Archive for the ‘Jerusalem – status’ category

Paraguay president lands in Israel for Jerusalem embassy opening

May 21, 2018

Paraguay’ President Horacio Cartes (3rd-L) is greeted at Ben Gurion International Airport by Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan (3rd-R) after landing in Israel to attend the opening of the Paraguayan embassy in Jerusalem, on May 20, 2018. (Foreign Ministry)

Horacio Cartes greeted at airport by Likud minister, who thanks him for his ‘brave leadership’; new mission to be inaugurated Monday

By TOI STAFF 20 May 2018, 11:41 pm Times of Israel

Source Link: Paraguay president lands in Israel for Jerusalem embassy opening

{More winning! – LS} 

Paraguay’s President Horacio Cartes arrived in Israel Sunday evening ahead of the opening of his country’s embassy in Jerusalem this week.

Cartes was greeted at the airport by Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, who praised him for moving the Paraguayan embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

“I thanked the president for his decision that testifies to the depth of countries’ ties and his brave leadership. Another state leader that chooses truth and strengthens our sovereignty in our capital,” Erdan tweeted.

Paraguay is set to open its new mission in Jerusalem on Monday, making it the third country to do so after the United States and Guatemala opened their embassies in the city last week.

Following the embassy inauguration, Cartes will attend a reception at the Foreign Ministry attended by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon said.

Last month, Cartes said he wanted to relocate the country’s embassy to Jerusalem before the end of his presidential term in August.

The decision has been controversial in Paraguay. It comes less than two months before Mario Abdo Benitez replaces Cartes, and the president-elect has said he wasn’t consulted.

Israel claims the entire city as its eternal capital. Palestinians seek East Jerusalem as their future capital and have been infuriated by the embassy moves.

Most countries maintain embassies in Tel Aviv and have balked at moving them until the international legal status of the city has been resolved in negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

In addition to the US, Guatemala and Paraguay, a number of other countries have expressed interest in moving their embassies to Israel, among them Honduras, the Czech Republic and Romania.

US President Donald Trump bucked longstanding international consensus with his December 6 recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, when he also announced he would move the embassy to the city.

In a video message shown at Monday’s embassy inauguration, Trump said his recognition was of the “plain reality that Israel’s capital is Jerusalem,” noting that the city houses Israel’s main governmental facilities, Supreme Court, Prime Minister’s Office and president’s home.

He also stressed that the US remains committed to facilitating an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal and called for Israel to preserve the status quo at religious sites in Jerusalem.


People watch as US President Donald Trump speaks in a prerecorded video shown at the inauguration of the US embassy in Jerusalem on May 14, 2018. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

AP contributed to this report.

IT’S OFFICIAL: First ‘US Embassy’ Road Signs Go Up In Jerusalem

May 7, 2018

Anders Hagstrom Justice Reporter 12:02 PM 05/07/2018 The Daily Caller

Source Link: IT’S OFFICIAL: First ‘US Embassy’ Road Signs Go Up In Jerusalem

{A sign of the times. – LS}

Israel put up the first “U.S. Embassy” road signs in its capital of Jerusalem Monday morning, weeks after President Donald Trump announced the U.S. would move its embassy from Tel Aviv and recognize Israel’s capital.

The signs read in English, Hebrew, and Arabic and were put in place one week before the U.S. officially transfers its embassy to the city, Reuters reported Monday. The U.S. had technically recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital for decades, but past presidents put off transferring the embassy from Tel Aviv to placate the Palestinian contingent.

“This is not a dream. It is reality. I am proud and moved to have hung this morning the first new signs that were prepared for the U.S. Embassy,” wrote Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat on Twitter.

The Palestinian Authority continues to be enraged by the move, however, claiming it severely threatens any hope of lasting peace between Israel and Palestine.

“This [embassy] move is not only illegal but will also thwart the achievement of a just and lasting peace between two sovereign and democratic states on the 1967 borders, Israel and Palestine living side by side in peace and security,” Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said in a statement.

The U.S. hopes there is still a possibility for peace, however. Israel has made repeated offers of a two-state solution, once even offering to internationalize Jerusalem, but the Palestinians rejected them.

“By recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and the seat of its government, we’re recognizing reality,” U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said last week. “I also stress, as President Trump has said in December, the boundaries of Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem remain subject to negotiations between the parties, and we remain committed to achieving a lasting and comprehensive peace that offers a brighter future for both Israel and the Palestinians.”

