Wednesday, February 05, 2020

From Ian:

Palestinian ‘right of return’ is really about ending Israel's existence
According to UNRWA, any Palestinian Arab descendants from the 1948 conflict are considered “refugees” until they “return” to Israel.

Thanks to this dubious definition, UNRWA considers there to be more than 5.3 million “Palestinian refugees” who have a “right to return.” In an Oct. 28, 2018, speech, PA President Mahmoud Abbas even claimed that there were 6 million. The actual number of surviving refugees from the 1948 war is closer to 30,000, according to an unreleased State Department report.

Demanding that 6 million Palestinian “refugees” have a “right” to "return" to a place where most of them never lived runs counter to Palestinian claims that they want to have their own independent state. As the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting and Analysis noted in the Washington Post, this demand negates the idea of Palestinian statehood — unless that state means, by its definition, the demographic end of the Jewish nation of Israel. As the American Jewish International Relations Institute observed, such a move would "end the existence of the majority-Jewish state" in Israel.

In their unguarded moments, Palestinian leaders and their state-controlled media have said as much. Palestinian Media Watch, which monitors Arab media in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, has highlighted that official PA television promotes the “right of return” by showing a map of “Palestine” that simply erases Israel. PA-approved textbooks also hail that demand.

Defenders of the “right of return” often cite U.N. General Assembly Resolutions 194 and 394 and Security Council Resolution 224 to buttress their claims. But the Arab states voted against 194 in part because it did not establish a “right to return.” Indeed, it only “recommended” that original refugees from the conflict, not descendants, be permitted to return, and only after they agree to live “at peace with their neighbors.” (It should also be noted, as the late historian Martin Gilbert has documented, that these resolutions can be applied to the Jewish refugees as well.)

For decades, Palestinian leaders have rejected offers for statehood and peace while citing a “right” that doesn’t exist. Both the press and policymakers should speak honestly and openly about what it would truly mean and perhaps reflect on why Palestinian leaders continue to demand it.

David Singer: Trump Plan to end Jewish-Arab Conflict sees PLO implode
Jordan and Israel are the two successor States to the Mandate for Palestine – currently exercising sovereignty in 95% of former Palestine. Sovereignty in the remaining 5% – Judea and Samaria (West Bank) and Gaza – remains undetermined.

The PLO refusal to negotiate with Israel on the Trump plan - will have the following results:
· No second Arab state - in addition to Jordan – will be created in former Palestine
· US$50 billion in development aid will not be required to build and develop that new State
· Gaza and the West Bank will remain politically divided

Jordan should now replace the PLO in negotiations with Israel on Trump’s plan because:
· Jordan was the last sovereign Arab state to occupy the West Bank between 1948 and 1967 when the PLO expressly rejected any claim to sovereignty.
· Jordan conferred Jordanian citizenship on the Arab residents of the West Bank between 1950 and 1988
· The 1994 Jordan-Israel Peace Treaty will ensure good-faith – not confrontational – negotiations

The areas designated for A Future State of Palestine in the Trump Plan (pictured below) now become possible areas for transfer to Jordanian sovereignty in negotiations with Israel.

Successful Israel-Jordan negotiations would be a real game changer – holding out great prospects that the long-running Jewish-Arab conflict could finally be achieved.

Failure by Jordan to negotiate with Israel could see Israel extend its sovereignty to all of Area C in the West Bank.

President Trump needs to phone King Abdullah of Jordan and persuade him to embrace Trump’s “deal of the century”.

The PLO has blown its chance to do so.
PA must halt pay-for-slay policy for ‘peace and prosperity’ - analysis
Palestinian incentivization and the rewarding of terrorists would come to a halt if the “Deal of the Century” is implemented.
The “Peace for Prosperity” plan mentions the need for the Palestinian Authority to cease its “pay-for-slay” terrorism-funding program in four different instances – as much as or even more than the plan refers to Israeli sovereignty over Area C settlements or security.

“This is obviously a major obstacle to peace,” said Maurice Hirsch, director of legal strategies for the Israeli watchdog Palestinian Media Watch (PMW). “The antithesis of peace is taking money to reward terrorists for being terrorists. Terrorism undermines peace. You cannot have a state that rewards terrorism – this is something contradictory to the whole world order.”

On pages 4, 34, 43 and 51 of the 181-page peace plan, the Trump administration makes clear that the PA’s law “incentivizes terrorism… Billions of dollars have been squandered and investment is unable to flow into these areas to allow the Palestinians to thrive.

“The Palestinians shall have ended all programs… that serve to incite or promote hatred and antagonism toward its neighbors, or which compensate or incentivize criminal or violent activity,” the document says.
PMW: Animated video of real murder of Israelis - on social network popular among children
An animated video that encourages murdering Israelis by showing graphic recreated scenes of real terror attacks has appeared on TikTok – a social network popular among children, where users can create and share short videos.

