Archive for the ‘Israel’ category

How Israel Would Become Palestine

February 20, 2017

How Israel Would Become Palestine, The Jewish PressFred Maroun, February 19, 2017

israel-palestine-flag

If Israel annexes the West Bank, the Jewish majority in Israel would be reduced immediately from 75% to between 56% and 57%, and the Arab minority in Israel would double from 21% to between 40% and 41%.

While Jews would retain a clear majority immediately after annexation, the Arabs’ influence on government would increase dramatically. Arab parties have been kept out of every governing coalition in Israel’s history, but the continuation of that practice would be almost impossible when Arabs represent 40% to 41% of the population. It would require that all Jewish parties, from left to right, always agree to work together after every election; sooner or later, that Jewish-only coalition would break up.

There is not much that is uncertain in this common-sense scenario resulting from annexation of the West bank, other than how long it would take to unravel. The end result is that Israel, which would likely be renamed Palestine, would no longer be a Jewish state by any definition of the term.

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The idea of Israel annexing the West Bank was tentatively endorsed by Israeli President Reuven Rivlin who insisted that if this occurred, Palestinians living in the West Bank must be given Israeli citizenship. US President Donald Trump signaled that he is willing to accept a one-state solution, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s lack of response to Trump indicates that he is not opposed to it either.

Based on the Jewish Virtual Library, in Israel, as of January 2017, “The Jewish population makes up 6,450,000 (74.8%); 1,796,000 (20.8%) are Arabs; and, those identified as ‘others’ (non-Arab Christians, Baha’i, etc) make up 4.4% of the population (384,000 people)”. Based on the Jerusalem Post, “Current estimates of the West Bank population, according to Israeli, Palestinian and US numbers, put the number of Palestinians at anywhere between 2.7 and 2.9 million.”

If Israel annexes the West Bank, the Jewish majority in Israel would be reduced immediately from 75% to between 56% and 57%, and the Arab minority in Israel would double from 21% to between 40% and 41%.

While Jews would retain a clear majority immediately after annexation, the Arabs’ influence on government would increase dramatically. Arab parties have been kept out of every governing coalition in Israel’s history, but the continuation of that practice would be almost impossible when Arabs represent 40% to 41% of the population. It would require that all Jewish parties, from left to right, always agree to work together after every election; sooner or later, that Jewish-only coalition would break up.

As Arab parties negotiate to be included in governing coalitions, some of their priorities would become government policy. Arab policies that are outright anti-Zionist would be rejected at first, but other priorities would have to be accepted.

One of the first priorities to be demanded by Arab parties is likely to be the immigration into Israel of relatives of Israeli Arab citizens, including some Palestinian refugees residing in Arab countries and some Palestinians residing in Gaza. This would have the effect of further increasing the size of the Arab minority, which would lead to even more Arab clout in the government.

Other Arab demands would have to be met, including immigration of more Palestinian refugees into Israel and the annexation of Gaza. Eventually, Arab parties would be able to govern with little or no Jewish representation. As Arabs control the Israeli government, they would eliminate laws that discriminate against them, including the unlimited Jewish right of return, perhaps even replacing it with an unlimited Palestinian “right of return”.

There is not much that is uncertain in this common-sense scenario resulting from annexation of the West bank, other than how long it would take to unravel. The end result is that Israel, which would likely be renamed Palestine, would no longer be a Jewish state by any definition of the term.

On Israel, Trump Confuses only the Confused

February 17, 2017

On Israel, Trump Confuses only the Confused, Power LinePaul Mirengoff, February 17, 2017

(Or perhaps only the willfully confused, some of whom apparently prefer a “final solution” to a mere two state solution, are confused. — DM)

The Washington Post claims that President Trump’s remarks about Israel have led to confusion about how he views the dispute between Israel and the Palestinians. Reporters William Booth and Anne Gearan say that Israelis are confused, and they site conflicting interpretations of Trump’s several statements.

But Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, whom the Post also quotes, gets to the bottom of the alleged confusion. He says “everyone interprets this as they see fit.”

In reality, Trump’s comments were remarkably clear. Let’s start with the one that got most of the attention: “I’m looking at two-state and one-state, and I like the one that both parties like.”

Trump was saying that if the Israelis and the Palestinians like a two-state solution, he likes it too. Otherwise, he doesn’t.

This is wise. A two-state solution makes sense only if both parties want it. If that’s not the case, there is no sense in America trying to impose it, and Trump won’t waste his time pushing this option. Or so he is saying.

Trump also said to Prime Minister Netanyahu: “Both sides will have to make compromises; you know that, right?” Netanyahu responded: “Both sides.”

Again, there’s nothing puzzling here. “Both sides” means both sides.

Coupled with his statement that he likes the solution both parties like, Trump is maximizing the likelihood of a peace agreement (although, to me, the odds of reaching one remain extremely low). President Obama’s approach was to obsess over a two-state solution and demand major compromises by Israel. The Palestinians believed they could sit back and wait for America to extract such compromises.

