Posted tagged ‘UN and Israel’

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.

Hamas’s Fatah and the No-State Solution

January 3, 2017

Hamas’s Fatah and the No-State Solution, Gatestone InstituteKhaled Abu Toameh, January 3, 2017

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas declared that 2017 will be the “year of international recognition of the State of Palestine.”

The melee in Gaza exposes as the lie that it is Abbas’s repeated claim of a unified Fatah able to lead the Palestinians towards statehood. Incredibly, Abbas seeks global recognition of a Palestinian state at a time when the flames in his own backyard are set to engulf him and his questionable regime.

More bad news from the poll: if presidential elections were to be held today, Ismail Haniyeh, leader of the terrorist group Hamas, would beat Abbas by 49% to 45%.

Palestinians are now openly talking about two different Fatah factions. After Abbas’s decision to strip the legislators of their parliamentary immunity, six Fatah PLC members participated in a Hamas-sponsored meeting of the PLC in the Gaza Strip. This was the first time since 2007 that such a move had been made.

Fatah leaders in the Gaza Strip, unlike their colleagues in the West Bank, are de facto recognizing the Hamas rule over the Gaza Strip. This is wonderful news for Hamas, whose leader, Ismail Haniyeh is likely to defeat Abbas in a presidential election.

The Fatah gunmen who marched in the Gaza Strip courtesy of Hamas are not supporters of Abbas. Instead, they represent the “other face” of Fatah — the one that does not believe in any peace process with Israel and shares Hamas’s ambition of destroying Israel.

During a celebration in Ramallah marking the 52nd anniversary of the founding of his Fatah faction, Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas declared that 2017 will be the “year of international recognition of the State of Palestine.” Hailing the recent anti-settlement UN Security Council resolution 2334, Abbas said he was prepared to work with the new administration of Donald Trump “to achieve peace in the region.”

But while Abbas and his lieutenants were celebrating in Ramallah, at least 11 Palestinians were wounded in a scuffle that erupted between rival Fatah factions in the Gaza Strip. According to sources in the Gaza Strip, the fight broke out between Abbas loyalists and supporters of estranged Fatah leader Mohammed Dahlan. The confrontation, which was the most violent between the two sides in many years, is yet another sign of increasing schism in Fatah. Moreover, it is an indication of how Abbas’s control over his own faction is slipping through his hands. Hamas policemen who were at the scene did not interfere to break up the fight between the warring Fatah activists.

The melee in Gaza exposes as the lie that is Abbas’s repeated claim of a unified Fatah, able to lead the Palestinians towards statehood. Incredibly, Abbas seeks global recognition of a Palestinian state at a time when the flames in his own backyard are set to engulf him and his questionable regime.

Abbas says he wants to work with the Trump Administration to achieve peace in the Middle East, yet he cannot even achieve peace in his very own faction.

Abbas’s speech coincided with a new public opinion poll that showed that 64% of Palestinians want him to step down. The poll, conducted by the Ramallah-based Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, also showed that two-thirds of Palestinians do not believe that the current Fatah leadership can achieve their aspirations.

The poll’s findings show that the percentage of Palestinians who want Abbas to resign has risen over the past three months from 61% to 64%. More bad news from the poll: if presidential elections were to be held today, Ismail Haniyeh, leader of the terrorist group Hamas, would beat Abbas by 49% to 45%.

The results of the poll should not come as a surprise to those who have been monitoring Palestinian affairs for the past few years. Judging from the sentiments on the Palestinian street, there is good reason to believe that the 81-year-old Abbas, who is now in his 12th year of his four-year term in office, has long ago lost much of his credibility among his people. The real surprise is that only 64% of Palestinians want to see him gone.

Many Palestinians hold Abbas personally responsible for the continued and rapid deterioration in the Palestinian arena. They see his incompetent and failed leadership as the main reason behind the 2007 violent Hamas takeover of the Gaza Strip. As soon as Hamas started shooting, Abbas’s fragile, corrupt and strife-ridden Palestinian Authority security forces collapsed. Critics of Abbas say that lack of leadership and decision-making on his part facilitated the Hamas seizure of the Gaza Strip.

