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Life Lessons with Judy Simon
Tuvia Brodie has a PhD from the University of Pittsburgh under the name Philip Brodie. He has worked for the University of Pittsburgh, Chatham College and American Express. He and his wife made aliyah in 2010. All of his children have followed. He believes in Israel's right to exist. He believes that the words of Tanach (the Jewish Bible) are meant for us. His blog address is http://tuviainil.blogspot.com He publishes 4-6 times a week on his blog. Please check the blog regularly for new posts.
If you’re like most non-Arabs, you probably don’t read the Arab Press. That could be a mistake.
Israel is negotiating a peace agreement with the Palestinian Authority (PA). You know about those peace talks because you read about them in Israel’s press.
But what does the PA press say about these talks?
Here are headlines from—and personal comments about—some Arab news from Israel’s peace partner, the Palestinian Authority (PA). The stories come from December 5-11, 2013.
From Palestinian (PA) news
-Egypt releases 100 Palestinian Syria refugees
-Israeli forces 'detain 6 Palestinians in Hebron area'
-Snow storm expected to hit Palestine Tuesday
-Israel army recruits tour al-Aqsa compound [the Temple Mount]
-Israeli forces raid prisoner's home, interrogate relatives
-Israeli forces wreck house, several structures in Jordan Valley
-OIC urges global community to back Palestinians
-Racist graffiti sprayed in Palestinian village in northern Israel
-Why Palestine should seek justice at the International Criminal Court
-Defending Geneva: Understanding Israel's opposition to peace with Iran
-Tel Aviv 'Nakba' film festival keeps alive memories of 1948 in Israel
-Rights group urges tougher EU measures on settler violence
-Bible scholars: Zionists have 'weaponized' scripture
-Iran nuclear deal vindicates Rouhani's diplomatic push
-Settlers raid Palestinian park near Nablus
-Israeli forces raid Duheisha near Bethlehem, detain 4
-Group: New Israeli excavations under al-Aqsa [the Temple Mount]
Understandably, PA news focusses on local news and on international news that affects the PA. With regard to this kind of self-interest, PA news is no different from anyone else’s news.
However, there is a difference. Unlike most other news sites, PA news presentation has a wartime feel to it.
The PA is at war with Israel. You can see it in the way Israel is presented in the PA’s news.
Israel opposes peace. Israel wrecks Arab lives. Israel must be ‘brought to justice’.
During war, government-controlled news sites have a special purpose. That purpose is not to inform. It is to keep the wartime passions alight, to make sure that whatever emotion the readership needs to keep fighting is present on every front page. In this regard, PA news is no different from anyone else at war.
The problem is, the PA is supposed to be talking ‘peace’ with Israel. The PA is supposed to be preparing to live side-by-side in peace and security with Israel.
Talks have been unfolding between the PA and Israel since August, 2013. The two sides have been negotiating for more than four-and-a-half months.
Peace is supposed to be in the PA’s future. What does PA news have to say about peace with Israel?
On a day during this news cycle when the Jerusalem Post ran five stories related to the peace talks, the PA news site had zero such stories. It’s practically the same every day. It’s as if peace talks don’t exist for the PA.
That’s not a coincidence.
It’s not coincidence that an Israeli newspaper highlights peace talks and the PA doesn’t. It’s not coincidence because the PA has no interest in ‘peace’.
Did you forget? The PA is at war.
Almost everything the PA does focuses on some aspect of the Arab war against Israel. Therefore, why should the PA run ‘peace’ stories on its news site?
It’s interesting to note that two feature stories have stayed on the PA front page for a week. There could a reason they remain so visible.
The first of these two stories is, “Tel Aviv 'Nakba' film festival keeps alive memories of 1948”. As you may know, the word, ‘Nakba’, means ‘catastrophe’—or something close to that. It is a political word. It is a war word.
It refers to the 1948 war Arabs started against the new-born Israel. It refers to the war Arabs initiated in order to destroy the new Jewish state. It refers to the war Arabs were supposed to win. It refers to the Arabs’ ‘catastrophic’ loss in that war.
On the day Israel celebrates its birthday—its Independence Day—Arabs mourn their Nakba—their catastrophe. Israel’s freedom is the Arab catastrophe.
Nakba exists so as to remind the Arab he must avenge his humiliation. In its own cruel way, Nakba is a war-cry.
A Nakba story excites and inspires. Such a feature means that the Arab ‘memory’ is being kept alive—to impassion Arabs to fight again.
It has to be especially sweet to see this particular story. Who would have thought that the Arab dream of total conquest would be kept alive by Jews?
