No emotional dissonance for me on the situation with the PA/PLO. The emotions I feel are anything but positive, but I am unconflicted.
Deputy Minister of Defense Danny Danon (Likud) has been calling it straight.
And that certainly applies to this particular situation:
“We have to freeze the negotiations until [Abbas]…and the Palestinian leadership condemn the terrorist incidents of the last few days. I told the prime minister that he cannot negotiate with those who support terror.” (Emphasis added.)
That we can not — and should not — negotiate with the Palestinian Authority in its current formulation seems to me a no-brainer.
To gain a more complete picture of what the PA leadership is like, consider the following. It is far worse than their refusing to condemn those Palestinian Arabs who committed the terrorist attacks of the last few days (more on this below):
Abbas Zaki, a member of the Fatah Central Committee (Fatah, remember, being the political mainstay of the Palestinian Authority), has charged that what the sniper in Hevron did is the fault of the Israeli government:
“The soldier was not on a picnic in Hebron.”
Darn right he wasn’t. Sgt. Kobi was stationed in Hevron, along with other members of the IDF, to protect the thousands of Jews who came for Sukkot.
And of course, the Palestinian Arabs who were throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails not far from where Kobi was standing were doing so for peaceful reasons.
The core issue here — and the reason for the rioting — is the presence of Jews in large numbers in Hevron.
Then there is Abbas spokesman Nabil Abu Rudaineh, who said that Israel is continuing to “kill Palestinians in Kalandiya, Jenin and Gaza.”
(All quotes are from the JPost article above.)
This is surreal. Not only does the PA leadership lie and misrepresent on a regular basis, they are totally without shame as they turn the truth on its head.
Let us look just very briefly at how Israel is treating the Palestinian Arabs in Gaza:
Since the takeover of Gaza by Hamas, Israel had limited building materials going from Israel to Gaza via crossing points because they are “double use” items — for example, concrete could be used for building schools but could also be used for making bunkers for rockets, metal bars could be used in reinforcing those school buildings or could be melted down for rocket construction.
Most of the building material brought into Gaza was via the tunnels from the Sinai. But now the Sinai connection has been cut off by the Egyptian military. And just one week ago, Israel lifted the restriction on importing building materials into Gaza: Now 350 truckloads of materials will be allowed into Gaza weekly — an increase of 250 truckloads — in order “to increase employment and strengthen the private sector in the Gaza Strip.”
What is more, last week Ministry of Defense spokesman Guy Inbar announced that Israel will be selling more water to the PA for use in Gaza. Actually, Israel will be building a pipeline that allows double the current amount of water to be piped from Israel into Gaza.
Reports indicated that Israel made these moves after “consultation with the international community,” which means under duress from the US and the EU. Tony Blair, Quartet envoy, said that these steps would create “a more positive atmosphere.”
These are some more of those “gestures of good will” made in an attempt to generate constructive negotiations.
One could probably make a very good case that we are certifiable for doing this. But if we’re nuts, it’s benignly so, with regard to how we are treating the Palestinian Arabs. Not so benign, perhaps, with regard to how we protect ourselves. We give altogether too much, with no return.
Now to have a spokesman for Abbas accusing us of “killing Palestinians” — as if we routinely go around taking Palestinian Arabs out — is insufferable. Israel should have a Red Line here, in terms of what is tolerated. It is time for Netanyahu to stand up and say: “ENOUGH! You are not a partner for peace and we are withdrawing from negotiations.”
I wrote recently about a Hamas prediction that a new intifada was coming. Now hear from Khaled Abu Toameh on this subject, in “A New Intifada?” (emphasis added):
“The resumption of the U.S.-sponsored negotiations has been accompanied by increased calls from Palestinians to launch a new intifada against Israel.
“Calls have been coming not only from Hamas and other extremist groups, but also from Palestinians representing various PLO groups in the West Bank, including Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s own Fatah faction.
“Earlier this week, representatives of several Palestinian groups met in Ramallah and launched a public campaign to stop the negotiations and wage an intifada against Israel.
“That the meeting was held a few hundred meters away from Abbas’s headquarters is significant. It shows that opposition to the peace talks is not only coming from the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, but also from the largely secular and relatively moderate city of Ramallah.
“A few days earlier, a group of masked men marched in the city calling for a third intifada against Israel. The Palestinian Authority police did not intervene to stop them because, Palestinians say, they were Abbas loyalists from Fatah.
“Calls for a new uprising against Israel are also being issued by senior officials of Fatah in the West Bank. These officials argue that stepping up the ‘popular resistance’ against Israel is possible even as the peace talks continue.
“‘Popular resistance will increase pressure on the Israeli government and draw the world’s attention to the conflict,’ explained a top Fatah official.
“By supporting a new intifada against Israel, Fatah is seeking to send a message to its critics that, despite Abbas’s decision to resume the peace talks with Israel, its members have not abandoned the option of violence as a way of extracting concessions from the Israeli government.
