Friday, November 30, 2012

Hamas’ anti-Jewish war began in 1930s

Hamas’ anti-Jewish war began in 1930s

Lyn Julius 

Israel and Hamas have agreed to a ceasefire, but no one is under any illusions. The latest round in the Gaza-Israeli war will end in another extended lull, and the two sides will be no closer to peace.

Well-meaning politicians, opinion-formers and do-gooders talk about the need for peace. The two sides must sit down and talk, they say, and hammer out a political solution.

In spite of the record press and media coverage of the conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, rarely are Hamas’s objectives put in historical perspective. Hamas are not Palestinian nationalists but Islamists. Hamas, an acronym for Islamic Resistance Movement, simply does not have a negotiating position, short of the annihilation of Israel and the subjugation of Jews to Muslim rule, as per its Charter.

A Hamas video shown during the recent conflict told viewers: “Oh occupier, we are coming towards you. Leave our land. All of Palestine is ours. There’s nothing here for you but death. There’s nothing here for you but to be killed and to leave.”

Hamas are the local Gaza branch of the Muslim Brotherhood. This organization, founded in Egypt in 1928 by Hassan al-Banna, a teacher, was directly inspired by the rise of Nazism, and fuses antisemitic Nazi tropes with homegrown Jihadism, based on selected Koranic anti-Jewish verses and Hadith. The German-funded Brotherhood’s membership rose dramatically during the 1930s from 800 to one million in 1945. Its primary target was to roll back modernity and Western influence, to deny women their rights, and to attack Jews and other non-Muslims. From the 1930s onward, it was busy targeting the Jews and Copts of Egypt.

Matthias Kuntzel explains how its campaign against the Jews, which established the Brotherhood as a mass movement, was sparked by the 1936 uprising in Palestine directed against Jewish immigration and initiated by the notorious Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini. Between 1936 and 1938 the Brotherhood organized mass demonstrations in Egyptian cities under the slogans “Down With the Jews!” and “Jews Get Out of Egypt and Palestine!” Leaflets called for a boycott of Jewish goods and shops. The Brotherhood’s newspaper, al-Nadhir, carried a regular column on “The Danger of the Jews of Egypt,” which published the names and addresses of Jewish businessmen and (allegedly) Jewish newspaper publishers all over the world – attributing every evil, from communism to brothels, to the “Jewish danger.” The Jews of Egypt were repeatedly called on to publicly disassociate themselves from Zionism.

In June 1939 bombs were planted in a Cairo synagogue and Jewish homes, but this was as nothing compared to the violence to come. In November 1945, just six months after the end of the Third Reich, the Muslim Brotherhood carried out what Kuntzel calls the worst anti-Jewish pogroms in modern Egypt’s history, when demonstrators penetrated the Jewish quarter of Cairo on the anniversary of the Balfour Declaration. They ransacked houses and shops, attacked non-Muslims, and torched the synagogues. Six people were killed, and a hundred more injured. A few weeks later the Islamists’ newspapers “turned to a frontal attack against the Egyptian Jews, slandering them as Zionists, Communists, capitalists and bloodsuckers, as pimps and merchants of war, or in general, as subversive elements within all states and societies,” as Gudrun Krämer wrote in her study The Jews in Egypt 1914-1952.

The rest is, as they say, history. More riots erupted in 1948, Jews were criminalized for being Jews, thousands fled, discriminatory laws were introduced against non-Egyptians and in 1956, a third of Egypt’s original 80,000-strong community were expelled and dispossessed. After 1967, hundreds more Jews were interned and expelled.

The pitiful status of Jews in Egypt today would gladden the heart of any Hamas supporter: the country is almost judenrein, and the few dozen fearful Jews still living there – almost all converts to Islam or married to non-Jews – ‘know their place’.

Bombs placed in synagogues have been replaced by long-range rockets trained on Israel’s population centres, but the objective is still the same: kill the Jews. Buoyed up by the support of Iran and emerging Islamist governments all over the Arab world, and now Islamist dictatorship in Egypt, Hamas feels it has scored a great victory. In spite of the decapitation of its senior leadership and the destruction in Gaza, Hamas believes it has emerged stronger from this latest round. It is only a matter of time before Islam will triumph over the infidel and reclaim the land that belongs to Dar al-Islam, even if it takes decades.

But the Jews of Israel are not going quietly. Unlike the Jews of Egypt, they are able to defend themselves.

Towards a Warlike Palestinian State

Towards a Warlike Palestinian State

By: David M. Weinberg

Abbas seeks to grab a prize (statehood) without having to compromise (with Israel), and to ratchet up the conflict with Israel.

The Palestinian bid to have the United Nations recognize a unilateral declaration of Palestinian statehood (upgrading Palestine to a “non-member state” at the UN, probably tomorrow) should be subject to a simple litmus test: Does it bring the two sides any closer to peace? Unfortunately, the Palestinian leadership’s effort to circumvent direct negotiations and obtain statehood recognition without coordination with Israel is a setback for the cause of peace.

The simple fact is that Palestinian statehood without peace is a recipe for permanent conflict. A unilateral declaration of independence essentially disconnects the objective of peace from the obtainment of Palestinian statehood. This is not simply a new tactic on the part of the Palestinian leadership. It is an effort to turn the established framework for peace upside-down; to grab a prize (statehood) without having to compromise (with Israel); to claim the end result of the much ballyhooed “Middle East peace process” without having to engage in any process.

