Saturday, February 01, 2014

Nothing good comes from surrendering our rights and our land

From JPost,

As we learned from Oslo and Gaza, nothing good comes from surrendering our rights and our land.

Finance Minister Yair Lapid tries to frighten Israelis at the INSS conference in Tel Aviv, January 29, 2014. 

Finance Minister Yair Lapid delivered a scary speech on Wednesday. At the Institute of National Security Studies conference, Lapid warned that if we don’t accept US Secretary of State John Kerry’s framework for negotiations, ... the EU will abrogate its economic association agreement with us. And such a move on Europe’s part will cause serious harm to our economy.

...On the other hand, if we give up Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, Lapid promises that we will all get rich.

It took less than 10 minutes for Lapid’s remarks to be exposed as utter nonsense.

The EU delegation to Israel flatly denied that the EU is considering abrogating the association agreement.
“There has been absolutely no consideration in the EU of the abrogation of the association agreement. It is not in the cards,” a statement by the delegation said.

As for the economic benefits Lapid promised Israel would reap from giving in to the PLO, here too, his claims do not withstand scrutiny.

First of all, Israel’s economy will be dramatically weakened, not strengthened, by a deal with the PLO.

As Economy Minister Naftali Bennett explained last week, the establishment of a Palestinian state in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem would cause unprecedented damage to the economy. Like the de facto Palestinian state in Gaza, such a state would serve as a launching ground for missile attacks against Israel. And from Judea and Samaria, the Palestinians would have the capacity to destroy Israel’s economy with just a few, relatively primitive projectiles.
As Bennett out it, “Imagine if just one missile per day fell on [Israel’s technology hub in] Herzliya Pituah, what that would do to Israel’s economy.
If even one plane which was supposed to land at Ben-Gurion Airport crashes [due to terrorism] per year, it would crush the Israeli economy.”
Beyond what the Palestinians would do, there is no reason to believe – and every reason to doubt – that Europe would reward Israel in any way for giving its capital and heartland to the PLO.

In remarks last week meant to counter Bennett’s statement, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni inadvertently explained the true situation Israel faces from Europe.
In Livni’s words, “Europe is boycotting [Israeli] products. And, true, it is starting with the settlements, but their problem is with Israel, which is perceived as a colonialist state, so it won’t only stop with the settlements but will [reach] Israel as a whole.”
As we learned from our experience with the 2005 withdrawal from Gaza, Israel’s actions play no role in Europe’s perception of the Jewish state.

Europe will not cease to perceive Israel as “a colonialist state” even if we remove ourselves, lock, stock and barrel to the 1949 armistice lines.
In the lead-up to the Gaza withdrawal, Livni promised that once Israel quit Gaza, its diplomatic position would improve dramatically. By ending the so-called occupation of Gaza, she argued, Israel would prove its good will, and the Europeans would stop attacking us and take our side against the Palestinians at the UN and other arenas.

In the event, not only did this not occur, but the EU refused to acknowledge that the so-called occupation of Gaza even ended. To this day, Europe castigates Israel for its mythical “occupation” of Gaza.

As Livni accidentally explained, as far as Europe is concerned, Israel’s size is not the issue. Israel is the issue. True, Israel surrendered Gaza to Palestinian terrorists and removed every Israeli civilian and soldier from the territory. But since Israel is still stronger than the terror state in Gaza, Israel is still the “occupier.”

By the same token, even if Israel were to quit Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem completely, as long as Israel remains more powerful than the Palestinians in the areas, Europe will castigate Israel as the “occupier.”

And since the Palestinians and their allies will destroy Israel if it is ever less powerful than they are, Europe will stop condemning Israel as “a colonialist state” only if Israel ceases to exist.
At any rate, since the EU is not considering abrogating the economic association agreement, and since Israel will be economically worse off if it quits Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem, why is the finance minister trying to scare us? First, he’s doing it because everyone else is doing it.

Peace Now has joined the boycott, sanctions and divestment campaign.

Livni threatens Israelis so often with economic ruin that Foreign Ministry officials are complaining that she’s giving foreigners ideas.

