Tuesday, March 25, 2014

From Ian:

Khaled Abu Toameh: Palestinians Dream of Destroying Israel, Peace Treaty or Not
Palestinian Authority [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas has good reason to be worried in the aftermath of the latest show of force by Hamas. When tens of thousands of Palestinians take to the streets of the Gaza Strip to call for the destruction of Israel and an end to the peace talks between the PA and Israel, it is clear that a large segment of Palestinian society remains opposed to any compromise with Israel.
The pro-Hamas rally is also aimed at sending a message to the U.S. Administration that Mahmoud Abbas does not have a mandate to sign any document that declares an end to the conflict with Israel.
U.S. President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry may be able to force Abbas, under threats and pressure, to sign a "framework agreement" with Israel. But as this week's rally of hatred in the Gaza Strip shows, even after the signing of an Israeli-Palestinian "peace" treaty, a large number of Palestinians will not abandon their dream of destroying Israel.
Caroline Glick: Why bring down Ya’alon?
The media chose to focus the campaign against Ya’alon on his purported irresponsibility and loose lips because they cannot argue with him on substance.
His claim that there is no chance that Palestinians will agree to a peace deal with Israel is self-evident.
His assertion that Israel cannot trust Obama to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power is undeniable.
And this is why the media chooses to create artificial crises with the US over Ya’alon’s private remarks and why the Obama administration so enthusiastically cooperates with Channel 2, Yediot and Haaretz.
Amb. Alan Baker: Changing the Historical Narrative: Saeb Erekat’s New Spin
The Erekat Family History
Erekat’s family, presently residing in Jericho, previously lived in the village of Abu Dis near Jerusalem. In fact, the Erekat family was never part of the Jericho tribal system. It is a Bedouin family which, according to Bedouin genealogy, came to the area from the south of Jordan, an area called Husseyniya and Rashaida, at an undisclosed time.
According to genealogical research of the Bedouin families in Israel, the Erekat family belongs to the extensive Huweitat clan, which originated in the area between the Liya valley, near Taif, in the vicinity of Mecca in the northern Hejaz region, close to the town of Hekl in the Sarawat Mountains, 350 km. from the Jordanian border, and northern Aqaba. Bedouin genealogical literature claims that the Huweitat clan is a Sharifi clan allied with their cousins the Hashemites. The Huweitat clan settled not only in Israel but also in Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and the Sinai Peninsula by Ras Seeder.
A branch of this clan settled in geographic Palestine in several waves of immigration that started some 200 years ago, ending during the period of the Arab Revolt and First World War. Apparently, the family to which Erekat belongs settled in Abu Dis near Jerusalem during the last of these waves, which occurred in the early twentieth century, after the Jewish immigration to the area.

