Posted tagged ‘Palestine’

Kaf Tet beNovember: 70 years since UN Resolution 181

November 29, 2017

Kaf Tet beNovember: 70 years since UN Resolution 181 | Anne’s Opinions, 29th November 2017

Today 29th November, or as it is quirkily called in Hebrew “kaf tet beNovember”, is the 70th anniversary of the fateful UN Resolution 181 which aimed to partition Palestine and created a Jewish area and an Arab area. As we all know, the resolution was rejected by the Arabs who never fulfilled any of its provisions or conditions, while it was accepted in full by the Jews. No sooner had the vote passed in the UN than 5 Arab armies invaded the newborn Jewish state with the overt intent of destroying it before it was born. They lost the war and the rest is history.

It would serve us well to recall the events of that historic day. The Israel-advocacy organization Legal Grounds, which promotes Israel’s legal rights to all the Land of Israel, sent out this important backgrounder with vital facts that are either unknown, misunderstood or ignored:

INFORMATION ALERT: 70 YEARS SINCE RESOLUTION 181

In June, Attorney Karen Stahl-Don made a presentation in The Hague, on behalf of the Legal Grounds Campaign, on the subject of UNGA Resolution 181 of 1947:

The Resolution, which is often misunderstood, was merely a recommendation and carried no weight in international law.

Palestinian Arabs refer to it as “The Partition Plan,” claiming, after all this time, that it gives them rights to a state. This is blatantly false, as they rejected this plan 70 years ago. According to international law, a party that rejects an agreement does not retain any rights based on that agreement.

What is more, the recommendation was not simply that two states, one Jewish and one Arab, be established. It proposed that two states be joined by an economic union, with a myriad of requirements. The states were to share currency, transportation, postal systems, and a great deal more; both were to be democratic, provide civil rights and prohibit discrimination.

Israel accepted this partition. However, acceptance was premised on what was described in the Resolution: economic cooperation and peaceful coexistence. Israel never agreed to disregard the nature of the Arab state recommended for creation at its border.

In the end, Resolution 181 was abandoned and never came to fruition. The UN Palestine Commission charged with facilitating the Resolution never even met, and the Security Council would not lend support. The Commission was officially relieved of its duties.

Israel, the sole party to accept Resolution 181, is not responsible for its failure, and is certainly not in violation of international law by not complying with it now.

Keep this last paragraph in mind as we now read of the UN’s efforts to delegitimize Israel on a daily basis.

In order to “celebrate” this auspicious day, the UN – as it has done every year for 70 years – makes it its business hold an International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. Not the International Day of Solidarity with Israelis and Palestinians mind you. Just those most pampered self-made “refugees” in the world, the Palestinians, who only arrived at this glorified status because of their constant rejection of any Jewish State, of any size, anywhere in the Middle East at all.

Isn’t it pathetic that the UN (Useless Nations) cannot find it within themselves to celebrate a National Day for the Inalienable Rights of the Jewish People to their own Homeland in the State of Israel.

Surely after 70 years it is about time that the UN gave up this charade? Gerald Steinberg of NGO Monitor demanded of the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres that the UN repudiate its ingrained anti-Israel hatred:

The seventieth anniversary of the passage of UN Resolution 181 partitioning Palestine into Jewish and Arab states on November 29 will be marked by UN offices around the world as the “International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.” The global organization first designated the date as a day of Palestinian solidarity in 1977, with a General Assembly resolution authorizing the practice as an “annual observance.”

In a letter to Guterres, Prof. Gerald Steinberg – president of the Jerusalem-based NGO Monitor – argued that the Day of Solidarity, along with the numerous UN bodies that promote an anti-Israel agenda through various pro-Palestinian committees and agencies, undermine the UN’s stated desire for peace based on a “two-state” solution.

“Too often, UN officials are willing and active players in this dynamic, applying double standards and singling out Israel for attack,” Steinberg wrote. “Next week, as occurs every year, the UN will hold a special meeting in Geneva on the occasion of ‘International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People,’ featuring anti-Israel demagogues and highlighting agendas that undermine the spirit of UNGA 181.” Among the events planned is a photographic exhibition at UN Headquarters in New York entitled “The Palestinian People: Everlasting Roots, Infinite Horizons.” The exhibition, according to the UN’s web page devoted to the “Question of Palestine,” “…celebrates the lives and careers of Palestinians who have contributed to humanity in different walks of life, in the face of extraordinary challenges. The UN General Assembly will also hold its annual debate on the question of Palestine on this day.”

