Tag Archives: Gatestone Institute

“Jewish Flesh Is Cheap” – It’s important to know the truth surrounding the Middle East conflict

Two facts we have to keep firmly in mind: The Jews have been fighting evil lies, prejudice, and terror since modern Israel was born in 1948. And the Palestinian-Israeli conflict will end only when Palestinians realize they cannot achieve their goal of eliminating the Jewish state of Israel.

  • The Oslo Accords were based on the illusion that the PLO could totally change and suddenly become a “partner for peace”… It soon became clear that the Palestinian Authority was still the PLO: terrorist attacks quickly multiplied. The money received by the Palestinian Authority was used to continue incitement to murder and payments to incentivize it.
  • In 1967, a change of strategy took place. No one, the PLO decided, would speak of a “war for the destruction of Israel”. Instead, they would call it a “war of national liberation”. From then on, the PLO was presented as a “liberation movement”.
  • Arabs who had left Israel in 1948-49, many of whom remained in refugee camps, were defined as the “Palestinian people”; in this way were the Palestinian people invented. As PLO Executive Council member Zuheir Mohsen said in 1977: “The Palestinian people does not exist… Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people…”
  • The leaders of the Palestinian Authority have, in fact, never stopped resorting to “armed struggle”, the name they give to terrorism and murdering Jews. To “frustrate all the schemes of Zionism”, they invented the Palestinian people; their “struggle for national liberation” gave them international recognition. By renaming terrorism and murdering Jews “armed struggle”, they made their use of terrorism and murder acceptable. By signing the Oslo Accords, they could appear interested in peace without having to renounce terrorism. They could even demonize Israel and give it the image of a barbaric and cruel country while continuing to murder Jews.
  • “If you look at history… what ends conflicts is one side giving up…. and then it’s over…. in World War II, [the Germans] were forced to give up… and note how much they benefited by giving up.” — Daniel Pipes, historian, November 19, 2017.
  • No U.S. president had ever told Palestinian leaders that they were lying, or had required them to stop inciting murder and financing terrorism, and no U.S. president had ever decided to cut funding for the Palestinian Authority as long as it continued to incentivize terrorism. President Donald J. Trump did.
  • French President Emmanuel Macron accepted using taxpayer money to reward murdering Jews. Macron also still accepts the United Nations’ (UNRWA’s) unique definition of Palestinian “refugees”: that they must include endless generations of descendants.

August 7th. Israel. When Dvir Sorek, an 18-year-old student returned from Jerusalem to his school after having bought some books for his rabbis as an end-of-year gift, he was stabbed to death by two Arab terrorists.

As his funeral took place, while his father was delivering the eulogy, the inhabitants of the Arab village of Silwad, two miles North, to celebrate the murder, were setting off fireworks.

Sorek was apparently a peaceful teenager who had never hurt anyone. Among the books he brought was one by an Israeli left-wing writer, David Grossman, supporting the need to create a Palestinian state.

Sorek’s “fault” was to be a Jew.

His name extends the long list of Jews killed or wounded by Arab terrorists. Some murders are even more cruel. The man who raped and murdered Ori Ansbacher in February in Jerusalem said, “I wanted to kill a Jew and be a martyr.” In 2011, five members of the Fogel family, including three young children, were slaughtered. In 2014, two murderers with axes, knives and a gun entered a synagogue in Jerusalem during morning prayers and massacred five worshipers and a policeman who tried to stop the attackers. On December 13, 2018, at a bus stop near Ofra, two young Jews were shot dead by terrorists. Four days before that, another gun attack injured seven Jews. A wounded young woman survived, but despite the efforts of doctors, the baby she was carrying died. Last week, in a terrorist bombing on a hiking trail near Dolev, north of Jerusalem, a teenage Jewish girl was murdered. Her father and brother were seriously wounded.

After each murder, celebrations like those in Silwad take place. Candies and sweets are passed out in the street. If the murderers are shot by the Israeli soldiers or the police, they are proclaimed martyrs, and are celebrated. Their portraits are displayed in Palestinian towns. Whether the terrorist murders are killed or whether they are arrested, tried and imprisoned in Israel, they or their families are awarded a generous monthly stipend from the Palestinian Authority — an amount higher than the average Palestinian wage. Sometimes, the mothers of the murderers say how proud they are of the act their sons committed.

The depravity built-in to murdering civilians, the celebrations that follow, the prestige granted to racist murderers, the alluring payments granted as a reward, and the pride of the mothers all stem from an incitement to hate Jews that is injected into the minds of the Palestinian Arabs by the people and institutions that lead them.

