Tag Archives: palestinian authority

Israelis and Palestinians co-operating over healthcare

Another feelgood video showing how the Civil Administration in the West Bank provides vital medical services for Palestinians whose medics do not have adequate equipment, knowledge or training to deal with certain diseases and conditions.

It is co-operation such as this that is the real path to peace, not unilateralism, terrorism or racism.

Not only did the Israeli medical team provide immediate help for this woman, but they trained Palestinian doctors and provided then with the equipment they needed.

This is not an isolated case.

 

h/t @semperexploro

New Year, new lies about Israel

I have been following the strange case of the Palestinian woman who the Palestinian Authority claim died of tear gas inhalation as a result of its use by Israeli police in Bil’in.

Now Bil’in is the scene of frequent protests against Israel’ security wall. It not only draws Palestinian protestors but also Israeli left-wing organisations and NGOs and people from all over the world who want Israel to take down the wall to allow terrorists and suicide bombers free passage into Israel. They value the comfort of West Bank Palestinians above the lives of Israelis.

But when I saw the BBC article reporting this death I was puzzled. I could not remember anyone previously dying anywhere in the world from tear gas inhalation.

I googled death from tear gas and the only reported death I could find were pages and pages of reports from various sources about this alleged death, that of Jawaher Abu Rahma.

I  noted that Israel said they would investigate this puzzling and, apparently, unique case. I even wondered whether Israeli tear gas had some especially lethal ingredient.

I could see that all the news agencies were reporting this death by tear gas as if it were a proven fact. No-one seemed to have done my simple research and mentioned that it was unusual.

I was hoping to give you a link to the BBC report.

But I can’t.

Because it appears to have disappeared.

If you can find it, I’d like to hear from you.

And then, thanks to the Elder of Ziyon, the scales were lifted from mine eyes.

The Elder reported “Tear gas death” was a hoax.

The Elder had it first hand from very simple initial Israeli security force investigations. You know, the kind of thing that good journalists should do before releasing stories that are clearly suspicious.

This is the basic story:

All evidence points to the fact that Jawaher Abu Rahma was not killed by tear gas.

The number of inconsistencies and the amount of evidence of lies by Palestinian Arab spokespeople is incontrovertible. Here are some of the facts that the security sources mentioned:

* Abu Rahma arrived at the hospital at 15:20 on Friday – but her lab report is dated/timed 14:45, 35 minutes earlier!

* There is no emergency room report for her arrival.

* The reason for death given was “Inhaling gas from Israeli soldiers according to family.”

10 days prior to her death she was in that hospital, taking medication for leukemia. There is evidence that she was in the hospital in the weeks prior as well, which indicates that she had a chronic disease.

Never has anyone died from tear gas in five years of riots in Bil’in.

There is no evidence that Abu Rahma even attended the riot. Her brother is the ringleader of the weekly Bil’in riots and yet there are no photos of her next to him, or anywhere else, on Friday (and possibly ever.)

The tear gas that the IDF used on Friday is exactly the same concentration and type that they have always used, and the same as used by Western countries for years.

Yet the PA had already called it a “war crime”. The entire world had accepted at face value the blatant lies of the PA>

This is not the first nor will it be the last in a long succession of fake incidents designed to demonise Israel.

Two things strike me:

1. the callousness of the Palestinians in using the tragic death from natural causes of a woman related to an ‘activist’ to promulgate a lie to further their political ends

2. the gullibility of the world’s press to accept the story at face value and their willingness, nay, eagerness to vilify and embarrass Israel

I do not see on the BBC News website any report that this was a lie and they fell for it. I do not see an apology.

Meanwhile, all the usual suspects in the Arab and Muslim world and their constituency will see it as another example of Israeli murderous callousness.

The Elder also links to other Israeli sources on this story:

You can read more coverage from other bloggers on the same call, Israel Matzavand The Muqata, and My Right Word had the initial Israeli news reports.

Update: I found a BBC article here which is not the original one and is full of Palestinian propaganda and not one Israeli representative.

