Posted tagged ‘Obama and Palestinians’

John Kerry, Those “Illegal” Settlements, That “Two-State Solution” (Part II)

January 4, 2017

John Kerry, Those “Illegal” Settlements, That “Two-State Solution” (Part II), Jihad Watch

(Part I of the series is available here. — DM)

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After the Six-Day War, while the Israelis waited for the Arabs to make that phone call about peace negotiations that never came, the Arabs had other ideas. First, they announced at a meeting in the Sudanese capital of the Arab League “the three No’s of Khartoum”: No peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, and no negotiations with Israel. Who and what – before a single “settlement” was started — was then the “obstacle to peace”? Second, the Arabs and their willing collaborators began to speak about, and thus to reify, out of the local Arabs in Israel, Gaza, the West Bank, and in the refugee camps, a “Palestinian people.” This fiction, which Secretary Kerry uncritically accepts (to be fair, so do millions of others), was designed for propaganda purposes, and has proven to be a stunningly effective weapon against Israel. No Arab leaders or diplomats or intellectuals mentioned the “Palestinian people” until 1967, when the need for such became apparent. As Zuheir Mohsen, leader of the Palestinian Arab terror group As Saiqa, famously told a journalist in 1977:

The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people, since Arab national interests demand that we posit the existence of a distinct “Palestinian people” to oppose Zionism. Yes, the existence of a separate Palestinian identity exists only for tactical reasons, Jordan, which is a sovereign state with defined borders, cannot raise claims to Haifa and Jaffa, while as a Palestinian, I can undoubtedly demand Haifa, Jaffa, Beer-Sheva and Jerusalem. However, the moment we reclaim our right to all of Palestine, we will not wait even a minute to unite Palestine and Jordan.

Yet Kerry insists that U. N. Resolution 181 — the “Partition Plan” — was meant to “realize the national aspirations of both Jews and Palestinians.” In 1947, there were no “Palestinians” with “national aspirations.” The invading Arab states never mentioned these “Palestinians” and had no intention of giving up whatever territory they managed to win to a nonexistent “Palestinian” people. And in 1947, the “national aspirations” of the Jews were betrayed when they were left by the Partition Plan with only about half of what had been promised under the Palestine Mandate, or – if we include eastern Palestine — only 23% of the territory promised before eastern Palestine had been transformed into the Emirate of Transjordan. To the extent that the local Arabs had any “national aspirations,” they were to destroy the Jewish state. In any case, Resolution 181 became a dead letter when the Arabs unanimously rejected it and then invaded Israel. Kerry wants to resuscitate it.

Kerry then moves on to Resolution 242, and what he, and Resolution 2334, call “occupied Palestinian territory.” But the word “occupied” has both a colloquial and a legal meaning, and this confusion between the two meanings has been well exploited by the Arabs. Israel is an “occupier” in the colloquial sense: through force of arms, it has “occupied” certain territories. But Israel is not only a “military occupier” of the West Bank, in the way that it was an “occupier” of the Sinai. Israel’s legal (historic, moral) claim to the West Bank, under the Mandate for Palestine, remains.

The constant use of the phrase “occupied territory,” or still worse, “occupied Palestinian territory” by John Kerry and so many others suggests that Israel has no claim to the “West Bank” or Gaza other than the temporary one of being a military occupant. One thinks in this regard of such examples as “Occupied Berlin,” “Occupied Vienna,” “Occupied Paris,” “Occupied Japan.” In all of these examples, the word “occupied” signals that the territory in question is under the control of a victorious power or powers, that control having been won through military conquest, and the claim to that territory is understood to be only temporary, based solely on that military occupation. But Israel’s claim to the “West Bank” is not based on the fact of military occupation. Rather, the West Bank is properly thought of as an unallocated part of the Palestine Mandate, and the provisions of the League of Nations’ Mandate still apply. Had Israel managed to capture all of the West Bank in the 1948-49 war, it could have exercised its rights under the Mandate, and incorporated all of that territory into the Jewish state. The fact that the Jews did not end up in possession of Gaza and the “West Bank” at the close of hostilities in 1949 war did not change the legal status of those territories. Israel’s claim based on the Mandate itself was not extinguished. Of course, had the Arabs accepted the Partition Plan, as Israel had done, then Israel would have been obligated to stand by its own acceptance, but the Arab refusal to do so freed Israel from any such obligation. The Six-Day War allowed Israel, by coming into possession of the West Bank by force of arms, to finally exercise its right, based on the Mandate, to establish settlements in that territory.

The claim under the Mandate was reinforced, rather than weakened, by Resolution 242’s insistence that territorial adjustments be made to guarantee Israel’s security (“secure borders”). And when Israel voluntarily gave up the Sinai to Egypt, and later handed Gaza over to “Palestinian” Arab rule – for reasons of realpolitik– that had no bearing on Israel’s continued claim to the “West Bank.”

So what has John Kerry carefully not said in his ill-tempered attack on Israel that has apparently so heartened Hamas? He has failed to mention the most important foundational document for Israel, the Mandate for Palestine, which enshrines Israel’s legal, moral, and historic rights to establish Jewish settlements everywhere in Palestine, from the Jordan to the sea, including all of the West Bank. Not only are those settlements not illegal, but they were, and still are, to be “encouraged” under the express terms of the Mandate. He has failed to mention, too, that Israel gave up fully 95% of what it won in the Six-Day War, and failed to mention the endless Israeli efforts to engage the “Palestinians” in real peace talks, not Rose Garden photo ops; those Israeli efforts have always been rebuffed. When at Camp David in 2000 Ehud Barak made the astounding offer to Yassir Arafat of fully 95% of the West Bank, Arafat refused.

This puts quite a different spin on Israeli behavior from that which Kerry presents. For him, it is Israel that keeps trying to deny the “Palestinians” everything, whereas it is those same “Palestinians” under Abbas as under Arafat, who have turned down Israeli offers, and most important, continue to refuse even to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. The list of Arab refusals starts with the Partition Plan of 1947, then the refusal to make the armistice lines of 1949 into permanent borders as offered by Israel, then the further refusal, for 12 years after the Six-Day War, by all the Arab states to recognize, or to negotiate, or to make peace with Israel (the Three No’s of Khartoum) until Sadat made his separate peace.

And even Kerry’s whipping-boy, Prime Minister Netanyahu, whose government he describes as “the most right-wing” in Israel’s history, in November 2009 put in place a 10-month freeze on settlements, hoping thereby to get the Palestinians back to the negotiating table. It didn’t work. And Kerry, of course, doesn’t mention Netanyahu’s attempt. Far from clinging adamantly to territories it won, Israel has been remarkably generous in giving up territories. The minute Anwar Sadat decided he would break ranks with the other Arabs and negotiate for Egypt alone, he found the Israelis willing, in exchange for a peace treaty, to hand back the entire Sinai. How often, in human history, has a nation victorious in war handed back all the territory it won to an aggressor?

