Saturday, September 13, 2014


From PM Netanyahu's Address at the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism's 14th International Conference on Counter-Terrorism (on 13th anniversary of terrorist attacks in the US):

...We remember that day thirteen years ago and we mourn with you on this day for the thousands who lost their lives in that horrific attack. All of Israel mourned on September 11th. In Gaza, they were dancing on the roofs. They were handing out candy. That's the moral divide. We mourn; they celebrate the death of thousands of innocents. And then when the US took out Bin-Laden, I speaking for virtually the entire country congratulated President Obama. In Gaza, Hamas condemned the US and called Bin-Laden a "holy warrior", a holy warrior of Islam. That's the moral divide. We celebrate; they mourn the death of an arch-terrorist.

Now that moral divide has never been clearer than it is today because Hamas, like al-Qaeda and its affiliates al-Nusra or its new growth ISIS or Boko Haram, al-Shabab, Hezbollah supported by Iran – all are branches of the same poisonous tree. All present a clear and present danger to the peace and security of the world and to our common civilization.

I believe that the battle against these groups is indivisible and it's important not to let any of these groups succeed anywhere because if they gain ground somewhere, they gain ground everywhere. And their setbacks are also felt everywhere. If they gain ground, if they were to succeed, they would return humanity to a primitive early medievalism. I say early medievalism because my father, my late father was a great historian of the Middle Ages and I'd be giving them too much compliment – early medievalism, primitive early medievalism where women are treated as chattel, as property and gays are stoned and minorities persecuted if they're left alive at all.

And these groups must be fought, they must be rolled back and they must ultimately be defeated. That's why Israel fully supports President Obama's call for united actions against ISIS. All civilized countries should stand together in the fight against radical terrorism that sweeps across the Middle East, sweeps across the world. And we are playing our part in this continued effort. Some of the things are known; some things are less known. We have always viewed it as our common battle for our common future.

Now the fight against Islamist terrorism has created new alliances in the Middle East because many Sunni Arab states recognize that the threat of Iran's aggression and its radical Shiite proxies pose a fundamental danger to them, as does fundamentalist Sunni terrorism. And as a result of this, these twin threats of radical Shi'ism using terrorist tactics, radical Sunnism using terrorist tactics – as a result of this, they're reevaluating their relationship with Israel and they understand that Israel is not their enemy but their ally in the fight against this common enemy. And I believe this presents an opportunity for cooperation and perhaps an opportunity for peace.

I think it's crucial not to let the fight against Sunni extremism make us forget the danger of Shiite extremism. They are two sides of the same coin. We don't have to strengthen one to weaken the other. My policy is: Weaken both. And most importantly, don't allow any of them to get weapons of mass destruction. And that's why the arrangement that was achieved in Syria to disband and take out the chemical weapons and chemical materials was so important. And I think President Obama had a very important achievement there. We understand what it would mean that any of these sides would have weapons of mass destruction because all you have to imagine is what would have happened ifon 9/11 al-Qaeda had nuclear weapons. You know they would have used them against New York and against Washington. It's unassailable.

These groups have absolutely no moral or other impediment to their mad desires. Once they have massive power, they will unleash all their violence, all their ideological zeal, all their hatred, with weapons of mass death. And all you have to imagine is what would have happened if al-Qaeda today had access to chemical weapons in Syria. Well then, project that: What would happen if the terrorist regime in Iran will have weapons of mass destruction, nuclear weapons? They control themselves today. They've put up a good front. But they have tremendous, tremendous ambitions. Not for Iran; for Shi'ism from Iran. And those ambitions would be unleashed once they have nuclear weapons in their capacity. They must not have it.

Now the world powers are now negotiating with Iran and I hope they make a good deal because a bad deal should not be made. I'll tell you what a good deal is: The one that was made in Syria, because what that deal said was take the chemical weapons and the materials, the chemicals themselves and the means to make the weapons, out of Syria. They didn't say to Assad, "Keep them, store them and we'll put an inspector. You know, we'll lock it with a padlock and we'll put an inspector next to it", because at any point Assad could kick out the inspector – I'm not saying that's Inspector Clouseau… a good inspector. But the whole idea of breakout is you throw away the inspector and you rush, once you unlock the storehouses, you rush to make the weapons. That's what Iran is seeking. Iran is seeking to keep the enriched nuclear material, to keep the centrifuges, to keep the means to make nuclear weapons in short order – we'll put a padlock on it and we'll put an inspector, inspectors there. And then at a certain point when there are international crises that consume our attention, and you know these never happen these days, right? Kick out the inspectors, break the lock, you break out. Within weeks, a few months, they have nuclear weapons. That's a bad deal.

