Thursday, April 24, 2014

A Long Overdue Obligation to Remove Incentives for Murdering Jews

...He sees that upon his release, instead of being obliged to express remorse for his crimes, Palestinian television audiences will approvingly entreat him to describe to them in detail the ghoulish murders he committed. Ahmed will hear how correspondents from Western newspapers, like Jodi Rudoren of the NY Times, wrote a lengthy article humanizing a released terrorist, the brutal murderer of an elderly Holocaust survivor. Rudoren noted that the murderer had been “demonized as a terrorist by the Israelis”, relating sympathetically to his complaint that as a national hero (he was elevated to the honorary rank of a PA brigadier general), the “$100,000 grants and monthly payments” received from the PA were insufficient to buy him an apartment.

Isi Leibler..
Candidly Speaking from Jerusalem..
23 April '14..

It is a damning reflection on the civilized world that one rarely hears a word of condemnation of the criminal Palestinian society in which the murder of Jews is not only considered laudable, but has today effectively become a vehicle towards achieving upward social mobility, both socially and financially.

Let us relate hypothetically to Ahmed, a typical youngster in a large and impoverished Palestinian family.

Like his peers, Ahmed has been brainwashed – since kindergarten and throughout his schooling, by the mullahs at his mosque and in the daily media – into believing that the highest level of piety is attained by killing the Israeli enemy.

He knows that if he were killed in attacking a Jew, he too would become a Shaheed – a martyr – and be compensated for his sacrifice by the rewards and pleasures bestowed on him in Paradise. Moreover, his family will be honored and receive a lifelong state pension from our “peace partner”, Mahmoud Abbas and the PA.

Ahmed will recollect the interviews he watched on the PA state television of mothers displaying pride in their offspring’s sacrifice on behalf of Islam and their frequently expressed hope that some of their remaining children will follow the example of the blessed martyr.

Furthermore, PA officials will ensure that even if he had brutally murdered innocent Israeli civilians, he would be portrayed as a saintly hero of the Islamic nation and Palestinian people. Ahmed’s family name would become memorialized as city squares, roads, schools, cultural centers and even football teams will be named in his honor.

Of course, death is the worst outcome. If Ahmed is fortunate enough to be captured rather than killed, he gets to have the best of all worlds.

His family will continue to visit him in prison where he is likely to receive better food than he had at home. He will even be provided with amenities such as television. Moreover, he will be able to educate himself and enroll in University courses and obtain a degree – which would have been inconceivable in his former habitat

And for all this “suffering” the PA will pay him a handsome salary (using funds received from the US, EU and other donors) for every day that he remains in jail. In fact, the longer his sentence, the higher his monthly salary.

A Groundhog Day That Never Ends. Why Hamas and Fatah Carry on the Charade

...Abbas knows he does not have nearly enough control over the Palestinian polity to claim to be a legitimate head of state even if he were to sign a deal with Israel. Hamas’s inclusion can potentially make him president of a failed state instead of failed president of a non-state. The benefits to Hamas are obvious...

Seth Mandel..
Commentary Magazine..
23 April '14..

Progress in Hamas-Fatah unity talks may appear to be fertile ground for jokes at Secretary of State John Kerry’s expense, since it seems the one divide he hasn’t been feverishly trying to bridge is the one place where prospects for reconciliation have improved. But Kerry can rest easy on this score: whatever Kerry’s diplomatic faults (and they are many), he is not going to be outdone on the peace score by the terrorists of Hamas.

In fact, the Hamas-Fatah unity talks–a staple of those truly dedicated to wasting everyone’s time–are worth watching, but not for the reason the region’s idealists think. Instead, the Palestinian civil war and attempts to end it demonstrate, for those paying attention, why Israeli-Palestinian negotiations have so often been a fool’s errand. Even the Western media’s most excitable Palestinian boosters–Israel’s leftist daily Haaretz–can’t quite conceal the contradiction at the heart of the internecine compromise we are told is within reach. The paper reports:

The headlines were all referring to a meeting expected to take place Tuesday between the Fatah delegation to the reconciliation talks and the Hamas leadership, with the participation of Moussa Abu Marzouk, deputy to Hamas political chief Khaled Meshal. Will reconciliation come about this time between the factions, which have been at loggerheads since 2007? Will the reconciliation agreement they signed in 2011 be implemented?

