Wednesday, July 31, 2013

  • Wednesday, July 31, 2013
  • Elder of Ziyon
A couple of days ago there was a report in Al Quds al Arabi saying that short-term PA prime minister Rami Hamdallah apologized for resigning and embarrassing Mahmoud Abbas.

Today, Hamdallah denies this completely and says he has no plans to remain prime minister.

The current, temporary prime minister's term was only meant to be for five weeks. The expiration date should have been last Sunday by my calculations.


  • Wednesday, July 31, 2013
  • Elder of Ziyon
On Sunday, two truckloads of potatoes were shipped out of Gaza through Israel en route to Jordan as another massive hole was exploited in the supposed "siege" of Gaza.

Today, Jordan refused the shipment.

The reason?

Gaza isn't on Jordan's list of approved countries for potato imports.

The Gaza potato farmers did everything necessary to ensure that Israel would be comfortable with the export going through its territory. They must have had a paying customer in Jordan. It is plausible, if far-fetched, that no one thought to ask whether Jordan would allow potatoes from Gaza to be imported.

Jordan's farmers have been upset over imports of produce from other countries, particularly Israel, so it is possible that they placed some pressure on whatever official made this decision.

The Gaza exporter noted that the Palestinian Authority did nothing to try to convince Jordan to allow the import.

The siege of Gaza is apparently true - it is blockaded by Jordan and the Palestinian Authority.

(h/t Judge Dan)
  • Wednesday, July 31, 2013
  • Elder of Ziyon
Sure, they were building a theocracy in Egypt. Yes, they were actively shutting down press freedoms. Of course, they were supporting Hamas terrorism. Certainly, they threw opponents off of roofs at times. Absolutely they incited against Copts and other minorities.

But the people replacing the MB are just as crazy and certainly just as willing to make up lies about the Muslim Brotherhood as the MB was when it was in power.

I noted a couple of weeks ago that a lawsuit was filed against the Brotherhood to determine whether it was making backroom deals with the American Jewish Committee to allow Jews to return to Egypt en masse. 

Well, a reporter who obviously hates the Ikhwan has done some amazing investigative journalism and figured out exactly what the AJC and the MB were scheming in their "secret meeting." (Of course, AJC press releases at the time, saying that they discussed rights for Copts and women, cannot be trusted.)

Besides the deal to give a good portion of Egypt back to Egyptian Jews, we learn that the AJC includes Mossad members. Naturally. And the Mossad was working hand in hand with their Islamist allies to come up with ways to secure Israel.

This is besides the articles claiming that the founder of the MB was Jewish and other conspiracy theories that gain respected airings in mainstream post-Morsi Egyptian media.

I honestly think that if the Egyptian army completes the coup, cancels future elections and installs a military dictator, that would be the least bad of all options available for Egypt during the next five years.
From Ian:

UN Watch: Why does Ken Roth keep blaming Egyptian abuses on Israel?
Weird that when Egypt's generals perpetrate abuses, Human Rights Watch's Ken Roth has the habit of injecting Israel into the discussion, attempting to implicate it by association.
To restore democracy in Egypt, says Roth, we must "not let Israel concerns stand in way." Yet the linked Washington Post editorial spoke of "peace with Israel." Roth changes the language to preserve his narrative of sinister "Israel concerns." Moreover, he omits the editorial's larger emphasis on policymakers' concern for "the [Egyptian] armed forces’ history as a U.S. ally":
Richard Landes: Terrorist Chic in France, From the Jeu de Paume Exhibit to Al Durah to Mohamed Merah
How can the French, who know what Nazi occupation was like, compare their experience to that of Palestinians in the West Bank? How they could not notice that while the Nazis killed hundreds of thousands of civilians in occupied Europe as part of their deliberate policy of collective punishment, the Palestinians kill thousands of civilians as part of their “resistance”? How could they miss the difference between an “occupation” that kills 6 million Jews and one that produces a Palestinian population with the highest standard of living in the non-oil-rich Arab world? How can they glorify a movement that embraces and intensifies Nazi Jew-hatred? And why do they view Jews who attempt to protect themselves from that aggression through the eyes of those who foment hatred? How did such a profound moral disorientation occur, and why has it been elevated to the level of high art?
Bill Seeks to Advance US Embassy Move to Jerusalem
The bill, H.R.. 2846, is the latest attempt to put pressure on the Obama administration to acknowledge Jerusalem as Israel's capital, a step the administration and past administrations have been unwilling to take.
According to The Hill, the bill was introduced on Friday, just a few days before Israel and the Palestinian Authority were set to resume peace talks in Washington.
Two Hurt in Rock Attack on Bus in Jerusalem
A 15-year-old teen and a 40-year-old man were wounded on Tuesday evening in a rock attack on a bus in Jerusalem.
Arab terrorists hurled rocks at the bus as it was travelling from the Neve Yaakov neighborhood towards central Jerusalem.
Jihadists fire ‘US-made ballistic missile’ at Sinai security HQ
Jihadists attacked the Egyptian security headquarters in northern Sinai ostensibly using an American-made ballistic missile, Egypt’s interior ministry said early Monday morning.
In a statement posted on its official Facebook page, the ministry said the missile, which it said was made by the US, hit the third floor of the building in the city of el-Arish on Sunday evening, injuring three soldiers. Photos of the missile’s tail posted on the Facebook page reveal a small plaque reading “guided missile surface attack.” The missile was reportedly 168 centimeters (66 inches) long, 25 centimeters (10 inches) wide, and fired from “a great distance.”
Syrian Electronic Army Hijacks Thomson Reuters Twitter Account
In its latest attack on news outlets, the Syrian Electronic Army hijacked the Twitter account of Thomson Reuters news agency.
It started with this tweet late Monday afternoon, which I re-tweeted shortly thereafter in case it disappeared (and it has).
It was preceded by several other tweets containing political cartoons, which are captured here in screen shots. (Warning, they’re not exactly funny).
Aleppo rebel religious committee forbids ‘colonial’ croissants
A sharia committee in the city issued a fatwa on Facebook prohibiting “Muslim women wearing makeup and tight clothes that reveal physical features from going out.”
A fatwa issued by the Council of the United Judiciary, affiliated with the rebel Free Syrian Army, stipulated a year in jail for anyone not fasting during the holy month of Ramadan.
Report: Iran to supply Syria with $3.6 billion worth of oil
Iran and Syria have come to an agreement by which Tehran will supply Damascus with $3 billion worth of oil on loan, AFP reported Tuesday, citing Syria's official news agency SANA.
The regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad has seen oil production in the country dissipate as result of the civil war.
Analysts predict Iran able to produce atom bomb by mid-2014
Iran is expected to achieve a "critical capability" to produce sufficient weapon-grade uranium by mid-2014, without being detected, the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) said in a report on Tuesday.
According to the Washington-based think tank, Iran would achieve this capability by implementing its existing plans to install thousands more IR-1 centrifuges at its declared Natanz and Fordow centrifuge sites.
Turkey Hopes 2013 Trade With Iran Will Reach $30 Billion, up 36% From 2012
The announcement comes as the US threatens further economic sanctions on Iran, while NATO member Turkey has made it clear that it will continue, and even step up, trade with the Iranian regime.
Following a meeting with Iranian Ambassador to Turkey Ali Reza Bikdeli, Yazıcı said in a statement released by his office: “We want to carry the trading volume one step further. The two countries have great responsibilities and roles with regard to elevating our bilateral trading volume, which was $22 billion in 2012, to $30 billion in the forthcoming period.” The forecasted increase is greater than 36%.
Bipartisan Letter Criticizes Turkish Officials’ Anti-Semitic Comments
Members of U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee have sent a bipartisan letter to Turkish President Abdullah Gül asking for the condemnation of recent anti-Semitic statements by Turkish officials.
The letter by Brad Schneider (D-IL), Randy Weber (R-TX), Lois Frankel (D-FL) and Mark Meadows (R-NC) was signed by 46 U.S. Representatives and noted remarks by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan referring to Zionism as a “crime against humanity.”
Prison, lashes for liberal Saudi web forum founder
The founder of a liberal-minded website in Saudi Arabia has been sentenced to seven years in prison and 600 lashes after angering Islamic authorities in the ultraconservative kingdom, a newspaper reported Tuesday.
Raif Badawi, through his website known as Free Saudi Liberals, had urged Saudis to share opinions about the role of religion in the country, which follows a strict form of Islam that includes harsh punishments for challenging customs.
Serial Abusers Stand for UN 'Human Rights' Elections
The UN has announced that elections for 14 influential seats on its Human Rights Council will be held on November 12th, with the world body for the first time confirming that candidates include China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam and other regimes criticized for widespread human rights abuses.
Iran pulled out of the race after the July 9th revelation by UN Watch, a non-governmental human rights group based in Geneva, sparked outrage worldwide.
Israeli Navy Installing System to Counter Yakhont Russian Anti-Ship Missile
Israel’s Navy has begun installing a new defense system on its missile boats that would protect them from the feared Yakhont Russian anti-ship missile, Israel Hayom reported.
The Barak 8 medium-range missile is designed to intercept airborne threats, including enemy aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles, anti-ship missiles and cruise missiles. “History has never seen ships capable of controlling territory as well as Israel’s Navy using the Barak 8 missile,” according to a source familiar with the weapon.
An Inside Look: IDF Helps Palestinians Cross into Israel from Gaza
Major Tariq, a senior commander in the Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), works in one of Israel's most sensitive areas. Stationed at the Erez Crossing – just steps away from Gaza – he and his soldiers face the constant threat of attacks from Hamas terrorists. Since 2005, Hamas has launched 8,000 rockets from Gaza at populated areas in Israel’s southern region.
Despite the danger, Maj. Tariq works every day to help Palestinians cross into Israel from Gaza. As a result of his cooperation with the Palestinian Authority – which also works with a division of COGAT in Judea and Samaria – about 400 Gazans travel into Israel each day through the Erez crossing.
Original Schindler’s List goes unsold on eBay
An original list of names of 801 Jews rescued by German industrialist Oskar Schindler did not find a buyer on eBay.
No one met the opening bid of $3 million for the 14-page list typed on onion skin paper. California collectors Gary Zimet and Eric Gazin had said when the auction was announced earlier this month that they expected the list to sell for about $5 million.
Though the list had no bids, more than half a million people viewed the auction on eBay.
Dr. Oz at Yad Vashem: We can never forget
Dr. Mehmet Oz, the famous TV doctor from the United States, and Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, both of whom have been spending time Israel, visited Yad Vashem on Tuesday.
The two men and their families were guided by Hanoch Teller through the Yad Vashem's Holocaust museum, the Hall of Names and the Children's Memorial. Following his visit, Oz told Israel Hayom that the museum helped him understand the dimensions of the Holocaust, and the horrific system the Nazis employed to carry out their plans. Oz said he was stunned at how the Nazis were able to come up with arguments to back their actions, leading the Jews to their deaths.
Oz said the lessons of the Holocaust must be remembered, so that history does not repeat itself.
  • Wednesday, July 31, 2013
  • Elder of Ziyon
The changing political landscape in the Middle East from the Egyptian coup/revolution is nothing if not fascinating.