Until today, the world understood that Palestinian statehood could be feasible, and acceptable to Israel, if it was the result of a peace accord with Israel that settled all claims in the conflict. The current reckless gambit, however, ensures that Palestinian statehood will only sharpen conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, and do so with Israel placed at a disadvantage.

That, of course, is exactly Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ purpose: To ratchet up the conflict. To escalate the Palestinian struggle against Israel. He is essentially threatening us with legal and political warfare, that could very well slide into actual conflict.

Abbas stood before the UN General Assembly in September, as if he were appearing before the International Criminal Court, and argued that Israel is guilty of numerous crimes, including ethnic cleansing, terrorism, racism, inciting religious conflict, apartheid, house demolitions, dispossession, imprisoning “soldiers of freedom,” war, occupation, settlement colonization, peace obstructionism and much more. These are all exact quotes. Israel is preparing a new “nakba” (catastrophe) for the Palestinians, he charged.

Consequently, Abbas declared, the international community must “compel the government of Israel to respect the Geneva Conventions” and “impose a solution” (a Palestinian state) on Israel.

Like the letter that Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad sent to Prime Minister Netanyahu in April, Abbas’ text mixes fact with fiction, is maximalist and threatening, and indicates no real desire to negotiate with Israel or make true peace with Israel – only to place Israel in the international dock of criminality.

The April letter and September speech also clearly outline the bogus diplomatic history on which the PA is basing itself and its strategy going forward. The language used is manipulatively taken directly from the texts and discourse of international law. The PA “seeks the full and complete implementation of international law” to criminalize and penalize Israel’s presence “as an occupying power in all of the occupied Palestinian territory.”

The International Criminal Court is getting ready to play along with the PA’s strategy. The ICC’s new prosecutor, the Gambian-born Fatou Bensouda, has said that “if Palestine is able to pass over the hurdle of statehood (by UNGA recognition as a non-member state), we will revisit what the ICC can do” about prosecuting Israel for war crimes against the Palestinians. The ICC, she said, will not need to wait for another Palestinian request to begin investigating Israel. (In other words, the original 2009 Palestinian Authority request to join the Rome Statute is enough to give the ICC jurisdiction to investigate the Israeli-Palestinian conflict at its discretion.)

So Abbas is spitting in Israel’s face and rejecting the very foundations of the only-realistic, internationally-recognized, pathway to peace: Negotiations with Israel that all settle the conflict and lead perhaps to Palestinian statehood on terms acceptable to Israel. It is simply scandalous that France, Britain, Spain and others are lending a hand to Abbas’ reckless and destructive attack on Israel and the peace process.

In taking this route, Abbas is, of course, conveniently ignoring the historical record: That former Israeli prime ministers Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert generously offered the PLO a Palestinian state on 100 percent of Gaza and on more than 90 percent of the West Bank with additional land swaps inside the Green Line – and this was rejected by PA leaders.

Abbas’ treacherous maneuver also seeks to obscure that plain fact that the PA is far from being ready for or deserving of statehood. Palestinians are irreparably split between the Hamas terrorist regime that controls Gaza and the Fatah-led PA which controls the West Bank. The PA itself has been a nasty, irresponsible and hostile neighbor to Israel, unwilling to take responsibility for, or cooperate with Israel in, so many vital civilian areas, from water and waste management to the sharing and development of archaeological/religious sites. It also is an “authority” that uses anti-Semitic television broadcasts and official events to demonize Israel.

There is absolutely no indication that if the PA becomes a “state” it will be any more neighborly to Israel. Just the opposite is true; it will become ever-more belligerent. In such a situation, how dare the international community foist this new, warlike “state” upon Israel?!

Ramallah’s current path could very well lead to violence, further empowerment of extremists, or even the PA’s demise. What is needed to avoid this is a renewed multilateral effort to the proven combination of state-building, security cooperation and direct negotiations without preconditions.

The international community should be encouraging the Fatah leadership to favor concrete gains on the ground over symbolic, questionable and dangerous gains in the international arena. In short, responsible Western leaders should be dragging Abbas down from his rancorous perch high up in the trees of Ramallah, and voting down tomorrow’s proposal at the UN.

Digging Up Arafat

Digging Up Arafat

by Barry Rubin
Suddenly, I received all of these phone calls from journalists asking me to talk about who murdered the late Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat. The news peg is that he’s being dug up to see if someone poisoned him. Guess who?

I tell them that in a sense Arafat was murdered. Excited, they ask who did it. And I respond: Fatah, the PLO, and the Palestinian Authority, all organizations that Arafat headed. I don’t mean literally that they set out to kill Arafat but they were the ones really responsible for his death. Let me elucidate.

For many months before he was rushed to Paris for medical attention, everyone who followed him closely knew Arafat was sick. It was the subject of extensive discussion among Israelis and Palestinians. Anyone who saw him give a speech, whether live or on television, could see he was in bad shape. My mother-in-law, a doctor, saw him in one broadcast and easily rattled off a list of symptoms.

I was told the following story — in far more detail — not long after by a very reliable person who witnessed the conversation. One of Arafat’s Palestinian doctors and a leading Israeli physician were chatting at a conference. An Israeli reporter noted for his left-wing ideology and remarkably inaccurate story came up to the Palestinian and asked if Arafat was ill. “Definitely not,” he told the reporter who, well-pleased, rushed off to write up his scoop. The Israeli turned to the Palestinian and said, “But ____, you know he’s very ill.” The Palestinian medico responded, “Of course!”

