Monday, April 30, 2012

World wants settlers to go

World wants settlers to go

Op-ed: West feels relocating 300,000 Israelis could solve major Mideastern headache 

Eitan Haber

Even if this isn’t evident by their facial expressions or daily conduct, there has been great anxiety among Israel’s rulers for years now, and most certainly these days. Right before their very eyes, a world they built for dozens of years is collapsing.

After 45 years of controlling the territories, and when it appeared to many that the world has reconciled itself to Israel’s rule in Judea and Samaria, the planet woke up from its long slumber. Now, they are telling us from all corners of the world: “It won’t work!” Or in other words, you shall be going back home, to the 1967 borders, whether you like it or not.

By now it appears that even the American approval of the “large settlement blocs,” Ariel Sharon’s big achievement during President George W. Bush’s era, is dissipating. The world wants to see 300,000 settlers moving house to within the Green Line. This cynical world is unimpressed by the numbers: Not by thousands of houses and buildings, roads, flourishing gardens, or hundreds of thousands of people, including some born there.

In a world where millions are still being butchered in Africa and whole populations are being moved from one region to another, a few thousand homes and hundreds of thousands of people are almost a minor matter, especially should such operation spare the world a constant headache.

Yet around here, even many of those objecting to Israel’s presence in the territories don’t believe the above scenario could materialize. For 45 years we’ve been fooling the world and deceiving everyone; we tricked the Arabs, Europe and the United States, while almost building another country – how could all that go down the drain?

Time is running out

The anxiety among Israel’s decision-makers is growing, because they realize that time is running out, not only in the Iranian nuclear context but also in respect to the territories. In America, the president is expected to be elected for a second term in office; a president who owes nothing to nobody and may be the one to put an end to the games. And by the way, quite a few Jews in the US support him.

Arab states are undergoing an Islamic revolution, and the US is doing the simple math: It’s better for Washington to try and live in peace with the Arabs, even at the expense of hundreds of thousands of Israelis in the territories (who are akin to a small Cairo suburb, before the latest births.)

Yet nonetheless, the Jews around here are convinced that they will continue to do what was done here for the past 45 years in the next 45 years as well.

“Please, remind me, for how many years did the Crusaders rule the Holy Land?” a Jordanianfriend asked me during a visit to Amman a month ago. “Roughly 200 years,” I said. “Well, so we have to wait a little more,” he replied.

p.s. the above does not express my wishes, but rather, what may indeed materialize.,7340,L-4222352,00.html

New Round of Palestinian Games

New Round of Palestinian Games

By David Meir-Levi 
On April 17, Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority (PA), delivered to Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, a letter listing the PA’s demands in anticipation of peace negotiations, demands with which Israel must comply or Abbas will eschew further negotiations and instead “seek the full and complete implementation of international law as it pertains to the powers and responsibilities of Israel as occupying power in all of the occupied Palestinian territory.” In other words, Abbas will go back to the UN and the International Criminal Court to seek redress against Israel’s putative criminal activities.  Much like an obstreperous child on the playground, Abbas tells Netanyahu that either he play the game according to Abbas’ rules or Abbas will tell the teacher what a bad boy Israel has been.  It would be a comical farce were not so many lives at stake.

Abbas goes on to threaten, albeit obliquely, that because Israel has not played the game according to Abbas’ demands, he might just go ahead and dissolve the PA, throwing back upon Israel all of the responsibilities for administration in the West Bank: “For the Palestinian Authority—now stripped of all meaningful authority—cannot continue to honor agreements while Israel refuses to even acknowledge its commitments. The P.A. is no longer as was agreed and this situation cannot continue.”  So in addition to tattling to the teacher, he will also take his ball and go home.

Hopefully, Netanyahu will not be moved by such puerile posturing.

None of this is new.  After being rebuffed at the UN last year, Abbas floated informal threats about dismantling the PA, and even took the idea to the Fatah Central Committee (FCC).The FCC supported the idea but no decision was taken. When questioned while in Japan about Yossi Beilin’s open letter in Foreign Policy magazine on April 4, in which Beilin urged Abbas to carry out his threat to dissolve the PA as a way to express his exasperation with Netanyahu’s “intransigence,” Abbas quickly back-tracked and told journalists that “The PA is an achievement and we must not dissolve it but strengthen it.” But if that were true, why would the FCC support the idea? Perhaps because they know that Abbas has no intention of dissolving the PA.

In order to understand what is going on here, we must recognize the perils to Israel that are implied in both of Abbas’ threats.

