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palestinian state

Obama did not make up his mind on the right of return

Boy in GazaThe US Senate is preparing to vote on a bill that requires the State Department to collect demographic information for Palestinian refugee camps: how many of the people there are the original refugees and how many are their descendants.

The bill would inject some common sense into the current situation, in which Palestinians receive subsidies for living in their own towns in Lebanon and Syria merely because their grandparents left Israel 65 years ago.

What is noteworthy is the White House’s demand to omit the provision which would differentiate refugees based on their origin, either from Smaller Israel or the West bank and Gaza. Obama thus leaves on the table the option for the Palestinians to return to the Jewish state.

Leading presidential candidate ignores Camp David treaty

Amr Moussa has declared the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty dead. While he would not (indeed, cannot) denounce the treaty, Moussa promised to abide first by the terms of the Arab League peace initiative, which requires Israel to withdraw to the 1948 armistice line, surrender Jerusalem, and allow Palestinian ‘refugees’ to return.

Moussa lied when he said that the treaty was conditioned on the creation of a Palestinian state; there are many memoirs that show how irrelevant that issue was for Sadat.

Amr Moussa

03 May 2012 Posted in Egypt

Netanyahu surrenders one more red line to the Palestinians

Netanyahu has publicly accepted the Palestinian demand that their state should be contiguous. That means a sovereign corridor from the West bank to Gaza, which incidentally makes Israel a noncontiguous state as it breaks our country into two. It also means the demolition of many settlements so as not to give the Palestinians a Swiss-cheese state.

Previously, the contiguity of the Palestinian state was a major bargaining chip for Israel.

Eminent domain is not for Jews

The Supreme Court so far insists on the April deadline for demolishing Ulpana hamlet, a dreaded ‘illegal outpost’ near Beth El village. The government, for its part, exhibits unusual concern for a court order, as dozens of demolition orders for Palestinian houses built on state and private Jewish land have hung in the air for years.

Ulpana should be a classic eminent domain case. True, the hamlet was built on private Palestinian land, but that land had been long abandoned by the time of construction, with no way for the Jewish pioneers to readily find the title. It would certainly be more efficient to compensate the Arab owners for the cost of the land—if such compensation is due at all, given the fact that in the population exchange many Jews left Arab countries with no compensation whatsoever. Yet the court did not even consider applying eminent domain to Ulpana.

Another insanity from the Israeli legal system: the government had to legalize Rehalim hamlet near Kfar Tapuach in Samaria; what was illegal there in the first place? There was no government authorization to build it. Never mind that the hamlet was built twenty years ago with government money from the Ministry of Construction. In a peculiar Israeli form of bureaucratic madness, a ministry’s money is not the government’s authorization.

Twenty years is still not a sufficient homestead for Jews

The government is debating whether to recognize the hamlet of Rehalim, an ‘illegal outpost’ built in 1991, along with two slightly more recent hamlets. In most countries, a homestead two decades old would be seen as legitimate. Still, there is much outcry both domestically and in concerned international circles, as such authorizations are viewed as a violation of Israel’s pledge to refrain from building in the Palestinian-occupied area.

The hamlets were built on state land; others are sometimes built on abandoned Palestinian property. The difference is minuscule if we consider that the amount of back taxes owned by the absentee owners greatly exceeds the value of the land, and that the property documents are dubious at best, were not registered, and were unknown to the settlers. In any case, much of Israel is built on land taken away from the Arabs, just as Arabs in other countries took over abandoned Jewish properties.

Mofaz comes out with discredited plan

Shaul MofazThe leader of the opposition has presented new details of his peace plan. Previously, he called for 1:1 land swaps with the Palestinians, something they have rejected repeatedly because the location of our settlement blocs inside their future state is really more important than their size.

Now Mofaz is suggesting two-stage Palestinian statehood: a mini-state built on 60% of their territory first, followed by a 100% solution within a year. The Palestinians have rejected similar plans previously for a simple reason: they are certain (and rightly so) that once they get some kind of state, the world will cease to aid them against Israel, and we will drag out the negotiations forever. Also, they have a de facto 60% state now, and turning it into a de jure entity offers no benefit.

New Kadima boss insists on Olmert plan

Mofaz who recently beat Livni to win leadership of Kadima, went public with his political platform: compensating Palestinians for land taken for settlement blocks with equally large parcels of land from inside the Green Line.

The Palestinians have refused that plan adamantly because the territory in question is really small; what matters is the location. And our settlement blocks prevent the functioning of a Palestinian state, as they were intended to do.

