politinfo

Trying to make sense of a meshuga planet

Palestinians are being stripped of their citizenship, the world is silent

It is silent, of course, because this takes place in Jordan. And when Kuwait expelled about 400,000 Palestinians in 1991, nobody cared much, either. This is not the first conflict between Jordan and its Palestinian population, but today it is inconvenient to remember such violent episodes as the “Black September” of 1970. Can you imagine the outcry if similar measures would be taken by Israel?

So why the double standard? Because Palestinian “refugees” (in quotes because no other population carries perpetual refugee status through generations) are being kept in misery, deprived of basic human rights by their Arab brethren. The UN encourages and perpetuates this condition because:
a) this way its numerous agencies and departments are able to milk generous and gullible Western sponsors of billions of dollars, and
b) ever since 1948 Arab-Israeli War, this was made into a political and demographic threat against Israel.

Every other refugee population on the planet eventually gets more or less settled, absorbed, etc. and gets along with their lives.

RELATED
Amman revoking Palestinians’ citizenship by Khaled Abu Toameh (JPost)
Palestinian Rights: A Warning by Joel B. Pollak (Am. Thinker)
Tensions mounting between Jordan’s Hashemites, Palestinian majority (World Tribune)
Why is the Palestinian Arab refugee problem still here? (MiddleEastPiece.com)

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July 23, 2009 Posted by | Palestinian refugees | , , | Leave a comment

PA: Israel is slowly softening its positions, so why should we hurry?

Saeb Ereqat is the head of the Negotiations Dept. of the “moderate” Palestinian Authority. Unsurprisingly, in his recent interview in Arabic he directly contradicts what PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said in English just a few days ago.

Saeb Ereqat: Over the Years, Israel Has Gradually Withdrawn from Its Positions; Therefore, We Have No Reason to Hurry (MEMRI dispatch)

Many people say that the [Israeli-Palestinian] negotiations of the last 10 or 15 years were useless and yielded nothing, but [that is not true]. In 1994 [i.e. during the Oslo negotiations] the Palestinian side could have capitulated and gained an achievement within one month. [That is,] we could have agreed to undertake the management of the education and health [systems] in the West Bank. [Likewise] Yasser Arafat could have accepted what was offered him at Camp David [in 2000], instead of [letting himself] be besieged in the Muqata’a and then murdered for no reason. President Mahmoud ‘Abbas could have accepted [Olmert’s] December 2008 proposal, [but he preferred to wait]…”

“[Likewise], nobody should agree to Israeli settlers remaining in the Palestinian [state].”

Hat tip: ZOA

And if anyone still has any doubts, here’s a revealing video of another proud Fatah official, Kifah Radaydeh: Our goal has never been peace

UPDATE
Today Elder of Ziyon has a short but brilliant (and relevant) post: Abbas: Not clear on the word “flexible”. Here’s a few lines:


So what, exactly, is he being “flexible” on? Not on land, not on Jerusalem, not on refugees; so where is this flexibility?

And why, exactly, does a Palestinian Arab state require Jerusalem to be its capital in order to exist?

And why, exactly, does such a state require its neighboring country to take in millions of citizens it claims as its own?

Perhaps the flexibility is in the timeframe for Israel to negotiate its own destruction.

RELATED
[Extrapolation from PMW Fatah official implies when Gen. Dayton trains and arms enough of us we will attack Israel? (PMW via IMRA)

July 15, 2009 Posted by | Arab-Israeli Conflict | , | Leave a comment

Jewish rights in the proposed Palestinian state

By now, there are numerous examples of Jews being mistreated and ostracized in Arab/Muslim countries and not a single one to the contrary. Of course, Fayyad knows what words must be uttered in order to charm a gullible Western audience – especially one that really wants to be charmed. For a sober reality check, Benny Morris has very recently debunked this fantasy.

I hope it never comes to this, but I wonder: if an Arab state gets established in Judea and Samaria and some Jews would want to keep living in places where Jews lived continuously for some 3,200 years, why shouldn’t they be able to create a Jewish state of their own?