That last sentence is quite the red flag. The two sides have signed agreements in the past: not only does signing a new one concede the fact that the last agreement hasn’t been honored, but the new agreement might not even require the last agreement’s implementation. The concern by Israelis has always been that even if Mahmoud Abbas signs a peace deal with them, his successor might not honor it. But the history of Hamas-Fatah reconciliation suggests it won’t get that far: the Palestinian signatories themselves are unlikely to honor it.

Haaretz continues:

If the parties reach agreement, Israel might view this as intentional Palestinian abandonment of the negotiations with Israel, and use reconciliation as a pretext to halt the peace process. This, despite the fact that Hamas had agreed at the time to allow PA President Mahmoud Abbas to continue negotiations without Hamas committing to accept their outcome, and the fact that in 2010, Hamas made clear that it does not oppose the establishment of a Palestinian state within in the 1967 boundaries.

At the same time, Abbas can present himself as the legitimate representative of all parts of the Palestinian state and thus bolster his demand for international recognition for the state.

It is unclear from the agreements attained so far what the status will be of the accords signed between the PLO and Israel, whether the PA will be able to continue implementing them and what will happen to security cooperation with Hamas still supporting armed struggle. For Hamas, which is in deep economic trouble and in a hostile relationship with Egypt, reconciliation could be an indispensable way out. The funding sources that reach the PA could then be used to cover civil activities of government ministries that would be under Hamas control. Abbas could then ask Egypt to change its position toward Hamas and also open lines of communication for Hamas with other Arab countries.

The tone of that section is typical of the Israeli left: the Israeli government would use the talks as “pretext” to skip out on their own negotiations with a government quite different from the one they were negotiating with. How unreasonable. Additionally, even Haaretz notes that this is “despite the fact” that Hamas is allowing Abbas to continue talks with Israel “without Hamas committing to accept their outcome.” So they are meaningless.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Twenty fired from Gaza: ten land in Israel. What the remaining ten teach us.

...Not to diminish the existential threat all of this poses to Israelis, in terms of the numbers, Gazan Arabs continue to pay a steep and largely unexamined price in terms of people maimed and killed at the hands of the barbarians in their own midst.

Gaza terrorists laying explosives:
Their neighbors' children serve

as human shields and unseen victims
Frimet/Arnold Roth..
This Ongoing War..
23 April '14..

A brief report on the Long War Journal website discloses, thanks to their very useful research and media monitoring, that the ten rockets fired on southern Israel this past Monday [see "21-Apr-14: Rocket barrage seeks Israeli victims in Monday morning attack from Gaza"] came from a specific source in the Gazan vipers' nest. Also, that the published numbers conceal - yet again - something that sharp reporters and their editors ought to have focused on long ago, but keep ignoring.

Here's part of what David Barnett's LWJ report says:

In a series of tweets, the Yahya Ayyash Brigades took credit for rocket fire today from the Gaza Strip into Israel. The jihadist group, which has been promoted by Abdullah Azzam Brigades official Sirajuddin Zurayqat, said its fighters launched more than 20 rockets... The Yahya Ayyash Brigades, named after a deceased Hamas bomb maker, first appeared in mid-January 2014 when it took credit for rocket fire during the funeral of former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon. Last month, the group took responsibility for some of the rocket and mortar fire from Gaza during a mini flare-up between Israel and Palestinian terror groups in Gaza.

The IDF's assessment of the Monday barrage from Gaza is, as the Times of Israel said, that ten rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip in all. Seven fell in open areas in the Sha’ar Hanegev region and outside the city of Sderot. One exploded in Sderot's city limits, causing damage. Another exploded in the Eshkol region.

The terror practitioners who did the indiscriminate firing say the number was double the Israeli total, making it fairly likely any additional rockets fell short, landing on the heads or homes of the hapless Palestinian Arabs who live under Hamas domination in that jihadist enclave.


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The Zivotofsky Passport. A Grave Threat to the Peace Process? Seriously?

...The brief asserted that putting “Israel” on the passports of Zivotofsky and the “very small number” of other people would have “risked ‘caus[ing] irreversible damage’ to the United States’ ability to further the peace process in the Middle East.” Seriously? Irreversible damage? Menachem Zivotofsky’s passport is an obstacle to peace?