The second of these stories is, “Bible scholars: Zionists have 'weaponized' scripture”. This story is also perfect. Its title reflects the war mentality the PA wants to foster. The title suggests that the Jew is so evil, he even ‘weaponizes’ the holy scriptures.
It is perfect because it demonizes the Zionist (Jew). It echoes the Arab Jew-myth: the ‘Zionist’ is so vile, he makes impure and unholy what should be considered by all as holy and pure—the bible.
These two features play their part in the PA war effort. They keep the war-fires burning. They help to enflame the passion to fight.
Peace, you say? What peace? Haven’t you heard? Zionists weaponize the bible!
It’s how our peace partners present peace.
Today, we complete our look at headlines for December 8-9, 2013:
The Arab Middle East
- Syrian Islamists: No to Democracy or Minority Rights’(12/8/13,Arutz Sheva)
-Police sources: Bombs across Baghdad kill 16 (12/8/13, Jerusalem Post)
-Car bomb in northeast Iraq kills 11 (12/9/13, Ynet)
- Syria facing 'disastrous humanitarian crisis,' says EU official marking 1,000 days of conflict (12/8/13, Haaretz)
-Syria: Islamists Find a New Way to Behead (12/8/13, Arutz Sheva)
-OPCW: Hard to remove all chemical weapons from Syria by December 31 (12/9/13, Jerusalem Post)
Arabs in the Middle East can’t stop killing each other. There’s no end to the blood-letting.
As Islamists gain a foothold in Syria, Islamic law pressures the civilian population (“Syrian Islamists: No to Democracy or Minority Rights’”). Now, forces fighting in Syria have developed a new way to behead enemy combatants (“Syria: Islamists Find a New Way to Behead”).
It used to be that an enemy combatant was called a POW (Prisoner of War). A POW was afforded protections by the Geneva Convention. Apparently, that’s no longer true.
The West, we notice, doesn’t say a word about these horrific atrocities. Their silence suggests a moral collapse.
The Temple Mount
- Islamic Movement Leader: Temple Mount for Muslims Only
The war against Jews on the Temple Mount—Judaism’s Holiest site--moves forward. Arabs rioted after prayers last Friday. An Arab Sheik called to defend the Temple Mount—for Muslims.
The Sheik who made this call wasn’t some radical Islamic outsider. His name is Sheikh Kamal Khatib. He is the deputy head of the Islamic Movement inside Palestine (Israel). He has position. He has power.
He wants Jews gone. He threatened violence against the ’the Israeli occupation’ if Jews didn’t leave the Temple Mount area.
Let’s be clear here. In 1994, Israel and Jordan signed a peace agreement. Both nations committed to allow freedom of access and worship to Holy sites (including the Temple Mount) to both Jews and Muslims.
Who protects the Treaty? Who protects the freedom to worship?
Perhaps the silence of Jewish leaders suggests a moral cowardice.
Is that possible?
-Rouhani: Geneva Agreement has Paid off (12/8/13, Arutz Sheva)
- Rouhani: Any claim of preventing Iran nuke bomb would be 'historical joke' (12/8/13, Jerusalem post)
-US senators prepare legislation to pressure Iran (12/9/13, Jerusalem Post)
-Zarif: Nuclear deal dead if Congress passes even delayed sanctions (12/9/13, Ynet)
-Iran FM: New sanctions would kill Geneva deal (12/9/13, The Times of israel)
-Analysis: A stronger Iran, a weaker America and a region teetering on the brink (12/09/13, Jerusalem Post)
Don’t look now, but the Iran ‘deal’ has become a farce. Iran will not stop enriching uranium. It won’t stop pursuing its nuclear ambitions.
Iran will have its nuclear bomb—and if those damn stupid Americans in Congress try new sanctions (of any kind under any terms), Iran will walk away from the negotiating table.
What did this deal do? It put Iran in the driver’s seat. Now, sanctions lifted, they will do as they please. The American can go to hell.
Who said this deal made Israel safer?
America and Israel
--Kerry: Israel will be safer the day Iran deal is implemented (12/8/13, Jerusalem Post)
- President Obama: Chances of Success with Iran 50-50 (12/8/13, Arutz Sheva)
-Inflexible on Iran, empathetic on Palestine
-Two More Congressmen: Obama Wrong on Enrichment (12/8/13, Arutz Sheva)
John Kerry had once again announced that the Iran deal will make Israel safer. US President Obama said the same thing last week. But now, President Obama seems to be back-pedalling.