The throw-away nature of the commentators reference to the reason for the barrier as being for security purposes and the tone in which this is said is not exactly impartial. It’s as if he has to say this for the sake of impatiality but we all know that this is not the real reason, nudge nudge.

Why the Arab-Israeli conflict cannot be resolved by the current Palestinian leadership

I previously wrote about Palestinian rejectionism and how it would mean that no peace is possible with Israel because the Palestinian Authority has never had any other goal than the destruction of the State of Israel and this has not changed since the formation of the PLO in 1964 and it was also the goal of the Arab League before it.

Hamas, the Islamist organisation that runs the Gaza Strip is also dedicated to Israel’s destruction.

Tawfik Hamid is an Egyptian academic who has surprising views on Israel and the Middle East.

Dr Hamid is a true moderate who rejects fundamentalist interpretation of the Qur’an and advocates peace with other religions and especially Israel. Dr Hamid is not unique but he is certainly a rarity. If only his views were spread at the same rate as Islamism, peace and security for the region and the world would be greatly enhanced.

In an article I read at newsmax.com Dr Hamid describes what he calls ‘The Real Reasons Behind the Arab-Israeli conflict’.

He soon rejects the current accepted views of the Arab and Muslim world:

The view that solutions for the Arab-Israeli conflict have failed because of what some in the Muslim world call the “expanding and colonizing ideology of Zionism” is unfair and devoid of truth. Israel proved its dedication to peace when it withdrew from Sinai, Lebanon, and Gaza in hope of peace with its neighbors.

He then moves to the territory I covered in my aforementioned article as his first reason:

Until Palestinian leaders, in both Arabic and English speeches, declare that Israel is their legitimate neighbor whom they no longer will strive to overrun, their participation in negotiations is fake, hypocritical, and doomed to fail. It is impossible to negotiate with a partner about borders if this partner does not accept your existence to begin with.

The second reason is what he calls the ‘selfish mentality’ of the Palestinian leadership. Again, this is similar to my view that the PA paints itself into a corner because it is more interested in self-preservation and populism than making peace. For Hamid:

Palestinian leaders seem to be interested in proving their “merit” by destroying Israel than in gaining a better life for their people. True leaders must be ready to make concessions to ensure a better life for their people.

Until Palestinian leaders are ready to make such concessions to the Israelis, the problem will not be solved.

Reason number three is that the international community (and this is broadly the Western democracies) are naive in their belief that the PA is ‘moderate’ when it is no different to Hamas in its desire to eradicate Israel which leads to a refusal to recognise Israel’s right to exist and this is buttressed by extreme anti-Semitic propaganda in the media.

For his fourth reason Dr Hamid makes the astute point that:

… the Palestinian leadership prefers to live — and to make their population live — in delusions rather than in reality.

Just recently, an official Palestinian report claimed that a key Jewish holy site — Jerusalem’s Western Wall — has no religious significance to Jews. It is impossible to solve the Arab-Israeli conflict if the Palestinian leaders insist on living in such delusions instead of admitting the archeological reality that Jerusalem’s Western Wall is Jewish. Problems are not solved by living in fabrications and lies but rather by facing and admitting realities.

One might add that for decades the Waqf, the Islamic authority that oversees the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif have been busy destroying the most important archaeological site in the world by digging and burrowing into the layers of Jewish temple history that lie beneath the Dome of the Rock and the al-Aqsa mosque.

What is effectively a propping up of the Hamas government in Gaza is reason number five.  Dr Hamid believes that Palestinians in Gaza have not had to pay the price for their choice. This is a rather eccentric view when you take into account what happened during Operation cast Lead.

What Hamid is referring to is that Hamas were supposed to provide an Islamic solution to the problem. Not allowing them to fail means that they are not weakened. Radical Islam still has its heroes. The economic support from the US and the EU means that the full force of Islamist failure to deliver is ‘masked’.

