Consulate Offices in Ramallah

The Biden Administration has decided to pick a fight with Israel over opening an official consulate for the Palestinian Authority in Israel’s capital city of Jerusalem. The logical place to open the office is in Ramallah near the government offices of the Palestinian Authority, like many other countries.

Here is a sampling of some countries with consulate offices in Ramallah:

View of Ramallah from the Malta Consulate

The Israeli government voiced its strong objections to Biden’s decision to open an office in Jerusalem. Israeli Prime Minster Naftali Bennett saidMy position, which has been presented to the Americans by myself and by Foreign Minister Lapid, is that there is no place for an American consulate that serves the Palestinians in Jerusalem.

In the past, there was a consulate which serviced Palestinian Arabs since 1967 at 18 Agron Street in the area Palestinians call “West Jerusalem,” in a building that the US has used since the Ottoman Empire ruled the area. It proved impractical and dangerous, as the armed guards which escorted American diplomats from the building in Israel to the offices of the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah, had to hand off security at the perimeter of Area A. US President Trump shut the Palestinian consulate and moved the services into the embassy to Israel.

If the United States wants to separate the facilities serving Israelis and Palestinian Arabs, it makes the most sense to open the consulate in Ramallah. Alternative locations can be cities in Area A under the control of the Palestinian Authority. The question is how much the Biden Administration wants to anger Israel, please Palestinians and put American diplomats in danger.

possible Location of consulate for palestinianscommentary
RamallahMost practical, as seat of PA government. Many countries have consulates there
JerichoPart of Area A, controlled by the Palestinian Authority
BethlehemPart of Area A, and also part of what was envisioned as “corpus separatum” along with Jerusalem in the UN 1947 Partition Plan
eastern JerusalemAnnexed by Israel, would anger Israel and please PA as actively challenging Israel’s annexation
18 Agron Street, western JerusalemDesired location as past location of consulate, but most controversial and impractical
Possible locations of US consulate to Palestinian Authority ranked from least to most controversial and dangerous


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The Hypocrisy Between An Embassy for Israel in Jerusalem and East Jerusalem, OPT

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The UN Has No Interest in Mid-East Peace, Just a Palestinian State

The United Nations, as an institution, was designed to be an impartial party which would bring peace and order to a chaotic world.

If only.

The opening lines of the UN Charter note the “equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small,” and Article 2 specifically called out the “principle of the sovereign equality of all its Members.” Equality seemed a cornerstone of the principles of the organization.

But the United Nations has continued to prefer a particular non-member OVER AND ABOVE an existing member. Specifically, the Palestinian Authority over the State of Israel.

The head of the United Nations, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, appointed a Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, by all accounts a good idea to keep the volatile region from spinning out of control and to serve as an impartial envoy to bring the PA and Israel together to forge an enduring peace.

But Guterres did not pick someone to act as a neutral party. He appointed Tor Wennesland, who has a history of working and supporting the Palestinians and other Muslim Arabs in the region. He served as:

  • Norway’s chairman of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee for Palestine
  • Norway’s Representative to the Palestinian Authority from 2007 to 2011
  • Norwegian Ambassador to Egypt and Libya from 2012 to 2015

Even worse and more telling, Guterres also asked Wennesland to act as his Personal Representative to the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority. This person was not selected to bring the warring parties together but to act on behalf of only one party – the PA – a non-member of the United Nations.

The appointment should have been roundly rejected by Israel as an affront to the peace process and by the entire membership body of the United Nations, as the leader of the organization promoted the agenda of a non-member state over those of a member.

The systemic anti-Israel bias in the United Nations is found in every corner, from the dozens of member states that refuse to recognize the Jewish State, to the Secretary General himself, who by now has become deeply stained in that toxic sea of anti-Semitism.


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The United Nations’ Adoption of Palestinians, Enables It to Only Find Fault With Israel

UN Secretary General Guterres is Losing the Confidence of Decent People

The UN Blesses Turkey’s Anti-Semitism and Terrorism

The UN on the Status of Jerusalem

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New Head of UNRWA is Another Hamas-Sympathizer Politician

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Naked Trades in the Middle East

The template for forging peace between Israelis and Arabs for the last many years was based on the notion of trading one item for another. The idea was for Israel to give land to Arabs and would get peace or normalization in return. The formula worked in the 1979 peace treaty between Israel and Egypt and to a lesser extent in the 1994 treaty between Israel and Jordan. During the period of the Oslo Accords, the same idea was advanced between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

After signing of the Oslo II Accords in September 1995, the Palestinian Authority received several towns and cities from Israel. This was the first time that local Palestinian Arabs got to rule themselves in their history. It was orchestrated as a test to see if the PA could build a functional government and establish controls to enable and enforce a peace agreement with Israel. The five year period ending September 2000 was designed to test the thesis and then hand considerable more territory to the PA.

