Friday, November 27, 2009

Jewish Construction Freeze: Peace Move or Appeasement?

From The Ettinger Report #230, 26/11/09, by Yoram Ettinger:

Freeze of Jewish construction in Judea & Samaria is based on a series of erroneous assumptions:

1. A Freeze will not soften – but will intensify - President Obama's criticism of "settlements" in particular and Israeli policy in general. For instance, Prime Minister Netanyahu's June 14, 2009 Two-State-Solution-speech triggered exacerbated pressure by Obama. Moreover, Netanyahu's willingness to exchange hundreds of Palestinian terrorists for Gilad Shalit was followed by US pressure to release more terrorists.

2. A Freeze will not moderate – but will wet the appetite of - the PLO (Abu Mazen) or Hamas (Haniye'); it will radicalize their demands and fuel their terrorism. Former Prime Minister Barak's sweeping concessions, offered to Arafat and Abu Mazen in October 2000, were greeted by the PLO-engineered Second Intifada'. Furthermore, Prime Minister Olmert's unprecedented offer of concessions (including the return of some 1948 refugees) was rebuffed by Abu Mazen.

3. A Freeze re-entrenches the misperception of Jewish presence in Judea & Samaria as a/the obstacle to peace. It diverts attention and resources from the crucial threat to peace: Abu Mazen-engineered hate education - the manufacturing line of terrorists - and Arab rejection of the existence – and not just the size – of the Jewish State.

4. A Freeze and the adherence to Presidential dictate will not transform the White House position on Iran-related matters. Besides, a Freeze and the adherence to Presidential dictate do not constitute a prerequisite to maintaining constructive strategic relations with the USA (e.g. supply of critical military systems and crucial strategic cooperation). In fact, a Freeze and a serial submission to Presidential pressure – just like any other form of retreat - erode Israel's strategic posture in Washington and in the Middle East. Such an attitude ignores the role and power of Congress – especially when it comes to the Jewish State - at the dire expense of Israel's national security.

Is Jewish construction in Judea & Samaria an/the obstacle to peace?

1. In September 2005, Israel uprooted 25 Jewish communities from Gaza and Samaria. Gaza became Judenrein. It paved the road to the meteoric rise of Hamas, and induced more smuggling, manufacturing and launching of missiles at Jewish communities in Southern Israel.

2. President Obama defines Jewish presence in Judea & Samaria as a root cause of Arab hostility toward the Israel. However, Jewish communities were first established in Judea and Samaria after the Six Day War of 1967, the 1956 and 1948 wars, the 1949-1967 campaign of Arab terrorism, the 1964 establishment of the PLO, the 1929 slaughter of the Hebron Jewish community and the 1929 expulsion of the Gaza Jewish community, the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s slaughter of the Jewish community of Gush Etzion, etc.

3. President Obama considers the 300,000 Jews (17%), who reside among Judea and Samaria's 1.5 million Arabs, an obstacle to peace. Why would he, then, view the 1.4 million Arabs (20%), who reside among pre-1967 Israel's 6 million Jews, as an example of peaceful coexistence?!

4. Obama urges the uprooting of Jewish communities from Judea and Samaria, in order to supposedly advance peace and human rights. Would he, therefore, urge the uprooting of Arab communities from pre-1967 Israel?!

5. Since Obama tolerates Arab opposition to Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria would he tolerate Jewish opposition to Arab presence in pre-1967 Israel?! While any attempt by Jews to reside in Palestinian Authority-controlled areas would trigger a lynching attempt, Arabs have peacefully resided within pre-1967 Israel. Doesn't such a reality highlight the nature of Arab intentions and the real obstacle to peace?!

6. Obama pressures Israel to freeze Jewish construction in Judea and Samaria, in order to avoid unilateral creation of facts on the ground. Shouldn't Obama demand a similar freeze of Arab construction in Judea and Samaria, which is 30 times larger than Jewish construction?! Doesn't the absence of a balanced approach, by Obama, prejudge of the outcome of negotiation?!