This is an interesting argument. Israel’s blockade and its embargo have partly been designed to weaken Hamas. Yet this strategy is failing because of the politically correct humanitarian criticisms coming from EU governments which deplore Hamas but also deplore the embargo and blockade. The proscribe Hamas as a terrorist organisation but prop it up with aid which means that Hamas’ policies are sweetened.

Dr Hamid is saying that the West is acting against it own interests because it is helpless in face of international human rights activism.

Dr Hamid then goes into a little fantasy excursion proposing an extremely aggressive Israeli political response to non-cooperation from the PA/Fatah in the peace process:

Israel, for instance, could announce that it will build a certain number of new West Bank towns every year, or will annex land in the West Bank each year, unless and until Fatah and Hamas accept the minimal principles necessary for Israel to participate in any further negotiations.

These principles would include:

  1. Declaration of the right of the Jewish state of Israel to exist;
  2. Cessation of both verbal incitement and physical violence against Israeli civilians and;
  3. Implementation of all previous agreements between Palestinians and Israelis.

But even Hamid admits that the US and the EU would ‘balk’ at these tactics. That is to put it mildly. It would also alienate a lot of Israelis! In the immortal words of John McEnroe: he cannot be serious and perhaps this rather spoils a good article.

Dr Hamid ends by castigating President Obama for pressurising Israel whilst the Palestinians smile with glee from the sidelines. Dr Hamid believes that the only strategy the PA would respond to is to show the PA that their recalcitrance has negative consequences. In this I believe Hamid is very wrong. Such a strategy would provoke violence and strengthen Hamas, Hizbollah and Iran.

Despite Dr Hamid’s naivety when it comes to tactics, his general analysis is correct, and how pleasant it is to hear an Arab saying these things, albeit from the safety of an American university.

The simple truth about Palestinian rejectionism

Barry Rubin of the Gloria Center can be disarmingly direct when it comes to stating obvious truths.

A recent blogpost of his was entitled The Israel-Palestinian Conflict: Everything You Need to Understand Why It Continues

Rubin’s simple analysis shows us why peace talks are ultimately pointless, why Palestinians can afford to make demands and no concessions, why the Palestinians have all the time in the world: the time it takes to destroy Israel.

This simple point, that the Palestinian leadership has never accepted Israel, has always believed that the land from the river to the sea will be the Palestinian state, and still spouts these beliefs backed by a virulently anti-Semitic media which demonises Jews and teaches that Jews have no historic connection to the land, is at the root of the conflict and why it can never be resolved by the current Palestinian leadership.

Any Palestinian state with recognised borders would effectively end the legitimacy of their claim to the rest of mandate Palestine. They cannot have a state on the West Bank and Gaza because that would be an acceptance of Israel’s legitimacy.

As Rubin says:

… the Palestinian leadership is not, and has never been, eager for any compromise resolution. Instead, its top priority has been total victory, possession of the entire land, with Israel’s disappearing from the map. If this seems to be an overstatement, it is because Palestinian politics and society are quite different from, say, that of the United States.

Rubin tells us that whereas in English the Palestinian leadership tells us it wants peace, in Arabic it propagates a never-ending stream of anti-Israeli invective which demonstrates its irredentism.

The PA leadership is a victim of its own rhetoric and narrative:

For the Palestinian Authority and its governing party, Fatah, the goal is the transformation of all of the land into a Palestinian, Arab and Muslim state. For Hamas, it is the transformation of all of the land into an Islamist Palestinian state that is also Arab.

Does every Palestinian believe this? Not at all. But to function and succeed in politics, it is almost impossible to reject such a goal. When individuals do come out with moderate statements—as happened when on October 13, Yasser Abed Rabbo’s stated that the Palestinian Authority might accept Israel as a Jewish state—they are quickly shouted down, threatened. and they back down.

Any hint at compromise is political suicide and could lead to mortal consequences. How can such a leadership make peace or even begin to discuss peace. The whole process is a charade to screw more concessions from Israel, apply political pressure via the United States and isolate Israel internationally.