According to NBC news (in America), Obama ‘guessed’ that the chances for a comprehensive nuclear agreement with Iran were, at best, 50-50. He even suggested that the chances of success were worse than 50-50.
Nevertheless, he defended diplomacy. He said diplomacy was the best way to prevent Tehran from acquiring atomic weapons.
Do you believe him?
More important still, should Israel believe him?
The Left’s war against Israel
-Lapid: We must ensure peace talks succeed 12/8/13, Globes
-On peace, Yair Lapid takes the gloves off (12/9/13, JTA)
-Lapid: I won't let anyone derail the peace process (12/9/13, Jerusalem Post)
-Goebbels would have been proud (12/8/13, Arutz Sheva)
-Herzog: Liberman Trying to Sabotage the Peace Process
- Peres in favor of gay marriage (12/8/13, Jerusalem Post)
- Finance Minister Lapid: Deadlock with Palestinians will endanger government (12/8/13, Haaretz)
-Haredi activists demonstrate outside military prison cell holding ultra-Orthodox refusenik (12/9/13 Haaretz)
The Arabs make war against Israel. So does Israel’s Left.
Israel’s Left believes that peace (as they define it) is more important that a stable government coalition (“Lapid: I won't let anyone derail the peace process”). It believes that gay rights are more important than Haredi (ultra-religious Jews) rights.
For example, it seems that anyone who opposes gay marriage is a Nazi (that’s from the story, ‘Goebbels would be proud’, above); and only Haredi who refuse to go into the army must be jailed—immediately (“Haredi activists demonstrate outside military prison cell holding ultra-Orthodox refusenik”).
Israel’s Left has an agenda. It hates religion. It hates religious Jews. It pursues a policy of peace-at-any-cost.
For the past week, new Labor Party head Yitchak Herzog has been promoting the Leftist’s peace. He wants Israel to give up all Judea-Samaria and most of Jerusalem. This, he believes, is the road to peace.
He appears to believe that the Arabs will allow Jerusalem to be split between Jews and Arabs. Like every good Leftist, he believes what the West tells him: Jews and Arabs will live together side-by-side in peace, if only Israel would allow it.
Like every other Leftist, he can’t see that Arabs keep saying they reject Jews, don’t want Jews anywhere in ‘Palestine’ and refuse to negotiate anything with Jews.
Like all Leftists, Herzog says we must agree to ‘most’ of the PA demands. He calls this an absolute necessity.
He is a true Leftist. There’s just one problem. The Arabs tell anyone who will listen that their position for peace doesn’t match Israel’s Left. Meet every single one of our demands, they keep saying, or there will be no peace. We are not interested, they say, in ‘most’ of anything. We want it all. That’s the only way you’ll get your peace.
Naturally, Israel’s Left doesn’t believe it. They don’t believe anything the Arabs have been saying since 1948—except, that is, that Jews don’t belong is Israel. That, they believe.
What must the G-d of Israel think of such a belief?
-Israeli-Russian Commerce Up Significantly (12/8/13, Arutz Sheva)
-Israeli firm, developer of swallowable camera, bought for $860 million (12/9/13, Jerusalem Post)
-Deficit shrinks further (12/9/13, Globes)
During this news cycle, we saw many things: the world buried a man who has soiled his morality by defending a ‘people’ who brutalize their own. The Left in Israel continued to bow before those who wish to kill Jews. Iran spat at a foolish America.
While all of these headlines grabbed our attention, Israel quietly moved forward. It reduced its budget deficit (unlike America). It increased its ties to Russia with more trade; and yet another Israeli company made another new capitalistic trade—money for innovation.
There are many headlines to talk about from these last two days. You can see some of them above.
What headlines would you talk about?
Hundreds of headlines appear each day in Israel. Over the course of 24 hours, headlines ricochet back-and-forth between dozens of topics.
Can you follow it all?
In this report, you’ll see a way to make sense of--and discover patterns appearing within--the news. First, you’ll find an organized selection of headlines from Israel’s press. Then you’ll see comments.
Today, we look at—and comment on—some headlines for December 8-9, 2013. Tomorrow, we’ll look at the remainder.