7. The 1950-67 Jordanian occupation of Judea and Samaria was recognized only by Britain and Pakistan. The most recent internationally-recognized sovereign over Judea and Samaria was the League of Nations-authorized 1922 British Mandate, which defined Judea and Samaria as part of the Jewish National Home, the cradle of Jewish history. Article 6 of the Mandate indicates the right of Jews to settle in Judea and Samaria. Judge Stephen M. Schwebel, former President of the International Court of Justice, determined that Israel's presence in Judea and Samaria was rooted in self-defense and therefore did not constitute "occupation." Eugene Rostow, former Dean of Yale Law School and former Undersecretary of State and co-author of UN Security Council Resolution 242, asserted that 242 entitled Jews to settle in Judea and Samaria. The Oslo Accord and its derivatives do not prohibit "settlements." Moreover, Israel has constrained construction to state-owned – and not private – land, avoiding expulsion of Arabs landowners.

Freeze of Jewish construction in Judea and Samaria is not a peace-enhancer; it is an appeasement-enhancer.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


From JCPA Jerusalem Viewpoints No. 507 21 Heshvan 5764 / 16 November 2003, by Dore Gold and Jeff Helmreich:


[Execuyive Summary only. Follow the link to the full paper.]

A new critique of Israel proposes its elimination and replacement with a bi-national Palestinian-Jewish state. Israel's new detractors doubt the legitimacy of Jewish statehood, though they say nothing about the validity of dozens of new states that have emerged in the last half century, many of which lack any firmly rooted national identity. The new attack on Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state is particularly ironic since Jewish nationhood preceded the emergence of most modern nation-states by thousands of years.

The new critics of Jewish statehood neglect the fact that Israel's communal expression - like that of many communal states around the world - in no way infringes the rights of minority citizens, who enjoy full equality under the law and the political system. They also ignore that this form of national expression is not unique; indeed, most states identify in some formal way with the religious or cultural heritage of their predominant communities. Yet only Israel is singled out for criticism.

Israel is the only state created in the last century whose legitimacy was recognized by both the League of Nations and the United Nations. The League of Nations Mandate did not create the rights of the Jewish people to a national home in Palestine, but rather recognized a pre-existing right - for the links of the Jewish people to their historic land were well-known and accepted by world leaders in the previous century.

By 1864, a clear-cut Jewish majority emerged in Jerusalem - more than half a century before the arrival of the British Empire and the League of Nations Mandate. During the years that the Jewish presence in Eretz Israel was restored, a huge Arab population influx transpired as Arab immigrants sought to take advantage of higher wages and economic opportunities that resulted from Jewish settlement in the land. President Roosevelt concluded in 1939 that "Arab immigration into Palestine since 1921 has vastly exceeded the total Jewish immigration during the whole period."

Israel's new detractors seek to delegitimize Jewish national rights by arguing that their assertion was an extension of European imperialism. In fact, Jewish underground movements waged an anti-colonial war in the 1940s against continuing British rule. Israel was an anti-imperialist force when it first emerged, while the Arab states were aligned with the imperial powers, their armies trained and supplied by the French and British Empires.

There was no active movement to form a unique Palestinian state prior to 1967. In 1956, Ahmad Shuqairy, who would found the PLO eight years later, told the UN Security Council: "it is common knowledge that Palestine is nothing but southern Syria." In the early 1960s, many Palestinians looked to Egypt's Abdul Nasser as their leader as much as to any Palestinian. Given the historical background, it is impossible to argue that the Palestinians have a claim to the Land of Israel superior to that of the Jews, as Israel's detractors contend.