From Hurriyet Daily News:
Turkey’s ambassador to Cairo was again summoned by Egypt’s Foreign Ministry on July 30 due to remarks made Turkish officials on the military ouster of President Mohamed Morsi, which Egyptian diplomats describe as a “‘clear intervention’ in their internal affairs.”

Ambassador Hüseyin Avni Botsalı was previously summoned in early July, after the Egyptian authorities expressed unease over the Turkish leader’s criticisms about recent developments in the country.

Turkish leaders, including Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, have repeatedly slammed the military overthrow of elected Egyptian President Morsi, calling for his “immediate” release.
From Ian:

Jpost Editorial: Peace imperative
The true obstacle to peace is the intransigence of Palestinian political leadership. While Israel agreed this week to the painful and highly unpopular move of releasing 104 terrorists from the pre-Oslo era, many of them responsible for the deaths of innocent men, women and children, Palestinian leaders remain strongly opposed to negotiations.
Obviously, Hamas, an anti-Semitic terrorist organization that seeks the destruction of Israel and the restoration of the caliphate, and which continues to enjoy strong support from Palestinians since it won the parliamentary elections in January 2006, is adamantly opposed to any direct negotiations with Israel.
The unfolding failure
A Palestinian friend used an Arab allegory to tell me bluntly, "Just as you came empty handed, so you will leave." In the jails for security prisoners, the murderers know they will go free. Those who planned and carried out terrorist attacks know in advance that if they are caught, they will be released and will return to their activities. The refugees are certain they will return to Palestine, in other words to Jaffa, Acre and Haifa. Hamas, the "rejectionist organizations" and the refugees continue to demand their "return" to Palestine.
According to my friend, most Palestinians are of the mind that Abbas barely represents himself, and any agreement he signs, much like the ancient Treaty of Hudaybiyyah, will be broken and the conflict will resume -- only this time under more optimal conditions.
David Horovitz: 7 reasons the Americans think this time will be different
The next few months will determine if the skeptics — notably including veteran pundits who have seen so many such US-led peace bids crash and burn — have got it wrong this time, and the Kerry-led peace team has got it right. Here are 7 reasons the Americans, if not too many others, believe this time could be different.
MKs discuss anti-Semitism after Abbas calls for Israeli-free state
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s statement that “in a final resolution, we would not see the presence of a single Israeli...on our lands” took center stage at a Knesset conference on Tuesday, with MKs inferring Israel’s negotiating partner is an anti-Semite.
Jerusalem and Diaspora Affairs Minister Naftali Bennett, who is responsible for the government’s efforts to battle anti-Semitism, attended a conference of a Knesset caucus on the issue, led by MK Shimon Ohayon (Likud Beytenu), and pointed out that Abbas denied the Holocaust.
Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chairman Avigdor Liberman (Likud Beytenu) said he keeps a copy of Abbas’s book, which purports to connect Zionism and Nazism and has a Star of David and a swastika on its cover, in his office.
MEMRI: In Palestinian Authority TV Film, Factions Unite to Beat Jewish Settlers, Cut Their Side-Locks


Leader of Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood Hammam Saeed: Peace Negotiations Are Heresy VIDEO