 

 

Abbas’ ultimatum to Trump: Choose between a Palestinian Jerusalem or war

January 17, 2018

Abbas’ ultimatum to Trump: Choose between a Palestinian Jerusalem or war, DEBKAfile, January 17, 2018

(Please see also, Did Abbas just give his valedictory speech, blaming everyone for his failures? — DM)

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) speaks during a meeting with members of the Central Committee in the West Bank city of Ramallah on January 14, 2018. Photo by Flash90

The Palestinian leader finds himself tied down by two handicaps: shortage of funds for buying supporters and his advanced age. At 82, he may choose a fourth option, to retire voluntarily and make way for a younger leader.

******************************

Palestinian Mahmoud Abbas kicked back hard after grasping he was confronted with an orderly, Arab-backed US peace plan that left his strategy in ruins.

Abbas now sees he is cornered by his nemesis: Trump’s move to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, was not just a one-off whim, but a component of the “deal of the century,” which the US president and his advisers had crafted for months together with Egyptian President Abdel-Fatteh El-Sisi, Saudi Crown Prince Muhammed bin Salman and the UAE ruler Sheikh Muhammed Bin Ziyad.

The Palestinian leader’s first predicament was how to explain to the Palestinian and Arab public what happened to his master strategy of the past 25 years, for using world opinion to force a pro-Palestinian peace solution down Israel’s throat. Not too long ago, Abbas boasted he was about to pull it off. Now it is crashing before his eyes. It is not enough for him to yell that the “deal of the century” is the “slap of the century.”

Here and there, he may find international pro-Palestinian stalwarts, but the doors are slamming shut as funds for UN bodies and NGOs dry up. Even the Europeans, who dislike Trump and sympathize with the Palestinians, are beginning to think twice about sticking to a blunt line against the US and Israel. They are reluctant to buck the two allies’ partners, the oil-rich Saudi and Emirate rulers, a luxury they can ill afford in these times of profound economic decline.

Much of the criticism of the US-Arab peace plan is prompted by a misapprehension. The plan is based strongly on a two-state solution that offers the Palestinians their own state and negates binational Israeli-Palestinian statehood. But the contours are different from any former peace proposal. Gone for good are the pre-1967 war lines which were Abbas’ sine qua non. According to the fragments leaked about the new proposal, which is still on the work bench, this Palestinian state would rise on territory currently governed by the Palestinian Authority in Judea and Samaria. Its backbone would be formed by the chain of Palestinian towns running from Nablus in the north through Ramallah and Bethlehem and up to Hebron in the south. They would link up with the Gaza Strip and acquire parts of northern Sinai, presumably Egyptian Rafah and El Arish.

According to this plan, the governmental and population of the new Palestinian state would be oriented mainly in the south, so that Jerusalem would not be relevant as its capital. It would still have Ramallah and possibly Abu Dis, outside Jerusalem, where government and parliamentary compounds were installed long ago, after one of several stillborn peace initiatives.

This plan for Palestinian statehood bears little resemblance to the goal of the 50-year old Palestinian struggle. The Palestinian national movement has consistently aspired to a state that would swallow Israel and extinguish the Zionist vision. However, the contemporary Palestinian state as envisaged in the new plan would be dependent for its strength and survival on Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, all of which maintain good security and economic ties with Israel.

For Mahmoud Abbas this prospect is anathema. He is so beside himself that on Sunday, he cursed the house of US President Donald Trump before the PLO central committee. But, then on Monday, Jan. 16, Trump whipped out his ultimate weapon and slashed aid to the UN Works and Relief Agency for Palestinian refugees, from $165m to $60m.

For many years, UNWRA has been a powerful political sponsor of any Palestinian group willing to join the “struggle” against Israel. Its personnel were flush with the funds paid in as dues by UN members, unlike the often cash-strapped Palestinian Authority in Ramallah. Trump therefore decided that the key to getting the US-Arab peace plan on its feet would be to cut off the flow of cash to its opponents. It is a little-known fact that he was joined in this endeavor by the Saudis, the Emiratis and even Qatar, all of whom started some weeks ago to staunch aid funds to the Palestinian Authority. The Palestinian Authority and its chairman Mahmoud Abbas therefore find they are being squeezed into an US-Arab blockade, which leaves Abbas with three options:

  1. To realize his back is to the wall and he has no option other than to accept the “deal of the century.”
  2. Face being ousted by the rest of the Palestinian leadership and replaced with a successor who is amenable to reaching an understanding with the Trump administration, Cairo, Riyadh and Abu Dhabi.
  3. Regress to Yasser Arafat’s doctrine of armed struggle – not just against Israel this time but against US targets as well. Abbas indicated that was on the warpath when he challenged President Trump in a ferocious speech he delivered in Cairo Wednesday, Jan 17. He shouted, “Jerusalem would be a gate for peace only when it was the capital of Palestine. But it is also a gate for war, insecurity and instability, if not. Trump must choose.”

