code, through which the Military Government administered the areas was unsuited to a modern democracy. There was no way to protect the rights of Golan residents so long as Syrian law was the law of the land.

Begin and his advisors explained over and over that the application of Israeli law would have no impact on Israel’s willingness to make territorial concessions to Syria on the Golan in the event that the regime had a change in heart. And indeed, from 1992 until the war in Syria began in 2011, every Israeli government expressed willingness to discuss the future of the Golan Heights with the Syrians.

Aside from safeguarding the civil rights and legal protections of the Israeli citizens and permanent residents in the Golan, the law also defused the issue as a political cause inside of Israel. Everyone could accept the law. Those who wished to conclude a land-for-peace deal with Syria could support the law. Those who wished to retain perpetual Israeli control could live with it.

To safeguard against irresponsible concessions the Knesset passed the referendum law that requires a two thirds Knesset majority to approve territorial compromise on the Golan.

By transferring administrative responsibilities from the military to the government, Israel freed its armed forces to concentrate on their primary mission – defending the country from its enemies.

When Begin passed the Golan Heights Law, he had already learned its basic lesson: When Israel speaks modestly about its objectives, it can achieve a lot more than when it bloviates about them.

Begin learned that lesson a year and a half earlier when he passed Basic Law: Jerusalem. Unlike the Golan Heights Law which changed the situation on the ground, Basic Law: Jerusalem, which announced that Israel’s capital is united Jerusalem, merely described reality. United Jerusalem had been Israel’s capital since immediately after the Six Day War. Weeks after the war the government united the city by expanding its municipal borders to include the neighborhoods that had been under Jordanian occupation since 1949.

Basic Law: Jerusalem was a bit of chest beating. But the beating reverberated like drums of war in the West. And the US responded by enabling the Security Council to pass Resolution 478. Whereas in 1981 the US blocked the Security Council from passing sanctions against Israel for the Golan Heights law, in 1980 it enabled sanctions to be incorporated into the condemnatory resolution.

478 enjoined member states that had embassies in Jerusalem to remove them. Within weeks, 11 of the 13 states that had embassies in Jerusalem had shut them down. The last two were closed in 2006.

The Golan Heights Law’s 35th anniversary was celebrated Wednesday evening at the Menachem Begin Heritage Center. There, Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz and former cabinet secretary Tzvi Hauser said Israel must lobby Trump to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

While reasonable on their face, their calls ignore the basic lessons of the Golan Heights law, and seem to misread or ignore Trump’s modus operandi.

Trump cares about what works, not what looks good.

He isn’t interested in moving the US embassy to Jerusalem because he cares about recognizing Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem or over anything else for that matter. If Trump moves the embassy he will do so to advance America’s interests.

In one fell swoop, moving the US embassy to Jerusalem will correct a great deal of the damage that eight years of President Barack Obama’s foreign policies have caused to US credibility worldwide.

There is no single step the US can take that will do more to rebuild US credibility as an ally than moving the embassy to Jerusalem. By taking the step that none of his predecessors would take to stand in support of the US’s most embattled ally worldwide, Trump will show that America can again be trusted. And moving the embassy will accomplish this goal without placing one US soldier at risk, and will cost US taxpayers no more than a few million dollars for construction and moving fees.

On a basic level, from Israel’s perspective, what distinguishes Trump from his predecessors is that he has signaled that he views Israel as an ally whereas his predecessors viewed the Jewish state as a burden.

Trump wants and expects wants Israel to be a credible ally. To achieve this, Israel has some status quo icons of its own to shatter. And the Golan Heights Law provides just the roadmap for action.

Begin wasn’t bluffing when he said that the Military Government lacked the legal tools to protect and uphold the rights of the residents of the Golan Heights. In Judea and Samaria, the situation today has similarly reached a critical moment. And whereas Begin cancelled the military government on the Golan when a mere 6,000 Israelis were living there, today 450,000 Israelis live under military administration in Judea and Samaria.

The Israelis in Judea and Samaria all in live what is referred to as Area C. When the Palestinian Authority was established in 1994 it took over governing authority from the Military Government in Areas A and B – the Palestinian population centers.

A mere 100,000 Palestinians live in Area C.

The Military Government administers on the basis of the Jordanian legal code, which has been revised over the past 49 years by various military administrative orders.

As the human drama taking place in the community of Amona makes clear, the existing legal system is incapable of protecting the civil and legal rights of either the Israelis or the Palestinians living under it.

In Amona 40 Israeli families are about to be thrown out of their homes because Jordanian law doesn’t allow Jews to easily purchase land from Palestinians and the Palestinian Authority has made selling land to Jews a capital offense. Israelis in Area C cannot properly adjudicate their legal rights to land in Israeli courts.

As was the case with Syria in 1981, the Palestinian leadership – from the PLO to Hamas – has made clear that it has no interest in making peace with Israel. Palestinian intransigence has brought about a 16 year stalemate in the so-called peace process which has convinced even true believers on the Israeli Left that the time has come to put aside the two-state paradigm.

The latest person to come on board was novelist and leftist ideologue A.B. Yehoshua. Earlier this month Yehoshua told an astonished audience in Jerusalem that the two-state solution is impossible. Yehoshua then endorsed the plan to apply Israeli law to Area C and grant full civil rights to the Palestinians living in the area.

Trump’s rejection of the status quo and his respectful view of Israel gives our leaders the opportunity to join Yehoshua in rejecting the failed “two-state solution” status quo and act on the growing consensus on the Left and Right that the time has come to apply Israeli law to Area C.

True, to a degree even greater than in the Golan Heights, Israel has the legal and historic right to full sovereignty over all of Judea and Samaria. But it is equally true that most Israelis would be willing to negotiate the permanent status of Judea and Samaria with a credible, sincere Palestinian neighbor.

By simply applying its law to the area as an administrative step, Israel keeps all options on the table while securing the civil, legal and human rights of both the Palestinians and the Israelis who live in the area.

Rejecting received wisdom is far less risky than maintaining allegiance to it when it is wrong. Trump obviously recognizes this. The time has come for Israel to recognize it as well.

 

Originally published in The Jerusalem Post. 

Diplomatic Jihad: The Atrocious Scandal of the UNESCO Vote on Jerusalem

Salim Mansur | Gatestone Institute

  • It was over the ruins of these sacred Jewish sites, left behind by the Romans, that Arab conquerors of Jerusalem in the seventh century built two mosques, the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa, to lay claim on the City of David for Islam.
  • There can be no dispute about Jewish links with Jerusalem, and Jewish rights to their sacred sites that long pre-date the arrival of Arabs bearing Islam to the City of David. This latest effort by the UNESCO, however to deny the Jewish nature of Jerusalem is much more than a scandal; it is a Stalinist measure to airbrush history by an organization which, according to its own charter, is supposed to be devoted without prejudice to the preservation of historical records.
  • There is precedent for such a resolution to nullify the recent UNESCO resolution on Jerusalem. In December 1991, the UN General Assembly voted to repeal the UN resolution passed in 1975 that declared, “Zionism is a form of racism.”
  • Muslim denial of the Jewish links to the City of David and their ancestral rights over Judea and Samaria, or Palestine, is ironically contrary to the Word of God in their own sacred scripture.
  • Their claim on Jerusalem, or the holy land, on the basis of Islam is simply not found in the Quran. On the contrary, the Quran is explicit in addressing Jews as “children of Israel” and speaking of them, as in “Remember those blessings of Mine with which I graced you, and how I favoured you above all other people.” (2:47)

A resolution on “Occupied Palestine” this past October, at the 200th session of the Executive Board of the UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) in Paris, France, was orchestrated by Arab and Muslim member-states as another attempt to diminish Jewish links with Jerusalem. UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee, despite Israel’s opposition, adopted the resolution by a vote of ten countries in favour, two opposed, and eight abstentions.

In 1975, UNESCO was already an official supporter of the UN declaration that “Zionism equals racism.” So it should come as no surprise that in October 2016, a UNESCO resolution pointedly ignored the Biblical Jewish connection to two of the faith’s holiest sites in Jerusalem: the Temple Mount and the Western Wall, which pre-date Islam by hundreds of years.

