Saturday, June 10, 2006

Stop the brainwashing

From JPost, Jun. 8, 2006, by SAUL SINGER ( ) [our own emphasis added]....

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas's idea of bringing the "prisoners' document" to his people through a referendum is being welcomed as a bold and clever move....

The document was hammered out by prominent Fatah and Hamas terrorists in an Israeli prison. Though billed as Abbas's way of forcing Hamas to recognize Israel, anyone who reads the text can see that it does not fulfill any of the Quartet's three requirements: recognizing Israel, reaffirming previous agreements, and rejecting terrorism.

The prisoners' document calls for the creation of a Palestinian state in all the remaining territory Israel took control of in 1967 - without saying anything about recognizing Israel, or even accepting the Oslo Accords. It also repeatedly reaffirms the Palestinian "right of return," which completely contradicts the two-state solution. Finally, far from renouncing terrorism, the document calls for the creation of a new organization to coordinate "resistance" against Israelis located outside the 1967 lines.

So how exactly would a vote on this document force Hamas to accept Israel? It would not. All it would do is bring Hamas to where the PLO was in 1974, when it issued the infamous "phased plan" for Israel's destruction whereby Palestinians would establish a state in the West Bank and Gaza as a platform from which to continue the "struggle" against Israel.

The sad truth is that, in Palestinian terms, this is considered progress. But "progress" can be a setback if it locks in a stalemate. If the Palestinians really want to divert Israel from its current track of unilateralism, the only way is to mimic the incredible transformation Israelis have wrought in their attitude toward a two-state solution.

PEOPLE TEND to forget where Israelis were in 1993, just before the Oslo Accords burst onto the scene. The consensus was that creating a Palestinian state would be tantamount to national suicide. Just a few years before, in 1988, departing secretary of state George Shultz reflected this attitude when he claimed a Palestinian state was inconceivable.

Since then our consensus has flipped. Opposition to Palestinian statehood has shrunk to a fraction of the Knesset and the public. Former right-winger Ariel Sharon and his successor, Ehud Olmert, have not only endorsed a Palestinian state but adopted the Left's notion that creating one is necessary to keep Israel Jewish and democratic. "Disengagement" and "convergence" are essentially a method of forcing the creation of a Palestinian state over Palestinian opposition.

The ongoing terrorist offensive that began in September 2000 was launched to consecrate Yasser Arafat's rejection of the state offered him by Israel at the Camp David summit that summer. His rejection was not based on territory, since Israel offered an almost total withdrawal and would likely have agreed to a land swap to compensate for small settlement-bloc carveouts.

The Palestinians did not fight a war over a five-percent territorial dispute; they fought because they were unwilling to give up the "right of return," truly and finally accepting Israel's right to exist.

Israel not only accepts, but desires a Palestinian state. The only real obstacle to creating one is the Palestinians' idea of destroying Israel demographically through the "right of return."

FROM THE beginning, a two-state solution had two fundamental and parallel requirements: Israeli acceptance of a Palestinian state, and Palestinian abandonment of a "right of return" to Israel, not just to what would become Palestine.

Since 1993, Israelis have fulfilled their part of the bargain to an almost unbelievable degree. Yitzhak Rabin lost his life in this tortuous process; our political system has turned upside down. During this same period Palestinian leaders have not even begun to prepare their public for "painful concessions." In fact, the "prisoners' document" continues the trend by emotively reaffirming the "right of return" no less than seven times.

If Mahmoud Abbas wanted to break this cycle, he could have called for a referendum on a very different document, the statement of principles drafted by former Shin Bet chief Ami Ayalon and Al Quds University president Sari Nusseibeh (see This statement, to date signed by over 260,000 Israelis and 160,000 Palestinians, declares: "Palestinian refugees will return only to the State of Palestine; Jews will return only to the State of Israel."

Imagine if Abbas had the courage to put this proposition up for a referendum, thereby launching a true debate among Palestinians over whether to accept a state and make peace with Israel. That debate would be bitter and perhaps violent, but I believe Abbas would win. If he did, Israeli unilateralism would lose its rationale and final-status talks could quickly begin.

But let's say that such a scenario is unrealistic since it would involve an overnight leap away from decades of brainwashing over the sacredness of the "right of return." Even so, that is no excuse for Abbas, let alone Hamas, refusing to even begin to convince Palestinians that they cannot have peace without dropping a demand inconsistent with Israel's right to exist.

