Wednesday, June 26, 2019



 Vic Rosenthal's Weekly Column

War is cruelty. There is no use trying to reform it. The crueler it is, the sooner it will be over. 
William Tecumseh Sherman

The recent tension between the US and Iran is being watched very closely here in Israel, because it could well be the trigger for our next war.

I am convinced, to my very great sorrow, that this war is unavoidable. The 130,000 rockets and longer-range missiles under Iranian control in Lebanon will not be left to rust away, nor will those in Gaza. Our enemies – Iran and its proxies, as well as Hamas and the PLO – are not interested in peace.

Iran has spent billions and struggled for decades in its attempt to become a nuclear power, and to establish regional hegemony. We are not only a bone in the throat of their Islamic sensibility, we are physically in their way. They won’t give up without a fight, and they believe they can win.

US President Trump thinks he can break them with sanctions. But the Iranian regime doesn’t care what happens to its civilian population. If they are willing to shoot their people down in the streets (and they have demonstrated this), they will let them suffer. At some point they will be on the verge of going nuclear, and when that happens, someone will have to stop them. It is not a question of if there will be war. It is a question of when – and of precisely what will set it off. And once it starts, no matter who starts it, Israel will be in the thick of it.

It will almost certainly be a multi-front war. Iran has its proxies in Lebanon, Iraq, and Syria. The Palestinian Arabs in Gaza and Judea/Samaria have demonstrated, over and over, that they do not want a state of their own. They want our state, without us. No amount of money will persuade them to become other than who they are. By themselves they do not have the strength to challenge us, but in the context of a general conflagration, they will take the opportunity to cause as much damage as possible.

Numerous experts have predicted that this will be a terrible war, for our soldiers, for our home front, and for our enemies. Indeed, the home front has been mostly spared since our War of Independence in 1948. This time, our enemies – understanding our lack of strategic depth and believing that they can break both our spirit and the support system of the IDF – will concentrate on bringing the war to us, with rockets and ground invasions.

Hezbollah has the ability to launch thousands of rockets per day, far more than can be intercepted by Iron Dome or our other antimissile systems. In 2006, when they had far fewer and less sophisticated rockets, they threw the northern part of the country into a panic. Degrading their launch capability will take time, and in the meantime rockets will be exploding into our homes. Those who have safe rooms or access to nearby shelters are lucky, but many Israelis – like my daughter – live in older buildings which do not have such facilities. Large-payload missiles may bring down whole buildings, in which case safe rooms will be little help. Missiles that can hit densely populated urban areas will create mass casualties.

We know that both Hamas and Hezbollah plan cross-border incursions to kill and kidnap Israelis, maybe even to capture smaller communities. IDF ground forces will be spread thin, and they will have to worry about terrorist “operations” by Arabs from Judea and Samaria as well.

The sheer inevitability of this war weighs on us. We know it will happen; we are expecting it from week to week. Although people here don’t talk about it often, it’s never far from their consciousness. We know that some of our friends and neighbors, maybe even ourselves, will not survive. Others will lose their homes and all their possessions. We know too that numerous young soldiers and some older reservists will not come home alive to their families.

There will be funerals, and horrendous wounds. As is often said, in Israel all the soldiers are everyone’s children. It will tear us apart. It will make us angry. It won’t however, cause us to flee the country, as our enemies hope.

Will we prevail? We’d better. Otherwise Israel, and ultimately the Jewish people, will disappear. Losing the war would be a disaster on the scale of the one in the year 70 CE, and I doubt that the conditions exist for our people to survive another two-millennium diaspora.

I think the outcome will depend primarily on one thing: leadership. In 2006, we could not defeat Hezbollah, because the team of Ehud Olmert, Amir Peretz, Tzipi Livni, and Dan Halutz was incompetent from top to bottom. Do we have the leaders that we need today? Do we have a Churchill to stiffen the home front against a blitz, or officers who will take the initiative like Arik Sharon did when he crossed the Suez Canal in 1973? We’ll find out.

We have the desperation – and advantage – of having no place else to go. Our enemies cannot imagine how much firepower is available to the IDF, and if it is unleashed they will not be able to stand against us. In its recent operations, the IDF has gone out of its way to minimize enemy civilian casualties. This next war might begin that way, but at some point Hamas and Hezbollah’s use of civilian infrastructure as a shield will leave us no other option but to put that concern aside.

When relatively accurate rockets with large payloads start striking industrial targets and big cities, for example, the launchers in Lebanon will have to go – regardless of what they are built next to or inside of. It’s pretty certain that most of southern Lebanon will end up a slag heap, and parts of the Gaza strip will meet the same fate.

If thousands die in Israel, tens of thousands will lose their lives in Lebanon and Gaza, or anywhere else from which our enemies fight. If the Arabs of Judea and Samaria rise up, their communities, too, will be razed, and they’ll find themselves homeless, another nakba.

War, it’s well-known, is hell. This one will be, too. But we must ensure that it will be a bigger hell for our enemies than for us.

Sometimes it takes a war to change things that otherwise would be frozen forever. WWI changed the face of Europe and the Middle East, brought down the Ottoman, Austro-Hungarian, and Czarist empires, gave freedom to some peoples and a new kind of slavery to some others. WWII facilitated the destruction of Europe’s Jews, the creation and use of atomic weapons, and the establishment of a Soviet empire in Eastern Europe – but also ushered in the United Nations (not an unmixed blessing), the American civil rights movement, the end of the British Empire, and the creation of the State of Israel.

Maybe, in addition to a new regime in Iran, the next war will bring about the end of Hamas and the PLO, and even the creation of the long awaited Palestinian state – in Jordan, where it belongs.




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From Ian:

Seth Mandel: Return of the kingmaker
Indeed, Sharpton had become a fixture in Obamaworld. The seeds for that alliance were planted in 2007. Obama had been getting flak from Jesse Jackson and others for supposedly not supporting black activism enough. Obama confidant Valerie Jarrett was looking for someone from the world of civil rights advocacy to fill the void. That’s when Rev. Al stepped up, reported Jillian Melchior, then at National Review, in 2015. “In late 2007 or early 2008, Jarrett negotiated a simple deal with the reverend: Sharpton would discreetly support Obama for president, working mostly behind the scenes; he wouldn’t publicly criticize Obama, but he also wouldn’t back him in a way that aroused attention.”