Fayyad Promises Rights for Jews in PA State by Maayana Miskin (IsraelNN.com)

During an appearance Saturday in Aspen, Colorado, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad promised that Jews who choose to live in a future Palestinian Authority-led Arab state in Judea and Samaria will be granted equal rights. His statements stood in contrast to the PA’s current policies regarding Jewish residents of the region.

“The kind of state that we want to have, that we aspire to have, is one that would definitely espouse high values of tolerance, co-existence, mutual respect and deference to all cultures, religions,” Fayyad said in response to a question about the possibility for a Jewish minority to remain among residents of a PA Arab state.

Jews who remain in Judea and Samaria if Israel withdraws “will enjoy these rights and certainly will not enjoy any less rights that Israeli Arabs enjoy now in the state of Israel,” he added.

The promise of equal rights came in response to a question from former CIA Director James Woolsey, who asked if Israeli Jews who chose to live in Judea and Samaria would be given the rights granted to Arab citizens of Israel. Among those rights are the right to vote, freedom of worship, free speech, “and most importantly, be able to go to sleep at night without worrying someone is going to kick down the door and kill them,” according to Woolsey.

Fayyad’s statements in favor of co-existence and equality sharply contradict current PA policy regarding Jews in Judea and Samaria. The PA considers all Jewish communities in the area to be illegal, and has demanded that all be dismantled and their residents removed from the region.

PA law makes selling property to a Jew an offense punishable by death. Arabs who assist Israel in thwarting terrorist attacks are often put to death as well. PA terrorists who succeed in murdering Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria are lauded by PA leaders, and they and their families are given financial support.

SEE ALSO
Fayad: Jews welcome in our future state

July 7, 2009 Posted by | Arab-Israeli Conflict | | 1 Comment

The “two-stage solution” vs. the “two-state solution”

An excellent analysis of Ehud Olmert’s insane offer of 2008 and its rejection by the “moderate” PLO. Obviously, he was desperate to end his term as a peacemaker and not as a crook. Intentionally or not, it demonstrated – again – that the goal of Israel’s “peace partner” is the destruction of the Jewish state: The secret of failure by Ze’ev B. Begin (JPost)


Never had conditions been so conducive to the attainment of a permanent solution between the government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority as in 2008. The Oslo agreements were defined from the outset as interim, and the blame for the failure of the permanent-status negotiations in 2000 could be put on Yasser Arafat, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate who never changed his spots. However, in 2008 negotiations were held between PLO leaders known to be very moderate and an Israeli government known for its readiness to walk an extra mile on the road to peace. Indeed, Hamas took over Gaza in June 2007, but even this did not divert the negotiators from their goal; the decision was to try to reach an agreement between Israel and the PLO and to then shelve it until it was ripe for execution.

The Washington Post on May 25 reported that according to PLO Chairman Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen), prime minister Olmert accepted the principle of the “right of return” for Arab refugees and offered to resettle thousands in Israel. Abbas also said that Olmert offered him 97% of Judea and Samaria (after Israel had already withdrawn from Gaza in 2005). In addition, last week Newsweek reported that Olmert had told them that he proposed that Israel would give up its sovereignty in the “Holy Basin” in Jerusalem and
suggested that it be jointly administered by Saudi Arabia, Jordan, the PLO, Israel and the United States; this was confirmed by PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat.

Why, then, didn’t the moderate PLO leadership embrace such an extreme Israeli offer? The answer given by Abbas to The Washington Post surprised many: “The gaps were wide.”

THE TRUTH IS, of course, that nothing more can be done on the part of Israel. Unintentionally, Olmert took the veil of moderation off the face of the PLO. When the claim is raised that the PLO would actually suffice itself with a symbolic gesture concerning the thorny refugee issue, its refusal to accept Olmert’s proposals proves that the PLO truly intends to apply the “right of return” of refugees to their original homes in Haifa and in Jaffa, in Lod and Beersheba. PLO leader Ahmed Qureia (Abu Ala) explained lately to Haaretz that “it’s not fair to demand that we recognize you [Israel] as the state of the Jewish people because that means… a predetermination of the refugees’ future, before the negotiations are over. Our refusal is adamant.” To prevent misunderstanding, Mahmoud Abbas, in his Washington Post interview, rejected the possibility that the PLO recognizes Israel as a Jewish state because it would imply renunciation of any large-scale resettlement of refugees.

