Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Is John Kerry's Record of Support of Israel As Good As He Claims?

In apologizing for claiming Israel could become an Apartheid state, John Kerry claims 30 years of support for Israel:
For more than thirty years in the United States Senate, I didn’t just speak words in support of Israel, I walked the walk when it came time to vote and when it came time to fight.

...I will not allow my commitment to Israel to be questioned by anyone, particularly for partisan, political purposes, so I want to be crystal clear about what I believe and what I don’t believe.
It's great that he wanted to be crystal clear on Israel -- especially considering Kerry's history of flip-flopping on his stand on Israel. Let's take a look at what Kerry's record on Israel actually was.

By all means, let's question John Kerry's record on Israel

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Efraim Karsh on Palestinian Authority Running Away from Statehood, Again

The following by Efraim Karsh is reposted here with permission of Middle East Forum:

Running Away from Statehood, Again

by Efraim Karsh
BESA Center Perspectives
April 28, 2014

The Palestinian Authority' decision to strike an agreement with Hamas instead of with Israel is of little surprise. Since before 1948, the Palestinian leadership has continually rejected any possibility of attaining statehood, in favor of a commitment to violence and promoting their self-inflicted plight for their own financial benefits. With the possibility of another failed round of peace talks, one wonders whether the Palestinian leadership is even interested in independent statehood of any kind.

Efraim Karsh
Efraim Karsh
The "historic" agreement of last week between The Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) and Hamas, to form a united government casts a serious doubt not only on the Palestinian leadership's commitment to a two-state solution, but also on its interest in the attaining of statehood at all.

Not that this should have come as a surprise to anyone. For nearly a century, Palestinian leaders never have missed an opportunity to impede the development of Palestinian civil society and the attainment of Palestinian statehood.

Had the Jerusalem mufti Hajj Amin Husseini, who led the Palestinian Arabs from the early 1920s to the late 1940s, chosen to lead his constituents to peace and reconciliation with their Jewish neighbors, the Palestinians would have had their independent state over a substantial part of mandate Palestine by 1948, and would have been spared the traumatic experience of dispersal and exile.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Arlene Kushner on US Backtrack on Abbas Condemnation and Background To Temple Mount Riots

From Arlene Kushner
April 27, 2014

Throwing Up My Hands

How much can one write about the moribund “peace process”?  (Please read through, as I move to another very important subject.)
There is only one piece of good news regarding the “peace process”: Netanyahu and the Security Cabinet came through. After a prolonged meeting on Thursday regarding the appropriate response to Abbas’s rapprochement with Hamas, this  announcement was released by the Prime Minister’s Office (emphasis added):
"The Cabinet today unanimously decided that Israel will not negotiate with a Palestinian government backed by Hamas, a terrorist organization that calls for Israel's destruction...

“In addition, Israel will respond to unilateral Palestinian action with a series of measures.”

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Is Obama Really Opposed To A Fatah - Hamas Unity Government?

It is all very well for the State Department to come out with a statement that it is wary of Fatah - Hamas deal. Actually, it would be more reassuring if came out opposed to the idea, based on the realities of the two groups, but what do you expect?

There was a show of the US laying down the law to the Palestinians:
"Any Palestinian government must unambiguously and explicitly commit to nonviolence, recognition of the state of Israel, and acceptance of previous agreements and obligations between the parties," the official said, speaking to Reuters on condition of anonymity.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Arlene Kushner on Inability of Palestinians To Condemn The Murder of Jews

From Arlene Kusnner:
April 22, 2014

Zeman Herutenu

The Time of our Freedom. Another term for the Pesach Holiday which is just completing (last night here in Israel, tonight outside of Israel).  As I picked up news over the holiday that gave me a knot of considerable dimensions in my stomach, I knew how I had to begin this first post-holiday post:
Herut.  Freedom.  It was supposed to be that the Jewish People, having reached Israel, would be free. 

