Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Failed Palestinian Effort at the UN

The Failed Palestinian Effort at the UN
Dore Gold

The Palestinian draft resolution that was voted down by the UN Security Council was unacceptable to Israel for two essential reasons. First, all Israeli governments have insisted that any solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict must be reached through direct negotiations between the parties.
That principle was enshrined in the Oslo Agreements in the 1990s. The 1995 Interim Agreement, signed at the White House by Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO leader Yasser Arafat, in fact stated that negotiations were the only way to alter the status of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The Interim Agreement was not only witnessed and signed by the United States, but also by the European Union – a fact that makes the French vote in the Security Council for the draft resolution very puzzling.
In substance, the draft resolution also sought to prejudge the outcome of any future negotiations. How can you have a Security Council resolution that decides Israel’s future borders on the basis of the 1967 lines and in the same breath assert that you are going to have a negotiation over borders? What is there left to negotiate? UN Security Council Resolution 242, adopted in the aftermath of the 1967 Six-Day War, did not require Israel to fully withdraw from the territories it captured in a war of self-defense.
It is often forgotten that Resolution 242 was the basis of all Arab-Israeli agreements from the 1979 Egyptian-Israeli Treaty of Peace to the 1993 Oslo Declaration of Principles to the 1994 Jordanian-Israeli Treaty of Peace. It was also the basis of the 1991 Madrid Peace Conference that launched the peace process.  True, the latest draft resolution mentions Resolution 242 in its preamble. But, by demanding a nearly full withdrawal by Israel in its operative section, the draft resolution essentially contradicts 242 in substance.
Finally, the draft resolution that was rejected exposes the strategy adopted by Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian Authority president. He does not want to negotiate with Israel. Instead, he seeks to use international institutions in order to impose a solution on Israel. That is a course of action that no Israeli government can accept and the international community should not give it any support if it wants to see the Israeli-Palestinian conflict resolved.
*     *     *
UN Palestinian
Text of the Palestinian Draft UNSC Resolution as Submitted by Jordan
December 17, 2014
Reaffirming its previous resolutions, in particular resolutions 242 (1967); 338 (1973), 1397 (2002), 1515 (2003), 1544 (2004), 1850 (2008), 1860 (2009) and the Madrid Principles,
Reiterating its vision of a region where two democratic states, Israel and Palestine, live side by side in peace within secure and recognized borders,
Reaffirming the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination,
Recalling General Assembly resolution 181 (II) of 29 November 1947,
Reaffirming the principle of the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force and recalling its resolutions 446 (1979), 452 (1979) and 465 (1980), determining, inter alia, that the policies and practices of Israel in establishing settlements in the territories occupied since 1967,including East Jerusalem, have no legal validity and constitute a serious obstruction to achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East,
Affirming the imperative of resolving the problem of the Palestine refugees on the basis of international law and relevant resolutions, including resolution 194 (III), as stipulated in the Arab Peace Initiative,
Underlining that the Gaza Strip constitutes an integral part of the Palestinian territory occupied in 1967, and calling for a sustainable solution to the situation in the Gaza Strip, including the sustained and regular opening of its border crossings for normal flow of persons and goods, in accordance with international humanitarian law,
Welcoming the important progress in Palestinian state-building efforts recognised by the World Bank and the IMF in 2012 and reiterating its call to all States and international organizations to contribute to the Palestinian institution building programme in preparation for independence,
Reaffirming that a just, lasting and peaceful settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can only be achieved by peaceful means, based on an enduring commitment to mutual recognition, freedom from violence, incitement and terror, and the two-State solution, building on previous agreements and obligations and stressing that the only viable solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is an agreement that ends the occupation that began in 1967, resolves all permanent status issues as previously defined by the parties, and fulfills the legitimate aspirations of both parties, Condemning all violence and hostilities directed against civilians and all acts of terrorism, and reminding all States of their obligations under resolution 1373 (2001),
Recalling the obligation to ensure the safety and well-being of civilians and ensure their protection in situations of armed conflict,
Reaffirming the right of all States in the region to live in peace within secure and internationally recognized borders,
Noting with appreciation the efforts of the United States in 2013/14 to facilitate and advance negotiations between the parties aimed at achieving a final peace settlement,
Aware of its responsibilities to help secure a long-term solution to the conflict,
  1. Affirms the urgent need to attain, no later than 12 months after the adoption of this resolution, a just, lasting and comprehensive peaceful solution that brings an end to the Israeli occupation since 1967 and fulfills the vision of two independent, democratic and prosperous states, Israel and a sovereign, contiguous and viable State of Palestine living side by side in peace and security within mutually and internationally recognized borders;
  1. Decides that the negotiated solution will be based on the following parameters:
– borders based on 4 June 1967 lines with mutually agreed, limited, equivalent land swaps;
– security arrangements, including through a third-party presence, that guarantee and respect the sovereignty of a State of Palestine, including through a full and phased withdrawal of Israeli security forces which will end the occupation that began in 1967 over an agreed transition period in a reasonable time frame, not to exceed the end of 2017, and that ensure the security of both Israel and Palestine through effective border security and by preventing the resurgence of terrorism and effectively addressing security threats, including emerging and vital threats in the region.
– A just and agreed solution to the Palestine refugee question on the basis of Arab Peace Initiative, international law and relevant United Nations resolutions, including resolution 194 (III);
– Jerusalem as the shared capital of the two States which fulfills the legitimate aspirations of both parties and protects freedom of worship;
– an agreed settlement of other outstanding issues, including water;
  1. Recognizes that the final status agreement shall put an end to the occupation and an end to all claims and lead to immediate mutual l recognition;
  1. Affirms that the definition of a plan and schedule for implementing the security arrangements shall be placed at the center of the negotiations within the framework established by this resolution;
  1. Looks forward to welcoming Palestine as a full Member State of the United Nations within the time frame defined in the present resolution;
  1. Urges both parties to engage seriously in the work of building trust and to act together in the pursuit of peace by negotiating in good faith and refraining from all acts of incitement and provocative acts or statements, and also calls upon all States and international organizations to support the parties in confidence-building measures and to contribute to an atmosphere conducive to negotiations;
  1. Calls upon all parties to abide by their obligations under international humanitarian law, including the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of 12 August 1949;
  1. Encourages concurrent efforts to achieve a comprehensive peace in the region, which would unlock the full potential of neighborly relations in the Middle East and reaffirms in this regard the importance of the full implementation of the Arab Peace Initiative;
  1. Calls for a renewed negotiation framework that ensures the close involvement, alongside the parties, of major stakeholders to help the parties reach an agreement within the established time frame and implement all aspects of the final status, including through the provision of political support as well as tangible support for post-conflict and peace-building arrangements, and welcomes the proposition to hold an international conference that would launch the negotiations;
  1. Calls upon both parties to abstain from any unilateral and illegal actions, including settlement activities, that could undermine the viability of a two-State solution on the basis of the parameters defined in this resolution;
  1. Calls for immediate efforts to redress the unsustainable situation in the Gaza Strip, including through the provision of expanded humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian civilian population via the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East and other United Nations agencies and through serious efforts to address the underlying issues of the crisis, including consolidation of the ceasefire between the parties;
  1. Requests the Secretary-General to report on the implementation of this resolution every three months;
  1. Decides to remain seized of the matter.
Dore Gold...The writer, a former Israeli ambassador to the UN, is president of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs and serves as an external advisor to the office of the Prime Minister of Israel. He is the author of the best-selling books: The Fight for Jerusalem: Radical Islam, the West, and the Future of the Holy City (Regnery, 2007), and The Rise of Nuclear Iran: How Tehran Defies the West (Regnery, 2009).