His barefaced ultimatum to the US president was accompanied by a rumor his cronies began to circulate, charging that the Trump administration was plotting to forcibly depose Abbas as PA chairman. The Palestinian leader finds himself tied down by two handicaps: shortage of funds for buying supporters and his advanced age. At 82, he may choose a fourth option, to retire voluntarily and make way for a younger leader.

Egypt quietly urges Palestinians to accept Ramallah as capital

January 7, 2018

Egypt quietly urges Palestinians to accept Ramallah as capital, DEBKAfile, January 7, 2018

Cairo has tacitly accepted Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. An Egyptian intelligence officer Capt. Ashraf al-Kholi is recorded in four audios of telephone calls to Arab media as asking: “How is Jerusalem different from Ramallah, really?”  Palestinians should content themselves with Ramallah, he said. “Like all our Arab brothers, Egypt would denounce in public” President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, but strife with Israel is not in Egypt’s interest and the Arabs must accept it.

The end of an era

January 4, 2018

The end of an era, Israel Hayom, Dr. Reuven Berko, January 3, 2018

Most of the Palestinians in Judea, Samaria, and the Gaza Strip are waking up. The sparsely attended “days of rage” Hamas and the PA initiated over the issue of Jerusalem signal a disappointing finale because the city used to be an issue that would light up both the Palestinians and Arab nations.

The Gazans are sick of Hamas, and in Judea and Samaria they are tired of the corruption in the PA, and once again an interim government devoted to economic issues that would have Israel’s blessing is being discussed. Some reject the militant candidates for Abbas’ position (Majid Faraj and Mohammed Dahlan) as representatives of the same old organizational approach and would prefer Salam Fayyad, who has already proven his ability to make the vision of a flourishing Palestinian society a reality. That might work well for us.

*******************************

In the late 1990s, author and political commentator Fouad Ajami published his book “The Dream Palace of the Arabs: A Generation’s Odyssey,” in which he laid out the failures in the worldviews of Arab leaders and their self-criticism as the reason for their lack of achievement.

Two decades later, as 2017 was drawing to a close, the Palestinians’ dream palace sustained three serious blows in quick succession. First, U.S. President Donald Trump declared that the U.S. recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. This was followed by the Likud Central Committee’s decision to annex the settlements and the Jordan Valley. Finally, the Knesset passed a law that removes the teeth from any future peace deal involving Jerusalem (by requiring a special majority of 80 MKs to vote in favor of handing any part of the city over to any foreign government).

If the Palestinians were to look at them in a sober light, they would see that the U.N. resolutions that followed Trump’s announcement were meaningless. In light of the continuing historic drama that began with the landmark Balfour Declaration, the U.N. resolutions condemning Trump’s announcement carried no operative significance and merely served as a faint echo of the detached institution’s fading anti-Israelism.

The latest provocations from Hamas are not a lust for battle, but an expression of how desperate and lost – operatively, politically, and ideologically – the organization is. This beaten and battered group made an immense investment in missiles and attack tunnels, at a heavy cost to its people. These have become a pointless burden. Hamas is currently in a political situation in which the world is sick of Islamism, and the entities that aid and abet it (Qatar, Iran, and Turkey) are bogged down in their own domestic troubles.

The Palestinian Authority is at the end of an era. PA President Mahmoud Abbas is trying fruitlessly to use a diplomatic atmosphere that is hostile to Israel to wring concessions out of it, while simultaneously avoiding direct negotiations with Israel or recognizing it as a Jewish state. The PA is wasting time trying to paint Israel as an apartheid state through a South Africa-style boycott movement, while continuing to coordinate on security because it is afraid of Hamas.

The Israeli convoy is moving on while the PA is gritting its teeth over absurd demands (Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital and a “right of return” for Palestinian refugees), not realizing the effect the processes at work in the world are having on their delusional dreams. Indeed, Islamist terrorism, the Iranian threat, the breakdown of many countries in the region, the masses of Muslim refugees into sinking Europe, the persecution of Christians in the Middle East – these are the factors that have sidelined the Palestinian problem, which was never the cause of the regional unrest.

As these developments take place, Abbas is claiming that the U.S. is sponsoring an Israeli strategy to eradicate the Palestinians and their irrefutable right to kill off the peace process. A range of voices in Fatah and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and Hamas – responded to Trump’s declaration and Israel’s decision about Jerusalem and the settlements with the language of a declaration of war that demands that they revoke any recognition of Israel and the peace process and resume resistance (the armed struggle).

