Was this item in your local newspaper, next to descriptions of the "moderate" government of "moderate' Mahmoud Abbas, and the "ultranationalist" "right wing" Israeli leadership? Did they explain that the moderate Abbas immoderately praised the moderate terrorist Dalal Mughrabi? Did they note that the moderate Fateh is still calling for immoderate armed "resistance" (blowing people up)?
What would your local media have to say if the Israeli government declared Baruch Goldstein (the murderer of Palestinians) to be a national martyr? Do you think such an event would go unnoticed? What would they say, and do they say, when the least rabbi in the West Bank makes a statement saying that in theory, it is permitted to kill Arabs?? So why do they ignore Palestinian incitement, by the US funded and backed Palestinian Authority? Are your tax dollars doing their job? Don't you want to know about it?
If these items were not carried by your local media, ask them why, please. Find out if it is because inept Israeli public relations, or perhaps there is another reason. We are all very interested to know.
Behind the Headlines: Palestinian incitement distances peace
Despite Israel's efforts to encourage the Palestinian Authority leadership to return to the peace talks, the PA continues to boycott negotiations and to incite against Israel and praise terrorists.
Text of banner in Arabic reads: "Under the auspices of President Mahmoud Abbas - The Political and National Education Authority - Ceremony on the anniversary of the birth of the bride of the cosmos - The Shahida (Martyr) Dalal Mughrabi" (Photo: Palwatch.org)
Despite Israel's numerous efforts to encourage the Palestinian Authority (PA) leadership to return to the peace talks, the PA continues to boycott negotiations and to incite against Israel and praise terrorists.
Among the incidents that indicate an upsurge in incitement in the past month, are the official sponsorship of the naming of a Ramallah square after a terrorist who slaughtered 37 Israelis and the glorification of the murderers of the late Rabbi Meir Avshalom Chai, killed on 24 December 2009 in a drive-by shooting.
This incitement is occurring despite the fact that the current Israeli government, like previous governments, has made great efforts to advance peace. Time after time, it has declared its commitment to peace and its willingness to make the necessary compromises to reach that goal. It has also undertaken numerous acts, such as a moratorium on settlement housing construction, that tangibly demonstrate its commitment to negotiations while improving the lives of Palestinians living under the control of the Palestinian Authority. Additionally, like all Israeli governments, it invests a great deal of effort into educating for peace.
The requirement for the Palestinians to end incitement has constituted one of the core foundations of the peace process since its inception. The need to end incitement stems from the recognition that true peace cannot be achieved as long as the propagation of hate continues. As Prime Minister Netanyahu noted (10 January): "Peace is made by educating towards reconciliation, by encouraging good neighborly relations and by developing mutual respect."
Incitement not only pushes peace farther away, it also jeopardizes Israel's security. Words can be dangerous. Hero-worship of terrorists and their despicable acts - which has transpired not only in the past but in recent days - inspires further violence.
Anti-Israeli incitement, including by the highest-ranking Palestinian officials, also persists in official Palestinian media outlets and in the educational system.
The last week of 2009 provides a regrettable sample of Palestinian official incitement. In one short week, incitement increased, terror attacks were carried out both inside and outside the pre-'67 lines, and condemnation of the terrorist attacks by the PA was conspicuously absent.
Following is a short summary of the most egregious events of the last week of December 2009:
• Veneration of a mass-murdering Palestinian terrorist:
On 29 December, PA President Mahmoud Abbas funded and sponsored a ceremony celebrating the memory of Dalal al-Maghrabi. She was the terrorist responsible for the Coastal Road massacre in 1978 in which 37 Israelis were murdered within the pre-67 "Green Line". During the ceremony - one of many held in her honor - dignitaries sang her praises and children marched in honor of this murderer's 50th birthday. For quite some time, the PA has strived to turn this female terrorist into a role model for young Palestinian children. Indeed, two high schools for girls, a computer center, children's summer camps and a square in the Ramallah area have all been named for her.
• Expressions of support for the murderers of Rabbi Chai:
On 24 December, Rabbi Meir Avshalom Chai was shot to death while driving in his car. Even though members of the PLO's own Fatah faction took responsibility for the shooting attack, PA officials saw no reason to denounce the attack or even to express their condolences to his wife and seven children. Incredibly, PA President Abbas sent a representative to pay his condolences to the families of the terrorists (who were subsequently killed while resisting arrest) and to declare them shahids (holy martyrs). Abbas even had letters sent to their families on his behalf to console them and praise the murder these terrorists carried out.
In a further outrageous act, the Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority, Salam Fayyad personally visited the families of the terrorists, accompanied by a delegation of dignitaries which included PA government ministers and the Chief of the Palestinian Police, all the while condemning Israel's attempt to apprehend the terrorists.
• Fatah calls for armed "resistance" over peace negotiations:
Fatah, which is headed by President Abbas, issued a statement on its official website following the Rabbi Chai murder which called for the continuance of the "armed struggle" by Fatah and all the other factions. It declared "resistance," and not negotiations, "as the primary option for liberating Palestinian lands from the filth of the children of Zion [Jews]." This announcement, and others like it, receive the support of the leaders of the movement, including members of the Palestinian Authority leadership.
The continuation of incitement by the PA leadership constitutes a serious violation of the Palestinians' international obligations and calls into question their commitment to peace. It is manifestly clear to all parties interested in promoting peace in the region that the cessation of incitement is an essential condition for achieving a genuine peace between Israelis and Palestinians. Israel calls upon the Palestinian leadership to stop the incitement and to return to the negotiating table.
