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November 29, 2009: Confronting Realities

April 11, 2010

I begin today with an article I co-authored with David Bedein, which appears in today’s Jerusalem Post:  “Questions people are afraid to ask Salam Fayyad.”

It was written in response to a column by Post editor David Horovitz a week ago, which described PA Prime Minister Fayyad’s plans to build a state; Horovitz failed to inform his readers of the very serious problems inherent in these plans. These stumbling blocks make the establishment of a “moderate” Palestinian Arab state impossible, for the PA is not “moderate” — in spite of the face of moderation that it offers to an “eager-to-believe” Western world.

The issues that the article touches upon:

[] The constitution of Fatah (the predominant element in the PLO and the PA) to this day calls for the destruction of Israel within the Green Line via “armed resistance.”  This is not an anachronism, or an idle academic issue: Fatah held a major conference in August and declined to remove references to “armed resistance” from its constitution. 

[] The PA-produced textbooks are rife with incitement against Israel. Dr. Arnon Groiss — who translates and evaluates the texts for the Institute for Measuring Peace and Tolerance in School Education (IMPACT http://www.impact-se.org) — reports that these books “deny the historical and religious presence of Jews in Palestine,” “fail to recognize the State of Israel,” “demonize Jews and Israel,” “assign blame for the conflict exclusively on Israel, totally absolving Palestinians,” “stress the idea of a violent struggle of liberation rather than a peaceful settlement.”

[] The PA continues to express willingness to form a unity government with Hamas, a terrorist entity, at the same time that it professes a desire to negotiate “peace” with Israel.  This is, as I wrote, “the elephant in the room.” People talk about negotiating peace as if Hamas was not in the picture.

[] The PA refuses to relinquish its demand for the “right of return,” even though this is a recipe for destruction of Israel from within.  It is time for the PA to accept the principle under which the UN High Commission for Refugees operates — that of resettlement of refugees — instead of encouraging the current policy of UNRWA, which, for political purposes, maintains the refugees in a frustrating (and enraging) limbo.

“Lastly, Horovitz writes that ‘most of the international community completely supports [PA] demands for a 100% Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank,” noting that “Netanyahu… is intent on driving a harder bargain.’

“…Left unsaid is that the Israeli electorate is most definitely not in favor of complete withdrawal, and that the prime minister simply reflects the will of the nation in this regard. What is more, Horovitz neglects to say that neither does international law support this: UN Security Resolution 242, which does not demand full Israeli withdrawal, acknowledges Israel’s need for secure borders.”


Please, see this, save it, and share it broadly.  It touches upon the key issues that the world prefers to ignore.


I had suggested last week (and a computer virus prevented me from returning to this more quickly) that there was a possibility that Netanyahu might have frozen building in Judea and Samaria communities for 10 months in a quid pro quo deal with Obama regarding Iran.  There was this possibility implicit in the secrecy of the last meeting Netanyahu had with Obama, and I indicated that I had seen sources after that meeting that suggested this. Since I wrote that, Dr. Aaron Lerner, director of IMRA (www.imra.org), suggested the same possibility in his weekly commentary.

But, sadly, I confess that I’m less and less of this mind, as the Netanyahu decision seems to be a case of caving that is nothing if not regrettable. Part of what is moving me in this direction are the reports that Obama is already making MORE demands of us.  This would be the case if we were seen as having caved, and would much less likely be so if there had been a deal. 

It does seem that Obama will never be satisfied, and will always project that “you made a concession yesterday, what can you do for me today?” attitude towards Israel.

In response to this, there is only one acceptable response: strength.  There must be an ability to say, NO! Particularly is this so as the current occupant of the White House has no regard for Israeli rights or security.


The demands? These, also reported elsewhere, were delineated by Caroline Glick in her Friday column :


First, apparently Obama wants the IDF to pull out of the Jordan Valley and allow PA security forces to take over.  The Jordan Valley is essential for our security, and Netanyahu had made it clear up front that we would want to retain this in any deal. 

What is more, in spite of attempts to represent the case as otherwise, the PA forces are not capable of going it alone anywhere in Judea and Samaria.  Note this quote from a piece by Ethan Bronner of the decidedly not pro-Israel New York Times:

“…But without nightly Israeli raids into Palestinian cities, the violence would never have stopped.
“’Last night we carried out between 15 and 20 actions,’ a top Israeli commander said of the West Bank raids, in a recent interview under military rules of anonymity. ‘That was a fairly typical night. It’s like throwing a blanket on a fire. If we stop for a minute, we will go backwards very quickly. We call it cutting the grass.’”