Credit: Menachem Kahana/AFP
But what I see is that we are still enslaved.  Enslaved to a galut (diaspora) mentality: bowing still before international public opinion.  Worried about what “they” will say, or do.
When last I wrote, it was clear that the continuation of the “peace negotiations” was going to be a non-starter.  Or, at very least, if the two sides were to return to the table, it would come to absolutely nothing.  I had hoped to be done with writing about this, hoped that there would be nothing more to write in this regard.  But, alas, it was not to be.
Our prime minister – however ludicrous the situation and the demands of the PA – never says with finality, “Look guys, the current situation is obscene. We’ve given it our honest best, and we’ve had it.”  He prefers to play that game, so that the “failure” of the talks doesn’t appear to be our “fault,” all the while knowing it can go nowhere.
Just hours before the beginning of Pesach here, there was a terrorist attack:

Friday, April 18, 2014

Efraim Inbar on Why Jerusalem is Not up for Grabs

The following by Efraim Inbar is reposted here with permission of the Middle East Forum:

Jerusalem is Not up for Grabs

by Efraim Inbar
BESA Center Perspectives
April 10, 2014

Efraim Inbar
Efraim Inbar

No Israeli government will survive or support any concessions made in Jerusalem and it is time for the U.S. and the international community to recognize this.

US Secretary of State John Kerry has blamed the sudden deadlock in peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority on Israel's plans to build additional apartments in Gilo, a southern Jerusalem neighborhood beyond the Green Line. This indicates America's profound misunderstanding of the situation. With over 40,000 residents, Gilo is to be part of Israel under any agreement. More importantly, the peace negotiations have little chance of succeeding as long as the Palestinians demand the partition of Jerusalem.

The Palestinians and most of the international community fail to understand that the past offers made to divide Jerusalem – by Ehud Barak at the Camp David summit in 2000, and repeated by Ehud Olmert in 2007 – were divorced from the strong attachment a majority of Israelis feel towards the eternal city. The willingness of Barak and Olmert to divide the city completely lacks domestic political support. Furthermore, strategic considerations also dictate that Israel hold onto greater Jerusalem as a united city.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

UN Acceptance of Palestinian Accession to 15 Treaties Violates International Law

Alan Baker, Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

Here is the summary of the complete article:
  • On 1 April 2014, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas signed letters requesting that "the State of Palestine" be granted accession to 15 international conventions and treaties.

  • This action by the Palestinian leadership, and the consequent, hurried acceptance of the Palestinian applications by the UN and by the Swiss government, raise serious questions both regarding the flawed perception as to the very existence and legal status of a sovereign state of "Palestine," as well as to the potential implications of what are serious violations of the Oslo Accords and of the very integrity of the international law of treaties.

  • If the UN and the governments of Switzerland and the Netherlands acted in accordance with their legal and moral duties pursuant to international treaty law and practice, they would have determined that the requests by the Palestinian leadership for accession to the conventions fail to meet the requirements of international law.

Raymond Ibrahim on How Modernity 'Radicalizes' Western Muslims

The following by Raymond Ibrahim is reposted here with permission of Middle East Forum:

How Modernity 'Radicalizes' Western Muslims

by Raymond Ibrahim
FrontPage Magazine
April 16, 2014

Raymond Ibrahim
Raymond Ibrahim
A new Danish statistical study finds that "Muslims [are] 218 percent more criminal in second generation than first." While some of these crimes are clearly related to Islam—such as attacks on Muslim apostates to Christianity—others, such as rampant theft of non-Muslims, would appear banal, until one realizes that even robbery and plunder is justified by Islamic doctrine—as one UK Muslim cleric once clearly said.

The interesting question here is why are second generation Muslims, who are presumably more Westernized than their Muslim parents, also more "radical"? Lest one dismiss this phenomenon as a product of economics or some other "grievance" against European host nations, the fact is, even in America, where Muslims are much better assimilated than in Europe, they too are turning to "radicalism."