Abbas knows that unlike former U.S. Presidents, Obama has already threatened to withhold a US veto in the UN if a Security Council resolution could create an existential threat to Israel.  Abbas’ second try at the UN might work, especially if this timethe PA demand is pared down to recognition with the status of a non-member state (a big step above the “observer status” that the PA now has, but below full membership), and especially if Obama wins a second term and no longer needs to worry about losing some of his Jewish vote.  Moreover, although the PA’s attempt to bring war-crime accusations against Israel at the International Criminal Court ended in failure with the decision that the court had no jurisdiction, as the present writer noted earlier, the chief prosecutor outlined for the PA the directions it could take if it wanted to appeal at a later date.  By requesting that the UN petition the court to hear the PA case, or by convincing state members of the court to agree to bring the case to the docket, Abbas could do an end-run around the jurisdiction issue.  If the PA’s attorneys have the brains that God gave a napkin, they are working on both of these issues now.

So the peril to Israel in Abbas’ first threat is that Israel may be pilloried in the ICC with a re-run of the Goldstone report, especially if Obama wins a second term.

The other threat may imply even greater danger.  Following Israel’s victory over the 2nd Intifada, PA security forces in the West Bank have for the most part cooperated with the IDF in preventing terrorism, even collaborating at times in the hunt for secret Hamas cells.  But if those PA forces were to suddenly cease to exist, if all government apparatus for social services and financial controls were to suddenly disappear, the Palestinian organization most primed and ready to take over would be Hamas; and Hamas would jump at the opportunity. It is perhaps not coincidental that Abbas met late last year with Khaled Mesha’al, the political leader of Hamas, to “…discuss…the present situation and the prospects of getting out of it and working out a national strategy for the future.”

So what Abbas is really trying to tell Netanyahu is that the terms of his letter are the best deal that Israel can hope to get; and if Netanyahu does not play ball, Abbas will step aside and let Hamas mount the 3rd Intifada from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip at the same time. It would take only a bit of stalling by Abbas to interfere with Israel’s assumption of these responsibilities, during which time Hamas steps in.
It is likely that Hamas would jump at the opportunity to rule all of “Palestine” and to launch a multi-front terror war-on-steroids against Israel, precisely because it has been weakened by the loss of its Syrian base due to the Muslim Brotherhood’s support of the revolution in Syria,  it has lost Iran’s financial support to competing terror groups in the West Bank and Gaza Strip (such asHizb ut-Tahrir) as punishment for Hamas’ refusal to support Syria’s Assad, and its popularity is in severe decline with its rank-and-file in the Gaza Strip and West Bank due to its lack of sufficient qassam rocket attacks on Israel.  So expanded political power and greater latitude to attack Israel is just what Hamas needs to get itself back to its position of primus inter pares amongMuslim terrorist groups.
So what are the real options?

The letter itself is obvious bluster and a postured pretense at peace-making.   Some have critiqued it noting that it is full of errors, omissions and outright lies; and it is really nothing more than a rehash of PA demands to which the PA knows Israel cannot accede.  As Israeli officials have said in the past, if one agrees to all of the other side’s demands in advance of negotiations, then what does one negotiate about?  PA officials know this just as well as do Israeli leaders.  The letter is not an opening to peace negotiations.  In fact, it is, in all probability, not even addressed to Netanyahu.

Israeli media sources received leaks from Palestinian leaders about the content of the letter almost a week in advance of the meeting.  Yet the Israeli side wanted to keep details of the meeting secret even up to the day of the meeting.  For what audienceswere those leaks, obviously in violation of Israel’s desire for secrecy, intended?

The same question was asked about Abbas’ op-ed in the New York Times before his UN bid for recognition. He stated clearly and unabashedly that the entry of “Palestine” into the family of nations and its acquisition of UN status as a bona fide state would not end the conflict.  Rather such status would enable the PA to ratchet up the conflict to a higher level of political warfare by giving the new state of “Palestine” access to the ICC and ICJ (International Court of Justice) wherein Abbas and complicit partners in evil could support the Palestinian attempts to delegitimize Israel, condemn it as the world’s worst violator of human rights and perpetrator of war crimes, and then pressure Israel’s allies, especially those in the EU, to disassociate from Israel.

Did Abbas think that such threats endeared him to the EU or reduced the likelihood of American pressure against his bid?  More likely, his audience for these comments was not those to whom he spoke, but rather those in the Arab world and their collaborators elsewhere who do not want to see the conflict end until Israel is destroyed. For that audience, Abbas’ anti-Israel credentials have been eroded by his cooperation with Israel, by his PA security forces’ collaboration with Israel, and by the relatively terror-free calm of the West Bank since Israel’s defeat of the 2nd Intifada.  His statement to the world of Israel-haters was clear: He is still at it, working with lawfare and BDS and delegitimization and accusations of war crimes, rather than with qassams and suicide bombers; but the end game is the same — Palestine from the river to the sea.

And this is probably the case with the letter to Netanyahu.  By leaking its contents prematurely, he told his constituency and financial supporters and other partners in evil that he is still in a better position than Hamas to bring about Israel’s demise, despite his temporary setbacks at the UN and ICC.

