Sunday, 22 May 2011

Israel Matzav: Hamas finds a use for women

Hamas finds a use for women

Hamas has found a use for its women aside from bearing children. Can you guess what it is?

Let's go to the videotape.

Israel Matzav: Hamas finds a use for women

Israel Matzav: Why Bibi gets it and Obama doesn't

Why Bibi gets it and Obama doesn't

What Bibi gets and Obama doesn't is the depth of 'Palestinian' hatred for Jews and Israel.

Here's one example.

Let's go to the videotape.

Here's more about the same woman.

Israel Matzav: Why Bibi gets it and Obama doesn't

Israel Matzav: No great surprise here: Canada says Nobama

No great surprise here: Canada says Nobama

Coming just a few weeks after the stunning (due to its margin) re-election of Conservative Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, it should come as no surprise to anyone that Canada is not going to back Barack Hussein Obama's pressure on Israel (Hat Tip: Memeorandum).
“What the government of Canada supports is basically a two-state solution that is negotiated,” a senior federal official said. “If it’s border, if it’s others issues, it has to be negotiated, it cannot be unilateral action.”

Pressed by reporters, federal officials said both the Israelis and the Palestinians have to decide on their bottom lines, which the Israelis have said will not include a return to the 1967 border.

“If the two parties are of the view that this is a starting point, that is fine for them,” said the federal official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

The Prime Minister’s director of communications, Dimitri Soudas, added that Canada’s position continues to be the search for a two-state solution.

“No solution, ultimately, is possible without both parties sitting down, negotiating and agreeing on what that final outcome will look like,” he said.
Canada under Stephen Harper is a true friend of Israel.

Israel Matzav: No great surprise here: Canada says Nobama

Israel Matzav: Some American Jews rethinking support for Obama

Some American Jews rethinking support for Obama

At least two prominent American Jews are rethinking their support for Barack Hussein Obama: Former New York City Mayor Ed Koch (pictured) and billionaire publisher Mort Zuckerman (Hat Tip: Memeorandum).
"He has in effect sought to reduce Israel's negotiation power and I condemn him for that," former New York Mayor Ed Koch told Reuters.

Koch said he might not campaign or vote for Obama if Republicans nominate a pro-Israel candidate who offers an alternative to recent austere budgetary measures backed by Republicans in Congress.

Koch donated $2,300 to Obama's campaign in 2008, according to filings with the Federal Election Commission.

"I believed that then-Senator Obama would be as good as John McCain based on his statements at the time and based on his support of Israel. It turns out I was wrong," he said.


"I have spoken to a lot of people in the last couple of days -- former supporters -- who are very upset and feel alienated," billionaire real estate developer and publisher Mortimer Zuckerman said.

"He'll get less political support, fewer activists for his campaign, and I am sure that will extend to financial support as well."

Zuckerman backed Obama during his 2008 presidential run and the newspaper he owns, the New York Daily News, endorsed the president.
I wish this were a trend, but I'm skeptical, unfortunately. Koch is nothing new. He's said before that he believes he was mistaken in supporting Obama. Zuckerman hasn't been quite as explicit, but he's also given some hints that he was dissatisfied with Obama. Is this a trend? I'd like to see more evidence.

Israel Matzav: Some American Jews rethinking support for Obama

Israel Matzav: Knesset preparing to slap Turkey across the face

Knesset preparing to slap Turkey across the face

The Knesset is preparing to give the Turkish government a smack across its arrogant face. With Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan making false accusations against Israel, the Knesset looks like it will finally fight back. After years of succeeding Israeli governments avoiding giving it recognition, the Knesset is on the verge of officially recognizing the Armenian genocide (Hat Tip: Joshua I).
Shortly before the one year anniversary of the Free Gaza Flotilla that marked a low point in Israel-Turkey relations, the Knesset made history Wednesday afternoon when it held its first open discussion on recognition of the Armenian genocide.

With a number of Armenian religious and lay leaders watching in the visitors’ gallery, MKs ranging from Shas to Meretz took the stand to speak in favor of officially recognizing the series of massacres and deportations that killed an estimated 1.5 million Armenians in the years during and shortly after World War I.

For years, consecutive governments had blocked attempts by MKs to raise the subject of recognizing the genocide out of concern that such recognition could damage relations with Ankara. This year, however, the government did not block the hearing.

MKs voted by a unanimous vote of 20-0 following the hearing to refer the subject for a further hearing to the Knesset’s Education Committee, a hearing that will also be broadcast, at least via Internet. In contrast, any previous discussions concerning the genocide had been held exclusively behind the closed doors of the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.
Isn't this great? In one move, we're doing the right and moral thing and b**ch-slapping a government that has become a bitter rival.

Here's hoping the Mavi Marmara sinks the day after Israel officially recognizes the Armenian genocide.

Israel Matzav: Knesset preparing to slap Turkey across the face

Israel Matzav: What's the difference between Bibi and Obama?

What's the difference between Bibi and Obama?

What's the difference between Binyamin "Bibi" Netanyahu and Barack Hussein Obama? Answer: One is a statesman and the other is the former junior Senator from Illinois who is currently President of the United States.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Saturday said that news of a disagreement with US President Barack Obama over the resumption of peace talks was "blown way out of proportion."

"It's true that we have some differences of opinion, but these are among friends," the prime minister was quoted as saying by a spokesman.

Netanyahu believed that Obama had "shown his commitment to Israel's security, both in word and in deed," the spokesman added. "And we are working with the administration to achieve common goals."
Obama must have begged him to put out that statement.


Israel Matzav: What's the difference between Bibi and Obama?

Israel Matzav: Al-Guardian on the 'Palestinians' gift to the Arab world

Al-Guardian on the 'Palestinians' gift to the Arab world

I'd expect an editorial like this from a newspaper coming out of the Arab world. Oh wait, al-Guardian has become an Arab newspaper, hasn't it?
The leaders of Fatah and Hamas were obliged to reconcile by the forces stirring the Palestinian street. The negotiators of Fatah had stopped negotiating, and the fighters of Hamas had stopped fighting. Both had to respond to a simple idea: if one million Egyptians can fill Tahrir Square demanding Palestinian rights, why can’t Palestinians, who taught the Arab world how to mount insurrections, and mounted two intifadas of their own.
You got it. Al-Guardian believes that 'intifadas' are the 'Palestinians' gift to the Arab world.

Much more here.

Israel Matzav: Al-Guardian on the 'Palestinians' gift to the Arab world

Israel Matzav: Does anyone still believe this?

Does anyone still believe this?

Arab League President Amr Moussa (left) explains why there is so much instability in the Middle East:
"The Palestinian issue is at the heart of instability in the Middle East," Moussa said, calling on the United States to move in "the coming weeks and months towards establishing a Palestinian state based on 1967 borders and with East Jerusalem as its capital."
Really? The guy in Tunisia set himself on fire because there's no 'Palestinian state'? Egypt overthrew Hosni Mubarak because there's no 'Palestinian state'? Yemen is trying to overthrow Saleh, Syria is trying to overthrow Assad and Libya is trying to overthrow Gadhafi because there's no 'Palestinian state'? Bahrain tried to overthrow the Emir because there's no 'Palestinian state'?

What a load of bull dung. There's only one person outside the Middle East who's taken in by it: Barack Hussein Obama.