Yet despite this fact, Arafat did not receive serious or competent treatment. It was no secret that the individuals who served as his medical staff were not very good doctors but chosen for political reasons. The biggest problem, however, was that the Palestinian leadership could not face the crisis honestly.

Remember, Arafat was their leader for as long as they could remember. He was well-known for making every decision, even the most minor, for the movement and for the institutions then governing the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Palestinians in the know frequently pointed out that when Arafat was traveling literally nothing could get done.

So how could they face or admit the potential demise of the man on whom their fortunes and indeed the entire movement seemed to rest? Dictatorial movements or countries are like that. The courtiers all live in fear that the fearless leader will be no more. What will become of them?

And so if they had taken better care of Arafat he would have lasted longer. Of course, Arafat was never known for being solicitous of his own help. He was overweight, ate unhealthy food (honey was his cure-all), and didn’t exercise. The mere thought of Arafat trying to jog makes the last point effectively. He had been severely injured in a plane crash several years earlier.

Arafat himself refused to rest or to leave his headquarters despite its being under siege by Israel after all the terrorism he had ordered during his post-Camp David summit war against the peace process. It was not hard to see that this 75-year-old man was a mortality waiting to happen.

Just as Arafat’s cronies and lieutenants could not face his sickness, a good portion of the Western leftist, media, and intelligentsia refuses to face their own sickness. Only against the Jews would the modern-day version of ritual murder become credible, especially when it is based on a ridiculously obvious fabrication.

The current Arafat-was-murdered meme began when very large amounts of radioactive material were “discovered” on his clothing. This substance is scientifically known to break down on a very regular schedule. For such a quantity to be found there would have meant there would have been a gigantic amount — was he hosed down with radioactive poison? — when he died eight years ago. In other words, the stuff had been planted only hours at most before it was found, no doubt by the same people who put it there. In short, the accusation makes no sense but it is being treated seriously. Such is the way Israel is dealt with on many things by respectable people in the West. The accusation is made by anti-Israel propagandists who spew out the most vicious antisemitic hatred and lies yet are given a large measure of credibility. Such is the way Israel is dealt with on many things by otherwise respectable people in the West nowadays.

In the case of any other alleged perpetrator, the kind of claim being made against Israel in this case would have been ridiculed. Yet part of the world seems to believe that the Jews are capable of anything.

There is even a special name for such tales, blood libel, and its echoes can be found in the fabricated or exaggerated tales about Israel deliberately murdering children, most recently just now in the war with Hamas. Stories of Jews murdering people out of religious hatred—often to use their blood allegedly to make Passover matzos—go way back. One example is in Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, published first in the late fourteenth century. About 130 years ago, one of my ancestors living in Czarist Russia was accused on the basis of no evidence of the ritual murder of a teen-aged Christian. The local peasants rioted, wrecked the Jewish workshops and stores, and beat up several Jews. Fortunately no one was killed. According to then-prevalent tales in the region, the Jews had a barrel whose inside was studded with nails so as to extract the blood efficiently.

The perennial Syrian defense minister, Mustafa Tlas, wrote a book entitled Matzoh of Zion in 1983 in which he drew on a ritual murder story from an incident in 1840s’ Damascus, promoted by local Christian clerics, to claim that this was a generalized Jewish practice. This kind of thing has also been the subject of recent Egyptian, Iranian, and Turkish films. It is also a staple story in the Saudi media.

Of course, Arafat is in the category of political assassination, not culinary religious practice. And Israel certainly did assassinate such senior PLO leaders as Abu Jihad who had blood on their hands from organizing terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians. But, you might say, aren’t these things completely different because we are now in the realm of politics and Israel does, however unintentionally, kill children. And there was the case of an attempted poisoning of a Hamas leader in Jordan.

True, but where does this special edge come from, this quickness to passionate hatred and credulity that one doesn’t see when other countries are involved, this abandonment of simple logic and evidence, this willingness to believe proven liars who will seize on any instrument in their desire to commit genocide? It has been shown that there is a virtual industry in anti-Israel fabrications. Yet the exposure of a faked photo or the claim that a baby was killed by Israel when he died of a Hamas rocket intended to kill Israelis seems to have no permanent effect, no reexamination of the assumptions being made and the relative credibility accorded various parties. And one cannot help but see the savage, energetic joy displayed in the bashing of Israel that simply does not exist on any other issue.

On one hand, the media and intelligentsia is most forgiving to, say, the United States when its air attacks accidentally kill civilians. No details and exaggerations of the results of its bombing strikes in Yemen or Pakistan and full explanation of the context. On the other hand, the continuous understating of the violence on the other side, say, in Syria’s civil war or Palestinian terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians which invoke no teach-ins or demonstrations in the West or calls that such and such a country has no right to exist because it does nasty things to others.

A fair-minded observer might start thinking: something different is going on here, some hidden agenda or psychological factor that impels Israel and the Jews being put into a special category with negative implications in today’s world. As it once was for so many centuries.

As for the geopolitical aspect, there was a clear Israeli decision not to kill Arafat taken in the 1970s. A much-seen photo of Arafat taken through the scope of an Israeli sniper rifle in southern Lebanon was circulated following Arafat’s 1982 evacuation from Beirut. If Israel had wanted to kill Arafat it had numerous opportunities to do so when it mattered, not at the end of his career when he was largely discredited.