Thus, under Mofaz’s leadership we would resume senseless negotiations with the Palestinians, and the story will keep dragging on.

Do we have a million enemies or three million?

Israeli media are in a state of euphoria over the recent JMCC poll indicating that Palestinian support for suicide operations against Israel has shrunk from 85% a decade ago to 29% now.

It’s a bit silly to compare popular support for armed struggle during peacetime to popular sentiment at the peak of Intifada, but something else is important. The 29% figure reflects more than a million Palestinian Arabs ready to actively support terrorism. At the peak of popular Palestinian support for terrorism, no more that 20 to 40 thousand people were actively involved in it.

TV station raid: a lesson on coexistence

Palestinian media are up in arms over an Israeli raid on two TV stations and confiscation of their transmitters. Regrettably, the raid was not in response to anti-Israeli propaganda; the TV stations were using unauthorized frequencies, which interfered with airport communications.

The Israeli explanation seems false, however, because airport and TV frequencies differ substantially, general electronic emissions are insignificant, and the stations had been operating for some time without causing any disruption in air traffic.

We can gather that in this case, as in several other before it, the raid was conducted for political reasons, to press the PA to coordinate its air frequency licenses with Israel. If the PA, obligated to Israel for its economic and military survival, rejects that basic coordination, we can fairly assume that an independent Palestinian state would cause us similar trouble.

Quds Educational Television studio

Thailand recognizes Palestinian state

Thailand is now one of the 110 countries that recognize Palestinian independence. That number is close to the 124 countries that recognize Israel, and Palestinians enjoy visa-free travel to more countries than Israelis.

And nothing has happened. The massive international recognition of Palestine has resulted in no pressure on Israel to withdraw from the territories or stop raiding Palestinian towns in search of terrorists. Likewise, UN recognition of Palestinian statehood would change nothing, and indeed could make the whole issue less pressing, as Palestinian demands will be perceived as having been satisfied.

Arabs are normal, want to kill their enemies

At the annual event commemorating the founding of Fatah, the Palestinian ‘mufti of Jerusalem’ reminded the audience of their religious duty to exterminate every single Jew. And his words are common sense: the Arabs know that the only way to win a war is to kill your enemies.

In contrast, consider the Jews who hunt ‘racists’ in our own state, sue soldiers who deal appropriately with Arab terrorists, and send tax transfers to Fatah, which advocates killing us.

Knesset exhibits schizophrenia on Jerusalem issue

The Knesset speaker refused to put to the vote a bill by Arab MK Tibi, which calls Jerusalem the capital of Palestine. The speaker has such power with regard to drafts which clearly undermine the Jewish state. Such power was allocated in the days of Rabbi Kahane: in order to prevent even discussion of Kahane’s commonsense but politically incorrect bills, the speaker was awarded veto power over ‘racist’ bills, and to balance that, also over those that undermine the Jewish state.

But if Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital undermines the Jewish state, why has every Israeli prime minister since Rabin not been charged with high treason for negotiating that exact solution, dividing the city?

Court upholds Israel as a Jewish state

Court upholds Israel as a Jewish stateIn an unusually sane decision, the High Court rejected a claim against the citizenship law by ultra-left MK Gal-On. The citizenship law bars naturalization for the Palestinian spouses of Israeli Arabs. Such naturalization would immediately add two hundred thousand Palestinians to the Israeli population and open the door to many more of them.

The court said correctly that the right to marital life does not have to be realized within the borders of Israel, and the Palestinians can live just as happily in their own state ten miles away.

The Chief Judge was among the dissenters.

Palestinian UN membership bid: stop or go?

Mahmoud Abbas in UNNow that their bid is stalled in the UNSC, we can ponder whether it was wise. And yes, it was.

Regardless of whether he has won UNSC approval, Abbas has won the UNGA to his side. This is something that Jewish state has never accomplished even once. In effect, Abbas has achieved a moral victory.

He did not harm his relations with the White House. Obama probably hates him just as he hated Netanyahu before, but that does not change the fact that Washington has no other party to support in the PA. To underscore that fact, the White House released $200 million in aid that it had threatened to withhold if Abbas applied to the UNGA for statehood recognition.

Nor will Israel be able to withhold tax transfers for long. Nor can it abandon Fatah militarily, unless we are willing to allow Hamas to take over the West Bank.

The Israeli arguments against the Palestinian bid were proved silly. Thus, to claim that mutually agreed-upon borders are a prerequisite for Palestine’s UN application is preposterous because the Jewish state itself came into being without a border agreement with its neighbors.

