New Palestinian Government Refuses to Renounce Violence

Mahmoud Abbas / AP

Mahmoud Abbas / AP

By Adam Kredo:

A top Hamas official said that the newly announced Palestinian unity government “will not recognize ‘Israel’ and will not give up the resistance,” throwing into jeopardy the new ruling government’s access to U.S. assistance and other measures.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has threatened to dissolve the long ruling Palestinian Authority and and has now surprised observers by forming a government with the terror group Hamas, which rules over the Gaza Strip.

Hamas and Fatah—Abbas’s political party that controls the West Bank—surprised Middle East observers on Wednesday morning by announcing that the rival groups would put aside differences to form a unity government with elections scheduled for later this year.

The move tossed another wrench into the fledgling peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians and prompted sharp responses from U.S. officials.

Events took another surprising turn this afternoon when top Hamas official Hassan Yousef announced that the terror group would not renounce its commitment to violence and the destruction of Israel, according to Palestinian groups monitoring the situation.

Hamas will not recognize Israel—a chief sticking point in peace talks with Abbas—and “will not give up the resistance,” which is widely interpreted to refer to Hamas’s ongoing terror attacks against Israeli civilians and military personnel.

The announcement of the unity government came just days after Abbas threatened to completely dissolve the PA should peace talks come to a complete halt.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reacted to the news with skepticism.

“The Palestinian Authority, which just yesterday spoke about its dissolution, is now talking about reconciling with Hamas,” Netanyahu was quoted as saying. “They should decide what they want—dissolution to reconciliation? They should let us know when they want peace, because we want a true peace.”

Netanyahu said on Wednesday following news of the unity government that Abbas is siding with terror over peace.

“Does he [Abbas] want peace with Hamas or peace with Israel?” he asked. “You can have one but not the other. I hope he chooses peace, so far he hasn’t done so.”

State Department spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki warned that the move could demolish the peace talks as well as America’s relationship with the PA.

“A great deal of effort has gone into building Palestinian institutions by Palestinians as well as the international community, and it would certainly not be in the interests of the Palestinian people for all of that to be lost,” Psaki told reporters.

Such a move would jeopardize U.S. assistance to the Palestinians, which has topped $100 million in recent years.

Read more a Free Beacon

Arabs No Longer Take Obama Administration Seriously

by Khaled Abu Toameh:

The extension of the peace talks means only one thing: that Abbas will be able to use the new time given to him to try to extract further concessions from the U.S. and Israel, while all the time bearing in mind that Obama and Kerry are willing to do almost anything to avoid a situation where they are forced to admit that their efforts and initiatives in the Middle East have failed.

The communiqué issued by Arab heads of state at the end of their summit in Kuwait this week shows that the Arab countries do not hold the Obama Administration in high regard or even take it seriously.

The Arab leaders also proved once again that they do not care much about their own people, including the Palestinians.

The Arab leaders, at the end of their two-day meeting, announced their “total rejection of the call to consider Israel a Jewish state.”

This announcement came despite pressure from the Obama Administration on the Arab leaders to refrain from rejecting the demand.

A top Arab diplomat was quoted as saying that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry contacted Arab leaders on the eve of their 25th summit in Kuwait to “warn” them against rejecting Israel as a Jewish state.

Kerry, according to the diplomat, asked the Arab leaders completely to ignore the issue of Israel’s Jewishness and not to make any positive or negative reference to it in their final statement.

Kerry did not want the Arab heads of state to repeat the same “mistake” that the Arab League foreign ministers made on March 9, when they too issued a statement declaring their refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state.

The Arab leaders, however, decided to ignore Kerry’s warning and went on to endorse Palestinian Authority [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas’s refusal.

The Arab summit’s statement was published shortly before Kerry cut short a European tour to hold an emergency meeting with Abbas in Amman in a last-minute effort to salvage the peace process with Israel.

 

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry cut short a European tour to hold an emergency meeting with PA President Mahmoud Abbas in Amman, Jordan, pictured above on March 26, 2014. (Image source: U.S. Sate Department)

In light of the Arab summit’s announcement, all that is left for Kerry to do is to put heavy pressure on Abbas to agree to the extension of the peace talks after the April 29 deadline set by the U.S. Administration.

At the meeting in Amman, Kerry warned Abbas that failure to comply with his demand would result in U.S. sanctions against the PA, including suspending financial aid and closing the PLO diplomatic mission in Washington.

Emboldened by the Arab leaders’ backing, however, Abbas does not seem to take Kerry’s threats seriously, particularly in light of previous threats by the U.S. Administration that were never carried out.