Rubin enumerates factors which prevent compromise and moderation. These include political and religious ideology, a culture of intimidation of dissident voices, and an ingrained belief that no Palestinian leader has the right to relinquish sacred cows such as the so-called Right of Return and East Jerusalem.

Put in these terms it appears that there is no point in peace talks as one side is only interested in the eventual annihilation of the other.

This is why I have a profound belief that only a grass roots Palestinian peace movement built on mutual benefits with Israelis can change the Palestinian culture to a point where peace is possible. This can only come about with increased co-operation between the two sides in education and culture, joint economic and environmental projects.

The practical absurdity of a Palestinian Right of Return

In the current round of peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority one of the sticking points will certainly be the Palestinian claim to a Right of Return for Palestinian refugees.

The Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister argued today in the Jerusalem Post that no such Right existed:

The so-called Palestinian ‘right of return’ is legal fiction. United Nations General Assembly Resolution 194, the supposed source for this ‘right’ does not mention this term, is not legally binding and, like all other relevant United Nations resolutions uses the intentionally ambiguous term ‘refugees’ with no appellation.

This is also taken up on the Zionism and Israel Information Center website:

Palestinian advocates claim that the refugees of 1948 have a right guaranteed in international law to return to Israel. In fact, there is no such law. The Fourth Geneva Convention, often cited in this context, does not stipulate a right of return for refugees. UN Resolution 194, also cited as the basis for this “right” is a resolution of the UN General Assembly. Such resolutions are not binding in international law. No nation has the obligation to admit enemy belligerents. Moreover, Resolution 194 does not insist on a Right of Return. It says that “refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so.”

The refugees were not Israeli citizens. They did not want Israeli citizenship. Beyond the dry provisions of the law, in this case admission of several million refugees would soon create an Arab majority in Israel. The people who advocate “Right of Return” also favor abolishing the Israeli Law of Return that permits Jews to immigrate to Israel freely. Israel would cease to be the national home of the Jews, and the Jewish people would lose the right to self-determination. Clearly “Right of Return” cannot be implemented in any case if it contradicts a different fundamental right that is anchored in international law.

Here we are already beginning to explore the practical absurdity of any such Right.

As indicated above, allowing ‘refugees’ to return, assuming that were practical or even practicable would effectively destroy the Jewish nature of the State of Israel, and Israel would cease to be a guarantor of the safety of Jews worldwide, which was one of the major factors in its establishment. And I am not referring here to the Holocaust; any student of Jewish history can list a very long litany of Jewish persecution for the last 2000 years, and they could also reference the current growing antisemitism in Europe and around the world. The need for a state of the Jewish people is as urgent now as at any time in history.

But let’s assume there is a Right of Return for Palestinian refugees. Let’s assume that they can now return to the homes or villages across Israel where they or their forefathers once lived 62 years ago.

1. How would any individual Palestinian prove his/her claim to his/her ancestor’s residency in any particlualr home or village?

2. What would happen to the current residents of those properties? They may not all be Jews, of course.

3. We are assuming that the ‘refugees’ want to become Israelis? Why would they? Why would they want to become citizens of a country that their leaders, media and education system has taught to loathe and despise? Has anyone asked? If not,  what is the basis for the Palestinian Authority’s insistence that this is a non-negotiable agenda item?

4. How would Israel accommodate several million new citizens?

5. As Israel has never been compensated for the 900,000 Jewish refugees who were forced out of, or fled, Arab lands after 1948, why should Israel now have to foot the bill for several million people who need homes, schools, hospitals, sanitation, water, food?

5. How can Israel be expected to accept within its borders millions of people with an historic grudge against the state who have demonstrated for several decades that they are willing to shoot, bomb, attack and sabotage Israelis and Israeli infrastructure with the ultimate aim of destroying the very state they are now asking to become citizens of?

Is it not patently obvious that the Palestinian so-called Right of Return is nothing but the expression of an on-going desire to destroy Israel and remove the Zionist entity?

