The other day, the PA commemorated the sixth anniversary of the death of Yasser Arafat. In the course of ceremonies in Ramallah, PA president Mahmoud Abbas pledged to continue in Arafat’s footsteps until the Palestinians achieved an independent state with Jerusalem as its capital, the refugees were able to return to their homes, and all prisoners were released from Israeli jails.
“There will be no negotiations with settlements,” he declared. “The Arab city of Jerusalem, including the holy sites, is an integral part of the 1967 occupied territories.
“Everybody knows that Jerusalem was occupied in 1967 and that any solution that does not include Jerusalem is not a solution.”
Please note carefully that he refers to the “Arab city of Jerusalem.” Jerusalem. Not eastern Jerusalem. It’s the whole that they are after.
What is more, they are after everything over the Green Line, plus “return” of refugees to within Green Line Israel. There is no compromise. No intention to compromise. Actually, Abbas boasted about the fact that Palestinian goals have not changed since 1988. These goals include, of course, the ultimate destruction of Israel. There was no pretense about this in 1988, which was pre-Oslo. And now he allows for no moderating shift since the advent of Oslo.
And yet, and yet, Obama and company are seeking to get this man and his cohorts — who, in praising Arafat, are praising an unrepentant terrorist — to sit down with Israel at a negotiating table and make “peace” within a year, with much of the issue of borders resolved within three months.
My friends, if this is not both crazy and farcical, I do not know what is.
Nor is it the end of the insanity. Caroline Glick, in her piece,”What the Palestinians Buy with American Money,” explains:
“Two weeks ago, a Palestinian from Bethlehem was arrested by the US-financed and trained Palestinian Authority security forces. He was charged with ‘carrying out commercial transactions with residents of a hostile state.’
“No, he was not buying uranium from Iran. His purported crime was purchasing wood products from an Israeli community located beyond the 1949 armistice lines.
“Denied bail by the US-funded PA magistrate’s court in Bethlehem, he has been remanded to custody pending the conclusion of his trial.
“This man’s arrest is part of what the unelected, US-supported Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad has touted as his ‘National Honor Fund.’ The goal of this project is to ban all economic contact between Palestinians and Jews who live and work beyond the 1949 armistice lines. As far as the supposedly moderate Fayyad is concerned, those Jews and Israel generally comprise the ‘hostile state,’ that the Palestinians under Fayyad’s leadership are being compelled to boycott.
“…Fayyad’s measures come on top of previously enacted PA measures like imposing the death penalty on Palestinians who sell land to Jews. Less than two months ago, the PA reaffirmed that it will continue to execute any Palestinian who commits this ‘crime.’
“There is no way to credibly claim that these actions advance either the cause of peaceful coexistence or Palestinian economic prosperity. Yet it is precisely in the hope of advancing these goals that the US government funds the PA.
“Despite his campaign to boycott Israel and punish Palestinians with economic ties to the Jewish state, Fayyad is the US’s favorite Palestinian. Since PA President Mahmoud Abbas appointed Fayyad to lead the rump Fatah government in Judea and Samaria after Hamas took over the Gaza Strip, US aid to the PA has increased by more than 700 percent. Most of this aid has gone to propping up Fayyad.
“The US directly finances his budget. It funds and trains a Palestinian military. And it subsidizes his programs to build governmental institutions that loyally carry out his anti-Israel policies.
“Last Wednesday, during a joint press conference with Fayyad, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced the US will give the PA an additional $150 million in aid to supplement the $400 million in financial assistance that President Barack Obama pledged in June. This supplement comes in response to Fayyad’s claim that he needs $500 million to close his budget shortfall.
“According to the Congressional Research Service, the PA is the largest recipient of foreign assistance in the world. According to Bloomberg, it received $1.2 billion in 2009 and will receive $1.8 billion by the end of the year. (Emphasis added.)