Israel Matzav: Does anyone still believe this?

Israel Matzav: Abu Bluff's fairy tale

Abu Bluff's fairy tale

Ephraim Karsh tells the real story of 'moderate' 'Palestinian' President Mahmoud Abbas Abu Mazen's Tzfat (Safed).
But was he expelled? Hardly. Not only did Abbas reveal a couple of years ago, in an Arabic interview, that his family had not been forcefully expelled and that his father was affluent enough to provide for them for a year after their flight (so no canvas tent), but none of the 170,000- 180,000 Palestinian Arabs fleeing urban centers, in the five-and-a-half months from the passing of the UN resolution to Israel’s proclamation on May 14, 1948, were expelled by the Jews.

Quite the reverse in fact, huge numbers of these refugees were driven from their homes by their own leaders and/or by Arab military forces which had entered the country to fight the Jews, whether out of military considerations or to prevent them from becoming citizens of the prospective Jewish state.

In the largest and best-known example, tens of thousands of Arabs were ordered or bullied into leaving the city of Haifa (on April 21-22) on the instructions of the Arab Higher Committee, the effective “government” of the Palestinian Arabs, despite strenuous Jewish efforts to persuade them to stay. Only days earlier, Tiberias’s 6,000- strong Arab community had been similarly forced out by its own leaders, against local Jewish wishes. In Jaffa, Palestine’s largest Arab city, the municipality organized the transfer of thousands of residents by land and sea; in Jerusalem, the Arab Higher Committee ordered the transfer of women and children, and local gang leaders pushed out residents of several neighborhoods.

And what about Safed? Having declined an offer by Gen. Hugh Stockwell, commander of the British forces in northern Palestine, to mediate a truce, the Arabs responded to the British evacuation of the city with a heavy assault on the tiny Jewish community, less than a quarter their size. “Upon the British evacuation on April 16, we occupied all the city’s strategic positions: the Citadel, the Government House, and the police post on Mount Canaan,” recalled a local Arab fighter.
Read it all and see what a liar Abu Bluff is.

Israel Matzav: Abu Bluff's fairy tale

Israel Matzav: The indefensible 'borders'

The indefensible 'borders'

The map above should show you why Prime Minister Netanyahu said that Israel cannot go back to the 1949 armistice lines. And if you don't get it from there, here's Dore Gold.
The cornerstone of all postwar diplomacy was U.N. Security Council Resolution 242, passed in November 1967. It did not demand that Israel pull back completely to the pre-1967 lines. Its withdrawal clause only called on Israel to withdraw "from territories," not from all territories. Britain's foreign secretary at the time, George Brown, later underlined the distinction: "The proposal said 'Israel will withdraw from territories that were occupied,' and not from 'the' territories, which means that Israel will not withdraw from all the territories."

Prior to the Six Day War, Jerusalem had been sliced in two, and the Jewish people were denied access to the Old City and its holy sites. Jerusalem's Christian population also faced limitations. As America's ambassador to the U.N., Arthur Goldberg, would explain, Resolution 242 did not preclude Israel's reunification of Jerusalem. In fact, Resolution 242 became the only agreed basis of all Arab-Israeli peace agreements, from the 1979 Egyptian-Israeli Treaty of Peace to the 1993 Oslo Agreements between Israel and the Palestinians.

How were Israel's legal rights to new boundaries justified? A good explanation came from Judge Stephen Schwebel, who would later be an adviser to the State Department and then president of the International Court of Justice in The Hague. Writing in the American Journal of International Law in 1970, he noted that Israel's title to West Bank territory—in the event that it sought alterations in the pre-Six Day War lines—emanated from the fact that it had acted in lawful exercise of its right to self-defense. It was not the aggressor.

The flexibility for creating new borders was preserved for decades. Indeed, the 1993 Oslo Agreements, signed by Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat on the White House lawn, did not stipulate that the final borders between Israel and the Palestinians would be the 1967 lines. Borders were to be a subject for future negotiations. An April 2004 U.S. letter to Israel, backed by a bipartisan consensus in both houses of Congress, stipulated that Israel was not expected to fully withdraw, but rather was entitled to "defensible borders." U.S. secretaries of state from Henry Kissinger to Warren Christopher reiterated the same point in past letters of assurance.

If the borders between Israel and the Palestinians need to be negotiated, then what are the implications of a U.N. General Assembly resolution that states up front that those borders must be the 1967 lines? Some commentators assert that all Mr. Abbas wants to do is strengthen his hand in future negotiations with Israel, and that this does not contradict a negotiated peace. But is that really true? Why should Mr. Abbas ever negotiate with Israel if he can rely on the automatic majority of Third World countries at the U.N. General Assembly to back his positions on other points that are in dispute, like the future of Jerusalem, the refugee question, and security?

Mr. Abbas's unilateral move at the U.N. represents a massive violation of a core commitment in the Oslo Agreements in which both Israelis and Palestinians undertook that "neither side shall initiate or take any step that will change the status of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip pending the outcome of Permanent Status negotiations." Palestinian spokesmen counter that Israeli settlements violated this clause. Yet former Prime Minister Rabin was very specific while negotiating Oslo in preserving the rights of Israeli citizens to build their homes in these disputed areas, by insisting that the settlements would be one of the subjects of final status negotiations between the parties.
Read the whole thing.

The Wall Street Journal agrees.
But all attention is now focused on the coda he offered about the Arab-Israeli conflict, in which he said that "the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines." Though he immediately added that those lines should be adjusted "with mutually agreed swaps" of territory "so that secure and recognized borders are established for both parties," it's the 1967 line that is sticking.

And with good reason. At its neck, the distance from the Mediterranean coast to the West Bank is nine miles. Foreign analysts may imagine that strategic depth no longer matters, but Israelis know better thanks to the thousands of short-range rockets fired at their towns from Hamas-controlled Gaza. As candidate Obama said when he toured one such Israeli town in 2008, "If someone was sending rockets into my house where my two daughters sleep at night, I'm going to do everything in my power to stop that, and I would expect Israelis to do the same thing."

Well, exactly. Which is why it was strange to hear Mr. Obama, in a speech otherwise devoted to urging change in the nature of Arab societies, suddenly revert to the tired land-for-peace formula that has so often failed. Since the rest of Mr. Obama's speech borrowed heavily from President Bush's Freedom Agenda, he might also have taken a cue from his predecessor's June 2002 speech, which conditioned Palestinian statehood on renouncing terrorism and liberalizing politics.

That concept is all the more appropriate now that Hamas has joined the Palestinian government, a point Mr. Obama acknowledged in his speech. Most Israelis would not object to a Palestinian state, even on the 1967 lines, if its politics resembled those of, say, Canada. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's problem is that political trends among the Palestinians lean more in the direction of Iran, despite some recent promising economic trends.

Nor does it help that Mr. Obama wants Israel to withdraw from Palestinian territory even before the two sides resolve the issues of the status of Jerusalem and of the 1948 Palestinian refugees, recently in the news with their attempt to force their way through Israel's borders. No Israeli leader is going to give up the West Bank without resolving those existential issues, since it would merely allow the Palestinians to pocket the territorial gains while perpetuating the conflict.

The President's team is explaining the speech as an attempt to restart the moribund Israeli-Palestinian talks, but it will accomplish no such thing.

