Archive for the ‘Israel and France’ category

Obama’s Betrayal of Israel

January 13, 2017

Obama’s Betrayal of Israel, Gatestone InstituteGuy Millière, January 13, 2017

(Please see also, Israel is the legal occupant of the West Bank, says the Court of Appeal of Versailles. — DM)

President Obama’s decision not to use the US veto in the UN Security Council and to let pass Resolution 2334, effectively sets the boundaries of a future Palestinian state. The resolution declares all of Judea, Samaria and East Jerusalem — home to the Old City, the Western Wall and the Temple Mount — the most sacred place in Judaism — “occupied Palestinian territory,” and is a declaration of war against Israel.

Resolution 2334 nullified any possibility of further negotiations by giving the Palestinians everything in exchange for nothing — not even an insincere promise of peace.

The next act is the Orwellian-named “peace conference,” to be held in Paris on January 15. It has but one objective: to set the stage to eradicate Israel.

In this new “Dreyfus trial,” the accused will be the only Jewish state and the accusers will be the OIC and officials from Islamized, dhimmified, anti-Israel Western states. As in the Dreyfus trial, the verdict has been decided before it even starts. Israel will be considered guilty of all charges and condemned. A draft of the declaration to be published at the end of the conference is already available.

The declaration rejects any Jewish presence beyond the 1949 armistice lines — thereby instituting apartheid. It also praises the “Arab Peace Initiative,” which calls for returning of millions of so-called “refugees” to Israel, thus transforming Israel into an Arab Muslim state where a massacre of Jews could conveniently be organized.

The declaration is most likely meant serve as the basis for a new Security Council resolution on January 17 that would recognize a Palestinian state inside the “1967 borders,” and be adopted, thanks to a second US abstention, three days before Obama leaves office. The betrayal of Israel by the Obama administration and by Obama himself would then be complete.

The US Congress is already discussing bills to defund the UN and the Palestinian Authority. If Europeans think that the incoming Trump administration is as spineless as the Obama administration, they are in for a shock.

Khaled Abu Toameh noted that the Palestinian Authority sees Resolution 2334 as a green light for more murders and violence.

Daniel Pipes recently wrote that it is time to acknowledge the failure of a “peace process” that is really a war process. He stresses that peace can only come when an enemy is defeated.

Resolution 2334 and the Paris conference, both promoted by Obama, are, as the great historian Bat Ye’or wrote, simply a victory for jihad.

The Middle East is in chaos. More than half a million people have been killed in the Syrian war and the number is rising. Bashar al-Assad’s army used chemical weapons and barrel bombs against civilians; Russia has bombed schools and hospitals.

Syrians, Christians, Yazidis, Libyans, Yemenis and Egyptians all face lethal treats. Iranian leaders still shout “Death to Israel” and “Death to America” while buying nuclear equipment with money from lifted sanctions. Turkey is sliding toward an Islamist dictatorship, and unable to stem attacks against it.

The only democratic and stable country in the region is Israel, and that is the country U.S. President Barack Obama, in the final weeks of his term, chooses to incriminate. His decision not to use the US veto in the UN Security Council, to let pass Resolution 2334, effectively sets the boundaries of a future Palestinian state. The resolution also declares all of Judea, Samaria and East Jerusalem, home to the Old City, the Western Wall and the Temple Mount — the most sacred place in Judaism — “occupied Palestinian territory,” and is a declaration of war against Israel.

UNSC Resolution 2334 nullified any possibility of further negotiations, by giving the Palestinians everything in exchange for nothing — not even an insincere promise of peace. US Secretary of State John Kerry’s speech five days later confirmed Obama’s support for the resolution. Kerry, like US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power, used the existence of Jewish towns and villages in Judea and Samaria as a pretext to endorse the position of Palestinian leaders, who want to ethnically cleanse Jews from these areas. But this was just a prelude.

The next act is the Orwellian-named “peace conference,” to be held in Paris on January 15. It has but one objective: to set the stage to eradicate Israel.

Organized by François Hollande, a failed French President who will leave power in four months, it was supported from the start by the Obama administration. Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman called it “the new Dreyfus trial.” The accused will be the only Jewish state and the accusers will be the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and officials from Islamized, dhimmified, anti-Israel Western states. As in the Dreyfus trial, the verdict is known before it starts. Israel will be considered guilty of all charges and condemned to what its accusers hope will be the beginning of its end.

2208Is Barack Obama planning another betrayal of Israel at next week’s Paris “peace conference,” organized by French President François Hollande? Pictured: Obama and Hollande in Washington, May 18, 2012. (Image source: White House)

Some commentators have compared what will happen in Paris to the 1942 Wannsee Conference in Nazi Germany, because the aim seems clearly to be the “final solution” of the “Jewish problem” in the Middle East. A draft of the declaration to be published at the end of the conference is already available. It affirms unreserved support for the “Palestinian Statehood strategy” and the principle of intangibility (that the borders cannot be modified) of the “1967 borders,” including East Jerusalem, the Old City and the Western Wall.

The draft declaration rejects any Jewish presence beyond these borders — thereby instituting apartheid — and praises the “Arab Peace Initiative,” which calls for returning millions of so-called “refugees” to Israel, and thus the transforming of Israel into an Arab Muslim state — where a massacre of the Jews could conveniently be organized.

The declaration is most likely meant to be the basis for a new UN Security Council resolution that would endorse the recognition of a Palestinian state in the “1967 borders” as defined in the declaration. The new resolution could be adopted by a second US abstention at the Security Council on January 17, three days before Obama leaves office. The betrayal of Israel by the Obama administration and by Obama himself would then be complete.