In 2012, Abbas had also ignored U.S. threats and pressure by seeking UN recognition of a Palestinian state. The Obama Administration did not take any retaliatory measures against the PA or against Abbas himself.

Like most of the Arab leaders, Abbas apparently understands that the Obama Administration has been weakened to a point where it is no longer able to impose its will on any Arab leader.

The way things appear now, it is Abbas who is setting new conditions and coming up with new demands, evidently from a conviction that the Obama Administration has no choice but to succumb.

Abbas today seems to feel confident enough to set his own conditions for accepting Kerry’s demand to extend the peace talks.

Abbas has therefore now come up with a new requirement: that Israel release three senior Palestinians from Israeli prison: Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti, PFLP Secretary-General Ahmed Sa’dat and Gen. Fuad Shobaki. All three are serving lengthy prison sentences for their role in terrorist activities, including the assassination of Israeli Tourism Minister Rehavam Ze’evi.

The Palestinians also continue to accuse the Obama Administration of exerting heavy pressure on Abbas to soften his position and accept some of Israel’s demands, including the issue of Israel’s Jewishness. Some senior Palestinian officials in Ramallah have even accused Obama and Kerry of practicing “political and financial blackmail” against Abbas.

Abbas seems assured that Obama and Kerry are so desperate to avoid a collapse of the peace talks that they will be willing to accept anything he or the Arab leaders ask for.

The Arab summit stance on the issue of recognizing Israel as a Jewish state is a blow to the Obama Administration’s efforts to achieve a peace agreement between the Palestinian Authority and Israel.

There is a feeling among many Arabs and Palestinians that the Obama Administration has no clue as to what it wants from the Arab world. They point out that the Obama Administration has failed in its policies toward several Arab countries, especially Egypt, Libya and Syria.

Read more at Gatestone Institute

Arafat Recognized Jewish State, Why Won’t Abbas?

 

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas / KHALED EL FIQI/EPA

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas / KHALED EL FIQI/EPA

IPT: The Arab League is endorsing Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’refusal to accept Israel as a Jewish state as a part of any peace agreement.

But in taking this position, Abbas – considered by the Obama administration to be a moderate Palestinian leader with whom a deal can be struck – is not going as far as his predecessor. Yasser Arafat recognized Israel as a Jewish state at least twice. In an undated video, Arafat said the PNC (Palestine National Council) accepted two states. One Palestinian, and a “Jewish state … Israel.”

 

 

“The PNC has accepted two states. Palestine state and Jewish state … Israel.”

Arafat also unequivocally accepted Israel’s Jewish character during a 2004 interview. Asked whether Israel should endure as a Jewish state, Arafat’s reply simply was “Definitely.”

“What Arafat permitted,” Ari Shavit wrote last month in Haaretz, “Abbas cannot forbid. The current Palestinian Authority president must say explicitly what his predecessor said implicitly. Peace? There won’t be any peace if Abbas doesn’t follow in Arafat’s footsteps and say that Israel is a Jewish state whose Jewish character must be preserved.”

Abbas is scheduled to visit the White House next week. In an interview last month that included pressure on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to support the U.S.-led effort, President Obama told journalist Jeffrey Goldberg that Abbas represents “a partner on the other side who is prepared to negotiate seriously … for us to not seize this moment I think would be a great mistake. I’ve said directly to Prime Minister Netanyahu he has an opportunity to solidify, to lock in, a democratic, Jewish state of Israel that is at peace with its neighbors.”

Only if Abbas is prepared to negotiate seriously.

In Washington last week, Netanyahu spoke glowingly of the opportunities a peace deal would present. Abbas responded to that optimism with an adamant rejection of a reality that even Yasser Arafat could see. Israel twice before has extended generous offers that would create a Palestinian state, only to have them rejected, most recentlyby Abbas in 2008.

In an interview with an Israeli television station, Netanyahu said the Palestinian posturing creates doubts about the depth of their commitment to a peace deal.

“The question of whether there will be an agreement must first and foremost be posed to the Palestinians,” he said.

Palestinians: Eight Million Refugees Must Return to Israel

by Khaled Abu Toameh:

Many Palestinians said that Abbas was not authorized to make any concessions or speak on behalf of the refugees.

“Our refugees will not accept any alternative to their right to return to their homeland and we do not care what Abbas’s position is.” — Ali Huwaidi, expert on Palestinian affairs.

The reactions to Abbas’s statements concerning the issue of refugees show that any agreement that Abbas reaches with Israel under U.S. pressure will not signal the end of the conflict.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is facing criticism from Palestinian refugees for saying that he does not want to “flood” Israel with millions of refugees.