Barry Rubin: Now We Know The Truth: What's Behind U.S. "Peace Process" Policy
“With the Palestinians poised to take their claim for statehood to the International Criminal Court and United Nations bodies, American officials say the two sides were facing a downward spiral in which the Israelis would respond by cutting off financing to the Palestinian territories and European nations might curtail their investment in Israel, further isolating the Israelis.”
Now, what is this saying?
--The Palestinian Authority (PA) intends to violate all the pledges used over the last 20 years of negotiations and in obtaining the West Bank and, previously, Gaza Strip. (Not a good precedent for the likelihood of their keeping future commitments.)
--The PA will seek statehood not through negotiations with Israel but unilaterally. No Israel agreement will be necessary.
--To summarize, the United States proposes surrender to a development breaking its more than 20-year-long policy that no comprehensive solution would be achieved without real mutual agreement.
The Guardian asks if 4.9 million Palestinian “refugees” will “return” to cities…where they never lived.
Whatever the outcome of current negotiations between the two parties, and regardless of any diplomatic comprises proposed by either side to achieve a symbolic settlement of the “refugee” issue, Israel naturally won’t let Palestinian Arabs “return” to homes that they never actually owned, in cities where they never once lived.
Finally, it’s interesting to note that the Guardian has, on two recent occasions, completely whitewashed the historically undisputed ethnic cleansing of Jews by Arab rulers in the years following the 1948 war, yet parrots a Palestinian narrative falsely imputing such a victim status onto millions of Palestinians who never during the course of their lives were actual refugees.
The Guardian narrative is at times as ahistorical as it is ideological.
The World from Here: Peace talks and the Palestinian ‘struggle’
Abbas is not Arafat. However, his statements are no less fallacious. Abbas told Al-Rai on July 21, referring to the disputed territories of Judea/Samaria-the West Bank, whose disputed status was enshrined and agreed on in Oslo between Israel and the PA and was to be resolved by direct negotiations, that Israel should “get out of Palestinian land completely.” Abbas and the PA leadership’s latest success in mobilizing the European Union to assault Israel’s most fundamental rights in the Palestinian- Israeli conflict creates a strong disincentive for Palestinian negotiators to reach an end-of-claims agreement with Israel. It also empowers the Palestinian “struggle by any means.”
The “low-hanging fruit” of assaulting Israel’s housing in Jerusalem and in Jewish communities east of the 1949 armistice lines may likely prove too tempting for Abbas to make the necessary sacrifices and compromises that are critical to demonstrate goodwill and acceptance of the other. In the meantime, Israel continues to make painful concessions for peace, as the families of terror victims pointed out this week in their tearful protestations outside the prime minister’s office in Jerusalem.
Terror Survivor: We Can Only Look Forward
Terrorism survivor Asael Shabo spoke to the media this week as he prepared for a match against football (soccer) star Lionel Messi and the Barcelona team. Shabo will play as part of a group of Israeli and Palestinian Authority Arab athletes.
Eleven years ago, Asael’s home in Itamar was the scene of a massacre. PA terrorists broke into the home and shot and murdered his mother and three of his brothers, and badly wounded Asael.
Alan Dershowitz: United States Presses Israel to Release Murderers But Won’t Release Pollard
American political leaders from both sides of the aisle, as well as from all religious backgrounds, have called for Pollard’s release on compassionate grounds, based on the length of his sentence and his deteriorating physical condition.
Israel will go forward with negotiations regardless of whether Pollard is released, because the Israeli government wants a peaceful resolution that assures security. But in the end the Israeli public will have to vote for any deal struck between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators, with the help of American negotiators. The outcome of any such referendum will depend on whether Israeli voters believe that their security has been assured and that the United States continues to stand behind them. Releasing Jonathan Pollard—as a gesture of good will, as a show of American support, and in the interests of justice and compassion—will go a long way toward encouraging the Israeli public to vote in favor of a peace agreement that requires great sacrifices on their part.
Ashrawi on CNN: So Predictable – Anti-Israel Vitriol and Distortions
Palestinian Legislative Council member Hanan Ashrawi, a fluent English speaker with a high news media profile, is a veteran anti-Israel propagandist who habitually shades when she does not shred the truth.
Ashrawi appeared on Christiane Amanpour's July 23 CNN International show on TV to discuss the position of President Mahmoud Abbas's Palestinian Authority in negotiations soon to take place.
Europe's "Moral Values"
European governments and the EU have never been friends of Israel. Now, they are less friends of Israel than ever. The likelihood that they will adopt a more positive attitude toward Israel is nil.
They speak as enemies of Israel. They behave as enemies of Israel. They take decisions only enemies of Israel would take.
They are at war with Israel. They do not wage war directly: they engage battle through other channels, hypocritically, viciously, and cowardly.
In the 1940s, Europe was the continent of Auschwitz. Today, Europe is a continent where politicians and technocrats support what Abba Eban called the "Auschwitz borders". There is no doubt they hope for results similar to those obtained in Auschwitz, just by other means.
Anti-Semitic German Magazine that Praises Nazis Refuses to Shut Down Despite Global Criticism
Der Landser – translated literally as The Squaddie – is published by the giant Bauer media group, and fills its pages with glorifying photos of the German Army and the notorious Wafffen SS, seen as one of the main perpetrators of the Holocaust.
According to the UK’s Daily Mail, soldiers of S.S. divisions, including Das Reich, have been portrayed in the magazine as fighting machines who fought only for the honor of their Fatherland.
Anti-Semitism in Sweden Forces Jews to Question their Future
Jewish people have lived in Malmoe for over two centuries, often arriving in the south Swedish port city - a safe haven for generations - after fleeing persecution and intolerance in other parts of Europe.
But though waves of immigration over the past two decades have made the area more diverse, hate crimes appear to be on the rise and many people -
paradoxically - say they feel less secure.
Highlighting a problem many Swedes had thought long relegated to history, the US special envoy for anti-Semitism even visited Malmoe last year.
Kenyan lawyer takes State of Israel, Jews to Hague over Jesus' death
A Kenyan lawyer has filed a petition with the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague, suggesting that the trial and crucifixion of Jesus Christ was unlawful, and The State of Israel among others should be held responsible, Kenyan news outlet the Nairobian reported on Friday.
Dola Indidis, a lawyer and former spokesman of the Kenyan Judiciary is reportedly attempting to sue Tiberius (Emperor of Rome 42 BC-37AD), Pontius Pilate, a selection of Jewish elders, King Herod, the Republic of Italy and the State of Israel.
  • Wednesday, July 31, 2013
  • Elder of Ziyon
From The Augean Stables:

My friend Avi Bell sent me the following. While exaggerated for effect, it’s a recognizable Catch 22 for Israel and a “get-out-of-responsibility-free card” for the Palestinians. Heads we lose, tails, they win.

If Israel refuses to negotiate, that proves Israel is not interested in peace, because it refuses to negotiate.

If the Palestinians refuse to negotiate, that proves Israel is not interested in peace, because the Palestinians can see negotiations with Israel are pointless.

If Israel makes preconditions to negotiations, that proves Israel is not interested in peace, because it is trying to avoid negotiations.

If the Palestinians make preconditions to negotiations, that proves Israel is not interested in peace, because the Palestinians have to force Israel to be serious in the negotiations.

If Israel makes no offer of peace, that proves Israel is not interested in peace.

If the Palestinians make no offer of peace, that proves Israel is not interested in peace, because the Palestinians can see that making offers of peace with Israel are pointless.

If Israel makes an offer of peace and the Palestinians reject it, that proves Israel is not interested in peace, because Israel is not willing to make the kind of offer the Palestinians would accept.

There are variations on this, e.g.,:

If Arabs make war, but offer to end it, that proves that Israel is interested in war and Arabs are interested in peace, because the Arabs offered peace. (Thomas Friedman/Arab “peace” initative)

If Israel makes war, but offers to end it, that proves that Israel is interested in war and Arabs are interested in peace, because Israel made war. (Defensive Pillar, Lebanon II, etc.)

If Arabs attack, that proves Israel is interested in war and Arabs are interested in peace, because Israel provoked the Arabs to attack.

If Israel attacks, that proves Israel is interested in war and Arabs are interested in peace, because Israel attacked.

If Palestinians carry out acts of terrorism, that proves that Israel is mistreating the Palestinians, because the Palestinians feel they have no choice but to carry out acts of terrorism.

If Palestinians try to carry out acts of terrorism, but Israel foils them, that proves that Israel is mistreating the Palestinians, because Israel is carrying out anti-terror actions against the Palestinians even while there is no terrorism.

If Palestinians don’t try to carry out acts of terrorism, that proves that Israel is mistreating the Palestinians, because the Palestinians are good and innocent and Israel uses terrorism as an excuse to mistreat Palestinians.

Now why the intelligentsia would want to double handicap the Israelis and double empower the Palestinians may strike a sound and sober reader as not only unfair, but pretty stupid, given the kinds of voices that dominate the Palestinian public sphere. But to people inebriated by their power to “level the playing field” by giving the weak “underdog” a break, it’s something virtually no one in the news media would question.
This sort of subtle bias truly permeates the media. Every time a journalist quotes a Palestinian official without asking an Israeli official for comment; every time the headline accepts the Palestinian Arab narrative as correct even if there is a perfunctory one-line Israeli response; every time the journalist brings supporting background to support only the anti-Israel side in a story, every time a reporter parrots the most ridiculous anti-Israel accusations without fact checking...and this happens multiple times a day.