The video shows four lethal terror attacks that were committed against Israelis – a terrorist who rammed his car into Israelis at a Jerusalem light rail station, another who shot at Israeli police, and two stabbers. An eagle – possibly symbolizing the eagle in the emblem used by the Palestinian Authority and the PLO – flies above the carnage throughout the video, at one point moving in unison with 19-year-old Palestinian terrorist Muhannad Halabi as he stabs a religious Jew in the Old City of Jerusalem. The video carries the text “Jerusalem is the dread of the Jews," followed by a red heart.

The following are screenshots from the animation paired with details of the Palestinian terrorists and the attacks they apparently portray:

Car ramming attack: Palestinian terrorist and Hamas member Ibrahim Al-Akari from East Jerusalem deliberately ran over several Israelis with a white van at a light-rail station in Jerusalem on Nov. 5, 2014, murdering Jidan Assad, 38, and Shalom Aharon Badani, 17, and wounding at least 13 others. The terrorist was shot and killed by Israeli police officers who arrived on the scene.

Stabbing attack: 19-year-old Palestinian terrorist Muhannad Halabi murdered 2 Israelis, Rabbi Nehemiah Lavi and Aharon Bennett, and injured Bennett’s wife, Adele, and their 2-year-old son in a stabbing attack in the Old City of Jerusalem on Oct. 3, 2015. Following the attack, the terrorist was shot and killed by Israeli security forces.

Democrats, Experts, and Peace Plans
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: The Trump “Deal of the Century” has elicited responses ranging from enthusiastic support to bitter rejection. Among those rejecting the plan are US Democratic candidates for president. Their instant and total rejection reflects an instinctive antipathy toward Trump but also an addiction to expert-driven processes that have failed for decades. The blanket rejection reflects non-zero sum conceptions in which there can be no winners or losers in the conflict, and reveals an instrumental view of Palestinians as stalking horses for other causes. But reality is creeping in and starting to change attitudes.

Palestinians have become accustomed to being instruments of someone else’s mobilization, first in the Arab and Islamic worlds, in past decades in Europe, and now in the US. In the latter cases Palestinians are a left-wing electoral cause to mobilize socialist, Muslim, and intersectional minorities. The actual facts of the geopolitical situation, and of Palestinian society and culture, matter little. Proponents egg on Palestinian rejectionism—witness the tens of millions of dollars in support provided by European NGOs for Palestinian lawfare—creating a cycle of disappointment that achieves little for the Palestinians but from which the proponents profit.

Trump has not ended this cycle by any means, but has rebalanced the debate toward reality. The Democratic candidates promise a return to the past but even they will ultimately have to contend with that reality. There are scattered signs that other adjustments may already be occurring. Curiously, while J Street reacted with typical hysteria to the plan, other portions of the American Jewish left have shown glimmerings of acceptance, based on the plan’s cautious endorsement by centrist security-oriented figures in Israel, including Benny Gantz, Ehud Barak, and Amos Yadlin.

Whether these views—which of course still drip with antipathy toward Trump and Netanyahu—will influence Democratic candidates remains unclear. But this partial acknowledgment of reality represents the bargaining stage of grief. The Palestinian leadership appears permanently trapped in the second stage of grief, anger, but the Palestinian people seem to be in a depression. Encouraging them to move forward toward acceptance is critical. Democratic presidential candidates should be encouraged to do the same.

Ayelet Shaked: Apply sovereignty to settlements, Jordan Valley before elections
Senior Yamina leader and former Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked visited the southern city of Sderot on Wednesday and called for the immediate annexation of all Israeli settlements and the Jordan Valley in the West Bank.

Shaked discussed the 'Deal of the Century' presented by US President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and argued that “we have a massive opportunity to make history or miss [the chance of] a century,” she called to annex the West Bank and the Jordan Valley to Israel before the March elections.

Trump’s proposals allow Israel to annex the Jordan Valley and most of the settlements, comprising 30 percent of the West Bank. Netanyahu originally thought it would be possible to enact these annexations before the election, but pressure from the Trump administration made him backtrack on Tuesday.

The Yamina party is now applying heavy pressure to press ahead with annexation regardless, and is using the issue as a way of drawing right-wing, pro-settlement support away from Likud and to the religious-Zionist party.

“We need to apply sovereignty to Judea, Samaria and the Jordan Valley before the elections,” Shaked declared.

“The choice is between Yamina and the application [of sovereignty over the settlements] or voting for any other party and a Palestinian terror state.

“If we start applying sovereignty then we won’t get to a Palestinian state. If we start negotiating over a Palestinian state we will have Oslo 3, east Jerusalem in the hands of terrorists and exploding buses.”
Trump peace plan offers land without people to people who don’t want the land
Settler leaders watched US President Donald Trump unveil his peace plan last week from a hotel just blocks away from the White House.