Israel went even further with its concessions in Gaza, removing all of the Jewish settlements, handing Gaza back to the local “Palestinians,” without receiving anything in return but rockets and bombs. Yet Secretary Kerry dares to present Israel as the obstacle to peace, with the “Palestinian” campaigns of terror, and celebrations of terrorists, mentioned only in passing, while the Israeli “settlements” – specifically authorized by the Mandate – are treated, at great length, as “illegal.” He finds the Israelis bizarre in their belief, one that they have come to most reluctantly, that IDF control of the West Bank is a better way to preserve peace than a peace treaty signed with the likes of Mahmoud Abbas. Kerry is outraged that Israelis dare to insist they have a legal right to establish such settlements in the West Bank. Don’t bring up the Palestine Mandate; he doesn’t want to hear about it. And he certainly doesn’t want people beginning to agree with Israelis that the Mandate remains relevant. He doesn’t care what the main author of Resolution 242, Lord Caradon, meant by the phrases “withdrawal from territories” and “secure and recognized borders.” Please don’t trouble Secretary Kerry, either, with the report prepared by the American Joint Chiefs of Staff for President Johnson, about the minimum territorial adjustments that in their view Israel would need for “secure and defensible borders.” For Kerry, it’s more than enough to keep repeating the phrases “two-state solution” and “just and lasting peace,” which for him clearly means almost complete withdrawal to the 1967 lines with “minor adjustments.” For Lord Caradon, however, the most important thing about Resolution 242 was that Israel not be compelled to return to the 1967 lines that invited Arab aggression, and the adjustments need not everywhere be categorized as “minor.” As he forcefully put it:

We could have said: well, you go back to the 1967 line. But I know the 1967 line, and it’s a rotten line. You couldn’t have a worse line for a permanent international boundary. It’s where the troops happened to be on a certain night in 1948. It’s got no relation to the needs of the situation.

Kerry doesn’t want to hear about “secure and defensible borders.” He wants the Israelis to “take risks for peace” (as if Israel was not already taking unbelievable risks for peace), to uproot settlements needed for Israel’s defense, and to put their trust in a peace treaty, while all the evidence suggests that the “Palestinians,” including nobody-here-but-us-accountants Mahmoud Abbas, have no intention of recognizing Israel as a Jewish state until Israel returns to the 1967 lines, including East Jerusalem, and likely not even then. As for the other Arabs, it’s true that right now a shared fear of Iran has made it possible for Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan to collaborate with Israel behind the scenes, but fear of Iran may not prove to be a unifying force forever. As for most Arabs and Muslims, the spectacle of a dimidiated Israel would not sate but whet jihadist appetites.

Among the many things John Kerry would prefer not to be reminded of is that in 1920, 77% of the formerly Ottoman territories that were originally intended to be included in the Palestine Mandate — that is, the land east of the Jordan — was closed to Jewish immigration. Eastern Palestine instead became, thanks to the British, the Arab Emirate of Transjordan. For Kerry, that’s not worth mentioning, but it was a huge event for the Zionists at the time. In fact, those Zionists who did not accept the loss of eastern Palestine continued to include it in their maximalist demands. Their leader, Ze’ev Jabotinsky, even wrote a celebrated poem: “Shtei Gadot L’Yarden – Zu Shelanu Zu Gam Ken” (“Two sides has the river Jordan/This side is ours, and that side too”) expressing the refusal to give up the claim to eastern Palestine. So Israel had by 1948 already been considerably reduced, the British having given away 77% of what had been intended for the Palestine Mandate. To remind people of this is not to endorse Jabotinsky’s demand, but at least to offer a historical perspective that might make some more understanding of Israel’s position.. Would it have been too much to expect John Kerry to mention how, and why, and on what land, the country of Jordan was created?

The Arabs, then, already had in 1948 a “Palestinian” state, consisting of all of eastern Palestine, the country we now call “Jordan,” where 80% of the population identifies itself as “Palestinian.” When the Arabs became convinced, after the Six-Day War, that they could not destroy Israel outright, they sought to undermine Israel in other ways – diplomatic isolation, boycotts, terror attacks – hoping to reduce its size through salami tactics, and to establish a second Arab state, this one in western Palestine, a state whose main purpose would be not to live in satisfied coexistence with Israel (‘two states, side-by-side” etc.) as Kerry naively foresees, but to serve, rather, as a springboard for yet another attempt at destroying, whether through the Fast Jihad of Hamas or the Slow Jihad of Fatah, the one Jewish state, whose mere existence, whatever its size, is such an affront to all Muslims and Arabs. John Kerry, innocent of Islam, gives no sign of realizing how deep is the Muslim Arab opposition to Israel.

So the Arabs refused this and the Arabs refused that. And the Israelis accepted this, and the Israelis gave back that. And the Mandate for Palestine says this, and U.N. Resolution 242 says that. It’s all so complicated and mind-numbing, no wonder John Kerry wants to hear only about a very few things. He blocks out the rest, and he reduces everything to the simple-minded phrases repeated endlessly: the “two-state solution,” the “just and lasting peace.” He doesn’t need to know what has actually happened between Arab and Jew in Palestine in the last 100 years, what principles were invoked or ignored, what rights created or destroyed, what promises kept or broken, what offers accepted or rejected. For Kerry, all he knows and all he needs to know is that the settlements are “illegal,” and positively noxious because they are what prevent that “two-state solution” that “everybody” knows can be arrived at just as soon as Israel stops building new settlements and dismantles all but a few of the old ones.

For the Palestinians, of course, as Kerry may not know, all the cities in Israel are “occupied” territory (“Occupied Haifa,” “Occupied Jaffa,” “Occupied Jerusalem”), and all the towns are “settlements” and all the settlements, of course, are on “Occupied Arab Land.” The Jews, as Infidels, have no rights on lands once possessed by Muslims. There is no historic connection of Jews to Jerusalem, which is also “occupied Palestinian territory.” And even if the Palestine Mandate existed, we are not required to pay any attention to it. Any history that is not on the side of the Muslims can safely be forgotten.

U.N. Resolution 2334 pretends to be about furthering “peace,” but its effect will be to embolden the “Palestinian” side, now less willing than ever to negotiate, since it believes it has now isolated Israel diplomatically. With little to lose, the Israeli government could take a different tack, a hypertrophied hasbara that would speak over the talking heads of the Security Council to a public that, especially in Europe, has been getting its own taste of Muslim convivencia and may, as a consequence, be more sympathetic to Israel’s plight than votes at the U.N. might suggest. Let Israel explain what the Palestine Mandate was intended to achieve, why the settlements are not “illegal,” what made the Partition Plan (Resolution 181) null and void, why those armistice lines were never made into permanent borders, how and why the “Palestinian people” were invented, and then, in terms anyone looking at a map can understand, what territory in the “West Bank” the tiny nation of Israel, as a military matter, must keep, as “settlements,” if it is to have those “secure and defensible borders” it both needs and deserves.

John Kerry assures us that he cares deeply about, even “loves,” the plucky little state of Israel that, he insists, stole his heart away decades ago. But he is convinced that Israel doesn’t understand its real situation, and its blinkered (“extreme right-wing”) leaders can’t seem to grasp that a “Palestinian” state living “side-by-side with a Jewish state” would only improve Israel’s well-being. Here is John Kerry, the American Secretary of State, fierce in Foggy Bottom, languid in Louisburg Square, who knows better than the Israelis what they need, and understands perfectly this most intractable of foreign policy problems. It’s an old and cruel idea: that Israel doesn’t understand its real interests, and must be saved in spite of itself. And John Forbes Kerry has arrived on the scene to help straighten out the little country he loves so much. All he asks of Israelis is that they come to their senses, and do what he, and Barack Obama, and the Security Council, demand.

Fortunately, for Israel, and for the Western world, too, the clock is running out on Obama and on Kerry. This means Israel still has a chance to decide for itself what it needs, at a minimum, in order to survive. Given the history of the Jews during the last 3000 years, that doesn’t seem like much to ask.