Incidentally, the Israelis-poisoned-him theme has been used repeatedly in the case of others whose death obviously had other causes. The Palestinian leader Faisal Husseini and the publishing mogul Robert Maxwell immediately come to mind. This kind of thing is merely a modern-day version of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

What about the, one might call it, opposite conspiracy theory, that Arafat died of AIDs? I’ve looked into the Arafat as active homosexual and AIDS stories for many years as well as interviewed key intelligence people in several countries. I have never heard any evidence — or even spoken to those working professionally on Arafat who believed it — that these rumors were true.

Again, for a 75-year-old man who took no care of himself, had lousy doctors, overworked himself, was somewhat obese, had severe internal injuries from a plane crash, ate a terrible diet, and lived under poor conditions to die is not exactly a surprising thing that requires a bizarre explanation with the only “proof” being clumsily forged.

The Middle East is, of course, the place where conspiracy theories abound. Yet what can one say of those in the West who swallow every slander on Israel they are fed by Fatah, Hamas, and the new-age ideologues and bloggers whether or not any evidence is provided or even logical sense is made? Would that all of this kind of behavior be buried and never dug up again.

Dear Mr. Yehoshua, Hamas are Terrorists

Dear Mr. Yehoshua, Hamas are Terrorists

A letter to the famous leftist Israeli man of letters, who has asked Israel to strike a deal with Hamas.

From MP Fiamma Nirenstein
 sent to ArutzSheva  in translation by the author

A. B. Yehoshua is a great author and a long standing friend of mine. Despite an old, very interesting book of his about Zionism, Bouli, as everyone calls him, is truly a Zionist, who only sees in politics what his highly talented artistic dreams point out for him; fiction rather than reality is his specialty.

So when yesterday, he asked Israel to strike a deal with Hamas on La Stampa, he repeated the same mistakes he’s made a thousand times in the conviction that in order to make peace with the Arabs just ask them, say please and give them a good gift - that would suffice.

For some strange reason the whole ideology factor totally eludes him, which in the case of Hamas is certainly of paramount importance. It’s not that Bibi Netanyahu, as Yeoshua likes to say, gave Hamas the title of “terror organization” rather than “foe”, shunning in this way any possible agreements: no, Hamas is a terrorist group as per the International declaration.,

The European Union put Hamas on its list, as did the US too, not just Israel. Hamas, unlike Jordan and Egypt, is neither a state nor a statutory enemy; its goal, as enshrined by its Charter to which it is faithful (please, take a look at it, it’s a fascinating read into the horror), is to destroy Israel and kill all Jews, A. B. Yehoshua included.

Jordan, like Syria and Egypt, doesn’t have this aim as a principle in its constitution. Their behavior in the course of the different wars has certainly been cruel and unforgivable: but none of the adjacent states has as its main purpose to destroy Israel and kill all Jews one by one, all over the world.

It is therefore possible -maybe - to make peace with them. Hamas on the contrary, does not exist but for the sole purposes of waging war on the West in order to institute Shariah law, ando teaching children to become shahid. The recognition sought by Hamas is a leadership medal in Shariah, its main aspiration being that Heads of States who visit proclaim to the whole world Hamss' right to be the best butcher of Israel, not its partner.

Bouli’s request will become a medal that Hamas will pin upon its chest so as to state: you see, how frightened the Israelis are of our desire to tear them to pieces? A.B. Yeoshua asked for an agreement.

In the Middle Eastern mind-set this is a serious blunder, if you are afraid you’re dead, if you ask for peace while the other is declaring eternal war you are less than a coward trying to escape. It would be good to bargain with the Palestinian Arabs about a “reasonable partition”, but what was possible for King Hussein or Sadat doesn’t work with Ismail Haniye or Khaled Mashaal.

Hamas has got nothing to gain in asking for a “reasonable partition”, it is not interested in two states for two peoples. There would be three anyway, considering that Hamas, as everyone will surely remember, hates the PLO. It does not wish to unite with Abbas, but to swallow him into one single ferocious Hamasland.

Hamas is not barricaded in a strip of land; the crossings are open for humanitarian aid and for power, water, medications, and the Internet flow from Israel.

It might be expected that all of this burden be taken on by Egypt, which should unlock its doors, as it’s the natural outlet, vast and promising for an Arab population. Egypt, for sure, is not Israel, the country where they are known for infiltrating, bringing, as they’ve always done, suicide terrorism and  hostile smuggling.

Yehoshua can’t expect that an opening with Gaza can be fruitful for peace, he knows what fruits it would bear, as he also knows that Abbas wouldn’t be happy with it. He doesn’t want to see Hamas intrude to his home. Bouli knows that it was not the elections which conferred Hamas absolute power in Gaza, but the war between the two parties. Someone might still remember that Al Fatah henchmen were thrown off the roofs in Gaza by their fellow Arabs.

Historically, all Palestinian Arabs strongly dismiss the idea of considering Israel a neighbor; instead, they see it as a foreign body to the point that even PLO, led by Arafat in the past, currently by Abbas, aborted one by one all of the attempted agreements in the past years.

The Palestinian Authority doesn’t seek to strike a deal, which, as Bouli overtly puts it, can’t sign without Hamas: on the contrary, it praises terror and war and it’s forwarding the bid for a unilateral statehood to the UN on Thursday, without negotiations, without sitting down with the Jews, with Bouli himself.

PA folks are not seeking an agreement; it would cost them the dishonor of the entire Islamist religious world, not to mention Hamas. A new Middle East is surely rising on the horizon, you are correct Bouli, but in the aftermath of the Arab Revolutions the Muslim Brotherhood, which Hamas belongs to, is pursuing a worldwide caliphate: Israel will be its first, tastiest bite.