Although right now, I doubt most Israelis would agree to any 'Palestinian state.' Most of us have had enough.

Israel Matzav: The indefensible 'borders'

Israel Matzav: A deal on Shalit?

A deal on Shalit?

There are reports of a deal in the works for the release of kidnapped IDF corporal Gilad Shalit. It's not a great deal, but it's much better than some of the deals to which former Prime Minister Ehud K. Olmert was ready to agree: The terrorists with 'blood on their hands' would be sent out of the 'Palestinian territories' (i.e. away from Israel) so that hopefully they cannot rebuild the terror infrastructure.
According to a report in the Arabic-language London-based newspaper Al-Quds Al-Arabi, Israel has agreed to release 20 Palestinian murderers with blood on their hands as part of a prisoner exchange for the captive soldier. As part of the potential agreement, the released prisoners would not be allowed to remain in the Palestinian territories after their release.

No deal has yet been signed, but the report stressed that negotiations were in final stages.

According to the report, Turkey, Egypt and Germany were privy to these most recent negotiations.

On Friday, Palestinian sources told Chinese news agency Xinhua that Egypt and Turkey are sponsoring indirect negotiations between Hamas and Israel on the release of captive IDF soldier Gilad Schalit. Germany's role was not mentioned.

The negotiations are still in the early stages and it is "still too early to talk about a breakthrough," the sources told the Chinese news agency.

On Thursday, Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal said Egypt is making vigorous moves to advance a prisoner exchange deal that would see Schalit released.

"Schalit's release depends on the Israeli position," Mashaal said. "The ball is now in [Prime Minister Binyamin] Netanyahu's court," saying Netanyahu is responsible for the lack of progress in the deal.

Also on Thursday, the US added The Army of Islam, one of the organizations responsible for the capture of Schalit, to its list of terror organizations.
I'll believe it when I see it.

Israel Matzav: A deal on Shalit?

Israel Matzav: Bibi owned Obama

Bibi owned Obama

Say what you will about Friday's joint press availability with Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Hussein Obama, this much is clear: Bibi owned Obama. Rush Limbaugh wishes Bibi could run for President of the United States, and urges potential Republican candidates to watch and listen.
Benjamin Netanyahu: "We cannot negotiate with a Palestinian government backed by Hamas. Hamas just attacked you, Mr. President, for getting rid of Bin Laden." Netanyahu is saying this to our young man-child president. We can't go back to the '67 borders. So you strip everything else away here, folks, and it's obvious to me who's coming off as the more serious man in that room. And I gotta tell you, I can't wait to see what the media does with Netanyahu. I can't wait to see how the media characterizes this. Will they say he showed profound disrespect, that these comments should have never been made in public. It would be fine to share these sentiments with President Obama in a private meeting, but to go public like this and to slap the president.

Maybe they don't look at it that way. Maybe they don't look at the president being slapped down here. Maybe it isn't the president. I gotta give myself a wide berth here because right now I'm visual only and reading closed-captioning. So it appears to me that what Netanyahu is saying is, essentially, "Look, that stuff you said yesterday, we really appreciate how you feel. We can't do any of it." Is that how it's coming across? It says we're not gonna do anything. We can't. Now he's talking about the Palestinian refugees. He is not gonna accept them. He said that's not gonna happen. And everybody knows it's not gonna happen.

I have to be right. Look at Obama. Look at Obama. He's sitting there as though Bibi is Paul Ryan at the health care -- oh-ho, folks. Oh-ho-ho-ho-ho, mama! Cool this is. Cool this is. We're rolling tape on it, and we'll have audio of this as soon as we can assemble it and put it together for you. Obama hasn't said a word in four minutes now. He's sitting there with his hand on his chin and it's covering his mouth, and you can't tell if he's smiling. Netanyahu has not stopped talking. He's looking alternately at Obama and then at the cameras. The US and Israel, they have differences here and there. So can't go back to the '67 borders. They don't take into account the changes that have taken place on the ground. Israel cannot negotiate with the Palestinian government backed by Hamas. Hamas just attacked you, Mr. President, for getting rid of Bin Laden. He said that.

Hamas is a terrorist organization. We are not gonna negotiate with a terrorist organization. A terrorist organization just attacked you, Mr. President, and of course, unstated here is that yesterday you, Mr. President, aligned yourself with Hamas, which is a terrorist organization. Obama has his hand up like Hillary had her hand in the Situation Room photo during the Bin Laden raid. You know, when Hillary had her hand over her mouth with that wide look on her eyes (gasping), but Obama does not have that expression. Netanyahu says that the Palestinian leaders are going to have to choose between a pact with Hamas or peace with Israel. Whoa! This is the gauntlet!

Folks, the gauntlet's being thrown down here. Can Bibi run for the Republican nomination? Would you people in Indiana support Bibi? I'm just teasing, of course. Obama's not gonna say anything. They ended this thing without Obama saying anything. They cut out of it. Obama did not say a word. The thing just ended. The last word was Netanyahu. The only word was Netanyahu. Well, Obama opened it up. Okay. So now, folks, I don't think there's any question that Obama's mad.


And I'm looking at this today, and I'm asking myself, "Why did Obama allow this to happen?" Obama just allowed himself to get slapped on national TV in front of the world. Now, Bibi was respectful, don't misunderstand. That's what makes this even better. How could Obama, after talking to Bibi, not know what he was gonna say? You're president of the United States. Okay, you got this joint thing planned, but if you get wind that Netanyahu's gonna go out and say these kind of things, creating that facial reaction, that visual reaction on your part, you cancel it and you come up with some explanation. Whatever explanation the cancellation ends up being is not nearly as bad as what happened.

This looked like Obama had no control over the events, or else it looked like the same thing, he was so arrogant, he was so cock-certain that Netanyahu had to go along with whatever Obama proposed 'cause he's Obama, he's the first black president, he's the president of the world, everybody loves Obama, Bibi's gonna have to automatically cower. Maybe Bibi in their private meeting didn't say these things, maybe it's a total sandbag, I don't know, but you're president of the United States, and you don't allow yourself to get sandbagged this way. And he did. Obama did. I'm stunned at this. Where's the staff? Even if Obama's too young and idealistic and impressed with himself, where's an adult around here warning, "You know, Mr. President, you don't want this to happen."

I'll be eager for you people to see this later on today, if you haven't yet when you get yourself near a television. When you see Netanyahu and Obama you'll see a true leader, and you'll see a lightweight in direct side by side contrast, a true leader and a lightweight. You know, Netanyahu said, "Israel is my responsibility." He didn't say it's not yours to Obama, but the implication was clear. Now, the meeting prior to this presser, this little joint presser they have here -- it wasn't a presser; the appearance -- meeting went on more than an hour than was scheduled, so I would assume that Netanyahu had a lot of things to say to Obama.


NETANYAHU: The third reality is that the Palestinian refugee problem will have to be resolved in the context of a Palestinian state, but certainly not in the borders of Israel. The Arab attack in 1948 on Israel resulted in two refugee problems: A Palestinian refugee problem and Jewish refugees in roughly the same number, who were expelled from Arab lands. Now, tiny Israel absorbed the Jewish refugees, but the vast Arab world refused to absorb the Palestinian refugees. Now 63 years later, the Palestinians come to us, and they say to Israel, "Accept the grandchildren, really, and the great-grandchildren of these refugees; thereby wiping out Israel's future as a Jewish state." So it's not gonna happen, everybody knows it's not gonna happen, and I think it's time to tell the Palestinians forthrightly: It's not gonna happen.

