Wednesday, February 19, 2014

From Ian:

Palestinian Arabs – The People Who Always Refuse a State
Western intervention only makes things worse, and leads the PA to believe that it can maintain a culture of victimhood and pay no price for its maximalist, uncompromising beliefs. Since the 1993 Oslo Accords, the Palestinian Arab culture of incitement, terrorism, and resort to lawfare has only increased, in absolute violation of their commitments to teach and preach peace, dismantle the terrorist infrastructure, confiscate weapons, and arrest terrorists. The PA has not kept those international commitments; so what gives ‎Israel and Western diplomats confidence that any future accords – which will presumably involve Israel relinquishing vital land areas necessary for its security – will be honored? In Arab-Muslim culture, agreements tend to be broken when one side gains the strength to overcome the other, i.e. hudna. In the Middle East, the current status is what peace actually looks like: no paper agreements. At best, a détente, where only force and power prevail and are respected. That is what has enabled Israel to miraculously survive as an oasis of hope, democracy, and freedom in the midst of Arab-Muslim dominated totalitarian states, military dictatorships, and theocracies.‎
Israel ‎‎has no reliable “peace partner” in the Western sense, no matter how the mainstream media, EU, diplomats, and elites want to spin it. These apologists will always somehow find a way to rationalize and justify the Palestinian Arabs’ predictable resort to violence and in turn seek to delegitimize Israel for not making further concessions – regardless of whether it puts the Jewish State in deadly danger. The diplomatic process is not working. There must be far more onus on the PA to make true peace and prepare its own people for it. If and when Palestinian Arabs are ready, willing and able to say “yes,” Israel will be there – but not any sooner.
Comprehensive Report Debunks Bedouin Land Claims in the Negev
The new English-language report by Regavim, which advocates for fair allocation of land in Israel and campaigned successfully against the Begin-Prawer plan, focuses on six key arguments, including whether the Bedouin are indigenous to the northern Negev; whether Bedouin villages constitute historical structures; the claim that only 45 unrecognized Bedouin villages exist; whether Bedouin tribes have been neglected by the State in terms of building rights; whether government budgets are discriminatory against Bedouin tribes; and the percent of Negev lands to which Bedouin tribes lay claim.
Among other issues, the report disproves claims that the nomadic Bedouin are "indigenous" to the Negev, and through the use of historical documentation and aerial photos illustrates how "ancient" Negev villages - including the infamous al-Araqib settlement, a frequent site of clashes between law enforcement and radical activists - were only established very recently.

