Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Israel Matzav: Russia expels Israel's military attache in Moscow

Russia expels Israel's military attache in Moscow

Israel's military attache in Moscow, Vadim Leiderman, has been expelled from the country for spying. Israel Radio reports that Leiderman was questioned upon his return to Israel, and the IDF is saying with 100% certainty that he was not a spy.

Leiderman, the Defense Ministry said in a statement, was arrested by surprise last week by Russian security authorities and questioned at length on suspicions that he was spying on Russia on behalf of Israel. The arrest came as a delegation of the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee visited Moscow under the leadership of the committee chairman and former defense minister Shaul Mofaz.

Israeli-Russian military ties have had their ups and downs in recent years. Israel openly criticized Russia earlier this year for supplying Syria with advanced Yakhont anti-ship cruise missiles which the IDF fears will be transferred to Hezbollah in Lebanon.

On the other hand, the Defense Ministry permitted Israel Aerospace Industries last year to sell a production line of some of its mid-level unmanned aerial vehicles to a Russian company which is manufacturing the drones independently in Russia.

According to the IDF and Defense Ministry statement, Leiderman’s term as military attaché to Moscow was supposed to end in two months. The IDF said that upon his return from Moscow, Leiderman was questioned by security authorities which ruled out the allegations that the attaché was operating as a spy in Russia.

So why would Russia doe something like this? Perhaps this provides a clue.

Israel Matzav: Russia expels Israel's military attache in Moscow

Israel Matzav: Liberal Jews embrace reincarnation: The 'peace process' never dies

Liberal Jews embrace reincarnation: The 'peace process' never dies

I received this by email:

As long as the Arabs feel that there is the least hope of getting rid of us, they will refuse to give up this hope in return for either kind words or for bread and butter, because they are not a rabble, but a living people. And when a living people yields in matters of such a vital character it is only when there is no longer any hope of getting rid of us, because they can make no breach in the iron wall.”

---Vladimir Jabotinsky, The Iron Wall, 1923

There is an interesting pattern (call it a leitmotif) that typically runs through the writing of Jewish liberals like Jeffrey Goldberg, who today provides us with a prime specimen right here.

Be it the murder of infants in their bed, or Abbas’s fabrication of history in the New York Times on Tuesday, every Arab assault on Israel is just another reason both sides need to try harder to reach an “agreement.” Goldberg adheres closely to this liberal protocol. He begins on a promising note by devoting about the first 65% of his essay gently exposing the “contradictions” in Abbas’s vicious lie. But that formality is just a tease in the run-up to the standard-issue liberal sales pitch, which in Goldberg’s iteration goes something like this:

“There is no particular reason to hope for a successful peace process when the leader of the Palestinians is selling a false history of Israel's independence... Mahmoud Abbas cannot bring himself to note that the Jews accepted the partition plan, while the Arabs rejected it, and went to war to extinguish the new Jewish state in the cradle, and then lost their offensive war.”


“Mahmoud Abbas.... could be president of an independent state of Palestine on the West Bank and Gaza with a capital in Jerusalem. If only he -- and, of course, Prime Minister Netanyahu -- could find a way to avoid rehearsing old grievances and instead work toward a future in which both parties don't get all that they want, but get enough to live.” (Sigh. If only.)

What cloying condescension! - especially to the proud Muslim Arab standing atop 1300 years of real history that commands him to hate and subjugate the Jews.

Sadly, this is the canned sound effect an obsessed (but sincere) Jewish peace processor produces in order to stay on the liberal kibbutz and still sound like a sane man. In the final analysis, though, the only thing separating the liberal Jeffrey Goldberg from the extremist Tony Kushner is the theatrics they employ before the curtain comes down on Israel in the last act.

Maybe that’s why the “peace process” is a perennial crowd pleaser. It’s the triumph of sweet fantasy over bitter experience.

Dan Friedman

Indeed. The picture at the top is Zev (Vladimir) Jabotinsky.

Israel Matzav: Liberal Jews embrace reincarnation: The 'peace process' never dies

Israel Matzav: Democracy, Egyptian style

Democracy, Egyptian style

The New York Times' Lede blog reports on protests outside the Israeli embassy in Cairo on Sunday in which 136 people were arrested. The Times comes up with this description of the Egyptian justice system:

Since it took control of Egypt from Mr. Mubarak in February, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces has demonstrated a willingness to use military courts to administer rough justice to civilians arrested for speaking their minds at protests or online.

In March, a military court sentenced Amr Abdullah El-Behairy to five years in jail for scuffling with a soldier during a protest, after a three-minute trial at which no defense lawyers were present. (Witnesses said that the protester was the one attacked, not the officer.)

Last month another protester, Maikel Nabil, was convicted of “insulting the Armed Forces” on his blog and sentenced to three years in jail.

This video report from Al-Masry Al-Youm on the clashes on Sunday shows that some protesters were badly wounded by the Egyptian security forces defending Israel’s embassy (be warned, the report contains some graphic images):

Let's go to the videotape.

The Times then goes on to post a comment from another Egyptian blogger wondering why the military reacted so vehemently to what happened at the Israeli embassy and not to the burning of two Coptic churches a few days earlier.

A few comments about this. First, perhaps the reason why the military reacted so strongly was that they saw what happened when they didn't react strongly enough to the destruction of the churches in Imbaba.

Second, there's an undertone in the Times article that's blaming Israel for what happened. We don't decide for the Egyptian military or police how they are going to react to demonstrations - violent or otherwise - in their territory. One would expect that an Israeli embassy would receive much (or as little) protection as any other embassy. I am sure that the Israeli government has security officials inside, but the first line of defense in this type of case is the local law enforcement agencies. They decide how they will react.

Third, no democracy gives an unfettered right to demonstrate violently nor to demonstrate in every place at any time. You can't. I agree that the locals should be free to express their anger at us, but that doesn't include the right to harm persons or property in the embassy.

Fourth, treaties are contracts between governments and cannot be lightly abrogated because a different government seizes power. If the Egyptians want to abrogate the treaty, most Israelis will be deeply disappointed, but of course, if they do abrogate the treaty we will expect Egypt to abrogate it completely and to return to Israel all that it received in exchange for the treaty, including every last grain of sand in Sinai. You can't have it both ways.

Israel Matzav: Democracy, Egyptian style

Love of the Land: Rubin: The West’s Foreign Policy Theme—Like Me Before You Kill Me—Applied to Israel

Rubin: The West’s Foreign Policy Theme—Like Me Before You Kill Me—Applied to Israel

Barry Rubin
The Rubin Report
18 May '11

Recently, it was revealed that President Barack Obama had consulted Tom Friedman in formulating his Middle East policy. Here’s an example of where disastrous policy comes from.