Eugene Kontorovich: Think Russia's land grab is unique? Think again.
More recently, Armenia successfully conquered parts of Azerbaijan in the 1990s, a move condemned by the EU but that seems unlikely to be reversed. And, of course, Russia snagged parts of Georgia just five years ago — and, after a series of Western threats, was punished with an Olympic Games.
When conquest fails, it is because of resistance from the target state — as with Argentina's bid for the Falklands, or Libya's for parts of Chad, and Iraq's attack on Iran. But international tsk-tsking does not do the trick. Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait, which led to an international effort to eject him, is not the paradigm but rather the exception.
Even in cases in which the conqueror's control remains in dispute, it does not poison international relations. Israel's 1967 Six-Day War successes are the exception that prove the rule: It is unimaginable that 45 years from now, the EU will be demanding that Russian exports be clearly marked to indicate they did not come from "occupied Ukrainian territory." Based on the current sanctions threats, it will not be doing this 45 days from now.
Indeed, the vigor with which the international community has maintained, and increased, its objections over Israel's presence in the West Bank may divert attention from other conquests. Putin knows this. Remarkably, Russia retained its status as a member of the "quartet" — with the U.S., EU and U.N. — seeking to broker Israeli territorial withdrawals even after it invaded Georgia.
A new beginning, or the arrogance of power
The president and his spokespersons have more than once hinted at the cost the latter choice might entail in terms of Israel’s international standing. Implicit in these not-so-subtle allusions is that, while the mutually beneficial partnership that links the two democracies will endure – with the overwhelming support of Congress and the American people – there could be a fraying of the bonds.
Emanating from the senior member of this partnership, this is a message that conveys, if not the arrogance of power, more than a whiff of the power of arrogance.
In fairness, the point of convergence between the retreat from the mis-perceived power of US arrogance that defines the New Beginning and its contrary application in the Arab-Israeli conflict is the conviction that these polar initiatives hold the promise of nourishing the seeds of good will and understanding among adversaries, leading ultimately to peace. At least as far as the still incorrigible deniers of Israel’s legitimacy are concerned, it is wise to ponder Henry Kissinger’s sage observation in A World Restored (1954): “Whenever peace – conceived as the avoidance of war – has been the primary objective...the international system has been at the mercy of [its] most ruthless member.”
Seeking Support for Hard Line, Abbas Turns to Arab League
As Arab leaders gather in Kuwait this week, the Palestinian delegation will seek support for their rejectionist stance on the American-brokered peace talks with Israel, hoping to convince them to reinvigorate the Arab peace initiative as an alternative to the American track.
The Israel Project’s Regional Analyst Paul Shindman believes Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas "is unwilling to give an absolute ‘no’ and break off the talks, which would threaten an American rebuke and future international monetary support for the PA. At the same time, the Palestinians collectively have not arrived at the point where they are able to say yes and take an independent state with the sacrifices to their long-standing absolutist narrative that this would involve."
Palestinians to push Arab peace plan at Kuwait summit
Arab leaders meeting Tuesday in Kuwait are expected to back a Palestinian refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state.
The summit stresses a “categorical rejection” of the demand for recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, according to a draft statement endorsed by foreign ministers.
The statement also rejects “all pressures exerted on the Palestinian leadership” to force it into agreeing.
75% of Palestinians: Chances for state in 5 years ‘nonexistent’
According to the findings of the poll, 56% of respondents believe that Abbas will accept the agreement, while 32% are convinced that he will reject it.
Only 32% said that they will accept the proposed agreement if it includes a demand for recognizing Israel as a Jewish state.
An overwhelming majority of 76% of Palestinians believe that Abbas will agree to extend the peace talks after the expiration of the nine-month deadline in late April, the poll showed.
Hamas would accept peace with Israel, West Bank leader says
A top Hamas official in the West Bank said his hard-line group would accept a peace deal between the Palestinian Authority and Israel should it win approval in a national referendum.
“It is our right to oppose an agreement that [PA President] Mahmoud Abbas brings, like you have your own opposition, but I stress here: we will accept the results of a national referendum and the decision of the majority,” Sheikh Hassan Yousef told The Times of Israel.
Ismail Haniyeh Calls for Israel's Destruction