Textbooks used in Palestinian schools are filled with calls to murder Jews, even if the topic is math. Newspapers of the Palestinian Authority regularly publish anti-Semitic cartoons worthy of those published by Nazi Germany’s Der Stürmer. The UN’s Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination devoted an entire day, August 13, 2019, to studying the anti-Semitic propaganda broadcast by the Palestinian Authority’s media. The data gathered was overwhelming. The legal adviser of UN Watch, Dina Rovner, showed the committee how the Palestinian Authority’s media “perpetuates antisemitic stereotypes such as that Jews are greedy, that they are part of a conspiracy to control the world, that they are baby killers, and that they poison Palestinians and steal their organs”.

Unfortunately, the Palestinian Authority is still fundamentally a terrorist organization dedicated to destroying Israel and Israeli Jews by all means.

Until they issued the Venice Declaration in 1980, the nine member states of the European Community saw the PLO as a terrorist group, and for good reasons: in December 1973, a Palestinian attack at Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci Airport resulted in the deaths of 34 people, and two Palestinian attacks also took place at Orly Airport in Paris, one in January 1975, another in May 1978. The US and Israel, until 1991, defined the PLO as a criminal terrorist organization, and contacts between Israelis and PLO leaders were prohibited by Israeli law.

The Oslo Accords were based on the illusion that the PLO could totally change and suddenly become a “partner for peace”. The Palestinian Authority was created a few months later and became the new name of the PLO.

It soon became clear that the Palestinian Authority was still the PLO: terrorist attacks quickly multiplied. The money received by the Palestinian Authority was used to continue incitement to murder and payments to incentivize it.

The leaders of the Western world pretended that it did not matter, and looked the other way. They insisted that the Israeli leaders negotiate, as if there were no terrorism and as if incitement to murder did not exist.

So, Israeli leaders negotiated. The negotiations failed.

Since 2008, the Palestinian Authority has stopped negotiating with Israel, thereby nullifying its commitments in the Oslo Accords. Instead, the Palestinian Authority is conducting an international diplomatic offensive. According to the Palestinian Authority, the non-existent “State of Palestine” is now recognized by 139 countries, including several member states of the European Union and the Holy See. The State of Palestine was granted non-member state observer status at the United Nations in 2012 and the opportunity to join various UN agencies. In 2018, the Group of 77, the largest intergovernmental organization of developing countries in the UN, chose as its leader the “State of Palestine”.

As leaders of the Palestinian Authority see that the fantasy among most of the leaders of the Western world is still strong, they no longer even hide their refusal to renounce terrorism. PA President Mahmoud Abbas, now approaching the 14th year of his four-year term, proudly announced that he will continue to reward the murderers of Jews and the murderers’ families. Qadura Fares, head of the Palestinian Prisoners Club, recently said:

“Palestinian society holds a completely different attitude toward those whom Israel calls ‘terrorists.’ These militants are, instead, regarded by us as people who sacrifice themselves for the liberation of the Palestinian people”.

Palestinian leaders, without anyone ever blaming them, also deny Israel’s right to exist. On August 14, Ibrahim Khraishi, the Palestinian Authority’s Ambassador to the UN, said. “What we face is the Zionist movement, I would like to remind you that in 1975, the General Assembly adopted Resolution 3379, indicating that Zionism is a form of racism”. He left out that the resolution had been revoked in 1991 and that the Zionist movement reached its goal: Israel does exist. Khraishi spoke as if the state of Israel still did not. His defamation and attempted erasure of Israel were not even mentioned in the Western media.

Hamas, a more violent and radical organization than the Palestinian Authority, is often used as an example to try to float the idea that the Palestinian Authority is, by contrast, “moderate”. Middle East expert Raymond Ibrahim said in 2014 that Hamas has “chosen fast jihad”. However, just because the Palestinian Authority proceeds more slowly, does not make it fundamentally different.

The Muslim world in general has never accepted the existence of Israel. On the day the birth of Israel was proclaimed, May 14, 1948, the armies of five Arab countries invaded Israel to destroy the newborn State. Israel survived. Another war to destroy Israel took place in June 1967, then another in 1973. Each time, Israel won.

In 1967, a change of strategy took place. No one, the PLO decided, would speak of a “war for the destruction of Israel”. Instead, they would call it a “war of national liberation”. From then on, the PLO was presented as a “liberation movement”. Arabs who had left Israel in 1948-49 and remained in refugee camps were defined as the “Palestinian people”, and so the Palestinian people were invented. As PLO Executive Council member Zuheir Mohsen said 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.”

A political program, adopted in Cairo, Egypt, at the Palestinian National Council on June 9, 1974, spoke of the need to create a “Palestinian national authority”. The program defined this creation as a “first step”, a basis for moving towards “the liberation of all Palestinian territory”. Twenty years later, the Palestinian Authority was created. The goal nevertheless remains the “liberation of the entire Palestinian territory”, meaning all of Israel.

