Wednesday, April 23, 2014

From Ian:

Netanyahu: Abbas must choose between Israel and Hamas
The Palestinian Authority can either make peace with Hamas or with Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday, warning PA President Mahmoud Abbas that a reported reconciliation deal with the terrorist organization ruling Gaza would mean the end of the current, US-mediated effort to negotiate a peace deal.
“Instead of moving into peace with Israel, he’s moving into peace with Hamas,” Netanyahu said. “He has to choose: Does he want peace with Hamas or peace with Israel? You can have one but not the other. I hope he chooses peace; so far he hasn’t done so.”
Bennett Derides Abbas for Seventh 'Suicide Threat' to Disband PA
Bennett remarked that Abbas's "threats" constitute a demand for Israel to "divide Jerusalem, release murderers" and divide the country along the 1949 Armistice lines, and if Israel doesn't "then he's going to commit suicide. Well, he's got to improve the incentive, something's wrong there."
The economics minister added "the state of Israel is stronger than the threats of Abbas, we heard about terror threats in the past, we heard threats about a national tsunami (of boycotts); the new threat they're selling is the disbandment of the PA."
"I've got news" for Abbas, said Bennett, referring to the threats to hand over the keys. "There's always someone who will take the keys and we certainly don't intend to adopt a policy of national suicide from such a great fear as Abbas retiring."
John Bolton: Opinion: A Three State Solution for Middle East Peace: Israel, Jordan, and Egypt
The contentious issue of Jerusalem’s status as the purported capital of “Palestine” would disappear, since Amman would obviously be the seat of government for an enlarged Jordan. Palestinians could be rapidly integrated into the Jordanian economy, and participate in its ongoing political development. Such a solution would enormously benefit the Palestinian people by providing political stability and the prospect of enhanced economic security. The existing Israel-Jordanian peace agreement would help ensure that Israel and an expanded Jordan could continue to live together peacefully.
Gaza is a harder problem, but incorporating it into Egypt is clearly a better solution than allowing it to remain the headquarters for Hamas and other terrorist groups. Merging Gaza with Egypt under the Muslim Brotherhood was not an acceptable option, since Hamas, a Brotherhood subsidiary, would simply have acquired even greater capabilities for terrorist attacks against Israel, Arab states friendly to America, and beyond.
Cairo’s current (and likely future) military government may not be made up of Jeffersonian democrats, but it is a sterling alternative to Hamas, and will presumably not tolerate terrorism emanating from behind new Egyptian borders. Gaza’s economic integration with Egypt will be more difficult than the West Bank into Jordan, but no other alternative is feasible.
For many, ending the quest for the “two-state solution” will be like renouncing the search for the Golden Fleece. Moreover, Egypt and Jordan will be understandably reluctant to take control of the troubled territories, which therefore warrants significant international assistance for their efforts. Nonetheless, our experience over the past several decades proves conclusively that neither Palestinians nor Israel, nor (most importantly for us) the United States, can benefit from continuing to pursue an illusion.