Trump has made it clear that both sides need to make compromises and has signaled that he won’t focus on obtaining them from Israel alone. If both parties don’t make concessions on behalf of a two-state solution, he will conclude that this is not the solution both parties like. And he won’t like it either. Or so he is saying.

Trump also told Netanyahu: “I’d like you to hold off on settlements for a little bit.” On the surface, this looks like an attempt to obtain a small concession from Israel. However, I agree with Charles Krauthammer that Trump was trying to bolster Netanyahu’s position in relation to hard-line Israeli politicians who are pushing for a major expansion of settlements, including the building of new ones.

A sensible approach to settlements is permit the natural growth of existing blocs — no community can be expected not to build out as its population expands — but to forego, for “a little bit,” major territorial expansion which would escalate tension, hurt Israel’s international standing, and perhaps make a peace agreement even more difficult to achieve.

Trump’s statement is consistent with this thinking, which, I gather, is the thinking of Netanyahu.

Only the confused are genuinely puzzled by Trump’s statements. Those in the American mainstream media who suggest otherwise are probably just trying to make the American president look confused.

Ahead of Netanyahu-Trump talks, Abbas woos Iran

February 13, 2017

Ahead of Netanyahu-Trump talks, Abbas woos Iran, DEBKAfile, February 13, 2017

He is warning Trump that the US embassy’s relocation to Jerusalem and the strengthening of US-Israeli ties would be countered by a parallel enhancement of Palestinian relations with Tehran. The message to Vladmir Putin is that, even though he is fully engaged in Syria, he can’t afford to abandon the Palestinians; Abdel-Fatteh El- Sisi, the Gulf rulers and Jordan’s monarch are put on notice that if they have a problem with rising Iranian influence in Baghdad, they had better be prepared to find Tehran’s imprint in Ramallah too.

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EXCLUSIVE: Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) has pivoted towards Iran in a move to pre-empt a possibly impending US embassy move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and the friendly talks scheduled to take place in Washington Wednesday, Feb. 15, between President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

This is revealed by DEBKAfile’s exclusive intelligence sources.

Our sources report that the Abbas has opened a direct channel of communications between Ramallah and Tehran as a permanent fixture. Fatah Central Committee member Jibril Rajoub is in charge of the Palestinian end of the relationship and will lead the first official Palestinian delegation to Tehran.

For some months now, he has served as Abbas’s senior spokesman and the Palestinian Authority’s “foreign minister.” In the third week of January, Rajoub declared: “In our opinion moving the embassy to Jerusalem is a declaration of war on the Muslims.”

Two weeks ago, Palestinian and Iranian delegations met secretly for the first time in a European country. Two more encounters followed and dealt with such urgent matters as the fate of Palestinians stranded on Syria’s battlefronts and in former refugee camps. They also discussed the Palestinian refugees living in Lebanon and their problematic relations with Iran’s Shiite surrogate, Hizballah.

At their third meeting, the Iranian delegates asked where the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah stood vis-a-vis a political resolution of the Syrian conflict. They decided to talk about this some more at the next Iranian-Palestinian meeting on a date this month and a location yet to be arranged.

As part of his pivot towards Tehran, Abbas made sure to send the Palestinian Authority’s warm congratulations to Iran’s rulers on the anniversary of their Islamic revolution: He asked God “to bring more stability and prosperity to Iran and its brotherly people as they celebrate this occasion, and more progress and advancement the brotherly relations between our peoples.”

Abu Mazen’s pro-Iranian shift is intended as a signal to five parties, DEBKAfile’s intelligence sources report: President Trump, the Presidents of Russian and Egypt, the rulers of the Gulf Emirates and King Abdullah of Jordan.

He is warning Trump that the US embassy’s relocation to Jerusalem and the strengthening of US-Israeli ties would be countered by a parallel enhancement of Palestinian relations with Tehran. The message to Vladmir Putin is that, even though he is fully engaged in Syria, he can’t afford to abandon the Palestinians; Abdel-Fatteh El- Sisi, the Gulf rulers and Jordan’s monarch are put on notice that if they have a problem with rising Iranian influence in Baghdad, they had better be prepared to find Tehran’s imprint in Ramallah too.

The Islamic Jihad and Peace with Jews

February 9, 2017

The Islamic Jihad and Peace with Jews, Gatestone InstituteBassam Tawil, February 9, 2017

(“Normalization?” In what way is the present situation abnormal? The dispute has been festering for centuries. — DM)

On the face of it, the anti-normalization campaign appears driven by political motivations. However, it turns out that there is also a powerful Islamic angle to this campaign of hate, which is aimed at delegitimizing Israel and demonizing Jews.

The Palestinian anti-normalization “enforcers” do their utmost to conceal the Islamic aspect of their campaign. They are not eager for the world to know that Islam supplies much of the ideology and justification for their anti-Israel activities.

Fatwas (Islamic religious decrees) and statements issued by leading Muslim scholars and clerics have long warned Muslims against normalization with the “Zionist entity.” Such normalization, they have made it clear, is considered an “unforgivable crime.” The authors of these hate messages are not opposed to normalization with Israel because of settlements or house demolitions, but rather because they believe Jews have no rights at all to any of the land.