Friedman writes:

“Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu of Israel is always wondering why his nation is losing support and what the world expects of a tiny country surrounded by implacable foes. I can’t speak for the world, but I can speak for myself. I have no idea whether Israel has a Palestinian or Syrian partner for a secure peace that Israel can live with. But I know this: With a more democratic and populist Arab world in Israel’s future, and with Israel facing the prospect of having a minority of Jews permanently ruling over a majority of Arabs — between Israel and the West Bank, which could lead to Israel being equated with apartheid South Africa all over the world — Israel needs to use every ounce of its creativity to explore ways to securely cede the West Bank to a Palestinian state.”

By the way, the picture of “a minority of Jews permanently ruling over a majority of Arabs” has not been accurate since 1994, that’s 17 years ago. The Palestinian Authority rules over the West Bank Arabs. Hamas, which has now merged with the Palestinian Authority, rules in the Gaza Strip. The only non-citizen Arabs that “Jews” are ruling over are those in east Jerusalem, according to an agreement that Israel made with the PLO.

So a big part of Israel's difficulty is that people like Friedman are perpetuating anti-Israel lies instead of attacking them.

In other words, if your enemies lie about you does that mean that you must take huge risks? There’s a clever bumper sticker that says: Never apologize. Your enemies don’t care and your friends don’t need it.

But leaving all of that aside, let’s start with Friedman’s opening sentence. I certainly don’t speak for Netanyahu and didn’t vote for him, but I really doubt he’s wondering why these things are happening. He knows the reasons, as do most Israelis, even those critical of his policy:

The greater international weight of the Arab world; oil money; well-intentioned but ill-placed sympathy for an apparent underdog; aspects of Islam rejecting ever accepting a Jewish state; Arab nationalist rejection of a Jewish state; a clever anti-Israel propaganda campaign; Western leftist sympathy for its enemies; the rejection of Zionism by some Jews; the honest belief that if you resolve the Israel-Palestinian conflict by Israeli concessions the whole world will be stable and terrorism will disappear; antisemitism; and more.

There’s no mystery here.

But there is a problem. If you equate that hostility to one cause and one cause only: Israel is “permanently ruling” over a majority of Arabs. That’s it. Solve that problem and everything else will fall into place.

Yet what if you know that giving up the West Bank will not solve every problem—a viewpoint almost never aired in the Western mass media and universities nowadays? Then Friedman’s concept and that of most Western policies immediately collapses.

Israel has conducted extensive experiments with this concept, experiments that have cost about the same number of Israeli lives as September 11 took American lives. Since the population of the United States is approximately 40 times that of Israel you can calculate the impact of those costs.

After all, Israel already acted “to securely cede” (the split infinitive is Friedman’s) the Sinai to Egypt, with the result that this peace treaty is about to be abrogated. It tried to “securely cede” the Gaza Strip to the Palestinian Authority, getting rockets and mortars and cross-border attacks in return. It also sought “to securely cede” southern Lebanon and got rockets and cross-border attacks. To see what would happen it acted “to securely cede” much of the West Bank to the Palestinian Authority and then received in return incitement to violence, terrorist attacks, and intransigence.

Might there be a pattern here?

Yes, it would be better to have a stable, two-state solution that ended the conflict and made Israel’s neighbors friendly. But here’s where the gap is between Israel and much of the Western political elites today:

We tried it and it didn’t work.

That is not a “right-wing” statement. It is an Israeli consensus statement. And even if Israel tries and tries again, this doesn’t mean that people don’t know that.

Now, there are people in the Middle East—millions of people—who openly make my point every day. These include the governments of Iran, Syria, Turkey, and the Gaza Strip, as well as probably Egypt’s next government and those running Lebanon. Islamists openly proclaim that no matter how much territory Israel cedes they won’t be satisfied until it has ceded everything and gone out of existence altogether.

What Friedman calls “a more democratic and populist Arab world” means a more radical and Islamist Arab world. In fact, the radicals will remain radicals (Syria, Iran) while the formerly moderate become more extremist (Egypt). Why, then, should Israel make dangerous concessions when these will be taken advantage of to attack it more effectively? Why give things to people who want to kill you no matter what you do?

But there’s one point that is so overwhelming in Friedman’s piece, so symptomatic of everything wrong with the Western vision of Israel, the Middle East, and even the entire world (and especially with the Obama Administration’s policy), that it should resound with everyone who reads that article:

Friedman is telling us that a good public relations’ image is more important than material security. Israel will survive an infinite number of nasty articles or sneering professors without great difficulty. It would not survive concessions that make Israel weak and vulnerable, more than ever at a time when—let’s face it—American and European guarantees are worthless.

Golda Meir already dealt with Friedman’s idea decades ago: Better a bad press than a good epitaph.

That’s a principle which North America and European countries should think about adopting as their motto.

Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center, editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal, and a featured columnist at PajamasMedia His latest books are The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition), The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley), and The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan). The website of the GLORIA Center is His PajamaMedia columns are mirrored and other articles available at

If you enjoy "Love of the Land", please be a subscriber. Just put your email address in the "Subscribe" box on the upper right-hand corner of the page.

Love of the Land: Rubin: The West’s Foreign Policy Theme—Like Me Before You Kill Me—Applied to Israel

Israel Matzav: Guardian Israel reporter engages in illegal wiretapping?

Guardian Israel reporter engages in illegal wiretapping?

Al-Guardian's Harriet Sherwood may have engaged in illegal wiretapping.

Per Pollard’s blog today

UPDATE: Ms Sherwood left me a voicemail after seeingmy initial post, complaining that she did not scream. And you know what, listening to the conversation, it’s a fair point and I’m happy to change that. It felt like screaming to me as her voice was very loud on my phone. I’ve edited the post to take that out. I’ve also changed the post so that it’s made up of verbatim quotes, now that I have been able to transcribe the conversation.

How did I listen to it? Because she recorded it. She casually dropped into the voicemail the news that she had an MP3 of it.

At no point did she tell me that she was recording it. So she has broken the law. What a fantastic piece of Guardian hypocrisy, to (rightly) lead the charge against phone tapping but then to break the law so casually in recording our conversation.

Sherwood is simply out of control. Not only has she demonstrated that she sympathizes with the most ardent, vile Israel haters – destroying any semblance of claim to journalistic objectivity – but she may have violated UK law recording of the call with Pollard without his permission.