On January 20, however, Donald J. Trump is to take office as President of the United States. Trump sent a message on December 23: “Stay strong Israel, January 20th is fast approaching!” He added explicitly that the U.S. “cannot continue to let Israel be treated with such total disdain and disrespect.”

On January 5, the US House of Representatives approved a text harshly criticizing Resolution 2334. Congress is already discussing defunding the UN and the Palestinian Authority. If Europeans and members of UN think the incoming Trump administration is as spineless as the Obama administration, they are in for a shock.

Wall Street Journal columnist Bret Stephens recently wondered if the creation of a Palestinian state would alleviate the current Middle East chaos. His answer was that it would not, and that the creation of a Palestinian state would be seen as a victory for jihadists. He also noted that the Palestinian Authority still behaves like a terrorist entity; that an Israeli withdrawal from Judea and Samaria would encourage Hamas and lead to the creation of another terrorist Islamic state in the West Bank, and that an Israeli withdrawal is something that most Palestinians do not even want:

“[A] telling figure came in a June 2015 poll conducted by the Palestinian Center for Public Opinion, which found that a majority of Arab residents in East Jerusalem would rather live as citizens with equal rights in Israel than in a Palestinian state.”

Khaled Abu Toameh, an Arab journalist who has never yet been wrong, noted that the Palestinian Authority sees Resolution 2334 as a green light for more violence, murders and confrontation. He added that if presidential elections by the PA were held today, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh would win by a comfortable margin.

In another important article, Middle East scholar Daniel Pipes writes that it is time to acknowledge the failure of a “peace process” that is really a war process. He stressed that peace can only come when an enemy is defeated. He predicts that for peace to come, Israel must win unambiguously, and the Palestinians pass through “the bitter crucible of defeat, with all its deprivation, destruction, and despair.”

Jihadi indoctrination, as well as the financial aid given to Palestinian terrorists, have been paid for by the United States, France, and other Western European nations. That too should stop.

Resolution 2334 and the Paris peace conference, both promoted by Obama, are, as the great historian Bat Ye’or wrote, simply victories for jihad.

French Ambassadors Declare War on Israel

January 12, 2017

French Ambassadors Declare War on Israel, Gatestone InstituteYves Mamou, January 12, 2017

(Having done a bang-up job of integrating Islamic refugees, perhaps Paris and the rest of Europe will share the secrets of their “success” — so that avoid them in dealing with Palestinians. — DM)

If Israel does not comply with its condemnation; if Israel refuses to go back to the “Auschwitz borders” of 1949 as UN Security Council Resolution 2334 dictates; if Israel does not renounce Jerusalem, the soul of its civilization for more than 3,000 years, to make room for a Palestinian state — they also conveniently leave out that it would most likely soon be an Islamic terrorist state — then the process of international sanctions will be launched.

“It is unfortunate, however,” the ambassadors wrote, “that Mr. Netanyahu from the outset announced that he did not want to meet Mr. Abbas in Paris. But this refusal shows the need for international pressure to reframe an impossible dialogue.”

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For our ambassadors, terrorism does not exist in “Palestine”. They just whisper Quixotically about “the need for security” for Israel.

The obvious conclusion is that they are just trying to hide their own detestation of Israel behind the Arab one.

The problem is not Jewish “settlers” in “Palestine”. Before 1967, there were no settlements, then what was the Palestine Liberation Organization “liberating” when it was created in Cairo in 1964? The answer, as the PLO was the first to admit, was “Palestine” — meaning the entire state of Israel, regarded by many Arabs as just one big settlement. Just look any Palestinian map.

The problem is that these ambassadors are not as dangerous to Israel as they are to Europe and the free world, as they keep on succumbing to the demands of Islam.

Do not forget these names: Yves Aubin de La Messuzière; Denis Bauchard; Philippe Coste; Bertrand Dufourcq; Christian Graeff; Pierre Hunt; Patrick Leclercq; Stanislas de Laboulaye; Jean-Louis Lucet; Gabriel Robin; Jacques-Alain de Sédouy and Alfred Siefer-Gaillardin.

These men are retired French ambassadors. They are apparently well educated, very polite and aristocratic people and they regularly publish op-eds in Le Monde. However, they publish in Le Monde only to threaten Israel.

Their most recent op-ed in Le Monde on January 9, 2017, was to explain how an international conference on the Middle East, the one which scheduled for January 15 in Paris, would be beneficial for the “security” of Israel. Their text is a discouraging enumeration of traditional clichés of France’s hypocritical diplomacy.

Example: “For the Palestinians, nothing is worse than the absence of a state”. In which way is it the worst? As Bret Stephens wrote this week in the Wall Street Journal:

“Have they experienced greater violations to their culture than Tibetans? No: Beijing has conducted a systematic policy of repression for 67 years, whereas Palestinians are nothing if not vocal in mosques, universities and the media. Have they been persecuted more harshly than the Rohingya? Not even close.”

Stephens also noted that:

“a telling figure came in a June 2015 poll conducted by the Palestinian Center for Public Opinion, which found that a majority of Arab residents in East Jerusalem would rather live as citizens with equal rights in Israel than in a Palestinian state. “

The French ambassadors, however, do not explain. They just add: “The Proclamation of a Palestinian state will certainly not change anything on the ground,” but they say that they hope this symbolic move will create “a new dynamic imposing new realities”. Hmm. Now what could these “new realities” be in a Palestinian state in the middle of a war-torn Middle East?