That helped change the narrative that the black establishment was with the establishment candidate, Clinton. But Sharpton’s value to the campaign would skyrocket when controversial comments by Obama’s family pastor, Jeremiah Wright, became too much of a headache to be ignored. Obama distanced himself from Wright. “Behind the scenes,” Melchior reported, “the Obama campaign relied on Sharpton to reach out to influential black pastors across the U.S., persuading them not to revolt against Obama for his treatment of Wright.” That earned the trust of "Team Obama," and the relationship continued into the White House.

“His counsel was invaluable,” Jarrett recently told Evan Halper of the Los Angeles Times, especially when it came to “pushing back on people he thought were not constructive and unfairly criticizing President Obama.”

Just having Sharpton around, in fact, was a boost for Obama’s standing among black activists, according to Emory University expert on African American politics Andra Gillespie. “There were some concerns that Obama would be symbolically important but would not advocate for substantive change to help the African American community,” Gillespie told the LA Times. “The fact that Rev. Sharpton, who clearly came from an activist background and put race at the forefront and was unafraid to speak out on behalf of African Americans explicitly, put him in a position to lend an air of credibility to the Obama administration.”



David Collier: Fifty-six antisemitic conspiracies- by members of the Labour Party
You are about to enter a twilight zone, a place deep in antisemitic conspiracy. Everyone mentioned has implied that they have been members of the Labour Party. Many explicitly say they joined because of Jeremy Corbyn. Because of the antisemitic nature of these conspiracy theories, ‘Israel, ‘Zionist’ and ‘Jewish’ are used interchangeably.

There will be two images on each conspiracy, the first evidence that the poster is affiliated to the Labour Party, the other an example of the antisemitic conspiracy theory that they shared.

I have created this compilation for a simple reason. Antisemitism is not about what one person says or believes. Antisemitism is a way of seeing the world, an ideology, and the pieces need to be put together for the dangers to be understood properly.

The antisemitic conspiracies

One of the most widespread claims is that Israel did 9/11. I could fill an entire report with images just containing this antisemitic conspiracy theory, however I intend to provide just one example from each of the claims:
Israel is ISIS
Or just fund ISIS:
Israel was behind Charlie Hebdo:
Responsible for the November 2015 attacks in Paris:
The Zionists are behind the attack in Brussels too.
Incredibly, some believe the Zionists even control the Labour Party. Sheem Bari is also admin for the FB Group ‘the Labour Party Supporter‘:
The Mossad blackmail MPs to get them to defend the indefensible:
Michael Doran: Red Light, Green Light
Review of Shadow Strike: Inside Israel’s Secret Mission to Eliminate Syrian Nuclear Power by Yaakov Katz

Rolling the dice of war is the loneliest decision of any leader, but for an Israeli, rolling them without superpower support is especially harrowing. Every Israeli leader knows Ben-Gurion’s dictum: Never go to war without great power support. It is easy for Israel to start a war alone, but nearly impossible to bring the conflict to an end on favorable political terms without help from a powerful backer in the international arena.

Israelis tell a story about what happened, in 1967, when Ben-Gurion schooled then–chief of staff General Yitzhak Rabin on the necessity of great power support. President Lyndon Johnson, preoccupied with the Vietnam War, had refused to take any significant action against Nasser in the lead-up to the Six-Day War. “You won’t have to go it alone, unless you go it alone,” he famously told the Israelis. In other words, the United States would not stop Israel from attacking, but it would not support the war. If things went wrong, the Israelis were on their own. During the tense waiting period between the Egyptian remilitarization of the Sinai and the Israeli decision to attack, Rabin visited Ben-Gurion, who was living in retirement at his home in Sde Boker in the Negev. Ben-Gurion, so the story goes, castigated Rabin for preparing to launch a war without American backing. Following the dressing down from Ben-Gurion, he suffered a nervous breakdown that incapacitated him for two weeks.

Bush probably never heard this story, but his own experience had taught him the loneliness of ordering men and women into harm’s way. He offered Olmert the emotional and political support needed to face any adversity that lurked ahead. Among American presidents, Bush surely ranks as one of the most supportive of the Jewish State. Nevertheless, his administration still harbored very serious doubts about the Israelis’ chosen course of action. The al-Kibar episode thus reminds us, among other things, that algorithms do not determine how best to secure national interests, people do.

Although the bet that Olmert placed on Bush entailed some risks, he always held a trump card up his sleeve: the IDF. Olmert was confident from the outset that even if the Americans would oppose military action, Israel still possessed the tools to get the job done. One of Olmert’s colleagues, Katz reports, had been working for years to keep this fact at the forefront of the Israeli thinking. Major General Eliezer Shkedi, the commander of the Israeli Air Force, had distributed a dramatic photo to countless Israeli soldiers and airmen. The photo captures the moment when three Israeli F-15s, operating on Shkedi’s orders, defied the Polish authorities and flew low over Auschwitz. Shkedi had personally inscribed most of the photos, “To remember. Not to forget. To rely only on ourselves.” Shkedi was the man responsible for planning the al-Kibar operation.

This exhortation to self-reliance is laudatory, but as practical advice to prime ministers it probably requires a slight revision: “To remember. Not to forget. To rely, when necessary, only on ourselves.” Olmert was wise to seek assistance from Bush, and he did so shrewdly, but his readiness to go it alone in very trying circumstances was his greatest asset. Without that, Bush’s red light would never have turned to green.

Way back in January, Israel opened Route 4370, a stretch of highway that leads from Samaria to Jerusalem. This particular 5-kilometer stretch of 4-lane highway is divided by a wall that runs smack down its middle. The wall divides PA citizens from Israeli citizens and those with Jerusalem entry permits, separating these populations so they never have to come in contact with each other. 
The new stretch of highway eases traffic congestion, cuts down on accidents and fatalities, and prevents terror. In other words, route 4370 saves lives and time. 