In her blog today Sherwood again defended Arrigoni against charges that he was anti-Semitic. How does she know this? Well, for one, she sought the sage advice of Jeff Halper, ICAHD director, and proponent of a one-state solution who employs the Nazi analogy in characterizing Israel’s behavior.

However, in her rigorous research into the question of Arrigoni’s feelings towards Jews, she apparently didn’t bother to look at his Facebook page.

I guess that shouldn't surprise anyone either.

Read the whole thing.

Previous story here.

Israel Matzav: Guardian Israel reporter engages in illegal wiretapping?

Israel Matzav: Syrians practicing defenestration

Syrians practicing defenestration

And you thought only the 'good terrorists' from Fatah practiced defenestration. It turns out Bashar al-Assad's Syria does it too. Last week, they threw a woman(!) out an 8th floor window.

Yesterday, my uncle's wife was found outside of her apartment, thrown out of the kitchen window, her body shattered eight stories below. My uncle has always been a thorn in the Syrian government's side - he is a past leader of the Democratic Party there, and used to host Western dignitaries such as U.S. Senator Paul Simon of Illinois when they visited.

His two best friends - strong advocates of democratic reform in Syria - were "put in a Toyota" last week. This is code for "they were hauled off by the government and will never be seen again." It is very strongly suspected that the government had come for him, didn't find him, found resistance from his wife, and then killed her and threw her body out of the window.

Afraid of government retaliation, my uncle did not announce the death - he took her body to Mu'athamia (the small town in which he grew up) and buried her next to his mother, and didn't have a funeral. In fact, when he found her body, he was returning from another funeral, and funerals have become risky business in Syria, because Syrian snipers have been firing directly on funeral-goers. He found her lying in the street, thrown out of the 8th story window.

Note that the writer is anonymous (although apparently living in the US) and does not even mention the name of the uncle or aunt. Aren't you glad you don't live in the Arab world?

For those whose vocabulary I have enriched, defenestration is discussed here and at my first link above.

Israel Matzav: Syrians practicing defenestration

Israel Matzav: Turkey fears losing its best friend

Turkey fears losing its best friend

Turkey has stepped on the toes of its best friend, Bashar al-Assad. And now, it is trying to figure out what it will do if Bashar should fall.

But what annoyed the Syrians was Erdogan's remarks in Turkey against the use of force and the fear of "a new Halabja and Hama," referring to the use of chemical weapons by Iraq against the Kurds, and the massacre of 10,000 residents of Hama in 1982 by Assad's father, Hafez Assad.

The Syrian newspaper Al-Wattan, which is owned by Rami Makhlouf, Bashar Assad's cousin and the richest man in the country, launched an unprecedented attack against the Turkish declarations.

"Since the start of the recent events in Syria, the official Turkish echelon has demonstrated haste and improvisation," the paper wrote. "It seems that the preaching in favor of reforms that is being manifested vociferously by Erdogan on every possible stage in Europe, and that of the new Ottoman engineer, the foreign minister Davutoglo, do not provide any special means of bringing about solutions to the invented difficulties so as to deal openly and clearly with these events."

Makhlouf's paper didn't stop there. "If the political and economic prosperity that Turkey enjoys must be attributed to its secular history and to the strategic corrections made by Davutoglo, then the way it is being conducted in the face of the Syrian question is likely to cause it to take a step back," it continued.

Erdogan, who attributes Turkey's economic prosperity to himself - and justly so - was surely not happy to read the translation of these remarks, especially since the volume of Turkish trade with Syria stands at some $2 billion.

Last week a representative of the Muslim Brotherhood from Syria, Mohammed Riad Shafeka, visited Istanbul and told the Turkish media that his movement was indeed the moving force behind the protests in Syria. By doing so, he actually played straight into the hands of Assad's regime, which has claimed all along that the disturbances were being caused by Islamic extremists and separatists.

Syria does not understand why Ankara allowed Shafeka to go to Istanbul from his exile in Yemen and why its media were allowed to interview him. And indeed Erdogan hastened to declare through his foreign ministry spokesman, that "Turkey will not allow any initiative on the part of the Muslim Brotherhood to harm the execution of reforms in Syria."

According to reports from Turkey, Syria has sent information to the head of Turkish Intelligence, Hakan Fidan, showing that the Muslim Brotherhood was involved in shooting at Syrian security forces during the protests, so as to counter the declarations by Erdogan that "there are no armed gangs in Syria," contrary to what the Syrian regime claimed.

Erdogan explained that what is happening in Syria cannot merely be considered an internal Syrian affair, or merely a matter for Turkish foreign policy.

Turkey is concerned both by the possibility that the Assad regime will fall and by the fact that it does not see who could possibly replace it. Meanwhile it seems that Erdogan and his regime are mainly worried that the all-embracing foreign policy started by his government could crash and have an effect on the results of the elections to be held on June 12.

This policy, which has the slogan "Zero problems with all neighbors," is now coming up against the unexpected reality in which Turkey, despite all its efforts, finds itself floating on stormy waters, without being able to influence the course of events, and being seen as a supporter of the Assad dictatorship.

One day the Turks might even come to regret befriending Iran and shunning Israel. One day. But not now.

Israel Matzav: Turkey fears losing its best friend

Israel Matzav: Great news: Iran says Bushehr is operational

Great news: Iran says Bushehr is operational

While the world plods along doing less than nothing, Iran continues its inexorable march toward nuclear weapons. On Wednesday, Iranian foreign minister Ali Akbar Salehi told Iran's Press TV that the Bushehr nuclear plant is operational.

"As we have previously announced, Bushehr power plant has reached the criticality stage, meaning it has been successfully launched," Salehi reportedly said.

Criticality is the stage in a nuclear reaction when the fissile material is self-sustaining.

"This stage lasts for two months. We hope the plant will gain some 40 percent of its power within the next one or two months," Salehi added.

The Iranian foreign minister also said that the Bushehr plant is one of the safest in the world.

Last week, a senior Russian diplomat said that the Bushehr, a Russian-built plant, will be fully operational within weeks.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov spoke two days after the company that built the plant, a politically charged project that faced repeated delays, said the reactor had begun operating at a low level for tests before bringing it on line.

Meanwhile, Barack Obama continues to try to get Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Ayatollah Ali Khameni to take his phone calls.

What could go wrong?