Steinberg highlighted a number of UN bodies – such as its dedicated Division for Palestinian Rights and its annual condemnation of Israel through the UN Human Rights Council’s Agenda Item 7 – as contributing decisively to the anti-Israel environment at the UN. The Division for Palestinian Rights in turn services the “Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People” (CEIRPP), created on November 10, 1975 – in the same session of the General Assembly that passed the infamous Resolution 3379 denouncing Zionism as a “form of racism.”

In his letter to Guterres, Steinberg pointed out that the UN spends millions of dollars on pro-Palestinian activities every year. “In October 2017, 24 separate UN agencies contracted with the Palestinian Authority to spend more than $18 million on campaigns aimed at isolating Israel through coordinated political, economic, and legal attacks,” he noted, emphasizing the need for the UN as a whole to “accept the obligation to end the rampant and systematic discrimination against Israel that currently plagues the UN.

“A good place to start will be in your remarks to be read on November 29 in Geneva at the forthcoming ‘Special Meeting on the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People,’” Steinberg told Guterres. “Your repudiation of anti-Israel hate and rejectionism on this occasion would send a strong message that the vision and principles expressed in the 1947 Partition Plan remain guiding principles in the UN.”

The amount of money spent pampering the Palestinians is mind-boggling. Imagine how many genuine refugees and other minorities could be assisted with this money.

Gutteres is actually relatively sympathetic to Israel, but whether he will have the intestinal fortitude to stand up and condemn his own institution’s racism is another matter. And if he does, will his words be heeded? I doubt it somehow.

Meanwhile, over in Geneva at the UN Human Rights Wrongs Council, the 29th November – in fact any day at all – is a day to be marked by condemning Israel for .. well…. anything it can think of. The most popular crime du jour is the settlements of course, and the HRC last year put together a list of companies “profiting” from the settlements – and that includes neighbourhoods of Jerusalem and other major cities – so that their products should be boycotted. Doesn’t this have echoes of a much darker time in our history? 1933 anyone? And then in September the UN began sending out warning letters to these companies that they will be added to this blacklist:

The UN’s Human Rights Commissioner began sending letters two weeks ago to 150 companies in Israel and around the world, warning them that they are about to be added to a database of companies doing business in Israeli settlements in the West Bank and in East Jerusalem, senior Israeli officials and Western diplomats involved in the matter told Haaretz.

The Israeli official, who requested to stay anonymous due to the sensitivity of the issue, noted that the letters, sent by Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, said these firms were doing business in the “occupied Palestinian territories” and could thus find themselves on the UN blacklist for companies acting in violation of “internal law and UN decisions.” The letters, copies of which also reached the Israeli government, request that these firms send the commission clarifications about their business activities in settlements.

The Washington Post reported in August that among the American companies that received letters were Caterpillar, Priceline.com, TripAdvisor and Airbnb. According to the same report, the Trump administration is trying to work with the UN Commission on Human Rights to prevent the list’s publication. Israel’s Channel 2 reported two weeks ago that the list includes some of the biggest companies in Israel, such as Teva, Bank Hapoalim, Bank Leumi, Bezeq, Elbit, Coca-Cola Israel, Africa-Israel, IDB, Egged, Mekorot and Netafim.

Senior Israeli officials said the Israeli fear of divestment or scaled-down business due to the blacklist is already becoming a reality. They said that the Economy Ministry’s Office of Strategic Affairs has already received information that a number of companies who received the letters have responded to the human rights commissioner by saying they do not intend to renew contracts or sign new ones in Israel.

“These companies just can’t make the distinction between Israel and the settlements and are ending their operations all together,” the senior Israeli official said. “Foreign companies will not invest in something that reeks of political problems – this could snowball.”

Countering this vicious boycott attempt, fighting fire with fire, a pro-Israel law group, The Lawfare Project, has announced that companies targeted by the UN HRC for working in the settlements will have legal recourse:

International firms targeted by the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) for doing business with Israeli settlements will have legal recourse, a US-based pro-Israel nonprofit law group noted this week.

It is expected that a “blacklist” of such companies will be published by the UNHRC by the end of this year — a move which both the US and Israel oppose and are lobbying against.

According to the Washington Post, the list could include Caterpillar, TripAdvisor, Priceline.com and Airbnb.

On Monday, the Lawfare Project issued a statement saying the purpose of the UNHRC’s potential action was “clear” — “to coerce the blacklisted companies into reducing or ceasing their Israeli operations, and/or to prompt other business entities (and consumers) to boycott or refuse to deal with the named companies.”