Instead, the resolution refers to the Temple Mount compound solely in Arabic: The Al-Aqsa Mosque/Al-Haram Al-Sharif, as it is called by Muslims. The resolution also unfairly rebukes Israel’s caring oversight of these sacred places.

In effect, the passage of this resolution amounts to diplomatic jihad by Qatar and Arab-Muslim countries of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) against Israel. As usual, unaffected by historical fact, a corrupt UN agency, which should protect heritage sites and not debauch them, has provided support to the knife-wielding jihad of Palestinians — the same who are encouraged to commit murder and who then are praised for it by Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestine Authority (PA).

The Arab-Muslim countries together, as the 57-member OIC, including the “Palestine Authority” — form the largest single bloc in the UN; their numbers alone are mostly responsible for the one-sided prejudicial treatment of Israel in the UN.

Any fair-minded individual, however, will agree with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, “To say that the Jewish people has no connection to Jerusalem is like saying that the sun creates darkness.”

A reasonable response at UNESCO, or in any other forum, to this deranged effort of OIC members to delegitimize Jewish and Israeli links to Jerusalem, would rest on evidence, and not on airbrushing historical records.

One may note how often the stories of the Old and New Testament were enacted in the precinct of the Jewish Temple, as in the story of Jesus’s confrontation with the moneychangers. Then one may take into account the eyewitness testimony of Josephus Flavius, a priest in the Jewish Temple during the Herodian era and a rebel against Rome who eventually surrendered to the Romans. Josephus witnessed the Romans destroy the Jewish Temple in AD 70 and wrote an account of what occurred in his book, The Jewish Wars, which we have at hand to give us evidence of events in Jerusalem two thousand years ago.

In Rome, any present-day tourist can behold, on the ancient Arch of Titus, the engraved likeness of the Jewish candelabra (Menorah), which the Romans brought back from Jerusalem after ransacking the Jewish Temple.

arch-of-titus
In Rome, any present-day tourist can behold, on the ancient Arch of Titus, the engraved likeness of the Jewish candelabra (Menorah), which the Romans brought back from Jerusalem after ransacking the Jewish Temple. Pictured: Photo of a panel copy from the Arch of Titus, displayed in the Beth Hatefutsoth museum in Israel. (Image source: Wikimedia Commons/Sodabottle)

Then those who want to study the history of the sacred sites of Jews in their ancient city may read The Temple of Jerusalem by Professor Simon Goldhill of Oxford University. It was over the ruins of these sacred Jewish sites, left behind by the Romans, that Arab conquerors of Jerusalem in the seventh century built two mosques, the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa, to lay claim on the City of David for Islam.

There can be no dispute about Jewish links with Jerusalem, and Jewish rights to their sacred sites that long pre-date the arrival of Arabs bearing Islam to the City of David. This latest effort by the UNESCO, however, to deny the Jewish nature of Jerusalem is much more than a scandal; it is a Stalinist measure to airbrush history by an organization which, according to its own charter, is supposed to be devoted without prejudice to the preservation of historical records.

In such circumstances, when the UN is abused by the numerical weight of Muslim countries, it might be asked on the basis of fairness: would UNESCO adopt a resolution that declares Muslim claims on Jerusalem as a sacred city for Islam untrue? It might not be far-fetched to imagine such a resolution submitted at some future session of the UNESCO, and adopted by a majority vote.

The likelihood of reversing the UNESCO resolution on Jerusalem by another resolution that affirms Jewish rights to the Temple Mount and the Western Wall has increased with the forthcoming change of administration in Washington, led by Donald Trump elected as the 45th President of the United States. There is precedent for such a resolution to nullify the recent UNESCO resolution on Jerusalem. In December 1991, the UN General Assembly voted to repeal the UN resolution passed in 1975 that declared, “Zionism is a form of racism.”

It is undeniable that the Muslim claim on Jerusalem as one of Islam’s sacred cities — the other two, far more major ones, being Mecca and Medina — rests on exceedingly shaky grounds.

It is an article of Muslim faith that the Quran is the Word of God. And there is no explicit mention of Jerusalem in the Quran.

At the beginning of Muhammad’s prophetic mission, he prayed in the direction (qiblah) of Jerusalem. Then, according to a verse in the Quran, he was directed to pray by turning “toward a qiblah which is dear to thee” (2:144), that is the Ka’aba (the cube) in Mecca.

Then follows the claim based on the story of Muhammad’s heavenly “night journey” from “the Inviolable Place of Worship to the Far Distant Place of Worship the neighbourhood whereof We have blessed” (17:1). Again, there is no explicit mention of Jerusalem in this opening verse from the chapter in the Quran known as Bani Israil or “The Children of Israel.”

It was much later, and after Muhammad’s demise, that the ulema (religious scholars) agreed the location of the “far distant place of worship” was the Temple Mount. It is a stretch, however, by Muslims to take the Quran’s elliptical reference to the Temple Mount and deny any link the site has with the Jewish faith and history. It is simply dishonest to make such inference in delegitimizing Jewish rights to the site that is indisputable historically as the grounds on which the Jerusalem Temple once stood.[1]

According to the earliest historians of Islam, the grounds of the Temple Mount was piled high with garbage, deposited there over the centuries by the Byzantine Christian inhabitants of the city. The same historians — Tabari (d. AD 923) was the most notable — report that when the Arab armies took Jerusalem in AD 638, the Byzantine Patriarch or ruler, Bishop Sophronius, indicated he wished to surrender the key of the city to the Muslim leader in person. Hence Umar, the second Caliph, or Successor of the Prophet (AD 634-44), came to Jerusalem, and Sophronius received him on the steps of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

When it was prayer time, as we find in the narratives of Syed Ameer Ali and F.E. Peters[2], based on the earliest Muslim sources, the Bishop invited the Caliph to pray inside the Church. Umar declined Sophronius’s invitation by observing that if he did, then those Muslims who came after him in following his example might lay claim on the Church. Umar obviously knew well the mentality of his people. Instead, Umar prayed outside in an open area where now stands the Mosque of Umar adjacent to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

But when Umar wanted to learn about the sacred sites of Jerusalem, the same historians record that it was a Jew by the name of Ka’b al-Ahbar, who had embraced Islam and was accompanying the Caliph, who guided him around the sites. Umar ordered the removal of garbage from the Temple Mount area, and Jews were granted permission to pray on the site that had been denied them under Byzantine rule.

When Arabs and Muslims deny Jewish links to Jerusalem, they are also then in denial of their own history. Their claim on Jerusalem, or the holy land, on the basis of Islam is simply not found in the Quran.

On the contrary, the Quran is explicit in addressing Jews as “children of Israel” and speaking of them, as in “Remember those blessings of Mine with which I graced you, and how I favoured you above all other people” (2:47). Or, as the Quran recalls the words of Moses to his people, “O my people! Go into the holy land which God hath ordained for you. Turn not in flight, for surely ye turn back as losers” (5:20-21).

An objective reading of the Quran — setting aside the later exegesis of the ulema as more or less politically motivated — and the accounts of the earliest Muslim historians does not give unequivocal support to claims of Muslim countries over Jerusalem. Indeed, Muslim denial of the Jewish links to the City of David and their ancestral rights over Judea and Samaria, or Palestine, is ironically contrary to the Word of God in their own sacred scripture.

It is Muslims who are in the wrong over Jerusalem. And no amount of their fallacious efforts in UNESCO, or at the UN, can airbrush the historic links of Jews with the City of David and deny Jews their rights to the sites most sacred to them, in the words of the Quran, as the people of the Book.

Salim Mansur is a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Gatestone Institute. He teaches in the department of political science at Western University in London, Ontario. He is the author of “Islam’s Predicament: Perspectives of a Dissident Muslim” and “Delectable Lie: A Liberal Repudiation of Multiculturalism.”


[1] F.E. Peters, Jerusalem (Princeton University Press, 1985) and Syed Ameer Ali, A short history of the Saracens (Macmillan, 1961).

[2] Ibid.