Israel Matzav: Great news: Iran says Bushehr is operational

Israel Matzav: And again: Friedman slams Bibi for not doing enough for 'peace'

And again: Friedman slams Bibi for not doing enough for 'peace'

I'd love to get the guys at Cox and Forkum to reissue this cartoon with Tom Friedman in the front row rather than Jimmy Carter. Although Tom isn't an elder yet, it is he, more often than Carter, who is constantly urging us to give the Jew-hating murderers another chance.

In Middle East terms, the “unmanageable” we have to avoid is another war between Israel and any of its neighbors. The “unavoidable” we have to manage is dealing with what is certain to be a much more unstable Arab world, sitting atop the world’s largest oil reserves. The strategy we need is a serious peace policy combined with a serious energy policy.

Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu of Israel is always wondering why his nation is losing support and what the world expects of a tiny country surrounded by implacable foes. I can’t speak for the world, but I can speak for myself. I have no idea whether Israel has a Palestinian or Syrian partner for a secure peace that Israel can live with. But I know this: With a more democratic and populist Arab world in Israel’s future, and with Israel facing the prospect of having a minority of Jews permanently ruling over a majority of Arabs — between Israel and the West Bank, which could lead to Israel being equated with apartheid South Africa all over the world — Israel needs to use every ounce of its creativity to explore ways to securely cede the West Bank to a Palestinian state.

I repeat: It may not be possible. But Netanyahu has not spent his time in office using Israel’s creativity to find ways to do such a deal. He has spent his time trying to avoid such a deal — and everyone knows it. No one is fooled.


The only way for Netanyahu to be taken seriously again is if he risks some political capital and actually surprises people. Bibi keeps hinting that he is ready for painful territorial compromises involving settlements. Fine, put a map on the table. Let’s see what you’re talking about. Or how about removing the illegal West Bank settlements built by renegade settler groups against the will of Israel’s government. Either move would force Israel’s adversaries to take Bibi seriously and would pressure Palestinians to be equally serious.

Israel needs to negotiate with a 'Palestinian partner' who is interested in peace. For the last three years, there has not been one. Friedman's icon, Abu Mazen has refused to even come to the table. Instead, he has gone to a different table, and signed a reconciliation with the murderous Hamas terror organization.

There's no point to Netanyahu showing maps or anything else to anyone who is not at the negotiating table. For what purpose? So that we can make more concessions in a fevered negotiation with ourselves?

More than thirty years ago, I got my nose broken trying to save someone else from being mugged. It was set in an emergency room, slipped out of place the first night, and therefore did not heal properly. A month later, I went to see the chief of plastic surgery at a major hospital.

He promised that my slightly crooked nose would not ruin my marriage prospects (it didn't). He told us a story of a woman who goes to meet a man for a marriage proposal. The man insists that he cannot marry her without first seeing all that she has to offer. She removes item by item of clothing, but still, he claims that she cannot make up her mind. Finally, when she is completely naked in front of him, he says that her nose is too long.

There is no reason for Israel to endure the kind of humiliation and rejection that woman endured. If the 'Palestinians' wish to talk, they should come to the table and talk without preconditions that ask Israel to expose itself, as Prime Minister Netanyahu has been urging since he took office in March 2009. But if they don't wish to talk, as has been the case until now, the likes of Tom Friedman could be a lot more helpful if for a change they would put pressure on the 'Palestinians' rather than on Israel.

Israel Matzav: And again: Friedman slams Bibi for not doing enough for 'peace'

Israel Matzav: The Obama administration chooses its coverage

The Obama administration chooses its coverage

The Obama administration is preventing the Boston Herald, the city's right-leaning major daily, from covering President Obama's Boston fundraiser on Wednesday.

The White House Press Office has refused to give the Boston Herald full access to President Obama’s Boston fund-raiser today, in e-mails objecting to the newspaper’s front page placement of a Mitt Romney op-ed, saying pool reporters are chosen based on whether they cover the news “fairly.”

“I tend to consider the degree to which papers have demonstrated to covering the White House regularly and fairly in determining local pool reporters,” White House spokesman Matt Lehrich wrote in response to a Herald request for full access to the presidential visit.

“My point about the op-ed was not that you ran it but that it was the full front page, which excluded any coverage of the visit of a sitting US President to Boston. I think that raises a fair question about whether the paper is unbiased in its coverage of the President’s visits,” Lehrich wrote.

That incident happened in March.

Glenn Reynolds, a University of Tennessee law professor who has followed White House-press relations at right-leaning, said a pattern appears to be developing.

“It’s all about control,” Reynolds said. “At some point this will blow back on them. Most presidents behave in a more refined fashion. Experience has shown that acting presidential is good politics and to their advantage.”

I wonder who will be in the press pool to cover Prime Minister Netanyahu's meeting with President Obama on Friday.

Thank God for the internet and bloggers.

Israel Matzav: The Obama administration chooses its coverage

Israel Matzav: Abu Mazen's partners discuss their plans for the Jews

Abu Mazen's partners discuss their plans for the Jews

Here's 'Palestinian parliament' MP Yunis al Astal (Hamas) telling Hamas' al-Aqsa television why the 'divine plan' has gathered the Jews in Israel. This is not the first time we've seen this claim from the 'Palestinians' and their allies, but this is the first time we have seen it from a 'Palestinian' public figure since Abu Bluff and Khaled Meshaal kissed and made up in Egypt a couple of weeks ago.

Let's go to the videotape.

Just think: With the 'Palestinian' unity government in place, if you're an Israeli, American or European taxpayer, your taxes are making this happen - by paying for Hamas' television statement to broadcast statements by people like al-Astal.

What could go wrong?

Israel Matzav: Abu Mazen's partners discuss their plans for the Jews

Israel Matzav: Fisking Abu Bluff's New York Times op-ed

Fisking Abu Bluff's New York Times op-ed

One of the things I did not do on Tuesday was to fisk Abu Mazen's New York Times op-ed. (I did rewrite it to explain what he really wanted to say - you can find that here). Had I chosen to fisk it, here are some of the points I might have made that may not have come through in my rewrite.

1. Abu Mazen tries to create the false impression that the Palestinian refugee issue caused the Arab war against Israel in 1948. The Palestinian refugees were the result, not the cause, of that war.

2. Israel absorbed over 600,000 Jewish refugees who were thrown out of Arab countries in the immediate aftermath of the 1948 war. Another roughly 300,000 Jewish refugees were absorbed in other countries, including the United States, Canada and France.

In contrast, despite the Arab world’s vast territory and wealth, 600,000 Palestinian refugees have never been absorbed by the Arab countries to which they fled. Instead, the refugees and their descendants have been held hostage by the countries in which they live in an apartheid situation, and used by the Palestinian leadership for more than 60 years as pawns against Israel.