“That is perhaps why Fatah’s armed wing, Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, rushed to claim responsibility for the killing of the two IDF soldiers in Kalkiliya and Hebron.
“After the killing of the soldier in Hebron by a sniper, Fatah published a photo of one of its sharpshooters with the caption, ‘When Fatah says, it does. When Fatah promises, it fulfills.’
“It is worth noting that the Fatah leadership has refrained from distancing itself from the claims of its armed wing.
“Moreover, the Palestinian Authority has stopped short of issuing any form of condemnation for the killing of the soldiers.
“Instead, the Palestinian Authority itself has been involved in a massive campaign of incitement against Israel.
“While some Palestinian Authority officials have come out in public in support of escalating ‘popular resistance’ against Israel, others have been telling Palestinians that ‘extremist Jewish gangs are storming and contaminating the Aqsa Mosque’ — a reference to routine visits by Jews to the Temple Mount.
“These are the kind of statements that prompt young Palestinians to take to the streets and throw stones and petrol bombs at Jewish settlers and IDF soldiers.
“Although Abbas and some of his aides have been telling Israelis, Americans and Europeans that they are opposed to violence and terror attacks against Israel, they continue to incite Palestinians against Israel on a daily basis.”
While Fatah officials think it’s possible to encourage “popular resistance” and continue negotiations at the same time, Israeli officials must make it clear that this is not an option. That Israel has “protested” to the US about continued PA violence and incitement is worthless. ENOUGH!
We need to hold our heads up and respect our national dignity. Not be taken for fools.
As to charges by Abu Rudaineh that we are killing Palestinians in places such as Kalandiya, I backup to refer to incidents from last month:
In late August, IDF soldiers from an Artillery Corps battalion and elite border police officers entered the Kalandiya UNRWA refugee camp, located between Jerusalem and Ramallah, at 5 AM, to arrest a security suspect — a member of Tanzim identified as a senior terrorist figure who dealt in weapons. Twice before he had escaped attempts to arrest him.
This time the Israeli security forces gave chase when he bolted from his home, and then found themselves surrounded by some 300 Palestinian Arabs. A riot broke out and the mob began throwing concrete slabs at the soldiers. Non-lethal means of dispersing the rioters was unsuccessful. The mob grew in size and the violence increased: According to an Israeli security source, Israeli forces were being showered with life-threatening objects from rooftops, including washing machines, bathtubs, refrigerators, blocks and carpets set on fire “that landed on jeeps and could have set them ablaze.” Some in the crowd also opened fire on the jeeps.
In the end, the soldiers, feeling that their lives were endangered, opened fire. Three in the rioting mob were killed.
The IDF investigated and found that the soldiers had followed rules of engagement and acted properly.
Abbas called this an “assassination.”
Also in late August, a similar incident occurred in the city of Jenin, when Israeli security forces carried out a pre-dawn raid to arrest terror suspects. Here, too, they were set upon by a Palestinian Arab mob that threw rocks and empty bottles. The Israeli forces responded with rubber bullets and tear gas. Ultimately, there was an exchange of gunfire, with the Palestinian Arabs also throwing explosives. One Palestinian Arab was killed.
I reported with pleasure on the announcement by Netanyahu that Jews would now be able to move into Beit Hamachpela. Seems there has now been a backtrack.
A lawyer for a number of Arab families has petitioned the Court to stop Jews from moving in, claiming that there was still a period of time permitted for challenging ownership of the building by Jews. It’s beyond me, folks, as I understood that a court had determined that papers held by the Jews were legitimate.
Today the State [the Netanyahu administration] told the Court that “no decision has been made to give
possession of the building anyone” and no decision would be made until a review process on the matter was completed. Ouch!
See Aaron Lerner, director of IMRA, on this: http://imra.org.il/story.php3?id=61954. If I learn more in due course that makes any sense, I will report on it.
As to Abbas apologizing, I have this to report, also from IMRA:
According to Benny Avni reporting on Israel Radio, in a meeting Abbas had with Jewish leaders in New York on Monday night, he said — addressing the issue of the slain soldiers for the first time:
“I condemn this act and all other acts against civilians.”
Aaron Lerner points out that, if the report, in Hebrew, was correct, then Abbas’s statement contained an internal contradiction — for those murdered were not civilians.
I would carry this further: A statement to a selective audience of Jewish leaders, made in New York City, does not properly qualify as a condemnation. Such a condemnation would have to be made in this region at a press conference or via press release. Properly, it should be made in Arabic, so that his own people would know that he condemned the murders (which, of course, he does not).
Then, setting up an artificial moral equivalency, he said he expected Israel to condemn the recent killings of Palestinian Arabs by Israeli security forces. Israel should condemn the fact that her soldiers, when faced with slabs of concrete and even washing machines being thrown at them from rooftops, fired at their attackers to protect their lives.
I began this post by citing Danny Danon, and I cite him again here, with regard to the statement he made following President Obama’s speech at the UN today:
“If this is the way the wind is blowing at present from Obama, an enormous amount of pressure will be certain to follow.”