Obama Administration Set for One Last Strike at Israel

January 4, 2017

Obama Administration Set for One Last Strike at Israel, Front Page MagazineP. David Hornik, January 4, 2016

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The Times of Israel cites an Israeli news broadcast saying Netanyahu believes the Middle East Quartet—which includes the U.S., UN, Russia, and the EU—“will coordinate positions at the Paris summit, and then return to the Security Council in the very last days of Obama’s presidency to cement these new parameters on Mideast peacemaking.”

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A week and a half ago President Obama gave the order for the U.S. to abstain on UN Security Council Resolution 2334, thereby—effectively—voting in favor and allowing the resolution to pass.

As I noted, the resolution goes beyond “moral equivalency” by obfuscating Palestinian terror and incitement while branding Jewish life beyond the 1949 Armistice Lines a “flagrant violation under international law” and a “major obstacle…to peace.”

But the administration wasn’t through with Israel. A few days later, with the Middle East aflame from Yemen to Iraq to Syria to Libya to Sudan and Iranian expansionism on the march, Secretary of State Kerry delivered a 75-minute harangue against what he called Israel’s “pernicious policy of settlement construction that is making peace impossible.”

Critics have noted that—in the real world—Israeli construction in settlements under the recent Netanyahu governments has been so modest that it has not affected the Israeli-Palestinian population balance in the West Bank; and that if any and all Israeli presence beyond the 1949 Armistice Lines is “illegal,” then the idea of a “peace process” to settle claims over disputed land appears to be invalidated, since Israel is then nothing but a rapacious thief and the Palestinians its victims seeking redress.

As international-law scholar Eugene Kontorovich notes in the Washington Post:

The…condemnation of any Jewish presence whatsoever in eastern Jerusalem and the West Bank is a unique rule invented for Israel. There has never been a prolonged belligerent occupation—from the U.S. occupation of West Berlin to Turkey’s ongoing occupation of Cyprus to Russia’s of Crimea—where the occupying power has blocked its citizens from living in the territory under its control. Moreover, neither the United Nations nor any other international body has ever suggested they must do so. What is being demanded of Israel in its historical homeland has never been demanded of any other state, and never will be. 

The Obama administration’s stepped-up diplomatic and verbal assault on Israel in the last weeks of its tenure has not gone unnoticed, sparking bitter criticism even from Democratic lawmakers and mainstream American Jewish organizations that are far from any right-wing agenda.

But the extent to which the administration listens to such protests, or can be budged from its wholesale endorsement of Palestinian claims regarding the West Bank and Jerusalem, can be gauged from the fact that the Obama-Kerry team has still more in store for Israel.

It’s set to take place in Paris on January 15, under the aegis of the Hollande government, and it’s expected that some 70 countries will be attending.

The ostensible subject: “Middle East peace.” The translation: more invalidation of any and all Israeli claims to land captured from Jordan (not the Palestinians) in a defensive war in 1967, and more support for what—under present circumstances—would almost certainly be a Palestinian terror state in that territory.

American Jewish leaders have demanded that France call off this “ill-conceived, poorly timed and damaging” event, also pointing to “the impending transition to a new US administration, just five days later.”

But according to The Times of Israel, that—the Obama administration’s exploitation of its last days in office to do more harm to Israel—is exactly what Prime Minister Netanyahu is concerned about.

The Times of Israel cites an Israeli news broadcast saying Netanyahu believes the Middle East Quartet—which includes the U.S., UN, Russia, and the EU—“will coordinate positions at the Paris summit, and then return to the Security Council in the very last days of Obama’s presidency to cement these new parameters on Mideast peacemaking.”

“Cement these new parameters” would, of course, mean another Security Council resolution that is ruinous to Israel’s stance in favor of a negotiated settlement, tars it as a rogue state and international outlaw, and gives another major boost to the ongoing international effort to delegitimize and ultimately dismantle the Jewish state.

The Obama administration that came into office calling for “daylight” between the U.S. and Israel and slamming “natural growth” in Israeli communities, will be leaving office having learned nothing about the real sources of Middle Eastern violence and instability, Palestinian intransigence and outright rejection of Israel in any contours, and Israel’s unique nature in its region as a stable, faithfully pro-U.S. democracy seeking a genuine peace that would not merely imperil it.

Instead the administration appears bent on compounding ignorance and incorrigibility by cementing a lasting legacy of shame.

Obama’s ‘Pro-Israel’ Presidency Is Fake News

December 31, 2016

Obama’s ‘Pro-Israel’ Presidency Is Fake News, CIJ NewsHarry Khachatrian, December 30, 2016

Fake news isn’t a new phenomenon. In fact, for the mainstream news media, it’s practically a business model. The media’s propagation of fake news vis-à-vis the notion that Barack Obama and his administration are remotely pro-Israel dates back to his initial run for office.

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The most asinine, demonstrable falsehoods of the 2016 presidential election is the idea that anti-Semitism is a prevailing concern in the left’s moral universe. Coming in at a close second is the notion that widespread “fake news” is what bludgeoned Hillary Clinton, leading to her electoral demise.

This earnestness to investigate, report on, and speak out against anti-Semitism from the mainstream media is oddly confined to headlines consisting solely of the words “Donald Trump” – or his occasional cabinet nominees.

Take for instance this gem from the Huffington Post. Actual headline: “How It’s ‘Absolutely’ Possible For Steve Bannon To Be Pro-Israel And Anti-Semitic”. Never mind the fact that the Huffington Post has no evidence.

Self-satire news outlet Salon chimed in with, “Jewish Americans are worried about the rise in anti-Semitism after this election cycle.”

Fake news isn’t a new phenomenon. In fact, for the mainstream news media, it’s practically a business model. The media’s propagation of fake news vis-à-vis the notion that Barack Obama and his administration are remotely pro-Israel dates back to his initial run for office.

Obama’s close ties to former Jimmy Carter adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski – who in an interview with Salon, accused Israeli Jews of “buying Congress’s influence” – were effectively ignored. Obama is on record (in 2007) praising Brzezinski as “someone I have learned an immense amount from.”

The Los Angeles Times to this day refuses to release a 2003 tape of Barack Obama praising Rashid Khalidi – whom the LA Times referred to as “a harsh critic of Israel”, and the New York Times dubs, “a passionate defender of Palestinian rights.” In a speech given to the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, Khalidi justified the Palestinian “resistance”: “[k]illing civilians is a war crime. It’s a violation of international law. They are not soldiers. They’re civilians, they’re unarmed. The ones who are armed, the ones who are soldiers, the ones who are in occupation, that’s different. That’s resistance.”

When Jeremiah Wright – whose church Obama attended for two decades – said in an interview, “them Jews ain’t going to let him [Obama] talk to me,” CNN’s Jake Tapper simply tweeted, “Rev Wright clarifies – meant to say ZIONISTS are keeping him fr talking to POTUS, not ‘Jews.’”

In the summer of 2014, when Palestinian terrorists kidnapped three Israeli teenagers, the State Department issued a statement calling “on all sides to exercise restraint.” Nowhere to be found was the mainstream media probing the Obama Administration’s unspeakable gall to treat genocidal zealots and a free society as moral equals.

More recently, Barack Obama and John Kerry unveiled their diplomatic climax, the Iran Deal. When it was revealed that the terror-sponsoring regime of Tehran would receive 150 billion dollars a year in sanctions relief, lifting of arms and missile embargoes (and more) all while the Mullah’s chanted “death to Israel,” the media was again on the job, acting as Obama’s personal PR firm. Abnegating any responsibility to report on the deal’s bleak implications, CNN instead focused their ire on Republican reaction to Obama’s diplomatic debacle with headlines like: “Huckabee Invokes Holocaust when Talking Iran Deal.”