"Apartheid" Road

The outcry, of course, was predictable. The word “Apartheid” was heard, and comparisons to South Africa regurgitated ad infinitum by the usual Arab talking heads as the eager media rushed to print. Speaking to the Times of Israel, Palestinian Liberation Organization Executive Committee member Ahmad Majdalani remarked that “This is an Israeli example of apartheid and racist separation that once existed in South Africa. Any Israeli who believes in democracy should feel ashamed about this new road.”
The Palestinian Authority issued an official statement that the "apartheid" road "poses a challenge to the credibility of the international community."
Now these things were bound to be said by those who hate Israel: “racist,” “Apartheid,” “South Africa.” The good civic deed of easing traffic and keeping people safe was predestined to be miscast and shown in an evil light. But still, it must be said: how can this divided road be considered discrimination when Arabs and Jews share a single side of this divided road? 
Because this is exactly the case: Jews and Israeli Arabs and Arabs with Jerusalem entry permits are on one side of the walled highway, with PA Arabs on the other. It isn’t that Arabs are barred from the road, it’s that Arabs who are governed by a different body, the PA, are barred from sharing the Israeli side of the road. 
And that is because they, the Arabs of the Palestinian Authority, WANT their freedom from Israel and are the avowed enemy of the Jewish people. So we gave them their freedom: they don't have to mix with us, or drive on our roads, and we are safe from their hatred. 
After all, it's not like their hatred is something that remains in their hearts and minds, ideological and dormant. Theirs is an active and violent hatred that often finds expression in terror attacks. Which makes separation the only prudent course of action for Israel.
So there you have it: one side of the road is mixed Arab and Jew. These are the Arabs who are willing to coexist with Jews and share a highway with them. Those Arabs who don’t wish to coexist with Jews, the PA Arabs, are on the other side of the highway, across the barrier.

This is the same paradigm we see with the Peace to Prosperity conference in Bahrain. Ashraf Jabari, a businessman from Hebron, is happy to attend and look at opportunities to help his people. Even if Israelis and Israel are to be part of that opportunity.

Ditto, Mohammed Arif Masad, who lives in Burqin, not far from Jenin. These men understand that their people are suffering. They understand that at least for the time being, the Jews are in Israel to stay, that they might as well work alongside them and accept an opportunity. Which is how coexistence works, a thing which is not all hearts and flowers.

This attitude of coming to terms with Israel and making the best of the situation, is distinct from the official stance of the Palestinian Authority on the Bahrain conference. That stance is a stance of antisemitic intransigence and xenophobia. Anything connected to the conference, including Donald Trump, is labeled an evil Jew (is there any other kind?) by association with Israel. From Palestinian Media Watch (PMW):

A Palestinian dressed as former PA leader Arafat burned a poster portraying Trump with red satanic horns and a swastika on his forehead and with US and British flags with swastikas and a blue Star of David over them (above). In another photo, Trump is crossed out with a red "X." Trump's peace plan is referred to as "the Deal of the Devil."
This official PA attitude to Israel and the Jews shows a doubling down of hatred, a refusal to countenance Jews, Israeli and otherwise, as human beings like themselves. It is not Israel that wants to separate from them. It is the PA that insists on separation, even where Israel has extended the hand of peace and prosperity.
Getting back to Route 4370, we have two sides of a road. On one side we have Arabs and Jews driving on the same stretch of highway. These are the Arabs who have accepted the situation and are making the best of things. Israelis are happy to coexist with them on the same road. Just as they are happy to work with them in Bahrain.

Those on the other side of the road, refuse to see Jews as human beings or even just mind their own business and drive. That is the side that is emulating South African Apartheid in word and deed: the side of the road that belongs to the Palestinian Authority. Because if
 the PA really wanted that wall in the road to come down, it would be so easy. All they’d have to do is decry the violence, lay down their arms, and come to terms with the Jewish State of Israel.

The proof is staring down at them from across the road, where Jews and Arabs are driving side by side. Just as it is in Bahrain, where Arabs and Jews are sitting together at a conference, talking about how to make things better for the Arab people. 
If the PA wanted to end this dire state of affairs where separation is necessary for safety, they’d be on the Israeli side of the road. The one with the mixed Jewish/Arab population, content to drive in peace.
In Israel.
Where everyone is safe.


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  • Wednesday, June 26, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
This is a guest post from someone who goes by the pseudonym Adam Johnson.
____________________________


There has been increasing recognition by Jews that anti-Zionism in modern times is in no way distinct from antisemitism. Any distinction that may have been able to be drawn between the two in the 19th Century when there was no a Jewish state is not able to be drawn in the 21st Century when we are commemorating 70 years of the reborn Jewish state in which the majority of the world’s Jews now live. The consensus is that anti-Zionism is a form of antisemitism, or something along those lines.

But there has unfortunately been little success in spreading this to the wider public’s consciousness. Large numbers of people continue to believe that anti-Zionism is a wholly legitimate and distinct thing from antisemitism, even if the former on occasion becomes the latter.

We have hit a roadblock and the discussion has turned into a merry-go-round. It has moved on from arguments of substance to the various sides now rehashing and repeating the same arguments, occasionally throwing in a new turn-of-phrase or an original example to keep things seeming fresh.
The recent Intelligence Squared debate between Melanie Phillips and former Israeli Labor MK Einat Wilf on the one side and Ilan Pappe and Mehdi Hassan on the other demonstrates the issue perfectly. The proposition to be debated was that anti-Zionism is antisemitism. While Ms Phillips and Ms Wilf argued admirably for the proposition, Mr Hassan won well enough by pointing out that the proposition in question was not that anti-Zionism can turn into antisemitism, but simply that it is antisemitism, which he asserted is false because Zionism and anti-Zionism are political philosophies and antisemitism is not.

It’s hard to fault the arguments that Ms Phillips and Ms Wilf offered. Both of them are more than qualified to represent their side. But most normal people already accept that trying to destroy Israel is a morally repugnant thing to do regardless of any debate about anti-Zionism. Most people don’t believe that deliberately murdering Jews or Israelis is acceptable. Most normal people in general support some kind of two-state solution, even though they may wrongly blame Israel for its absence.

That doesn’t mean we should relax the fight against such things. It means that just as much as people don’t believe anti-Zionism is antisemitism, they don’t particularly care for anti-Zionism anyway, or they believe ‘anti-Zionist’ activities are immoral or undesirable for other reasons.
If that’s the case, there’s little point in trying to advance further on this front by merely repeating that anti-Zionism is usually bad or very bad or similar.

But if anti-Zionism literally is antisemitism and not just a form of it on occasion then it’s just not good enough to get stuck in the mud. It’s important for Jews to know it. And it’s not just important for Jews to know, it’s important for everyone to know. Because we all know that what starts with the Jews doesn’t end with them. Ms Phillips in particular has been very clear on this point. That being the case, we must have a breakthrough.