“I’m sure that the Prime Minister will present Israel’s position in the spirit of Jabotinsky’s Iron Wall – a powerful combination of determination and stability will ensure the strength of the State of Israel,”
Let us pray so.
Obama’s speech was filled with platitudes and undeserved back-patting. Consider (emphasis added): “Next year, an international coalition will end its war in Afghanistan, having achieved its mission of dismantling the core of al Qaeda that attacked us on 9/11.” Really now? So, as long as al Qaeda has moved on to other places, that’s OK?
I’m going to skip over that part of his talk. His major topics, both of which require a careful look, are Iran and Israeli-Palestinian Arab relations. In the main, I want to table the Iranian topic for now — with intention to pick it up in my next post — and focus on what he says about Israel/negotiations/a Palestinian state. (All emphasis is added.)
Danon’s comment about pressure was surely a response to this:
“We are also determined to resolve a conflict that goes back even further than our differences with Iran, and that is the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis.”
What happened to Obama’s position that “we cannot want it more than the parties themselves do.” Just precisely how do “they” intend to resolve a conflict between other parties? This sets off loud alarms regarding implied coercion.
And how does he come to this: “I believe there’s a growing recognition within Israel that the occupation of the West Bank is tearing at the democratic fabric of the Jewish state.”
First, that word, “occupation,” used pointedly, and erroneously, here and elsewhere in his talk. There is no occupation. Just today I had a discussion with a reader regarding my intention to provide further information on Israeli rights. There is no way to do full justice to this here and now, with the length of this posting. But it is coming — and soon.
What Obama calls “the West Bank,” which is Judea and Samaria (Yehuda v’Shomron), represents the ancient heritage of the Jewish people — the core of what we are as a people. How can we “occupy” this? We are talking about Hevron, with the Machpela, which cave our father Avraham purchased. And Shilo, where the Tabernacle rested. And Jerusalem, where two Temples stood. And more and more and more…
There is also our historical/legal right in modern times — the San Remo Conference and the Palestinian Mandate, conferred on Britain by the League of Nations, so that a homeland for the Jewish people could be established in all of Palestine (with human rights but not national rights accorded other groups). Legally binding in international law, this has not been superseded.
There is the fact that Israel acquired Judea and Samaria in a defensive war, and that there was no legal sovereignty in that area prior to Israel’s liberation of it. There is UN Security Council Resolution 242, which does not require Israel to return to the ’49 armistice line (i.e., the Green Line).
What is clear here is that Obama adheres, still, to the Palestinian Arab position: that everything beyond the Green Line is part of a “Palestinian state.” And that spells trouble.
He also has it wrong regarding “growing recognition within Israel” regarding “the occupation” being destructive. He likes to do this — to set what he claims is the “Israeli view” against the view of an Netanyahu administration represented as being obstinate and out of touch. Fact is that more and more Israelis see that a Palestinian state is not in Israel’s best interest.
“…the United States remains committed to the belief that the Palestinian people have a right to live with security and dignity in their own sovereign state.”
Aaron Lerner’s comment here: President Obama juxtaposed America’s commitment to Israel’s security with the requirement of Palestinian “dignity.’ Israel has many critical security requirements that the Palestinians assert do not jibe with Palestinian ‘dignity.’
“This raises another interesting question: what of Jewish ‘dignity’? Do we Jews also have the right to ‘dignity’ or is our ‘dignity’ something that can be forfeited?”
“So the time is now ripe for the entire international community to get behind the pursuit of peace.”
More loud alarm bells. Translation: folks, come help me apply the pressure.
“Already, Israeli and Palestinian leaders have demonstrated a willingness to take significant political risks.” Give me a break! I’ve amply demonstrated just how willing Abbas is.
“All of us must recognize that peace will be a powerful tool to defeat extremists throughout the region…”
This man is a clown! Hamas is waiting, with ill-disguised eagerness, to take over a Palestinian state. The ONLY thing that keeps terrorists at bay now is the conduct of Israeli security forces in Judea and Samaria. Above, I gave two examples of Israeli security raids to capture suspected terrorists. My friends, this goes on nightly. If there is a sovereign Palestinian state (Heaven forbid!) and the IDF cannot move in, those extremists will have a field day.
In Gaza right now, Hamas is the most moderate of the Islamic movements — much worse (including al Qaeda) is present. The same would adhere in a Palestinian state: It would be a headquarters, a training ground for radicalism.
Short-sighted, biased fools in the world, some of whom head governments, refuse to acknowledge that it is Israel that keeps the peace.
Lastly for now, this:
“Real breakthroughs on these two issues — Iran’s nuclear program, and Israeli-Palestinian peace — would have a profound and positive impact on the entire Middle East and North Africa.”
How dare he? How dare he juxtapose these two issues, implying that they are of the same import and that each is equally a threat to the Middle East?
The entire speech can be found http://www.timesofisrael.com/full-text-of-obamas-2013-speech-at-un-general-assembly/
© 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.
If it is reproduced and emphasis is added, the fact that it has been added must be noted.