The Secret War of Agence France Presse against Israel

Yves Mamou | Gatestone Institute

  • Biased information about Israel in the French press is not an episodic occurrence. It is a systematic one. The main engine of this biased information industry is blatantly the Agence France Presse.
  • It is so thoroughly a “pro-Palestinian news agency” that this French institution does not see anything unethical about hiring Palestinian activists as reporters: “Nasser Abu Baker, the chairman of the Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate, the leading force for the boycott of Israeli journalists and media, also writes for the influential French news agency.”
  • The same bias appears in the media and news agencies all over the developed world, including Reuters, the BBC and the AP. Why, when it comes to Israel, is such a misinterpretation of reality so generalized in the press? The only answer is that a war is in progress: a war of delegitimization.

On July 15, 2016, after the truck ramming that killed 84 people in Nice, France, Agence France Presse (AFP) released a report entitled, “When Vehicles Become Weapons”. It is the duty of a large news agency such as AFP to list, for its customers, examples of countries that are suffering from vehicular terrorism.

Concerning Israel, we can read in the third paragraph: “In Israel and the Palestinian territories, car-ramming attacks have featured heavily in a wave of violence that has killed at least 215 Palestinians, 34 Israelis, two Americans, an Eritrean and a Sudanese since October last year”.

A naïve reader might understand that in Israel and Palestinian territories, Jews and Muslims — or Israelis and Palestinians — find it amusing to use their vehicles to kill innocent passersby. He might think also that Jews are far better players of this gamer than are Muslims, because they killed “215 Palestinians” against only “34 Israelis.”

As the website Honest Reporting noticed:

“In fact, the total number of Israelis who have committed car ramming attacks against Palestinians is exactly zero, but a reader would have no way of knowing that. To the contrary, the AFP’s language gives the incorrect appearance that morePalestinians are targeted by car ramming attacks than Israelis.”

Biased information about Israel in the French press is not an episodic occurrence. It is a systematic one. The main engine of this biased information industry is blatantly the Agence France Presse.

AFP — like Reuters, Associated Press or Bloomberg — is a news agency with offices all over the world (150 countries and 200 bureaus). But it is not a private company; it is supposed to be a cooperative owned by customers (newspapers, radios and TV channels), but it is actually a state-owned company, heavily subsidized due to the large number of subscriptions from different French government ministries — especially the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The managing director of AFP is appointed by the government. AFP is a tool of French diplomacy and is considered an arm of France’s cultural international influence.

AFP has a large “bureau” in Jerusalem and its journalists have an enormous influence on the European and Middle Eastern press. This influence is enormous because its reports are literally copied-and-pasted by newspapers and countless websites in France and Europe.

The terrorist attack on June 8, 2016 at the Sarona Market in Tel Aviv is a good example of the systematically biased headlines sent by AFP to its customers.

Three types of biased headlines can be documented.

  • If You Do Not Like the Reality, Change the Narrative of the Reality. Example: In Le Figaro, the headline was, “Tel Aviv, Four Dead after a Gunfight [fusillade].” The word fusillade means “gunfight” or “exchange of fire.” But what happened at the Sarona Market was not a “fusillade” it was a cold-blooded mass murder committed by two armed Palestinians against unarmed Israeli citizens. What happened in Tel Aviv was the same as what happened in Paris on November 13, 2015, when 130 people sitting in a concert hall, cafés and restaurants were shot dead by extremist Muslim terrorists. But no parallel of this type has been reported in the French media.
  • In Israel, Islamist Terrorism Does Not Exist. It is a War of “National Liberation.”Example: For media such as L’Express, or BFMTV (news channel), a “bloody attack (happened) close to the headquarters of the army.” In reality, the closeness of Sarona Market to the army headquarters is irrelevant. But the goal of this headline is to reinforce the illusion that the terrorists were targeting the Israeli Defense Forces. For the media, Palestinians are at war against “the occupation”: Palestinian army against Israeli army
  • The Only Victim is the Palestinian. The third type of headlines tries to reverse the perception of who is the murderer and who is the victim. For Le Monde and Le Parisien, “After a murderous gunfight [fusillade], Israel suspends 83,000 visas for Palestinians.” This implies that Israel is practicing a collective punishment against innocent people. For the French press, as usual, the “real” victims of Palestinian terrorism are the Palestinians themselves. The same media, by the way, failed to acknowledge multiple Palestinian celebrations that broke out in the Gaza Strip, West Bank, and eastern Jerusalem after news of the murders in Tel Aviv, or place them in context of the incitement to violencewhich has fueled the current wave of Palestinian attacks against Israelis.

The “pro-Palestinian” bias is so glaring that many people in France call now AFP, “Agence France Palestine.”

It is so thoroughly a “pro-Palestinian news agency” that this French institution does not see anything unethical about hiring Palestinian activists as reporters. According to the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA):

“Nasser Abu Baker, the chairman of the Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate, the leading force for the boycott of Israeli journalists and media, also writes for the influential French news agency… for more than a decade, Abu Baker has also worked as a reporter for AFP covering Israeli-Palestinian affairs. Two Israeli journalists who cover the Palestinians confirmed to CAMERA that Abu Baker continues to work for the news agency. One of those reporters checked his information with three Palestinian journalists, who also confirmed that Abu Baker still reports for AFP while he serves as a senior official at the PJS. Abu Baker’s Facebook account also indicates that he works for AFP”.

The Reader Must Never Forget Who is the “Victim” and Who is “Oppressor”. News from AFP also has another characteristic. It systematically – yes, systematically – qualifies the West Bank as “Palestinian occupied territory”. When news is about East Jerusalem, the AFP systematically mentions “annexed and occupied by Israel.” Is this maniacal precision neutral information? It would be neutral if AFP were doing the same for Tibet “annexed and occupied by the Chinese”; for Cyprus, “annexed and occupied by Turkey”; and for Crimea, “annexed and occupied by Russia.” Around the world, there are dozens of “annexed and occupied territories.” But AFP applies this formulation only for Jerusalem. The same is true for the West Bank: it is always referred to with the slogan, “occupied by Israel.”

What is the goal of this obsessive repetition? It is probably to ensure the reader never forgets that Israel has no legitimacy in the West Bank and that any Palestinian killer is not an Islamic extremist but a freedom fighter busy “liberating” supposedly “occupied” territory. But since the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) was founded in 1964, and the “occupied territories” came under Israel’s control only in 1967, what was the PLO “liberating”? To the AFP, the murderer is the real victim, and the Jews murdered in Tel Aviv are only meant to be seen as dead symbols of an “occupation.”

In every wave of violence, AFP reports usually mention, at the end of almost each news item about Israel, that “Israel, Jerusalem and the Palestinians territories are embroiled in internal violence, in which 207 Palestinians, 32 Israelis, 2 Americans, 1 Eritrean and 1 Sudanese have been killed since October 1st, according to a counting made by AFP.”

The figures vary, but at the end of each report about acts of terrorism, the AFP adds: “Most of Palestinians killed are perpetrators or presumed perpetrators of attacks.” (AFP. 10/06/2016 – 14:42:04). This maniacal breakdown by ethnic group is done only for Israel. There is no such counting for Syria. There is no such counting for Tibet. There is no such counting for Nigeria. What is the goal? To make the reader notice the imbalance that more Palestinians are killed, which supposedly means a “disproportionate” number, even though in the Geneva conventions, “disproportionality” has nothing to do with an equal body count.[1] But go try to parse that to an impatient and confused public.

AFP appears to be trying to lure you into nurturing the suspicion that many of the Palestinians were shot in cold blood.

You will notice also the phrase “Israel, Jerusalem and the Palestinians territories,” a distinction repeated day after day to remind people that Israel’s international legitimacy and claim to the holy city of Jerusalem might be under dispute.

Palestinians are not Islamists like other Islamists. News from AFP never mentions that the Palestinian murderers shout “Allahu Akbar” [“Allah is the Greatest”] while they are stabbing, shooting, and ramming into Israelis. They never say that the terrorists who survived, explained that they wanted to become “shahids” [martyrs] in order to have 72 virgins who await them in gardens of Allah. This simple truth would destroy the system of lies built by the AFP, which portrays Palestinians not as Islamists like other terrorists, but as “activists” fighting for the “liberation” of their country.