As Danny Ayalon puts it in the article cited above:

Before 1948 there were nearly 900,000 Jews in Arab lands while only a few thousand remain. Where is the international outrage, the conferences, the proclamations for redress and compensation? While the Palestinian refugee issue has become a political weapon to beat Israel, the Arab League has ordered its member states not to provide their Palestinian population with citizenship; Israel absorbed all of its refugees, whether fleeing the Holocaust or persecution and expulsion from Arab lands.

Can Mahmoud Abbas really be a genuine believer in a two-state solution when one of the most cherished and immoveable pillars of the Palestinian Authority, Fatah and the PLO is the Right of Return?

How can a peace settlement be based on the negation and denial of the rights of one side?

A limited return based on humanitarian grounds such as the reunification of families might be a possibility.

Beyond that, the Right is and always has been an instrument of delegitimisation and an excuse for scuppering peace.

I would not be at all surprised if it were again.

Back to Ayalon:

EVEN THOUGH the number of Jewish refugees [from Arab lands] and their assets are larger than that of the Palestinians, the international community only appears to be aware of the latter’s plight.

There are numerous major international organizations devoted to the Palestinian refugees. There is an annual conference held at the United Nations and a refugee agency was created just for the Palestinian refugees. While all the world’s refugees have one agency, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the Palestinians fall under the auspices of another agency, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).

UNWRA’s budget for 2010 is almost half of UNHCR’s budget.

Equally impressive is the fact that UNHCR prides itself on having found “durable solutions” for “tens of millions” of refugees since 1951, the year of its establishment. However, UNRWA does not even claim to have found “durable solutions” for anyone.

What is also impressive is the Palestinians’ and their supporters’ success in completely obliterating the story of the fate of Jews from Arab lands whilst perpetuating their own refugees for more than six decades.

What constantly surprises me is why the practical absurdity of the Palestinian Right of Return has rarely, if ever, been examined and no comprehensive survey of Palestinian ‘refugees’ intentions has ever taken place.

Is UNRWA getting the message at last?

Two articles today, the first in the Jerusalem Post and the second on the BBC website cast an interesting light on the way UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency) and its chief in Gaza, John Ging, are beginning to speak out against Hamas and its affect on Gaza, rather than Israel’s embargo and maritime blockade. Or are they?

During Operation Cast, Ging was scathing of Israel and its putative attacks on UN compounds and its general tactics. The term ‘War Crimes’ was bandied about and there was a decided lack of interest in the tactics being employed by Hamas.

But now Ging has criticised ‘Palestinian infighting’. Why?

“It is such a tragedy that, on top of all the other crises that we have in the Gaza Strip, we now have a crisis of electricity,” John Ging, director of UNRWA in Gaza, was quoted by AFP as saying.

“It’s an unbearable situation here at the moment, and it needs to be solved very quickly. It’s a Palestinian problem, made by Palestinians, and causing Palestinian suffering. So let’s have a Palestinian solution,” he added.

Strong words indeed. Or are they? ‘Unbearable situation’ if he believes the Palestinians inflict it on their own people, ‘Humanitarian Crisis’ if he believes it’s the Israelis.

The single power plant in Gaza, which normally generates 25 percent of the electricity used in the Strip, was shut down over the weekend due to a payment dispute between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority.

Do you know where the other 75% comes from? yeah, you guessed it – Israel.

A couple of weeks ago I was reading an article in the JC written by a Palestinian journalist who described the wretched conditions. He said no-one was starving but electricity was unreliable and so was water. He blames neither Hamas (he would be hanged, no doubt) or Israel (his voice may not be heard).

Most people would have concluded that this situation is 100% attributable to the Israeli maritime blockade and embargo (since eased, somewhat).

But if Hamas cares so much for its people’s suffering, then how can it allow electricity to be cut in this way? And who is ultimately responsible responsible for the stoppage of fuel required to power the plant? The Palestinian Authority. And where is the world outrage? Where are the flotillas? Where are the emergency sessions in the UN?