What if the very existence of a concept called anti-Zionism is antisemitism? What if anti-Zionism is not at heart antisemitism, but antisemitism is actually just anti-Zionism? What if we have it all backwards? What if this whole discussion is antisemitism in action? What if we are really discussing whether or not if antisemitism is antisemitism?

Zionism is poorly described as being about the establishment of a Jewish homeland or state. Truthfully, it is about the rights of the Hebrew nation in the Hebrew homeland. Of course, technically speaking, there is some distinction to be drawn between the Hebrew nation and the Jewish people. That distinction is splitting hairs by any measure.

The modern world so strongly associates Jew with Judaism, and Judaism with religion, that any mention of Jews or a Jewish state is almost always misunderstood. It is not surprising that no ground is being made when the basic premise of Zionism is so poorly expressed.

This distinction is also vital because the antisemite, upon being identified as such, will always immediately claim (pathetically) that he respects people of all faiths and that he just hates Zionism. The discussion has been immediately misdirected.

We know too that the Palestinian Arabs and their aides deny large amounts of Hebrew history, even accusing Israel of faking the Dead Sea Scrolls. And when they do that, they simultaneously claim that Jews used to live in peace with Christians and Muslims before the Zionists. Lo and behold, the heritage of the Hebrews has vanished and we are left in the trenches babbling more about religion and ethnicity, about Christians and Muslims, and in general about everything other than the rights of the Hebrew nation.

By emphasising that Zionism is about the rights of the Hebrew nation, we emphasize the ancient claim of the Jews and counter the idea that it is about religion. We are less susceptible to misdirection and are in a better position overall.

Antisemitism was a polite word for Jew-hate in Germany. But what if antisemitism is not really about Jew-hate? What if the Jew-hate is actually hatred of the Hebrew Semitism? A Hebrew hate? It is after all the Hebrew aspect that gives the Jews their association with Semitism. It is the Hebrew language we all learn and love. It is the Hebrew Bible that we have all read. It is the Hebrew homeland that Jews dwell in and it is the rights of the Hebrew nation that Zionism is concerned with. And by no special extension, anti-Zionism is antisemitism and antisemitism is anti-Zionism: because Zionism is the Semitism in antisemitism.

During the debate with Ms Phillips and Ms Wilf, Mr Hassan expressed the idea that Zionism is a political philosophy. But the rights of the Hebrew nation are not a political philosophy. And here we reach the point where we discover not only that anti-Zionism is antisemitism, but that the very existence of anti-Zionism is antisemitism.

If Zionism is a political philosophy, then what is the corresponding political philosophy for other nations? For Argentina, Ukraine, or Indonesia? Can anyone think of any corresponding word for Zionism at all? If you can think of one, and I’m sure there are some, when was the last time you heard about it? Or about a debate where they discussed whether anti-whatever was a form of prejudice against that nation? I’m not much of a betting man, but I’m going down to my bottom dollar on this one that the answer is ‘no’ or ‘never’. Only the Hebrew nation has to justify itself in this way.

Something like pan-Arabism or pan-Slavism is a political philosophy. Uniting different Arab or Slavic nations is a political philosophy; having those nations live freely in their own lands is not. The very existence therefore of this debate is a double standard: one standard for every other nation whose national rights are taken for granted and who suffer no prejudice against them, and one standard for the Hebrew nation, whose friends and representatives must vainly fight to convince people from near and far that their national life is no political philosophy. This is all the more ridiculous when we are living 70 years after the re-independence of the Jews.

If the distinction between anti-Zionism and antisemitism can be drawn after or before the independence of modern Israel, then why can’t it be drawn in the time of the Roman Empire? Or at any other point in history? The Roman Empire did somewhat distinguish between Jews in Judea and Jews elsewhere; yet that is mere geography. Everyone can distinguish between a Chinese community in Canada and the Chinese nation whose home is China. That is elementary. There are still no debates about ‘anti-Chinaism’ and whether or not it is ‘anti-Sinism’.

The Romans destroyed the Hebrew nation and expelled it, carting of its treasures and its people. They had no distinction between anti-Zionism and antisemitism, even accounting for the recent origins of those words. No one in history has drawn the distinction that we now debate; neither should we.

The facts as stated clearly establish that anti-Zionism is not only antisemitism, but that the very concept itself is antisemitic. Jews around the world are threatened and attacked every day, but instead they waste time on discussing this garbage. Anti-Zionism is so absolutely antisemitic that the only solution to my mind is to get Western governments to recognize it as such.

The last, desperate strategy of the antisemite is always to ask if such and such a person was really antisemitic. The most common example given is always anti-Zionist religious Jews. ‘Zionism is not the same as Judaism’ they always say. The time has come to put the nail in that coffin.
Judaism is a Zionist religion. It presupposes axiomatically that Zionism is a fact. It speaks ceaselessly about a Hebrew people and a Hebrew homeland with Jewish soldiers and Jewish leaders. The Bible has been called a Zionist handbook and Zionism is a basic principle of Judaism, being all but commanded by it. And so we must be very clear that belief in Judaism is itself an act of Zionism, as it was for generations of ancient Jews. This is a fact of history; in a way, Zionism is indeed nothing more than the facts of history. This is not negated by someone’s personal opinion.
People can believe what they want, of course: but anti-Zionism is antisemitism and no one can change it.


I suspect that large numbers of Jews and their friends have cottoned on to all of the above in their own way over the years. Nowadays we see attempts to coin a word for it. The candidates include Ziophobia and the dreadful misoziony. There are alternatives. Anti-Zionism. Antisemitism. Zion-hate. How about “Hebrew-hate”?



We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.
From Ian:

Alan Dershowitz: How Does Turning Down a $50 Billion Economic Plan Help the Palestinians?
Neither the Palestinian Authority nor the Hamas tyranny over the Gaza Strip are functioning democracies with structures that assure that the opinions of their citizens will be taken into account. But neither could those leaders totally ignore “the street” — Palestinian public opinion. The problem is that the street will not even know what their leaders are denying them unless they become aware of the contents of the U.S. economic plan.

There is no free, independent media on the West Bank or Gaza Strip. Residents can tune into Israeli or international media but they have been taught not to trust either. So it is uncertain whether the Palestinian street will know what their leaders are depriving them of by not engaging with the U.S. and its beneficial economic proposals. It is certainly possible that Palestinian leaders will once again miss an opportunity to help their people and that their people will be misinformed about that missed opportunity.