The Oslo effort proved a complete failure.

The five year period between 1995 and 2000 was marked by intense violence and terrorism. It was capped when Yasser Arafat launched the Second Intifada in September 2000 when the negotiations did not yield 100% of his stated demands. Years of bloodshed began to slow to a trickle when Israel constructed a security barrier separating many of the towns in the “West Bank” from which the Palestinian terrorists emerged.

As the violence ebbed, Israel sought to implement a long-term solution, even without a peace partner. Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon opted to unilaterally withdraw all Israeli troops and civilians from Gaza in 2005, with the assurances from U.S. President George Bush in 2004 that Israel’s borders would not follow the 1949 Armistice Lines and account for current realities. Israel took the action and asked for nothing from the Palestinians.

This first naked trade in the Arab-Israeli conflict was a failure. Within two years of withdrawing from Gaza, the terrorist group Hamas seized control and used the area as a launching pad for terrorism against Israel including three full wars in 2008, 2012 and 2014.

Israel pulled civilians from their homes in Gaza in 2005. It asked for nothing from the Palestinians in return.

It took many years for another one-way trade to take place.

In 2017, U.S. President Donald Trump announced that the United States officially recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and would relocated its embassy to the city. While the U.S. Congress had approved such measure in 1995, every president deferred such recognition and move, hoping to couple such actions with something for the Palestinians. However, in light of the acting-President of the PA’s refusal to engage with the U.S. administration, Trump moved forward with the one-party deal.

The politicians and pundits who worked the region for years derided the move. Former U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said the move was “ill-advised” and former Secretary of State John Kerry said that Trump wouldn’t survive a year in office. Yousef Munayyer, executive director of the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights said that the move would fuel the “narrative of extremists who want to paint the Western world in terms of a religious war.

Those predictions proved incorrect. There was no outbreak of violence throughout the Muslim world in reaction to the announcement or the relocation of the embassy. The naked trade rectified a historic wrong and did not lead to mayhem. It led to additional positive actions like Guatemala, Serbia and Kosovo recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

The success of the 2017 Trump action has enabled the quick adoption of additional one-way trades: the 2020 normalization of relationships of both the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain with the Jewish State, to be signed in Washington, D.C. on September 15.

Palestinians were apoplectic that fellow Arab countries would recognize Israel before a peace agreement with the PA was signed. While the Palestinians were angered by the Israeli peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan, each Arab country at least got tangible benefits from their respective agreements. Such treaties were therefore viewed as not only understandable, but clever. Egypt and Jordan essentially gave away nothing – just a “hudna,” a ceasefire which could be over-turned at any time – while they obtained real immediate benefits. Palestinians were therefore able to convince themselves that they were still a priority for the broader Arab nation.

But these naked trades by the UAE and Bahrain have laid that lie bare. The two gulf emirates are receiving nothing in the near-term but the prospects of gaining access to Israeli and American technology and military capabilities. The trade was for a long-term situational benefit, much like Israel had assumed leaving Gaza in 2005 would yield.

It would appear that we have entered a new stage of diplomacy in the Middle East which is not based on near-term raw cost-benefit analyses but rather on long-term situational positioning. Goodbye land-for-peace. Hello aspirations for the future.

Let’s all hope that this evolution to naked trades will produce an enduring peace for the region.


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The Peace Proposal Monologues

The Arab Spring Blooms in the UAE

Trump Reverses the Carter and Obama Anti-Israel UN Resolutions

Schrodinger’s Cat and Oslo’s Egg

Republicans Do Not Believe There is Any “Occupation”

Netanyahu Props Up Failed Arab Leaders

The Shrapnel of Intent

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The Palestinian Maps of 1995, 1997 and 2005

Palestinian Arabs often share a series of maps which show that “their land and country” are in a perpetual state of shrinking when the opposite is the truth.