In 1989, more than 60 eminent Muslim scholars from 18 countries ruled that it was forbidden for Muslims to give up any part of Palestine.

The vicious campaigns to boycott Israel and Jews, while political in dress, are in fact deeply rooted in Islamic ideology.

These campaigns are patently not a legitimate protest. They are not even part of an effort to boycott Israeli products or politicians and academics. The real goal of the campaigns is revealed in the words of the Muslim leaders: that Jews have no rights whatsoever to the land, and must be targeted through jihad as infidels and enemies of all Muslims and Arabs

Settlements, checkpoints and fences are irrelevant; Muslim scholars want Jews off what they define as sacred Muslim land. Supporters of BDS and the anti-normalization movement would do well to consider this fact. Failing to do so is tantamount to aiding and abetting Muslims to destroy Israel, and kill as many Jews as possible in the process.

Muslim scholars have feverishly citing chapter and verse from the Quran and the hadith, the words of the Prophet Mohammed, in their efforts to encourage Arabs and Muslims to avoid normalization with Jews.

The Quran and hadith have also been leveraged to promote boycotts against Israel and Jews — thereby refuting claims by anti-Israel activists that their campaigns are just about politics.

Palestinians have long maintained that their campaign to ban normalization with Israel is mainly directed against the Israeli “occupation” of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem. The Palestinian anti-normalization movement, which continues to target Israeli and Palestinian peace activists who hold — horrors! — public meetings, has in recent years gained momentum, largely thanks to the ongoing anti-Israel campaign of incitement and indoctrination in the Palestinian media and mosques.

In recent years, Palestinian anti-normalization activists have managed to foil several meetings between Israelis and Palestinians, under the pretext that such encounters cause damage to the Palestinians. The activists justify their disruption by citing what they see as Israeli practices against Palestinians, and violently object to any meetings with Israelis, including those who wholeheartedly support the Palestinians and oppose the policies of the Israeli government.

The most recent incident occurred at the Ambassador Hotel in East Jerusalem, where Israeli and Palestinian activists gathered to talk about peace and coexistence. Shortly after the meeting began, a number of anti-normalization activists stormed the conference hall to protest the meeting.

“Meeting with Zionists is an act of treason,” one of the protesters shouted. “There are no solutions. Palestinian must be freed, from the (Jordan) River to the (Mediterranean) Sea. Shame on you!”

The protesters claimed that they were opposed to the meeting because Israel was “demolishing Arab houses and killing Palestinians.”

1069-1Palestinian “anti-normalization” activists disrupt an unofficial Israeli-Palestinian peace conference Jerusalem’s Ambassador Hotel, in 2104.

Hind Khoury, a Christian woman who has previously served as Palestinian Authority ambassador to France, received the brunt of their anger. Khoury’s attempts to persuade the protesters that the meeting was not about normalization, but about achieving a just and comprehensive peace, fell on deaf ears. Ironically, it was the intervention of the Israeli Police that allowed Israeli and Palestinian activists to proceed with their conference.

Such scenes have become commonplace at the East Jerusalem hotel, a preferred site for unofficial peace conferences organized by Israelis and Palestinians. Anti-normalization activists raid the conference hall several times a year in their attempts to disrupt such gatherings.

The anti-normalization activists have also been vocal in Ramallah and other Palestinian cities. The Palestinian newspaper Al Quds, which recently published an interview with Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, has also come under attack. For these Palestinians, conducting an interview with an Israeli government official is engaging in “media normalization.”

“The newspaper must apologize to the Palestinians,” the protesters demanded.

On the face of it, the anti-normalization campaign appears driven by political motivations. However, it turns out that there is also a powerful Islamic angle to this campaign of hate, which is aimed at delegitimizing Israel and demonizing Jews. The Palestinian anti-normalization “enforcers” do their utmost to conceal the Islamic aspect of their campaign. They are not eager for the world to know that Islam supplies much of the ideology and justification for their anti-Israel activities.

Fatwas (Islamic religious decrees) and statements issued by leading Muslim scholars and clerics have long warned Muslims against normalization with the “Zionist entity.” Such normalization, they have made it clear, is considered an “unforgivable crime.”

The authors of these hate messages are not opposed to normalization with Israel because of settlements or house demolitions, but rather because they believe Jews have no rights at all to any of the land.

“Normalization with the Zionist enemy means turning the presence of Jews in Palestine to something normal,” explained one scholar, Adnan Adwan. “Normalization means accepting the right of the Zionist entity to Arab lands and Palestine.”

In response to an inquiry from Palestinians about the perspective of Islam regarding peace and normalization with Jews, a group of leading Muslim scholars issued a fatwa stating that this was completely haram (forbidden). They even went farther by ruling that any form of peace with Jews was also haram, despite the fact that Prophet Mohammed signed a treaty, known as the Constitution of Medina, with Jews and other non-Muslims shortly after his arrival at Medina from Mecca in 622 CE.