3. Abu Bluff’s strategy for the past two years has been to avoid a negotiated settlement with Israel. That’s why he avoided Netanyahu’s continued call for negotiations. That’s why he placed a settlement freeze as a precondition for negotiations, something he and his predecessor never did before in the 18 years of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. That’s why he walked away from peace talks last September. And that’s why he had no qualms about forging a pact with Hamas, which refuses to recognize the existence of Israel and refuses to abandon terrorism (Hamas has fired thousands of rockets at Israel’s cities, and last month, a Hamas terrorist fired an anti-tank rocket at a school bus). Two weeks ago, the leader of Hamas even condemned the United States for killing Osama bin Laden, whom Hamas praised for being a Holy Warrior. For that matter, Fatah's 'military wing' (the 'al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades') agreed with Hamas.

4. Based on this article, one can only conclude that Abbas has abandoned even the pretense of embracing the path of peace and instead chosen a strategy to establish a Palestinian state and use the improved position of statehood to wage a diplomatic and legal war against Israel.

It sounds like the 'peace process' has reached the end of the line.

Israel Matzav: Fisking Abu Bluff's New York Times op-ed

Israel Matzav: Bibi to expel 130,000 Jews from home?

Bibi to expel 130,000 Jews from home?

National Union party leader Yaakov (Ketzaleh) Katz has accused Prime Minister Netanyahu of preparing the expulsion of 130,000 Jews from their homes in Judea and Samaria.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s seeming agreement to surrender Jewish communities outside of “settlement blocs” sets the stage for the largest expulsion of Jews since the Spanish Inquisition in 1492, National Union chairman and Knesset Member Yaakov (Ketzaleh) Katz charged Tuesday.

The Prime Minister did not spell out which “settlement blocs” he meant during his Herzl Day speech in the Knesset Monday night.

“Now the truth has become clear,” said MK Katz. “This is the first time that the Prime Minister has stood up and declared, contrary to the platform of his Likud party, that he is prepared to expel 130,000 Jews, residents of the hills of Judea and Samaria, in effect advancing Kadima party policies.

“There has been no such wholesale expulsion since the Spanish Inquisition by the worst Jew-haters of Europe." He urged MKs and ministers of the Likud to join the National Union “to be true to the platform on which they were elected.”

Prime Minister Netanyahu may not have spelled out which Jews he intends to expel from their homes in Judea and Samaria, but Ketzaleh has. If you go to Arutz Sheva's Hebrew site, there's a list of communities Netanyahu intends to keep and a list of those he intends to give up with their populations (Hat Tip: Avraham F). Even I was surprised.

Israel Matzav: Bibi to expel 130,000 Jews from home?

Love of the Land: From Israel: A Closer Look

From Israel: A Closer Look

Arlene Kushner
Arlene from Israel
18 May '11

I start today by recommending an article, "Can Obama recognize the 'Nakba' nakba," by Gil Troy:

"President Barack Obama came to town riding on a series of assumptions about the Middle East. But the region's harsh realities have contradicted his fanciful notions...This week's Nakba Day violence revealed that Israel's existence since 1948, not its occupation since 1948, remains the Palestinians' target. Obama must recognize that this "Nakba" nakba -- the Palestinians' catastrophic reading of Israel's founding as a catastrophe -- damages peace prospects. Yet again, Palestinians seem more committed to destroying Israel than building their own state.

"...Yet the Palestinians have snookered the world, seeking a free pass for violence, incitement, delegitimization, extermination and intransigence. World leaders function as the great enables of Palestinian dysfunction, rationalizing Palestinians' political culture of negation and hatred while according them special treatment...(emphasis added)

"Every president must make post-inauguration adjustments, replacing outsiders' presumptions with the insiders' perceptions. Obama's Middle East-related rigidity is not some idiosyncratic shortcoming. He is imprisoned in a groupthink reading that is popular and resistant to reality.

"Too many elite Americans mistakenly compare the Palestinians' struggle for statehood with African-Americans' struggle for civil rights...In his Cairo speech, Obama...made the comparison. Condoleezza Rice was more explicit, equating her childhood miseries in the segregated South, while comparing Abbas to Martin Luther King, Jr. (emphasis added)

"Additionally Palestinian propaganda has pushed this comparison for decades...

"The false analogy distorts the story into one of racial oppression, not national conflict. This reading sanctions Palestinian violence, given our abhorrence of racial tyranny. (emphasis added)

"Perpetuating the Nakba treats Israel's very founding as its original sin, like slavery is American's original sin, which had to be undone violently by Civil War. This falsehood also views Palestinians as passive, less responsible players...


"By contrast, recognizing the Palestinian-Israeli conflict as a national conflict -- linked to the Arab-Israeli conflict -- restores balance. It makes Palestinians responsible for their choices. It highlights their power, as part of the broader Arab assault against Israel...

"Restoring historical balance and more accountability would also restore mutuality. Imagine the outrage if Israeli leaders spoke about the Palestinians the way leading Palestinians speak, write, teach, preach and broadcast about Israel. Imagine the scandal if Israel ever proposed anything paralleling the Hamas Charter...Note that this month, while Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is volunteering new concessions, Abbas is embracing Hamas terrorists.

"Jews' culture of acute self-criticism juxtaposed against the Palestinians' culture of self-righteous condemnation creates absurd imbalances. While Jews, mired in guilt, agonize over how to validate detractors...Palestinians, in their enforced no-criticism zone, feel their biased accusations are justified, yet again dodging responsibility... (emphasis added)

"Obama must affirm that threatening Israel with destruction -- or repeating vile stereotypes about Jews -- is deeply wrong, and only serves to evoke in the minds of Israelis this most painful of [Holocaust] memories while preventing the peace..."

"...Obama should show he means it, by insisting that all parties, especially the Palestinians, end incitement, stop demonizing others, and learn to preserve their own national stories, including tales of woe, without using words that reveal a collective desire to destroy those whose trust you need to achieve peace."


I have shared this article because I consider that it is insightful and offers a helpful perspective on many levels. Having said this, however, I find I must take issue with one point:

There is the implication, particularly as Obama is cited, that threatening Jews with destruction evokes in us a negative response that makes us resistant to working towards peace. Thus, if the Palestinians want peace, they should stop using this language, because otherwise we won't trust them.

This perspective reduces the issue to one of semantics: the Jews are sensitive (perhaps exceedingly so because of their history), so watch your language and how it might affect them.