Although the Arab Peace Initiative includes two articles explicitly dealing with the “right of return,” it should be recognized that the resettlement of refugees in Israel is not the goal but the instrument. All signs indicate that the goal is the cancelation of Israel as a sovereign state in Palestine, and that this is the source of the PLO’s adamant refusal to accept Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people. Hence, even Israel’s withdrawal to the 1949 armistice demarcation line – even that which runs through Jerusalem – and even its agreement to assume responsibility for the plight of the refugees and resettle thousands of them in Israel, will not bring about the termination of the struggle, but will rather lead to the next chapter of prolonged hostility.

The real dispute does not concern the natural growth of Ariel (in Samaria) but the natural right of the Jewish people to sovereignty in Carmiel (in the Galilee).

THIS IS not a futile theological debate but a practical and vital issue. Its severe significance was proven last year, when in the course of talks PLO negotiators were explicitly asked whether, after an agreement is reached to their satisfaction, they would agree to include in it a specific article stating that this puts an end to the dispute and terminates all further claims. The government did not bring to the public’s attention the fact that to this simple question, the PLO leadership ominously answered in the negative.

The necessary conclusion therefore is that the moderate organization for the liberation of Palestine from Jewish sovereignty is not interested in the “two- state solution” but rather in a “two-stage solution.” In the first stage, an Arab state is to be established alongside Israel and in the second stage, following the resettlement of refugees within Israel, one Arab state is to be established, stretching from the Jordan river to the Mediterranean Sea.

In an attempt to test this conclusion to the utmost and to refute it, Israeli governments have resorted to all possible political experiments. All excuses have by now been used up. In other words, as a mechanism for establishing permanent peace west of the Jordan River, the “two-state solution” cannot be realized. There will be no end to this dismal hundred-years dispute so long as the position of the Arab leadership in Samaria, Judea and Gaza does not fundamentally change.

July 6, 2009 Posted by | Arab-Israeli Conflict | , | Leave a comment

Khaled Abu Toameh: How to help the Palestinians

An excerpt from another great piece by Khaled Abu Toameh. Unfortunately, for many people “pro-Palestinian” necessarily means “anti-Israel” and vice versa. In my experience, two kinds of people usually make such mistakes:
1) uneducated (of whom surprisingly large number are reporters, editors and politicians), and
2) malicious, who often know how to manipulate the first kind.
Unfortunately, when subject turns to the Middle East, often emotions take priority to facts.

How To Help the Palestinians by Khaled Abu Toameh (Hudson NY)

The leaders of the Palestinian Authority do not want the international community to hear anything about massive abuse of human rights and intimidation of journalists that its security forces are practicing almost on a daily basis in the West Bank.

They want the US and the rest of the world to continue believing that peace will prevail tomorrow morning only if Israel stops construction in the settlements and removes a number of empty caravans from remote and isolated hilltops in the West Bank.

The Palestinians do not need a dictatorship that harasses and terrorizes journalists, and that is responsible for the death of detainees in its prisons. In the Arab world we already have enough dictatorships.

The Palestinians do not need additional security forces, militias and armed gangs. In fact, there are too many of them, both in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

American and European taxpayers’ money should be invested in building hospitals, schools and housing projects. Investing billions of dollars in training thousands of policemen and establishing new security forces and prisons will not advance the cause of peace and coexistence.

There is no doubt that many Palestinians would love to abandon the culture of uniform and weapons in favor of improved infrastructure and medical care.

As for the international media, it’s time to abandon the policy of double standards in covering the Israeli-Arab conflict. For many years, the mainstream media in the US and Europe turned a blind eye to stories about financial corruption under Yasser Arafat. The result was that Arafat and his cronies got away with stealing billions of dollars that had been donated to the Palestinians by the Americans and Europeans.

Back then, many foreign journalists said they believed that the stories about financial corruption in the Palestinian areas were “Zionist propaganda.” Other journalists said they would rather file an anti-Israel story because this way they would become more popular with their editors and publishers.

Recently, a Palestinian TV crew was stopped at a checkpoint in the West Bank, where soldiers confiscated a tape and erased its content.

This incident, hardly received any coverage in the mainstream media in the US and Europe.

