The Peace Process Scam

Pres. Trump has sent his representatives, Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt, to the region again to see if they can revive the peace process.  Actually they would need to resuscitate it because it has been dead for a long time.  And anyone knowing the details of the situation will realize that, as with resuscitating a dead person, this game is not feasible.  Every time the possibility of a real peace compromise comes close the Palestinians manage to evade it.

This time they are considering dissolving the Palestine Authority (PA) that has been their representative entity that was established by the Oslo Accords in 1994 as a step in the direction of a possible Palestine State.  But, State-building is not their thing, they are more concerned with destroying a State – Israel – than with building one.  In order to do this they have lied and prevaricated.  They have been split into many factions, each trying a different strategy to destroy Israel.  The Fatah faction of the PLO, that runs the PA, has the strategy of pretending to want peace, while at the same time inciting violence against Israelis, sponsoring terrorism and educating their children to hate Jews.  Hamas that controls Gaza has no such reservations, they are at war with Israel and they openly proclaim their intention to destroy Israel with no pretensions.  They fire rockets from Gaza at Israeli population centers and have waged several wars.

The leader of Fatah and the PA is Pres. Mahmud Abbas, who at 82 years old is past his sell-by date, he should have retired years ago, but cannot.  He has no selected successor and cannot allow elections since they will end in violence.  He cannot make any moves towards peace that would be seen as concessions to Israel or the US and he would end up dead, assassinated probably by Hamas.  His regime is illegal, corrupt and incompetent. His people know it, but can’t do anything about it.  His main aim now its to avoid a violent end and to retire with his ample funds stolen from the donations that the EU and US continue to lavish on an intransigent and unrepentant community.

Taylor Force was a former US marine on a course in Israel who was stabbed to death in Tel Aviv by a Palestinian terrorist.  The terrorist was shot dead but his family are being paid a large sum each month, a subsidy that supports terrorism.  The funds for these payments to terrorists and their families comes from the aid that the US and others pay the PA.  At last someone is doing something about this.  The “Taylor Force Act” that is before the Senate would stop all aid payments to the PA until this financial support for terrorism stops.  Not one Democrat has signed on to support this Act, so we see where their interests lie.  Let’s hope it passes and the PA loses all its support, as well as UNRWA that subsidizes terror in Gaza and the so-called refugee camps, and let’s hope the PA collapses.  Then we will see the true reality of the situation, that the US and other western countries are subsidizing the terrorist murders of Israeli Jews.

 

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Expediency

Jews are generally motivated more by sentiment and faith than by political expediency. This can be a fault that is endemic in the Israeli body politic, as well as elsewhere.  Let me explain what I mean by expedient, that which accomplishes a goal in a self-interested manner, without consideration for the concerns of others and particularly for those of an enemy.   As an example of a non-expedient act I would categorize the transfer of authority over the Temple Mount by Gen. Moshe Dayan, then Israeli Defense Minister, to the Muslim Trust, the Wakf, after winning the Six-Day War of 1967.  This was a unilateral act that was done because Dayan thought he knew the Arab mind (he was very arrogant) and decided that they would be “grateful” if he gave them this undeserved gift after they had been so totally defeated.  It has been a bone in our throat every since, causing enormous trouble and friction.

But, sometimes expediency is shown by Israeli politicians, for example, when PM Netanyahu decided to abandon the agreement that was in the making to allow Conservative and Reform Jews to pray at the Western Wall.  The compromise solution was dumped by Netanyahu because the ultra-Orthodox members threatened to bring his fragile coalition government down if he went ahead.  He had to face the prospect of either losing his government and facing an election or dropping the Western Wall compromise. In a show of expediency he chose the latter.  What American liberal Jews who sharply criticized this decision don’t realize is that it is very likely that an election would bring in an even more right-wing government than we now have.  That would really have upset them.

In general, in dealing with the Arabs, Israel would do better to stick to what is expedient and in its own interests than considering their situation, such as the “humanitarian crisis” that is always being threatened.  They have made their own bed, let them lie in it. This lack of expediency was also a fault of Pres. Obama, he was too considerate of the other fellow’s point of view, be it Iran, N.Korea, China or Russia (in Syria).  Let’s hope Pres. Trump is made of sterner stuff.

