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

On June 5, 2017, the United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres made a statement about the 1967 Six Day War. His opinion piece laid out a distinct narrative, or in common parlance, #AlternativeFacts. Below is a review of his actual remarks with a First.One.Through review of the same facts.


UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres

UN Secretary General, UNSG:Today marks 50 years since the start of the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, which resulted in Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, Gaza and the Syrian Golan and the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians and Syrians.”

First.One.Through, FOT:Today marks 50 years since a miracle thwarted Arab countries’ stated goal of annihilating the only Jewish State and millions of Jews.”

UNSG:This occupation has imposed a heavy humanitarian and development burden on the Palestinian people. Among them are generation after generation of Palestinians who have been compelled to grow-up and live in ever more crowded refugee camps, many in abject poverty, and with little or no prospect of a better life for their children.

FOT: Israel has built an amazing thriving democracy among its Jewish and non-Jewish populations since its brush with annihilation in 1967. Regrettably, the UN has continued to make the Arab population in Gaza and elsewhere its wards, pretending that descendants of internally displaced people have any rights as refugees. Worse, the SAPs continue to deny the basic history and rights of Jews to live in their holy land, offering little hope for living together in peace.

UNSG:The occupation has shaped the lives of both Palestinians and Israelis. It has fuelled recurring cycles of violence and retribution. Its perpetuation is sending an unmistakable message to generations of Palestinians that their dream of statehood is destined to remain just that, a dream; and to Israelis that their desire for peace, security and regional recognition remains unattainable.”

FOT: The denial of Jewish history, rights and dignity, and the Palestinian Authority leadership’s incitement to violence have continued a poisonous venom that has permeated the local Arab population since 1920. Until the Palestinian Arabs recognize the Jewish State’s rights in the land, the desire of both people for peace and security is just a dream. Recognition of the Jewish homeland is a means, not an ends to peace and security for all parties.”

UNSG:Ending the occupation that began in 1967 and achieving a negotiated two-state outcome is the only way to lay the foundations for enduring peace that meets Israeli security needs and Palestinian aspirations for statehood and sovereignty. It is the only way to achieve the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people.”

FOT:The path of the Palestinian Arabs’ quest for legitimacy on the world stage is disappointing. Since Israel gave the local Arabs in Gaza the first taste of sovereignty by leaving the coastal strip in 2005, the local Arab population has squandered every opportunity. They elected a terrorist group, Hamas, to a majority of parliament. They spent most of their global aid building attack tunnels into Israel rather than developing their economy. They launched three wars against Israel, in 2008, 2012 and 2014. Their actions make this global body question the basic logic of statehood and sovereignty for the local Arabs, rather than having portions of the disputed land be incorporated into Egypt, Jordan and Israel.

UNSG:Now is not the time to give up on this goal. Continued settlement construction and expansion; violence and incitement; and the illicit arms build-up and militant activity in Gaza risk creating a one-state reality that is incompatible with realizing the legitimate national and historic aspirations of both peoples. Now is the time to return to direct negotiations to resolve all final status issues on the basis of relevant UN resolutions, agreements and international law. Now is the time to end the conflict by establishing an independent Palestinian state, living side by side in peace and security with the State of Israel. 

FOT:Based on past actions, it is time to reconsider the peace process between Israel and the Palestinian Authority – which hasn’t held elections in years and cannot control its own people and territory – and to bring in Egypt and Jordan into the process now. Those two countries have made peace with Israel, and those two countries had administered the two areas in question.

UNSG: Resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will remove a driver of violent extremism and terrorism in the Middle East and open the doors to cooperation, security, prosperity and human rights for all.

FOT:The turmoil in the Middle East including in: Syria; Iraq; Yemen; Sudan; and Libya have finally put an end to the argument that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the driver of violent extremism. It proves conclusively that radical Islamic ideology and the goal for a pure Muslim caliphate drives terrorism. Combatting radical Islamic teachings will stop terrorism in Israel and the world, and help bring peace everywhere.”

UNSG:In 1947, on the basis of UN General Assembly Resolution 181, the world recognized the two-state solution and called for the emergence of “independent Arab and Jewish states”. On 14 May 1948, the State of Israel was born. 
Almost seven decades later, the world still awaits the birth of an independent Palestinian state. The Secretary-General reiterates his offer to work with all relevant stakeholders to support a genuine peace process.”

FOT:In 1947, the Arab world flatly rejected UNGA Resolution 181 and made clear that it rejected an independent Jewish State anywhere in the region. When Israel declared statehood, the Arab countries fought a war to destroy the Jewish State completely. In 1967, the Arabs again threatened to annihilate every Jew in the land. Even today, the Arabs state that they want a Jew-free state, have laws that call for the capital punishment for any Arab selling land to a Jew and refuse to recognize Israel as the Jewish State. The Secretary-General reiterates that human rights, decency and dignity demand that Arabs recognize the Jewish State and Jewish rights, and thereby put the region on a pathway to long-term peace and prosperity.”

Just saying.


Related First.One.Through articles:

The Cancer in the Arab-Israeli Conflict

The Parameters of Palestinian Dignity

Considering a Failed Palestinian State

Nikki Haley Will Not Equivocate on the Ecosystem of Violence

The Palestinian’s Three Denials

The Israeli Peace Process versus the Palestinian Divorce Proceedings

Opinion: Remove the Causefire before a Ceasefire

Mutual Disagreement of Mediators and Judges in the Arab-Israeli Conflict

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

Subscribe YouTube channel: FirstOneThrough

Join Facebook group: FirstOne Through  Israel Analysis

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

On May 3, 2017, the acting-President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, came to the United States to meet US President Donald Trump. Is this the pathway to the “ultimate deal” of peace between Israel and its neighbors?

Unlikely.


President Donald Trump shook hands with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas in the Oval Office on May 3, 2017. ( Photo: EVAN VUCCI/ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Abbas has no Legitimacy

Abbas was elected to a four year-term as President in 2005. That term ran out in January 2009, and he has refused to hold new presidential elections as he and his Fatah party are weak.

Abbas has no Control

A year after Abbas took office, the Palestinian Arabs elected the rival political party, Hamas, which is viewed by much of the world as a terrorist entity, to 58% of the parliament of the Palestinian Authority. In 2007, Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip and launched three wars against Israel (2008; 2012; and 2014). Abbas either supported those wars or he had no control over the region.

Abbas is Unpopular

The Palestinian Arabs poll themselves on a number of issues every three months. In September 2015, they began to ask people their thoughts of Abbas. In every poll since that time, between 61% and 65% of respondents wanted Abbas to resign.

The Palestinians Prefer War

While Abbas would have won several theoretical elections many years ago, his rival in Hamas has become the Palestinian favorite as a result of the wars against Israel. As evidence, in the September 2012 Palestinian poll, Abbas would have beaten rival Ismail Haniyeh by 11%, but he would have lost by 3% just three months later after the November 2012 Hamas war. Abbas’s popularity bounced back in the next quarter’s poll, but he has never been able to recover from his dramatic fall in popularity after the 2014 Hamas war: In the June 2014 poll Abbas would have beaten his Hamas rival by 12%; after the war, Abbas would have lost by 17%.

The Palestinians are done with Abbas and prefer to stake a future with terrorists.

Lack of Support for Two States

Since the 2014 Hamas war, Palestinians have become ambivalent about a two-state solution, with roughly even percentages supporting and opposing the plan. The notion reached the lowest point at the aggressive Palestinian push of the “stabbing intifada” in December 2015, when 54% of respondents stated they opposed two-states to 45% in favor.