Abbas made his statement during a meeting in his Ramallah office earlier this week with dozens of Israeli students – the first direct encounter of its kind between the Palestinian Authority president and Israeli youths.

Abbas has also come under criticism for breaking a ban by Palestinian activists on meetings with Israelis. The ban has been imposed over the past few years by “anti-normalization” activists who oppose such meetings between Israelis and Palestinians.

 

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (at podium, left) listens to a question posed by an Israeli audience member at his recent address in Ramallah. (Image source: JN1 YouTube video screenshot)

Abbas’s controversial remarks about the “right of return” highlight the difficulties facing U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in his efforts to achieve a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. The Palestinian reactions to Abbas’s remarks show that the issue of the refugees remains a sensitive and explosive one that could torpedo any agreement between the Israelis and Palestinians.

Abbas told the Israeli students that the claim that he was seeking to “flood” Israel with five million refugees was nonsense.

“There is propaganda saying that Abu Mazen [Abbas] wants the return of five million refugees to destroy the state of Israel,” he said. “This is not true at all. All what we said was: Let’s place the issue of the refugees on the table because it’s a sensitive case which needs to be solved in order to end the conflict and so that the refugees would be satisfied with a peace agreement. But we are not seeking to drown Israel with millions in order to change its demography. This is nonsense.”

Representatives of Palestinian refugees rushed to issue condemnations of Abbas, accusing him of relinquishing the “right of return” of millions of Palestinians to their former villages and towns inside Israel.

Read more at Gatestone Institute

A Mockery of Peace

obama mapby Justin O Smith:

Israel gives the world no peace, it bars slumber, it teaches the world to be discontented and restless as long as the world has not God. -Jacques Maritain

The modern racism, which yearned to eliminate Jews from society as a gardener would root out weeds, the sort of racism that allowed pogroms to flourish across Russia and Europe in the 1890s and culminated in the death camps of the 1940s in Nazi Germany, is on the rise once more in Europe and America, with U.S. president Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry leading the way. In an overt act of anti-semitism, Kerry recently remarked in the affirmative and in agreement with several European leaders that boycotts and sanctions against Israel may be needed to force Israel to accept the Kerry Plan for “peace” and a two state solution, as if Israel does not want peace and the Palestinians’ claims in the area are not specious and false.

While the Kerry Plan does call for the Palestinians to recognize the right of Israel to exist as the state of the Jewish people, two of its main points certainly must be non-starters for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: Israel is to withdraw from the West Bank to the 1967 borders, and East Jerusalem will become the Palestinian capital.

Since the land of Israel in 1948 accounted for less than a fourth of the land originally designated “Palestine,” and Jordan, an Islamic/Palestinian state that forbids Jews settlement rights by law, was carved out of the Palestinian “Jewish National Home,” how can the Arabs be said to have been excluded from a “Palestinian homeland”?

Just how much land will Israel have to relinquish in order to achieve real peace? All of it according to Yasir Arafat, former head of the Palestinian Liberation Organization, when he spoke with world renown journalist Oriana Fallaci in Amman, Jordan in March 1972.

President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority and head of the Fatah Party recently proposed an old NATO security proposal for the area that was favored by former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Ohmert and former U.S. President George W. Bush. Abbas will accept a U.S. led NATO and Jordanian force into the Palestinian state indefinitely to prevent the sort of terrorism that occurred after Israel disengaged from Gaza in 2004. Abbas also allows that a “third party” can stay in the newly demilitarized West Bank “for a long time…to reassure the Israelis and to protect us” (the Palestinians).

No, this plan should not offer Israel any comfort. Abbas and the Palestinians will be the only winners, gaining their new state. Israel’s national security will be compromised, as they attempt to defend a barely defensible position from behind the 1967 borders. This places Israel at a severe disadvantage from the start, should any new conflict arise. With NATO’s ability to ensure any real security suspect at best, for Israel, it is like starting a chess game without one’s queen.

Many so-called experts are discussing this framework agreement, as though it is a morally superior endeavor to all previous peace talks. However, whether we speak of the 1915 Sykes-Picot Agreement, the 1917 Balfour Treaty, the 1922 British Mandate and through each successive agreement to the Kerry Plan, most of the world has sought to undermine the State of Israel, while proclaiming otherwise. And now, the U.S. government too is underminig Israel, America’s long-time ally.