In their fatwa, the Muslim scholars wrote: “It is true that Prophet Mohammed signed a treaty with the infidels, including the Quraysh tribe and the Jews, but he did not make concessions that are contrary to Islam.” They pointed out that Prophet Mohammed did not strike the deal with the infidels in order to allow them to stay in their homes permanently. Nor did the prophet promise to abandon jihad (holy war) as a result of this treaty, they added in their fatwa. “There is no evidence whatsoever that the Prophet or any of his successors had made peace with infidels controlling Islamic lands,” the fatwa clarified.

To support their argument, the scholars quote verses from the Quran which — they maintain — prohibit Muslims from making peace or ever placing their confidence in Jews. One verse which they claim refers to Jews is taken from Surah Al-Anfal (The Spoils of War): “And if they intend to deceive you, then verily, Allah is All-Sufficient for you. He it is Who has supported you with His Help and with the believers.” (62) According to the fatwa, this verse from the Quran refers specifically to Jews.

The scholars continue with another verse from the same Surah Al-Anfal to explain why Muslims must continue to fight against Jews:

“O Prophet (Mohammed)! Urge the believers to fight. If there are twenty steadfast persons amongst you, they will overcome a two hundred, and if there be a hundred steadfast persons they will overcome a thousand of those who disbelieve, because they (the disbelievers) are people who do not understand.” (65)

Yet a further verse from the Quran is then cited to substantiate their ideology of war against the Jews — verse 7 from Surah At-Taubah (The Repentance):

“How can there be a covenant with Allah and with His Messenger for the Mushrikin (polytheists, idolaters, pagans, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah) expect those with whom you made a covenant near Al-Masjid al-Haram (at Makkah)? So long, as they are true to you, stand you true to them. Verily, Allah loves Al-Muttaqun (the pious).”

According to the fatwa, the “treacherous” Jews have since failed to “repent” (presumably, convert to Islam) and that is why it is forbidden to make peace with them.

The Muslim scholars also point to several fatwas prohibiting peace and normalization with Jews issued in the past century. The ban dates back to 1935, when a group of Muslim scholars and clerics ruled during a conference in Jerusalem that it was forbidden for Muslims to sell Arab-owned lands to Jews. A year later, scholars from Egypt’s Al-Azhar University, one of the first Islamic universities in the Arab world, ruled that it was the duty of all Muslims to engage in jihad “to salvage Palestine.” In 1989, more than 60 eminent Muslim scholars from 18 countries ruled that it was forbidden for Muslims to give up any part of Palestine.

Other Muslim scholars have referred to another verse in the Quran to justify banning normalization with Jews. In Surah Al-Mumtahinah (The Woman to be examined), verse 1 states: “O you who believe! Take not My enemies and your enemies as friends, showing affection towards them, while they have disbelieved in what has come to you of the truth.” They also quote the following hadith (a saying attributed to Prophet Mohammed) to support their claim against making peace with Jews: “Those who side with the unjust to assist them in their injustice, while knowing that they are unjust, walk out of Islam.”

The vicious campaigns to boycott Israel and Jews, while political in dress, are in fact deeply rooted in Islamic ideology.

The anti-normalization activists and those promoting boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel perceive Jews as the enemies of Allah and Prophet Mohammed. These campaigns are patently not a legitimate protest. They are not even part of an effort to boycott Israeli products or politicians and academics. The real goal of the campaigns is revealed in the words of the Muslim leaders: that Jews have no rights whatsoever to the land, and must be targeted through jihad as infidels and enemies of all Muslims and Arabs.

Muslim scholars have left no room for doubt about their view of the true nature of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Settlements and checkpoints and fences are irrelevant; Muslim scholars want Jews off what they define as sacred Muslim land. BDS and anti-normalization movement supporters might do well to consider this fact. Failing to do so is tantamount to aiding and abetting Muslims to destroy Israel, and kill as many Jews as possible in the process.

Palestinians Turn Jerusalem Into a Tool of Terror

February 2, 2017

Palestinians Turn Jerusalem Into a Tool of Terror, Investigative Project on Terrorism, Noah Beck, February 2, 2017

1960

Palestinian and other Arab leaders threatened violence in response to President Trump’s pledge to move the U.S. embassy from Tel-Aviv to Jerusalem. While Bill Clinton and George W. Bush also promised such a move as candidates, each backed off.

The terrorist who killed four Israelis in Jerusalem Jan. 8 by mowing them over with his truck expressed agitation after hearing a sermon at a local mosque criticizing Trump’s embassy relocation promise.

The Palestinian Authority (PA) leadership reportedly instructed the mosques it controls to focus their religious sermons on the embassy relocation. Worse still, the PA promised the terrorist’s widow a lifetime, $760-per-month stipend for her husband’s “martyrdom for Allah.”