The BBC reports that for the second time a children’s camp, arranged and funded by UNRWA, has been burned down by ‘extremist militants’. Hamas condemned the first attack but even the BBC has to admit that nothing happens in Gaza without the say-so of the Hamas.

And what does Mr Ging say?:

“This is another example of the growing levels of extremism in Gaza and further evidence, if that were needed, of the urgency to change the circumstances on the ground,” John Ging said.

What does he mean ‘change the circumstances on the ground’?

Does he mean that Israel is to blame for this? Israel, because of the blockade and the embargo? Has he too fallen into the causal quagmire? Does he really think that Islamist extremism is caused by Israel’s blockade and embargo rather than the blockade and embargo being a result of Islamist extremism?

Hamas, having gained possession of Gaza, having seen every last Israeli leave, decided to destroy millions of dollars of agricultural equipment left gratis by Israel and then begin a campaign of launching thousands of rockets into Israel.

And what about the ‘Freedom Flotilla’ aid which was held up for days by Hamas. Does the world expect a ruthless, genocidal, Islamist, terrorist group to care more about its people than Israel?

Or does Ging mean that Hamas and the extremists need to be defeated? Does he ‘get it’ or not?

You decide.

‘Collective punishment’ of Gaza versus Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel: what’s the difference?

How often do we hear that Israel’s maritime blockade and overland embargo of certain materials and foodstuffs is a ‘collective punishment of the people of Gaza?

The argument goes like this: Gazans are not responsible for the actions of Hamas, who govern the Gaza Strip; the rockets and suicide bombings and kidnappings are not the fault of the ordinary citizen. Therefore Israel, in reducing the quantity and variety of foodstuffs and embargoing building materials, is collectively punishing Gazans.

This is a strange argument, especially as Hamas were elected by these same innocent citizens. When South Africa suffered under Apartheid there was no separation of government from people; sanctions were applied internationally to those who had not elected anyone. No-one would argue that the German people should not have been bombed in case they did not vote for or support the Nazi regime.

In fact, the idea of collective punishment originates in the American Civil War and General Sherman’s Special Field Order 120, article V:

To army corps commanders alone is entrusted the power to destroy mills, houses, cotton-gins, etc…, and for them this general principle is laid down: In districts and neighborhoods where the army is unmolested, no destruction of such property should be permitted; but should guerrillas or bushwhackers molest our march, or should the inhabitants burn bridges, obstruct roads, or otherwise manifest local hostility, then army commanders should order and enforce a devastation more or less relentless according to the measure of such hostility.

In more recent times Sherman’s measured proportionality, which would be universally condemned today by every Human Rights organisation and NGO, was given a bad name by the forces of Nazi Germany who would destroy whole villages and massacre all the inhabitants because one German had been assassinated. The most famous incident being that of the Czech town of Lidice which was wiped off the face of the earth after partisans assassinated Heydrich, a leading Nazi.

Indeed, the provisions of the Versailles Treaty after the end of World War I could be viewed as a collective punishment of the German people which was a major cause of World War II, as was the forced ethnic cleansing of Germans from Poland after territory had been ceded after World War II.

In light of the hundreds of trucks and thousands of tonnes of humanitarian aid passing through checkpoints between Israel and Gaza every week, by any standard Israel’s treatment of Gazans, who live in a state of belligerence with Israel, is somewhat generous.

Those who accuse Israel of collective punishment often couple this with a call for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) of the Jewish state. If Israel’s treatment of Gazans is collective punishment and morally wrong, why is the proposed collective punishment of Israelis for the policies of their government not morally reprehensible. After all, the BDS brigade wants to hurt Israel economically, including, of course, its Arab citizens. By their own judgment, are the BDS supporters not proposing the same morally reprehensible action of which they accuse Israel? If collective punishment of Israel is acceptable why carp about the plight of Gaza?

I suspect the answer is that BDS is, for many of its supporters, not simply a tool to pressure Israel into a more humanitarian approach but fundamentally to undermine the State of Israel, to soften it up for the coup de grâce, and ultimately destroy it.