I’ve written that there is concern that if we trade 1,000 terrorists for Gilad Shalit it will strengthen Hamas in the street and make Abbas even weaker than he already is.  Well, not to worry, Obama has a solution.  That’s  his second demand: When we release those 1,000 prisoners to Hamas, Obama apparently wants us to release ANOTHER 1,000 terrorists to Abbas.  What’s another thousands killers on the loose, when it’s only Israelis they’ll be aiming for?

This policy is so bad it’s a parody of itself.  But I fear Obama may be serious.


G-d forbid, G-d forbid! our government should cave to such dangerous nonsense. But I must note this, which has already transpired:

Last week the Shin Bet (Israeli security) “pardoned” 92 Al Aksa Martyrs Brigade members who were fugitives.  This means we will no longer pursue them and they are free to move about in the areas controlled by the PA (Area A under Oslo).  Above, you read the description by an IDF officer of the nightly IDF raids to maintain peace.  It might have been in an operation such as this that we would have gotten these guys, who have now been removed from our “wanted” list.  In return they had to promise to renounce terrorism. 

This is hardly the first time we’ve cooperated in an arrangement like this with Al Aksa Brigades, which, by the way, is part of Fatah. I am especially impressed with the idiocy of having them promise to renounce terrorism.  The deal is that ultimately they will have the opportunity to join the security forces — then they can carry their guns legally.

And why did we do it now? To strengthen Abbas, of course.

Does anyone ever consider the implications of this: That if we refrain from pursuit of members of a terrorist group it makes Abbas look good?


We are witnessing a strong response to the decision made by the Netanyahu and the Security Cabinet regarding the building freeze:

Minister Uzi Landau (Yisrael Beitenu) has filed an appeal for a debate with the government secretariat:  “This is a central issue in the state agenda, and it is essential that all members of government get a chance to express their opinions.” He is pushing for a debate within the full Cabinet (the Security Cabinet constituting a smaller group).

Within Likud it amounts to a power struggle, and I say forthrightly (and regretfully) that when it comes to playing power politics, Netanyahu gives no quarter.  His concern is for sustaining his decisions, not for  democratic voice within the party. 

Earlier today, MK Danny Danon addressed a rally of activists in Ra’anana, under the banner “Real Likudniks don’t surrender.”  He told those gathered that:

“The prime minister should have told the Americans that on Judea and Samaria he would not surrender. We are starting a campaign to put the breaks on what Netanyahu is trying to do.  We will be attacked for this and it won’t be easy, but we, the silent majority of the Likud, will struggle and succeed.” 

He promised to promote a debate on the issue of the freeze within the Central Committee of Likud.

The prime minister’s office, anticipating this, last night released a statement stating that Netanyahu would avoid convening the Central Committee (even if signatures were garnered by Danon calling for a Committee debate).  Said Netanyahu associates, if the Committee were to be convened, it would discuss only procedural matters.  In addition, Netanyahu leaned on Likud MKs not to attend Danon’s rally. 

Well, Danon today garnered the requisite number of signatures of Likud members on a petition demanding that the debate in the Central Committee be held. He has turned it over to Chairman of the Likud Central Committee, Minister Moshe Kahlon. And Kahlon has advised Prime Minister Netanyahu to convene the Committee for a debate on the construction freeze.

Now we shall see.  Danny Danon is to be praised highly.

Perhaps you’d like him to know how much you appreciate his efforts:

E-mail: ddanon@knesset.gov.il

Fax: 02-649-6044  (In the US: 972-2-649-6044)

Phone: 02-640-8659/8 (In the US: 972-2-640-8659/8) 


Chair of Ihud Leumi (National Union), Ya’akov Katz, is challenging the government on another issue.  The Shamgar Commission had been charged with examining the implications of a prisoner exchange with Hamas, but the findings, which were completed in 2008, have not been released.  Katz has now filed an appeal with the High Court of Justice, asking that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu be ordered to publish the findings before a trade for Shalit is done; he says that the Commission found that the effect of a trade would be negative.  “Netanyahu must reveal the findings before we make any decision to release terrorists, and he must have a debate in the government and in the Knesset before he reaches any conclusion.”

Don’t know that he can succeed with this, but Bravo! to him, as well.


Today is Kaf Tet B’November — the 29th of November — when the UN voted Palestinian partition in 1947.  I will return soon to some matters regarding the UN and the international community.


It is a hopeful matter, that Iran is behaving so defiantly that nations that were hedging are beginning to be genuinely irked and ready to think about taking some action.  There’s more to say on this, as well…  Tomorrow is another day.





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