Labels: Incitement, Palestinians, Terror
Continued (Permanent Link)
Chanoch Marmory, former editor of Ha'aretz, discusses how he was taken in by the Pallywood Muhammad al-Dura fabrication. The supposed murder of Al-Dura by Israeli soldiers, broadcast around the world, sparked the major violence of the so called Second Intifada. Marmory He was not the only one who "bought" the Muhammad al-Dura fabrication. The IDF bought it too. And when I circulated, simply as a point of information, news of a reconstruction that showed that Israeli soldiers could not possibly have killed al-Dura, I was bitterly condemned as a Zionist propagandist. But it was all a lie, just as the "Jenin Massacre" was a lie, and just as the "Gaza Humanitarian crisis" is a lie.
The title "Purity of shame" - "Tohar Habusha" is a pun on a Hebrew expression for ethical conduct.
Translated from the Hebrew
The purity of shame
By: Chanoch Marmory [Former editor of Haaretz]
Release Date: 10/12/2009
Today, when I know more about the way in which the Palestinians related their tragedy, and from across the years and experience accumulated during those years, I can openly accept even the film of German journalist Esther Schapira, "Al Dura - child, death and the truth". Today I know we bought that story too quickly, and cheaply.
It was on my shift, so you can certainly see self-criticism in what is written here. Nine years have gone by since then, and the personal memory of every detail has gone dull a long time ago. But the emotional turmoil caused in me by the scene of father and son, Jalal Mohammed A-Dura and young Muhammad, I remember well. Those were feelings of shame and anger.
In the face of every scene of horror, the emotional reaction of the journalist precedes the journalistic one. Muhammad A-Dura was then my son's age, and it was easy to identify with the pain of the father who had his child lying shot at his feet. But we had to pull together and act as journalists even if the redness of shame often covered the cheeks.
The important lesson the years of intifada had taught me is that there is no way to do real journalism with veiled eyes. And even when the purity of shame blurs the vision, it is forbidden to abandon, even under the most difficult of circumstances, the basic tools of the journalist – curiosity, skepticism and a critical approach. Later it became evident how well the Palestinian side would exploit the embarrassment and shame of journalists like me as a tool in its combat.
The contribution of a minute and a half video segment taken at the gunfire exchanges at Netzarim junction on September 30, 2000 was decisive in turning protest demonstrations over Ariel Sharon's visit at Har-Homa into a complete Intifada. The clip that reflected the story of a son's dying in his father's arms after the two were caught partially exposed in the heart of the gunfire scene was embarrassing and shocking and was taken at face value: The was son killed and the father injured in the exchange of fire – whether it be IDF fire or Palestinian fire.
Wonder for the meaning of the event evaporated completely after the then Deputy Chief of Staff Gen. Boogie Yaalon and Major General Giora Eiland stated publicly that the child was shot by IDF fire, accidentally of course. Even when the IDF investigated and retracted to state that Al-Dura was killed by wild Palestinian crossfire, we did not return to it. Anyone who then tried to keep digging around this innocent case the case was seen as a madman or one with a political agenda - or both.
We've left the issue with a certain relief, especially when the blaze swept all the territories and the full resources of journalistic coverage. Today it is clear we should have been more skeptical about eye impressions, also that the eyes were of only one camera: the camera of Talal Abu-Rahma, questionably hot material from the front, where there are those who describe it as Pallywood – the Palestinian video drama industry.
In time it became clear how this market took hold in the world, and especially in Western Europe, what drew the European media to provide with relative comfort and with low risk, bloody stories from the intifada fields of battle to a mostly non-critical audience that is not particularly selective. It was easy for the Palestinians to sell stories to the foreign press, and it was easy for those stories to produce bold headlines.
In disproving at least one instance I was involved personally; in setting things straight in the story of Abu-Ali, a resident of the Jenin refugee camp during the days of "Operation Defensive Shield", which was given in the French magazine "Le Nouvel Observateur" the title: "My Nine children were buried under the rubble". Abu-Ali's house was indeed destroyed during the battle, but his children escaped and were found safe and sound. However, and despite this, the French magazine, which did a very sloppy job, avoided publicly retracting their words.
Today, when I know more about the way in which the Palestinians related their tragedy, and from across the years and experience accumulated during those years, I can openly accept even the film of German journalist Esther Schapira, "Al Dura - child, death and the truth" that was broadcast last night on "Mabat Sheny".
Today I know we bought that story too quickly, and cheaply. We were skeptical towards the IDF investigation, also because the army had a reputation of a body that suits investigative conclusions to its own needs. But from the moment when the army itself took responsibility for the case, we rid ourselves of it, while at the same time we showed impatience towards tests conducted by those perceived as obsessive. In the midst of the intifada there is no time for those who dig around in an old case, when events pile up on the table frequently.
Yair Atinger, the only one of the TV critics who referred this morning to the film that was broadcast last night, offers as a main lesson from it: "Do not believe anything that runs on the screen". I agree with his statement and his words that that "a picture, even a video image, may be the perfect lie, and effective television needs trusting viewers, not necessarily intelligent ones".
However I find it hard to accept Atinger's inclusion of the Al-Dura case into one package with Elvis legends and stories of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, i.e. in the category of conspiracy theories. If you take into account the fact that a minute and a half of photographic material created the great myth of the second intifada, a myth of the suffering, heroism and sacrifice, which generations of Palestinian children grow on, we should have made every effort to get at the truth of the affair. It was our job, to tell what exactly happened. And if not us, anyone who is willing to stick a pin in this myth should have been accepted openly. We had to try to distinguish between bothersome possessed people and meticulous researchers.
The question whether Muhammad Al Dura had indeed been shot by Israeli fire or if it was Palestinian gunfire will no longer get an answer. What happened there in the heat of battle could not be proven any more – especially given that the former Gaza Division commander, Brigadier General Yair Naveh, ordered the immediate destruction of all constructions located at Netzarim junction that were within firing distance of the outpost, and among them the wall that the father and son clung to during the shooting.
Either way, Esther Schapira manages to impress us with the contradictions she found in that video segment: the ground beneath the killed and the injured is without blood stains, fresh blood stains that emerge at the scene later, and blood stains on the video that pop up and disappear and change their location on the body of Muhammad as if they were a red rag he was holding in his hand.
Schapira presents the testimony of the sole witness, the cameraman Talal Abu-Rahma, who filmed for Charles Enderlin, a regular representative of the French network France 2, as false and fraudulent and baseless. She finds contradictions in his testimony that claims Al-Dura died before his eyes. According to him, he watched the continuous shooting from his car for about 45 minutes, took about 18 minutes of film, yet only submitted fragmented footage of one minute and a half of the father and son, when he could allegedly have shot continuously and had a charged battery in his hand. Abu-Rahma inexplicably interrupted the filming and his video did not capture the entire process of extracting the body, though he could have done so.
Schapira finds flaws with the father's version in regards to his own injury. With the aid of an Israeli doctor who treated him before, she proves that the scars he presented as caused in the Netzarim shooting incident were caused in mysterious circumstances for which he underwent treatment in Israel. Her hypothesis: body injuries such as those are caused by Hamas members as punishment for those who collaborated with the enemy, hence the question arising is even wilder: Has Hamas used the father and son forcing them to position themselves at the scene, so that the father will make amends for his crime against them?
Schapira presents the court verdict from a year ago, in which a French court accepted the appeal of Phillip Karsenty, a French Jew who has devoted most of his time to the rebuttal of the Al Dura story. After he claimed that the report Enderlin had broadcast was staged (Enderlin never stayed in Gaza during the shooting, but in Ramallah), France 2 filed a libel suit against Karsenty, and he was convicted initially. The courthouse of appeals did not ratify Karsenty's assertion, but ruled that it is not libelous. During the trial France 2 was forced to reveal the raw material taken before editing, and in a short piece that was not aired the boy, declared as dead, is shown to be moving his limbs.
Schapira does not settle for this. She creates a broader picture, of directing of injury scenes, of conflicting testimonies, of irrational scheduling, and finally raises a claim, relying on a face recognition expert, that the boy who was brought for burial that day at the mass funeral is not Muhammad Al-Dura, but another boy whose name is Rami Al-Dura, who was shot in his head or at least had a marking on him similar to a gunshot wound. From here, in her opinion, the possibility of raising the question if he is actually dead is open.
It is not clear who is this Rami Al-Dura, and under what circumstances was he killed. Esther Schapira makes it clear in the language: she does not claim that Muhammad Al Dura is alive. She just claims that he did not die during the video taking at the Netzarim crossing and that he is not the boy that was brought for burial during the funeral procession. This sounds like a fantastic option, but the whole scene is full of contradictions and inconsistencies. And there are those who made vast political capital from the funeral procession. Elvis case, then, it is not.
The Palestinian myth will remain strong even if there would be found clear cut evidence that the story of Muhammad Al-Dura was staged entirely. There will always be those who will argue that even if it is not clear what exactly happened there, the basic story remains as is: a helpless child was caught in Israeli fire and was shot deliberately. Now that this film was presented to us, it is clear that what you see in the video shots of Talal Abu- Rahma is not the whole story. And possibly, it is an entirely different story. Suddenly, with considerable delay, the need returns to do another round on it, in an attempt to get at the truth. Now I have to know what really happened there. It's not a petty matter and not a question of professional honor. I must know who they are, and of course, who we are.
Labels: Gaza, IDF, Media, Palestine, Palestinians
Continued (Permanent Link)
This is one way to look at the swap. The other way of looking at it, is that the deterrent value of arrests deteriorates with each swap, since every prisoner can assume he or she is going to be traded for the next kidnap victim.
By Herb Brandon
Israel News Agency
Jerusalem ---- December 1, 2009 ..... The Israel State Prosecutor's office confirmed today that Israel will free up to 980 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit.
Though the news was excellent for the Shalit family, it did very little for the pride of the Islamic terror group Hamas and those seeking to live in a state called Palestine.
"Sadly, we must beg of those in Israel for over 1,000 of our brave brothers to return to Gaza," a Palestinian journalist told the Israel News Agency.
"It is humiliating to each and every Palestinian to see that one Jewish soldier from Israel is equivalent to 1,000 Islamic soldiers from Gaza and the West Bank. It is even more humiliating for us that the IDF and those of the government in Israel show the Palestinian people more care and compassion than our Arab brothers."
The Palestinian journalist was referring directly to Egypt which shares a border with Gaza.
"We receive tons of food, medicine and fuel daily from Israel while nothing comes from Egypt. The Egyptians allow us to dig a few tunnels to smuggle in cheap cigarettes, drugs, perfume and sex magazines, but nothing else."
As there is no democracy or freedom of speech in Gaza, many international newspapers, women's fashion and men's adult magazines are banned. Many of the tunnels are used to smuggle in weapons, heroin and hashish.
Over 450 Palestinian prisoners will be released before Gilad Shalit is allowed to come home. Another 530 Islamic terrorists will be freed following his release as a "gesture to the Palestinians," the Israel State Prosecutor's office announced today.
The Israel Supreme Court says it needs to censor the details of the prisoner swap in order to effectively carry out the negotiations with Hamas through a German mediator.
Shalit was captured on June 25, 2006 after Palestinian terrorists created a tunnel and attacked an IDF post in a cross border raid. He was abducted through the Kerem Shalom crossing in Israel and has been held as a prisoner by Hamas in Gaza. Shalit, a soldier of the IDF's Armor Corps, held the rank of corporal at the time of the kidnapping but has since been promoted to staff sergeant.
During the morning attack, two Palestinian terrorists and two IDF soldiers were killed and three others wounded. Shalit suffered a broken left hand and a light shoulder wound after his tank was hit with a Rocket propelled grenade.
Shalit was part of an Israel defensive force implemented to reduce terror attacks from Gaza.
Although Israel left Gaza in a unilateral peace move 4 years ago, Hamas has continued to attack Israel towns and cities with over 12,000 terror rockets. Iran backed Hamas has stated that it was not interested in land, but rather the killing of Jews and Christians in their Islamic Jihad or Holy War against democracy and the West. Hamas leaders have repeated what Iran has been saying for many years, that their mission was to "wipe Israel off the map."
Iran, which has now spit into the face of US President Barack Obama policy of "reaching out and not jumping to conclusions about Iran or Islamic terrorism", declared this week that it will ignore the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) as it censured Iran for secretly building a second uranium enrichment plant near the holy city of Qom.
Iran said on Sunday it would build 10 more nuclear uranium enrichment sites in retaliation for the vote by the 35-nation board of the UN nuclear organization, which had rare support by Russia and China.
"If the enemy (Western democracies) should want to test its bad luck in Iran, ballistic missiles would land in the heart of Tel Aviv," said Iran cleric Mojtaba Zolnour.
Hamas has refused requests from the Red Cross (ICRC) to allow visits by the ICRC. Several human rights organizations have stated that the terms and conditions of Shalit's detention are illegal and contrary to international humanitarian law.
Shalit became the first Israel soldier captured by Palestinian terrorists since Nachshon Wachsman in 1994. Shalit holds French citizenship, a fact that encouraged both France and the European Union to be involved in efforts to gain his release.
The information of the prisoner exchange was released in response to a law suit filed in Israel's Supreme Court by the Almagor Terror Victims Association and three bereaved parents of IDF soldiers.
"It should be stressed that contrary to the release of prisoners as part of a gesture or diplomatic agreement, this is an incident of bargaining, which can be seen as an ongoing terror attack," said the Israel State Prosecutor's office.
Shalit's parents met Sunday with Israel Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman for an update on the negotiations.
"We are neither encouraged nor the opposite. We're still waiting," the soldier's father, Noam, said following the meeting. "We have nothing new."
The Voice of Palestine radio station said Saturday that Shalit would be transferred soon to Egypt in preparation for his release. Egypt and Germany have been mediating the prisoner swap between Israel and Hamas.
"This has turned out to be a win-win situation for Israel," an Israel security analyst commented.
"These 1,000 Islamic terrorists have been living in Israel like parasites. It has been a heavy financial cost to feed, cloth and house them in Israel. As we release them back to Hamas, many, if not all, will be working for our security forces, gathering essential information while others act as sleeper agents. Hamas will not know who to trust. For if these new agents do not follow their directives from the ISS, they will be eliminated. These terrorists were on a paid holiday while being kept prisoner in Israel under the strict and humane terms of the Geneva Convention. That will not be the case once they are back in Gaza."
Labels: Hamas, Israel-2, Palestinians
Continued (Permanent Link)
Those concerned that peace will break out unexpectedly needn't worry, the Palestinians have already rejected the move.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Wednesday evening that Israel would impose a 10-month freeze on construction in West Bank settlements, saying the move was a bid to restart stalled peace talks with the Palestinians.
"I hope that this decision will help launch meaningful negotiations to reach a historic peace agreement that would finally end the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians," Netanyahu said at a special press conference he held shortly after the security cabinet approved the moratorium.
He added: "We have been told by many of our friends that once Israel takes the first meaningful steps toward peace, the Palestinians and Arab states would respond."
Settlement building has been a key sticking point in U.S. efforts to restart Middle East peace talks; the Palestinians say they will not return to the negotiating table without a complete halt to construction.
During the press conference, Netanyahu said the "far-reaching and painful" move would not be implemented in predominantly Arab East Jerusalem, which is viewed by Israel as a separate issue to be discussed in a final status agreement with the Palestinians.
"We do not put any restrictions on building in our sovereign capital," the premier said.
The freeze applies only to new construction, meaning housing already underway will continue. Also, Netanyahu said, only new homes are included.
"We will not halt existing construction and we will continue to build synagogues, schools, kindergartens and public buildings essential for normal life in the settlements," he said.
Netanyahu concluded with an appeal to the Palestinians to enter into a new round of peace talks.
"Now is the time to begin negotiations, now is the time to move forward towards peace," he said. "Israel today has taken a far-reaching step toward peace, it is time for the Palestinians to do the same."
He added: "Israel's government has made an important step toward peace today, let us make peace together."
Netanyahu: Settlement freeze will prove Israel really wants peace
At the cabinet vote, National Infrastructure Minister Uzi Landau (Yisrael Beiteinu) was the only minister to oppose the move.
Shortly before the cabinet session, Netanyahu said the freeze would prove that Israel genuinely seeks to reach peace with the Palestinians.
"In the international circumstances that have been created, this step will advance Israel's broad international interests. This is not a simple step, nor an easy one; but it has many more advantages than disadvantages," Netanyahu told his aides.
He added: "It will enable us to show the world this simple truth: The Government of Israel wants to enter into negotiations with the Palestinians, is taking practical steps to enter into negotiations and is very serious in its intention to advance peace."
At least one key Security Cabinet member, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, came out in favor of the proposal. "Its aim is to open a window for renewing negotiations with the Palestinians," he said.
"I hope that the Yesha [council of settlements] leadership, which is patriotic, responsible and serious, will understand the need for the decision at this time," Barak added.
"The understandings with the United States are of the utmost importance with regard to negotiations, and guarantees of security and its military supremacy."
An official statement from the Prime Minister's Office on Wednesday said Netanyahu would seek approval for the moratorium from his cabinet in order to boost peace prospects.
"As part of our efforts to give impetus to peace talks with the Palestinian Authority and promote Israel's comprehensive national interests, the prime minister will ask the security cabinet to approve a temporary suspension on construction permits for new residences and the [actual] start of new residential construction for a period of ten months," the statement said.
The move is not unexpected; Netanyahu announced several days ago that he intended to declare a settlement freeze for 10 months. Israel began building in the West Bank in 1967, following the capture of the territory from Jordan during the Six-Day War. Today, more than a quarter of million Israelis live in West Bank settlements.
The freeze will also not apply to construction that has already been authorized or to work on public buildings conducive to normal life in the territories.
Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad told reporters Wednesday that a settlement freeze was unacceptable without halt in construction in Jerusalem, which the Palestinians want as the capital of a state.
"What has changed to make something that what was not acceptable a week or 10 days ago [acceptable now]?," he told reporters. "The exclusion of Jerusalem is a very serious problem for us."
Labels: Palestinians, Peace, Settlements, US Policy
Continued (Permanent Link)
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has announced," I do not choose to run" in the January 2010 Palestinian presidential elections. He insists that his decision is "final."
Abbas declared that he had fulfilled his political platform by "improving the situation in the West Bank and continued the aid to the Gaza Strip despite the Hamas overtake." He added that Hamas had thwarted all Egyptian reconciliation efforts.
Abbas stressed that despite efforts by fellow Fatah officials to dissuade him, his decision was "neither reversible nor debatable."
The PA president explained that the obstacles standing in the way of peace and reconciliation had caused him to decide to leave the political arena. Israel is implementing a policy that is destroying all peace efforts, he said, adding that the US had backpedaled on its Mideast policy by refusing to press Israel to freeze settlement construction.
"We have to abide by the UN resolutions and agreements, as well as the Arab peace initiative and vision for a two-state solution," he stated, adding that there was still a possibility that he would "take steps" in the future to promote the Palestinian cause.
Abbas went on to outline the issues on which the Palestinians had yet to reach an agreement with Israel. "There is no legitimacy for the continuation of settlements on Palestinian land," he asserted, speaking also of the need for solutions on the issues of water resources and refugees.
As for his vision for the future Palestinian state to be established within the framework of a comprehensive peace agreement, Abbas proclaimed that Israel and the Palestinians would have to "go back and agree to the '67 borders" while making arrangements to establish "a Palestinian capital in east Jerusalem."
Security forces should be deployed along the future Palestinian state's border with Israel, said Abbas, "allowing the Palestinians to use all resources on their legitimate land." He added that any agreement with Israel would also take into account the release "of all Palestinian prisoners."
Abbas stressed that "the difficulties of the current situation" were no excuse for political disorder, explaining that for this reason he had announced that presidential elections would be held in both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip on Jan. 24, 2010. "By then," he said, "we would have hoped to achieve our national unity."
The PA president denounced the actions of rival faction Hamas, which had threatened to boycott the elections and prevent them from being held in Gaza. Hamas is obstinate, he said, and should reconsider its position.
"It is time for the world to put an end to our suffering," said Abbas, thus concluding what the Palestinian media called "a significant speech to his people."
Actually, perhaps it is time for the Palestinian people to put an end to their own suffering: to agree to peace with Israel on terms similar to the The Clinton Bridging Proposals, to stop insisting on "Right" of Return for refugees, allow for at least some Jewish rights in East Jerusalem, and demand that Palestinian refugees must be helped to resettle in Arab and Western countries, ending their long and pointless suffering in refugee camps. If Abbas wanted to help his people, he would have made those proposals, which no Israeli or American government could refuse, and he would have had the backing of almost the entire world.
What may be in store in the months ahead? There are several possibilities. One is that Abbas's final, absolutely final resignation is a ploy to get the United States to force Israel to implement a settlement freeze. Assuming the United States will take the bait, how much pressure would they apply to Israel and how will the government of Benjamin Netanyahu respond? Another possibility is that there will not be elections. A rumor to that effect has been floating about for some days. A third possibility is that a successor to Abbas will be found who can keep the Fatah and less extreme Palestinian polity together. Salem Fayyad, the moderate Prime Minister, has been suggested by some. Fayyad does not have a political base though. He is an independent with little political support from organizations. He is too moderate to be accepted by Fatah, and possible too incorruptible to join them. A fourth possibility is that the Fatah-PLO based Palestinian Authority government will fall apart, or be taken over by the Hamas.
Palestinian negotiator Saeeb Erekat revealed what is on his mind and what may be the preferred foreign policy of the Palestinian Authority in the future. According to a Ma'an News article he said:
Palestinians should "refocus their attention on the one-state solution where Muslims, Christians and Jews can live as equals," Erekat said. "It is very serious. This is the moment of truth for us."
In other words, if Israel will not agree to Palestinian peace terms that amount to destruction of Israel, then Palestinians should seek to destroy Israel in another way. Erekat knows that there are no states in the Middle East except Israel where Muslims, Christians and Jews live as equals, and there have never been such states since the advent of Islam.
Labels: Palestine, Palestinians
Continued (Permanent Link)
In 2006, 70 years after the fact, the British finally released documentation showing the close ties between Palestinian "nationalists" and Nazi Germany during the Arab Uprising, as well as Britain's cynical abandonment of promises to Jews and perfidy in the the crucial pre-war period. British later tried to make a case that they were balancing between two legitimate claims, whereas in fact, they simply abandoned their obligations under the League of Nations mandate in order to appease the Arabs.
The perfidy did not stop with the war, since the British withheld information about Arab-Nazi collaboration for many years, evidently because it would have helped the Jewish case.
