Saturday, January 11, 2014

‘Kerry Is Just Not in Touch with Reality’

From National Review Online, 9 Jan 2014, by Daniel Pipes:

Despite all that’s going on in the Middle East — the Iranian nuclear buildup, the violence in Iraq, the shaking of Erdogan’s rule in Turkey, civil war in Syria, Egypt and Yemen in melt-down mode, Libya unraveling, Tunisia in political crisis — U.S. secretary of state John Kerry has one main thing on his mind, and that’s a Palestinian-Israeli accord. Unbelievably, he is paying a twelfth visit to the region on January 13 to pursue this goal.
As he returns and returns again, senior Israeli diplomatic officials are showing impatience with him. Here are quotes from some, speaking off the record and very candidly to Israel Hayom. First, about process:
“We believe that in return for Israel’s request to extend negotiations by a year, Abu Mazen [Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas] will ask more of Israel, such as a [settlement construction] freeze or another prisoner release, and these demands will be backed by Kerry and turned into an American demand, accompanied by a threat. This, while the Arabs have never given anything in return, from the Oslo negotiations until today.
“The negotiations are currently being carried out without papers or documents passing between the sides. This is because the Arabs are refusing to present written documents. The Americans are coming with prepared proposals, they read them and do not leave documents with either side. It is all done verbally. The Netanyahu government is cooperating with Kerry’s initiative with the clear knowledge that the Arab side will not accept the agreement and ultimately [Israel] will not be required to make concessions or evacuate settlements.”
“Israel is forced to cooperate with the American plan, mainly out of concern that if we reject it, the U.S. will blame Israel for the failure of the negotiations.” 

Then, more revealingly, about Kerry himself and his team:
“The conduct of the U.S. secretary of state is obsessive. There are those who say that more than wanting to advance peace, he wants to take advantage of the conflict for his political needs. According to this line of thought, Kerry seems to think his path to the White House is via the signing of a Middle East peace agreement.”
“Kerry, U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro and U.S. Special Envoy Martin Indyk are wandering around the country, meeting ministers, briefing journalists and creating a feeling that a peace agreement is about to be signed.Kerry’s security plan for the Jordan Valley is “ridiculous and unable to withstand the test of reality.”
“Kerry visits here a lot, but he does not display any understanding of what is happening here. The U.S. plans are superficial and not serious. There is no connection between what is said in public about the progress of the negotiations and what is actually happening. It seems that Kerry is just not in touch with reality. He is not an expert, to say the least, on the roots of the conflict, he does not know how to create real solutions and does not even demonstrate proficiency in reading maps that are presented to him.”

Comments: (1) Kerry has long had a reputation for trying to bend reality to fit his own thinking. This diplomatic effort would seem to be his most ambitious — and harmful – such indulgence to date. (2) The American administration obsesses over the Palestinians because it, bizarrely, sees this as the key to the region’s other problems

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

PA policy: eliminate Israel in stages

Abbas Zaki, close associate of Mahmoud Abbas, says a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders is only first stage in the PA's program because "the inspiring idea cannot be achieved all at once. [Rather] in stages"

Senior Palestinian official Abbas Zaki posted on his Facebook page an interview he gave to Syrian TV in which he said the PA will only agree to a treaty with Israel if the Palestinian state is established on the 1967 lines. However, he stressed that '67 lines would only be the beginning. After that, the Palestinians will continue with the stages plan:
"Even the most extreme among us, Hamas, or the fighting forces, want a state within the '67 borders. Afterward, we [will] have something to say, because the inspiring idea cannot be achieved all at once. [Rather] in stages."
Click to view

In an interview on Al-Jazeera TV in 2011, Zaki also mentioned this PA stages plan and referred to "the inspiring idea," explaining that it means the end of Israel. He said that Mahmoud Abbas shares the goal of eliminating Israel in stages, but that the PA says it only wants a state along the 1967 borders because it is unacceptable politically to say you want to destroy Israel:
"You can't say it to the world. You can say it to yourself."
Zaki stressed that the goal is clear-cut because if Israel were to return to the 1967 lines, it certainly could not survive:
 "Israel will come to an end."

