I feel ashamed that Obama administration chose to make demands of a total “freeze” of Jewish communities in historical Jewish homelands of Judea and Samaria – that, if implemented, would affect even the “natural growth,” i.e. without expanding their boundaries.
Historical record of those who imposed demographic/territorial restrictions on Jews (and Jews alone) is abysmal: from medieval expulsions & ghettos to German policies of Schutzjuden, to the Russian Pale of Settlement, to the horrors of the 20th century, to 2005 Israel’s expulsion of Jews from Gaza, which resulted in Hamas’ putsch.
I see the following problems with the new Obama/Clinton stance:
1. It violates the understandings negotiated between the previous US administrations and the govt of Israel. A dangerous precedent.
2. To prohibit even the natural growth within already established communities is an illogical and cruel restriction. Even left-wing Ehud Barak agrees that it is wrong.
3 & 4. I agree with Herb Keinon and Elliott Abrams: it won’t bring peace any closer and will only increase tensions between Israel and the US: Analysis: Is Obama looking for a fight over ‘natural growth’?:
“A ‘settlement freeze’ would not help Palestinians face today’s problems or prepare for tomorrow’s challenges,” Elliott Abrams, the deputy national security adviser under former US president George Bush, wrote in April in The Washington Post.
“The demand for a freeze would have only one quick effect: to create immediate tension between the United States and Israel’s new government,” he wrote. “That may be precisely why some propose it, but it is also why the Obama administration should reject it.”
Abrams proved prophetic: the issue has indeed created immediate tension with the US, not over illegal outposts – Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has made it clear he will remove them – but over “natural growth” in the settlements. …
Even if Israel succumbs to ever-increasing and ever-ridiculous demands, Gaza will be still under uncompromisingly genocidal Hamas jihadis, the Palestinian Authority-run schools, mass media and mosques will be still full of incitement against Jews and Israel, Hezbollah will not go away, etc.
5. Finally, and most importantly, it pushes public attention away from the real threat in the region: Iran.
So far Obama’s policies of befriending enemies and antagonizing allies are a big flop. BTW, Bibi deserves credit for standing up against huge pressure.
Alan Caruba has an excellent post in Faith Freedom: Israel in the Crosshairs.
In one short piece, he briefly delves into history, reviews Aaron Klein’s latest book “The Late Great State of Israel” and concludes this way:
For now I will take some small comfort that Benjamin Netanyahu is once again Israel’s Prime Minister, but unless Israel is prepared to assert its right to its ancient and re-conquered land;
Unless it destroys the Iranian nuclear facilities for an America too weak or unwilling to address this necessity;
Unless it refuses the wrongful demands to turn over Jerusalem, its holiest sites, and other Jewish cities to their control;
Israel’s future may disappear in a nuclear cloud. There has been one Holocaust in my lifetime. I do not want to witness another.
At stake is more than Israel’s right to exist. The failure to support and protect Israel puts the entire basis and future of Western civilization at risk.
Did Israel require that its peace partner recognize it as a Jewish state? Or did it drop this demand?
IMRA clarifies the matter:
From Cabinet Communique, PM Netanyahu:
We are currently formulating security-diplomatic policy. … I would like to set one thing straight in advance simply because it has been in the media incorrectly today. We insist that the Palestinians – in any diplomatic settlement with us – will recognize the State of Israel as the national state of the Jewish people. The entire international community demands that we recognize the principle of two states for two peoples and we are discovering that this is two states but not for two peoples but two states for one people, or two states for a people-and-a-half. That is to say, there is no doubt that we are being asked to recognize the Palestinian state as the national state for the Palestinian people but there is doubt and not just doubt, it is clear from the quick check that we carried out that the Palestinians have no intention of recognizing the national state of the Jewish People. Of course, this is completely unacceptable. … We reiterate that we have no intention of ruling over the Palestinians. We want for them to rule themselves, except for those powers that could threaten our security and our existence.
Well said. The emphasis is mine.
Maybe Russia is not at the leading edge of the high-tech industry, but one thing they know is reverse engineering. That is why they don’t need to buy many. So, coming soon: expect Russian clones at an unscrupulous arms dealer/rogue state/terrorist org. near you.
RIA Novosti: Russia Signs Deal to Buy Israeli Drones
The Russian Defense Ministry has signed a deal with an Israeli company to buy several unmanned aerial vehicles, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Vladimir Popovkin said Friday. … a contract signed with Israel Aerospace Industries envisioned the purchase of the Bird-Eye 400 mini-UAV (range-10 km), I-view MK150 tactical UAV (100 km), and Searcher Mk II medium-range UAV (250 km).