Netanyahu does not trust the Palestinians to negotiate honestly, as he stated recently: “I do not want a binational state. But we also don’t want another state that will start attacking us.” And, intuitively, Netanyahu rightly does not trust Obama and Kerry, as was evident three weeks ago when he said, “Israel does not have to agree with everything America presents.”

The peace talks, scheduled to end April 29, nearly ended prematurely, when the Israelis announced on January 10, 2014 that they intended to build 1400 housing units in east Jerusalem and the West Bank. Saeb Erekat, Palestinian chief negotiator, was highly upset, but Erekat and all involved in this framework agreement process understood that settlement construction would continue full force during negotiations.

Although Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s political base opposes the Kerry Plan, Netanyahu sees a two state solution of some sort, as necessary for Israel’s integrity as a Jewish democratic state, with healthy ties to Europe and the West for the sake of Israel’s economy. In this light, John Kerry’s coercion and economic blackmail are especially egregious, despicable and unnecessary; Kerry has damaged any future peace process, harmed Israel and damaged U.S.-Israeli diplomatic relations, but many Americans did not expect anything less from a man of such low character.

Once one reviews the historical record and understands that the British gave away Jewish land to the landless Arab/Muslims who were displaced by Islamic fuedal practices and extortionate taxation, not by the Jews, and, in conjunction one reads various quotes from decades past, one realizes anti-semitism never goes away; it just becomes more glib: “The greatest contemporary hero (in the Muslim world) is Hitler.” – John Gunther, ‘Inside Asia’, 1939; in 1974, Syrian PLO leader, Zuheir Muhsein explained, “Our purpose…it (a Palestinian state) will be a point of departure…This State will be the backbone of our struggle against Israel.” This mindset prevails today across the Middle East.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stands against diplomatic storms that threaten to annihilate Israel eventually__God forbid__and liberal Jews in Israel’s Labor Party and in America who are advocating the Kerry Plan are making Israel’s situation tragic and unbearable. Bibi Netanyahu must reject outright this plan and Kerry and Obama, with all their bias towards the Palestinians, as Israel seeks new allies and economic partners; Bibi must reject Oslo and all previous accords. He must find the political will and support to annex Gaza and the West Bank, as he proceeds with a forced removal/repatriation of the Palestinians to Jordan or the rest of the Arab world. The world uttered not a peep when this was done to 2 million Russians, against their will, under the Marshall Plan after WWII, but listen to the outcry when this proves necessary for Israel. And, if the tragedy of Bethlehem under Palestinian control is any indication of things to come, at the very least, Jerusalem must always stay united and complete as the proper capital of Israel. All of this is preferable to a sham “peace” agreement that only serves Israel’s enemies.

Genesis 12:2__I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great.

Dead Terrorists and Palestinian National Imagery

The Long-Term Cost of Releasing Terrorists

ShowImage.ashx_by :

Originally published by the Jerusalem Post

On Sunday, Issa Karaka, the Palestinian Authority’s minister for jailed terrorists, announced that in the next round of terrorist releases, Israel will release not only Palestinian terrorist murderers, but Israeli Arabs who murdered Israeli Jews in terrorist attacks.

As late as last week, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was said to have completely rejected the Palestinian demand. But in response to Karaka’s statement, Netanyahu’s spokesman said only that the release of Israeli Arab terrorists would be subject to the approval of the government. In other words, Karaka was probably telling the truth.

The question is what has changed? Why happened over the past week that forced Netanyahu to cave? The obvious answer is that US Secretary of State John Kerry came to Jerusalem, again. And he forced Netanyahu’s hand, again.

Kerry is the Palestinians’ ace in the hole. He used the US’s limitless leverage on Israel to coerce Israel into agreeing to pay for the privilege of speaking to Palestinian negotiators who reject our country’s right to exist and extol as heroes the terrorist scum who murder us.

For the pleasure of their company, Kerry forced Israel to agree up-front to release scores of Palestinian terrorist murderers. And he did so in bad faith.

According to a high-ranking government official, Israel told Kerry it would release 82 murderers, none of whom are Israelis. And he agreed.

But then, during a joint appearance with Kerry, PLO chief Mahmoud Abbas announced that Israel had agreed to release 104 terrorists, including Israeli citizens. Rather than correct him, Kerry went along, and so locked Israel into a concession it had never made.

And now, with Kerry’s support, Karaka said that if Israel refuses to release Israeli Arab murderers in the next round of releases, the PLO will abandon the talks. The EU has already announced that it will blame Israel for any PLO walkout.

It has been clear for some time that Israel is playing a sucker’s game here.

The deck is stacked against us. Every step Israel takes to either buy time or lessen US pressure only leads to more pressure.