However, the Lawfare Project continued, “what the UNHRC seems to ignore, perhaps purposefully, is that compliance by business enterprises with the boycott of Israel can violate a slew of US federal and state laws.”

“It comes as no surprise that the proponents of the Israeli boycott — the Human Rights Council, NGOs, Arab League member states, and others — do not acknowledge the serious legal implications of actually carrying out the discriminatory conduct for which they advocate,” Benjamin Ryberg — the Lawfare Project’s chief operating officer and director of research — said.

… “When corporations are faced with such proposals or consider implementing boycotts based on the HRC’s database, it is imperative that they are well-versed in the relevant laws so that they can act in their own self-interest, which is to firmly reject the boycott,” he went on to say. “To this end, the Lawfare Project drafted a comprehensive analysis of US and foreign law relating to the boycott of Israel, which we have disseminated to a number of Fortune 500 companies that have been or may be targeted. Our aim is not to threaten legal action, but to prepare these entities to protect themselves from liability that could ensue should they succumb to pressure from the boycott campaign.”

Good for them! Kol hakavod to the activists in the Lawfare Project for throwing the boycott back in the UN’s face, and equally as important, for involving Congress in this anti-boycott legislation:

Lawfare Project Director Brooke Goldstein stated, “For years, the Human Rights Council has focused obsessively and disproportionately on Israel, while turning a blind eye to the most egregious and rampant human rights violators in the Middle East and around the world. With this blacklist, the HRC continues to unabashedly devote disproportionate resources to foment discrimination based on national origin. It continues to make a mockery of its mission to the detriment of human rights worldwide.”

Lawrence Hill — the chairman of the Lawfare Project’s board — said the UNHRC’s “farcical conduct” demonstrated the necessity of the Israel Anti-Boycott Act — which is currently making its way through Congress.

The six Nos of the Arabs besides the 3 Nos of Khartoum

As a reminder of the complete irrelevance of the settlements to the Palestinian’s self-made predicament, it is worthwhile looking back at the article written by John B McCormick, (chairman of Hawke’s Bay Friends of Israel Association and a member of Hawke’s Bay Branch of NZ Institute of International Affairs) which was published in Hawke’s Bay Today newspaper back in January 2017, which I quoted from in this blog at the time. Here is a relevant excerpt:

The focal point for peace efforts was (and many say should still be) UNSC Resolution 242 of November 1967 – the way the UN dealt with the outcome of the 1967 Six Day War. This requires an understanding of its wording. It calls for:
Clause 1 (I) Withdrawal of Israel armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict;

It is very precise wording. The words “all” or “all the” are not used. The UK’s UN Ambassador Lord Caradon who helped write 242 said in 1978: “We didn’t say there should be a withdrawal to the 67 line, we did not put the ‘THE’ in, we did not say ‘all the’ territories deliberately… we all knew – that the boundaries of 67 were not drawn as permanent frontiers, they were a ceasefire line of a couple of decades earlier…. We did not say that the 67 boundaries must be forever.”

President Johnson said in 1968 relating to UNSC242 that “We are not the ones to say where other nations should draw lines between them that will assure each the greatest security. It is clear however that a return to the situation of June 4 1967 will not bring peace.”

In 2005 Israel withdrew completely from the Gaza Strip without any kind of peace agreement. At the same time they also withdrew from the West bank city of Jenin and four nearby settlements, again without any agreement. The Palestinian response was indiscriminate firing of rockets from Gaza into Israel.

The British were granted the mandate for Palestine at the San Remo Conference in 1920.
In 1921 Britain separated what we now know as Jordan from the rest of the mandate, making Transjordan the Arab Palestinian State on 78 per cent of the mandate area, and banned Jewish settlement east of the River Jordan. In 1923 Britain ceded the Golan Heights to the French mandate of Syria. The remaining mandate area, 22 per cent of the original total, was to be the Jewish homeland. Read it for yourself! Do the UN and the Arabs want to go there?

So where to now? On January 3 on Palestinian TV Palestine Liberation Organisation executive committee member Hanan Ashrawi, said: “We have refused and still refuse to say that Israel is a Jewish state.” The PLO was formed in 1964 when there was no Israeli occupied territory.

So until there is a Palestinian leadership that accepts Israel as the Jewish State nothing much will happen.