Do what’s good for Israel

Do what’s good for Israel

Op-ed: Despite world’s disapproval, Jewish state should impose Israeli law in Judea and Samaria

Naftali Bennett

The Ulpana neighborhood was legally acquired and constructed by the Israeli government in the 1990s. It looks like any typical neighborhood in Haifa or Gedera. It has 14 buildings and they house families with hundreds of children. Happy families.

In 2008 the Yesh Din organization claimed that a small part of the neighborhood was sold to its residents deceitfully by the cousin of the real owner, who bears the same name. A typical land dispute.

Of course, it wasn’t the Arab who petitioned but the organization. The strategy of left-wing organizations has changed – they lost all their support with the people of Israel, and therefore moved their struggle from the field of public opinion, where they are forgotten, to the field of the High Court of Justice, where they have advocates.

If such a land dispute had happened in Raanana or Jerusalem the petitioner would be required to prove his claims, and if they were found correct he would win compensation and the story would end. But Judea and Samaria isn’t Raanana or Jerusalem. For 45 years Israel is holding this area without imposing sovereignty on it, as it did in Gilo and Ramot in Jerusalem, the Western Wall and Golan Heights. And this is the essence of the problem.

Impose Israeli sovereignty

It would merit the National Camp, which is the decisive majority in the Israeli public, to focus on a serious demand to impose Israeli sovereignty on all the Israeli territories in Judea and Samaria (Territory C.) These territories include the Jordan Valley, Gush Etzion, northern Dead Sea, Ben Gurion Airport corridor, Ariel, Maaleh Adumim and all of Israeli settlement.

Some 350,000 Israelis live there compared to only 48,000 Arabs. We did this in the Golan Heights. We did this in the Gilo and Ramot neighborhoods. We did this for the Western Wall. And we succeeded. The world does not like the measure and does not recognize it, but the Israeli public sees these areas as its country.

From the moment that Israeli law is imposed there the petitions, the examinations and the solutions will be the same as in every other place in Israel. A dispute between neighbors will be heard in court and decided according to law. The address for this is Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He was elected as head of the National Camp. The time has come to do what is good for Israel.,7340,L-4222163,00.html

How to stop Obama and Clinton from funding the 'Palestinians'

How to stop Obama and Clinton from funding the 'Palestinians'

Andrew McCarthy has an idea about how Congress can try to stop the Obama-Clinton State Department from funding the 'Palestinian Authority.'
In sum, everything Obama is saying about Palestinian compliance is a lie. Even if we were not broke, we should not be giving the PA a dime. To borrow money so we can give it to them is truly nuts.

Will Congress do anything about it? There is a very simple answer to this: slash the executive branch’s budget. That is the weapon the framers gave Congress to rein in a corrupt, spendaholic executive branch. You could start with a treble damages rule: Obama gives $192 million to the PA against Congress’s directive, Congress responds by slashing $600 million out of the State Department’s budget. That would be start — though State would still have $51 billion left over to fund the Muslim Brotherhood and its other favorite Islamic supremacists.
Will Congress rise to the challenge? Read the whole thing.

Hamas Interior Minister Fathi Hamad: Who are the 'Palestinians'?

Hamas Interior Minister Fathi Hamad: Who are the 'Palestinians'?

This isn't the first time we've had some straight shooting from Hamas Interior Minister Fathi Hamad. In this video, he tells us who the 'Palestinians' really are.

Let's go to the videotape (Hat Tip: Elihu S).

Gee, when Joan Peters wrote the same thing in From Time Immemorial, she was lambasted by the Left. Newt Gingrich had it right when he called the 'Palestinians' a fictional people. Just ask Fathi Hamad.

Jordan Is “Palestine”

Jordan Is “Palestine”

Don’t take it from me, take it from palestinian Mudar Zahran (hat tip: Carl).

I guess it won’t surprise you to know Mudar Zahran has been threatened with death before.

Palestinian Authority Admits Censorship of Websites, Says They Gave Bomb-Making Instructions

Palestinian Authority Admits Censorship of Websites, Says They Gave Bomb-Making Instructions

The other day I reported that a Palestinian Authority spokesperson had denied that the Palestinian Authority had censored websites critical of Mahmoud Abbas.

The Jerusalem Post is now reporting that the Palestinian Authority is defending its censorship of the websites.
PA Attorney-General Ahmed al-Mughni claimed that some of the blocked websites had published instructions how to manufacture explosives. 
…"Some of the websites were blocked for training Palestinians how to manufacture bombs and use them," al-Mughni said without providing evidence.
Under the logic of the Palestinian Authority basically all forums and websites of terrorist groups should be blocked. Are they? NO!

Abbas' dictatorial Palestinian Authority is deliberating targeting any and all of it political opponents and their supporters. While I have not gone through every blocked website, I have spent an extensive amount of time on InLightPress, and have never seen any articles related to bomb-making. ThePalestinian Authority is claiming that the sites advocated violence in order to appear as the victim.

The attempt to appear as the victim, when in fact you are the aggressor is not uncommon. In fact, this is what the Syrian regime is doing. In December 2011, the Syrian Foreign Ministry gave a press conference to discuss the Arab League monitoring mission.

