Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Forward's Vendetta Against Me

I tried commenting again and this happened, again:

I get deleted as soon as I post.



An Unfortunate Reference Phrase

Caught this:

Secretary of State John F. Kerry said at a news conference Tuesday that the two sides "have agreed today that all of the final status issues, all of the core issues and all other issues are on the table for negotiations.... They are on the table with a single goal: a view to ending the conflict, ending the claims."

Kerry's statement "has now fleshed it out and made more specific that they're going for a full agreement, to bring an end of conflict and an end of claims," said Robert Danin, a former U.S. diplomat in the Middle East who is now with the Council on Foreign Relations. "This is a maximalist agenda."

If there's any "flesh", I hope it will not include any Jewish sacrifices of lives - neither as a result of the releasing of terrorist murderers or the increasing of Pal. presumption that violence works to force diplomatic catastrophes on Israel.


Settlement Obssession - But Whose?

This -

“The obsession over settlement construction once again is overcoming common sense and the attempt to produce a different atmosphere between the Israeli and Palestinian people,” said Peace Now director Yariv Oppenheimer

Does he mean his "obssession"? 

The "obssession" of the Pals.?

That of Haaretz? Of B'tselem? Yesh Din?


Former Diplomats and Their Dope on Iran

William Luers, Thomas R. Pickering, and Jim Walsh

...recommend a renewed diplomatic path for achieving mutually acceptable limits on Iran’s nuclear program—limits that provide reliable insurance that Tehran will not acquire nuclear weapons. We do not underestimate the risks, internationally or domestically, of taking this approach. Yet we are convinced that the current trajectory presents higher risks and possibly catastrophic costs.
What about Israel in this configuration?

They write:

Contrary to some opinions, intelligence estimates from the US, Israel, and other nations conclude that Iran’s Supreme Leader has not made the decision to build a bomb

And also

Iran’s preoccupation with the Sunni conflict might reduce its concentration on Israel.

That's the extent of their strategic contemplation and runimations concerning Israel and Iran.

That's all?

Too bad.


A Legal Blog Bloop

At the Opinio Juris blog which purports to be a leading international law discussion blog:
  • Israelis and Palestinians have resumed direct talks for the first time in three years, with the United States urging negotiators to make tough compromises to reach a peace deal.

  • Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas made comments before negotiations began that no Israeli settler or border force could remain in Palestine and all settlements built in Palestine are illegal

  • Er, exactly what compromise did the Pals, make and which ones the Israelis, so far?

    Is Abbas' statement a precondition? 

    Did Netanyahu yield on his "no preconditions" in already approvinf a prisoner release of terrorists?


    A Fortnight Closure of the Temple Mount

    It's closed for all non-Muslims.

    For the first time in a decade, the police have closed down the Temple Mount to all visitors for an extended period of time under the pretense that this is a holiday season.

    While there are a few Muslim festival days, they do not add up to almost two weeks.  Moreover, since the Pesach period last March-April, the Waqf has been instigating, in increasing forms of provocative activities - yelling, congregating, threatening behavior, actual pushing and shoving as well as false or misrepresentative claims of desecration by Jews - all intended to force the police to be able to say that they are unable to sontrol the public order.

    The result?

    Jews are banned.

    And now, tourists as well.


    The Muslims Waqf Trust, in a particularly political way, is asserting, together with assistance from Jordan's King, an effort to reconstruct the so-called status quo.

    The defeatism of the police is worrisome, both in not protecting the site's Jewish visitors and in not championing Jewish rights under the law.


    Tuesday, July 30, 2013

    A 20th Anniversary Approaching

    May I remind you that

    On the night between August 18th and 19th, Norwegian Foreign Minister Johan Jorgen Holst served as a mediator between Peres, who was located at the time in Stockholm, Sweden, and Arafat and Abu Alaa from PLO headquarters in Tunisia. The Declaration of Principles was initialed the following day. It was signed by Savir, Abu Alaa, Singer, and Hassan Asfur, in the presence of Peres.

    The outline of the process:

    The decision to hold direct talks with the PLO was a diplomatic revolution in Israel’s foreign policy and paved the way to the Oslo accord of 13 September 1993.  Three men were primarily responsible for this decision: Yitzhak Rabin, Shimon Peres, the foreign minister, and Yossi Beilin, the youthful deputy foreign minister.  Rabin held out against direct talks with the PLO for as long as he could.  Peres took the view that without the PLO there could be no settlement...

    ...The secret talks in Oslo got under way in late January 1993 with the active encouragement of Yossi Beilin who kept Shimon Peres fully informed. Altogether, fourteen sessions of talks were held over an eight-month period, all behind a thick veil of secrecy. Norwegian foreign affairs minister Johan Joergen Holst and social scientist Terge Rød Larsen acted as generous hosts and facilitators. The key players were two Israeli academics, Dr Yair Hirschfeld and Dr Ron Pundik, and PLO treasurer Ahmad Qurei, better known as Abu Ala...