And if Iran has nuclear weapons, you will see a tremendous pivot in the world. No, not in the Middle East – in the world. You will see things you never imagined could be possible, horrors that you couldn't even contemplate, come to fruition. The ultimate terror: A terrorist regime with the weapons of the greatest terror of them all. We must not let that happen.

So we have no shortage of threats and they have come about as a result of the collapse of the old order. It collapsed about a hundred years ago. It collapsed rather in a way that has not happened in the last hundred years, the so-called Arab Spring, which has not materialized as some people had thought. I think it's now clear that the forces of democracy have not come to the fore and if anything, what we've seen is old regimes collapse and Islamist forces come to the surface, old hatreds – Shiite against Shiite, but primarily Shiite against Sunni, Sunni against Sunni – all come bursting from subterranean layers of history and frustration. And they all have one common goal. The goal is we establish a new Islamist dominion, first in the Middle East and in their warped thinking, throughout the world. They all agree on that. They are not limited in their scope to a territory. They're not limited to borders. They are basically… they may be pivoted in a state, they may be anchored in a particular place, but their goal is to take the entire world, to cleanse it of infidels – first their own people, Muslims, and then everyone else. Madness.

They all agree that they have to establish a caliphate. They all disagree who should be the caliph. That's the nature of their disagreements. And they all use essentially the same tactic and that's unbridled violence, fear – fear – terror. And the terror is first of all imposed on their own peoples. That's the number one target before anyone else. If your people want to rise up against you as they did in Iran five years ago, you kill them. You send out your troopers to the streets, besiege and just shoot them on the sidewalks. You steal millions of votes, people protest – you shoot them. But it's not enough to shoot them one time. You constantly shoot them or to be more precise, in Iran you hang them.

Anywhere between 1,000 to 2,000 people are annually executed, executed in Iran. I'm not talking about criminals; I'm not talking about people who have broken the law – people who have the temerity to have a different view, question the regime. And they're hung in public squares and sometimes they're hung from cranes. They don't have enough scaffolds. And you see the same thing, the same thing – it doesn't receive the same prominence – from ISIS, same technique. You take over a population. The first thing is, yes, you lop heads off in this tragic barbarism that we witness, but you also take people to the burial pits and you shoot them by the hundreds and thousands.

And we've just seen the same in Gaza. During the fighting, there was a lull. Gazans went out to look at their surroundings, started protesting at what Hamas did to them and Hamas had a very simple thing in response – they shot them. These aren't the executions you heard about. These are the executions you didn't hear about. And then towards the end of the fighting, just to make sure that everybody gets the message, as in Iran, as in Iraq today, so in Gaza – they take out 25 people from the jails, Fatah people who have been there for years, and they accuse them – listen to this – they accuse them that they are the ones who gave Israel real-time intelligence for our military actions. Kind of hard to do. I don't know. Maybe we dug a tunnel underneath, came to their jail cells, received… That's not funny. They take them out into the public squares and they put a bullet in their heads for everyone to see.

So the tactics are uniform. Terror first of all against your own people. There's a larger imperative. We know this. We've seen this before. There's a master race; now there's a master faith. And that allows you to do anything to anyone, but first of all to your own people and then to everyone else. And what do you do to everyone else? For that you use new techniques. And the new techniques involve first of all taking over civilian populations, putting yourself inside civilian areas contravening the laws of war and the Geneva Convention; using your people as human shields, the same people you execute; and then firing indiscriminately at civilians. You hide behind civilians, you fire on civilians. And you fire rockets and missiles. And this creates a whole new set of problems. And these problems are born of the fact that it's much harder to fight this kind of terror – much harder. It's much easier to fight an army: tanks, artillery, command centers, open spaces. You destroy that, you destroy the army. End of war.

