Are We The Occupiers In Hebron?

There is a common mantra the international leftwing and woke movement repeats over and over. – “Israel is the occupier.” While it is easy to refute such nonsense, videos and images from cities like Hebron can make it hard to assuage even veteran Israel supporters.

After all, at first glance Hebron is jarring. A little more than 1,000 Jews live among at least 150 thousand Arabs. The IDF appears to be all over the place and security barriers divide various areas. Despite the fact that the larger Jewish community of Kiryat Arba abuts Hebron, the Jewish community in Hebron can still feel isolated.

However, the images and a videos one sees from afar or the experience one has in person is not the whole picture. In fact, the heavy security presence in Hebron only exists in about 3% of the city – the area that is controlled by Israel since the Wye River Accords otherwise known as H2. The rest of the 97% of Hebron – known as H1 is officially controlled by the Palestinian Authority.

The reason for the heavy military presence in H2 is due to the pogroms, terrorism, and violence against the Jewish community in Hebron. This has gone on well before the 1967, when the Jewish people regained sovereignty in Hebron and long before 1948, when the Jewish people regained their independence.

While the international left likes to paint a distorted image of Hebron, the fact is, it is hard consider control over just 3% of a city – occupation – especially when that 3% contains residents and holy sites that have been maligned by the majority Arab population for centuries.

It is time to look at Hebron holistically and within a broader historical context instead of pigeonholing it into the same false conflict paradigm that exists within the anti-Israel leftwing.

Inane …Again! Tom Friedman on Gaza

Tom Friedman’s last piece on Gaza is a “masterful” blend of personal bile & bias, liberally laced with logical inconsistencies, factual inaccuracies and even blatant non-sequiturs

What if all two million Palestinians of Gaza marched to the Israeli border fence with an olive branch in one hand and a sign in Hebrew and Arabic in the other, saying, “Two states for two peoples: We, the Palestinian people of Gaza, want to sign a peace treaty with the Jewish people — a two-state solution based on the 1967 borders, with mutually agreed adjustments. – Thomas L. Friedman, Hamas, Netanyahu and Mother Nature, New York Times, May 22, 2018.

…the American conduct of the peace process bears an unhappy resemblance to the custom of treating diseases by placing leeches on the body of the afflicted person: It was based on an inadequate understanding of the pathology it attempted to cure, it did not solve the problem it was intended to fix, and it sometimes made it substantially worse. – Michael Mandelbaum, The Peace Process Is an Obstacle to Peace, Commentary, April 14, 2016.


The really disconcerting thing about the New York Times columnist, Tom Friedman, is that, at times, he can actually produce some sensible and insightful articles—as long as he is not writing (or more precisely, ranting) on Israel. Or Trump. Or the Palestinians. Or Barack Obama…

Sadly however, whenever he makes one of his far-too-frequent forays into any of these “touchy” topics, his journalistic output invariably degenerates into patently partisan pamphleteering.


Lip-service to “balance”

But even compared to his past inanities, his latest column, “Hamas, Netanyahu and Mother Nature”, is a real doozy—a “masterful” blend of personal bile and bias, liberally laced with logical inconsistencies, factual inaccuracies and even blatant non-sequiturs.

Friedman begins his column feigning journalistic impartiality and paying perfunctory lip- service to “balance”, with some cursory condemnation of Hamas, acknowledging “its utter failure to produce any kind of decent life for the Palestinians there, whom Hamas has ruled since 2007”.

He accuses the Islamist terror group of “Cynici[al] and Reckless Disregard for One’s Own People in Pursuit of a Political Fantasy [capitals in original- MS] ”, and of “facilitating the tragic and wasted deaths of roughly 60 Gazans by encouraging their march, some with arms, on the Israeli border fence in pursuit of a ‘return’ to their ancestral homes in what is now Israel”.

But then, predictably, he quickly reverts back into his almost Pavlovian, Israel-bashing, Bibi-phobic mode—basically dismissing the importance of his previous censure of Hamas and shifting the onus onto…Israel: “So much for the “bad” Palestinian leadership. What’s Israel’s approach to the secular, more moderate Palestinian Authority in the West Bank…Answer: nothing.”


Moderate, secular Palestinian Authority??

The secular moderate Palestinian Authority!


Gee, I wonder if Friedman was referring to the same “moderate secular” Palestinian Authority, whose leader, Mahmoud Abbas, not too long ago, referred to the Jews as desecrating the Temple Mount with their “filthy feet”? Or who recently explained that the slaughter of millions of Jews during the Holocaust was due to their practice of usurious moneylending? Or who orchestrated a vicious campaign of incitement against the Jewish state, and praised the bloody violence in terror attacks against the Jews, proclaiming: “We bless every drop of blood that has been spilled for Jerusalem, which is clean and pure blood, blood spilled for Allah, Allah willing. Every Martyr (Shahid) will reach Paradise, and everyone wounded will be rewarded by Allah.”

That moderate, secular Palestinian Authority???

Friedman has of course, been long been captive to the seductive deception of two-statism. At the base of this dogma is the belief that, among the Palestinian-Arabs, there is a leader sufficiently reasonable to cut a deal acceptable to Israel and sufficiently authoritative to ensure its implementation.

Accordingly, in order to sustain their political credo, (or rather, “cult”), two-state adherents have to conjure up imaginary Palestinian-Arabs and an imaginary Palestinian-Arab society, significantly different from those that actually exist on Planet Earth.


Favoring fantasy over facts

Indeed, Friedman would do well to heed the somewhat contrite confession of yet another dogged advocate of two-statism, Aaron David Miller, formerly a senior State Department official, deeply involved in the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, and today, vice president of Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

In a recorded exchange, with the suitably gloomy title, “Today’s Bleak Prospects for Israeli-Palestinian Peace”, Miller acknowledged: “I would draw from my own experiences that when we failed in diplomacy, and particularly in the pursuit of Arab- Israeli negotiations, it was almost always because Americans – let’s forget the Israelis and the Palestinians for a moment—chose to see the world the way they wanted it to be, rather than the way it actually was.”

Significantly, this closely parallels the assessment expressed in the opening excerpt by Michael Mandelbaum, Professor of American Foreign Policy at The Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, that “the American conduct of the peace process …was based on an inadequate understanding of the pathology it attempted to cure.”

Indeed, Mandelbaum puts his finger precisely on what Friedman, and those of his obsessive ilk, refuse to acknowledge. Writing in the final stages of the Obama administration, Mandelbaum counsels: “The next administration should tell the truth about the Israeli–Palestinian conflict: namely, that the responsibility for creating and perpetuating it rests with the Palestinian side.


Friedman: Favoring fantasy over facts

Of course, Friedman will have none of this hardnosed realism. For that, heaven forfend, would be to admit error of staggering proportions.

Accordingly, he embarks on a flight of fantasy into the realm of “what if”.