Arab reactions to Trump’s embassy plans are more heated than they were to those of candidates Bush and Clinton perhaps because of Trump’s pledge to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and relocate the embassy there from Tel Aviv, not only as a candidate (including during his address at last year’s AIPAC Policy Conference) but also as president-elect, issuing public reassurances on the issue. Trump even planned to visit the Temple Mount as a candidate, although the visit never materialized and – as president – he said last Thursday that it was “too early” to discuss moving the U.S. Embassy.

Nevertheless, Palestinian and Arab leaders have warned that moving the embassy could lead to unrest and violence. Influential Iraqi Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr called the idea “a declaration of war against Islam.” PA President Mahmoud Abbas said he could revoke the PLO’s recognition of Israel, while his Fatah party warned the move “would open the gates of hell.”

Such declarations by political and religious leaders give a green light to Palestinians to react violently, as the Jerusalem terrorist truck attack shows.

Palestinian leaders, including the “more moderate” Palestinian Authority, regularly deny that Jews have any historical or religious connection to the Temple Mount.

PA Jerusalem Affairs Minister Adnan al-Husseini demanded an apology Sunday after United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said it was “completely clear that the Temple that the Romans destroyed in Jerusalem was a Jewish temple.” The statement “violated all legal, diplomatic and humanitarian customs and overstepped his role as secretary general,” al-Husseini said.

This is not the first time that the Palestinians, including the “more moderate” Palestinian Authority, manipulated Jerusalem into an incendiary trigger for terror.

As Palestinian Media Watch reported, Abbas led calls in 2015 for Palestinians to act violently to “defend” Muslim holy sites. He blessed “every drop of blood that has been spilled for Jerusalem” and presented violence in “defense” of holy sites and against the Jews’ “filthy feet” as a religious imperative.

Indeed, the “stabbing intifidah” was launched in 2015 by false rumors that Israel was trying to change the status quo on the Temple Mount.

“Arabs are convinced that Israel is set on destroying, desecrating or ‘Judaizing’ Haram al-Sharif, the Jerusalem compound that includes al-Aqsa, Islam’s third-holiest site,” Benny Avni wrote in the New York Post. Such incitement persists, Avni noted, even though “Israel points out that the arrangements that have existed since 1967, when it seized control of the Temple Mount, Judaism’s holiest site, are intact, and will remain so: A Jordanian trust, the Waqf, maintains the Mount. Jews can visit, but not pray there.”

Even worse, President Obama’s State Department reinforced the dangerously false incitement about Jerusalem promoted by Palestinians.

Writing about the 2015 “Stabbing Intifida,” journalist Jeffrey Goldberg rightly pointed out that it was “prompted in good part by the same set of manipulated emotions that sparked the anti-Jewish riots of the 1920s: a deeply felt desire on the part of Palestinians to ‘protect’ the Temple Mount from Jews.”

In the 1929 Arab riots, Arabs killed more than 130 Jews, and nearly as many Arabs died when British police responded. Among the findings of a subsequent investigation by the Shaw Commission was that “the Mufti was influenced by the twofold desire to confront the Jews and to mobilise Moslem opinion on the issue of the Wailing Wall” (in Jerusalem) and that one of the chief causes of the riots was “Propaganda among the less-educated Arab people of a character calculated to incite them.”

Arab incitement against Jews happens regularly, often without the explosive element of Jerusalem. In a sermon broadcast on Hamas’s Al-Aqsa TV in early January, a Hamas leader name Marwan Abu Ras, accused Jews of sending “AIDS-infected girls to fornicate with Muslim youths.” He also claimed that Israel was allowing drugs to be smuggled through tunnels into Gaza, while blocking the entry of essential goods. “Their state is about to disappear,” Abu Ras said. “…My brothers, know that people, stones, and trees all hate [the Jews]. Everyone on Earth hates this filthy nation, a nation extrinsic to Mankind. This fact was elucidated by the Quran and the Sunna.”

But adding Jerusalem to Arab incitement against Israelis can make the resulting violence even more explosive.

Qanta Ahmed, a pro-Israel Muslim reformer who visited both the Jewish and Muslim holy sites at the Temple Mount, eloquently noted the Islamist thinking that enables the weaponization of Jerusalem: “Forbidding worshippers from entering holy sites in Islam, including non-conforming or pluralist Muslims who reject both the ideology and accouterments of Islamism is an impassioned pastime of fervent Islamists who foolishly believe only they are the keepers of our Maker…”

Unfortunately, Jerusalem has a long and bloody history of being manipulated by Muslim leaders into an explosive tool of incitement. But if Islam truly is a religion of peace, its leading practitioners should stop turning religious holy sites into weapons of war, and instead embrace Doctor Ahmed’s tolerance.