Aboriginal rights of the Jewish People
A full-and-final peace treaty could also draw on Jewish aboriginal and treaty rights to include one or more specific paragraphs ensuring that Jews have free and secure access to certain religious sites, sacred to Judaism for more than two millennia. This might have some impact in Jerusalem and in one or more other places west of the Jordan River.
Finally, the Jewish People’s aboriginal, treaty and self-determination rights combine to argue for significant safeguards to ensure that a new Palestinian State could never be a stepping stone to the destruction of Israel. Because the Jewish People remains a vulnerable aboriginal minority in the Muslim and Arab Middle East, a full-and-final peace treaty would probably need to have a number of effective stipulations for Jewish security. And, such safety measures should probably embrace both major military provisions and an article unequivocally recognizing the legitimacy and permanence of Israel as the Jewish State, i.e. as the political expression of the self-determination of the Jewish People in a part of its aboriginal homeland.
Arab or Canaanite? Take your pick.
The ‘indigenous Palestinian’ idea was most recently expressed by Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat who invoked being ‘the proud son of the Canaanites who were there 5,500 years before Joshua bin Nun burned down the town of Jericho’. If the claim were true, the Palestinians would have a historical high ground. But what exactly is an ‘indigenous people?’
The claim to indigeneity can, fortunately for us, be checked using a list provided by none other than the UN. There are several criteria that can be fulfilled in order to be classified as being an ‘indigenous people’ that are as follows:
Palestinian autonomy: an idea whose time has come
It is time for Israel to stop being blown about by the winds from Washington and Europe, to take its own security into its own hands, and to unilaterally end the phony ‘peace process’. There already is a ‘Palestine’, which can succeed or fail as an autonomous entity, depending on its inhabitants’ ability to create a functional government and a viable economy (and they would get a great deal of help in this enterprise).
They have what they need to create ‘Palestine’. All they lack — and of course, everything that the present Palestinian leadership wants — are the tools to express the overwhelming hatred that characterizes all aspects of their culture, and destroy the state of Israel. Why give this to them?
Illuminating Reactions to an Unpopular Proposal
This Arab-Israeli stance is equally instructive regarding the canard that Israel is an “apartheid state.” After all, if this were true, one would expect them to jump at Yisrael Beiteinu’s proposal: It would free them from “apartheid rule” without their even having to leave home, since their towns would simply become Palestinian rather than Israeli.
In short, reactions to the Yisrael Beiteinu proposal illuminate two key truths that too many people refuse to acknowledge: Far from being an “apartheid state,” Israel is a thriving democracy whose Arab citizens cling zealously to the right to remain in it. And far from being ready for statehood, “Palestine” would likely become yet another failed state in a world that already has far too many.
US asked Israel for partial settlement freeze — report
The Obama administration asked Israel to impose an unofficial settlement freeze outside of major settlements blocs if a framework agreement is agreed upon, Army Radio reported Wednesday.
Israel has yet to officially respond to the request, according to the report, and the US is not yet pressing for an answer. But both Washington and Jerusalem understand that additional concessions will have to be made in order to ensure PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s support for continuing negotiations beyond the original nine-month window set to end in April.
How To Make Israel Look Bad For Abiding By Its Agreements With Us (satire)By Saeb Erekat
The key lies in not actually caring about our citizens. If we cared, we wouldn’t be encouraging people to make noise about Israeli farms and businesses that employ Palestinians in the West Bank. We couldn’t be bothered to provide actual employment – we’re too busy using Western funding to pay pensions to released Palestinians who murdered Israeli civilians.
The kicker of all this is that all the pressure we can get other countries to put on Israel over settlements is in specific disregard of the Oslo Accords of 1993 – Israel and the PLO agreed that the fate of the settlements would be determined by bilateral negotiations. But that won’t stop us from calling for settlement freezes and all sorts of other concessions as preconditions for those negotiations. And the world sides with us! Despite the specific terms of our agreements!
Visiting Syrian Wounded, Netanyahu Says ‘Iran is Arming Those Who Are Carrying Out the Slaughter’
Speaking at the IDF base, Netanyahu said, “On the day when talks between the major powers and Iran are being opened in Vienna, it is important that the world sees the pictures from this place, which divides the good that is in the world from the bad.”
“The good part is that Israel is saving the lives of those who have been wounded in the daily slaughter that is being perpetrated in Syria. This is the true face of Israel. The bad part is that Iran is arming those who are carrying out the slaughter. This is the true face of Iran.”
“All of the children who have been injured, to say nothing of those who have been killed, were injured as a result of Iran’s arming, financing and training the Assad regime in the massacres that it is perpetrating,” Netanyahu said.