Yet over the years, it has become evident that Abbas has not only lost the Gaza Strip and its two million inhabitants to Hamas, but that he is also losing control over his own Fatah faction there. Abbas has managed to alienate many Fatah leaders and activists in the Gaza Strip (most of whom are not necessarily affiliated with his arch-rival, Dahlan) to a point where Palestinians are now openly talking about two different Fatah factions.

Instead of devoting his energies to freeing the Gaza Strip from the iron grip of Hamas, Abbas has spent the past few years waging war against anyone in Fatah who dares to challenge his policies or criticize him. In this regard, he has resorted to a number of punitive measures that have further escalated tensions among Fatah cadres.

These measures include cutting off salaries and pensions to Fatah employees whose loyalty to Abbas is in question or who are suspected of being affiliated with Dahlan. As far as Abbas is concerned, affiliation with Hamas is less of a crime than being affiliated with Dahlan or any of his rivals in Fatah. Another measure that Abbas has taken to punish his rivals in Fatah: stripping them of their parliamentary immunity. The latest victims of this punishment: Mohamed Dahlan, Nasser Juma’ah, Shami Al-Shami, Najat Abu Baker and Jamal Al-Tirawi. Abbas took the decision without seeking the approval of the Palestinian parliament, the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), or any other judicial or decision-making institution. His detractors point out that the removal of the parliamentary immunity is in violation of the Palestinian Basic Law, because the PLC is the only party authorized to take such a decision.

When Fatah legislators protested against Abbas’s arbitrary measure by holding a sit-in strike inside the offices of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Ramallah, Abbas ordered his security forces to raid the compound and evict them by force. “This is a grave violation of the legislators’ rights and it is completely unjustified,” said a spokeswoman for Fatah in the Gaza Strip.

“It is also an indication of the repressive measures taken by the Palestinian Authority security forces. The legislators were holding a peaceful protest inside the offices of the Red Cross after President Abbas’s decision to remove their parliamentary immunity. We hold the president, the prime minister and the security forces responsible for the violations against human rights and public freedoms. We also condemn the silence of the Red Cross towards this despicable assault against the legislators inside the (Red Cross) offices.”

Abbas’s crackdown on his Fatah critics has driven them into the open arms of Hamas. After Abbas’s decision to strip the legislators of their parliamentary immunity, six Fatah PLC members participated in a Hamas-sponsored meeting of the PLC in the Gaza Strip. This was the first time since 2007 that such a move had been made.

The PLC has been effectively paralyzed since the Hamas takeover of the Gaza Strip. However, this has not prevented Hamas from continuing to convene sessions of the parliament in the Gaza Strip during the past few years. Until recently, Fatah legislators have boycotted these meetings because they do not recognize Hamas’s rule over the Gaza Strip. Abbas’s punitive and vengeful measures, however, have pushed Fatah legislators to change this status quo. This means that Fatah leaders in the Gaza Strip, unlike their colleagues in the West Bank, are de facto recognizing the Hamas rule over the Gaza Strip. This is wonderful news for Hamas, whose leader, Ismail Haniyeh (according to the latest poll) is likely to defeat Abbas in a presidential election.

Emboldened by the growing divisions in Fatah, Hamas leaders are also beginning to flirt with disgruntled Abbas critics who have been hurt by Abbas’s measures. For the first time in many years, the Hamas government permitted thousands of Fatah gunmen to hold a military parade in the Gaza Strip this week, marking the faction’s 52nd anniversary.

2180Pictured: For the first time in many years, Hamas permitted thousands of Fatah gunmen to hold a military parade in the Gaza Strip this week. (Image source: YouTube video screenshot)

The Fatah gunmen who marched in the Gaza Strip courtesy of Hamas are not supporters of Abbas, the overall commander of Fatah. Instead, they represent the “other face” of Fatah — the one that does not believe in any peace process with Israel and shares Hamas’s ambition of destroying Israel. The message that the Gaza Strip branch of Fatah wished to send to Abbas: Unlike you and your West Bank Fatah, we will not give up the “armed struggle” against Israel. “This parade sends a message to Abbas that Fatah has not relinquished the armed struggle,” explained Palestinian political scientist Ibrahim Abrash.