In Washington, the Obama administration has added the threat of Israeli economic devastation to its list of plagues that will befall the Jewish state if we don’t give up our national heartland to the PLO.

In his remarks at the World Economic Forum in Davos last week, US Secretary of State John Kerry said, “Israel’s economic juggernaut is a wonder to behold…. But a deteriorating security environment and the growing isolation that could come with it could put that prosperity at risk.”

In other words, “Nice economy you got there Israel. It’d be a real shame if anything happened to it.”

The second reason that Lapid is threatening us – along with Livni, Kerry and so many others – is that he has nothing else to say in support of the fake peace process.

Kerry’s framework for Middle East peace offers neither anything new nor anything positive for the Israeli public to support. Were Israel to follow him down his garden path, we would receive neither peace, nor demographic security, nor national security nor national prosperity.

We will not receive peace because there is no Palestinian leadership interested in making peace, and there is no significant Palestinian constituency that supports peace. As Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz said at the INSS Wednesday, PLO chief Mahmoud Abbas is “the world’s number one anti-Semitic leader.”

Steinitz elaborated, “There is an anti-Semitic subtext prevalent throughout the Palestinian Authority’s curriculum and the children programs.

The subtext is very clear – the State of Israel and the Jews should be destroyed.
“Abbas does not actively finance terror, but he who denied the Holocaust now denies the existence of a Jewish nation and its right to a state.”
In this context, no negotiations will lead to peace. In Steinitz’s words, “There is no peace process.

If an agreement is signed with the Palestinian Authority, it will be a diplomatic agreement, not a peace agreement.”

And the vast majority of Israelis know this. And Livni, Lapid, Kerry and their ilk know we know this. So all they can do is threaten us.

The first place they went, after the promise of peace was blown up at cafes and bus stops countrywide, was demographics.

For 17 years, the Left has been relying on a falsified 1997 Palestinian census that exaggerated the Palestinian population by 50 percent, as a means of scaring Israelis into going along with its phony peace process.

Still today, Kerry, Livni, Lapid and their fellow travelers seek to intimidate us by constantly telling us that continued Israeli control over Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem will bring about Israel’s demographic demise.

But the lie at the heart of their argument is no longer possible to ignore.

As demographic expert Yoram Ettinger wrote last week in Yisrael Hayom, Jewish Israeli fertility rates are higher than Palestinian fertility rates in Judea and Samaria. In 2013, the Palestinian fertility rate was 2.91 children per woman and the Israeli Jewish fertility rate was 3.04 children per woman.

Today Jews make up 62-66 percent of the population in Judea, Samaria and sovereign Israel.

With a two to one majority, a higher birthrate, and positive immigration rates, far from being a strategic threat to Israel’s national viability, demographics are one of Israel’s strategic assets.

The only threat to Israel’s demographic stability is the two-state formula. A Palestinian state in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem would permit the unlimited immigration of millions of foreign Arabs into its territory. Rather than securing Israel’s Jewish majority, a Palestinian state would place millions of hostile Arabs on the outskirts of a rump Israel’s major cities.

With their threat of demographic ruin losing its traction with the public, purveyors of the twostate plan now raise the threat of economic strangulation and ruin at every opportunity.

They understand that given the public’s refusal to be drawn into their fantasies about “peace dividends,” the only path before them is a mix of intimidation and political subversion. They hope that together these two tactics can force Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to submit to Kerry’s dictates for Israeli territorial surrenders.

Regarding political subversion, last week Eli Lake at the Daily Beast reported that the Obama administration is appealing to retired Israeli security brass to lobby the public against the government, in support of Kerry’s plan for Israel to surrender the Jordan Valley to the PLO.

According to senior defense sources, administration lobbying is not limited to retired generals.

The US is also recruiting currently serving IDF commanders to work on behalf of Kerry’s plan.

The idea is to rally a large enough cadre of security brass in favor of surrendering the Jordan Valley to undermine the authority of Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, who has rejected Kerry’s plan.

Beyond frightening the general public, the economic threats are geared toward subverting the economic leadership of the country. Until now, Israel’s business leaders have been supporting Netanyahu’s economic leadership.