Abbas has no Ability to Govern

In the last ten of the twelve years that Abbas has headed the Palestinian Authority, he has been unable to rule. He has not been able to control Gaza or reconcile with rival political parties. How can he possibly be expected to negotiate and deliver a peace deal with Israel?


Acting-President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas

Abbas Continues to Attack Every Aspect of Zionism

Abbas has used every opportunity during his tenure to fight against the basic rights and beliefs of the Jewish State, laid out in international law (references to the 1922 Palestine Mandate below):

  • Citizenship: Abbas stated that no Israelis will be citizens of a Palestinian State, even while international law promoted Jewish citizenship. (Palestine Mandate Article 7: “facilitate the acquisition of Palestinian citizenship by Jews,” and Article 15: “No person shall be excluded from Palestine on the sole ground of his religious belief.“)
  • History: Abbas routinely denies the 3000+ year history of Jews in their holy land and works with United Nations agencies to promote false narratives. (Palestine Mandate preamble: “recognition has thereby been given to the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine“)
  • Owning Land: Abbas has said that no Jews can own land in Palestinian areas, and PA law has a death sentence on any Arab that sells land to Jews. (Palestine Mandate Article 6: “shall encourage, in co-operation with the Jewish agency referred to in Article 4, close settlement by Jews on the land, including State lands and waste lands not required for public purposes.“)
  • Immigration: International law in 1920 and 1922 explicitly encouraged Jews to move to the holy land. Meanwhile, Abbas has sought an international apology for the declaration. (Palestine Mandate Article 6: “shall facilitate Jewish immigration“)
  • Reconstituting the Jewish Homeland was the stated goal of the San Remo conference and the Palestine Mandate. Abbas has repeatedly refused to acknowledge that Israel is a Jewish State. (Palestine Mandate preamble: “grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country“)
  • Freedom of Religion and Worship was both part of the international laws calling for reestablishing the Jewish homeland, and part of Israel’s basic laws. However, Abbas seeks to prohibit Jews from accessing and praying at their holiest location. (Palestine Mandate Article 13: “securing free access to the Holy Places” and Article 15: “complete freedom of conscience and the free exercise of all forms of worship.“)

The Freedom CHOIR are fundamental building blocks of long established international law underpinning the Jewish State.  And the weak and unpopular Abbas tramples on every aspect of it.

In case the aforementioned list wasn’t enough, Abbas peddles vile Holocaust conspiracies, as a further affront to the Jewish people.

The Ugly Straw Man

So the inept straw man came to Washington, D.C. to meet with the president of the United States. Is he the man that can negotiate and deliver peace. No.

Abbas serves as a fig leaf for both Israeli and Palestinian leaders that they are actually moving forward with a peace process.

If people wanted to take constructive steps towards peace, there are two different paths to take: 1) treat Abbas like the unpopular straw man that he is, and force him to accept the peace proposal that is put in front of him; or 2) let the Palestinian Arabs hold new elections with someone that has the backing of the people and can deliver on the results of the negotiations. If the Arabs elect someone who has no interest in peace, then the Israelis have no need to compromise on its cherished goals.

The failure of past peace processes was that they were based on a failed dynamic. There is no point in dealing with a cut-out. It is time to either treat Abbas like the straw man that he is, or show him the door.


Related First.One.Through articles:

Abbas Knows Racism

The Disappointing 4+6 Abbas Anniversary

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

Palestinians are “Desperate” for…

The Only Precondition for MidEast Peace Talks

The Israeli Peace Process versus the Palestinian Divorce Proceedings

“Mainstream” and Abbas’ Jihad

The Palestinian’s Three Denials

Mutual Disagreement of Mediators and Judges in the Arab-Israeli Conflict

Related First.One.Through video:

Abbas demands R-E-S-P-E-C-T (Aretha Franklin)

Subscribe YouTube channel: FirstOneThrough

Join Facebook group: FirstOne Through  Israel Analysis

Mutual Disagreement of Mediators and Judges in the Arab-Israeli Conflict

Mediators serve an important role in conflicts. They attempt to bridge the gap between parties to arrive at a mutually-agreed upon compromise to conclude the disagreement. If the mediator cannot resolve the matter, it is most likely that a judge would be tasked at making – and imposing – a final ruling.

Take divorce as an example. A mediator may be brought in by the parties to resolve issues related to child custody. If the mediator cannot get the parties to agree to terms, the case would go to court to rule on the matter.

Obama and Trump as Mediators

In February 2017, US President Donald Trump seemed to take a new stance in trying to mediate the Israeli-Arab conflict. In response to a reporter’s question about how the US will approach its role as a mediator, Trump said:

“So I’m looking at two-state and one-state, and I like the one that both parties like.  (Laughter.)  I’m very happy with the one that both parties like.  I can live with either one.  

I thought for a while the two-state looked like it may be the easier of the two.  But honestly, if Bibi and if the Palestinians — if Israel and the Palestinians are happy, I’m happy with the one they like the best.”

The media went wild. They printed headlines that Trump abandoned the two-state solution.

In actuality, Trump said that he is happy if the parties themselves are happy. The role of the mediator was not to dictate the outcome but to resolve the conflict so that the parties themselves reach a consensus. The goal was peace between the parties, not necessarily a particular formula to get there.

U.S. President Donald Trump (R) laughs with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a joint news conference at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 15, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Consider the contrast in Obama’s approach to the negotiations and the response of the media. In May 2011 Obama said:

“I said that the United States believes that negotiations should result in two states, with permanent Palestinian borders with Israel, Jordan, and Egypt, and permanent Israeli borders with Palestine.  The borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps — (applause) — so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states. The Palestinian people must have the right to govern themselves, and reach their potential, in a sovereign and contiguous state.”

The media noted that Obama laid out a conclusion of what the final result of the compromise would look like: two states.

The Obama speech irked the Israeli government that was clear in its intention of not returning to the “Auschwitz” lines of 1967.  Obama countered that he had not laid out a conclusion that was not a matter of consensus, as he specifically included language that there would be “mutually agreed” land swaps.

From Mediator to Biased Mediator to Judge

If a mediator in a divorce announced that she was open to the father having custody or the woman having custody of the children, whichever conclusion could be worked out by the parties, her position would be considered open and balanced. However, if she stated that the mother would have custody and that the only matter to work out was whether the father would see the children on Tuesdays or Fridays, her position as mediator would be seen as clearly biased. The inclusion of a minor clause that the only point being considered was a matter of visitation, while the broad parameters were already concluded, would be seen as a jaundiced farce.

And so was the position of Obama.

He did not focus on a bringing peace agreed to by each party, but stated an outcome that he viewed as fair. Obama abandoned his position as a private unbiased mediator. Not surprisingly, the Israeli government not only questioned the content of Obama’s statement, but his role as both a mediator and important ally.

In November 2016, when Obama’s preferred presidential successor Hillary Clinton lost the Democratic election, Obama decided that ANY role for the United States as a mediator had concluded, as he did not believe that Donald Trump’s administration would be fair, competent or effective. It was therefore time to pass the Israeli-Arab Conflict to a judge: the United Nations.

In December 2016, Obama directed his UN ambassador Samantha Power to abstain from an important vote, thereby allowing United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334 to pass which declared that Israelis living east of the Green Line was illegal. Obama’s Secretary of State John Kerry then went on to berate Israel (still under the guise as a “mediator”):

“Provide for secure and recognized international borders between Israel and a viable and contiguous Palestine, negotiated based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed equivalent land swaps.”