This may be the Palestinians’ last chance for a peaceful resolution of the long conflict with Israel that has caused so much misery and so many deaths on both sides. When then-Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat turned down the offer of a two-state solution from President Bill Clinton and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak in 2000, the Saudi ambassador to the U.S. called Arafat’s decision a “crime” against the Palestinian people. Will Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas commit yet another crime against his people by refusing even to listen or negotiate?

If he were to agree to negotiate in earnest about the proposed peace plan — the geopolitical elements of which will be rolled out toward the end of this year — there is a significant likelihood that the end result of mutual, painful compromises may be a Palestinian state. If he persists in his refusal to negotiate, he and his people will have no one but themselves to blame for the persistence of an untenable status quo.

The U.S. has presented the first phase of its plan. It’s an excellent, fair start. The ball is now in the Palestinian court. They should reconsider their knee-jerk rejection and begin negotiations that may be the only road to statehood.

Bahrain FM to Times of Israel: Israel is here to stay, and we want peace with it
Bahrain sees the US-led economic workshop taking place in Manama this week as a possible “gamechanger” tantamount in its scope to the 1978 Camp David peace agreement between Israel and Egypt, the Gulf state’s foreign minister said Wednesday, also firmly backing Israel’s right to exist.

“We see it as very, very important,” Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa told The Times of Israel on the sidelines of the “Peace to Prosperity” workshop.

Khalifa also stressed that his country recognizes Israel’s right to exist, knows that it is “there to stay,” and wants peace with it.

He said the US-organized conference here, which is focused on the economic aspects of the Trump administration’s Israeli-Palestinian peace plan, could be like Egyptian president Anwar Sadat’s visit to Jerusalem in 1977, which helped pave the way to the Camp David Accords and the normalizing of relations between Egypt and Israel.

“As much as Camp David 1 was a major gamechanger, after the visit of President Sadat — if this succeeds, and we build on it, and it attracts attention and momentum, this would be the second gamechanger,” Khalifa said.

In an interview in his suite at Manama’s posh Four Seasons hotel, Khalifa did not commit to normalizing diplomatic ties with Israel in the near future, but unequivocally affirmed Israel’s right to exist as a state with secure borders.

“Israel is a country in the region… and it’s there to stay, of course,” he said.

“Who did we offer peace to [with] the [Arab] Peace Initiative? We offered it to a state named the State of Israel, in the region. We did not offer it to some faraway island or some faraway country,” Khalifa continued, referring to a Saudi-backed peace framework.

“We offered it to Israel. So we do believe that Israel is a country to stay, and we want better relations with it, and we want peace with it.”
Palestinians: Never missing an opportunity to miss an opportunity
Leaders from several Arab nations will gather in Bahrain this week to discuss a 50 billion dollar relief plan and a possible path to peace between Palestinians and Israelis. The economic incentive program for building a future Palestinian state will be discussed at the “Peace to Prosperity” conference, co-hosted by the U.S. government and Bahrain. Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt, Jordan and Morocco are participating. The Palestinians are boycotting the conference- Israeli government officials were not invited, but a business delegation from Israel will attend.

Under the plan, donor nations and investors would contribute about $50 billion over 10 years, with $28 billion going to the Palestinian territories. States that have absorbed Palestinian refugees int he past will also receive a significant amount of funding. $7.5 billion will be earmarked to Jordan, with $9 billion going to Egypt and $6 billion going to Lebanon.

Among 179 proposed infrastructure and business projects is a $5 billion transport corridor to connect the West Bank and Gaza. The proposed plan will facilitate billions of dollars of investment in Palestinian electricity, water, and telecommunications in an effort to create efficient transmission and distribution networks. Tourism, health care and cultural institutions will also be funded.

The Palestinian Authority is boycotting the conference, although 15 private Palestinian business leaders were expected to attend. President Mahmoud Abbas said focusing on economic issues “is unacceptable before the political situation is discussed.”

Comprehensive peace proposals have been presented to Palestinian leadership many times times in the past, and have all been rejected.

  • Wednesday, June 26, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon

Once again, we have more evidence that "peace" to Palestinians  does not mean what the West thinks it means.

It sounds cynical, but an impartial look at how Palestinians have responded to every peace plan or economic opportunity shows a single consistent pattern:

If it brings Israel closer to being destroyed, they are all for it. If it doesn't, they are opposed.

This is why there are "refugee" camps under Palestinian control. Tweeter Imshin links to an important article by Eldad Beck, who wrote in 2017:

There was another area in which I tried to promote initiatives: improving the living conditions of the residents of the refugee camps. The Palestinian Authority opposed such projects completely. Senior PA officials made it clear to us: "The refugee camps are a political issue, and they will remain in their present situation until a solution is found to the refugee question, that is, their return to their homes."
This is why Palestinian leaders have resisted every peace plan that would end the conflict.

This is why Palestinian leaders consciously choose to keep their own people in misery, because to them their people are only pawns to have their outrage directed at Israel.

Arafat formulated the "phased plan" for Israel's destruction in the 1970s and Abbas is slavishly following it, too frightened or too indoctrinated to change it to actually help his people.

The Bahrain workshop, which places no demands on Palestinians, is an object lesson in how the "phased plan" is still being implemented.

A telling detail from Haaretz' coverage:

In the end, the Palestinians were there too. About 15 Palestinians attended, including Ashraf Jabari from Hebron, the only Palestinian scheduled to speak at the conference. They told Haaretz that they came from all parts of the West Bank and Jerusalem, and Jabari may be representing them as a speaker, but they support the conference, too. At one point, the former IDF Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, reserve general Yoav Mordechai, sat with them on the sofas in the hotel lobby. Mordechai attended the conference as a private businessman. Haaretz also saw other Palestinians at the event who were not part of Jabari’s group – but they asked to remain anonymous.

The Palestinian Authority, if they cared about their own people, would have said "we are against the conference but you can attend if you want." Instead, they pressured Palestinian businesspeople not to attend - with implicit threats - so the ones who showed up must remain nameless.

Is this how national leaders who want to build a state act?

Israelis want good relations with the Arab world, including the Palestinians. The PA, though, forbids any ties and even threatens people who want to shop in Jewish-owned supermarkets in the territories.

The Arab world has woken up to the reality of the trash fire that is the Palestinian leadership. They understand the honor/shame dynamic that leads the Palestinians down the path of self-destruction, and they have failed in trying to convince them that they are only hurting their own people. That's why they have largely given up.