And I will leave it to the redoubtable Melanie Phillips who succinctly sums up the entire argument about the irrelevance of settlements to the Arab-Israeli conflict in her article: The signature cause of Western progressives is purging every Jew from Israel:

MEMRI has translated a report in the the Urdu daily Roznama Urdu Times in wihich al Habbash said: “Every Palestinian will continue the struggle till the complete freedom of Palestine. Those who started the movement for the freedom of Palestine took a pledge, while leaving this world, from the next generation that it will continue this struggle until the land of the first qibla [direction of prayer, i.e. Palestine] is purified of the impious existence of Jews.”

As is clear from the rest of his remarks, he was not talking merely about the “West Bank” and Gaza. He meant the whole of Israel would be “purified” of Jews. This man does not speak for Hamas. He is part of the Palestinian Authority, regarded by the west as “moderate”, and religious adviser to Abbas, regarded by the west as a statesman-in-waiting.

Western “progressives” support the Palestinian Authority and support the Palestinan cause. What do they imagine Mahmoud al Habbash means by the world “purified”? How do they think he intends to put that word into practice in Israel? I’ll give them a clue. It will involve, at the very least, a war of annihilation, racist ethnic cleansing and mass murder.

Only when the West finally admit to themselves that what they are working for is ethnic cleansing of the worst sort against the Jews, and when they apply the force of law and morals to the Palestinians, to all the Arab states and their international supporters, only then will we have a chance for peace.

‘State of Palestine’ Becomes Member of Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague

March 17, 2016

State of Palestine’ Becomes Member of Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague

by Breitbart Jerusalem

16 Mar 2016

Source: ‘State of Palestine’ Becomes Member of Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague – Breitbart

The Associated Press

The Jerusalem Post reports:

The Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague announced on Tuesday that the State of Palestine has joined it, becoming its 118th member state.

It is unclear how significant an achievement joining the PCA is with the Palestinians likely to brandish it as supporting their joining the International Criminal Court and Israel likely to underplay it.

At press time, the Palestinian Authority had not responded to inquiries and the Foreign Ministry responded, “this is a legal body which is not among the more important ones. What a waste that the Palestinians continue to invest efforts to be accepted into these kinds of bodies instead of returning to the negotiating table.”

Israel opposes any recognition of Palestine as a state outside of bilateral negotiations.

The ICC Prosecution in January 2015 accepted Palestine as a state for purposes of opening an examination of the 2014 Gaza war crimes allegations and of the settlements enterprise, but Israel has been trying to convince it to back away from this position.

Tuesday’s news only complicates Israel’s efforts, even as the PCA is much less prominent now than the ICC.

Read the full story.

Israel’s Security and Unintended Consequences

October 23, 2014

Israel’s Security and Unintended Consequences, Gatestone InstituteRichard Kemp, October 26, 2014

(Please see also Terror attack by vehicle in Jerusalem – 3-month old baby killed — DM)

Would General Allen — or any other general today — recommend contracting out his country’s defenses if it were his country at stake? Of course not.

The Iranian regime remains dedicated to undermining and ultimately destroying the State of Israel. The Islamic State also has Israel in its sights and would certainly use the West Bank as a point from which to attack, if it were open to them.

There can be no two-state solution and no sovereign Palestinian Arab state west of the Jordan, however desirable those things might be. The stark military reality is that Israel cannot withdraw its forces from the West Bank.

Fatah leaders ally themselves with the terrorists of Hamas, and, like Hamas, they continue to reject the every existence of the State of Israel.

If Western leaders actually want to help, they should use all diplomatic and economic means to make it clear to the Palestinians that they will never achieve an independent and sovereign state while they remain set on the destruction of the State of Israel.

When in 1942 American General Douglas MacArthur took command of the defense of Australia against imminent Japanese invasion, one of the plans he rejected was to withdraw and fight behind the Brisbane line, a move that would have given large swathes of territory to the Japanese.

Instead, he adopted a policy of forward defense: advancing northwards out of Australia to attack the Japanese on the island of New Guinea. MacArthur then went on to play a pivotal role in the defeat of the Japanese empire.

At the end of last year, during the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations involving U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, another extremely able and widely respected American General, John Allen, drew up a plan progressively to withdraw Israeli forces from the West Bank and hand over Israel’s forward defense to a combination of Palestinian Arab forces, international monitors and technology.

Given the range of existential threats emanating from, or through, the West Bank today, known and unknown threats that will develop tomorrow, and the exceptional geographical vulnerability of the State of Israel, such a proposal is blatantly untenable. No other country would take risks with the lives of its people and the integrity of its territory by contracting out their defenses in this way — nor should it.