Local Palestinian Arabs never had self-rule until 1995. The Ottomans ruled the region from 1517 to 1917 and then the British until 1948. Israel’s War of Independence of 1948-9 saw the area west of the Jordan River split into three distinct parts: a Jewish State of Israel which gave citizenship to all the local Arabs, an Egyptian-controlled Gaza and a Jordanian region which it illegally annexed in 1950, which later became known as the “West Bank.” Jordan lost control of that land after it attacked Israel in 1967 and Egypt lost Gaza (and the Sinai peninsula which Israel returned in 1980) at the same time. Neither the Egyptians nor Jordanians made any attempt to give local Palestinians autonomy during the duration of their control of lands from 1949 to 1967.

It was only with the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1995 that local Palestinian Arabs got to rule themselves, as Israel handed over six cities and 450 villages to the Palestinian Authority (PA). The six major cities were Jericho, Jenin, Tulkarem, Nablus (Shechem), Qalqilya and Bethlehem.

Areas A and B in the West Bank handed by Israel to the Palestinian Authority. Area A has full PA control

Israel continued to give the PA additional land to administer in 1997, giving almost the entirety of the city of Hebron, in an Area called H1.

Area H1 handed to the Palestinian Authority by Israel

Additional land was negotiated to be handed to the PA in September 2000 but the PA rejected the transfer of less than 100% of their demands and launched the Second Intifada, killing hundreds of Israeli civilians in numerous bombings.

In 2005, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon withdrew all Israelis from Gaza and left the region for the Palestinians to administer, subject to the understanding of the 2004 Bush letter which clearly articulated that Israel would NOT be expected to give into 100% of the PA’s land and refugee demands. This third installment was quickly met with yet additional rounds of Palestinian violence with a Hamas takeover of the area in 2007 and subsequent battles with Israel in 2008, 2012 and 2014.

No additional transfers of land from Israel to Palestinians has taken place in light of the Palestinians refusal to engage in a peace process after the 2014 process collapsed when the PA agreed to let the terrorist group Hamas into a power-sharing agreement.

Palestinians argue that their land has been shrinking for 100 years when the truth is that they continue to live throughout the land. The local Palestinian Arabs became self-governing for the first time when Israel gave them land in 1995 and subsequently handed them additional territory to administer in 1997 and 2005. If Palestinians come to the negotiating table it is possible for them to gain more land to govern, but their actions make that increasingly unlikely.


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When You Understand Israel’s May 1948 Borders, You Understand There is No “Occupation”

Israel Has Much Higher Claims to The West Bank Than Golan Heights

Recognition of Acquiring Disputed Land in a Defensive War

The 1967 War Created Both the “West Bank” and the Notion of a Palestinian State

Abbas’s Harmful East Jerusalem Fantasy

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Jizyah for Jews in Jerusalem

The predominantly Christian town of Jifna in Palestinian Authority-controlled Area A of the West Bank was an opening scene from a horror movie in late April 2019. Members of Fatah, the major political party of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, stormed into the town firing guns into the air and demanded that the Christian Arabs be forced to pay jizyah, an annual fee which non-Muslims pay to be allowed to live in Muslim-majority lands.


Town of Jifna

The incident is a continuation of the assault on the Christian population in Palestinian Authority-controlled towns and cities since Israel handed some lands to the PA.

Unfortunately, many well known Christian cities in the holy land are no longer Christian.

Nazareth, a city which was once majority-Christian, is now 70% Muslim. The Islamic influence changed things large and small, such as at Mary’s Well, the site where the angel Gabriel came to the Virgin Mary according to Catholic tradition. Until the year 2000, there was a large sign describing the name and Catholic views of the site. The Muslims removed the sign and renamed the location ‘Nazareth Stream’ to remove any Christian orientation.

A similar story played out in Bethlehem, where the Christian population has dropped from around 86 percent in 1950 to just 2 percent today. In Gaza, a rapid Christian exodus is happening post the Hamas takeover, with a decline from 5,000 Christians in 2006 to only 1,100 today.

Meanwhile, in Israel, the Christian population has remained relatively constant at around 2 percent of the overall population, about 165,000 people.

If the Palestinian Authority is given more Israeli territory, what will that mean for the non-Muslim populations? Will Jews and Christians be forced to evacuate their homes either be direct order or discriminatory policies?