But these people, because they're forcing you to face up to the moral limits that democracies obey, are basically forcing you to fight a new war and that new war requires two things. It's requires the ability to have precision-guided munitions to be able to target the terrorists who are targeting you from inside civilians areas, but to try to limit the damage – what is called collateral damage or the incidental civilians casualties that accompany any war. Here they're placed right in there, deliberately, by the terrorists. So you need precision weapons. You also need very precise intelligence. But the second thing – and that's very, very expensive. I'm going to say that in Hebrew in a second. We have defense budget discussions. That's very expensive. It's much more expensive than dealing with tanks or artillery or regular armies.

And the second thing you have to do is defend yourself against the missiles that they pour on your own population, what we call the rear but in this case it's the front because your cities are targeted. Well, we figured out, with the help of the United States for which we're deeply grateful, we developed a system to protect ourselves against this terror, these terror attacks from the sky. And that too is very, very expensive.

So dealing with this new type of war actually is more difficult than dealing with the old type of war. But that's the war that we're facing. That's the terror war that we now face. We face Islamist terrorists who take entire communities, cities, populations, hostage; who execute dissenters; who hide among civilians; and fire on civilians. That's the new war. We have to make sure that they don't have weapons of mass destruction because they have no inhibitions. But we also have to make sure that we have the capability to attack them and to defend against their attacks. And that requires weapons, defensive and offensive, but above all it requires, I believe, clarity and courage – clarity to understand they're wrong, we're right; they're evil, we're good. No moral relativism there at all. These people who lop off heads, trample human rights into the dust – are evil and they have to be resisted. Evil has to be resisted. And the second, it requires courage and responsibility. It requires courage because all the other qualities that we could bring to bear in the battle against terrorism are meaningless if you don't have courage.

I think we have reservoirs of both, but I think that we have to also recognize that we are in a great historic juncture. I may surprise you when I tell you that I think militant Islam will be defeated. I think it will be, I think it will ultimately disappear from the stage of history because I think it's a grand failure – it doesn't know how to manage economies, it cannot offer the young people to which it appeals any kind of future. It can control their minds for now but ultimately the spread of information technology will obviate that, will give people choices. But this may take a long time. And we've been able to predict in the past that radical ideologies – which inflame the minds of millions – set their sights on minorities, usually starts with the Jews, it never ends with the Jews. They ultimately fail too. That happened in the last century. But before they failed, they took down tens of millions with them and a third of our own people. That will never happen again.

Clarity and courage, alliances as broad as we can make them with those who understand that we're in a common battle, and courage to see this through, to roll back an ultimate victory. I'm confident that militant Islam will perish, but we must not allow anyone to perish with it before it goes down. That's our task.

....I think there's a potential for a regional and international alliance against the forces of tyranny and terror that threaten all of us, but our experience, the experience of the Jewish people, has said that you always seek alliances because every nation needs alliances. A super-power like the United States of America needs alliances and certainly a small country like Israel needs alliances. But ultimately the only guarantor of our existence and the ability to form alliances depends on our internal strength. Nobody seeks your alliance if you are weak. You have to be able to protect yourself and if there's one change that has been brought about in the history of the Jewish people since the establishment of the Jewish state, it's our ability to defend ourselves, by ourselves, against any foe. That was and remains the basis of our policy....


Friday, September 12, 2014

A World Where Fictional Creations and Old Antipathies Die Hard

From Love of the Land, September 11, 2014, by Sarah Honig:

 ... the dysfunctional family of nations decrees that for the sake of world peace the Etzion Bloc must forever revert to its brief erstwhile judenfrei status. Why? Because old antipathies die hard...

Feisal I, arbitrarily declared
King of Syria and later
King of Iraq [1919 portrait
by renowned British
painter Augustus John]

Why are the White House, Whitehall and hubs of diplomacy in all the capitals of the EU so irascibly indignant over Israel’s decision to declare 400 hectares in Gush Etzion state lands?

Under whichever conceivable future compromise (if any) this minuscule area is sure to remain Israeli, as it was even before Israeli independence.