The Two State Solution: Israel and ?....

The Two State Solution: Israel and ?....

Do we know what would have happened had Israel lost and the Arabs won the 1948 war? What flag would now flutter at the United Nations?

From Steve Apfel, South Africa

World leaders continually slam Israel over its settlement policies, claiming they threaten the ‘two-state solution.’ As day follows night it’s taken for granted that one of those two states will be "Palestine".

‘Ignore history at your peril,’ is an old but prescient warning. A case in point could well be the two-state solution. Go to history, ye foolish; consider her ways and be wise.

The ways of history point where?

Take the class of 1947 - 48. They’re the years of the Partition Plan and aftermath. Granted, it’s common knowledge that the UN plan was aborted when neighbouring Arab states tried to abort the Jewish state by invading it.

But do we know what would have happened had Israel lost and the Arabs won that war? What flag would now flutter at the United Nations?

Those who put up their hands for the flag of Palestine are wrong. That’s not the lesson from the class of 47-48.

The true lesson is that territory captured by the victorious Arab armies would not have been handed over to Palestinian Arabs. Rather, the Arab scramble for Palestine would have divided it among the invaders: Transjordan, Syria, Egypt, Lebanon. Google all you like, but not a single Arab regime looked upon the Palestinians as a distinctive people worthy of self-governance. And neither did the Arab-siding British, before turning off the lights on their Mandate.

“It does not appear that Arab Palestine will be an entity,” wrote one official, “but rather that the Arab countries will each claim a portion in return for their assistance [in the war against Israel]...”

In Ephraim Karsh’s book, ‘Palestine Betrayed’ we also come upon the British High Commissioner, Sir Alan Cunningham, telling Britain’s colonial secretary that, “The most likely arrangement seems to be Eastern Galilee to Syria, Samaria and Hebron to Abdallah (of Transjordan), and the south to Egypt.”

The Arabs would have agreed. Philip Hitti described their view to an Anglo-American commission in 1946. "There is no such thing as Palestine in history, absolutely not.”

So the 47- 48 class is mandatory for Western leaders who continually harp on the two-state idea. Only look at what happened when Gaza and the West Bank fell into the hands of Egypt and Jordan. Were those spoils of war given over to the Palestinians for a state? They most decidedly were not. The British, whatever their failings, were adept at reading history’s wayward pulse.

What lessons might the class of ‘64 hold for two-state punters? Remember, at this time Israel is not the occupier of the West Bank and Gaza; Jordan and Egypt still are. And the Palestinians feel more than comfortable with the arrangement. It’s there in the National Covenant of the Palestine Liberation Organization, May 28, 1964:

“This Organization does not exercise any regional sovereignty over the West Bank in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, in the Gaza Strip or the Himmah area.”

So Palestinian Arabs accepted that Judea, Samaria, the eastern part of Jerusalem, and Gaza belonged to Arab states; not only accepted but liked it that way.

Then there’s the class of ’67. What may be taken from that vintage year? The Six-Day war had ended in a stunning victory for Israel, and the UN Security Council passed Resolution 242. Land for peace would be the cornerstone of Arab-Israeli dialogue from there on. What land was that? Our ears prick. Was the UN preparing the ground for a Palestinian state?

Absolutely not – or it would have been a perfect case of putting the cart before the horse. Not even the UN could plan for a Palestinian state before there were a Palestinian people to govern it. They, if you attend the class of 68, were still a year away from being born.

So it was that the UN took it for granted that territories evacuated by Israel would be returned to their pre-1967 Arab occupiers: Egypt and Jordan. UN resolution 242 spoke of the need "for achieving a just settlement of the refugee problem" – not the Palestinian problem, mind. Who were the problem refugees? The Palestinian Arabs certainly, but also the larger group of 850 000 Jews expelled from Arab states during and after the 1948 war.

The entire international community saw it the UN’s way. Western democracies rejected the idea of Palestinian nationhood; so did the great Arab-supporting Soviets, and even the Arab world recoiled at the idea of nationhood.

Professor Karsh relates how the Hashemite rulers of Jordan viewed an independent Palestinian state as a mortal threat to their own kingdom, while the Saudis saw it as a potential source of extremism and instability. Pan-Arab nationalists were as adamantly opposed, having their own designs on the region. In 1974, Syrian President Hafez al Assad openly referred to Palestine as "not only a part of the Arab homeland but a basic part of southern Syria."

What of the Palestinians themselves, who now threaten a unilateral bid for statehood? If no one in history wanted them to have a state, surely they wanted one? Not a bit of it.

For a really fine lesson attend the history class of Zahir Muhsein, one-time head of the PLO Military Department and member of the PLO Executive. “In reality, today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak 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. However, the moment we reclaim our right to all of Palestine, we will not wait even a minute to unite Palestine and Jordan.”

We’ve no reason to gape – unless we’d bunked the class of 48-50, attended by diligent Ephraim Karsh.

“The collapse and dispersion of Palestinian society following the 1948 defeat shattered an always fragile communal fabric, and …prevented the crystallization of a national identity. Host Arab regimes actively colluded in discouraging it. Upon occupying the West Bank …King Abdallah moved quickly to erase all traces of Palestinian identity...”

As for the Arab inhabitants of Gaza, no one gave them a second thought. We don’t rightly know if Gazans wanted to be citizens of Egypt, but for the occupying power that option would have been the furthest thing on its mind.