753General Douglas MacArthur (left) strongly believed in forward defense. General John Allen (right) also believes in forward defense — but for U.S. forces only, not for the Israel’s military defending its borders.

Britain, for example, where no such existential threats exist, even refuses to adopt the EU’s Schengen arrangements, which would hand over the security of UK borders to Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Spain, Italy and its other European neighbors. It is a long-standing opt-out that looks wiser by the day as international jihadist aggression against the West increases.

General MacArthur would never have recommended the “Allen Plan.” MacArthur, however, was not then under the same political pressure as General Allen. If he had been, he would have repulsed it. In 1934, as Army Chief of Staff, he argued against President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s intention to cut drastically the Army’s budget with such vehemence that he vomited on the steps of the White House as he was leaving.

Would General Allen – or any other general today – recommend a similar plan to his own president, if it were not Israel’s security, but the security of the United States, that was at stake? Of course he would not.

Indeed, U.S. generals unsuccessfully argued the opposite course of action when U.S. President Barack Obama decided on a total withdrawal of US forces from Iraq in 2011, a move that made inevitable the resurgence of large-scale violent jihad.

General Allen is now leading the American and allied forward defensive operations against the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq [ISIS]. In the face of what he has defined as a “clear and present danger to the US,” he is not recommending withdrawal of American forces back into the continental United States and reliance on Arab forces, peacekeepers and technology to protect U.S. interests. The reverse, in fact, is true.

The reverse is also true for the forward defensive operations of the U.S. and its Western allies against violent jihad in Yemen, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Mali, Somalia and elsewhere. All are significant threats to the West, yet none is as immediate and dangerous as the threat to Israel from an undefended West Bank.

Despite the determination of so many in the West erroneously to view the Israel-Palestine conflict as a mere territorial dispute that could be settled if only the so-called “occupation” ended, the forward defensive measures necessary for other Western nations are necessary for Israel as well. The stark military reality is that Israel cannot withdraw its forces from the West Bank — either now or at any point in the foreseeable future.

For those willing to see with clarity and speak with honesty, that conclusion has been obvious for many years. It is even more obvious, perhaps, for leaders with direct responsibility — such as General MacArthur had in Australia in 1942 — than for those who do not have to live with the consequences of their actions — such as General Allen in Israel in 2013.

Recent events have made this reality even more certain. Through incessant rocket fire and the construction of a sophisticated tunnel system to abduct and massacre Israeli civilians on a large scale, Hamas has just delivered another powerful object lesson in the consequences of IDF withdrawal.

Fatah leaders may take a somewhat different stance for international consumption, but they ally themselves with the proscribed terrorists of Hamas. And, like Hamas, in reality they continue to reject the very existence of the State of Israel. They apparently continue to want only a one-state solution: Arab rule from the river to the sea, with the ethnic cleansing of the Jews that would follow.

They are consistently encouraged in this intent, both wittingly and unwittingly, by Western nations, particularly in Europe. Not least by Sweden’s commitment in September to support a unilateral Palestinian state, the UK Parliament’s recent vote for the same thing, and similar moves across Europe that are likely in the coming weeks and months.

Especially with such encouragement, there is no possibility that Palestinian Arab political leaders’ rejection of the Jewish State will modify in the foreseeable future. The launch pad that an IDF-free West Bank would provide for attacks against Israel is so dangerous it makes even Gaza look about as threatening as Switzerland.

The external threats are at least as serious as those from within the West Bank. Despite the wishful thinking of many Western leaders and the alluring grins from Tehran, the Iranian regime remains dedicated to undermining and ultimately destroying the State of Israel. By funding and fomenting violence, Iran’s leadership will continue to exploit the Palestinian Arab populations in both Gaza and the West Bank to these ends.

Those who are currently arguing for Israeli military withdrawal from the West Bank and the establishment of a sovereign state must have missed the war General Allen is fighting against the Islamic State [IS] and their jihadist bedfellows across the border in Syria. The Islamic State also has Israel in its sights and would certainly use the West Bank as a point from which to attack, if it were open to them. In the hands of international monitors and Palestinian Arab forces, the West Bank would be wide open to them.

We have only to look at the reaction to aggression of almost all international peacekeepers over the decades to know they would not last five minutes. And we have only to look at the performance of the battle-hardened Syrian and Iraqi armies when confronted by Islamic State fighters to know how long Palestinian Arab forces would withstand such aggression, whether by infiltration or frontal assault.