Team Obama again left the “mutually agreed” clause at the edges – literally. And Kerry added a new dimension that the land swaps should be “equivalent,” echoing a phrase (“comparable”) introduced by the Arab League.

President Obama moved his team from an impartial mediator to a biased one, happy to hand the situation to a judge that shared his animus for Israel. As he left office, Obama chose to belittle and undermine both the Trump administration and Israel, by enabling the UN and world to begin boycotting and suing the Jewish State.

Obama was well aware that the UN was anti-Israel at its core as it moved to sideline a negotiated solution between the Israelis and Palestinian Arabs. Samantha Power read a prepared statement right after UNSC 2334 passed:

“But in reality this vote for us was not straightforward, because of where it is taking place – at the United Nations. For the simple truth is that for as long as Israel has been a member of this institution, Israel has been treated differently from other nations at the United Nations. And not only in decades past – such as in the infamous resolution that the General Assembly adopted in 1975, with the support of the majority of Member States, officially determining that, “Zionism is a form of racism” – but also in 2016, this year. One need only look at the 18 resolutions against Israel adopted during the UN General Assembly in September; or the 12 Israel-specific resolutions adopted this year in the Human Rights Council – more than those focused on Syria, North Korea, Iran, and South Sudan put together – to see that in 2016 Israel continues to be treated differently from other Member States.”

In other words, Obama knew that the judge would eviscerate Israel, but if Team Obama could not bring peace, this was the best that could be hoped for.

Trump’s Two Fronts: A New Mediator and Sidelining the Judge

The Trump administration now has a two-pronged effort to resolve the century old conflict: as a new unbiased mediator, and as an active player in managing the judge.

As the UN officially declared (with Obama’s blessing) that Jews are illegally living in their homeland in a reversal of the League of Nations declarations of 1920 and 1922, the Trump administration is actively fighting back.

On March 18, 2017, after a UN agency released a report that Israel is an “apartheid state,” the US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley pressured the UN to withdraw the report. The diplomat that co-authored the report refused and resigned. Haley applauded the move, saying “When someone issues a false and defamatory report in the name of the U.N., it is appropriate that the person resign.

Earlier in the week, Trump’s new envoy to the Middle East, Jason Greenblatt, met with both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and acting President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas in an effort to re-launch the peace process that was crippled by the Obama administration. After the meeting with Abbas, the US Consulate General said that the two men “reaffirmed the commitment of both the Palestinian Authority and the United States to advance a genuine and lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians.”


Obama concluded his tenure regarding the Israeli conflict as a disgrace. He proved to be a terrible and biased mediator. To add an exclamation to his failure, his hubris compelled him to undermine the Trump Administration’s role of mediator, and passed the conflict into the hands of anti-Semitic judges at the United Nations.

Obama made the odds of achieving peace in the Middle East more remote. But perhaps under the watch of Nikki Haley and Jason Greenblatt, the peace process will get another chance.


Related First.One.Through articles:

How the US and UN can Restart Relations with Israel

The Illogic of Land Swaps

Obama’s “Palestinian Land”

A “Viable” Palestinian State

John Kerry: The Declaration and Observations of a Failure

Subscribe YouTube channel: FirstOneThrough

Join Facebook group: FirstOne Through  Israel Analysis

 

John Kerry: The Declaration and Observations of a Failure

Over the past decades, the literary world has seen the introduction of a new specialized category of books enter the mainstream and become very popular: do-it-yourself books, or DIY for short.  Books like the “…For Dummies” have been written on a wide range of topics, ranging from auto repair, to football, to computer programming. People believed that they could understand – or at least become proficient at a subject – by reading a book by someone they never heard of or knew.

Yet people purchased the books without knowledge of the author for a few reasons: 1) they obviously wanted to learn the material, and wanted an easy to understand tutorial;  2) they knew the brand covered lot of topics and was widely popular; and 3) they may have heard good reviews from a friend. One would imagine that  if the people heard bad reviews or knew that the author was a failure, no one would touch the books.

Is this formulation true in politics? If people want to learn something from a former politician, would they care if the person was a failure? If no one they respect likes the politician’s opinion would they listen? Or would the brand of their position (their title) hold enough clout that they would pay any attention to what that person had to say?

kerry

US Secretary of State John Kerry traveled the world for the last four years with a fantastic brand: the global diplomat for the most powerful country in the world and a leading democracy. His credentials opened doors in every part of the globe, as countries sought to trade with US, or to obtain US protection and aid.

But Kerry’s impact on the Middle East was terrible.  The eight years of the Obama administration watched the region spiral into killing fields and a race for nuclear weapons. One of the results for the failures in word and deed has been the worst refugee crisis in generations, with millions of Muslims and Arabs fleeing into the western world.

Americans noted the failed foreign policy (and domestic too), and voted out any continuation of Obama’s policies.

So as he was leaving office, Obama doubled down on his failure. He gave tacit approval to a UN Security Council resolution condemening Israelis living across an invisible line as “illegal,” and then his Secretary of Defense John Kerry condemned Israel in a long speech.  Presumably the speech was for Israelis and Palestinian Arab consumption, as well as their leadership. It was likely intended for in the incoming Trump administration as well.

The issue for all of these consumers is that the authors are confirmed failures.  The Obama administration could not get the Palestinian Authoity to even engage seriously with Israel. Instead, the PA sought unilateral action at the United Nations to become a state. It was rewarded by the Obama administration with another UN victory, but no movement towards peace.

With such a tarnished image, and a step from retirement, why would Israelis or their leadership pay heed to the actions and comments of Obama and Kerry?  Have any of their supporters “bought the book” and think there are pearls of wisdom to be found?

The Pro Israel Community Reaction

Virtually the entire pro-Israel community condemned Kerry’s remarks. AIPAC, the Zionist Organization of America, Bnai Brith, the Simon Weisenthal Center and the Anti Defamation League were all highly critical of Kerry’s thoughts about Israel.

Only the left-wing fringe group, J Street, that has long pushed the Obama administration to condemn Israel at the United Nations, applauded the UN resolution and Kerry’s speech. In language that masked the far flung liberal mindset of the group, it stated that such a move was “bipartisan” in the hope of swinging would-be “pro-Israel, pro-peace” consumers to ingest the bile.


John Kerry spoke to the world about the centrality of Israel’s security to any peace agreement, even after a history of the State Department giving only scant lip service to Israel’s need to fight terrorism, while the US enabled Iran to keep its entire nuclear weapons infrastructure. Kerry said that “friendships require mutual repect.” Is that why Obama snubbed Israel by turning down an invitation to speak to the Knesset and opted to address Israeli students – long before Netanyahu came to address Congress in 2015?

Neither the Israeli people nor Israeli leadership was listening to Kerry. The Trump administration made clear that they think the Obama/ Kerry policies were total failures. The major pro-Israel groups came out against the UN vote and Kerry speech and educated the broader pro-Israel community that the remarks were disgraceful, and the approach unacceptable.

Which leaves a person to wonder who Kerry was actually addressing.

The reality was that the speech was not meant as a call to action for Israel or the incoming Trump administration to move the region towards peace.  Kerry was addressing the Arab world and telling them they were right all along. Kerry followed a long list of Democrats seeking a lavish life in retirement, like Jimmy Carter, the Clinton Foundation and Al Gore.

Kerry used the western world as a vehicle to show his devotion to the Palestinian cause. He treated the Israelis as mere tools so that he can enjoy the splendors of the Arab world.

For those that seek actual peace in the Middle East, the declaration and observations of a failure should be treated in the manner it deserves.