But no! If we Jews are "sensitive," it's because we know the depths to which mankind is capable of sinking. And if we respond forcefully to talk by Palestinians of destroying us, it is because we know this is more than talk -- but rather a reflection of an intention. Especially is this so as the Palestinian Arabs have an immediate historical link to the Nazis.

It's not a question of the Palestinian Arabs working to clean up their language. Only when the Palestinian Arabs eradicate from their thinking any intent to destroy us -- which will automatically eliminate their need to talk of destroying us -- will we be able to trust them and truly discuss peace.


According to Gil Hoffman, who is a political analyst for the JPost, the "right flank" of the Likud party -- which was initially upset with suggestions in Netanyahu's speech that we might give up parts of Judea and Samaria outside of the main settlement blocs -- was mollified once he explained. He was merely stating what he saw as the consensus in Israel, he told them, not stating his own opinion. Even Minister of Security Affairs, Moshe Ya'alon, said this at a conference: "The prime minister tried in his speech to outline the views of the Israeli consensus."

Just call me dubious. I'm not buying it. Would he talk about making hard sacrifices if he didn't mean it himself?

And I'm not alone here. For Hoffman writes that "a minister in the Inner Security Cabinet, and multiple advisers to Netanyahu, confirmed that when he spoke about keeping the settlements in the blocs, the prime minister did intend to infer that settlements outside the blocs were open for negotiations."

The question here is why members of the Likud on the right are so ready to allow themselves to be pacified.


There was Netanyahu, suggesting that under the right circumstances we might give up areas -- and communities -- in Judea and Samaria that are not part of major settlement blocs. This would have to be seen as a "conciliatory" move on his part -- whether we like his having made this move or not.

Did this make Obama happy? Don't know.

But from the PA we should not have expected anything other than a slap in the face in response. And a slap in the face is what we got.

The Palestinian news agency WAFA today cited Abbas as saying:

"The Israeli government's refusal to stop settlement building and to determine clear references [i.e., a "framework"] for the peace process were the reason that talks have stopped."


Meanwhile Hamas spokesman Mahmoud al-Zahar, cited by Al-Quds, has made it clear that the movement's official stance is one of "resistance" and not negotiations. In fact, he indicated that the Hamas government in Gaza had not given Abbas permission to negotiate with Israel once the unity government is formed. "We do not agree to such negotiations and do not encourage them – just the opposite."


Meetings designed to advance that unity government were held in Cairo yesterday and Monday. The Fatah delegation was headed by Central Committee member Azzam al-Ahmed and the Hamas delegation by vice politburo chief Mousa Abu Marzouk.

According to a statement released by both sides, they discussed how to form the new government, the date for the meeting of the Palestinian Liberation Organization's executive committee and how to address the repercussions of division between the factions. (This last being most interesting and enlightening, I think.)

Additional meetings are to be held in Gaza, Ramallah and then again in Cairo during the coming weeks. in order to select the officials for that unity government. This is where the possibility of "division between the factions" is likely to become most evident: Fatah is advancing Salam Fayyad for another term as prime minister, while Hamas has put forth another name.

Fatah members are arguing that Fayyad will give the new unity government credibility in Europe, and they're not wrong. The Europeans are that prepared to be duped.


The PA, largely out of fear of local unrest in the absence of democratic process, had, some weeks ago, announced that municipal elections would be held on July 9; although it was understood at that time that Hamas would not permit those elections in Gaza. Now the elections have been postponed until October 22, "to provide the proper atmosphere to hold the elections in the entire Palestinian territories" -- that is, in the hopes that a unity government would make it possible for voting to proceed in Gaza too.


The Mavi Marmara, the ship that tried with disastrous results to breach Israel's maritime blockade of Gaza last year, was damaged in its confrontation with Israeli military. The Turkish Islamist organization IHH, identified by Israel as terrorist, was an organizing force in that flotilla fiasco, and is now planning a second go-round at the end of June.

IHH has announced that the Mavi Marmara, which sits in port in Istanbul, has been repaired and is ready to sail. It is being claimed that 10,000 people are seeking to participate in the flotilla.

IHH President Bulent Yildirim declared recently, "Even if we sacrifice shahids (martyrs) for this cause, we will be on the side of justice...We are not afraid, and want to convey the message to Israel that we are coming."

And with this we see the difficulty of what confronts Israel: We are dealing with an enemy that has no regard for life, and is willing to sacrifice life -- via provocation that invites response -- in order to make Israel look bad.

The organizers say that they intend to send $100 million in aid on the flotilla. But this is a PR ruse, for so much is going through the land crossings to Gaza these days that some goods have been shipped out of Gaza via tunnels to the Sinai, where the need is greater.

Israel is always happy to unload material aid at the port in Ashdod, and, after checking it for weaponry and materials that could be used to manufacture weapons, to send it via land to Gaza. No ship, however, will be permitted to directly approach the coast of Gaza, and this is precisely what will be attempted.

The blockade Israel maintains, which is totally legal within international law, is neither idle nor arbitrary -- it is, rather, an attempt to prevent a sworn enemy of Israel from increasing its armaments.


© Arlene Kushner. This material is produced by Arlene Kushner, functioning as an independent journalist. Permission is granted for it to be reproduced only with proper attribution.

see my website

If you enjoy "Love of the Land", please be a subscriber. Just put your email address in the "Subscribe" box on the upper right-hand corner of the page.

Love of the Land: From Israel: A Closer Look

Love of the Land: (Video) Jerusalem: The Media Myth of Two Cities

(Video) Jerusalem: The Media Myth of Two Cities

May "11

The history of Jerusalem did not start in 1967. Thousands of years of Jewish history took place in what is now called "Arab East Jerusalem." Only when the Jewish residents were driven from their homes in 1948 was the city divided between East and West.

This video shows the reality of Jerusalem today and includes interviews from survivors of the fall of Jerusalem.

To discuss the issue of Jerusalem, join our Facebook Group "The History of Jerusalem Did Not Start in 1967."

To read more about the issue of Jerusalem, check out the Jerusalem resources section of the HonestReporting website:

If you enjoy "Love of the Land", please be a subscriber. Just put your email address in the "Subscribe" box on the upper right-hand corner of the page.

Love of the Land: (Video) Jerusalem: The Media Myth of Two Cities

Love of the Land: Video: UN Watch's Global Impact in 2011

Video: UN Watch's Global Impact in 2011

UN Watch
Vol. 293
May 17, 2011

Under the chairmanship of Ambassador Alfred H. Moses, UN Watch recently celebrated its 18th anniversary at a Gala Dinner held at the Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues Geneva. The event was attended by more than 150 members and friends of UN Watch from Switzerland and abroad, joined by international lawyers, community leaders, activists, academics and students attending our concurrent conference on Human Rights and Lawfare. Click for photos.