“Today,” reflects Diana B. Greenwald of the Washington Post, “with Fatah in charge in the West Bank, the main threat comes from Islamist groups, such as Hamas, and even militant groups associated with Fatah that have chafed under Abbas’s heavy-handed rule.”

This evaluation was backed up by the landslide vote for Hamas, not in Gaza, but at Birzeit University in the West Bank.

For these French ambassadors, all Israeli governments, and especially Netanyahu’s, are seemingly driven by a “religious nationalism” which supposedly makes Israel’s prime minister deaf to the national aspirations of Palestinian people — the same Palestinian people who pursue a state by killing Jews with knifes, bus-bombs or vehicular ramming attacks, at the same time shouting, “Allahu Akbar” [“Allah is Greatest”]. For our ambassadors, terrorism does not exist in “Palestine”. They just whisper Quixotically about “the need for security” for Israel.

PARIS, FRANCE - JANUARY 11: French President Francois Hollande (R) welcomes Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Elysee Palace before attending a Unity rally in tribute to the 17 victims of a three-day killing spree by homegrown Islamists on January 11, 2015 in Paris, France. A mass unity rally to be held in Paris following the recent terrorist attacks on January 11, 2015 in Paris, France. An estimated one million people are expected to converge in central Paris for the Unity March joining in solidarity with the 17 victims of this week's terrorist attacks in the country. French President Francois Hollande will lead the march and will be joined by world leaders in a sign of unity. The terrorist atrocities started on Wednesday with the attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, killing 12, and ended on Friday with sieges at a printing company in Dammartin en Goele and a Kosher supermarket in Paris with four hostages and three suspects being killed. A fourth suspect, Hayat Boumeddiene, 26, escaped and is wanted in connection with the murder of a policewoman. (Photo by Thierry Chesnot/Getty Images)Unhappy France-Israel diplomacy. Pictured: French President François Hollande (right) greets Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Paris on January 11, 2015. (Image source: Thierry Chesnot/Getty Images)

Their article is a long and boring lament about the oh-so-difficult conditions of the Palestinian people. But after this complaint, our ambassadors finally get to their real intent: they threaten to banish Israel. If Israel does not comply with its condemnation; if Israel refuses to go back to the “Auschwitz borders” of 1949 as UN Security Council Resolution 2334 dictates; if Israel does not renounce Jerusalem, the soul of its civilization for more than 3,000 years, to make room for a Palestinian state — they also conveniently leave out that it would most likely soon be an Islamic terrorist state — then the process of international sanctions will be launched.

“It is unfortunate, however,” the ambassadors wrote, “that Mr. Netanyahu from the outset announced that he did not want to meet Mr. Abbas in Paris. But this refusal shows the need for international pressure to reframe an impossible dialogue.”

“Otherwise, how would Israel escape the danger of sanctions? By calling for the labeling of products from the Israeli settlements, the European Union, was being consistent with its condemnation of the settlements, and paved the way. It is a perilous process for Israel, open to the outside world, and therefore vulnerable. We recall the role of sanctions in the end of apartheid in South Africa”.

They are not precise about what “sanctions” would be. But in an earlier op-ed, published on February 3, 2016, the same group of retired French ambassadors gave some examples of their wishes.

  • Immediate recognition of the State of Palestine by France and all countries of the European Union.
  • A suspension of the association agreement between the European Union and Israel.
  • The end of economic and scientific cooperation between the European Union and Israel.

These pedantic diatribes against the Jewish state are a pathetic illustration of the traditional blindness of European diplomacy, and especially France’s. These ambassadors make the statement that “the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is eclipsed in world opinion by the misfortunes of Syria, Iraq and Yemen, and by the perilous presence of the Islamic state”, but they continue to think that “the resentment of Arab public opinion against the Western world” exists because this same Western world is “accused of complicity with Israel”.

The obvious conclusion is that they are just trying to hide their own detestation of Israel behind the Arab one. The problem is not Jewish “settlers” in “Palestine”. Before 1967, there were no settlements. So what was the Palestine Liberation Organization “liberating” when it was created in Cairo in 1964? The answer, of course, as the PLO was the first to admit, was “Palestine” — meaning the entire state of Israel, regarded by many Arabs as just one big settlement. Just look at any Palestinian map.

Middle East expert Gregg Roman straightens out the factual history distorted by the UN and Europe:

“[W]hen taking into account 3,000 years of history and context, Palestinian Arabs, not indigenous Israeli Jews, become the offending party…. Around 1,300 years ago, descendants and followers of the Prophet Mohammad from Arabia poured out of the Peninsular in an orgy of conquest, expansionism and colonization. They first annihilated ancient Jewish tribes in places like Yathrib (known today as Medina) and Khaybar before sweeping north, east and west, conquering what is today known as the Middle East, North Africa and even southern Europe…. Wherever Arab and Islamic rulers conquered, they imposed their culture, language and — most significantly — their religion…. At first, Arab settlers and conquerors did not want to intermingle with their indigenous vassals. They often lived in segregated quarters or created garrison towns from which they imposed their authority on native populations…. while slavery became rampant and unfettered…. Slowly, but surely, the “Arab world” that we know today was artificially and aggressively imposed.”

Arabs, who have been trying to kill Jews there for nearly a hundred years, long before 1967, represent a problem — there are 1.5 million Arab people in Israel, but no one considers them “settlers”. The problem is that these ambassadors are not as dangerous to Israel as they are to Europe and the free world, as they keep on succumbing to the demands of Islam.