Rick Richman..
Commentary Magazine..
23 April '14..

Now that the Supreme Court has agreed in Zivotofsky v. Kerry to decide the constitutionality of the law allowing Jerusalem-born Americans to have “Israel” on their passports as their place of birth, it bears reiterating that President Obama did not need to make this a federal case, and that he could still take the same approach President Clinton did in 1994, when Congress passed a law allowing Americans born in Taiwan to have “Taiwan” on their passports rather than “China.”

Clinton enforced the law, but declared that America’s “One China” policy (recognizing only the People’s Republic of China) remained unchanged. Obama could uphold the law regarding Menachem Zivotofsky’s passport, but declare that the policy that Jerusalem’s status is subject to negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians remains unchanged. Case closed! It is not clear why this should present a problem: the State Department website identifies Jerusalem as Israel’s capital; so does the CIA website; the Department of Defense website features a 2009 picture of Secretary Gates and Prime Minister Netanyahu meeting in “Jerusalem, Israel,” a 2012 picture of Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Martin Dempsey with Israeli President Peres in “Jerusalem, Israel,” and Secretary Hagel’s 2013 statement at his meeting with Netanyahu in “Jerusalem, Israel.”

So what’s the big deal about letting Zivotofsky reflect on his own passport–as is his right under a federal statute–what the State Department, the CIA, and the Defense Department all include on their websites: the fact that Jerusalem has been the capital of Israel for more than 60 years? The Obama administration’s brief filed in February, opposing Zivotofsky’s petition to have the Supreme Court hear the case, asserted that “grave foreign-relations and national-security consequences” would have resulted from a lower court decision in Zivotofsky’s favor, but the same brief acknowledges that the law affects only a “very small number of people” born in Jerusalem who might avail themselves of the option offered by the law.

The BDS and Antisemitism Quote of the Day

...In order to satisfy this generation’s anti-Semites, Israel must meet standards that no other country in the world has ever met or ever will.

Petra Marquadt-Bigman..
The Warped Mirror..
22 April '14..

“My own belief is that the BDS people and their fellow travellers, whatever their background, are anti-Semites. They do all they can to stigmatize the Jewish state and reduce its ability to defend itself. They know that Israel is surrounded by neighbours who will never recognize its existence, much less sign a treaty developed in a ‘peace process’ quarterbacked by Washington. The Palestinians and the Arab states who claim to support them are not hoping for a more generous Israel or a BDS-approved Israel or an Israel willing to hand over the West Bank. They are working for a day when Israel will be gone forever.

In order to satisfy this generation’s anti-Semites, Israel must meet standards that no other country in the world has ever met or ever will. At the United Nations Israel is condemned more often than all other countries combined.”

Robert Fulford on “The BDS smokescreen” in Canada’s National Post


Updates throughout the day at If you enjoy "Love of the Land", please be a subscriber. Just put your email address in the "Subscribe" box on the upper right-hand corner of the page.Twitter updates at LoveoftheLand as well as our Love of the Land page at Facebook which has additional pieces of interest besides that which is posted on the blog. Check-it out! 

Islam's Connection to Jerusalem? Tenuous or Less

...Still, for 1,300 years, various Islamic dynasties (Syrian, Egyptian and Turkish) continued to govern Jerusalem as part of their overall control of the Land of Israel, disrupted only by the Crusaders. What is amazing is that over that period, not one Islamic dynasty ever made Jerusalem its capital. By the 19th century, Jerusalem had been so neglected by Islamic rulers that several prominent Western writers who visited Jerusalem were moved to write about it. French writer Gustav Flaubert, for example, found “ruins everywhere” during his visit in 1850 when it was part of the Turkish Empire (1516-1917). Seventeen years later Mark Twain wrote that Jerusalem had “become a pauper village.”

Eli E. Hertz..
21 April '14..

Despite 1,300 years of Muslim Arab rule, Jerusalem was never the capital of an Arab entity, nor was it ever mentioned in the Palestine Liberation Organization’s covenant until Israel regained control of East Jerusalem in the Six-Day War of 1967. Overall, the role of Jerusalem in Islam is best understood as the outcome of political exigencies impacting religious belief.