Nor is the international community making this prospect any easier. While Israel's reversal came after massive international pressure to accept a Palestinian state, Europe and even the US are not openly urging Palestinians to drop the notion of a "right of return" to Israel. Even George Bush's pre-disengagement letter to Sharon, which hints at support for Israel's position, only does so in the context of final-status talks.
Why should Abbas make pre-final status concessions on the "right of return" if even the US is not saying unequivocally that this demand conflicts with Israel's right to exist, the two-state solution, and peace?

The hope for peace will dawn when Palestinian brainwashing stops, and its effects are painstakingly reversed. The greatest thing the international community could do to advance peace would be to encourage this critical Palestinian process by openly expressing the expectation that its leaders embark upon it.

Friday, June 09, 2006

IAF strike kills top PA official

From Ynet News, 9/6/06, by Ali Waked ...

Israeli aerial attack on Popular Resistance Committees training camp kills group’s leader and PA Interior Ministry chief Jamal Abu Samhadana; total of four Palestinians dead, seven wounded in strike; Abu Samhadana was on Israel's wanted list since first intifada

The [Israeli] Air Force has killed the Palestinian Authority's Interior Ministry General Supervisor, Jamal Abu Samhadana, who ruled over one of the most powerful terrorist organizations in Gaza. At least three other people were killed and seven others were wounded in the attack. Abu Samhadana was considered to be one of the most wanted individuals by Israel.

...At around 11:30 p.m. an Air Force craft attacked a training camp of the Salah al-Din Brigades, the military wing of the Popular Resistance Committee, in the Rafah area....the camp was at the time being used to train terrorists for a wide-scale attack, including training to cross the electronic border fence, the placing of explosives, and an attempt to attack one of the Israeli communities near Gaza...

'This crime will not pass without a response'
Palestinian Information Minister Yusef al-Rizka told the al-Jazeera Arab news network after the attack that "(Defense Minister) Amir Peretz is proving that he is a criminal no less than (Shaul) Mofaz."

"This Israeli crime is a result of the silence and the European and American approval for the enemy to continue his aggression against the Palestinian people. This, alongside the siege they are holding against the Palestinian people," said al-Rizka.

Senior Islamic Jihad leader Khaled al-Batsh said in response to the killing that “this crime will not pass without a response from the Palestinian resistance organizations.” ...

'There will be no immunity for any terrorist'
Abu Samhadana's organization carried out a large number of attacks against IDF soldiers and settlers in Gaza. Among others, members of the organization killed soldiers by blowing up a Merkava tank, and in another attack, soldiers were killed in an armored vehicle.

The organization also took part in attacks through tunnels packed with explosives.

Members of the organization are thought to be the main suspects by Israel and the Americans in the murder of US security personnel during a bombing of their convoy at the Erez crossing.

Members of the Committee openly took part in the elections alongside Hamas members.

Peretz said Thursday afternoon that "there will be no immunity for any terrorist from any organization." Peretz heard from defense sources that once again, Hamas members were involved in Qassam rocket attacks on Israel on Thursday, and ordered for specific activities to continue.

Hanan Greenberg contributed to this story

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Zarqawi killed

From Debkafile, June 8, 2006, 11:12 AM (GMT+02:00) ...

Iraq’s most wanted man, al Qaeda chief Abu Musab al Zarqawi, was killed in a safe house 8km north of Baquba, along with seven aides. One senior aide was captured.

The tip-off from Iraqi sources led to an air strike by US forces, US commander Gen. George Casey confirmed after the announcement by Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki.

The most wanted man in Iraq with a $25m US bounty on his head, he was personally responsible for the most barbarous terrorist attacks, including beheadings, massacres of civilians, suicide attacks and an all-out war on Shiites which touched of sectarian warfare in Iraq.
US Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad congratulated US commander Gen. George Casey and the forces which carried out the operation against the “godfather of sectarian killing in Iraq.” His death does not end the violence in Iraq but is a step in the right direction and a good omen for the new government and the global war on terror.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Top Disengagement Strategist: Convergence Won´t Bring Stability

From Arutz Sheva, 13:46 Jun 04, '06 / 8 Sivan 5766, by Hillel Fendel ...

The outgoing head of the National Security Council, Gen. Giora Eiland, officially parted from the Cabinet today, leaving sharp criticism of PM Olmert's withdrawal plan in his wake. Speaking with journalist Ari Shavit of Haaretz this weekend, Eiland - responsible for drawing up the logistical plans for Ariel Sharon's disengagement from Gaza - said Israel missed a "historic opportunity" to receive something in return for quitting Gaza. Neither does he think the latest plan, to withdraw unilaterally from most of Judea and Samaria, will succeed.