Meanwhile, Abbas appears to be living on a different planet. His ego prevents him from grasping the news that the polls reveal: most of his people are done with him. He refuses to wake up to the truth that his Fatah faction is falling into pieces, his erstwhile loyalists getting into bed with Hamas. He asks the world to recognize a Palestinian state when his own private residence in the Gaza Strip is forbidden to him. Indeed, it seems that the Palestinians are moving toward a “no-state solution” — a Gaza Strip run by Hamas and dissident Fatah members and a West Bank controlled by another Fatah that is still loyal to Abbas, largely because he is paying them salaries.

Abbas maintains that he is eager to work with the Trump Administration to achieve peace in the region. But will he have the courage to tell the new US administration some uncomfortable truths — namely that he has become a political liability to the majority of his people, and that the Palestinians have never been as divided as they are at this moment? In short, will Abbas dare to share the truth of the splintered Fatah’s no-state solution?

SATIRE | Obama Blames Russia For Exposing Anti-Israel Move

December 31, 2016

Obama Blames Russia For Exposing Anti-Israel Move, Arizona Conservative, John Semmens, December 31, 2016

With a rash of news stories popping up contradicting the Obama Administration’s denial that the recent UN vote against Israeli settlements was, in fact, organized and led by Administration officials, President Obama charged the Russians with “once again exposing communications that were intended to remain private.”

One of these “private communications” entailed Secretary of State John Kerry’s meeting with senior Palestinian diplomat Saeb Erekat to coordinate strategy for advancing the UN censure of Israel. Another was Vice President Joe Biden’s phone call pressuring Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to vote for the censure.

“The revelation of official matters intended to remain confidential is precisely the same MO of the Russian hackers who tipped the recent US presidential election toward Moscow’s puppet—Donald Trump,” Obama contended. “This further provocation is an act so hostile that it qualifies as an act of war. Clearly, the retaliatory measures we have implemented thus far have been insufficient to deter our country’s greatest enemy.”

Konstantin Kosachev, head of the International Committee of the Russian Upper House of Parliament, called Obama’s actions “the agony of not only a lame duck, but of a political corpse.”

Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s refusal to retaliate in response to the Obama Administration’s expulsion of Russian diplomats was labeled “yet another diabolical and sinister effort to mislead the American public,” Presidential Press Secretary Josh Earnest charged. “Imitating a reasonable demeanor in order to make President Obama appear hysterical and unhinged is meant to drive a wedge between him the people who have loved and admired him during his term in office. It won’t work. Americans will rally behind their President just as Americans rallied behind FDR after Pearl Harbor.”

Earnest’s prediction seemed to be born out when Republican Sens. John McCain (Az) and Lindsey Graham (SC), demanded an even stronger retaliatory response toward Russia. “I didn’t spend seven years in a Communist POW camp in Vietnam only to sit idly and let the Soviet Union mock our President,” McCain blustered. Graham called for “an internationally enforced ‘no fly zone’ that would shoot down any Russian military aircraft operating outside the borders of their country.”

President-Elect Donald Trump’s attempt to assert a plea for everyone “to remain calm until adults are in charge after the inauguration,” was labeled “another example of his lack of fitness,” by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif). “At a time when patriots ought to be backing our President, Trump is showing he has more in common with our enemy.”

In related news, Alan Dershowitz, professor emeritus at Harvard Law School and two-time contributor to Obama’s successful election campaigns, denounced the Administration’s anti-Israel stance as “an appalling betrayal by a man I was twice duped into trusting.”

John Kerry with popcorn

December 31, 2016

John Kerry with popcorn, Israeli National News, Jack Engelhard, December 31, 2016

I suppose Cecil B. DeMille’s “The Ten Commandments” will have to be re-spooled. So will a hundred more Bible-themed films.

With a simple abstention on the part of Samantha Power at the UN, the history of the world has been rewritten.

Jewish and Christian cultures have been cleansed out of existence…and will remain so until Donald Trump fixes this and brings the United States back to its senses.

Apparently the Bible got it all wrong and so did Hollywood, according to Barack Obama, John Kerry and Security Council Resolution 2334, which denies Jewish rights to Judea/Samaria and Jerusalem and instead hands all of it over to the Palestinian Arabs (who were invented in 1964, by the way).