Monday, December 29, 2014

Why do Palestinians really want an Arab state inside Israel ?

Why do Palestinians really want an Arab state inside Israel ?

Why do Palestinians really want an Arab state inside the Land of Israel ?
Why do they want to turn Judea and Samaria (west bank) into an Arab/Palestinian state when they already have a palestinian state in Jordan?

Palestinian official ,Abbas Zaki, a member of Fatah's centeral comittee, told Al-Jazeera on September 23, 2011:
"Don't Tell the World We Want to Wipe Out Israel ...
President [Abbas] understands, we understand, and everybody knows that the greater goal cannot be accomplished in one go. If Israel withdraws from Jerusalem, evacuates the 650,000 settlers, and dismantles the wall - what will become of Israel? It will come to an end."
"If we say that we want to wipe Israel out....C'mon, it's too difficult. I! t's not [acceptable] policy to say so. Don't say these things to the world. Keep it to yourself."

Way back on March 31, 1977, the Dutch newspaper Trouw published an interview with Palestine Liberation Organization executive committee member Zahir Muhsein. Here's what he said: 

"The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people."

Walid Shoebat, a former PLO terrorist :
"Why is it that on June 4th 1967 I was a Jordanian and overnight I became a Palestinian?"
"We considered ourselves Jordanian until the Jews returned to Jerusalem. Then all of the sudden we were Palestinians -- they removed the star from the Jordanian flag and all at once we had a Palestinian flag."

The Land of Israel belongs to the People of Israel . Period. 
The Arab occupation in Israel must come to an end !

On 26 December 1981, King Hussein declared in an interview with the Arab newspaper "A - Nahar Al - Arabi" that : 

"The truth is that Jordan is Palestine and Palestine is Jordan."

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Going from Bad to Worse

Going from Bad to Worse

Why from bad to worse? The two state solution mantra, EU boycott, PA unilateral moves, Obama's favoring the PA, but mainly what the Arabs say in Arabic.
Ted Belman
The world is totally committed to the two-state solution. European country after country is passing non-binding resolutions to recognize Palestine in principle. The parameters of the deal which have been set in stone, notwithstanding that all issues are to be decided by negotiations, are the ’67 lines plus swaps and the division of Jerusalem.