Related First.One.Through articles:

The US State Department’s Selective Preference of “Status Quos”

The United States Joins the Silent Chorus

Select Support in Fighting Terrorism from the US State Department

US State Department Comments on Terrorism in Israel and the Territories

Subscribe YouTube channel: FirstOneThrough

Join Facebook group: FirstOne Through  Israel Analysis

 

 

Time for Obama to Address Palestinian Arabs Directly

The Palestinian Arabs conduct polls of themselves every few months. The Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research  publish the polls for all to see.

It would appear that the United Nations and the Obama Administration refuse to read and internalize the clear print.

Consider the poll completed in September 2016.  The findings concluded:

“current level of support for an armed intifada remains high and a majority opposes the Russian invitation for a meeting between Abbas and Netanyahu in Moscow. Moreover, the public remains highly pessimistic about the French Initiative’s chances of success. Finally, Hamas’ candidate for the presidency, Ismail Haniyeh remains more popular than Abbas.”

The Palestinian Arabs continue to “support an armed intifada,” meaning killing Israelis rather than speaking and negotiating with them.  The Arabs further support the terrorist group Hamas rather than the “more moderate” Fatah head Mahmoud Abbas.

But the US and the United Nations don’t acknowledge these persistent inconvenient facts.

On November 29, 2016, the US State Department had its daily press briefing were Spokesperson John Kirby stated:

” in order to get there [two state solution], you have to see tangible leadership on both sides to ratchet down the rhetoric and to reduce the violence and to show a willingness to sit down and have discussions about a two-state solution. That hasn’t been the case….
we need to see the leadership on both sides take the kinds of actions to realize a two-state solution; to commit to a willingness to sit down and have those kinds of discussions and to effect those kinds of negotiations. And his point was exactly and succinctly right: You can lead the horse to water, but you can’t make them drink. You have to – ultimately – and we’ve said this time and time again – you have to see leadership exuded and demonstrated there in the region. They have to be willing to get to this two-state solution or it’s not going to be sustainable. And I think if you go back and look at the transcript of his remarks, you’ll see that he expounded on that thought in exactly – almost exactly those words.

The US State Department seemed to recognize the failure of Palestinian leadership – but not the Palestinian people. It chose to equivocate in condemning Israeli settlements by also blaming the impasse of advancing peace talks on Palestinian leadership.  However, the State Department never is critical of the Palestinian Arabs who continue to favor violence and terrorism instead of coexistence and peace.

On that same November day, the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon also blamed the leadership of the two parties. “Israeli and Palestinian leaders still voice their support for the two-State solution. However, without urgent steps to revive a political perspective, they risk entrenching a one-state reality.” According to the UN, the failures of leadership have in turn caused anger from the populations:

“All this has led to growing anger and frustration among Palestinians and profound disillusionment among Israelis. It has strengthened radicals and weakened moderates on both sides.”

The inversion of cause-and-effect never enters the mindset of Ban Ki-Moon, that Acting-President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas cannot take steps towards peace, because his own people demand more forceful actions.  The UN will state that Palestinian Arab civilians are simply “resorting to violence” and are “desperate” for a state, even though the entire fabric of the PA, Fatah and Hamas is about the destruction of the Jewish State.

A New Path

US President Obama declined to address the Israeli parliament when he visited Israel in March 2013, and instead addressed Israeli citizens.   In his opening remarks he said “what I’ve most looked forward to is the ability to speak directly to you, the Israeli people — especially so many young people who are here today — (applause) — to talk about the history that brought us here today, and the future that you will make in the years to come.”

Perhaps the final gesture to advancing peace between Israelis and Palestinian Arabs, is for Obama to address the Palestinian Arabs directly to accept their Jewish neighbors and build a future together, rather than reward the intransigence of the Palestinian Authority as former US President Jimmy Carter suggested on that same November 29 day of willful blindness.


Related First.One.Through articles:

Cause and Effect: Making Gaza

It’s the Democracy, Stupid

Opinion: Remove the Causefire before a Ceasefire

Subscribe YouTube channel: FirstOneThrough

Join Facebook group: FirstOne Through  Israel Analysis

The New York Times Op-Ed on Jews and the Oslo Accords, 1993

Almost 23 years after the Oslo Peace Accord was signed in September 1993, one of its architects and champions, Israeli statesman Shimon Peres, died at 93 years old in Jerusalem, Israel. As detailed in “Every Picture Tells a Story: Goodbye Peres,” the New York Times chose not to honor the Israeli leader, even as the paper repeatedly calls for a two-state solution for the Israeli-Arab Conflict.

So consider the NYT Op-Ed back on September 17, 1993, just after the Accords were signed and the major opinion makers weighed in on the agreement.

20160922_211852
New York Times Op-Ed
September 17, 1993

A.M. Rosenthal (1922-2006)
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize

A.M. Rosenthal wrote about the ‘Holocaust Syndrome“, where he lamented the pessimism coming from “Jews, Israeli and American” about the ultimate outcome of the Oslo agreement. Rosenthal was sad that it was becoming fashionable for Jews to echo sentiments that were most typically heard from Israel’s enemies.

The “Holocaust Theory” advanced a notion from “deep pessimism, fear and defensiveness arising out of the Holocaust. No matter how strong the country [Israel]became, they trusted no one, relied only on arms, saw themselves perpetually as victims who had to act defensively instead of a free people determining their own destiny.”

To believe the Holocaust syndrome theory is to believe what Israel’s worst enemies say – that it was Israelis who brought a half-century of war between Jew and Arab.”

Rosenthal dismissed that idea completely. He reviewed the history that those “shtetl Jews were ready to share Palestine with Arabs from the beginning. The Arabs refused,” and launched pogroms and wars both from within Israel and without to destroy the Jewish State. Rosenthal had no patience for Jews that were cynical about the chance for peace:

There is a mental malady that afflicts Israelis and other Jews but it is not the Holocaust syndrome. It is the tendency to confuse hope for the future with present reality….Israelis are not catatonically traumatized, curled up in a defensive ball seeing enemies everywhere. They can get up in the morning, work, raise families, make love, make peace or war, distinguish friend from foe and how to deal with each.”

“Pray for peace but add another prayer for truth upon which it depends.

Amazing words that resonate today as much as they did when they were written.

Anthony Lewis (1927-2013)
Two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize

Anthony Lewis’s post was called “The Crux of the Deal,” and was optimistic about Oslo.  He believed that each party’s self-interest would compel the parties forward.

For Palestinian Arabs, Lewis wrote that Arabs preventing terrorism would lead eventually to “establishing a Palestinian state.”  Lewis was too optimistic.

The years after the 1993 Oslo Accords were followed by hundreds of terrorist attacks by Palestinian Arabs, and by the end of the interim Oslo II Accords in 2000, Yasir Arafat (fungus be upon him) rejected the contours of the Palestinian state and launched another war against Israel.

Lewis missed another point: that the Arab-Israel Conflict was key to stability in the Middle East.

Lewis wrote: “Success would be a key to reducing tensions in the entire Middle East, and reducing the threat of the two radical states that have denounced the agreement: Iran and Iraq.” Lewis could not foresee America’s toppling of Iraq – and then abandoning it – and the turmoil that would pour out of Syria, Yemen, Sudan and Libya.

The cause-and-effect theories of Lewis 23 years ago proved completely wrong:

  • Israel has been able to prosper despite regional turmoil. It has done so by focusing on building businesses and technology surrounded by its strong defenses
  • It was Palestinian leaders self-interest that has dictated events and marred the prospects of peace, as they enriched themselves, maintained their “lofty” titles and avoided confrontations with fellow Arabs in the cause of peace

Self-interest may indeed be a motivator for all players in the region.  However, it would appear that Lewis was too optimistic about Palestinian Arab leadership caring more about their constituents than themselves.