UN Watch's Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Robert L. Bernstein, the founder of Human Rights Watch and former CEO of Random House. Human rights awards were presented to Simon Deng, a human rights activist who overcame slavery in Sudan; John Mann, the British MP and head of the UK Parliamentary Committee Against Anti-Semitism; and Pilar Rahola, the Spanish journalist and former MP. Our awardees' compelling remarks will be published here soon. Ambassadors and diplomatic representatives attended the UN Watch gala from the UN missions of the US, France, Australia, Canada, Israel, Rwanda, Netherlands and Hungary, along with Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai.

The gala dinner presented this video on UN Watch's global impact over the past year.

Video Highlights: 9/11 Truther Richard Falk gets slammed; biased head of UN Goldstone enforcement committee quits under pressure; Qaddafi ousted from rights panel; UN Watch on CNN, Al Jazeera, Television Suisse & more.

To support the vital work of UN Watch, please contribute here.

UN Watch is an independent human rights group founded in 1993 in Geneva,Switzerland, receiving on financial support from any organization or government. We rely on the generosity of charitable donations. Thank you for your support.

If you enjoy "Love of the Land", please be a subscriber. Just put your email address in the "Subscribe" box on the upper right-hand corner of the page.

Love of the Land: Video: UN Watch's Global Impact in 2011

Love of the Land: (videos) "Solidarity With Palestine from Nakba To Intifada": George Galloway and Company#links#links#links#links#links#links

(videos) "Solidarity With Palestine from Nakba To Intifada": George Galloway and Company

Daphne Anson
17 May '11

On 13 May a discussion on the above theme was held by the so-called Equality Movement. It starred George Galloway and others who are determined to effect the demise of the Jewish State.

The first speaker was Mavi Marmara alumna Sarah Colborne, campaigns and operations director of the Palestine Solidarity Movement, promoting the lie of a massacre at Jenin and the libel of "apartheid" (among other slurs), advocating "far more cultural boycotts of Israel", pimping Ben White's notorious book Israeli Apartheid, and assuring the faithful that ending the siege on Gaza will hasten the day when all the refugees return "to a free Palestine" (a telling phrase, that, eh?)

(Warning - she does drone on, for nearly fifteen minutes ...)

Israeli anti-Zionist dupe Yael Cohen and anti-Israel activist Jody McIntyre, who wrote that truly repellent piece in the Independent that I referred to in yesterday's blogpost, also spoke, as did Dr Karma Nabulsi, an Oxford academic and former PLO representative. From the floor a young Sri Lankan speaker declared that the Tamil community in Britain "are right behind you" (i.e. the Palestine Solidarity Movement) while in fiery style an Arab speaker cried "Cut off the supply lines to the Zionist entity!".

If you're a glutton for punishment you can see all the videos (seven in all ) courtesy of You Tube. Below are a couple featuring Galloway, who's in fervent rabble-rousing form, ranting and raving about Britain and Balfour, claiming triumphantly to his hearers' delight that the number of non-Jewish true supporters of Israel has diminished exponentially since the 1970s, declaring to wild acclaim that "Palestine is an Arab country, and the Arab Revolution will not be complete until Jerusalem is the capital of another Arab country", and wishing for the "renaissance of the PLO". Where Ms Colborne is soporifically controlled, George is increasingly fire and brimstone:

If you enjoy "Love of the Land", please be a subscriber. Just put your email address in the "Subscribe" box on the upper right-hand corner of the page.
Love of the Land: (videos) "Solidarity With Palestine from Nakba To Intifada": George Galloway and Company

Love of the Land: The ‘Nakba’ Day Protests and the Impossibility of Peace

The ‘Nakba’ Day Protests and the Impossibility of Peace

Eldad Tzioni
16 May '11

The events of “Naqba Day” are just one, very small proof that real peace is impossible.

Not “difficult.” Not “painful.” Truly, 100% impossible.

What were the thousands of protesters from Syria, Lebanon and Gaza demanding? Their demands are simple: the “right to return.” They want Israel to allow millions of Arabs of Palestinian descent to flood the country and turn it into another Arab state.

This demand has been absolute and unyielding for 63 years. Never has any Arab leader publicly renounced this demand. Never have the Palestinian Arabs accepted any compromise on the matter. Today, right now, the PLO demands this so-called” right” in unambiguous terms.

There is no need here to mention that there is no such right enshrined in international law, or how easy it is to prove that Arab leaders have used this “demand” as a smokescreen to their real desire to destroy Israel, or the hypocrisy of Palestinian Arab leaders, today, who do not want even those who used to live on land they now control to “return.” All those points are true and can be proven at another time.

The point here is that this demand is completely at odds with Israel’s continued existence. One cannot have it both ways: either the Arabs come and destroy Israel, or Israel is allowed to exist and they never “return.” There is no possible compromise.

(Read full "The ‘Nakba’ Day Protests and the Impossibility of Peace")

If you enjoy "Love of the Land", please be a subscriber. Just put your email address in the "Subscribe" box on the upper right-hand corner of the page.

Love of the Land: The ‘Nakba’ Day Protests and the Impossibility of Peace

Love of the Land: Ettinger: No US pressure on Israel

Ettinger: No US pressure on Israel

Yoram Ettinger
Israel Opinion/Ynet
17 May '11,7340,L-4069618,00.html

Op-ed: Despite Bin Laden success, Obama has no mandate to press Jewish State

President Obama intends to leverage the elimination of Bin Laden and intensify pressure on Israel. However, the ability of an American President to exert pressure in the international arena is a derivative of his domestic clout, especially when it comes to pressuring the Jewish State.

Most Americans consider the Jewish State not only an international issue, but also a domestic issue, related to the Judeo-Christian foundations of the US, enjoying an inherent bi-partisan high-level public and congressional support.

On May 20, 2011, Prime Minister Netanyahu will meet with President Obama, whose frail popularity constitutes a burden upon Democratic incumbents and candidates as we approach the November 2012 election. The president struggles to gain public support for his legislative agenda and for his reelection campaign, in spite of the overwhelming support of his authorization to eliminate Bin Laden (80%).