The new assault on Israel is partly based on ignorance of Jewish history in today's highly secularized world. But it also emanates from a new anti-Semitic wave reflected in a public opinion poll by the European Commission showing Israel as the country most regarded by Europeans as a threat to world peace. The president of the European Commission, Roman Prodi - alluding to the anti-Semitic underpinnings that led to the poll's results - said, "to the extent that this may indicate a deeper, more general prejudice against the Jewish world, our repugnance is even more radical."

Monday, November 23, 2009

Israel beefs up its submarine platform for nuclear warheads

From SpaceWars (UPI), Sep 30, 2009:

Israel has taken delivery of two German-made submarines capable of launching missiles with nuclear warheads.

...Called U212s, the submarines were upgraded in Germany by Israeli technicians and engineers in order to enable them to carry nuclear warheads. Initially in 2006, when the sale was confirmed, the German government said the two vessels were not equipped to carry nuclear weapons.

The submarines were ordered in 2005, and delivery was originally scheduled for 2010.

With the latest delivery, Israel now holds five state-of-the-art U212s, designed for a crew of 35 and capable of launching cruise missiles that carry nuclear warheads to a distance of 2,810 miles.

....The first two U212s were donated by Berlin to the government of Israel after the 1991 Gulf War. It split the cost of the third with the Jewish state, offering it at an almost symbolic price, local media reported.

....Israeli media have said that the fleet of five vessels could be key in any decision by Israel to launch an attack on Iranian targets from the sea.

An Israeli submarine recently used the Suez Canal for the first time, anchoring in the Red Sea in a journey that would have normally required the Israeli vessel to travel around the coast of Africa.

Escorted in June by Egyptian navy vessels, the move was intended to send a message to Iran.

The delivery of the submarines follows Tehran's missile tests earlier this week...

Amnesty International Reports (again)


The Israeli occupation changed local agriculture profoundly. It introduced modern technology, including mechanization, precision tillage, pest control, plastic covering of crops for temperature control, high yielding varieties, postharvest processing of produce, marketing and export outlets. It also introduced efficient methods of irrigation, including sprinkler and especially drip irrigation. Consequently, output increased greatly, and farming was transformed from a subsistence enterprise to a commercial industry.
Daniel Hillel, Rivers of Eden, Oxford University Press, 1994

The above excerpt is sufficient to heap richly-deserved ridicule on the recent Amnesty report claiming that Israel's avaricious water policy has gravely compromised Palestinians' human rights. Miraculously, the Amnesty report was published to coincide perfectly with a vicious crusade launched across US campuses by Omar Barghouti, a Tel Aviv University graduate student, campaigning for - among other things - the boycott of Tel Aviv University, together with the entire Israeli academic establishment (avowed leftists and all).

By some curious coincidence, one of the issues raised by Barghouti to justify the BDS (boycott-cum-divestment-cum-sanctions) campaign was Israel's alleged exploitation of water resources to implement a process of "ethnic cleansing" and "apartheid." Predictably - if not persuasively - Amnesty denied any hint of collusion with the Barghouti initiative, emotively entitled "Palestine: Thirsting for Justice."

The facts, however, paint a very different - indeed antithetical - picture to that painted by the A/B (Amnesty/Barghouti) duo. For by every conceivable measure of consumption of fresh water, the lot of the Palestinians has improved dramatically - indeed beyond all recognition - since 1967 under Israeli administration, whether it be overall consumption, per capita consumption, consumption relative to Israel/Israelis, conveyance of running water to households, area under agricultural cultivation or size of the agricultural product.

In the period 1967-2006 the overall annual consumption of the Palestinians in the West Bank grew by 300 percent - from 60 million cubic meters to 180 million cu.m. The annual [Palestinian] per capita consumption in the same period rose by almost 15% - from 86 cu.m. to 100 cu.m. By contrast the overall consumption by Israel dropped by 15% (from 1411 million cu.m. to 1211 million cu.m.), while the [Israeli] per capita consumption plummeted an amazing 300% from 508 cu.m. to 170 cu.m. - a decrease made possible not only by more efficient usage but also massive replacement of fresh water by recycled sewage for agricultural irrigation and of naturally occurring water by artificially produced (desalinated) water for domestic use. The Palestinians, by contrast, have steadfastly refused to undertake agreed upon sewage purification plants, allowing untreated effluents to endanger "downstream" Israeli supplies.

Moreover, from 1967 to the years preceding Oslo, the Palestinian household consumption of water rose dramatically under Israeli rule - by almost 600%, significantly higher than in Israel where domestic consumption in the same period rose by approximately 230%. But not only did consumption by households improve, so did conveyance to households. In 1967 only 50 West Bank villages were connected to a running water system whereas by the early 1990s the number rose to 260.

LIKEWISE, AS can be inferred by the opening citation from Hillel, there was a dramatic enhancement of agricultural performance - even though water allocations were not increased. This was facilitated by more advanced methods of cultivation/irrigation introduced under Israeli rule. (In this regard it should be remembered that Israeli farmers have had their water allocations significantly reduced since 1967.) This resulted in an increase of the cultivated area by about 160% and of the agricultural product by 1200%.

Furthermore, the malicious and mendacious claims that the luscious lawns and shimmering swimming pools in the Jewish settlements are unfairly and provocatively depriving Palestinians of water are belied by a single statistic. For Israel in fact conveys more water from inside the pre-1967 borders into the West Bank (nearly 56 million cu.m.) than the total consumption of the entire Jewish population in the settlements across the Green Line ( just over 48 million cu.m.).

In other words, there is a net inflow of water from pre-1967 Israel to the Palestinians which more than compensates for the sorely-maligned lawns and swimming pools. (In addition, Israel conveys about 5 million cu.m. to Gaza in accordance with the provisions of the Oslo Accords.)

All these facts are studiously omitted from the Amnesty report - and from Barghouti's public appearances.

Indeed it is intriguing to note striking similarities between the language used and the issues raised in the document produced by Amnesty and in the advance fliers publicizing the allegedly unconnected Barghouti appearances. Both, for example, state that Israel is using around 80% of the aquifer leaving the Palestinians "with what is left."

This assertion is factually accurate but meaningless in terms of its significance and misleading in terms of its presentation. For while is indeed true that Israel uses 80% of the waters of the aquifer today, in the pre-occupation times - before 1967 - it utilized 90% of these waters which flow naturally into the Coastal Plain and the Jezreel Valley. In other words, since the advent of occupation, there is actually more water available from the aquifer to the Palestinians - because of more efficient utilization and advances in irrigation techniques, increased use of recycled sewage and desalination by Israel.

Moreover while the A/B claims that per capita consumption of water by Israelis is much higher than that of the Palestinian population are true, this is principally a result of differences in demand (rather than supply) due to differences in lifestyles. Similarly, different rates of consumption occur between the Jewish and Arab populations within pre-1967 Israel - and between different socioeconomic groups within the Jewish population - without anyone raising the claim that this is the result of purposeful deprivation.

WITH REGARD to supply stoppages (which by the way also regularly occur in Arab capitals such as Amman and Damascus), it should be stressed that Israel does not supply final Palestinian consumers. Via its water utility Mekorot, Israel supplies Palestinian providers (such the PA, municipalities and local and private water companies). It is these entities which deliver the water to the final consumers, and it is they who initiate the overwhelming majority of stoppages. Typically these stoppages are due to theft, poor infrastructure maintenance or unpaid bills - a feature which even the Amnesty report is forced to grudgingly acknowledge.
Amnesty/Barghouti present a stream of amazingly similar heart-rending anecdotal evidence - typically presented without any independent corroboration - regarding the desperate distress of individual Palestinians, allegedly the victims of Israel's deliberate policy of deprivation. These, however, are indicative neither of the intentions nor the implications of overall policy. Significantly, an Israel response is seldom presented and when one is, it is laconically dismissed as untruthful by the author(s).