The cumulative effect is that the readers end up believing a skewed narrative and the Arabs win the cognitive war, as Landes phrases it.
  • Wednesday, July 31, 2013
  • Elder of Ziyon
The Palestinian Minister of Religious Affairs, Dr. Mahmoud al-Habash, issued a fatwa obliging revolt against Hamas to end its rule in Gaza if it does not relinquish control of the territory.

Arabic media reports that he wrote on his Facebook page:

Ending the division [between Hamas and Fatah] is a duty. If ending the division does not end the coup, then ending the coup is a duty, and if an end to the coup means ending the Hamas takeover of Gaza, then ending the Hamas takeover of Gaza is a duty, and an end to the Hamas takeover of Gaza is accomplished by only one of two things: either a reconciliation with Hamas or a revolution against it, then one of these two things is a duty.

I couldn't find the original on what I believe is his Facebook page, but the article included an apparent screenshot.

Meanwhile, Hamas hacked the Facebook page of a Fatah radio station.

Unity!
  • Wednesday, July 31, 2013
  • Elder of Ziyon
While Mahmoud Abbas sends one team to Washington to pretend to want a negotiated solution, his Al Aqsa Martyr's Brigades (Nedal Division) of Fatah is giving a very different message.

Both groups report to, and are paid salaries by, Mahmoud Abbas. At the same time that Abbas speaks of his desire for peace to Westerners, his "armed wing" is saying the opposite.

Besides saying explicitly that "armed struggle is the only way to liberate Palestine" they also are showing off their latest weapons. Theirwebsite says "we will continue developing our own weapons to crush the enemy wherever he is." Additionally, it brags that Fatah can manufacture its own weapons.

Just like Hamas.






Abbas has had over a decade to dismantle the Al Aqsa terror group. As these photos show, they are still quite alive. Abbas clearly has no desire to truly act against terror groups under his direct control.

And no one in the West seems bothered by this hypocrisy.

(h/t CHA)

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

  • Tuesday, July 30, 2013
  • Elder of Ziyon


In a dramatic video that has shocked the Lebanese society, Amena Ismail is seen sitting on the balcony ledge of her eighth floor apartment before jumping to her death as her husband desperately tries to convince her not to commit suicide.

“Your mother does not deserve this … you can forget about me if you're not happy with me ,” the husband, Kifah Fairouz Ahmed, tells his wife in a weeping tone moments before she throws herself from the building that is located in the upper-class Beirut district of Ramlet al-Bayda.

LBCI television said the video was leaked by a policeman after Kifah handed it over to security forces.

Media reports said Kifah is a diamond businessman, noting that he had returned with his wife Amena from Belgium only days before she committed suicide.

The video was first uploaded to YouTube by civil society activist Louna Safwan.

Al-Jadeed television quoted a source close to Kifah's family as saying that the couple had a good, harmonious relationship and that they were married around six months ago.

Reports said Kifah was released on bail on Tuesday morning after a brief detention and video footage showed him taking part in the funeral in the southern city of Tyre.
This is undoubtedly tragic, and the video almost certainly will help exonerate him, but why was he videoing the scene to begin with?
  • Tuesday, July 30, 2013
  • Elder of Ziyon
Last week the Times of Israel quoted the Dutch newspaper Trouw as saying that Dutch supermarkets Aldi and Hoogvliet were boycotting any Israeli products that originated in the settlements. BDSers celebrated the news.

Only one problem: Trouw was not being accurate.

A Dutch food distribution news site quotes Hoogvliet officials as being irritated by the Trouw story. Apparently, the reporter asked them if they currently sell any products from the settlements, and they answered they are not. Trouw took this answer and called it a "boycott" - but it isn't. It just means that there are not any settlement products being sold currently; it is not a policy.

Similarly, Aldi said that they are not selling any settlement products, but this is not a result of any company policy. They said the only criteria they use when deciding what products to sell are "quality, price and availability."

A third chain, Jumbo, also denied reports of a boycott of settlement goods. They did admit that they performed an inventory of where products are sourced from to be ready in case the Dutch government would request a boycott, but they did not sell any.

In this case, it wasn't the BDSers actively lying - it was a newspaper reporter.

(h/t O)


  • Tuesday, July 30, 2013
  • Elder of Ziyon
From Al Arabiya:
While you may have often heard of passengers getting into trouble for flirting with the hostess, the tables may have turned this time.

Two Saudi male passengers were escorted off a plane, set to travel from Riyadh to Jeddah last Tuesday, after confronting a “flirty” air hostess who reportedly showed little respect for “traditional customs.”

Speaking out this week, Khaled bin Abdulrahman al-Mahyzaa, who is said to be a Muslim cleric, said he was removed from the plane after he confronted the air hostess, of Arab origin, for “flirting” with a foreigner on board.

She addressed a male passenger as “habibi,” a widely known Arabic term of endearment translated as “my love” or “darling,” Mahyzaa told Saudi newspaper “Sabq” earlier this week.

The term “habiby” however can also be used in a different context. Despite its literal definition, Arabs can also use it sarcastically in an argument or to mock someone, even.

The Saudi Airlines plane, meanwhile, was reportedly delayed for more than an hour.

Mahyzaa later said the hostess violated regulations, customs and traditions, was offensive and did not taking into consideration the presence of passengers and their families on board.
Gulf Arab societies put a premium on public modesty and decorum.

Mahyzaa and another man on board, a police officer, attempted to tell her that it was inappropriate to speak in such a way but she responded angrily.

Security forces were then brought on board to escort him, his family members, the officer and his accompanying family, all off the plane.

Mahyzaa said the case is now being investigated by the Saudi Bureau of Investigation and Public Prosecution.

He requested that investigators hold the flight attendant accountable for violating traditional customs and insulting both him and the officer.
The next time you want to insult a Saudi sheikh, just call him "darling."
  • Tuesday, July 30, 2013
  • Elder of Ziyon
Very interesting:

Members of Hashomer, a Jewish security organization dedicated to protecting pioneering Zionist settlements, pose with their rifles October 1, 1900 in the community of Rehovot during the Ottoman rule of Palestine in what would later become the State of Israel. (Photo by GPO via Getty Images)

Members of Hashomer, a Jewish security organization dedicated to protecting pioneering Zionist settlements, pose with their rifles October 1, 1907 in the Upper Galilee during the Ottoman rule of Palestine in what would later become the State of Israel. (Photo by GPO via Getty Images)
I found two more photos of Hashomer from Wikipedia, which says the group was founded in 1909 so the caption in the first photo may be wrong:
:


(h/t Yerushalimey)
From Ian:

Israeli Instant Harness used in miners’ rescue
Israeli rescue equipment helped workers save the lives of at least eight trapped miners in South Africa on July 28, after a nightmarish three-day ordeal underground that left three dead, allegedly at the hands of an armed rival illegal mining crew.
The Agilite Instant Harness was used by Riga Rescue volunteer Graham Holmquist to lower a South African police interpreter down into the shaft to communicate with the injured miners regarding the procedures to follow.
The product is designed for scenarios where military, police, fire, rescue personnel or hikers unexpectedly require a harness, without needing to carry a rappelling harness with them at all times.
Times story suggesting unequal pay between Jews and Palestinians at SodaStream is “a lie”.
The final passage of course suggests that SodaStream pays Palestinians less than they pay Israeli Jews. So, I decided to take a trip down to SodaStream’s corporate offices at Airport City (with a colleague) to ask the company’s CEO Daniel Birnbaum about the allegations. While we spoke for over an hour about many aspects of company operations, here’s a short clip of my question to him about the charge of a disparity in pay.
We also asked Birnbaum about the claim made in the story that the company gets tax breaks for locating across the green line. Birnbaum categorically denied that SodaStream gets any special ‘West Bank’ tax breaks beyond the tax incentives any Israeli company gets for locating in the periphery of the country (such as in undeveloped areas, like the Negev).
Finally, we were curious about the Times interviewee, Faiz Abedy, and wanted to ask the Palestinian a few follow-up questions based on the responses he purportedly gave to Philp. Remarkably, Birnbaum told me that, after thoroughly checking SodaStream employee records for a Faiz Abedy, no such employee actually exists. (Note that the reporter didn’t say a word about the name being a pseudonym)
US Jewish Group Runs BDS 'Summer Camp' to Teach Boycott Tactics
The NGO Monitor group accused JVP of seeking to sow dissent among American Jewish campus groups by holding provocative campus events that have caused numerous splits in Jewish organizations on campus. Among its supporters are well-known anti-Israel activists, including linguist Noam Chomsky, Broadway playwright Tony Kushner, and actor Wallace Shawn.
The group's latest gambit, NGO Monitor said, was a “summer camp” for campus activists to train them in the most effective methods to conduct a BDS campaign against Israel. The camp promises to train participants to identify Israeli products in stores, how to prepare an anti-Israeli product campaign, how to recruit other BDS activists, and how to lobby the community to join in the boycott.
BBC’s Bell suggests Maccabiah Games are racist
Participation in some international sporting events is conditioned on geography – for example the Pan-American Games, the All-African Games or the Pacific Games. The right to take part in the Commonwealth Games depends on historical and cultural alliances and in the Youth Olympic Games participation is limited by age. The Pan-Arab Games are open to athletes from predominantly Muslim Arab countries.
As far as this writer is aware, it has not occurred to the BBC to imply to its audiences that controversy surrounds – or should surround – any of those sporting events due to the non-inclusion of participants who do not meet their specific criteria.
Jordanian King Pledges to Fight "Judaization of Jerusalem"
The Hashemite monarch also expressed his willingness to “support the steadfastness of Muslim and Christian Jerusalemites and to preserve their legitimate rights in the city,” according to a statement from the Royal Court, published Sunday in The Jordan Times.
According to the statement, Abdullah said that Jordan “will not spare any efforts, whether political, diplomatic or legal to protect the city, highlighting the Kingdom’s historic role in securing the holy sites."
Medical NGOs Guilty of "Malpractice" in Arab-Israeli Conflict
A new study released by NGO Monitor has found that several highly influential medical NGOs (non-governmental organizations) active in the Arab-Israeli conflict consistently violate their self-proclaimed moral principles.
“These NGOs, despite claiming medical professionalism, impartiality, and universality as part of their mandates, have politicized medicine, using the rhetoric of "health" as a means to demonize Israel and discriminate against Israelis,” charged the NGO Monitor watchdog organization.
Report: Bomb Parts Used in Burgas Attack Smuggled in From Poland
The detonator and remote control used in the Burgas, Bulgaria bus bombing last year that left five Israelis and the bus driver dead were smuggled in from Poland, Bulgaria’s Trud daily reported Monday, citing investigators.
The as-yet-unidentified bomber and two accomplices smuggled in the components on a train from Warsaw on June 28, 2012, the Trud daily said.
Scuffles on war criminal Priebke’s 100th birthday
Erich Priebke celebrated his 100th birthday as protesters scuffled outside his residence with a young man described as a relative of the Nazi war criminal.
Police presence was strong Monday in the neighborhood where Priebke is serving a life sentence under house arrest for his role in the 1944 mass killing of 335 Romans, including some 75 Jews, at the Ardeatine Caves south of Rome.
Simon Wiesenthal Center Condemns Finland’s Juha Kärkkäinen, Tycoon Publisher of Antisemitic Free Newspapers as a ‘National Danger’
Jewish human rights group the Simon Wiesenthal Center issued a condemnation Monday of Juha Kärkkäinen, the owner of Finland’s Kärkkäinen department stores and publisher of Magneettimedia, an anti-Semitic free newspaper, in an open letter to Finnish President Sauli Vainamo Niinistö.
SWC’s Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, wrote that Magneetmedia publishes screeds by former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke and anti-Semitic Oregon Pastor Ted Pike in a free format that panders to the lowest-common denominator, Jew hate, encouraging ordinary Finns who read the reports to embrace ethnic hatred.
Peres attends opening of Latvia museum honoring WWII Jew rescuers
President Shimon Peres has taken part in the ceremony to open a museum honoring a couple who saved some 50 Jews from extermination in Nazi-occupied Latvia.
The museum in downtown Riga, Latvia’s capital, is located next to the property once owned by Zanis Lipke, a port worker who together with his wife hid Jews in an underground pit measuring some 9 square meters (90 square feet).
Mexican émigré to Israel harnesses people power
Look closely at the blue lines of the huge Israeli flag that won a Guinness world record for most artists working on the same installation, and you’ll see they’re composed of fingerprints — 28,267 prints, to be exact. One of them belongs to Javier Gelbwaser.
This 35-year-old Mexican immigrant to Israel believes that collective art can unleash a powerful force for good.
When he was chairman of the Jewish Student Union in Mexico, he arranged for Jewish schoolchildren to handwrite 70,000 names of Holocaust survivors for a digitized display now on exhibit in Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, among other places.
Then he gathered 10,000 kids to construct a peace mural from 40,000 Mega blocks, representing the 40,000 Jews of Mexico. Each child inserted five wishes for peace into the building blocks.
Oz, Boteach and Sharansky discuss Jewish values in Jerusalem
A full-capacity crowd gathered Monday evening at the capital’s newly launched Jerusalem Press Club to hear a panel discussion among luminaries Dr. Mehmet Oz, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach and Jewish Agency chairman Natan Sharansky about Jewish values and their impact on society.
Oz, known as “America’s Doctor,” and Boteach, who has been called “America’s Rabbi,” arrived in Israel together with their families on Sunday for a weeklong visit sponsored by business mogul and philanthropist Sheldon G. Adelson.
Dr. Oz Travels to Israel


Put away that cellphone: Israeli study highlights cancer risk
A study by Tel Aviv University has shown, for the first time, a clear connection between cellphone use and higher risk of cancer.
Although cellphones are generally regarded as potentially carcinogenic, scientific studies on the issue have been inconclusive until now, a report on the study posted Monday on Science Blog noted.
Israel’s Latest Invention: Camera Helping the Blind Recognize Objects
A new invention from Israel which falls in line with the Jewish state’s reputation as a “start-up nation,” potentially revolutionizing life for the blind and the visually impaired, will go on sale in the U.S. in September.
The device, called OrCam, works via a 5-megapixel camera that attaches to glasses and can recognize text. With the help of the user, the camera can be taught to recognize objects and faces, said computer sciences professor and the co-founder of OrCam Technologies Amnon Shashua, who is also the co-founder of the more well-known Israeli start-up MobileEye, Haaretz and Reuters reported.
Peace Through Profits? The Secret Tech Ventures That Are Reshaping The Israeli-Arab-Palestinian World
With official relations between Palestinians and Israelis still poisonous after a century of conflict, any constructive dialogue is newsworthy. But these aren’t security forces talking about joint military patrols, nor is this discussion connected to the sudden resumption of peace talks after a three-year stalemate. The group, brought together by Cisco Systems, is speaking their common language: tech management. Nearly 100 times over the past two years Israeli high-tech experts and Palestinian entrepreneurs have gotten together in the hope of making Israel’s “Startup Nation” economic miracle a cross-border affair. And it’s just one of dozens of business-driven dialogues quietly–in many cases secretly–proliferating across the Holy Land.
“The way to end this conflict is to create a very large middle class and be inclusive in how you go after it across all individuals, regardless of age, religion or gender,” says John Chambers, CEO of Cisco, the most actively involved American tech executive in a coordinated effort that includes de facto diplomats from the likes of Intel, Hewlett-Packard and Microsoft. “If you can address those issues and you can get others involved, then you can have a shot at peace in the Middle East.”
From Ian:

Israel-Palestine: Nine months of talks, but will there be a baby?
Mr Obama needs to realise that he won't carve his niche in history by solving the unsolvable. The Israelis and Palestinians remain as far apart as ever on the core final status issues. Borders, refugees, Jerusalem and security are the four eternal and unresolvable agenda items and the distance between today's negotiators is as wide as it has ever been.
The Palestinians (and the EU!) are insisting that a Palestinian state's border follows a non-existent and irrelevant cease-fire line from 64 years ago; no-one realistically expects Israel to receive the several million Palestinian "refugees" into a Jewish state; East Jerusalem, never the capital of anyone other than Israel and logistically impossible to separate from the rest of the city, will never be given up by Israel; and who really wants to see a second Palestinian enclave taken over by Hamas so they can threaten my aircraft the next time I fly into Tel Aviv?
If this next nine months goes anywhere, it is most likely to be to a realisation that a two-state solution is just not going to happen. Unfortunately, however, this outcome has the potential for an even bigger disaster. Sky News' Tim Marshall, in my view the most balanced TV journalist around when it comes to Israel and the Middle East, commented Monday morning that the failure of these talks could lead to two highly negative outcomes.
Indyk Last Year: 'Hard to Believe' Peace Deal Can be Reached
IDF Radio has broadcast a recording of an interview with Indyk in which he was asked about the chances such talks would succeed.
“I'm not particularly optimistic,” he answered, “because I think that the heart of the matter is that the maximum concession that this government of Israel would be prepared to make, fall far short of the minimum requirements that Abu Mazen will insist on. Though it may be possible to keep the talks going, which is a good thing, I find it very hard to believe that they will reach an agreement.”
Negotiating lessons, in Martin Indyk’s own words
Martin Indyk, the former two-time US ambassador to Israel named Monday as US Special Envoy for Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations, in 2009 published a fascinating account of his personal experiences as a US diplomat at the heart of the Middle East peace process, entitled “Innocent Abroad.”
Throughout his book, he provides glimpses into his own personal beliefs, and he concluded with prescriptions for future negotiators and American diplomats. The various parties might want to read and internalize some of Indyk’s own words, as the negotiations get going again:
Oren: Israel will demand recognition as Jewish state
Israel’s ambassador to the US Michael Oren told CNN’s Fareed Zakaria on Sunday that Israel is “predicated on having a Jewish majority,” and that any final-status agreement with the Palestinians will require their recognition of Israel as a Jewish state.
“It means the Jewish state is permanent and legitimate,” said Oren of such recognition, adding, “We’re not asking the Palestinians to do it upfront.”
Ex-Mossad Head: Peace Talks were Bungled
"This should have been handled differently,” he explained. “We should have conducted secret negotiations with the Arab League, and only then begun open negotiations with the PA. The problem of Jerusalem, for instance, is not a PA problem but a problem of the entire Arab world. At least two states, like Jordan and Saudi Arabia, need to be brought on board, in order to give backing to any move.”
Peace talks arrive in the Knesset
For the first time, parliamentary caucus to host a delegation of PA officials for a gathering in support of renewed negotiations
The caucus will welcome the Palestinian officials by placing Palestinian flags alongside Israeli flags in the Knesset’s Galil Auditorium, according to organizers. The meeting may become the first time in the Knesset’s history that the two flags share a room within the parliament’s walls.
The visit also marks the first time Palestinian Authority officials have agreed to visit the Knesset, a move Palestinian leaders have avoided in the past because they feared it would constitute an implicit acknowledgement of Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem, the organizers added.
Abbas pledges: There will be no Israelis in Palestine
Even as talks for a permanent Israeli-Palestinian peace got off to a cautious start in Washington Monday, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas told reporters in Egypt that no Israelis would be allowed to remain in a future Palestinian state.
“In a final resolution, we would not see the presence of a single Israeli — civilian or soldier — on our lands,” Abbas said following a meeting with interim Egyptian President Adly Mansour in Cairo.
Snag in Israel-PA Peace Talks
After a three-year hiatus, negotiations were set to resume in Washington D.C. on Tuesday, with two representatives from each side to meet at the table for direct talks, supported by the U.S.
But the leftist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) called the initiative a “unilateral move” by Palestinian Authority Chairman and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas.
The PFLP claimed the agreement to negotiate did not have unanimous backing from the entire PLO, since its own faction rejects the move.
Israeli Appeasement
Nothing does more to abet terrorism than the release of terrorists for their gruesome crimes. In 1985 Israel released 1,150 prisoners for 3 captured Israelis. Fifteen years later it released 450 prisoners for 3 Israeli bodies and a kidnapped Israeli. In 2008 it released 5 Arab prisoners (including Samir al-Kuntar, convicted for the hideous murder of a father in front of his four-year-old daughter, whose skull Kuntar then crushed against a rock) for two Israeli bodies. Two years ago, 1,027 Palestinian prisoners were released for Israeli soldier Gilad Schalit. None of these releases led to peace; only to more terrorism.
Indy posts, then deletes, reference to Palestinian terrorists as ‘political prisoners’
We contacted Indy editors shortly after the post, and, in addition to providing the data we secured from the Justice Ministry on the prisoners and their crimes, noted that even the Guardian (following our complaint) had corrected a story in April which originally contained the false description of the prisoners as “political prisoners”. Though the Indy has yet to respond to our complaint, there was recently an indication that such a correction may be forthcoming.
What does the mother of a ‘pre-Oslo’ monster look like?
The mother is rejoicing over the possible release of her son, a Palestinian (presumably seen in the photo she’s holding) alternately known as Abu Moussa Salam Ali Atiya who murdered an Israeli named Isaac Rotenberg in 1994. Whilst the Indy caption doesn’t include a word about the crimes of Ateya Abu Moussa or background on his victim, fortunately Almagor Murder Victims Association provides further details:
Ateya Abu Moussa murdered Rotenberg as a condition of being accepted into a terrorist organization.
Isaac Rotenberg survived a Nazi extermination camp but was murdered by a (soon to be free) loathsome terrorist spawned by the woman ‘sensitively’ depicted in a photo carefully selected by Indy editors.
Koby Mandell Foundation protests freeing terrorists
“My son Koby Mandell was murdered 12 years ago near our home, and his murderers have not been found. And I have to tell you that that’s a relief. In all likelihood, if they had not already been released, they’d be released now. In fact, my other son wrote an article thanking the government for not finding his brother’s killers,” said Seth Mandell, founder of the Koby Mandell Foundation, at a Monday evening demonstration outside the Prime Minister’s Residence in Jerusalem.
Op-Ed: It Pays to Mutilate Jewish Children
Arab torture and terrorism work. And the mutilation of Jewish families led to political gains. There is no other logical conclusion we can draw after Israel decided to free dozens of monsters who in the pre Oslo era killed hundreds of Jews. Terrorism has been a winning strategy for Arab irredentism.
First of all, the Jews killed by Palestinians are treated as second class victims by global and humanitarian organizations, by the robber barons of The Hague international Court, by the mainstream media and by the Israeli establishment itself. It is as though these Jews have never existed. Their blood has been shed for nothing.
A triumph for terror
They murdered men and women because they were Jewish, stabbed 13-year-old kids and firebombed Israeli buses and cars. They hurled grenades at Israeli civilians, kidnapped, tortured and killed young soldiers, and assaulted and slew the elderly, including a Holocaust survivor.
These are just a few of the 104 Palestinian prisoners the government magnanimously decided to release on Sunday as part of the resumption of talks with the Palestinian Authority.
Chalk up yet another triumph for the terrorists.
Terrorists Lob Rocket at Israel, No One Hurt
Terrorists fired a rocket Tuesday morning from Hamas-controlled Gaza into southern Israel, as “peace talks” between the Palestinian Authority and Israel began in Washington.
The rocket exploded in an empty area within the Shaar Hanegev Regional Council. No one was hurt and no damage was reported.
Similar attacks took place July 21 and July 18.
Malcolm Lowe at Gatestone has a thought-provoking essay that argues that the EU is a lot more pro-Israel than it seems, and things will only get better:

It is a longstanding complaint that Israel is unfairly harassed in those international forums that deal with human rights. On the other hand, countries that are too big to harass, such as Russian and China, or that are oil rich, such as the Gulf states, get away with anything. Well, here's news: Now that Israel has discovered vast offshore deposits of natural gas and even some oil, it can aspire to the status of a Gulf state. Not quite geographically, but in terms of the scruples that others can brush aside in their eagerness to do business.