The program also mentioned the need to “resort to all means necessary” and insisted on the importance of “armed struggle”. It talked about a strategy of “frustration of all the schemes of Zionism”. The leaders of the Palestinian Authority have, in fact, never stopped resorting to “armed struggle”, the name they give to terrorism and murdering Jews. To “frustrate all the schemes of Zionism”, they invented the Palestinian people; their “struggle for national liberation” gave them international recognition. By renaming terrorism and murdering Jews as “armed struggle”, they made their use of terrorism and murder acceptable. By signing the Oslo Accords, they could appear interested in peace without having to renounce terrorism. They could even demonize Israel and give it the image of a barbaric and cruel country while continuing to murder Jews.

The journalist Amotz Asa-El and the historian Moshe Dann recently wrote about the multifaceted war led by the Palestinians in the context of a “war of attrition”.

“Wars of attrition,” Asa-El notes, “are not decided by their parties’ balance of troops, arms or resources, but by their balance of spirit. The winner will not be the one left with more land, population or treasure, but the one whose spirit will last longer”.

Dann writes:

“From a Palestinian perspective, their war of attrition has been successful. Despite engaging in incitement and terrorism, they are recognized and supported by the international community, including their demand for statehood… it encourages the belief that they can win if they are committed and determined.”

The possibility for Israel of turning the tide and prevailing has been defined by Daniel Pipes:

“If you look at history (and I’m a historian), what ends conflicts is one side giving up. Now, think about it; if you and I are in a struggle, it’s only going to end when one of us gives up, and then it’s over. Until one of us gives up, the conflict can resume. The Koreas could be at war today, for all we know, because neither side has given up. World War I, the Germans lost, but didn’t give up, so they gave it another try, and in World War II, they were forced to give up, and they did; and note how much they benefitted by giving up.” [Emphasis added.]

In other words, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict will end only when Palestinians realize they cannot achieve their goal of eliminating the Jewish state of Israel.

For now, Palestinians, with the help of the Iranians and the Europeans, continue to think that they will be able to eliminate Israel.

U.S. President Donald J. Trump is the first world leader to see that Palestinians must understand that they will not win and eliminate Israel.

No U.S. president had ever told Palestinian leaders that they were lying, or had required them to stop inciting murder and financing terrorism, and no U.S. president had ever decided to cut funding for the Palestinian Authority as long as it continued to incentivize terrorism. President Trump did.

No world leader had ever before questioned the unique definition of Palestinian “refugees” given by the United Nations (UNRWA): that they must include endless generations of descendants. No world leader had dared to say that there are not five or six million refugees, but only a few tens of thousands, and that the flooding of Israel by people incited to murder Jews would not take place. No world leader had officially recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, or relocated an embassy in Jerusalem. President Trump did.

President Trump is also the first U.S. president since the Oslo Accords were signed in 1993 never to have affirmed the need for a “Palestinian state”.

Alas, the attitude of other Western political leaders, particularly in Europe, is quite different.

French President Emmanuel Macron promised to give the Palestinian Authority the funding that the United States no longer granted him, and that he would not renounce rewarding Jew-killers and their families. Macron accepted using the money of French taxpayers to reward murdering Jews. Macron also still accepts UNRWA’s definition — just for Palestinians — of being refugees in perpetuity, through the generations. He called President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel a “serious mistake”, and stressed several times the urgent “need for a Palestinian State”.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel adopted the same positions. Federica Mogherini, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, said in April:

“… the European Union voice, and I can probably say the European voice, has been very loud, clear and consistent all over these years on our constant work for the implementation of the Oslo agreements, and the creation of a Palestinian state… the European Union is and will remain the biggest and the most reliable donor to the Palestinians…”

She did not utter a word of condemnation regarding the Palestinian Arabs’ use of terrorism or murdering Jews.

In 2016, Mahmoud Abbas delivered a speech in the European Parliament in which he falsely claimed that “certain rabbis in Israel have said very clearly to their government that our water should be poisoned in order to have Palestinians killed.” He received a standing ovation. No European leader took him to task for him for his lies.

Macron, Merkel and the European Union show Palestinian leaders that as long as the Western world is divided, they can continue to incite and murder.

In the European media, the murders of Jews, such as that of Dvir Sorek, are hardly ever mentioned. When murderers, such as those who killed Sorek, are eliminated by the Israeli army or the police, it is the Israelis who are depicted as having “killed a Palestinian” and as the real murderers.

As a character said in the movie Exodus, “Jewish flesh is cheap”. Jewish flesh was already cheap in Europe 90 years ago. In the eyes of Macron, Merkel, Mogherini and many European journalists, it still is.

The European Union is considering a regulation — it does not yet exist — requiring labels to be placed on products made by Jews in Judea and Samaria, to caution buyers that the product was made in a “settlement colony.” The shape of the labels that would be used has not yet been defined. Maybe a European will suggest a yellow star?

 

[From an article by Dr. Guy Milliere of the University of Paris, published by the GATESTONE INSTITUTE]

 

………………………………………………………….

 

As always, posted for your edification and enlightenment by

NORM ‘n’ AL, Minneapolis
normal@usa1usa.com
612.239.0970

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Who are you spending your sympathy on?