An Arab Israeli Zionist

Weds night I went to AACI Netanya to hear Richard Corman of the pro-Israel organization StandWithUs introduce Yahya Mohammed, an Israeli Arab from Umm al-Fahm, who has become a strong supporter of Israel and a Zionist.

Yahya described how he was brought up in Umm al-Fahm to hate Jews and Israel.  But, he never met Jewish Israelis and had no conception of who they were.  After he left school he registered for a pre-Army program to learn how to be a mechanic that was supported by the IDF in his town, even though he was not required to serve in the IDF. He noticed on the wall there was a map of the world, with Palestine written in place of Israel.  So he complained to the management, he said that since they live in Israel and since the IDF is paying for their education, they should at least show a correct map.  The map was taken down, but after that he got threats, including death threats.  He was surprised at the extent of the threats over such a small incident.  Then he got a call telling him he better go to the police.  So he went to the Israeli police and they took him out of the town, and he made a deal with the local Imam, he would stay away for 2 years and his family would not be in danger.

He found a  job in Tel Aviv, and although very apprehensive, he discovered that people were friendly to him and he had no problems.  One day he was at a bus stop and a Chabad person came up to him, and he was afraid of religious Jews, but when the man told him he should be using tefillin and he told him he was an Arab, the Chabad guy said “doesn’t matter, as long as you are a good person.”  That really shocked him, because he had been brought up to fear religious Jews.

He began reading widely and decided that the Zionists were right, the Jews should be here.  He made contact with StandWithUs who needed someone who spoke/wrote Arabic, and became a volunteer, then a member of their staff.  He now goes around the world speaking at meetings against BDS and in favor of Israel and described some of his experiences.  He now lives in Jerusalem and has volunteered to join the IDF.

He was personable and answered questions readily.  I put it to him that there is not an Israel-Palestine problem, but rather a Palestinian problem, since Israel is quite strong and prosperous, but the Palestinians are split and very poor.  He partially agreed, but pointed out that the Palestinian Arabs, including Israeli Arabs, are very ignorant, uninformed and controlled by a small minority of extremists.  They simply can’t break out of their own enforced culture.

Why the Palestinian Problem Can’t be Solved

Jared Kushner is right, the Palestinian problem cannot be solved.  As Pres. Trump’s son-in-law and US representative to the Israel-Palestine situation, Jared has been meeting with the parties and collecting information.  He confessed to a group of Congressional interns that he has concluded that the problem cannot be solved.  Perhaps it takes a non-diplomat to state the obvious.  This will not please his father-in-law, the President, because Trump likes to make deals and he thought this being the hardest deal it would be the best one to make.  But, it can’t be done.  Why not?

The simple reason is that the Palestinians have never shown any intention of resolving the problem.  To the Western mind it seems simple, two peoples, two countries, one for each, living side-by-side in peace.  But, forget that, this is not the West, this is the Middle East.  Look around, do you see anything simple and peaceful here, the answer is a resounding no!  The Palestinians do not want to live in peace with Israel, simply put they have never accepted Israel and they want to destroy it.  They don’t want to make a state they want to destroy one.  That is the be-all and end-all of their policies, strategies and aims.

One major difference between the Fatah/PLO which runs the Palestine Authority on the West Bank and Hamas that runs Gaza, is that the former pretend for Western audiences that they want peace, whereas in fact they do not, while Hamas don’t even pretend.  They openly brag about their intentions of destroying Israel and they have a huge cache of missiles ready for the purpose.  They also don’t care about their own people, they spend aid money given for the rebuilding of Gaza on building tunnels and other military infra-structure.  Yet, the Western democracies foolishly indulge them, they give money to Gaza, which goes for building tunnels to infiltrate Israel and they give money to the PA, which is used for rewarding terrorism.

Taylor Force was a US marine on a training course in Israel who was stabbed to death by a Palestinian terrorist in Tel Aviv two years ago.  The Taylor Force Act is about to be passed by the Senate and become US law, and it forbids the US Government from paying any funds to the PA until they stop the egregious practice of rewarding terrorists who survive, and their families if they don’t, for murdering Israelis.  If that isn’t encouraging terrorism I don’t know what is.