Rockets Hit Golan Heights Following Prime Minister's Visit
Two rockets fired from war-torn Syria struck the Golan Heights in northern Israel Tuesday, shortly after a secret visit to the area by Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, the army said.
"Two rockets fire from Syria struck the central Golan without causing injuries or damage," a spokeswoman told AFP.
Israeli Hospital Saves Lives of Two Pregnant Women from Gaza
Israel accepts medical patients from Gaza for treatment on a regular basis, often as many as 70 patients per day.
But even the most seasoned Israeli doctors were surprised earlier this month when two separate, rare high-risk pregnancy cases were admitted to the same hospital, just days apart.
Bombs kill 4 near Iranian cultural center in Beirut
Two suicide bombers blew up their cars Wednesday trying to hit an Iranian cultural center in a Shiite district in southern Beirut, killing at least four people and wounding more than a hundred, according to Lebanese officials and an al-Qaida linked group that claimed responsibility.
The Abdullah Azzam Brigades said it had carried out the simultaneous bombings as retaliation for the Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah’s involvement in the Syrian war alongside President Bashar Assad’s forces.
It was the latest in a string of deadly bombings targeting Hezbollah strongholds in Lebanon. The group is a staunch ally of Assad’s government and its fighters have been instrumental in helping dislodge Syrian rebels from key areas near the border with Lebanon.
Arms Agency: Syria Has Shipped Out Just 11% of its Chemical Arsenal
Syria has shipped out 11% of its chemical weapons stockpile — falling far short of the February 5 deadline to have all such arms removed from the country, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons told CNN Wednesday. The slow pace of removal prompted U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to warn last month that all options remain available to force compliance. The OPCW is now in touch with senior Syrian officials to discuss a new schedule going forward.
U.S. opposes supply of shoulder-fired missiles to Syria rebels
The official, traveling with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Tunisia, was responding to a report in the Wall Street Journal on Friday which said Saudi Arabia had offered to give Syrian rebels Chinese man-portable air defense systems, or MANPADS, and anti-tank guided missiles from Russia.
About that kid who fled Syria alone…
The image of the boy’s encounter with United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) aid workers, and news of his subsequent reunion with his family, immediately went viral, prompting coverage in major newspapers worldwide.
But rather than showing a small child beating the odds alone in a harsh environment, the picture actually shows a child who wandered a few feet from his family during the chaotic journey away from war, according to a UN official cited by a Guardian reporter.
The Ayatollahs Back Assad and Al-Qaeda
Several reports indicated that Assad, in fact, released many Al-Qaeda members from prison, with Iran assisting their network, in order to buttress the argument that the Assad regime was being attacked by Al-Qaeda. Reportedly, the Al-Qaeda-linked groups in Syria, Jabhat al-Nusra and ISIS have even been selling oil to the Assad regime in exchange for money and recruits with the assistance of Tehran.
In addition, the Islamic Republic can use Al-Qaeda’s Iran-based network to thwart US foreign policy objectives in the region and tip the regional balance of power in favor of Iran and against other regional powers such as Israel.
Iran is also looking for alternatives in case Assad’s apparatuses collapse in Syria. In other words, the Islamic Republic will support its ally as long as Assad can retain his power. If Assad falls, the Islamic Republic will take sides with the winning coalition. Currently, the most powerful groups in Syria are the Al-Qaeda-linked groups. The Islamic Republic will attempt to utilize any powerful extremist groups in order to accomplish its foreign policy goals and ideological and hegemonic objectives.
At talks, Iran insists it won’t shutter nuclear facilities
Iran drew a red line on Tuesday on how far it would go at landmark nuclear talks, saying as the meeting opened that it would not buckle to pressure from the US and five other world powers to scrap any of its nuclear facilities.
The statement by Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi suggested tough talks ahead, constituting a rejection of a central demand by the six countries.
Experts, Intelligence Analysts: Iran Negotiations, Which Leave Enrichment Intact, “Pushing Saudi Arabia Toward its Own Nuke Program”
If Saudi Arabia pursue nuclear enrichment even if there is an Iran deal, then the victory to curb atomic weapons that Obama has tried to achieve will be at least partially undone by his own diplomacy. “They view the developments in Iran very negatively. They have money, they can buy talent, they can buy training,” said David Albright, the president of the Institute for Science and International Security and a former weapons inspector. “The Saudis are thinking through how do you create a deterrent through capability.”
This prospect of the Saudis beginning an enrichment program was broached earlier this month at the Munich Security Conference. Sen. Lindsey Graham asked Saudi Prince Turki al Faisal, the kingdom’s powerful former intelligence chief, if any final agreement that allowed Iran to maintain an enrichment capability would cause Saudi Arabia and other Arab states to invoke their own right to enrich uranium. “I think we should insist on having equal rights for everybody, this is part of the (Non-Proliferation Treaty) arrangement,” the prince said.
Top Iranian MP: Baha’i are Mossad and CIA spies
Ahmad Salek, chairman of Iran’s parliamentary cultural commission, on Tuesday accused his country’s Baha’i community of spying for Israel and the United States.
“I declare very explicitly that Baha’ism is an espionage organization which gathers intelligence for the CIA and Mossad, and there are abundant documents to prove this,” the Fars news agency quoted Salek saying.
German Company Denies Selling Death Cranes to Iran
The chairman of a German company whose cranes are reportedly being used for public hangings in Iran lashed out at critics and dismissed calls for his company to end its relationship with Tehran on humanitarian grounds.
German construction company Atlas has come under fire from advocacy groups for purportedly supplying cranes to Iran, which then uses them to publicly hang opposition leaders and others.
Yad Vashem: World must stop North Korea’s ‘Nazi-like’ crimes
Yad Vashem appealed for “immediate action” against North Korea on Tuesday, after a UN report likened the regime’s crimes against humanity to those perpetrated by the Nazis.
“Far too often, the international community expresses regret after the fact for not stopping such crimes as they occur. Today, it cannot be said that the world does not have the testimonies, the information and the understanding in real time that must bring about immediate action,” a statement from the Holocaust remembrance organization read.
A hard-hitting report on the nuclear-armed totalitarian state strongly criticized it for exterminating, starving and enslaving its population, denying basic freedoms of thought, expression and religion, and abducting citizens of neighboring South Korea and Japan. These heinous crimes, the report said, are “strikingly similar” to Nazi techniques.


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