What is the going jizyah rate, and when would it be forced upon the Jews and Christians in a PA-controlled Jerusalem?


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Linda Sarsour as Pontius Pilate

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Jerusalem’s Old City Is a Religious War for Muslim Arabs

The Undemocratic Nature of Fire and Water in the Middle East

25,000 Jews Remaining

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Al Jazeera’s Lies Call for Jihad Against the Jewish State

Palestinian Jews and a Judenrein Palestine

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The Palestinian-American You Never Heard Of: Issam Akel

The mainstream media often reports on a handful of Palestinian-Americans. The most dominant two are women who live in America: freshman member of Congress Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Linda Sarsour, a co-chair of the 2017 Women’s March. The outspoken women often attack the the State of Israel and Zionists who support the Jewish State and they get to enjoy the press coverage which magnifies their prominence.

The press also highlights certain Palestinian Americans who live in the Middle East to portray a particular narrative of events between Israel and the Stateless Arabs from Palestine (SAPs).

Consider Tariq Abu Kheidar, a 15-year old who was beaten by Israeli police for taking part in riots. The New York Times featured a picture of the Palestinian American teenager in a huge color photo on its front page on July 7, 2014. For the paper, it symbolized the conflict of an aggressive Israeli force beating up on Arab teenagers.

Tariq Abu Khdeir, a Palestinian-American teenager who was beaten up by an Israeli border police officer in 2014. Oded Balilty/Associated Press

The Times would cover the story again in November 2015 in a follow up article “Israeli Officer Sentenced to Community Service in Beating of Palestinian American.” The Times not only got to rehash the story, but highlight that Israeli courts did not aggressively prosecute zealous law enforcement officials who beat up Arabs, in an attempt to make a parallel to police officers in the United States attacking minorities.

However, the Times never reported on another Palestinian American who was the focus of international diplomacy, a man sentenced to a life in prison with hard labor by the Palestinian Authority for the “crime” of selling land to a Jew.

Issam Akel, a 55-year old man with American citizenship who lived in the eastern part of Jerusalem, was arrested by the Palestinian Authority in October 2018. His crime of selling his house to a Jew could have carried a death sentence, but he “only” received a life sentence, possibly because he was an American. The Trump administration secured his release to American authorities in January 2019. The Times would neither report on his arrest nor his release.

(Screenshot/Wattan News Agency)

The Times will not write about the vile antisemitism and suffering of Palestinian Americans under the Palestinian Authority as doing so undermines the narrative that the PA is moderate. The Times will only write stories where Palestinian Americans are victims of right-wing Americans and Israelis.


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A Review of the The New York Times Anti-Israel Bias

The New York Times Knows It’s Israeli Right from It’s Palestinian Moderates

NY Times Disgraceful Journeys

The New York Times Whitewashes Motivation of Palestinian Assassin of Robert Kennedy

Thomas Friedman is a Peddler of Racist Fiction and Adolescent Fantasy

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What the Palestinians Were Thinking While Israelis Were Voting

While the Israelis went to the polls again to elect their government in a democratic process, the Palestinian Arabs could only watch with envy. They have not held an election since 2006, when they elected the terrorist group Hamas to 58% of Parliament. They last got to vote for a president in 2005 for what was supposed to be a four-year term. Mahmoud Abbas has opted to not hold elections for 10-plus years passed his expiry date and counting.

Political pundits will comment about what the new Israeli government will mean for the peace process, as if the tango just involved a single party. In fairness, the ineptitude and corruption of Palestinian Authority which cannot even broker a peace between the rival Fatah and Hamas parties make them easy to ignore as a counter-party for Israel. But if one wants to actually be able to achieve an enduring peace, it is important to understand what Palestinian Arabs think about their situation and the Jewish State next door.

