Archive for the ‘Jerusalem – status’ category

Palestinian claims to Jerusalem lose Saudi as well as US support

December 16, 2017

Palestinian claims to Jerusalem lose Saudi as well as US support, DEBKAfile, December 16, 2017

Abbas (Abu Mazen) paid an urgent visit to Riyadh to meet Prince Muhammed. Since then, a continuous stream of tidbits is emanating from their conversation. According to one report, the Saudi prince put before the Palestinian leader an American-Saudi blueprint. It proclaims Abu Dis, a village located on the fringes of east Jerusalem, as the capital of the future Palestinian state. That state would have limited sovereignty in parts of the West Bank, while all the Jewish communities would remain in place. East Jerusalem would not be declared its capital; and the Palestinian refugees’ “right of return” was dropped, as was mention of the pre-1967 boundaries.

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The Palestinians have three major grievances with the Trump administration on Jerusalem, but are most irked by Saudi backing for the Trump peace plan.

Palestine rage over President Donald Trump Jerusalem decisions was further fueled Friday, Dec. 17 by the comment from Washington: “We cannot envision any situation under which the Western Wall would not be part of Israel. But, as the president said, the specific boundaries of sovereignty of Israel are going to be part of the final status agreement.”   It came with the announcement that Vice President Mike Pence will pay a visit to the Western Wall next Wednesday’ Dec. 20, during his Middle East tour.

Not too long ago, President Trump himself visited the Western wall on May 22. But then, American security officers excluded their Israeli counterparts from safeguarding the visit, claiming it took place outside Israeli territory. border. Eight months later, Trump has restored Israel’s sovereignty to the Western Wall, which encloses the hallowed compound of  the last Jewish Temple, in time for his vice president to pray there.

For the Palestinians, this is another Trump-administration shift in Israel’s favor and its consequent loss of credibility as an honest broker for the Palestinian-Israeli dispute. The Palestinian Authority in Ramallah reiterated this position Saturday, after announcing a boycott of the Pence visit and severing contact with Washington – a position they can’t really afford to sustain for long.

But what is really irking them even more than the Trump administration’s pro-Israeli stance on Jerusalem is its endorsement by their longstanding champion, Riyadh. The impression gaining ground in recent weeks is that Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner has reached an understanding with Saudi Crown Prince Muhammed bin Salman (MbS) on a new plan for resolving the Israeli-Arab conflict, which departs fundamentally from the traditional core issues that scuttled all past peace processes.

The first inkling of such a plan came on the pages of the The New York Times of Nov. 11, under the title “Trump Team Begins Drafting Middle East Peace Plan.” This plan was described as pushing ahead on the fast track due to three factors:

  1. Its support by the Saudi crown prince and Egyptian President Abdel-Fatteh El-Sisi.
  2. The uncertainty of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s future in the face of long-running police probes against him.
  3. The constant erosion of Mahmoud Abbas’ standing as Palestinian Authority Chairman, whose rapidly diminishing popularity, due to his advanced age of 82 and the corruption rife in Ramallah, is reflected in the latest Palestinian opinion poll on Dec. 7-10. (70 percent want him to retire: 84 percent on the West Bank and 26 percent in the Gaza Strip).

Washington has therefore chosen a moment of leadership weakness to push ahead with its plans to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian dispute.

A week before the NYT report, Abbas (Abu Mazen) paid an urgent visit to Riyadh to meet Prince Muhammed. Since then, a continuous stream of tidbits is emanating from their conversation. According to one report, the Saudi prince put before the Palestinian leader an American-Saudi blueprint. It proclaims Abu Dis, a village located on the fringes of east Jerusalem, as the capital of the future Palestinian state. That state would have limited sovereignty in parts of the West Bank, while all the Jewish communities would remain in place. East Jerusalem would not be declared its capital; and the Palestinian refugees’ “right of return” was dropped, as was mention of the pre-1967 boundaries.

Notwithstanding flat Palestinian denials of all these reports, they continue to gain ground and credence. The picture emerging from the Saudi prince’s conversation with Abu Mazen is taking shape as underlining the following points:

  • The old Saudi-Arab League peace plan of 2003 is a dead letter;
  • Riyadh has dropped its demand that Israel accept a Palestinian State with East Jerusalem as its capital;
  • Since the original Saudi Peace proposal which the prince called Plan A was dead, it is necessary to move forward to Plan B.
  • Plan B is essentially as follows: The State of Palestine would be established in the Gaza Strip plus large tracts of territory to be annexed from northern Sinai. Egypt has agreed to this outline. This deal would essentially render irrelevant the Palestinian demand to restore the pre-1967 boundaries for their state.
  • When Abu Mazen asked what would happen to the West Bank, MbS reportedly replied: “We can continue to negotiate about this.”
  • And when he pressed further: What about Jerusalem, the settlements, Areas B and C, the answer was: “These will be issues for negotiation between two states, and we will help you.”

These reports are furiously denied by Palestinian officials and, although no other official source, including Prince Muhammad, has verified them, they continue to abound. The Palestinians now have three major grievances against the Trump administration for which they are cutting off ties with Washington in protest:  Recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the promise to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and, now, the declaration of the Western Wall as part of Israel in any political solution. This will be underlined by the Pence visit. Yet neither Washington nor Riyadh shows any sign of backtracking on their far-reaching plan which defies all former conventions.

Abu Mazen is in a jam. Even if he tries to distance himself from Washington, he cannot possibly divorce the Palestinians from the two leading Arab nations, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, which would lop off the branches of the Arab tree on which they sit. Doing so might well thrust Ramallah on the path of the anti-West Turkish-Iranian-Hizballah axis and its extremist ideology. There are early signs that his rivals in Gaza, the radical Hamas, may be adopting this path. After Friday prayers in the mosques of Gaza, on Dec. 15, some of the demonstrators at the Israel border force were seen for the first time holding aloft huge placards with depictions of Gen. Qassem Soleimani, Commander of Iranian Revolutionary Guards Al Qods. If Iran can gain solid inroads into the Palestinian community at large, its dispute with Israel would assume an entirely new dimension.

Jerusalem, Israel’s Capital: Watch the Masks Fall

December 15, 2017

Jerusalem, Israel’s Capital: Watch the Masks Fall, Gatestone InstituteNajat AlSaied, December 15, 2017

(Please see also, Kredo: State Department using ‘pretzel logic’ in defiance of recognizing Jerusalem as Israel capital. — DM)

Even with all this controversy and a complete change in Arab attitudes on social media towards the Palestinian cause, both Western and traditional Arab media still keep regurgitating the same anti-Israel slogans and rhetoric, and pumping out the same Palestinian propaganda. Most comments on social media have come from intellectuals, assuring the general public that the main reason for this never-ending Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a corrupt Palestinian Authority, run by Fatah and Hamas. The Palestinian Authority, they seem to believe, has traded on the Palestinian cause, which has garnered them millions, but none of that is ever discussed in the mainstream media.