Western leaders who flog the two-state solution may have skipped, or forgotten, a history class or three, but it’s highly doubtful the Arabs did.

How Hamas Is Trying to Fool Everyone

How Hamas Is Trying to Fool Everyone

by Khaled Abu Toameh

In reality Hamas has not changed or relinquished its dream of replacing Israel with an Islamist state that is funded and armed by Iran. Unless Hamas changes its charter, the talk about changes in its strategy only serves to spread the movement's campaign of deception.

Is Hamas really on its way to moderation and pragmatism, as some Western political analysts and diplomats have come to believe?

And what do some Hamas leaders mean when they say that they are ready to accept a Palestinian state "only" in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem?

These questions were raised after CNN recently aired an interview with Hamas "political leader" Khaled Mashaal.

Mashaal told CNN's Christiane Amanpour: "I accept a Palestinian state according to 1967 borders with Jerusalem as the capital, with the right of return [of millions of Palestinians to Israel]."

The Hamas leader's remark has since been misinterpreted by some Westerners as a sign that the radical Islamist movement, which was established 25 years ago with the declared goal of destroying Israel, has now abandoned its ideology and is on its way to endorsing a softer approach.

But while Mashaal was speaking on CNN, several Hamas leaders in the Gaza Strip were talking -- in Arabic -- about their intention to pursue the fight against Israel until the "liberation of all our lands, from the sea to the river."

Mashaal's remark is nothing but an attempt to mislead the international community into believing that Hamas has endorsed the two-state solution and is willing to live in peace alongside Israel.

In reality, Hamas has not changed or relinquished its dream of replacing Israel with an Islamist state that is funded and armed by Iran.

What Mashaal is actually saying is that because Hamas is aware of the fact that it cannot achieve its goal of destroying Israel now, it will take whatever land the Israelis give it and then continue the fight to "liberate" all Palestine, from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.

No one better than Mashaal himself expressed this view in the same CNN interview, where he stated: "Palestine, from the river to the sea, from the north to the south, it is my land. And the land of my fathers and grandfathers, inhabited by the Palestinians from a long time ago...but because of the circumstances of the region, because of the keenness to stop the bloodshed, the Palestinians today, and Hamas, have agreed on a program that accepts the 1967 borders."

What Mashaal and other "moderate" Hamas leaders are saying is this: "Give us a Palestinian state now in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem so that we could use it as a launching pad for eliminating Israel."

In an interview with Al-Jazeera this week, Mashaal admitted for the first time that Iran has been providing Hamas with weapons and money. He also revealed that Arab and Islamic countries, as well as individuals and organizations, have also been supporting Hamas militarily and financially.

Today it has become clear to most Palestinians that a future Palestinian state would be run by Hamas or Islamic Jihad. These two groups' popularity has increased among Palestinians, especially in wake of their self-declared "victory" over Israel during the recent Israel-Hamas conflict.

Hamas's effort to depict itself as a "moderate" movement reached its peak this week when Mashaal phoned Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to voice support for the request to upgrade the status of a Palestinian entity to non-member observer in the UN.

Mashaal's phone call was again misinterpreted as a sign that Hamas was willing to accept a state only within the pre-1967 lines.

But as Hamas officials later explained, the fact that Mashaal had welcomed Abbas's statehood bid did not mean that the movement was prepared to give up "one inch of Palestine."

Hamas is engaged in a subtle campaign to win the sympathy of the international community by appearing as if it is ready to abandon its dream of destroying Israel. Mashaal's remarks should be seen in the context of a new Hamas tactic aimed at turning the radical Islamist movement into a legitimate and recognized player in the international and regional arenas.

Those who have been misled into believing Hamas's lies should be referred to the movement's charter, where it is clearly stated that "The Islamic Resistance Movement believes that the land of Palestine has been an Islamic Waqf throughout the generations and until the Day of Resurrection, no one can renounce it or part of it, or abandon it or part of it…the liberation of that land is an individual duty binding on all Muslims everywhere. When our enemies usurp some Islamic lands, Jihad [holy war] becomes a duty binding on all Muslims."

The next time CNN or any other Western media outlet interviews a Hamas leader, it would be advisable to ask him whether his movement was willing to change its charter. Unless Hamas does so, the talk about changes in its strategy only serves to spread the movement's campaign of deception.

Good Morning, We’re Having a Palestinian State and Israel Kind of Approves

Good Morning, We’re Having a Palestinian State and Israel Kind of Approves

Israel no longer intends to dismantle the Oslo Accords if Abbas goes through with his UN gambit.

By: Lori Lowenthal Marcus

In yesterday’s State Department press conference, Spokeswoman Victoria Nuland confirmed that the U.S. will be voting “no” on the effort by Mahmoud Abbas to raise the United Nations status of the Palestinian Authority so that “Palestine” will move from being merely an “observer” to what is known as a non-member observer state.

At this time, the only official U.N. non-member observer state is the Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations, which is the representative of the Vatican.

Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud Abbas landed in New York last night.  The Resolution endorsing the change is expected to be voted upon in the U.N. General Assembly this Thursday, Nov 29.

The government of Israel is adamantly opposed to the change in status for the Arab Palestinians, and is hoping that other countries will support its position.