So as of Friday, December 23, when that maneuver was passed by the UN, no Jews fit the picture. Only Arabs may answer the casting call as stars and extras.

DeMille made two versions of the Biblical Exodus, the first in 1923 and then again in 1956. Both times, using Jewish and Christian theologians as technical advisers, he used the Hebrew Bible as a blueprint – and both times those were Hebrews emerging from slavery in Egypt onward toward the Promised Land that was first Canaan and finally Judea/Israel.

The heroes were Jews. No Palestinian Arabs in sight.

So what’s to be done when we watch those films again – by which I also mean Otto Preminger’s 1960s “Exodus” and Melville Shavelson’s 1966 “Cast A Giant Shadow” where this time it’s about modern Israel being re-captured and still the heroes are Jews – as principally played by Paul Newman and Kirk Douglas.

Can we still cheer? Can we still be entertained? Can we still learn? How – when everything has been turned upside down?

To moviegoers, is Moses still a hero? Is King David still a hero, as depicted in the 1951 film “David and Bathsheba,” starring Gregory Peck and Susan Hayward.

Again, no Palestinians in sight, and no demands for a two state solution from either the Bible or Hollywood.

Or are we to root for Yasser Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas when that movie comes out?

Arab terrorists  — who last month tried to burn Israel to the ground — are the world’s heroes.

That’s where we are today, as Sci-Fi writer Richard Matheson imagined a world taken over by mutants.

There were no Palestinians anywhere near Jerusalem for King Vidor’s 1959 epic “Solomon and Sheba,” starring Yul Brynner and Gina Lollobrigida. Solomon builds a Jewish Temple, in Jerusalem, to fulfill the oath from his father David and according to the measurements provided by Hebrew Scriptures.

Well, that will have to be revised and rewritten, won’t it, to please Obama, Kerry, Article 2334, and the 14 nations that voted to expunge Jerusalem from Jewish sovereignty going back to the Bible. Hollywood often goes back to the Bible and now Christianity has likewise been expunged.

In movies such as “Ben-Hur and “The Robe” and “King of Kings” and “The Greatest Story Ever Told” – still no Palestinians.

All the action takes place in and around Jerusalem, which was ruled by the Romans but populated by the Jews.

But there were no Jews in Jerusalem, if you ask John Kerry…or even if you ask the entire United Nations.

Our story as told through Hollywood for Christians and Jews, must now be told from a far different point of view.

Plus the old reliable classics, if they are ever to be shown again, will never be seen with the same eyes.

So buy your popcorn and watch Yasser Arafat deliver the Sermon on the Mount, and behold Mahmoud Abbas divide the Red Sea.

The victors, as we know, write the history. The victors also write the screenplay.

But there are many more pages to go and do not bet on them having the final word.

The first and last Tycoon will not be found at MGM or Paramount Pictures or at the UN. He is keeping score and He has other plans.

Divine Islamic Revelation Now International Law

December 31, 2016

Divine Islamic Revelation Now International Law, American ThinkerJonathan F. Keiler, December 31, 2016

Who is the real winner in the passing of U.N. Resolution 2334 condemning Israeli “settlements” in so-called Palestinian land? It is not the Arabs who live in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, nor the leftist BDS movement, nor the world community which acted in usual blind lock-step in condemning Israel, or even the Obama administration which sacrificed American stature and credibility to express personal pique, though all appear to be gleefully rubbing grubby hands. The real winner is radical Islam, which the aforementioned parties claim to oppose.

For all the talk of preserving a “two-state” solution between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs, and its attendant equivocating between Arab violence and incitement and the peaceful building of Jewish homes, the real heart 2334 is the first paragraph, which states that the Resolution

Reaffirms that the establishment by Israel of settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law…

That “international law” is the creation of U.N. Security Council, which invents such law with the passage of resolutions, regardless of whether standard principles of law-making, such as precedent, judicial or statutory authority are present. If the U.N.S.C. passed a resolution declaring Mars and its “inhabitants” a country, that would be international law. Its resolutions on Israel are almost pure exercises in self-referential circular reasoning. But that does not mean that they are without legal or practical impact, especially when endorsed by the United States, still — if barely — the world’s preeminent power.