The reason? The perpetrators were not IDF soldiers, but Palestinian Authority security officers. And the checkpoint did not belong to the IDF; it was, in fact, a Palestinian checkpoint.

The story of the detention of the TV crew — which, by the way, belonged to Al-Jazeera and the erasure of the footage did not make it to the mainstream media even after Reporters Without Borders, an organization that defends journalists worldwide, issued a statement strongly condemning the assault on the freedom of the media.

“Journalists must be able to work freely,” Reporters Without Borders said. “The erasure of this video footage proves that the Palestinian security forces try to cover up their human rights violations. This incident should be the subject of an enquiry by the Palestinian Authority.”

Walid Omari, the head of the Qatar-based satellite TV station’s operations in the West Bank, told Reporters Without Borders that his crew was preparing a report on the death of a detainee at the Palestinian Authority detention center in Hebron that might have been the result of torture.

“We were the only ones to investigate this case and we did it despite strong pressure from the Palestinian Authority,” Omari said.

Al Jazeera’s Hebron correspondent went with a cameraman to the victim’s home in the village of Dura, where they interviewed the family and filmed the body.

As they were returning to Hebron in a vehicle displaying the word “Press,” they were detained by Palestinian Authority security forces at a checkpoint and taken to a police station, where the video footage they had just recorded was erased. They were allowed to go after an hour.

One can only imagine the international media’s reaction had the TV crew been detained by Israeli security forces. Anti-Israel groups and individuals would have cited the incident as further proof of the “occupation’s brutal measures” against the freedom of the media.

Moreover, it is highly likely that Israeli human rights organizations like Betselem would have dispatched researchers to the field to investigate the incident had IDF soldiers been involved.

Yet foreign journalists and human rights activists working in Israel and the Palestinian territories either chose to ignore the story or never heard about it simply because it was lacking in an anti-Israel angle.

One can also imagine how the media and human rights organizations would have reacted had a Palestinian died in Israeli prison after allegedly being tortured.

RELATED
Pro-Palestinian vs. anti-Israel
Pro-Palestinian vs. anti-Israel (US campus redux)

June 26, 2009 Posted by | Palestinians | , , | Leave a comment

Palestinian reactions to Netanyahu’s speech

I would really prefer to say that there is a variety of opinions from the Palestinian/Arab side, but so far Israel’s “peace partner’s” reaction to an extended hand is unanimously negative, as Abba Eban has predicted long ago. Their idea of “two states for two peoples” is to have Judenrein Falastin and to flood Israel with Arabs. Of course they call it “peace”, but demand demographic, military, political, etc. abilities to destroy Israel as a Jewish state.

SAEB EREKAT, SENIOR PALESTINIAN NEGOTIATOR:

“President Obama, the ball is in your court tonight. You have the choice tonight. You can deal with Netanyahu as a prime minister above the law, close the file of peace tonight and engulf the whole area in the direction of violence, chaos, extremism and bloodletting. The other choice is to make Netanyahu abide by the “road map” plan for peace.

“The peace process has been moving at the speed of a tortoise. Tonight, Netanyahu has flipped it over on its back.”

It is funny that Erekat threatens with “violence, chaos, extremism and bloodletting” in the same phrase he mentions the Road map, because the Phase I of A Performance-Based Roadmap to a Permanent Two-State Solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict requires “Ending Terror And Violence, Normalizing Palestinian Life, and Building Palestinian Institutions.” Also, it is interesting that he expects Obama’s support.

NABIL ABU RDAINAH, PRESIDENT MAHMOUD ABBAS’S SPOKESMAN:

“Netanyahu’s remarks have sabotaged all initiatives, paralysed all efforts being made and challenges the Palestinian, Arab and American positions.”

Empty mumbo-jumbo, but note how “the Palestinian, Arab and American positions” are being bunched together.

JPost reports:

“Netanyahu’s speech is a blow to Obama before it’s a blow to the Palestinians and Arabs,” an Abbas aide said. “It’s obvious, in the aftermath of this speech, that we are headed toward another round of violence and bloodshed.”

Abbas’s office issued a terse statement in which it accused Netanyahu of destroying efforts to achieve peace in the region.