Apparently when Pres. Trump visited Israel and the PA several months ago he got angry with Pres. Abbas of the PA and said to him “You stood there on the White House lawn and lied to me.”  He was referring to Abbas’ statement that he wanted peace, which he clearly does not.  Not only is it not his or any Palestinian leader’s intention to make peace with Israel, but if he tried he would be assassinated and at 82 he hopes soon to be able to enjoy his retirement.   But, is this surprising, we have known for decades that Palestinian leaders lie, Arafat did it all the time, and it is documented in many narratives of the situation.  For example, former White House Middle East Adviser Dennis Ross admitted that he and the US Government knew that Arafat was lying, but pretended that they did not know.  Also, the Western media know that Palestinian casualties and deaths are usually fraudulent, but report them as if they are real out of sympathy for the Palestinian cause (which is destroying Israel) as well as to sell newspapers.

There is no conception on the Palestinian side for any kind of compromise with Israel. They are maximalists, they think their cause justifies their aims to destroy Israel, even though after 70 years of trying they have failed to do so.  This is the definition of insanity, doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a  different outcome.  There will be no different outcome, Israel is here to stay and until the Palestinians accept that there is no solution.  Essentially this is a Palestinian problem and the only way they will accept that is being forced to, either by defeat by Israel or by the Western community stopping support for their insane pursuit.

 

The Mosque Fiasco

The Israeli Government caved in to the demands of the Palestinian Muslims to remove all forms of security surveillance from the entrance to the Al-Aksa Mosque on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.  It appears that violent demonstrations and murder have once again succeeded against rational compromise.  Israel was prepared to remove the metal detectors in favor of unobtrusive “smart” cameras that could detect concealed weapons. But, the Muslim Wakf (Religious Trust) rejected even this and called upon the Palestinians to resist any change in the so-called status quo.

The Israeli Government may have caved because they did not want to see a long drawn out series of violent demonstrations while the Wakf went to the Israeli Supreme Court and the issue of whether or not non-invasive cameras constitute a change in the “status quo” was slowly deliberated.  As it is there is now a sense of victory in the Palestinian camp, they got away with murder and they can still smuggle weapons, guns and explosives, into the Mosque.  Is that a viable solution?  How many more people, including Israeli border police, must die before resolute action is taken?

The murder of the three members of the Salomon family in Halamish on the West Bank was clearly a case of terrorism.  But, the UN Secty. Gen. Anthonio Guterres, in criticizing this incident, failed to label it as terrorism.  By contrast, in three other recent statements on incidents where civilians were killed by violent actions he did call all of them terrorist incidents (I thank Michael Freund for pointing this out in The Jerusalem Post).  This callous attitude that the killing of Jews is different from the killing of all other civilians, because the Palestinians are felt to have some special justification for killing Jews, is unacceptable.  Israelis do not accept this moral relativism of the international community.  All terrorism is morally unjustifiable.

So now the forces of terrorism within the Palestinian movement, such as Hamas, that are very strong, will take away from this series of incidents the message that terrorism works and they will gain confidence and will strike again.  To exemplify this, it is reported that tonite further violent Muslim demonstrations are continuing on the Temple Mount with 100 injured in clashes with Israeli police.  If they riot with metal detectors, if they riot with cameras and if they riot when they are all removed, might as well keep the cameras.

The Irrational in Mid-East Politics

As I pointed out in previous blog articles, all major religious sites, including Mosques have metal detectors to prevent the smuggling of weapons and explosives.  Also, all Jews and foreign visitors who visit the Western Wall in Jerusalem are subject to metal detectors and security checks.  But, Muslim Arabs have never been subject to such security checks.  After the shooting death of two Israeli border guards by Palestinian Arab terrorists who came from the Mosque, it became clear that such a security check is necessary.

However,  the Palestinians, egged on by their leadership in the PA including Pres. Abbas, have refused to accept the introduction of metal detectors at the entrance to the Mosques.  Their attitude is that this is an example of the imposition of the Israeli occupation, irrespective of the merits of the case.  But, the situation rapidly became more complex when, apart from the rioting in Jerusalem, a 17-year-old Muslim boy helping with the moving of furniture in the Israeli Embassy in Amman, Jordan, stabbed an Israeli guard with a screw-driver.  The guard shot him dead and also a man who came to his aid.  So with the two dead Israeli policemen and the three Salomon family members murdered in Halamish, and the five Palestinian rioters killed and the two Jordanians, that makes 12 dead so far.