French Declare Barghouti ‘Honorary Citizen’ 48 Hours After Catholic Priest ‘Sacrificed’ by ISIS

July 29, 2016

French Declare Barghouti ‘Honorary Citizen’ 48 Hours After Catholic Priest ‘Sacrificed’ by ISIS, Jewish PressHana Levi Julian, July 29, 2016

Terrorist leader Marwan Barghouti, remains wildly popular among Palestinian Authority citizens despite being imprisoned for life. Photo Credit: Flash 90

Terrorist leader Marwan Barghouti, remains wildly popular among Palestinian Authority citizens despite being imprisoned for life. Photo Credit: Flash 90

Just two days after two Da’esh (ISIS) terrorists ritually sacrificed an elderly Catholic priest by slitting his throat on the altar of his own church as he was serving Mass, the people of France has once again bestowed the title of “Honorary Citizen” upon another cold-blooded terrorist killer.

Palestinian Authority terrorist Marwan Barghouti is the darling of the movement to create a new Arab state nestled right up against the State of Israel. He is also popular on the Palestinian Authority street, where citizens still vote for him during elections though he is sitting in a jail cell. Hamas has attempted during every parlay with Israel to free him; but he is one of the terrorist prisoners least likely to ever be released.

The leader of the Tanzim paramilitary terrorist organization, Marwan Barghouti is serving five consecutive life sentences plus 40 years for the particularly brutal murders of five Israelis. Among the dead was a 3-year-old girl.

That doesn’t include the deaths of the “hundreds of civilians, both Israelis and citizens of other states,” that he is also responsible for, said Israeli Ambassador to France Aliza Ben-Nun (Bin Nun) in an open letter published in France.

This is the eighth time since 2009 that Paris has bestowed the honor upon Barghouti. No fewer than 20 cities in France have honored the child-killer with the title of “honorary citizen,” according to the French L’Humanite newspaper.

None have invited him to come live within their municipal boundaries, however.

Ben-Nun expressed “deep shock and worry” in her letter, saying that French officials who pay tribute to Barghouti are “not only guilty of supporting terrorism but also have denied values that are cherished in both France and Israel.”

There have been repeated struggles between Israel and France over the latter’s attempts to portray Barghouti as a folk hero, including one attempt this past spring by Paris to present the killer to the world as some sort of “Nelson Mandela.”

In fact, a Paris auction house was ordered to remove a painting in which the chief of the Tanzim terrorist organization was actually presented as a Palestinian Authority version of the South African president and leader. “Nelson Mandela was also called a terrorist in the 1950s,” wrote the artist in the inscription.

But the Paris government didn’t issue the order until the auction house received a letter from the Israeli embassy, expressing disapproval of the comparison made by the artist between Mandela and Barghouti. The letter pointed out that Mandela opposed violence; Barghouti, on the other hand, is a real terrorist and a convicted killer. He is serving five consecutive life sentences plus 40 years for the heinous murders he committed.

He’s the kind of terrorist who would fit right in with the bloodthirsty murderers who slaughtered the 84-year-old priest who was celebrating Mass at the altar of his church two days ago, and who forced his fellow priest to film the event as they did so.

Perhaps that’s why France again has awarded him the honor, so close to the barbaric murder of the gentle man of God in Normandy?

Equally strangely, both chambers of the Belgian Parliament voted in May 2016 to nominate Barghouti for the Nobel Peace Prize. A letter was sent to the Nobel Committee in which the killer was called a “peace activist and a key figure in Palestinian-Israeli settlement.”

In terrorist-besieged Belgium, this is akin to something like the Stockholm Syndrome.

One wonders whether any of the security officials in either of these countries have considered the message being sent to the world’s terrorist community — and it is a real community, make no mistake — and how that warm welcome gets played to the budding lone wolves being recruited online.

Could be the leadership may only be ‘talking the talk’ about declaring “war on terror” for the cameras.

If so, then it looks like Brexit came just in time.

Israel’s PM seeks role in Russian-US duo in Syria

June 6, 2016

Israel’s PM seeks role in Russian-US duo in Syria, DEBKAfile, June 6, 2016

PutinBibi2-480 (1)

During his 48-hour trip to Moscow (Monday and Tuesday June 6-7), Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will try and talk President Vladimir Putin into cutting Israel into the military teamwork evolving between Washington and Moscow for combating the Islamic State in Syria. As a quid pro quo, he will offer to elevate Moscow to senior broker in the Israeli-Palestinian dispute, with Moscow or Geneva selected as the venue for direct Israeli-Palestinian talks, if they occur – and with US participation. Netanyahu is also keen on a role for Egypt’s Presidents Abdek-Fattah al-Sisi.

DEBKAfile sources in Jerusalem and Moscow report exclusively that the floating of this deal was the reason why Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov abstained from attending the Mid East conference staged last weekend by France’s President Francois Hollande in Paris. The UK and German foreign ministers followed the Russian lead and stayed away.

And Friday, June 3, on the day of the Paris meeting, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikihail Bogdanov, who is in charge of Kremlin Middle East policy, offered a formula for resolving the problem of Israeli settlements on the West Bank.  That formula was very similar to the land swaps plan proposed by Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman a few years ago.

It consisted essentially of the transfer to the Palestinian state of parts of Israel with dense Arab populations, in return for Palestinian recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Israeli communities of Judea and Samaria.