The war against Israel
-Netanyahu: The conflict did not begin with Israel refusing the Palestinians a state (12/8/13, Haaretz)
-Ya'alon: There's No Peace Partner, Only Incitement
-Arabs Wave PLO Flag in the Center of Haifa (12/9/13, Arutz Sheva)
-Hamas: We Won't Cede a Single Grain of Soil(12/8/13, Arutz Sheva)
-Hamas Vows to Oppose Interim Peace Agreement(12/9/13, Arutz Sheva)
-PLO Opposes Interim Peace Agreement (12/9/13, Arutz Sheva)
-PLO: Palestinians won't accept current proposals from Israel (12/9/13, Jerusalem Post)
-Report: Kerry to Postpone Terrorist Release to Pressure PA (12/9/13, Arutz Sheva)
-Report: PA Won't Agree to Delay in Prisoner Release (12/9/12, Arutz Sheva)
-PA Demands Terrorist Prisoner Release on Time (12/9/13, Arutz Sheva)
-Palestinian official: Kerry's peace ideas will lead to 'total failure' (12/9/13, Ynet)
-Palestinian throw firebomb at Israeli bus south of Nablus, no injuries reported (12/9/13, Haaretz)
Today’s news cycle began with a statement by Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (“Netanyahu: The conflict did not begin with Israel refusing…”). Mr Netanyahu reminded the world that the Arab-Israel conflict did not begin with Israel refusing the Palestinians a state. The current Arab-Israel conflict began more than 65 years ago when the Arabs chose to start a war. They attacked Israel. They wanted the new-born state to be Jew-free. The Arabs, Mr Netanyahu wanted you to know, are still fighting that war.
If you don’t believe this assertion, check out the story about Hamas in this news cycle (“Hamas: We Won't Cede a Single Grain of Soil”). Hamas is not interested in living side-by-side with Israel in peace and security—as the West so often tells us. Hamas has the same goal the Arabs had in 1948: the only Palestine they want—and will accept--is one that stretches from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River.
You can’t get any clearer than that.
If you do not understand Middle East geography, you should know that the only land in this region that stretches from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River is Israel. Hamas wants its ‘Palestine’ to replace Israel.
Don’t think the PLO/Fatah is any different. In another story from this same news cycle (“PLO Opposes Interim Peace Agreement”), the PLO Executive Committee reiterated its demand that any permanent agreement for peace had to include a complete Jewish withdrawal from Judea and Samaria, and the establishment of Jerusalem as the (Jew-free) capital of the PA state. The Committee warned that there will be no peace without those two unalterable requirements.
PLO/Fatah Arabs also agree with the Hamas ‘from the River to the Sea’ demand. We know this because of the PLO/Fatah logo.
That logo shows the new Arab ‘Palestine’ where Israel is today. Their ‘Palestine’ replaces Israel on the map—and yes, that ‘Palestine’ stretches from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River.
Hamas and PLO/Fatah share the same goal. Both want to erase Israel from the map.
It doesn’t get any more graphic than that.
The world likes to believe that there is no peace in the Arab-Israel conflict because of Israel. But today’s news cycle reveals the truth: it’s Arabs’ unyielding demands that keep peace from ‘happening’.
That’s what the Kerry-generated headlines above proved. US Secretary John Kerry has (perhaps) finally conceded that Israel has legitimate security concerns. He seems finally to recognize (maybe) that the West must give credence to stated Hamas/PLO/Fatah anti-Israel hostility. He has, to this end, proposed to Abbas a way to help Israel get that security.
Abbas balked. He rejected Kerry’s (so far unpublicized) suggestions.
What happened next was totally unexpected: Kerry suggested that, if Abbas is being this stubborn about negotiating peace, perhaps the US will tell Israel to delay the next-scheduled prisoner release (scheduled for the end of this month). The prisoner release was a promised three-stage release of Arab terrorists held in Israeli prisons. The promise of release had been made to entice the PA to the negotiating table.
The US position seemed clear. If Abbas wasn’t interested in being at the negotiating table, the prisoner release should stop; it could start up again once Abbas showed more willingness to compromise.
When Abbas heard that, he went ballistic (“Palestinian official: Kerry's peace ideas will lead to 'total failure'”). Abbas didn’t just oppose Kerry’s suggestion for Israel security; he threatened a complete collapse of the talks over this issue.
Who’s being intransigent here, Israel or Abbas?
The answer seems, clearly, Abbas. Will the world see that?
-'South Africans Don't Hate Israel, They Hate Oppression' 912/9/13, Arutz Sheva)
-Netanyahu Won't Attend Mandela Memorial (12/9/13, Arutz Sheva)
-Peace Now to PM: participate in Mandela's funeral, high costs mustn't be used as an excuse (12/9/13, Haaretz)
The death of Nelson Mandela reminds us how badly our moral leaders can fall. For many, Nelson Mandela was the idol for morality. He spoke to the world of moral issues. He stood tall for justice.
But he also failed because he supported, praised and encouraged the ‘Palestinian cause’. Although he spoke specifically of ‘freeing’ the Palestinians, he did nothing to free those Arabs from the horrors of living under ‘Palestinian’ rule.