But, in a surprise announcement, a top diplomatic Israeli official in Jerusalem told reporters at a briefing on Tuesday that Israel no longer intends to dismantle the Oslo Accords if Abbas goes through with his UN gambit.  Technically, such a move negates the Oslo process, and Israel has long threatened to consider the Oslo Accords fully abrogated if the Arab Palestinians attempt to achieve results outside of negotiations.

It was not readily apparent what response, if any, the government of Israel will have to a change in status for “Palestine” at the U.N. But the announcement made Tuesday was in conflict with statements made over the past few weeks by Israel’s Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman in which he threatened that the Oslo process would be cancelled if Abbas went forward with his effort at the U.N.

Thus far only the U.S. has officially declared its intention to vote against the Palestinian statehood resolution.  Nuland explained the U.S. position to reporters yesterday, Nov 27:
We’re focused on a policy objective on the ground for the Palestinian people, for the people of Israel, which is to end up with two states that can live peacefully next to each other. Nothing in this action at the UN is going to take the Palestinians any closer to that. So yes, we’re going to oppose it because we think it is the wrong move. We think it makes other steps that might improve the lives of Palestinians and Israelis harder. Other countries will make their own decision. This is not a new issue. We’ve been talking about it for more than a year, and so we’re just going to have to see what happens later on in the week.
It is anticipated that Canada will vote against the Resolution, and Germany may abstain, but already both France and Britain have publicly stated they are committed to voting in favor of the resolution.  Switzerland and Portugal are also expected to support the measure.  No doubt the 57 member states of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation will all vote in favor of the measure.

Unlike a Resolution in the Security Council, in the General Assembly there is no such thing as a veto.  A simple majority vote is all that is necessary for the measure to pass. Full member status can only be obtained through a vote at the Security Council. Last year Abbas went to the Security Council to seek full member status for “Palestine.” The United States, however, made clear its intention to veto the measure, and the effort was withdrawn.

After some badgering by reporters over whether the change in status would have any impact on the peace process, Ms. Nuland said, categorically, “We oppose any move in the General Assembly. We think it’s going to make the situation harder.”

And Abbas is going to the UN with the support from an unexpected source – longtime political rival leadership of Hamas is now supporting the U.N. bid.  No clear explanations have been offered for this about-face.  However, there are those who suspect Hamas anticipates victory over Abbas’s Fatah as the sole representative of the Arab Palestinian people.  If so, then they will be the representative party at the United Nations.

It is widely expected that the U.N. Resolution will pass, but even if it does “Palestine” will not be a full member of the UN.

A draft copy of the Resolution, dated 26 Nov 2012,  was obtained by The Jewish Press.  The Resolution reiterates all of the demands the Arab Palestinians have made, with no concessionary language whatsoever, and includes demands for the release of prisoners, the “right of return,” the cessation of all Israeli “settlement” activities, including in “East Jerusalem,” that the capital of “Palestine” will be “East Jerusalem,” and,

the attainment of a peaceful settlement in the Middle East that ends the occupation that began in 1967 and fulfills the vision of two States, an independent, sovereign, democratic, contiguous and viable State of Palestine, living side by side in peace and security with Israel, on the basis of the pr-1967 borders.

The Resolution also calls on the Security Council to favorably consider the application submitted last year to the United Nations for full membership for ”Palestine.”

Yasser Arafat, Pallywood zombie

Yasser Arafat, Pallywood zombie

Dead, but still fighting for the Cause
Dead, but still fighting for the Cause

Yasser Arafat’s tomb has been opened, samples taken from his body by a Palestinian medical team, and placed in the hands of “forensic experts” from several countries.

Arafat’s porcine widow Suha claims that she found traces of radioactive polonium 232 on clothes that she had kept since his death in 2004, although the hypothesis that he was poisoned by polonium is physically impossible (see also here).

Even if it wasn’t polonium, many Palestinians are convinced that he was poisoned. Here is an example of their reasoning:
Dr. Bashir Abdullah, a physician on the Palestinian team of investigators, said Tuesday that Arafat’s death “cannot be explained in the framework of disease, and therefore our explanation is that there must have been poisonous material.”

Now that is what I call a scientific diagnosis! I wonder what his ‘investigation’ will reveal? Especially since the samples were taken by Palestinians.

Of course Arafat was in terrible shape at 75, had been badly injured in a plane crash some years before from which he had not fully recovered, and had incompetent doctors (the Dr. Abdullah quoted above is an example). It’s not at all surprising that he died when he did.

Naturally they want to blame Israel. But no one has come up with a good explanation of why Israel, which could have killed Arafat in the years when he was relevant, would wait until he was 75 and ailing to do so. Barry Rubin writes,
…there was a clear Israeli decision not to kill Arafat taken in the 1970s. A much-seen photo of Arafat taken through the scope of an Israeli sniper rifle in southern Lebanon was circulated following Arafat’s 1982 evacuation from Beirut. If Israel had wanted to kill Arafat it had numerous opportunities to do so when it mattered, not at the end of his career when he was largely discredited.

Incidentally, the Israelis-poisoned-him theme has been used repeatedly in the case of others whose death obviously had other causes. The Palestinian leader Faisal Husseini and the publishing mogul Robert Maxwell immediately come to mind. This kind of thing is merely a modern-day version of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

Rubin goes on to discuss why this kind of no-evidence libel against Israel spreads so readily:
A fair-minded observer might start thinking: something different is going on here, some hidden agenda or psychological factor that impels Israel and the Jews being put into a special category with negative implications in today’s world. As it once was for so many centuries.