Eiland is of the opinion that a future unilateral withdrawal from Yesha (Judea and Samaria) would lead to a situation he rejects: the traditional two-state solution. Eiland told Shavit that Israel could have demanded a totally new type of solution, but did not take advantage of the situation, and instead, the Disengagement "contributed nothing to the solution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict." "The move along a unilateral path," Eiland said, "leads us to the classic solution of two states for two peoples, and I think this is an impossible solution [because it makes] two assumptions: that it is possible to solve the conflict in the area between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River, and that the reference for a border between the two states is the 1967 lines with minor changes. I reject these two assumptions. I think that between the sea and the river there is not enough area to contain two states, and I think that in order to maintain a defensible border, Israel needs at least 12 percent of the West Bank... [In addition], even a Palestinian state with 100 percent of the Gaza Strip and 97 percent of the West Bank is not viable. Such a country will be poor, radical, restive, where the demographic pressures will be unbearable. In 2020 there will be 2.5 million people in the Gaza Strip, in area of 365 square kilometers. This will inevitably lead to pressure against the fences."

Asked for his alternative proposal, Eiland showed great imagination, partially adopting MK Benny Elon's 'Jordan is Palestine' plan. His idea involves annexing 600 square kilometers of Judea and Samaria to Israel, taking parts of the Sinai (600 square kilometers, about 1%) and Jordan (100 square kilometers) for the benefit of a future Palestinian state, and giving Egypt 150 square kilometers of the southern Negev. Eiland's position against the classic two-state solution is not new. Already in February of this year, speaking at the Herzliya Conference, he said, "It is not certain that 'two states for two nations' is a stable solution for this dispute."

...Olmert's convergence plan will "not bring stability," Eiland says, and "will not solve the conflict. But it will encourage Hamas to keep the calm... There will be a situation of two states without an agreement. The Palestinian state will be a radical Hamas state, not satisfied and not viable. There will be continuous instability." Eiland headed the National Security Council for 2.5 years; the average term in this position has been about a year. He will be succeeded in several weeks by former Mossad Deputy Head Ilan Mizrachi, who left the Mossad for the private business sector in 2003 when Ariel Sharon did not choose him to head the organization. Mizrachi is considered to be an expert in Islamic and Arab affairs.

Palestinian support 'crashes' in Europe

From JPost, 4/6/06, by DAVID HOROVITZ ...

New public opinion surveys conducted among "opinion elites" in Europe show that support for the Palestinians has fallen precipitously, according to a leading international pollster, Stan Greenberg, who has been briefing Israeli leaders on his findings in the past few days. There has not necessarily been "a rush to Israel" but there has been a "crash" in backing for the Palestinians, he noted.

Greenberg, a key pollster for president Clinton who also worked with former Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak, conducted the surveys for the Israel Project, a US-based non-profit organization devoted to educating the press and the public about Israel.

Greenberg told The Jerusalem Post that the shifts in attitudes reflected in the surveys were so dramatic that he "redid" some of the polls to ensure there had been no error.

He singled out France as the country where attitudes had changed most dramatically.... support for the Palestinians had dropped by half among those who did express a preference.

...At the root of the change, said Greenberg, was a fundamental remaking in Europe of the "framework" through which the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is viewed. Three years ago, he said, the conflict was perceived "in a post-colonial framework."

...Today, by contrast, the Europeans "are focused on fundamentalist Islam and its impact on them," he said. The Europeans were now asking themselves "who is the moderate in this conflict, and who is the extremist? And suddenly it is the Palestinians who may be the extremists, or who are allied with extremists who threaten Europe's own society."

An increasing proportion of Europeans are concluding that "maybe the Palestinians are not the colonialist victims" after all.

...An opinion poll for the Israel Project among "opinion elites" in the US released last month found that 80% believed that US should not fund the Palestinian Authority until its Hamas-led government renounced violence, recognized Israel and ended terrorism, 93% said Palestinian leaders must end the culture of hate that encourages children to become suicide bombers and 78% had a favorable view of Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's "realignment" plan. Asked if they considered themselves supporters of Israel or supporters of the Palestinians, 58% in that survey said they backed Israel, while 10% said they supported the Palestinians. Another 33% said they supported neither side, were undecided or didn't know.