Never mind that such a deal is not good enough for the Arabs.  Hamas rejects it outright. Mahmoud Abbas, as President of the PA, is still clamoring for the so called right of return and is unwilling to recognize Israel as the home of the Jews while at the same time insisting that “Palestine” be yudenrein.

The EU has already put a boycott on goods from Judea and Samaria and is drafting legislation imposing sanctions on Israel. It is even rumored that the US is contemplating doing the same. That’s ironic considering that both want to ease sanctions on Iran.

Israel, for its part is going along to get along, at least that is, to a degree. Netanyahu has agreed to negotiate the two-state solution subject to three pillars, “One, genuine mutual recognition; two, an end to all claims, including the right of return; and three, a long-term Israeli security presence.” This is according to his remarks to the Saban Conference.  He did not mention borders. Would he accept ’67 lines plus swaps?  He didn’t say but I think it is implied. Even so, there are no takers.

The Palestine Authority (PA) has turned its back on negotiations which would require it to accept these pillars and instead is getting ready to ask the UN Security Council to recognize the state of Palestine and to call for Israel to evacuate the territories calling for a full Israeli withdraw to the pre-1967 lines by November 2016.

The Obama administrations is working to prevent this but at the same time is considering the implications of not vetoing it. From the point of view of Obama, the more pressure on Israel, the better. Europe agrees. The European parliaments, one after another, have favoured the recognition of Palestine in non-binding resolutions.

Congress, on the other hand, in their spending bill, provides as follows, according to the Washington  Post,“The bill stops assistance to the Palestinian Authority if it becomes a member of the United Nations or UN agencies without an agreement  with Israel. It also prohibits funds for Hamas.” and provides “$3.1 billion in total aid for the country (Israel) plus $619.8 million in defense aid”. It has yet to pass.

Meanwhile the PA continues its incitement and lies. A recent poll of Palestinians showed that 80 percent supported individual attacks by Palestinians who have stabbed Israelis or rammed cars into crowded train stations and 59.6 percent supporting rocket fire at Israel. Is this a partner for peace? This poll may have been intended to promote the resistance.

At long last Israel is mounting certain responses. 1) Greater police presence in Jerusalem with fewer restrictions on them, 2) Greater penalties, like longer sentences, for any violent rioters and 3) Enacting zero tolerance laws prohibiting incitement.  The Bill, not yet passed into law, states, “A call to an act of violence or terror deserves condemnation in the criminal realm as well, even if it is insufficient to lead to violence or terror. It does not deserve to be protected by the principle of freedom of expression.”

Wednesday, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon attributed  the building freeze in Judea and Samaria to pressure from the Obama administration and suggested Israel has to wait him out.

Speaking to reporters in Washington, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said that objection to “settlements” was longstanding and would not change after President Barack Obama leaves office in 2017 and said “Our policy has been consistent for quite some time,”

I am not so sure. Besides, she misses the point. While all administrations, from President Reagan on have considered settlements, while not illegal, to be an “obstacle to peace”, none of them forced Israel to freeze construction and even planning for construction and certainly not in Jerusalem.

The US and the EU continually allege that 'settlements' are an obstacle to peace. Have you ever heard them claim the same about PA incitement, or its support of terror or its refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state or its unwillingness to forego the “right of return”? Maybe, a little bit in passing, but they have done nothing to change their position and hardly condemned them.

Furthermore, Obama’s decision to back negotiations based on borders along the ’67 lines plus swaps was a big mistake. Doing so was contrary to his often stated position that any settlement must come through direct negotiations. He has forever repeated the mantra that neither side should take any unilateral moves which pre-determine the outcome.  He himself, by predetermining the borders, is pre-determining the outcome.

Had he not pre-determined the borders of the final settlement, then Israel would have been entitled to build everywhere at its peril, meaning that when borders are agreed upon, if ever, the housing on Israel’s side would remain and the housing on the Palestinian side would have to be vacated if the PA insists on the Nazi doctrine of making the land yuden frie (Jew free) and the West supports such a doctrine.

The only unilateral moves proscribed by the Oslo Accords and all subsequent agreements, are those which change the status of the land. By this is meant, claiming sovereignty. So Israel can’t annex the land and the PA can’t go to the UN and ask them for sovereignty, not so long as the Oslo Accords have not been formally abrogated. The construction of housing by Israel in no way changes the status of the land. And neither does land use planning.

And if you think that Israel will agree to divide Jerusalem, their eternal capital, think again. Nir Barkat, the Mayor of Jerusalem, when addressing the JPOST Diplomatic Conference attended by over three hundred of diplomats, gave a very upbeat assessment of the transformation of Jerusalem that is taking place and will continue to take place.  He stressed the commitment by him and the government to maintain the status quo between all religions. He ended by disabusing the audience of any thoughts they might have about dividing Jerusalem. It will never happen, he said, and I believe him.

Israel is consumed with the issue of whether to pass the nation-state bill which essentially declares that Israel is the nation state of the Jewish people. To do so, claims the left in Israel, is to diminish it as a democratic state. But there is no evidence to support this.

Eugene Kontorovich wrote a two part article in the Washington Post on The legitimacy of Israel’s nation-state bill in which he said the bill was unremarkable when compared to many European constitutions with similar, and stronger, national homeland provisions.

He also argued that:

“The proposed measure must also be understood in the context of Israel’s diplomatic situation. Israel’s biggest diplomatic issue is the status of Jerusalem and the West Bank, and international pressure to create a new Arab state there and in Gaza. The major argument by proponents of territorial withdrawal (including President Obama and Sec. Kerry) is that despite the serious security risks, Israel must retreat in order to maintain a “Jewish state.” Indeed, even foreign leaders, like President Obama and Secretary Kerry have both justified their pressure on Israel by invoking the preservation of the Israel’s Jewish identity.”

And went further:

“Thus supporters of Israel leaving the West Bank believe having a Jewish state is worth security risks, surrendering historical homeland and religious sites, and expelling over 100,000 Jews. That suggests a Jewish state is not merely a legitimate thing, but one that is worth a great deal. Yet the same voices calling for Israel to undertake dangerous diplomatic concessions in the name of preserving the state’s Jewish identity balk at legislation declaring that the state in fact is what they claim they want it to remain.”

According to a Israel Democracy Institute recent Poll, 75% of Israeli Jews see no contradiction between Israel being Jewish and being dermcratic.

MEMRI, the NGO that for years has translated the Arab media to document what the Arabs including the PA say among themselves as opposed to what they say in English to the West, prefaced their latest report with this:

“Preacher At Al-Aqsa Mosque In Jerusalem Tells Jews: ‘We Shall Slaughter You Without Mercy’ and ‘I Say To [You] Loud And Clear: The Time For Your Slaughter Has Come'; Says Koran Depicted Jews ‘In The Most Abominable Images,’ Allah Turned The Jews ‘Into Apes And Pigs'; Calls To ‘Hasten The Establishment Of The State Of The Islamic Caliphate’”

Is there any making peace with these people?

Monday, December 15, 2014

Facing "Palestine" With Truth: An Uncommon Perspective

Facing "Palestine" With Truth: An Uncommon Perspective

Israel will not be the only one to suffer from a "Palestinian State", should one arise.

By Prof. Louis René Beres

Credo quia absurdum.  "I believe because it is absurd." Almost everywhere, individual countries and amalgams of countries (European Union is the latest such amalgam) are falling over themselves to endorse "Palestine." Systematically ignoring long-term deceptions associated with demands for Palestinian sovereignty - and also relevant contradictions between recognition and statehood under international law - such endorsements will further undermine regional stability.

Pertinent calculations here are not complicated. Most plainly, the destabilizing impact of a 23rd Arab sovereignty would be most immediately injurious to Israel. Over time, however, certain state advocates of "Palestine" could suffer consequent harms, including purportedly well-intentioned European countries, and even the United States. This is because a Palestinian state would quickly become another preferred launching site for assorted multiple forms of Jihadist terrorism.

"Hamas is ISIS, and ISIS is Hamas," explained Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu before the U.N. General Assembly last September: "They all have the same ideology; they all seek to establish a global militant Islam, where there is no freedom." Netanyahu was correct.

Back in September, Palestinian Authority President, Mahmoud Abbas, now working together with his "partners" in Hamas, asked the U.N. Security Council to set a deadline of November 2016 for full Israeli withdrawal from Judea/Samaria ('West Bank'), including East Jerusalem.

Notwithstanding his obligatory public acceptance of a "Two-State Solution," all major Palestinian media continue to say otherwise. For them, even officially, Israel remains "Occupied Palestine." For them, even officially, the only acceptable Palestinian solution calls for a single new Arab state, a homogeneously Islamic country in all of the land currently circumscribed by Israel, 'West Bank', and Gaza.

It's not complicated. "Palestine belongs to the Palestinians, from the (Jordan) River to the (Mediterranean) Sea," affirmed Khalida Jarrar, Palestinian PA Parliament Member, on April 16, 2014. "We must not cede this narrative. From the River to the Sea....Palestine belongs to the Palestinians; and the heart of the matter is the right of return, our cause is the right of return."         

Since 2005, when Israel "disengaged" from Gaza in the hope of receiving a suitable quid pro quo from Hamas and the Palestinian Authority, the only use to which this land has been put is as a conspicuous staging area for expanded war and terror.

The intended Palestinian solution for Israel remains a fixedly "final" one. This unambiguously exterminatory remedy is inscribed on all official Palestinian maps. Cartographically, at least, Israel has already been "liquidated."

Liquidation is the actual term used most frequently by Arab sources, since 1948, to describe their uniformly annihilationist attitudes toward Israel.[1]

What will happen when Palestine allegedly becomes a state? Within a few hours of any formal Palestinian "declaration of independence," Arab citizens of Israel -  now, over 1.8 million - will begin to transform their initially benign celebrations into full-scale riots and intifadas. Such "spontaneous" violence would serve to display this Israeli-Arab population's open and now overriding loyalty to Palestine.

Significantly, these Arabs wouldn't feel any corresponding need to actually move to the new Palestinian state. After all, they would then already understand that what is "Occupied Palestine" (Israel) would soon be "absorbed" into the new state. Then, irony of ironies, although these almost two million Arabs had themselves been full citizens of  a Jewish State, Palestine would become statutorily Judenrein, or "free of Jews."

Palestine could not become a proper sovereign entity in consequence of assorted national approvals, whether within the United Nations, or outside of its particular collective jurisdiction.
For Israel, this will represent the "international community's best idea of "justice."

For Israel, which will have to fight for its life yet again, the  security costs of staving off aggression and "absorption" could quickly become overwhelming. The core enemy, now, even after a legally problematic bestowal of Palestinian sovereignty, would not be Palestine per se, but rather an enlarged and conglomerate Arab/Islamist adversary, this one encompassing a broad alliance of both state and sub-state opponents.

It is even possible, in these entirely predictable circumstances, that certain mobilized IDF elements would have to be placed in direct confrontation with ISIS, or ISIS-related foes.

"Hamas is ISIS, and ISIS is Hamas."

In the short run, after formalization of Palestine, security dangers to Israel would center upon very bitter internal unrest, and on those corollary perils originating from domestic terror attacks, expanded border incursions from Palestine, and external (Palestine-based) rocket launches. In the longer term, Israel, now dangerously bereft of needed strategic depth, would face a steadily deteriorating "correlation of forces," that is, an overall weakening of Israeli military capacity. This weakening, in turn, could substantially enlarge the probability of conventional war with other Arab states, and also of conventional terror attacks.

If such attenuations of Israeli power were to take place simultaneously with Iranian nuclearization, a reasonably plausible expectation, the single most catastrophic consequence of Palestine could eventually include nuclear war fighting. This sober assessment is identified here not because a Palestinian state would have any direct nuclear capabilities itself, but because that state's creation would nonetheless contribute to an increasingly corrosive regional balance of power.

The precise hazards, to Israel, of a nuclear Iran, could be affected by what happens throughout the region, along the most primary Sunni-Shia axes of conflict, especially if ISIS were to make any further progress in its ongoing territorial takeovers, within sectors of Iraq and Syria. Another still widely-ignored factor in all of this prospective regional transformation is the growing probability of a new Cold War between Russia and the United States. However ignored thus far, such hardening bipolarity could strongly impact the nature and function of core Middle Eastern alignments.

A still under-examined result of Palestinian independence would be the meaningfully enlarged threat to Israel (a country smaller than America's Lake Michigan) of nuclear war and nuclear terror. Understanding this, Palestine's emergence could spawn tangibly enlarged efforts in Jerusalem/Tel Aviv to properly strengthen Israel's traditionally "ambiguous" nuclear deterrent. Quickly, such indispensable measures could embrace a more-or-less dramatic shift to an openly declared nuclear strategy, one including explicit statements about nuclear basing and nuclear targeting doctrine.

From a more narrowly legal perspective, there is one additional point.  Under governing international law, the always-binding requirements of statehood are expressed at the Convention on the Rights and Duties of States ("Montevideo Convention"),  a treaty which entered into force in 1934. Among other things, this authoritative pact clarifies that statehood is independent of recognition.

In the matter of prospective Palestinian statehood, this means that Palestine could not become a proper sovereign entity in consequence of assorted national approvals, whether within the United Nations, or outside of its particular collective jurisdiction. No matter how many separate states might choose to support Palestinian statehood, and no matter how respected or powerful these approving states might be, such support would be overridden by the specific, codified, and still unrealized expectations of "Montevideo."

So says international law.

In the end, as Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu stated before the U.N. General Assembly last September, "The people of Israel are not the occupiers in the land of Israel." The Mandate for Palestine (1922) merely reaffirmed the already-longstanding Jewish legal right to settle anywhere between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, an authorization further codified and protected at Article 80 of the U.N. Charter.

No state can be obligated to commit national suicide. It is not Israel's legal or moral obligation to carve another enemy Arab state out of its own still-living body. To understand this utterly rudimentary perquisite of sovereignty would be to the everlasting benefit not only of the singularly beleaguered Jewish State, but also to every other country that now seeks more durable protection from ever-widening Jihadist terror.

Louis René Beres was educated at Princeton (Ph.D., 1971), and is the author of many books and articles dealing with international relations and international law. His most recent publications on these topics can be found at the Harvard National Security Journal (Harvard Law School); International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence; The Brown Journal of World Affairs; Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs; Parameters: Journal of the U.S. Army War College; and Oxford University Press. Professor Beres also writes for U.S.  News & World Report; The Atlantic; The Jerusalem Post; Israel National News; andThe Washington Times. He was born in Zürich, Switzerland, at the end of World War II.

[1] See Yehoshafat Harkabi, Arab Attitudes To Israel (Jerusalem: Keter Publishing House, 1972), especially Chapter 1.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Palestinians Flee Hamas, Ask Israel to Imprison Them

Palestinians Flee Hamas, Ask Israel to Imprison Them 
"I'm sad that I'm back in the Gaza Strip. I went through happy times [in Israeli detention], where I had food, calm, good work, although I did not receive a salary. Those were unforgettable days where I had delicious food that we don't have in the Gaza Strip." — Rabi, 16, who crossed the border from Gaza and was held in detention for three months before being sent back home.

Not only is Hamas unwilling to accept any kind of responsibility, but it continues to hold everyone but itself responsible for the tragic situation n the Gaza Strip.

Instead of working to improve the living conditions of its people, Hamas is continuing to prepare for the next war against Israel. In recent weeks, Hamas increased its rocket and mortar firing tests out to sea.
Palestinian youths prefer to spend time in Israeli prison than to live in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.
Over the past two months, more than 20 Palestinians have been arrested while trying to cross from the Gaza Strip into Israel, according to Palestinian sources. A number of Palestinians have also been killed or wounded during their infiltration attempts.

The increase in the number of Palestinians who try to infiltrate Israel comes as Egypt continues to keep the Rafah border crossing closed. It also comes as the power struggle between Hamas and Fatah intensifies, hampering international efforts to rebuild the Gaza Strip and improve Palestinians' living conditions in the aftermath of last summer's military confrontation with Israel.

The situation has become so miserable in Gaza that some Palestinian youths are prepared to endanger their lives by approaching the border with Israel.

Palestinian sources note that 12 Palestinians recently managed to cross the border from the Gaza Strip into Israel.

The Palestinian news website, Al-Watan Voice, interviewed two of the youths who embarked on the dangerous adventure. The two young men said they prefer the "comfort" of Israeli prisons to life in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.

Ahmed al-Rai, 19, never made it into Israel. As he approached the security buffer zone along the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip, he was shot and moderately wounded by IDF troops. Al-Rai has lost a leg and is now lying in bed at the Nasser Hospital in the Gaza Strip.

"I wanted to escape to Israel so that I would be imprisoned there," he recounted. "It would have been a relief for me and better than the problems in the Gaza Strip. I thought it would be easy to infiltrate the border, but now my life has become even more miserable."

The second youth, who was identified as 16-year-old Rabi, was more fortunate. After he managed to cross the border into Israel, he was held in detention for three months before being sent back home.
"I'm sad that I'm back in the Gaza Strip," Rabi said. "I went through happy times [in Israeli detention], where I had food, calm and good work, although I did not receive a salary. Those were unforgettable days where I had delicious food that we don't have in the Gaza Strip."

He said that when the interrogator asked him about the reason he wanted to come to Israel, he responded: "The situation in the Gaza Strip is very difficult. My father, who once worked in Israel, told me it was beautiful there."

The last war between Hamas and Israel has resulted in a sharp rise in the number of Palestinians seeking to escape from the Gaza Strip. Last September, scores of Palestinian migrants attempting to flee the Gaza Strip died after their boat capsized in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of northern Egypt.

But the closure of the Rafah border crossing and strict Egyptian security measures in Sinai, following a spate of terror attacks on Egyptian soldiers, have forced some Palestinians to seek work and a better life in Israel. Thousands of Palestinians remain stranded on both sides of the Rafah border crossing despite repeated appeals to the Egyptian authorities to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe.

An Egyptian military source announced this week that the Egyptian Army has destroyed more than 60 smuggling tunnels along the border with the Gaza Strip since October 28. This move has also aggravated the situation in the Gaza Strip, especially given the fact that the tunnels were also being used to smuggle food and other basic needs, and not only weapons.

Hamas claims that there is no phenomenon of Palestinians fleeing to Israel. A spokesman for the Hamas-controlled Interior Ministry said that security forces in the Gaza Strip were working to prevent Palestinians from crossing into Israel.

But what Hamas is not prepared to admit is that it is responsible for the misery of the Palestinians living under its rule in the Gaza Strip. More than three months after the military confrontation with Israel, Hamas has failed to offer the Palestinians any hope.

"Hamas has destroyed the dreams of young Palestinians," remarked a veteran Palestinian journalist in the Gaza Strip. "Hamas has destroyed the future of young people here."

Not only is Hamas unwilling to accept any kind of responsibility, but it continues to hold everyone else but itself responsible for the tragic situation in the Gaza Strip. Hamas continues to hold Israel, the Palestinian Authority and UNRWA responsible for the grievances of the Palestinians.

Instead of working to improve the living conditions of its people, Hamas is continuing to prepare its next war against Israel. In recent weeks, Hamas increased its rocket and mortar firing tests out to sea, according to an Israeli military source.

The tragic case of the two Palestinian youths who said they prefer Israeli jail to life in the Gaza Strip shows that some Palestinians are no longer willing to tolerate Hamas's deadly adventures and oppression. That is why the coming weeks and months could see a rise in the number of Palestinians knocking on Israel's door and asking to be imprisoned rather than return to the Gaza Strip.

UN marks Human Rights Day by promoting violation of human rights

UN marks Human Rights Day by promoting violation of human rights

By Anne Bayefsky

Sixty-six years ago was the high water mark of global disapproval of xenophobia, and racial and religious discrimination. On December 10, 1948,   the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and then gave Eleanor Roosevelt a standing ovation for her leading role. Today, this statement of principle would never pass.

Racial and religious discrimination is the trademark of the U.N. itself.

Let's look back at the year 2014.

At least another 75,000 people were butchered in Syria.  There were violent crackdowns in Hong Kong, bloody takeovers in Ukraine, subjugation of women in Saudi Arabia, brutal lawlessness in Yemen, Libya, Nigeria, Mexico – and so on.

If our nation is seriously worried about incitement to racial and religious intolerance, it is time to get serious about incitement at the U.N.  
But at the United Nations, 2014 wraps up with the adoption of twenty times more resolutions by the General Assembly condemning the state of Israel for violating human rights than any other nation on earth.

There is not one General Assembly resolution worried about human rights in China or Russia or Saudi Arabia or Yemen or Libya or Nigeria or Mexico – and so forth.

The General Assembly will even adopt one resolution critical of Syria  but two resolutions demanding Israel immediately return the Golan Heights to Syria – the place where lucky Syrians and UN peacekeepers dash to Israel for protection.

The demonization of Israel, and the inequality of the self-determination of the Jewish people, by way of the United Nations have one painfully obvious purpose: the end of the Jewish state.  Eleanor Roosevelt would have called it a gross violation of the very spirit of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

If you walk into the newly-renovated UN, which opened its doors in the fall after a $2 billion dollar spending spree (a quarter of which came from American taxpayers), the first stop on the public tour straight off the elevator is an exhibit on Palestinian rights.

It’s a fictional narrative of “11 million Palestinians” and the story of generation after generation of “refugees” from successive wars that spontaneously “broke out.” The only “contraventions of international law” are by Israel. Palestinians have justifiable “uprisings.” Israelis have “extremists.”  Arabs mount “peace initiatives.” Israelis mount “military operations.”

The kicker: Palestinian history miraculously mirrors Jewish history and begins in 1948 with an “exodus” after “the catastrophe” of the establishment of Israel.

If our nation is seriously worried about incitement to racial and religious intolerance, it is time to get serious about incitement at the UN.  

On November 24, 2014, the U.N. held its annual International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. It marked the anniversary of the 1948 General Assembly resolution partitioning Palestine into an Arab and a Jewish state by flying only the flag of the “State of Palestine” and banning the flag of Israel.

For the past two weeks, the public entrance to U.N. headquarters has been decorated with another exhibit. “The Long Journey” purports to tell the history of the Palestinian “exodus” that began in 1948 – not 1967. Photos show Palestinians studying, eating, praying, training, cooking, shopping, dancing, sewing, and playing.  Never killing. Never terrorizing. Never making war.  Never spouting anti-Semitism. But suffering with “ingenuity, resilience and steadfastness” from wanton Israeli aggression.

At the U.N. in Geneva there has been another public exhibit gracing the U.N.’s Palais des Nations. It is entitled “La Nakba:  Exode et Expulsion des Palestiniens en 1948” – meaning “The Nakba: Exodus and Expulsion of the Palestinians in 1948.”  The exhibit, which was a “cultural activity” requested by “Palestine,” required UN approval and facilitation. According to formal guidelines, it must have been approved at the highest levels – the Director-General, Michael Møller of Denmark.

It includes the following astounding statements: “The Palestinians failed to see why they should be made to pay for the Holocaust…Acts of terrorism…by the Zionists led to the flight and expulsion of the native Arab Palestinian population….Zionist representatives…planned and implemented the ethnic purge.” “The partition resolution violates fundamental principles of the UN Charter.”

The organizers shamelessly responded in a written handout to the rhetorical question: “Why did we create this exhibition on the Nakba?”  Their answer: to reeducate those misinformed by “German guilt” and “the mass media” in order to appreciate that in 1948, Palestinians were “robbed of their homeland and their property.”

Hiding in plain sight at the UN is the reason for the lack of peace between Israelis and Arabs – and it has nothing to do with 1967 and “occupation.” For Palestinians and Arabs across the Middle East, Israel is one big settlement.

As Palestinian representative Riyad Mansour openly told his U.N. audience on November 24, 2014:  “Our people are suffering immense and growing hardships, all stemming from the grave injustice done to them in Al-Nakba of 1948 and thereafter.”  

The month of November saw six full days at U.N. headquarters dedicated to dehumanizing Israelis, led by speakers from UNRWA, the Palestinian Authority and Iran.  Israel was guilty of “an onslaught,” “ethnic cleansing,” “an inhumane blockade,” “torture,” “massacring civilians with a vengeance,” “virulent racism,” “barbarism,” “a policy of terrorism,” “genocide,” “apartheid,” “savagery,” “terror rampages,” “horrific abuse,” “supporting Al Qaeda,” “heinous crimes,” “beating and torturing juveniles,” and “crimes against humanity.”