Whatever happens to the Islamic State in the future, this resurgent Islamist belligerence is not a flash in the pan. On the contrary, it has been building for decades, and President Obama, UK Prime Minister David Cameron and other world leaders acknowledge it as a generational struggle.

This means that for Israel, as far as the West Bank is concerned, both the enemy within and the enemy without are here to stay. And if the IDF has no choice but to remain in the West Bank to defend Israel, there can be no two state solution and no sovereign Palestinian Arab state west of the Jordan, however desirable those things might be.

Nor can there be a one-state solution with democratic rights for all because that would spell the end of the one and only democratic and Jewish state and the beginning of a new autocracy and the next exodus of the Jews.

For those who do not want that to happen, the harsh reality is continuation of the status quo. But the status quo can be significantly improved, by gradual and progressive increases to PA autonomy in the West Bank, to the point where a state exists in virtually all aspects other than military security. That progress can only be achieved through low-key bilateral negotiations with concessions from both sides. It cannot be achieved by Kerry-like peace processes that demand big sweeping strokes to deliver groundbreaking, legacy-delivering announcements.

Nor can such progress be achieved in the face of a Western world that reflexively condemns every move Israel makes and encourages the Palestinian Arabs to believe that the fantasy of a two-state solution or a one-state solution on their terms can become a reality in the foreseeable future.

As so often in the paradoxical world of geopolitics, the well-meaning actions and words of national leaders and international organizations have unintended consequences. For the Israel-Palestine situation, the unintended consequences of Western actions are to deprive Palestinian Arabs of increased freedom and prosperity and to undermine the security of the only stable, liberal democratic state in the Middle East. If the West actually wants to help, its leaders need to face up to this unpalatable truth rather than continue to delude the Palestinian people as well as themselves.

Instead, Western leaders should use all available diplomatic and economic means to make it clear to the Palestinians that they will never achieve an independent and sovereign state while they remain set on the destruction of the State of Israel and while they continue to brainwash future generations to believe in that goal.

What the World Needs Now Is… Another Arab State?

October 22, 2014

What the World Needs Now Is… Another Arab State?

Advocacy for “Palestine” breaks all records for irrationality.

October 21, 2014 – 12:29 am

 by P. David Hornik

via PJ Media » What the World Needs Now Is… Another Arab State?.

 

 

Images smuggled out of the Syrian war are so horrific that the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum has put them on display. Cameron Hudson, director of the museum’s Center for the Prevention of Genocide, told AP that the images

show dozens of bodies lined up or piled atop one another with their faces obscured. Others show the effects of deprivation and torture, including electrocution, gouged out eyes and removed genitals…. [T]he images of Syrian corpses from detention centers share striking similarities with those of concentration camps during the Holocaust.

Meanwhile there is continued strong advocacy for creating another Arab state just to the southwest of Syria—in “Palestine.” Earlier this month the Obama administration had a temper tantrum at Israel for building homes for Jews in parts of Jerusalem that, the administration thinks, must become part of that state. Almost simultaneously the new Swedish prime minister recognized the not-yet-existent Palestine. And the British Parliament in a nonbinding vote has now also “recognized Palestine.”

Is there a connection between what is happening in Syria and prospective “Palestine”? If the Syrian situation was anomalous in the Arab world, or perhaps even unusual, one could say that drawing a connection between Syria and “Palestine” is specious. Of course, that is hardly the case.

390px-Saddam_Hussein_at_trial,_July_2004

It’s not only that Arab states like Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and Libya are now imploding or, like Egypt and Lebanon, racked by severe strife and instability. Arab states have a history of just the sort of mass-scale horrors now occurring in Syria.

In Iraq, Saddam Hussein

murdered as many as a million of his people, many with poison gas. He tortured, maimed and imprisoned countless more. His unprovoked invasion of Iran is estimated to have left another million people dead.

In the Lebanese Civil War (1975-1990) about 120,000 people were killed, many of them in massacres of Christians and Muslims. Mass slaughter is also not new to Syria; in 1982 the Syrian army massacred about 20,000 Sunni Muslims in the town of Hama, reportedly using cyanide gas. Egypt also used poison gas in the North Yemen Civil War (1962-1970).

Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, and Yemen are heterogeneous Arab countries. But in predominantly Sunni Arab (with some Berber ethnicity) Algeria, the 1990-2002 civil war between Islamists and regime forces claimed about 100,000 lives, including massacres of whole villages by the Islamists.

shutterstock_69848905

And then there is Sudan, which somehow is kept out of the headlines despite its still-raging genocidal conflict in which

[e]stimates of the number of human casualties range up to several hundred thousand dead, from either combat or starvation and disease. Mass displacements and coercive migrations forced millions into refugee camps or across the border, creating a humanitarian crisis. US Secretary of State Colin Powell, described the situation as a genocide or acts of genocide.[13]

Given this backdrop, and given the fact that instability, terror, and atrocities in the Arab world are now at a peak, isn’t it strange that calls to create “Palestine” continue unperturbed? What would life be like in the Palestinian state? How would its existence affect world stability and security—let alone Israel’s stability and security?

As Jonathan Tobin notes on Commentary’s blog, we already have partial answers to those questions: a de facto Palestinian state already exists in Gaza, and a highly autonomous Palestinian entity already exists in the West Bank. The former, Gaza, is a “terrorist Hamas state” that fired 4500 rockets into Israel this summer. The latter, the West Bank, is

a corrupt kleptocracy run by Mahmoud Abbas, a man currently serving the 10th year of a four-year presidential term. The Fatah-ruled West Bank is a petty tyranny that oppresses and robs Palestinians while raking in billions in economic aid from Europe and the United States.

And what if the Palestinians were to be left to their own devices through the creation of “Palestine”?

shutterstock_206342266

The Palestinians, like the Algerians, are a relatively homogeneous, predominantly Sunni Arab group. But considering that Fatah and Hamas already fought a brutal civil war in Gaza in 2007, that Hamas is much more popular than Abbas on the West Bank, and that the only factor currently protecting Abbas from a Hamas takeover is the Israeli army, the practical outcome of “Palestinian independence” would be murderous internecine strife followed by the emergence of an antisemitic, anti-Western, jihadist, terror-incubating, Hamas sharia state embracing both Gaza and the West Bank.

As David P. Goldman has discussed on PJ Media, a European mindset formed by antisemitism and fierce aversion to Israeli nationalism makes rational European policy toward “Israel and Palestine” an impossibility. There is still hope, though, for a U.S. administration—not the current one—that could drop the Palestinian obsession, treat Israel as an ally without constantly harassing it, and relate rationally to actual situations that exist in the Middle East without imposing obvious misconceptions.

John Kerry’s Dangerous Worldview

October 19, 2014

John Kerry’s Dangerous Worldview, IsraellycoolMirabelle, October 19, 2014

(Please watch the Kerry video at the bottom, or at least the part about Israel, “Palestine” and world peace beginning at 11:20. The world is probably not completely insane — yet: Kerry did not blame Israel or the Jews for the Holocaust and World War II. — DM)

Kerry’s scapegoating of Israel has become a dangerous pattern, one that is indicative of a worldview that underlies his behavior and his decisions with respect to the Jewish State.

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

The operative question for the US State Department now appears to be, is there anything left that John Kerry won’t blame on the Jews?

Earlier this year, the Secretary of State famously sat before Congress and blamed Israel for the failure of the peace talks that he pushed so hard for, even though, as was subsequently revealed, it was Kerry’s own miscommunications that doomed the talks from the start. Prior to that, he had implied that if a third intifada started, it would be Israel’s doing. Now it seems that, at a State Department event for the festival of Eid al-Adha onThursday, Kerry has blamed Israel for the rise of ISIS.

Kerry’s pronouncement calls to mind this satire piece from PreOccupied Territory, titled “Free Will Is Only For White People,” and “attributed” to Kerry’s former right-hand man and Qatar-stooge Martin Indyk:

Since Arabs, as nonwhites, lack free will, the only ethical method of achieving change is to demand concessions from Israel. A society or individual with genuine volition and sense of right and wrong could be held accountable for translating political grievances into the bombings of cafes and buses, but that is not how we, or our European allies, view the Palestinians. They have no choice but to resort to brutality, since that is their nature.

Satire. Except, it’s not. Kerry’s various statements about the peace talks, Palestinian terrorism, or ISIS all remove the agency of the actors involved. The individuals who join ISIS — at least those who are adults and not teenagers — do so of their own accord. They have agency, and they alone are responsible for their own actions. Kerry would never excuse the actions of a rapist on the ground that he had been provoked or led on by his victim. He should never justify the actions of the most depraved terrorists on the ground that they have a political gripe.