They were invited to Washington by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and were briefed by the premier and US officials on the contents of the proposal, which envisions Israel annexing every one of their West Bank communities.

In contrast, Ramat Hanegev Regional Council chairman Eran Doron had the TV on in the background in his office as he finished up work and was only half-listening to the ceremony, not remotely expecting the plan to directly influence the communities he represents along the Egyptian border.

But immediately after Trump and Netanyahu finished their remarks from the White House East Room, Washington released a “conceptual map” depicting its two-state solution to the conflict, whereupon Doron was shocked to discover that significant parts of his regional council were included in a pair of enclaves earmarked for a future Palestinian state.

While the borders for those enclaves appeared to have been drawn to avoid the Israeli farming communities themselves, residents told The Times of Israel during a visit this week to the area that this was just about the only thing the Trump administration seemed to have taken into account when outlining the new Palestinian reserves at their expense.

As for the Palestinians for whom the land has been designated, their leadership hasn’t been in touch with the White House since the latter moved its embassy to Jerusalem in 2017. Regardless, they appeared no more impressed by the proposal than the Ramat Hanegev Regional Council chairman was. PLO Executive Committee member Wasel Abu Yousef told The Times of Israel that Ramallah isn’t interested in anything beyond the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem. “When talking about land swaps, you can’t say that the land in the Negev is of equal value to land in Jerusalem or crucial parts of the West Bank,” he elaborated.

Whether or not either side is keen on giving or receiving the land in question, what locals said frustrated them was a feeling that they were being left out of the loop on an issue that will significantly affect their livelihood.

“Nobody spoke to us about this. Not from the Prime Minister’s Office, nor from the White House. To this day, I still haven’t haven’t heard from anyone,” Doron said on Tuesday, a week after the plan was unveiled.
Ariel mayor quits settlement umbrella group over its opposition to Trump plan
The mayor of the northern West Bank Israeli city of Ariel announced on Monday that he was rescinding his membership in the Yesha Council over the umbrella organization of settler mayors’ opposition to the Trump peace plan.

Eli Shaviro released a statement saying the Yesha Council was coming out in strong opposition to the proposal “which will bring fantastic news for the settlement movement,” only because it also envisions the establishment of a Palestinian state.

The mayor of Ariel, where some 20,000 Israelis live, claimed the position was drafted without his input and also ignored several other settlement mayors who make up the Yesha Council.

“As a supporter of the Deal of the Century due [to its support of recognition of Israeli] sovereignty over the Jordan Valley and the communities of Judea and Samaria, I feel that the council does not represent the views of many [West Bank mayors], my city and myself. Therefore I am announcing my resignation from the Yesha Council,” Shaviro said.

The Monday declaration represented the climax of a growing rift between the secular mayor of a city settlement where many residents live simply due to the more affordable housing costs, and the rest of the body of more hardline, ideological West Bank mayors.
Giving the Palestinians a dose of 'reality therapy'
Each time, Israel was denied the chance to have defensible borders – something that is absolutely essential, particularly in the volatile Middle East.

But this plan is different. It gives Israel, for the very first time, real, defensible borders with the natural topographic boundary of the Jordan Valley – something so important in an age of increasing Iranian hegemony.

It does not erase the Jewish people's history or claim to the holy sites. It demands that the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state. It demands that the Palestinians abolish the incitement in the textbooks. It calls for the end of the revolting "pay-for-slay program," incentivizing terrorism with greater payments for the greater number of Israelis they murder. And it calls for something that the Arab world has found very difficult to do since 1948: accept the reality of Israel as a Jewish state.

It would give the Palestinians 70 percent of the West Bank and $50-plus billion in investment in an economic infrastructure to build institutions of democracy, and for an educational path so their people can climb out of the cycle of poverty and self-imposed victimhood.

This time, Abbas would not even take Trump's phone call, calling him "a dirty dog," among other worse epithets.

But this time, the Palestinians will have to learn that the patience of the international community is not infinite. For once, time is not on their side. After continually walking away from the negotiating table and resorting to violence, they have come to the point where their bad behavior will not be rewarded. They will have to learn that Israel is here to stay and cannot be wished away. The Palestinians will have to learn that by refusing to negotiate in real faith, they are losing, both figuratively and literally, the ground that they have been planning to be standing on.
The Palestinian veto has been denied
Both hallucinations give the Palestinians a veto right over the future of Zionism. The hallucinations on the right of including millions of Palestinians in their state would empty of meaning, despite their legal sophistry, the term "Jewish and democratic", which is the very core of the Zionist enterprise: in a de facto binational reality, the Palestinians have this kind of veto right simply due to their massive presence; they won't even need terror.