VOA: “Little Chance” West-Bank-Only Peace Strategy Would Bring Palestinian State
Voice of America (VOA) reported last week that Secretary of State John Kerry is likely to embrace a so-called ‘West Bank-only’ strategy that would simply ignore the disposition of the Gaza Strip. It is not clear how the framework would secure an end of Palestinian claims against Israel – a central requirement for any comprehensive agreement – in the absence of an agreement that fixes Gaza’s borders.
Without Gaza, many analysts think there is little chance the talks can lead to a negotiated settlement to the decades-old conflict or help create a viable and independent Palestinian state. ​But U.S. officials are pushing forward anyway. In December, President Barack Obama said that if a “pathway to peace” can be created in the West Bank, “that’s something that the young people of Gaza are going to want.”
EU ready to pay Palestinians who renounce right of return
“How exactly will that be incorporated in a future peace agreement? I can’t even see how this would be implemented,” the official said regarding the idea of the EU paying off Palestinian refugees. “Compensation means that if you get the money, you don’t get the land, that you stop claiming you have a right to return. Ask the Palestinians whether they’re willing to do that.”
The diplomatic official ridiculed Faaborg-Andersen’s suggestion that the EU could in any meaningful way contribute to securing Israel’s borders, be it by means of security personnel on the ground or enhanced trade relations with the Palestinians. “How can they ever stabilize a Hamas-run Gaza and a Fatah-run West Bank? And if they have a way to stop rockets from being fired at Israel, what’s stopping them from doing this now? Why aren’t they working their magic right now?”
The official also attacked the EU’s offer of a Special Privileged Partnership with the Palestinians. “Are they offering them full access to the Eurozone merely based on good will? The PA doesn’t qualify for anything on EU criteria, only for charity. How can they even say that nonsense? Such statements only cast doubts on the seriousness of EU policy,” the official concluded.
PA official: Palestinians could turn to UN if Israel doesn't release terrorists
Speaking at the launch of an Israeli-Palestinian event in Jerusalem supporting the Arab Peace Initiative, Ajrami told The Jerusalem Post "if there is an Israeli decision to postpone the release of 104 prisoners, it will be a step against the process."
"I think Palestinian leadership will decide to stop negotiations if anything related to postponing or rejecting the release happens," he added.
Ajrami emphasized that Israel must release Palestinian terrorists from prison in order to negotiate.
"There are two parts to the American agreement. Israel agreed to release prisoners, Palestinians agreed not to appeal to UN organizations," Ajrami stated, implying that the PA will not feel obligated to their part if Israel does not fulfill its side of the deal.
PA tries to stop UN Watch quoting the PA on need to fire Richard Falk
UN Watch testimony to UN Human Rights Council delivered by executive director Hillel Neuer, 24 March 2014. The speech was interrupted numerous times by the Palestinian Authority, supported with objections by Cuba, Pakistan, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Algeria and Venezuela.
Mr. Falk, in this, your final report, you address the six years of your now-ending term. Were they a success?
Let us consider. Did you promote human rights? We could ask the Israeli people. But the terms of your mandate refused to consider their human rights, so we cannot ask them.
On 16 February 2010, as revealed by Wikileaks, the Palestinian delegation here in Geneva met their diplomatic counterparts. The meeting was recorded in a diplomatic cable.
I quote: “The Palestinians informed us that they were seeking the removal of Special Rapporteur Richard Falk due to his poor performance, and [his] reference to Hamas in his draft report to the Council.”
“Zuhairi argued that he had too often corrected Falk’s many errors, and that this latest misguided effort by Falk had gone too far.”
“Zuhairi also said he wished Falk would drop his repeated suggestions that Israel’s actions in the OPT be equated with the Holocaust.”
U.N. Human Rights Council Debates 5 Anti-Israel Resolutions, 1 Syria Resolution
The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) debated five anti-Israel resolutions on Monday. One of the resolutions calls to boycott Israeli business in Judea and Samaria and in eastern Jerusalem.
The resolution calls on member states “to take appropriate measures to ensure that businesses domiciled in their territory and/or under their jurisdiction, including those owned or controlled by them, that conduct activities in or related to the settlements, respect human rights throughout their operations, by taking all necessary steps—including by terminating their business interests in the settlements—to ensure that their activities do not have an adverse impact on the human rights of the Palestinian people,” the Jerusalem Post reported.
UN Human Rights Council Launches Fusillade of Anti-Israel Moves
The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) is launching a new round of anti-Israel activity, with as many as 5 new resolutions in the works this coming week. In conjunction with the UN’s year of solidarity with the Palestinian people, the Council, which has only one resolution pending this session addressing the bloody civil war in Syria, is set to introduce a series of resolutions – sponsored by Syria and the Palestinian Authority – condemning Israel. According to UN Watch:
While Israeli diplomats remain on strike, the 47-nation UN Human Rights Council is planning to launch a massive attack on the Jewish state next week in a series of five resolutions that — expressly citing controversial UN official Richard Falk — include new accusations of racism, along with calls to impose “international criminal liability” on businesses with indirect links amounting to “corporate complicity in breaches of international law related to illegal settlements.”
UN Blames Israel for Problems in Judea, Samaria and Gaza
She also claimed that Israel was partly responsible for the escalation in violence in Gaza, because of its airstrikes on terror targets in retaliation for rocket attacks on southern Israel.
According to Pillay, “The targeting of civilians and the indiscriminate firing of rockets towards Israel is a violation of international law. The response through air strikes by Israel is excessive and often causes destruction to personal and public property.”
There was no condemnation in her remarks for the rock attacks being perpetrated on a daily basis by Palestinian Arabs against residents of Judea, Samaria, and eastern Jerusalem.
EU, UN Blame Settlements, not Palestinian Violence
These international diplomats live in a topsy-turvy version of reality in which homes for Jews are antithetical to peace, while the proliferation of Islamist terror groups in the West Bank are unworthy of comment. Indeed, in his Bloomberg interview President Obama repeatedly described settlements as “aggressive” so as to create the sense that building homes for Jews is comparable with acts of violence. Meanwhile Obama praised Abbas as having rejected violence. In truth Abbas’s PA continues to glorify and honor terrorism, but it also now seems that Abbas has adopted a parallel policy of inaction that only makes the proliferation of terrorism against Israelis more likely.
The growing threat of terror coming from the West Bank has become ever more apparent in recent months. It appears that, under pressure from a Palestinian public supportive of jihadist groups, the PA security forces have simply stopped policing certain neighborhoods of such radicalized cities as Jenin and Nablus. This has obliged the Israeli military to step up its involvement in these areas and over the weekend the IDF was engaged in a firefight in Jenin as they pursued Hamas operative Hamza Abu al-Hija, having already attempted to arrest him back in December. Despite the fact that these measures were necessitated by PA inaction, the Palestinian Authority actually condemned this incursion by Israel.
Israeli Security Officials Say Jenin is New Terror Capital of Judea and Samaria
Such cities as Hebron and Nablus once boasted the nefarious title of “terror capital.” However, over the last several months Jenin has became a hub for the planning and execution of terrorism.
In September 2013, a member of the Islamic Jihad terrorist organization was killed in Jenin by Israeli forces. The incident was similar to the one that took place this week, in which the Israeli Defense Forces killed three terrorists. In December, another Islamic Jihad fighter was killed in the same refugee camp while in the act of planning a homicide attack against Israelis, Ma’ariv said.
While Israeli security forces regularly conduct raids and detentions of terror suspects across Judea and Samaria without incident, IDF soldiers in the act of making arrests in Jenin are routinely shot and have Molotov Cocktails hurled at them, Ma’ariv reported.
‘Iran scenario’ at Israel, US, Greece naval exercise
The exercise, “Noble Dina,” is now in its fourth year and replaced an annual Israeli-Turkish joint maneuver which was canceled when relations soured between Jerusalem and Ankara.
Noble Dina, which is to last more than a week, features extensive drills involving naval and air forces of the three countries, including simulations of submarine warfare and search and rescue operations.
According to an IDF source cited by Walla News, the exercise will also feature a simulation of an “Iranian scenario” which includes practicing defending Israeli ports from attack, and implementing a “swarm” tactic where a large vessel is overcome by many smaller boats.
US, Israel to Strengthen Defense Ties Despite Ya'alon Brouhaha
Rose Gottemoeller, the US Undersecretary for Arms Control and International Security, will meet with Israeli counterparts, including several military leaders, to discuss regional security issues, arms control and nonproliferation policy, as well as missile defense cooperation and export control matters, according to Ma'ariv.
The State Department announced Sunday that Gottemoeller will head the US delegation to the 43rd Joint Political Military Group, one of several long-standing bilateral security discussions.
Terrorist 'Martyrs' Families to Receive Millions of Dollars
The Palestinian Authority (PA) continues to financially support terrorism, and families of terrorists were set to receive a great deal of that financial support, as PA official Rami Hamdallah pledged another $74 million from the PA budget to the families of 'martyrs' for the Palestinian Arab nationalist cause.
On Sunday, Hamdallah said that his government will continue to work to protect the rights of family members of the "martyrs" who were killed in the course of carrying out attacks on Israelis and their supporters abroad, and ensure that they "live dignified lives."
Fatah official: "We have not cast down the rifle"