Alexander Schindler (1925-2000)
Leader of the Reform Judaism Movement

Alexander Schindler described himself as “an unreconstructed dove,” in his editorial “Memo to a Hawk.” He relayed how he was worried about Likud leader Menahem Begin coming to power in 1977 and what he would do to the chances of peace.  But Schindler gave Begin a chance “and he did not disappoint.”  Schindler urged politically conservative Jews to give Yitzhak Rabin and the Oslo Accord that same chance.

Schindler argued that that moment in history – 1993 – was the best time to advance peace in the region:

“It is now that the American Government’s role as guarantor of the peace is unaffected by cold war concerns. It is now that the Arab powers understand that the real threat they face is not the steady achievements of Zionism but the rampaging golem of Islamic fundamentalism. It is now that the influx of Jews to Israel from the former Soviet Union has upset the demographic contest the Palestinians had expected to win.”

Schindler gets an interesting score on predicting the future.

  • Total Miss: In 2016, the cold war is very much alive and affecting the region, as Russia takes an active role in Syria, with missiles and migrants flowing out of the region unabated.
  • Spot on: Many people did not appreciate the threat of the “rampaging golem of Islamic fundamentalism” until 9/11/2001, but Schindler did.
  • Mixed: the demographic time bomb that Yasir Arafat hoped to use to conquer Israel is still believed in some corners, and dismissed in others.

The dreamer of peace believed in the peace process, and understood the threat of Islamic fundamentalism.  However he never considered his logic that Islamic fundamentalism existed everywhere else in the Middle East except among Palestinian Arabs.


In 2016, on the eve of the Jewish New Year, world leaders came to pay their respects to a leader of the Israeli people, and a man devoted to the Oslo peace process.  As people consider Peres’s legacy over the past 70 years in public service and his persistent optimism that peace would come to the region, review the caution and optimism at the dawn of the peace process launched in Oslo, and where we are today.

For the New York Times, the lack of peace between Israel and Palestinian Arabs has nothing to do with Islamic fundamentalism, the cold war, the influx of Russian Jews, the corrupt Palestinian Arab leadership or the civil wars raging in the region. For the Times and many liberal Jews, it continues to be a hawkish Israeli government that continues to repeat the “Holocaust Syndrome.”

Perhaps it is time for everyone to re-read the prescient words and warning of A.M. Rosenthal: beware the “mental malady that afflicts Israelis and other Jews but it is not the Holocaust syndrome. It is the tendency to confuse hope for the future with present reality….Pray for peace but add another prayer for truth upon which it depends.


Related First.One.Through articles:

An Inconvenient Truth: Palestinian Polls

The Israeli Peace Process versus the Palestinian Divorce Proceedings

The Only Precondition for MidEast Peace Talks

“Peace” According to Palestinian “Moderates”

Subscribe YouTube channel: FirstOneThrough

Join Facebook group: FirstOne Through  Israel Analysis

 

 

“Peace” According to Palestinian “Moderates”

Liberals, including the left-wing paper The New York Times, often suggest that there are many leading Palestinian Arab and Israeli Arab moderates who genuinely want peace with Israel. US Secretary of State John Kerry warned Jews and Israelis about failing to fully engage “the moderate Palestinian leadership,” which could lead to “extremism.

Over the past six weeks, one has to wonder what kind of “peace” these “moderates” have in mind.

Mahmoud Abbas

On October 28, 2015, the acting-President of the Palestinian Authority addressed the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland. In his prepared remarks he said that Israeli occupation of Palestine has been in place since Israel’s founding in 1948. He viewed all of Israel as illegitimate, and Palestinian land.

Abbas is a proud Holocaust denier as well as denier of Jewish history in the holy land. His anti-Semitic call for a Jew-free country has been endorsed by the Obama administration, and his basic refusal to recognize Israel as the Jewish State make the goal of achieving peace with this straw man a laughable fantasy.

Ayman Odeh

The NY Times was very quick to promote the prospects for Israeli-Arab peace as one of the leaders of the Joint Arab List, Ayman Odeh, was coming to New York to address groups of Jews.  On December 10, the Times ran an article “Arab-Israeli Parliament Member sees Prospect for Peace,” which described a hopeful Ayman Odeh’s thoughts about peace because “many parts of the Jewish population were able for the first time to hear us.”  Somehow, the deafness on the part of Arabs to recognize the Jewish State doesn’t seem to bother him.

IMG_3659
New York Times article on December 10, 2015

On December 10, Ayman’s vision of Israel was brought to the open (except for readers of the NY Times since it opted not to print the follow-up story).

Ayman was due to speak to the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.  However, when Ayman noticed that the meeting was taking place on the same floor in the building as the Jewish Agency (a group that facilitates Jews moving to Israel) and other Zionist organizations, he refused to go up the elevator.  He insisted that the meeting location be moved so he would not have to be on the same floor as “organizations whose work displaces Arab citizens.  The organization’s leader, Malcolm Hoenlein refused to change the meeting location and the meeting was cancelled.

Saeb Erekat

On December 13, 2015, perennial spokesperson for the Palestinians, Saeb Erekat came to speak at a conference run by the left-wing Israeli newspaper Haaretz and left-wing foundation, the New Israel Fund. Before taking the stage, he demanded that the Israeli flag be removed from the room.  The event organizers quickly complied.

“Moderates” seek a new State of Palestine,
not Peace with Israel

Many progressives have opened up various venues for engagement with Arabs to move a peace process forward.  As part of those efforts, they have chosen to label various Arab leaders as “moderates” and partners for peace.

However, these Arab “moderates” repeatedly make clear – in public, and in front of them – that they view the Jewish State of Israel as illegitimate.  The only rightful rights in the holy land belong to Arabs; if Jews are to remain in the land, it will only be subject to Arab review and approval.

Consider what these “moderates” say in private to their own constituents.

For Palestinian Arabs, there is one goal in the “peace process” and it is not peace with the Jewish State, but the establishment of a new State of Palestine.  The only difference between Arab moderates and extremists, is that extremists want to remove Israel in its entirety immediately, while moderates want to start with a Palestine in half of the holy land, before they assume complete control of the land.

John Kerry, Haaretz, the New York Times and other liberals loudly proclaim that the Palestinian Arab leadership are moderates who seek peace with Israel, but refuse to describe and detail all of the Arab comments and actions which clearly spell out their permanent hostility towards the Jewish State.

The fact that these “moderates” do not represent the general Palestinian public is yet all the more frightening, as 67% of Palestinian support the “stabbing intifada” according to the latest Palestinian poll.

The New York Times may highlight Ayman Odeh’s call that peace is possible since the “Jewish population can hear us.” But the world has news sources and blogs like First.One.Through that are read broadly around the world, that listen to more than just the sound-bites that dreamy liberals promote.

Peace partners are still not present.


Related First.One.Through articles:

The Israeli Peace Process versus the Palestinian Divorce Proceedings

The Narrative that Prevents Peace in the Arab-Israeli Conflict

Israel was never a British Colony; Judea and Samaria are not Israeli Colonies

What do you Recognize in the Palestinians?

Subscribe YouTube channel: FirstOneThrough

Join Facebook group: FirstOne Through  Israel Analysis

Considering a Failed Palestinian State

Failed Countries

On July 9, 2011, the world welcomed a new country, South Sudan, which separated from Sudan. South Sudan rapidly became a failed state, one in which the central government lost the ability to control the security and economy of the country.