He chose the wrong cause to label ‘moral’.
Mandela spoke out against Israel. But as he did that, he ignored disgusting Arab-on-Arab oppression--documented by Human Rights organizations--that occurs with unrelenting regularity in both the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Gaza.
He abandoned the suffering of truly innocent Arabs in order to join the let’s-get-Israel crowd. That’s what’s so troubling about Nelson Mandela. He could have protected Arabs from their own rulers. He could have used his moral authority—as no one else could—to embarrass Hamas and the PA in front of the world, to call out to them to stop killing and torturing Arabs under their direct control.
He didn’t do that. Instead, he chose to join their anti-Israel war.
Look at the 2013 World Report from Human Rights Watch (HRW). Both the PA and Hamas stand accused of hundreds of complaints of torture of their own people across several years. Both the PA and Hamas harm and severely restrict the freedoms of the press and assembly. For example, their security officers wade into peaceful protesters and beat their fellow-Arabs—just because they assemble, just because they speak out.
While not in the HRW Report, both Hamas and the PA actively oppress anyone who is not Muslim. Neither allows freedom of religion or the freedom to worship as one pleases.
Mandela was wrong. He had the moral authority to speak out. He didn’t.
Israel’s Left is also wrong (see the ‘Peace Now’ headline above). Israel is correct not to send its Prime Minister or President to Mandela’s funeral.
There is shame here, not honour. When it came to the world’s only Jewish state, Nelson Mandela abandoned his nobility.
Come back tomorrow for more.
Hundreds of headlines appear each day in Israel. Over the course of 24 hours, headlines ricochet back-and-forth between dozens of topics.
How do you make sense of it all?
In this report, you’ll find an organized selection of headlines from Israel’s press. Then you’ll see comments.
Today, we look at—and comment on—headlines for December 6-7, 2013.
The war against Israel
-Liberman: Israel not ‘occupying’ West Bank, peace talks won’t work (12/7/13 Times of Israel)
-Favorite Course of Terrorists in Israeli Jails – Genocide (12/6/13 Arutz Sheva)
-Released Terrorists Reveal No Regret, Fun in Jail (late 12/5/13, Arutz Sheva)
-Poll: 87.5% of Israelis Don't Believe in Current Peace Talks (12/6/13, Arutz Sheva)
-Poll: Only 6% Expect a Peace Agreement with PA (12/6/13, Arutz Sheva)
-Lieberman at Saban Forum: Peace between Israelis and the Palestinians is unlikely ( 12/7/13 Haaretz)
-Abbas: We won't forget Mandela said revolution incomplete until Palestinians are free (12/6/13, Haaretz)
-PA Leaders Use Mandela's Death to Slam 'Occupation' (12/6/13, Arutz Sheva)
-Gaza 'Collaborator' Sentenced to Death by Hanging(12/6/13, Arutz Sheva)
Palestinian Authority (PA) leaders like to declare they want Palestinians to be free. They rail against Israel’s ‘occupation.’ Now, they used the death of Nelson Mandela to slam Israel and promote their ‘cause.’
Mandela has been useful to Mahmoud Abbas. Mandela once said, “if the Palestinians are not free, no one is free”. It’s a catchy phrase which, as you’ll see below, is untrue. But it’s been used anyway by Israel-haters to demonize Israel.
Mandela seems to have loved the ‘Palestinians.’ He once described the late PA Chairman Yasser Arafat, as, "one of the outstanding freedom fighters of his generation” (Elad Benari, “PA Leaders Use Mandela's Death to Slam 'Occupation'”, cited above).
You know, freedom is wonderful. Everyone wants it. Everyone loves it. But Mandela’s call to ‘free Palestine’—and his praise of Arafat as a great ‘freedom’ fighter—are blots on his supposed nobility. They stain his reputation because his words are not true.
We know they’re not true because we know how Arabs who live in Gaza are treated. Human Rights Watch (HRW) says Gaza treats its people in a manner best described as, ‘abusive’. One example of this abuse shows up in Gaza’s judicial system. Arabs are too often executed (murdered?) by authorities after secret proceedings.
Israel doesn’t do that.
We also know how Arabs who live in PA-controlled areas are treated—harshly—with limited freedoms and many abuses, according to HRW.
HRW reports that Gaza and the PA torture prisoners. Both limit and/or prohibit a number of freedoms.
Arabs in Gaza and the PA are not free. If Mandela wanted to see ‘free Palestinians’, he should have called upon Arafat to put aside the ways of the tyrant. He should have said, ‘follow Israel’s example’.