“The speech has destroyed all initiatives and expectations,” the statement said. “It has also placed restrictions on all efforts to achieve peace and constitutes a clear challenge to the Palestinian, Arab and American positions.”

Nabil Abu Rudaineh:

“Netanyahu’s remarks won’t lead to a just and comprehensive peace based on United Nations resolutions.”

Yasser Abed Rabbo, a senior PLO official closely associated with Abbas, launched a scathing attack on Netanyahu, calling him a “swindler and liar.”

Netanyahu wanted the Palestinians to join the Zionist movement by offering them a state under the protectorate of Israel, Abed Rabbo said. He also rejected Netanyahu’s demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state.

The speech, Abed Rabbo said, was worthless and meaningless and hampered efforts to move forward toward a fair solution to the Israeli-Arab conflict.

“Netanyahu is creating tricks to sabotage the peace process,” he said. “The response to Netanyahu must be firm.”

Again, irresponsible threats, absurd demands and childish temper tantrums. It seems the Palestinian leadership is not in a hurry to build their own state. An why should they be: the entire world is providing them with billions and is taking their “plight” close to heart. Who will be interested in another tiny Arab state without oil, when future Falastin won’t be bent on destroying its Jewish neighbor?

As for the speech itself, I tend to agree with Daniel Pipes’ evaluation: “In brief, it’s a fine speech, making many needed points, but it fails on the critical point of prematurely accepting a Palestinian state.”

UPDATE
A brilliant Palestinian reporter Khaled Abu Toameh offers Analysis: Why was PA reaction to Netanyahu’s speech so harsh? (JPost)

The Palestinian Authority leadership’s hysterical, hasty and clearly miscalculated response to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s speech at Bar-Ilan University on Sunday night is likely to boomerang because it makes the Palestinians appear as “peace rejectionists.”

Note, the PA is the “moderate” “peace partner”. YID With LID has more quotes, including some reactions from Hamas. According to those “humanitarians“, a demand to recognize a Jewish State is a “racist” position: Those “Moderate” Palestinians React to Netanyahu’s Peace Proposal. So in another post, he conveniently provides a map of states declaring themselves as Arab or Islamic.

A summary of Arab media reaction on Netanyahu’s speech (Hat tip: RoadsToIraq)

Palestinian response to Netanyahu speech – panic or delusion? by Avi Issacharoff (Haaretz)

The Palestinian reaction to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s address Sunday can been seen as an indication of panic or alternately as proof that they are drunk with power.

Arabs Pan Israel’s Overture by Margaret Coker (WSJ)

June 15, 2009 Posted by | Arab-Israeli Conflict | , | 1 Comment

Mahmoud Abbas: “In the West Bank We Have a Good Reality… We are Having a Good Life.”

Marty Peretz blogs in The Spine:

Who said this?

Mahmoud Abbas, The Putative President of Putative Palestine. Then what’s the rush?  And what’s the panic?  The negotiations that President Obama is trying to broker between Israel and the Palestinian Authority is really and mostly about the West Bank.  Gaza is completely removed from the equation because it is in the bloody hands of Hamas which the Israelis justifiably won’t touch and even this extra-conciliatory administration doesn’t have the heart to push.  Maybe Pakistan will make a sort of peace with the Taliban. But don’t get any ideas about Israel and Hamas.

Continue there.

Finally, good news from the West Bank! Indeed, in a few short words, the head of the Palestinian Autonomy have caught all wanna-be-Palestinian-state-builders, together with Israel-bashers a-la Jimmy Carter, in a trap. Let’s see how they weasel themselves out, or keep repeating the old mantra of "brutal Israeli oppression", which seems quite impossible to reconcile with his "We are having a good life." Of course, this "good life" is a result of Israel’s security measures and Western aid.

RELATED
Daniel Pipes in FPM: “In the Obama Administration … It’s Easy Being Palestinian”
Barry Rubin: Abbas Seizes Opportunity to Throw Away Opportunity

June 2, 2009 Posted by | Palestinians | , | Leave a comment

US-funded PA names a center “after the martyr Dalal Mughrabi”

How many times we hear that the PA is “too weak” to act decisively against terrorism? No amount of money, equipment and training seems to make any difference. And so, apologists of PA’s inaction come up with never-ending demands of concessions and “gestures” from Israel (not that these make any difference, either).

Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook (of Palestinian Media Watch) ask in JPost: Will the US follow its laws and suspend funding to Abbas? The article proves that Palestinian leadership consistently makes incitement of violence against Jews and Israel their first choice. The full article has more evidence.

As US President Barack Obama prepares to welcome Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to Washington this week, and US lawmakers debate the proposed $900 million aid package to the PA, it is once again using its money to proclaim that killing Israeli woman and children is heroic.

The PA chose to name its latest computer center “after the martyr Dalal Mughrabi,” who led the most deadly terror attack in the country’s history. Her 1978 bus hijacking killed 37 civilians, 12 of them children, including American photographer Gail Rubin. The new center is funded by Abbas’s office, which is bolstered by Western aid money. (Al-Ayyam, May 5).

US law prohibits the funding of Palestinian structures that use any portion of their budget to promote terror or honor terrorists. But $200 million of the US’s proposed $900m. aid package is earmarked to go directly to the Abbas government, which regularly uses its budget to honor terrorists. In fact, this latest veneration of Mughrabi is not an isolated case, but part of a continuing pattern of honoring terrorists that targets children in particular.

Last summer the PA sponsored “the Dalal Mughrabi football championship” for kids, and a “summer camp named for martyr Dalal Mughrabi… out of honor and admiration for the martyr.” It also held a party to honor exemplary students, also named “for the martyr Dalal Mughrabi,” under the auspices of Abbas and at which Abbas’s representative “reviewed the heroic life of the martyr [Mughrabi] (Al-Hayat al-Jadida, July 23, 24 and August 8, 2008). All these PA-funded activities were to teach kids that a killer of women and children is a role model.

TWO MONTHS AGO, 31 years to the day after the Mughrabi murders, PA TV broadcast a special program celebrating the terror attack, calling the killing of 37 civilians “one of the most important and most prominent special operations… carried out by a team of heroes and led by the heroic fighter Dalal Mughrabi” (PA TV March 11).

In 2002, US money funded renovations of the “Dalal Mughrabi school for girls.” After PMW alerted the US State Department to Mughrabi’s terrorist past, the funding was cancelled. Within 24 hours, the PA said the name would be changed, and the American money was reinstated. Once the work was completed, however, the school was renamed for the terrorist. It bears Mughrabi’s name to this day.

AT A RECENT hearing of the House Appropriations Committee, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pledged: “We will work only with a Palestinian Authority government that unambiguously and explicitly accepts the Quartet’s principles, [including] a commitment to nonviolence.” And it’s not just Clinton’s pledge. US law interprets nonviolence to include not honoring terrorists: “None of the [US]… assistance under the West Bank and Gaza program may be made available for the purpose of recognizing or otherwise honoring individuals who commit, or have committed acts of terrorism” (2008 Foreign Operations Bill Sec. 657.B – C.1). This latest glorification of the terrorist Mughrabi, coming as Congress considers the administration’s latest request to fund Abbas, imposes a profound responsibility on Congress. But it also creates a unique opportunity.

Will the US follow its own laws, and insist that the PA stop turning killers of women and children into heroes and role models before it receives another cent of US money? Congress and Obama can send a message to the PA that the US will not fund the PA, or any part of its budget, until it proves that it has ceased promoting terrorist murderers as heroes and role models. It can demand a statement from Abbas – in public, in Arabic and in the PA media – that murdering Israelis is terror, that terrorists are neither heroes nor holy martyrs and that they will no longer be honored.

Or they can send a different message to Abbas: that raising another generation of Palestinian children to the values of hate, murder and martyrdom is acceptable to the US – so acceptable that the US is even willing to fund it.

May 28, 2009 Posted by | Palestinians | , , , | Leave a comment

What does it take to become a state

As early as 1920, the Palestinian Jews developed viable democratic institutions consistent with a modern nation state: the Histadrut, Va’ad Leumi, Sokhnut, Haganah, and decades later, these centralized quasi-governmental organizations indeed served as a foundation for the Jewish state. Free press (such as The Palestinian Post), egalitarian culture, education (Hebrew U.), industrial and agricultural infrastructure (kibbutzim) also flourished.