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Arlene Kushner: Kerry’s Misrepresentations Require Correction

From Arlene Kushner
April 9, 2014

Crossing Lines

Has our government finally learned?  No matter what efforts we make, no matter the concessions – in the end it is Israel that faces accusations when things go wrong.  The lesson here is that we should stop trying and refrain from further concessions.
What I am referring to is the tone, as well as content, of testimony given by Kerry yesterday to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.  Tovah Lazaroff, providing an analysis in the JPost, wrote:
“It wasn’t what Secretary of State John Kerry was how he said it....

“It was a narrative exclamation, and pause, strong enough to be heard round the world.

“It fell, like a slow drumbeat...”

Kerry’s accusation: that an announcement by Israel about building over the ‘67 line is what killed the chance to revive the “peace negotiations”
Lazaroff describes the progression of events that Kerry presented.  I want to review it quickly here because Kerry’s misrepresentations require correction.   No one should take him at his word.

Daniel Pipe: No Longer Banned in the British Library!

The following by Daniel Pipes is reposted here with permission:

No Longer Banned in the British Library!

by Daniel Pipes
Apr 9, 2014
Cross-posted from National Review Online, The Corner

The British Library, I documented yesterday, had blocked my website and those of the Middle East Forum while letting through some of the most foul antisemitic and Islamist sites. The article ended with mention of my writing to the library, a government institution, to request that the blocks be removed. Also, a substantial number of readers wrote to the library in protest.
The British Library's reading room.
As a result, I am happy to report, the blocks have been removed. A representative of the library's Electronic Services wrote me:

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Efraim Inbar: Respond Firmly to Palestinian Blackmail

The following by Efraim Inbar is reposted here with permission of the Middle East Forum:

Respond Firmly to Palestinian Blackmail

by Efraim Inbar
BESA Center Perspectives
April 6, 2014

In response to the latest Palestinian attempt to squeeze Israel, Israel's government should remind the Palestinians, through tough countermeasures, that adhering to maximalist political goals is counterproductive.

Efraim Inbar
Efraim Inbar
Last week, Palestinian Authority (PA) leader Mahmoud Abbas blew off the US-brokered peace talks with Israel and slapped Washington in the face by re-launching a diplomatic war against Israel through international institutions.

Several lessons should be drawn from this turn of events. First, the breakdown of the talks is a reminder of the stubborn reality that so many prefer to ignore: The gap in the positions of the two sides is too large to bridge even by a creative diplomacy backed by a superpower. Both Israel and the Palestinians still possess tremendous energy to fight for things that are important to them. Peace and coexistence are not the most important goals of the two warring societies.

Therefore, the conclusion to be drawn from this is that attempts to broker conflict resolution between the parties needs to be replaced by a more realistic approach of conflict management. The good intentions of the international community should be directed towards attaining partial understandings and minimizing the suffering on both sides, rather than pursuing an elusive end to the conflict.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Daniel Pipes Banned in British Library -- But Not Hamas, Islamists and Antisemites

The following by Daniel Pipes is reposted here with permission:

Monday, April 07, 2014

Cartoon: Abbas and Kerry Try to Blackmail Israel into "Peace" Talks

I wasn't able to track down the source for this cartoon, but it does illustrate how the game has been played:

As far as the failure of the talks is concerned, here Breitbart notes the timeline that shows how Abbas triggered the failure of Kerry's Israel - Palestinian talks:

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Arlene Kushner: Analyzing The Failure of Kerry's Israeli - Palestinian Peace Talks

From Arlene Kushner:
April 4, 2014


The “peace process” is dead, but Kerry refuses to sign the death certificate.  Pathetically, he hovers over the diplomatic corpse as if he can invigorate it with new life.  He’s pushed on before when the situation seemed grim from his perspective. But this time I believe the situation is irrevocable. 
At the request of US “peace” envoy Martin Indyk, Wednesday night our chief negotiator Tzipi Livni, accompanied by Netanyahu’s envoy, lawyer Yitzhak Molcho, met with the PLO chief negotiator Saeb Erekat, who was accompanied by the head of Palestinian Intelligence Majid Faraj. 
Livni?  She’s pro-peace and conciliatory, and has consistently made statements about trying hard for “peace” that are infuriating.  But in this instance, she was pushed beyond patience.  When Erekat refused to consider withdrawing the applications to international agencies, she said this was an abrogation of understandings and announced the final release of 26 prisoners cancelled. Thank Heaven!