Netanyahu reportedly agreed to release terrorists from prison because Kerry told him that he had to make a big concession: either release murderers or effectively surrender Israel’s national rights to Judea and Samaria and Jerusalem by abrogating Jewish property rights in those areas through a so-called construction freeze. As law professor Eugene Kontorovich explained last week in Commentary, Netanyahu chose the terrorist release as the lesser of two evils because it involved no long-term, substantive concession of Israel’s national and legal rights to the Palestinians.

But then along came the Palestinian- American demand for Israel to release Israeli Arab terrorists, and transformed the Palestinian-American demand for Israel to release terrorists from just another act of bad faith into an assault on Israel’s right to exist.

Read more at Front Page

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Facebook’s “Accidental Mistake” and Free Speech in the Arab World

FB censoringby Khaled Abu Toameh

Many Palestinian journalists, and those in the Middle East, are forced to use Facebook to publish what their own media will not accept. But the problem becomes worse when Facebook itself starts removing material that bothers dictatorships and tyrants. One can only hope that the same Facebook employee who “accidentally” removed the article will make the same mistake and and close down the accounts belonging to terrorist organizations and their leaders. It is the duty of Facebook and Western societies to side with those seeking freedom, and not to be complicit in suppressing there voices.

“All censorships exist to prevent anyone from challenging current conceptions and existing institutions. All progress is initiated by challenging current conceptions, and executed by supplanting existing institutions. Consequently, the first condition of progress is the removal of censorship.” — George Bernard Shaw

Earlier this week, Facebook closed down this writer’s account for “security reasons,” arguing that he had posted an item that violates its terms of use.

Twenty-four hours later, Facebook issued a “sincere apology” and said that a member of its team had “accidentally removed something you posted on Facebook. This was a mistake.”

Although Facebook did not say which “problematic” item had prompted it to take such a drastic measure, apparently it was referring to an article that had been published by Gatestone Institute: The Palestinian Authority’s Inconvenient Truths.

Facebook’s move came at a time when Arab dictatorships in general, and the Palestinian Authority in particular, have been cracking down on Facebook users.

During the past year alone, a number of Palestinian journalists and bloggers were arrested by Western-funded Palestinian Authority security services in the West Bank for criticizing the PA leadership on their Facebook pages.

Among those detained was Esmat Abdel Khaleq, a university lecturer in journalism. She was held in detention for two weeks for posting comments on her Facebook page that allegedly insult Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

Many Palestinian journalists, and those in the Middle East, are forced to use Facebook to publish what their own media will not accept. The media in the West Bank is mostly controlled by the Palestinian Authority, which has repeatedly demonstrated a large degree of intolerance toward any form of criticism. The same applies, of course, to most Arab dictatorships.

Arab governments have obviously become wary of the use their critics are making of Facebook to air their grievances and opinions. In some countries, including the Palestinian Authority, intelligence services have set up special teams to monitor Facebook and other social media networks in search of critics and “dissidents.”

But the problem becomes worse when Facebook itself starts removing material that bothers dictatorships and tyrants.

One can only hope that the same Facebook employee who “accidentally” removed the article will make the same mistake and close down accounts belonging to terrorist organizations and their leaders.

Take for example, the account of senior Hamas official Izzat al Risheq, or the numerous accounts that promote hatred and violence and are openly affiliated with terrorist and jihadi groups.

All one has to do is log in to these accounts, especially the ones in Arabic, to see how most of them are engaged in all forms of incitement.

Read more at Gatestone Institute

Ruler of Qatar Visits Hamas

Qatar’s Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani and Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh

by Daniel E. Rogell for IPT:

Qatar’s Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani became the first head of state to visit Gaza since the Hamas terrorist organization seized control of the territory in June 2007, Ynetnews reported Tuesday. The visit was facilitated by Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood-led government, which issued a statement praising the move as part of its campaign “to break the siege on the people” of Gaza.

It marked a major reversal in Qatar’s relationship with Israel, which until January 2009 included clandestine talks and growing bilateral trade relations. The Qatari leader denounced Israel’s policies and praised the people of Gaza for standing up to the Jewish state with their “bare chests.” The Associated Press called it Hamas’ “biggest diplomatic victory since taking power five years ago.”

Hamas, for its part, was thrilled by what was “a state visit in all but name.”

“It is the first visit by an Arab leader at this level to Gaza,” Hamas said in a statement. “This breaks the political isolation of the government and opens the door to break the siege.”