In comments to Tass news service, Bogdanov said that Moscow is willing to host an Israeli-Palestinian peace conference, and also offered to mediate between the rival Palestinian factions, including Abu Mazen’s Fatah and the radical Hamas which rules the aza Strip.

While some Israeli politicians see the French initiative as offering President Barack Obama a handle for settling accounts with PM Netanyahu before he leaves the White House at the end of the year, Moscow and Jerusalem are concocting a parallel strategy – not merely to block the Franco-American move, but also to lift Washington’s drive for an Israeli-Palestinian accord from Paris to Moscow.

DEBKAfile sources say that this maneuver is based on the early stages of military and political coordination between Washington and Moscow in the Syrian arena, including the fight against ISIS.

No such coordination exists between Washington and Paris.

Netanyahu envisages the tightening military cooperation between Russia and Israel for Syria, along with Israel’s active participation in the airstrikes against ISIS, as becoming integral to American-Russian understandings, and extending also to the Israeli-Palestinian issue.

Moscow and Jerusalem both estimate that an offer of US-Russian-Arab guarantees to the Palestinians, underwritten by Egypt and Saudi Arabia, can move the negotiations forward.

French Political Gymnastics and How to Help the Palestinians

May 23, 2016

French Political Gymnastics and How to Help the Palestinians, Gatestone InstituteShoshana Bryen, May 23, 2016

“I call on the Palestinian people to elect new leaders, leaders not compromised by terror. I call upon them to build a practicing democracy, based on tolerance and liberty. If the Palestinian people meet these goals, they will be able to reach agreements with Israel, Egypt and Jordan on security and other arrangements for independence.” — President George W. Bush, 2002.

The Palestinians do not have “a practicing democracy based on tolerance and liberty,” but erasing Israel evidently remains their goal.

Rather than offering the Palestinians no-cost recognition, the French should demand a few changes first.

The French government seems to be falling over itself to undo its craven vote in favor of a UNESCO resolution accusing Israel — referred to as the “Occupying Power” in Jerusalem — of destroying historic structures on the Temple Mount:

  • Prime Minister Manuel Valls apologized. “This UNESCO resolution contains unfortunate, clumsy wording that offends and unquestionably should have been avoided, as should the vote.”
  • Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve apologized. [I do] “not take a supportive view of the text.” The resolution “should not have been adopted” and “was not written as it should have been.”
  • President François Hollande apologized. [The vote was] “unfortunate,” and, “I would like to guarantee that the French position on the question of Jerusalem has not changed… I also wish to reiterate France’s commitment to the status quo in the holy places in Jerusalem… As per my request, the foreign minister will personally and closely follow the details of the next decision on this subject. France will not sign a text that will distance her from the same principles I mentioned.”
  • Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault did not quite apologize: “France has no vested interest but is deeply convinced that if we do not want to let the ideas of the Islamic State group prosper in this region, we must do something.”

It sounds as if they thought they had made a mistake. But the vote was not a mistake. Underestimating the depth of Israel’s anger about it might have been a mistake, but not the vote. The French — who, according to their foreign minister, have “no vested interest” but need to “do something” about Islamic State — could not have thought that a UNESCO resolution that offended Israel would do anything to slow ISIS “in the region” or in Europe. There is no way it could; the two are not connected.

The French however, apparently thought a vote accusing Israel of something, anything, would keep the Palestinian Authority from presenting a resolution on Palestinian independence to the UN Security Council; Ayrault implied in Israel that the UNESCO vote was a quid pro quo. Why? The French have a veto they could exercise in the UN Security Council. But the Palestinians might then object to France replacing the U.S. as the “Great Power” in the “peace process.” They already have experience with a veto-wielding interlocutor — the U.S. — and they do not want another. The price of an elevated status for the French appears to entail not vetoing Palestinian resolutions, voting for them in UNESCO, and sacrificing Israel in a process that will end in French recognition of a Palestinian State, whether Israel agrees to be bound to the altar or not.

1614French President François Hollande welcomes Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Paris, July 8, 2012. (Image source: Office of the President of France)

It should be noted that the Russians immediately put out a statement that the UN-sponsored Middle East Quartet is the “only mechanism” for resolving the Palestinian issue. It is not clear whether Putin was supporting American or Israeli interests. Iran and ISIS are similarly disinclined to see the French ascend on this issue.

The Palestinians, on the other hand, are thrilled to have an international conference where others will make demands of Israel as the Palestinian experiment in self-government degenerates into poverty and chaos by its own economic, political and social choices, looking more like Venezuela every day.

For Palestinians in the street, killing Jews in the “knife intifada” did not take the edge off the popular anger and frustration with their own leadership.

Under the circumstances, the French, and France’s enabler, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, might usefully consider the approach taken in fact by President George W. Bush, which required changes in Palestinian behavior as a prerequisite for support for statehood. Honored mainly in the breach, Bush’s 2002 speech nevertheless remains the best statement of American, and Western, interest in moving the Palestinians toward a functioning state:

It is untenable for Israeli citizens to live in terror. It is untenable for Palestinians to live in squalor and occupation. And the current situation offers no prospect that life will improve. Israeli citizens will continue to be victimized by terrorists, and so Israel will continue to defend herself…

Peace requires a new and different Palestinian leadership, so that a Palestinian state can be born.

I call on the Palestinian people to elect new leaders, leaders not compromised by terror. I call upon them to build a practicing democracy, based on tolerance and liberty. If the Palestinian people meet these goals, they will be able to reach agreements with Israel, Egypt and Jordan on security and other arrangements for independence.

