Posted tagged ‘Israel – Jewish state’

Trump: Israel is the homeland of the Jewish people

May 22, 2017

Trump: Israel is the homeland of the Jewish people, The Jewish Press, Gary Willig, May 22, 2017

Rivlin and Trump Reuters

Rivlin congratulated Trump on his arrival in Israel and said, “We are happy to see that America is back in the area. America is back again … Israel appreciates America’s leadership and your administration in the action you took in Syria.”

Trump congratulated Rivlin and thanked him for his warm hospitality. “I am honored to be in the great State of Israel, the homeland of the Jewish people. I am awed by the beauty and majesty of this sacred and very holy land.”

“This is an amazing country. What you have done, perhaps, has virtually never been done before. I come to this ancient land to reaffirm the enduring friendship between the United States and the State of Israel, and it will always be enduring,” Trump added.

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US President Donald Trump arrived Monday afternoon at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem and signed the guest book before beginning his working meeting with President Reuven Rivlin.

Rivlin congratulated Trump on his arrival in Israel and said, “We are happy to see that America is back in the area. America is back again … Israel appreciates America’s leadership and your administration in the action you took in Syria.”

“Even during our most difficult times, we have not given up on our dream of living here in peace with our neighbors,” Rivlin added, “Our destiny, Palestinians and Jews, is to live together in this land.”

Trump congratulated Rivlin and thanked him for his warm hospitality. “I am honored to be in the great State of Israel, the homeland of the Jewish people. I am awed by the beauty and majesty of this sacred and very holy land.”

“This is an amazing country. What you have done, perhaps, has virtually never been done before. I come to this ancient land to reaffirm the enduring friendship between the United States and the State of Israel, and it will always be enduring,” Trump added.

Trump addressed threats in the region. “Israel and America face common threats from ISIS and other terrorist groups to countries like Iran, that sponsor terrorism and foment terrible violence.”

He said that Israel and the US would speak with one voice to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.

“Most importantly the United States and Israel can declare with one voice that Iran must never be allowed to possess a nuclear weapon — never ever — and must cease its deadly funding, training and equipping of terrorists and militias.”

We want peace, not a peace ‘process’

May 22, 2017

We want peace, not a peace ‘process’, Israel Hayom, Boaz Bismuth, May 22, 2017

After 100 years of conflict, this is what we’ve learned: There is no chance to advance toward peace as long as there is no Arab-Palestinian recognition of Israel as the Jewish state. Sadly, the war against us will continue no matter how much we withdraw. This land was never a separate, sovereign entity for any nation other than the Jewish people. Even Jerusalem only became important religiously and historically thanks to the Jews. These are the fundamental conditions for fruitful negotiations. For once, we would also like to hear the Palestinians declare out loud what they would accept as a final offer, one that would end the conflict and after which they would make no more demands.

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“I love the people of Israel,” you told me in the Oval Office. Seeing as this wasn’t our first interview — I had already gotten to know you rather well during the campaign — I know you were speaking from the heart, rather than trying to curry favor with me.

I know you are sincere when you say you are committed to the security and future of Israel. You believe the United States and Israel are allies that share common values, and that America must not forsake old friends. Your powerful bond with Israel and the Jewish people was not imposed on you by your position. There are even those who say that your affection for Israel is a family affair.

The commitment and affection between Americans and Israelis is mutual. There is a great deal of love in Israel for the U.S. and its people. Throughout your campaign, Mr. President, you had many supporters here in Israel. Less in the media and more on the street — see? I told you the U.S. and Israel have a lot in common.

Here in Israel, no one burns American flags. Not now and not ever. The American flag is almost as popular here as the Israeli flag. For us, both flags symbolize liberty and hope.

Mr. President, you arrive here from Saudi Arabia with a passion to see Israel and its neighbors make peace. We thank you for this genuine desire and wish you, and us, success in this endeavor. But you must know that the last thing we need is another failed peace process. We are tired of futile diplomacy that only leads to more bloodshed, prompting us to adopt a more sober view regarding the prospects of successful negotiations and tempering our faith in peace. We want peace, not a peace process.

The country of the Jewish people

After 100 years of conflict, this is what we’ve learned: There is no chance to advance toward peace as long as there is no Arab-Palestinian recognition of Israel as the Jewish state. Sadly, the war against us will continue no matter how much we withdraw. This land was never a separate, sovereign entity for any nation other than the Jewish people. Even Jerusalem only became important religiously and historically thanks to the Jews. These are the fundamental conditions for fruitful negotiations. For once, we would also like to hear the Palestinians declare out loud what they would accept as a final offer, one that would end the conflict and after which they would make no more demands.

