Elliott Abrams interview on ABC Australia: (h/t Ahron S)
ELLIOT ABRAMS: You know I think it's been greatly exaggerated. Again, it's not some kind of right-wing plot. Rabin and Barak both planned to build in E1. The Clinton parameter, the Olmert plan, all assumed that E1 would be part of Israel in its final settlement.
The thing is you've got a town, Ma'ale Adumim, of 40,000 people that's like a balloon tethered to Israel by one road and that's just never going to stand. I don't understand really the argument that it destroys the possibility for Palestinian states.
EMILY BOURKE: But is it not the case that it virtually bisects the West Bank and renders a Palestinian state unviable?
ELLIOT ABRAMS: No, I think that's wrong. There are two ways to solve the problem. Build a road that is east of Ma'ale Adumim where there's about 15 miles as I recall it between Ma'ale Adumim and the Jordan River. Or there's a road that goes between Jerusalem and Ma'ale Adumim. So build an overpass or build an underpass.
But the notion that it makes a Palestinian state impossible, I mean it's ironic that this argument comes the week after the UN has declared there is a Palestinian state. I mean they admitted the Palestinian state as a non-member state of the United Nations. They raised the status from into each a state.
So I just don't think it makes it unviable. You just build an overpass or an underpass. It is not a decision to construct. There will not be one shovel hitting the earth. It's just another stage in this endless planning stage that has been going on for about 30 to 40 years. It is not a decision to construct anything in E1.
Richard Behar in Forbes: My Family In Israel: One Direct Hit, Two Near Misses -- And The Brainwashing Behind The Rockets (h/t many)
Hurriyet Daily News: Is Hamas real or a bad joke? (h/t RK)
Hamas’ rhetoric stinks of death, nothing but death – indiscriminate death. Be it “our” death or “the enemy’s.” And it never metamorphoses into something more humane, something less nihilist. Most recently, in an interview with Today’s Zaman, Gaza’s Hamas prime minister, Ismail Haniyeh, confidently spoke of “defending and liberating Jerusalem,” and “fighting the enemy forever.” According to Mr. Haniyeh, the nearly 200 dead Palestinians – including Palestinian children killed by errand Hamas rockets – proved Hamas’ “prowess.” He called the eight-day fighting a “victory.”
When journalists are legitimate military targets (Gary Osen)
Whether the IDF targeted terrorist leader Muhammed Abu Shamala as it contends, or Hamas operative and Al Aqsa TV cameraman, Hussam Salama as Hamas claims, human rights groups cannot retain credibility by describing strikes on Al Aqsa TV or its personnel as “the targeting of journalists.” In doing so, they unwittingly aid terrorist organizations like Hamas in their concerted effort to transform journalism into warfare by other means.
Europe Once Again Shows that Palestinian Violence Pays, by Evelyn Gordon in Commentary:
That is a microcosm of what’s wrong with the peace process as a whole: As far as most of the world is concerned, bilateral Israeli agreements are binding on one side only: Israel. Thus it’s perfectly fine with the Europeans for the PA to violate one of its cardinal commitments under the peace process: that all disputes will be resolved through negotiations rather than unilaterally–or as the 1995 Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement put it, “Neither side shall initiate or take any step that will change the status of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip pending the outcome of the permanent status negotiations.” But it’s an outrage, completely beyond the pale, for Israel to respond by doing something that no signed agreement actually bars it from doing: In no agreement did Israel ever promise to halt construction in the West Bank or East Jerusalem.
Douglas Murray in The Spectator: Did Israeli settlements in the West Bank kill the two-state solution?
When did the dream of a two-state solution die? When it became clear that there are already two Palestinian states – the Hamas-run Gaza and the Palestinian Authority-governed West Bank? Or when the extremists of Hamas fired thousands of missiles into Israeli cities? Or last week when the ‘moderates’ of Fatah once again refused Israeli offers to go to the negotiating table and instead moved to circumvent their only negotiating partner via a diplomatic coup at the UN?
No, in the eyes of portions of the UK government as well as the international community, the two-state solution is threatened not by these consistent, physically and diplomatically violent moves; but by everybody’s favourite subject: Israeli settlement building.
Driving in Neutral: Hillary Clinton Explains the Israel-Palestinian Conflict (Barry Rubin)
Yet in policy terms at the very moment of culmination for a Palestinian Authority three-year effort to wreck any peace process by unilateral independence and when Hamas has decided the moment has come for a jihad backed up by the Islamist tidal wave in the region, Clinton and the Obama Administration are obsessed with Israel not making even more concessions.
E1 is a mountain…not a statement (Paula Stern, TOI blog) (h/t Josh)
What we have is a mountain – not a very tall one, smaller even than the ones next to it on three sides. That’s all E1 is – a mountain. It is barren, but for a road that snakes its way up to a midpoint where a large police station has been built. No one lives there – no one has. Some trees, a lot of rocks, a traffic circle at the base – that’s all.
A 1955 memo from David Ben Gurion: (h/t Silke)
We're in a difficult situation with the Arabs, because when they wish to destroy or murder, they don't have to kill hundreds of us at a time. Instead, they make our life miserable day by day. Maybe they can't do otherwise, since they're afraid to send an entire military unit against us. So they send a small squad, and the squad crosses the border and waits for nightfall. Under cover of darkness they wander around until they find an object or a person, and they destroy it or kill the person. Their intention is to do this for years and wear us down...The Deadly Israeli House, at Sultan Knish (h/t Serious Black)
We can't do what they do, even if we wished to, because we can't kill civilians, say to start killing Arab civilians we meet along the way..
So we have two options. We can resign ourselves to this situation, or we can not resign ourselves to it. This government was created to not resign itself to such a situation. I announced this in the Knesset.
According to the New York Times, which is never wrong, building more houses makes peace impossible. Peace, which is not in any way obstructed by rockets, suicide bombers, unilateral statehood bids and declarations of war, comes up against only one obstacle. The stout unyielding wall of the Israeli house.