Abbas' fictional state
The latest round of peace talks has brought the Palestinians to a crossroads where a decision has to be made: they may have their state, but it would require of them to declare an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and recognize Israel as a Jewish state, which would spell the end for their demand for a right of return.
This imperative moment of truth has thrown the sly Palestinian strategy for a loop. As there is no way for the Palestinian Authority to "market" the concepts of the end of the conflict and recognizing Israel as a Jewish state to Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the angry descendants of the Palestinian refugees, Abbas has opted for zigzag policies and excuses -- such as the stalled prisoners release -- to avoid making any dramatic decision.
Minister reports progress in talks with Palestinians
According to Peretz, there was still a “very serious effort” by Livni to reach an agreement between Israel and the Palestinians to extend peace talks beyond their April 29 deadline.
“There really is progress” on a number of issues raised by the Palestinians as part of their demands for the extension of negotiations, he said.
Richard Falk and reexamining the Palestinian genocide
Labeling Israel a genocidal state, which is patently false, is not helpful in the pursuit of peace. The failure to place the Palestinian plight in the context of real genocides around the globe has given Palestinians a false sense of uniqueness and actually serves as a hurdle in pursuing a just and lasting settlement to this conflict.
Those who truly care about human rights should be outraged at Falk’s sentiments and delighted at the thought of his departure. His inability to place into context the plight of the Palestinians has had the unfortunate effect of empowering some of the worst violators of human rights and has not brought the parties themselves closer to a negotiated settlement. Sadly, the cause of peace and justice is never served through lies and deceit.
Jerusalem, Israel
Ostensibly, the State Department’s position on Jerusalem – as presented to the US federal appeals court – is that the “reversal of US policy” could “provoke uproar throughout the Arab and Muslim world and seriously damage our relations.”
But caving in to extremists in the Arab and Muslim world only encourages more extremist behavior, because it proves that intimidation works.
Caving in to the extremists also strengthens the Palestinian “Nakba” narrative which views Israel as the aggressor in the 1948 War of Independence. In reality, it was not Israeli aggression that sparked the fighting that led to Israel’s control over western Jerusalem. It was a radicalized Palestinian leadership – backed by bellicose Arab nations – that rejected the 1947 UN Partition Plan. The Palestinians made the historic mistake of attempting to snuff out the fledgling Jewish state at birth. Thankfully, they failed. But they refuse to face the consequences of their own acts of violence.
By refusing to recognize Jerusalem as part of Israel, the US is essentially strengthening this distorted narrative.
‘Israel to ease entry of Palestinian-Americans’
US citizens are automatically granted a three-month tourist visa to Israel, but American officials allege that Israel routinely discriminates against Arab- and other Muslim-Americans seeking entry. This is a key sticking point in preventing Israel’s joining the visa waiver program, which would greatly ease entry into the US for Israelis, who are currently required to apply for visas.
According to an Israeli official cited by Haaretz, Deputy Foreign Minister Ze’ev Elkin met with senior American officials in March and raised the possibility of ensuring that Palestinian-Americans would receive “egalitarian treatment” vis-a-vis visas, in exchange for Israel’s entry into the US visa program.
IDF to actively recruit Christian Arab soldiers
Recruiting Christian Arabs has always provoked inter-communal tensions, more so in recent years as the number of Christian draftees has steadily risen.
But in a reversal of a decades-long policy that required Christian Arab recruits to initiate first contact with the military, the IDF has now adopted active recruiting methods and will begin sending out voluntary conscription papers, Army Radio reported.
Going forward, Christians, like their Jewish peers, will receive preliminary conscription papers around the age of 16 and a half. However, their participation in the process will remain voluntary.
The ‘One Map to Understand All The Threats Facing Israel’
The Israel Defense Forces has created a new interactive map of Israel that enables viewers to learn about the increasing threats to every point of the Jewish state’s borders.
From the Gaza Strip, to Lebanon and Syria, the map shines a spotlight on the various terrorist groups and government-backed militias that attempt to kill Israelis on a daily basis.
“These threats are real, and the IDF is forced to act on all fronts, more often than you might think,” writes the IDF.
Tunisia approves entry of Israeli tourists despite opposition
Tunisian Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa announced Wednesday that the security authorities in his country have approved the entry of Israeli tourists to Tunisia.
"There is a decision to allow Israeli tourists into Tunisia," Jomaa said at an economic conference in Tunis.
"The aim is that the tourist season be a success," he said.
The decision caused a backlash from the Tunisian opposition, who were quick to accuse the government of being lenient and "normalizing relations with Israel."
Palestinians suspected of torching terror victim's memorial
In May 2001, Gilad Zar, a 41-year-old security officer for the Shomron Regional Council, was shot dead by Palestinian terrorists on the road between Kedumim and Yitzhar. Early Tuesday morning, a memorial monument for Zar that was erected in the area where the attack took place was torched, apparently by Palestinians.
Pro-Palestinian tweeters subvert IDF Holocaust campaign
Over the course of the first day, dozens of images of elderly Holocaust survivors accompanied by relatives, including some IDF servicemen and women in uniform, were uploaded to Twitter.
Although @IDFspokesperson tweeted Wednesday afternoon that the “the #WeAreHere campaign is off to an inspiring start,” many pro-Palestinian activists may have been inspired by the recent hijacking of a New York Police Department Twitter campaign by those protesting police brutality.
“#Wearehere and this is Palestine,” and “#Wearehere and we will resist” were some of the popular messages shared on Twitter by anti-Israel activist groups such as @Op_Israel and @PalAnonymous using the IDF-inspired hashtag.
Fatah`s military wing: "Armed resistance” until Israel is destroyed
Fatah's military wing, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, announced that they "will adhere to the option of armed resistance until the liberation of all of Palestine," the independent Palestinian news agency Ma'an reported. The expression "the liberation of all of Palestine" is a common Palestinian euphemism used to refer to the destruction of Israel.
PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas is also the head of Fatah and his movement's military wing stressed that the "calm has ended, as the occupation continues to kill, Judaize and settle." They urged Mahmoud Abbas not to accept US Secretary of State John Kerry's plan and not to give in to "political extortion by the Western powers." [Ma'an, March 11, 2014]
Hamas 'Policemen' Train to Attack IDF Positions
Hamas' police force in the Gaza Strip chose a rather strange way of exhibiting its skills at "keeping the peace" earlier this week, as policemen in military fatigues took part in a public drill simulating the seizure and destruction of an IDF lookout tower.
Tens of armed fighters wielding assault weapons took part in the drill, which also included RPG fire in support of the attack force.
Upon reaching the "outpost", the Hamas gunmen stormed it using live-fire from two positions, after which the force planted and detonated a series of explosive devices, destroying the site.
State Department clears Egypt for US military aid
The Obama administration said Tuesday it has certified that Egypt is upholding its 35-year-old peace treaty with Israel and therefore qualifies for some military and counterterrorism assistance.
A congressional aide said the decision clears the way for the release of Apache helicopters to Egypt, which the United States has held up since July when the Egyptian military overthrew President Mohammed Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood-led government.
“Today, Secretary Kerry spoke with Egyptian Foreign Minister (Nibil) Fahmy to inform him that he is certifying to Congress that Egypt is sustaining the strategic relationship with the United States, including by countering transnational threats such as terrorism and weapons proliferation, and that Egypt is upholding its obligations under the Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in an emailed statement.
Spokesmen for Front-runners in Egyptian Elections Discuss Annulment of Peace with Israel

Russia said set to sell its top fighter jets to Egypt
Egypt is slated to sign a deal with Russia to purchase 24 advanced MiG-35 fighter jets, Israel’s Channel 2 news reported Tuesday, citing official sources in Moscow and Cairo.
Ahead of the agreement for the sophisticated aircraft — not sold as of yet to any other country — a delegation of Russian advisers are currently in Cairo meeting with officials.
According to a February report of the deal, Egypt was prepared to buy a number of MiG-29 planes, as well as Mi-35 helicopters and other hardware, for over $3 billion. RIA Novosti listed Saudi Arabia and the UAE as funding the purchase.
UN: Aid Missions to Syria Have Failed
The United Nations Security Council admitted Wednesday that humanitarian aid missions to war-torn Syria have failed - and that the situation is bound to get worse.
Leaders of five UN agencies responsible for humanitarian relief painted a grim view of the hunger, poverty, and oppression in Syria in a joint statement Wednesday.
US points to likely chemical weapons use in Syria
“We have indications of the use of a toxic industrial chemical, probably chlorine, in Syria this month, in the opposition-dominated village of Kafr Zita,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said.
“We are examining allegations that the government was responsible.”
The revelation follows Sunday’s announcement by French President Francois Hollande that his country had “information” but no proof that Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime was still using chemical weapons.
Expert: Syria has dumped 86 percent of chemical weapons
He said in a statement Tuesday that cargo ships at Syria’s main port, Latakia, received the latest chemical consignment and delivered it to a US ship offshore. There, the chemicals are neutralized under supervision by the watchdog’s experts.
Syria has missed several deadlines for progress specified in last year’s agreed timetable to eradicate its poison gas and nerve agent program by June 30. It insists it will meet the final deadline.
Syria: ‘Almost Done Using Chemical Arms, Then You Can Have Them’ (satire)
Syria’s embattled government says it is almost ready to hand over what remains of its chemical weapons stockpile, but it just needs to perpetrate a few more atrocities with them first.
Under an agreement with various other countries, Syrian President Basher Assad consented to part with its inventory of weaponized chemical agents, after several documented uses of the arms in contravention of international law. Amid squabbling and missed deadlines, the actual delivery of the weapons to international representatives has been conducted in fits and starts, with the government trying to get in a few good massacres with the weapons while it still can.
“We’ll have them with you in a jiffy- we just need to conduct a few more attacks with our nerve gas and it’ll be good to go,” said government spokesman Sarin Sarin. “Just let us finish up here and you can have all the rest.”


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