RUSH: This is unprecedented? (laughing) This is unprecedented! Gosh, folks, I can't tell you! This is orgasmic. So simply stated: "It's not going to happen. It just isn't Linkgonna happen and everybody knows it's not gonna happen." He just said, in effect, "Your speech yesterday was just a bunch of worthless words. Your speech yesterday was just a bunch of pap. You know this isn't gonna happen; everybody knows this isn't gonna happen. It would be the end of the Jewish state if we had the grandchildren of these refugees flowing into our country." It's not gonna happen, just isn't gonna happen." By the way, Netanyahu also went to Harvard and MIT, and I'm telling you: In his life he's done more in five minutes than Obama has done in his whole career.
Read the whole thing.

Jeffrey Goldberg agreed that Netanyahu owned the President, but he's insulted by it.
So Netanyahu "expects" to hear this from the President of the United States? And if President Obama doesn't walk back the speech, what will Netanyahu do? Will he cut off Israeli military aid to the U.S.? Will he cease to fight for the U.S. in the United Nations, and in the many international forums that treat Israel as a pariah?

I don't like this word, "expect." Even if there weren't an imbalance between these two countries -- Israel depends on the U.S. for its survival, while America, I imagine, would continue to exist even if Israel ceased to exist -- I would find myself feeling resentful about the way Netanyahu speaks about our President. Netanyahu had an alternative, of course: He could have said, as he got on the plane to Washington, where today -- awkward! -- he will be meeting with President Obama: "The President today delivered a very fine speech. His condemnation of Hamas and Iran, his question about whether the Palestinians actually seek peace; his strong language against Syria; his recognition of Israel as a Jewish state; his re-assertion of the unshakeable bond between our two nations -- all of this and more brought joy to my heart. There are a couple of points in the speech, having to do with borders and refugees, that I would like to clarify with the President when I see him, and I'm looking forward to a constructive dialogue on these few issues."

Of course, he didn't say this. Instead he threw something of a hissy fit. It was not appropriate, and more to the point, it was not tactically wise: If I'm waking up this morning feeling that the Israeli prime minister is disrespecting the President of my country, imagine how other Americans might be feeling. And, then, of course, there's this: Prime Minister Netanyahu needs the support of President Obama in order to confront the greatest danger Israel has ever faced: the potential of a nuclear-armed Iran. And yet he seems to go out of his way to alienate the President. Why does he do this? It's a mystery to me.
Read the whole thing.

I'm with Limbaugh more than Goldberg on this one, as you might imagine. But the problem with Bibi is that he talks a great show - and then he caves anyway. Will it happen again?

Israel Matzav: Bibi owned Obama

Israel Matzav: Davutoglu threatens Israel AGAIN

Davutoglu threatens Israel AGAIN

It's still a month before the scheduled departure date, and Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu is once again threatening Israel not to touch his flotilla.
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said in a television interview, "It should be known that Turkey will give the necessary response to any repeated act of provocation by Israel on the high seas," AFP reported.
What does that mean? He wants to come here and fight and then ask NATO to protect him from a response?
Asked about his government's efforts to prevent the flotilla from taking place, Davutoglu repeated a statement he made last week, asserting that while Ankara has "never encouraged any convoy," it "cannot give instructions to civil society" not to embark on the attempt to bust Israel's blockade, according to the report.

"We have shared our views about the safety of our citizens with all related parties," he said. "That was the case last year and it is not any different this time."
In other words, they give a wink and a nod and tell their citizens to go join the IHH.
The Turkish foreign minister also addressed the recently-announced Palestinian reconciliation agreement between Fatah and Hamas, urging the West to back the deal. "If the division of the Palestinian authorities is healed, the conditions that serve Israel's justification for the blockade will be eradicated ... and there will be no need for an aid convoy," AFP reported.
I don't understand that one at all. Because Hamas and Fatah kiss and make up, we should let weapons into Hamastan? Or perhaps he thinks that we're only blockading Gaza to keep Abu Bluff happy? What a moron....

Israel Matzav: Davutoglu threatens Israel AGAIN

Love of the Land: Correcting President Obama: 242 does not set the size of the land mass under Arab control (Update)

Correcting President Obama: 242 does not set the size of the land mass under Arab control (Update)

Dr. Aaron Lerner
22 May 2011

Speaking at the AIPAC Conference in Washington President Obama argued that by mentioning land swaps, President Obama did not actually call for Israel to withdraw to the indefensible '67 lines since Israel can trade [off huge chunks of the Negev] to avoid the '67 line.

But that's not really the point.

The point is that President Obama handed the Palestinians a tremendous concession by embracing the Palestinian assertion that it somehow has the implicit right to every square millimeter beyond the Green Line and thus must be compensated on a 1:1 basis for any adjustment to the line so that the final land mass under its control remains the same.

This was not - repeat not - the meaning of UNSC 242.

And the record on this is absolutely clear.

The framers of 242 were well aware that secure borders for Israel would be achieved by Israel retaining territory beyond the '67 lines - and this without any requirement of some quid pro quo in return to the Arabs to somehow compensate for the retention of said land.

[See below for references]

There is no reference in the series of Oslo documents, that serve as the basis and framework continuing from 242, to the concept that the size of the land mass to be ultimately under Palestinian control is not subject tonegotiation.


Let there be no confusion here.

Israel never asked President Obama to say that he endorses Israel swapping the Negev for parts of the West Bank.

Israel has instead every right to make it crystal clear that we completely reject attempts to change the rules of the game - in particular after we have made so very many extremely painful and expensive concessions based onpromises and commitments regarding the rules of the game.

Let's not forget that the tens of thousands of assault rifle armed Palestinians are deployed today in the West Bank along with many thousands of rockets in the Gaza Strip along with Israeli graveyards packed with "sacrifices for peace" because we decided to take a chance for peace and lifted Yasser Arafat from the dung heap of history - bringing him from his exile in Tunis. Israel's security situation at the time was nothing short of fantastic.

Each month the size of the "terrorist wanted list" got shorter as Israeli security forces captured or killed terrorists faster that the Arabs could produce new one.

Nothing on the Arab side compelled Israel to agree to Oslo.

President Obama argues that some previously democratically elected Israeli Governments engaged in negotiations that reflected the concept that any change from the '67 lines would be offset with transferring sovereign Israeli land to the Palestinians.

But that's not the point.

These negotiations were not concluded.

And in point of fact, the Israelis engaged in negotiations warned their Palestinian counterparts that if they failed to cut a deal with them before Israeli elections they ran the very real risk that the Israeli democratic process would erase whatever gains they may have made in talks not finalized.

Because while we cannot rescind a treaty we have already signed via the ballot box, we can most certainly revise our negotiating positions.

And that is just what we did.

So when President Obama tells Israelis that former PM Olmert embraced the positions he now wishes to dictate, we Israelis have a simple answer: Olmert's Kadima Party is not in power.

The Palestinians walked away from Olmert "negotiating stall" and thought he [or Livni who replaced him at the head of Kadima]would keep offering more. But instead the Israeli People spoke on Israeli election day and put a coalition headed by Binyamin Netanyahu in charge.