Mohammed, who founded Islam in 622 CE, was born and raised in present-day Saudi Arabia and never set foot in Jerusalem. His connection to the city came years after his death when the Dome of the Rock shrine and the al-Aqsa mosque were built in 688 and 691, respectively, their construction spurred by political and religious rivalries. In 638 CE, the Caliph (or successor to Mohammed) Omar and his invading armies captured Jerusalem from the Byzantine Empire. One reason they wanted to erect a holy structure in Jerusalem was to proclaim Islam’s supremacy over Christianity and its most important shrine, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.

More important was the power struggle within Islam itself. The Damascus-based Umayyad Caliphs who controlled Jerusalem wanted to establish an alternative holy site if their rivals blocked access to Mecca. That was important because the Hajj, or pilgrimage to Mecca, was (and remains today) one of the Five Pillars of Islam. As a result, they built what became known as the Dome of the Rock shrine and the adjacent mosque.

To enhance the prestige of the ‘substitute Mecca,’ the Jerusalem mosque was named al-Aqsa. It means ‘the furthest mosque’ in Arabic, but has far broader implications, since it is the same phrase used in a key passage of the Quran called “The Night Journey.” In that passage, Mohammed arrives at ‘al-Aqsa’ on a winged steed accompanied by the Archangel Gabriel; from there they ascend into heaven for a divine meeting with Allah, after which Mohammed returns to Mecca. Naming the Jerusalem mosque al-Aqsa was an attempt to say the Dome of the Rock was the very spot from which Mohammed ascended to heaven, thus tying Jerusalem to divine revelation in Islamic belief. The problem however, is that Mohammed died in the year 632, nearly 50 years before the first construction of the al-Aqsa Mosque was completed.

The answer? Eight emirates for the Palestinian clans by Dr. Mordechai Kedar

...There are probably more reasons for the disability to reach a comprehensive settlement between Israel and the Palestinians at this time, and it's a pity that Secretary of State John Kerry and President Barack Obama did not do their homework before they decided to put all the weight on this complicated matter.

Dr. Mordechai Kedar..
i24 News..
22 April '14..

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has several religious and cultural causes:

According to Islam, Judaism ceased to exist when Christianity came to be, and Christianity ceased to exist when Islam came into the world to replace both. Judaism is the "Din Al-Batel," the false religion, while Islam is the "Din Al-Haq", the religion of truth. So according to the Islamic approach, there can be no Jewish state.

According to the Arab view, the Jews are not a people. A Jew from Poland is Polish, from an ethnic point of view, and of Mosaic faith, from a religious point of view, and therefore his place is in his homeland Poland. Therefore, all Jews in Israel must return to the countries from which they or their ancestors came. Judaism has no ethnic basis and it was Zionism that invented the Jewish people.

According to the Arab narrative, the Jews who came to Israel from Europe aren't descendants of Jews who were exiled from the Land of Israel 2000 years ago, but descendants of Khazars, who converted to Judaism in the Middle Ages. Therefore, there is no connection between today's Jews and the country in which there once may have been other Jews. The Jews are convinced that they are the descendants of the Judean exiles that the Romans exiled in the first century AD, that they wandered among the nations, and returned to their country with the approval of the Ottomans.

According to Islam, each country has a "one-way ticket" to enter Islam, but cannot leave. Thus, Palestine was conquered by the Muslims in the 7th century and is an Islamic land from the sea to the Jordan forever, and no one in the world has the right to take it and to establish a state that is not Islamic.

From an Islamic point of view, Jewish control of Jerusalem, in general, and of the Temple Mount, in particular, constitutes a danger to the very existence of Islam as a religion, as the Jews could rebuild the Temple (as they did twice) and Judaism would return to be a living religion. What would then be the fate of Islam, which came into the world to replace Judaism (and Christianity)? So Jewish control of Jerusalem is a threat to Islamic theology.

According to the Arab view, acceptance of Israel's existence would constitute a shameful recognition of their failure to eliminate Israel since 1948. They prefer a state of war (even if not open war) over the state of shame.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Oppression and Redemption, Bitter and Sweet

...Pesach in Hebron is always special. Thousands, no, tens of thousands, flock to the city, visiting Ma'arat HaMachpela, the tomb of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs, and other fascinating sites in the city. Sweet. The story of redemption. But it wasn't entirely sweet. About an hour before the Seder, the beginning of the holiday, one of my sons called me, asking very abruptly, 'what's happening at Tarqumia?'