The world has followed a course that has gotten this peace process nowhere. The fact that this conflict has been ongoing for 70 years demonstrates that there is something at fault. The main reasons for this stalled progress are a lack of transparency, hypocritical opportunists with hidden personal agendas, a biased mainstream media and ineffective diplomatic missions. It is not an exaggeration to say that moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem is the best decision that has been taken by any American President because it lays bare a rotten reality. This is exactly what is needed to galvanize the peace process toward a two-state solution. It will also put pressure on the corrupt Palestinian Authority either to reform or change its leadership. Who knows, it might even stop opportunists from perpetuating this conflict for their own ends.

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When the actual announcement came, nothing happened. Those who were exploiting sensitivities related to Jerusalem — especially political Islamists, such as Hamas and Hezbollah — come mainly from the axis of resistance, led by Iran.

While mainstream media shows the oppressor to be Israel and the oppressed to be the Palestinians, the polls tell a different story.

The US Department of State is no less culpable than the mainstream media in failing to play a more vital role in revealing these realities, which could also mitigate the anger and hatred felt towards the US. This Department needs to be reformed from top to bottom to ensure that all diplomats are truly working for US interests. I am sure that it is the Department of State itself that will be the most reluctant to move its embassy to Jerusalem. It is not an exaggeration to say that moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem is the best decision that has been taken by any American President because it lays bare a rotten reality.

Many analysts say that US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is a campaign promise to evangelical Christian and right-wing Jewish voters, but there is another way of looking at it. Trump’s recognition might be a golden opportunity for two-faced opportunists to be unmasked — a shot of reality that might eventually help the peace process and solve this long-lasting conflict.

Since the declaration of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, many Arab observers, intellectuals and academics have started to question the veracity of those jihadists who claim they are sacrificing themselves to defend Jerusalem, because when the actual announcement came — nothing happened. Those who were exploiting sensitivities related to Jerusalem — especially political Islamists, such as Hamas and Hezbollah — come mainly from the axis of resistance, led by Iran.

Other opportunists are the two-faced countries in the region, such as Qatar and Turkey. While publicly hostile towards Israel, behind closed doors they support it. Further opportunists are the Western and Arab media, who for decades have been promoting the idea that the problem is the Israeli occupation, but never mention the Palestinian Authority corruption.

Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital has also revealed the shortcomings of the US Department of State. It has not played any role in clarifying the above-mentioned points and, by this negativity and bureaucracy, only generated further hatred towards the US.

Trump’s recognition has exposed the hypocrisy of the armed militia Hezbollah which always claims it will never disarm because of its fight against Israel. Now after the recognition of Jerusalem, many Arabs are questioning Hezbollah’s motivations regarding Israel. Lebanese and other Arabs are questioning why Hezbollah has not sent its armed militia to fight in Israel as it did in Syria, Iraq and Yemen. Dr. Hadi El Amine, a Lebanese researcher in political science and governmental studies, tweeted, “The axis of resistance’s words are aimed against Israel, but their missiles are pointed at the Arabs.”

Adhwan Alahmari, a Saudi journalist based in London for Asharq al-Awsat also tweeted:

“The soldiers, rockets and suicide bombers of Hezbollah are at Israel’s borders yet they did not support Jerusalem after Trump’s declaration, instead supporting the Wilayat al-Faqih [Iranian Guardianship of the Islamic Jurist] to fight in Syria to displace and annihilate its people to protect the shrine.”

Yet another opportunist is Hamas and its supporters who have succeeded in turning Arabs against the Palestinians. This time, the Palestinians’ anger was not turned only towards Israel and the US, but mainly at Saudi Arabia. Hamas and its followers attacked the Saudi flag and insulted King Salman of Saudi Arabia. These Palestinians seem to think that Trump did not make this announcement without a wink of approval from Saudi Arabia. Their reaction has angered countless Saudis, who consider this attack a demonstration of ingratitude from the unappreciative Palestinians, to whom they have given billions of dollars.

In response, the Saudis started several hashtags on Twitter such as #hellwithyouand your issue, and #Saudis are angry for their king. Many Saudis behind these hashtags regret every penny that has been given to defend the Palestinians, especially after they saw these Palestinian traitors, as they put it, insulting Saudi Arabia, which has enriched them and channeled exorbitant financing into Palestinian development projects. Salman Al-Ansari, a Saudi writer and political commentator based in Washington DC, tweeted:

“We want to make everyone aware that the salaries of Palestinian diplomats around the world come from Riyadh-Saudi Arabia; salaries which are 30% higher than that of Saudi diplomats. What did Doha and Ankara do for them other than offer empty slogans and stab Jerusalem in the back?”

If you now ask the Saudis, the one of their main supporters and funders, about this conflict, the majority will say, “It is none of our business”. The Saudis would rather, it seems, focus on their own internal affairs and save their money rather than pay ungrateful Palestinians.

A large numbers of Saudis additionally seem surprised by the attitude of Palestinians, who support Qatar and Turkey, countries which have diplomatic relationships with Israel. As a result, many Saudis think the Palestinians are not serious about defending their cause.

The President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, after Trump’s declaration, tweeted that he will turn the whole Muslim world against Washington. This kind of posturing does not influence the Arab public or intellectuals any more. As Yousef Al Kowaileet, a Saudi deputy editor-in-chief of the newspaper Al Riyadh put it in a tweet, “Most Muslim countries have ties with Israel. People are not stupid and they know that these interests supersede any creed.”

Arab people cannot even believe Erdoğan’s tweets, when they see that the day after his outburst on Twitter, Turkey, amid political turmoil, signed a deal worth 18.6 million euros with Israel.

Arabs also shared pictures of Turkish Cultural Day celebrations in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Several Saudi intellectuals responded to Erdoğan’s rhetoric against Israel by saying, “If you are honest, the Muslim world wants you to cut diplomatic relations and stop military cooperation with Israel.”

Qatar is playing the same two-faced role as the Turks, but with more of a focus on attacking Saudi Arabia. Qatar, through its news outlet Al Jazeera, apparently now wants to galvanize the Muslim world into embarrassing Saudi Arabia because of its relationship with Trump since his announcement.