Despite vehement opposition from the Palestinian Authority and Israel, Sheik Khalifa also pledged $400 million for the beleaguered territory. Israel accused Qatar of taking sides against the Palestinian Authority government and claimed the decision was “hurting the Palestinians and the chance of pulling Gaza out of the mud and onto the road for peace.”

An aide to Palestinian President Abbas, Nimr Hamad, condemned Khalifa for giving “the impression that the visitors recognize their rule and that would reinforce the split [between Palestinian factions] and not help the reconciliation.”

Hamas has widely benefited from the creation of new Islamist regimes and the fall of Arab dictators. Islamist governments in Tunisia and Egypt have welcomed the Gazan terrorist group, despite attempts by the United States to crack down on its funding. Hamas has also profited from the flow of weapons out of Libya since Muammar Gaddafi’s fall.

PA, Islamists Push Blood Libel Against Israel

IPT News September 6, 2012

One of the most enduring anti-Israel slanders is the charge that it is persecuting non-Jews and destroying Muslim and Christian holy sites. These dubious claims continue to be made not only by international organizations, but by U.S. groups like American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).

The war against the Jews

by Efraim Karsh
Israel Affairs
July 2012, pp. 319-343

The sustained anti-Israel de-legitimization campaign is a corollary of the millenarian obsession with the Jews in the Christian and the Muslim worlds. Since Israel is the world’s only Jewish state, and since Zionism is the Jewish people’s national liberation movement, anti-Zionism—as opposed to criticism of specific Israeli policies or actions—means denial of the Jewish right to national self-determination. Such a discriminatory denial of this basic right to only one nation (and one of the few that can trace their corporate identity and territorial attachment to antiquity) while allowing it to all other groups and communities, however new and tenuous their claim to nationhood, is pure and unadulterated anti-Jewish racism, or anti-Semitism as it is commonly known.

By any conceivable standard, Israel has been an extraordinary success story: national rebirth in the ancestral homeland after millennia of exile and dispersion; resuscitation of a dormant biblical language; the creation of a modern, highly educated, technologically advanced, and culturally and economically thriving society, as well as a vibrant liberal democracy in one of the world’s least democratic areas. It is a world leader in agricultural, medical, military, and solar energy technologies, among others; a high-tech superpower attracting more venture capital investment per capita than the United States and Europe; home to one of the world’s best health systems and philharmonic orchestras, as well as to ten Nobel Prize laureates. And so on and so forth.

Why then is Israel the only state in the world whose right to exist is constantly debated and challenged while far less successful countries, including numerous “failed states,” are considered legitimate and incontestable members of the international community? The answer offered by this article is that this pervasive prejudice against Israel, the only Jewish state to exist since biblical times, is a corollary of the millenarian obsession with the Jews in the Christian and the Muslim worlds.

On occasion, notably among devout and/or born again Evangelical Christians, this obsession has manifested itself in admiration and support for the national Jewish resurrection in the Holy Land. In most instances, however, anti-Jewish prejudice and animosity, or anti-Semitism as it is commonly known, has served to exacerbate distrust and hatred of Israel. Indeed, the fact that the international coverage of the Arab-Israeli conflict and the libels against Zionism and Israel, such as the despicable comparisons to Nazi Germany and apartheid South Africa, have invariably reflected a degree of intensity and emotional involvement well beyond the normal level to be expected of impartial observers would seem to suggest that, rather than being a response to concrete Israeli activities, it is a manifestation of long-standing prejudice that has been brought out into the open by the vicissitudes of the conflict.

Read the rest at Middle East Forum

Efraim Karsh is research professor of Middle East and Mediterranean Studies at King’s College London, principal researcher of the Middle East Forum (Philadelphia) and author, most recently, of Palestine Betrayed (Yale University Press, 2010).

Egyptian Group Warns: Hamas is Dangerous

 

Morsi shakes hands with Haniyeh
Reuters

By Elad Benari

The Justice and Development Organization for Human Rights in Egypt has called to release Gaza from under the rule of Hamas, which violently seized power in a 2007 coup.

The organization released a statement on Monday in the city of Minya, in which it argued that Hamas is an illegal entity and is the main reason for the split in the leadership of the Palestinian Authority as well as for the failure to achieve Palestinian statehood.

The organization also said that the strategic purpose of planting Hamas in Gaza is to realize Iran’s goal for the region, which is to establish a Shiite state extending all the way to Lebanon and Syria. The organization said that it is for this reason that Iran provides Hamas with financial and logistical support.

Nadi Atef, who heads the organization, condemned the frequent visits by Hamas’ leaders, headed by Khaled Mashaal, to Cairo after the recent election victory of Mohammed Morsi. Atef noted that Hamas was one of the allies of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime, along with Hizbullah.