And when the Palestinian people have new leaders, new institutions and new security arrangements with their neighbors, the United States of America will support the creation of a Palestinian state whose borders and certain aspects of its sovereignty will be provisional until resolved as part of a final settlement in the Middle East.

I wrote at the time that,

“Mr. Bush made one huge leap of faith in the speech when he said, ‘I’ve got confidence in the Palestinians. When they fully understand what we’re saying, that they’ll make the right decisions when we get down the road for peace.’ What, in fact, will the U.S. do if the Palestinian people weigh a new constitution and free political parties and STILL decide that blowing up Jews is better? What if they have transparent government, economic advancement and an independent judiciary, and STILL decide Jewish sovereignty must be eradicated with the blood of their children?”

The Palestinians have answered half the question. They do not have a “practicing democracy based on tolerance and liberty,” but erasing Israel evidently remains their goal. Rather than offering no-cost recognition, the French should demand a few changes first.

Peace: A deceptive, dictatorial word

May 20, 2016

Peace: A deceptive, dictatorial word, Israel Hayom, Martin Sherman, May 20, 2016

No matter how many far-reaching compromises and gut-wrenching concessions Israel has made, they have never been enough to elicit any commensurate counter-concessions from the Arabs. Indeed, rather than satiate the Arab appetite, they have merely whetted it, with each Israeli gesture only leading to further demands for more “gestures.”

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After a long absence, “peace” is back in the headlines, due in large measure to this week’s visit to Israel by French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, who came to try to promote a new French initiative that somehow, by as yet unspecified means, would resuscitate the moribund “peace process.”

Perversely planned to take place without either Israel or the Palestinians, the principal protagonists, the conference has now fortuitously been delayed to accommodate the schedule of U.S. Secretary of State Kerry, who apparently had better things to do than take part in yet another doomed charade to forge “peace” in the Middle East.

However, despite its ill-conceived rationale and dauntingly dim prospects, the planned summit can and should serve one constructive purpose: to focus attention not only on what the quest for the elusive condition of “peace” really entails, but on the even more fundamental question of what is actually meant, and what can realistically be expected, when we talk of “peace” as a desired goal, particularly in the context of the Middle East and particularly from an Israeli perspective.

Indeed, the need for such clarification becomes even more vital and pressing because of recent reports of possible Egyptian involvement in attempts to initiate “peace” negotiations with Arab regimes teetering on the brink of extinction and involving a perilous Israeli withdrawal to indefensible borders. All this in exchange for grudging recognition as a non-Jewish state by a partially no longer existent, partially disintegrating, Arab world.

A dictatorial word

It takes little reflection to discover that, in fact, “peace” is a word that is both dictatorial and deceptive.

It is dictatorial because it brooks no opposition. Just as no one can openly pronounce opposition to a dictator without risking severe repercussions, so too no one can be openly branded as opposing peace without suffering grave consequences to personal and professional stature.

Life can be harsh for anyone with the temerity to challenge the tyrannical dictates of the politically correct liberal perspectives. As British columnist Melanie Phillips remarked several years ago in an interview on Israel’s Channel 1: “Believe me, it [failing to abide by political correctness] has a very chilling effect on people, because you can lose your professional livelihood, your chances of promotion, you lose your friends.”

In a surprisingly candid admission, The New York Times’ Nicholas Kristof wrote that “universities are the bedrock of progressive values, but the one kind of diversity that universities disregard is ideological. … We’re fine with people who don’t look like us, as long as they think like us.”

This peer-imposed doctrinaire uniformity has had a debilitating impact on the quality of intellectual discourse in general, and on the question of “peace” in the Middle East in particular.

A New York Times opinion piece by Arthur C. Brooks cautioned: “Excessive homogeneity can lead to stagnation and poor problem solving.” Citing studies that found a “shocking level of political groupthink in academia, he warned that “expecting trustworthy results on politically charged topics from an ideologically incestuous community [is] downright delusional.”

A deceptive word

The considerable potential for defective analysis in the intellectual discourse on such a politically charged topic as “peace” also accounts for another detrimental attribute of the word.

Not only is it rigidly dictatorial, but, perhaps even more significantly, “peace” is a grossly deceptive word. It can be, and indeed is, used to denote two disparate even antithetical political situations. On the one hand, “peace” can be used to describe a state of mutual harmony between parties, but on the other hand it can just as aptly be used to characterize an absence of violence maintained by deterrence.

In the first meaning, “peace” entails a situation in which the parties eschew violence because they share a mutual perception of a common interest in preserving a tranquil status quo. In the second meaning, “peace” entails a situation in which violence is avoided only by the threat of incurring exorbitant costs.

The significance of this goes far beyond semantics. On the contrary. If it is not clearly understood, it is likely to precipitate calamitous consequences.

The perilous pitfalls of ‘peace’

It is crucial for practical policy prescriptions not to blur the sharp substantive differences between these two political realities. Each requires different policies both to achieve and, even more importantly, to sustain them.

The misguided pursuit of one kind of peace may well render the achievement — and certainly the preservation — of the other kind of peace impossible.

Countries with the mutual harmony variety of “peace” typically have relationships characterized by openness and the free movement of people and goods across borders. As in the relationship between Canada and the U.S., there is little or no effort needed to prevent hostile actions by one state against the other. Differences that arise are not only settled without violence, but the very idea of using force against each other is virtually inconceivable.