The "peace" hallucination in exchange for leaving most of the territory gives the Palestinians an even more straightforward veto right over realizing the Zionist enterprise. All they have to do is keep doing what they have been for the last 100 years: staunchly refuse to end the conflict by demanding the "right" of return, and educating their children in terror and delegitimization of the Jewish state. This way they leave the peace seekers with their eternal presence in the populated land, waiting in futile for their spots to change.

The first step in denying this veto right was taken by Ariel Sharon, who disconnected Israel from two million Gazans during the disengagement from the territory that Israel didn't need anyway. The second step was taken by Donald Trump, in a plan which basically denies the need for Palestinian agreement and opens the door for Israeli unilateral steps with American support. Israel's main security problems have been answered; the Palestinians can get a sterilized entity that will be called a "state", only in the impossible scenario that they accept the Jewish state; the Arab states will protest weakly; and "the international community" will continue to complain.

If Israel acts wisely, without using this rare opportunity only to fall back on one of its two hallucinations, this plan brings great tidings.
American Left, not Muslim states, melts down over Trump peace plan
Democratic presidential candidates have also expressed automatic disappointment with the peace plan.

Former vice president Joe Biden framed the plan as “a political stunt that could spark unilateral moves to annex territory and set back peace even more.”

Senator Elizabeth Warren promised to “reverse” US policy if the Trump administration approves any Israeli annexation of parts of Judea and Samaria.

“Trump’s ‘peace plan’ is a rubber stamp for annexation and offers no chance for a real Palestinian state,” Warren tweeted. “Releasing a plan without negotiating with Palestinians isn’t diplomacy, it’s a sham. I will oppose unilateral annexation in any form – and reverse any policy that supports it.”

Senator Bernie Sanders said “any acceptable peace deal… must end the Israeli occupation and enable Palestinian self-determination in an independent state of their own alongside a secure Israel. Trump’s so-called ‘peace deal’ doesn’t come close, and will only perpetuate the conflict. It is unacceptable.”

Ironically, while the American Left is having a meltdown, some Muslim countries are pretty much fine with Trump’s plan. Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Qatar, Egypt, Bahrain, Oman and the United Arab Emirates all support the plan.
UK Labour’s Corbyn Denounces Trump Peace Plan, Backs ‘Right of Return’ That Would Eliminate Israel’s Jewish Majority
UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who an overwhelming majority of British Jews consider to be an antisemite, has written a letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson demanding he clarify his position on US President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace initiative and denouncing a “process of annexation” he claimed was being carried out by Israel.

In a letter Corbyn posted on Twitter on Tuesday, the Labour chief, whose party was overwhelmingly defeated in the last general election in December, referred to Israel as “Israel-Palestine” and Trump’s proposal as a “so-called ‘peace plan.’”

He asked Johnson if he was “really prepared to abandon the most basic principles of human rights and international law?”

“Some of these statements have given the impression that your government is prepared to depart from important positions of principle held by successive British administrations,” Corbyn wrote. “This in turn raises critical questions as to the integrity of your government in relation to international law.”

Corbyn demanded Johnson confirm that he would uphold “principles of international law” under which West Bank settlements were “illegal under international law” and their annexation would represent “a fundamental breach of the international legal order” — in particular of the Jordan Valley, which was “under military occupation by Israel.”

He also cited supposed international legal opinion that the Palestinians have “an inalienable right to self-determination which must be realized in practice” via the establishment of a state of their own.

This state, Corbyn asserted, “must be based on pre-1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital.”

Palestinians push UN Security Council to condemn Trump plan, Israel
The Palestinian Authority began promoting a UN Security Council resolution to condemn US President Donald Trump’s peace plan and Israel on Wednesday.

The move came a day before Trump’s Special Adviser Jared Kushner was expected to present the plan to the Security Council and less than a week before Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas plans to speak before it, next Tuesday.

The US is expected to veto the resolution. The “Peace to Prosperity” plan specifically discourages the Palestinians from taking unilateral action in international organizations as a step towards making peace with Israel and establishing a state.

However, the resolution could then go to the UN General Assembly, where it is likely to be approved.

Abbas told Fatah leaders on Wednesday that the PA was “leading a diplomatic offensive” to explain the dangers of the Trump plan which, he claimed, “aims to liquidate the Palestinian cause.” Abbas said that the plan will fail “like all others plots concocted against the Palestinian cause.”

Abbas said that the purpose of the campaign was to rally Arab, Islamic and international support for the Palestinian position against the Trump plan.

PA Foreign Minister Riad Malki said that the draft resolution also calls for “an end to Israeli occupation and re-endorses the two-state solution.”
Israel Responds Sharply to EU Official's Rejection of U.S. Peace Plan
The European Union rejected parts of US President Donald Trump’s peace plan for the Middle East on Tuesday, prompting an angry response from Israel which has strongly backed the American proposal.