Wistfully, he asks: “What if all two million Palestinians of Gaza marched to the Israeli border fence with an olive branch in one hand and a sign in Hebrew and Arabic in the other, saying, ‘…:We, the Palestinian people of Gaza, want to sign a peace treaty with the Jewish people …’”

Well, perhaps the question Friedman should ask himself is: Why don’t they??

A truthful answer to this would be: “Because it is not in their nature!”

For, if they did, they would not be who they are! Indeed, as I have argued repeatedly in the past, the Gazans are not the hapless victims of their leadership. To the contrary, they are the very crucible in which that leadership was formed and from which it emerged.

After all, it was the general public that elected Hamas into power, over a decade ago, in an election generally considered free and fair—and with the outcome by-and-large reflecting prevailing electoral sentiment. Even today, there does not seem to be a major anti-Hamas metamorphosis in the overall attitude of the Gazan public.


Scant regret over Hamas?

Quite the opposite.

According to the findings of a very recent poll, conducted just as the unrest on the Gaza border began to flare up, by the leading Palestinian polling institute (in conjunction with the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung), in a presidential election, a Hamas candidate would trounce Fatah’s incumbent Mahmoud Abbas by almost 2 to 1. Even in legislative elections, it seems that Hamas would hold its own against the rival Fatah faction.

Underscoring just how detached Friedman’s prescription is from reality is another finding in the poll: Almost 70% of Gazans support a return to an armed intifada. Moreover, Gazans chose “Armed Resistance” by about 2 to 1 over “Negotiations” and “Popular Non-Violent Resistance” as the preferred course of action against Israel.

Indeed, Friedman’s idea of Palestinian-Arabs, extending an olive branch with one hand, and placards proclaiming peaceful intent with the other, is not entirely new. He proposed the identical formula back in a 2011 anti-Bibi screed shortly after the fall of Mubarak in Egypt and in which virtually all his analyses/prognoses proved to be embarrassingly mistaken.

Yet, unchastened by his massive misreading of Mid-East realities back then, Friedman sallies forth yet again with his implausible proposal—now, if anything, even more implausible than before.


Banking on amnesia or ignorance?

Friedman empathizes (at least partially) with the Gazans’ rage: “I appreciate the Gazans’ sense of injustice. Why should they pay with their ancestral homes for Jewish refugees who lost theirs in Germany or Iraq?

Of course, unless Friedman is woefully misinformed, he is wildly—perhaps even willfully—misleading!

For the Arab residents of Israel did not lose their homes during the 1948 War of Independence to accommodate Jewish refugees, fleeing persecution in Europe and the Arab countries.

They lost them because of the failure of their Arab patrons’ aggressive initiative to annihilate any vestige of Jewish political independence. Accordingly, the 1948 displacement of Arabs was a result of categorical Arab refusal to accept a Jewish state and of the resultant Arab defeat in the Arab attempt to destroy it.

Friedman goes on to speculate on how better things might have been “if only” the hopelessly improbable had transpired. He laments: “If Hamas had chosen to recognize Israel and build a Palestinian state in Gaza modeled on Singapore, the world would have showered it with aid and it would have served as a positive test case for the West Bank. Hamas chose otherwise.”

On reading this, one can only shake one’s head in puzzlement and wonder whether Friedman is banking on the ignorance or the amnesia of his readers.

After all, the international community has showered aid on Gaza, only to have most of it diverted into construction of military infrastructure to be used against Israel, or into the personal bank accounts of the corrupt cliques who rule the enclave, and their complicit cronies.

Surely Friedman must know that Gaza has not degenerated into the current cesspool that it is because of any lack of international funding or of Israeli largesse. It has done so despite an abundance of both!


Infuriating and disingenuous
Friedman “graciously” acknowledges that “Israel has no choice but to defend its border with Gaza with brute force.”

But then, nimbly sidestepping the morass in Gaza, he goes on to berate Israel anyway, regarding Judea-Samaria: “… I find it a travesty that a country with so much imagination in computing, medicine and agriculture shows so little imagination in searching for secure ways to separate from the Palestinians in the West Bank…”

Of course to accuse Israel of showing insufficient endeavor in searching for ways to “separate” from the Palestinians is both infuriating, and disingenuous. Indeed, Israel has gone to incredible—even recklessly irresponsible —lengths to try and foist self-governance on the Palestinians—whether in terms of negotiated sovereignty under the 1993-5 “imaginative” Oslo Agreements or in terms of the unimaginably asinine unilateral abandonment of Gaza in the 2005 Disengagement, where even Jewish graves were unearthed to accommodate “separation”.

As it turns out, the real problem is not achieving “separation”—as the Gaza episode clearly shows. The real problem is to ensure that the post-separation realities will not be those that arose following the separation in Gaza—i.e. that Israel will not face a hostile mega-Gaza on the fringes of Greater Tel Aviv, overlooking Ben Gurion Airport and abutting the trans-Israel highway.


Blatant Bibi-phobic bile

But oblivious to all this—to past precedents, present realities and future probabilities— for Friedman, the real culprits are easily identifiable: Netanyahu and Trump!

Clearly willing to stand up for his so called “liberal” principles down to the last Israeli, Friedman pontificates: Israel has never been stronger than it is today. Hamas has never been weaker. If there were ever a time for Israel to take a few calculated risks to try to nurture a different pathway with Palestinians in the West Bank, it’s now”.

Leaving the reader to puzzle over what on earth a weak Hamas in Gaza has to do with taking huge risks in Judea-Samaria, Friedman rails on with puerile pique: “Unfortunately, its [Israel’s] prime minister is too cowardly, and America is too slavishly supportive, for that to happen”.

While I have many criticisms of Netanyahu, it is patently absurd to accuse him of being cowardly, unless Friedman is suggesting that to be “courageous” Netanyahu must bow to enemy demands; unless to be “courageous” is to concede to pressures to expose Israeli citizens to unacceptable risks…

And as for the overly “slavish support” of America, Friedman seems to have forgotten that for eight years, the White House was occupied by a president who was anything but “slavishly supportive” of Israel—and yet nary a sign of separation appeared on the horizon… I wonder why!

Clearly then, drivel is drivel, even when it appears in the purported paper of record—leaving one to wonder how this stuff gets published!

Is Trump Preparing to Slay the Palestinian Fairy Tale?

With rumors flying that President Trump is readying the release of his long awaiting Israel-Palestinian peace plan, obersvers have noted the non-commitment there still is to the two-state paradigm.  Trump Assistant Victoria Coates can be heard below  insisting that the administration “is not committed to the two-state formul” and explains that it means “whatever the sides want.”

So what is Trump planning to release?

Given the recent events surrounding his decertification of the Iran deal, moving the embassy to Jerusalem, the Gaza riots, as well the Palestinian Authorities response to all of this, it would seem improbable that Trump is banking on the kleptocracy and mafia of Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah to be able to commit to a peace plan.

With all of the noise in the past week there has been one country conspicuously quiet and that is Jordan. The fact is, Trump’s non-committal to a two-state paradigm appears to be setting the stage for the only real solution to the Israel-Palestinian conundrum and that is the “Jordan is Palestine” model with some tweaks.