This is Zaki's full statement from 2011:
"The agreement is based on the borders of June 4 [1967]. While the agreement is on the borders of June 4, the President [Mahmoud Abbas] understands, we understand, and everyone knows that it is impossible to realize the inspiring idea, or the great goal in one stroke. If Israel withdraws from Jerusalem, if Israel uproots the settlements, 650,000 settlers, if Israel removes the (security) fence - what will be with Israel? Israel will come to an end. If I say that I want to remove it from existence, this will be great, great, [but] it is hard. This is not a [stated] policy. You can't say it to the world. You can say it to yourself."
[Official PA TV, Sept. 23, 2011]
Expressing his refusal to recognize Israel earlier this year during a public lecture, Abbas Zaki started to refer to Israel's Ben Gurion Airport as "Israel's Airport," but then stopped himself and corrected himself:
"When Mr. Obama came to the region during his visit, as soon as he arrived at the airport of Isra... [corrects himself], I mean, the airport where the Israelis are. I don't want... [corrects himself] this whole country is ours, and Allah willing, the airport will also return to us."
[Official PA TV, April 8, 2013]
Zaki sitting in place of honor one seat from M. Abbas at Fatah event in 2011.

These statements coming from Abbas Zaki are significant because he is a senior Palestinian official and a very close associate of Mahmoud Abbas. He was sent to Syria as Mahmoud Abbas' personal representative a few months ago and has spoken at public events representing Fatah.

Another important statement reiterating that the PA is employing a stages plan to
defeat Israel was expressed recently by PA Minister of Religious Affairs Mahmoud Al-Habbash in a Friday sermon in the presence of Mahmoud Abbas. Al-Habbash, speaking after the current round of peace talks was announced, said that the PA's negotiations with Israel are modeled after the Hudaybiyyah agreement between Islam's Prophet Muhammad and the tribes of Mecca. Recounting that Muhammad signed a 10-year truce, and yet two years later conquered Mecca, the minister stated: "This is the example and this is the model."

Official PA children's TV also teaches children to aspire to Israel's destruction. Earlier this year the PA TV host told children:
PA TV host: "And of course we will never forget that we have land that was occupied in 1948, which will return to us one day. Remember well, children. Also [remember] to safeguard our folklore, our national games, the folklore in all its forms, our dress and our food and our games and anything that forms the Palestinian folklore - we have to safeguard it. If we don't safeguard it, then the occupation might steal it as well, as it stole our land. Right? Do you agree with me? Bravo!"
[Official PA TV, Feb. 23, 2013]
Bringing up children to see all of Israel as "occupied" territory and as "stolen Palestinian land" that will "return" at some future time are significant components of Palestinian Authority ideology that are never expressed to Western leaders or Israelis, and are denied during peace discussions. Zaki's description of the peace process as intended to lead to Israel's destruction is consistent with these messages to PA children and many other internal messages the PA leadership sends to its population.

See more documentation here.
To read a detailed analysis of the PA's continuing and ongoing deception and violations of its international commitments see PMW's book, Deception which documents that the PA policy of saying it wants peace in English is contradicted by its internal political, social and cultural activities, its leaders' statements and its education of youth in Arabic. Click to see reviews or to purchase Deception.