On the other hand, the Europeans and liberal Americans still cannot accept the breathtaking cynicism that the Palestinian leaders have shown again and again. The thought process is so utterly foreign to them that they can't accept it as even being possible. Of course Palestinian leaders want what is best for their people! Of course they want a state! How can anyone even conceive otherwise?

This is why the only real support for Palestinian political leaders nowadays comes from the liberal West - not from the Arab world. The liberal worldview is that everyone thinks the same as they do, and counter-evidence is glossed over and ignored.

Look at Bahrain with clear eyes and you can see that the Palestinian leadership is not interested in peace, nor in a state, nor in helping their own people. They only have one overarching political goal in mind - to destroy Israel, one step at a time.

An economically prosperous Palestinian entity is good for Israel and therefore it must be fought.




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  • Wednesday, June 26, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon


UNRWA held a fundraising conference in New York on Tuesday, raising $113 million to keep the utterly worthless agency going for another few months before the next fundraiser.

23 nations pledged to help bail out UNRWA this time:

The following delegations confirmed 2019 pledges in the following amounts: European Union (€21 million); Turkey ($10 million); Philippines ($10,000); India ($5 million); Sweden ($5 million); France (€20 million); Germany (€29 million); New Zealand ($1 million); Belgium (€11.6 million total for 2019); Estonia (€280,000); Ireland ($22 million); Norway ($2 million in addition to $26.4 million already paid); Indonesia ($200,000 in addition to the $1 million already paid); United Kingdom ($24 million for a total of $83 million for 2019‑2020); Switzerland ($1 million to the $21 million already paid in 2019); Kazakhstan ($50,000); Pakistan ($250,000); Cyprus (€100,000) and the Holy See ($40,000).

The following delegations indicated pledges pending approval: Austria (€1.95 million to a UNRWA health programme), Mexico, Malaysia and Italy.
Not a single Arab state contributed a dime (although Qatar pledged $16 million for 2019-20 the last time this was done.)

Instead, the Arab nations paid lip service to helping Palestinians via UNRWA:

Further support for UNRWA was expressed by representatives of Jordan, Lebanon, Republic of Korea, Egypt, Algeria, China, Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Tunisia and Iraq with no specific pledges announced.
Once again, the rich Arab nations are far less interested in wasting their money on their fellow Arab Palestinians than the West is.

Trump's decision to cut UNRWA aid was not regressive - it was ahead of its time. UNRWA is a poor investment if one is interested in actually solving the Palestinian issue. Their fellow Arabs know this very well. The EU is too blind to see.

UNRWA's budget is $1.2 billion a year, so while this $113 million makes a dent, asking for that amount of money ten times a year will turn old quick. One day, not too distant, citizens of Ireland and Switzerland and Norway will ask their government why paying for medical and educational and housing services for nearly 2 million Jordanian citizens, and even more residents of "Palestine" who cannot be considered refugees under any definition, makes sense.



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  • Wednesday, June 26, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon

Let's examine what Mohammed Shtayyeh, the new prime minister of the Palestinian Authority, says to Christiane Amanpour on PBS:
Amanpour: Why would you boycott an event that is designed simply to explore, remember it's called a workshop, the opportunity to give billions of dollars, tens of billions of dollars, $50 billion to your people and the Palestinian Authority?
Shtayyeh:  The figures are so exaggerated to the extent that we don't believe it, first.
Is that a reason to boycott?
Secondly, this economic workshop is totally diverse from any dimension.  Economic problem in Palestine has nothing to do with the economic policy of anybody.  The economic problem here, the crisis is the Israeli measures that are forced on us and the financial war that has been declared by the American administration on the Palestinian people, on the United Nations association for the Palestinian refugees.  so the issue is not an economic issue.
The Palestinians are hoping for sovereign state.  The issue is not economic.
We have seen this before.
Secretary Shultz was here in 1983.  He came to say solving the problem has to do with improving the living conditions of the Palestinians.
This didn't materialize.
I can't find a record of that statement by Shultz, but Israel tried hard to improve the living conditions of Palestinians in 1983, by offering them essentially free housing in exchange for leaving the UNRWA camps. 

After a number of Palestinians took Israel up on that offer, the Palestinian leaders hut down the program and even got a series of UN resolutions to stop Israel from moving Palestinians from decrepit camps into permanent housing. (UN A/38/PV.98 15 Dec. 1983)

If there was no progress towards improving living conditions for Palestinians in 1983, it is because the Palestinian leadership actively fought against it! Some reports say they threatened anyone who took Israel up on the offer.

Later, in 1988. Shultz tried again to jump start a Middle East peace process - and the Palestinians boycotted speaking to him.
Shultz`s efforts suffered a setback Friday when a group of prominent Palestinians stayed away from a scheduled meeting with him.
Shultz, in a gesture to the Palestinians, traveled to the American Colony Hotel in predominantly Arab East Jerusalem in the hope that they would ignore orders by the Palestine Liberation Organization not to attend the meeting.
When the Palestinians failed to appear, Shultz read a four-page ''statement to Palestinians'' in front of television cameras.
Now they are pretending that any lack of progress was the US' fault!

Shtayyeh goes on:
Then John Kerry promised the Palestinians $4 billion.  This has never materialized.
Kerry proposed a "Bahrain lite" plan in 2013.The person whose task was to implement this economic plan was Tony Blair, representing the Quartet.

Palestinians refused to cooperate with Blair, claiming he was too pro-Israel. He tried hard to improve their economic situation and they didn't want anything to do with him.

Now they are blaming the world for their own intransigence!

Speaking of Kerry, Shtayyeh wrote an op-ed in the New York Times blaming Israel for the failure of Kerry's attempt to find peace. This is a complete lie - the Israelis accepted the US framework for peace and Shtayyeh's team rejected it wholesale. (Of course, the NYT didn't fact check Shtayyeh's op-ed, claiming that Israel didn't do its promised partial freeze on settlement building and releasing prisoners.)

Amanpour: You're basically saying that if I get you right, there's no point having the cart before the horse, that promises and ideas of money and investment will not work outside a political framework?

Shtayyeh: Exactly.  You are right.  The whole exercise that has been there, what has been presented, it's simply a cut and paste issue [of previous plans.] We have seen it in several documents but the issue is not about fixed issues.  This is like a desktop work.  This is somebody who is totally divorced from reality.
The only reason any previous economic plan hasn't worked is because people like Shtayyeh have actively sabotaged them. It isn't that the world couldn't have helped improve the Palestinian economy - it is that leaders like Shtayyeh didn't want any economic improvement before they achieved their political ambitions, and to hell with the Palestinian people.