The original Palestinian Mandate was made up what is today Israel (both pre 1967 and post 1967) and Jordan.  While the Balfour declaration said that the Jews deserved a homeland in Palestine clearly meaning both sides of the Jordan River, the British ended up splitting the Mandate in two along the Jordan River (although originally it as supposed to be 10 km East of the Jordan River).  The East side became Trans Jordan and was given to the Hashemites in 1922 as a reward for their help during World War One.  The Hashemites were originally from Mecca and were chased out by the House of Saud.

In 1922, Abdullah, the emir and soon to be King of (Trans) Jordan was placed in power over a people not his own and effectively came to rule a majority population of Palestinian Arabs. Jordan today is a shaky monarchy having need to keep the Palestinian population from gaining too much power in order to survive.  This is why the current King Abdullah often uses Israel as a scapegoat to hide his own policies.  This strategy is no longer working.

Trump’s plan appears to be in favor of some sort confederation between the Hashemite Kingdom in Jordan as a Palestinian entity and an autonomous area in most of Areas A and B in Judea and Samaria. Area C would be retained by Israel.   When it comes to Jerusalem the current situation appears to be the best way to make all sides happy.  Jordan would still hold onto its custodial rights over the Muslim and Christian holy sites in the Old City of Jerusalem and Israel would retain security control.

Essentially a combination of the Jordan is Palestine model and Naftali Bennett’s plan seen below. The difference being Jordan would control A and B as noted above, while Bennett leaves it in the hands of the Palestinian Authority.

Why do I think this is the plan?  Because Trump wants a deal and yet he wants a deal that works.  Relying on the Palestinian Authority to sign or even uphod a deal is pointless. Doing so would destablize both Israel and Jordan. By basing his deal on the peace deal already agreed to by Israel and Jordan, Trump would effectively be ending the Palestinian-Israel conflict simply by recognizing history and reality.

So if this plan makes sense, why hasn’t it been tried before? The answer lies with the King of Jordan.  Up until now he has always used the Palestinian issue as a distraction. The King fears that an acceptance of the “Jordan is Palestine” model would effectively doom his regime in a rapid fashion.

The Trump team appears to understand that and is perhaps readying some sort of carrot for the royal family. It remains to be seen what that is


Why a Palestinian state would be a disaster for Israel and the region.

Howard Kohr, AIPAC’s (American-Israel Public Affairs Committee) CEO created a bit of an uproar among certain Jewish organizations when he stated at the AIPAC conference earlier this month that, “We must work toward that future: two states for two people. One Jewish with secure and defensible borders, and one Palestinian with its own flag and its own future.”  It was a reiteration of last year’s call on the U.S. administration to undertake steps that “Could create a climate that encourages the Palestinians to negotiate in pursuit of the goal we desire: a Jewish state of Israel living side by side in peace and security with a demilitarized Palestinian state.”

There is no question that Howard Kohr’s motives are pure and honorable in seeking a secure Israel alongside a peaceful and demilitarized Palestinian state.  Unfortunately reality dictates otherwise.  At the moment we actually have a need to solve more than a two-state question.  We have a third state question and that is the Hamas ruled Gaza Strip.  Hamas has vowed to fight until the liberation of all of Palestine and the destruction of Israel.  The Los Angeles Times reported (March 1, 2017), “In a shift, the new document (as it relates to the Hamas Covenant-JP), formally endorses the goal of establishing a Palestinian state in Gaza and the West Bank, with Jerusalem as its capital, as part of a ‘national consensus’ among Palestinians (this was during the reconciliation process with Fatah and the Palestinian Authority-JP).  While that may be a tacit acknowledgment of Israel’s existence, the revision stops well short of recognizing Israel, and reasserts calls for armed resistance toward a ‘complete liberation of Palestine’ from the river to the sea.”

The attempted assassination of the Palestinian Authority (PA) Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah earlier this month in Gaza, put a stop to the reconciliation efforts between Hamas and the PA, which is dominated by Fatah.  Fatah spokesperson and Revolutionary Council member, Osama al-Qawasmi said, “Hamas is fully responsible for this cowardly operation that targeted the homeland, reconciliation, and unity. This cowardly act is outside of our values and national relations, and has repercussions.”  It is clear that even if PA President Mahmoud Abbas should return to the negotiating table, and that is doubtful, Hamas will continue its campaign of terror against Israel.  Hamas is unwilling to give up control of its arms, its rockets, or its mortars, to the PA.

In December, 1998, President Bill Clinton responded to Arafat’s letter.  He thanked Arafat for the move in January of the same year, which allegedly struck out and amended the call in the Palestinian Charter for the destruction of Israel, by the raised arms verbal vote of the Palestinian National Council (PNC).  The Palestinian Charter specifies in Clause 33 as amended in 1968, that the charter can only be changed if 2/3rds of its membership met to vote on the change.  This did not occur.  It is abundantly clear that the PA is still committed to the destruction of Israel, albeit, without openly using the extremist verbiage that Hamas is using.  The continued incitement to violence and terror by Mahmoud Abbas, and the entire educational and informational apparatus of the PA that advocates hatred for Jews and Israel, negates the idea of a peaceful Palestinian state living side by side with the Jewish state of Israel.

The idea that a future Palestinian state would adhere to being a “demilitarized state” is totally unrealistic, especially if we consider the history and nature of Arab regimes. Louis Rene Beres, Emeritus Professor of International Law, has pointed out that even “If the government of a fully sovereign Palestinian state were in fact willing to consider itself bound by some pre-state agreement to demilitarize, in these improbable circumstances, the new Palestinian Arab government could likely identify ample pretext and opportunity to invoke lawful ‘treaty’ termination.

Palestine could withdraw from any such agreement because of what it would regard as a ‘material breach,’ a purported violation by Israel, one that had allegedly undermined the object or purpose of the accord.  It could also point to what international law calls Rebus sic stantibus: permissible abrogation,’ known more popularly as a ‘fundamental change of circumstances.’  If Palestine should declare itself vulnerable to previously unseen dangers, perhaps even from interventionary forces, or the forces of other Arab armies or insurgencies that it could claim might be trying to occupy it, it could lawfully end its previously codified commitment to stay demilitarized.

There is another reason why any hopes for Palestinian demilitarization must remain unsupportable. After declaring independence, a Palestinian government — any Palestinian government – could point to particular pre-independence errors of fact, or to duress, as appropriate grounds for invoking selective agreement termination. In this regard, the grounds that may be invoked under domestic law to invalidate contracts could also apply under international law, whether to actual treaties, or, as in this particular case, to lesser treaty-like agreements.”

Professor Beres pointed out that according to the ‘Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties’ (1969), an authentic treaty must always be between states.”  Beres argues that “any treaty or treaty-like compact is void if, at the time of its entry into force it conflicts with a ‘peremptory’ rule of international law — that is, one from which ‘no derogation is permitted.’ As the right of sovereign states to maintain military forces for self-defense is always such a rule, Palestine would be within its lawful right to abrogate any pre-independence agreement that had (impermissibly) compelled its own demilitarization.