The Etzion Bloc fell to Arab besiegers in 1948 and its Jewish defenders were cold-bloodedly massacred after they had already surrendered. Destroyed and desolate, it languished under Jordanian occupation for merely 19 years. Nonetheless, the dysfunctional family of nations decrees that for the sake of world peace the Etzion Bloc must forever revert to its brief erstwhile judenfrei status.

Why? Because old antipathies die hard. In some cases they just never die at all, the staggering volatility around us notwithstanding. Otherwise sterling democracies still hold fast to their archaic prejudices despite the dizzying flux and scary savagery of our times – especially in the logic-defying Middle East.

Until lately hardly any statesmen, observers or scholars dared question the region’s national divisions or the borders delineating them. The sole exception, not unexpectedly, was their inimical perception of the Jewish state’s legitimacy. To all and sundry it seemed that Iraq, Syria or Libya were ancient nations with distinct characters and cohesive identities all their own.

Casting doubt on this was not only politically incorrect but it was castigated as heresy of the most profane and preposterous kind. Most unwelcome were reminders about the imperialist post-World War I deals between Britain and France which blatantly invented nationalities, defined their jurisdictions and even assigned them rulers. Highlighting any of this was judged to be arcane nitpicking, irrelevant and even subversive.

What was imposed by the superpowers of a hundred years ago on the Fertile Crescent, for example, was accepted as irrevocable. Opinion-molders inculcated in the masses worldwide the notion that yesteryear’s capricious concoctions are for keeps.

Doubters – few and far between – were derided and denounced.

Who, for example, cared that His Majesty’s government once sucked up to the Hashemite clan that ruled Islam’s holiest sites in what was known as Hejaz? In return for (not very valuable) Hashemite support during the Great War, Sharif Hussein bin-Ali, Mecca’s Hashemite emir (also self-proclaimed Caliph of all Muslims) was assured that his sons Abdullah and Faisal would be handsomely rewarded.

Hussein, by the way was the one who in 1924 lost control of Islam’s sacred city and surrounding provinces to a rival clan, the Saudis. Had he won, we’d be speaking today of Hashemite Arabia instead of Saudi Arabia (which is also no long-established monarchy in situ from time immemorial).

Abdullah, the older Hejazi princeling, was to get as his gift/payoff nearly 80% of the British Mandate over Palestine, which originally extended over both banks of the Jordan. It was all land designated by the League of Nations as the National Home for the Jewish people.

To be sure, Hashemite appetites weren’t quite sated by the freebee. Abdullah sought the title of Emir of Palestine – a country to which he had no previous connection whatsoever. Britain made him settle for Transjordan – on the east bank of the mini-river.

No Transjordanian nation appears in human annals and neither does Jordan, as the kingdom is now known. What today parades under the Jordanian moniker was conceived on Palestinian soil by Perfidious Albion.

That was the first division of Palestine. Betrayed, the Jews were left with only one-fifth of what was initially promised them and this puny remainder too has been violently disputed ever since.

If it’s any consolation, though, Palestine is as remarkably absent from history as is Transjordan/Jordan. In 135 CE, after the Bar Kokhba uprising, the Romans renamed Eretz Yisrael. They dubbed it Palaestina, with the expressed purpose of humiliating defeated Jews. Europe inherited the epithet and its latter-day English variant became what the British chose to call the land they mandated.

Local Arabs, who first deeply resented the name as an imposed alien import, later adopted it as their imaginary nation’s 9,000-year-old (!) appellation. They, however, cannot to this day so much as pronounce it correctly. In their diction Palestine has been warped into the Johnny-come-lately Filastin, a wholly fictional entity.

Palestine/Filastin never had any existence, self-determination, cultural uniqueness, linguistic distinctiveness or religious idiosyncrasy to differentiate it from the surrounding Arab milieu.

But then neither did Iraq or Syria, both of which feature prominently in the 1920s Hashemite saga. Out to recompense their Hashemite lackeys, the Brits enthroned Abdullah’s younger brother Faisal as King of Greater Syria on March 7, 1920.

It was as simple as that. Nations were invented, named arbitrarily according to the cultural precepts of the new European powers-that-be, and then cynically served these powers’ interests.

Conflicting interests inevitably kindled quarrels among the imperialist overlords. Paris, which claimed sway over Syria and Lebanon (another satellite of its manufacture), owed the Hashemites nothing. It had no use for Faisal and considered it colossally galling of London to have crowned him king in Damascus. Therefore – on July 24, 1920 – the French disdainfully chucked out Britain’s protégé.

In response, Britain earmarked its follow-up fabrication, Iraq, for Faisal’s subsequent make-believe realm. His next coronation took place in Baghdad on August 23, 1921.

The Iraqi Hashemite dynasty was deposed in 1958 when its third-in-line, Faisal II, was assassinated and his corpse dragged through Baghdad’s streets. Even so, England’s unnatural Iraqi fusion continues to disturb the world.

That’s because artificial Iraq, like synthetic Syria, doesn’t mirror any ethnic reality. Both are hopeless hodgepodges of tribes, clans and incompatible religions. In no way, shape or form do any of these assemblages remotely resemble what in western terms constitutes a nation.

Moreover, the very last thing components of the mismatched mishmashes want is to cozily coexist with each other beneath one national banner. They only did so involuntarily, when under a tyrant’s thumb. Despots like Saddam Hussein, Bashar Assad and Muammar Gaddafi kept a tight lid on their respective non-nations until the West arrogantly-cum-ignorantly sought to democratize those who didn’t quite yearn to be free (leastways not as we conceive of freedom).

The upshot of the misnamed “Arab Spring” – as many uncool Israelis had the temerity to warn from the outset – is that the counterfeit nationalities of the Arab sphere disintegrate chaotically before our eyes.

As things stand, the global jihad spawned five relatively recent Islamist mini-theocracies.

There is a much overlooked Islamic dominion in Libya and in Nigeria Boko Haram controls sizable swathes. Al-Qaida’s breakaway outfit ISIS does likewise in parts of Iraq and Syria. Al-Qaida affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra runs its own separate Syrian bailiwick. Finally, and chronologically the first of the five, is the Hamas hegemony in Gaza.

The world prefers to avert its gaze from Hamastan despite its irrefutable aggression, rigid radicalism and homicidal fanaticism. Worst of all, Hamas, every bit as barbaric as ISIS, is significantly stronger – both in terms of manpower and military hardware.

The fact that Hamas executes by firing squad rather than by beheadings is incidental. It’s as immaterial as is Hamas’s predilection is for public execution in the streets versus ISIS’s fondness for parched desert backdrops.

There are other minor disparities. ISIS decapitates its victims without blindfolding them while Hamas wraps sackcloth around the heads of the unfortunates selected for summary capital punishment.

The differences perhaps arise from whom the particular executioners seek to horrify. When severing foreign heads, ISIS aims to shock the West. Hamas intends to instill fear in the hearts of fellow Gazans which makes the shooting of the regime’s alleged enemies a must-see communal spectacle.

These superficial differences apart, Hamas executions are no less draconian than the headline-grabbing ISIS variety and as deficient of even the faintest shadow of a hint of the façade of legal due process.

So why does the international community not view Hamas with the same repugnance and dread it reserves for ISIS? Pardon us for suspecting that this has everything to do with whom ISIS opposes and whom Hamas attacks.

ISIS’s primary enemies were Iraq’s Shiite government and Assad’s Alawite-led regime. The world could countenance this. Barack Obama never stomached Iraq’s elected leadership and his cold-shoulder is considerably more than an anecdotal factor.

No one fetes Assad anymore, though Obama’s America once lauded him as a “reformer” and pressured Israel to cede the Golan to him. Israel’s own cognitively-challenged leftwing also hoarsely clamored for handing the Golan to Assad’s celebrated stewardship. Our homegrown “peaceniks” now prefer we forget their ill-counsel, even as they advise us to turn Judea and Samaria to Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah cohorts.

ISIS only started to trouble the smug democracies when Western volunteers became increasingly visible among the renegade ranks and starred as the decapitators of prominent Western hostages. The specter of transplanted terror now haunts Europe.

Hamas, in contrast, only lobbed thousands of rockets at Jews, the abiding dislike for whom (to resort to understatement) is the one reliably unchanging theme in two millennia of European history. That’s why four-square-kilometers of inherently Jewish land generate such unanimous acrimony abroad.

Much as we might resist unpalatable conclusions, we regrettably cannot but infer that deep inside Europe’s heart (as well as in some US settings) there still reverberates hostility to the national revival of the Jewish people, i.e. to Zionism.

Since it’s a decided faux-pas to own up to what incontrovertibly smacks of anti-Semitism, the alternative is to censure the Jewish state over any and all pretexts.

This is the ongoing betrayal against the region’s one unquestionably bona fide and distinct nation – a betrayal that continues unabated since Abdullah was ensconced in Amman and Faisal in Damascus.

Feisal, by the way, conferred with Dr. Chaim Weizmann, president of the World Zionist Organization, on January 1919 and they produced the Faisal-Weizmann Agreement for Arab-Jewish Cooperation. Thereupon Faisal issued the following statement, which appears quite fantastic in view of all that ensued:
“We Arabs… look with the deepest sympathy on the Zionist movement… We will wish the Jews a most hearty welcome home… I look forward, and my people with me look forward, to a future in which we will help you and you will help us, so that the countries in which we are mutually interested may once again take their places in the community of the civilized peoples of the world.”

Monday, September 08, 2014

Israel vindicated by UN damage assessment in Gaza

A summary of findings from IsraellyCool Blog, August 24, 2014, by Dan Smith:

An analysis of the Gaza War damage assessment by the UN Office of Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (which has never been biased in Israel's favor), confirms that Israel attacked Hamas targets in a restrained manner:

  • Israel did not retaliate by rote against Hamas' systematic attacks on civilian targets; Israel bombed areas which harbored Hamas missile launching grounds and facilities, command posts, terrorists homes and hideouts, operational bases, weapon inventory and tunnels.
  • Most of the damage concentrated in very limited areas of 25 square meters or less, while most of Gaza was not damaged at all or in a very limited manner.  Less than 5% of Gaza was hit by The Israel Defense Forces.
  • The most populated areas of Gaza City, Jabaliya, Khan Yunes, Rafah and Deir el-Balah were  disproportionally-undamages: damaged in a very limited way or not damaged at all.
  • The areas highlighted by the UN damage assessment report are compatible with the Israel Defense Forces briefings on the location of Hamas facilities, especially in the Shuja'iya area, which was the arena of the most intense battles.
  • While Hamas concentrated its terror facilities - systetmatically and deliberately targetting Israeli civilians - in densely populated urban areas in Gaza, the vast majority of these urban areas were undamaged.
  • Israel demonstrated exceptional efforts to minimize collateral damage - by urging civilians to evacuate ahead of bombings, thus forefeiting the surprise effect - guided by security requirements and not by retaliatory or political expediency.
  • Israel followed surgical bombing tactic and not carpet bombing.  The attacks were not random nor indiscriminate. 
  • Most of the Israeli bombing hit areas which housed multiple tunnel entrances and shafts, as well as launching sites for mortars and missiles and other terror-related infrastructures.
  • 15% of Hamas rockets and mortars were short, hitting civilian targets inside Gaza.

Sunday, September 07, 2014

The PA is little better than Hamas

From Fox News, 4 Sept 2014, by Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles:

Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas.AP Photo

Key supporters of a two-state solution, including the Obama administration, see a potential silver lining in Hamas’ Gaza debacle. Hamas’ defeat could pave the way for a quick deal between Mahmoud Abbas’ Palestinian Authority and Israel.

Their argument is twofold:
First: Hamas’ gambit has brought nothing but suffering and devastation for the residents of Gaza. People there must surely have buyers’ remorse for voting the terrorist group into power in the first place, paving the way for the Palestinian Authority (PA) to reassert its control.
Second: Israel needs a deal. With the Jewish state’s borders from the Golan Heights to the Sinai increasingly threatened by ISIS and other Al Qaeda-types, Israelis should rush to tie the knot with moderate Abbas now, since no one knows what kind of leader tomorrow will bring.

Frankly, this may be little more than wishful thinking. For starters, most Palestinians no longer trust the corruption-riddled PA to deliver. However much they may be angry with Khaled Mashaal for using their families as human shields, Gazans are not rushing to risk the wrath of Hamas unless the PA will actually help rebuild 5,000 destroyed houses in the Gaza Strip.

Indeed, the latest polls indicate that Hamas has actually gained support, at least in the short term, for “standing up to the enemy.”

But even assuming Abbas has a mandate, he has a strange way of signaling to Israelis that he wants peace.

-- Despite the murders of three Israeli teens, despite thousands of rockets and missiles hurled at Israeli cities, despite the superhighway of terror tunnels, Hamas remains a partner in Abbas’ unity government. The U.S. continues to back this partnership. No Israeli leader can make a deal with Hamas as a co-signer.

-- Abbas has signaled to the Israelis that they must agree at the start of talks to withdraw to the indefensible 1967 border, or he will go to the International Criminal Court to seek indictments for war crimes against Israeli leaders and soldiers.

-- While Abbas did not support Hamas’ actions, a study by the respected Palestinian Media Watch details a barrage of hate unleashed by the PA and its affiliate, Fatah.

In criticizing Israel’s Gaza operations, op-eds and speeches declared their Jewish neighbors were worse than Nazis. The memory of the Shoah is desecrated, its imagery co-opted to demonize the offspring of 6 million Holocaust victims.

Here are a few examples:
“[Israel] did more evil and more horrifying things than what happened in the Nazi crematoria
-- Former PA Minister of Prisoners Issa Karake , Ma’an, July 25, 2014
“The insane Israeli war… is reenacting the Holocaust against the Arab Palestinian people.
-- Omar Hilmi Al-Ghoul, former adviser, PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, July 21, 2014
Children have become the fuel for Israel’s Holocaust and war against Gaza.”
-- Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, July 15, 2014
"[Israel is committing a] mass extermination as the Nazis did in Europe in the 1940s.”
-- Fatah Deputy General, Central Committee Jibril Rajoub Awdah, independent Palestinian TV channel, July 14, 2014
“[Gazans are] undergoing the Holocaust of the 21st century by the barbaric occupation, which takes pride in murdering children.”
--District Governor of Ramallah Laila Ghannam, Ma’an, July 31, 2014
Israel has murdered over two million Palestinian children …
Jewish children murdered in the Nazi Holocaust …did not exceed a million and a quarter.”
-- Former PA Minister of Prisoners Issa Karake, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, July 23, 2014
The official PA daily even used Holocaust imagery to deny Israel’s right to exist:
"This war has proved once again that Israel is a completely artificial state without historic or moral roots, a myth produced by the settlement wave – a fact that prevents it from living normally. As long as it exists, it will only produce things that are against humanity… Binyamin Netanyahu is a descendant of the Nazis [who] worships Hitler’s ways and imitates him in all the Holocausts he has perpetrated.”
Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Aug. 3, 2014

The PA’s Israeli-Nazi propaganda onslaught, coupled with Hamas-led genocidal anti-Jew cries, supercharged a level of anti-Semitism across Europe so virulent that leading human rights icon Natan Sharansky declared we are witnessing the end of European Jewish history.

Against this backdrop and the implosion of so much of the region, it is hard to imagine that an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal is just around the corner. Before setting itself up for another Mideast diplomatic disappointment, the U.S. would do well to demand accountability from Abbas for the billions of dollars given to the PA that have done little to build the infrastructure for a future Palestinian state. 

Secondly, the U.S. should demand that the PA stop demonizing its neighbor. 

Unless the Obama administration and other “peacemakers” force the PA to talk peace to its own constituents, the toxic yield from its harvest of hate will poison hopes for peace for years to come.

"Business" goes on in Iran...

From, 5 Sept 2014:
    Iran Gets $1 Billion in Oil Revenue Released by Japan as Part of Nuclear Deal
    Iran's central bank has received $1 billion of previously frozen oil revenue from Japan under the terms of the nuclear agreement with six world powers, the Iranian news agency IRNA reported on Thursday. The powers agreed in July to extend a six-month interim accord until Nov. 24. Iran is to receive $2.8 billion during the four-month extension, in addition to $4.2 billion paid during the January-July period. (Reuters)
    See also Iran Oil Sales to Asia Up 29 Percent - Osamu Tsukimori
    Iran's major Asian customers shipped in 29.4% more crude oil in July from a year earlier, with China accounting for most of the increase since Western sanctions were eased at the beginning of the year. (Reuters)