Ostensibly this response is to defend the Palestinian cause, but its real objective seems rather to pressure Saudi Arabia into ending its relationship with the US administration. Qatar will never stop dreaming of Trump’s impeachment; the rulers doubtless think that a Democratic President, like Obama, would again support Qatar in its Muslim Brotherhood project. Mohamed Krishan, a news anchor on Al Jazeera, tweeted:

“Jerusalem is the first of the two Qibla [the direction faced during salahprayers] and the third of the two Holy Mosques that is given to the Israelis as their capital by Trump after he got billions from the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques.”

Ahmad Al-Faraj, a Saudi academic and researcher, tweeted back to him:

“If you leave your television channel of intelligence #Al Jazeera and go to your house in Doha, you will see on your right the Israeli representative building 600 meters from your house. People there… will tell you about the role of your channel in the betrayals and conspiracies that destroyed the Arab world and they will tell you who sold Jerusalem.”

Saudis have also started to tweet interviews with Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani, the former foreign minister of Qatar, and Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, the former Emir of Qatar, about supporting Israel, to reveal their hypocrisy to the wider public. In the interview with Hamad bin Jassim on Qatar’s Al Jazeera television on October 25, 2017, he mentioned that close Qatari-Israeli relations were to get closer to America so that Israel could open doors for Qatar in America.

Qatar is also trying to gain favor in the US through Saudi dissidents, such as Jamal Khashoggi. He previously held a number of positions in several newspapers in Saudi Arabia, served as a political adviser, and now, entirely backed by Qatar, is a columnist for The New York Times and based in Washington DC. Nowadays, Khashoggi takes every opportunity to attack Saudi Arabia in different US and European newspapers.

Anyone who can read Arabic can tell you Twitter account of Jamal Khashoggi is full of anti-Semitic tweets and retweets; it looks as if the New York Times allows him to write in its newspaper only because he attacks Saudi Arabia.

Khashoggi tweeted:

“Feel angry and shout out even if you do so among your own people and inside your frightened houses, it’s #Jerusalem. Allah suffices me, for He is the best disposer of affairs. I feel distressed.”

Saudis recognize that his real intention was not to defend Jerusalem or the Palestinians, but to galvanize people on the streets of Saudi Arabia to rise up against their own government. Ahmad Al-Faraj tweeted:

“If you feel that angry, why do you not leave this damned country of America, whose President is moving its embassy to Jerusalem?”

Other Saudi writers and others simply ridiculed him. “Go and drink a glass of wine to calm down”, wrote Hani Al Dahri, a Saudi journalist, inserting Kashoggi’s tweet above along a photograph of him celebrating Thanksgiving in the US with bottles of wine on the table:

Even with all this controversy and a complete change in Arab attitudes on social media towards the Palestinian cause, both Western and traditional Arab media still keep regurgitating the same anti-Israel slogans and rhetoric, and pumping out the same Palestinian propaganda. Most comments on social media have come from intellectuals, assuring the general public that the main reason for this never-ending Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a corrupt Palestinian Authority, run by Fatah and Hamas. The Palestinian Authority, they seem to believe, has traded on the Palestinian cause, which has garnered them millions, but none of that is ever discussed in the mainstream media.

While the mainstream media still shows the oppressor to be Israel and the oppressed to be the Palestinians, Palestinian polls tell a different story[1]:

  • In a June 2015 poll conducted by the Palestinian Center for Public Opinion (based in Beit Sahour, the West Bank), 52% of Palestinians living in Israeli-ruled East Jerusalem said they would prefer to be citizens of Israel with equal rights, compared to just 42% who would choose to be citizens of a Palestinian state.
  • More Palestinians in Jerusalem seek Israeli citizenship.
  • According to polls conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR) in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip between 14 and 16 September, 2017, the majority of Palestinians are unhappy with President Mahmoud Abbas’s performance. 67% of the public want him to resign while 27% want him to remain in office. The demand for Abbas’s resignation stands at 60% in the West Bank and 80% in the Gaza Strip.
  • If new legislative elections were held today, 63% of the Palestinians surveyedsaid they would vote. Of those who would participate, 29% said they would vote for Hamas; 36% said they would vote for Fatah; 10% would vote for all other parties combined, and 25% were undecided.
  • Only 38% of the Palestinian public polled said West Bankers could criticize the Palestinian Authority (PA) without fear of reprisal; 59% said that people could not freely criticize the PA. Half of the public (50%) viewed the PA as a burden on the Palestinians. 77% perceived the PA as corrupt.
  • Most of Hamas leaders, who portray themselves as jihadists against Israel, are millionaires. A senior official in Hamas, for example, Khaled Mashaal, who is worth US $2.6 billion according to global estimates, while Arab commentators put his worth at between US $2 and $5 billion, saying he “invested in Egyptian banks and Gulf countries, some in real estate projects.” Next on the list is Ismail Haniyeh, who, until the recent signing of a unity deal between Hamas and Fatah, was the Prime Minister of Gaza. “His fortune is estimated at US $4 million, and most of his assets in the Strip are registered in the name of his son-in-law Nabil, and a dozen children of his and other less well-known Hamas officials. The Palestinian Authority in the West Bank appears no less corrupt than leaders in Gaza. Abbas and other leaders in the PLO have stolen millions of dollars from international funding meant for the Palestinian people. This corruption is the mistake of international donors who never hold these leaders to account.

Why is all this data absent from the mainstream media, which shows images of burning flags and other displays of anger only from the point of view of the Palestinian Authority and its supporters?

The US Department of State is no less culpable than the mainstream media in failing to play a more vital role in revealing these realities. Exposing this corruption would go a long way to mitigating the anger and hatred felt towards the US. The Department of State is always passive and bureaucratic, functioning mostly like a third-world country governmental body.

The Harry S Truman Building in Washington, DC, headquarters of the US Department of State. (Image source: Loren/Wikimedia Commons)

During my time working in the US Consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, I met some diplomats who do not hold the US Government’s views. On the contrary, some of them held political views that were totally different to those of their administration, and some were even anti-Semitic. In addition, the expertise of the diplomats was not of the high standard that you would expect from a powerful country such as the US. A lot of these diplomats are sent to Arab countries like Saudi Arabia with no knowledge of the Arabic language and not much more of the region — in sharp contrast to diplomats in the British Embassy. I was surprised to work with a diplomat who, instead of supporting his country in liberating Iraq from the most brutal dictatorship in history, was calling it “an invasion” to Saudi intellectuals and academics. He was also against the peace process. He insisted on calling Israel an “occupier” and complained that I was reading “right-wing websites” such as the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI). The organization mainly translates material meticulously from the Arabic, but the diplomat calls it pro-Israel.