Most of the Palestinians in Judea, Samaria, and the Gaza Strip are waking up. The sparsely attended “days of rage” Hamas and the PA initiated over the issue of Jerusalem signal a disappointing finale because the city used to be an issue that would light up both the Palestinians and Arab nations.

The Gazans are sick of Hamas, and in Judea and Samaria they are tired of the corruption in the PA, and once again an interim government devoted to economic issues that would have Israel’s blessing is being discussed. Some reject the militant candidates for Abbas’ position (Majid Faraj and Mohammed Dahlan) as representatives of the same old organizational approach and would prefer Salam Fayyad, who has already proven his ability to make the vision of a flourishing Palestinian society a reality. That might work well for us.

No friend of Israel

December 27, 2017

No friend of Israel, Israel Hayom, Eldad Beck, December 27, 2017

(Might the substantial and increasing Islamisation of “multicultural” Germany be a factor in German hostility to Israel? — DM)

The time has come to reveal the true face of Germany, a country that wages a relentless struggle against Israel in both EU and U.N. institutions at the same time that it claims Israel’s existence and security are integral to its national interests. Germany is Europe’s single largest donor to the Palestinian Authority, but it has never once thought to demand the Palestinians do something for peace in return for all the money it provides, like put an end to the violence and the anti-Semitic incitement. While this should be obvious given Germany’s history, it seems it is not so crystal clear to Berlin. Germany prefers to put pressure on Israel only, by funding radical organizations that slander the Jewish state around the world.

*************************************

Around two weeks ago, and mere days after U.S. President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, one of the most popular tourist attractions in Berlin was opened at the Jewish Museum. Spanning over 1,000 square feet, the “Welcome to Jerusalem” exhibit is huge and includes hundreds of displays and exhibits.

One would have expected this type of exhibit at such an important Jewish museum to emphasize Jerusalem’s unique character as the holiest city in Judaism and also possibly focus a bit on the historical narrative of Zionism and the State of Israel. Such an exhibit could also have presented, in a balanced manner of course, the different religions that coexist in the city in spite of the ongoing conflict. But regrettably, the exhibit does nothing of the sort, but rather serves to strengthen the theory of Muslim-Arab-Palestinian ownership of the city, mainly through a biased presentation of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

A historical documentary about the conflict, one of the exhibit’s highlights, portrays Jews as domineering invaders. It notes the massacres and terrorist acts committed by Jewish paramilitary organizations while completely ignoring those same acts when they were carried out by Arab organizations at the behest of Jerusalem Mufti Haj Amin al-Husseini; completely ignores the Arab revolt of the 1930s and Husseini’s collaboration with the Nazis; presents a fairly long segment from an interview with late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat from the early years of his leadership, in which the then-PLO chief explains that the Palestinians have no choice but to take up arms; and repeats the theory according to which the 1995 assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin is what led to the disintegration of the peace process, as well as the proven lie that then-Opposition Leader Ariel Sharon’s 2000 visit to the Temple Mount sparked the Second Intifada. In short, according to the Jewish Museum in Berlin, the Jews are bad while the Arabs are victims.

Could one have really expected a different approach from a Jewish museum that, as part of its permanent exhibits, presents Israel as part of the “Diaspora” of German Jewry along with images of left-wing German Jews protesting against Israel? One of the curators of the Jerusalem exhibit is Cilly Kugelmann, a former vice director of the Jewish Museum whose post-Zionist views helped turn the museum into a center of activity for those who negate Israel’s existence. It is important to note that the Jewish Museum does not have ties with the local Jewish community and is financed by public funds, meaning the German establishment could influence the content on display and use the museum to relay a message. In fact, that is exactly what it is doing: The Jewish Museum serves the German establishment in its conscious struggle against Israel under the guise of a supposedly Jewish body.

Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital served to reveal Germany’s hypocrisy as far as concerns its ties with the Jewish state: Last week, Germany voted in favor of a U.N. resolution submitted by Turkey and Yemen that called U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital “null and void.” Germany, along with the other great nations of the European Union, betrayed its alliance with the United States and Israel in order to align with the world’s most unsavory regimes in negating the Jewish state’s right to determine that its capital is in Jerusalem, the most sacred city to Jews.

The time has come to reveal the true face of Germany, a country that wages a relentless struggle against Israel in both EU and U.N. institutions at the same time that it claims Israel’s existence and security are integral to its national interests. Germany is Europe’s single largest donor to the Palestinian Authority, but it has never once thought to demand the Palestinians do something for peace in return for all the money it provides, like put an end to the violence and the anti-Semitic incitement. While this should be obvious given Germany’s history, it seems it is not so crystal clear to Berlin. Germany prefers to put pressure on Israel only, by funding radical organizations that slander the Jewish state around the world.