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and Palestinian chief negotiator Erekat.
Credit: Europe Israel Press Associatioin (EIPA)
Photo not from original article

This was the way Ma’an, an independent Palestinian news agency, described the meeting:

Friday, April 04, 2014

Daniel Pipes on Chris Christie and the "Occupied Territories" Incident

The following by Daniel Pipes is reposted here with permission:

Chris Christie and the "Occupied Territories" Incident

by Daniel Pipes
National Review Online
April 3, 2014

NRO title: "Christie and Israel"
A small but significant event took place on March 29 at the Republican Jewish Coalition in Las Vegas. Hosted by Sheldon Adelson, the mega-donor to Republican presidential campaigns, the event drew four leading potential candidates for president in 2016, including New Jersey governor Chris Christie.
In the Q&A session, Christie recounted a trip he took with the RJC to Israel in 2012. In the course of a choppy sentence in which he expressed his admiration for the country, he used the term occupied territoriesto refer to the West Bank: "I took a helicopter ride from the occupied territories across, … and just felt, personally, how extraordinary that was, to understand the military risk that Israel faces every day."
New Jersey governor Chris Christie spoke at the Republican Jewish Coalition in Las Vegas March 29. (Video)
That term caused a stir in the audience.

Arlene Kushner on Abbas and Palestinians Unable To Get Their Act Together

From Arlene Kushner:
April 3, 2014


I have no intention here of reviewing matters in the sort of detail I offered yesterday.  It is not necessary, in any event. 
I’m seeing much the same as I did yesterday: Inherently contradictory comments from Kerry regarding his continued faith in the “peace process” that prompts him to declare that he will continue “no matter what,” coupled with a resignation that “you can facilitate, you can push, you can nudge, but the parties themselves have to make fundamental decisions and compromises."

Read: Negotiators scramble to save peace talks
This is a very conflicted man, I would say: he sees the end but cannot admit the failure.
John Kerry
Credit: DaledAmos


Thursday, April 03, 2014

Arlene Kushner on Clarifying Muddled Picture of Where Israel - Palestinian Peace Talks Stand

From Arlene Kushner:
April 2, 2013

The Insanity Deepens

The current situation regarding “peace negotiations” has evolved into one beyond imagining.  I do not use the term “evolved” to suggest progress to a higher state, I assure you. 
What is more, everything is in almost hour-to-hour flux.  And so, while I hope to send this out today, I advise my readers that within hours of your reading this, the situation may have again shifted.  In point of fact, I had written an extensive posting yesterday, and before I transmitted it, news broke that so changed the situation that I had to table it.
In the last posting I sent out, I had touched upon a number of rumors – explaining that media reports on this situation were so conflicting that it was impossible to determine what was accurate and what not.  Now, we have a considerably clearer – but still muddled - picture.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Daniel Pipes on Conservative Protests Against Islamists in France

The following by Daniel Pipes is reposted here with permission:

Conservatives Rally on the Streets of Paris

by Daniel Pipes
National Review Online
April 2, 2014

NRO title: "Protesting in Paris"
On a recent Sunday in Paris, I had the opportunity to witness an anti-immigration street protest. The approximately 600 participants followed started next to the catacombs in Place Denfert-Rochereau, walked a1.9 km route in about 1½ hours along two broad boulevards, and ended at the Place d'Italie, where they spent an equal length of time listening to speeches.
The protestors gather at a square in southern Paris.