The plan, announced by Trump last week with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at his side, was rejected outright by the Palestinians.

The EU, which often takes time to respond to international developments because of a need for unanimity among its 27 members, had said last week that it needed to study the Trump plan before it would give its verdict.

It made its conclusions public on Tuesday in a statement from EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, who said Trump’s plan departs from “internationally agreed parameters.”

“To build a just and lasting peace, the unresolved final status issues must be decided through direct negotiations between both parties,” Borrell said, noting the issues of the borders of a Palestinian state and the final status of Jerusalem were among those still in dispute.

Steps by Israel to annex Palestinian territory, “if implemented, could not pass unchallenged,” Borrell said.
6 countries block EU resolution that would have condemned Trump plan, annexation
The European Union foreign policy chief’s unusually strident warning Tuesday that an Israeli annexation in the West Bank won’t pass “unchallenged” reportedly came after he failed to convince Europe’s foreign ministers to issue a similar criticism as a unified bloc.

According to Hebrew media reports, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell tried to convince the 27 European foreign ministers who are members of the union’s Foreign Affairs Council to issue a shared resolution criticizing the peace plan proposed by the Trump administration last week, and warning against Israeli leaders’ declared intention to annex significant parts of the West Bank within weeks.

But Israel’s Foreign Ministry lobbied hard with European governments against the resolution, the reports said, arguing it was one-sided and encouraged Palestinians to avoid direct negotiations.

At least six European member states apparently agreed and decided to oppose the resolution. They included Italy, Hungary, Austria, the Czech Republic, and at least two other unnamed nations, the reports said. That opposition killed the joint statement, as EU foreign policy declarations must have the agreement of all 27 member nations.

Borrell then issued a statement in his own name, rejecting the Trump peace proposal and warning that an Israeli annexation would violate international law.

Israel pushes US to recognize Moroccan sovereignty in Western Sahara - report
The United States and Israel are negotiating a scenario that would have the US recognize Moroccan sovereignty over the occupied territories in Western Sahara if the Arab state would move in the direction of normalizing relations with Israel, according to an Axios report.

The move itself would be the culmination of a successful 12-month period of Arab-Israeli relations, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visiting Chad and Sudan and making steps to normalize ties after this week's diplomatic mission, as well as the warming relations and cooperation with Saudi Arabia, in addition to a number of other Arab states.

It would also give Netanyahu and Moroccan King Mohammed VI a well needed PR push, in light of the Israeli prime minister's pending domestic legal issues – and the international condemnation over the Moroccan government's refusal to return the occupied territories of the Western Sahara to the self-determined government of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), in line with the UN resolution.

Morocco, which occupies more than 80% of the Western Sahara following the events brought on by the Madrid Accords, claims that the disputed lands have been historically Moroccan since it became an independent sovereign nation in 1958 and remains an integral part of the kingdom.

Reuters Misleads That Trump Plan Calls For Uprooting Israeli Arabs From Homes, Land
A Reuters article earlier this week about Israeli Arab fears concerning President Trump’s “Prosperity to Peace” plan wrongly suggested that residents of Arab towns in “The Triangle” region of northern Israel are in danger of being uprooted from their homes and land.

Contrary to the Feb. 3 headline, “Arabs in Israeli border towns fear Trump plan will transfer them to West Bank,” the plan does not propose removing residents from their homes in Israel and relocating them into the West Bank, a separate geographic area. Rather, it suggests transferring the towns, the residents together with their homes and land, from the State of Israel to the future State of Palestine. In other words, the plan calls for redrawing the map, and not transferring people from one place (Israel) to another (the West Bank). The proposal states: “The Vision contemplates the possibility, subject to agreement of the parties that the borders of Israel will be redrawn such that the Triangle Communities become part of the State of Palestine.”

Indeed, the third paragraph of the accompanying Reuters article more accurately and carefully reports that Trump’s proposal “raised the possibility that 11 Arab border towns abutting the West Bank would become part of a new Palestinian state.”

Because the idea is to transfer the towns lock, stock and barrel – the residents don’t move from their homes or their land – from the State of Israel to a future State of Palestine by way of redrawing the map – references in the article to “losing” “ties to the land” or “leav[ing] our land” are entirely inaccurate and misleading.

Thus, the article misleads, stating residents: “fear losing their rights and ties to the land they have lived on for generations.” Indeed, residents may harbor fear of losing “ties to the land,” but that fear is baseless, as the plan does not at all call for removing them from their land. Readers should be informed of the plan’s actual contours, as opposed to baseless fears presented at face value without any clarification.