Arabs have more rights and freedoms—plus better medical care and educational opportunities-- in Israel than in any other Middle East country. Israel is not perfect. But it’s a lot more perfect than any of its Arab neighbours.
Apparently, Mandela didn’t do his research. Instead, he drank the ‘kool-aid’. He accepted the poisonous propaganda of the Arafat-inspired war against Israel. He allowed his name to be associated with lies.
That’s not moral nobility. It’s more like the corruption of what was once noble.
-Palestinians throw firebomb near the Gaza border fence near Kfar Aza; no casualties (12/6/13, Haaretz)
-Gaza: Rockets aimed at Israel explode in Palestinian territory (12/7/13, Ynet)
-2 Rockets Fired Into Israel From Gaza; No Injuries Reported (12/7/12, Arutz Sheva)
-IDF: Friday’s explosion near Syrian border – intentional (12/7/13, Ynet)
While the so-called ‘peace talks’ unfold, we should wonder how Arabs feel about peace prospects. After all, if peace comes, they’ll benefit, won’t they?
We might learn a lot about Arab intent from his actions—his behaviour. Arabs are no different from anyone else: their actions speak louder than words.
In just the two days of this news cycle, we saw how Arabs react to the prospect of peace with Israel: they continue to attack Israel.
Specifically, they fired rockets into Israel, hurled a firebomb at a Jewish village and detonated a massive explosive device inside Israel near the Syrian border. Each of these assaults is a serious violation of Israel’s sovereignty—and an attack against Israel’s right to live in safety. These attacks are not peaceful. In fact, the explosive device at the Syrian border is a new and troubling incident. It marks what some feel is a severe escalation in tension at the Syria-Israel border.
What does this violence and anti-Israel aggression tell you about peace prospects?
-Canadian church launches boycott of West Bank goods (12/6/13, Times of Israel)
Canada’s largest Protestant Church has been talking about boycotting Israel products on behalf of ‘Palestinian justice’ for some time. Now, it has started its promised boycott. To support the ‘Palestinian’s’ struggle to remove Israeli ‘occupation’ from Judea-Samaria, Canada’s largest Protestant congregation now encourages ‘economic action’ against Israeli companies, starting today with Keter Plastic, SodaStream and Ahava.
This appears to be a questionable use of a Church’s moral authority. If the Church remains silent in the face of attacks against Jews while it supports punitive actions against the Jewish State, it suggests that the means (attempts to kill Jews) justifies the ends (getting Israel out of Judea-Samaria).
I thought that the first lesson of moral behaviour for a moral society is that the means do not justify the ends. Has the Church in Canada decided to turn morality on its head?
The Arab Middle East
-Syrian Opposition Claims Assad Used Chemical Weapons Again (12/6/13, Arutz Sheva)
-All Syrian chemical weapons munitions destroyed, says watchdog (12/6/13, Haaretz)
-Syrian airstrikes on rebel-held city Raqqa kill 12 (12/7/13, Haaret)
-Syria regime kills 17 in Nabuk 12/713, Ynet)
-Group of Syrian nuns abducted by rebels appear in video broadcast on Al-Jazeera 12/6/13, Haaretz)
-Yemen: 6 dead in raids to catch perpetrators of Thursday's ministry attack 12/613, Haaretz)
-Al-Qaida branch claims attack in Yemen (12/6/13 Haaretz)
-Islamists demand fall of Libyan government, end to oil blockades (12/6/12, Haaretz)
-Gunmen attack liquor stores in Baghdad, killing nine 12/713,Ynet)
-2 bombings kill 4 people in Iraq 12/7/13, Ynet)
The killings and destruction continue in the Arab Middle East. Arabs in the Palestinian Authority (PA) suggest to the West that they want peace. But their brothers just up the road can’t stop killing each other. In Yemen, Libya, Syria and Iraq, at least 35 people were killed in just two days.
Shouldn’t such perpetual violence raise questions about the Arab’s capacity to live in peace? Does such widespread violence suggest a tendency to prefer destruction over peace?
Shouldn’t we be asking these questions?
The Temple Mount
-Muslims Riot on the Temple Mount (12/6/13, Arutz Sheva)
-Tension at Temple Mount is escalating week by week (12/7/13, Times of Israel)
Judaism’s holiest site is the Temple Mount. According to a 1994 Treaty between Jordan and Israel, both Jordan and Israel have committed to allow free access—and freedom of worship-- for Jews, Christians and Muslims to all Holy sites. Jordan has the responsibility to administer the Temple area---through the Muslim Waqf. However, despite the Treaty, both Jordan and the Waqf regularly denounce any Jewish presence on the Temple Mount.