Israel has absolutely no obligation to promise the Palestinians that they will end up with a land mass equal in size to every square millimeter beyond the Green Line.

242, and in turn Oslo, never predetermined the size of the land mass under Palestinian control.

That, like everything else is a matter for negotiations - not American dictate.


Statements Clarifying the Meaning of U.N. Security Council Resolution 242

Even before the beginning of the Jarring Mission (the Special Representative as mentioned in the Resolution), the Arab States insisted that Security Council Resolution 242 called for a total withdrawal of Israeli forces from territories occupied in the Six-Day War. Israel held that the withdrawal phrase in the Resolution was not meant to refer to a total withdrawal. Following are statements including the interpretations of various delegations to Resolution 242:

A. United Kingdom

Lord Caradon, sponsor of the draft that was about to be adopted, stated, before the vote in the Security Council on Resolution 242:

"... the draft Resolution is a balanced whole. To add to it or to detract from it would destroy the balance and also destroy the wide measure of agreement we have achieved together. It must be considered as a whole as it stands. I suggest that we have reached the stage when most, if not all, of us want the draft Resolution, the whole draft Resolution and nothing but the draft Resolution." (S/PV 1382, p. 31, of 22.11.67)

Lord Caradon, interviewed on Kol Israel in February 1973:

Question: "This matter of the (definite) article which is there in French and is missing in English, is that really significant?"

Answer: "The purposes are perfectly clear, the principle is stated in the preamble, the necessity for withdrawal is stated in the operative section. And then the essential phrase which is not sufficiently recognized is that withdrawal should take place to secure and recognized boundaries, and these words were very carefully chosen: they have to be secure and they have to be recognized. They will not be secure unless they are recognized. And that is why one has to work for agreement. This is essential. I would defend absolutely what we did. It was not for us to lay down exactly where the border should be. I know the 1967 border very well. It is not a satisfactory border, it is where troops had to stop in 1947, just where they happened to be that night, that is not a permanent boundary... "

Mr. Michael Stewart, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, in reply to a question in Parliament, 17 November 1969:

Question: "What is the British interpretation of the wording of the 1967 Resolution? Does the Right Honourable Gentleman understand it to mean that the Israelis should withdraw from all territories taken in the late war?"

Mr. Stewart: "No, Sir. That is not the phrase used in the Resolution. The Resolution speaks of secure and recognized boundaries. These words must be read concurrently with the statement on withdrawal."

Mr. Michael Stewart, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, in a reply to a question in Parliament, 9 December 1969:

"As I have explained before, there is reference, in the vital United Nations Security Council Resolution, both to withdrawal from territories and to secure and recognized boundaries. As I have told the House previously, we believe that these two things should be read concurrently and that the omission of the word 'all' before the word 'territories' is deliberate."

Mr. George Brown, British Foreign Secretary in 1967, on 19 January 1970:

"I have been asked over and over again to clarify, modify or improve the wording, but I do not intend to do that. The phrasing of the Resolution was very carefully worked out, and it was a difficult and complicated exercise to get it accepted by the UN Security Council. "I formulated the Security Council Resolution. Before we submitted it to the Council, we showed it to Arab leaders. The proposal said 'Israel will withdraw from territories that were occupied', and not from 'the' territories, which means that Israel will not withdraw from all the territories." (The Jerusalem Post, 23.1.70)

B. United States of America

Mr. Arthur Goldberg, US representative, in the Security Council in the course of the discussions which preceded the adoption of Resolution 242:

"To seek withdrawal without secure and recognized boundaries ... would be just as fruitless as to seek secure and recognized boundaries without withdrawal. Historically, there have never been secure or recognized boundaries in the area. Neither the armistice lines of 1949 nor the cease-fire lines of 1967 have answered that description... such boundaries have yet to be agreed upon. An agreement on that point is an absolute essential to a just and lasting peace just as withdrawal is... " (S/PV. 1377, p. 37, of 15. 11.67)

President Lyndon Johnson, 10 September 1968:

"We are not the ones to say where other nations should draw lines between them that will assure each the greatest security. It is clear, however, that a return to the situation of 4 June 1967 will not bring peace. There must be secure and there must be recognized borders. Some such lines must be agreed to by the neighbours involved."

Mr. Joseph Sisco, Assistant Secretary of State, 12 July 1970 (NBC "Meet the Press"):

"That Resolution did not say 'withdrawal to the pre-June 5 lines'. The Resolution said that the parties must negotiate to achieve agreement on the so-called final secure and recognized borders. In other words, the question of the final borders is a matter of negotiations between the parties."

Eugene V. Rostow, Professor of Law and Public Affairs, Yale University, who, in 1967, was US Under-Secretary of State for Political Affairs:

a) "... Paragraph 1 (i) of the Resolution calls for the withdrawal of Israeli armed forces 'from territories occupied in the recent conflict', and not 'from the territories occupied in the recent conflict'. Repeated attempts to amend this sentence by inserting the word 'the' failed in the Security Council. It is, therefore, not legally possible to assert that the provision requires Israeli withdrawal from all the territories now occupied under the cease-fire resolutions to the Armistice Demarcation lines." (American Journal of International Law, Volume 64, September 1970, p. 69)

b) "The agreement required by paragraph 3. of the Resolution, the Security Council said, should establish 'secure and recognized boundaries' between Israel and its neighbours 'free from threats or acts of force', to replace the Armistice Demarcation lines established in 1949, and the cease-fire lines of June 1967. The Israeli armed forces should withdraw to such lines as part of a comprehensive agreement, settling all the issues mentioned in the Resolution, and in a condition of peace." (American Journal of International Law, Volume 64, September 1970, p. 68)


Mr. Vasily Kuznetsov said in discussions that preceded the adoption of Resolution 242:

"... Phrases such as 'secure and recognized boundaries'. What does that mean? What boundaries are these? Secure, recognized - by whom, for what? Who is going to judge how secure they are? Who must recognize them? ... There is certainly much leeway for different interpretations which retain for Israel the right to establish new boundaries and to withdraw its troops only as far as the lines which it judges convenient." (S/PV. 1373, p. 112, of 9.11.67)

D. Brazil

Mr. Geraldo de Carvalho Silos, Brazilian representative, speaking in the Security Council after the adoption of Resolution 242:

"We keep constantly in mind that a just and lasting peace in the Middle East has necessarily to be based on secure, permanent boundaries freely agreed upon and negotiated by the neighbouring States." (S/PV. 1382, p. 66, 22.11.67)

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Love of the Land: Correcting President Obama: 242 does not set the size of the land mass under Arab control (Update)

Love of the Land: The Politics of Palestinian Demography

The Politics of Palestinian Demography

Michael Rubin
22 May '11

Diplomats, CENTCOM commanders, and now President Obama have cited demography and, more precisely, the growing Palestinian population in the West Bank and Gaza, as a reason why two states must come now rather than later. “The fact is, a growing number of Palestinians live west of the Jordan River,” Obama explained.