“…Finally, the simple truth is that it is impossible to prevent US budgetary assistance to the PA from financing Hamas, in contravention of US law. Each month Fayyad transfers funds to Hamas-controlled Gaza to pay the salaries of PA employees there. Fayyad has argued that this assistance cannot be considered material aid to Hamas, since the employees are employed by the PA. But this is nonsense.
“These employees serve at the pleasure of Hamas. Paying their salaries contravenes US law as well as international law, which prohibits states from providing any assistance whatsoever to areas controlled by terrorists.”
Our “partners for peace,” nobly aided by our “ally” America. Please do share this information from Glick broadly. People do not know…and they need to know.
But in the midst of all of this, there is an island of sanity, and her name is Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. Slated to become the Chairperson of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs in January, she has already voiced criticism of the current situation:
“Sending U.S. tax dollars to the Palestinian Authority to help them cover their budget shortfall is a bailout, plain and simple.
“It is deeply disturbing that the Administration is continuing to bail out the Palestinian leadership when they continue to fail to meet their commitments, under international agreements and requirements outlined in U.S. law, including dismantling the Palestinian terrorist infrastructure, combating corruption, stopping anti-Israel and anti-Semitic incitement, and recognizing Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state.
“So long as Palestinian leaders keep being financially rewarded by the U.S. unconditionally, they will have zero reason to change their ways and truly commit to peace. It is long past time to hold Ramallah accountable.”
The stalemate has not been broken.
Today came and went and there was a meeting of the Security Cabinet here in Israel, but the proposed freeze was not on the agenda. Netanyahu is still waiting for something from the US in writing, and the longer it takes, the more doubts those on the fence have regarding the wisdom of counting on US promises, written or not. Shas, in particular, is under pressure in this regard. In point of fact, there is now a report — that we can only hope is accurate — from a member of Shas who says that faction head Eli Yishai has come out explicitly against the freeze and has indicated that he will inform Rav Ovadiah Yosef and other members of the Shas faction of his position.
The stumbling block for the US seems to be the verbal commitment Clinton made to Netanyahu that there would be no US request for additional freezes. The Palestinian Arabs are not exactly on board with this.
There is no guarantee what tomorrow will bring. But I close here with a look by Arutz Sheva at the lengths to which State Department spokesman JP Crowley went just yesterday to avoid saying anything on the matter of written guarantees to Israel:
“In Tuesday’s daily press briefing that turned into a game of ‘dodge’em,’ reporters badgered…Crowley to answer, ‘Are you prepared to give them [Israel] a piece of paper that outlines what you’re willing to do to get them back to the table?’
“Crowley replied, ‘We’re prepared to do everything that we can to create the conditions for both the Palestinians and the Israelis to have confidence to return to direct negotiations.'”
And so it went:
“Reporters…opened the session by asking a simple question: ‘Have you sent them this proposal? Crowley replied, ‘I am not going to get into specifics as to where we are. We’re trying to encourage both sides to get back into negotiations.’
“…from another reporter: ‘Look, the Israelis have come out and said they’re not going to vote on this tomorrow in the cabinet because they’re waiting for a written proposal. I fail to see how it would affect the negotiations if you say that yes, you’re willing to consider giving them something in writing.’
“Crowley’s’ repeat performance: ‘We want to get them back into negotiations. We’re trying to create the conditions to do that.’
“Frustrated questioners tried again: ‘A piece of paper, whether you’re willing to write something down on a piece of paper is not the substance – is not substantive…I’m just asking if you are willing to give them something written down.’
“Again Crowley answered, ‘We will do everything that we can to encourage the parties to get back into negotiations.’
“The journalists made one last college try: ‘Do you think you can do that without giving them a piece of paper?’
“Crowley’s answer was different this time. He said. ‘It’s a very good question,’ as everyone laughed.
“In Jerusalem, no one is laughing.”
© Arlene Kushner. This material is produced by Arlene Kushner, functioning as an independent journalist. Permission is granted for it to be reproduced only with proper attribution.