A Denial of Palestinian Islamist Terrorism. AFP keeps systematically refusing to call an Islamic terrorist a “terrorist,” especially if this terrorist is a Palestinian. All of them are “activists,” “militants” or “attackers.” In AFP news, the word terrorist appears only within quotation marks when the police or government officials speak about a “terrorist.” The AFP says this is the proof that the agency refuses any value judgement. For AFP, the words “terrorism” and “terrorist” would imply a moral judgement (it is bad) and not a designation for a type of political fight. This rule, however, is applied systematically only to Israel. In the item entitled, “When Vehicles Become Weapons,” mentioned above, the first sentence is: “Transforming a vehicle into a simple but deadly weapon of terror…,” showing that for the truck-ramming in France, the word “terror” is not emphatic or connected to a moral judgment.

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When Palestinians murder Israelis in vehicle-ramming attacks, Agence France Press never labels the murderer a “terrorist.” All of them are “activists,” “militants” or “attackers.” But when a Tunisian-born Islamist terrorist murdered 84 people in Nice, France in July 2016, by ramming a truck into a crowd of people (pictured above), the AFP called that “terror.” (Image source: Sky News video screenshot)

In 2015, the Conseil Représentatif des Institutions Juives de France (CRIF), a federation of around sixty Jewish organizations in France, ordered a group of professional journalists to look into how the AFP produces its news on Israel. The report, called “The AFP Faces Palestinian Propaganda: October-November 2014,” has — not out of shyness — never been published; instead it was sent to the managing director of AFP.

What do we find in this report? A survey of many value judgements!

  • Abusive of terms, or intemperate comments: Moshe Feiglin, a member of Israel’s Knesset, for example, was labeled “a sulfurous MK from Likud” (AFP, 13 October 2014, 12:22). Avigdor Lieberman who was at that date foreign minister (he is now minister of defense) is an “ultra-nationalist hawk”(AFP, 18 October 2014. 21:52). On the Palestinian side, however, Ismail Radwan is just a “leader of Hamas,” and Hamas itself (a movement listed as an international terrorist organization by all Western countries), is chastely presented as a “radical Islamist organization.”
  • For AFP, the only “Extremists” are Jews: Members of the Netanyahu government, or settlers. Young “Muslims” or young “Palestinians” are never qualified as “extremists,” even when they throw stones, stab pilgrims or shout threats at Jewish visitors of Temple Mount.

In conclusion, one might ask: Why criticize only the AFP? The same bias appears in the media and news agencies all over the developed world, including Reuters, the BBC and the AP. But this situation leads to another, more frightening question: Why, when it comes to Israel, is such a misinterpretation of reality so generalized in the press? The only answer is that a war is in progress: a war of delegitimization. Historians have shown that each time a group is targeted as “bad” — sub-human because of its religion, ethnicity, country or skin-color the desire for genocide is not far behind.

Yves Mamou, based in France, worked for two decades as a journalist for Le Monde.


[1] “Under international humanitarian law and the Rome Statute, the death of civilians during an armed conflict, no matter how grave and regrettable does not constitute a war crime…. even when it is known that some civilian deaths or injuries will occur. A crime occurs if there is an intentional attack directed against civilians (principle of distinction) or an attack is launched on a military objective in the knowledge that the incidental civilian injuries would be clearly excessive in relation to the anticipated military advantage (principle of proportionality).” — Luis Moreno-Ocampo, Chief Prosecutor, International Criminal Court.

SOURCE: GATESTONE INSTITUTE

 

The Hostility and Hypocrisy of Left-Wing Israeli NGOs

B'TselemNoah Beck | IPT News

Israeli human rights group B’Tselem recently appeared before a special session of the United Nations Security Council, excoriating Israeland pleading with the body to act against Israel’s settlements.

In 1975, the UN famously declared that “Zionism is racism” and, four decades later, the organization continues to hound Israel. In each of the last four years, as the Syrian bloodbath claimed hundreds of thousands of lives, there were at least five times as many resolutions condemning Israel as those rebuking the rest of the world.

The UN’s cultural body, UNESCO, recently passed a motion ignoring any Jewish (or Christian) historical ties to East Jerusalem holy sites, referring to the Temple Mount and Western Wall only by their Muslim names and condemning Israel as “the occupying power.” It turns out that some of Israel’s left-wing NGOs worked to helpproduce the UNESCO motion.

Given the UN’s chronic hostility, efforts by Israeli NGOs to persuade the UN to act against Israel are arguably treasonous. Indeed, one attorney and activist for Israel’s left-leaning Labor party filed a police complaint alleging treason against B’Tselem, arguing that the NGO has harmed state sovereignty, tried to give land away to a foreign entity, and taken steps that could cause a war.

Israeli democracy is extremely tolerant, to the point of allowing its members of parliament to openly support terrorism and terrorist groups. Last March, several Israeli Arab Knesset members condemned Arab states for labeling Hizballah a terrorist organization, even though it has been at war with Israel for decades and regularly threatens new hostilities.

Last February, members from the Joint (Arab) List paid a solidarity visit to relatives of Palestinian terrorists security forces killed to stop them from murdering Israelis. In 2014, MK Hanin Zoabi (Balad) drew praise from Hamas by asserting that the kidnappers of three missing Israeli youths were “not terrorists.” Hamas’s connection to the young men’s abduction and murder helped to spark the third war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.

Thus, Israel already has plenty of dissenting voices and activists without foreign intervention. Nevertheless, foreign interests have identified Israeli NGOs as the soft underbelly of Israeli democracy and have leveraged them to promote their own agendas. The problem became so acute that a watchdog, NGO Monitor, was formed in 2002 to track the self-hostility being funded largely by European and other foreign sources. As the organization notes: “NGOs lack a system of checks and balances, and…provide accountability to their funders and activist members, and not to the citizens or societies whose lives are directly impacted by their activities.”

NGO Monitor also notes that, even though most of the foreign government funding for these Israeli NGOs is “formally designated for ‘educating the Israeli public’ and ‘changing public opinion’ (both in violation of the norms on non-interference in other democracies), these Israeli NGOs are very active externally, in the delegitmization and political warfare against Israel.”

These left-wing Israeli NGO’s receive money from about two dozen foreign governments, and some private organizations. That includes millions of dollars from billionaire George Soros.

In Catch the Jew, author Tuvia Tenenbom exposed how foreign-funded “human rights” and “cultural” organizations in Israel tend to serve as vehicles for attacking Israel. By presenting himself to interview subjects as “Tobi the German,” Tenenbom elicits some surprising confessions. For example, the New Fund for Cinema and TV, a foreign-funded Israeli cultural NGO, told him that that about 80 percent of political documentaries made in Israel are co-produced by Europeans. That includes a documentary called “10%—What Makes a Hero,” which equates Israel’s military with the Nazis. Such films would be too scandalous to be produced in Germany, but German-sponsored NGOs can safely pay left-wing Israelis to make such movies.

Some foreign funders of Israeli NGOs have even unwittingly enriched Hamas. Last August, Hamas allegedly siphoned off “tens of millions of dollars” from World Vision, a U.S.-based charity, and used the funds for weapons purchases, tunnel construction, and other military activities.

The Knesset passed a law in July requiring disclosure of foreign funding sources for NGOs that get more than half of their money from overseas. The law is “clearly aligned with the American Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA),” wrote legal scholar Eugene Kontorovich.

“Israel is unique in the sheer scale of the foreign government sponsorship of domestic political groups,” he wrote. “For example, the European Union alone has in recent years given roughly 1.2 million Euro a year for political NGOs in the US and roughly an order of magnitude more in Israel—a vastly larger per capita amount.”

The Obama administration opposes foreign influence only when that influence promotes a dissenting view. President Obama opposed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to the U.S. Congress against the Iranian nuclear deal, but was happy to give a speech to the UK parliament against Brexit. The Obama administration critiqued Israel’s NGO-funding-disclosure law, even though it sent U.S. taxpayer money to an Israeli NGO working to oust Israel’s prime minister.

The same hypocrisy seems to prevail among Israel’s foreign-funded NGOs. They ostensibly exist to promote democracy and peaceful co-existence, but are conspicuously silent when Palestinian institutions violate those ideals. Such silence enables abuse by Palestinians and promotes a distorted and incomplete picture of the complex reality in which Israelis operate. Foreign-funded Israeli NGOs remained silentafter the Palestinian Authority arrested Palestinians who visited a Sukkah in a symbolic peace event promoting coexistence.

“These organizations are silent when the Palestinian leadership pays salaries to the families of terrorists, glorifies murderers and calls streets and city centers after them,” Netanyahu said. “These organizations prove again and again that they are not actually interested in human rights, but only in shaming Israel and libeling it around the world.”

If Israel’s left-wing NGOs truly are committed to democracy and peace, why haven’t they condemned the PA’s efforts to prevent “normalization” with Israel? In 2014, Jibril Rajoub, the deputy secretary of the Fatah Central Committee and the head of the Palestinian Supreme Council for Sport and Youth Affairs, condemned a coexistence-promoting soccer match between Israeli and Palestinian youths on a southern kibbutz, as “a crime against humanity.”

Last week, a Palestinian newspaper came under intense criticism for publishing an interview with Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman. The Jerusalem-based newspaper Al-Quds was denounced by Hamas, the Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate, and the supposedly “moderate” PA. The “chilling effects” and anti-peace message implicit in the harsh reactions to the interview have yet to catch the attention of any left-wing NGOs supposedly working for peace and democracy.

Noah Beck is the author of The Last Israelis, an apocalyptic novel about Iranian nukes and other geopolitical issues in the Middle East.

SOURCE: IPT NEWS

The Oslo Disaster

BESA: Mideast Security and Policy Studies No. 123

Prof. Efraim Karsh, the incoming director of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, skewers the Oslo diplomatic process as “the starkest strategic blunder in Israel’s history” and as “one of the worst calamities ever to have afflicted Israelis and Palestinians.”

OSLO
By Saar Yaacov, GPO – Government Press Office, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=22811903

“Twenty three years after its euphoric launch on the White House lawn,” Karsh writes in this comprehensive study, “the Oslo ‘peace process’ has substantially worsened the position of both parties and made the prospects for peace and reconciliation ever more remote.”

“The process has led to establishment of an ineradicable terror entity on Israel’s doorstep, deepened Israel’s internal cleavages, destabilized its political system, and weakened its international standing.”

“It has been a disaster for West Bank and Gaza Palestinians too. It has brought about subjugation to corrupt and repressive PLO and Hamas regimes. These regimes have reversed the hesitant advent of civil society in these territories, shattered their socioeconomic wellbeing, and made the prospects for peace and reconciliation with Israel ever more remote.”

“This abject failure is a direct result of the Palestinian leadership’s perception of the process as a pathway not to a two-state solution – meaning Israel alongside a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza – but to the subversion of the State of Israel. They view Oslo not as a path to nation-building and state creation, but to the formation of a repressive terror entity that perpetuates conflict with Israel, while keeping its hapless constituents in constant and bewildered awe as Palestinian leaders line their pockets from the proceeds of this misery.”

Karsh details at length how the Oslo process has weakened Israel’s national security in several key respects.

On the strategic and military levels, it allowed the PLO to achieve in one fell swoop its strategic vision of transforming the West Bank and the Gaza Strip into terror hotbeds that would disrupt Israel’s way of life (to use Yasser Arafat’s words).

Politically and diplomatically, he says, Oslo instantaneously transformed the PLO (and, to a lesser extent, Hamas) into an internationally accepted political actor while upholding its commitment to Israel’s destruction, edging toward fully fledged statehood outside the Oslo framework, and steadily undermining Israel’s international standing.

The ending of Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian population of the territories within three-and-a-half years from the onset of the process has gone totally unnoticed (due partly to Palestinian propaganda, partly to Israel’s failure to get this critical point across), with the Jewish state still subject to international opprobrium for the nonexistent “occupation.”

Domestically, Oslo radicalized Israel’s Arab minority, nipping in the bud its decades-long “Israelization” process and putting it on a collision course with Israel’s Jewish community. No less importantly, it made Israeli politics captive to the vicissitudes of Palestinian-Israeli relations, with the PLO and Hamas becoming the effective arbiters of Israel’s political discourse and electoral process.

“On the face of it,” Karsh writes, “Israel’s massive setbacks can be considered Palestinian gains. Yet one’s loss is not necessarily the other’s gain. The Palestinian leadership’s zero-sum approach and predication of Palestinian national identity on hatred of the ‘other,’ rather than on a distinct shared legacy, has resulted in decades of dispersal and statelessness.”

“Even if the PLO were to succeed in gaining international recognition of a fully fledged Palestinian state (with or without a formal peace treaty with Israel) and in preventing Hamas from seizing power, it would still be a failed entity in the worst tradition of Arab dictatorships, in permanent conflict with its Israeli neighbor while brutally repressing its unfortunate subjects.”

Karsh bemoans that fact that “there has been no real reckoning by the Oslo architects and their erstwhile ‘peace camp’ successors, both in Israel and abroad, of the worst blunder in Israel’s history, and no rethinking of its disastrously misconceived assumptions – let alone any public admission of guilt or show of remorse over its horrific costs.”

“Instead, they continue to willfully ignore the Palestinian leadership’s total lack of interest in the two-state solution and serial violation of contractual obligations. They continue to whitewash ongoing Palestinian violence, belittle the extent of Israeli suffering, and blame Jerusalem for the stalled process despite the public endorsement of the two-state solution by five successive Israeli prime ministers: Peres, Barak, Sharon, Olmert, and Netanyahu.”

“Not only has the same terror-tainted Palestinian leadership come to be universally viewed as the prospective government of a future Palestinian state, but its goal of having this state established without negotiating with Israel, or even recognizing its right to exist, seems to be gaining ever wider currency.  This soft racism – asking nothing of the Palestinians as if they are too dim or too primitive to be held accountable for their own words and actions – is an assured recipe for disaster.”

“For so long as not a single Palestinian leader evinces genuine acceptance of the two-state solution or acts in a way signifying an unqualified embrace of the idea, there can be no true or lasting reconciliation with Israel. And so long as the territories continue to be governed by the PLO’s and Hamas’s rule of the jungle, no Palestinian civil society, let alone a viable state, can develop.”

“Just as the creation of free and democratic societies in Germany and Japan after World War II necessitated a comprehensive sociopolitical and educational transformation, so it will only be when Palestinian society undergoes a real ‘spring’ that the century-long conflict between Arabs and Jews can at long last be resolved and a semi-functioning Palestinian state come into being. This requires sweeping the corrupt and oppressive PLO and Hamas rulers from power, eliminating endemic violence from political and social life, and teaching the virtues of coexistence with Israeli neighbors.”

“Sadly, the possibility of a Palestinian spring, which seemed to be in the offing in 1993 when the PLO hovered on the verge of extinction and West Bank and Gaza leadership appeared eager to strike a historic deal within the framework of the Washington peace negotiations, has been destroyed for the foreseeable future by the Oslo ‘peace process’.”

A renowned authority on Middle Eastern history and politics, Prof. Karsh has authored over 100 scholarly articles and sixteen books, and is editor of the Middle East Quarterly and Israel Affairs academic journals.

He taught for 25 years at King’s College London, where he founded and directed the Middle East and Mediterranean Studies Program (currently the Institute of Middle Eastern Studies). In 2013 he joined Bar-Ilan University as professor of political science. In November 2016 he will succeed Prof. Efraim Inbar as director of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies.

Prof. Karsh will lecture (in Hebrew) on his conclusions this Wednesday September 7, 2016 at 5 pm (BESA Center, building 203, room 131, Bar-Ilan University).

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Cyberspace, the Final Frontier

Maj. Gen. (res.) Yaakov Amidror | BESA

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Israel’s young cyber industry is proving to be a remarkable success story. Between the National Cyber Bureau and the budding Cyber Defense Agency, Israel can protect its critical infrastructure and continue cementing its position as a global cybersecurity powerhouse.