On May 20, Netanyahu will meet a president who seeks enhanced cooperation with Congress, lest he become a lame-duck president failing to be reelected in 2012. However, most legislators oppose pressure on the Jewish State, whose solid support is a rare bipartisan common denominator during an era of heated polarization on Capitol Hill.

Obama will try to pressure Netanyahu, but will not sacrifice his key goal – a second term – on the altar of the Palestinian issue. Obama is familiar with Tip O'Neal's assertion that "All politics is local." He has learned from his predecessors that external success usually does not rid presidents of domestic woes.

For instance, Bush 41st surged from 39% to 85% popularity following the 1991 Gulf War. Bush also benefitted from the dismantling of the USSR and the fall of the Berlin Wall – significantly more dramatic developments than the elimination of Bin Laden. Therefore, major Democratic candidates were deterred from challenging Bush in November 1992, which paved the road for the relatively unknown Governor of Arkansas, Bill Clinton.

Will Bibi leverage US public support?

In contrast to Bush, who was preoccupied with foreign and national security issues, Clinton adhered to the advice of James Carville and Paul Begala: "It's the economy, stupid!" As constituents turned their attention back to economic and health problems, Bush's Gulf War "bonus" gradually dissipated. On Election Day President Bush reverted to his real political popularity – 38% - and Clinton won.

Presidents Wilson and FDR were heroes of WW1and WW2 – dramatically more notable events than the slaying of Bin Laden – but they lost Democratic majorities in both congressional chambers in the 1918 and 1946 elections. Bush 43rd gained a 35% popularity bonus following 9/11 and the 2003 apprehension of Saddam Hussein, but he barely won in 2004 (51%:48%). His role in the economic meltdown triggered GOP election devastation in November 2008.

The killing of Bin Laden has accorded President Obama an extremely slim, soft and short-term bonus. The counter-terrorism global milestone is unrelated to the long-term issues haunting Obama at home: Unemployment, the price of gasoline, the deficit, the national debt, taxation, the mortgage and pension funds crises, declining housing values, the threat of inflation and recession, potential insolvency of states and municipalities, health reform, etc.

Ridding humanity of Bin Laden deserves much praise, but its impact on Obama's domestic clout is minimal, and it does not provide the president with a public or congressional mandate to pressure the Jewish State.

Will Prime Minister Netanyahu leverage public and Capitol Hill support and fend off pressure attempts by President Obama, who has been transformed from a coattail-president to an anchor-chained president? Will Netanyahu leverage the seismic developments in Arab lands – which have exposed the marginal role played by the Palestinian issue in shaping the Middle East agenda – and focus on the need to enhance strategic cooperation between the US and the Jewish State, in order to face the mounting threats in the Middle East?

If you enjoy "Love of the Land", please be a subscriber. Just put your email address in the "Subscribe" box on the upper right-hand corner of the page.

Love of the Land: Ettinger: No US pressure on Israel

Love of the Land: Abbas demands something for nothing

Abbas demands something for nothing
17 May '11

As we get closer to September and a unilateral declaration of Palestinian statehood, Mahmoud Abbas has taken the opportunity to explain why he thinks justice requires yet another slice to be taken from the only Jewish state and given to his amalgamation of two vicious terrorist organizations. After Hamas has told us that even total Israeli withdrawal to 1949 lines won’t bring peace, Abbas explains here that this is his position as well.

The Abbas piece is remarkable for its distortions of the historical record, including the heart-wrenching account of how a little boy who would grow up to be Palestinian President was ‘expelled’ from Tzfat (see also here for a version of the article with lies replaced by truth).

One of the biggest lies Abbas tells is that the Palestinian Arabs should have had a state in 1947, but implementation of the UN partition agreement was derailed by the Zionists. He writes,

In November 1947, the General Assembly made its recommendation and answered in the affirmative. Shortly thereafter, Zionist forces expelled Palestinian Arabs to ensure a decisive Jewish majority in the future state of Israel, and Arab armies intervened. War and further expulsions ensued…

Minutes after the State of Israel was established on May 14, 1948, the United States granted it recognition. Our Palestinian state, however, remains a promise unfulfilled.

Abbas does not tell us that both the Palestinian Arab leadership and the rest of the Arab world rejected partition on the grounds that all of Palestine should be under Arab sovereignty. He does not tell us that the Palestinian Arabs have rejected offers of a state no less than six times between 1937 and 2008 (and once in 1919).

So why, if they did not want a state until now, will this time be different? Because this time they think they will be able to gain control over a large, strategic territory without having to commit to recognition of Israel, and without having to give up their claim on the rest of the land, in particular, the right to settle millions of Arab ‘refugees’ in Israel.

Israel would never agree to cede territory in return for a promise of belligerency, and — at least so far — the US has not tried to force it to do so. As a result, negotiations between Israel and the PLO have always failed. Abbas may say that “negotiations remain our first option,” but the PLO has only been prepared to negotiate surrender, not compromise. And no matter what concessions Israel has offered, they have not included giving up its right to exist.

Abbas believes that after the world makes Israel leave the territories, it can make Israel sit still and accept the return of the so-called ‘refugees’ (95% of whom are not refugees in any normal sense), and — probably after a bloody war — become another Arab state:

Palestine’s admission to the United Nations would pave the way for the internationalization of the conflict as a legal matter, not only a political one. It would also pave the way for us to pursue claims against Israel at the United Nations, human rights treaty bodies and the International Court of Justice …

… Once admitted to the United Nations, our state stands ready to negotiate all core issues of the conflict with Israel. A key focus of negotiations will be reaching a just solution for Palestinian refugees based on Resolution 194, which the General Assembly passed in 1948.

The Arab interpretation of resolution 194 is that every descendant of the 600,000 Arabs that fled Israel in 1948 (about 4.5 million claim this status) is entitled to ‘return’ to Israel and take possession of his property, or be compensated. This wasn’t the intent of the resolution, which referred only to actual refugees and required that they be prepared to ‘live in peace’ with Jewish Israelis. And it would also cover the approximately 850,000 Jewish refugees from Arab countries, who most likely wouldn’t want to return but would be happy for compensation!

Since 1967 the presumption of the West has been that land will be exchanged for peace, recognition and an end of all claims against Israel. The Abbas plan finally makes explicit what some of us have been saying all along, that the PLO never intended to give up its dream of replacing Israel with an Arab state of ‘Palestine’.

It’s time for the White House to recognize this and firmly oppose the attempt to give the PLO something for nothing.

If you enjoy "Love of the Land", please be a subscriber. Just put your email address in the "Subscribe" box on the upper right-hand corner of the page.

Love of the Land: Abbas demands something for nothing
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...