By contrast, in the second, deterrence-based variety of peace, such as those between the U.S. and USSR during the Cold War or between Iran and Iraq up to the 1980s, the protagonists feel compelled to invest huge efforts in deterrence to maintain the absence of war.

Indeed, whenever the deterrent capacity of one state is perceived to wane, the danger of war becomes very real, as was seen in the Iraqi offensive against an apparently weakened and disorderly Iran after the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

In this type of “peace,” there is no harmonious interaction between the peoples of the states. Movements across borders are usually highly restricted and regulated, and often prohibited.

It is not surprising to find that peace of the “mutual harmony” variety prevails almost exclusively between democracies, since its characteristic openness runs counter to the nature of dictatorial regimes.

The perils of pursuing one type of peace (mutual harmony) when only the other type (deterrence) is feasible were summed up over two decades ago by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in his acclaimed book “A Place Among the Nations: Israel and the World.” In it, he calls for making a clear distinction between the “peace of democracies” and the “peace of deterrence.”

“As long as you are faced with a dictatorial adversary, you must maintain sufficient strength to deter him from going to war. By doing so, you can at least obtain the peace of deterrence. But if you let down your defenses … you invite war, not peace,” he wrote.

Much earlier, in 1936, Winston Churchill underscored the dangers: “The French Army is the strongest in Europe. But no one is afraid of France. Everyone knows that France wants to be let alone, and that with her it is only a case of self-preservation. … They are a liberal nation with free parliamentary institutions. Germany, on the other hand, under its Nazi regime … [in which] two or three men have the whole of that mighty country in their grip [and] there is no public opinion except what is manufactured by those new and terrible engines — broadcasting and a controlled press fills unmistakably that part [of] … the would-be dominator or potential aggressor.”

Compromise counterproductive

To grasp the potential for disaster when a policy designed to attain a harmonious outcome is pursued in a political context in which none is possible, it is first necessary to recognize that, in principle, there are two archetypal configurations. In one, a policy of compromise and concession may well be appropriate; in the other, such a policy will be devastatingly inappropriate.

In the first configuration, an adversary interprets concessions as conciliatory, and feels obliged to respond with a counter-concession. Thus, by a series of concessions and counter-concessions, the process converges toward some amicably harmonious resolution of conflict.

However, in the second configuration, the adversary sees any concession as a sign of vulnerability and weakness, made under duress. Accordingly, such initiatives do not elicit any reciprocal gesture, only demands for further concessions.

But further concessions still do not prompt reciprocal moves toward a peaceable resolution. This process ill necessarily culminate either in total capitulation or in large-scale violence, either because one side finally realizes that its adversary is acting in bad faith and can only be restrained by force, or because the other side realizes it has extracted all the concessions possible by non-coercive means, and will only win further gains by force.

In such a scenario, compromise is counterproductive and concessions will compound casualties.

Whetting, not satiating, Arab appetites

Of course, little effort is required to see that the conditions confronting Israel today resemble the latter situation far more than the former. No matter how many far-reaching compromises and gut-wrenching concessions Israel has made, they have never been enough to elicit any commensurate counter-concessions from the Arabs. Indeed, rather than satiate the Arab appetite, they have merely whetted it, with each Israeli gesture only leading to further demands for more “gestures.”

If in any “peace” negotiations such compromises undermine Israeli deterrence by increasing its perceived vulnerability, they will make war, not peace, more imminent.

Indeed, it was none other than Shimon Peres, in recent years one of the most avid advocates of the land-for-peace doctrine (or dogma), who, in his book “Tomorrow is Now,” warned vigorously of the perils of the policy he later embraced.

After detailing how surrendering the Sudetenland made Czechoslovakia vulnerable to attack, Peres writes of the concessions Israel is being pressured to make today to attain “peace” : “Without a border which affords security, a country is doomed to destruction in war. … It is of course doubtful whether territorial expanse can provide absolute deterrence. However, the lack of minimal territorial expanse places a country in a position of an absolute lack of deterrence. This in itself constitutes almost compulsive temptation to attack Israel from all directions.”

e also warns: “The major issue is not [attaining] an agreement, but ensuring the actual implementation of the agreement in practice. The number of agreements which the Arabs have violated is no less than number which they have kept.” Since then, of course, their record has hardly improved.

Will Netanyahu 2016 heed Netanyahu 1993?

In 1996, shortly after Netanyahu was elected prime minister for the first time, Ari Shavit of Haaretz interviewed him on positions he had articulated in “A Place Among the Nations.”Shavit: “In your book, you make a distinction between … a harmonious kind of peace that can exist only between democratic countries, and peace through deterrence, which could also be maintained in the Middle East as it currently is. Do you think we need to lower our expectations and adopt a much more modest concept of peace?”

Netanyahu: “One of our problems is that we tend to nurse unrealistic expectations. … When people detach themselves from reality, floating around in the clouds and losing contact with the ground, they will eventually crash on the rocky realities of the true Middle East.”

Let us all hope that Netanyahu of today will heed the advice of Netanyahu of then. It is the only way Israel will be able to avoid the ruinous ravages of the deceptive and dictatorial word “peace.”

The French Peace Initiative: From de Gaulle to Haaretz

May 17, 2016

The French Peace Initiative: From de Gaulle to Haaretz, Gatestone InstituteFred Maroun, May 17, 2016

♦ France’s peace initiative is French President François Hollande’s equivalent of de Gaulle’s betrayal of Israel.

♦ France has already announced that if the peace initiative fails, France will recognize a Palestinian state. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has rightly concluded that “this ensures that a conference will fail.”