 

There are many reasons why citizens vote for a candidate. Blue-collar families often vote for the one who will bring back manufacturing jobs. Military families often vote for the one who will leave no man behind. For me, public safety is a primary consideration. People have a finite amount of sympathy. I’m sure Mother Teresa had more than I do, but even hers was not unlimited. Wisely, she spent hers for the poor. But many people are not wise. They spend their sympathy on illegal immigrants and criminals, leaving none for law-abiding citizens. Take, for instance, the cases of Sarah McKinley and Kathryn Steinle.

 

Sarah McKinley was home with her three-month-old son on New Year’s Eve 2013. She lived in the rural community of Blanchard, Oklahoma, and police response times tended to be long. She was an 18-year-old widow. Her husband had died of cancer a few days earlier.

When she saw two men attempting to break in, McKinley recognized one as a man who had been stalking her since her husband’s funeral. Apparently he was looking for drugs in the cancer victim’s home. She gave her baby a bottle, then retrieved a shotgun and a handgun and barricaded the door. She phoned 911 and asked what to do. She was told she could not shoot unless they came through the door. The 911 dispatcher, though, who was a woman, added, “You do what you have to do to protect your baby.”

It took police 14 minutes to arrive from the time McKinley called 911. Two minutes before they arrived, Justin Shane Martin broke down McKinley’s barricaded front door, holding a 12-inch hunting knife in his gloved hand. She fired the shotgun, killing the Martin. His companion fled. He later turned himself in to police.

Later Sarah explained:

“I knew that I was going to have to choose him or my son, and it wasn’t going to be my son, so I did what I had to do. There’s nothing more dangerous than a mother with a child.”

If we truly want to “save just one life,” we will remember Sarah McKinley and all those like her. We will read the work of John Lott, especially More Guns, Less Crime, which demonstrates that violent crime decreases when more law-abiding citizens are armed, after background checks and suitable training, and does not necessarily decrease with strict gun laws, as in France. We will read the work of Dr. Gary Kleck, especially Point Blank: Guns and Violence in America, which shows that guns are used more often to defend against violent crime than to commit it.

It is bizarre that “progressives” who claim to fear the imposition of a “Nazi” regime by President Trump or others, are the same people who work to disarm the citizenry. They seem utterly unaware of the glaring contradiction.

If we truly want to “save just one life,” we would be guided by logic instead of emotions.

 

Kathryn Steinle

Like many left-leaning cities, San Francisco declared itself a “sanctuary city,” so that illegal immigrants would be reported to Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) only if they commit violent felonies. The supremacy of federal law is a concept that seems to have eluded San Francisco’s officials. In fact, thousands of illegal immigrants have been released from custody in California without immigration officials being notified. In fact, about 39% of the federal prison population is composed of illegal aliens (as of 2013), of whom more than 25,000 have been arrested for homicide.

How well the “sanctuary city” program works was illustrated with striking clarity in the person of José Inés García Zárate (also known as Juan Francisco López-Sánchez), who shot and killed Kathryn Steinle on July 1, 2015. García Zárate was an illegal immigrant and convicted felon who had been deported five times before killing Steinle.

García Zárate was released from jail in San Francisco on April 15, 2015. ICE had filed the detainer request to be notified prior to García Zárate’s release from custody, so that he could be deported again. But San Francisco authorities followed their policy and refused to honor the hold, because García Zárate had not committed a violent felony.

Two months later, García Zárate shot 32-year-old Kathryn Steinle, who died in her father’s arms at a tourist attraction on Pier 14. Steinle had worked for a medical technology company.

Eventually, a San Francisco jury acquitted García Zárate of murder or manslaughter, and found him guilty only of illegal weapons possession. Of course, he will not receive the death penalty, because California no longer has one. Correction: California no longer has a death penalty for people like García Zárate, but it evidently does have one for people like Kathryn Steinle.

Her last words were, “Dad, help me, help me.” But her dad could not help her. It was up to us to help her by keeping the streets as safe as possible. We did not. We used up all our sympathy on those who do not deserve it, leaving none for those who do deserve it. We made a “sanctuary city” that was safe for José Inés García Zárate, but extremely unsafe for Kathryn Michelle Steinle.


In the case of gun control, excessive regulations are more likely
to cost lives than to save them. If you doubt this, just ask Sarah McKinley. How else could one expect a young mother to defend herself and her baby against armed intruders? What could she be expected to do when the police had not yet arrived and a violent man breaks down her door, holding a 12-inch hunting knife in his gloved hand?  If she had not had that shotgun, she would probably be dead, as would her baby.

Here, gun-control activists with their “if it will save just one life” rhetoric actually would have cost two lives. Yet somehow, people like Sarah McKinley just do not register on the “progressive” radar. People like Sarah McKinley and her baby are dumped into Hillary Clinton’s “basket of deplorables” or are included in Barack Obama’s bitter clingers who want to hold onto their religion and guns.

