Wednesday, January 22, 2014

From Ian:

Anne Bayefsky: 2014, the UN Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People
Palestinians, and their undemocratic UN cohorts, are off to a roaring start for 2014, the UN Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.
Last week UNESCO tore down an exhibit on the Jewish people’s ties to the land of Israel, just before it opened to the public, because it offended Arab states. Unfortunately, the move was only the tip of the UN iceberg.
All visitors to UN Headquarters in New York, including school children from across America, walk off the elevator straight into the “Palestine” exhibit. (h/t NormanF)
Douglas Murray: Middle East Peace Process: America's Wishful Thinkers
For let us not forget that the premise upon which Mr. Kerry's peace plan, indeed anybody's peace plan, must built, is the presumption that the talks are between two parties who are sincerely and demonstrably committed to peace and not on the determination of one to annihilate the other. That is the presumption from which Mr Kerry is starting, surely? So how to explain that on the Palestinian side there appears to be, not exactly for the first time in living memory, a certain number of problems of trust which are going unaddressed by Washington?
Peace Of Cake (h/t Israely Cool)

Canada and Australia’s Stand for Israel and the West
With President Barack Obama seeming to have taken a leave of absence as leader of the free world, the task of providing such leadership continues to fall to others. Increasingly, this task is being taken up by leaders in other English-speaking democracies, and for several of them their defense of the West’s values is never more strongly pronounced than when it comes to Israel.
This has been particularly noticeable with the recent visits to Israel by Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop. Both of these individuals have not only seen to it that their countries have taken concrete actions to defend Israel on the international stage, but they have also voiced this support in terms of standing by democratic values and doing what is just. In short, both have demonstrated a clear sense of moral clarity, where other Western governments have failed to do so.
Did Netanyahu Invent the Demand that Israel Be Recognized as a Jewish State?
Is Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu serious about reaching a peace agreement with the Palestinians? His critics say no, and lately point to his insistence that Israel be recognized as a Jewish state in a future accord. This demand, they argue, is a “poison pill” that no Palestinian leader could accept, and which was introduced by Netanyahu in order to ensure the failure of negotiations. A new report in Haaretz by Amira Hass–in which she speaks with former Palestinian negotiator Nabil Shaath, who says Netanyahu invented the controversial demand out of whole cloth in 2010–would seem to bolster this claim. The only problem is, it doesn’t stand up to historical scrutiny.
Refugees Who Insist on the Impossible
The curious thing about the dispute between the refugees and the PA is that while the former demand that the corrupt Palestinian government take care of them while UNRWA is on strike, they are resolutely against being governed by it. Doing so would mean giving up their special status as refugees and taking up the more prosaic identity of Palestinian Arabs living on the territory of the putative independent Palestinian state that, while already recognized by some governments, doesn’t yet exist. Leaving the camps would mean a better life, either in the West Bank or elsewhere. But it would also entail giving up their precious fiction that the descendants of the Arabs who fled the land of what is now Israel will someday return to it and thus erase the Jewish state. Rather than do that, they prefer to stay where they are, living in poverty and condemning each subsequent generation to a futile and destructive quest that makes any peace agreement impossible. Instead of demanding more funding for UNRWA in order to continue to maintain the shaky welfare state operating in the West Bank, Gaza, and other refugee camps around the region, those who actually care about the welfare of the Palestinians should advocate instead for its dissolution.
Palestinian strategy: Pocket concessions but give up nothing
According to numerous press reports, the Palestinians have refused any meaningful concessions in the John Kerry-led peace talks. No compromise on recognizing Israel as a Jewish state, on refugees, on borders, on security arrangements, on anything meaningful. Instead, they are planning a diplomatic intifada to try to isolate Israel when the talks break down.
But, the Palestinians are happy to pocket the dozens of convicted killers released as part of the inducement to get them the negotiating table. More important, they make their uncompromising positions as the baseline for future negotiations.
Abbas rejects extending peace talks beyond nine-month timeline
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday rejected the idea of extending the peace talks with Israel beyond the nine-month timeline set by US Secretary of State John Kerry.
“It was agreed that the negotiations would continue for nine months. We have had a large number of negotiation sessions, during which we discussed major issues. There is not talk about an extension. We need to focus on the remaining time and not think about prolonging the talks,” he told reporters in Ramallah.
Another Guardian journalist falsely claims that Palestinians have abandoned terror
Such obfuscations by Guardian journalists about the prevalence of Palestinian terrorism (and the overwhelming popular support for such political violence) are extremely injurious to their readers.
Without taking into account the impact of such terror – particularly Israeli fears that, even in the event a final status agreement is reached, they’ll continue to be terrorized by sniper fire, bombings and rocket attacks – it’s impossible to honestly assess the root cause of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict and consider the real factors impeding a just resolution.
IAF airstrike kills Gaza terror chief
According to the IDF, Israel targeted and hit Ahmad Zaanin, 21, a member of a Gaza-based Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine’s military wing, responsible for recent rocket fire against Israel. It said he fired the rockets that targeted Israel after the funeral for prime minister Ariel Sharon ended last Monday.
Reports from the Gaza Strip said a second Palestinian was killed in addition to the PFLP member. Relatives and ambulance services identified Zaanin as commander in the PFLP, and the second man was identified as belonging to the Islamic Jihad group.The Palestinian Ma’an News Agency identified the second man as Mahmoud Yousef Zaanin, 23.
After Gaza strike, defense minister warns Hamas of ‘heavy price’
Hours after Israel assassinated a senior Gaza terrorist, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon warned the Strip’s ruling Hamas organization that it would “pay a heavy price” for rocket fire on Israel.
“If [Hamas] doesn’t know how to impose its authority on terrorist organizations operating from its territory we will continue to act to make it, and those who are active in terror and fire at Israel, pay a heavy price,” Ya’alon said in a statement released by his ministry on Wednesday.
Al-Qaeda targets US Embassy, Jerusalem convention center
The attacks, still in the planning stage, included twin suicide bombings, against the main Israeli convention center in Jerusalem and the US Embassy in Tel Aviv. An Arab resident of East Jerusalem, according to the plan, was to be sent to Syria to learn the nuts and bolts of the terror trade. He would then facilitate the twin attack, which would be carried out by al-Qaeda operatives entering Israel with Russian paperwork, according to the Shin Bet.
The security organization fingered a Gaza-based al-Qaeda operative, Oreib al-Sham, as the point man for the twin attack. The fact that he was allowed to operate freely from Gaza, the Shin Bet said, indicates that “Hamas allows Salafists to carry out terror attacks so long as they are not targeting them.
Jewish Holocaust victims 'remembered always': Stephen Harper
Prime Minister Stephen Harper paid his respects to Jewish victims of the Holocaust during a visit today to Yad Vashem memorial on the third day of his Middle East tour.
He was joined by his official delegation, which includes Conservative MPs and cabinet ministers.
According to the CBC's Terry Milewski, Harper's note in the memorial's guestbook reads: "They are remembered always, in our hearts, in our prayers and most importantly in our resolve. Never again."
Afterwards on Tuesday, the delegation made a trip to the Western Wall, where the prime minister took a moment to pray at the holy Jewish site. (h/t AlexandreM)
Waqf Blocked Harper 'because of Jewish Bodyguards'
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper planned to tour the Temple Mount after visiting the Western Wall (Kotel) Tuesday, but the visit was torpedoed at the last minute by the Muslim Waqf, which said it would not allow Harper's security detail onto the Mount, since some of the bodyguards are Jewish, leading Temple activist Yehuda Glick told Arutz Sheva in an exclusive interview. Bnei Brith Canada confirmed the story.
PM of Canada Singing on Stage (Courtesy Israel PMO)