Israel is under attack on many fronts: militarily (Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran by proxy via the both of the former),  politically (UN Security Council, UN Human Rights Council, antipathy in Europe, South America and the Muslim world), legally (Goldstone Report, challenges to Occupation, security wall, blockade etc.), academically (academic boycotts, disinvitations etc.) and finally by fanatical Islamism (calling for Israel’s destruction and a new genocide of the Jewish People by Hamas, by historical revisionism denying Jewish connection with the Land, blood libels, brain-washing of children to hate and revile Jews by, inter alia, the Palestinian Authority).

And so this demonization continues, which seems to be the main focus and raison d’être of so many radical Muslims and their fellow travelers of various stripes.

The United States is not innocent in the application of its own BDS with regard Cuba. Where are the calls in the UN for sanctions against the USA for the collective punishment of Cubans? Why is the Security Council not in a constant state of outrage against Russia’s treatment of Chechens or Ossetians, Turkey’s treatment of Kurds, China of Tibetans? What is being done about the starving millions of North Korea? Only Israel can cause the UN Security Council to convene and condemn it within hours every time Israel has the temerity to defend itself.

Israel is not perfect. Gazans are suffering, but this fixation with one conflict which so monopolizes the UN and world politics is symptomatic of a pathology which leads to moral blindness, bullying and demonisation.

And now we have the disgusting spectacle of a unanimous decision by the Unite union in the UK to pursue BDS against Israel.

Even the Palestinian Authority doesn’t go this far as reported by YNetNews:

The Palestinian finance minister stressed Sunday that the boycott on Israeli products pertains only to goods produced in settlements, and that the Palestinian Authority desires to maintain ties with the Israeli market.

“We have excellent ties with the Israeli market and we want to continue this cooperation and even expand it,” Dr. Hasan Abu-Libdeh said at a conference held at the Peres Center for Peace in Tel Aviv.

Do I hear the distant echo of the 1930’s?

Proximity talks are a charade

So it begins. The political dance. Palestinians and Israelis have to keep the US happy.

The Palestinians need to show willing because they will get lots of aid and financial support to build a new state in the Middle East with prosperity for all (hmm) without having to concede a single scintilla to Israel.

Israel needs to be seen to want to talk because they really do want peace and they also want the US to remain on side. But they know, like the Palestinians, that this is going nowhere.

And the Americans need it to feed President Obama’s naivety like so many before him in believing that both sides want a resolution that does not include the destruction of Israel.

Yes, that is what is at stake, as ever; the world sees an obdurate Israel.  The reality is a rejectionist Palestine. Any concessions they may squeeze from Israel are merely another tactic, another ploy, another ratchet on the thumbscrew, towards the eventual destruction of the State of Israel.

Hamas have no qualms. They have told the PA not to have any dialogue with the enemy. At least they and those in the UK who support them are clear: only the destruction of Israel and the subjugation at best and the genocide at worst of its Jews will satisfy them.

Are the PA really different? There’s the rub. At the moment I don’t think so. They feed their people the same blood-libels, the same lies about Jews and their history, they glorify terrorists. Their methods may be different but their goals are the same – the destruction of Israel by all and any means.

Israel is well aware of this. The talks are like a dance of death. Unless and until the PA can produce leaders who finally accept the legitimacy of Israel there will never be real peace.

The Moral Bankruptcy of the UN Human Rights Council

Following the Goldstone Report and its seriously flawed and biased findings against Israel, the enemies of freedom and justice are having a field day at the UN.

On Tuesday this week (13th October 2009) the UNHRC reported that 18 of its 47 members had supported, or co-sponsored a request from the Palestinian Authority for a Special Session of that august body to discuss the report.

The Jerusalem Post reports the following list of countries as being the 18 countries supporting the PA, presumably to express their moral outrage at the report’s findings and to seek every avenue to pillory Israel in the UN and beyond.

So here are the Magnificent 18: Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bolivia, China, Cuba, Djibouti, Egypt, Gabon, Indonesia, Jordan, Mauritius, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Senegal.