This applies above all to the European Union (EU). According to a recent report, "Valeria Termini, vice president of the Council of European Energy Regulators, has held talks with senior Israeli Energy and Water Ministry officials" on the proposal to link Israel's natural gas fields to the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline. The EU would benefit from reduced dependence on Russian natural gas, while the cost to Israel of marketing the gas would be greatly reduced, since there would be no need to liquefy the natural gas (LNG) and ship it on tankers. "An LNG terminal is estimated to cost between $7 billion to $10 billion while a pipeline to the European network can be built for $2 billion-$3 billion."

Yet Israel is not putting all its gas eggs in the EU basket. Another report tells us: "In July 2012 President Vladimir Putin visited Israel, largely to discuss the gas fields. The Russian Gazprom has signed a deal with Israel on the future distribution of the large Israel gas resources, and plans to build a floating facility off Cyprus to convert the product to LNG." The reason given was that the civil war in Syria has frustrated an earlier Gazprom project to pump gas from Iran to the Lebanese coast. In other words, Israel is being courted by both Russia and the EU and can choose what to award to either of those suitors. "Human rights" issues are off that agenda.

Now, there has been a lot of fluttering of feathers over the recently publicized EU guidelines on Jewish settlements across the "green line." We shall turn to that in a moment, but it should not distract our attention from a series of remarkably friendly gestures toward Israel, emanating from Europe in recent months.

Precisely at the last meeting of the UN Human Rights Council, the EU took vehement exception to Special Rapporteur Richard Falk's most recent report, aka baseless diatribe against Israel. It denounced the report in these words: "The EU continues to regret the unbalanced mandate of the Special Rapporteur and is also concerned that parts of the report include political considerations. In the past, the EU emphasized that future reports should be based on a more factual and legal analysis, and we regret to see no genuine progress in that direction. The council needs to be provided with accurate, factual information and solid allegations to fulfill its role and address the human rights situation in occupied Palestinian territory." In short, please stop trying to fool us with fictions about Israeli human rights violations.
There's lots more, read the whole thing.

I'm not so certain I agree with his optimism.

There are two tracks in Europe: a business/pragmatic track that wants to be as close to Israel as possible, and an "activist" track that wants to pollute the European mind with the idea that Israel is a genocidal regime.

The first is not a counter to the second; it simply ignores it for as long as it can.

But the worry is that there will come a tipping point in the future where anyone who publicly backs any aspect of Zionism will be marginalized and berated. It already is happening with a few clueless entertainers who are more worried about appearances than other people, but the entire point of BDS is to create an atmosphere throughout the world that would equate Israel with the worst human rights violators in history. By extension, it would paint anyone who doesn't condemn Israel as evil themselves. Right now the idea is marginal but the single-minded haters behind BDS have patience and a strategy.

The existence of business ties with Israel will dampen any economic consequences to these actions, but if businesses perceive that their own reputations are being damaged to a larger extent than the benefits of working with Israel, they will act in self-interest.

Look how one anti-Israel group responded to the Pet Shop Boys' decision to play in Israel, pictured to the right. 99% of the Europeans who read that Israel kills one child every three days or jails two children a day would have no problem believing it, even though these are outright lies. This is because there is no decent hasbara campaigns in Europe to expose the lies and the hate behind the BDS crowd. They are far more guilty of blind hatred and bigotry than Israel could ever be - yet they suffer no consequences from baldfaced, bold-faced lies. Their campaigns of distortions and slander will continue to gain traction among the clueless, as indeed most people are.

The BDS drones are happiest when Palestinian Arab kids are killed because that gives them more ammunition. One Israeli screw-up that results in too many civilian deaths can be a major tipping point towards the haters.

Yes, it is true that Bahrain and other Gulf states can shrug off human rights accusations because of their economic power, but on the other hand there has never been a systematic anti-Saudi or anti-Bahraini campaign in Europe demanding boycott or divestment. Is such a thing really so impossible to imagine?

I admit, and have even argued in the past, that the most effective thing Israel can do to combat the delegitimization campaigns is indeed to build up its economy so that it is indispensable to the world. That doesn't mean that Israel should sit back and allow the haters free reign to lie and poison the minds of millions. Complacency in the face of concerted, directed campaigns against the Jewish state is not smart.

Now that US has successfully pressured Israel and the PA to attend talks, it seems to be a good time to revisit the list of "elephants in the room" that are still being mostly ignored. The list, sadly, has not changed much since I last did this in 2010.

Elephant 1: Hamas controls Gaza

Every peace plan includes Gaza in a Palestinian Arab state, and none of them has any provision on how to handle the fact that Gaza is a terrorist haven, in much worse shape since Israel uprooted the settlements there, controlled by a terrorist group that is consistently and wholeheartedly against Israel's existence.   Peace is impossible with this elephant, so it is easier to pretend it isn't there. (See also Elephant 11.)

Elephant 2: Palestinian Arabs elected a terror government

In the only fair, democratic elections in the territories, the Hamas terrorists were chosen by the people. Poll after poll shows that Palestinian Arabs support terror in Israel itself. (Over 40% still support a violent intifada in 2013.) The elections proved that the conventional wisdom was wrong - and the conventional wisdom proceeded to ignore it.

Elephant 3: The current PA government was not elected

This corollary to Elephant 2 means that the current people negotiating for the Palestinian Arabs do not represent the people. Even if they sound moderate or compromising, they have no mandate. The current PA president is well past his term of office, and the current and previous prime minister were never elected (in fact, he received a tiny percentage of the vote when he did run for election.) Negotiating with the PA is, literally, meaningless.


Similarly, the unelected PLO is the real power behind the PA. The PA officially reports to the PLO, and all negotiations are done by the autocratic, Fatah-dominated PLO, not the PA.

Elephant 4: The current PA government has almost no power - and no respect

Outside of Ramallah, the Fayyad/Abbas government has little popular support and little power. Hamas is a very real threat to the PA in the West Bank and is quietly building its base. The attitudes that forced the PA to abandon Gaza - a lack of passion by people for its positions - could very well play out in the West Bank as well.


Elephant 5: The PA is being kept alive by artificial methods

The PA budget is bloated from "payroll" of non-working workers - but if they would slash the payroll, the people on international welfare would revolt. So the very basis of the organized Palestinian Arab workforce is a fiction being kept barely alive by ever-increasing infusions of cash with no real plan to fix the problem. (The bulk of the PA budget goes to Gaza, and much of that goes to workers being paid not to work.)

Elephant 6: Fatah remains a terrorist group paid by the PA

Despite the recent claims that the Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades has dismantled, it is a joke meant to appease the wishful-thinkers. The PA might arrest Hamas members in the West Bank, but there still remains - today - terrorist groups that report to Fatah. Here's the webpage of one of them. There has been no serious move by the PA to dismantle their own terror groups.

Elephant 7: The first - and second - stages of the roadmap were never implemented

The entire point of the road map was to slowly build confidence, starting with the end of terror and incitement on the Palestinian Arab side, afterwards building a "provisional" state and only then going to final-status negotiations. Abbas and his team simply threw out phases I and II. By skipping to Phase III as if the other two phases were already in place, the entire exercise is simply a joke. Incitement remains at full blast and the lull in terror is tactical, not a sea-change in Palestinian Arab attitudes. 


Even though the US has made statements against Palestinian Arab incitement, it hasn't moved to stop it. 

This is not so much an elephant anymore quite so much as it is a proof that terror works. Before the second intifada, the world was not fully behind a Palestinian state; autonomy was still considered an option. The world never demanded 1 to 1 land swaps based on the 1967 lines - but after the terror spree they now do. And the demands of the road map to slowly build confidence before granting a state has likewise been thrown out the window. 