Now they are gaslighting the world by saying that the plans failed because of broken promises by the West.

The new Palestinian Arab prime minister is more of a liar than the last two. It is not surprising; he only has the job because his boss, Mahmoud Abbas, wanted his Fatah party to dominate the cabinet so the dictator dissolved the previous puppet government to forestall any chance of independent thought in the Palestinian Authority.

I'm not a fan of Christiane Amanpour, but she started off the interview with an excellent question - and failed to follow through and catch Shtayyeh on his lies.





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Tuesday, June 25, 2019

From Ian:

Anti-Zionism is antisemitism
Al Jazeera journalist Mehdi Hasan has boasted in a recent Twitter post about having “won” a debate in London hosted by Intelligence Squared.

The debate was about whether or not “anti-Zionism is antisemitism.”

Journalist Melanie Phillips and politician Einat Wilf spoke for the proposition, while Hasan and historian Ilan Pappé spoke against it.

Since the birth of Israel in 1948, critics have claimed they don’t have a problem with Jews or Judaism, but with Zionism.

By isolating Zionism, they think they’re not being antisemitic and expect that this should automatically legitimize their opposition to the State of Israel.

Worse yet, a substantial minority of actual Jews and Israelis encourage this approach.

Hasan’s debate partner is a case in point. Ilan Pappé is a renowned anti-Zionist Jewish Israeli historian.

There are others. Avi Shlaim, Norman Finkelstein and Shlomo Sand would all share the same views.

Likewise, the unrepresentative minority Jewish movement the Neturei Karta is on a mission to convince the world that Zionism and Judaism are polar opposites, and that Israel doesn’t represent authentic Jewry.

The symbolism of Jews against Zionism leaves some confused, and others convinced that Zionism must be a perversion of Judaism.

This is a false distinction.

Hasan of all people would know that those who bear prejudice toward Muslims often point out their problem isn’t really with Muslims, but, rather, with Islam. By separating the people from the religion, they think they can say whatever they want. The likes of Hasan would declare those to be “Islamophobes” within a heartbeat.

Yet when it comes to Jews, all sorts of imaginary distinctions are put forward to justify antisemitic prejudices. This hypocrisy must end.
NY Governor Cuomo to visit Israel and send a message against antisemitism
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo will visit Israel on a solidarity trip on June 26-28, Cuomo announced on Monday.

During an interview on WAMC Northeast Public Radio, the governor highlighted the importance of Israel as a trade partner and anticipated that the agenda of the trip would be packed with economic-oriented meetings in different sectors including drone technology and navigation systems.

Besides, Cuomo stressed how the upcoming trip also represented a response to the rise of antisemitism in the US.

"I'm very close and New Yorkers are very close to Israel. There has been a rash of antisemitism all across this country - the synagogue shootings, etc. We've had it in this state, all across this state, and it's repugnant to what New Yorkers believe and feel," Cuomo said.

"I hope there is a message of solidarity and partnership in my trip to Israel and I hope the Jewish community here is confident in this state's position vis-a-vis Israel," he added.

Cuomo will be accompanied in his trip by Consul General of Israel in New York, Dani Dayan.

"I am very much looking forward to joining Governor Cuomo on this visit to Israel and applaud him for taking this important step in solidarity with the Jewish community," Dayan said in a statement.

"Governor Cuomo sets an example to leaders all over the world who are battling increasing antisemitism in their communities. We cannot ignore the spread of this dangerous disease: We must face it head-on, making it clear once and for all that it will not be tolerated," he added.

Commenting on the upcoming trip, Cuomo said that criticism towards the State of Israel never justifies antisemitism.
U.N. commemorates 25th anniversary of the AMIA bombing
The United Nations held a special session in New York on Monday to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the AMIA Jewish community center bombing in Buenos Aires.

On July 18, 1994, 85 people were killed and more than 300 injured when a suicide bomber drove a car laden with explosive materials into the AMIA building. It is widely believed that Iran was behind the attack, while the suicide bomber was a member of its proxy, Hezbollah.

AMIA President Ariel Eichbaum said that the 1994 terrorist attack – which is still the deadliest attack on Jews since the Holocaust – left a “toll of destruction and death” and a “wound that has not been able to heal.”

Eichbaum also mentioned the “judicial inquiry” that found the “masterminds of the attack came from the Islamic Republic of Iran,” who to date have “refused to hand over the suspects who have Interpol notices on them to appear before a judge in Argentina.”

Eichbaum made clear that “respect for diversity is threatened by bearers of supremacist and totalitarian ideas,” and that those funding terrorism and such ideals must be held accountable. “Unfortunately, the images of that day have happened again and again, more frequently in different cities and countries around the world,” he said. “The victims of fundamentalist terrorists amount to hundreds, regardless of race, religion or nationality.”

AMIA, Eichbaum concluded, “is an emblem of solidarity,” which translates the “universal values of Judaism into action,” and that while “terrorism tried to destroy it,” we are “still standing strong.”

  • Tuesday, June 25, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
Here are a couple of anti-Bahrain workshop cartoons I saw.




(Proverb:) My Brother and I against My Cousin; My Cousin and I against the Stranger.
Me and the stranger against my brother.




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  • Tuesday, June 25, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
Here is an entire story from Hezbollah's Al Manar, mirrored in Arabic media, of how upset Arabs are that Israelis are tweeting photos of themselves in Bahrain, calling happy tourist shots "provocative."

Shortly as they traveled to or arrived in Manama to cover the US-led economic workshop in Bahrain, Israeli journalists started boasting about their presence for the first time in Gulf state.

In provocative tweets, Israeli journalists posted photos of them in Manama as they appeared “Happy” and “excited” for covering the summit which is slated for June 25-26.

As he was heading to Manama, Israeli Channel 13’s senior correspondent Barak Ravid voiced his “excitement” to cover the economic plan of US President Donald Trump’s so-called ‘deal of the century’.

“On my way to Amman en route Manama with the mega producer Shai Shpiegelman. I am travelling around the world to cover events for 13 years but this is most exciting. It’s the 1st time Israeli journalists will be allowed to enter Bahrain. Follow for updates here,” Ravid tweeted late Sunday.