The Palestinian Authority Is Unable to Mobilize Its People
With the announcement of the Trump administration's "deal of the century" on January 28, the Palestinian Authority (PA) sprung into action. Within hours of the White House ceremony, at which US President Donald Trump released the details of his plan, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said "a thousand no's to the deal of the century".

The PA then proceeded to issue a number of threats, including once again to sever ties with Israel's security agencies, and a call for mass demonstrations against the proposed deal.

Despite its rhetorical huffs and puffs, however, the Palestinian leadership could not muster a powerful reaction to the outrageous infringement on Palestinian rights that Trump's proposal really is. It could not even mobilise its own people. Why?

Because for more than 20 years now the PA has actively participated in the repression of the Palestinian people, while maintaining a close relationship with Israeli security forces. Its attitude, rhetoric, and policies in the past and in the present have always been directed not at protecting the rights and wellbeing of the Palestinian people, but at maintaining power at any cost.

The "deal of the century" has unmasked the PA's duplicity and the toll it has taken on Palestinian mass mobilisation.
Iran vows to back Palestinian terrorist groups as much as it can in wake of peace plan rollout
Iran will support Palestinian terrorist groups as much as it can, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Wednesday, urging Palestinians to confront the new US plan for Israeli-Palestinian peace.

"We believe that Palestinian armed organizations will stand and continue resistance and the Islamic Republic sees supporting Palestinian groups as its duty," Khamenei said in a speech carried on his website.

"So it will support them however it can and as much as it can and this support is the desire of the Islamic system and the Iranian nation."

US President Donald Trump announced a US plan last month which would set up a Palestinian state with strict conditions but also allow Israel to keep about 30% of Judea and Samaria.

Palestinian leaders have rejected it as biased toward Israel.

Trump's plan is to the detriment of America and Palestinians should confront the deal by forcing Israelis and Americans out through jihad, Khamenei said, according to his official website.
Iran’s FM phones Hamas and Islamic Jihad leaders and condemns US peace plan
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif called Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh and Islamic Jihad secretary-general Ziad al-Nakhaleh on Wednesday and condemned the US plan to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency reported.

The Iranian top diplomat called the plan “inhumane” in his conversation with Haniyeh, and described it as “deceptive” in his discussion with Nakhaleh, IRNA reported.

Zarif’s calls to the leaders of the Palestinian terror groups comes a day after he held a rare phone conversation with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

He told Abbas that Iran rejected the US plan, the official PA news site Wafa reported on Tuesday.

Breaking with past US administrations, the plan envisions the creation of a Palestinian state in about 70 percent of the West Bank, a small handful of neighborhoods in East Jerusalem, most of the Gaza Strip and some areas of southern Israel — if the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state, disarm Hamas and other terror groups in the Gaza Strip, and fulfill other conditions.

After Abbas Cuts Ties With the US, Bernie Suggests Five-State Solution (satire)
Bernie Sanders has vowed to present a five-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict when he becomes president of the United States. The statement comes after Mahmoud Abbas announced that he is cutting ties with the US over Donald Trump’s Deal of the Century, which lays out a plan for a two-state solution. “We’ve informed the Israeli side…that there will be no relations at all with them and the United States, including security ties,” Abbas said.

“Trump’s so-called ‘peace deal’ is [already] undermining the security interests of Americans, Israelis, and Palestinians. It is unacceptable,” Sanders declared. “In order to repair the US relationship with Mahmoud Abbas, on my first day as president of the United States, in addition to a fair and just two-state solution in the region, I will be offering the Palestinians the beautiful red states of Wyoming, Utah and Oklahoma. Yes, they will have to build a terror-tunnel under Colorado, but I am confident that Hamas’ little diggers won’t have an issue”.

“What this amounts to”, Sanders told the Mideast Beast, “is a solid five-state solution, a comprehensive and multi-continental approach that is not only egalitarian and inclusive, but ensures that all issues will be resolved in a manner that lives up to 21st century standards of social justice.”
Courting Netanyahu, Sudan sees gateway to improved ties with US
A senior Sudanese military official said a meeting that the country’s leader held Monday with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was aimed at helping remove the US designation of Sudan as a state sponsor of terror.

Netanyahu met secretly in Uganda with Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the head of Sudan’s transitional government, with the Prime Minister’s Office saying that the two agreed to gradually normalize diplomatic ties.

The official, who was not authorized to brief media and so spoke on condition of anonymity, said the meeting was orchestrated by the United Arab Emirates and that only a “small circle” of top officials in Sudan, as well as Saudi Arabia and Egypt, knew about it.

He said Burhan agreed to meet Netanyahu because officials thought it would help “accelerate” the process of being removed from the terror list.