Israel cybersecurity
The World’s Cyber Capital

Sometimes dramatic advances are made in important fields far from the public eye, overshadowed by senseless media uproars over insignificant things. One of these leaps was made a month ago when Israel’s cybersecurity legislation entered a new phase. After prolonged discussions, the Knesset voted in favor of a temporary provision laying the groundwork for Israel’s civilian cyber defenses.

In 2012, following the recommendations of a committee headed by Maj. Gen. (res.) Isaac Ben-Israel, the National Cyber Bureau (NCB) was established at the Prime Minister’s Office. The NCB has come a long way since then, and its framework of principles allows Israel to better protect its civilian cyber infrastructures.

This was a case in which the quality of the human capital involved in the government’s efforts would have significant impact on the fate of the initiative. A high bar was set for those involved with the NCB. They would have to be top-notch individuals, ready and willing to dedicate their time, energy and skills to a project whose objectives are sometimes ambiguous.

Israel has had several breakthroughs in civilian cyber defense knowhow and organization. People now come here from all over the world to study the field so they can construct similar infrastructures and systems in their own countries.

The captains of the NCB held firm that the pursuit of cyber excellence should be multi-pronged. This meant bolstering the academic aspect of the field, encouraging private sector investment, and building the mechanisms necessary to protect current cyber infrastructure while constantly developing it further. The object was for Israel to capitalize on its achievements in the field by bolstering cybersecurity ties worldwide and boosting both its economy and its defensive capabilities.

The southern city of Beersheba, the “capital of the south” and home to Ben-Gurion University, was selected as the focus of government efforts in cyber defense. The decision to turn Beersheba into a hub of cyber excellence coincided with the decision to relocate the military’s Communications Branch and Intelligence units to the Negev.

The nationally important greater Beersheba area can no longer be considered the “periphery,” and global giants have recognized this. Encouraged by significant tax breaks, they are setting up research and development centers there, either moving them from other locations in Israel or establishing new ones. If this continues, Beersheba will soon be a household name within the international cyber community – an Israeli Silicon Valley, if you will.

Israel’s young cyber industry is a remarkable success story. A few years ago, 200 Israeli startup companies were known in the field, and over 100 additional companies were anonymous. Today there are too many budding cyber startups to count. The more top-notch researchers our academies produce, the more their success will encourage others to follow their dreams, resulting in more capital being earmarked for cyber initiatives.

The scope of ideas in this field is endless, and the world is thirsty for them. In this respect, the biggest challenge Israel faces is building a truly robust cyber industry, rather than serving solely as an incubator for ideas that are to be sold off early in their development. The rush to run towards an “exit” is somewhat ingrained in Israeli culture – a culture that is also responsible for the wealth of ideas.

One of the most important aspects of Israel’s cyber endeavor is the outlining of measures to protect the country’s critical civilian infrastructure. These efforts have been quietly pursued by the Shin Bet security agency for years, but rapid changes in this sphere now require more comprehensive efforts.

In a democracy, it is best to divide responsibility for the protection of critical infrastructure between intelligence services and other organizations, devoid of intelligence interests, that are tasked with the technical aspects of the issue. It was therefore decided that another state body, one removed from the Israeli intelligence community and with a technological outlook on the issue, would assume the mantle.

The newly created Cyber Defense Agency will act independently. This agency will determine the priority level of the defense of different bodies based on a scale of value to the state and monitor those bodies’ compliance with cyber defense measures. In addition, it will compile a database on cyberattacks inside Israel while fostering relations with other countries in order to gain access to information on cyberattacks outside of Israel.

The Cyber Defense Agency will have to cooperate closely with its existing counterparts and government ministries so it can properly prioritize the defense needs of civilian, government and private organizations. This is no easy feat, as it entails government involvement in both public companies and private enterprises.

This is why it has to be made clear that the Cyber Defense Agency’s only interest is the protection of Israel’s cyber infrastructure. It does not seek to interfere in anyone’s business. The fact that lawmakers have been able to hammer out the appropriate legislation to facilitate the Cyber Defense Agency’s operation, even if only in the form of a temporary provision for now, proves that the NCB has been pursuing the right course of action.

While there is still much work to be done on this bill, and the final legislation will probably introduce changes to the letter of the law, the temporary provision is a step in the right direction.

In any event, Israel cannot wait to complete the entire legislative process. The enemy is at the gates, and Israel must come up with countermeasures without delay. The NCB and the budding Cyber Defense Agency deserve all praise for illustrating how Israel is gearing up to counter the threats that loom in cyberspace.

Maj. Gen. (res.) Yaakov Amidror is the Anne and Greg Rosshandler Senior Fellow at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies. He is also a distinguished fellow at JINSA’s Gemunder Center for Defense and Strategy. 

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This is an edited version of an article that appeared in Israel Hayom on August 19, 2016.

BESA Center Perspectives Papers are published through the generosity of the Greg Rosshandler Family

SOURCE: BESA

 

Ten False Assumptions Regarding Israel

Editor’s Note: For thus says the LORD of hosts, “After glory He has sent me against the nations which plunder you, for he who touches you, touches the apple of His eye. Zechariah 2:8

Amb. Alan Baker | Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
Israel is inundated with one-sided international resolutions, declarations, “peace plans,” and advice from governments, international organizations, leaders, pundits, and elements within the Jewish, Christian and Muslim communities.

Most of the above rest on widely-held, false and mistaken assumptions regarding Israel, its leaders, government, policies, and positions held by the vast majority of the Israeli public.

These false and mistaken assumptions need to be addressed:

1. “Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank territories (Judea and Samaria) will provide Israel with security and international acceptance.”Wrong.

  • Prior to Israel’s entry into the territories in the 1967 war, the Arab states made every effort to attack and weaken Israel militarily and diplomatically.
  • The Arab and Iranian attempts today to challenge Jewish history in the Biblical land of Israel and in Jerusalem and the legitimacy of the State of Israel as a Jewish state still resonate in the international community, most recently in UNESCO.
  • The Palestinians are committed to eventually establishing their state over all of mandatory Palestine and they indoctrinate their children this way.
children pretending to kill
Children “killing” an Israeli soldier, Hebron school, April 18, 2016

  • The most recent, absurd initiative by the Palestinian leadership to prosecute Britain for issuing the 1917 Balfour Declaration proves the deeply-rooted Palestinian rejection of the existence of Israel.
  • From Israel’s establishment in 1948 and up to present day, Israel has been, and continues to be the only UN member state denied its UN Charter-guaranteed right of “sovereign equality.”
  • Clearly, withdrawal from the territories now under these conditions would threaten Israel’s security.

2. “Israel’s ‘occupation of the territories’ is illegal and a violation of international law.” Wrong.

  • Israel entered the territories in 1967 after being attacked by all its neighbors, acting in self-defense against an offensive and aggressive war.
  • Occupation of territory during an armed conflict is an accepted and recognized legal state-of-affairs in international law and practice.
  • Israel has committed itself to abide by the international humanitarian and legal norms for the administration of such territories. Israel’s administration of the territories is under strict judicial supervision by Israel’s Supreme Court.
  • The territory was never under Palestinian rule or sovereignty, and when it was under Jordanian control there was no intention by Jordan to turn it into a Palestinian state.
  • The oft-used term in UN resolutions “occupied Palestinian territories” has no legal basis or validity whatsoever. It is not supported by any legal, historical or other binding document, and its use prejudges the outcome of a still pending negotiation.
  • It is an accepted fact that the issue of the future of the territories is in dispute. Israel entertains valid, widely acknowledged and long-held historic and legal claims regarding the territories.
  • Signed agreements between the Palestinian leadership and Israel have established an agreed framework for settling the territorial dispute through negotiation of their permanent status.
  • Pending agreement between Israel and the Palestinians regarding the permanent status of the territory, no external, third-party political determination or resolution can establish that that the territories belong to the Palestinians.

3. “The Palestinian leadership is united and popularly supported.”Wrong.