The campaign’s largest success to date came last week when a large delegation of Israeli business leaders joined the Kerry bandwagon and called for the partition of Jerusalem and surrender of Judea and Samaria in order to avoid economic penalties.

Clearly we are getting to crunch time.

Kerry is waiting for Netanyahu to agree to his framework. Until he does, Kerry, his allies and agents will escalate their threats and subversion.

So far, Netanyahu, Bennett and Ya’alon have competently exposed the lies behind the threats.

And they must continue on this course.

As we learned from Oslo and Gaza, nothing good comes from surrendering our rights and our land. And with Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem hanging in the balance, the stakes have never been higher.

Say No to The Kerry Plan

“Israel Hayom”, January 31, 2014:

The assumption that Israel must accept the Kerry Plan as a basis for negotiations with the Palestinian Authority – lest it risk a rift with the US – should be assessed in light of the full context of US-Israel strategic cooperation, the imploding Arab Street, the unique foundations and nature of US-Israel ties, the US political system, the ineffectiveness of prior US plans and Israel’s own security requirements.
US-Israel strategic cooperation transcends the Palestinian issue.  Thus, despite the 66-year-old disagreement, between the two Administrations, about the ways and means to resolve the Palestinian issue, strategic cooperation has catapulted to unprecedented heights.
Notwithstanding Arab talk – but based on the Arab walk - the Palestinian issue does not preoccupy the attention of Arab policy-makers, does not significantly impact vital US interests, and does not play a key role in destabilizing the Middle East, as reaffirmed by the tectonic Arab Tsunami, which is unrelated to Israel or the Palestinian issue. 
Therefore, the Palestinian issue has been superseded by regional and global mutual threats, interests and benefits, shaping the increasingly two-way-street mutually-beneficial US-Israel agenda: the US supply of critical military systems to Israel; the Israeli battle-tested laboratory, which enhances the performance of US military systems and the US defense industries; the joint development of ballistic, space, UAV, cyber and other critical technologies; Israeli innovations upgrade the competitive edge of US high tech industries; Israel provides intelligence of Iran’s nuclear threat and Islamic terrorism on the US mainland and beyond; Israel trains US elite units in countering-terrorism and urban warfare, and shares battle lessons, shaping US battle tactics; Israel’s power-projection deters rogue regimes, which threaten pro-US Arab regimes such as Jordan and Saudi Arabia; etc..
Israel’s role as the most consistent, capable and willing ally of the US gains in importance, as the Arab Street becomes increasingly anti-US, Islamist, unstable and unpredictably violent.  While the US cuts its defense budget and withdraws its military from the Middle East, Russia and China deepen their presence in the region and West Europe is preoccupied with domestic challenges.
The disagreement over the Palestinian issue is, also, superseded by shared US-Israel Judeo-Christian values, which have strongly influenced US morality, legal and political systems.  This dates back to the early Pilgrims in the 17th century, the Liberty Bell’s inscription from Leviticus, the Founding Fathers, the Biblically-driven Anti-Slavery Movement and the current statues of Moses in the US House of Representatives and the US Supreme Court.  
American constituents – which are the axis of the Federal system – through most of the Congress – a co-equal, co-determining branch of government on external and domestic matters – have established a unique bottom-up, systematic, positive attitude towards the Jewish state. They disassociate themselves from the Executive’s moral equivalence towards Israel – the role model of counter terrorism and unconditional alliance with the US – as opposed to the Palestinian leadership – a role model of international terrorism and an ally of Nazi Germany, the Communist Bloc, Khomeini, Saddam Hussein and Bin Laden.
In 1948, the charismatic US Secretary of State, George Marshall pressured Israel to accept his plan of a UN Mandate for Palestine as a substitute for independence.  Marshall considered the Jewish state a liability and the Arabs an asset.  He assumed that Israel would join the Communist Bloc and would be unable to defend itself against the invading Arabs, thus triggering a second Jewish Holocaust in less than ten years. Prime Minister Ben Gurion refused to negotiate Marshall’s proposal.
When threatened by UN Security Council sanctions, which dictated a withdrawal from the “occupied Negev,” Ben Gurion stated: “What Israel has won on the battlefield, it is determined not to yield at the [UN Security] Council table.” Ben Gurion’s principle-driven defiance and steadfastness produced short-term pressure, but long-term strategic respect, transforming Israel into the most reliable, stable, capable, democratic and unconditional ally of the US in the Middle East and beyond.
In 1957, President Eisenhower pressured Israel to evacuate the Sinai Peninsula.  Senate and House leaders, both Democrats and Republicans, threatened Eisenhower with legislative paralysis, and convinced Eisenhower to reduce his pressure.  However, Israel pulled the rug from under their feet by accepting the Eisenhower plan.
In December, 1969 and June, 1970, Secretary of State, William Rogers, introduced the Rogers Plan, calling for Israeli withdrawal to the 1967 lines, providing for a return of Arab refugees to Israel and shared Israel-Jordan rule in Jerusalem. Prime Minister Golda Meir rejected the plan, initializing the construction of three large new neighborhoods in eastern Jerusalem, home of over 100,00 persons. Rogers tolerated Egypt’s advancing surface-to-air missiles in violation of commitments, which facilitated the deterioration to the 1973 Yom Kippur War.
In 1977, President Carter pressured Israel to participate in an international conference, highlighting the Palestinian issue and a full Israeli withdrawal.  Prime Minister Begin dismissed the idea and initiated the dialogue with Egyptian President Sadat, which led to a peace accord.
In September, 1982, President Reagan announced his plan, calling for full Israeli withdrawal and an immediate settlement freeze. Prime Minister Begin rejected the plan, expanded settlements, and laid the foundation for the November, 1983 upgrade of US-Israel strategic cooperation.