Terror pays.

Elephant 8: The PA's goal remains the destruction of Israel

Whether it is by "right of return" or not changing the Fatah charter or by printing map after map showing no Israel, even the most moderate Palestinian leader clings to the idea of destroying Israel, and looks upon a Palestinian Arab state as only one stage in the process. One only needs to look at the maps of "Palestine" in official PA documents and schoolbooks. 




A 2011 poll that remains criminally under-reported proves that when Palestinian Arabs say they want a two-state solution, it is only a stage towards their real goal of destroying Israel. 



Elephant 9: Jerusalem

Most Israelis want a unified Jerusalem under Israeli sovereignty. Most Palestinian Arabs refuse to accept anything less than all of ("east") Jerusalem as the capital of a Muslim state. The positions are not compatible and a compromise will not reduce the chances for violence - it will increase it.

Elephant 10: What happened to Gaza

Forgetting Hamas for now, the time period between Israel's dismantling settlements in Gaza and the Hamas takeover is instructive as to how Palestinian Arabs take advantage of territory they gain. They didn't build new houses or communities to reduce the "refugee camp" population, no schools or hospitals. They destroyed the greenhouses purchased for them by American Jews; they turned beautiful former settlements into training camps for terror - in other words, Israel's last major concession not only didn't help achieve peace, it ended up encouraging terror. Any claims that something similar wouldn't happen in the West Bank is the triumph of wishful thinking over experience.

Elephant 11: Palestinian Arab "unity"

Related to Elephant #1. No peace plan can work unless Hamas and the PA/Fatah reach some sort of unification agreement. This is not possible in the foreseeable future. Moreover, Hamas is powerful enough that any such agreement must include a hardening of PLO positions that would be completely incompatible with the basic Quartet demands for peace - renunciation of terror, recognition of Israel and acceptance of previous agreements.

Elephant 12: The Palestinian Arab "diaspora" and Arab intransigence

Any final peace agreement would mean that Arab countries could no longer justify keeping Palestinian Arabs in "refugee camps" nor could they justify their continued refusal to discriminate against Palestinian Arabs from becoming citizens of their countries should they want to stay. The millions of PalArabs in the Middle East becoming citizens would not be accepted by many Arab countries as it would endanger their own tenuous holds on power. 


Elephant 13: Economics

Some 16 years after Oslo, the economy in the territories is still close to non-existent and wholly dependent on foreign aid. Not only is there no free market, there is no incentive to build one as the very mentality of Palestinian Arabs and their leaders is one of welfare rather than responsibility. All the plans to create a Palestinian Arab state do not consider Day 2 and how such a state would be able to sustain itself. The expected influx of hundreds of thousands of people from "refugee camps" would make it even worse. It would take at least a generation to turn the poisonous attitude of entitlement around.

Elephant 14: Gaza demographics

Gazans have no room to expand as their numbers continue to grow at among the fastest rates in the world.  Theoretically they could move to the West Bank but only a small percentage would. This is another Day 2 powder keg that is being ignored in the interests of a "solution" of a "Palestinian state." 

Elephant 15: Palestinian Arab leaders never showed interest in independence

The West assumes that the goal is an independent Palestinian Arab state where Arabs no longer have to live under "occupation." But the actions and words of Palestinian Arab leaders have never borne that goal out; they have not worked towards building the institutions and infrastructure that would be necessary in an independent state. Their insistence on "right of return" and "Jerusalem" as issues that must be resolved before independence betray their thought processes - inconsistent with independence (neither of which require those two issues to be resolved) and consistent with a desire to destroy Israel in stages.


Elephant 16: A unilateral Palestinian Arab state would be militarized

There is no way that a new Palestinian Arab state would remain demilitarized for any length of time. The Palestinian government could invite a friendly Muslim nation to position anti-aircraft weapons within its territory; to shoot missiles at El Al planes landing a few miles from the Green Line, or to get a few thousand tanks poised to cut Israel in half.

Iran already effectively controls Lebanon and Syria and is working to ensure Gaza comes back under its orbit. They would use the nascent state of Palestine to position themselves on the West Bank as well. Just like the PA ran away from Gaza at the first sign of trouble, so would they abandon their state to Iranian proxies and Islamic terrorists.

The PLO's will to defend themselves is not nearly as strong as their will to destroy Israel, a desire that has been inculcated in them for generations. Palestinian Arab nationalism is a fundamentally weak and externally-imposed construct. Iran is poised and anxious to take advantage of the chaos that would follow a unilaterally declared state, even if at the moment they are distracted.

But the West is ready to risk Israel for that elephant as well.


Elephant 17: The so-called "right to return"

The PA is showing no interest in integrating the Palestinian Arabs outside of the territories into their state. On the contrary; the "refugee camps" in PA controlled territory continue to grow, rather than shrink. Clearly, the PA expects the bulk of the  "diaspora" to go to Israel, not a Palestinian Arab state, and decades of incitement both within and without the territories have brainwashed generations of Arabs to not accept anything less than a "return" to a land that most of them have never stepped foot in. (UNRWA has been a major promulgator of this lie.)

Elephant 18: The tension between being pro-West and pro-Arab

The biggest Western success story in the Palestinian Arab territories is the existence of the "Dayton forces" that have been helping crack down on Hamas in the West Bank. 

However, most Palestinian Arabs regard those forces as puppets of the West. Not only do Hamas and Islamic Jihad hammer away at this point, but ordinary Palestinian Arabs do as well. The more cooperation between the PA and Israel/US, the more the PA government is delegitimized in the eyes of its people. 

Elephant 19: Corruption and human rights abuses are still endemic in the PA

Despite the publicized successes, the PA remains mired in corruption, hardly a model for an independent state. The 2008 Global Integrity Report rated the West Bank as close to the bottom in its corruption ratings. Press freedom remains low; the justice system is improving but hardly competent, and whistle-blowers are forced to go to the Israeli press to expose corruption. The success that the PA has had in weakening Hamas in the West Bank has come at the expense of massive human rights violations, including torture. 

Elephant 20: Palestine would be Judenrein

Statements by PA leaders make it clear that their state of Palestine would not have any Jewish citizens allowed within. Jews whose ancestors have lived in Judea and Samaria, whether for decades or for millennia, will be legally barred from living in Palestine - an extraordinary display of state anti-semitism that is completely at odds with the Western standards that the nascent state of "Palestine" is attempting to live up to. 

Elephant 21: The Muslim world's antipathy towards Israel

Even if all of the preceding elephants could somehow vanish, the Arab world and the Muslim world remains implacably against the idea of a Jewish state in the midst of supposedly Muslim lands. Iran remains in de facto control of southern Lebanon and Gaza; ordinary Jordanians and Egyptians remain among the worst anti-semites in the Arab world. The best "peace" would be bitter cold; it will not include any real normalization, and the threat from radical Islam remains potent in Arab and Muslim states. Furthermore, any tension between Israel and any of its neighbors - Hezbollah or Hamas or Syria - would result in even the moderate Arab world solidly behind Israel's enemies, no matter what. The best peace plan would result in Israel being exactly where it is today - surrounded by enemies, with less of a land buffer, and Israel relying on US money to prompt Arab neighbors to keep radicals in check. 

That is not peace, and that is not security. 

Elephant 22: The Arab Spring

We now see how tenuous is the hold of Arab leaders on their nations. The chances of a similar upheaval in the Palestinian Arab-controlled areas is not small. What would happen to the "peace agreement" then? 

Besides that, Abbas has no successor. Poll show that if elections were held today, the new president of the PA would be a convicted terrorist now in Israeli prison. Any piece of paper signed by Abbas would be next to worthless after he is gone.

 It is true that Egypt has, despite rhetoric, kept the Camp David accords, but that is out of self-interest. The entire point of Palestinian Arab nationalism has been to destroy Israel, not to achieve statehood - so their self-interest coincides with taking any Israeli concession and then reneging on their end.

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