  • The Palestinian leadership is far from united. There is a total, irreconcilable disconnect between the Palestinian Authority leadership in the West Bank areas of Judea and Samaria, and the Hamas administration in Gaza. The leadership is seen as incorrigibly corrupt. President Mahmoud Abbas is in the 11th year of his four-year term. The Authority lacks internal credibility, accountability, and popular support.
  • This situation undermines any confidence in a viable and united governance and representation of the Palestinians. It neutralizes any capacity to enter into and to implement any international commitment or obligation.

4. “The Palestinian leadership is moderate, willing to negotiate and to live in peace with Israel.” Wrong.

  • The Palestinian leadership, is far from moderate, by any standard. Even without Hamas incitement, it engages in an officially-sanctioned policy of “de-normalization” vis-à-vis The leadership often praises, memorializes, and encourages Palestinian terrorists.
Abbas
Palestinian Chairman Abbas, PA Television, September 16, 2015. (Palwatch)

  • The Palestinian leadership refuses to resume negotiations, and refuses to meet or to enter into any dialogue with Israel’s leaders. It blocks contacts between Palestinians and Israelis at the diplomatic, professional, and people-to-people levels. This policy runs counter to Palestinian commitments in the Oslo Accords to encourage development cooperation and “people-to-people dialogues” at all levels.
  • The Palestinian leadership initiates and openly supports boycotts, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) aimed at the delegitimization of Israel in the international community on international and regional organizations, international tribunals, and the UN and its specialized agencies.
  • While Israel has expressed its willingness for the principle of “two states for two peoples,” the Palestinian leadership consistently refuses to accept the concept of Israel as the democratic nation state of the Jewish People.

5. “Israel’s settlements are illegal and violate international law.” Wrong.

  • These allegations are based on a misreading of the relevant international laws and the reciprocal commitments between Israel and the PLO.
  • The prohibition on the transfer of population into territory occupied during war, set out in the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention, was specifically drafted in order to prevent a recurrence of the mass forcible population transfers that occurred during the Second World War. In the case of Israel’s settlement policy, there are no forced expulsions or coerced settling.
  • This has no bearing on, or relevance to Israel’s settlement policy, which enables the legitimate utilization of non-privately-owned land pending the permanent settlement of the dispute. Use of non-privately-owned public land for settlement or for agriculture is fully consistent with accepted international norms as long as the status of the land is not changed pending its final negotiated outcome.
  • As such, Israel’s settlements cannot be seen to be a violation of international law. Any determination of such is based on a selective, politically biased viewpoint taken outside the accepted international practice.
  • Notwithstanding the divergence of views on the legality of Israel’s settlements, according to the Oslo Accords, this issue is an open negotiating issue between the Palestinians and Israel.
  • Pending attainment of a negotiated settlement, the Oslo Accords place no freeze or restriction on either Israel or the Palestinians to engage in planning, zoning, and construction in the respective areas under its control. To the contrary, planning, zoning and construction are specifically permitted.
  • Accordingly, arbitrary and unilateral predetermination as to the legitimacy of settlements, and any call for their removal prior to an agreement between Israel and the Palestinians are inconsistent with the agreements and constitute prejudgment of a negotiating issue.
  • The claim that the settlements are the source of the conflict holds no logic. The Arab-Israel conflict existed long before the establishment of any settlement, with efforts by the Arab states in 1948 to prevent the establishment of the state of Israel and their ongoing efforts since then to bring about its demise.

6. “Jerusalem belongs to the Arabs. The Jews have no rights or claims to it.” Wrong.

AL AQSA

  • The Palestinian leadership manipulates history and denies Jewish history and heritage in Jewish holy sites in its presentations to international organizations such as UNESCO. They cannot alter the historic fact that Jerusalem has, from time immemorial, been the epicenter of the Jewish religion and heritage. It also plays a major role in the history of Christianity. This is acknowledged in the Quran, the Old and New Testaments and in the writings of historians.
  • Attempts by the Palestinian leadership to generate incitement and violence through false accusations regarding the Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem have no basis and will not alter the fact that the issue of Jerusalem is an agreed negotiating issue between Israel and the Palestinians pursuant to the Oslo Accords.
  • Any assumption or expectation that the Israeli public may be pressured into supporting demands for a unilateral withdrawal from Arab areas of east Jerusalem outside of a negotiated and agreed-upon framework is misplaced and has no basis in fact.

7. “The Israeli leadership and government are inflexible, extreme and oppose peace.” Wrong.

  • The intense hostility towards Israel’s democratically-elected government is misplaced and insulting to the Israeli public.
  • The tendency, especially in Europe and in international organizations, to accept outrageous Palestinian allegations against Israel, often old anti-Semitic canards, is nothing more than submission to cynical manipulation. Such allegations deliberately abuse the bona fides and sense of political correctness prevalent among Western countries and societies.
  • This comes at the expense of genuine objective, historic, legal and factual analysis.
  • Well-meaning and sincere European and American politicians, community-leaders and organizations together with international and regional organizations appear to feel that they are better-able and equipped, more-so than Israel’s elected leaders and the Israeli public, to know what is in the better interests of Israel.
  • The Israeli public, whose voters and their elected officials face the threats of hostility and terror on a daily basis, have deep political awareness and are fully capable of determining the fate of Israel.
  • The assumption that international pressure will bring about the downfall of Israel’s democratically-elected government belies the strength of Israel’s democracy and undermines the West’s democratic principles.

8. “The present status quo between Israel and the Palestinians is unsustainable.” Wrong.

  • The present situation of political stalemate between the Palestinians and Israel is not the result of Israeli defiance, as claimed by some Western leaders, governments, and commentators.
  • Israel has repeatedly expressed its willingness to resume the negotiation process immediately. Israel is committed in the Oslo Accords and has made it very clear that it has no intention of carrying out any unilateral action aimed at changing the status of the territories.
  • The “present status quo” is determined by the fact that the Palestinian leadership consistently refuses to return to a negotiating table. It prefers to indulge the international community with its victimhood and to generate negative initiatives aimed at denying Israel’s character as the Jewish State, and delegitimizing Israel.
  • Palestinian leadership prefers to conduct diplomatic warfare through boycotts against Israel and legal proceedings against Israel’s leaders in international and national courts.
  • The one-sided imposition of politically oriented solutions is not an acceptable mode of changing the status quo.
  • In the absence of a viable diplomatic process today, the current status quo is sustainable.

9. “Islamophobia is parallel to anti-Semitism.” Wrong.

  • The tendency in the international community to link anti-Semitism with Islamophobia as two equal phenomena of racism is totally wrong. This tendency regrettably emanates from exaggerated political correctness on the part of many Western countries and communities.
  • Anti-Semitism has been a tragic phenomenon conducted solely against Jews for thousands of years, causing massacres, pogroms, expulsions, public torture and executions, lynching, forced conversion, destruction of synagogues, enslavement, confiscation of belongings, culminating in the Nazi Holocaust.
  • Anti-Semitic themes are a staple of Palestinian and Arab media, school curricula, cartoons, and sermons.
Arabic We’ve come to slaughter you
Palestinian cartoon after the murder of five rabbis in a Jerusalem synagogue, November 2014.

 

  • The aim of anti-Semitism has been to exterminate and bring about the total genocide of the Jewish People as a race.
  • Anti-Semitism cannot be compared or linked to Islamophobia, which emanates from the fear of Islam as a result of fanatical Islamic movements and the terror generated by them. It bears no relation whatsoever to any philosophy advocating genocide of Muslims.
  • In this context, de-legitimization of Israel is seen by most Western states, as a new version of anti-Semitism.

10. “Israel is a racist state that violates human rights and practices apartheid.” Wrong

  • This claim is repeated by Palestinian leaders and left-wing propagandists throughout the world. It was initially advocated by Yasser Arafat and adopted by NGO groups at discredited 2001 UN Conference on Racism at Durban.
  • It is indicative of an evident lack of understanding of the racist nature of the phenomenon of “apartheid” and an even further and deeper misunderstanding of the character of Israel as an open, pluralistic and democratic society.