Accepting the Kerry Plan would revert Israel to the pre-1967 9-15 mile sliver along the Mediterranean, dominated by the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria, which would be controlled by the Palestinian Authority, a systematic violator of agreements, perpetuator of hate education and generator of terror.  The irreplaceability of Judea and Samaria mountain ridges for Israel’s national security has been reinforced by the Arab Tsunami.  It has made the Middle East – the most conflict-ridden region in the world - more violently intolerant, unpredictable, unreliable, unstable and treacherous.

Accepting the Kerry Plan requires the subordination of long-term vision and security to short-term convenience, and the subjugation of realism to wishful-thinking, thus jeopardizing the very survival of the Jewish State, transforming Israel from a unique asset to a burden. Rejecting the Kerry Plan, might create short-term tension, but no long-term rift. 
On a rainy day, the US prefers a defiant, rather than a submissive, ally.  

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Johansson supports co-operation; Oxfam supports vilification

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Scarlett Johansson is ending her relationship with Oxfam International because the humanitarian group opposes all trade from Israeli settlements.

"She and Oxfam have a fundamental difference of opinion in regards to the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement..." said her spokesman.

Earlier this month, "The Avengers" and "Her" actress signed on as the first global brand ambassador of SodaStream International Ltd., and she's set to appear in an ad for the at-home soda maker during the Super Bowl on Feb. 2.

Johansson said last week she was a "supporter of economic cooperation and social interaction between a democratic Israel and Palestine."

Oxfam took issue with Johansson...

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Canada and Australia exert moral leadership and influence

From Caroline Glick, Friday, January 24th, 2014:

Harper Bibi

...under Stephen Harper...Canada has emerged as an outspoken supporter and defender of the Jewish state.

...Harper acknowledged ...that yes, Canada has lost contracts in some Arab countries due to its support for Israel. But by and large, it hasn’t taken a serious hit.

...Canada, and other countries that support Israel now, when such support is more notable than it was in the past, do gain significantly from their actions. This is true on two levels.

First, economically, Israel is in a far different position than it was 20 years ago. During Harper’s visit, Canada and Israel updated their free trade agreement and signed a number of other agreements enhancing cooperation in multiple fields.

As Netanyahu said, “I think that cooperation makes us both stronger and more prosperous and more secure countries.”

...Today, the economies of the Arab world are collapsing. Fracking technologies are lowering demand for Middle Eastern oil. Political instability is drying up foreign investment and tourism. And local universities are incapable of producing graduates able to function in the global economy.