David Wilder..
22 April '14..

Pesach, Passover, is a special holiday. The redemption of our people, Am Yisrael, some 3,500 years ago. It serves as the foundation for our future, that is, the issues, such as being enslaved in Egypt, and the liberation from that bondage.

It has happened time and time again. Twice we suffered the destruction of our spiritual center, Jerusalem, were exiled from our land. And we returned. Jews lived quite comfortably in Spain for hundreds of years, only to be cruelly exiled, following a brutal inquisition. Ditto France, England and other countries. Ditto plus some, Germany of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Oppression and then triumph over seemingly insurmountable odds.

So too, Hebron, something of a microcosm of Israel, the state of Israel and the history of Israel.

Moments ago, prior to beginning this article, French and Spanish journalists questioned me about our return to Beit HaShalom. Speaking about our presence in Hebron, they said, 'but this is 'palestinian' land.'

I stared at them, sort of smiling, not saying anything.

Then the statement was repeated, as a question.

"Look, where we are standing, this was bought by Jews in Hebron in 1807. The area behind us was lived on, as a Jewish neighborhood, from the middle of the 1500s by Jews who'd been exiled from Spain in 1492. And Jews lived here for hundreds of years before that. So is it 'palestinian property?' I think not, I think it is Jewish property."

'But the 'palestinians' and international NGOs claim that the building, Beit HaShalom was stolen - the papers were forged...?'

"Right, except that two Israeli courts, including the Supreme Court, ruled that the building was legally purchased. If they had ruled against us, you would say they were correct. Now that they've ruled for us, you say they're wrong?!"

So it goes, on and on.

Pesach in Hebron is always special. Thousands, no, tens of thousands, flock to the city, visiting Ma'arat HaMachpela, the tomb of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs, and other fascinating sites in the city.
Sweet. The story of redemption.

But it wasn't entirely sweet.

About an hour before the Seder, the beginning of the holiday, one of my sons called me, asking very abruptly, 'what's happening at Tarqumia?'

Tarqumia is a known checkpoint, about 10 kilometers west of Hebron.

'Don't know, why?'

'Check it - there was a terror attack. Someone was killed' Others injured.'

Bitter. Very Bitter.

Temple Mount closed to Jews? Then close Temple Mount to Muslims as well.

...While one could critique that approach, there is some logic to it. Images of Israeli police officers breaking into Al-Aqsa mosque, or beating Muslims, do Israel a disservice. Better the world sees pictures of masked Hamas men pushing wheelbarrows loaded with stones and bottles through the mosque.

Nadav Shragai..
Israel Hayom..
22 April '14..

It happened in 1988 on the Temple Mount. It started when a gang of Muslims captured an Israeli policeman -- an officer in the "Yamam" counterterrorism unit. By the time he was rescued by his comrades, he had been beaten and bloodied. His weapon, however, remained with his captors. With the firearm in hand, thousands of Muslims barricaded themselves in Al-Aqsa mosque. Police began closing in on the mosque, but resisted breaching its walls, as was common in those days. Eventually, a compromise was reached and a team of officers approached the mosque gates. The besieged group inside cracked open the doors and the gun, according to an agreement reached earlier, was "concealed" beside it. Police "discovered" it. Israeli "honor," as well as the gun, were restored to their rightful places. The masses made their egress from the mosque.

Now it's 2014. Compromises hardly ever work at the Temple Mount anymore. Restraint no longer projects strength, but rather weakness. A small concession breeds larger concessions. There is a limit to containment. Already more than year has passed since members of Hamas and the Islamic Movement in Israel began organizing trips to the Temple Mount to provoke and antagonize Jews who happen to be there. The police back down time and again, often opting for the easy solution -- closing the Temple Mount to Jews or stringently restricting their access to the site.

Last Passover, thousands of Jews sought to make a pilgrimage to the Temple Mount. Indeed, that is their right. Even the government recognizes that, but the Muslims community has dictated a different reality, "occupying" the Temple Mount for all intents and purposes. Yet again, Muslims barricaded themselves in the mosque and police treated the site as an extraterritorial zone.