After all, how can we expect the self-anointed elite — the graduates of prestigious Ivy League universities — to concern themselves with ignorant rednecks? They are much too elevated for that. When they say “social justice,” they often seem to mean big government controlling virtually every aspect of daily life.  But their version of “social justice” somehow fails to include the very lives of Sarah McKinley and her child.

Ironically, if the advocates of tight gun control had their way, Sarah McKinley and her baby would probably be dead, and if the advocates of tight border control had their way, Kathryn Steinle would probably be alive.

When it comes to illegal immigration, as well as to other policies many “progressives” appear to favor, they never seem to remember their beloved mantra of “if it will save just one life.” If our borders were more secure, and if our immigration laws were more conscientiously enforced, and — most of all — if San Francisco had not declared itself a “sanctuary city,” Kathryn Steinle would still be alive, working at the medical technology company that employed her, interacting with her close-knit family, and charming others with her smile.

 

[From an article by Dr. David C. Stolinsky, a retired physician, and published by GATESTONE INSTITUTE]

 

……………………………………………………….

 

As always, posted for your edification and enlightenment by

NORM ‘n’ AL, Minneapolis
normal@usa1usa.com
612.239.0970

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Trump not only reinforcing the strength of the US to the rest of the world, but also restoring its credibility in the Middle East

After three successive American Presidents had used a six-month waiver to defer moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem for more than two decades, President Donald J. Trump decided not to wait any longer. On December 7, 2017, he declared that the United States recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel; the official embassy transfer took place on May 14th, the day of Israel’s 70th anniversary.

From the moment of Trump’s declaration, leaders of the Muslim world expressed anger and announced major trouble. An Islamic summit conference was convened in Istanbul a week later, and ended with statements about a “crime against Palestine”. Western European leaders followed suit. Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel said that President Trump’s decision was a “serious mistake” and could have huge “consequences”. French President Emmanuel Macron, going further, declared that the decision could provoke a “war”.

Despite these ominous predictions, trouble remained largely absent. The Istanbul statement remained a statement. The “war” anticipated by Macron did not break out.

The Islamic terrorist organization Hamas sent masses of rioters from Gaza to tear down Israel’s border fence and cross over, to force Israeli soldiers to fire, thereby allowing Hamas to have bodies of “martyrs” to show to the cameras. So far, Hamas has sent 62 of its own people to their death. Fifty of them were, by Hamas’s own admission, members of Hamas.

Palestinian terrorist groups fired rockets into southern Israel; Israeli jets retaliated with airstrikes. Hamas sent kites, attached to incendiary devices and explosives, over the border to Israel. So far, 200 of the fire-kites that Hamas sent have destroyed 6,200 acres of Israeli forests and farmland.

  • Trump has shown the strength of the United States and restored its credibility in a region where strength and force determine credibility.
  • Trump more broadly laid the foundation for a new alliance of the United States with the Sunni Arab world, but he put two conditions on it: a cessation of all Sunni Arab support for Islamic terrorism and an openness to the prospect of a regional peace that included Israel.
  • Secretary of State Pompeo spoke of the “Palestinians”, not of the Palestinian Authority, as in Iran, possibly to emphasize the distinction between the people and their leadership, and that the leadership in both situations, may no longer be part of the solution. Hamas, for the US, is clearly not part of any solution.
  • Netanyahu rightly said that Palestinian leaders, whoever they may be, do not want peace with Israel, but “peace without Israel”. What instead could take place would be peace without the Palestinian leaders. What could also take place would be peace without the Iranian mullahs.

Pundits who predicted more violent reactions have been surprised by the relatively quiet reaction of the Palestinian and Muslim communities. The reason might be called the “Trump Doctrine for the Middle East”.

One element of it consisted of crushing the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. President Trump had promised quickly to clear the world of what had become a main backbone of Islamic terrorism. He kept his promise in less than a year, and without a massive deployment of American troops. Trump has shown the strength of the United States and restored its credibility in a region where strength and force determine credibility.

Another element of it was put in place during President Trump’s trip to Saudi Arabia in May 2017. President Trump renewed ties which had seriously deteriorated during the previous 8 years. Trump more broadly laid the foundation for a new alliance of the United States with the Sunni Arab world, but he put two conditions on it: a cessation of all Sunni Arab support for Islamic terrorism and an openness to the prospect of a regional peace that included Israel.

Both conditions are being gradually fulfilled. In June 2017, Saudi Arabia’s King Salman chose his son Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) as heir to the throne. MBS started an internal revolution to impose new directions on the kingdom. The Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition, created on December 15, 2015, was endorsed by the United States; it held its inaugural meeting on November 26, 2017. In addition, links between Israeli and Saudi security services were strengthened and coordination between the Israeli and Egyptian militaries intensified.

