Archive for the 'Peace Process' Category

The Two-State Delusion

Sunday, December 15th, 2013

by Mordechai Nisan*

Two decades after the signing of the declaration of principles (DOP) by Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) on the White House lawn, there is something unreasonable in the world’s continued adherence to the Oslo paradigm, tattered and battered as it is by years of a bloody fiasco. The Palestinian Arab leadership has consistently and adamantly rejected the two-state solution since its first articulation in 1937 by the British Peel commission[1] and has, as consistently, advocated the destruction of the Jewish state. Still, it undertook a successful public relations campaign in the 1980s promoting the notion of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip—”the occupied territories.”

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Obama’s foreign policy advances the interests of Islamists and leftists and subverts freedom

Monday, August 19th, 2013

By Gary Gerofsky

Without freedom there can be no democracy. Without the US supporting freedom, democracy is endangered. With the US supporting make-believe democracy without freedom, there can be no real democracy with freedom. With the US working against freedom, there can be no US. With the US supporting Islamism (masked as a “religion of peace”), terrorism and war will flourish.

The US has had a mixed record of working to weaken or undermine states, individuals and groups that were harmful to its self-interests. US policy has generally been focused on its own interests, regardless of the merit of those interests. Now, with US President Obama’s new appeasement foreign policy, it could be argued that its policy is not geared towards its own self-interests but rather the interests of Islamists and leftists who are pushing hard to advance Obama’s vision of an Islamist crescent surrounding a shrunken or perhaps non-existent State of Israel. We must ask ourselves a very serious question: Why is Obama acting to destroy Israel, backing Islamists, and strengthening terrorists? How does this help American interests? Why are the American people not reacting to what amounts to the hijacking of US foreign policy to help the ideology of terrorists who were quite eager to attack America on 9/11 and to damage the US at every other opportunity before and after 9/11?

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Israel’s Bad Neighborhood

Saturday, August 10th, 2013

by Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought: a US-Israel Initiative,” “Israel Hayom”

While the Middle East combusts, threatening vital US interests, the US attempts to clip the wings of Israel — the only reliable, predictable, stable, effective, democratic and unabashedly pro-US firefighter in the region.

Western policy-makers and public opinion molders welcomed the 2011 riots on the Arab Street as an Arab Spring, a people’s revolution and a transition toward democracy. However, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Yemen and Syria have demonstrated that the Arab Street is experiencing an Arab Tsunami and a transition towards intensified chaos, totally unrelated to the Palestinian issue, which has been a regional sideshow. In fact, Alexei Pushkov, Chairman of the International Committee in Russia’s Duma, stated on July 4, 2013: “the ongoing events in Egypt confirm that the so-called Arab Spring has led not to democratic renewal but to chaos… We can see this in Egypt, in Libya, in Syria, and in Iraq… The events in Egypt show that there can’t be a quick and gentle transition from an authoritarian regime to political democracy. There can’t be such a transition in the Arab Middle East countries…”

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Releasing Terrorists: Water or Fuel to the Fire of Terrorism?

Sunday, August 4th, 2013

by Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought: US-Israel Initiative,” “Israel Hayom”

The Head of Israel’s Security Services, Yoram Cohen, stated that 60% of released Palestinian terrorists revert to operational terrorism. Most of the 1,150 terrorists, released via the May 21, 1985 “Jibril Exchange” played a key role during the First Intifada (wave of terrorism). Over 50% of the Palestinian terrorists, who were released between the 1993 Oslo Accord and the eruption of the Second Intifada, participated in that wave of Palestinian terrorism.

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Israel must defend its rights by saying “no” to Obama, the EU, and the UN

Friday, August 2nd, 2013

By Gary Gerofsky

The peaceniks and media types have been excited these past several days over U.S. President Obama’s victory at getting the Government of Israel (GOI) to prostrate itself in front of the world. The Jewish State stands tortured and shackled by Obama and the E.U., self-flagellating in a defeated manner that is a national embarrassment, all to satisfy a world lusting for punitive action and retribution against the Jewish people for successfully establishing a free state, once again, in the place where they have lived continuously for at least 3500 years. It is now payback time in the minds of leftists because Jews survived and then defeated those who wanted to eliminate Israel with war and terror. Jews defeated people aligned to Adolph Hitler during the Second World War. Now, with the destructive help of those empowered to protect and defend Israel, the Jewish State is being asked to make dangerous sacrifices amounting to suicide.