That was in addition, to repeating “Zionism is racism” and analogizing Israelis to Nazis. Lebanon, for instance, said:  “From 1948 until today, many Palestinian young girls and boys are just as determined as Anne Frank to conquer their fear of the occupier…”

How many more stabbings, rapes, and killings of Jews around the globe will it take to end American tolerance for incitement to racial and religious intolerance at the United Nations?

Eleanor Roosevelt would have had an answer.

Anne Bayefsky is director of the Touro Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust. Follow her on Twitter @AnneBayefsky

Caroline Glick tells off Danish ambassador

Caroline Glick tells off Danish ambassador

Diplomatic drama during the Europe-Israel panel at The Jerusalem Post Diplomatic Conference in Jerusalem on Thursday, moderated by Herb Keinon with The Jerusalem Post |'s Senior Contributing Editor Caroline B. Glick and Danish Ambassador Jesper Vahr. 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Pakistani Opinion: Israel is the Next Superpower

Pakistani Opinion: Israel is the Next Superpower

A surprising op-ed in a large Pakistani paper sees Israel benefiting big-time from current chaos, rebuilding Temple.

By Gil Ronen

Pakistan's The Nation newspaper, which describes itself as being the market leader in the Punjab and Islamabad areas, has published an op-ed that predicts Israel will become the world's next superpower.
Aisha Noor, a “researcher and designer,” begins her piece by asserting straightforwardly that Israel “has decided to demolish Al-Aqsa Mosque and build the Jewish Temple in its place.”

As evidence supporting this, she notes among other things that Israeli Construction and Housing Minister Uri Ariel recently said that it was time to begin building homes for Jews without restrictions, and that he said in a radio interview that “building the Jewish Temple is the paramount demand of the Torah, as it is at the forefront of Jewish salvation.”

“He called for a third Temple to be built on the site, which is today home to the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque and is considered Judaism’s holiest site and Islam’s third holiest” explained Noor. “The very words to focus on are ‘the time to build…has come.’”

Koranic prediction

Noor cites Muslim scholars, such as Sheikh Prof. Abdul Hadi Palazzi and Imam Dr Muhammad Al-Hussaini, who believe that the return of the Jews to the Holy Land, and the establishment of Israel, is in accordance with the teachings of Islam.

She quotes Prof. Khaleel Mohammed, Islamic Law scholar of the San Diego State University, as translating Surah 5, Verse 21 of the Koran, thus: “Moses said: O my people! Enter the Holy Land which God has written for you, and do not turn tail, otherwise you will be losers.” Mohammed here understands “written” to mean this is the final word from God on the subject, Noor adds.

Israel's strategic position has been enhanced by the overthrow of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Morsi, a political change that has further isolated the Hamas-led Palestinian Arabs in Gaza, Noor expounded. Meanwhile, in Lebanon, the Shi'ite movement of Hezbollah has come under increasing military and political pressure after sending combatants to Syria to support the Assad regime in Syria.

Israel is benefiting from the Sunni-Shi'ite divisions ripping apart the Islamic world, claims Noor, and cites an anlysis that states: “The twin crises in Syria and Egypt have marked the emergence of a new superpower coalition in the Middle East, the odd couple alliance of Israel and Saudi Arabia, with Jordan serving as an intermediary and the Persian Gulf oil sheikdoms playing a supporting role.”

Noor goes on to describe powerful “Jewish lobbies” that control different countries, and quotes author Arthur Herman, who wrote in a Fox News piece on January 31, 2013, that the Arab Spring has made Israel stronger than before.

“The Arab Spring has spawned a chaos and instability in every country it has touched that’s going to grind on for years to come,” Herman had opined. “A new report warns that Egypt is on the verge of collapse; Israel’s old adversary Syria, already is. Both are also very likely headed towards economic ruin – as has already happened to Israel’s other foe, Hamas in Gaza, and could hit Irannext."

“All these factors,” Noor sums up, “contribute to the belief that Israel would be the next superpower.”

Fantasy or fact?

While Noor's op-ed may be tinged with shades of fantasy and anti-Semitic myth, recent research in India also shows that Israel is among the top ten most powerful nations in the world.

According to the 2012 National Power Index (NPI), released by the Foundation for National Security Research (FNSR), a New Delhi-based think tank, Israel achieved a 32.19 NPI ranking, placing it tenth on the list of the world's most powerful countries.

The NPI is a quantification of a nation's power, meaning its ability to influence global events. The ranking is based on a composite of indexes of statistical analysis in terms of economy, military, diplomacy, technology and population. Each factor has a certain weight, and the composite index includes a detailed analysis of individual components.

The research appraises Israel as a country of 8 million, with a GDP of $272.7 billion and 176,500 active military personnel.

Israel stands out in military capability where it is ranked 6th in the world, and technological capability where it ranks 4th. Its capabilities ranked 25 in economy, 17 in population and 19 in foreign affairs.

The index study notes that Israel has the strongest military in the Middle East, and is among the world's leaders in technology and science. It also notes that Israel ranks 15 on the UN development index, illustrating the high quality of life in the Jewish state.