Most recently, New York Times’ Thomas Friedman wrote a column in response to John Kerry’s late-December speech on his proposed plan for peace between Israelis and Arabs.

Friedman opens by “simplifying” for readers, the current tensions between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the soon-to-be Former-President of the United States.

Barack Obama and John Kerry admire and want to preserve Israel as a Jewish and democratic state in the Land of Israel.”

If you’ve read this far, you understand why if there ever was one exemplar of fake news being propagated by the media, this is it.

He continues,

“…He [Benjamin Netanyahu] is unwilling to make any big, hard decision to advance or preserve a two-state solution if that decision in any way risks his leadership of Israel’s right-wing coalition or forces him to confront the Jewish settlers, who relentlessly push Israel deeper and deeper into the West Bank.”

This is the biggest falsehood about the Israeli/Arab conflict perpetuated by the left, ad nauseum. For all their preening over fake news, the left does an admirable job of spreading it themselves. Friedman suggests that Netanyahu’s steadfast persistence to put up condos in Israel’s capital, East Jerusalem, or claim to ownership of the Western Wall – which Barack Obama himself visited, shamefully wearing a yarmulke – is a greater roadblock in the peace process to the waves of rocket fire, stabbings, shootings and terror both incited and carried out by the Palestinian Arabs.

Recall that in 2009, after persistent pressures from the Obama administration, Netanyahu complied, announcing a settlement freeze. After Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas still refused to enter negotiations with Israel, Obama actually scolded Israel! Friedman somehow fails to acknowledge any of this.

Moreover, Friedman makes no mention of the fact that Palestinian Authority leader, Mahmoud Abbas has explicitly stated, “We will never recognize the Jewishness of the state of Israel.”

Earlier this December, Friedman wrote, “The standing ovation he [Benjamin Netanyahu] got in Congress this year was not for his politics. That ovation was bought and paid for by the Israel lobby.”

If any Republican – let alone Donald Trump – had suggested Congress is controlled by the “Israel lobby,” CNN would’ve shoved aside their “Canonizing Obama’s Flawless Legacy of Flawlessness” programming in a heartbeat for the chyron, “Donald Trump: The Jews Run America.”

In fact, CNN’s Brian Stetler did just that amid the election. Taking comments from Donald Trump in which he accused Hillary Clinton of placing the interests of herself and her donors ahead of the country’s (which she does), he reported it as having “echoes of anti-Semitic rhetoric.” Is Stetler’s show named “Reliable Sources” purely out of irony?

There is a reason that liberal news media’s deep concerns for anti-Semitism are scarcer than Rabbis in the Gaza Strip when it comes to covering Barrack Obama and other Democrats. The left doesn’t actually care about anti-Semitism. They care about attacking conservatives. To the left, Jews are a privileged class of colonialists oppressing Palestinians. Israeli Jews don’t have the luxury of victim-status in the left’s worldview. Their safe spaces are bomb shelters in Haifa; not the pages of the New York Times.

Housing Units and Double Standards

December 30, 2016

Housing Units and Double Standards, Front Page MagazineJoseph Puder, December 30, 2016

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Arab-Palestinian construction is not only illegal but unsafe as well.  While the construction of Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria has long been carried out with proper licenses, and within the framework of the law, the Arab-Palestinian construction does not begin to meet even the minimum standards required by engineers, architects, and housing planners.  The Palestinian Authority’s (PA) goal is to create irreversible facts on the ground.  Moreover, half the apartments built remain empty, in spite of the ludicrous price tag of $25,000 – $50,000 per unit, when comparable Jewish housing is $250,000 and up.  The answer is, of course, the EU funding.  These homes have been built without permits, corroborated by the fact that unauthorized or illegal building by Palestinians is an ongoing problem in Area C, solely under Israeli control.

The UN, Britain and the Obama administration expressed outrage last October at Israel’s plan to construct 300 new homes in Judea and Samaria, but no such outrage at the genocide in Syria, or the building of 15,000 illegal Palestinian housing units in areas surrounding Jerusalem as part of a plan to encircle the city. 

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The Obama Administrations unprecedented vote to abstain rather than cast the traditional veto on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 2334, was, in the words of Professor Alan Dershowitz, “nasty” and referring to Obama as pulling a “bait and switch.” In a Fox-News interview, Dershowitz related that President Obama called him to ask for his support. Obama, Dershowitz recalled, said, “I will always have Israel’s back.” Dershowitz added, he indeed “stabbed” Israel in the back.  The Obama administration rejection of the traditional U.S. policy toward Israel has to do with a personal vendetta against Israel’s Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu, and anger over the election of Donald Trump as president.  There is moreover, a double-standard vis-à-vis housing in the territories.

UNSC Resolution 2334 is a non-binding document and deals with Israeli settlements in “Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem.”  The resolution states that Israel’s settlement activity constitutes “flagrant violation” of International law that has “no legal validity,” and demands that Israel stop such activity and fulfill its obligation as an “occupying power” under the Fourth Geneva Convention.

The December 23, 2016 UNSC resolution obfuscates history and reality. It is reminiscent of the notorious 1975 UN Resolution that equated Zionism (Israel national liberation movement) with racism, this time with the Obama administration’s collusion, albeit, without naming it Zionism.  The very term “Palestinian territories occupied since 1967,” is outrageously false.  Israel did not take “Palestinian territory in 1967, it took Jordanian territory, which the Jordanian Arab Legion illegally occupied in 1948. Israel won Judea and Samaria (West Bank) in a defensive war, after being attacked by Jordan. There was never a state of Palestine, nor Palestinian territories.  What might have been “Palestinian territories” was rejected by Arab-Palestinians in 1947 during the UN vote on the Partition of (British) Mandatory Palestine. The Palestinian-Arabs, unlike Jewish-Palestinians, rejected the partition, choosing instead to annihilate the nascent Jewish state.

Ambassador Alan Baker, an Israeli expert on International law, former Israeli ambassador to Canada, and director of The Institute for Contemporary Affairs at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, pointed out that the Palestinian claim that “settlements are a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilians (1949) is false. But both the text of that convention, and the post-World War II circumstances under which it was drafted, clearly indicate that it was never intended to refer to situations like Israel’s settlements. According to the International Committee of the Red Cross, Article 49 relates to situations where populations are coerced into being transferred. There is nothing to link such circumstances to Israel’s settlement policy.

During the negotiations on the 1998 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, Arab states initiated an addition to the text in order to render it applicable to Israel’s settlement policy. This was indicative of the international community’s acknowledgment that the original 1949 Geneva Convention language was simply not relevant to Israel’s settlements.

The continued reliance by the international community on the Geneva Convention as the basis for determining the illegality of Israel’s settlements fails to take into account the unique nature of the history, legal framework, and negotiating circumstances regarding the West Bank.

A special regime between Israel and the Palestinians is set out in a series of agreements negotiated between 1993 and 1999 that are still valid – that govern all issues between them, settlements included. In this framework there is no specific provision restricting planning, zoning, and continued construction by either party. The Palestinians cannot now invoke the Geneva Convention regime in order to bypass previous internationally acknowledged agreements.”

Naturally, nothing has been said by the Obama administration about the illegal Arab-Palestinian construction of settlements in the West Bank and Jerusalem.  Bassam Tawil, a Gatestone Institute scholar based in the Middle East pointed out that, “Apparently, settlements are only a ‘major obstacle to peace’ when they are constructed by Jews. The EU and some Islamic governments and organizations are paying for the construction of illegal Palestinian settlements, while demanding that Israel halt building new homes for Jewish families in Jerusalem neighborhoods or existing settlements in the West Bank. The hypocrisy and raw malice of the EU and the rest of the international community toward the issue of Israeli settlements is blindingly transparent. Yet we are also witnessing the hypocrisy of many in the Western mainstream media, who see with their own eyes the Palestinian settlements rising on every side of Jerusalem, but choose to report only about Jewish building.”