An alliance between Israel and the main countries of the Sunni Arab world to contain Iran also slowly and unofficially began taking shape. MBS, calling called Hamas a terrorist organization, saying that it must “be destroyed”. He told representatives of Jewish organizations in New York that Palestinian leaders need to “take the [American] proposals or shut up.”

Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas was summoned to Riyadh twice — in November and December 2017; and it appears he was “asked” to keep quiet. Never has the distance between Palestinian organizations, and Saudi Arabia and the Sunni Arab world, seemed so far. The only Sunni Arab country to have maintained ties with Hamas is Qatar, but the current Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim ben Hamad Al Thani, has been under pressure to change his stance.

Immediately after President Trump left Riyadh, a third element emerged. The US presidential plane went directly from Riyadh to in Israel: for the first time, a direct flight between Saudi Arabia and Israel took place. President Trump went to Jerusalem, where he became the first sitting US President to visit the Western Wall, the only historical remains of a retaining wall from the ancient Temple of King Solomon. During his campaign, Trump had referred to Jerusalem as “the eternal capital of the Jewish people”, implicitly acknowledging that the Jews have had their roots there for 3,000 years.

After his visit to the Wall, President Trump went to Bethlehem and told Mahmoud Abbas what no American President had ever said: that Abbas is a liar and that he is personally responsible for the incitement to violence and terror. In the days that followed, the US Congress demanded that the Palestinian Authority renounce incentivizing terrorism by paying cash to imprisoned Palestinian terrorists and families of terrorists killed while carrying out attacks. President Trump’s Middle East negotiators, Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt made it clear to Palestinian leaders that US aid to the Palestinian Authority could end if the US demand was not met. Nikki Haley told the United Nations that the US could stop funding UNWRA if Palestinian leaders refused to negotiate and accept what the US is asking for. Since it was founded in 1994, the Palestinian Authority has never been subjected to such intense American pressure.

The fourth element was President Trump’s decision to leave the Iran nuclear deal. President Trump immediately announced he would restore “the harshest, strongest, most stringent sanctions” to suffocate the mullahs’ regime. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has since presented to Iran a list of 12 “basic requirements” for a new agreement.

President Trump’s decision came in a context where the Iran regime has just suffered a series of heavy blows: the Israeli Mossad’s seizure in Tehran of highly confidential documents showing that Iran has not ceased to lie about its nuclear program; the revelation by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of the Mossad operation, and the Israeli army’s decisive response to an Iranian rocket barrage launched from Syrian territory. By it, Israel showed its determination not to allow Russia to support Iran when Iran uses its bases to attack Israel.

Netanyahu was invited by Russian President Vladimir Putin to Moscow on May 9 to commemorate the Soviet victory over Germany in 1945; during that visit, Putin seems to have promised Netanyahu neutrality if Israel were attacked by Iranian forces in Syria. Putin, eager to preserve his Russian bases in Syria, clearly views Israel as a force for stability in the Middle East and Iran as a force for instability — too big a risk for Russian support.

In recent months, the Iranian regime has become, along with Erdogan’s Turkey, one of the main financial supporters of the “Palestinian cause” and Hamas’s main backer. It seems that Iran asked Hamas to organize the marches and riots along the Gaza-Israel border. When the violence from Gaza became more intense, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh was summoned to Cairo by Egypt’s intelligence chief, who told him that if violence does not stop, the Israel military would carry out drastic actions, and Egypt would be silent. It could become difficult for Iran to incite Palestinian organizations to widespread violence in the near future.

It could become extremely difficult for Iran to continue financially to support the “Palestinian cause” in the coming months. It could soon become financially unbearable for Iran to maintain its presence in Syria and provide sophisticated weapons to Hezbollah. Turkish President Erdogan speaks loudly, but he seems to know what lines not to cross.

Protests in Iran have become less intense since January, but the discontent and frustrations of the population persist and could get worse.

The Trump administration undoubtedly realizes that the Iranian regime will not accept the requirements presented by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and that the harsh new sanctions might lead to new major uprisings in Iran, and the fall of the regime. Ambassador John Bolton, now National Security Advisor, mentioned in January that the “strategic interest of the United States” is to see the regime overthrown.

Referring recently to the situation in the Middle East and the need to achieve peace, Pompeo spoke of the “Palestinians”, not of the Palestinian Authority, as in Iran, possibly to emphasize the distinction between the people and their leadership, and that the leadership in both situations, may no longer be part of the solution. Hamas, for the US, is clearly not part of any solution.

No one knows exactly what the peace plan to be presented by the Trump administration will contain, but it seems certain that it will not include the “right of return” of so-called “Palestinian refugees” and will not propose East Jerusalem as the “capital of a Palestinian state”. The plan will no doubt be rejected by both the Palestinian Authority and Hamas; it already has been, sight unseen.

Netanyahu rightly said that Palestinian leaders, whoever they may be, do not want peace with Israel, but “peace without Israel”. What instead could take place would be peace without the Palestinian leaders. What could also take place would be peace without the Iran’s mullahs.