Sudan is desperate to lift sanctions linked to its listing by the US as a state sponsor of terror — a key step toward ending its isolation and rebuilding its economy after the popular uprising that toppled longtime dictator Omar al-Bashir last year.
Sudan signals Israel detente after decades of hostility
Challenges on the horizon

But opposition to such diplomatic efforts remains, especially among Palestinians. Veteran Palestinian diplomat Saeb Erekat said the meeting between Netanyahu and al-Burhan was a "stab in the back of the Palestinian nation and a deviation from the Arab consensus."

In Sudan, the Forces of Freedom and Change — an alliance of civil society groups in Sudan responsible for appointing the civilian side of the transitional government — has also produced some of the most vocal critics to the idea of rapprochement.

"Israel is secretly working to tear down Sudan," said Al-Tayeb Al-Abbas, a leader in the Forces of Freedom and Change who heads the Sudan Bar Association. "It's not allowing stability to take hold. It had a role in all the wars in Sudan, including in Darfur, Nuba Mountains and the Blue Nile."

"It even had a leading role in the secession of South Sudan," he told DW, apparently referring to historic links between Israeli entities and supporters of the newfound country's independence from Sudan.

Given that kind of opposition, it is clear that the diplomatic thaw faces an all but certain future. "Going forward, the challenge will be in ensuring the Khartoum government follows through, and that the rapprochement is not undermined by more extremist elements there," said Eugene Kontorovich, director of International Law in the Middle East Center at George Mason University Scalia Law School.

"Khartoum was once the place from which the Arab world rejected Israel," Kontorovich told DW. "Now it's the place from which they reject rejectionism."

Hebrew U Chemistry Professor Calls for Armed Palestinian Militias Against their Jewish Neighbors
Amiram Goldblum, a senior chemistry professor at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, sparked controversy on Tuesday when he called on “Palestinians” to “establish armed militias to protect their villages and towns from the mitnachablim (a combination of the Hebrew words for settlers and terrorists).”

Facebook removed the post within hours for violating its guidelines, but Goldblum doubled-down on his statement in an interview with Israel’s Channel 12 online.

“Settlers are terrorists by definition,” he said. “The settlements are all terror settlements. ‘mitnachablim’ is a term everyone uses today.”

Not really – the combination is clunky and inorganic and not easy to pronounce, and is more a makeshift insult to be used by angry leftists on social media than something the average Yossi would use in a conversation.

The term was invented by one of the two meanest columnists in the history of Israeli journalism, Sylvie Keshet (the other one was the late Heda Boshes). Keshet also invented the term “degenerals” to describe the IDF brass; Mishta-ra with an Ain at the end for the police, as in Police-Bad; she called Education Minister Limor Livnat Tzarat Hachinuch (meaning education trouble); and coined the term Mifleget Ha’Avuda – the lost party – for the Labor party).

No one uses any of the above in everyday conversation in Israel, mostly because they’re contrived and too clever by half. On the other hand, practically every Israeli rightwinger uses Tishkoret instead of Tikshoret, turning media into lying-media – the invention of the late great media lion Adir Zik ZTz”L.

Goldblum continued: “I’m not talking about the Haredim who live in Beitar Illit and Modiin Illit, rather about the masses, mainly the knitted yarmulkes, who live in the heart of the Palestinian state and who regularly support all of their people’s terrorist activity.”

Miri Srebnogur and Nisi Mizrahi, coordinators of Im Tirtzu’s Hebrew University branch who discovered and reported the post, filed a complaint with the police.
Israelis detained at Moscow airport, denied entry to Russia for 2nd time in days
Five Israeli citizens were detained for six hours upon their arrival at Moscow’s airport before being sent back to Israel on Wednesday in the second such incident in less than a week.

Russian authorities held the Israelis in a locked room in the airport for hours without their passports, water or access to the bathroom, one of the detained passengers told the Ynet news site. Only after the group complained did they receive a small bottle of water for all to share.

“It’s an embarrassment for the State of Israel that its citizens are treated this way,” the woman said. “It’s bad enough that they didn’t let us into Russia, but why lock us in a room for six hours without water, without a toilet and without contact with the outside world?”

She said law enforcement photographed them, took DNA swabs and fingerprints after they arrived on an Aeroflot flight.
Balloon terror continues, kids in kindergarten forced to run for shelter
Children in a kindergarten near Kiryat Gat were forced to run for shelter on Wednesday, as a suspicious batch of balloons, possibly carrying explosives, was seen drifting close to the kindergarten, according to Channel 13.

In a video, the balloons can be seen drifting as the teacher calls the crying children to come back to the building while they were playing outside in the yard.

Meanwhile, another batch of explosives attached to balloons was spotted in a field near Sderot, near the Gaza border.

As a result of the continuing violence emanating from Gaza, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) announced on Wednesday that the Gaza fishing zone was being reduced from 15 nautical miles to 10.
Palestinian teen shot dead as he threw firebomb at troops — army
A Palestinian teenager was shot dead by Israeli security forces as he threw a Molotov cocktail at troops during clashes in Hebron on Wednesday, the military said.