The latest Palestinian poll results were released on April 9, 2019, on the same day as the Israeli elections, and reflect polling done March 13-16. Here is snapshot of some of the findings:

  • 60% of Palestinians want acting-President Mahmoud Abbas to resign, with 62% being dissatisfied with his job performance
  • Only 54% of Palestinians believe that the PLO is the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, a low-water mark
  • More Palestinians blame their own leaders for the conditions in Gaza than Israel
  • 50% of Palestinians oppose the two-state solution; more people in Gaza support two states than people in the West Bank
  • Even if the Peace Plan contained everything that Abbas currently claims to desire (East Jerusalem capital, 1967 borders, return of refugees) only 43% of Palestinians would vote in favor of it and 52% would reject it
  • 47% support a return to armed intifada
  • 71% want an armed battalion to exist outside of the control of the Palestinian Authority
  • 64% oppose the Palestinian Authority engaging with the Trump Administration
  • 60% fear for their safety if their criticize the Palestinian leadership
  • 95% of Palestinians consider themselves religious

Based on these results, there is no pathway towards an enduring peace anytime in the near-future regardless of who leads the State of Israel. The Palestinian Arabs have no faith in their own leadership and no interest in accepting the most generous two-state solution (which Israel wouldn’t offer anyway).

It is therefore ridiculous to look at the Israeli elections through the prism of a peace process. Instead, the orientation should be about shrinking the conflict with the Stateless Arabs (SAPs); dealing with Iran and Hezbollah; establishing more diplomatic and trading partners around the world; continuing to build the economy; developing a comprehensive housing strategy; and bringing the devout communities (Haredi and Arabs) into the workforce and out of poverty.

We wish the new Israeli government best of luck in tackling these issues.


The Menorah outside of the Knesset
(photo: FirstOneThrough)


Related First.One.Through article:

In Israel, the Winner is… Democracy

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The Changed Israel Knesset (music by David Bowie)

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Amnesty International’s Rankings for 2017/2018

Amnesty International defines itself as an organization which “campaign(s) to end abuses of human rights” around the world. It writes research reports on 150 countries and territories describing its perceptions of human rights abuses. It then lobbies governments, and organizes petitions and campaigns to rectify the issues which it concluded needs redress.

The Amnesty reports vary greatly in length. In countries in which Amnesty believed there were few human rights abuses, the reports were very short; where there were extensive abuses, the reports were quite lengthy.

Consider the reports on two Pacific countries, New Zealand and Australia. Amnesty viewed those countries in a very favorable light. The organization barely touched upon the trampled rights and ongoing situation of the indigenous people. The reports contained just 370 and 684 words for New Zealand and Australia, respectively.

Amnesty similarly viewed much of Western Europe through rose tinted glasses. The countries of Denmark, Switzerland and Belgium had reports of just 532, 613 and 670 words, respectively. The fact that they ban minarets for mosques, the wearing of hijabs and burkas, do not permit the ritual slaughter of meat and continue to enforce more and more anti-Jewish and anti-Muslim laws did not ruffle the human rights organization.

Banana republic’s like Cuba, Somalia and Sudan also were treated with gentle hands, with just 877, 853 and 1,191 words written in those reports, respectively. Those countries had some of the worst human rights records in the world. Perhaps Amnesty thought that abject poverty served as an excuse for illiberal policies.

But the oil rich Gulf countries were also spared Amnesty’s intense attention. Oman, the UAE, Qatar and Bahrain had 719, 1013, 1091 and 1539 word-reports, respectively. The lack of worker and women’s rights, religious freedoms and those of the press and assembly were seemingly blinded by a buck.

Several of the nuclear powers seemed to be treated a bit worse, even though there was no language admonishing the countries for having nuclear power. France and the United Kingdom had 1,193 and 1,726 word reports written about them, respectively. North Korea – perhaps a combination of both a banana republic and nuclear power had 1,269 word printed about its human rights abuses. Yes, that North Korea, which is one of the least free countries in the world according to Freedom House, received a fraction of the ink that Amnesty wrote about the UK.

According to Amnesty, the worst of the worst countries abusing human rights appeared to be those with long 2,000+ word reports. Some of these countries were indeed horrific places to live such as Syria and Afghanistan. But look at the list below and consider which countries received the most attention.

Country Words in Report
Myanmar 2003
Iraq 2004
Afghanistan 2083
Syria 2094
Saudi Arabia 2181
Mexico 2427
Israel 2496
Russia 2519
Nigeria 2541
USA 2627
Egypt 2638
Iran 2840
Turkey 2849
China 2934

It is perhaps not a surprise that China and Turkey – countries which jail the most journalists – or Russia, which kills many journalists, were high on the list for an organization that does a lot of research and writing.

But in what world can anyone seriously consider the reports of an organization that believes that Israel and the United States are worse human rights abusers than Syria and Saudi Arabia?