Palestinian Columnist In Response To UN Secretary-General’s Statements On Jerusalem’s Jewish Connection: The Jews Have No Connection To Jerusalem Or Palestine At Large

February 1, 2017

Palestinian Columnist In Response To UN Secretary-General’s Statements On Jerusalem’s Jewish Connection: The Jews Have No Connection To Jerusalem Or Palestine At Large, MEMRI, February 1, 2017

(Not only that, but Joseph, Mary and Jesus were Muslims, not Jews. — DM)

Fatah and PLO officials lashed out at the new secretary-general of the UN, António Guterres, for remarks he made on January 28, 2017 to Israeli Radio. Guterres said that there is no doubt Jerusalem is holy to all three major monotheistic religions today, but it is “completely clear that the temple which was demolished by the Romans was a Jewish temple.”[1]

The Palestinian officials said that Guterres’s remarks encourage Israel to step up its measures against Jerusalem, constitute direct aggression against the Palestinian people’s rights in the city, and deal a blow to international efforts for peace. They also undermine the UN’s credibility and contradict truth, history and UNESCO’s resolution from October 2016 stating that the Al-Aqsa Mosque is a Muslim site.

‘Omar Al-Ghoul, a columnist for the PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida who was an advisor to former PA prime minister Salam Fayyad, published a scathing article in which he demanded that Guterres apologize to the Palestinian people for the injustice of his remarks. Jerusalem and all of Palestine, from the river to the sea, belong to the Palestinian people, he wrote, and the Jews have no historical connection to them. He added that Jerusalem belongs to the Muslims and Christians alone, and that the Temple of Solomon never existed in Palestine.

The following are excerpts from his article and from other Palestinian responses to Guterres’s remarks.

guterresAntónio Guterres (image: english.alarabiya.net)

Fatah, PLO Officials: Secretary-General’s Comments Deal A Blow To UN’s Credibility, Encourage Terrorism Against Palestinians

PLO Executive Committee member Ahmed Majdalani called the UN secretary-general’s statements “a severe breach of policy and a blow to the UN’s credibility as an international body [reflecting] bias towards an occupying force.” He added: “The secretary-general should clarify his remarks, which undermine international efforts for peace and give the occupation a green light to step up its measures against Jerusalem… The UN secretary-general appears to be uninformed and not updated in the field in which he engages, and we remind him of the resolution by UNESCO, which considers the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the entire Haram Al-Sharif [i.e., Temple Mount] to be a sacred Islamic site designated for worship.”[2]

Fatah Revolutionary Committee deputy secretary Fayez Abu ‘Aita called the secretary-general’s statements “direct aggression against the Palestinian people’s rights in Jerusalem and [a show of] bias towards the occupation by legitimizing and empowering the illegal Israeli presence in Jerusalem.” He added that they “encourage Israel to use more terrorism against the Palestinian people, to attack the sites sacred to Islam and to Christianity, and to continue expanding settlement construction until the two-state principle is eliminated.”[3]

Columnist In PA Daily: Jerusalem And All Of Palestine, From The River To The Sea, Is Muslim Land

‘Omar Al-Ghoul, a columnist for the PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida and advisor to PA prime minister Salam Fayyad during the latter’s term in office, harshly condemned Guterres: “The world expressed great optimism at Mr. António Guterres’s recent appointment as UN secretary-general, especially in light of his promise to reform this leading international institution in order to develop it and in order for it to be able to follow events around the world more quickly and vitally. But that optimism is apparently misplaced, since someone who wants to reform and awaken the international organization does not deviate from the UN Charter, or from its resolutions and rules, but must instead be wiser and bolder when taking political positions, instead of making offhand comments according to whims and narrow interests.

“António Guterres made a clear and obvious mistake towards peace and the political process on the Israeli-Palestinian track when he stated… that he believes in the connection between Jerusalem and the Jews. The secretary-general argued, contradicting the UNESCO resolution, history and facts, that in his opinion – which deviates from the truth and the facts – it is as clear as the sun is clear that ‘the temple which was demolished by the Romans was a Jewish temple.’ Thus, the new secretary-general fell into the trap of his own unbalanced view, because the issue of Jerusalem and the Palestinian-Israeli blood feud are not resolved by personal opinions. [Mr. Secretary-General,] your personal opinion is yours alone and not a binding position held by the UN or by the nations of the world. You, as secretary-general, must not involve the UN in positions that it does not need and that do not correspond with its regulations and resolutions. Furthermore, you have no right to err in flattering Israel due to considerations easily understood by any observer – because your remarks do not correspond to history or to the existing data.”

Jerusalem Belongs To The Muslims And Christians, Not To The Jews; Guterres Must Apologize Immediately To The Palestinian People And Leadership

“If you are interested in history, and committed to it, Mr. António, [then you should know that] Jerusalem and all of Palestine from the river to the sea, belong to the Palestinian people, and their history is its history. The establishment of Israel based on the UN Partition [Plan for Palestine,] Resolution 181, adopted in November 1947, and the Palestinian people’s consent to peace and the two-state solution on the basis of the June 1967 borders, absolutely do not mean that the history of Palestine changes. Jerusalem is Arab-Palestinian and belongs to the Muslims and the Christians, and not to the Jews – although this does not mean that Jews should be prevented from visiting it. The so-called ‘Western Wall’ is actually the ‘Al-Buraq Wall’ [Al-Buraq is the winged horse on which Muhammad ascended to Heaven]. Solomon’s Temple does not exists and never existed in Palestine. The Israelis have been excavating across the entire land for nearly a century since fully occupying it in June 1967 and have found nothing related to Judaism in all of Palestine, not just in Jerusalem.