The Syrian Foreign Minister was asked by a reporter: “If these delegations are attacked by armed gangs, wouldn’t it be an embarrassment to the Syrian authorities?” The Foreign Minister responded by saying that “It wouldn’t be an embarrassment. It would give credibility to the Syrian government. It would show that there are armed terrorist gangs. Gangs whose existence is admitted by none.”

"When Tolerance Becomes A One-Way Street It Leads To Cultural Suicide": Colonel Allen West On Islamist Influence In America

"When Tolerance Becomes A One-Way Street It Leads To Cultural Suicide": Colonel Allen West On Islamist Influence In America (video)

Here's Lieutenant-Colonel Allen West (Republican, Florida) pulling no punches about an "environment of political correctness" in the United States that is impeding internal security agents from responding effectively to the threat posed by Islamic extremism.  He cites the removal, following complaints from Senator Dick Durbin (Democrat, Illinois) of 900 pages of the FBI traing manual deemed offensive to Arab-Americans and Muslim Americans, and observes that the fact that the perpetrator of the Fort Hood massacre had links to jihadism was downplayed, with the incident being classified as "workplace violence".

"We should not allow the Muslim Brotherhood or associated groups to be influencing our national strategy,"he declares, adding that he has no doubt that they are doing so. "If we continue to be recalcitrant in identifying who the enemy is and want to be less offensive to them, then we're going to put ourselves in a bad situation. Now you have an environment of political correctness which precludes these [FBI]agents from doing their proper job and due diligence to go after the perceived threat."

"Is Palestine Now A State – Or Is It Not?": David Singer on why this question must be answered without delay

"Is Palestine Now A State – Or Is It Not?": David Singer on why this question must be answered without delay

Sydney lawyer and international affairs analyst David Singer has been continuing to focus on UNESCO and the issue of Palestinian statehood with an article, again via the antipodean J-Wire service, entitled "Palestine: Quartet and UNESCO  in Head-On Collision," in which, inter alia, he observes that "In going behind [the] Oslo [Accords] and the [Bush] Roadmap to unilaterally achieve statehood at UNESCO, Palestine has cut itself completely adrift from Oslo and the Roadmap."

Writes David Singer:

UNESCO’S  recognition that Palestine is a State has now been totally refuted by the Quartet – America, the Russian Federation, the European Union (EU) and  the United Nations (UN).

The Quartet – in its latest statement - has now endorsed the view of the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (OTP) just a few days earlier – that Palestine is not a State.  
“The Quartet reaffirmed its commitment, as expressed in its 23 September 2011 statement, to examine possible mechanisms it can actively support going forward, individually and together, to advance peace efforts and strengthen the Palestinian Authority’s ability to meet the full range of civil and security needs of the Palestinian people both now and in a future state.”
The Quartet’s use of the words – “both now and in a future state” – was clear and unambiguous .
If the Quartet and the OTP are correct – then Palestine’s admission to UNESCO as a State is indeed unlawful – since only States can be members of UNESCO under Article II paragraph 2 of UNESCO’S Constitution.

Yet the Russian Federation and many other member states of the UN and the EU – 107 to be precise – voted to recognize Palestine’s claim to be a State – thereby qualifying it to be granted admission to UNESCO.
How then can their representatives in the Quartet be now saying Palestine is not a State?

The remaining 87 UNESCO member states – including America and Israel – did not vote for Palestine‘s admission. Yet none of these States has done anything in the last six months to protest the illegality of Palestine’s admission to UNESCO – although several courses of action were open to them. 
Read on for articl'UNESCO’S  recognition that Palestine is a State has now been totally refuted by the Quartet – America, the Russian Federation, the European Union (EU) and  the United Nations (UN)..'The Quartet – in its latest statement - has now endorsed the view of the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (OTP) just a few days earlier – that Palestine is not a State."The Quartet reaffirmed its commitment, as expressed in its 23 September 2011 statement, to examine possible mechanisms it can actively support going forward, individually and together, to advance peace efforts and strengthen the Palestinian Authority’s ability to meet the full range of civil and security needs of the Palestinian people both now and in a future state.The Quartet’s use of the words – "both now and in a future state" – was clear and unambiguous .If the Quartet and the OTP are correct – then Palestine’s admission to UNESCO as a State is indeed unlawful – since only States can be members of UNESCO under Article II paragraph 2 of UNESCO’S ConstitutionYet the Russian Federation and many other member states of the UN and the EU – 107 to be precise – voted to recognize Palestine’s claim to be a State – thereby qualifying it to be granted admission to UNESCO.How then can their representatives in the Quartet be now saying Palestine is not a State?The remaining 87 UNESCO member states – including America and Israel – did not vote for Palestine‘s admission. Yet none of these States has done anything in the last six months to protest the illegality of Palestine’s admission to UNESCO – although several courses of action were open to them.