Failed states suffer from many terrible and unstable features: lack of governmental control; factional militias and armies; lack of border integrity and gross poverty. These societies often see rampant human rights abuses as various parties assert control over parts of the country and seek vengeance and control over minorities and local populations.

Consider some reports from South Sudan over the past year:

According to Business Insider, the worst failed states include: South Sudan; Sudan; Somalia; Congo; Chad and Yemen. The populations of these countries are forced to flee, suffer or die.

south sudan
South Sudanese refugees wait to be registered at a crossing into Ethiopia earlier in 2015. (Photo: UNHCR/R. Riek)

Considering a Palestinian State

Many countries in the United Nations would like to see the Palestinian Arabs gain self-determination and have their own country.  However, many of the ingredients for a failed state currently reside in the political structure of the Palestinian Authority:

  • The Palestinian territories have various stand-alone armies and militias including Hamas and Islamic Jihad
  • No central government, as the west bank of the Jordan River and Gaza strip are administered independently
  • Internal fighting as witnessed in the 2007 rout of Fatah by Hamas forces in Gaza, and various extrajudicial killings between those parties that continued since then
  • No border integrity as bedlam prevails in Gaza, Sinai and Israeli towns near the border of Gaza
  • Lack of functioning economy and widespread unemployment due: to the extremely high percentage of people under 25 years old; and constant war to destroy Israel
  • No presidential or legislative elections, as they were suspended due to the splits mentioned above. The presidential election was last held in 2005 and the president’s term expired a long time ago.

A country built on this framework would likely deteriorate.  Factional fighting to dictate the future of the country would exacerbate. Unemployment would further skyrocket.  Cross-border battles with Israel would escalate and also include the area east of the Green Line, EGL/ west bank of the Jordan River. This region, which already leads the world in the “honor killings” of women, would likely continue to see such murders increase.

It would be a country built in chaos, with people’s dreams dying alongside their lives.

Concrete Steps to Avoid a Failed Palestinian State

Should the Palestinian Arabs hope to achieve a functioning state after self-determination, important steps need to be instituted before the state is formed:

  1. Remove all weaponry from Hamas and other groups. A functioning government must only have a single army. There cannot be a society in which various entities wage internal and external wars.
  2. Ban Hamas. No entity which advocates for murder of minorities should be allowed to sit in any elected office, and no country should have any dealings with any country that seeks destruction of another country. As Hamas advocates for the killing of Jews and calls for the complete destruction of Israel, the party should be banned in its entirety until it renounces both positions completely.
  3. Form new Political Parties and Hold Elections. The Palestinian Arabs have not held presidential elections since 2005 and legislative elections since 2006. As Hamas won legislative elections in 2006 and have polled to win future elections, new parties should be organized that can compete in new elections.

These are the basic steps that must occur for the Palestinian Authority to have a functioning government. Once the central authority rests in a representative body, that entity can negotiate a final status agreement with Israel to create a new state. To minimize the chances that it slip into a failed state, the Palestinian government should further consider the following:

  1. Peace Agreement with Israel. A viable government should have a strong economy, including a flow of people and goods. Due to the separation of the Palestinian territories, it would be most efficient for the government to have a good working relationship with Israel to facilitate commerce.
  2. Minimize Incoming Youth. A Palestinian state would likely want to welcome Arabs whose families once lived in the region. As a large population below age 25 often leads to rampant unemployment and instability, the emphasis on incoming people should be on professionally-trained adults.
  3. Transitional control from UNRWA. UNRWA has kept infant mortality, immunizations, life expectancy and literacy of Palestinian Arabs at among the best rates in the world. Over a period of years, the UN should cede control of the schools and hospitals to Palestinian control.

While the world celebrated the founding of a new country four years ago in South Sudan, the declaration proved a hollow victory for the people. It would be a mistake to push forward another declaration for Palestinian Arabs at this time which would lead ultimately lead to further suffering.  Mayhem with a flag benefits no one.


Related First.One.Through article:

A “Viable” Palestinian State

Palestinians agree that Israel rules all of Jerusalem, but the World Treats the City as Divided

The Palestinian Arabs and Israelis last managed to negotiate an agreement in September 1995. That agreement, Oslo II, was intended to be an interim agreement after which a permanent resolution was to be reached in five years. However, five years later in September 2000, Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat walked away from the Israeli peace proposal and launched multi-year riots which claimed thousands of lives.

The terms of Oslo II still live on, decades later.

Oslo II signing
Rabin and Arafat sign maps prior to the Oslo II signing ceremony at the White House, as US president Bill Clinton, Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak and Jordan’s King Hussein look on, September 28, 1995 (photo credit: GPO)

Goals of Oslo II

Oslo II was meant to set in place an interim Palestinian Authority which would become the basis of a Palestinian political structure. Oslo II had NO calls for an independent Palestinian state, but stated the goal of the negotiations was to lead to a permanent settlement based on Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338.

  • Security Council Resolution 338 was declared after Egypt attacked Israel in the Yom Kippur War. The goal was to stop hostilities and commence peace negotiations.  The thrust of SC 338 was to implement SC 242 to establish “a just and durable peace
  • Security Council 242 was drafted after the Six Day War in 1967. In that war, Israel preemptively attacked Egypt and Syria that were readying an attack on Israel, and Israel defended itself from an attack from Jordan.

Without delving into the nuances of SC 242 here, the thrust of the resolution was to have Israeli armed forces pull back from some territories which it won in the 1967 War and that all states respect “the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area… free from threats or acts of force.” It also proposed “a just settlement of the refugee problem.

Oslo II built on these UN Security Council goals with an interim roadmap. It began with Israel’s handing over certain territories to the Palestinian Authority (Gaza and Jericho) as well as other major Palestinian cities.

Status of Jerusalem in Oslo II

Jerusalem is mentioned eight times in the Oslo II Accords. In every instance, the entire city is referenced, not just the eastern half that Israel acquired from the Jordanians and Palestinian Arabs in 1967.

The first six times “Jerusalem” appeared in the Oslo II agreement relate to future Palestinian elections in which Palestinian Arabs located in Jerusalem would be able to participate. The remaining two times specifically state that Jerusalem is a point for final status negotiations:

  • ARTICLE XVII Jurisdiction
    1. In accordance with the DOP, the jurisdiction of the Council will cover West Bank and Gaza Strip territory as a single territorial unit, except for:
    2. issues that will be negotiated in the permanent status negotiations: Jerusalem, settlements, specified military locations, Palestinian refugees, borders, foreign relations and Israelis;
  • ARTICLE XXXI Final Clauses
    5. Permanent status negotiations will commence as soon as possible, but not later than May 4, 1996, between the Parties. It is understood that these negotiations shall cover remaining issues, including: Jerusalem, refugees, settlements, security arrangements, borders, relations and cooperation with other neighbors, and other issues of common interest.

According to the agreements executed by the Palestinians and Israelis:

  • Jerusalem is not part of the West Bank, as it is broken out separately
  • Jerusalem is not a “settlement”, as the agreement stated later that “settlements” are entities in the West Bank and Gaza – “For the purpose of this Agreement, “the Settlements” means, in the West Bank the settlements in Area C; and in the Gaza Strip – the Gush Katif and Erez settlement areas, as well as the other settlements in the Gaza Strip, as shown on attached map No. 2
  • Israel controls Jerusalem“Israel shall continue to exercise powers and responsibilities not so transferred”

There is therefore no basis for any of the United Nations, the EU or the Unites States to claim that Jerusalem is a settlement and that Jews should have any restrictions from living anywhere in the city.  Should there be any modifications to the Israeli rule of the city, it will be made by mutual consent in permanent status negotiations.