Arab diplomats revolted against Abbas for forcing their hand with his UNGA application. Indeed, they as well as their US and EU counterparts felt starkly irrelevant as Abbas dumped diplomatic intrigues in favor of appealing directly to people of the world. But they, too, will be forced back to the table by the US.

Perhaps Abbas miscalculated, imagining that he could push Obama into supporting his bid. Well, the US president is far more cynical than the Fatah leader had thought. Perhaps the peace process is now more dead than ever because the UNGA proved powerless against Jewish influence in Washington. But in the end Abbas was going down, anyway. And at least he is going down as a courageous leader who used his last chance to gain independence for his people—who happen to be our enemies.

EU accepts Palestinian statehood

France voted to accept the Palestinian state as a full member of UNESCO. This prejudices the French vote in the UNSC on Palestine’s declaration of independence. Though Germany voted against Palestine’s UNESCO bid, the EU states are likelier to follow the French lead, since everyone understands that Germany has an exceptional relationship with Israel.

EU accepts Palestinian statehood

Israel misses a historic opportunity

Egypt CoptsMuslim hatred of Israel is based on their perception of her as a foreign entity in their land. Israel once lost a great chance to establish such an entity in South Lebanon, a Christian buffer state. Now blind Jewish leaders are ignoring a new opportunity—to divide Egypt to create a state for Coptic Christians.

After long period of problematic coexistence, conflicts burst into the open when Muslim Brotherhood gangs openly attacked the Christians; the Egyptian army joined the Muslims. Some ten million hardworking, relatively educated and prosperous Christians are heavily oppressed and regularly killed. They would love our support to form a state of their own, and American Christians would come to their financial and political aid.

Israel is losing its peace treaty with Egypt anyway. Sinai has become a no-man’s land closed to Israeli commercial traffic and nearly closed to tourists, though it remains open for Palestinian arms smuggling. We need not pretend to maintain good relations with Egypt. Israel must establish a rapport with the Copts and incite them to demand independence.

West doesn’t trust UN

The Quartet reps meeting in New York exerted inordinate pressure on Abbas to abstain from his UN bid for statehood. Leading countries thus are not allowing the international body to make a decision it is entitled to make: recognizing a people’s statehood.

For our part, we believe that de jure recognition of the Palestinian state that has existed de facto for twenty years would not be any more harmful to Israel than the current situation, and might actually relieve us of international pressure in the form of support for stateless Palestinian Arabs.

Israel plans welcome reception of Palestinian statehood

The Defense Ministry, which seems to have long since abandoned its original job of defending the Jewish state, wants to release hundreds of Muslim terrorists held in Israeli jails before the UN September vote on Palestinian statehood. In the warped minds of Barak’s clique, the release will calm the Palestinians—though historically the opposite has proven true.

Curiously, Israel would find it very hard to deal with Palestinian terrorists if their state were to be recognized. There is no doubt that the terrorists come from the ruling parties and reflect their policies: the PA names streets after them, sponsors panegyrics on state TV, and pays them monthly stipends. Thus their attacks are not terrorism, but an act of war by a sovereign state—and instead of releasing the terrorists, Israel should bomb their cities.

Netanyahu accepts Washington’s terms

The Israeli government has announced its acceptance of a taboo item: negotiations with our Palestinian Arab enemies based on the 1948 (pre-1967) armistice lines.

Now, the taboo was silly to begin with: everyone understood the 1948 lines to be the basis for some demographic changes and swaps. Israel clung to it in the false expectation that we would be able to use it as a bargaining chip to force Palestinian acceptance of the Jewish state—that is, no right of return. Netanyahu played the same scenario when his government conditioned its acceptance of the 1948 lines on Palestinian acceptance of the Jewish state. But the Palestinians will refuse that condition, and in the course of time the Quartet will only remember Israel’s acceptance of the 1948 border.

Compromise on Palestinian statehood?

Now that the Arab League has approved Palestine’s bid for UNGA recognition of its statehood, the US appears to be in the uncomfortable position of having to veto the bid in the UNSC. Unlike Bush, who automatically vetoed any anti-Israeli resolutions, Obama is visibly averse to such vetoes. When he had to veto the ’settlements are illegal’ resolution, his ambassador to the UN spoke astonishingly to the contrary, saying that the settlements are in fact illegal.

The parties will likely settle on full membership for Palestine in the UNGA without calling it statehood. Though the UNGA was meant for states only, the PLO crept in as a member of various UN bodies, which created a precedent for introducing a non-state entity into the UNGA.