Firstly – they could have attempted to have the decision reviewed by lobbying UNESCO to seek an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice on the constitutional propriety of its decision to recognize Palestine as a State – under Article XIV Paragraph 2 of UNESCO’s Constitution which states:
"Any question or dispute concerning the interpretation of this Constitution shall be referred for determination to the International Court of Justice or to an arbitral tribunal, as the General Conference may determine under its Rules of Procedure."
Secondly – they could have suspended their membership or the payment of their membership dues or refused to attend meetings when Palestine was represented by its accredited spokespersons.
America and Israel suspended their dues –  not to protest UNESCO’S recognition of Palestine as a State – but to protest that this recognition was achieved unilaterally outside the negotiations prescribed by the Oslo Accords and the Bush Roadmap.

So having by their conduct over the last six months done nothing to voice their opposition to UNESCO recognizing that Palestine is a State  -  how can their Quartet representatives now be claiming to do just that by claiming there is no existing State of Palestine?

The Quartet’s statement sounds an even more discordant tone when it asserts:
"The Quartet encouraged the parties, in this context, to cooperate to facilitate the social and economic development of Area C, which is of critical importance for the viability of a future Palestinian state as well as for its Palestinian inhabitants to be enabled to lead a normal life. The Quartet asked Quartet Representative Blair to continue his intensive work with the parties toward this end."
Again the words "a future Palestinian State" are carefully chosen – a clear negation of the UNESCO vote recognizing Palestine is a State.
But even stranger – "Area C" is a specific creation of the Oslo Accords and the Bush Roadmap negotiating processes – instituted in 1993 and 2002 between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization through its then newly constituted negotiating entity – the Palestinian Authority.

"Area C" comprises 61% in area of the West Bank and is home to only 4% of the Palestinian Arabs living in the West Bank. It also happens to be the location where pre-existing Jewish settlements were destroyed in the 1948 Arab-Israel War – and were subsequently re-established after the 1967 War.

"Area C" also contains most of the new Jewish settlements built since 1967 – where close settlement by Jews was to be encouraged under article 6 of the Mandate for Palestine and article 80 of the United Nations Charter.

Israel currently holds full security and administrative control in "Area C". Sovereignty has remained unallocated between Jews and Arabs since Great Britain handed back its Mandate to the United Nations in 1948.

In going behind Oslo and the Roadmap to unilaterally achieve statehood at UNESCO, Palestine has cut itself completely adrift from Oslo and the Roadmap.

It surely is wishful thinking for the Quartet to have any expectations that further negotiations on the future of "Area C" can be conducted within the framework of Oslo and the Roadmap – once the two-state solution contemplated by Oslo and the Road Map had been achieved at UNESCO.

If there are to be any negotiations over Area C – where Palestine does not have and never has had effective control – a new Roadmap – agreed to by Israel and the Palestinian Authority – will first be needed to replace both Oslo and the Bush Roadmap.

That no doubt is what the Quartet wants to avoid – and provides a good reason for the Quartet to continually claim that there is no state of Palestine existing at the present time.

Perhaps the Quartet is preparing us to get ready to listen to a new composition – the Obama Roadmap,

For that to happen however – the Quartet must encourage UNESCO to high tail it to the International Court – to clarify whether its decision to recognize Palestine as a State is lawful or not.

The current disharmony caused by UNESCO and the Quartet playing from different scores needs to be resolved without delay.
Is Palestine now a state – or it is not?

The UNESCO decision has not only created a growing global humanitarian crisis caused by the loss of 22% of its budget in suspended American dues.

That decision has now also become crucial in determining whether :
  1. Oslo and the Bush Roadmap have any further relevance at all and
  2. The Quartet disappears ignominiously off the international stage into permanent retirement as the most powerful diplomatic negotiating team ever assembled in history that failed to achieve anything after eight years of trying.
Until the International Court gives its advisory opinion – the Quartet is going to look decidedly foolish claiming  there is no such State yet in existence – when UNESCO says there is.

This head-on collision is certain to claim a lot of casualties.'

Biden's Comparison Of Obama With Truman On Israel May Be More Accurate Than He'd Like

Biden's Comparison Of Obama With Truman On Israel May Be More Accurate Than He'd Like

No president since Harry Truman has done more for Israel’s security than Barack Obama.
Vice President Joe Biden, April 2012

If we take a closer look at Joe Biden's comparison of Obama to Truman based on the discovery of recent documents, there may indeed be a basis for comparison.

It is now being reported that the US State Department made threats in 1948 to prevent the establishment of Israel:

A U.S. State Department official in 1948 threatened to release anti-Semitic documents in response to the establishment of the State of Israel, according to diplomatic cables.

The Washington Free Beacon reported Thusday that according to recently unearthed diplomatic cables, Undersecretary of State Robert Lovett told Nahum Goldmann, the president and founder of the World Jewish Congress, that he was ready to disseminate a white paper that would “do great harm to the Jews.”