So, I was hoping that after Trump became President, the Department of State might be reformed to avoid the same mistakes made under George Bush – mainly that he did not confront the US Department of State about its incompetence. President Trump should be firm and alert avoid the same mistake. Currently, it is ineffective.

This Department needs to be reformed from top to bottom to ensure that all diplomats are truly working for US interests. I am sure that it is the Department of State itself that will be the most reluctant to move its embassy to Jerusalem.

The world has followed a course that has gotten this peace process nowhere. The fact that this conflict has been ongoing for 70 years demonstrates that there is something at fault. The main reasons for this stalled progress are a lack of transparency, hypocritical opportunists with hidden personal agendas, a biased mainstream media and ineffective diplomatic missions. It is not an exaggeration to say that moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem is the best decision that has been taken by any American President because it lays bare a rotten reality. This is exactly what is needed to galvanize the peace process toward a two-state solution. It will also put pressure on the corrupt Palestinian Authority either to reform or change its leadership. Who knows, it might even stop opportunists from perpetuating this conflict for their own ends.

Najat AlSaied is a Saudi American academic and the author of “Screens of Influence: Arab Satellite Television & Social Development”. She is an Assistant Professor at Zayed University in the College of Communication and Media Sciences in Dubai-UAE.


[1] Polling data were all kindly provided by Dr. Michael Sharnoff, Associate Professor of Middle East Studies at Daniel Morgan Graduate School

Kredo: State Department using ‘pretzel logic’ in defiance of recognizing Jerusalem as Israel capital

December 14, 2017

Kredo: State Department using ‘pretzel logic’ in defiance of recognizing Jerusalem as Israel capital, Washington Free Beacon via YouTube, December 14, 2017

(Please see also, ‘Slow, Unexplained Erosion’ at State Dept. Putting U.S. at Risk, Argues Top Senator.  According to the linked article, many at the State Dept. are unhappy with Trump’s policies, including those related to Israel.  Many —  probably Obama hold-overs and other Deep Staters — are leaving but not being replaced. Most of the comments appended to the article generally agree that they should go and be replaced by others who support Trump’s policies.– DM)

Fatah Continues Promoting Violent Protests Over Jerusalem Announcement

December 14, 2017

Fatah Continues Promoting Violent Protests Over Jerusalem Announcement, Investigative Project on Terrorism, December 14, 2017

Fatah continues encouraging Palestinians to engage in violent protests and “continue the intifada” against Israel following President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Palestinian Media Watch reports.

“It is necessary to continue the intifada and escalate it, and to see days of popular rage in the coming days,” read one post last week from Fatah’s armed wing.

On Monday, Fatah’s official Facebook page openly incited Palestinians to kill Jews: “I am coming towards you, my enemy, from every home, neighborhood, and street.”

The text is actually a lyric, part of Fatah’s terror promoting song that calls for Palestinians “going down from every house with cleavers and knives with grenades …”

Multiple Fatah posts have also featured pictures of Palestinians armed with rocks and slingshots.

Click here to see PMW’s latest compilation of Fatah’s incitement.

These statements by the ruling Palestinian Authority party provide concrete evidence that Palestinian protests are not simply the result of spontaneous reaction to President Trump’s Jerusalem announcement. Fatah is directly responsible for fueling and organizing violent protests against Israel.

To encourage mass mobilization, Fatah and the Palestinian Authority widely promote a complete historical denial of any Jewish connection to Jerusalem in recent days.

Western observers expect designated terrorist groups like Hamas and Hizballah to call for armed confrontation with Israel, particularly following a major diplomatic announcement concerning Jerusalem. But it is important to stress that the so-called moderate wing of the Palestinian national movement is just as culpable in promoting violence against Israelis.

Hamas rockets are onset of anti-Israel war of attrition ordered by Iran’s Gen. Soleimani

December 14, 2017

Hamas rockets are onset of anti-Israel war of attrition ordered by Iran’s Gen. Soleimani, DEBKAfile, December 13, 2017

Tehran and the Lebanese Hizballah are eager to see Israel trapped in a rising spiral of military tension – and not just from its border with the Gaza Strip, but also at some point, emanating from new war fronts in Lebanon and Syria. At present, they are not looking for a comprehensive conflagration, but rather to subject Israel to a creeping war of attrition, like the couple of rockets which the Palestinians are firing night after night from the Gaza Strip. Like Chinese drip torture, this campaign is intended to torment Israel while gradually escalating. It doesn’t matter if they are inaccurate and fail to cause Israel casualties of damage. Indeed, one of the rockets fired Wednesday night exploded in an UNWRA school at Beit Hanoun inside the northern Gaza Strip, wrecking a schoolroom.

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The Palestinian rockets fired from Gaza Wednesday night, Dec. 13, were the 12th and 13th since US President Donald Trump’s Jerusalem decision on Dec.6.

DEBKAfile’s military sources report that the daily rocket assault from Gaza is turning into a war of attrition declared by three Palestinian extremist groups, Hamas, the Jihad Islami and the Popular Resistance Committees, on the orders of Gen. Qassem Soleimani, chief of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Al Qods external terrorist arm, and supreme commander of Iranian forces in the region. Our sources reveal that the order was given Monday in a phone conversation Soleimani held with Marwan Issa, commander of the Hamas armed wing, the Ezz e-din al-Qassam. It was the first direct, phone conversation between a high-ranking Iranian general and the Hamas commander and it was deliberately overt. The Iranians wanted the Israeli and Egyptian intelligence agencies eavesdropping on incoming and outgoing phone calls to and from Gaza to hear Soleimani pledge full Iranian support for any military action conducted against Israel.

Tehran and the Lebanese Hizballah are eager to see Israel trapped in a rising spiral of military tension – and not just from its border with the Gaza Strip, but also at some point, emanating from new war fronts in Lebanon and Syria. At present, they are not looking for a comprehensive conflagration, but rather to subject Israel to a creeping war of attrition, like the couple of rockets which the Palestinians are firing night after night from the Gaza Strip. Like Chinese drip torture, this campaign is intended to torment Israel while gradually escalating. It doesn’t matter if they are inaccurate and fail to cause Israel casualties of damage. Indeed, one of the rockets fired Wednesday night exploded in an UNWRA school at Beit Hanoun inside the northern Gaza Strip, wrecking a schoolroom.

The threat by Israel generals Wednesday night of painful retaliation if the rocket fire continues is therefore ineffective. Hamas and the Jihad Islami are fully prepared for a major war escalation, in the certainty that Iran and Hizballah have their backs.