But, although the Israeli guard in the Amman Embassy was wounded, he was unable to go to the hospital because the Jordanian authorities wanted to arrest him.  However, under international law, they have no jurisdiction within the Israeli Embassy and were unable to do so.  However, neither were the Israelis in the Embassy able to leave. Overnight a compromise was struck between PM Netanyahu and King Abdullah, supported by the US negotiator, that Israel would remove the metal detectors and replace them with unobtrusive “smart” cameras that would not disrupt the movement of Muslim worshipers, and Jordan would allow the Israeli staff of the Embassy, including the wounded guard, to return to Israel.  In this situation, both sides wanted a quick solution, Netanyahu wanted an excuse to remove the objectionable metal detectors, and Abdullah wanted to quiet the situation because he fears the backlash of his Palestinian community.  He also needs to keep good relations with Israel, since his is a very tenuous situation.

However, the compromise of Israel replacing the metal detectors with smart cameras has not so far been accepted by the Palestinians.  As far as they are concerned any Israeli move, even one that in no way interferes with their movement in the entrance to the Mosques, is unacceptable.  Just as their claim that the Al-Aksa Mosque is where Mohammed ascended to heaven and that it is the third holiest shrine in Islam is all based on irrational belief, so their rejection of any Israeli action to prevent the smuggling of weapons into the Mosques is also irrational.

A committee of the Wakf, the Muslim Religious Trust, met to decide if they can accept the cameras.  It should, be remembered that a few years ago, after a serious incident of rioting, the Israelis installed cameras in the area of the Mosque, but they were soon totally destroyed by bricks thrown by Palestinian youths.  So will this time be different?  Israeli will have to ensure some form of protection for the cameras or the whole process will be futile.  So far the Wakf decided that the the Palestinians will not accept a civilized and peaceful solution to this irrational situation.  The rioting and killing will continue.

Arab Terrorist Murders Three Israelis

From Algemeiner:  Three Israelis were stabbed to death and another was seriously wounded on Friday night by a knife-wielding Palestinian Arab terrorist who broke into a home in the West Bank settlement of Halamish, northwest of Ramallah.

According to media reports, the three fatalities, all adults, included two men and one woman who were members of the same family.   The preliminary investigation found that the attacker — identified as 19-year-old Omar al-Abed from the neighboring village of Kobar — climbed a fence and entered a home on the edge of Halamish.

The victims were taking part in a Shabbat meal at the time of the attack.   An off-duty soldier who was nearby heard the commotion and ran to the home, where he shot the terrorist, wounding him. The terrorist was detained and taken to a hospital for medical treatment.

The initial probe found that the terrorist was motivated by the ongoing Temple Mount tensions. Three Palestinians were killed in clashes with Israeli security forces in Jerusalem on Friday when protests — against the metal detectors put in place at the entrances to the Temple Mount following last week’s terrorist attack there in which two Israeli police officers were killed — turned violent.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmud Abbas announced on Friday he was freezing all contacts with Israel until the metal detectors were removed.

I reproduce this report since it is hot off the press.  I have some comments:

  1.  This attack is a direct result of the incitement to violence by the leader of the PA Mahmud Abbas and others.  This continual incitement is intolerable and leads to further terrorist acts.   Note that the incitement is against the use of metal detectors by Israeli police at the entrance to the Mosques on the Temple Mount that is purely a normal security device introduced after two Israeli border guards were shot dead by terrorists who came from the Mosque and returned there.  The actual status and access to the Mosques has not been changed.  
  2. How can we still call these “lone wolf” attacks?  They are part of a concerted culturally determined hatred of all Jews and Israelis and are intended to sow fear and terror among Israeli Jews.
  3. The family of this terrorist will receive a regular payment that is given to all families of Palestinian Arab terrorists.  Also, Arab terrorists in prison receive a regular stipend. Where does this money come from, ultimately it comes from the USA.  The amount given by the USA to the PA of m$30 pa is approximately the amount paid to all terrorists and their families, since there have been thousands of them.
  4. Every American reading this should contact their Senators and request them to support the “Taylor Force Act” that would rescind donations to the PA until they halt all payments to terrorists.  It is named after Taylor Force who was a US marine visiting Israel on a study trip who was stabbed to death on the Tel Aviv promenade in March, 2016, by a Palestinian Arab terrorist, who injured 11 others.  Pres. Trump has stated that he will sign this Bill into law if it is passed by the Senate.