While one could critique that approach, there is some logic to it. Images of Israeli police officers breaking into Al-Aqsa mosque, or beating Muslims, do Israel a disservice. Better the world sees pictures of masked Hamas men pushing wheelbarrows loaded with stones and bottles through the mosque.

On the other hand, the police has lost its power of deterrence at the Temple Mount. Once it realized that, it was already too late. Any sign of weakness spawns violence and more vehement incitement. The slightly more aggressive measures taken by Israel during Passover have already been rendered ineffective. The Temple Mount has been "occupied," and the Jews -- the victims here -- have been left outside. The Muslims -- the aggressors -- are celebrating in their faces. The time has come to liberate the Temple Mount again.

Any Chance the Boycotters Hear The Good News about Israel?

...Perhaps before the next time the bigoted boycotters speak of the absence of “peaceful coexistence” in the area, they might try to find the correct names and addresses of those who believe in liberation through violence and who thus are responsible for the perpetuation of non-peaceful existence.

Michael Curtis..
American Thinker..
21 April '14..

In his message of April 17, 2014, Rev. Dr. Olav Fykse Tveit, general secretary of the World Council of Churches, surprisingly forgot to send Passover greetings to his many Jewish friends in Jerusalem, but he did issue a Palestinian Prisoners Day Call for churches worldwide to pray and act for justice. In solidarity with Palestinian prisoners, the Rev. Dr. invited the member churches to call on U.N. member-states to insist that Israel end its “policy of arbitrary detention" and to abide by the standard rules for the treatment of prisoners adopted in 1955.

Rev. Tveit’s invitation and his moral passion were in no way related to an individual, Issa Abd Rabbo, a Palestinian who had been released from prison in October 2013 as one of the 104 prisoners the Israeli government had agreed to release. Israel had agreed to this in order to get the Palestinian Authority, who had insisted on it as a precondition, to come to the peace-negotiating table.

Mr. Rabbo had been imprisoned for murdering, on October 22, 1984, two Israeli university students, Ron Levi and Revital Seri, who had been hiking south of Jerusalem. In an interview in Palestinian Media Watch after his release, he described his technique: “I tied them up, of course, and then sentenced them to death by shooting, in the name of the revolution. I shot them, one bullet each.”

In light of Rabbo’s own account of the ordeal he suffered after his conviction for the murderous activity, one can now understand why well-meaning people may be troubled by the Israeli treatment of prisoners that is said to have caused heartache for the entire Palestinian people. Rabbo explained to the media that he had collected stamps before his arrest, but it was difficult for him to pursue his hobby in prison, because “there are many restrictions, few letters arrived, and the quality of the stamps on them was poor…I had no special albums to put the stamps in properly so I put them in an envelope.” Rabbo apparently suffered his ordeal with the courage he had shown when committing the murders, and he did not even mention the lack of fresh flowers every morning in his cell.

One must also now feel compassion for those individuals, including prominent celebrities such as Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the Irish activist and 1976 Nobel Peace Prize winner Mairead Maguire, and the novelist Alice Walker, who find it difficult to avoid referring to Israel as an “apartheid state.” They are all concerned about what they see as the devastating treatment of Palestinians by Israel, a treatment that Ms. Maguire regards as racist and as “ethnic cleansing.” The solution must be to impose boycotts and sanctions against the state. The BDS campaign will continue until, in Ms. Walker’s words, “Israel complies with international law and Palestinian rights.” Though none appear to have degrees in international law, they all assert that Israel has been breaking the Geneva Conventions and is “committing crimes against humanity.”

Everyone is aware that Israel faces many internal and external challenges. It is understandable that these boycotters are so active in publicizing those “crimes” that they have little time for observing the character of the diverse Israeli liberal democracy, politically, religiously, culturally, and sexually, and its response to those challenges. They are too preoccupied to be aware of the 1.5 million Arabs in Israel who have full and equal legal rights, or to know of the Arab judge on the Israeli Supreme Court, or about the Arab military officers in the IDF, or the Arab heads of universities and other institutions.