“So on what grounds do you voluntarily express incorrect positions that have no connection to reality? What is your interest in doing so? Are you serving the peace process, or entangling and threatening it? Additionally, you express irresponsible views, such as that you ‘do not intend to take the reins of initiative in any political process between the Palestinians and Israelis.’ Why? What is your role as UN secretary-general? Are you the U.S., or do you speak for it? Does this not constitute conspiring with the racist Israeli ethnic-cleansing state and giving it a green light to continue its imperialist settlements? Is this the reform you want to bring to the UN?

“This grave injustice committed by the new UN secretary-general in the matter of the Palestinian-Arab Islamic-Christian and human Jerusalem means that he must immediately apologize to the Palestinian people and leadership, and rectify this matter by issuing a clear, direct, and explicit position in line with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization – UNESCO, which issued two resolutions on this matter in October 2016.

“You may issue no personal decisions on your own, because ever since your appointment as UN secretary-general, you represent not yourself but the entire UN, including its peoples, member states, resolutions, treaties, and regulations. Therefore, you are not authorizedto say whatever you think or whatever you, or the deviant countries you flatter, wish you to say – particularly not Israel and its ally the U.S.

“Have you have the courage to acknowledge [that this is what you have done] and to correct this shameful injustice?”[4]

____________________

[1] Jpost.com, January 30, 2017.

[2] Wafa.ps, January 29, 2017.

[3] Wafa.ps, January 29, 2017.

[4] Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (PA), January 29, 2017.

Pseudo-liberal Jews cause great damage

January 29, 2017

Pseudo-liberal Jews cause great damage, Israel Hayom, Isi Leibler, January 29, 2017

We live in a world of chaos and upheaval.‎

Now is the time for all committed Jews to unite, stand together and concentrate primarily on ‎securing their own rights. Diaspora Jews who, from their comfortable armchairs, claim a ‎better understanding than Israelis of what is good for their security, should be treated with ‎contempt. Israel is entitled to expect support from committed Jews over the next few years ‎until it stabilizes its relationship with the world and creates an iron barrier to deter its ‎genocidal enemies.‎

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Chaos is the order of the day throughout the entire democratic world.‎

This has been accelerated by the hypocrisy and intolerance of the vindictive Left, aided and ‎abetted by foolish bleeding-heart pseudo-liberals who have become accomplices in the ‎undermining of democracy.‎

One can understand that many Democrats were incredulous and devastated that Hillary ‎Clinton could be defeated by Donald Trump, whose lack of civility, absence of political ‎experience and coarse language even offended conservatives.‎

But the outpouring of rage, the histrionic protest marches throughout the world, the ‎establishment of committees to impeach Trump — even prior to the traditional 100-day ‎honeymoon period — is unprecedented. Contrary to all the claptrap about democracy that ‎they sanctimoniously preached while in office, leftists are unwilling to accept the fact that their ‎candidate was defeated by a parvenu.‎

The same chaos has swept through Europe, many of whose citizens are revolting against the ‎failure of the Brussels-based European Union bureaucrats to address their needs and above all ‎the collapse in the quality of their lives resulting from millions of so-called refugees flooding ‎their countries.‎

This has led to a rise in global populism, a revival of conservative and right-wing political ‎parties and rejection of the “politically correct” way of life imposed by sanctimonious liberal ‎ideologues.‎

How has this chaos impacted on Diaspora Jews?‎

As history has testified, during periods of stress and anxiety, Diaspora Jews face grave threats. ‎Anti-Semitism, already having reached record levels since the Nazi era, is poised to become ‎even more vicious. That situation has been temporarily muted because the prevailing threat of ‎Islamic fundamentalist terror attacks in many Western nations has directed public anger ‎toward Muslims rather than Jews. This does not apply to Hungary, Greece and Germany.‎

The Jews, as a minority that has suffered tyranny and persecution, would be expected under ‎current circumstances to concentrate primarily on their own security.‎

Ethics of the Fathers quotes Hillel the Elder, “If I am not for myself, who will be for me? But if I ‎am only for myself, what am I?”‎

Liberal-inclined Diaspora Jews — especially those lacking an authentic Jewish education — ‎appear to have reversed this dictum. They consider that the well-being of the world and ‎politically correct standards of social values must be their priority — with disregard to the harm ‎this inflicts on them as a community.‎

Observing Conservative and Reform Jewish leaders in the U.S., accompanied by once-‎mainstream liberal Jewish groups like the Anti-Defamation League and National Council of ‎Jewish Women, at the forefront of hysterical demonstrations accusing Trump of being fascist ‎and encouraging anti-Semitism, it is if they have been possessed by a dybbuk. ‎