It is perhaps no surprise that NGO Monitor labeled the group “Shamnesty International” for not doing thorough and balanced research.

An example of the imbalance and bias can be found by doing a simple search under one of Amnesty’s core topics: Child Soldiers. While Amnesty reported on the terrible practice in Congo and South Sudan, it could not be bothered to describe the Palestinian Arab teenagers who are actively involved in terrorism on behalf of Hamas and also used as human shields, even while the organization went through great lengths to report on Israel’s perceived abuses.

Amnesty’s call for action and protests also fall flat. Did Amnesty ever call on the world to boycott Turkey for its illegal occupation of northern Cyprus since 1974? Nope. An arms embargo for its slaughter of the Kurdish minority? Nope. Maybe calls for halting cultural exchanges with a country that jails more journalists and dissidents than any country in the world? No way.

Amnesty only targets Israel. It called for an arms embargo. It called for a boycott of goods made in the Israeli territories in Judea and Samaria. In its focus on Israel and the Palestinians, did the organization ever call out Hamas? Well, yes, sort of. In 2010, Amnesty called on Hamas to not execute Palestinian collaborators with Israel.

Amnesty didn’t completely ignore the Palestinians. in a section devoted to “Palestine (State of),” the organization wrote a grand total of 1,623 words – slightly less than the United Kingdom. Excessive Force – against Arabs only – got 164 words. The horrible cases of “honor killings” which is absolved by Palestinian law received only 145 words. Torture got only 162. But Amnesty managed to spill 389 words – more than the combined total of abuse of women and torture – on freedoms of assembly and the press. Zero words – nothing – about the ongoing war against Israel. That stood in sharp contrast to its report on Israel which was almost completely devoted to Israel’s action (never noted as defensive) against Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank.

Amnesty International presents like many organizations which appear to be advancing the case for human rights around the world. However, scratching the surface reveals yet another jaundiced operation unfairly targeting the thriving liberal democracy that is Israel which sits in the middle of a region of human rights abusers.


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No Disappearing in the Land of the Blind

Murderous Governments of the Middle East

Apostasy

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The Recognition Catch Up

The United States recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel on December 6, 2017 in a move that President Donald Trump said was a “long-overdue step.” Many countries disagreed, and viewed the announcement as premature, claiming that such recognition should be done in conjunction with a broader peace process and mirror whatever the Israelis and Palestinian Authority themselves agree to.

If anything, Trump’s move was very late considering the recognition that had been afforded to the Palestinian Arabs over the previous decade.

Recognition of Palestine

In 1988, the Palestinian Liberation Organization declared its independence. Israel and the western world ignored the declaration of the noted terrorist organization, while fellow Arab and Muslim countries quickly recognized the State of Palestine.

Within a few years of the PLO declaration, the Israelis and Palestinian Arabs signed the Oslo Accords (in 1993 and 1995) which put in motion a peace process, including the creation of a Palestinian Authority (PA). As part of those agreements, both parties agreed that the PA would have limited powers regarding international relations (Article IX), including having no ability to obtain official recognition from other governmental bodies.

In accordance with the DOP, the Council will not have powers and
responsibilities in the sphere of foreign relations, which sphere includes the
establishment abroad of embassies, consulates or other types of foreign missions and posts or permitting their establishment in the West Bank or the Gaza Strip, the
appointment of or admission of diplomatic and consular staff, and the exercise of
diplomatic functions.”

When the leader of the PA, Yasser Arafat (fungus be upon him) failed to deliver on peace and launched a second intifada in September 2000, the peace process ground to a halt. Any movement by world organizations and governments to provide additional recognition on key issues for the Israelis and PA was put on hold.

Yet the Palestinian Authority under Mahmoud Abbas pushed forward with seeking global recognition, even as he lost control of the Gaza Strip in 2007.

Abbas began with Costa Rica (2008) and Venezuela (2009) before making significant headway with the major countries in South America.

In 2010, Abbas got Brazil and Argentina to recognize Palestine, despite commitments in the Oslo Accords that the PA would not take such steps. The Israeli foreign ministry released a statement that  “Recognition of a Palestinian state is a violation of the interim agreement signed by Israel and the Palestinian Authority in 1995, which established that the status of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip will be discussed and solved through negotiations….  All attempts to bypass negotiations and to unilaterally determine issues in dispute will only harm the trust of the sides and their commitment to agreed upon frameworks for negotiations.