♦ France knows that the peace initiative is pointless, but it is using it for theatrical value to embarrass Israel’s government and curry favor with Arab regimes.

♦ Those who claim to support peace, but who in fact work to undermine it, are partly responsible for the anti-Semitic campaign against Israel. They should be prominently named and exposed for collaborating with bigots, anti-Semites, and terrorists.

When I hear about the current French peace initiative for Israel and the Palestinians, I have to keep pinching myself to make sure that I am not dreaming. After the powerful United States tried repeatedly and unsuccessfully to bring peace between these protagonists, what makes the French think that they can do better?

France’s boldness is particularly shocking, since France long ago lost the right to be considered a friend of Israel. In 1967, French President Charles de Gaulle imposed an arms embargo on Israel when the Jewish nation was under threat from a coalition of Arab countries. In doing so, de Gaulle threw the Jews under the bus in order to improve France’s relations with the Arab world. Thanks to Israeli ingenuity and resiliency, Israel still defeated the Arab coalition in the Six Day War and impressed the United States, which then replaced France as Israel’s main ally.

France’s peace initiative, which includes an international summit in Paris on May 30 to discuss the “parameters” of a peace deal, is French President François Hollande’s equivalent of de Gaulle’s betrayal of Israel. France has already announced that if the peace initiative fails, France will recognize a Palestinian state. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has rightly concluded that “this ensures that a conference will fail.”

1602France’s peace initiative, which includes an international summit in Paris on May 30 to discuss the “parameters” of a peace deal, is French President François Hollande’s equivalent of de Gaulle’s betrayal of Israel.

It is clear that no solution would be acceptable to Israel unless it protects Israel against continued Arab aggression, and unless it finds a solution to the millions of descendants of Palestinian refugees with which the Arab world insists on flooding Israel.

There is no sign that the Arab world, including the Palestinians, are anywhere close to accepting these conditions. France’s recognition of “Palestine” without any deal would mean that France does not consider those two conditions necessary.

France’s recognition of “Palestine” without any deal would provide no solution for Palestinian refugees. It would provide no solution to Palestinian terrorism. It would not make the concept of a Palestinian state any more real than it is today. It would not provide Israel with secure borders.

France’s unilateral recognition of “Palestine” would simply provide one more moral victory for the corrupt Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, and one less reason for him to negotiate peace in good faith or to give his people what they really need: a thriving economy and a functioning civil society.

If France’s initiative had any chance of success at all (which is doubtful considering the U.S. failures under more favorable circumstances, when the Palestinian leadership was keener on negotiations and when Hamas was weaker), France eliminated that chance by announcing that it would recognize “Palestine” regardless of what happens.

Is the French government so naïve that it would play into Abbas’ hands and sabotage its own initiative? Maybe, but the more likely explanation seems to be that France knows that the peace initiative is pointless, but it is using it for theatrical value to embarrass Israel’s government and curry favor with Arab regimes.

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz, which is often more “pro-Palestinian” (read anti-Israel) than the Palestinians, demands that Netanyahu accept the French initiative.

Haaretz takes the position that “there is no reason to reject the French initiative, which, even if it doesn’t resolve the fundamentals of the conflict, will at least put it back on the global agenda.” The theory that the conflict remains unresolved due to it not being on the “global agenda” is mind-boggling, considering the vocal and vicious worldwide anti-Israel movement. The conflict is very much on the “global agenda” — too much so, in fact — compared to other conflicts that are deadlier and get far less attention.

Haaretz claims that the French initiative “may also generate some original ideas and steps toward a solution.” Considering the attention that this conflict receives, the lack of “ideas” is far from being the problem. Pro-Israel and anti-Israel editorialists and bloggers have generated an immense body of “ideas,” most of which are totally impractical, and all of which are unrealistic until the Arab side of the conflict stops promoting hate against Israel and starts negotiating in good faith.

Haaretz‘s pathetic defense of the French initiative is followed by wholesale accusations, which have no substance, against Netanyahu. Haaretz, for instance, tries to convince readers that Netanyahu’s willingness to negotiate without conditions is itself a condition! As Haaretz is into the business of redefining words, why not say that the conflict is not really a conflict and be done with it!

Haaretz concludes by saying that Netanyahu “should give it [the French initiative] substance that will ensure the security and well-being of Israel’s citizens.” If this were possible, that would indeed be commendable, but as France, by promising the Palestinians recognition without negotiation, destroyed what little chance of success the initiative might have had. Asking Netanyahu miraculously to give the initiative “substance” is at best naïve, and at worst treacherous.

It could also be a trap to set Netanyahu up for failure, which, considering Haaretz‘s antipathy towards Israel’s Prime Minister, is likely.

Contrary to Haaretz‘s assertion that “there is no reason to reject the French initiative,” as the initiative is almost certain to fail, its failure will be one more weapon used by anti-Israel activists to demonize Israel, so there is every reason to not lend the initiative a legitimacy it does not deserve.

Israel survived de Gaulle’s betrayal, and it will likely survive Hollande’s betrayal. But one more failed initiative and one more meaningless recognition of “Palestine” will push peace and Palestinian statehood even farther away.

As Alan Dershowitz wrote recently, those who aided the Nazis in killing Jews, even indirectly, hold a part of the responsibility for the Holocaust. Those — in France, at Haaretz, or elsewhere — who claim to support peace but in fact work to undermine it, are partly responsible for the anti-Semitic campaign against Israel. They should be prominently named and exposed for collaborating with bigots, anti-Semites, and terrorists.