    ...Rabin’s conversion to the idea of a deal with the PLO was clinched by four evaluations which reached him between the end of May and July. First was the advice of Itamar Rabinovich, the head of the Israeli delegation to the talks with Syria, that a settlement with Syria was attainable but only at the cost of complete Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights. Second were the reports from various quarters that the local Palestinian leadership had been finally neutralized. Third was the assessment of the IDF director of military intelligence that Arafat’s dire situation, and possibly imminent collapse, made him the most convenient interlocutor for Israel at that particular juncture. Fourth were the reports of the impressive progress achieved through the Oslo channel...the army chiefs and the internal security chiefs repeatedly stressed to him the urgency of finding a political solution to the crisis in the relations between Israel and the inhabitants of the occupied territories.  Rabin therefore gave the green light to the Israeli team and the secret diplomacy in Oslo moved into higher gear.

    ...On 23 August, Rabin stated publicly for the first time that ‘there would be no escape from recognizing the PLO.’...On Monday, 13 September 1993
    , the Declaration was signed on the South Lawn of the White House and sealed with the historic hand-shake between prime minister Rabin and chairman Arafat.

    Oslo, when the 'peace' went out into the cold.


    I'm Quoted

    In USA Today:

    Yisrael Medad, a resident of the northern West Bank settlement of Shilo, said the talks are a mistake.  "The issue of rejecting the principle (of) no preconditions and the release of terrorists who have murdered people put Israel at a psychological disadvantage," said Medad, spokesman for the Yesha Council that represents 350,000 Israelis living in over 120 communities throughout the West Bank.

    Medad charged that Martin Indyk, the former Clinton administration envoy to Israel chosen by Kerry to oversee the renewed negotiations, was "not an evenhanded negotiator."


    Mr. President, Just Do It!


    It's easy.

    He's just one.

    Benjamin Netanyahu is releasing over 100 who have actually killed innocent civilians.

    Bennett, Lipman disappointed Pollard not freed


    A military judge Tuesday acquitted Pfc. Bradley Manning of aiding the enemy — the most serious charge the Army intelligence analyst faced for leaking hundreds of thousands of classified military reports and diplomatic cables.
    If he isn't a traitor, Pollard surely isn't.


    Will It Be Full-Term ?

    As Reuters has it

    Israel and the Palestinians will seek to reach a peace agreement within nine months and negotiators will meet again within two weeks after holding a "positive" first round of talks, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Tuesday...Kerry said he believed peace was possible despite the obstacles..."I know the path is difficult. There is no shortage of passionate skeptics. But with capable, respected negotiators ... I am convinced that we can get there," he added. "All of the core issues, and all other issues, are all on the table for negotiation."
    Kerry...has urged Israelis and Palestinians to strike "reasonable compromises."

    In Arabic, Maan adds:

     واكد عريقات "لقد عانى الفلسطينيون بما يكفي، ولا أحد يستفيد من نجاح هذه المساعي أكثر من الفلسطينيين".
    Erekat said, "The Palestinians have suffered enough, and no one takes advantage of the success of these endeavors more than the Palestinians."

    And Kerry added:

    The Israeli Government...will be taking in the next days and weeks a number of steps in order to improve conditions in the West Bank and in Gaza. And the Palestinian security forces have recognized this, which is why we have seen such a dramatic improvement in law and order and such a dramatic decrease in terror attacks originating from the West Bank.

    Nothing from the Pals.?

    Only some vague development of "Palestinian security capacity".

    And here's Erekat and a bit of Arafatian repetition:

    Thank you, Mr. Secretary. Thank you, Minister Livni...I am delighted that all final status issues are on the table and will be resolved without any exceptions, and it’s time for the Palestinian people to have an independent, sovereign state of their own. It’s time for the Palestinian people to have an independent, sovereign state of their own. It’s time for the Palestinians to live in peace, freedom, and dignity within their own independent, sovereign state.

    Tzipi Lini's main contribution was:

     history is not made by cynics. It is made by realists who are not afraid to dream

    I am a cynical realist.


    Temple Mount Buffet at End of Ramadan Fast



    Financial and/or Criminal Liability

    Since it has been proven that released terrorists have not only encouraged others to engage in the fine Palestinian art of murdering Jews but that a percentage of those released themselves have reengaged in terror, how does one go about achieving punitive financial redress and how does one pursue a judicial suit of a criminal nature against the 13 ministers who decided to release them as well as against any and all government employees who too act so that these prisoners are released on the basis that a claim of "I was just following orders" cannot apply, if, God forbid, Jews are injured or worse?


    And Now, Over to ... Tunisia

    The Arab Spring moves on:

    Nine Tunisian soldiers were killed and stripped of their weapons Tuesday near the Algerian border, where the army has been tracking al Qaeda-linked militants, medical and military sources said.

    The soldiers were found with their throats cut, and had been stripped of their weapons and uniforms after an armed group ambushed them, said medical and military sources in Kasserine near Mount Chaambi, the site of the attacks.

    Four other soldiers were wounded...

    Several hundred demonstrators gathered today evening outside the hospital in Kasserine, chanting slogans against the Islamist Ennahda party that dominates the government.  Security forces have been hunting militant Islamists in the rugged Mount Chaambi area near the border with Algeria since December, when it attacked a border post, killing a member of the national guard.

    Oh, and in Libya:

    Assailants attacked an Islamist party office in Tripoli on Monday and a soldier was killed in fighting in Libya's eastern city of Benghazi, officials said, in an escalation of violence following the assassination of a political activist last week. A government source confirmed Social Affairs Minister Kamila Khamis al-Mazini had publicly announced her resignation..."This escalation (in violence) will lead to a collapse of a whole nation. We need solidarity of the people," Zeidan told reporters in Tripoli on Monday.

