November 11, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Jonathan Cook

Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister, is in the United States this week, but few observers expect an immediate or significant breakthrough in the stalled peace talks with the Palestinian leadership.

In public, Mr Netanyahu maintains he is committed to the pledge he made last year, shortly after he formed his right-wing government, to work towards the creation of a demilitarised Palestinian state.

But so far he has proved either unwilling or unable to renew even a partial freeze on Jewish settlement building in the West Bank – a key condition set by Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, for reviving the negotiations.

Most of Mr Netanyahu’s cabinet, including Avigdor Lieberman, his foreign minister, barely conceal their opposition to Palestinian statehood. Instead, Mr Netanyahu has imposed a precondition of his own: that the Palestinians recognise Israel as the state of the Jewish people.

A leading analyst of Palestinian politics says the picture is not as bleak for the Palestinians as it might appear.

Asad Ghanem, a professor of political science at Haifa University, predicts Mr Netanyahu and his cabinet will eventually come to rue their obduracy.

The intransigence and the unabashed espousal of “an ideology of Jewish supremacy” by Mr Netanyahu and his supporters will lead to the gradual “reunification” of the Palestinian people, Dr Ghanem said in an interview.

In clinging to a vision of Greater Israel, Mr Netanyahu and the right are fuelling a potentially powerful Palestinian nationalism that could yet come to crush not only the occupation but Israel’s status as a Jewish state, said Dr Ghanem, the author of several books on Palestinian nationalism.

Dr Ghanem, who belongs to Israel’s Palestinian minority, a fifth of the country’s population, noted that the original goal of Israel’s founders was to use a sophisticated version of divide-and-rule political tactics to weaken an emerging Palestinian national movement that opposed Zionism.

The war of 1948 that created Israel led to the first and most significant division: between the minority of Palestinians who remained inside the new territory of Israel and the refugees forced outside its borders, who today number at least 4.7 million, according to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency.

Since 1967, Israel has fostered many further splits: between the cities and rural areas; between the West Bank and Gaza; between East Jerusalem and the West Bank; between the main rival political movements, Fatah and Hamas; and between the PA leadership and the diaspora.

Israel’s guiding principle has been to engender discord between Palestinians by putting the interests of each group into conflict, said Dr Ghanem. “A feuding Palestinian nation was never likely to be in a position to run its own affairs.”

He is dismissive of plans by Mr Abbas and his prime minister, Salam Fayyad, to try to revive the Oslo process by bypassing Israel and seeking the international community’s blessing for the establishment of a Palestinian state next summer.

Palestinian leaders who have pursued statehood, Dr Ghanem added, have done so on terms dictated by Israel.

First the rights of the refugees to be considered part of the Palestinian nation were sacrificed, then those of the Palestinians inside Israel. Next parts of East Jerusalem and all of Gaza were excluded. And now finally, he said, even significant parts of the West Bank were almost certain to be counted outside a future Palestinian state.

“The core of the negotiations for Abbas is about ending the occupation, but he has progressively conceded to Israel its very narrow definition of what constitutes occupied land. The rights of the refugees and other Palestinians to be included in the Palestinian nation now exist chiefly at the level of rhetoric.”

The Israeli right’s insistence on Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state would accelerate the unravelling of Israel’s long-term policy of fragmenting the Palestinian people.

“All Palestinians are affected by such a demand, not just those living inside Israel. The Palestinian national movement accepted Israel as a state decades ago but Netanyahu is not satisfied by that.

“He wants to reopen the 1948 file,” Dr Ghanem said, referring to the war that established Israel by expelling and dispossessing 80 per cent of the Palestinian people. “He is provoking the Palestinian national movement to reassess the accepted two-state model for ending the conflict.”

Source: The National

Jonathan Cook

Jonathan Cook is a writer and journalist based in Nazareth, Israel. His latest books are “Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East” (Pluto Press) and “Disappearing Palestine: Israel’s Experiments in Human Despair” (Zed Books). His website is

Intifada Palestine

NY Times glaringly sides with Palestinians — in its news coverage

November 11, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Leading with bias
American Thinker Blog

Thousands Of ‘Palestinians’ Honor Arafat’s Legacy At Memorial

November 11, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment

You can tell a great deal about people by whom and what they worship.

Today in Ramallah, the ‘Palestinians’ turned out to pay homage to Yasser Arafat.

Arafat’s nephew, Nasser al-Qudwa, and the ‘Palestinians’ unelected capo del tutti Mahmoud Abbas spoke at the ceremony.

“We will continue to do everything in order to get to the bottom of Arafat’s assassination and poisoning,” al-Qudwa said. They had better start by figuring out which of the Rais’ bed partners gave him AIDS:

Abbas, in true Mafioso fashion paid homage to his old boss, donning a kefiyah. “The Palestinian state will arise when it is cleared of settlements,” he said, stressing that he would not sign a peace agreement that did not include the release of all Palestinian prisoners, whom he referred to as ‘the pride of the people.’

There’s absolutely no question about that. The ‘Palestinians’ make it a fetish to glorify murderers on a routine basis, many of them people still in custody after being convicted in Israeli courts for the most horrific and egregious slayings involving Israeli civilians, people no civilized society would want walking free on this earth. They are indeed ‘the pride of the people’ to the ‘Palestinians’ and are used as role models for the next generation to emulate. Yasser Arafat was the one who gave birth to that obscene culture, who planned it, fomented it, funded it and gave the orders, as the IDF found out when they raided his headquarters at the Muqata.

If nothing else, Arafat’s niche in history is secure as the godfather of modern terrorism. The IRA, the ANC, the Baider-Mainhof Gang and a number of others of that ilk received training in murder and mayhem courtesy of the “Rais” (the Boss).

And it wasn’t just Israelis Arafat ordered the murder of. There are a number of Americans in the body count,including two US diplomats Arafat had kidnapped and tortured to death, a woman and a black man. When the bodies were recovered, they were so badly disfigured that could only be identified by their dental records.

Aside from being a murderer, Arafat successfully stole millions of dollars in aid money donated to the Palestinians by gullible westerners in what has to be the most successful con game ever perpetrated in history.

With those credentials, it’s perfectly fitting and appropriate that Abbas and his ‘Palestinian’ comrades should honor him and his legacy.It is a giveaway as to whom they really are.

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‘Palestinians’ Get $150 Mil From US – And A Graphic Example Of Where It Really Goes

November 10, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced today that United States will give an additional $ 150 million to the Palestinian Authority..which puts their take from the American taxpayers at well over a billion, not counting what we’re spending to have General Keith Dayton train and equip a Fatah jihadi army.

Clinton announced the latest jirzyah in a joint presser with unelected Fatah Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, who claims there’s a budget crunch.

Let’s look at that, shall we?

Just by sheer coincidence, a report has surfaced that the ‘Palestinian Authority’ is investigating its formed Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei’a for reportedly embezzling something along the lines of $ 700 million. While the ‘Palestinian’ Ma’an news agency dismisses the report as ‘groundless’, it also notes that Qurei’a attempted to flee across the border to Jordan, and was stopped by the IDF – without any objection whatsoever by the ‘Palestinian’ government. That’s small potatoes compared to what Arafat stole, but not insignificant. And hardly unique.

And speaking of Arafat, the ‘Palestinian Authority’ is using your tax dollars to put up an Arafat Museum to honor the man who murdered Americans and had two American diplomats kidnapped and tortured to death. The cost? A mere $ 3.4 million of your tax dollars. About what Sufa Arafat gets per month to pay for her lifestyle in Paris.

More here on what has to be the most successful con game in history.

And lest the factually challenged amongst you be tempted to say that Israel receives far more aid, remember that they spend over 85% of it right here – on US weapons and products.

(hat tip, Carl)

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U.S. gives $150 million to Palestinians to “fill an urgent budget shortfall”

November 10, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Very urgent that the Palestinian Authority has a balanced budget, doncha know. The U.S. doesn’t need one, but the P.A. must have one. Won’t you sleep better tonight, American taxpayer, knowing that you have worked to help fill an urgent Palestinian budget shortfall? I mean, Qassams aren’t cheap. “US accelerates funding to PA with $ 150 million transfer,” by Hilary Leila Krieger for the Jerusalem Post, November 10 (thanks to all who sent this in):

WASHINGTON – The US sped up delivery of $ 150 million in direct aid to the Palestinian Authority Wednesday, citing the need to fill an urgent budget shortfall.

“This figure underscores the strong determination of the American people and this administration to stand with our Palestinian friends even during difficult economic times,” declared US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in announcing the aid, which was taken from the $ 200 million the Obama administration plans to allocate to the PA in 2011.

“We need to work with the Palestinian Authority to support their efforts to build toward a future Palestinian state that is able to govern itself, uphold its responsibilities to provide for its own people, and ensure security,” Clinton said at the State Department Wednesday, with PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad participating by video conference. “Progress on this second track gives confidence to negotiators, removes excuses for delay, and underscores that the Palestinian Authority has become a credible partner for peace.”

Senior administration officials pointed to a year-end shortfall in the Palestinian Authority’s budget as the driving factor behind the timing of Wednesday’s announcement.

“Given the significant budget gap that the Palestinian Authority faced, we were looking … to do all that we could to close their budget gap for this year,” one official said, noting that the EU and some Arab states has also recently made allocations. “We obviously wanted a number of things here, including encouraging others to do more as well on the funding.”…

Jihad Watch

Clinton: Palestinians shouldn’t try for UN recognition, says talks need to resume, announces $150m more for Palestinians

November 10, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

ABC News’ Kirit Radia reports: With Israel announcing plans to build new housing units in East Jerusalem in the past week the Palestinians have reiterated their threat to seek UN recognition of a sovereign Palestinian state on their own in the absence of process in the Mideast peace talks.

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Political Punch

Palestinian’s Still Working To Sabotage “Peace Talks”

November 9, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

By Barry Rubin

Here are two developments that are important indicators about the Israel-Palestinian situation.

First, the current Palestinian Authority (PA) strategy is to stall and avoid negotiations because making a deal with Israel requires giving concessions to get to a compromise peace. The leadership wants to make no concessions, both because they themselves don’t wish to do so and know that the pressure of their constituency and radical rivals won’t allow it.

At minimum, they can only make the kind of deal that leaves the door open to a Round Two in which Palestinians and their allies could seek to wipe Israel off the map.

But Israel would never make a deal like that.

So the way out for them is a unilateral declaration of independence and international recognition. This new status could then be used as leverage to ignore Israel’s demands. And if Israel reacts to this situation-say, by hitting back against cross-border terror attacks-the “independent state” of Palestine can then turn to its allies, sympathizers, and the UN to charge Israel with international aggression and provide military equipment.

Of course, this will probably never happen. It’s important to know that current U.S. policy opposes such a move. PA “president” Mahmoud Abbas, not the most reliable source, has claimed publicly that the U.S. government has promised to support the unilateral independence option if direct talks don’t work.

And with Abbas and the PA making sure the talks won’t work, believe me, they won’t work.The U.S. government has now officially denied Abbas’s claim. In the words of State Department spokesman Mark Toner:

“We remain convinced that ultimately the only way that we’re going to get a comprehensive peace is through direct negotiations, and anything that might affect those direct negotiations we feel is not helpful and not constructive.”

In other words, they know that the PA is using this method to sabotage the talks, negotiations which the United States wants to succeed (or at least continue), if for no other reason than that the U.S. president has put his prestige behind them.

Here’s the second point: The PA leadership also doesn’t want violence with Israel at this time and has a tremendous interest in keeping down Hamas in the West Bank. Thus, for the first time in ten years, Israel does not have a single terrorist in the northern West Bank (Samaria) it is chasing after and only a handful in the southern West Bank (Judea, mostly Hebron-based Hamas holdouts).

Six years ago there were hundreds of them.Israel-PA coordination helps a lot and is partly itself the product of Hamas’s seizure of the Gaza Strip, which scared the hummus out of PA leaders lest they themselves end up deep in the humus. (See note, below)

Yet another factor has been that Israeli counterterrorism is effective. (Yes, you can defeat terrorists, though they certainly may come back some day.) The security fence; arrests and interrogations; and killing the more incorrigible (including Fatah men the PA wouldn’t do anything about) have had an effect. There was also a largely successful program in which Israel promised that if wanted Fatah gunmen not involved in murder stopped violent activities Israel would stop trying to capture them.

By making it clear that the Western countries won’t support a Palestinian unilateral declaration of independence, they can also continue a status quo in which the PA holds off a Hamas takeover, develops the West Bank economically, and maintains peace. Given the impossibility of a comprehensive solution leading to a stable two-state situation, that’s the best option for now.

Note: Humus, as in soil or broken-down organic matter, i.e. dead


Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. His latest books are Lebanon: Liberation, Conflict, and Crisis (Palgrave Macmillan), Conflict and Insurgency in the Contemporary Middle Eastand editor of the (seventh edition) (Viking-Penguin), The Israel-Arab Reader the paperback edition of The Truth About Syria(Palgrave-Macmillan), A Chronological History of Terrorism (Sharpe), and The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley).



Palestinians, leftists caught burning a forest in the West Bank

November 7, 2010 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

From YNet:
Six foreign nationals and Palestinians set fires alight near the West Bank settlement of Bat Ayin in the Gush Etzion bloc. Police said the suspects were taken in for questioning on suspicion of arson and illegal congregation.

Settlers said that at about 11 am they saw fires on lands they said belonged to Bat Ayin. Security sources said it was apparently land whose ownership is not regulated.

Dov Mark, land supervisor for the Gush Etzion Council, said such acts have taken place a number of times. “This is a known Palestinian method to take over state land,” he said. “With the support of anarchists, who usually come from abroad, they come to an area of natural woodland which has never been cultivated, burn it on purpose and at the same time plant trees. It’s all supposed to alter the reality on the ground.”

Mark warned that “in this way, it’s hard for the Israel Land Administration to work from the moment they plant trees on the land or cultivate it for agricultural crops. In today’s case, some 80 dunams (20 acres) of natural woodland were burned by a group of 25 Palestinians and anarchists.”

I grabbed the YNet video and put it on YouTube:

(h/t Jed)

Elder of Ziyon

Israel spurned by Palestinians again

October 13, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

The Palestinians categorically refuse to recognize Israel despite Netanyahu’s offer to extend settlement freeze.
American Thinker Blog

Palestinians reveal their real agenda

October 12, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel has offered to renew the moratorium on building settlements in the West Bank in order for peace talks with the Palestinians to continue.
American Thinker Blog

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