The victim was identified as 17-year-old Mohammed al-Haddad by the official Palestinian Authority news site Wafa.

According to the Israel Defense Forces, al-Haddad hurled a firebomb at soldiers at the entrance to Shuhada Street in the flashpoint city in the southern West Bank.

“During a violent riot that took place a short time ago in the city of Hebron, IDF troops spotted a Palestinian throwing a Molotov cocktail at them. They responded with live fire in order to remove the threat,” the military said.

The IDF has been on heightened alert in the West Bank over the past week, following the release of US President Donald Trump’s plan to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Ruthie Blum: Corona, Chinese Oppression, and the Chinese Ambassador’s Holocaust Chutzpah
China’s acting ambassador to Israel came under well-deserved fire this week for invoking the Nazi genocide of the Jews to criticize Jerusalem’s preventive measures against the spread of the coronavirus.

At a press conference in Tel Aviv on Sunday, Dai Yuming said that he felt “bad and sad” over the “errors to limit or even ban entries of Chinese citizens” into Israel “because it actually recalled me the old days, the old stories that happened in World War II, the Holocaust. Many Jewish were refused when they tried to seek assistance. Only very, very few countries opened their doors. One of them is China. I hope Israel will never close their door to the Chinese. In the darkest days of the Jewish people, we didn’t close the door on them. I hope Israel will not close the door on the Chinese.”

Dai’s comments could not have been more outrageous.

The outcry that they unleashed in the press and on social media spurred the Chinese embassy in Israel to express regret. In a statement issued to the Israeli Foreign Ministry, Beijing’s diplomatic mission basically claimed that its representative’s words had been misconstrued.

“We would like to clarify that there was no intention whatsoever to compare the dark days of the Holocaust with the current situation and the efforts taken by the Israeli government to protect its citizens,” the statement read. “We would like to apologize if someone understood our message the wrong way.”

Really? As though it would have been possible to interpret it as anything but what it was: an accusation that Israel was turning its back on victimized men, women, and children under threat of annihilation in their country of origin, and a plea for the Jewish state and its citizens to remember how that particular type of rejection felt during World War II.
Israeli Government To Allow Coronavirus Into Country; Less Annoying Than Ariel Gold (satire)
The Israeli interior ministry decided that, after careful consideration, it has no choice but to allow the Chinese coronavirus into the country. The ministry said this weekend that it wasn’t capable of keeping the disease out of the country and that it wouldn’t because the virus has yet to communicate any support for the BDS movement. In the last year Israel has courted several controversies by denying entry to those that it deemed didn’t support it’s right to exist.

An interior ministry spokesperson said the decision was made after it was determined that the coronavirus is a lot more bearable than activists like the chief Code Pink Cat Lady Ariel Gold. Gold was denied entry in 2018 for her vocal support of the BDS movement, and the spokesperson confirmed that “it had been determined by a committee that getting a Chinese virus and almost dying is less annoying than talking to Gold for more than five minutes”.

The Mideast Beast reached out to Ariel Gold for comment and she responded by shrieking incoherently into the phone for 30 minutes straight before hanging up.

Another controversial case in 2019 was the decision not to renew the visa of Human Rights Watch’s Israel director Omar Shakir. Israel decided not to renew Shakir’s visa after it was determined that he was “too antisemitic even by Human Rights Watch Standards.”
Report: Hamas Weighing Renewal of Weekly Gaza Border Riots
Hamas is considering restarting the regular violent riots it had orchestrated on the Israel-Gaza Strip border in recent years, the Hebrew news site Walla reported on Tuesday.

The so-called “Great March of Return” protests began in March 2018 and followed a consistent pattern in which Hamas would bring thousands of rioters to the border area every Friday, where they would demonstrate, attempt to provoke and attack IDF soldiers and infiltrate into southern Israel to commit terror attacks.

The riots were also intended to produce images of Palestinian casualties in order to use the media to damage Israel’s global standing. Furthermore, the unrest provided cover for flying explosive and incendiary devices into Israeli territory on kites and balloons.

At the time the riots began, Hamas leader in Gaza Yahya Sinwar said, “We will take down the border and tear out their hearts from their bodies.”

In recent months, the violence has become less intense, amid rumors of a long-term truce talks brokered by Egypt.

According to Walla, however, Sinwar may now renew the riots in hopes of forcing concessions out of Israel and pushing the Egyptians to support his hardline demands.

Sinwar, the report said, considered the riots a success, as they put Hamas back on the political map and forced Israel to negotiate. The riots were only quelled because Hamas hoped they had accomplished their goal of bringing political and economic benefits to Gaza.

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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