Unfortunately, Germany is no friend of Israel. That is at least as long as its current policies remain in place.

O! Jerusalem

December 26, 2017

O! Jerusalem, Israel National News, Rabbi Berel Wein, December 26, 2017

The city of Jerusalem itself is thriving as perhaps never before in its long and turbulent history. The population is at an all-time high and every neighborhood in the city is experiencing new construction and refurbishment. The light rail system has proven to be a success and the good old green Egged buses are still plying their routes more or less in an orderly fashion and on a scheduled timeline. 

The city has enjoyed an economic upturn and its government has improved many of the services, quietly and without boastful fanfare. The Arab citizens of Jerusalem – they are a little more than 30% of the population here – enjoy a standard of living and opportunity unmatched anywhere else in the Middle East.

Yet, this means nothing regarding the attitude of much of the world as far as Israel and Jerusalem is concerned

******************************

The Jewish people and the world generally were witness this past week to yet another fulfillment of a biblical prophecy. The prophet said that a day will come when all of the nations – or at least a sizable portion of them – will attack Jerusalem and attempt to dislodge the Jewish people from their capital city and its holy environs. 128 nations voted for a UN General Assembly resolution denying the right of Israel and the Jewish people to claim Jerusalem as its capital. 

Among the nations that voted for this resolution were the usual culprits – dictators, slaveholders, warmongers and many others of this ilk. And naturally the hypocritical democracies of Europe never have been able to overcome their anti-Jewish bias, developed over centuries of persecution and discrimination against Jews also supported this nefarious resolution.

There were countries, led by the United States of America, who voted against the resolution and spoke up about its bias and impracticality. In the long view of history those nations who defended Jewish rights eventually were blessed for their wisdom and kindness. The United States of America is the world’s leading democracy and with all of its warts and faults remains a shining beacon of fairness and opportunity for individuals all over the world. 

Supporting Israel’s claim to Jerusalem is just simply choosing right over wrong and realistic history over illusory plans and policies. The United States committed its error in supporting an anti-Israel resolution last year under the Obama administration. And it made good on its policy of long-standing to protect Israel from these continued efforts by the United Nations to undermine its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

There is no use arguing this matter logically or even realistically. It matters little to the world that Jerusalem, for the first time in many centuries, is free for worship to all faiths and peoples. It also matters little that Israel has all of its government offices located in Jerusalem and that Israel as a sovereign nation has long chosen Jerusalem to be its capital. None of this matters because it is not so much that the world wants Jerusalem – after all it was a wasteland and backwater location for many centuries whether under Christian or Moslem rule – it is simply that the world does not want the Jews to have Jerusalem.

There is absolutely no logical explanation for this position but there it is anyway. The terrible virus of anti-Semitism affects all attitudes and positions regarding the state of Israel and certainly regarding Jerusalem. I certainly agree that there are religious difficulties for both the Christian and Moslem worlds regarding the status of Jerusalem as being a Jewish city and the capital of the state of Israel. However just as portions of the Christian clergy and Moslem nations have learned to live with the reality of the existence of the state of Israel – itself a religious difficulty to the theology of these faiths – so too I am confident that they will be able to adjust to the fact that Jerusalem is the capital of the Jewish state. Reality eventually affects beliefs and previously held opinions, even those that were once represented as being sacred and immutable.

The city of Jerusalem itself is thriving as perhaps never before in its long and turbulent history. The population is at an all-time high and every neighborhood in the city is experiencing new construction and refurbishment. The light rail system has proven to be a success and the good old green Egged buses are still plying their routes more or less in an orderly fashion and on a scheduled timeline.

The city has enjoyed an economic upturn and its government has improved many of the services, quietly and without boastful fanfare. The Arab citizens of Jerusalem – they are a little more than 30% of the population here – enjoy a standard of living and opportunity unmatched anywhere else in the Middle East.

Yet, this means nothing regarding the attitude of much of the world as far as Israel and Jerusalem is concerned.

The United Nations resolution, shameful as it is, is nevertheless nonbinding and non-enforceable. It is another one of the paper propaganda victories that the Palestinian Authority revels in, which brings them no closer to a state of their own, which by now most of us suspect they really don’t want anyway.

Jerusalem was supposed to be a bargaining chip to extract greater concessions from Israel on any final agreement. Somehow that chip may now be lost and no longer in play.