    And in Syria:

    An Italian Jesuit priest, father Paolo Dall’Oglio has been kidnapped by al Qaeda-linked fighters in eastern Syria. Opposition activists say he was taken by members of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, a Sunni group operating in the area.

    And Obama and Kerry are doing what?


    'How Many?' Is A Good Question

    In Foreign Policy Magazine:-

    The Unsettled Question: Does anyone have the slightest idea how many Jews are in the West Bank?

    ...getting the facts turns out to be as great a challenge as settling on the best policy. There is no agreement on population growth rates in the settlements, nor on how many Israelis live outside the "major blocs." The ambiguity around this important question has allowed interested parties to fill in the blanks with answers that best suit their political narrative.

    The numbers given by the Palestinian Authority, which show linear population growth over the past decade, reported that there were a staggering 544,000 Israeli settlers in 2012, which is 9 percent of Israel's Jewish population. Those figures, however, do not distinguish between Israelis who live east of the security fence and those who live in Jerusalem or in the major blocs that at Camp David, in the Annapolis peace summit, and in every proposed peace plan end up as part of Israel.

    The Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics would be the natural place to look for such figures, but as there is no single agreed definition of what constitutes a "bloc," its official number of 325,000 Israelis now living in the "Judea and Samaria region" provides only partial information. Like the Palestinian Authority's figures, the bureau's numbers do not tell us how many Israelis live in the large blocs that Israel is likely to keep, nor how many live in the areas of the West Bank that are expected to become part of the new state of Palestine.

    In a New York Times op-ed last year, settler leader Dani Dayan cited 160,000 Jews living in "communities outside the settlement blocs that proponents of the two-state solution believe could be easily incorporated into Israel." Meanwhile, Peace Now's official Facebook page speaks of 70,000 citizens who would have to relocate if an agreement were finally found.

    Of course, current population totals may reflect longer-term rather than recent trends. Our main goal was to see what's happening right now: Are those towns beyond the security fence still growing? The oft-repeated argument that "the window for peace is closing" depends largely on the belief that the settlements beyond the fence are expanding, meaning the number of Israelis who may resist a final agreement is presumably growing as well.
    ...According to electoral data, there has been significant recent growth all throughout the West Bank -- on both sides of the fence. More specifically, the number of Israelis over the age of 18 (eligible voters) who live beyond the Green Line and outside the settlement blocs has increased by 17 percent during Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's current term in office.

    And do I know?


    Stuck With Shtayyeh (and Thank God for Abbas UPDATE)

    [see UPDATE at end]

    The State Department announced yesterday that Secretary Kerry

    "personally extended an invitation to send senior negotiating teams to Washington to formally resume direct final status negotiations...The Israelis will be represented by Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and Yitzhak Molcho, and the Palestinians will be represented by Chief Negotiator Saeb Erekat and Mohammad Shtayyeh

    And Secretary Kerry subsequently announced that the U.S. Special Envoy for Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations will be Martin Indyk.  His deputy is Kerry's senior advisor - Frank Lowenstein.

    As already noted by me, Lowenstein comes from the fringes of progressive radicalism.  And Raheem Kassam informs us that

    the true motives of the second most senior Palestinian negotiator - advocating the destruction of the entirety of the State of Israel...for one of Abbas’s negotiators however, the recognition of the State of Israel is one step too far, and reveals how these peace talks are more than likely to be completely in vain.

    The far Left has tried in the past to defend Shtayyeh but can you imagine Livni with her father's map of "both  banks of the Jordan"

    on her Facebook account (okay, she wouldn't but let's be imaginative)?  What would be the reaction of the pro-Pals you need not guess.

    Shtayyeh has a past and in 2011, we learned:

    Dr. Muhammad Shtayyeh, a Palestinian minister and president of the Palestinian Economic Council for Development and Reconstruction didn’t seem as optimistic about the potential U.S initiative. He outlined the Palestinian leadership strategy, which included becoming a full member of the United Nations General Assembly. He also raised the possibility of taking Israel to the International court as a new avenue of the struggle against occupation. He also reiterated that the Palestinians don’t see a partner in Netanyahu’s government and therefore don’t have much hope in reaching a deal with it.

    Dr. Shtayeh surprised the attendees by discussing the Palestinian Authority’s inability to continue its existence under occupation and warned that it could be dissolved if no political breakthrough is achieved. The Palestinian Authority was not created to offer municipal services to the Palestinian people. It was mandated to prepare the way for a Palestinian state and if the PA cannot deliver a state, it will not survive.

    Well, now he can have fun negotiating with Israel but I need point out that if the PA can't even run and administer the most rudimentary municipal tasks, why give it a state to run?

    Back in 2002, he wrote:

    The donor countries say that they have invested some US$4.5 billion in the West Bank and Gaza since 1993. Do you think that they will continue donating now that the infrastructure they helped to build has been damaged or destroyed?

    Well, we know they have continued with their largesse because they don't particularly like Jews and think the Arabs are a good weapon.  He also there turns the security aspect on its head, so:

    They [the Israelis] have planted enmity in the heart and mind of every single Palestinian due to their actions during the continuous incursions and at the checkpoints.