Israel Miss Universe

Israel Miss Universe pageant 2013 and the winner, second from the left, Yityish Aynaw, an Ethiopian Israeli (African Sun Times)

  • The comparison of Israel to South Africa under white supremacist rule has been utterly rejected by those with intimate understanding of the old Apartheid system, especially South Africans. The aim of such propaganda, in addition to delegitimizing the very basis of existence of the State of Israel, is to cynically manipulate the international community and to encourage imposition of an international sanctions regime against Israel modeled on the actions against the former apartheid regime in South Africa.
  • Israel is a multi-racial and multi-colored society, and the Israeli Arab population actively participates in the political process. Israeli Arabs enjoy complete equality and freedom of expression. They elect their own Knesset members and Arab judges serve in the Supreme Court. Israeli Arabs serve as heads of hospital departments, university professors, diplomats, and senior police and army officers.
  • Each religious community has its own religious court system, applying Sharia, Canon, and Jewish law respectively.
  • Unlike those Arab and other states in which one religion is declared the state religion, or Western countries where Christianity is the predominant religion, or Moslem countries like Iran and Saudi Arabia where certain areas, towns, and roads are restricted to “Moslems only,” and where women are treated as second-class citizens and gay people as criminals, Israeli law regards Judaism, Islam, and Christianity as official religions and constitutionally ensures complete freedom and equality to all.
  • Incitement to or practice of racism in Israel is a criminal offence, as is any discrimination on the basis of race, religion, sex or gender. Israeli schools, universities, and hospitals make no distinction between Jews and Arabs.

Whether in day-to-day political and social discourse, or whether in the international and local media, the above canards appear repeatedly and consistently.

Communities, especially Jewish communities throughout the world, Christian congregations, students and academic staff, parliamentarians, publicists, as well as all well-meaning people in general, are being cynically targeted and manipulated in order to generate artificial narratives through repetition of lies and through distortion and perversion of truth.

It is to be hoped that this manipulation will be seen in its true light and will be rejected.

SOURCE:  JERUSALEM CENTER FOR PUBLIC AFFAIRS

Amb. Alan Baker is Director of the Institute for Contemporary Affairs at the Jerusalem Center and the head of the Global Law Forum. He participated in the negotiation and drafting of the Oslo Accords with the Palestinians, as well as agreements and peace treaties with Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon. He served as legal adviser and deputy director-general of Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and as Israel’s ambassador to Canada.

Is Israel about to Sign a Terrible Deal?

Shoshana Bryen | Gatestone Institute

  • 100% of the money will be spent in the U.S., while Israel is presently able to spend 25% in Israel. This is a subsidy for U.S. defense industries and constrains Israel’s defense choices by forcing the IDF to exclude weapons from Europe and elsewhere.
  • Without the ability to spend some money in Israel, it will be harder for smaller defense and high-tech industries to keep up.
  • Israel will be prohibited from asking Congress for additional funds for ten years, effectively removing a bipartisan center of support for Israel’s security from the equation and reducing Israel’s flexibility in addressing rapidly emerging threats.
  • This could be particularly problematic: an administration that opposes missile defense in principle — as does the Obama administration — could effectively stifle Israel, which protects its people with a layered missile defense system.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is an agreement between two parties — in this case, the governments of Israel and the United States. It is less than a treaty, more than a handshake. The first MOU was signed in 1981, recognizing “the common bonds of friendship between the United States and Israel and builds on the mutual security relationship that exists between the two nations.” The current MOU, signed in 2007, represented a 10-year commitment. The Obama Administration and the government of Israel have been negotiating a new 10-year agreement that will come into effect in 2017.

It is hard to get the nuance right in a security arrangement between a superpower and a small country, even if the small country is a first-world democracy in terms of education, income, technology, and political structure. It is harder when large sums of money are involved, and harder still when the small country is, in military terms, a “security producer,” one that provides more security to a region than it requires in assistance, but is still uniquely threatened in the world.

Obama and Netanyahu 2011
It is hard to get the nuance right in a security arrangement between a superpower and a small country, even if the small country is a first-world democracy in terms of education, income, technology, and political structure. Above, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets President Barack Obama at the White House, May 20, 2011. (Image source: Israel PM office)

The Obama Administration is making it harder, perhaps because one of the President’s goals has been to remove the United States from its role as security guarantor not only for Israel, but also for the region, and possibly, it seems, for the rest of the world, such as the South China Sea, Crimea and the Balkans.

The administration proposes somewhat more money for Israel — from $3.1 billion to close to $4 billion — but with important caveats:

1) 100% of the money will be spent in the U.S., while Israel is presently able to spend 25% in Israel.

This is a subsidy for U.S. defense industries and constrains Israel’s defense choices by forcing the IDF to exclude weapons from Europe and elsewhere. While some think of Israel as an expense to the U.S., the fact is that Israeli R&D innovations — shared with the U.S. by agreement — have helped mitigate the decline in the U.S. missile defense budget in an era of growing threats. Without the ability to spend some money in Israel, it will be harder for smaller defense and high-tech industries to keep up.

2) The total figure will include money for missile defense, which in this administration has been an add-on from Congress. That makes the increase substantially less than it appears to be.

This could be particularly problematic: an administration that opposes missile defense in principle — as does the Obama administration — could effectively stifle Israel, which protects its people with a layered missile defense system. As Iran continues to violate UN prohibitions on ballistic missile testing, and Hamas and Hezbollah increase their arsenals, the consequences could be devastating.

3) Israel will be prohibited from asking Congress for additional funds, effectively removing a bipartisan center of support for Israel’s security from the equation and reducing Israel’s flexibility in addressing rapidly emerging threats. This year, Congress wrote in $42.7 million for anti-tunnel cooperation — something that emerged as essential only after the 2014 Gaza war.

In deference to the outsized threats and acknowledging Israel’s status as an American ally, it has been U.S. policy for decades and law since 2008 that “Israel will be made capable of defending itself against and defeating any likely combination of conventionally armed adversaries.” This is known as Israel’s Qualitative Military Edge (QME).

It was simple once — Arab armies were Soviet equipped and trained. But the world has changed.

On the plus side, Jordan joined Egypt in making peace with Israel, and the Soviet Union disappeared. On other hand, the U.S. has been selling arms and equipment to Arab states that maintain a state of war with Israel. Israel still receives more cutting edge technology, but at some point, the quantity of oil-financed Arab purchases can tip the quality scales. Saudi Arabia spent $9.3 billion on U.S. weapons last year.

To be fair, Israel understands Saudi purchases to address the war in Yemen and the larger conflict with Iran, not aimed against Israel. Israeli-Saudi relations have thawed at least temporarily, but other threats, some conventional, some not, have increased.

ISIS, Hamas and Hezbollah are what former IDF Chief of Intelligence Amos Yadlin calls “substate actors” — terrorist organizations that have attributes of statehood, such as territory, populations, etc. Syria remains in a state of war with Israel and as the civil war continues, Iran and Hezbollah have forces and weapons close to the Golan Heights. Iran is only a decade away, if that, from the freedom to openly pursue its nuclear capability as the JCPOA ends.

It was the release of hundreds of millions of dollars by the U.S. to the Islamic Republic, destined to improve and enhance Iranian military capabilities, which added urgency to Israel’s request for missile defense and other capabilities.

The U.S., then, is on both sides of Israel’s security conundrum.

On one hand, U.S.-Israel security cooperation is embodied in QME joint R&D on missile technology, joint training and exercises (most recently a joint missile defense exercise in Israel), and Israel’s new diplomatic mission to NATO Headquarters.

But on the other hand, having to spend all the money on U.S. procurement, U.S. arms sales to countries still in a state of war with Israel, the transfer of hundreds of millions of dollars to Iran and removing Congress from its pivotal role as a security partner for Israel are all positions that clearly express administration weariness and irritation with Israel.

Israel, of course, does not have to sign. There is a new administration coming, and no doubt Israel can manage evolving bilateral relations with the U.S. under either party. There is, however, something to be said for the reassurance of a 10-year American commitment, even if the current terms are not ideal.

On balance, Israel is a strong, accomplished, and increasingly capable country with both military and civilian assets sought by countries around the world. It finds itself in a vastly improved international situation even as its neighborhood declines. It would have been in the larger interest of the United States to enhance those capabilities rather than trying to constrain them.

Shoshana Bryen is Senior Director of the Jewish Policy Center.

Source: GATESTONE