NGO Video Exposes Tibi's 'No Electricity' Lie
During Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper's visit to the Knesset, Tibi pointed at fellow Arab MK Taleb Abu-Arar and shouted in English "there is no water and no electricity in his village. In Syria...maybe."
Regavim uploaded video images of Arara Banegev, the bedouin village in southern Israel where Taleb lives. The video clearly exposes Tibi's blatant lie:
Images of Taleb's house appear in the footage, clearly showing an air-conditioning unit, satellite TV dish, electric lines and an electric meter, "For MK Tibi's information there's water and electricity, just come visit," reads text in the video.
Nazareth Christians Warned Against 'Slandering' Allah
As Christians of every stripe in Jesus' hometown of Nazareth begin to again take a real stand for their faith, local Muslims are warning them not to overstep the boundaries of their traditional place in the Middle East (hint: they must remain dhimmis, or second-class).
A large billboard hanging at a central point in Nazareth features a picture of an Israeli stop sign, along with the English translation of a verse from the Koran cautioning Christians (and Jews) to speak only the "truth" regarding Allah.

On Jack Straw and his pro-Iran buddies
Former British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw’s “scientific observation” in the Independent after his short trip to Iran, is nothing short of the foolishness of the Carter administration officials in 1979, resurrected.
During their trip to Iran, Jack Straw and his British companions were wined and dined by the Islamic Republic’s establishment, and were shown what the regime wanted them to see – a bit like North Korea hosting tourists.
Lord Lamont, with his lucrative business dealings with Iran as a director of the Bali Group plc, and Jeremy Corbyn, probably the most Left-wing member of the Labour Party with his regular column in The Morning Star, had their business and political agendas to satisfy as the main objective of their trip.
Syria summit faces the longest odds — and for good reason
The US-Russian efforts to implement a truce between the rival groups seem desperate, perhaps due to the lack of other options. In an Istanbul hotel last week, the American ambassador to Syria, Robert Ford (who isn’t stationed in the country, of course), conducted a last-minute attempt to convince some representatives of the main Syrian opposition group to participate in the summit.
Not everyone heeded Ford’s pleas. In the vote held Saturday among members of the Syrian National Coalition, only 73 of 121 members participated. Fifty-eight voted in favor of participating in the summit. The even bigger problem is that it is doubtful that the SNC accurately reflects the Syrian opposition, nor is it certain that there is any group today that could do so. According to various Western estimates, there are 1,200 groups operating in the opposition to Assad.
Kerry at Syria peace talks: No way Assad can be in new gov't
During his opening statement, Kerry said that Syrian President Bashar Assad can have no place in a transition government because he has lost the legitimacy to lead.
Kerry said it was a test for the international community to find a solution to end the fighting.
"We see only one option, negotiating a transition government born by mutual consent," Kerry said. "That means that Assad will not be part of that transition government. There is no way, no way possible, that a man who has led a brutal response to his own people can regain legitimacy to govern."
'Nusra Front in Lebanon' Claims Beirut Suicide Bombing
The Lebanese branch of the Nusra Front - an Al Qaeda-linked rebel group fighting in Syrian - has claimed responsibility for today's deadly bombing in Beirut.
The attack killed four people and left 34 more wounded
In a statement posted in Arabic on Twitter, the Nusra Front in Lebanon said the attack on the Haret Hreik district - a Hezbollah stronghold - was a suicide bombing, and confirmed suspicions it was carried out in response to the Iranian-backed terrorist group's involvement in the Syrian civil war in support of the Assad regime.

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