Hypocrisy, Duplicity and Palestinian's "Prisoners Day"

...At a meeting with Israeli MKs [Members of Knesset, Israel's parliament] in Ramallah, Mahmoud Abbas's spokesman, Nabil Abu Rudaineh, announced that the Palestinian Authority was "completely opposed to violence by any party." The Israeli MKs took Abu Rudaineh's remark as a straight and clear "condemnation" of a shooting attack that killed an Israeli police officer near Hebron in the West Bank two days earlier. Needless to say, the Palestinian spokesman had made no specific reference to the shooting attack...Still, for the Israeli MKs, this was sufficient evidence that the Palestinian Authority is opposed to terror attacks on Israelis and is therefore a reliable "peace partner."...Hours later, the Palestinian Authority told the Palestinian public that those who carry out terrorist attacks against Israelis are "heroes" and "revolutionary pioneers."

Khaled Abu Toameh..
Gatestone Institute..
21 April '14..

The Palestinian Authority's duplicity clearly has no limits.

On April 17, it marked "Prisoners Day" by holding rallies throughout the West Bank in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails.

On the same day, a report published by Palestinians revealed that the Palestinian Authority has arrested hundreds of Palestinians since the beginning of this year. The report pointed out that the Palestinian Authority continues to torture detainees.

"Prisoners Day" is an event that has been taking place for nearly two decades and is intended to express solidarity with the thousands of prisoners who are being held by Israel for security-related offences, including some of the worst terrorist attacks in the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

But as Palestinians were marking "Prisoners Day," a report released in the Gaza Strip revealed that since the beginning of 2014, this year alone, the Palestinian Authority has arrested 357 Palestinians accused of security/political offenses.

According to the report, prepared by the Hamas-run Ministry of Planning, all 357 detainees belonged to various Palestinian groups in the West Bank, including Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

The report said that 42 of the detainees are university students. During the same period, Palestinian Authority security forces also raided and searched the homes of 60 Palestinians in the West Bank suspected of security/political offenses, the report added.

In March alone, Palestinian Authority security forces raided and searched 42 private and public institutions, businesses, hospitals and charitable organizations in the West Bank, the report continued. It also pointed out that the Palestinian Authority security forces were continuing to torture detainees.

Not surprisingly, the findings of the report were completely ignored by Palestinian Authority officials in their speeches and statements marking "Prisoners Day."

Of course, the arrests by the Palestinian Authority also continue to be ignored by the mainstream media in the West. This is a story that does not reflect negatively on Israel, so is therefore not considered worthy of being reported to Western audiences.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Mahmoud Abbas’s Latest Bluff Shouldn’t Scare Israel

...First, as ruler of the West Bank, he has dictatorial powers over the economy and the media of the area that have profited his family and that of his Fatah Party in ways that both enrich and empower them. No PA means no revenue and the end of its viselike grip on the area. Anyone who expects the venal Fatah leadership would ever make such a choice has learned nothing from the history of the last 20 years during which their reign of terror and corruption has blighted Palestinian life.

Jonathan S. Tobin..
Commentary Magazine..
20 April '14..

With the deadline approaching for the end of the agreed upon negotiating period between Israel and the Palestinian Authority under Secretary of State John Kerry’s peace initiative, PA leader Mahmoud Abbas continues to raise the stakes in the standoff. Abbas has demonstrated repeatedly that he has no interest in making the sort of symbolic concessions about ending the conflict and recognizing the legitimacy of a Jewish state no matter where its borders are drawn even in return for Palestinian sovereignty and almost all of the territory he has been demanding. But the fact that he has no intention of ever signing a peace deal under almost any conceivable circumstances hasn’t stopped him from continuing to pressure both the U.S. and Israel to ante up more concessions in order to keep him at the negotiating table.

That would mean more releases of terrorist murderers by Israel and settlement freezes with little hope that Abbas will ever reciprocate by abandoning demands for a “right of return” that signify the Palestinians are ready to end their century-long war on Zionism. The latest instance of this effort is the report that Abbas is planning not only to return to the United Nations for a pyrrhic pursuit of international recognition but also is thinking about formally dissolving the PA and ending its security cooperation with Israel. In theory, this would present an enormous challenge to the Israelis. They have no appetite for directly administering the West Bank, which is, contrary to the constant talk about Israeli “occupation,” under the rule of the PA. At the same time, they also benefit from cooperation with Abbas’s large security forces to help keep the peace in the area and stop terrorism.

But in spite of these problems this is a bluff Israel should call. As much as there is good reason to worry about would happen if the PA did disappear, Abbas and his corrupt Fatah administration have far more to lose from such a decision than even the Israelis.