In Riyadh on Sunday, we heard King Salman talk about the need to combat terrorism and warning of the Iranian threat that is jeopardizing the prospects of regional peace. Israel has been saying this for years. In your speech, you, too, sought to distinguish between good and evil. We need this distinction, after years of politically correct ambiguity.

You noted in your speech the need to combat the extremists; you mentioned Iran, al-Qaida, Hezbollah and Hamas. But this axis of evil claims the opposite: that Israel and the U.S. are responsible for terrorism around the world. College campuses across the U.S. are disgracefully portraying Israel as being responsible for terrorism.

But the sad truth is quite the opposite: For over 100 years, we have been subjected to murderous terrorism in various forms, long before the so-called “occupation.” Terrorism in Israel needs to be treated the same as terrorism anywhere else in the world. All terrorism draws on the same source.

There is no Zionism without Zion

Mr. President, you chose to visit during a festive week. Fifty years ago, Israeli soldiers liberated Jerusalem from foreign rule. It has been 1,835 years since Bar-Kokhba’s fighters entered the destroyed city in 132 C.E. They engraved coins with the words “To the freedom of Jerusalem” and commemorated King David, who made it the eternal city. Jerusalem is Zion. There is no Zionism without Zion. This is the place we yearned to return to for 2,000 years. Now that we have returned, nothing can ever cut out the heart of the Jewish people.

Israel welcomes you with blessings, Mr. President. We wish you a successful visit. We bless your arrival with these words: The Lord gives strength to His people; the Lord blesses His people with peace (Psalms 29:11).

Congressional Caucus Seeks New Approach to Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

April 27, 2017

Congressional Caucus Seeks New Approach to Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Investigative Project on Terrorism, April 27, 2017

(Please see also, The Agenda for the Trump-Abbas Meeting. — DM)

The Congressional Israel Victory Caucus (CIVC) was launched on Thursday in an effort to revitalize U.S. engagement with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, building on perspectives espoused by the Middle East Forum (MEF).

The caucus calls for the need to put the onus of peace on the Palestinians, to give up their rejectionist claims about Israel’s right to exist as Jewish state. The initiative also calls for the U.S. to cease pressuring Israel to make major concessions that often lead to more Palestinian violence and terrorism.

Co-chairs, Reps. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., and Bill Johnson, R-Ohio, expressed strong support for Israel and its right to defend itself at Thursday’s launch event, which featured several other Republican congressmen.

“Israel is not the problem in the Middle East; it is the solution to many of the problems that bedevil the region. American policy must ensure that Israel emerges victorious against those who deny or threaten her existence,” DeSantis said in a statement announcing the initiative.

The caucus wants the Palestinian Authority (PA) to stop its violent incitement against Jews and Israelis. It aims to help reverse one sided, anti-Israel United Nations resolutions and oppose efforts to delegitimize Israel through initiatives such as the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign.

Palestinian incitement prevents peace from materializing, Johnson said, specifically calling out the widespread practice of naming Palestinian institutions and schools after terrorists responsible for murdering innocent Israelis.

DeSantis also blasted the PA for continuing to pay terrorists’ families after they committed attacks against Israelis.

“Any financial assistance to the Palestinian Authority by American taxpayers cannot continue so long as the PA continues to pay pensions and salaries for families of terrorists. It’s a simply inappropriate use of taxpayer money and it’s not fair to the American taxpayer,” DeSantis said at Thursday’s event.

The Taylor Force Act, a bill named after a 28-year-old American tourist killed by a Palestinian terrorist in Israel last year, would prohibit U.S. assistance to the PA until terrorist salaries and payments cease.

“If you die as a terrorist, as a ‘martyr,’ your family will get an annual stipend greater than the average Palestinian earns. In this case, the terrorist who killed Taylor Force…was hailed as a hero, was basically given a state funeral, and his family was given money by the state,” says sponsor Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.

How Israel Would Become Palestine

February 20, 2017

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

israel-palestine-flag

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Islamic Jihad and Peace with Jews

February 9, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Do Not Reward Bad Behaviour

February 8, 2017

Do Not Reward Bad Behaviour, Gatestone InstituteJagdish N. Singh, February 8, 2017

The Trump Administration needs to see to it that UN Security Council Resolution 2334 is rendered null and void.

UNSC Resolution 2334 also implies that Jerusalem’s Jewish Quarter, Western Wall and Temple Mount are all occupied territory, when in fact, it was Israel that liberated them from the illegal Jordanian conquest of them in the war of 1948.