Atef warned against the transfer of weapons and missiles from Libya by the Muslim Brotherhood to Hamas via the Sinai Peninsula and called to prevent a situation whereby the Sinai Peninsula would become Hamas’s military base. According to Atef, vigilance is required against a scenario in which the Muslim Brotherhood will cooperate with the United States and with the consent of Hamas to settle PA Arabs in Sinai.

Ever since Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood candidate, won the presidential election in Egypt, he has been tightening relations with Hamas, which is an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Morsi has met with Mashaal, his deputy Musa Abu Marzouq and other members of Hamas’s politburo. During the meeting, Morsi stressed the importance he places on Egypt’s support “for the Palestinian nation’s struggle to achieve its legitimate rights”, unifying the lines between Hamas and its longtime rival Fatah, supplying Gaza with fuel and electricity and easing the restrictions on the border crossing between Gaza and Egypt.

Last week Morsi met with Gaza’s de-facto Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh. Hamas has been asking Morsi to open up Egypt’s border with Gaza, but Morsi has yet to agree.

For the time being Egypt has eased the visa requirements for Gazans under 40 who want to travel to Egypt through the Rafiah border crossing into the Sinai.

Until now, residents of Gaza within that age bracket have been unable to travel without a visa due to security concerns.

Arutz Sheva

 

What the Palestinians Want

By Khaled Abu Taomeh, Gatestone Institute:

The Palestinians want the US to endorse all their demands and force Israel to give them everything. Palestinians are reminded almost every day that the US, which has been providing them with billions of dollars, is a foe rather than a friend, although no one seems to ask how come a foe is so generous. US aid should be conditioned not only on transparency and accountability, but also on an end to the campaign of hatred and incitement, as officially agreed in the Oslo accords, but never implemented.

No matter how much the US tries to help the Palestinians, it will always be viewed by many of them as an enemy.

Last week, President Barack Obama gave $147 million to the Palestinians. A few days later, Palestinians demonstrated in Ramallah against the US and boycotted a ceremony held by the US Consulate-General.

The protesters carried placards which read: “USAID go out!” and “We reject aid from those who deny our people the right to self-determination.”

USAID is the leading provider of bilateral development assistance to the Palestinians. This agency has given the Palestinians more than $3.5 billion since 1994 for programs in the areas of democracy and governance, education, health, humanitarian assistance, private enterprise and water resources and infrastructure.

The demonstration in Ramallah was held outside a hotel where US officials organized a ceremony marking World Press Freedom Day.

Palestinian Authority policemen were deployed outside the hotel to prevent angry demonstrators from disrupting the ceremony.

The protesters chanted slogans denouncing US “bias” in favor of Israel. They accused the US of “covering up” for Israeli “war crimes” and using blocking efforts against the Palestinian leadership to seek UN recognition of a Palestinian state.

More than 20 Palestinian professional unions and other organizations announced a boycott of the US-sponsored event for the same reason.

Many Palestinian journalists who were invited to cover the event also decided to stay away. Their representatives accused the US of supporting Israel and working toward “normalizing” relations between Israelis and Palestinians.

In a similar show of hostility, US diplomats who visited Ramallah several months ago had shoes thrown at their vehicles.

As far as most Palestinians are concerned, the “friend of my enemy is my enemy.” Palestinians hate the US because of its continued support for Israel. The Palestinians want the US to endorse all their demands and force Israel to give them everything.

Read more…

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Obama funds ‘Palestinian’ Authority that celebrates jihad (video) (Creeping Sharia)

Obama Funds Terrorists

By Daniel Greenfield at Front Page: On April 23rd, Obama stopped by the Holocaust Memorial Museum where he mouthed the words, “Never Again” and two days later he issued a memorandum waiving restrictions on funding to the terrorists of the Palestinian Authority, which routinely calls for the murder of Jews, and for its president who has described the Holocaust as a “fantastic lie.”

It took Obama a day to disavow his commitment to a united Jerusalem. It took him a little longer to disavow his commitment to “Never Again.”

In his memorandum, Obama certified the 192 million dollar aid package as “important to the national security interests of the United States” and White House spokesman Tommy Vietor claimed that it would ensure “the continued viability of the moderate PA government.” That same moderate government which has tried to form a pact with Hamas and whose high ranking officials have repeatedly engaged in terrorism.