Instead of helping to create the Jewish state (the Mandate prescribed “a national home for the Jewish people”), the British actively forestalled it. Efforts of the mandatory power were more along the lines of creating the Arab one (e.g. in 1922 the Brits gave away Trans-Jordan, constituting 75% of the Mandate territory, to the Hashemite Arab dynasty, and increasingly restricted Jewish immigration – especially during the Holocaust years! – but never Arab immigration).

What were the Palestinian Arabs doing during the 1920s? They were rioting, led by the jihadi-du-jour, such as the future Nazi mufti Hajj Amin al-Husseini and Izz ad-Din al-Qassam. No viable Palestinian Arab institutions were created.

Even later, during the occupation by Egypt and Jordan (1949-1967), nothing resembling a Palestinian state was created and there were no complaints then…

Fast forward to 2009. Several departments within the UN are dedicated exclusively to the Palestinian Arab cause, billions of dollars have been donated by the gullible West, and the whole world (except for the Palestinian leaders themselves) seems to crave for a Palestinian state – some insist that it already exists and hurried to recognize it – but, as in the 1920s, the Palestinian Arabs are still disunited, disassociated from reality and irrelevant to anything other than a rallying cry against Jews. Their institutions are either corrupt and dysfunctional (Fatah) or openly terrorist and totalitarian (Hamas). As in the 1920s, their culture is still imbued with radicalism, violence, and cult of death and martyrdom. None of these helped: the Arab League, Organization of Islamic Conference, individual Arab/Muslim countries, the Quartet, the Soviet Union/Russia, the European Union, individual European countries, the US, the UN…

Until the Palestinians themselves seriously engage in constructive – rather than destructive – statecraft, all efforts from the outside will fail.

Gerald F. Seib writes in his When is a Palestinian State Really a State?

What does it mean to call a nation a state?

The Israeli prime minister is willing to cede land, and flatly says he has no desire for Israel to govern Palestinians any longer.

The problem, in his mind, is that people are throwing around the word “state” too freely and allowing for too many assumptions about what that word means. Being a state means running your own affairs, picking your own leaders, and having your own economic system—none of which Netanyahu appears to have any problem with when it comes to the Palestinians.

But when people say “state,” Netanyahu worries, they also are implying a self-governing unit that can raise an army, acquire weapons from abroad and control its own borders. And those aspects of statehood, the Israeli leader argues, are non-starters for Israelis, and not just Israelis of his own Likud party.

Oh, and he also thinks there is ambiguity about what Palestinians really mean when they say they accept the state of Israel. He thinks they need to accept not just that there will be a country called Israel, but accept that it will be, specifically and eternally, a Jewish state.

The key question is this: Is the difference over what it means to establish a Palestinian state a semantic distinction, or a deep substantive divide? That’s the nub of the matter, and the issue that Obama’s special Middle East peace envoy, George Mitchell, will have to parse out.

The Netanyahu formulation would seem to leave plenty of room to agree to the formation of a self-governing, independent Palestinian entity of some kind. One journalist suggested to a senior Israeli official Tuesday that maybe it’s time to revive a term of art that has been used in the past to describe the goal of talks: formation of a “demilitarized Palestinian state.” The Israeli official nodded knowingly, but didn’t bite on the suggestion.

May 22, 2009 Posted by | Arab-Israeli Conflict | , | 1 Comment

U.S. Congress bail out for Palestinians: $865 M

I guess the American financial system and the economy are doing just peachy if the U.S. can afford to throw so much money away – although financing terrorists is even worse than throwing money away.

House approves $865 million for Palestinians

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The U.S. House of Representatives approved the Obama administration’s request for $865 million in assistance for the Palestinians.

The funds approved May 14 include $300 million in humanitarian assistance for the Gaza Strip, which is controlled by Hamas, a terrorist group, and more than $100 million for training a security service answering to the more moderate leadership of the Palestinian Authority.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton pledged to Congress that the Gaza funds would be subject to strict restrictions and would not reach Hamas.

Did you expect her to say otherwise? The real question is: just how is this going to be enforced?

May 19, 2009 Posted by | US foreign policy | , , | Leave a comment