Moreover, even if there is some truth in these scattered accounts of local IDF abuse, they cannot be taken as representative of wider realities which the preceding figures clearly demonstrate. Indeed, little reflection is needed to realize the alleged destruction of individual cisterns and rooftop tanks would be a singularly ineffective method to use water as a depopulating technique when far more pervasive options are available.

In an incredibly mindless statement on its Web site, reflecting either immense ignorance or deliberate disregard of hydrological realities, Amnesty issues a demand which if ever implemented would spell certain doom for the aquifer - for Israelis and Palestinians alike: "Israel must... immediately lift all the restrictions it imposes on Palestinians' access to water..."
One can hardly wait for the next Amnesty report on inequitable use of shared water resources and for it to direct the same demands at, say, Egypt, whose coercive policy preventing making any upstream riparian use of the Nile flowing through their sovereign territory is causing widespread famine and starvation. This is especially acute in Ethiopia - which contributes most of the water to the Nile compared to Egypt's zero contribution.

One assumes that such a report must already be under preparation, for one can hardly believe that Amnesty would be guilty of applying a double standard to Israel, could one?

*The writer is academic director of the Jerusalem Summit and lectures in security studies at Tel Aviv University. He is also an Israeli Schusterman scholar at the University of Southern California and Hebrew Union College in Los Angeles.
This article can also be read at

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Muslims burn Christian shops

From AFP, 22/11/09:

CAIRO — Hundreds of Muslim protesters on Saturday burnt Christian-owned shops in southern Egypt and attacked a police station where they believed a Christian accused of raping a Muslim girl was being held, a police official said.

...The protesters hurled stones at the police station after they heard that a Coptic Christian man accused of kidnapping and sexually assaulting a 12-year-old Muslim was being held there...

...Roughly ten percent of Egypt's 80-million-strong population are Coptic Christians, who complain of discrimination and are sometimes the target of sectarian attacks.

US Org. Hosts Cancer Conference in Egypt. Israelis not Welcome

From, 20 October, by Maayana Miskin:

A United States-based organization's conference on breast cancer awareness, to be hosted in Egypt, has been touted by international news networks as an example of “unprecedented cooperation” in the region. However ... Israeli doctors were told at the last minute that their invitations to participate had been rescinded.

The conference will be held in Alexandria, Egypt this week, under the auspices of the American group Susan G. Komen for the Cure – the world's largest breast cancer advocacy organization. It is to include meetings between leading researchers from the U.S. and several Mideast countries.

Israeli doctors were invited to the event as well, and several had planned to attend. However, on Sunday night, the doctors received brief notices telling them that they were no longer invited to the conference, by order of Egyptian Health Minister Hatem el-Gabali.

The notices did not include an explanation of Gabali's decision.

Despite the cancellation of the Israeli presence at the event, Egyptian officials continued to praise the event as an example of regional cooperation. “The week's events are a demonstration of the cooperation between countries, governments, civil society, advocates, survivors, and the global community as a whole,” Dr. Mohammed Shaalan of Egypt's Breast Cancer Foundation told Reuters on Monday...

Irredentism and "the Auschwitz lines."

From THE JERUSALEM POST Nov. 19, 2009, by Sarah Honig:

....What peace process? ...It's a sham. There never was any process to achieve real coexistence, only a pretext to weaken Israel. Some 'useful-fool' Israelis play along for political expedience and others are intimidated to adopt the agenda.... intermediaries and less-than-honest brokers fan the flames. The greater the overseas intervention, the deeper the impasse. Israelis and Palestinians had met regularly, on a weekly basis, to chew the fat pre-Obama. Miraculously the settlements were no "obstacle to dialogue."

After Obama reinvented the wheel, the settlements became a bête noire and all contacts were discontinued. Palestinians are nobody's fools. If Obama promises to be a "friendly facilitator," responsive to their aspirations, why should they compromise, especially when they expect Israel to be coerced into more and more concessions and demonized to boot? They need only wait patiently.