That’s a problem. If Jordan has signed a Treaty to allow freedom of access and worship to Jews, shouldn’t they defend the terms of that Treaty?
They do not defend what they have agreed to defend. As a result, the Temple Mount is now talking its place in the region as a war zone. There hasn’t been a lot of fighting there—so far. But Arabs and their Jewish sympathizers ignore the Treaty. If fighting accelerates, there will be blood on their hands.
The blood will be their responsibility because they refuse to defend the agreed-upon freedom of worship. Instead, they demonize Jews who wish to ascend the Mount.
In the Middle East, religion is a big deal. Everyone knows how important one’s religion is. Such disrespect to the Jewish religion is unforgiveable—and, by Treaty, potentially illegal.
Jewish political leadership—and leadership in the police, civil administration and criminal justice system--have abrogated their responsibility. They are supposed to uphold and protect a signed Peace Treaty. Their abrogation of that responsibility should be offensive to all who love freedom.
Where is Israel’s Left? They are always the first to cry out for freedom. Why don’t they cry out now?
Why are they silent?
-Iranian UN Ambassador Doesn't Recognize Israel
-Iranian president: Mandela gave freedom a new, glorious meaning (12/6/13, Haaretz)
-Rohani defends Iran's interim nuclear deal (12/713, Ynet
-IAEA: Iran presses ahead with uranium enrichment technology (12/7/13, Haaretz
America and Israel
-Kerry: Israel, PA Closer to Peace Deal than in Years (12/6/13, Arutz Sheva)
-Upon departing Israel, Kerry insists peace deal progress hinges on security (12/6/13 Haaretz)
-Kerry: Israel security key in peace talks (12/6/13, Ynet)
-Kerry stresses US commitment to Israel’s security (12/7/13,Ynet)
-Kerry: Nuclear Iran is an existential threat to Israel (12/7/13, Ynet)
-Report: US Accepts Israel's Stance on Jordan Valley (12/6/13, Arutz Sheva)
-Kerry: We are closer to peace than we have been in years (12/6/13, Times of Israel)
-Obama takes aim at Israeli positions on Iran (12/7/13,JTA)
-Obama: Iran can have peaceful nuclear program, ‘modest (12/7/13, Times of Israel)
-Obama: ‘My goal is to prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapon’ (12/7/13, Times of Israel)
-Obama: Iran will not advance nuclear program (12/7/13, Ynet)
-Palestinians reject Kerry layout for peace (late 12/5/13, Times of Israel)
The Left’s war against Israel
-Herzog: Divide Jerusalem and Make Land Swaps (12/6/13, Arutz Sheva)
-Peretz in Turkey: Arabs Have a Right to Another State (late 12/5/13, Arutz Sheva)
-Study: Companies with Israel ties added $6.2 billion to Mass. Economy
-Israeli firm’s 4G chips find a home in Verizon tablet (12/6/13, Times of Israel)
There are many headlines to talk about from these last two days. You can see some of them above. Which of those headlines would you talk about?
Hundreds of headlines appear each day in Israel. How do you make sense of it all?
Over the course of a single day, headlines ricochet back-and-forth between dozens of topics. Reading the news becomes akin to watching six tennis matches at once.
Here’s a way to read the news. In this report, you’ll see an organized selection of headlines from Israel’s press. You’ll also see comments about those headlines.
Today, you’ll take a clear look at just one topic. The time period is the end of Chanukah, December 3-5, 2013.
The War on Israel
- Former PA Negotiator: Peace Deal 'Impossible'
-IDF Admits Terror is on the Rise in Judea, Samaria
-Attack Thwarted at Tomb of the Patriarchs
-Hebrew University's Mount Scopus Campus 'a War Zone'
-Casualties from Terror in Heartland 'Up 120%'
-Stone-hurling suspects: Motivated by 'Jew-hatred'
-Abbas: If negotiations fail we'll appeal to international bodies
-Palestinian youth arrested with sharp screwdriver: 'I wanted to stab a soldier
-UN Envoy: We are Losing our Patience
- Lieberman: PA Trying to Sabotage Talks
-Hamas Leader: We Won't be Bound by Peace Agreement
-Livni: Israel's Security Interests will be Preserved
-Abbas Rejects Kerry’s Offer
- Kerry praises Abbas for negotiating ‘despite difficulties’
The language of international diplomacy used to be Latin. That’s no longer true. At least when it comes to Israel, the lie has become the lingua Franca for diplomats.