As a consequence, the Arabs’ capacity to intimidate governments into rejecting the economic benefits Israel has to offer is steadily decreasing.

Israel’s ability to compensate for potential loss of Arab business is not the main reason why supporting Israel helps Canada. Far more importantly for Canada, support for Israel gives Ottawa a say in global affairs. Canada today has the power to shape the global agenda to a degree it never had before.

...Under Harper’s leadership, Canada has become a player in the global arena for the first time. And this achievement owes in large part to his decision to support Israel.

Since the US became the leader of the free world at the end of World War II, several of its loyal allies built up their international position by exerting moral leadership and so convincing Washington – through inspiration or shame – to follow their example.

...By standing with Israel, Canada is filling a part of the leadership vacuum that the Obama administration has created by stepping away from the US’s responsibilities as the leader of the free world. From the G8 to the UN and beyond, Canada’s support for Israel has enabled Ottawa to influence US and European policy to a degree it never has before.

Canada’s enhanced moral stature was demonstrated this week with UNESCO’s abrupt decision to cancel the opening of an exhibition on the Jewish people’s 3,500-year history in the Land of Israel that was scheduled to open at UNESCO’s Paris Headquarters on Sunday.

Canada, Israel and Montenegro co-sponsored the exhibition which was organized jointly by the Simon Wiesenthal Center and UNESCO.

On January 9, the US rejected the Wiesenthal Center’s request for US co-sponsorship.

Kelly Siekman, director of the Office of UNESCO Affairs at the State Department wrote,
“At this sensitive juncture in the ongoing Middle East peace process, and after thoughtful consideration with review at the highest levels, we have made the decision that the United States will not be able to co-sponsor the current exhibit during its display at UNESCO headquarters.”
In other words, the Obama administration opted to reject the historical fact that the Jews are the indigenous people of the Land of Israel in order to promote a peace process with the PLO, which, like the Arab world in general, rejects historical fact in its bid to delegitimize with the aim of destroying the Jewish state.

Five days after Siekman rejected the Wiesenthal Center’s request, the Arab members of UNESCO wrote a letter to UNESCO President Irina Bokova demanding that the exhibition be canceled, in the interest of the peace process. Bokova quickly bowed to their will, in the interest of the peace process.

While the administration was quick to condemn UNESCO’s decision, it was left stuttering when the media discovered that UNESCO’s actions were of a piece with the administration’s own policy decision.
The administration’s embarrassment at this revelation was exponentially amplified by the fact that its duplicity, hypocrisy and preference for political expedience over historical facts came to light while Harper was in Israel, since unlike the Obama administration, the Harper government did co-sponsor the canceled exhibition.
Harper emerged from the UNESCO affront to the historical record as an unrivaled force of conscience and as a moral leader on a world stage populated by opportunists, at best. His position served as a warning to the US that its sacrifice of truth on the altar of the peace process will not go unnoticed.

Canada, it should be noted, is not the only country whose support for Israel is distinguishing it as a moral leader and facilitating its rise to a position of global influence.
Australia’s new center-right Liberal government is also making a name for itself by rejecting anti-Israel nostrums that have become accepted wisdom despite the fact that they are based on lies.

For instance, for years, the false Arab claim that Israeli communities beyond the 1949 armistice lines are illegal under international law has gone unchallenged. But last week, Australian Foreign Minister Julia Bishop dropped a bombshell when, in an interview with The Times of Israel, she broke from the consensus of mendacity saying, “I would like to see which international law has declared them illegal.”

Statements by Australian foreign ministers seldom receive global coverage. But Bishop’s did.

And the more outspoken Australia is in its support for Israel and rejection of the discourse of lies that characterizes the discussion of Israel, the more attention Australia will get and the more influential it will become on the world stage.

Like Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, Harper’s decision to support Israel is rooted in his most deeply held convictions about right and wrong. There is nothing opportunistic about his policy.

It is therefore wonderful and empowering that by staying true to his beliefs, Harper is also transforming Canada into a force to be reckoned with on the global stage. Moreover, he is setting an example that will likely be followed by more and more countries, as the benefits of his embrace of Israel become widely recognized.