Khamenei Expresses Doubts whether the Holocaust Took Place. "Death to America" Chants by the Crowd

Hungarian envoy pays respects at Hezbollah monument as 'jihad tourist'
The Hungarian ambassador to Lebanon paid respects at a Hezbollah monument while on a "jihad tour."
The ambassador visited the site in south Lebanon and "expressed his admiration at Hezbollah's great achievement for Lebanon, at liberating the land and the people," Hezbollah's Al-Manar TV reported on February 28 according to a transcript provided by MEMRI (the Middle East Media Research Institute).
According to the website of the Mleeta Resistance Tourist Landmark-Lebanon, the site is a natural museum that seeks "to preserve the places where the Mujahideen lived, giving people the chance to be acquainted with the style of the unique experience of the Islamic resistance against the Israeli enemy."
Pacific islands may be selling diplomatic immunity
Important things to know about the Marshall Islands. About 70,000 people call this tiny Pacific nation home. Sixty years ago it was a US nuclear test site. And its president recently made an impassioned plea in The New York Times warning climate change is already swamping his islands.
But you probably missed news that Marshall Islands was caught out a few weeks ago for nominating a Hezbollah-linked former Lebanese general to be its representative at a key United Nations forum.
US on Turkey's Twitter Ban--More Tweets Than Before
The move has attracted ire from the international community, with Washington on Friday denouncing the blow to "the right to free speech."
But State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf noted Monday that "there have been more tweets from Turkey since the government blocked (Twitter) than there were before."
"Which is an interesting, I think, signal to people who try to clamp down on freedom of expression: that it doesn't work, and isn't the right thing to do," she said.

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