Everyone participates—the European Union, the US and the United Nations. Lies about Israel have become so commonplace, they have become accepted truths.
They are not.
One of those lies has popped up again during this current news cycle. Envoy to the Middle East Robert Serry warned Israel that the international community would not be happy if Israel allowed current peace talks to fail. Serry said that the international community was losing its patience.
Clearly, Serry blames Israel for ‘no peace’.
That’s a lie.
Serry is not the first to express impatience with Israel. The European Union wants a new Palestine to emerge from these talks--and it is ‘frustrated’ by Israel's intransigence.
The US agrees. US Secretary of State John Kerry has told Israel that, if it fails to produce a new Palestine, it (Israel) will see ‘isolation on steroids’. Kerry practically gave a green light for a new Intifada when he added (regarding the potential for failure), ‘does Israel want a third intifada?’
The UN, the EU, the US and The Palestinian Authority have all denounced Israel for its ‘settlements’. Abbas regularly uses the ‘settlements’ as an excuse to refuse to negotiate. He claims that building in ‘settlements’ drives a dagger into the heart of peace negotiations.
That’s another lie.
Now, Israel Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman makes trouble. He claims that ‘settlements’ represent just 1.5% of Judea-Samaria.
According to Evelyn Gordon (“Settlements: obstacle to peace,” Commentary magazine, November 17, 2011), Liberman is wrong. The ‘settlements’ do not make up 1.5 per cent of Judea-Samaria.
Gordon writes an interesting essay. She quotes the then-chief Palestinian negotiator, Seeb Erekat. She references an interview Erekat did on the Arabic radio station As-Shams (at the beginning of November, 2011). She paraphrases Erekat saying, ‘based on an aerial photograph provided by European sources, the settlements cover only 1.1 percent of the West Bank (ibid)’.
That’s it--1.1 per cent. Western nations have their panties in a twist over 1.1 per cent. They claim there is no peace because of 1.1 per cent. They are frustrated with Israel because of 1.1 per cent. They loses their patience with Israel because of 1.1 per cent.
Think about this claim. The West believes that 1.1 per cent kills prospects for peace?
Don’t believe it.
If you have ever negotiated anything, you know very well that 1.1% is nothing. The Arabs –and the entire Western world—attack Israel over 1.1 per cent? There’s something is wrong with that.
The only reason anyone would demonize Israel over 1.1 per cent is that he demands Israel give up 100 per cent of Judea-Samaria—and then demands further that there will be no negotiation whatsoever. In fact, that’s exactly what’s going on here.
At the time this latest round of peace talks began, Abbas gave a speech (September, 2013) to graduates of the University of Jericho. In that speech, he declared that there will not be a peace agreement with Israel unless “all of the Palestinian Authority demands are met” (“Abbas: Meet Our Conditions, Then We Can Have Peace”, Arutz Sheva, Elad Benari, September 16, 2013).
That’s not a negotiator talking. That’s one who will not negotiate; and yet, whom does the West blame for ‘no peace’?
During this news cycle, Israel's security needs made headlines. As US Secretary of State John Kerry returns to Israel (on December 4/5), Chief Israeli negotiator Tzipi Livni announced that Israel’s security interests will be preserved. To this end, Kerry discussed with Abbas a plan to preserve Israel’s security interests. As the headline above indicates, Abbas rejected Kerry’s plan.
Who’s the intransigent one? Israel?
The West doesn’t care. They ignore Abbas. They denounce Israeli ‘settlements’.
Why does the West do that? Does it join the Arab in villainous counsel against Israel?
Well, if you listen to the UN, the US, the EU and Abbas, the issue of 'settlements'' will not go away. This 1.1% is so destructive it makes peace impossible. To listen to these attacks, you’d think that Israel is using ‘settlement’ to create so large a footprint over Judea-Samaria that a new ‘Palestine’ would be impossible to create.
But with only a 1.1 per cent footprint, is 'settlement' a problem?
The war against Israel continues.
Look at the other headlines above. Arabs attack Jews during peace talks. The West ignores those attacks. Hamas says it will not be bound by any peace agreement with Israel. Jews are assaulted. Arabs hate.
What’s going on here? The West becomes irate at Israel because of ‘settlements’—when ‘settlements’ clearly aren’t the issue.
The Arabs, meanwhile, marinate in Jew-hate. This, the West ignores.
We learn in our Tehillim (83:6) that Edom (the West) and Yishmael (Abbas) will take counsel together with others to strike a covenant against HaShem, the G-d of Israel. Is that what’s happening here?
Don't go away. This movie isn't over.