Does it not make your blood boil when you see names like China, Cuba, Egypt and Saudi Arabia so keen on human rights? Some of the others don’t have much to be proud of either.

Let’s just remind ourselves that these countries have the audacity to take a morally superior stance against Israel, a tiny country, fighting for its very existence for decades and now the victim of lawfare of the most morally bankrupt and cynically hypocritical kind.

The same Jerusalem Post article points out that 6 of the 12 special session of the UNHRC have been about Israel. How many about Sudan or Zimbabwe or China, or Russia or Turkey or Syria or Sri Lanka?

This obsession with Israel can only mean one thing and we all know what that is. The Jews are still the world’s favourite people to hate.

Oh no, I’m not saying Israel is perfect, but is it really responsible for 50 percent of the world’s human rights violations?

If the UN would not be so obsessed with five and a half million Jews and take a look at the real villains in the world then perhaps we could take it seriously and perhaps they would actually do some good rather than just be a mouthpiece for international Jew-hatred.

Palestinian Authority rejects the two-state solution

Fatah, led by the Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas, has held its first congress for 20 years.

Draw your own conclusion as to why now.

My guess is that things are going very well for Fatah which is in power on the West Bank and nominally in Gaza where it has been chucked out by the nice Hamas people by a series of gunfights, murders, torture, intimidation, throwing people off high buildings etc. you know, the sort of stuff that passes for politics in the Palestinian world.

Anyhow….

… things are going well because Israel is under intense attack not just from the usual suspects in the Arab world, the EU, NGO’s and the UN, but also from its closest ally, the United States of America.

This means that Fatah, alias the Palestinian Authority, alias the PLO (yes, I know they are all different but they temd to have the same cast list) believes it can make another small step or two forward in its ultimate goal of destroying Israel.

It doesn’t need to use an Intifada, armed resistance, suicide bombings and other terrorist tactics, it just has to sit back and watch Israel dangle from an ever-tightening noose, partly of its own making but mainly from the pressure from the Obama administration.

It appears the world wants Israel to make concessions: freeze “settlements”, freeze expansion of “settlements”, grant a Right of Return for the great grandchildren of  Palestinians who left, or were driven out in 1947-9, concede East Jerusalem which is supposed to be “Arab” m, and withdraw to the 1967 borders (thereby rendering the Arab attack on Israel in 1967 as of no consequence).

But Fatah have made some surprise moves on the compromise front – the main one being no compromise at all, so:

it will not change its charter which calls for Israel’s destruction whilst retaining the option of armed struggle enshrined within this charter ““until the Zionist entity is wiped out and Palestine is liberated”.

So where is there room for two states if they still want to eradicate Israel? They say they will pursue peace but reserve the right to use arms. But what peace do they intend? A peace where Israel no longer exists. The road to peace from the Fatah perspective is a series of concessions by Israel which will lead to its destruction. That is Fatah’s idea of peace and if they don’t get it, they will take up arms – possibly.

Fatah refused to recognise Israel as a Jewish state. In fact it’s quite derisory about the idea and considers a Jewish state to be a racist concept but not an Islamic state.

The whole tenor of the Fatah congress was refusal to compromise, refusal to recognise Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people, refusal to give up the armed struggle, refusal to relinquish any part of its charter where the destruction of Israel is its stated goal.

Of course, recent events in Israel show the current administration to be equally uncompromising: Prime Minister Netanyahu states that the whole of Jerusalem is indivisible; retains the right to expand “settlements” and cares little about how evictions of Palestinians, however legal, play out on the world stage and give fuel to Palestinian rhetoric.

Israel has not ruled out a Palestinian state on the West Bank and Gaza, but the Palestinians’ idea of a two state solution appears to be little more than empty rhetoric aimed at the non-Arab world whilst they tell each other that the liberation of ALL of Palestine is still their goal. So we may have two entrenched positions but what is there to negotiate from an Israeli perspective until their right to exist is fully recognised.