On Jerusalem, a response divorced from reality

December 13, 2017

On Jerusalem, a response divorced from reality, Times of IsraelTzachi Hanegbi, December 13, 2017

Much of the world has lambasted President Trump’s recognition that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. Recognizing reality is in the interest of peace. Continual denial of reality, and resorting to violence anytime somebody says something you’d prefer they hadn’t is a recipe for perpetual conflict.

There remains only one viable path forward to achieving peace. President Abbas claims he is a man of peace. Saying you are a man of peace is easy, actually being one requires courage. If he is serious, he can prove it now by taking two actions that are entirely within his power: 1. End his constant incitement to violence against Jews in Israel and around the world; and 2. Accept Prime Minister Netanyahu’s repeated offers to negotiate anytime, anywhere without preconditions.

The time for empty slogans, and outright rejection of reality has long since passed. If President Abbas truly wants peace and a better future for his people, the time for action is now.

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Last week, President Donald Trump made an historic announcement. It was consistent with his powers as the President of the United States and in line with the Jerusalem Embassy Act passed overwhelmingly by the United States Congress 22 years ago.

Based on the reactions in the press, by European leaders and across the Muslim world, you would think he had made a broad pronouncement granting Israel dominion over the entire Middle East and declaring the Palestinians devoid of any rights. He did no such thing.

President Trump made a brave decision to keep his word and recognize the simple and indisputable reality that Jerusalem is the capital of the State of Israel. I have served in the Knesset, Israel’s Parliament, since 1988. I go to work every day in Jerusalem. Across the street from the Knesset is the rime Minister’s office and just up the road is the Supreme Court. When foreign heads of state meet with the Prime Minister they do so in Jerusalem, and when Anwar Sadat came to make peace he delivered his historic address in Jerusalem.

President Trump made clear he was taking no position on the final borders or status of Jerusalem or any other issue of contention between Israel and the Palestinians. He stated that he is determined to reach a peaceful resolution to the conflict in a manner acceptable to both Israel and the Palestinians. In his words, “[w]e are not taking a position on any final status issues, including the specific boundaries of the Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem or the resolution of contested borders. Those questions are up to the parties involved… We want an agreement that is a great deal for the Israelis and a great deal for the Palestinians”.

In response, President Abbas is boycotting Vice President Pence during his visit to Israel and has said the United States has forever abrogated its role as an honest broker. He has called for “days of rage” and endless protests and riots. President Erdogan of Turkey has threatened to cut diplomatic ties with Israel over a purely American decision. In Sweden, a synagogue was firebombed.

There are protests from London to Malaysia. How is it that such a measured announcement, designed to reflect reality, and painstakingly crafted to make clear that the President was not prejudicing the rights of the Palestinians, resulted in such an unhinged response around the world? The President said that the parties themselves should make the decisions that will determine their own future and wants a “great deal for the Palestinians”. Why does being told they have agency over their own future offend the Palestinians or their supporters?

The answer, unfortunately, is that the response has very little to do with what the President actually said and the real world impact of his announcement. The response makes clear that those protesting are not concerned that recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel makes peace harder to attain. They are angry because it may make it easier.

For those who reject the rights of the Jewish people to a state within any borders, any pronouncement that could bring reconciliation to the truth is a threat. Anyone recognizing the fact that the Jewish people have a three thousand year connection to Jerusalem is a threat to those making the absurd claim that Jews are invaders and colonists in our own land.

Those chanting “Khaybar, Khaybar ya yahud” and burning Israeli and American flags are not interested in promoting co-existence. They have no interest in building a better life for the Palestinians, and certainly not for Israelis.

President Trump recognizes the meaning of Jerusalem to the Jewish people. He appreciates that central to our return home was our return to the only capital we have ever known or wanted anywhere in the world. That makes his statement anathema to anti-Semites and anti-Zionists around the world. Make no mistake, most of those protesting are doing so because of their hatred of Jews and Israel, not out of love for the Palestinians or concern for a brighter future.

David Ben Gurion famously said “No city in the world, not even Athens or Rome, ever played as great a role in the life of a nation for so long a time, as Jerusalem has done in the life of the Jewish people”. This statement is still true today.

The truth will never be an impediment to peace. Deluding oneself into believing that a Temple never stood where it once stood, or that the Israeli government does not stand where it now stands is the true impediment to peace.

Much of the world has lambasted President Trump’s recognition that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. Recognizing reality is in the interest of peace. Continual denial of reality, and resorting to violence anytime somebody says something you’d prefer they hadn’t is a recipe for perpetual conflict.

There remains only one viable path forward to achieving peace. President Abbas claims he is a man of peace. Saying you are a man of peace is easy, actually being one requires courage. If he is serious, he can prove it now by taking two actions that are entirely within his power: 1. End his constant incitement to violence against Jews in Israel and around the world; and 2. Accept Prime Minister Netanyahu’s repeated offers to negotiate anytime, anywhere without preconditions.

The time for empty slogans, and outright rejection of reality has long since passed. If President Abbas truly wants peace and a better future for his people, the time for action is now.

Tzachi Hanegbi is Minister for Regional Cooperation

Europe would not last a week if it had to face what Israel does

December 13, 2017

Europe would not last a week if it had to face what Israel does, Israel National News, Giulio Meotti, December 13, 2017

[T]he attacks, the wars, the threats, the tension and the death drawings that the world prepares for the small Jewish state with whose disappearance it is obsessed. And I thought, looking and looking at those images, that no European country, not one, would survive a week of this instead of Israel.

The very existence of Israel goes against all the rules. It is a classical example of nonsense. Because Israel is a miracle, the conscience of the world, the Western frontier located on the Eastern front. 

It is a symbol of our civilization as it was in its highest moments. 

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I was watching the videos from Ramallah and elsewhere of the Palestinian riots against the blessed American decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. All those Israeli policemen and soldiers engaged in dispelling the riots and violence without inflicting losses but managing to contain the damage.

They are not shaheeds, they care about human life, their own and the ones of the people they must confront in the streets.

These young Israelis doing such a tragic job are the same age as I am, at night they return to their wives and children, mothers and fathers. They are not shaheeds, they care about human life, their own and the ones of the people they must confront in the streets. They are the face of a state dealing with this drama for the last 70 years.

Then I thought of all the blackmail, the attacks, the wars, the threats, the tension and the death drawings that the world prepares for the small Jewish state with whose disappearance it is obsessed. And I thought, looking and looking at those images, that no European country, not one, would survive a week of this instead of Israel.