The same bleeding hearts in the U.S. as well as those in Europe were at the forefront of calls to ‎open the gates to Muslim “refugees” steeped in anti-democratic behavior and nourished on ‎diets of undiluted, visceral anti-Semitism. Setting aside the question of ISIS terrorist sleeper ‎cells, there is little doubt that these elements will strengthen existing anti-Semitism in the older ‎immigrant Muslim communities that failed to integrate. Yet many Jews are so dismally ignorant ‎and oblivious that they even compare these immigrants to Jews facing annihilation during the ‎Holocaust who were denied haven by other democratic countries.‎

This behavior is even more disturbing at a time of historic opportunities with Trump’s election. ‎

Although by no means yet assured, the U.S., still the only true global superpower, may truly ‎treat Israel as a genuine ally, a move that would be reinforced by an overwhelmingly pro-Israel ‎Congress ‎

Trump has repeatedly proclaimed his determination to reverse former President Barack ‎Obama’s hostile anti-Israeli policy and create a new alliance between the U.S. and Israel that ‎would be sensitive to the security needs of the Jewish state. ‎

His commitment to recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel would have more than ‎symbolic value. It would have a major impact in reversing the odious definition of the ‎settlement blocs and even the Western Wall and Temple Mount as occupied territory. Israel ‎could proceed to build homes and the Jewish neighborhoods over the Green Line would ‎prosper. ‎

Furthermore, the U.S. will hopefully no longer acquiesce to the U.N. persecution of Israel and ‎will reject calls to return to the indefensible 1949 armistice lines. ‎

Trump is also likely to bring an end to the U.S. component of the scandalous $300 million per ‎annum provided to the Palestinian Authority, much of which is doled out to murderers. ‎

Israel will also have a powerful ally that recognizes Iran as a rogue state and would ‎substantially reduce the genocidal threat from the Iranian Muslim fundamentalists.‎

All this has yet to be delivered but there is no doubt that there is now a window of opportunity ‎which Israel should exploit to dramatically minimize the security challenges and separate from ‎the Palestinians with defensible borders. This can be achieved if Israel now has the support of a ‎U.S. that can be counted on as a true ally. Over the past eight years under Obama, the U.S. ‎dramatically eroded Israel’s diplomatic standing, treated the Jewish state as a pariah and ‎provided incentives to the Palestinians to stall negotiations and engage in terror. With ‎renewed American support, Israel could at long last stabilize itself.‎

There is no disputing that many Democratic Party supporters, including large numbers of Jews, ‎were bitterly disappointed at the election result and were further outraged by Trump’s ‎triumphant and, in their view, divisive inaugural address.‎

But surely it is in the interest of the Jewish community to develop a good relationship with the ‎new administration, especially taking into account the enormous uplift it could provide to the ‎beleaguered Jewish state. Even setting aside his religious Jewish son-in-law, Trump has always ‎been close to Jews and his inner councils incorporate an unprecedented number of passionate ‎religious Zionist Jews. This was highlighted by the honored role of Rabbi Marvin Hier as the ‎first Orthodox rabbi invited to invoke a prayer at the presidential inauguration. ‎

In this context, setting aside individual political beliefs, one must question the legitimacy of ‎those purportedly mainstream Jewish organizational leaders who led the scurrilous accusation ‎of fascism against the new president and the Jewish progressive religious groups calling for ‎mourning and fasting. ‎

One of the main justifying positive elements of progressive Jews was that even if they did not ‎consider themselves obligated to follow Halachah, their activity would ensure that ‎they at least remained within a Jewish framework. What their leaders are doing now is the ‎opposite — encouraging them to take up liberal causes even if it means forsaking Israel, the ‎most fundamental component providing them with a Jewish identity. ‎

They have reversed Hillel’s maxim and act for what they perceive to be the universal needs of ‎humanity, dismissing the interests of their own people. They are undermining themselves as a ‎community and acting as lemmings marching off a cliff to their own destruction. ‎

There is only one example in Jewish history to which such behavior can be compared. The ‎Jewish Bolsheviks also turned against their own people and ultimately the revolution ‎consumed them. Unfortunately, the vociferous anti-Trump Jewish activists are a far ‎greater proportion of the American Jewish community than ‎Jewish Bolsheviks were among Russian Jews.‎

It is clear that in the Diaspora, committed Jews will remain overwhelmingly supportive of Israel ‎while the pseudo-liberal or progressive Jews will become less interested in Israel and ultimately ‎lose their identity. Indeed, Christian evangelicals now play a far greater role in promoting Israel ‎than some of the mainstream Jewish groups. ‎

We live in a world of chaos and upheaval.‎

Now is the time for all committed Jews to unite, stand together and concentrate primarily on ‎securing their own rights. Diaspora Jews who, from their comfortable armchairs, claim a ‎better understanding than Israelis of what is good for their security, should be treated with ‎contempt. Israel is entitled to expect support from committed Jews over the next few years ‎until it stabilizes its relationship with the world and creates an iron barrier to deter its ‎genocidal enemies.‎

Once the threats to the Jewish people have been overcome, we can and will become more ‎directly involved in tikkun olam and fulfilling Rabbi Hillel’s wise advice.‎