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Secretary Kerry’s Initiative and Middle East Reality

Friday, July 5th, 2013

by Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought: US-Israel Initiative,” “Israel Hayom”

The chaotic Arab Street is raging violently, uncontrollably, unpredictably and incessantly, from northwestern Africa through Egypt, Syria and Jordan to Iraq and the Persian Gulf. Arab countries are imploding; Iran is galloping towards nuclear capability that haunts Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States; Islamic terrorism is threatening the US mainland via the proliferation of sleeper cells; pro-US Arab oil-producing regimes are increasingly vulnerable to subversion; the Arab Middle East is growing Islamist and anti-US, jeopardizing vital US economic and national security interests; Turkey has changed colors from a pro to anti-US pillar; and Russia and China deepen their involvement in the region.

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Why “Progress” Toward Israel-Palestinian “Peace” Is More Likely to Bring Regional Instability

Thursday, April 11th, 2013

By Barry Rubin

Secretary of State John Kerry has in his head every what-should-be-discredited cliché about the Middle East firmly ensconced in his head. Of course, he is not alone. I just briefed a European diplomat who came up with the exact formulation I’m going to deal with in a moment. What is disconcerting — though long familiar — is that Western policy makers hold so many ideas that are totally out of touch with reality.

They do not allow these assumptions to be questioned. On the contrary, it is astonishing to find how often individuals in elite positions have never heard counter-arguments to these beliefs. It is easy to prove that many of these ideas simply don’t make sense, but it is nearly impossible to get elite intellectuals, officials, and politicians to open their minds to these explanations.

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The Failure of the American Jewish Left

Wednesday, December 26th, 2012

by David Brog*

In early September 2012, many in the pro-Israel camp were disturbed by a series of events at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte. First, the committee drafting the party platform eliminated traditional language recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Next, the party elders chose to restore the language and called for a pro forma voice vote from the delegates in support of this amendment. Instead, what looked and sounded like an angry majority of the delegates voted against recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

This hostility should not have come as a surprise. For many years, the liberal base of the Democratic Party has been steadily turning against the Jewish state. So much so that for the first time since 1948, one of America’s two major parties has begun to abandon its commitment to Israel. This trend has less to do with the behavior of President Obama or other national party leaders than with the far more troubling phenomenon of changing opinions at the grassroots. The Jerusalem flap at the Democratic convention was not a warning sign. It was the final bell.

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The Useful Myth that Obama Now Likes Israel

Tuesday, December 25th, 2012

By Barry Rubin

Reality, especially in 2012, is very hard to face. So many hopes dashed; so many bad things happening. So people can be forgiven for taking refuge in wishful thinking. Sometimes, not telling the truth has its value in public affairs, especially when you are looking at a president with four more years in office and no elections ahead of him.

Such is the story now gaining currency in some quarters that President Barack Obama has changed his view of Israel, now wants to get along with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and the two are closely cooperating. If you want to believe that idea it probably does no harm and makes you feel better. Maintaining this fiction may also encourage Obama supporters to think more kindly of Israel.

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Israel at Peace

Monday, December 17th, 2012

by Daniel Pipes*

Those concerned with the security and welfare of the Jewish state keep asking questions like “Is Israel Doomed?” and Will Israel Survive? (also in French, Israël peut-il survivre?). One even titled a book The Late Great State of Israel. This gloom results from the unique barrage of threats facing the Jewish state. These include weapons of mass destruction, conventional armies, and terrorism; economic boycott, demographic challenge, and political delegitimization. No country at present – and perhaps in all history – faces such an array of dangers, from mass violence (Iranian nuclear bombs) to intellectual sabotage (professors of English).

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PLO calls on EU to take tougher measures against Israel

Saturday, December 15th, 2012

By Fern Sidman

On Tuesday, December 11th, Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) Executive Committee member Hanan Ashwari called on foreign ministers gathered at the European Union summit in Brussels on Monday, December 10 to, “reconsider,” their political and trade relations with Israel over what it called, “provocations.”

The EU’s meeting in Brussels was convened to debate Israel’s approval last week of the thousands of housing units to be built in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. As had been predicted, the meeting resulted in a severe condemnation of Israel’s decisions. Following discussions on the matter, the EU issued a statement saying that it was, “deeply dismayed by and strongly opposes Israeli plans to expand settlements in the West Bank, including in east Jerusalem, and in particular plans to develop the E1 area,” and said all of its agreements with Israel only applied to the pre-1967 war lines. Diplomatic sources have indicated that they fear that the language in the council statement, as it pertained to recognition of Israel only within the context of the 1967 borders, was placed there to lay the groundwork for labeling and possibly banning settlement products in the future.

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Israel Has No Other Alternative But the Alternative it Has is a Good One

Monday, December 10th, 2012

By Barry Rubin

The Palestinian leadership, abetted by many Western governments, has now torn up every agreement it made with Israel. Once the efforts of two decades of negotiations — including irrevocable Israeli compromises in giving the Palestinian Authority control over territory, its own armed forces, dismantling settlements, and permitting billions of dollars of foreign aid to the Palestinians — were destroyed, the world has decided to focus the blame on Israel approving the construction of 3000 apartments.

In 1993, Israel signed an agreement with the PLO to make peace in the Israel-Palestinian conflict. The accord, known as the Oslo agreement, included the following passage in Article 31:

“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 the permanent status negotiations.”

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Fact Checking Judea and Samaria Settlements

Saturday, December 8th, 2012

by Yoram Ettinger

1. Judea and Samaria (Jewish roots) or West Bank (Arab roots)?

“Judea” (יהודה) is the origin of the term “Jew” (יהודי). Its Hebrew spelling combines one of God’s names: Jehova (יהוה) and one of God’s acronyms: ד’. Judea and Samaria are the cradle of Jewish history, religion, culture, holidays, ethos, language and yearnings. The official name of the area was Judea and Samaria from Biblical times until April, 1950, when Jordan occupied/annexed the area, renaming it West Bank, as distinguished from the east bank of the Jordan River. Judea and Samaria was the official name used by the 1922-1948 British Mandate of Palestine, as well as by the UN.

2. Are Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria an obstacle to peace?

Jewish settlements were established in Judea and Samaria after the 1967 War. However, it was pre-1967 Arab terrorism which annihilated the Jewish communities of Hebron, Gush Etzion and Gaza and raged in the Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and the Galilee during the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s. Arab terrorism aimed at preventing the establishment of an “infidel” Jewish state in the “abode of Islam.” Several Arab armies, and Palestinian terrorists, raided Israel in 1948 and persisted in anti-Jewish terrorism before the 1967 establishment of Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria.

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UNRWA’s Self-serving Agenda

Friday, November 9th, 2012

by Uri Resnick*

Since June 1967, operations in the West Bank and Gaza by the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) have been carried out in accordance with an explicit agreement with Israel, which has repeatedly indicated its support for the agency’s humanitarian activities.[1] Yet this support, which reflects recognition of the genuine humanitarian plight of many of the refugees, has not prevented the Israeli government from expressing its conviction that UNRWA could better serve its beneficiaries by following in the footsteps of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), specifically with regard to resettlement and local integration. As recently as 2011, Jerusalem noted that “UNRWA’s mandate should include … in the Palestinian context … the broadly applied United Nations goals of resettlement and local integration of refugees.”[2] Given UNHCR’s remarkable success in finding sustainable solutions for millions of refugees around the world, UNRWA would do well to implement similar policies for the Palestinians.

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The Catastrophe Called Nakba

Friday, May 11th, 2012

by Sam Sokol*

“All of the world knows what happened here in 1948,’ Daoud Abu Lebdeh says, while leaning against a table in a coffee shop on the Hebrew University’s Mount Scopus campus.

“The Israeli soldiers or the Israeli militias like the Hagana, Kahane, the Irgun and Lehi came here and they [kicked] the people outside from their homes.”

Daoud is a nondescript man of 24 from the Jerusalem neighborhood of Wadi Joz. A correspondent and blogger with the Palestinian website the Middle East Post, Daoud has come highly recommended as an expert on the Nakba, the “catastrophe” of the birth of the State of Israel, and concurrently, the start of the Palestinian refugee problem, by Fatah Youth activist and Jerusalemite Mousa Abassi.

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