It is business as usual for Arab media to find murderous conspiracies that can be blamed on Jews or Israel. What I find surprising is the degree to which the mainstream Western media take this absolute rubbish seriously.

For example, an AP news article by Karin Laub quotes Suha Arafat, numerous Palestinian officials, doctors, etc. all suggesting that the Original Terrorist was poisoned (there is one short quotation from an Israeli saying that Israel had no reason to kill him at that point). But most importantly, there is no indication that many observers — including some who are not at all friendly to Israel — think that the conspiracy theory is simply insane. The takeaway from this article could be described as “hmm, maybe there’s something to this.”

CNN’s Christiane Amanpour interviewed Suha Arafat and wrote a similar article, also with a one-line denial by an Israeli spokesperson. This article is a bit better than Laub’s, because it presents some of the reasons that the polonium theory is unlikely to be true. But again, the impression it leaves is that the jury is still out on whether Arafat was poisoned (and if he was, no possible suspects beyond Israel are discussed).

Neither Laub nor Amanpour give anything but a passing mention to Arafat’s remarkable history of murder and terrorism, although both refer to his Nobel Prize.

A Google News search shows similar ‘reporting’ from numerous sources.

This has all of the signs of a Pallywood production. The independent investigators, working with samples of the terrorist’s flesh provided by Palestinians, will — shockingly — find evidence of poison!

And you can bet that Karin Laub and Christiane Amanpour will be on the scene to speculate about who killed the great leader of the Palestinian people.

No Tears for Israeli Victims

No Tears for Israeli Victims

Leo Rennert

The Nov. 28 edition of the Washington Post grabs readers with a four-column photograph at the top of the front page with a caption reading: "Aseel Tafesh, 4, gathers her dolls from her home in a destroyed apartment building in Gaza City, where an uneasy quiet has settled as a truce between Israel and Hamas holds. The recent eight-day conflict killed 174 Palestinians, according to health officials in Gaza."

The four-column headline below the photograph introduces a lengthy feature by Scott Wilson, who during a stint of several years as the Post's Jerusalem correspondent, was notable for his pro-Palestinian coverage. The headline reads: "In Gaza, caution can't save innocents -- Deaths in two families during recent conflict show limits of Israel's warning policy." Wilson's basic theme is that as long as there are collateral civilian casualties from Israeli operations, it doesn't matter that Israel may take all sorts of precautions not to harm civilians, Israel is still the heavy inviting international condemnation, which Wilson, of course, greatly encourages by his kind of pro-Palestinian reporting. The ultimate logic of this thesis is for Israel to dispense with its right of self-defense -- an outcome that evidently would not produce tears from Wilson.

To set the scene, Wilson starts by introducing Khalid Azzam, a member of Islamic Jihad, who is awakened by a cellphone call from the Israeli military warning him that he was a target and to get civilians out of harm's way. Wilson clearly feels this is insufficient. "The phone calls are no guarantee that innocents will be spared," he writes. "No single event galvanizes support for Gaza's armed groups (Wilson never calls them terrorists) like mass civilian killings by Israel's military, and despite what Israel describes as exceptional caution, the recent conflict featured several of them."

("Mass civilian killings"? If you dig all the way into Wilson's article, it turns out three or four civilian casualties qualify as "mass civilian killings." It's Wilson's pro-Palestinian math.)

Moving along: Azzam, responding to the Israeli warning, gathers his family and flees into the street -- without alerting his neighbors. The Israeli airstrike destroys Azzam's home, but also four others, including members of the Abu Zor family, who are not affiliated with Gaza's "armed groups." Two young mothers of the Zor family and a 3-year-old named Mohammed "perished in a blast meant to kill someone else," Wilson writes.

There is some lingering resentment by survivors of the Abu Zor family at their Azzam neighbors for not alerting them, but Wilson assures us that they "ultimately blame Israel."

And casting himself as a cheerleader for Hamas, Wilson opines that it "reaped benefits from such attacks and has emerged in perhaps its strongest political position since taking full control of the Mediterranean enclave five years ago."

But Wilson still is not done with his highly emotional depictions of the grisly fate of the Abu Zor family. "Mohammed, the 3-year-old, had received a fatal wound in the leg," he writes. "Within minutes, a far larger blast blew out the walls of the house. Many of those who were inside were blown across the street. They lay in the street in front of the Qutati home."

At that point, Ahad Qutati was "killed by shrapnel," Wilson writes. "Ambulances rush to the scene. Soon, the bodies of Nisma, Sahar and little Mohammed were carried in the hospital, filmed by journalists staking out the emergency room. Tahanni Abu Zor watched in confused grief, and the area around her eyes, pitted with glass shards, was distorted by swelling and cuts."

And more pitiful details along these dolorous lines, as Wilson goes all out to whip up tears and sympathy for Gaza "innocents". His article, with additional color photographs, takes up an entire inside page plus another half page. The photographs include close-ups of a 14-year-old girl and a 10-year-old boy injured in the airstrikes.

Sadly, it goes without saying that Wilson and the Washington Post show nowhere near the same solicitude and empathy for Israeli civilians killed in the recent fighting or for the hundreds of thousands of Israelis who for years have been under constant rocket bombardments from Gaza, including thousands of children left with deep, lingering emotional scars.

While copious tears are shed for Gaza, there are few if any left at the Post for Sderot, Netivot, Ashdod, Ashkelon and other towns and kibbutzim within range of Hamas and Islamic Jihad rockets, including most recently Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Palestinian plight trumps Israeli plight -- by a country mile.