Popovkin said the purchase was a temporary measure designed “to show our industry what it [a spy drone] is.” “We will rely on our own equipment to fight wars,” he said.
Hat tip: Daily Alert
As always, Daniel Pipes’ analysis is apt and timely:
Avigdor Lieberman’s Brilliant Debut
World priorities: These must change. The free world must focus on defeating the countries, forces, and extremist entities “that are trying to violate it.” The real problems are coming from “the direction of Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran and Iraq” – and not the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
I will never agree to our waiving all the clauses – I believe there are 48 of them – and going directly to the last clause, negotiations on a permanent settlement. No. These concessions do not achieve anything. We will adhere to it to the letter, exactly as written. Clauses one, two, three, four – dismantling terrorist organizations, establishing an effective government, making a profound constitutional change in the Palestinian Authority. We will proceed exactly according to the clauses. We are also obligated to implement what is required of us in each clause, but so is the other side. They must implement the document in full.
We are also losing ground every day in public opinion. Does anyone think that concessions, and constantly saying “I am prepared to concede,” and using the word “peace” will lead to anything? No, that will just invite pressure, and more and more wars. “Si vis pacem, para bellum” – if you want peace, prepare for war, be strong.
Pipes notes LAT’s ridiculous headline: Foreign minister says Israel not bound to follow two-state path
Contrary to the facts they are covering, but even this is not the worst.
Palestinian authorities disbanded a youth orchestra from a West Bank refugee camp after it played for a group of Holocaust survivors in Israel, a local official said on Sunday. … Adnan al-Hinda, director of the Popular Committee for Services in the Jenin refugee camp, said that the participation of the children in the concert was a “dangerous matter” because it was directed against the cultural and national identity of the Palestinians. He accused “suspicious elements” of being behind the Holon event, saying they were seeking to “impact the national culture of the young generation and cast doubt about the heroism and resistance of the residents of the camp during the Israeli invasion in April 2002.” … Ramzi Fayad, a spokesman for various political factions in the Jenin refugee camp, also condemned the participation of the teenagers in the Holocaust event, saying all the groups were strongly opposed to any form of normalization with Israel.
This is “good” Fatah, which supposedly supports the “peace process” – as opposed to the “bad” Hamas. See any difference? I don’t.
Indeed, as of 2009, Fatah leadership does not make it a secret that they do not recognize Israel’s right to exist.
Nonie Darwish, a brave Arab woman, writes in WSJ: An Arab-Made Misery
Arabs claim they love the Palestinian people, but they seem more interested in sacrificing them. If they really loved their Palestinian brethren, they’d pressure Hamas to stop firing missiles at Israel. In the longer term, the Arab world must end the Palestinians’ refugee status and thereby their desire to harm Israel. It’s time for the 22 Arab countries to open their borders and absorb the Palestinians of Gaza who wish to start a new life. It is time for the Arab world to truly help the Palestinians, not use them.
For those who haven’t heard, the first week in March has been designated as Israel Apartheid Week by activists who are either ill intentioned or misinformed. …
So, I would like to share the following with organizers of Israel Apartheid week, for those of them who are open to dialogue and not blinded by a hateful ideology:
You are part of the problem, not part of the solution: If you are really idealistic and committed to a better world, stop with the false rhetoric. We need moderate people to come together in good faith to help find the path to relieve the human suffering on both sides of the Israel-Palestinian conflict. Vilification and false labeling is a blind alley that is unjust and takes us nowhere.
You deny Israel the fundamental right of every society to defend itself: You condemn Israel for building a security barrier to protect its citizens from suicide bombers and for striking at buildings from which missiles are launched at its cities – but you never offer an alternative. Aren’t you practicing yourself a deep form of racism by denying an entire society the right to defend itself?
Your criticism is willfully hypocritical: Do Israel’s Arab citizens suffer from disadvantage? You better believe it. Do African Americans 10 minutes from the Berkeley campus suffer from disadvantage – you better believe it, too. So should we launch a Berkeley Apartheid Week, or should we seek real ways to better our societies and make opportunity more available.
You are betraying the moderate Muslims and Jews who are working to achieve peace: Your radicalism is undermining the forces for peace in Israel and in the Palestinian territories. We are working hard to move toward a peace agreement that recognizes the legitimate rights of both Israel and the Palestinian people, and you are tearing down by falsely vilifying one side.
To the organizers of Israel Apartheid Week I would like to say:
If Israel were an apartheid state, I would not have been appointed here, nor would I have chosen to take upon myself this duty. There are many Arabs, both within Israel and in the Palestinian territories who have taken great courage to walk the path of peace. You should stand with us, rather than against us.