Certainly, demography should be a concern if Israel is to remain both democratic and a Jewish state. So much of the demography that’s floating around, however, is little more than junk statistics. When I was editor of the Middle East Quarterly, we published “The Politics of Palestinian Demography,” a must-read article by Yakov Fatelson, who looks at the statistics the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics provides and which many Americans accept at face value. The problem is that the Palestinian Authority lets politics influence its numbers. Their Central Bureau of Statistics isn’t allowed to report Palestinian emigration, double-counts Jerusalem (which is also counted by Israel), and has made revisions at the request of the Palestinian leadership when the population in Jerusalem, for example, was found to have declined. The error today may exceed one million people throughout areas claimed by the Palestinian Authority.

In computer science, the old quip is “garbage in, garbage out.” When it comes to policy based on bad numbers, the same adage applies.

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Love of the Land: The Politics of Palestinian Demography

Love of the Land: Where Is the Knesset?

Where Is the Knesset?

Elliott Abrams
The Weekly Standard
21 May '11

In what country is the Knesset? That sounds like a rhetorical question, akin to the one Groucho Marx would ask losers on his TV show so they would get a consolation prize: “who’s buried in Grant’s tomb?”

Yet it seems that this question has stumped the State Department. It does not know or will not say what country the Knesset is in, nor—one must assume—does it know what country the prime minister’s office, the Israel Museum, or especially the Western Wall are in. The proof is in a remarkable press release from State about the travels of Deputy Secretary James Steinberg. The May 18 release, in toto, is as follows:

Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg visits Israel, Jerusalem and the West Bank May 18-19, 2011. In Israel, Deputy Secretary Steinberg met with Israeli academic and student leaders. In the West Bank, he met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and other Palestinian officials. Among other issues, he discussed moving forward on Middle East peace as well as the recent fundamental changes in the region and the United States’ response to them. On May 19, he will participate in the U.S.-Israel Strategic Dialogue. The Strategic Dialogue allows senior U.S. and Israeli leaders to discuss, on a regular basis and in depth, the many issues that affect our mutual security and partnership.

I suppose the poor benighted Israelis believed they were hosting Steinberg in their country when he visited government offices. But he knew better. What makes this especially egregious is that Israeli government offices—where Mr. Steinberg would have had his official meetings—are actually in west Jerusalem, the portion Israel controlled even before 1967. Yet the Clinton State Department is apparently unwilling to call even that portion of the city "Israel."

This has not always been the position of the United States government. On May 18, 2008, exactly three years before the Steinberg announcement, the Bush White House issued a press release beginning as follows: “The President and Mrs. Bush will travel to Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt from May 13-18, 2008. In Israel, the President will meet with President Peres and Prime Minister Olmert and address the Knesset.” So foolish and ignorant, so consumed by pro-Israel bias, was the Bush administration that it obviously believed the Knesset to be in Israel.

There is a very serious point here. In the last two days we have seen considerable debate over the so-called “1967 borders,” and President Obama said that “We believe the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps.” Those swaps are usually said to be needed to take account of settlement activity in the years since 1967, but that is entirely wrong. Indeed, the entire position that the basis must be “1967 lines” is wrong, for several reasons.

The first is historical: this has not been the American position and it constitutes a damaging abandonment of our traditional support for Israel.

As Glenn Kessler pointed out in his “Fact Checker” blog the Washington Post, in September 1968 President Johnson said: “It is clear, however, that a return to the situation of 4 June 1967 will not bring peace. There must be secure and there must be recognized borders.” President Reagan said, in September 1982: “In the pre-1967 borders, Israel was barely ten miles wide at its narrowest point. The bulk of Israel’s population lived within artillery range of hostile armies. I am not about to ask Israel to live that way again.” Reagan’s secretary of State, George Shultz, was equally categorical in September 1988: “Israel will never negotiate from or return to the 1967 borders.” Citations from Presidents Clinton and Bush make the same points.

The second reason is legal. U.N. Security Council Resolution 242 did not require that Israel withdraw, after the 1967 war of aggression against it, from every inch it had captured, but rather from some of it. The resolution said Israel should have “secure and recognized boundaries” and obviously contemplated changes in the 1949 armistice lines that had existed until the 1967 war broke out. Put another way, Resolution 242 can be said to have viewed the 1949 armistice lines—which President Obama called “the 1967 lines”—as delineating a minimum Israeli territory, to which more would now be added.

The third reason is security, for the reasons Presidents Johnson and Reagan, as well as George W. Bush and Secretary of State Shultz, well understood. We should not be asking an ally to begin the negotiation from the assumption that every deviation from the 1949 armistice lines is wrong, is a problem, is a virtual act of aggression, when we know full well that the 1949 armistice lines are simply not the secure and defensible borders we have long said we support.

The fourth reason is what might be called logic, or common sense, or realism. While Deputy Secretary Steinberg and Secretary Clinton’s State Department may believe that the Western Wall of the ancient Temple is actually not in Israel, and are apparently unwilling to confirm that the Knesset and prime minister’s office are in Israel, it’s an unsustainable position. It is a ludicrous, insulting, morally untenable position. I urge some member of Congress to put this to the Secretary Clinton at her next appearance, or some journalist to ask it of her at her next press conference: “In what country is the Knesset? And in what country is the Western Wall of the Temple?”

What is striking about all four reasons that the “1967 lines” cannot be the basis for negotiations is that they have nothing to do with settlements. All existed before there was one single settlement. It would be wrong to ask Israel to negotiate from the 1949 armistice lines even if not one settlement had been built.

We should not be asking Israel to negotiate for the Knesset or the Western Wall, nor treating the 1949 armistice lines as if they were holy ordinances laid down in the Bible. Those lines were the product of war. And Israel’s control of Sinai and Gaza, which it has given up, and of the West Bank, which it still controls, are and were equally the products of aggressive war aimed at eliminating the Jewish State. To call for negotiations is fair. To burden an ally by weakening its negotiating position is not. The Knesset is in Israel, and the Western Wall is in Israel, and the sooner the Obama administration realizes this, the closer it will be to a Middle East policy worthy of our country and its long alliance with our ally in Jerusalem—which is, actually, the capital of the state of Israel.

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Love of the Land: Where Is the Knesset?

Love of the Land: The Middle East Operational Codes: Five Keys to Understanding

The Middle East Operational Codes: Five Keys to Understanding

David Bukay
American Thinker
21 May '11

Understanding the ME, as tumultuous, anarchist, and violent as it is, does not require complicated pundit analyses and convoluted explanations. Rather, in light of last month's uprisings, simplicity is the key, with five variables serving as instrumental in understanding the ME operational code.

The first key to understanding is that the Middle Eastern state, with its political institutions being a Western import, is weak and ineffective compared to the indigenous Middle Eastern social institutions: the clan, the tribe, and the religious community. The Arab states have emerged under European imperialistic rule, and their borders have been delineated without political, territorial, or functional logic. All Arab states comprise violent, hostile tribes and rival religious communities that stick together only by coercion from an oppressive authoritarian regime. In the absence of institutional legitimacy and participatory systems, order and stability are overturned by political decay and antagonistic politics. This means that operationally, when there is a crisis and the authority of the patrimonial leader weakens, the tendency is to revert to the secure, well-established frameworks of the tribe, the clan, or the religious community, releasing ancient rivalries that lead to chaotic violence.

The second key to understanding is that Middle Eastern leaders are not secure in their offices. Threatened by rivals from the political military elite and by Islamist movements (which are the only organized opposition groups), the leaders of authoritarian regimes cannot rule unless they are strong, violent, and patrimonial. This also means that democracy, as a consensual system with developmental stages, cannot emerge or exist. Therefore, when the authority of a ME regime disintegrates, the outcome is not democracy, but rather anarchy as the most likely replacement.

The third key to understanding, and perhaps the most important one, is the central role of the army, being the regime's principal power and political supporter. One can safely adopt the rule: "You tell me what the attitude of the army is vis-à-vis the regime, and I will tell you the longevity and survivability of the regime in power." This is exactly what is happening in Egypt, Libya, Yemen and Syria. This is exactly what will determine the fate of other regimes. Indeed, the Arab military in politics holds the highest importance in the ME.

The fourth key to understanding is that the inhabitants -- the masses -- have never been a sovereign electing people; historically, they have been without influence in the political realm and the decision-making processes. In the Arab world, there is no social contract based on trust and cooperation, as the foundation of Arab life is suspicion of the other and hatred of the foreigner. The only thing that binds the population together is fear of and intimidation by the authoritarian ruler. That is why the role of the ruler is so crucially important; one can say that it is almost demanded of him to conduct a reign of terror and intimidation on the population. Otherwise, chaos and anarchy prevail. Thus, when the barrier of fear is broken, as is happening now, the authority of the regime disintegrates. The central state system is weakened, and the political process turns to the street.

The fifth key to understanding is that the alternative to the current regimes in power are other leaders coming from the same political elite or Islamic groups coming from the opposition. Both are patrimonial, oppressive, and undemocratic. It must be clearly stated that aside from anarchy, one of the most likely alternatives to the ME regimes is not democracy, but Islamism. The Islamic phenomenon is not defensive and passive; it is an aggressive onslaught against modernism and secularism led by urban, educated, secular middle-class groups. Western permissiveness and materialism are the forces leading to these groups' return to Islam and motivating them to bring the Islamic religion back to a hegemony (al-Islam Huwa al-Hall al-Waheed).

Examining these keys through a macro-level analysis enables us to understand the ME operational codes. Thomas Friedman has praised the Arab revolution and accused Israel of being detached from the new realities (NYT, February, 2, 8, and 14, 2011). In his delusions, Friedman has envisioned a revolution of the Facebook generation that leads to democracy and the denial of Islamism. Likewise, other sources in Western media and many experts have celebrated the "emergence of the New ME," while in fact the opposite situation is the reality. Now these same sources are lamenting that the democratic revolution went wrong and that all that remains is a violent power struggle.

We are witnessing the same old chaotic, anarchic ME, and the Arab people's uprisings will not lead to democracies and consensual regimes. In fact, there is a high probability that the outcome of the uprisings will be either more oppressive authoritarian regimes and patrimonial leadership from the military or the emergence of Islamist groups under the Shari'ah. The latter outcome would ultimately lead to the victory of either Iran and the Shiite version of Islam or al-Qaeda and the Salafi-Sunni version of Islam.

Regarding the ME, the next decade is more likely to witness the emergence of the Sunni Caliphate or the Shiite Imamate struggling for hegemony. Both outcomes signal an imminent threat to the security of the West. However, instead of concentrating on understanding the operational code of the ME, and instead of trying to maintain the status quo, Western leaders prefer to operate through delusional wishful-thinking policies. This pattern is evidenced by Westerners' unwavering focus on the well-used scapegoat, the perhaps unsolvable "Palestinian question." It is as if regional and international leaders are desperately trying to find comfort in this one easily characterized issue.

There are more than twenty-five current civil wars going on around the world; there are a billion poor, miserable and hungry people who earn a dollar a day; there are deep food crises and water shortages; there are huge unresolved political issues and hosts of nations without the opportunity to form an independent state (James Minahan, Nations without States, Westport, CT, 1996). But the international community prefers to concentrate on the Palestinian issue. Indeed, we can draw a direct line between the world's desperation to solve real problems and its eagerness to deliberately concentrate on the Palestine situation.

One can only marvel at how blessed the Palestinians are to have everybody dealing with their issue, as if they are the only orphans of the world. One can only wonder how much political and financial support they receive at the expense of all those really in need. One can only be amazed at the stupidity of the false belief that all other regional issues will disappear, will be gone with the wind, if only the Palestinian issue is solved.

The hard truth is that rather than heralding the dawn of democracy and prosperity, this misguided belief and the misunderstanding of the ME operational code are more likely the harbinger of the dark winter of Islam -- a catastrophic set of circumstances that may well lead to the demise of U.S. influence, the destruction of Israel, and general regional chaos besides.

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Love of the Land: The Middle East Operational Codes: Five Keys to Understanding

Love of the Land: Palestinians became victims of 'Arab apartheid'

Palestinians became victims of 'Arab apartheid'

Point of No Return
22 May '11

In the latest of his well-researched and hard-hitting articles, the influential Maariv columnist Ben Dror Yemini (pictured) focuses on the real Palestinian Nakba: the story of Arab apartheid. Tens of millions, among them Jews, suffered from a 'nakba' of dispossession, expulsion and displacement, but only the Palestinians remained refugees because they were treated to abuse and oppression by the Arab countries.

In 1959, the Arab League passed Resolution 1457, which states as follows: “The Arab countries will not grant citizenship to applicants of Palestinian origin in order to prevent their assimilation into the host countries.” That is a stunning resolution, which was diametrically opposed to international norms in everything pertaining to refugees in those years, particularly in that decade. The story began, of course, in 1948, when the Palestinian “nakba” occurred. It was also the beginning of every discussion on the Arab-Israeli conflict, with the blame heaped on Israel, because it expelled the refugees, turning them into miserable wretches. This lie went public through academe and the media dealing with the issue.

In previous articles on the issue of the Palestinians, we explained that there is nothing special about the Israeli-Arab conflict. First, the Arab countries refused to accept the proposal of partition and they launched a war of annihilation against the State of Israel which had barely been established. All precedents in this matter showed that the party that starts the war - and with a declaration of annihilation, yet - pays a price for it. Second, this entails a population exchange: indeed, between 550,000 and 710,000 Arabs (the most precise calculation is that of Prof. Ephraim Karash, who calculated and found that their number ranges between 583,000 and 609,000). Most of them fled, a minority were expelled because of the war and a larger number of about 850,000 Jews were expelled or fled from Arab countries (the “Jewish nakba”). Third, the Palestinians are not alone in this story. Population exchanges and expulsions were the norm at that time. They occurred in dozens of other conflict points, and about 52 million people experienced dispossession, expulsion and uprooting (”And the World is lying”). And fourth, in all the population exchange precedents that occurred during or at the end of an armed conflict, or on the backdrop of the establishment of a national entity, or the disintegration of a multinational state and the establishment of a national entity - there was no return of refugees to the previous region, which had turned into a new national state. The displaced persons and the refugees, with almost no exceptions, found sanctuary in the place in which they joined a population with a similar background: the ethnic Germans who wore expelled from Central and Eastern Europe assimilated in Germany, the Hungarian refugees from Czechoslovakia and other places found sanctuary in Hungary, the Ukrainians who were expelled from Poland found sanctuary in Ukraine, and so forth. In this sense, the affinity between the Arabs who originated in mandatory Palestine and their neighbors in Jordan, Syria and Lebanon, was similar or even greater than the affinity between many ethnic Germans and their country of origin in Germany, sometimes after a disconnect of many generations.

Only the Arab states acted completely differently from the rest of the world. They crushed the refugees despite the fact that they were their co-religionists and members of the Arab nation. They instituted a régime of apartheid to all intents and purposes. So we must remember that the “nakba” was not caused by the actual dispossession, which had also been experienced by tens of millions of others. The “nakba” is the story of the apartheid and abuse suffered by the Arab refugees (it was only later that they became “Palestinians”) in Arab countries.

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Love of the Land: Palestinians became victims of 'Arab apartheid'

Love of the Land: Obama’s policy is different — and terrible for Israel

Obama’s policy is different — and terrible for Israel
20 May '11

Yesterday I wrote about President Obama’s Israel-Palestine proposal. I tried to be fair, indicating what I thought were the good and bad points. I thought I was finished with it, but apparently not.

Overall, it represents a change in American policy that is a change for the worse. If implemented as described, it would be a disaster for Israel.

I should have known that the usual suspects would spin it as in fact pro-Israel. I am really, really sick of hearing those words.

Let me take a random example. David A. Harris of the National Jewish Democratic Council, in an article titled “Condemning the President” that was also sent by email to its members, said this:

It’s laughable to suggest that President Obama insisted Israel return to 1967 lines, or that he said anything different from the policies of Presidents Bush and Clinton before him.

- President George W. Bush similarly said that prior armistice lines should be used as a basis for talks almost six years ago today—while standing next to PA President Mahmoud Abbas.

Diplomatic statements are carefully calibrated, and what may seem to be small differences in wording can represent big changes in policy. Let’s look at exactly what Obama said,

The United States believes that negotiations should result in two states, with permanent Palestinian borders with Israel, Jordan, and Egypt, and permanent Israeli borders with Palestine. We believe the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states. The Palestinian people must have the right to govern themselves, and reach their full potential, in a sovereign and contiguous state.

And here is what it means:

1. Israel will not have a border with Jordan. Thus the idea that Israel will maintain control of the Jordan Valley, considered essential for strategic reasons, is ruled out.

2. The borders will be based on 1967 lines. The position of every American government until now has followed UNSC resolution 242, that borders will be negotiated between the parties (at Oslo, Israel agreed to negotiate with the Palestinians in place of Jordan). The “1967 lines” are the 1949 armistice lines, which neither Israel nor the Arabs have ever treated as anything other than accidental.

But by saying that negotiations will be based on the lines and the Palestinians will be compensated by ‘swaps’ — land from pre-1967 Israel — the President implies that Judea and Samaria belong to the Palestinians today, and that Israel must pay for any of it that they keep.

This is a far cry from resolution 242, which recognized that the 1949-1967 lines were not “secure and recognized boundaries” and that such boundaries need to be negotiated.

3. The state of Palestine is understood to include Judea, Samaria and Gaza (the issue of Jerusalem is left for later in Obama’s proposal). Demanding that it be “contiguous” is a demand that Israel be cut in half.

Previous proposals — which were never accepted — called for some form of ‘free passage’ between Gaza and Judea/Samaria. This is a much less stringent requirement than a demand for territorial contiguity (it could theoretically be met by a bus or railway line).

Now let’s look at what President Bush said, which Harris claims was ‘similar’:

Any final status agreement must be reached between the two parties, and changes to the 1949 Armistice Lines must be mutually agreed to. A viable two-state solution must ensure contiguity on the West Bank, and a state of scattered territories will not work. There must also be meaningful linkages between the West Bank and Gaza.

My analysis:

1. The final borders, which are understood to be different from the 1949 lines, must be mutually agreed upon. That’s exactly what resolution 242 said. There is no presumption that the territories to the east are Palestinian, as there is in Mr. Obama’s formulation.

2. The “West Bank” part of Palestine must be contiguous. There is no requirement that all of Palestine, including Gaza, has to be — only “meaningful linkages” are required. Israel need not be cut in two.

Yes, you can say the statements are ‘similar’. But there are very significant differences. Harris also listed a number of Obama’s feel-good remarks, which did not represent concrete commitments.

And that’s not all. Harris did not mention the most dangerous part of the proposal, which represents a huge shift in US policy.

Until now, it’s been understood that nothing is permanent until the main final-status issues are resolved. So while more than 95% of the Arab population of Judea and Samaria today is under Palestinian Authority control, it is not a sovereign state and will not be, under Oslo, until the status of Jerusalem, refugees, etc. are settled to the satisfaction of both parties. But here is the Obama proposal:

As for security, every state has the right to self-defense, and Israel must be able to defend itself -– by itself -– against any threat. Provisions must also be robust enough to prevent a resurgence of terrorism, to stop the infiltration of weapons, and to provide effective border security. The full and phased withdrawal of Israeli military forces should be coordinated with the assumption of Palestinian security responsibility in a sovereign, non-militarized state. And the duration of this transition period must be agreed, and the effectiveness of security arrangements must be demonstrated.

These principles provide a foundation for negotiations. Palestinians should know the territorial outlines of their state; Israelis should know that their basic security concerns will be met. I’m aware that these steps alone will not resolve the conflict, because two wrenching and emotional issues will remain: the future of Jerusalem, and the fate of Palestinian refugees. But moving forward now on the basis of territory and security provides a foundation to resolve those two issues in a way that is just and fair, and that respects the rights and aspirations of both Israelis and Palestinians.

This means that Israel will give up territory permanently to a sovereign Palestine before the issues of Jerusalem and refugees are agreed upon! This means that Israel will have zero leverage in subsequent negotiations over these issues, in which Palestine will of course push its maximal demands — demands which, if met, include the loss of the Jewish people’s holiest sites, and the resettlement of millions of ‘refugees’ in Israel and its conversion to an Arab-majority state.

And these claims against Israel will be pressed by a sovereign Palestine in international fora such as the UN, the International Court of Justice, etc. — exactly as Mahmoud Abbas has said would happen if he is successful in getting a unilateral declaration of Palestine via the UN in September!

There’s even more wrong with this proposal, if we look at what Obama did not say. He did not say that the US would live up to its promises in President Bush’s 2004 letter, in particular that the US would oppose resettlement of refugees in Israel. And here is what he said about the incorporation of the racist, genocidal Hamas in the future Palestinian government:

Recognizing that negotiations need to begin with the issues of territory and security does not mean that it will be easy to come back to the table. In particular, the recent announcement of an agreement between Fatah and Hamas raises profound and legitimate questions for Israel: How can one negotiate with a party that has shown itself unwilling to recognize your right to exist? And in the weeks and months to come, Palestinian leaders will have to provide a credible answer to that question.

Nice sentiments, but where is the statement that the US demands that Hamas agrees to recognize Israel, renounce violent ‘resistance’, etc. before it can take part in the Palestinian government?

In fact, the reference to “com[ing] back to the table” seems to imply that Palestine will receive sovereignty before the Palestinians will be required to provide an unspecified “answer” to the question of Hamas! This, too, represents a major change of US policy.

I’ve said that the Obama Administration is the worst one for Israel since its founding in 1948. Now I think I’ve proved that.

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Love of the Land: Obama’s policy is different — and terrible for Israel
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