Tawil rhetorically asked “Who is behind the unprecedented wave of illegal construction? According to Arab residents of Jerusalem, many of the ‘contractors’ are actually land-thieves and thugs who lay their hands on private Palestinian-owned land or on lands whose owners are living abroad. But they also point out that the EU, the PLO and some Arab and Islamic governments are funding the project.  ‘They spot an empty plot of land and quickly move in to seize control over it,’ said a resident whose land was confiscated by the illegal contractors.”

Arab-Palestinian construction is not only illegal but unsafe as well.  While the construction of Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria has long been carried out with proper licenses, and within the framework of the law, the Arab-Palestinian construction does not begin to meet even the minimum standards required by engineers, architects, and housing planners.  The Palestinian Authority’s (PA) goal is to create irreversible facts on the ground.  Moreover, half the apartments built remain empty, in spite of the ludicrous price tag of $25,000 – $50,000 per unit, when comparable Jewish housing is $250,000 and up.  The answer is, of course, the EU funding.  These homes have been built without permits, corroborated by the fact that unauthorized or illegal building by Palestinians is an ongoing problem in Area C, solely under Israeli control.

It is the same EU countries who voted to declare the Western Wall of Solomon’s Temple , and the Jewish Quarter in Jerusalem as “Palestinian territory” at last Friday’s vote (December 23, 2016), funded Palestinian housing, while repeatedly condemning Israeli construction due to family enlargement.  Yet, in the Oslo Accords framework there is no specific provision restricting planning, zoning, and continued construction by either party in Judea and Samaria.  The difference is that Jewish construction is done lawfully, legally, and safe, while the Palestinian construction is unlawful, unsafe, and serves one purpose only – to avoid negotiating with Israel a peaceful disposition of the territories called Judea and Samaria.

The UN, Britain and the Obama administration expressed outrage last October at Israel’s plan to construct 300 new homes in Judea and Samaria, but no such outrage at the genocide in Syria, or the building of 15,000 illegal Palestinian housing units in areas surrounding Jerusalem as part of a plan to encircle the city.  The Obama administrations deliberate abstention in last Friday’s vote, which was akin to voting “yes” for this notoriously anti-Israel biased resolution, is inimical to Israeli-Palestinian peace, and will serve to further encourage the PA to incite against the Jewish state, while avoiding a negotiated settlement with Israel.  It also exposes the double-standard used by the Obama administration in dealing with Israel.

The Obama mouse that roared

December 30, 2016

The Obama mouse that roared, Israel National News, Ron Jager, December 30, 2016

(Please see also, Egyptian Daily Close To Egyptian Intelligence Reveals Minutes Of Secret Palestinian Authority Meeting With John Kerry, Susan Rice; U.S.-Palestinian Coordination On UNSC 2334; Rice Says Trump Administration’s Policy Will Be ‘Dangerous’. — DM)

Obama has been perceived for the better part of the past 8 years by many of the world’s leadership as a spineless and weak leader, never feeling comfortable or really knowing how to implement the art of statesmanship. Obama caved in to Putin, the leader of Russia, caved into Assad, the embattled leader of Syria.

China, Iran, North Korea, Libya, have all exhibited nothing but contempt for Obama who always backed down, stood down, and generally did nothing more than wag his Presidential tail.

And then there was Israel.

The objective of the recent Obama-concocted Security Council resolution against the State of Israel is nothing less than a betrayal of the US- Israel alliance and a message to Trump. The Security Council adopted a resolution that brands the Jewish presence in any part of Judea and Samaria (‘West Bank’) or in parts of Jerusalem as illegal will also make the eight hundred thousand Jews in these areas international outlaws.

However, this betrayal of Israel is in actuality Obama’s lame duck way of signaling to the new Trump administration that he has no intention of letting President-elect Trump, the democratically elected President revoke the so-called “transformation’’ that Obama has set for America over the past 8 years. Obama’s action in the UN comes from his longtime distaste for Israel and from his newly found distaste for Trump and everything that Trump stands for. Obama has a lot of “unfinished business” and primal anger concerning Trump’s victory, exposing the Democratic Party and its leader for what they are, hated by Middle America and totally detached from the traditional values of so many Americans.

Obama’s last minute stab-in-the-back of Israel is intriguing considering that he did this with full knowledge that Trump would take an opposite position within weeks. Obama’s decision was based not on strategic thinking or any political pressures of any kind. To understand what motivated Obama, in the guise of condemning Israel, America’s only longtime democratic ally in the Middle East, we must understand his deep and powerful animus against the incoming Trump administration.

Trumps’ greatest sin other than actually winning the election has been that he has exposed the true legacy of Obama. Trump, the unapologetic, wealthy, champion of Middle America is everything that Obama is not. Trump embodies Obama’s worst nightmare and is an antithesis to how Obama envisions America. He is leaving the White House knowing full well that President Trump, in Obama’s own words. will “reverse progress” of the Obama’s Presidential period.

Trump has successfully shared with all Americans the true Obama domestic legacy: BlackLivesMatter, cop killings and violence in the streets, transgenderism,  the failure and bankruptcy of Obamacare,  unrestricted immigration, terror attacks on American soil, and a 10 trillion dollar increase in national debt.

Obama has generally corrupted all three branches of government through the use of Presidential directives ignoring the authority and constitutional mandate of Congress and the Senate,  and by empowering governmental agencies such as the IRS to selectively hound organizations that did not adopt Obama’s vision of America.

Internationally, Obama’s legacy has been even worse: allowing the Islamic terror genie out of the bottle,  half a million dead in Syria, the Muslim refugee invasion of Europe which could lead to the breakup of the EU, the rise of Iran as a conventional power that is devouring one Sunni country after another, the diminution of American power and prestige enabling Russia to invade and conquer neighboring countries, and finally, legitimizing the BDS movement and the criminalization of Israel by encouraging the Security Council of the UN to make Israel a pariah state.

This showdown between Obama and Trump has been unavoidable and in the making since day one of Trump’s declaration to be elected President. The Liberal elite and intelligentsia have failed in shoving down Middle America’s throat their vision of what America should be, Obama has not yet internalized that his 8 years of empty promises and the attempted transformation of America have come to an end, with very little to show for his efforts.

In the coming 3 weeks of what remains of the Obama Presidency, President-elect Trump and the State of Israel should prepare for the worst and expect Obama to take revenge against American voters who chose Trump. He can be expected to do the same against Israel for standing up to Obama for the past 8 years exposing his nothingness, his empty beliefs and his empty panaceas that have failed one by one. Obama will continue with his political carnage until his last day in office in a manner that is unbefitting to the office of the  President.

Obama is fond of quoting Martin Luther King Jr.’s line, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” The Republican Party controls all three branches of government, to the detriment of everything Obama has achieved in the past eight years. President Trump will build an American tent that will include all and be a beacon to the world. Israel will succeed in rescinding the Security Council decision sooner rather than later and continue to build coalitions with neighboring Sunni nations in the coming years and maintain expanding relations with most nations of the World.

Obama will fail in his last ditch efforts to forge his vision of a brave new world, leaving nothing more than a memory of a mouse that roared.