British National Archives unveil presence of Nazi S.S. agents in Mandatory Palestine, working closely with Palestinian leaders
Yaakov Lappin Published: 05.07.06, 16:41 / Israel News
Historical documents in Britain's National Archives in London show that Nazi Germany attempted to ship arms to Palestinian forces in the 1930s.
A British Foreign Office report from 1939 reports of "news of a consignment of arms from Germany, sent via Turkey and addressed to Ibn Saud (king of Saudi Arabia), but really intended for the Palestine insurgents." Britain's chief military officer in Mandatory Palestine also noted reports "regarding import of German arms at intervals for some years now."
British documents from the same period, and German records photographed by an American spy and sent to the British government, said that a number of Nazi agents were sent to Mandatory Palestine, in order to forge alliances with Palestinian leaders, and urge them to reject a partition of the land between the Jewish and Arab populations.
One Nazi agent, Adam Vollhardt, arrived in Palestine in July 1938, and was reported to have gained strong influence with Arab leaders, meeting with Palestinian leaders throughout 1938. Vollhardt held several meetings with leading Arab politicians and told them "that the Palestine question would be settled to the satisfaction of the Arabs within a few weeks," adding that "it would be fatal to their (Palestinians') cause if at this juncture they showed any signs of weakness or exhaustion."
"Germany was interested in the settlement of the (Palestine) question on the basis of the Arabs obtaining their full demands," Vollhardt was reported to say to Palestinian leaders, according to a report by the British War Office. Vollhardt also assured Arab leaders that "the Germans could continue to support the Palestinian Arab cause by means of propaganda."
German documents photographed and sent to Whitehall by an American spy revealed that in 1937, German officials had calculated that "Palestine under Arab rule would… become one of the few countries where we could count on a strong sympathy for the new Germany."
'Arabs admire our Fuhrer'
"The Palestinian Arabs show on all levels a great sympathy for the new Germany and its Fuhrer, a sympathy whose value is particularly high as it is based on a purely ideological foundation," a Nazi official in Palestine wrote in a letter to Berlin in 1937. He added: "Most important for the sympathies which Arabs now feel towards Germany is their admiration for our Fuhrer, especially during the unrests, I often had an opportunity to see how far these sympathies extend. When faced with a dangerous behaviour of an Arab mass, when one said that one was German, this was already generally a free pass."
A second Nazi agent, Dr. Franz Reichart, was reported to be actively working with Palestinian Arabs by the British Criminal Investigation Division "to help coordinate Arab and German propaganda." Reichart was also head of the German Telegraphic Agency in Jerusalem.
German records show that the Nazis viewed the establishment of a Jewish state with great concern. A 1937 report from German General Consulate in Palestine said: "The formation of a Jewish state… is not in Germany's interest because a (Jewish) Palestinian state would create additional national power bases for international Jewry such as for example the Vatican State for political Catholicism or Moscow for the Communists. Therefore, there is a German interest in strengthening the Arabs as a counter weight against such possible power growth of the Jews."
Jewish refugees abandoned
The records also show that the news of increased Nazi-Arab cooperation panicked the British government, and caused it to cancel a plan in 1938 to bring to Palestine 20,000 German Jewish refugees, half of them children, facing danger from the Nazis.
Documents show that after deciding that the move would upset Arab opinion, Britain decided to abandon the Jewish refugees to their fate.
"His Majesty's Government asked His Majesty's Representatives in Cairo, Baghdad and Jeddah whether so far as they could judge, feelings in Egypt, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia against the admission of, say 5,000 Jewish children for adoption… would be so strong as to lead to a refusal to send representatives to the London discussions. All three replies were strongly against the proposal, which was not proceeded with," a Foreign Office report said.
"If war were to break out, no trouble that the Jews could occasion us, in Palestine or elsewhere, could weigh for a moment against the importance of winning Muslim opinion to our side," Britain's Minister for Coordination of Defence, Lord Chatfield, told the British cabinet in 1939, shortly before Britain reversed its decision to partition its mandate, promising instead all of the land to the Palestinian Arabs.
Labels: Mandate, Nazis, Palestine, Palestinians
Continued (Permanent Link)
The catalyst behind the long-lasting dispute between Israel and the Palestinians is the latter's unwillingness to recognize Israel's right to exist, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in an interview to Israel Radio on Sunday.
When asked whether he thought the original sin of Israeli society was the occupation since 1967 of the West Bank, Netanyahu said that "the original sin was that the Jewish people couldn't protect itself from the verbal and physical assaults which ultimately brought to its destruction."
"I think that in 1967 the Jewish people were on the brink of destruction and the sin would have been our inability to defend ourselves the way we wanted to," the PM added, saying that he regretted "the fact that our glorious victory is presented as the mother of all sin."
Netanyahu said, however, that Israel does "not want to control the Palestinians, we want to reach a settlement," but that the reason for the peace talk stalemate isn't "because of the State of Israel but because of the other side's persistent refusal to recognize the right of the State of Israel to exist."
"I believe that the things I am doing to make that point clearer will lead to their recognition of Israel's right to exist, which will remove the malignant element preventing the peace we want so dearly," the PM added.
On word of an agreement between the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama on a future construction freeze in all West Bank settlements, the PM said that "no decision has been made, and we have not reached an agreement with the United States."
"There are a lot of rumors and a lot of newspaper articles, none of which are my responsibility. We haven't agreed to anything yet, we are still working toward advancing peace talks while safeguarding settlers' rights, who are equal citizens," Netanyahu said.
"Any decision is bound to disappoint someone, every side saying you should have done things differently, but I will conduct myself in the way I believe will promote Israel and peace, something which is ultimately appreciated by civilians as well as Knesset Members."