Yet, the world ignores the Oslo II foundation document of a peace agreement.

United Nations Ignores Oslo II on Jerusalem

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon made an address on the “International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People” in 2013:

On Jerusalem’s Jewish “settlements”:All settlement activity in the West Bank and East Jerusalem must cease.  Measures that prejudge final status issues are not to be recognized.
Announcements of thousands of new housing units cannot be reconciled with the goal of a two-state solution and risk the collapse of negotiations”

These statements ignore Oslo II in many respects: it broke apart “East Jerusalem” as a distinct entity; it claimed that Jews living in “East Jerusalem” were in “settlements”; it called for a two-state solution (while not in Oslo II, both the Israelis and Palestinians later agreed to such plan); it suggested that Jews living in “East Jerusalem” hurt a two-state solution.

On Palestinian homes in “East Jerusalem”: “Of particular concern are developments in East Jerusalem, where this year alone, some 100 [Arab] structures have been demolished, displacing 300 people.  Hundreds more Palestinians are at risk because their homes were built without Israeli-issued building permits”

The UN leader voiced concern with more Jews moving into eastern Jerusalem and not enough Arabs being accommodated there.

On the Permanent Status Negotiations of Jerusalem: “Jerusalem is to emerge from negotiations as the capital of two States, with arrangements for the holy sites acceptable to all”

Ban Ki-Moon voiced a conclusion not made in Oslo II and “prejudged” an outcome that Jerusalem must be divided, even though Israel already divided the UN’s “Holy Basin” when it gave Bethlehem to the Palestinian Authority 20 years earlier.  Amazing commentary from someone who is concerned with “prejudging final status issues.”

European Union Ignores Oslo II on Jerusalem

The EU has taken positions adopted by the Palestinian Authority which are outside of the agreements reached by Israel and the PA in Oslo II:

On Jerusalem’s Jewish “settlements”: “EU considers that settlement building anywhere in the occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, is illegal under international law, constitutes an obstacle to peace and threatens to make a two-state solution impossible.”

On Palestinians in “East Jerusalem”: “The EU supports [Arab] institution building work in East Jerusalem, notably in the areas of health, education and the judiciary.” 

On the Permanent Status Negotiations of Jerusalem: “the EU has repeatedly confirmed its deep concern about accelerated settlement expansion in the West Bank including East Jerusalem. This expansion prejudges the outcome of final status negotiations and threatens the viability of an agreed two-state solution”
“The EU considers that the peace negotiations should include the resolution of all issues surrounding the status of Jerusalem as the future capital of two states. The EU will not recognise any changes to the pre-1967 borders including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties.”

Like the United Nations, the EU ignored the mutual recognition of both Palestinians Arabs and Israel that only Israel administers all of Jerusalem, and any modification to such arrangement must be made by mutual agreement. Oslo II made no suggestion that the holy city be divided.

The United States Ignores Oslo II on Jerusalem

On Jerusalem’s Jewish “settlements”: Jen Psaki, Spokesperson for the US Department of State said on October 27, 2014: “we continue to make our position absolutely clear that we view settlement activity as illegitimate and unequivocally oppose unilateral steps that prejudge the future of Jerusalem. Israel’s leaders have said they would support a pathway to a two-state solution, but moving forward with this type of action would be incompatible with the pursuit of peace”

On the Palestinian Authority in Jerusalem: While the US does not recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel or any country (and therefor does not maintain on embassy in Jerusalem), it has nevertheless decided to establish an office for Palestinians in Jerusalem.  The United States Security Coordinator for Israel and the Palestinian Authority (USSC) sounds like it services both Israel and the PA, but its mission is to serve and assist the PA in meeting its security needs. “The USSC directs all facets of U.S. security sector assistance to the Palestinian Authority and synchronizes international supporting efforts…The USSC assists the Palestinian Authority to transform and professionalize its security sector.

The US decided to place such office to assist the PA in Jerusalem, rather than Bethlehem or Jericho. The address is home of the Consul General of the US in Jerusalem which serves US citizens from Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza.

On the Permanent Status Negotiations of Jerusalem:  Back in 2009, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs made a point that recognized that Jerusalem is a matter for final status negotiations, but said he was opposed to construction in “East Jerusalem”. “The United States opposes new Israeli construction in East Jerusalem. The status of Jerusalem is a permanent status issue that must be resolved by the parties through negotiations and supported by the international community. Neither party should engage in efforts or take actions that could unilaterally pre-empt, or appear to pre-empt, negotiations. Rather, both parties should return to negotiations without preconditions as soon as possible. The United States recognizes that Jerusalem is a deeply important issue for Israelis and Palestinians, and for Jews, Muslims, and Christians. We believe that through good faith negotiations the parties can mutually agree on an outcome that realizes the aspirations of both parties for Jerusalem, and safeguards its status for people around the world.”


 

There have been very few agreements between the Palestinian Arabs and Israelis throughout history.  When the parties last mutually agreed to move forward with a peace process, they agreed that all of Jerusalem was controlled by Israel.  The agreement had no caveats about what Israel could or could not do anywhere in the city. It made no suggestion that the city was or would be divided.

Despite that reality, a new perception has taken hold in world bodies that Israel should prohibit Jews from living in parts of their capital and holiest city.  It is being repeated more frequently and with greater force: at one point, world bodies opposed Israel building new neighborhoods in the eastern part of Jerusalem; now they decry Jews moving into existing homes that  they legally purchased privately.

How can Israel expect to negotiate a final status agreement if the world rejects the agreements Israel makes with Palestinian Arabs as it did with Oslo II? How can Israel enter negotiations when the world advances a prejudged outcome to such negotiations to which Israel never agreed?


Related First One Through articles:

The Arguments over Jerusalem

Real and Imagined Laws of Living in Silwan

Nicholas Kristof’s “Arab Land”

Obama supports Anti-Semitic Palestinian Agenda of Jew-Free State

The Israeli Peace Process versus the Palestinian Divorce Proceedings

A “Viable” Palestinian State

Palestinians are “Desperate” for…

On January 1, 2015, the New York Times editorial page led with a piece titled “The Palestinians Desperation Move.” The opinion piece advanced the case that acting Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas must be frustrated in his mission to create a new Palestinian State.

…Creating a State?

Desperate people take what they can. They view their options as limited and prospects as weak. They seize any opportunities to advance their main goal, whatever that might be.

Witness early Zionists agreeing to any size and configuration of a Jewish state, despite their dream for a larger state based on the British Mandate of Palestine in 1922. They voted “yes” to a United Nations partition in 1947. They voted “yes” to greater Jerusalem and greater Bethlehem being international cities.

The Arabs, on the other hand, consistently voted “no” at every juncture.

These are not activities of a people that is “desperate” for a state. These are not actions of leaders who are willing to make compromises to establish a country and move their people forward.

 

… Maximizing a Jew-free State and/or Destroying the current Jewish State

Palestinian actions have consistently had three main areas of focus:

  1. Creating a new state free of any Jews
  2. Maximize the size of the new Palestinian state: either the entirety of Israel+West Bank+Gaza or using the 1949 Armistice Lines
  3. If there remains a state of Israel, it should be small and not Jewish

 

A Jew-free Palestinian state: Palestinians have sought to recreate the conditions of the Arab-controlled regions that expelled and barred the Jews from 1949 to 1967. The Palestinian leadership has continually called for preventing any “settlements”, meaning barring any Jewish people from living anywhere in Gaza, the West Bank and the eastern part of Jerusalem that was controlled by Jordan from 1949-1967. Various Palestinian efforts towards peace talks have demanded a pre-condition of Jewish settlement freezes before any peace talks could begin.  They have lobbied the United Nations to condemn any and all settlements as illegal (even though Jews always lived in the lands before the illegal Jordanian takeover in 1949).

Palestinian law has repeatedly cemented the position of a Jew-free state. In 1973, it passed legislation that made the sale of any land or home to an Israeli to be a capital offense. The Palestinian Authority announced in 1997 that it would seek the death penalty for anyone selling land to a Jew or Israeli.

Abbas has repeatedly voiced his vision of a Jew-free Palestine, stating that he would not allow the presence of a single Israeli- civilian or soldier – in a new Palestine.

Abbas and other members of the Palestinian Authority have also called on the world to engage in a BDS- Boycott, Divestment and Sanction – of any Israeli company that has a presence in the territories they hope will become a Palestinian state. Their aggressive efforts in advancing BDS further underscores their desire to not only prevent any Jews living in a future state, but even establishing businesses there as well.

Even the Universities on the West Bank have laws that prohibit Jews from stepping foot onto campuses.

In short, Palestinian law and leadership calls for banning Jews from visiting, working, buying land or living in the territories it wants for a future state.

Those are the official positions of the “moderate” acting-president of the Palestinian Authority and the existing Palestinian laws. However, the majority of the Palestinian people are in favor of Hamas and would elect someone from Hamas as president according to every poll over the past few years. The Palestinian public elected Hamas to 58% of the Palestinian parliament in their last election in January 2006. Hamas’s charter and its leaders call for the outright killing of Jews and have specifically identified the Jewish nature of Israel as the root cause of the conflict: In face of the Jews’ usurpation of Palestine, it is compulsory that the banner of Jihad be raised…”

 

Maximize the size of the Palestinian state. It is not surprising that the Palestinians want to maximize the size of a future state; Israel wants to maximize what it can achieve in negotiations too. However, as detailed here, the working parameters for the Palestinians are to achieve “maximums” and certainly not reflective of a group that is “desperate” and willing to compromise.

Hamas calls for a single Arab Palestine to cover Gaza, the West Bank and all of Israel. They have never backed down or waivered from their 1988 charter in any statement from any leader since that time.

Abbas’ Fatah party has stated that it will “compromise” for a Palestine that follows the “1967 borders.” It states this, despite the fact the 1967 “borders” were not borders but Armistice Lines established in 1949 with Egypt and Jordan. Both of those armistice agreements specifically stated that those lines were not intended to be borders. After repeated invasions and wars by the Palestinians and its Arab allies, Israel has made clear that it will not accept those 1949 Armistice lines as final borders.

“Moderate” Palestinians argue that United Nations Resolution 242 stated that Israel should remove its armed forces from territory acquired during the 1967 war. While the Israelis point out that the language specifically does not state that it must leave “all” of the territory, Abbas is demanding such complete withdrawal; a “maximum” position within the two-state framework.

 

No recognition of the Jewish State. For much of Israel’s existence, the Arab world refused to recognize Israel in any matter at all and viewed Israel’s entire existence as illegitimate. The Arab world underscored the point with the famous three “no’s” in 1967 including refusing to recognize the basic existence of Israel.

In 1975, Yasser Arafat and the PLO effectively lobbied the United Nations to label the national aspirations of Jews to be a form of racial discrimination. Specifically, Resolution 3379 adopted by the General Assembly referred to the “the racist regime in occupied Palestine” and determined “that zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination.” Such efforts have nothing to do with establishing a new country and everything to do with delegitimizing the rights and claims of Jews to their own state.

Today, Palestinian leadership continues on the same path of delegitimizing Israel.  Palestinian leadership makes a point of denying Jewish history in the Holy land. Whether addressing the United Nations General Assembly or speaking to reporters, acting Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas denies any connection between Jews and their history in the land. In 2014, Abbas stated that “they [Israel] imagine that by brute force they can invent a history, establish claims and erase solid religious and historical facts.

Abbas has made very clear that he will never recognize the Jewishness of the state of Israel:

  • I’ll never recognize Israel as a Jewish state.” (2014);
  • We shall never agree to recognize the Jewish state.” (2013);
  • “I will never recognize the Jewishness of the state, or a “Jewish state.” (2011)

Underscoring these points is the insistence of a “Right of return” for descendants of pseudo-refugees to the state of Israel. He believes that the 4.6 million SAPs (Stateless Arabs from Palestine) should be entitled to move into Israel as opposed to a new Palestinian state. The entire point of partitioning the land for two peoples and creating a new Palestinian state is to create a home for these Arabs. What is the point of sending the grandchildren of Arabs who left homes in 1948 to a country they despise (Israel) when they are just creating the country they dreamed of (Palestine)?


For almost a century, the Palestinians have tried various paths to achieve their goals: broad regional wars;  local wars; intifadas; riots; peace talks and lobbying the United Nations.  But what are they hoping to achieve?

If the primary goal of the Palestinian people was a state, would they care if a small number of Jews lived there? Would they so strongly object to recognizing Israel as a Jewish State? Would they insist on an all-or-nothing strategy of getting everything in negotiations?

Are Palestinians truly desperate for a state or are they desperate to deny any rights and legitimacy of Jews to live in the land?

20150102_084725


Sources:

1936 riots: http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/riots36.html

1947 Partition plan: http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/partition_plan.html

1948-9 Israel war of Independence: http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/1948_War.html

1967 Six Day War: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/05/17/AR2007051701976.html

Khartoum declaration: http://www.sixdaywar.org/content/khartoum.asp

Arafat ends 2000 Clinton-Barack initiative: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2001/jan/03/israel2

Hamas wins 2006 elections: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/01/26/AR2006012600372.html

No response to Olmert plan: http://www.haaretz.com/news/olmert-abbas-never-responded-to-my-peace-offer-1.263328

Netanyahu 10-month settlement freeze to re-start talks: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/26/world/middleeast/26israel.html

No Abbas engagement for nine months: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2010/10/13/kenneth-bandler-israel-palestine-peace-mahmoud-abbas-united-states-plo-arab/

Maximum of Olmert is short of Minimum for Abbas: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/175910#.VKl5bJs5CUl

Various quotes of Arab intents for Israel: http://www.paulbogdanor.com/israel/quotes.html

Palestinian law banning the sale of land to Jews: http://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/PA-affirms-death-penalty-for-land-sales-to-Israelis

Left-wing article on left-wing journalist barred from Bir Zeit University: http://jfjfp.com/?p=65375

UN resolution 242: http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/UN/meaning_of_242.html

UN Zionism is Racism: http://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/0/761C1063530766A7052566A2005B74D1

 

Related FirstOneThrough articles:

Laws of Living in Silwan: https://firstonethrough.wordpress.com/2014/10/20/real-and-imagined-laws-of-living-in-silwan/

Abbas knows Racism: https://firstonethrough.wordpress.com/2014/10/27/abbas-knows-racism/

Palestinians are not “resorting” to violence: https://firstonethrough.wordpress.com/2014/11/19/the-palestinians-arent-resorting-to-violence-they-are-murdering-and-waging-war/

The Green Line: https://firstonethrough.wordpress.com/2014/12/09/the-green-line/

Palestinian “refugees” or “SAPs”: https://firstonethrough.wordpress.com/2014/08/08/palestinian-refugees-or-saps/

Palestinian Xenophobia music video (Mr. Rogers): https://firstonethrough.wordpress.com/2014/11/11/wont-you-be-my-neighbor/