    But it was - and continues to be - the other way around.  Arabs initiate violence and terror and Israel wouldn't have been administering Judea and Samaria if it wasn't for the desire of the PLO to attack Israel in its pre-1967 borders. 

    Two years ago, Shtayyeh laid out the "big issues" clearly:
    — Fatah accepts and independent state using the 1967 borders. As he put it, they are willing to accept the state on "only 22 percent of what used to be called Palestine."

    — Fatah accepts a shared Jerusalem, a united city with one governing body.

    — Fatah accepts a demilitarized state.

    — On the issue of refugee resettlement, he said that is something that will be decided at the negotiating table. But Fatah, he said, is "ready to sit down with the Israelis."

    In Washington then, we have one inveterate liar (the 'Jenin massacre'; etc.) and another who doesn't recognize Israel and thought in 1998 that Netanyahu was "unfortunate" for Israel.  And both are ideologues for whom poliitcs is but an instrument.


    Now this:

    Abbas wants 'not a single Israeli' in future Palestinian state

    (Reuters) - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas laid out his vision on Monday for the final status of Israeli-Palestinian relations..."In a final resolution, we would not see the presence of a single Israeli - civilian or soldier - on our lands," Abbas said in a briefing...Abbas said he stood by understandings he said he reached with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, predecessor to more right-wing leader Benjamin Netanyahu, that NATO forces could deploy there "as a security guarantee to us and them."

    ...On the future of Jewish settlements on the West Bank and the status of Jerusalem - among the most contentious issues facing the two sides - Abbas signaled no softening of his stance.

    "We've already made all the necessary concessions," he said.

    "East Jerusalem is the capital of the state of Palestine ... if there were and must be some kind of small exchange (of land) equal in size and value, we are ready to discuss this - no more, no less," he said...Abbas said on Monday that he refused to endorse any half-measure whereby he would let Israel freeze construction in smaller, more far-flung settlements but allow it to build in the larger and more populous "blocs" closer to the 1967 lines.

    "There was a request, 'We'll only build here, what do you think?' If I agreed, I would legitimize all the rest (of the settlements). I said no. I said out loud and in writing that, to us, settlements in their entirety are illegitimate."

    Asked if the Americans may try to get Israel to agree to a de facto settlement freeze, the president made a broad smile and declined to answer: "I don't know."

    The Cheshire Cat move.


    Senior aide to the president Tayyeb Abdul Rahim, accompanying Abbas, told Reuters: "We're between two opinions: should Israel agree to stop building settlements, or should they agree to a state on the 1967 borders to go back to talks.

    "What's stronger? (The second) means that all settlements are illegitimate. America is convinced of our point of view ... Israel has not yet agreed to a state on the 1967 lines, but it will go to the talks on that basis."


    One Helluva Hancock

    My letter-to-the-editor to the Concord Monitor in response to a letter:

    In his letter on the new round of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority ("U.S. can’t broker peace", July 29), one John S. Hancock assaults as "immoral and illegal" Israel's residential communities constructed in Judea and Samaria, what is commonly called the "West Bank". With additional polemical zeal, he includes such terms as "tyrannical colonialist regime", "illegitimate", "barbaric" and "criminality". His main point is that the US "is incapable of brokering a just resolution of this conflict".  The question, however, is are the Arabs-cum-Palestinians willing or desirous of any resolution and will that bring "justness" or peace.  I think not.

    Prior to the 1948 war, launched by Arabs despite a UN recommended plan, thousands of Jews lived in the area.  The Arabs engaged in ethnic cleansing of Jews living there for many centuries beginning in 1920 and have never let up in their terror campaign.  Their nationalist leader ensconced himself in Berlin during World War II.  The PLO and later, Hamas, almost exclusively attack civilians, not soldiers.  Indeed, the PLO was founded in 1964, before any so-called "occupation".  I suggest that Hancock has signed on to an evil movement that seeks to eradicate any expression of Jewish national ethos in the Jewish National Home.  That homeland was internationally recognized, with full legality, as well as Article 5 of the League of Nations Mandate which “encourage[s]...close settlement by Jews on the land”.  These basics are refuted by Arabs and their supporters like Hancock and that is why there is no peace.

    Yisrael Medad

    I wage on all fronts.


    Monday, July 29, 2013

    And I Thought Indyk Was Turkeyed

    And here I thought that Netanyahu had turkeyed Indyk as unacceptable as a negotiator?

    Kerry on Monday announced Martin Indyk, a former U.S. ambassador to Israel, as Washington's Middle East envoy, whose job will be to oversee the negotiations.  Indyk is a veteran of U.S. efforts to resolve the Israeli- Palestinian conflict. He was a senior official in the Clinton administration, which oversaw a failed summit in 2000 after which violence erupted in Israel and Palestinian territories.


    Martin Indyk’s ties to the New Israel Fund (NIF) have raised concern over the long-time Mideast diplomat’s impartially as a potential broker for upcoming peace talks between the Israelis and Palestinians.

    And this

    In late February 2010 he made highly critical remarks, as member of the New Israel Fund Board, of the campaign against the Fund in Australia which resulted in the postponement of a visit by Naomi Chazan.