Most of commentators today worry about the “consequences” of the just and historical American recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. But if the fear of violence had dictated its actions, Israel would not have been born in 1948 and the Jews after Auschwitz would have been found in a deli of Brooklyn rather than on the beaches of Tel Aviv.

In its 70 years of existence, Israel has lost 23,447 soldiers and 2,495 civilians, it survived 12 wars and thousands of missiles, while coexisting with the specter of a chemical and nuclear war.

The very existence of Israel goes against all the rules. It is a classical example of nonsense. Because Israel is a miracle, the conscience of the world, the Western frontier located on the Eastern front.

It is a symbol of our civilization as it was in its highest moments.

 

Deep State Resisters at State Dept. Defy Jerusalem Directive

December 12, 2017

Deep State Resisters at State Dept. Defy Jerusalem Directive, FrontPage MagazineAri Lieberman, December 12, 2017

(Please see also, US must include “sovereignty” in Jerusalem Embassy Relocation Act and U.S. Still Won’t List Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital on Official Docs, Passports, Maps. — DM)

It appears that the State Department, staffed with a cadre of career civil servants and employees of the diplomatic corps, is conducting its own foreign policy, one that deviates from the goals of the White House and undermines its objectives. This group is perhaps more fanatical in its opposition to the president’s historic declaration than some Arab leaders.

While the State Department can obstruct, impede and delay, it is ultimately Trump who has the final say. He must demand progress reports from the State Department to ensure that those entrusted with the embassy move are taking the necessary steps to relocate the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in expeditious fashion. As for the passport issue, Trump can easily remedy this area of discord by issuing a clear and unambiguous directive to his secretary of state to permit U.S. citizens born in Jerusalem to list Israel as their birthplace on official documents.

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Following President Trump’s historic declaration recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, West Bank and Gazan Arabs took to the streets in rage. They burned U.S. and Israeli flags. They cursed America, Israel and the Yahuds (Jews). Their imams cited verses from the Koran and the Hadiths about the usurpers and interlopers and the “descendants of apes and pigs.” In other words, it was business as usual for the Palestinians. Nothing had changed.

At the State Department too, it was business as usual. In a transparent effort to placate the Arab bloc, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the process of moving the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem would take several years. Tillerson is said to have counseled Trump against recognition.  

Then, at a Washington DC press briefing on December 7, Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs David Satterfield was evasive when asked by AP journalist Matt Lee, “what country is Jerusalem in.” Satterfield acknowledged that Jerusalem was the capital of Israel but paradoxically could not say definitively that Jerusalem was located in Israel. Satterfield went on to note that consistent with current State Department policy, U.S. citizens born in Jerusalem would not be able to state their place of birth as “Israel” on their passports. The only options currently available to U.S citizens born in Jerusalem are to note either “Jerusalem” as their place of birth or if born prior to 1948, “Palestine.”

This then is the absurdity that the White House must contend with. It appears that the State Department, staffed with a cadre of career civil servants and employees of the diplomatic corps, is conducting its own foreign policy, one that deviates from the goals of the White House and undermines its objectives. This group is perhaps more fanatical in its opposition to the president’s historic declaration than some Arab leaders.

Their resistance is motivated by a myriad of reasons. Some simply hate Trump and this offers an opportunity to engage in obstructionism. Some are deeply anti-Semitic and their sympathies lie squarely in the Arab camp. Others view change and bold action as a threat and prefer the status quo. Whatever their motivations, they are working in concert to delay and obstruct the president’s bold new policy initiatives aimed at supporting a loyal ally and acknowledging reality while at the same time breaking the deadlock and reviving an anemic peace process based on a foundation of truth.

This isn’t the first time that the White House was confronted with such obstructionism from the State Department. In 1948, Secretary of State George C. Marshall vehemently opposed U.S. recognition of the nascent state of Israel and attempted to subvert President Harry Truman’s desire to extend diplomatic recognition. He told Truman that if Truman extended recognition, he would not be able to vote for him in the next presidential election. A statement like that represents a direct challenge to the president and is tantamount to a threat to resign. Ultimately, Truman took the morally correct path, disregarded Marshall’s protestations and extended de-facto recognition (de-jure recognition was extended in 1949) while Marshall continued to serve as Secretary of State.

The State Department’s current position as enumerated by Satterfield is also inconsistent with the will of Congress. In 2002, Congress passed the Foreign Relations Authorization Act. Section 214(d) of the FRAA states in relevant part “For purposes of the registration of birth, certification of nationality, or issuance of a passport of a United States citizen born in the city of Jerusalem, the Secretary shall, upon the request of the citizen or the citizen’s legal guardian, record the place of birth as Israel.”

In 2015, a divided Supreme Court struck down the law stating that Congress had overstepped its bounds when it passed the bill. Justice Kennedy, who issued the majority decision in Zivotofsky v. Kerry, stated that the power to recognize foreign nations rests with the executive branch of government and the ability to determine what a passport says is part of this power.

The Supreme Court’s ruling put the matter to rest temporarily but Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital revives the issue. The State Department will be hard pressed to defend its position in light of the new political reality.

While the State Department can obstruct, impede and delay, it is ultimately Trump who has the final say. He must demand progress reports from the State Department to ensure that those entrusted with the embassy move are taking the necessary steps to relocate the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in expeditious fashion. As for the passport issue, Trump can easily remedy this area of discord by issuing a clear and unambiguous directive to his secretary of state to permit U.S. citizens born in Jerusalem to list Israel as their birthplace on official documents.

They just can’t help themselves: Predictably outrageous international reactions to Trump’s Jerusalem declaration

December 12, 2017

They just can’t help themselves: Predictably outrageous international reactions to Trump’s Jerusalem declaration | Anne’s Opinions, 11th December 2017

 

The Israeli flag flies over the Old City of Jerusalem

Just like the Palestinians and their supporters simply can’t help themselves but resort to violence whenever a political decision is not anti-Israel enough, similarly the UN, the EU, and many other countries, whether civilised or not, feel it incumbent upon them to condemn Israel or the US or both if an action or statement is undertaken from which Israel benefits.

The case of Donald Trump’s Jerusalem declaration was no exception. We could have written the script ourselves.

The UN convened an emergency discussion to “debate”, i.e. to condemn, Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital:

Washington’s move left it isolated as one after another fellow UN Security Council members — Russia, France, the UK, China, Egypt, Jordan and a host of others — condemned the announcement.

The debate unfolded at a largely symbolic emergency meeting of the council — no vote on a resolution was planned, as the US has veto power — two days after Trump reversed two decades of US policy on the holy city.

The meeting was convened by eight of the 14 non-US members of the council. It seemed a vivid show of the discord triggered by Trump’s announcement, which included plans to move the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Asked what he expected to come from the UN meeting, one diplomat said: “Nothing.” Another said the session would show US “isolation” on the issue.

That very attitude is the essence of what is wrong with the UN. They are all about empty declarations on the one hand, or about rejectionism – opposing the US and Israel almost automatically. This time it is the US in the hot seat, being isolated for its views. More often it is Israel in this position.

Palestinian envoy Riyad Mansour spoke of the “global consensus” against Washington’s recognition and said Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and ultimately move the US embassy there should be reconsidered and rescinded.

Palestinian envoy to the UN Riyad Mansour at the UN Security Council, December 8, 2017 (United Nations)

“There can be no just and lasting solution to the Palestine question without a just solution” to Jerusalem, he said, calling the city “the heart of Palestine.”

This is a flat-out lie. When Jerusalem was in the hands of “Palestine”, aka Jordan, during the years 1949-1967, the Jordanian Arabs (or Palestinians or whatever they want to call themselves) did absolutely zilch for Jerusalem besides emptying it of Jews in a horrific act of ethnic-cleansing never acknowledged by the world. They destroyed 58 synagogues and turned the Western Wall into a rubbish dump. They severely damaged and partially destroyed the ancient, 3,000 year old Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives, using some gravestones for latrines. THIS is called “being the heart of Palestine”??? I hate to think what their brain looks like. Their mendaciousness is beneath contempt.

Even before the UN debate, individual countries also chided him for his recognition of reality. Sweden led the charge with the demand for the UN debate:

Replies came thick and fast, for example:

Turkey accused Trump of “putting the region in a ring of fire”. The only “ring of fire” is the one of their own making. Again: violence is a choice. The Turks don’t HAVE to whip up their streets into a frenzy. They could also call for calm and restraint. But pigs could also fly.

Erdogan had earlier threatened to sever diplomatic ties with Israel if the president recognized Jerusalem as the capital.

To be honest I did not realise that Turkey and Israel had renewed relations at all. Would it be such a great loss if Erdogan carried through on his threat? He is forever trying to hold Israel hostage to his tantrums. Maybe it’s time to call his bluff.

Theresa May at the debate in the Commons about Trump’s declaration

Britain said Trump’s declaration was “unhelpful”. The British would know all about being unhelpful in the Middle East, particularly during the infamous White Paper years of 1939-1948 when the doors of Palestine were shut to the fleeing Jews of Europe. Prime Minister Theresa May said:

‘Our position on the status of Jerusalem has been clear and long-standing: it should be determined in negotiated settlement between the Israelis and the Palestinians, and Jerusalem should ultimately be the shared capital of the Israeli and Palestinian states.

As Arlene Kushner below remarks, the two parts of the above paragraph contradict each other. Either Jerusalem’s status should be determined in negotiations, or it should ultimately be a shared capital. But there is no point in negotiations if the “ultimate” solution is pre-determined. And if if it is OK to determine that the capital should be shared, it can equally be acceptable to pre-determine that it is the Israeli capital.

France’s Emanuel Macron urged Trump to desist from his declaration – to no avail evidently.

Even the US State Department itself has not caught up with the statements of its President, and is still not listing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital!

The United States still will not formally recognize Jerusalem as being located in Israel on official documents, maps, and passports, despite President Donald Trump’s announcement earlier this week that America is formally recognizing the holy city as Israel’s capital, according to State Department officials who spoke to the Washington Free Beacon about the matter.

Despite Trump’s declaration, which was formally codified on Wednesday into U.S. policy, the State Department is taking a more nuanced position on the matter, drawing some ire in Congress among pro-Israel lawmakers who accuse the State Department of undermining Trump’s efforts.

State Department officials this week had difficulty stating as fact that Jerusalem is located within Israel, instead trying to parse the issue as still subject to diplomatic negotiations.

State Department officials who spoke to the Free Beacon about the situation said that while it supports Trump’s declaration that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, it is not yet at the point where it will list Jerusalem as part of Israel on passports, maps, and official documents. This means that official documents, such as passports, will not, at this point, list “Jerusalem, Israel” as a place that exists.

The State Department’s careful parsing of the issue has already drawn outrage on Capitol Hill, where some lawmakers are describing this as part of an effort to undermine the Trump White House’s clear-cut declaration on the matter.

Arlene Kushner sums up the situation excellently when she writes that the world is crazy:, making note of the pretzel-logic needed to explain the EU’s position: (last emphases are mine):

But look at the line-up that includes: France, Germany, Sweden, Italy and the UK, as well as the EU, Russia, etc. etc.

Incredibly, EU foreign policy chief Frederica Mogherini declared that the Trump declaration “has the potential to send us backward to even darker times than the ones we are already living in.”

….

There is an inherent lack of logic in the position routinely embraced by these nations and the EU: They insist that recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is premature because this issue must be resolved via negotiations. And besides, they insist, Jerusalem must be the capital of both Israel and a Palestinian state.

That is to say, they have no trouble prematurely advancing a scenario that has not been determined via negotiations, as long as it is their scenario.

Thank goodness for the breath of fresh air that is US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley. She launched a blistering attack on the UN that was condemning the President, accusing it of causing more damage to Middle East peace than advancing it.

UN Watch brings us the full text of her speech:

“Thank you, Mr. President. The Jewish people are a patient people. Throughout three thousand years of civilization, foreign conquest, exile, and return, Jerusalem has remained their spiritual home. For nearly 70 years, the city of Jerusalem has been the capital of the State of Israel, despite many attempts by others to deny that reality.

The American people are less patient. In 1948, the United States was the first nation to recognize the independent state of Israel. In 1995, the U.S. Congress declared that Jerusalem should be recognized as the capital of Israel, and that the U.S. Embassy should be located in Jerusalem.

Presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama all agreed with that position, but they did not act. They delayed, in the hopes that a peace process would produce results – results that never came.

For 22 years, the American people have overwhelmingly supported that position, and they have waited . . . and waited. This week, President Trump finally made the decision to no longer deny the will of the American people…

Israel, like all nations, has the right to determine its capital city. Jerusalem is the home of Israel’s parliament, president, prime minister, Supreme Court, and many of its ministries.

It is simple common sense that foreign embassies be located there. In virtually every country in the world, U.S. embassies are located in the host country’s capital city. Israel should be no different.

The United States took this step in full knowledge that it will raise questions and concerns. Our actions are intended to help advance the cause of peace. We must recognize that peace is advanced, not set back, when all parties are honest with each other. Our actions reflected an honest assessment of reality.

I understand the concern members have in calling this session. Change is hard. But we should never doubt what the truth can do. We should never doubt that when we face the truth, believe in the human spirit, and encourage each other, that peace can happen.

To those who have good faith concerns about the future of peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians, let me again assure you that the President and this administration remain committed to the peace process.

To those who do not act in good faith – to any person, leader, country, or terrorist group that uses this week’s decision as a pretext for violence – you are only showing yourselves to be unfit partners of peace.
Finally, I will not let this moment pass without a comment about the United Nations itself. Over many years, the United Nations has outrageously been of the world’s foremost centers of hostility towards Israel.

The U.N. has done much more to damage the prospects for Middle East peace than to advance them. We will not be a party to that. The United States no longer stands by when Israel is unfairly attacked in the United Nations. And the United States will not be lectured to by countries that lack any credibility when it comes to treating both Israelis and Palestinians fairly.”

Once again, kol hakavod to Nikki Haley who is not afraid to speak truth to power and put the UN in its place. Let’s hope her words start to sink in and begin to have an effect.

Binyamin Netanyahu, on a trip to Paris, was not backwards in coming forward to counter French Prime Minister Emanuel Macron’s pleas to Trump to refrain from his declaration:

Prime Minister Netanyahu ridiculed continued opposition to President Trump’s declaration, and the ongoing refusal of most of the international community to acknowledge the reality that Jerusalem is and has been the Jewish capital city.

“There is an effort, continually, in UN forums – UNESCO, and elsewhere – to deny the millennial connection of the Jewish people to Jerusalem. And that’s absurd.”

“You can read it in a very fine book – it’s called the Bible,” Netanyahu said. “You can read it after the Bible. You can hear it in the history of Jewish communities throughout our diaspora – ‘Next year in Jerusalem’,” continued Netanyahu, referencing a phrase from the Passover Seder.

“Where else is the capital of Israel, but in Jerusalem? Where is our Knesset – our parliament? Where is our supreme court? The seat of our government? The Prime Minister’s Office? The President’s Office? It’s not in Beer Sheva, it’s not in Ashdod – these are wonderful cities, but its in Jerusalem.”

And there has been other positive fallout from Trump’s declaration. A few countries have expressed their interest in moving their embassies to Jerusaelm too:

The Phillipines sent a message to Israel:

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte sent a message to Israel that he wanted to move his country’s embassy to the capital, Israel’s Kan public broadcaster reported Wednesday.

The Czech Republic too, always a good friend of Israel, is similarly weighing up an embassy move, and Hungary joined in:

The Czech Republic and Hungary have broken ranks with the European Union on President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, the EuObserver reported this week. Czech president Milos Zeman on Thursday announced: “[Trump’s decision] makes me truly happy […] We may, sooner or later, follow the United States.”

Both countries refused to endorse the EU’s statement that was going to express “serious concern” on the part of the entire organization of states. As a result, the statement was issued only by the EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini.

Just imagine a day in the not too distant future when it will be simply a matter of course for countries to have their embassies in Jerusalem. They should be brave like the Czechs and Phillipines, and give it a go. I’m sure the sky will not fall in.

Decrying False Genocide, Palestinian Advocates Call for Genocide

December 11, 2017

Decrying False Genocide, Palestinian Advocates Call for Genocide, Investigative Project on Terrorism, December 11, 2017

No one expected universal praise for the new U.S. policy toward Jerusalem. What too many Palestinian advocates are doing here, however, is dropping any veneer of moderation or hopes for peace. They will only accept peace when an existing nation and its people are wiped.

There’s a word for that.

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Angered by President Trump’s declaration that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital, Palestinian advocates took to the streets throughout the country during the weekend to express their anger and frustration.

But the message often was telling. Few echoed media analysts’ concerns that the move might hurt future peace efforts. Instead, there were taunts of what Mohamed’s army has waiting for Jews and calls for new violence.

“We don’t want 2 states! We want 48!” was among the chants Friday night at a Times Square rally. The “48” refers to Israel’s 1948 independence, and the message calls for a return to a world before there was a Jewish state.

Other chants at the rally, sponsored by a group of organizations including American Muslims for PalestineStudents for Justice in Palestine and Al-Awda/the Palestine Right to Return Coalition, similarly called for Israel’s elimination or for a massacre of Jews:

“From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free!”

Khaybar O Jews, Muhammad’s army will return.”

A Palestine “from the river to the sea” erases Israel from the map. “Khaybar” is a taunt invoking a 7th century massacre of Jews by Mohammed’s army. It is considered a “battle cry” before attacks on Jews or Israelis.

Palestinians are quick to accuse Israel of genocide – the systematic destruction of a culture and its people – a sign at Friday’s rally said, “Israel= racism + genocide.”

Yet that’s exactly what they pray would happen to Israel. We reported Friday on a Texas-imam’s prayer that “Allah destroy the Zionists and their allies.” The prayer generated an “Amen, amen” comment from Said Abbasy, a New York-based supporter of the “moderate” Muslim Brotherhood.

Abbasy appeared pleased by the attention, confirming the sentiment in Arabic on Facebook and justifying it because “the world Zionists are my enemies, because you are all killers and enemies of humanity.”

Imagine what would happen if a mainstream pro-Israel advocate voiced a reciprocal sentiment. Imagine a pro-Israel rally featuring similar rhetoric – taunting Palestinians over a massacre or advocating the elimination of Palestinians as a people. Imagine a rally which demanded more violence. The international shock and outrage would dominate news coverage and debate for days or longer.

But in Times Square Friday night, Mohammad Qatanani did just that. Qatanani, the imam at Paterson, N.J.’s Islamic Center of Passaic County, has spent a decade battling the government’s efforts to deport him over his failure to disclose Hamas ties, told the crowd that all peace efforts should be cut off.

(Video at the link. — DM)

“Our message to the Palestinian authority, you have to stop all kinds of peace process, no peace process and negotiation with the occupation in Palestine. Oslo has to be stopped and to be finished. We have to start a new intifada.” He then led the crowd in chanting, “intifada, intifada!”

Previous intifadas featured deadly terrorist attacks, including suicide bombingsshootings and deadly knife attacks.

We have chronicled the effect blind hatred for Israel has on Palestinian advocates. It leads them to treat terrorist murderers and their enablers as heroes. It causes otherwise rational people to see no moral distinction between Israel and ISIS.

No one expected universal praise for the new U.S. policy toward Jerusalem. What too many Palestinian advocates are doing here, however, is dropping any veneer of moderation or hopes for peace. They will only accept peace when an existing nation and its people are wiped.

There’s a word for that.