They anyhow never sought accommodation. Their aim is to undo Israel's Six Day War victory and cram Israel back behind the untenable Green Line.

Ironically, however, after 1949 the Arabs spent nearly two decades in relentless efforts to violently erase said Green Line, without mention of a Palestinian state. That triggered the 1967 war, which created new territorial facts - worse for the Arabs from their perspective. Thus arose their now-intense nostalgia for the Green Line they once abhorred with such bloody vengeance.
The Green Line, a.k.a. the 1949 armistice line, was created because the Arabs adamantly and aggressively sought to obliterate the previous line they rejected - the 1947 partition line that gave Jews a precarious, crazy-quilt of a ministate. The Arabs attacked tiny newborn, ill-armed Israel with the object of shoving its Jews beyond the shoreline, into the waters of the bottomless blue sea.

When, against the odds, Israel's Jews managed to survive and push the invaders past the 1947 line to the quasi-more-defensible 1949 Green Line, the Arabs developed an insatiable hankering for the just-lost 1947 line. It was suddenly regarded as embodying the epitome of international legality, just as the later-rejected 1949 line would gain unimaginable legitimacy.

The Arabs always evince uncanny fondness for the lines their belligerence just rubbed out. The trouble is that they succeed to brazenly market their fantastic fabrications to an international community all-too-eager to be duped.

But the Arabs aren't after a mere time warp to blissful 1949. That was precisely what both Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert offered them, only to be rudely rebuffed. Nevertheless, Palestinians incredibly manage to continue posing as the aggrieved underdogs seeking restoration of the status quo ante. They could've had it all, were they willing to only pro forma relinquish their goal of eventually eliminating the Jewish state. But the ultimate objective of their piecemeal strategy isn't discussed, just the two-state recipe for the return of "usurped land."

THIS ISN'T an Arab innovation. Historians label it irredentism. It originated with the 19th-century Italian national movement for the annexation of territories then under Austrian rule - Italia Irredenta (unredeemed Italy). The term is since applied by extension to unsavory nationalist agitation whereby one country claims stretches of another's territory as property belonging to it.

Hitler insisted that Czechoslovakia's Sudetenland was Germania Irredenta - his "last demand in Europe." The border region's German inhabitants, he persuaded a world all-too-eager to be duped, deserve self-rule. Germans cannot live as a minority anywhere (just as Arabs can't).

Hitler's next move was to portray Sudeten Germans as oppressed. He staged a circus of provocation charging the "perfidious Czechs" with terrorizing Sudeten women and children and murdering innocent villagers. Sounds familiar? Just substitute Arabs for Germans, Israelis for Czechs and Palestinians for Sudetens.

Six months after appeasing democracies let Germany have the Sudetenland, Hitler took all of Czechoslovakia. His "last demand" wasn't final after all. "I saw our enemies in Munich," he later recalled his 1938 powwow with Neville Chamberlain, "they are little worms."

Israel's cardinal sin is refusing to surrender without a shot like Czechoslovakia. But retreating to the Green Line would be akin to ceding Sudetenland. Czechoslovakia, though, only yielded when overwhelmed by superior forces. Israel faces no military defeat. Some of its politicos merely lost the will to win.

In 1945, after 350,000 Czechoslovak casualties, the Czechs expelled millions of indigenous Germans from the liberated Sudetenland. The UN doesn't deem it occupied territory. It doesn't confer perpetual refugee status on the transferred Germans. Rightly, they're regarded as having brought their comeuppance on themselves. They had it coming. Aggressors should pay for their crimes, and must expect no restitution, much less reward for their hostility. The world pretty much agreed on that in Germany's case.

...Israelis need to remember that many meddlers and/or professed do-gooders only reluctantly tolerate Israel, want it cut down to size and squeezed back into what dovish Abba Eban dubbed "the Auschwitz lines." ....