Given the history of violence which the Palestinians indulge in against the Jews, it would seem a counter-productive precedent to reward decades of terrorism and uncivilised behaviour with a state. It would also leave the Palestinians, who deserve a responsible and accountable leadership, under the domination of two corrupt and brutal governments, the Palestinian Authority and Hamas.

A study of the various proposals Israel has made to Palestine from time to time shows the key obstacle to peace is not the Palestinians’ demand for any piece of land but their refusal to recognize the existence of the Jewish state, or presumably any state but an Islamic one.

The U.S. could also move its embassy to Jerusalem. This would send the Palestinian leadership and others in the region a strong message that Washington will support both historical facts and countries that comport themselves with civilised behaviour.

In the long-continuing conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, conventional wisdom has it that peace can be achieved through realistic negotiations between the parties to the conflict.

The previous Obama administration displayed a clear tilt towards one party to the conflict, the Palestinians, at the cost of the other, Israel.

Last month, Washington’s abstention from voting on United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 2334 led to its passage. This resolution condemns Israeli settlements in “Palestinian Occupied Territories.” Resolution 2334 also implies that Jerusalem’s Jewish Quarter, Western Wall and Temple Mount are all occupied territory, when in fact, it was Israel that liberated them from the illegal Jordanian conquest of them in the war of 1948. The resolution effectively states that any Jewish presence beyond the 1949 armistice lines, or Israeli construction in Judea, Samaria or Jerusalem, is illegal.

Objectively speaking, this resolution amounts to anti-Semitism: it is simply counterfactual to the Jews’ history in the region. Both the Bible and archeology reveal that Jews have had a historical connection with this land for more than 3000 years.

Given the history of violence that the Palestinians indulge in against the Jews, it would seem a counter-productive precedent to reward decades of terrorism and uncivilised behaviour with a state. It would also leave the Palestinians, who deserve a responsible and accountable leadership, under the domination of two corrupt and brutal governments, the Palestinian Authority and Hamas.

One hopes President Donald J. Trump, as the leader of the democratic world, would waste no time to bury this counter-factual, anti-Semitic resolution. Nikki Haley, Trump’s appointment to the United Nations, has already condemned the controversial resolution as an “outrageous bias” against Israel, and criticized the Administration of former President Barack H. Obama for the abstention that let the resolution pass.

2287Nikki Haley (pictured above from 2014), President Trump’s appointment to the United Nations, has already condemned UN Security Council Resolution 2334 as an “outrageous bias” against Israel. (Image source: defenseimagery.mil)

The Trump Administration needs to see to it that UNSC Resolution 2334 is rendered null and void. Significantly, it has the moral and political support of the American Congress. The U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly condemned the resolution. The Senate has introduced a similar bipartisan bill to cut funding from the United Nations.

Ironically, it is Washington’s “no” to this resolution that will help the peace process, not this resolution, as the Obama Administration disingenuously tried to claim.

A study of the various proposals Israel has made to the Palestinians from time to time shows the key obstacle to peace is not the Palestinian demand for any piece of land but its refusal to recognize the very existence of the Jewish state, or, presumably any state but an Islamic one, preferably its own. That there is any dispositive linkage of land for peace is a myth.

Sometimes, the Palestinians do recognize the state of Israel. At a news conference, then Palestine Liberation Organization chairman Yasser Arafat once said, “We accept two states, the Palestine state and the Jewish state of Israel.”

The Palestinian leadership said they did so in the Oslo Accords, too, but they never practised it. In all the proposals for peace Israel has set forth, the Palestinians have never even made a counter-offer, and seem especially averse to signing an “end of conflict” document.

The current Palestinian leadership is divided into two factions — the West Bank-based Fatah party of the Palestinian Authority (PA), and the Gaza Strip-based Hamas. Both openly incite violence against the Jews, and aspire to the eventual creation of an Islamic state replacing all of Israel.

According to a recent House of Representatives resolution, there have been more than 300 terrorist attacks targeting Israelis since September 2015. PA President Mahmoud Abbas, too, incites violence against Jews.

Washington’s “no” to the resolution would give the right message to the Palestinian Authority to join the Israeli leadership in direct negotiations, recognize the Jewish state and appreciate its security concerns.

The United States could also move its embassy to Jerusalem. This would send the Palestinian leadership and others in the region a strong message that Washington will support both historical facts and countries that comport themselves with civilised behaviour.

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

February 1, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

guterresAntónio Guterres (image: english.alarabiya.net)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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