The Israeli journalist’s “excitement” didn’t stop here, he “cheered” on Monday over his presence in Manama by posting a photo of a beer with a statement: “With Lebanese beer in Bahrain. A new Middle East.”


Israeli media outlets have not been granted entry into the tiny Persian Gulf country since the Oslo Accords in 1993.

Ariel Kahana, Israel Hayom’s diplomatic correspondent, also voiced his “pride” for covering the Manama summit.

“Proud and happy to enter #Bahrein as an Israeli journalist with an Israeli passport to cover #BahreinWorkshop. May #peace come. Inshaala @IsraelHayomHeb @IsraelHayomEng,” Kahana tweeted on Monday.

Noa Landau, who writes for Haaretz Israeli daily, posted her photo wearing a scarf and standing near the hotel which will host the workshop in Manama.
Another Israeli journalist also posted his photo. However, he wanted to send a “pro-normalization” message as he appeared in the photo holding the Israeli passport near the Bahraini Society against Normalization with the Zionist Enemy. The photo was circulated by Bahraini activists on social media, but the identity of the journalist was no tmentioned.







Here is the difference between Israelis and so many Arabs. Israelis truly want peace and are happy to visit the countries of their avowed enemies. Arabs get upset when Israelis step foot on Arab land.






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From Ian:

There Won’t Be Peace Until the Palestinians Accept Israel
Amnesia and willful ignorance seem to be running amok in today’s political arena, especially when it comes to Israel and the Palestinians — mostly due to the desperation for a peace agreement. And it is in this environment that we were introduced to President Trump’s plan to alleviate the economic hardships facing the Palestinian people.

But the uncomfortable reality of the situation is that the conflict is not about economics. Nor is it about two states. This festering conflict fails to cease because one side absolutely refuses to acknowledge the legitimacy of the other.

Even before being presented with the US plan, the Palestinians rejected it outright. They did not know any details, nor did they come to the table with any counter-proposals. They simply rejected it, just as they rejected the peace plans presented by former Israeli leaders Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert.

And they will continue to reject any proposal that will end the conflict — because right now, they do not want it to end.

Palestinian politicians are masters of intransigence. The peace proposals of the past would have ensured that they gained statehood on the majority of the land they claim to want as their own.

The Palestinians had an amazing opportunity when Israel withdrew from Gaza. They could have put aside their never-ending animosity, and truly experimented with nation building. True, Gaza may not have become a Singapore or a Hong Kong, but the Palestinians could have tried to build a new world for themselves. Instead, they broke down into civil strife and elected a monstrous terrorist organization to rule over them.
Noah Rothman: Obama, Syria, and the Left’s Revisionist History
Obama closed the speech by asking Congress not to vote on a resolution authorizing the use of force against Assad’s regime. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid postponed a vote indefinitely to the relief of his fellow Senate Democrats. But the crisis was not defused. The Syrian civil war raged, atrocities mounted, ISIS exploded over the border with Iraq, and Obama eventually ordered strikes inside Syrian territory just over a year later. A year after that, he put boots on the ground inside Syria. Obama insisted that this military intervention in a sovereign and adversarial nation was covered by previous congressional authorizations that target stateless terrorists, but that didn’t prevent coalition forces from conducting offensive operations against Assad’s forces. Accidents happen, you see.

Landler’s claim that Obama sought an AUMF against Syria to justify strikes on Iran is betrayed by the administration’s response to Iranian nuclearization in 2009, which was typified by diplomacy, not ultimatums. The same month that Obama backed off his plan to strike Iran’s allies in Syria, he reached out to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani—the first bilateral contact between U.S. and Iranian leaders since 1979. That November, Kerry joined his Iranian counterpart in Geneva to settle on the terms of a precursor agreement to what would become the 2015 nuclear accords.

Unlike Assad, the Iranians “did not cross the red line” according to Landler, which he defines as Sec. Mike Pompeo’s warning to Tehran that it would face retaliation only if American service personnel were harmed. But no one needs to articulate the fact that multiple operations sabotaging commercial shipping in international waters and the direct, claimed attack on an American military asset constitute acts of war. The notion that “Iran’s actions were rooted in” Trump’s decision to partially withdraw from the 2015 nuclear accords suggests that Iran should have put an end to attacks on Americans and their allies when the U.S. was a party to that accord, but they did not.

Landler concedes only that “defenders of Mr. Trump” claim that Obama never truly wanted congressional approval for strikes on Iran but only an excuse not to act. But a judicious review of the administration’s confused messaging and lethargic legislative strategy in the run-up to a strike leave cautious observers with no other conclusion.

Landler’s attempt to rebrand Obama’s legacy on Syria as the product of strategic thinking and gamesmanship derailed only by events beyond his control is unpersuasive. Indeed, these excuses contradict Obama himself, who told The Atlantic’s Jeff Goldberg that he was “very proud” of this mortifying sequence of events. By linking the canceled strike on Syria to Trump’s halted response to Iranian aggression, Landler inadvertently demonstrates how hard it is to defend Obama’s legacy.
Marking 40 years of peace with Egypt, Rivlin urges pact with Palestinians
President Reuven Rivlin on Tuesday hosted Egypt’s envoy to Israel at an event marking 40 years since the peace treaty between the two countries and urged that the pact serve as an inspiration for reaching a similar agreement with the Palestinians.

He also told Egyptian Ambassador to Israel Khaled Azmi that he would like to meet with Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi.

Rivlin and Azmi were joined at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem by Foreign Minister Israel Katz and Regional Cooperation Minister Tzahi Hanegbi, according to a statement from the president.

“The peace treaty between Israel and Egypt was signed only six years after a terrible war between our countries in 1973,” Rivlin said. “We could never have imagined that only a few years later our leaders would hug and shake hands. This should serve as an inspiration for our efforts to achieve peace with all of our neighbors, and especially our Palestinian neighbors.

“When courageous leaders are willing to end their conflict, and set out on a new path based on reconciliation and mutual respect, peace can be achieved more quickly than we can imagine,” he said.

Members of the diplomatic corps also attended the event, among them Israeli ambassadors who previously served in Egypt and officials who played key roles in the 1979 Israel-Egypt peace accord, signed by prime minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian president Anwar Sadat. The pact was brokered by US president Jimmy Carter and formally signed at the White House.

“I want to especially express our appreciation to President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, whose commitment to peace, stability and cooperation has ensured that our relationship stays strong,” Rivlin said.

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