Taking this mentality a step further and making the claim that Israel’s actions towards the Palestinians have anything to do with the rise of ISIS requires a logical leap into the absurd. Kerry claimed that “there wasn’t a leader I met with in the region who didn’t raise with me spontaneously the need to try to get peace between Israel and the Palestinians, because it was a cause of recruitment and of street anger and agitation.” Even setting aside the issue of holding individuals to account for their own actions, one still must wonder, why Kerry would take such assertions at face value. ISIS directs its jihad against Christians, Yazidis, Kurds, and other Muslims but, somewhat surprisingly, it has not attacked Israel. If Israel were the source of ISIS rage, wouldn’t ISIS have attacked Israel? ISIS’s gripe, however, is with all of western society, not with Israel. And it recruits from Europe and the US, as well as from the Mideast. The suggestion that Israel has caused ISIS makes about as much sense as the suggestion that Israel has caused global warming. There simply is no cause-and-effect relationship.

The State Department’s division of black-is-white-and-day-is-night, in the person of Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf, has of course attempted to walk back Kerry’s comments, saying, Kerry “didn’t make a link between growth of ISIL and Israel, period.” But this is not a case of he said, she said, and it is not a case of misplaced context. Kerry’s entire speech is on theState Department website for anyone to see:

As I went around and met with people in the course of our discussions about the ISIL coalition, the truth is we – there wasn’t a leader I met with in the region who didn’t raise with me spontaneously the need to try to get peace between Israel and the Palestinians, because it was a cause of recruitment and of street anger and agitation that they felt – and I see a lot of heads nodding – they had to respond to. And people need to understand theconnection of that.

Doofus

That is to say, that in the context of discussions regarding ISIL/ISIS, other Arab leaders raised the issue of the Palestinians, and Kerry feels that people need to understand the connection. To say that this is not an attempt to link ISIS to the Palestinian issue is the most obfuscatory double-speak. For those who have the stomach for it, you can watch the video yourself, embedded below. The relevant comments start at about 11:20. Note the way that Kerry uses hand gestures for extra emphasis when he says “understand the connection.”

Kerry’s scapegoating of Israel has become a dangerous pattern, one that is indicative of a worldview that underlies his behavior and his decisions with respect to the Jewish State. Although Jeff Goldberg wrote persuasively in 2013 that “the past two years have proved the theory of linkage [i.e., the theory that the Mideast would be stable if the Israeli-Palestiniandispute were solved] to be comprehensively false,” Kerry appears unwilling to move on from it and to accept a more reality-based perspective. It is no wonder, then, that his actions in the Mideast have been, to put it kindly, ineffective.

In the same speech, Kerry also spoke about introspection on the Muslim and Jewish holidays. It seems that Kerry would benefit from some introspection of his own. In doing so, he might consider that, had he not been so obsessively focused on Israel and its real or perceived failings, he might have woken up to the ISIS threat sooner. He might also consider his own department’s definition of anti-semitism: “Accusing Jews as a people of being responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing committed by a single Jewish person or group, the state of Israel, or even for acts committed by non-Jews.” Kerry’s scapegoating of Israel for his own failures and for those of others is one of the most traditional forms of anti-Semitism around.

 

Sweden to be first EU country to recognize Palestine

October 3, 2014

Sweden to be first EU country to recognize Palestine

New PM voices support for two-state solution, peaceful coexistence

By Times of Israel staff  October 3, 2014, 5:43 pm

via Sweden to be first EU country to recognize Palestine | The Times of Israel.

 

Pro-Palestinian protestor holds Palestine scarf at Parisian demonstration on Saturday, July 26, 2014. (Glenn Cloarec/The Times of Israel)

Pro-Palestinian protestor holds Palestine scarf at Parisian demonstration on Saturday, July 26, 2014. (Glenn Cloarec/The Times of Israel)

weden’s new government is set to recognize the State of Palestine, in a move that will make it the first member of the European Union to do so.

During his inaugural speech Friday, Sweden’s Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said “the conflict between Israel and Palestine can only be solved with a two-state solution, negotiated in accordance with international law.”

“The two-state solution requires mutual recognition and a will to co-exist peacefully. Sweden will therefore recognize the state of Palestine,” he added, according to Reuters.

Several European countries including Hungary, Slovakia and Romania have given their recognition of Palestine as a state but did so before they became members of the EU.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is set to ask the UN Security Council to vote on a resolution that would seek an Israeli withdrawal to the pre-1967 lines in a timeframe of two years.

In November 2012, the UN General Assembly voted to upgrade Palestine’s status to “non-member observer state.”