Egyptian Daily Close To Egyptian Intelligence Reveals Minutes Of Secret Palestinian Authority Meeting With John Kerry, Susan Rice; U.S.-Palestinian Coordination On UNSC 2334; Rice Says Trump Administration’s Policy Will Be ‘Dangerous’

December 30, 2016

Egyptian Daily Close To Egyptian Intelligence Reveals Minutes Of Secret Palestinian Authority Meeting With John Kerry, Susan Rice; U.S.-Palestinian Coordination On UNSC 2334; Rice Says Trump Administration’s Policy Will Be ‘Dangerous’, MEMRI, December 29, 2016

(This must be part of the deplorable Russian hacking scheme. Obama wouldn’t lie, would he?)

In mid-December 2016, a Palestinian Authority (PA) delegation met in Washington with officials from the outgoing Obama administration for secret talks. On December 27, the Egyptian daily Al-Youm Al-Sabi’, which is close to Egyptian intelligence services, published an exposé of the minutes of the secret talks. According to the report, by Ahmed Gomaa, the Palestinian delegation included PLO Executive Committee secretary and negotiating team leader Saeb Erekat; Palestinian general intelligence chief Majid Faraj; Husam Zomlot, strategic affairs advisor to Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud ‘Abbas; Palestinian Foreign Ministry official Dr. Majed Bamya; Palestinian negotiations department official Azem Bishara; Palestinian intelligence international relations department chief Nasser ‘Adwa; and head of the PLO delegation to Washington Ma’an Erekat.

The report gave the details of the Palestinian delegation’s schedule during the visit, noting that “the Palestinian side began its meetings on December 12, when Saeb Erekat and Majid Faraj met with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. The next day, the two met with National Security Advisor Susan Rice. The entire delegation met with an American team that included four representatives of the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security, for a six-hour political-strategic meeting. Majid Faraj concluded his visit with a lengthy meeting with the CIA chief.”

According to the report, the minutes of the “top secret” meeting of Kerry, Rice, Erekat, and Faraj reveals U.S.-Palestinian coordination leading up to the UN Security Council vote on Resolution 2334 regarding Israel’s settlements, which was adopted December 23. It states that the sides “agreed to cooperate in drafting a resolution on the settlements” and that the U.S. representative in the Security Council was “empowered” to coordinate with the Palestinian UN representative on the resolution.

The meeting also, according to the report, was aimed at coordinating Kerry’s attendance at the upcoming international Paris Conference set for January 15, 2017, in order to promote a further international move regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Kerry, it said, offered to propose his ideas for a permanent arrangement “provided that they are supported by the Palestinian side.”

At the meeting, Rice pointed out the “danger” of the incoming Trump administration’s policies, the report stated, adding that both she and Kerry had advised President ‘Abbas to make no preliminary moves that might provoke the new administration. Rice even offered to help arrange a meeting between the Palestinian delegation and a representative from the Trump team, by enlisting the help of World Jewish Congress president Ronald Lauder.

Also at the meeting, Erekat warned that if the U.S. Embassy was moved to Jerusalem, the Palestinians would call to expel U.S. Embassies from Arab and Muslim capitals, the report said.

The report added that Kerry and Rice had fulsomely praised ‘Abbas’s policies and how he handled matters, and harshly criticized Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, saying that he “aims to destroy the two-state solution.”

It should be mentioned that both Kerry and Erekat have denied that there was any U.S.-Palestinian coordination in drafting the Security Council resolution.[1]

Following are excerpts from the Al-Youm Al-Sabi’ report:[2]

1229161The report in Al-Yawm Al-Sabi’

U.S. Representative To The Security Council Coordinated With Palestinian UN Representative On The Issue Of The Resolution Condemning The Settlements

According to the Al-Youm Al-Sabi’ report, “the minutes of the meeting – which was attended by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and National Security Advisor Susan Rice, and on the Palestinian side by PLO Executive Committee Secretary and negotiations team leader Saeb Erekat, and head of Palestinian general intelligence Maj,-Gen. Majid Faraj – reveals that the sides agreed to collaborate regarding a resolution on the settlements.” According to the report, “during the meeting, the American side focused on coordination of positions between Washington and Ramallah regarding the resolution on the settlements, which was brought to a vote in the Security Council and adopted several days ago…”

The report stated that “the minutes of the meeting reveal American-Palestinian coordination regarding the resolution on the settlements” and that Kerry and Rice stressed that “they were willing to cooperate with a balanced resolution, and that Washington’s UN mission was authorized to discuss this matter with the Palestinian representative to the UN, Ambassador Riyad Mansour.” It continued: “The U.S.’s representative to the Security Council coordinated with the Palestinian ambassador on the issue of the resolution condemning the settlements.”

Coordinating Kerry’s Attendance At International Conference In France

The delegation also attempted to coordinate Kerry’s attendance at the Paris Conference, which will take place January 15, 2017, to promote a further international move for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, according to the report. “As for the French initiative, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said that he could not attend [the conference if it were to be held] December 21-22, but stressed that he could [attend it if it were to be held] after January 9. The Palestinian delegation stressed that ‘Abbas had contacted the French side, and that it had expressed its willingness to postpone the international conference [in Paris] so that the American secretary of state could attend.”

Possibility Of Kerry Presenting His Ideas For Permanent Solution

According to the report, “Kerry raised the possibility of presenting ideas for a permanent solution, provided that they are supported by the Palestinian side… and this refers to principles that have already been raised as part of the Framework Agreement.[3] He also proposed that the Palestinian delegation travel to Saudi Arabia to discuss these points, but according to the minutes, he did not contact the Saudis on this matter. [Additionally,] according to the minutes of the meeting, National Security Advisor Susan Rice rejected, and ridiculed, the offer to propose ideas, arguing that the [incoming] administration of Republican President Donald Trump will completely oppose them.”

Rice “Stressed The Danger Posed By The Trump Administration”

Rice, the report stated, “stressed the danger posed by the Trump administration, which could take a position different from that of all American administrations since 1967 on the issue of Palestine and Israel. She emphasized that she took seriously statements about moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem and the Trump administration’s view of the settlements.”

Kerry and Rice “advised Palestinian President Mahmoud ‘Abbas to not take any preliminary steps that could provoke the Trump administration, such as dismantling the PA, turning to the International Criminal Court, or ending security coordination with Israel,” said the report, adding: “They [also] stressed the need to avoid military action or martyrdom [attacks], as these would greatly jeopardize the Palestinian position.

“They praised the substantial efforts of the Palestinian security apparatuses, specifically Palestinian [general] intelligence, led by Majid Faraj, as part of what they called ‘the struggle against terrorism.’ [The two] maintained that Palestinian-American collaboration in this area is among the closest of all the coordination between American apparatuses and security forces in the region.”

Rice Offered To Organize Meeting Between Ronald Lauder And Palestinian Delegation

“According to the minutes of the meeting, Susan Rice asked whether the Palestinian delegation could meet with a representative from Donald Trump’s team. She clarified that she could request intervention and could organize this by means of World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder. Saeb Erekat responded that he had already asked but that Lauder could not. He added: ‘We were told that they were still organizing the new administration, and that once they were done, they would officially meet with the Palestinian side.'”