With Resolution 2334 the U.N.S.C. and the United States (thanks to President Obama) have endorsed and enshrined in international law the idea that Jerusalem is a historically Arab city, a bit of myth-making that could have come directly from an ISIS spokesman. For while it is a fact that Jerusalem (East and West) is and mostly has been a Jewish city, about which there can be no reasonable historical cavil, it has been the mission of Islam to convince otherwise.

That Islamic mission is part and parcel of the broader Muslim conception which sees Islam as the true and culminating expression of the god of Abraham. By extension Jews and Christians are, at best, deluded inauthentic monotheists, who may pay to be tolerated by Muslims, but nothing more. Denying Jerusalem’s Jewish identity denies its Christian identity as well. Thus, this resolution is as much an attack on Christians and Christianity as it is on “Israeli settlement activity.”

A couple days before the passage of the Resolution 2334, historian Bat Ye’or carefully delineated the U.N.’s continuing attack not only on Israel but on the West and Christianity in criticizing last April’s Jerusalem Declaration of UNESCO which ignores historical Jewish ties to the Temple Mount and declares the entire area Muslim.  Unlike U.N.S.C. resolutions, the decisions of UNESCO’s executive council are not considered binding international law, but taken in conjunction with Resolution 2334 that is now the practical effect.

This is yet another example of how Islam, including its most radical adherents, is winning the war of ideas with the Judeo-Christian West, a war that has been going on physically and intellectually since Mohammed’s first “revelation” in the early 7th Century.

From the start, Mohammed was acutely aware that to spread the new faith he had to give it legitimacy in the eyes of pre-Islamic pagan Arabs who were already gravitating toward monotheistic beliefs, some tribes having already adopted Christianity or Judaism. Mohammed supplied this legitimacy in large part by tying Allah’s revelations to existing belief systems, pagan and monotheistic alike. Thus, the Quran famously references Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and several other notable New and Old Testament figures. Per Mohammed these men were all Muslim prophets whose words and deeds were misinterpreted by the Christians and Jews who created the Old and New Testaments.

So obviously, Christians and Jews have long presented a problem for Islam. Mohammed believed that they would be eager converts to Islam, since they were already monotheists and Allah’s “revelations” acknowledged those Christian and Jewish prophets. When this did not happen, Mohammed and his successors variously slaughtered, enforced conversions or reduced the status of the “people of the book” and taxed them.

Jerusalem plays an important role in this process as I explained in detail here. While Jerusalem in not mentioned in the Quran, supposedly, early in Mohammed’s time in Medina — possibly to encourage Jewish conversion to Islam — Muslims prayed toward Jerusalem. Mohammed gave this up after a few months and turned toward Mecca.

Islam’s second caliph, the very capable Umar, captured Jerusalem a few years after Mohammed’s death. He deliberately chose the Temple Mount, where the Jewish temple stood and where Jesus walked, as the site of Islam’s first work of monumental architecture, the Dome of the Rock. He claimed the space for Islam not only physically, but spiritually, asserting that the rocky outcrop within the shrine was the very rock upon which Abraham took Isaac to be sacrificed, and Muslim scholars began to claim that the “furthest precinct” referenced in the Quran as part of Mohammed’s “night journey” was Jerusalem.

Of course, this was a lot of hooey and still is. Certainly, medieval and later Christians didn’t buy it, nor Jerusalem’s Jews then or now, but evidently President Obama and the U.N.S.C. does. Because between the UNESCO decision and Resolution 2334 it now appears that “international law” (with the concurrence of the sitting U.S. Government) establishes East Jerusalem with the Temple Mount and its ancient Jewish Quarter as historical Arab territory, although it most assuredly is not.

Unlike the New and Old Testaments, the Quran eschews narrative. It is neither a story nor a history. Muslims believe it is the direct revelation of Allah given to Mohammed as Allah saw fit, which is not man’s role to question. In failing to veto Resolution 2334 in the wake of the UNESCO move, the United States along with the rest of the international community, has now officially bought into the Islamic version of Jerusalem’s history, and with that, effectively the Muslim assertion of divine revelation in support of Islamic activity and the implementation of international law. That is a godsend to Islamic terrorists and they will see it that way too.

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.