The “2005 Gaza experience,” of unilateral withdrawal from Gaza, has taught Israel a painful lesson.  Once it vacates land it will ultimately become a base for terror attacks against its cities and citizens.  With Israel’s major cities within rifle fire of a Palestinian state, not to mention rockets, life inside Israel would become impossible.  Palestinian terror attacks and Israel’s retaliation will serve as an excuse for the future state of Palestine to discard demilitarization.  International guarantees, even by its closest allies won’t have any meaning. Israel learned this lesson following the Sinai Campaign of 1956.  The Maritime powers guarantees (including the U.S.) didn’t prevent Egypt’s dictator, Abdul Nasser, from closing the Straits of Tiran and the Suez Canal to Israeli navigation. The International community did nothing.

A one-state solution in which Israel would absorb about two-million Palestinians as its citizens is not an ideal solution either.  It isn’t so much the demographic threat that it once was, but rather a threat to peace within the country, where two cultures are in conflict.  Perhaps the ideal solution is for the Kingdom of Jordan to federate with the West Bank Palestinians.  Israel would annex area C under the Oslo Accords, where most of the 500,000 Jews live, and the Jordan River would serve as the international border between Israel and Jordan, which would insure Israel’s security.  The Palestinian-Arabs will have a flag (the Jordanian and Palestinian flags are almost identical), a representation in the federated government, possibly a Palestinian Prime Minister (Jordan’s population is already 70% Palestinians), an outlet to the sea (Aqaba if not Gaza) and total religious homogeneity (Sunni-Islam).

Under normal circumstances many Israelis, much like Howard Kohr, would prefer a two-state solution.  But the realities in the Middle East indicate that another authoritarian state (and most likely terrorist state) won’t contribute to stability or peace in the region.  On the contrary, it would serve as a focal point of conflict.  Perhaps in the next few generation things might change, but for now a Palestinian state would be a disaster for Israel and the region.

Originally Published in FrontPageMag.

Firing Rex Tillerson Removed an Obstacle to Middle East Peace

As Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was being fired on Tuesday, his central assumptions about the Palestinian conflict with Israel, which are shared by the entire Washington foreign policy establishment, literally blew up in Gaza.

On Tuesday morning, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah’s convoy was attacked by a roadside bomb during an official visit in Hamas-controlled Gaza.

Hamdallah was in Gaza to inaugurate a wastewater treatment facility sponsored by the World Bank. The facility was approved 14 years ago, but infighting between Hamas, which runs Gaza, and Fatah, the PLO ruling faction which controls the Palestinian Authority (PA), blocked its operation time after time.

The shuttered water treatment facility in northern Gaza has long been a monument to the Palestinian leadership’s incompetence and indifference to the plight of the people it is supposed to be serving. As the plant gathered dust, Gaza plunged deeper and deeper into a water crisis.

As the Times of Israel reported, Gaza has two water problems: insufficient ground water, and massive pollution of the existing supply due to the absence of sufficient sewage treatment facilities.

Untreated sewage is dumped directly into the Mediterranean Sea, and then seeps back into Gaza’s groundwater.

Gaza’s polluted acquifiers only produce a quarter of its water needs, and due to insufficient water treatment facilities, 97 percent of Gaza’s natural water sources are unsafe for human consumption.

Hamdallah’s visit to Hamas-controlled Gaza was supposed to show that the Fatah-Hamas unity deal Egypt brokered between the two terror groups last year was finally enabling them to solve Gaza’s humanitarian needs.

And then Hamdallah’s convoy was bombed, and the whole charade of Palestinian governing competence and responsibility was put to rest.

Later in the day, the White House held a Middle East summit that demonstrated Tillerson’s basic assumptions have the problems of the Middle East precisely backwards.

Under the leadership of Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, along with Jason Greenblatt, Trump’s senior negotiator, Israeli officials sat in the White House for the first time with Arab officials from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Oman, and Qatar. Representatives from Egypt and Jordan, with which Israel enjoys open diplomatic relations, were also in attendance. Canadian and European officials participated as well.

Although they were invited, the Palestinians chose to boycott the conference. Their boycott was telling. The PA claimed it was boycotting the conference in retaliation for America’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and President Trump’s plan to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem on Israel’s 70th Independence Day in May.

But anger over Jerusalem doesn’t justify the snub. The purpose of the summit wasn’t to reach “the ultimate deal.” The summit was called to to formulate the means to contend with the humanitarian crises emanating from Hamas-controlled Gaza. The Palestinians boycotted a summit whose sole purpose was to help them.

As Palestinian commentator Bassam Tawil noted, the PA’s boycott while appalling, was unsurprising.

The White House summit was a threat to both rival Palestinian factions. It showed that the Trump administration, which both Fatah and Hamas hate passionately, cares more about the Palestinians than they do.

The humanitarian crisis in Gaza is entirely the product of Hamas and Fatah actions. In an op-ed in the Washington Post last week, Greenblatt laid the blame on Hamas. “Hamas’s utter failure to fulfill any of the most basic functions of governance has brought Gaza to the brink of collapse, which has necessitated the response of the international community.”

Fatah, Tawil noted, is just as responsible. The Fatah-controlled PA has used the Palestinians of Gaza as a pawn in its power struggle against Hamas. Rather than work to decontaminate Gaza’s water supply and provide for the basic needs of the population, for the past year the PA has imposed economic sanctions on the Gaza Strip.

Ostensibly imposed to induce the population of Gaza to rise up against Hamas, they have simply served to increase the misery of the residents of Gaza. Hamas’s power remains unchallenged as QatarTurkey, and Iran shower the terror group with cash and arms.

As Tawil noted, Hamas and Fatah are willing to fight one another until the last Palestinian in Gaza.

The conference showed that the attack on Hamdallah’s convoy was not a freak episode. The bombing was emblematic of the Fatah-Hamas leadership’s obsession with their own power, to the detriment of the people they claim to represent.

The events in Gaza and the White House on Tuesday tell us two important things.

First, they reveal that the primary obstacle to both peace and regional stability in the Middle East is the Palestinian leadership – both from Fatah and Hamas.

Not only did the PA refuse to participate in a summit dedicated solely to helping the Palestinians, but also the very day the summit took place, PA-controlled Voice of Palestine Radio reported that the PA intends to file a complaint against President Trump at the International Criminal Court. Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem, the PA insists, “violated all international laws and resolutions.”

The report also said the PA intends to sue Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman for “crimes against the Palestinian people.”

Tuesday’s second lesson is that while the PA is the primary obstacle to peace and regional stability, it is easily surmountable.

Tuesday’s conference was a diplomatic triumph for the Trump administration. For the first time, official representatives of five Arab states that have no diplomatic relations with Israel sat publically in the White House with Israeli officials. They were brought together due to their common concern for the Palestinians in Gaza, and for the instability that the plight of the Palestinians in Hamas-controlled Gaza might encourage.