No matter.

In 2011, other South American countries recognized Palestine including Chile and Uruguay. UNESCO followed suit and admitted the “State of Palestine.” Shortly thereafter, Iceland became the first country in western Europe to recognize Palestine, with borders based on the 1949 Armistice Lines. By the following year, the United Nations began calling the entity the “State of Palestine” in all official documents.

Remarkably, at the end of the third Hamas war on Israel in 2014, Sweden became the second western European country to recognize Palestine.

Recognition of Jerusalem

While Abbas’s PA actively sought recognition of a state since 2008, Israel was fighting three wars from Gaza and a “stabbing intifada.” Israel was not busy lobbying the world to recognize Jerusalem as its capital, but focused on getting the world to stop the Islamic Republic of Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons while it declared its intention of destroying Israel.

While the Palestinian Authority was playing offense, Israel was playing defense.

At this point in time, with over 20 countries and United Nations entities recognizing Palestine over the past decade despite the explicit statements in the Oslo Accords, isn’t it well past time for countries of the world to recognize the capital of Israel?

Alternatively, if countries are truly concerned with the peace process, they can strip their recognition of Palestine, and leave the Israelis and PA to negotiate their peace, including matters related to borders, settlements and Jerusalem, and ultimately embrace the conclusion of the parties. Impartiality demands one or the other.


Jerusalem from the air, facing north


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Both Israel and Jerusalem are Beyond Recognition to Muslim Nations

Recognition of Acquiring Disputed Land in a Defensive War

The US Recognizes Israel’s Reality

The UN’s #Alternative Facts about the 1967 Six Day War

Welcoming the Unpopular Non-President (Abbas) of a Non-Country (Palestine)

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Paying to Murder Jews: From Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Iran to the Palestinian Authority

On December 5, 2017, the US House of Representatives voted to approve the Taylor Force Act. Congress finally reached a point where it decided to use some financial pressure on the Palestinian Authority to stop the incitement to terror. Specifically, it sought to end the PA’s financial payments to the families of Palestinian Arab terrorists who were imprisoned or killed.

The “Manna-for-Murderers” has a sad history in the Arab world, particularly as it relates to funding the murder of Israeli Jews.

Iraq

Early in the Second Intifada which began in September 2000 at the urging of PA head Yasser Arafat (fungus be upon him), Iraq began sending $10,000 to families of Palestinian Arab suicide bombers. In March 2002, Iraq upped the amount to $25,000 per family. US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was appalled at the actions of Saddam Hussein and said:

“Here is an individual who is the head of a country, Iraq, who has proudly, publicly made a decision to go out and actively promote and finance human sacrifice for families that will have their youngsters kill innocent men, women and children…. I am simply trying to let the people of Iraq understand what their leadership is doing, to let the people of the Middle East and the rest of the world … know what is in fact being done to arm young people and send them out to blow up restaurants and shopping malls and pizza parlors.”

Iraq was not alone in financing terrorism of Palestinian Arabs killing and maiming Israeli families.

Saudi Arabia

The Congressional Research Service completed a report for Congress in December 2004 about the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It noted that the KSA provided $2.6 billion in aid to Palestinians in 2002. The Saudis had two official charities to help out the Palestinians in the Second Intifada: the Saudi Popular Committee for Assisting the Palestinian Mujahideen, and the Saudi Committee for the Support of the Al Quds Intifada. According to Saudi reports, the first organization gave Palestinians $8.8 million between October 2000 and April 2003, while the second gave roughly $140 million in various projects and another $194 million in various services between October 2000 and December 2003.

The report added:

“Since 2000, both Committees have issued public solicitations encouraging Saudi citizens to make donations to support the welfare of the Palestinian people. In one often cited instance, the Al Quds Intifada Committee organized a telethon sponsored by King Fahd in April 2002 that raised over $110 million for families of Palestinians killed or injured in the uprising.