It should be noted that on December 7, 2017, when Donald Trump announced the transfer of the United States Embassy to Jerusalem, the leaders of the Muslim world who protested were mostly Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Iran’s Hassan Rouhani. Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Oman did not send representatives to the Islamic summit conference in Istanbul. When the US embassy in Jerusalem opened its doors on May 14, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the Gulf emirates were quiet.

On that day, Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron repeated what they had said on December 7, 2017: that the embassies of Germany and France in Israel would remain in Tel Aviv. Macron condemned the “heinous acts” committed by the Israeli military on the Gaza border but not aggression of Hamas in urging its people, and even paying them, to storm Gaza’s border with Israel.

If current trends continue, Macron and Merkel could be among the last supporters of the “Palestinian cause.” They sound as if they will do just about anything to save the corrupt Palestinian Authority.

They are also doing everything to save the moribund Iran “nuclear deal,” and are deferential to the mullahs’ regime. During a European summit held in Sofia, Bulgaria, on May 16, the Trump administration was harshly criticized by the European heads of state who argued that Europe will “find a way around” US sanctions and “resist” President Trump. European companies are already leaving Iran in droves, evidently convinced that they will be better off cutting their losses and keeping good relations with the United States.

On June 3-5, Benjamin Netanyahu went to Europe to try to persuade Merkel, Macron and British Prime Minister Theresa May to give up backing the Iran nuclear deal. He failed, predictably, but at least had the opportunity to explain the Iranian danger to Europeans and the need to act.

As Iran’s nuclear ties to North Korea have intensified in the last two years — Iran seems to have relied on North Korea to advance its own nuclear projects — the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula that might have begun with the Donald Trump-Kim Jong-Un meeting in Singapore on June 12, clearly will not strengthen the Iranian position.

European leaders seem not to want to see that a page is turning in the Middle East. They seem not to want to see that, regardless of their mercenary immorality, of their behavior staying on the page of yesterday, is only preventing them from understanding the future.

 

[From an article by Guy Milliere, published by Gatestone Institute]

 

………………………………………………………

 

As always, posted for your edification and enlightenment by

NORM ‘n’ AL, Minneapolis
normal@usa1usa.com
612.239.0970

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Palestinians have an excellent opportunity for peace in Jerusalem…but what will they do with it?

For decades now, Palestinians have interpreted Israeli concessions and gestures as signs of weakness.

This fact is important to bear this in mind as the US administration prepares to launch its plan for peace in the Middle East, which President Donald Trump has referred to as the “deal of the century.”

A report in the Israeli daily Ma’ariv on May 4th claimed that the “deal of the century” calls for placing four Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem under the control of the Palestinian Authority. The four neighborhoods, according to the report, are Jabal Mukaber, Essawiyeh, Shu’fat and Abu Dis. Ma’ariv wrote that the details of the US peace plan were presented to Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman during his visit to Washington last week:

“The principles of the peace plan, which were presented to Liberman, include, among other things, large-scale and significant concessions on the part of Israel… the US expects Israel to accept the plan and to come to terms with what the Israelis perceive as painful concessions.”

If true, the reported concessions that Israel is being asked to make as part of the US administration’s “deal of the century” will not be perceived by the Palestinians as a sign that Israel seeks peace. As the past has proven, they will be viewed by the Palestinians as a form of retreat and capitulation.

The Palestinian Authority would be happy to assume control over the four Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem. As far as the PA is concerned, the more territory it is handed by Israel, the better. Territory in Jerusalem is especially welcome as it would give the Palestinian Authority a foothold in the city. A foothold, that is, for much, much more.

The four neighborhoods are only a few miles away from the Knesset, the Prime Minister’s Office and other symbols of Israeli sovereignty. Thus, Palestinian sovereignty over the four neighborhoods is of symbolic importance. Make no mistake: the Palestinians will see their presence in the four neighborhoods as the first step towards the redivision of Jerusalem.

The Palestinians will say that these Israeli concessions are not enough. They will demand that Israel hand them control over all 28 Arab neighborhoods and villages that are located within the boundaries of the Jerusalem Municipality and are under Israeli sovereignty. In other words, the handing over of the four communities will only whet the Palestinians’ appetite and drive them to demand more. The Palestinians will argue that Israel has now created a precedent that needs to be followed by further concessions.

Here, it is worth noting that the Palestinian Authority is demanding sovereignty over all of east Jerusalem, including the Old City and the Western Wall. For them, the Old City and all the holy sites in Jerusalem belong to the Palestinians and should all be under Palestinian sovereignty. They will take the four neighborhoods, but that will just be the beginning. Even worse, the Palestinians are likely to use the four neighborhoods as launching pads to carry out terror attacks against Israel to “liberate the rest of Jerusalem.”

Let us consider what happened in 2005, when Israel unilaterally withdrew from the Gaza Strip after evicting more than 8,000 Jews from their homes and destroying more than 20 settlements.