Regarding comments made by Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Ya'alon, who told a closed-door meeting of far-right activists a few weeks ago that he was "not afraid of the Americans" and that anti-settlement groups like Peace Now were "viruses" to Israel, Netanyahu made it clear that he found those remarks unacceptable.
"I've discussed the matter with minister Ya'alon and he made it clear to me that that was not his intention. I assume he will never use that term again," Netanyahu said.
"The Left is not a virus, settlers are not a cancer. We have legitimate disagreements, but we must maintain our unity by respecting our political adversaries."
When asked about his 1999 comment, that the "Left forgot what it meant to be Jewish" the PM said that "It was a mistake then, and it's still a mistake."
"Of course I have changed, it's the result of age and wisdom, both of which tell me one thing - we are one people and I am the prime minister of all of us."
Labels: Palestinians, Peace
Continued (Permanent Link)
A video is available at the link below
(IsraelNN.com) Palestinian Authority Arab teens dedicated this year's high school graduation ceremony to "the Shahids (martyrs)... the prisoners... the stone and the rifle."
As part of the ceremony, sponsored by the Fatah faction led by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, the graduates delivered a speech identifying Haifa, Akko, Yafo (Jaffa) and Jerusalem as "Palestine."
The Arabic-language festivities were translated by the media watchdog organization, Palestinian Media Watch, which monitors PA news and entertainment media.
The ceremony, broadcast July 28, 2009 on Al-Filistinya TV (Fatah), was held on a stage festooned with a sign that read: "Tribute to high school graduates under the auspices of Mahmoud Abbas, Fatah."
A transcript of part of the speech follows:
Male graduate: "In the name of the Shahids (Martyrs), in the name of the prisoners, in the name of the stone and the rifle."
Female graduate: "In the name of Fatah, the school that taught us the meaning of nationalism."
Male graduate: "in the name of Palestine: Haifa, Acre, Jaffa, and our Arab Jerusalem."
Female graduate: "In the name of Palestine: Gaza, the West Bank and the flag of national unity."
Male graduate: "Fatah is [still] with the rifle. And our rifles are not rusty even if they have fired thousands of bullets."
Labels: Incitement, Palestine, Palestinians
Continued (Permanent Link)
"Legitimate criticism" of Israel reached new lows of depravity in Sweden when Sweden's leading daily newspaper revived the medieval blood libel accusation against the IDF. in a sensational article titled ""Our sons plundered for their organs"(Swedish article is here: aftonbladet.se/kultur/article5652583.ab). Based on this accusation, "Anti-Zionist" Web sites and e-mail lists are hurrying to circulate the "news" that the IDF kills Palestinian Arabs in order to extract their organs for transplants.
The reporter, one Donald Bostrom, assembled a farrago of unrelated stories about illegal organ trafficking from Israel, including a story about the arrest of a New York Jew engaged in selling kidneys contrary to Israeli law. He used hearsay and rumor from Palestinians about the fate of relatives killed during the Intifada:
I was in the area and worked on a book when I several times was contacted by UN staff who were concerned about the development. Those who contacted me felt that body theft actually took place, but that they were unable to act. On behalf of a television company, I then went around and spoke to a large number of Palestinian families in the West Bank and Gaza....
"'Our sons are used as involuntary organ donors,' relatives of Khaled from Nablus said to me, as did the mother of Raed from Jenin as well as the uncles of Machmod and Nafes from Gaza, who all had disappeared for a few days and returned by night, dead and autopsied. - Why did they keep the bodies up to five days before we can bury them? What happened to the bodies in the meantime? And why is the autopsy when the cause of death is obvious, and in all cases against our will? And why are the bodies returned at night?".
Evidently, the rumors spread due to ignorance of forensic autopsy procedures and Jew hate, encouraged by UN personnel. Bostrom described in detail the case of one Bilal Achmed Ghanian, 19, whose body was returned after autopsy after he was killed in 1992. It is probable, but unclear, that the victims were dead when they were evacuated. Of course, organs cannot be harvested from cadavers. Bostrom quoted an IDF denial and explanation that the autopsies were routine, but Bostrom implied that the denial is false:
The routine autopsy of killed Palestinians, as told by the army spokesman is not true in reality in the Occupied Territories. .
The use of rumor and hearsay, and more especially the unrelated material about illegal organ traffic, make it clear that Bostrom set out to intentionally libel Israel and the Jewish people. The Israeli ambassador lodged a strong protest, but this can hardly be a deterrent to people like Bostrom. If a similar report about Muslims had been published in a Scandinavian journal, wouldn't there be violent world wide demonstrations as there were after the Danish Muhammad cartoons?
Swedish Jews claim Bostrom is a known anti-Semite and AftonBladet has published similar articles. The Swedish Embassy in Israel has apologized, but a culture editor of Aftonbladet told Haaretz that the publication stands by the story and insists on an "international investigation" of the alleged nefarious Jewish activities.
The libel of organ stealing is not new and may have originated with Yasser Arafat himself. According to a 2002 Honest Reporting article:
the Islamic Association for Palestine reported that Yasser Arafat "has accused the Israeli apartheid regime of murdering Palestinian children and youths and extricating their vital organs for organ transplants."
It is one thing when racist Palestinian leaders make accusations of Jewish blood libel
, but quite another phenomenon and much more ominous when they appear in a respected northern European "Nordic" country journal. It seems that there are no longer any real limits to what may be published under the guise of supposedly "legitimate criticism of Israel." A competing Swedish newspaper has published a horrified editorial.The liberal Sydsvenskan - southern Sweden's major daily ran an opinion piece of Mats Skogkär called "Antisemitbladet" (a play on the name Aftonbladet):
"We have heard the story before, in one form or the other. It follows the traditional pattern of conspiracy theory: a great number of loose threads that the theorist tempts the reader to tie into a neat knot without having been provided with any proven connection whatsoever..."