That’s hundreds of millions going to families of murderers with the backing of Saudi Arabia and coordination of the Palestinian Authority. As the report noted:

“These individuals include suicide bombers and gunmen who were killed during actual and attempted attacks inside Israel and the Palestinian territories.
The following is a sample of five names of beneficiaries featured on the Committee
website which match those of individuals associated with attacks:

  • Said Hassan Hussein Hotari – identified as suicide bomber in June
    1, 2001, attack on Dolphinarium nightclub in Tel Aviv. Hamas
    claimed responsibility.
  • Izzedin Shahil Ahmed Masri – identified as suicide bomber in
    August 9, 2001 attack on Sbarro pizza restaurant in Jerusalem.
    Hamas claimed responsibility.”

The list continued, and noted that the committees stated that the terrorists were killed in “martyrdom operations,” quite a revolting terminology. Evidence of the payments were found in raids on Palestinian offices during Operation Defensive Shield which contained lists of terrorist families that received monies from KSA.

Saudi Arabia also funded Hamas, a heinous terrorist group that rules Gaza. However, by 2004, the funding dried up, as described by ‘former Treasury Department General Counsel David Aufhauser who quoted “informed intelligence sources” as saying that “for whatever reason, the money going to Hamas from Saudi Arabia has substantially dried up.” Aufhauser indicated that Saudi financial support “has been supplemented by money from Iran and Syria flowing through even more dangerous rejectionist groups in the West Bank.’

Iran

Shortly after the Obama administration sent billions of dollars to Iran as part of the JCPOA nuclear agreement, Iran announced its intention to fund Palestinian “martyrs.” As reported by JTA: “Mohammad Fateh Ali, the Iranian ambassador to Lebanon, said Wednesday his country is allocating $7,000 to families of “martyrs of the intifada in occupied Jerusalem” and will give $30,000 to each family “whose home the occupation has demolished for the participation of one of its sons.”

No surprise for a leading state sponsor of terrorism.

Palestinian Authority

The PA was established after the Oslo Accords in 1993 under Yasser Arafat (fungus be upon him). It has existed in its current state since 2007, after Mahmoud Abbas won the four-year term for presidency in 2005 and never left, and the terrorist group Hamas won 58% of parliament in 2006 and took over control of Gaza in 2007.

Over these ten years, Hamas waged three wars from Gaza (2008, 2012 and 2014) and the Palestinian Authority oversaw a “stabbing intifada” in the “West Bank” in which Palestinian Arabs used everyday items like cars and knives to kill innocent Israeli Jews. The PA needed to support such terrorism as the Palestinians preferred the armed “resistance” of Hamas over the “moderate” negotiating approach of Abbas’s Fatah.

Hamas waged wars. Fatah supported terrorism.

The support included direct financial aid to terrorist families, and naming schools and municipal buildings after the murderers. The incitement included calls for the masses to use all means possible to defend the al Aqsa Mosque (when it was never at risk) and having laws that demand a death sentence for any Arab that sells land to a Jew.


MEMRI footage from the Facebook post titled
“This Is The Call Of Brother President Abu Mazen [‘Abbas]…”

The United States labelled the popular Palestinian terrorist group Hamas a terrorist organization in 1997 along with several other Palestinian Arab groups, and does not engage with it. Meanwhile, it has propped up the failed acting-President of the PA, Mahmoud Abbas as the lesser-evil, even while he incites and supports terrorism.

The Taylor Force Act will likely soon become law and hundreds of millions of dollars of US aid to the PA may be suspended if the pay-to-slay program remains in place.

But as described above, there is wide support in the Arab world to slaughter Jews.

The Obama administration gave Iran $100 billion upfront and has enabled it to get $100 billion PER YEAR from oil and other commerce. Those monies are going to fund terrorists in Syria, Lebanon, Yemen and Palestinian territories. The Trump administration is taking actions to stop the flow of funds to terrorists.

Congressman Eliot Engel, one of the sponsors of the Taylor Force Act, was clear in his condemnation of the “martyr payments,” even as he made exceptions for monies to still flow to the PA for other purposes. The exemptions have come under attack as monies are fungible, especially when there are so many parties willing to fund the terrorists and support their families.

Hopefully the United States’ Taylor Force Act will save lives in the Middle East. It will require an entirely new level of Arab orientation to end the sick antisemitism that festers in the Middle East.


Related First.One.Through articles:

The Palestinians aren’t “Resorting to Violence”; They are Murdering and Waging War

“Mainstream” and Abbas’ Jihad

The UN Fails on its Own Measures to address the Conditions Conducive to the Spread of Terrorism

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