The following is an excerpt from Abbas Zaki's recent interview:
Syrian TV host: "When they talk about [the US] imposing a solution, we know that it will be deficient." 
Member of Fatah Central Committee Abbas Zaki: "You can relax. We find ourselves united for the first time. Even the most extreme among us, Hamas, or the fighting forces, want a state within the '67 borders. Afterward, we [will] have something to say, because the inspiring idea cannot be achieved all at once. [Rather] in stages."
[Official Syrian Satellite TV Channel, Dec. 23, 2013]
The following is a longer excerpt of the sermon delivered by PA Minister of Religious Affairs Mahmoud Al-Habbash comparing negotiations with Israel to Muhammad's Treaty of Hudaybiyyah:
"We hate war. We don't want war. We don't want bloodshed, not for ourselves, nor for others. We want peace. We say this because our culture is founded on this, and because our religion is based on this. Yes, we want peace, but not any peace. We want a peace based on justice, therefore the Palestinian leadership and the PLO have not missed any opportunity for peace...
The Palestinian leadership's sense of responsibility towards its nation made it take political steps about 20 years ago (i.e., signing the Oslo Accords). Despite the controversy, despite much criticism and much opposition by some, it brought us to where we are today: We have a [Palestinian] Authority and the world recognizes the [Palestinian] state.
All this never would have happened through Hamas' impulsive adventure, but only through the wisdom of the leadership, conscious action, consideration, and walking the right path, which leads to achievement, exactly like the Prophet [Muhammad] did in the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah, even though some opposed it...
The hearts of the Prophet's companions burned with anger and fury. The Prophet said: 'I'm the Messenger of Allah and I will not disobey Him.' This is not disobedience, it is politics. This is crisis management, situation management, conflict management...
Allah called this treaty a clear victory...
Omar ibn Al-Khattab said: 'Messenger of Allah, is this a victory? Is this logical? Is this victory? We are giving up and going back, and not entering Mecca. Is that a victory?' The Prophet said: 'Yes, it is a victory.'
In less than two years, the Prophet returned and based on this treaty, he conquered Mecca. This is the example, this is the model."
[Official Palestinian Authority TV, July 19, 2013

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Security is a key issue in Israel-PA Negotiations

Former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, like the authors of UN Security Council Resolution 242 - still the foundation stone of Israeli-Arab peace negotiations - recognized that Israel's pre-1967 armistice lines left the nation too vulnerable to future aggression. He insisted Israel must hold onto a significant portion of the West Bank to block traditional invasion routes and to protect both Jerusalem and the low-lying coastal plain, home to some 70% of the nation's population.
     In his last speech in the Knesset before his assassination, Rabin declared: 
"The borders of the State of Israel, during the permanent solution, will be beyond the lines which existed before the Six-Day War. We will not return to the 4 June 1967 lines. And these are the main changes, not all of them, which we envision and want in the permanent solution: A. First and foremost, united Jerusalem, which will include both Ma'ale Adumim and Givat Ze'ev - as the capital of Israel, under Israeli sovereignty, while preserving the rights of the members of the other faiths, Christianity and Islam, to freedom of access and freedom of worship in their holy places, according to the customs of their faiths
B. The security border of the State of Israel will be located in the Jordan Valley, in the broadest meaning of that term.
C. Changes which will include the addition of Gush Etzion, Efrat, Beitar and other communities, most of which are in the area east of what was the "Green Line," prior to the Six-Day War.
D. The establishment of blocs of settlements in Judea and Samaria [the West Bank]."
Nothing has changed in the last 18 years that would diminish Israel's need to retain the areas referred to by Rabin. The topography of the region has not changed, and the nations around Israel have not become more peaceful or more reconciled to Israel's existence. Prime Minister Netanyahu's vision of defensible borders for Israel essentially conforms to the parameters laid out by Rabin.

From Times of Israel, by Avi Issacharoff:
The fate of the Jordan Valley, and the wider issue of security arrangements, are emerging as a major obstacle in the path of the indefatigable Secretary of State John Kerry's peace efforts. Gen. John Allen's painstakingly drafted security proposals have not produced a breakthrough. Both sides are insisting on keeping the Jordan Valley.
    In 2007, the IDF's Planning Directorate drew up Israel's security overview ahead of a peace treaty with the Palestinians that specified the need for an ongoing IDF presence in the Jordan Valley for a lengthy but undefined period. On the basis of that overview, then-Defense Minister Ehud Barak drew up a document, which became known as the "Eight Points," which he discussed with President Bush when he visited in January 2008. Barak stressed to Bush the imperative for IDF troops to remain in the Jordan Valley for the long term - a generation, according to some Israeli sources - to ensure no influx of terrorists or weaponry.
    In taking this position, Barak was merely reiterating the stance that had prevailed since the Yitzhak Rabin era in the early 1990s. And it holds today: 
A senior Israeli official said this week that if there is no Israeli presence in the Jordan Valley, "there will be rivers of blood."  