According to the cables, Lovett told Goldmann that the State Department would seek a truce with the Arab countries and if Israel prevented the truce by declaring independence on its own terms, the State Department would prevent any assistance from reaching the infant Jewish state.
The cables were found by Rafael Medoff, the director of The David Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, who in an interview with an interview with the Jerusalem Post indicated that The State Department threat against Israel was in support of Truman's actual presidential policy:
"Truman did not want a major international conflict that would draw the Soviet Union in, and then necessitate American intervention. He didn’t have a plan to solve the Arab-Israeli conflict. He just wanted to keep things calm.” In the end, even when the War of Independence did break out, the US never did have to send in troops. “For Truman, it was simply a problem of timing,” Medoff said. With the election just months away, he acceded to his political adviser’s urging to support the establishment of the Jewish state.
Ah yes, elections.
Truman is not the only Democrat who has burnished his Pro-Israel credentials during a presidential election year.

Medoff goes on to indicate there is something of a pattern from 1948 that we see being repeated today during the Obama administration. It is a pattern that comes full circle--including Vice President Biden himself as well as Obama:
“It’s possible to see 1948 in recent developments,” he suggested. “The intimidating of American Jewish Zionists for the possible loss of American lives is happening today. Like when Vice President Biden made a statement that the construction of apartments in certain neighborhoods of Jerusalem could lead to attacks on Americans. The tactic of using leaks to the media to try to pressure Israel not to take steps to defend itself against Iran does the same thing.”

“It’s the same implicit threat that the Jews will be blamed for the death of American soldiers,” Medoff said. “Is it a coincidence, or is it a pattern? Whatever it is, it’s as troubling now as it was then.”
The threats are indeed troubling.
As a reminder of the threats that have been issued by the US against Israel--by Obama himself as well as the State Department--the following video provides a reminder:

Our Rightful Right to the Land of Israel

Our Rightful Right to the Land of Israel

A former member of the first Begin Government Coalition, Yehuda Ben-Meir of the NRP, reflected on Begin's approach to land issues in Judea, Samaria and Gaza:-

The Jewish people has been fighting for 100 years now for the right to have a nation state in the Land of Israel, and it has involved a long battle between the Jewish people and the Palestinian Arab people. Even many of those who, out of a strong desire to head off the prospect of Israel becoming a binational state, advocate a solution providing for two states for two peoples as part of a permanent settlement of the conflict, are convinced that the Jewish people have a national right to the Land of Israel. They also insist that the major Jewish settlement blocs in Judea and Samaria be included in any final agreement within Israel's sovereign territory.

This national struggle is a just one and as a result, we have a chance to win it. There is broad and deep support around the world for our national rights in this land - on the condition, however, that Israel respect the personal and civil rights of Palestinians residing and making their lives in these areas.

Unqualified respect for these rights, the assurance of security for the millions of Palestinians living in Judea and Samaria, and protection of their welfare and freedom to go about their lives are essential if we are to have the world's support for our national claims. The burden of proof will always be on Israel. And the day-to-day conduct of the Jews and the Israel Defense Forces with respect to the Palestinians is a decisive factor in the success of our national struggle.

This simple, fundamental fact has been clear over time to all of Israel's leaders, first and foremost to those who have taken the cause of the Land of Israel to heart. Such was the case withMenachem Begin and with the spiritual leader of the Gush Emunim settlement movement, Rabbi Zvi Yehuda Kook. And both of them were insistent that settlements not be built on privately-owned Palestinian land. Now, however, the leaders of the right wing live in another world. They compete with one another over who will be more extreme and who will be looked upon favorably by extremists among the settlers.

The late prime minister's son, Minister without Portfolio Benny Begin, was correct in describing a law that would provide retroactive approval for settlements built on privately-owned Palestinian land as "delusional and unconstitutional." Beyond that however, such legislation, if it passes, would cause immeasurable damage to the State of Israel and the Jewish people's just national battle.

There may be room for special arrangements here or there, where people acted in good faith, but the significance of a comprehensive law on the issue involves not only retroactive approval of what was done in the past. It would also signal to absolutely everyone that the State of Israel is not protecting the property rights of the Palestinians in Judea and Samaria. 

And Benny Begin, who needs no lessons from other Likud cabinet ministers or Knesset members on what love of the Land of Israel is, understands this. I am also convinced that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu understands it, too. 

Peace process to nowhere

Peace process to nowhere

Op-ed: Peace talks can’t be successful unless tight grip of narratives sustaining conflict is dislodged

Donna Robinson Divine, Asaf Romirowsky

Something has gone horribly wrong with the Palestinian-Israeli peace process, and Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad's recent decision not to meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is only the latest example and reason for the widespread pessimism about its trajectory. 

The so-called Middle East conflict has grown more rather than less intractable since Palestinian and Israeli leaders began their efforts to resolve it through negotiations. Indeed, almost two decades of negotiations have failed to convince Palestinian and Israeli leaders of a way to share the land and its resources. And in fact the core of the conflict is more about co-existing on the same land than just dividing it.