Although it is still unknown whether anything discussed at the conference will turn into concrete improvements on the ground, the summit itself was a concrete achievement. It showed that the Arabs are willing publicly to bypass the Palestinians to work with Israel. The fact that the conference was devoted to helping the Palestinians served to transform the PA from the critical partner in any peace deal to an irritating irrelevance.

And that brings us to Tillerson, and the foreign policy establishment whose positions he channeled.

During his 14 months in office, Tillerson insisted on maintaining the establishment’s view that the Fatah-controlled PA is the be-all-and-end-all of Middle East peace efforts. The view that there can be no Arab-Israeli peace without the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLOP compelled successive U.S. administrations to continue to embrace it despite its support for terrorism, and despite its refusal to accept or even respond to any offer of peace by either Israel or the U.S.

The belief that there can be no peace without Fatah convinced successive American administrations to pour billions of dollars in aid money down the black hole of PA treasury accounts. Since the Israeli-PLO peace process began in 1993, the Palestinians have received more international aid per capita than any nation on earth has received in world history. And all they produced are an impoverished, sewage-filled terror state in Gaza, and a jihadist hub in Judea and Samaria that would explode in violence if Israel did not control security.

The view that the U.S. needs the PLO and its PA to achieve peace gave the Palestinian leadership an effective veto over every U.S. policy towards Israel and towards the peace process.

Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move the embassy to Jerusalem was the first time any American leader since Bill Clinton had dared to reject the Palestinian veto on US Middle East policy.

Tillerson supported maintaining the PA’s veto. As a result, he all but openly opposedTrump’s decision.

So too, last June, in a bid to protect U.S. funding to the PA — despite the fact that fully 7 percent of its donor-funded budget is used to pay salaries to terrorists in Israeli prisons and their families — Tillerson falsely told the Senate Foreign Relations committee that the PA had agreed to end the payments. After the Palestinians themselves denied his statement, he only partially walked it back. The next day, he told the House Foreign Affairs Committee that the U.S. was in “active discussions” with the Palestinians regarding halting the payments.

In the event, the PA raised its payments to terrorists in 2017 to $403 million. In 2016, the PA spent $347 million to pay salaries to terrorist murderers and their families.

In other words, Tillerson is so committed to the view that there can be no peace without the PA, that he willingly misled U.S. lawmakers.

Trump administration officials keep insisting that they are almost ready to present their peace plan for the Palestinians and Israel. But whatever the plan may entail, the steps the White House has already taken – Tuesday’s summit, Trump’s move on Jerusalem, and his determination to sign the Taylor Force Act to end U.S. support for the PA if it maintains its payments to terrorists – have already advanced the cause of peace more than any American peace proposal ever has and likely ever will.

Those moves removed the principle blockage to all peace deals – namely, the Palestinian leadership from Fatah and Hamas alike. By bypassing the PA, the White House has focused its efforts on expanding the already burgeoning bilateral ties between Israel and the Arab states. It has encouraged the expansion of cooperation between these regional actors. That cooperation is the key to diminishing Iranian power in the region; defeating Sunni jihadists from the Muslim Brotherhood and its spinoffs; and to improving the lives and prospects for peace of Palestinians, Israelis and all the nations of the region.

Tillerson opposed all of these actions. Like the foreign policy establishment he represented, Tillerson refused to abandon the false belief that nothing can be done without PLO approval. By removing him from office, President Trump took yet another step towards advancing prospects for peace in the Middle East.

Originally Published in Breitbart Jerusalem

The Enemy – What the “Right” seems unable to grasp

The time has come for the “Right” to “bite the bullet” & give up trying to advance convoluted political prescriptions in lieu of the two-state formula. It is time to identify the Palestinian-Arabs as the enemy

The goal of our struggle is the end of Israel, and there can be no compromises…the goal of this violence is the elimination of Zionism from Palestine in all its political, economic and military aspects…We don’t want peace, we want victory. Peace for us means Israel’s destruction and nothing else Yasser Arafat – 1970, 23 years before the signing of the Oslo Accords

The PLO will now concentrate on splitting Israel psychologically into two camps…We plan to eliminate the State of Israel and establish a Palestinian state. We will make life unbearable for Jews by psychological warfare and population explosion. Jews will not want to live among Arabs. I have no use for Jews. They are and remain Jews –Yasser Arafat – 1996, 3 years after the signing of the Oslo Accords

The Arabs are [the same]Arabs … the sea is the same sea, and the aim is the same aim: extermination of the State of Israel – even if you call it ‘self-determination.’– Yitzhak Shamir, 1989

In my column last week, I made the case for Israel to identify the Palestinian-Arab collective for what it openly admits itself to be—an implacable enemy, not a prospective peace partner—and urged that it to formulate policy commensurate with this diagnosis.

Hardly a hapless victim

In this regard, I underscored that it is imperative to keep in mind that, while there are certainly many Palestinian-Arabs with fine personal qualities, the Palestinian-Arab collective is not the hapless victim of radical terror groups.

Quite the opposite.

It is, in fact, the societal crucible in which they were forged, and from which they emerged. Its leadership is a reflection of, not an imposition on, Palestinian-Arab society.

Corroboration for this dour appraisal is provided (probably unintentionally) by the European Council for Foreign Relations’ Senior Policy Fellow Nick Witney, hardly an avid pro-Israel hardliner, who aptly describes the affinity that the general Palestinian-Arab population has for Hamas, an internationally designated terror organization: Hamas…can claim more popular legitimacy than the IRA ever could. It was, after all, chosen by the people of Gaza to govern them the last time they were able to express their views through the ballot box, in 2006 – an election which, indeed, delivered a plurality of votes for Hamas across the occupied territories.”

Regrettably, this is a reality that many seem reluctant to acknowledge—even otherwise astute scholars, who appear acutely aware of the deeply flawed nature of the current Palestinian leadership—and even more of the grave defects of the Oslowian peace process that brought them to power.

Reluctance to recognize reality

This reluctance  to recognize that innate hostility towards the Jewish state is a societal characteristic of the Palestinian-Arab public (which engenders its Judeophobic leadership), expresses itself in two broad categories of policy proposals ,

The first of these categories  involves waiting for some alternative, more amenable leadership to emerge—by means of some unspecified chain of events—that will have both the requisite pliancy and authority to conclude a lasting accord with Israel—the pliancy to accept Israeli conditions, and the authority to induce the Palestinian-Arab public to accept them.

The second category involves prescriptions for dissolving the current leadership, dismantling the mechanisms of its administration and incorporating the Palestinian-Arab residents into the permanent population of Israel under Israeli governance, typically invoking some—usually unspecified—process towards their eventual full or partial enfranchisement as citizens of the country.

Neither of these two alternative proposals have any real empirical evidence to support their feasibility or theoretical reasoning to underpin their plausibility.

To the contrary, most of the available data and reasoned conjecture would seem to negate any merit in such formulae.

“Palestinians cursed with incompetent, corrupt leaders…”

Two recently published articles illustrate the logical flaws in proposals of the first category.