    The PA is not interested in peace

    From YNet, 3 Jan 2014, by Guy Bechor:

    Israeli-Arab conflict can't be solved with the PA, but with Jordan
    Famous British diplomat and author Harold Nicolson (1886-1968) believed there were two types of negotiators: Warriors and shopkeepers. Warriors use negotiations to improve their position ahead of the next stage of the conflict, while shopkeepers try to reach an agreement which will satisfy everyone. Warriors are here to take, shopkeepers – to give. Warriors see an agreement as a temporary stage, shopkeepers hope to end the conflict through it.

    The Palestinian Authority ... is [only] interested in going back in time.. expelling 700,000 Jews from Judea and Samaria and replacing them with one or two million Palestinians from Syria, Lebanon and the Arab world. These will be the most dangerous Salafis in the region. 

    Israel wants to end the conflict, but the PA wants to strengthen itself in order to intensify the conflict. Its goal is to go on with the plan to destroy Israel in stages

    ...Those who understand that these are two forces with opposite intentions and a different language, understand that there is nothing to talk about with what is called "the Palestinian Authority."

    This means that in a while we will see the failure of what has been called "negotiations" with that PA, which are entirely based on American naivety in the best-case scenario. A mediator who fails to understand that he is facing warriors against shopkeepers will find it difficult to understand the conflic...

    It's time, therefore, to prepare and come up with a Plan B, after realizing Plan A is impossible...

    Just like Egypt was forced to return to the Gaza Strip and to its affairs, the same is expected to happen with Jordan...

    ...It was Churchill who disconnected it from the western Land of Israel as "the Arab state" ... 

    After all, the West Bank was part of the Jordanian kingdom in 1967 in the full sense of the word. Jordan completely annexed it, and granted its residents full citizenship. On July 31, 1988, Jordanian King Hussein revoked the full Jordanian citizenship given to the Arab residents of Judea and Samaria and east Jerusalem as part of what he referred to as a "withdrawal." But who revokes his residents' citizenship just like that...?
    • The Arab residents of Judea and Samaria will get their Jordanian citizenship back 
    • Jordan will oversee the civil life in Area A
    • The IDF will remain militarily in charge of all Judea and Samaria territories, in coordination with the Jordanians, with whom we have a peace agreement 
    • all the settlements will naturally stay put
    • The Arabs in Judea and Samaria will vote for the Jordanian parliament, and their passports will be Jordanian
    • The Jerusalem issue will also be solved quickly, as Israel is committed in the peace treaty with Jordan to giving the kingdom a "special status" in Jerusalem's holy sites
    • Israel will be interested in this arrangement
    • The Palestinians will be happy, as they are being given a desired citizenship, second in its prestige to the Israeli one, and 
    • Jordan will be satisfied too. A Palestinian state, which within a short while will be filled with Salafis and al-Qaeda operatives, is a strategic threat to its security. 
    • The only one which won't be satisfied is the Palestinian Authority, which was invented out of nothing in Oslo...
    Jordanian spokespeople ... know that a Palestinian solution is bad news for everyone, even for the Arabs living in Judea and Samaria...

    PLO demands Israel's suicide

    From JPost, 3 Jan 2014, by Khaled Abu Toameh:

    PLO dismisses idea of land swap, calls for full Israel withdrawal to pre-1967 lines.