Erekat: If U.S. Embassy Is Moved To Jerusalem, We Will Call To Expel U.S. Embassies From Arab And Muslim Countries

“When Susan Rice asked what the Palestinian response would be if the U.S. Embassy was moved to Jerusalem, or if a new settlement bloc was annexed, Erekat responded: ‘We will directly and immediately join 16 international organizations, withdraw the PLO’s recognition of Israel, and cut back our security, political, and economic ties with the Israeli occupation regime, and we will hold it fully responsible for the PA’s collapse. Furthermore, we will [call] on the Arab and Islamic peoples to expel U.S. Embassies from their capitals.’ Rice answered Erekat by saying: ‘It seems that future matters could be very complicated, and we are all apprehensive about sitting down with Erekat because of his absolute knowledge of these matters, and because of his memory and his sincerity.’ She expressed the American side’s respect and friendship for Erekat, and apologized for yelling at him in March 2014.”

“The Palestinian Delegation Officially Demanded That The Law… Designating The PLO A Terrorist Organization Be Rescinded”

According to the report, “the Palestinian side officially demanded that the 1987 U.S. law designating the PLO a terrorist organization be rescinded.[4] Furthermore, both sides agreed to establish a bilateral commission to examine visa requests from Palestinians and entry and movement visas for Palestinian leadership in the U.S.”

1229162Part of the minutes published in the report

Kerry, Rice Congratulate ‘Abbas “For His Stunning Success At Fatah’s Seventh General Conference”

“The Palestinian delegation thanked Kerry and Rice, and expressed Palestinian President Mahmoud ‘Abbas’s esteem for the views of U.S. President Barack Obama, Advisor Rice, and Secretary Kerry, and particularly for Kerry’s speech at the Saban Forum in early December,” the report stated, and added that the two U.S. officials had congratulated ‘Abbas “for his stunning success at Fatah’s Seventh General Conference and for his long and courageous speech (like those given by the late Cuban ruler Fidel Castro), during which he reiterated his positions and founding principles regarding his adherence to the peace process and his opposition to violence and terrorism in all forms.”

Also according to the report, Erekat and Faraj asked Kerry and Rice “to stress in the reports of the transition to the new administration that Palestinian President Mahmoud ‘Abbas, the PLO, and the PA are partners in the peace process, and that the Palestinian president and security apparatuses are strategic partners in the struggle against terrorism on the regional and international [levels].

“[They asked] that it be emphasized that there would be bilateral Palestinian-American committees in all areas (healthcare, education, agriculture, tourism, sports, trade, security, women, youth, and more) and that the new administration would oversee them together with Palestinian Prime Minister Dr. Rami Hamdallah.” Additionally, the possibility of “establishing a joint database together with the Palestinian ambassador to Washington and a representative from Palestinian general intelligence” was raised.

Kerry and Rice said, according to the report, that “all the above matters will head the transitional report now being prepared by the team of the outgoing president, Barack Obama, for the new American administration.” They also “praised ‘Abbas’s courage, positions, leadership, and adherence to the culture of peace and to peace as a strategic option, in addition to his opposition to violence and terrorism, to the ongoing security coordination, and to his being considered a uniquely strategic and courageous leader in the Middle East. The success of [Fatah’s] Seventh General Conference. they [said], had effectively ended attempts by Muhammad Dahlan and others to weaken President ‘Abbas, who must now act to tighten his relationship with Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Egypt.”[5]

It continued: “Rice asked the Palestinian delegation to convey U.S. President Barack Obama’s gratitude to Palestinian President Mahmoud ‘Abbas for honoring all his commitments to him, and added: ‘Abbas was open and honest regarding all his commitments, especially regarding [Palestine] refraining from joining the 16 international organizations [as a member state].'”

Kerry and Rice also said that it was necessary “to continue American-Palestinian, Israeli-Palestinian, and American-Israeli-Palestinian security cooperation in all fields.” In this context, said the report, Faraj stressed that “the cooperation between Palestinian security apparatuses [and Israel] is carried out according to the clear and direct order of Palestinian President Mahmoud ‘Abbas.”

Kerry And Rice: Netanyahu “Aims To Destroy The Two-State Solution”

Kerry and Rice stressed that “Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu aims to destroy the two-state solution, and Dr. Saeb Erekat foresaw Netanyahu’s plan to create one state with two systems four years ago. The two said that Erekat’s prediction was highly accurate, and that all Netanyahu has to offer is maintaining the status quo, in addition to guarantees to improve [Palestinian] living conditions,” the report stated.

“John Kerry And Susan Rice Asked That The Meetings Be Classified ‘Top Secret'”

Finally, the report stated: “John Kerry and Susan Rice asked that the meetings be classified ‘Top Secret’ and that what went on in them not be leaked, in light of the sensitivity of the transition between the two U.S. administrations.”

“The Palestinian delegation,” it said, “asked Kerry and Rice to reexamine the financial aid to the PA and not to reduce it, as they did when they cut it from $150 million in 2011 to $100 million in 2012, with the current aid proposal being only $39 million. According to the meeting’s minutes, the Palestinian side revealed that [U.S.]  financial aid to the PA was $400-$500 million between 2008 and 2013, and was cut to $370 million in 2014 and 2015, and then cut again to $290 million in 2016.[6]

“The Palestinian side praised the American administration’s aid to UNRWA, which averaged $277 million per year between 2009 and 2016, and asked for it to be increased in order to cover UNRWA’s $101 million deficit in 2016.”

 

[1] Wafa.ps, December 28, 2016.

[2] Al-Yawm Al-Sabi’ (Egypt), December 27, 2016.

[3] The Framework Agreement was proposed by Kerry in February 2014. According to Thomas Friedman of the New York Times, this agreement included: Gradual Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank; Israel retaining some West Bank settlements in return for Israeli land given over to Palestinian control; security arrangements in the Jordan Valley for Israel’s defense; Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state within the 1948 borders; a right of return to the 1967, rather than the 1948, borders; and a Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem.

[4] 22 USC Ch. 61 designates the PLO as a terrorist organization, banning it from operating in the U.S. See Uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?path=/prelim@title22/chapter61&edition=prelim

[5] See MEMRI Inquiry & Analysis No. 1283, Fatah’s Seventh General Conference Will Convene Under The Shadow Of The ‘Abbas-Dahlan Struggle, November 28, 2016; Inquiry & Analysis No. 1282, The ‘Abbas-Dahlan Power Struggle Over The Palestinian Presidential Succession, November 28, 2016; Special Dispatch No. 6684, Reports In Arab Press: ‘Abbas Resisted Arab League Pressure To Appoint Successor – Despite Threats Of Sanctions Against Him, November 18, 2016; Inquiry & Analysis No. 1270, Tension Between Mahmoud ‘Abbas, Arab Quartet Over Initiative For Internal Reconciliation In Fatah, September 27, 2016; and Inquiry & Analysis No. 1290, Fatah’s Seventh General Conference Bolsters ‘Abbas’s Standing; Contradictory Messages In ‘Abbas Statements On Terror, Negotiations With Israel, December 21, 2016.

[6] All conflicting numbers mentioned above appear as is in the report.

UN, Obama Further Radicalize Palestinians

December 29, 2016

UN, Obama Further Radicalize Palestinians, Gatestone InstituteKhaled Abu Toameh, December 29, 2016

Last week’s UN Security Council resolution sent the following message to the Palestinians: Forget about negotiating with Israel. Just pressure the international community to force Israel to comply with the resolution and surrender up all that you demand.

One thing is certain: Abbas and his Palestinian Authority cronies are not planning to return to the negotiating table with Israel. In fact, they are more belligerent, confrontational and defiant than ever. They have chosen the path of confrontation, and not direct negotiations — to force Israel to its knees.

One of Abbas’s close associates, Mohamed Shtayyeh, hinted that the resolution should be regarded as a green light not only to boycott Israel, but also to use violence against it. He said that this is the time to “bolster the popular resistance” against Israel. “Popular resistance” is code for throwing stones and firebombs, and carrying out stabbing and car-ramming attacks against Israelis.