One was a piece that appeared in “The Forward”, “How Aid To Palestinians Hurts — Not Helps — The Peace Process”, authored by Asaf Romirowsky, executive director of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East and Alex Joffe of the Middle East Forum. (Clearly, neither of the organizations with which the authors are associated endorses anything approaching the kind of extreme concessionary dogma promoted by radical left-leaning groups such as J-Street.)

The other was a piece posted by political analyst, Daniel Krygier , entitled Time to demand the Palestinian Authority’s unconditional surrender, which in itself tends to reveal the author’s hawkish predilections.

In their article, Romirowsky and Joffe cogently call for cutting funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) that perpetuates the deceptive and detrimental fiction of Palestinian refugees and convincingly explains why continuing such funding is likely to sustain—rather than curtail—the conflict. (I have advocated much the same for over a decade.)

Accordingly, I found myself agreeing with virtually everything they wrote—until the last paragraph.

In it, they assert:Palestinians are cursed with incompetent and corrupt leaders whose fantasies, violence and rejectionism have been a disaster since the 1920s Replacing their leaders is a vital next step to reforming the Palestinian Authority and making real progress toward creating a state that treats Palestinians with decency, not as refugees but as citizens, and one that is capable of living in peace alongside Israel.”

Leadership a reflection of, not an imposition on, Palestinian society

In his article, Daniel Krygier takes a similar line.

After vividly cataloging the years of nefarious malfeasance of the Palestinian leadership, in his concluding paragraph, he writes: “The time has come for Israel and America to demand an unconditional surrender of the PA and replace it with a new Arab leadership committed to genuine peace and progress.”

This of course immediately raises a number of trenchant questions.

Firstly, if the Palestinian-Arabs have been saddled with “incompetent and corrupt leaders” for almost a century, why have they not cast them off and replaced them with leaders less incompetent and corrupt? After all, history is replete with examples in which people threw off the rule of regimes far more onerous and entrenched than that with which the Palestinian-Arabs are purportedly burdened. So why have the Palestinian-Arabs not even made a feeble attempt in this regard? Indeed, when they were given the chance to determine their leadership they elected…Hamas.

So could it be that, as I argued last week, the kind of leadership the Palestinian-Arabs have had over the past decades is not an unwanted imposition on them, but merely a reflection of their society, of their societal choices and their societal values.

Delusion that two-statism can be fixed

Moreover, when Romirowsky, Joffe and Krygier called for reforming and replacing the Palestinian leadership, who is supposed to do the reforming and the replacing? And how is this to be done? If it is the Palestinian-Arabs themselves who are supposed to do it, what reason to believe that they will do now what they have not done “since the 1920s”?

If the intention is that others do the reforming and replacing, how are these reformers/replacers to be selected? And how are their actions/decisions to be legitimized by the Palestinian public—never mind accepted by any surviving replaced leader?

At the root of this flawed thinking is the belief –even by those who excoriate the Palestinians—that the two-state paradigm can still be fixed- and need not be nixed.

This is a dangerous delusion. For, although it is perhaps conceivable that in the next hundred years, the Palestinian- Arabs could morph into something they have not been for the last hundred years, there is very little—empirically or theoretically—to support such forlorn hope. Moreover, even if this unlikely metamorphosis does materialize, it is likely to take many years, even decades, to come about.

Accordingly, it would appear wildly irresponsible to adopt, as the basis for the current formulation of long-term national strategy, a scenario that is both highly improbable, and is only likely to occur, if at all, in the distant future.

In the meantime, prevailing problems must be addressed and far more plausible possibilities dealt with —like how to contend with a Palestinian leadership that remains un-replaced and unreformed –and just as inimical as it is today.

Lebanonizing Israel

This brings us to the second category of policy prescriptions.

These do not focus on any future reformation/replacement of Palestinian leadership, but on dissolving the current leadership, dismantling the mechanisms of its administration and incorporating the Palestinian-Arab residents into the permanent population of Israel, under Israeli governance.

This is an approach founded on the wildly optimistic (the less charitable might say irresponsible) belief that Israel could forge a coherent and cohesive society with two roughly equal, disparate and largely rivalrous ethnic groups with irreconcilable mutually exclusive defining narratives. Proponents of this view base their credo on demographic assessments that if Israel were to annex the territories of Judea-Samaria, it would still retain a 60-65% Jewish majority –which clearly means an initial 35-40% Muslim minority.

Relying on this assessment (which, generally, I do not dispute), “Right-wing” one-staters typically suggest that some kind of process of enfranchisement would be instituted over time to allow the annexed Palestinian-Arabs full or partial political rights. One of the first, and arguably the most prominent, proponents of this idea from the ranks of the “Right”, was Caroline Glick in her “The Israeli Solution: A One-State Plan for Peace in the Middle East”.

However, this would, in effect,  comprise an almost certain recipe for the Lebanonization of Israeli society. Indeed, I have warned repeatedly how devastating this would be for Israel in terms of the socio-cultural and economic fabric of the country—despite the initial electoral arithmetic—pointing out how/why a process of demographic dynamics could kick in to erode any Jewish majority —see for example here; here; here; here; and here .

Lebanonizing (cont.)

Last week a new article appeared advancing this notion , by Michael Wise, a veteran “Right-wing proponent of “one-statism”.

Entitled One Jewish Democratic State, it proposes that when“… Israel declares sovereignty over all of Judea and Samaria, it should grant immediate universal citizenship to the Arab residents of the West Bank — but only when regional peace breaks out. Jihad and suicide bombings must end, and Muslim leaders and groups must stop lauding violence. And Arab leaders, in both Israel and the region, must recognize Israel as a Jewish state”.

Wise continues,  suggesting  the restoration of the old and discredited idea of “autonomy”: “In the interim, Arab residents of the West Bank will have full civil and religious rights. They will autonomously manage their municipal affairs, and democratically elect their local leadership — but should not participate in national elections. Clearly, as long as Hamas and Fatah seek Israel’s destruction — and as long as global Islamic violence continues — one cannot expect that Israel would be suicidal and risk giving national voting rights to a population that wants to undermine its very existence.”

This is a blatant prescription for an “apartheid state”, in which large segments of the permanent population are denied political rights on the basis of ethnicity. It raises a myriad of thorny questions.

Here are a just few:

Is Wise seriously suggesting that Israel condition the political rights of members of its permanent population on the behavior of outside governments and organizations, over which they have no control? Would continuing violence against Israel, instigated by foreign countries, be grounds for precluding the political rights of Arab residents—or stripping them of such rights, should violence flare after they were granted?

And if it would be suicidal for Israel to “giv[e] national voting rights to a population that wants to undermine its very existence”, how much less “suicidal” would it be to sustain that population by providing it with water, electricity, fuel, education, and unrestricted freedom of movement throughout the country—shopping malls, beaches and all?