    PLO Exec Ctee SecGen Abed Rabbo
    PLO Exec Committee Secretary Geneneral, Abed Rabbo 
    Photo: Mohamad Torokman/Reuters

    ...PLO Secretary-General Yasser Abed Rabbo said that the Palestinians have already spent the past few months negotiating with Israel, and there’s no need to start new talks about the implementation of a new framework agreement.
    Abed Rabbo said that Kerry was now asking the Palestinians to agree to negotiations with Israel over a new accord, which, he claimed, gives the Israelis control over the Jordan Valley and restricts Palestinian sovereignty over Palestinian territories.
    Abed Rabbo said that the only way to achieve a breakthrough is by drawing full borders between a Palestinian state and Israel, on the basis of the pre-1967 lines – including east Jerusalem.
    He also called for a timetable for a full Israeli withdrawal to the pre-1967 lines.
    The PLO official dismissed the idea of a land swap that would place Israeli Arabs in the Triangle area under the jurisdiction of a Palestinian state in return for annexing settlements to Israel.
    “The settlers are the ones who should get out of the Palestinian territories, because they are violating international law,” he said.
    “No Palestinian state will be created without Jerusalem and the Jordan Valley.”
    Palestinian sources revealed Thursday that Kerry would present the Israelis and Palestinians with a “blueprint” for a declaration of principles.
    The sources said that the “blueprint” calls for an extension of the peace talks beyond the nine-month deadline set by Kerry and that expires in April 2014.
    The sources told the Palestinian daily Al-Quds that the “most dangerous” part of the “blueprint” is Israel’s demand that the Palestinians recognize it as a Jewish state.
    According to the sources, Kerry is expected to return to the region once again next week to pursue his efforts to convince the Palestinians and Israelis to move forward with the talks.

    It's the incitement, stupid....

    From The PM's Office, 02/01/2014:

    Photo by GPO  Click Here to Enlarge Picture

    Prime Minister Netanyahu:Welcome back to Jerusalem, John.

    ...I know that you are committed to peace; 
    I know that I am committed to peace; 
    but, unfortunately, given the actions and words of Palestinian leaders, there’s growing doubt in Israel that the Palestinians are committed to peace.

    A few days ago in Ramallah, President Abbas embraced terrorists as heroes. To glorify the murders of innocent women and men as heroes is an outrage. How can President Abbas say that he stands against terrorism when he embraces the perpetrators of terrorism and glorifies them as heroes? He can’t stand against terrorists and stand with the terrorists. And I’m wondering what a young Palestinian would think when he sees the leader of the Palestinian people embrace people who axed innocent men and women, axed their heads or blew them up or riddled them with bullets. What’s a young Palestinian supposed to think about the future? What’s he supposed to think about what he should do vis-à-vis Israelis and vis-à-vis the State of Israel?

    So it’s not surprising that in recent weeks Israel has been subjected to a growing wave of terrorist attacks. President Abbas didn’t see fit to condemn these attacks even after we learned that at least in one case, I stress at least in one case, those who served and are serving in the Palestinian security forces took part in them.

    In the six months since the start of peace negotiations, the Palestinian Authority continues its unabated incitement against the State of Israel. This Palestinian government incitement is rampant. You see it in the state-controlled media, the Government-controlled media, in the schools, in text books, in kindergartens. You see it in every part of Palestinian society. So instead of preparing Palestinians for peace, Palestinian leaders are teaching them to hate Israel.

    This is not the way to achieve peace. President Abbas must lead his people away from terror and incitement towards reconciliation and peace.

    John, the people of Israel and I are prepared to make such an historic peace. But we must have a Palestinian partner whose equally prepared to make this peace.

    • Peace means ending incitement; 
    • it means fighting terrorism and condemning terrorism; 
    • it means recognizing Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people; 
    • it means meeting Israel’s security needs; and 
    • it means being prepared to truly end the conflict once and for all.

    If we are to succeed in our joint effort, President Abbas must reject terror and embrace peace. I hope he doesn’t miss, again, the opportunity to give Israelis and Palestinians a better future.

    Mr. Secretary, John, I look forward to continuing our discussions. I hope that together we can forge a way to a genuine and lasting peace, a secure peace. Because the only peace that will endure in the Middle East as it really is, is a peace that Israel can defend.

    I am determined, above all else, to defend my people and my state, and I will never compromise on the security of Israel and its citizens and on the vital interests that protect our future....