Perhaps the realization of how many dreams would remain unfulfilled if the compromises necessary for an agreement were struck convinced politicians on both sides that resolving the dispute would be more costly and unpopular than perpetuating it.

Perhaps, both sides have clung more tightly to their national narratives than to proposals to be exchanged for concessions because discussions, themselves, disclosed the gap, not so much between the two sets of negotiators, but rather between reality and the dreams ordinary Palestinians and Israelis have been encouraged to imagine of the final resolution.

At the very least, national narratives give Israelis and Palestinians a clear definition of their collective identities even if they lock them into their confrontation.

For Palestinians, a narrative etched in the injustices of exile and oppression is preferred to the founding of a state that leaves behind too many refugees stuck in the same camps created for what was believed a temporary displacement. For Israelis, whose national story is woven around the survival of the Jewish people, it is preferable to retain control over territories serving as staging ground for attacks - even though the patrols, checkpoints, and the separation barrier are often described as marks of oppression - than surrendering the land without a clear Palestinian commitment to stop their wars and end their grievances against the Jewish state.

So, the conflict persists; the negotiations are deadlocked and the calls by the international community through the Quartet for compromise and negotiations seem more akin to linguistic rituals than to imperatives for action.

Thus, a peace process cannot be successful unless the tight grip of narratives sustaining the conflict is dislodged. And they can only start to loosen if both Palestinians and Israelis begin to have different experiences of one another and of the two states a solution is expected to produce.

Focus on state building

The more Palestinians and Israelis encounter one another across a divide of principles, the more they distrust a process that seems to augur a future actually full of uncertainty no matter how lofty the principles defining it. In fact, the obsession with principles may instill faith but not the energy to change conditions on the ground particularly for Palestinians too many of whom still live without access to the basic services needed for self-fulfillment and a better life.

Prime Minister Fayyad's emphasis on bolstering the Palestinian economy as a condition necessary to establishing a state, once promised a way out of the impasse of negotiating through a language of incompatible historic rights and grievances.

As universally acknowledged, the presently deadlocked negotiations can easily degenerate into widespread violence, and while the suffering may fall heavily on Israelis and Palestinians, the responsibility for the ensuing chaos will be borne as well by the international community.

The time is ripe to breathe new life into Prime Minister Fayyad's approach and shift the focus from principles to programs. Let negotiations set a goal of establishing a state rather than configuring sovereignty and focus on creating the institutions necessary for a functioning political order to be up and running on the day Palestine is recognized as a full voting member of the United Nations.

External funders should set the model for this approach, by redirecting their aid away from groups that focus on so-called human rights abuses - whose agendas are largely driven by foreign-based NGOs - and by channeling their money, instead, to state building and economic enterprises.

Elections for legislative assemblies and municipal governments should be held and not postponed allowing office holders to take seriously their responsibilities for maintaining local law and order, education, and an infrastructure that promotes economic growth. A tax system should be established to encourage commerce and business. Palestinians should be rewarded for creating innovative schools. Palestinians can forge a path to self-fulfillment and self-determination by structuring their own local institutions.

No one believes the present course promises anything but more deadlock or worse even if Palestinians receive backing for their national rights through the instrument of international law or the mechanisms of global organizations. The so-called international gambit has not worked in the past and is unlikely to yield tangible payback in the future.

Building a Palestinian state is more fruitful than creating more barriers for peace. In the 1970s the "West Bank" and Gaza constituted the fourth fastest growing economy in the world! And the engine driving this quality of life explosion for the Arabs of the region was their interconnection with the modern, western, growth-oriented democratic neighbor, Israel.

Mutual recognition still represents the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict but it will not happen before substantial numbers of Palestinians can reckon how much of their own economic and political gains they might lose by committing themselves to an unremitting struggle against a Jewish state. Unfortunately, to the extent that the Oslo Process helped the traditional political leadership re-assert control over Palestinian destiny without fully ending its fraternity of combat against Israel, it could not insulate ordinary Palestinian men and women from the return of poverty, and stagnation thereby tarnishing even the idea of a peace process.

Thus a refocus on Palestinian state building is warranted not only because it will produce more benefits for more Palestinians but also because it is likely to provide a basis for Israeli support. Palestinians and Israelis experience the benefits of two states before trying to sort out the principles and the coordinates that will actually be the basis for the boundaries drawn between them and the resources they must ultimately share.

Donna Robinson Divine is a Morningstar Family Professor of Jewish Studies and Professor of Government at Smith College and a Scholars for Peace in the Middle East (SPME) board member. Asaf Romirowsky is the acting executive director of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East (SPME),7340,L-4221913,00.html

A lesson on Jerusalem

A lesson on Jerusalem

Op-ed: David Ha'ivri responds to UK parliamentarians who claim Israel's capital promotes apartheid

David Ha'ivri 

During my recent visit to the British Parliament, I heard concern from a number of members that Jerusalem's new light rail system was built as a "tool of Israel's apartheid.” This type of claim can leave one baffled - where do you start explaining, when an intelligent elected official hits you with a claim that is so totally off base? Aside from the issue of priorities, since people are being killed by Assad daily in Syria, it is so hypocritical for world leaders to ignore that massacre and waste their time and effort in seeking out something to pin on Israel.

The city of Jerusalem was first declared the capital of the united kingdom of Israel by our mighty King David some 3’000 years ago. In its center, on Mount Moriah, David’s son Solomon built the Temple, which became a place of gathering for the entire nation of Israel three times a year. Ever since then, this city has been the focal point of the prayers of Jews wherever they have lived in the world.

In Israel's War of Independence in 1948, part of Jerusalem was captured by the British-trained Arab Legion of Trans-Jordan, who held the city for 19 years, until it was again united in the miraculous Six Day War of June, 1967. During the 19 years of Jordan's illegal occupation of Jerusalem, Jews were barred from access to holy places in the city. Jewish doctors and nurses were massacred while trying to reach the Hadassah Hospital, located on then-isolated Mount Scopus.

Only after Israel's Defense Forces reunited the holy city were members of all religions again allowed access to places holy to them (aside from the Temple Mount, which maintains limited access for non-Muslims.)

Jerusalem today is a city with total population of about 760,000 people - about 65% Jewish, 35% Muslims, Christians and others. Anyone who visits the city will see a mix of people from all ethnic backgrounds and all religions taking part in all aspects of the city's culture and commerce. Like it or not, apartheid is not a fitting description for the reality of Jerusalem today.

Hebrew and Arabic

The city of Jerusalem, capital of the State of Israel, incorporated its light rail public transportation system this year. The light rail is intended to relieve traffic congestion, and to save the city from some of the air pollution of exhaust fumes from the cars and buses that it will replace.

Three years of its construction was very bothersome to the residents and visitors to Jerusalem because it made transit within the city even more difficult and slowed up traffic, with many roads closed and much traffic redirected. When the work was finally completed, I think that most of Jerusalem was happy with the results.

The light rail is now 14 kilometers long with 23 stops. It starts in the Pisgat Zev neighborhood in the north and runs though Beit Hannia and Shuafat, passes by the Old City through the center of town, runs along Jaffa Street past the central bus station and ends at Mount Herzl.

The track passes though and stops in both Jewish and Arab neighborhoods. I have taken the train and noticed that both Jews and Arabs are regular commuters. All of the train’s signs, tickets, ticket machines, and public announcements are made very clearly in both Hebrew and Arabic. Signs of station names are posted in both Hebrew and Arabic.

Knowing the facts firsthand, it is strange for me to hear discussions in British Parliament about the light rail being segregated and a “tool of apartheid.” Why, I ask, do people buy into such baseless libel and propaganda?

David Ha’ivri is the director of the Shomron Liaison Office. He and his wife Mollie live in Kfar Tapuach, Shomron with their eight children. You can follow him on Twitter @haivri,7340,L-4221402,00.html

1 State West of the Jordan

My Ad in the Harvard Crimson:1 State West of the Jordan

Harvard wouldn't let the writer speak at their One State West of the Jordan Conference because his state was the Jewish one, so he purchased an ad in their newspaper for Israel's birthday. Kudos to a proud Zionist Harvard alumnus.
From Wallace Edward Brand, JD
This ad appears in the Harvard Crimson today:               

Students at Harvard  should know that there are actually three solutions to the Arab-Israeli conflict. 

First there is a "one [Arab majority] state" solution, in which the Jewish Israelis would become unwelcome guests in their own National Home, and the Jews in the Diaspora, such as in Toulouse, lose the only place on earth they could go to and not be in a minority. 

The second is a "two state [temporary] solution" in which the interim solution would result in the loss of much Jewish and Christian heritage and in the long run would end up as the one [Arab majority] state solution. 

The third is  one lawful Jewish state  based on the San Remo Agreement of 1920 that established the British Mandate for Palestine.  It granted the Jews exclusive collective political rights to Palestine, in trust, to vest when the Jews had attained a population majority.

The details of the San Remo agreement are also on line in a two part op ed that can be seen at:

Debunking the Palestine Lie"

It is likely that HLS Professor Alan Dershowitz will sponsor a conference at Harvard on a two state temporary solution.  Will he permit discussion of the third option at his conference?  

The three solutions are like the three legs of a stool.  With only the first two, it will appear that you will get strong arguments in favor of both, but not much balance. Here is a critical review  of the two state temporary solution:  

Also, it would be helpful to look at what Dr. Daniel Pipes has uncovered about Yassir Arafat and the treaty of Hudibyah, a two-tribe solution that went sour. and

If Harvard is a free and open marketplace of ideas, demand a conference where all three solutions are discussed by genuine proponents and opponents.

Wallace Edward Brand, HLS '57