Time for the “Right” to the bite the bullet

The time has come for the “Right” to “bite the bullet” and give up trying to produce all sorts of convoluted political prescriptions in lieu of the two-state formulathat propose replacing Palestinian leaders, reforming Palestinian  governance or co-opting Palestinian residents. It is time to identify the Palestinians for what they are and for what they claim to be–not prospective peace partners but implacable enemies–and to formulate policy prescriptions that treat them accordingly.

John Kerry and His Palestinian Collusion Problem

While the case for the President colluding with Russia has come to be seen by most Americans as a witch hunt with very little legs, another issue of collusion seems to be creeping up.

The former Secretary of State, John Kerry has been reportedly working behind the scenes with the “Palestinian” leadership or let’s say it appropriately, colluding with the Palestinian Authority in hopes of obstructing the sitting President’s attempt at brokering a peace deal.

A report in Maariv, which was quoted by the Jerusalem Post said the following:

Kerry asked Agha to convey a message to Abbas and ask him to “hold on and be strong.” Tell him, he told Agha, “that he should stay strong in his spirit and play for time, that he will not break and will not yield to President Trump’s demands.” According to Kerry, Trump will not remain in office for a long time. It was reported that within a year there was a good chance that Trump would not be in the White House.

Kerry offered his help to the Palestinians in an effort to advance the peace process and recommended that Abbas present his own peace plan. “Maybe it is time for the Palestinians to define their peace principles and present a positive plan,” Kerry suggested. He promised to use all his contacts and all his abilities to get support for such a plan. He asked Abbas, through Agha, not to attack the US or the Trump administration, but to concentrate on personal attacks on Trump himself, whom Kerry says is solely and directly responsible for the situation.

According to the report, referring to the president, Kerry used derogatory terms and even worse. Kerry offered to help create an alternative peace initiative and promised to help garner international support, among others, of Europeans, Arab states and the international community. Kerry hinted that many in the American establishment, as well as in American intelligence, are dissatisfied with Trump’s performance and the way he leads America. He surprised his interlocutor by saying he was seriously considering running for president in 2020. When asked about his advanced age, he said he was not much older than Trump and would not have an age problem.

While everyone has the right to their opinion, it escapes me why John Kerry’s actions do not constitute a crime, especially since he is actively pursuing a 2020 run.


End the “Palestinian” occupation of Israel.

Palestinian boss Mahmoud Abbas recently declared that Israel is “a colonial enterprise that has nothing to do with Jewishness.” Moses, King David and thousands of years of Jewish history would disagree. Israel and the Jews are part of the story of human civilization. Over 50% of the human race has a holy book that tells of the Jewish journey to Israel. That includes Mohammed’s own copy of the Koran.

Israel isn’t a “colonial enterprise.” Palestine is.

Anyone who wants to find out where the name Israel comes from can open the Book of Genesis 32:29. The story even appears in Islamic hadiths. But where does “Palestine” really come from?

Palestine isn’t a Hebrew or Arabic word. The Greeks used it to describe the area. And when the Romans and their Arab mercenaries repressed the indigenous Jewish population, they renamed it all Palestine.

Palestine, after the Philistines: but why did the Greeks and Romans name the area after the Philistines?

The Philistines were one of the Greek origin sea peoples who had originally invaded and colonized the area. The Jewish resistance to Philistine colonialism is chronicled in the histories of Samson, King Saul and King David. It was natural for the Greek and Roman colonies that the Jews of the Second Temple era clashed with to use “Palestine”, the name associated with earlier colonies, to refer to their new colonies.

That latest phase of Greek colonialism led to an extended conflict between the Persian Empire and Greco-Roman civilization. The Romans made extended use of Arab mercenaries and rulers to secure their dominions. One such ruler was Herod, the son of an Idumean father and a Nabatean Arab mother, (according to the Greek historian Strabo they were both Arabic peoples), who repressed the Jews.

The eventual decline and fall of the Roman and Persian empires made way for the Islamic conquests of the region. But the Islamic bandit hordes had no original ideas. Their religion was a hodgepodge of Judaism, Christianity, assorted pagan beliefs and Mohammed’s violent fantasies. The rest of their culture they took wholesale from the Greeks. This game of historical Idiocracy ended with a collection of Arab colonists who call themselves “Palestinians” and claim to be descended from… somebody.

In Germany, Abbas declared that, “the nation of Palestine, throughout its long history, has been a beacon of generosity, and our people are an extension of the 3,500-year-old Canaanite civilization.” The Palestinian Authority that the unelected dictator runs was created in 1993. There was never any such independent country before that. And inquiring minds would love to know what an Islamic terrorist group and the Arab clans it oversees have in common with the Canaanite civilization. Fire, the wheel?

But then, Abbas also insisted that, “Mohammed the Prophet was a Palestinian”. According to Islamic tradition, Mohammed was an Adnanite Arab from Arabia. They claim descent from Ishmael and Abraham. That means they aren’t Canaanites. And a number of the Arab clans who make up the “Palestinians” do have their origins in Arabia. For a brief, shining moment, Abbas was telling the truth.

Previously, Abbas had also claimed that Jesus was a Palestinian. If you’re keeping track, that means the Palestinians are Canaanites, Arabs and Jews. That certainly covers a lot of historical bases.

But we’re just getting started.

“The Bible says, in these words, that the Palestinians existed before Abraham,” Abbas also insisted. The Bible doesn’t say anything in “these words”, but people took it to mean that he was claiming that the Palestinians were actually the Philistines. But then he took credit for the invention of the “Canaanite-Palestinian alphabet more than 6,000 years ago.”

There’s no such alphabet. The Palestinian Authority and Muslims in Israel use the Arabic alphabet which does have its extremely distant origins in the Phoenician Proto-Canaanite alphabet. But so does Greek, Latin and the letters you’re reading now. Like most of the “Palestinian” leader’s claims, it’s nonsense.

Within a few years, Abbas claimed that the “Palestinians” are descended from the Canaanites, the Philistines, the Jews and the Arabs. Only the last one is true. The “Palestinians” were part of a wave of Arab and Islamic invaders whose incursions continued well into the modern era.

There are some 10,000 “Afro-Palestinians” in Gaza. Some are African settlers who came in the 19th century. The anti-Israel left would have you believe that a Sudanese Muslim who settled in Israel in the late 19th century is an indigenous “Palestinian”, but a Jewish refugee from Egypt is a foreign “settler”.

The Arab Muslims who live in ’48 and ’67 Israel are made up of various clans from around the region.

Abbas has referred to Jordan and Palestine as “one people living in two states.” Hamas interior minister Fathi Hammad had once asserted, “Personally, half my family is Egyptian. We are all like that. More than 30 families in the Gaza Strip are called Al-Masri (Egyptian). Brothers, half of the Palestinians are Egyptians and the other half are Saudis.”

The most famous Al-Masri is a billionaire who lives in a West Bank reproduction of an Italian villa named “The House of Palestine”, and was recently detained by the Saudis. Munib Masri served as a Palestinian Authority minister, holds a legislative seat and accounts for a quarter of the “Palestinian” economy. The greenhouse in his villa was a gift from Napoleon III to his mistress.