"Whispers in the dark. Anonymous sources. Rumors. That is all it takes. After all we all know what they [the Jews] are like, don't we: inhuman, hardened. Capable of anything," the opinion piece says. "Now all that remains is the defense, equally predictable: 'Anti-Semitism' No, no, just criticism of Israel."
The tale is not told in a cultural vacuum of course. The stories of Bilal Achmed Ghanian and the others are backed by a rich European tradition of "legitimate criticism" of Jew
s. They have joined the European pantheon of fraudulent blood libel martys, which includes numerous "saints" revered by the Catholic church for many years, such as Saint Andreas of Rinn
, Saint Simon of Trent
, and Saint Hugh of Lincoln. Aftonbladet has carried on in a more modern tradition of Nordic journalism, illustrated by the following twentieth century cartoon from the Westdeutchen Beobachter, also considered "legitimate criticism" by its defenders:
Labels: Anti-Semitism, Anti-Zionism, Human Rights, IDF, Media, Palestinians
Continued (Permanent Link)
Naim Ateek and his Sabeel group are leaders in Christian Israel bashing efforts of mainline Protestant churches in the USA. Ateek and Sabell do not believe in a two state solution and is therefore sabotaging the peace process. If they were Jews with the same ideas, they would be called "ultranationalist" and obstacles to peace. But their one state solution is an Arab state in which the Jews will have no right to self determination. For what reason are they given a platform to legitimize their noxious views at countless churches in the USA?
In his article e Anglican priest disgraces authentic Christianity, Dexter Van Zile asks what type of god inheres in the so-called peacemaking ministry of Anglican Priest Naim Ateek, founder of Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center, notes that Naim Ateek is drumming up support for his latest book, A Palestinian Christian Cry for Reconciliation (Orbis, 2008), in which he falsely accuses Israel of perpetrating a "slow and creeping genocide" against Palestinians — who have one of the fastest growing populations in the world.
Ateek has long been a fixture at "Christian" events of a certain kind. The book gives him an excuse to peddle a vile that repeats Christian anti-Semitic accusations and repackages them as "theology." As Van Zile points out:
Apparently, leveling false accusations at the Jewish people and their homeland is not enough to get one barred from polite society in 21st century America.
The story Naim Ateek tells about the Arab-Israeli conflict, cloaked as it is in the language of Christian peacemaking, attests to the existence of a deaf, dumb and blind god who would use Muslim and Arab violence against Israel as a scourge against the Jewish people.
Such a god is not worthy of worship.
Labels: Anti-Zionism, Arabs, Palestinians, Zionism
Continued (Permanent Link)
Danny Shapiro, a friend who has started working at the Peres Peace Center wrote the following account.
July 19 was the first day of a six day camp joining 32 Israeli kids, aged 12 – 14, from the poor southern towns of Yeruham and Sderot, and 28 Palestinian kids living in poverty and despair in the occupied territories.
The camp, held at Kibbutz Galon, is organized by the Peres Center's Sports Department. And as much as I read about this kind of program, no article I could read, or video I could watch, could in any possible way match the almost incredulous sense of wonder and inspiration aroused by seeing these sixty kids playing in Galon's pool together, and enjoying a multi-lingual "Darbuka" session with a Palestinian madrich (leader).
It was also fascinating and deeply impressive to speak at length with Issam, who works on a number of projects with the Peres Center. Issam grew up in Gaza and moved to Ramallah after Hamas came to power and he felt his life was in danger for his many years of reconciliation work. No doubt some of you know him.
His story is amazing. He sat in Israeli prison and had a life-changing experience with an Israeli officer that put him on the path of working towards conciliation and peace. If I have the time I will write the story down and pass it along.
Issam reminded me again and again that not only was this the first time most of the Palestinian children had met an Israeli who not either a soldier or a settler – but for the great majority of them, this was the first time in their lives outside of their town or certainly the territories; the first time they had eaten in a restaurant; the first time they experience what even the lowest social and economic classes in Israel take for granted.
I have no illusions that the experience of these 60 kids, and that of the additional several hundred who will be treated to similar camps this summer, will make any serious dent in overall public opinion or attitudes, and certainly will not make the leaders on both sides more peace loving and conciliatory. But then, that (the latter, at least) is not the goal of the Peres Peace Center.
But this type of program most certainly changes attitudes (this is based on professional evaluation following multiple years of experience), and, if nothing else, humanizes the conflict for those who are involved in it; and injects a few rays of hope into our battered and shattered hearts and minds
That is what Peres Peace Center does. That is what the "peace" group Alternative Information Center finds objectionable. They published an article insisting that Palestinians must boycott Peres Peace Center. The article states:
Shimon Peres is definitely an enemy of the Palestinian people, of human rights and of peace, and any kind of collaboration by a Palestinian organization with the Peres Center is scandalous.
Is the summer camp "scandalous?" You decide. The directors of the Peres Peace Center, in any case, are Uri Savir and Ron Pundak, though Peres founded the Peres Peace Center.
Labels: Israel-2, Palestinians, Peace
Continued (Permanent Link)
It is only a matter of time, before an attack succeeds...
Palestinian Authority security forces have arrested three Palestinian women who were allegedly planning a suicide attack targeting
their own policemen in the West Bank.
Palestinian official Jamal Muheisen said Tuesday the women are members of Hamas, the Islamic group that has a long-running feud with the Western-backed Fatah government in the West Bank.
Muheisen said the women were arrested Sunday on their way to the town of Qalqiliya, where four police officers and four Hamas militants were been killed in recent clashes.
He added that one woman was carrying an explosive belt and confessed she intended to blow herself up in a police compound.
Labels: Hamas, Palestinians
Continued (Permanent Link)
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