    And now read Noah Pollak's analysis.

    Lucky for him, there are always the anti-Zionists and their take.

    Some good news though?

    Israeli and Palestinian officials put forward clashing formats for peace talks which were due to resume in Washington on Monday for the first time in nearly three years.

    P.S.  This was my 18,500th post.


    More Graphic Zionism:


    Graphic Zionism: On Netanyahu's Ideological Orientation



    Netanyahu Needs Watch His Back; And Abdallah vs. Women-of-the-Wall


    His Majesty King Abdullah II met on Sunday with a delegation representing the Arab and International Relations Council...[and] stressed Jordan's stance about the centrality of the Palestinian issue as well as the need to achieve peace and end the Palestinian-Israeli conflict by leading towards the establishment of an independent Palestinian state as per the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital and based on the two-state solution and the Arab Peace Initiative.

    The King highlighted the importance of the efforts exerted by the US Secretary of State John Kerry to advance the peace process, and pointed out the positive indications from all parties to resume the peace negotiations.

    Photo courtesy of Royal Court of Transjordan;  man in kippah not Jewish

    But that's not all. You need to read another source.

    The King also said that

    ...the Kingdom will continue its efforts to safeguard Islamic and Christian sites in the holy city of Jerusalem...Jordan will not spare any efforts, whether political, diplomatic or legal to protect the city, highlighting the Kingdom’s historic role in securing the holy sites, according to a Royal Court statement.

    The Monarch highlighted that Jordan’s role is increasingly important in light of the agreement signed by His Majesty and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in March this year.  The agreement confirmed both Jordan’s role as custodian of the holy sites of Jerusalem and Palestinian sovereignty over all of Palestine, including East Jerusalem, the statement said. 

    ...the King directed the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs to furnish the Dome of the Rock and Masjid Al Marwan, which is an underground praying area on the southeast side of Al Aqsa...the furnishing will be financed personally by the King...His Majesty also warned of the forced [???] migration of Muslim and Christian Jerusalemites...any attempts to Judaise Jerusalem and any of its holy sites — especially Al Aqsa Mosque — will not be accepted under any pretext.

    And he also strike a blow at the Women of the Wall:-

    The King also denounced the so-called Sharansky compromise, which seeks to expand and raise the area adjacent to the Buraq Courtyard in Al Aqsa Mosque complex at the expense of other Islamic parts of Al Haram Al Sharif.

    He also rejected Israel’s attempts to demolish Bab Al Magharbeh, the largest entrance for non-Muslim visitors to Al Aqsa Mosque complex.

    That is a fundamentalist Islamist position of classic inventivity nationalism.

    No peace there.

    Netanyahu's other problem: watching his back.


    The rest of the details of the Jordanian involvement are quite disturbing:

    Jerusalem’s religious leaders who attended the meeting thanked King Abdullah for Jordan’s “unwavering support for the Palestinian people and the Kingdom’s efforts to secure their rights”.

    Head of the Islamic Awqaf Council in Jerusalem Sheikh Abdul Atheem Salhab said Jerusalem and Al Aqsa Mosque are a “red line” for His Majesty, who has constantly opposed any attempt to change the city’s identity.  Salhab said the attacks against Al Aqsa have increased lately, especially by settlers storming Al Aqsa under the protection of the Israeli forces, and Israel’s violations of the jurisdictions of the awqaf and the mosque’s administration, in addition to obstructing the restoration works.

    He also cited the attempts by the right-wing ministers in the Israeli government to legitimise Jewish prayers inside Al Aqsa, warning of a “era-bound and location-based” division plan of the mosque, to eventually rebuild what they allege to be the Solomon’s Temple, the statement added.

    Director General of Jerusalem’s Awqaf Department Sheikh Mohammad Azzam Khatib thanked His Majesty on behalf of all Jerusalemites for his constant defence of the holy sites and Jerusalemites, emphasising that King Abdullah has made his custodianship a “true Hashemite heritage”.

    Khatib cited a number of Hashemite reconstruction works completed recently, including the rehabilitation of the early-warning system throughout the mosque, restoration of the decorations and mosaics inside the Dome of the Rock and the southern mosque (Qibli) project, in addition to the procurement of 200 tonnes of lead to plate the mosque and the roof of the Islamic Museum.

    Khatib and a number of Jerusalemites stressed that the Hashemite Fund for the Reconstruction of Al Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock should be considered a financial portfolio for the funding of projects aimed at protecting the holy sites and support the Jerusalemites.

    Palestinian Minister of Jerusalem Affairs Adnan Husseini reiterated the importance of the agreement signed by His Majesty and Abbas in March, noting that it “reaffirmed” the status of King Abdullah as the custodian of the holy sites in Jerusalem, indicating that the accord has given moral support to the people of Jerusalem and helped solve many of the outstanding problems they face.

    Husseini said the agreement has boosted Jordanian-Palestinian coordination to the best effective ranks at local and international levels, according to the statement.

    Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Fuad Twal expressed appreciation for King Abdullah’s efforts to protect Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem, calling for further concerted efforts to protect the identity of the holy city, which he said is the responsibility of everyone.


    Graphic Zionism - Obama, Netanyahu and Pollard






    One More Reason Prisoner Surrender Bad

    Bad because this is how Saeb Erekat describes it:

    Saeb Erekat, who will represent the Palestinians in this week's talks, welcomed the Israeli decision, but said it was "an overdue step" and that the Palestinian side would "continue working for the release of all our political prisoners".




    Graphic Zionism - Just Kidding Mr. President - II



    Graphic Zionism - Just Kidding Mr. President



    Temple and Mosque

    I have noted the seemingly parallel situation between India's Ram Temple in Ayodhya and the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, previously.

    My attention has been drawn to this RotterNet entry which sent me here, to the Navbharat Times, where I read this:

    पूर्ण बहुमत मिला तो बनेगा भव्य राम मंदिर: BJP नेता

    लखनऊ।। भले ही बीजेपी अध्यक्ष राजनाथ सिंह सहित कई केंद्रीय नेता यह कह रहे हैं कि राम मंदिर उनके चुनावी अजेंडे में नहीं है, लेकिन पार्टी के यूपी के अध्यक्ष का कहना है कि पूर्ण बहुमत मिलने पर हम संविधान संशोधन कर अयोध्या में भव्य राम मंदिर बनाएंगे। यूपी बीजेपी के अध्यक्ष लक्ष्मीकांत वाजपेयी ने कहा कि यदि 2014 के आम चुनाव में पार्टी को पूर्ण बहुमत मिला, तो जिस तरह डॉ. राजेंद्र प्रसाद के समय में संविधान में संशोधन कर सोमनाथ मंदिर का निर्माण कराया गया था, उसी तरह बीजेपी भी राम मंदिर बनवाएगी। वाजपेयी ने साफ तौर पर कहा कि गठबंधन धर्म की मजबूरियों और पूर्ण बहुमत न मिलने की वजह से ही आज तक राम मंदिर नहीं बन पाया। वाजपेयी ने ये बातें एक न्यूज एजेंसी को दिए इंटरव्यू के दौरान कहीं।

    It reports this:

    Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi’s aide and party’s Uttar Pradesh in-charge Amit Shah led the entire top state leadership of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to Ayodhya on Saturday to kick up a political storm and in the process bare its blueprint for 2014 in which, “Ram and his makeshift temple” are again expected to make an impression in the saffron scheme of things.

    The BJP leaders are actually taking the storm that Shah’s Ayodhya visit has kicked up as a ‘ good omen’. For the party’s best years in Uttar Pradesh (UP) – 1991 to 1998 – were those it spent chanting Ram, whipping up a religious frenzy that catapulted it to power both in UP as well as at the centre. “We feel that Ayodhya temple issue could again provide much needed oxygen, breathing life into our ‘Congress-mukt-Bharat’ campaign with the Rajnath-led and Modi-inspired BJP expected to hardsell the twin and contrasting models of Hindutva and development before the electorate,” a BJP source said.

    A party leader said, that the “Ayodhya visit by Shah was also aimed at uniting the VHP and other constituents of the Sangh Parivar that had been blaming the BJP of shunning its core issues. Shah’s temple commitment message was as much aimed at attracting the party’s core voters as indeed the saffron brigade.” That clearly explains why the BJP thought of holding its party meeting at Ayodhya’s Karsewakpuram – where the saffron rabble-rousers affirm their temple commitment annually on December 6 -- the demolition day – for the first time in nearly a decade. (The makeshift Ram temple was built after Hindu activists razed the 16th century Babri mosque in Ayodhya in December 1992. The Vishwa Hindu Parishad has vowed to construct a grand Ram temple at the site.)

    And this provides some explanation:

    Gujarat chief minister and BJP's campaign committee chairperson Narendra Modi's attempt to revive hardline Hindutva in UP for gains in the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls is a double-edged sword...For this, Sangh Parivar is moving in a planned manner to create a Hindutva wave - On June 9, Modi is elevated. On June 12, VHP announces statewide campaign in August for Ram temple. On June 18, RSS [Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh; Nathuram Godse, a former RSS member, assassinated Mahatma Gandhi] chief Mohan Bhagwat says in Meerut that Hindutva is the only solution for India. On June 28, a VHP leader arrested for Mathura blasts. On July 6, Modi's right hand man Amit Shah visits Ayodhya, vows to build Ram temple. And, on July 16, RSS chief formally approves Ram temple as an election issue.

    Petitions are also being filed claiming the right of Hindus on 'disputed places' where mosques were constructed during medieval period...The attempt is to create a situation similar to 90s when the BJP rose due to Ram Temple movement led by Lal Krisna Advani and charisma of Atal Bihari Vajpayee. However, after demolition of Babri mosque, the hardline appeal declined and caste factor has been dominating since then. However, hundreds died in communal violence across country in 90s.

    ...A section of people also think that the Ram Temple issue will have little impact today as young voters (18-25 years), who are 40% of the electorate, were either not born or were below five years of age when Babri mosque was demolished in 1992. However, hate messages in social media show a different picture...

    This additional elections commentary also noted the Ram Temple issue:

    ...Shah created a flutter in some quarters when he resurrected the dormant Ram Temple issue on a visit to Ayodhya in the first week of July.

    Another critical view.

    India indeed.


    Sunday, July 28, 2013

    The Pals. Think They Have It Bad?

    The poor Brits:-

    Block on Gibraltar: Spain stops 10,000 vehicles at border sparking SIX HOUR queues in latest spat over sovereignty of British territory

    Spanish authorities 'choked' the border, causing massive tailbacks yesterday in 30C heat
    Move follows standoff between Spanish fishermen and Royal Navy over artificial reef in Bay of Gibraltar

    Spanish police stopped every one of 10,000 vehicles leaving Gibraltar for the mainland yesterday, causing six-hour traffic jams in the latest escalation in the standoff over the Rock.

    Officers from the Royal Gibraltar Police were forced to impose diversions and create beachside holding areas as Spanish authorities 'choked' the border, causing massive tailbacks in 30C heat.

    It was the second day that border guards had blocked links to the mainland, in a move that seemed calculated to bring Gibraltar to a standstill.

    The move follows a string of recent incidents which have included Spanish police opening fire on a jet-skier in British waters, incursions by Spanish police boats, and Spanish air force jets roaring across the territory.

    In the extraordinary jet-ski incident last month, a boat from Spain’s Guardia Civil entered Gibraltan waters and took potshots at 32-year-old Dale Villa as he rode his watercraft close to a popular beach.

    Mr Villa was not wanted for any particular crime and was not thought to have strayed out of British waters into Spanish territory – although the line between the two is far from clear to people in the sea.

    Foreign Office minister David Lidington had condemned the shooting as ‘completely unacceptable’ and called on Spain to take action against those responsible.

    Most recently Spanish fishermen sparked a stand-off with the Royal Navy as they attempted to disrupt the creation of an artificial reef in the Bay of Gibraltar last week. 

    The fishermen used fast boats to weave in between British vessels involved in the reef-laying operation in a bid to create large waves to disrupt the work, the Sunday Express reported.


    The Gibraltar government had said Spain created "deliberate hold-ups" to traffic travelling to and from the British territory and Spain over the weekend and Friday.

    Foreign Secretary William Hague called the Spanish Foreign Minister on Sunday to express "serious concerns".

    It follows earlier accusations of Spanish incursions into British waters.

    Spain disputes UK sovereignty over Gibraltar, a limestone outcrop on the southern tip of the Iberian peninsula, which has been ruled by Britain since 1713.




    Three-hundred years ago.

    Sound familiar?


    Words on Weiner

    There is something else at work here also -- a lack of compassion. Here is where I differ with many of my liberal and libertarian friends. I believe that how you treat people matters. It is folly to embarrass your pregnant wife before an entire nation. To do the same thing again is cruelty. And there is the promise of more to come. One argument holds that what happens between Weiner and his wife is between them. I agree with this argument. But cruelty is not abolished by the phrase "consenting adults." And the fact that the immoral is not, and should not be, illegal does not make morality meaningless. Huma Abedin has one choice. We have another. The choice should be made by voters -- there should be no sense that if not for the powerful editorial pages Weiner would have won. As a city we deserve to see who we are, and what we actually care about.

    Ta-Nehisi Coates 



    Another Warm Expression of Religious Coexistence on the Temple Mount

    Yehudah Glick is greeted by calls of ... well, to be truthful, hostility, intolerance and religious fanaticism:

    Not very nice, that Islamism, is it? 


    MK Moshe Feiglin's thoughts.



    Words of Historic Reverberation


    there are moments in which tough decisions must be made for the good of the country

    Benjamin Netanyahu *
    Prime Minister,
    July 27, 2013



    Jonathan Tobin: should be remembered that as much as Israel could have said no to Kerry, this is an outrageous Palestinian demand that was championed by the United States. That means Americans should pause and wonder whether they would ever give a moment’s consideration to doing what their government is twisting Israel’s arm to do. Would we ever think of releasing any of those convicted and currently serving long jail sentences for involvement in the 9/11 attacks or any other terrorist assault on the United States and its citizens? Not a chance.

    That’s a point that is never raised in the news accounts of Kerry’s negotiations or even posed to the secretary when he deigns to be questioned by a diplomatic press corps that has given him kid-glove treatment. Yet why not?

    The fact is the United States would never consider such a request for a minute, no matter the diplomatic gains to be garnered from that sort of concession elsewhere in the globe. The American position is, as the Obama administration likes to put it, that anyone who attacks U.S. citizens will be chased down to the ends of the earth and either be snuffed by a drone attack that has the personal approval of the commander in chief or be locked away for good if they are captured.

    Imagine the response from the 9/11 families or the survivors of any terror attack to the suggestion that the killers of their relatives be released. Would it be much different than those of Israelis as reported by the New York Times?...
    ...  it’s also fair to ask Americans how they can justify demanding that Israel do something they would never do themselves. The blood of the Israeli victims of terror is just as red as that of Americans. Their need for some measure of justice for the killers is no more and no less than that of Americans.

    This sort of hypocrisy is inexcusable.


    Cabinet Approves Opening of Diplomatic Negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians in Accordance with PM Netanyahu's Statement on the Negotiations
    (Communicated by the Prime Minister's Media Adviser)

    The Cabinet, today (Sunday, 27 July 2013), approved the opening of diplomatic negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians in accordance with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's statement regarding the negotiations, and authorized a ministerial team on the release of Palestinian prisoners during the negotiations. The Prime Minister will chair the team; its other members will be Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch and Science, Technology and Space Minister Yaakov Peri. Earlier, the Cabinet approved the draft Basic Law: Referendum.

    Prime Minister Netanyahu said, "This moment is not easy for me. It is not easy for the ministers. It is not easy especially for the families, the bereaved families, whose heart I understand. But there are moments in which tough decisions must be made for the good of the country and this is one of those moments."


    Here Comes Canaan

    It's not the "Land of Israel".

    It's not even the "Land of Ishmael".

    It's ... Cannan!


    BETHLEHEM, (PIC)-- Palestinian activists set up on Saturday morning Canaan-5 tent village near the Gush Etzion settlement bloc in Bethlehem to the south of the West Bank.

    Hasan Breijeh, the coordinator of the committee against the wall and settlements in the Bethlehem area, told Quds press that dozens of Palestinian activists set up what they called Canaan-5 tent in allusion to Canaan Palestinian village that was demolished several times by the Israeli occupation forces.

    Inventivity at work.

    And retrogressing into Jahiliyah?



    "Canaan" is gone already.

    I Have An Awful Feeling


    I have an awful feeling we're being dumped on with this prisoner deal:

    My thoughts.


    Will Bibi Blink?



    Saturday, July 27, 2013

    I'm For Preconditions

    As you probably know, Israel's official approach to peace negotiations withe the Palestinian Authority is clear:

    Netanyahu says he will never accept preconditions for talks
    Prime minister says Palestinian calls for a building freeze before negotiations constitute an ‘impassable obstacle’


    ”I want to achieve peace,” Netanyahu declared.  ”We’re ready to start negotiations now, without preconditions,” he continued, “and I hope the Palestinian leadership will be too.”

    That was last month.  And back in September 2011:

    Benjamin Netanyahu: 'Negotiations without preconditions'

    And in April 2012:

    Netanyahu to ask Abbas to return to negotiations without preconditions

    And so, at the end of July 2013:

    Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu turned to the citizens of Israel in an open letter on Saturday explaining his decision to release Palestinian prisoners as a gesture to the Palestinian Authority ahead of the renewal of peace talks in Washington next week..."This is an incredibly difficult decision. It hurts the bereaved families, it hurts all of the Israeli people and it hurts me very much. It clashes with the most important principle, the principle of justice," Netanyahu stated..."sometimes prime ministers are forced to make decisions that go against public opinion - when the issue is important for the country."

    which brought this reaction: 

    Dep. Min. Danon: Release of Terrorists is 'Lunacy'

    Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon (Likud) sent a letter to Likud ministers asking them to vote against the planned release of 104 terrorist prisoners as a “gesture” in advance of “peace talks” with the Palestinian Authority.

    "I call on you to vote against the release of prisoners, but in favor of the negotiations, without preconditions,” he wrote.

    Those prisoners?

    Israel is set to release 104 terrorists for the questionable privilege of getting the Palestinian Authority to simply show up to the negotiating table. The identities of the terrorists have finally been released. All of them have served so far between 19 to 30 years for murdering Israelis, and even their fellow Arabs. Some of those slated to be released have been serving time for killing children, Israel Prize winners, and even Holocaust survivors.

    But I want to be fair and open.

    I am actually for preconditions for peace talks:

    - first, Abbas has to get reelected

    - second, Hamas has to make peace with Fatah

    - third, all incitement stops

    - fourth, peace programming enters the educational curriculum

    Isn't that rational and logical?



    Daniel Pipes:
    Lunacy, but also immorality. The exchange betrays the families of victims and it betrays Israel's allies. It is a repugnant action.  To those who would excuse Netanyahu on the grounds that he feels pressure from the U.S. government, I reply: this a lame excuse, for Israelis can and have often stood up to misguided American leaders; further, it appears to be inaccurate, for Netanyahu has recently suggested that, under the spell of the Ben-Gurion complex, has himself become convinced of the need for a Palestinian state in the West Bank.



    From David Gertsman:

    What did the PA's minister of religion say?

    On the eve of the renewed peace talks with Israel, PA Minister of Religious Affairs Mahmoud Al-Habbash said in his Friday sermon that when PA leaders signed agreements with Israel, they knew how to walk "the right path, which leads to achievement, exactly like the Prophet [Muhammad] did in the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah." Al-Habbash's sermon was delivered in the presence of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and was broadcast on official Palestinian Authority TV.

    The Hudaybiyyah peace treaty was a 10-year truce that Muhammad, Islam's Prophet, made with the Quraish Tribe of Mecca. However, two years into the truce, Muhammad attacked and conquered Mecca. The PA Minister of Religious Affairs stressed in his Friday sermon that Muhammad’s agreeing to the Hudaybiyyah treaty was not "disobedience" to Allah, but was "politics" and "crisis management." The minister emphasized that in spite of the peace treaty, two years later Muhammad "conquered Mecca." He ended his comparison by expressing the view that the Hudaybiyyah agreement is not just past history, but that "this is the example and this is the model."

    Since the signing of the Oslo Accords, there have been senior PA officials who have presented the peace process with Israel as a deceptive tactic that both facilitated the PA's five-year terror campaign against Israel (the Intifada), and which will weaken Israel through territorial compromise that will eventually lead to Israel's destruction.