Masri, whose family name originated in Egypt, and claims to be a Palestinian, is actually a Saudi citizen who lives in an imported Italian villa. He made his money supplying the US military during Desert Storm.

That’s what a “Palestinian” looks like.

The “Palestinians” are Egyptians, Saudis, Jordanians, Senegalese, Sudanese and a number of other Muslim invasive colonists. They are not Philistines, Canaanites or Jews.  They’re as indigenous as Al-Masri’s “House of Palestine” made out of imported Italian marble and filled with European art.

The “Palestinians” are what they always were: a foreign Islamic Arab colony inside Israel.

The Big Lie of Palestine is that the Islamic colonists are the indigenous population of Israel and that the Jews are colonizing Palestine. But an indigenous people can never colonize their own country.

“Palestine” is a twisted colonial fiction. The name reflects Greek colonization of the region. And its use by the modern Islamic colonists shows their lack of any actual historical connection to Israel.

After all the agonized wailing about the deeply meaningful “Palestinian” connection to “Palestine”, they still haven’t come up with their own name for the place. One that they can properly pronounce. (There’s no proper “P” in Arabic.) But Abbas keeps coming up with new lies about which ancient people the “Palestinians” are descended from this week.

I can’t wait until he claims to be Cherokee.

The claim of the “Palestinian” colonists to Israel is a lie of Islamic imperialism. The Muslim powers of the region have funded the racist attacks by the PLO, Hamas and other Islamic terrorist groups on Jews.

The “Palestinians” are not the victims of colonialism. They are its perpetrators.

The fighting between Israel and Islamic terrorists is a struggle between imperialism and colonialism. The imperialists are not the oppressed Jewish minority that has been forced out of nearly everywhere else in the region. It’s the Arab Islamic majority that represses minorities across the region.

“Palestine” is a pathetic attempt to launder one imperial identity with another followed by shameless efforts to appropriate the identities of nearly every ancient people in the region. Including the Jews.

The only way to end the conflict is to end the lies.

Originally Published in FrontPageMag.

PACKERS CORNER: Did the PA Kill Rabbi Raziel Shevach?

As most are probably aware, the big news this week in Israel is quite tragic – a Father/Husband/Rabbi/Mohel/Paramedic was shot and murdered by arab terrorists near his home in Havat Gilad – an unauthorized community in the Shomron/Samaria/Northern West Bank.

I want to spend a little bit of time on this because it encompasses alot of different aspects of the current political situation.

-The terrorists have yet to be apprehended, but there is good amount of speculation that they are somehow connected to the Tanzim/Palestinian Authority. The main reasons being the quality of the weapon used and the quality of the shooting (unfortunately). This indicates that the terrorists were able to obtain quality weaponry and train to use it. This is very difficult for the more extreme groups, like Hamas and Islamic Jihad, in that area. More potentially damning, this attack could have come at the direction of PA leadership in response to how poorly things are going for the PA diplomatically as it concerns Israel and the US, under President Trump. One might question how they could be so stupid to think this would help things, however, its pretty much par for course. When diplomacy fails or stutters, terrorism is their default response.

-Havat Gilad: Havat Gilad is an extremely strategically located Jewish community. The community sits on privately-owned Jewish land but has not received official authorization from the Government. It would fit the category of an “illegal outpost”. (However most “illegal outposts” are on state-owned land, and this is privately-owned). The community sits right off the highway in between the Jewish communities of Kedumim and Yitzhar. Without Havat Gilad there would be a long stretch of hostile highway without any permanent Jewish presence. In short, the future of the Jewish presence in the Shomron relies greatly on the existence and development of Havat Gilad. Since the tragic terrorist attack, many government officials have pledged to work to recognize Havat Gilad as an official community. This would be a big deal. Remains to be seen if these promises will be kept (many are not). In the meantime, the victim of the terrorist attack, Rabbi Raziel Shevach, hy’d, was the first person to be buried in the outpost. I’m not aware of any other such situation in which someone is buried in an unauthorized community. Its a bold move and likely significantly strengthens the chances of the community continuing to exist in that location.

In other news, some not-so-important legislation has been passed in the Knesset and much actually important legislation has been further delayed. This continues a long-running trend and yet, as I have stated pretty much every week, the current Israeli Government coalition continues to be incredibly stable. (Today, Minister Kahlon stated that he wouldn’t bring the government down for any reason – that’s a pretty extreme thing to say).

There are published rumors that Saudi Arabia is considering buying weaponry from Israel. Not so surprising under the current sunni-shiite regional conflict.There is talk of President Trump pulling out/sabotaging the Iran nuclear deal. And there is talk of Prime Minister Netanyahu promising a state to the “palestinians” in northern Sinai in exchange for Israeli annexation of Judea and Samaria (the West Bank).

In short, there is a lot of talk. Not so much action. There is supposed to be an announcement soon about newly approved building in Judea and Samaria. Let’s see what is decided and discuss what it really means next week.

Iran Infiltrates Israel’s Heartland

The Shin Bet officially confirmed that an advanced Iranian espionage network has been operating in Judea and Samaria, Israel’s Biblical heartland.

Iran enlisted the help of Muhammad Maharma, 29-year-old computer science student from Hebron. Despite being the lead in Israel, the Shin Bet said Maharma received his directions from an Iranian operative in South Africa.

The network had two other members named Dia’a Sarahnehand  Nour Maharma, both 22 and both also from Hebron.

“The operation demonstrates the Iranian involvement in encouraging terror attacks against Israel and also shows the forces being sent by Iran to countries around the world, in order to advance enemy activities against Israel,” the Shin Bet said in a statement.

“The operation demonstrates the Iranian involvement in encouraging terror attacks against Israel.”

According to the Shin-Bet, Muhammad Maharma was enlisted to work for Iran in 2015, by his cousin, Backer Maharma. Backer Maharma moved to South Africa from Hebron where he started working for Iranian intelligence.

“Backer even introduced Muhammad, on a number of occasions, to Iranian officials, some of whom visited [South Africa] from Tehran in order to meet him,” the Shin Bet said.

The Shin-Bet’s  investigation uncovered that South Africa has become  a “significant front for finding, enlisting and deploying agents to Israel and the West Bank” for Iranian intelligence.

The Iranian network based in Hebron was given a various directives by Iranian intelligence servises.  These included recruiting people to carry out shooting and suicide bombing attacks.

Most shockingly, the network was supposed to recruit Israeli Arabs specifically high level journalists to spy on and take pictures of sensitive locations.

Three were charged in a military court for attempting to join an illegal organization. Maharma was charged additionally with contacting an enemy agent, and receiving money from an enemy nation.

The Shin-Bet’s report comes at a sensitive time in the Palestinian Authority’s relationship with the Israeli government.  As the PA shops around for new benefactors due to the Trump administration’s threat to cut them off, Iran becomes the most likely address.  Of course the Iranian people might have second thoughts on their government wasting even more money on failed Arab initiatives.