Even today, it is hard to find a single Palestinian who regards the Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip as an indication that Israel wants peace. On the contrary. The Israeli “disengagement” from the Gaza Strip was misinterpreted by the Palestinians as a retreat in the face of suicide bombings and rocket attacks.

For the Palestinians, the Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip was perceived as a capitulation that emboldened Hamas and other terror groups. These groups took credit for “driving the Jews out of the Gaza Strip” through terrorism.

If shooting Israelis worked and drove the Israelis to retreat, good: Keep doing it!

It is no wonder, then, that Hamas won the Palestinian parliamentary election a few months later. Hamas ran in the January 2006 election on a platform that boasted that it had forced Israel to “flee” the Gaza Strip through suicide and rocket attacks.

Back then, Palestinians in the Gaza Strip said: “This is wonderful, we have killed 1,000 Jews in four years and these Jews run away from the Gaza Strip, so we need to continue shooting at them. Today, they run away from the Gaza Strip. Tomorrow they will run away from Ashkelon, then from Ashdod, then from Tel Aviv, and from there to the sea, and we will achieve our goal of eliminating Israel.”

Needless to say, Hamas and its supporters continued to launch attacks against Israel after the Israeli withdrawal to the international border. They truly believed that the Israeli “disengagement” was nothing but surrender in the face of violence.

The talk now about an Israeli withdrawal from parts of Jerusalem will bring us back to the Gaza Strip scenario.

First, no Palestinian will see such a step as a positive gesture on the part of Israel.

Second, why would anyone think that these neighborhoods will not fall into the hands of Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad in the future?

That is exactly what happened in 2005, when Israel handed the Gaza Strip over to the Palestinian Authority, which later ran away, and handed it over to Hamas.

The timing of the proposed Israeli concessions is also highly problematic. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and his Ramallah-based government and associates are currently engaged in an unprecedented campaign of incitement against Israel.

They are continuing to spread venomous lies about Israel and incite their people to hate and violence. They are continuing to reward terrorists and their families for killing and maiming Jews. They are continuing to deny any Jewish history and connection to the land, and they are doing their utmost to delegitimize and demonize Jews.

Any Israeli concessions, particularly at this stage, will be interpreted by the Palestinians as a reward to Mahmoud Abbas and his crowd, who are not being required to give Israel anything in return.

Hardly a day passes without Abbas reminding us that he is not a partner for any peace agreement with Israel. Is it wise to reward Abbas now that he has exposed his true anti-Semitism? Is it appropriate to give Abbas a foothold in Jerusalem after he recently claimed that it was, according to him, the Jews’ behavior, and not anti-Semitism, that caused the Holocaust?

Is it appropriate and helpful to reward Abbas at a time when he is refusing to stop payments to Palestinian terrorists and their families?

Moreover, is it appropriate and helpful to reward Abbas and his Palestinian Authority at a time when they are continuing to incite their people against the US administration and its Jewish advisors, Jason Greenblatt, David Friedman and Jared Kushner? Does the Palestinian Authority deserve to be rewarded for its daily incitement against US Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley?

There is a saying in Arabic: “They spit in his face but he calls it rain.”

Haven’t the Palestinians already dismissed President Trump’s plan as a “conspiracy aimed at liquidating the Palestinian cause and national rights?” Why should the Trump administration give Abbas gifts at a time when he and his friends are boycotting US officials?

The Trump administration needs to understand that the Palestinians view the US as an enemy, not as a friend. Giving Abbas control over four Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem will not advance the cause of peace.

No Palestinian will take to the streets to express gratitude to Israel. Instead, they will take to the streets to intensify their terror attacks on Israel in the hope of extracting further concessions.

Abbas has proven that he is no different than his predecessor, Yasser Arafat. Like Arafat, he too does not recognize Jews’ right to the land, any land. Just look at any current map of “Palestine”: it is an exact duplicate of the map of Israel, but with the names of some cities changed.

Abbas does not aim for control over some areas just in Jerusalem. For Abbas, as for Arafat, Israel is one big settlement that needs to be removed. For him, in his own words, Israel is a “colonial project” that he claims has nothing to do with Judaism. For him, the Jews are nothing more than the greedy moneylenders, parodied in caricatures, who brought the Holocaust on themselves.

Is this a man who deserves to be rewarded? Is this a man who deserves to be brought into Jerusalem? Abbas, and not Israel, ought to be asked for concessions. He should stop denying and distorting Jewish history, he should stop rewarding Jew-killers; he should stop preaching hate to his people. That is the best path to peace.

 

[From an article written by Bassam Tawil for The Gatestone Institute.  Bassam Tawil is a Muslim based in the Middle East.]

 

……………………………………………………

 

As always, posted for your edification and enlightenment by

NORM ‘n’ AL, Minneapolis
normal@usa1usa.com
612.239.0970

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized