Saturday, July 29, 2017

Arab hate for Jews is what’s holding them back

From The Australian, July 27, 2017, by DAVID SUISSA:

In a Facebook post a few hours before he stabbed three Israeli Jews to death as they were enjoying a Shabbat meal, 19-year-old Omar al-Abed made clear what he thought of Jews: “You, sons of monkeys and pigs, if you do not open the gates of al-Aqsa, I am sure that men will follow me and will hit you with an iron fist, I am warning you.”

A century of Arab lies, delusional swagger and Jew-hatred can be found in that one sentence.

First, the lies. The gates of al-Aqsa (a mosque in Jerusalem’s Old City) were not closed. They were open. They just had metal detectors for everyone’s protection. Those detectors were installed after two Israeli security guards were killed by Arab terrorists using weapons that had been smuggled into the compound.

The hysterical and violent Arab response is very much about symbols. The metal detectors were a visible reminder to the world that Israel has ultimate sovereignty over the Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism, where the al-Aqsa mosque is located and where the Jewish temples of biblical times once stood.

Removing the detectors won’t remove the deep, 3000-year Jewish connection to Jerusalem, which Arab leaders consistently reject. As Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas once put it, Jews defile the Temple Mount with their “filthy feet”.

Of course, such blatant lies and incitement against Jews have long been par for the course for Arab dictators desperate to distract attention from how they oppress and fail their own people.

Next, the delusional swagger. The killer thinks that murdering a few Jews during a Shabbat dinner will encourage an army of Muslims to hit Israel with an “iron fist”. These kind of grandiose dreams date to the beginning of the Jewish state, when Arab armies invaded the infant nation but failed to destroy it. They have been failing ever since.

Recognising this reality — that Israel is too powerful to be destroyed — is out of the question. Better to demonise and demean the Jews as “sons of monkeys and pigs” and spin military defeats as battles in a never-ending war against the Zionist monster.

Finally, it must be noted that the Jew-hatred that permeates Arab consciousness long predates any settlements in the West Bank. Decades before anyone ever heard of an Israeli “occupation”, Jews were hated for trying to assert their sovereign rights in their ancestral homeland.

Arab countries rejected the UN Partition Plan for Palestine of 1947 — which allocated land for an independent Arab state and a Jewish state — because they couldn’t stomach the idea and legitimacy of a Jewish state. For centuries, Jews were tolerated in Arab and Muslim societies only because they kept their heads down and accepted their status as second-class citizens.

Then, with the backing of the UN, these lowly Jews had the chutzpah to return to their biblical homeland and build their own country with universities, hospitals, roads, farming communities and a modern economy.

On top of that, all of the Arab armies combined could not chase them away.

In a culture that prides honour and is repulsed by shame, can you imagine how much humiliation has been felt by failing Arab states next to the extraordinary success and power of the Jewish state?

There was another way. Had the Arab nations accepted the UN partition plan and started building their own state next to Israel, there never would have been an Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Had the Palestinian Arabs looked at Jews as potential allies who could help them succeed, there would be a Gaza Riviera today that would compete with the Tel Aviv beachfront as one of the world’s hot spots.

There would be a thriving hi-tech sector in Ramallah that would compete with Israel’s Startup Nation, and elite Palestinian universities, research centres and a cultural scene that would be the envy of the Arab world.

But instead of partnering with the Jews, Arab nations chose to hate the Jews. Instead of taking responsibility for their future, they blamed the Jews for their misery.

As pro-Israel activist Chloe Simone Valdary wrote last week on Facebook, in a message to Palestinians: “It’s the belief that Israelis are holding you back that’s holding you back. Holding you back from letting go of all the hatred and the envy and the jealousy which is just so damn exhausting to hold on to.”

The “iron fist” that is killing Arab hope is coming from Arab leaders who demonise Jews and use excuses like metal detectors to start holy wars. What a tragic irony that if Arabs ever wanted to build a better future, it would be in their interest to learn from people they’ve been told are subhuman.

Countering contemptuous Palestinians

From Israel Hayom, 28 July 2017, by David M. Weinberg:

The Palestinian Authority and its fiendish intra-Palestinian Islamic rivals seem hellbent on brinkmanship; on being belligerent adversaries with escalating, maximalist demands of Israel.

They really think they can roll Israel back by recourse to street brawls and international courts; by browbeating Israel through aggression, isolation and criminalization; by demonizing Israel with outrageous lies like "Al-Aqsa is in danger." They think they can conduct guerilla and diplomatic warfare against Israel with impunity.

It's time to disabuse Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and these gangs of such delusion, through resolute Israeli action.

The holy war over the Temple Mount that Abbas is promoting tells Israelis that Palestinian society has gone crazy-radical-rogue Islamic -- just like much of the Arab Middle East. This spells the end of the two-state solution as Israelis (and most Western policymakers) understood it. Because the one thing that Israel absolutely cannot countenance is the emergence of a madcap Islamic caliphate in Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria.

Sinai-stan, Hamas-stan, Hezbollah-stan, and Syria-stan already have emerged on Israel's southern and northern borders. This is more than enough for Israel to handle. A Pales-stan on Israel's eastern border would be unbearable. Israel can't and won't let it rise.

The only Palestinian state in the West Bank that Israelis ever contemplated was a mature entity willing to reconcile ideologically with Israel, leading to the reasonable sharing of land, airspace, natural resources, and historical and religious sites.

The sharing includes the Temple Mount. Indeed, for there to be peace, Jewish prayer would have to be facilitated on the Temple Mount, alongside the prayers of other faith-traditions.

Alas, Abbas has made it clear that the Palestinian national movement is far from understanding this.

The only Palestinian state that Israelis ever envisioned would not threaten Israel's security, obviously. This means that it would be truly demilitarized with Israeli supervision on all borders and at all holy places. It would not form hostile foreign alliances or allow radical Islamic groups to dictate the internal agenda. It would not rev up violent insurrection when it has a difference of opinion about management of a city or holy site.

Alas, Abbas has made it clear that the Palestinian national movement is far from accepting this.

The only Palestinian state that Israelis ever thought of tolerating in Judea, Samaria and Gaza would declare a permanent end to the conflict and all claims against Israel. This means recognizing Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people and recognizing ancient Jerusalem as its capital. It means renouncing the so-called right of refugee return, and inculcating respect, not anti-Semitism, on Palestinians airwaves and in Palestinian schools.

Alas, Abbas has made it clear that the Palestinian national movement is far from internalizing this.

On the contrary, Abbas has made it clear that the Palestinian liberation movement will never recognize Israel as a Jewish state nor forgo refugee return. In other words, he wants his state, but without an end to the conflict. He seems to want a Palestinian state to continue the conflict.

Professor Ahmad Khalidi, a Palestinian ideologue close to Abbas, scorns the two-state solution as a "sovereign cage." "The concept of Palestinian statehood is nothing but a punitive construct devised by our worst enemies -- the United States and Israel -- to constrain Palestinian aspirations and territorial ambitions," he has written.

Until now, Israeli governments have sought to co-opt Palestinian leaders into peace and to mollify Palestinian masses through compromise and concession, including the provision of Israeli money, guns, water, electricity and many aspects of national sovereignty.

This could have been a path to enhanced Palestinian national power in cooperation with Israel. But the kleptocratic Palestinian Authority has pocketed these goodies without showing any true willingness to meet Israeli needs and expectations.

As a result, tactical Israeli restraint, like the decision to retreat from justified security measures at the Temple Mount, comes off as capitulation to Palestinian terrorism. It reinforces the rejectionist and triumphalist Palestinian narrative. It looks and smells like appeasement.

Winston Churchill warned that "an appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last." So it's time for a different strategy. Palestinian overreach and superciliousness should be countered by strong Israeli and international countermeasures.

Palestinian leadership must be disabused of the notion that it can drive Israel off the Temple Mount and out of east Jerusalem by violence, or coerce Israel into withdrawals by appealing to international tribunals.

This will require perseverance and the flexing of muscle.

To begin with, Israel can stop doing favors for the Palestinian Authority like absorbing its mushrooming debt for electricity and fuel, or selling it water at discount prices. Then Israel should stop facilitating the business interests of Abbas' cronies, whose cartels control the Palestinian economy. The international donor community, too, might usefully rethink the huge sums of cash it pours into Abbas' coffers every year.

Then Israel can and should revoke the VIP permits that allow Abbas and his ministers to fly in and out of Ben-Gurion International Airport on their luxury private jets. Let them beg King Abdullah in Amman for travel privileges.

Simultaneously, Israel should arrest the activities in east Jerusalem of rabble rousers like Sheikh Ekrima Sa'id Sabri, the former the grand mufti of Jerusalem and the lead agent in the city for Erdogan's Turkey and the Moslem Brotherhood; Sheikh Issam Amira, the lead agent in the city for the Islamic Liberation Party (Hizb ut-Tahrir); and Abbas' handpicked henchmen, the intemperate Grand Mufti Muhammad Ahmad Hussein and the fanatic former chief justice of the PA's religious court, Sheikh Tayseer Al-Tamimi.

Their sermons, "charitable" enterprises and educational programs glorify terrorists and explicitly call for violent resistance to Israel. Their networks (along with Fatah social media) also are the source for the libel that Al-Aqsa mosque is at risk.

It's also not too hard to arrest 2,000 of their key street activists -- those leading the riots in the city.

Israel should unsheathe its sovereign power and put the extremists down; decisive action that one day might allow for Palestinian moderates to emerge.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Netanyahu says despicable terrorists ‘must be executed’

From World Israel News, July 27, 2017, by Adina Katz:

Netanyahu says despicable terrorists ‘must be executed’
PM Netanyahu speaks to bereaved widow Michal Salomon during a condolence call. (Facebook)

During a condolence call to the Salomon family, the Israeli leader said, “it’s time for the death penalty for terrorists.”

Prime Minister Benjamin and Sara Netanyahu made a condolence visit Thursday to the Salomon family, who lost three members in a Palestinian terror attack in Halamish/Neve Tzuf last Friday.

The terrorist, Omar al-Abed, 19, burst into the family home with a knife during their Shabbat dinner.

“Its time for the death penalty for terrorists,” he told the bereaved family.

The death penalty “is anchored in law. We need here unanimity among the judges, but they also want to know the government’s position.

“And my position as prime minister, in this case, of such a despicable murderer, is that you must execute him,” the prime minister stated.

The terrorist “should not smile any more,” he added, likely referring to a photo of the murderer smiling in a Jerusalem hospital bed, where Al-Abed was being treated for gunshot wounds. An off-duty soldier and neighbor of the victims, upon hearing the screams, ran to the scene and shot him, thus preventing the slaughter of several more family members, including five children who are now orphaned.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Abbas the hypocrite - and his silent approval of Palestinian terror

From PMW, 25 July 2017, by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik:
Consistent with Palestinian Authority behavior throughout last year's terror wave, there has been no Palestinian condemnation of Friday's terror attack in which a Palestinian terrorist stabbed 3 Israelis to death in their home.
Likewise, Abbas' hypocrisy regarding "terror" is a continuation of his behavior in the past. While he refuses to condemn terror attacks against Israeli civilians, he repeatedly proclaims to the world that he is against terror. 

Less than two days after the horrific Palestinian attack, Abbas - ignoring the attack altogether - even emphasized to Palestinian scholars just how much Palestinians are against terror:
"We, the State of Palestine, are convinced that terrorism must be fought everywhere, and we have at least 83 protocols with various countries around the world to combat violence and terrorism."
[WAFA (English edition), official PA news agency, July 23, 2017]
But in the Palestinian perspective there is "terror," and there is "terror."
Just two days before Abbas made this statement, a 70-year-old Israeli man, his 36-year-old son and 46-year-old daughter, were brutally stabbed to death in their home while having dinner. They were celebrating the birth of a grandchild. The wife of the 70-year-old was severely injured and remains in hospital, while the wife of the son managed to hide with their children upstairs. A neighbor who heard screams shot and wounded the terrorist who was captured.
This attack has not been condemned publicly by any Palestinian leader. Even more significantly, when Fatah Central Committee member Muhammad Al-Madani was "accused" on social media of having condemned the attack, his office hurried to deny this, instead threatening to sue those who claimed he had condemned the killing of the 3 Israeli civilians:
"The office of Fatah Movement Central Committee member and Chairman of the PLO Committee for Interaction [with Israeli Society] Muhammad Al-Madani denied a fake news item that was published on several questionable pages on social media. It was claimed that it was a quote of Al-Madani from an alleged interview with a Hebrew radio station, in which he condemned the operation (i.e., terror attack) that took place two days ago [July 21, 2017] in an Israeli settlement [Halamish] in the West Bank, in which 3 settlers were killed.
The office explained yesterday in a notice that Al-Madani did not speak with any local media outlet, Arab or Israeli, regarding the latest events. It was also said in the statement that 'Al-Madani will sue those spreading this fake and false news everywhere.'"
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, July 23, 2017]
Ironically, Al-Madani was appointed by Abbas to chair the PLO Committee for Interaction with Israeli Society, a committee that meets with Israelis on both the political and the grassroots level. But condemning the murder of Israeli civilians is obviously not within the committee's area of responsibility.

The lack of condemnation by PA leaders of the murder of the 3 Israeli civilians constitutes a silent approval of it.
But Abbas and the rest of the PA leaders do know how to condemn a terror attack. They routinely do so when terror strikes in the rest of the world. A recent example is this condemnation by Abbas of the terror attack in London on June 3, 2017. Note that Abbas also here emphasized that Palestinians "oppose all forms of terror":
Headline: "The [PA] president conveys condolences over the victims, condemns the attack, and emphasizes: 'We oppose all forms of terror'"
"[PA] President Mahmoud Abbas yesterday [June 4, 2017] condemned the terror attack that took place in London, the capital of Britain, in which dozens of innocent people were killed and wounded (see note below -Ed.).
The president said: 'We convey our heartfelt condolences to the Queen of Britain, the Government of Britain, and the British people, and also to the families of the victims of the terror event. We emphasize our permanent position that opposes all forms of terror.'"
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, June 5, 2017]
An exception to the rule of not condemning terror attacks against Israelis was delivered by Abbas himself when he in a phone conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu "condemned" the shooting and killing of two Israeli border policemen at the Temple Mount earlier this month (See note below.) In mild and much less clear terms than when he condemned the London attack and others, Abbas reportedly expressed to Netanyahu "his strong opposition to and his condemnations of the event that took place at the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque." Palestinian Media Watch reported that at the same time as Abbas condemned "the event" - the murder of two Israelis -  his own Fatah Movement posted to Facebook an old speech of his in which Abbas implicitly called for violence  In 2014, official PA TV chose to broadcast this speech 19 times in 3 days, In it, Abbas called on Palestinians to defend Al-Aqsa "in any way whatsoever." It marked the beginning of a month of terror attacks in Jerusalem in which 11 Israelis were murdered in car rammings and stabbing attacks.

The fundamental reason why peace is so elusive and Palestinian terror is so commonplace is that the so-called "moderate" Palestinian leadership has intentionally directed Palestinians to believe that murdering Israelis and people visiting Israel is heroic and legitimate. Whether it is in Tel Aviv, like the murder of American citizen Taylor Force, or in Jerusalem, like the murder of British exchange student Hannah Bladon, or in a Jewish town on the West Bank, like the murder on Friday of three Israeli civilians, Palestinians who murder civilians in Israel and the West Bank are not condemned. On the contrary, they are glorified. Those who are captured by Israel receive generous salaries from the PA while in prison, and those who are killed while carrying out attacks are honored as "Martyrs" and their families receive monetary grants

Israelis Want Victory

From The Jerusalem Post, July 11, 2017, by Daniel Pipes:

Most Israeli Jews want a different, tougher policy toward the Palestinians.

What does the Jewish Israeli public think about convincing Palestinians that they lost their century-long war with Zionism, that the gig is up? 

In other words, what do Israelis think about winning?

To find out, the Middle East Forum commissioned the Smith Institute to survey 700 adult Israeli Jews. Carried out on June 27-28, the poll has a margin of error of 3.7 percent.

It reveals a widespread belief that a Palestinian recognition of defeat will eventually lead to an acceptance of Israel as the Jewish state, thereby ending the conflict.

Palestinian defeat: "A peace agreement with the Palestinians will only be possible once the Palestinian leadership recognizes the fact that it has been defeated in its struggle against Israel." Overall, 58 percent of respondents agree, with opinion deeply polarized by political outlook: 69 percent on the Right concur but only 16 percent on the Left do so.

Israeli victory: "The reason that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict still continues is that none of the military operations or diplomatic engagements with the Palestinian leadership have led to Israeli victory." 
This resembles the first statement but reverses it; doing so increases the positive responses to 65 percent of the Israeli public. More surprising, the results show that, across the entire political spectrum from Right to Left, an awareness exists that Israel needs to win. They also show that a majority of every subgroup of voter – male and female, young and old, adherents of every kind of Judaism, supporters of Jewish political party represented in parliament? – concur with this sentiment.
The Israeli public has lost faith that goodwill gestures will win Palestinian reciprocity.

U.S. embassy: "Moving the American Embassy to Jerusalem will be seen by the majority of Palestinians as a defeat." 
The same percentage of respondents, 65, also agrees with this assertion, with the Right supporting it only slightly more than the Left (68 to 58 percent). That religious Jews heavily endorse this statement (89 percent of those who identify with the Haredi party HaTorah Yahadut) much more so than the secular (53 percent of the anti-Haredi party Kulanu) does not come as a surprise. That, again, a majority of every sub-group backs the idea does surprise, however.

Jewish state: "Israeli victory can only be achieved once the Palestinians recognize Israel as the Jewish State." 
A similar 67 percent agree with this statement but the breakdown is, as with the first statement, acutely political: 76 percent of the Right agrees and 26 percent of the Left does. On the other hand, party affiliation makes almost no difference (both HaTorah Yahadut and Kulanu members come in at 71 percent) with the single, spectacular exception of Meretz (which weighs in at 33 percent).

The launch of the Knesset Israel Victory Caucus. 
From the left: Richard Kemp, Ya'akov Perry, Oded Farer, Daniel Pipes, Gregg Roman.

What to make of all these numbers?

That the four parallel questions all win majority support points to the profound evolution of the Israeli public since the Oslo Accords were signed in 1992. No longer does it have faith that goodwill gestures will win reciprocity from the Palestinians, put credence in Palestinian leaders, or believe in appeasement. The consistent support for these propositions, ranging only from 58 to 67 percent support, confirms that most Israeli Jews want a different and tough policy.

The surprise comes in the turmoil below the stately over-all numbers. That two of them (defeat and Jewish state) divide along Right-Left lines and two of them (victory and U.S. embassy) do not points to the fact that choosing which issue to promote has critical importance to who supports what.

Backing the U.S. embassy move to Jerusalem and Palestinian acceptance of Israel as the Jewish state look similar but attitudes range widely. For example, twice as many supporters of the hard-Left Meretz party back the embassy issue as they do the Jewish state one (67 vs. 33 percent).
It's time for a shift in focus away from hopeless and counterproductive negotiations.

That most Israeli Jewish adults want Palestinian defeat and Israeli victory confirms the utility of the July 11 launch of the Knesset Israel Victory Caucus. Co-chaired by Oded Forer (Yisrael Beiteinu) and Ya'akov Perry (Yesh Atid), the caucus seeks to explore Israeli strategies and tactics once the U.S. government gives a green light for an Israeli victory.

"Debating the peace process to most Israelis," commented a former Israeli prime ministerial aideback in 2013, "is the equivalent of debating the color of the shirt you will wear when landing on Mars." 
It's time for a shift in focus away from hopeless and counterproductive negotiations to ending the conflict the time-proven way: Through victory.

Blind Europe...

From JPost, 20 July 2017, by Melanie Phillips:

In Budapest this week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had an unintentionally revealing moment.

On an open microphone, he was overheard condemning as “crazy” the EU’s insistence on resolving the Israel-Palestinian conflict as a precondition for closer trade ties. European links with Israel, he said, would determine whether the EU would “live and thrive or shrivel and disappear.”

The situation is surely even broader and starker than that.

European leaders don’t realize their fate is wrapped up not only with Israel but with Judaism itself.

They don’t grasp that prejudice against the Jews is a major driver of Islamist attacks not just against Israel but also against the West. And they don’t understand how their own orthodoxies are aiding that malign process.

Last April Sarah Halimi, a 67-year-old French Jewish woman, was murdered by her 27-year-old neighbor, Malian immigrant Kobili Traore, who beat and tortured her before throwing her alive out of the third floor window of her Paris apartment. During the attack he shouted “Allahu akbar” and “you sheitan!” (devil). He had previously taunted her repeatedly with anti-Jewish remarks.

The police, who had failed to respond to the pleas by Halimi’s family to do something about Traore because they feared being accused of anti-Muslim prejudice, have refused to acknowledge this was an anti-Jewish crime.

In recent years, French Jews have been repeatedly attacked by Muslim assailants motivated by religiously based hatred of Jews. France has persistently ignored the significance of this.

When Islamists murdered French Jews in the Hyper Cacher kosher supermarket in Paris in 2015, the Jewish community observed bitterly that this atrocity was only properly acknowledged because it happened two days after the slaughter at Charlie Hebdo.

What the Hyper Cacher atrocity actually showed, along with other attacks on French Jewish targets around the same time, was what Europeans have denied for so long: that Muslims kill Jews because they are Jews.

In 2003 S├ębastien Selam was killed in Paris by Adel Amasta├»bou who screamed: “I’ll go to heaven, I killed my Jew!” In 2014 in Lyon a man armed with a hammer and an iron stick charged at his neighbor, a woman and her child, yelling “Dirty Jew, go back to your country!” The same month a young man was beaten up in Paris by two men crying: “Dirty Jew, we don’t like Jews here, this is no Israel, this is Palestine!” In Britain, there is an ongoing furor over antisemitism in the Labour Party. This is being blamed on the party’s far-left leader, Jeremy Corbyn. But anti-Jewish attitudes, expressed principally through attacks on Israel, are now the default position throughout the Left.

The usual alibi that such views are anti-Israel but not anti-Jew doesn’t wash. Although those expressing them may have no personal animosity against Jews, their Israel-bashing has precisely the same characteristics as Jew-baiting: singling out Jews or the Jewish state alone for double standards, demonization and systematic lying used against no other people.

During Netanyahu’s visit to Paris last Sunday, the French president Emmanuel Macron helpfully observed that anti-Zionism was a “new type of antisemitism.” He also issued a welcome call for “total clarity” on the Halimi murder and admitted: “We were silent because we did not want to see.”

Alas, Macron himself doesn’t want to see what needs to be seen. He has persistently failed to acknowledge the real cause of Islamist terrorism, blaming it on things like joblessness, grievances or – most fatuously – global warming.

Islamist terrorism is caused by a fanatical interpretation of Islam. Intrinsic to that is hatred and fear of the Jews deriving from Islamic sacred texts. Islamists further believe that modernity has to be stopped, the Jews are behind modernity and all other evil and so the Jews have to be eradicated.

The Islamists’ key insight is that progressive views have hollowed out Western societies, particularly in Europe, so that they no longer know what values they need to defend against the Islamic jihad.

What secularists fail to grasp is that the values they most prize, such as the power of reason or belief in human rights, were created by Judaism and expressed in the West through Christianity.

Human rights rest on the belief that all are created equal in the image of God. The power of reason rests on the revolutionary concept in the book of Genesis that there is an intelligible universe.

Secular ideologies, however, are positively anti-Judaism.

Moral relativism denies the moral codes of Mosaic law. Deep green environmentalism repudiates the belief embodied in the creation that mankind is superior to the natural world. Scientific materialism dethrones God and puts man in his place.

Judaism is an obstacle both to the unconstrained individualism of Western libertines and also to the Islamist attack on reason, equality and freedom. Small wonder Western progressives make common cause with Islamists against the Jewish people.

Macron is a universalist who doesn’t believe in defending Western national identity. Nor does he believe in France. He said last February: “French culture does not exist; there is a culture in France and it is diverse...

French art? I never met it!” Anyone who believes Macron will defend the Jewish people, the free world or France itself is in for a rude awakening. As are the rest of Europe and the West, while they continue to misjudge the central importance of Israel and the Jewish people to their battle to survive.

Unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state undermines the international rule of law

Shortly to be published in the Jerusalem Centre for Public Affairs, by Peter Wertheim, Executive Director of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry:

...another failed state....

The following is the Abstract. Follow the link for a full copy, complete with references.

Among those who advocate immediate recognition of a Palestinian state, other than as an outcome of a peace agreement with Israel, there is a striking irony in the contrast between the legalistic approach they purportedly adopt on one question, namely settlements, and their cavalier disregard for well-established legal principles on another, namely the creation of states and their recognition. One either supports the international rule of law as a general principle, or not at all. One does not get to pick and choose.

The four criteria of statehood set out in Article 1 of the Montevideo Convention the Rights and Duties of States, 1933, are widely accepted as the minimum required by customary international law for the creation of a new State. Two of the criteria – a single, centralized government and the capacity to enter into relations with other states – are manifestly not satisfied by any Palestinian entity.

The internal divide between the secular nationalist movement among Palestinians (represented by the PLO and Palestinian Authority (PA) which controls parts of the West Bank), and the theocratic movement (represented by Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip) has resulted in internecine violence on many occasions. All attempts at internal reconciliation have failed and appear to be intractable. They are at loggerheads on the most basic questions, not only concerning peace with Israel and other issues of foreign and domestic policy, but also on the essential nature of a future Palestinian state. Thus, for reasons which are entirely internal to Palestinian society, there is no reasonable prospect for the foreseeable future of any government being formed which would exercise effective control over both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, and would have the capacity to give effect to any agreements purportedly entered into by “Palestine”.

Although recognition is a political act and a matter of discretion, it is “subject to compliance with the imperatives of general international law”. Given that the criteria of government and the capacity to enter into relations with other States are at present not satisfied by any Palestinian entity, recognition of any such entity as a State would be to affirm a fiction, contrary to the imperatives of general international law. Recognition by even a large number of other States cannot overcome clear and compelling objective evidence indicating that the mandatory legal criteria of statehood have not been met. An exception would be admission of the entity as a member State of the UN. If, notwithstanding its admission to the UN as a member State, the entity does not in fact meet the customary law criteria of statehood, at law it is still a State, albeit a failed State.

Applying the additional requirements for recognition contained in the European Community Declaration and Guidelines (1991), the Palestinians have failed, and are likely to continue for the foreseeable future to be unwilling, to make commitments to respect the inviolability of the frontiers with Israel, to repudiate all territorial claims by Palestine against Israel and to settle all disputes with Israel by peaceful means.

Recognition of a Palestinian State at the present time would not only be contrary to the well-established requirements for statehood stipulated by customary international law and the additional requirements mandated by the European Community Declaration and Guidelines in 1991, it would also contravene the internationally recognized and witnessed Oslo Accords between the Palestinians and Israel and lay the foundations for opening a new phase of the Palestinians’ conflict with Israel, rather than for resolving the conflict. Recognition would therefore undermine the primary purposes of the UN Charter and the current international rules-based order, which is to maintain international peace and security.

The above is the Abstract. Follow the link for a full copy, complete with references.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Islam's Bogus Claim to Jerusalem

In the light of recent confected indignation over Israeli measures to prevent terrorism on the Temple mount, it is timely to review these brief videos from Mordechai Kedar, and a hsitorical study by Daniel Pipes:

An excellent historical review, published by Daniel Pipes in 2001, has even more relevance today. The following are very brief excerpts only. Follow the link to the full review.

...An historical survey shows that the stature of the city, and the emotions surrounding it, inevitably rises for Muslims when Jerusalem has political significance. Conversely, when the utility of Jerusalem expires, so does its status and the passions about it. This pattern first emerged during the lifetime of the Prophet Muhammad in the early seventh century. Since then, it has been repeated on five occasions: 
  • in the late seventh century, 
  • in the twelfth-century Countercrusade, 
  • in the thirteenth-century Crusades, 
  • during the era of British rule (1917-48), and 
  • since Israel took the city in 1967. 
The consistency that emerges in such a long period provides an important perspective on the current confrontation....

Politics, not religious sensibility, has fueled the Muslim attachment to Jerusalem for nearly fourteen centuries; what the historian Bernard Wasserstein has written about the growth of Muslim feeling in the course of the Countercrusade applies through the centuries: 
"often in the history of Jerusalem, heightened religious fervour may be explained in large part by political necessity." 
This pattern has three main implications. 

First, Jerusalem will never be more than a secondary city for Muslims; 
"belief in the sanctity of Jerusalem ... cannot be said to have been widely diffused nor deeply rooted in Islam." 
Second, the Muslim interest lies not so much in controlling Jerusalem as it does in denying control over the city to anyone else. 

Third, the Islamic connection to the city is weaker than the Jewish one because it arises as much from transitory and mundane considerations as from the immutable claims of faith.