The Palestinian Accountability Act, which Obama waived with a flourish of the pen, was one in a series of attempts to stem the flow of taxpayer money to the terrorist corruptocracy in Ramallah. The Act mandated that no funds may be made available to the Palestinian Authority until it ends its terrorist activities and an independent audit is conducted of its finances. Rather than complying with the bill, Obama dismissed it by resorting to the transparently fraudulent claim of national security.

So where is that money really going?

According to the Palestinian Authority, its budget crisis was caused by the funding that it provides to Hamas run Gaza at a rate of 120 million dollars a month. If we take these figures as actual, then its 1.3 billion dollar budget deficit is almost entirely composed of Gaza expenditures.

Another 60 million dollars a year is paid out to convicted terrorists in Israeli prisons. Obama’s generous waiver would cover a month’s worth of expenses for Hamas run Gaza and a year’s worth of salaries for the imprisoned murderers and bombers. Including members of Hamas. Then there are the infrastructure projects, like homes for released terrorists built by the Palestinian Investment Fund.

Nearly 1.8 billion dollars of the PA budget for 2012 consists of government salaries. With above 20 percent unemployment, those in the West Bank and Gaza who don’t work in Israel, work directly or indirectly for the Palestinian Authority or the UNRWA, both funded by foreign donors, including the United States. The World Bank found that the Palestinian Authority’s government employment rates are more than twice the average for the region with around 150,000 employees.  About 65,000 of those are in Hamas run Gaza.

For all the talk about the needs of the Palestinian people, the Authority is in the guns, not butter business. Security spending is its single largest sector expenditure. Within the governance sector, which American aid heavily focuses on, 43 percent of funds goes to security. Its projections for the next three years call for 234 million dollars in security spending.

The Palestinian Authority’s National Development Plan projected a 30 percent increase in security spending for 2012. While it cut the number of health care workers, it did manage to add another 1,122 security employees in the West Bank and 203 in Gaza. These employees are for the most part members of allied militias who are involved in terrorist operations.

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Related articles:

Billions to Terror, But Its For Your Safety (Gadi Adelman, FSM)

Does Foreign Aid Fuel Palestinian Violence? (Middle East Quarterly, 2008)

Palestinian kids are “fertilizer,” created to saturate the land with blood

PMW:

Palestinian kids created as “fertilizer,”
to saturate the land with blood

Fatah: “Our children… were created to be fertilizer
for the land of Palestine, and for our pure land
to be saturated with their blood”
PA children sing: “My pure land, I shall saturate you
with my blood… redeem you with my life”

by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik

 
Dying for the sake of “Palestine” as an ideal, even for Palestinian children and youth, remains part of Palestinian discourse.This week, official Palestinian Authority TV reported from a Fatah celebration in a refugee camp in Lebanon and chose to focus on the following slide shown at the celebration. Fatah’s message was that children are created so that their blood will be “fertilizer” to saturate the land:

 
“Our children are our glory and honor,
they were created to be fertilizer for the land of Palestine,
and for our pure land to be saturated with their blood.”
 
Earlier this month, a PA-Fatah celebration in Ramallah featured a performance with the same message. In front of senior PA leaders, including Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, young children and youth performed a song that included the following words:
 
“My pure land, I shall saturate you with my blood…
redeem you with my life.”
 
Palestinian Media Watch has reported extensively on the PA’s teaching of children to die as Martyrs for “Palestine.” During the PA’s terror campaign (the “Intifada,” 2000-2005), the PA encouraged children to aspire for Martyrdom death as a central part of its message to children. Today, the message that children should die for “Palestine” is less prominent, but still found in PA schoolbooks and is expressed in cultural settings through song and dance.
During the terror campaign, PA TV videos presented martyrdom death for children as “sweet.” One PA TV music video broadcast hundreds of times from 2001 to 2004, showed a young boy falling dead on the ground to the words: “How sweet is Shahada (Martyrdom), when I am embraced by you, my land!”
 
As a result, children presented death for kids as “sweet” in TV interviews. In 2002, at the height of the terror campaign, an 11-year-old Palestinian girl said on PA TV: “Of course Shahada is sweet. We don’t want this world, we want the Afterlife.”
 
As a result of the many years of PA urging children to become Martyrs, Palestinian adults and children still see Martyrdom death as an ideal. Parents speak with honor of their “heroic” children who fell as Martyrs, and children talk of becoming Martyrs.
 
 
For more videos and text displayed at the Fatah event in a refugee camp in Lebanon, as shown on PA TV go to PMW 
Michael Coren decries a culture that uses and abuses its children in such inhuman ways;
Uploaded by on Jan 31, 2012:

Michael Coren: Islam Is A Religion Both Bad & Mad