The resolution has also encouraged the Palestinians to pursue their narrative that Jews have no historical, religious or emotional attachment to Jerusalem or any other part of Israel.

The Gaza-based Hamas and Islamic Jihad see the resolution as another step toward their goal of replacing Israel with an Islamic empire, and to “liberate all of Palestine.” When Hamas talks about “resistance,” it means suicide bombings and rockets against Israel — it does not believe in “light” terrorism such as stones and stabbings against Jews.

The UN’s highly touted “victory,” is a purely Pyrrhic one, in fact a true defeat to the peace process and to the few Arabs and Muslims who still believe in the possibility of coexistence with Israel.

The resolution has encouraged the Palestinians to move toward a diplomatic confrontation with Israel in the international arena, as well as increased terror attacks against Israel’s people — a harmful legacy of the Obama Administration.

 

Buoyed by the latest United Nations Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlements as illegal, Palestinian leaders are now threatening to step up their diplomatic warfare against Israel — a move that is sure to sabotage any future effort to revive the moribund peace process. Other Palestinians, meanwhile, view the resolution as license to escalate “resistance” attacks on Israel. By “resistance,” of course, they mean terror attacks against Israel.

The UNSC resolution sent the following message to the Palestinians: Forget about negotiating with Israel. Just pressure the international community to force Israel to comply with the resolution and surrender up all that you demand.

Meanwhile, the Palestinians are not wasting any time by waiting for the international community to act against Israel on their behalf. Rather, they are thinking of ways of taking advantage of the UNSC vote to promote their campaign to isolate and delegitimize Israel, especially in the international arena. One thing is certain: Abbas and his PA cronies are not plotting to return to the negotiating table with Israel. In fact, they are more belligerent, confrontational and defiant than ever.

In the days following the UNSC vote, the voices emerging from Ramallah and the Gaza Strip clearly indicate that Palestinians have put themselves on a collision course with Israel. This bodes badly for any peace process.

Earlier this week, Abbas convened the PLO Executive Committee — a decision-making body dominated by his loyalists — to discuss the implications of the new resolution. The declared purpose of the meeting: to discuss the decisions and strategy that the Palestinian leadership needs to take in the aftermath of the resolution.

The decisions announced following the PLO meeting are a clear sign of the new approach that Abbas and the Palestinian leadership have endorsed. The Palestinian leaders have chosen the path of confrontation, and not direct negotiations, with Israel. They see the UNSC resolution, particularly the US abstention, as a charge sheet against Israel that is to be leveraged in their diplomatic effort to force Israel to its knees.

The PLO decisions include, among other things, an appeal to the International Criminal Court (ICC) to launch an “immediate judicial investigation into Israeli colonial settlements on the land of the independent State of Palestine.” Another decision envisages asking Switzerland to convene a meeting to look into ways of forcing Israel to apply the Fourth Geneva Convention to the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem. The Geneva Convention, adopted in 1949, defines “humanitarian protections for civilians in a war zone.”

The appeal to the ICC and Switzerland is part of Abbas’s strategy to “internationalize” the conflict with Israel by involving as many parties as possible. In this context, Abbas is hoping that the UNSC resolution will ensure the “success” of the upcoming French-initiated Middle East peace conference, which is slated to convene in Paris next month. For Abbas, the conference is another tool to isolate Israel in the international community, and depict it as a country that rejects peace with its Arab neighbors.

In addition, Abbas and his lieutenants in Ramallah are now seeking to exploit the UNSC resolution to promote boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel. “The PLO Executive Committee renews its call to the world countries for a comprehensive and full boycott of Israeli colonialist settlements in all fields, as well as all companies working in or dealing with these settlements.” One of Abbas’s close associates, Mohamed Shtayyeh, hinted that the UNSC resolution should be regarded as a green light not only to boycott Israel, but also to use violence against it. He said that this is the time to “bolster the popular resistance” against Israel. “Popular resistance” is code for throwing stones and petrol bombs and carrying out stabbing and car-ramming attacks against Israelis.

The UNSC resolution has also encouraged the Palestinians to pursue their narrative that Jews have no historical, religious or emotional attachment to Jerusalem or any other part of Israel. Sheikh Ekrimah Sabri, a leading Palestinian Islamic cleric and preacher at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, was quick to declare that the Western Wall, the holiest Jewish site in Jerusalem, belongs only to Muslims. Referring to the wall by its Islamic name, Sheikh Sabri announced: “The Al-Buraq Wall is the western wall of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Muslims cannot give it up.”

So while Abbas and his Palestinian Authority consider the UNSC resolution a license to proceed with their diplomatic warfare to delegitimize and isolate Israel, Hamas and Islamic Jihad, the two groups that seek the elimination of Israel, are also celebrating. The two Gaza-based groups see the resolution as another step toward achieving their goal of replacing Israel with an Islamic empire. Leaders and spokesmen of Hamas and Islamic Jihad were among the first Palestinians to heap praise on the UNSC members who voted in favor of the resolution. They are also openly stating that the resolution authorizes them to step up the “resistance” against Israel in order to “liberate all of Palestine.”

“Resistance is the only means to end the settlements,” said a Hamas spokesman in the Gaza Strip. “We appreciate the position of those countries that voted against settlements.” He also seized the opportunity to renew Hamas’s demand that the Palestinian Authority stop all forms of cooperation with Israel, first and foremost security coordination.

When Hamas talks about “resistance,” it means launching suicide bombings and rockets against Israel. The Islamist movement does not believe in “light” terrorism such as stones and knife stabbings against Jews.

Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal, who is based in Qatar, reacted to the UNSC vote by saying that the world should now support his movement’s terror campaign against Israel. “We want the world to stand with the Palestinian resistance because it is just,” he said. “The armed resistance is the path to liberate Palestine and Jerusalem. Hamas is continuing to manufacture and smuggle weapons in preparation for a confrontation with Israel.” Mashaal did not forget to praise the US Administration’s abstention as a “correction of some American policies.”

Islamic Jihad, for its part, characterized the UNSC resolution as a “victory” for the Palestinians because it enables them to “isolate and boycott Israel” and file charges against it with international institutions. Daoud Shehab, one of the leaders of Islamic Jihad, added that the resolution means that Arabs should stop any effort to “normalize” relations with Israel or conduct security cooperation with it. The Arabs and Muslims should now work toward confronting and deterring Israel, he said.

Clearly, Hamas and Islamic Jihad see the UNSC resolution as a warning to all Arabs and Muslims against seeking any form of “normalization” with Israel. The two groups are referring to the Palestinian Authority, whose security forces continue to conduct security coordination with Israel in the West Bank, and to those Arab countries that have been rumored to be moving toward some form of rapprochement with Israel. The UN’s highly touted “victory,” is a purely Pyrrhic one, in fact a true defeat to the peace process and to the few Arabs and Muslims who still believe in the possibility of coexistence with Israel.

Thus, the UNSC resolution already has had several consequences, none of which will enhance peace between Israelis and Palestinians. Apart from giving a green light to Palestinian groups that wish to destroy Israel, the resolution has prompted Abbas and the Palestinian Authority to toughen their stance, and appear to be more radical than the radicals. Far from moving the region toward peace, the resolution has encouraged the Palestinians to move forward in two parallel paths – one toward a diplomatic confrontation with Israel in the international arena, and the other in increased terror attacks against its people. The coming weeks and months will witness mounting violence on the part of Palestinians toward Israelis – a harmful legacy of the Obama Administration.