A Trumpian Israeli Initiative

US President-elect Donald Trump won’t even take office for another month, but he has already killed the status quo.

During the election, Trump trounced the untouchable consensus on NATO’s post-Cold War purpose. Questioning the purpose of an alliance formed to fight a war that ended 25 years ago is indisputably a reasonable thing to do. But until Trump came around, no one did.

Since November 7, Trump has continue to reject accepted wisdom. For 44 years no US president would speak with the president of Taiwan. And then President-elect Trump took a call from Taiwan’s President-elect Tsai Ing-wen.

It’s not clear where Trump stands on either NATO or Taiwan. But it is eminently apparent that by ignoring protocol, Trump expanded his maneuver room in his dealings with NATO and China.

Then of course, there is Jerusalem. Since 1948 the US has refused to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital – or even as part of Israel. This policy of non-recognition – embodied by the US refusal to transfer the US embassy to Jerusalem – has been maintained by a bipartisan consensus despite the fact that for the past 20 years, US law has required the State Department to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move the embassy to Jerusalem.

When Trump promised to move the US embassy to Jerusalem, his words were greeted with cynicism.

But then this week his senior adviser Kellyanne Conway said Trump is serious about moving the embassy to Jerusalem.

In one fell swoop, the 68 year old consensus is gone.

35 years ago, on December 14, 1981, Israel took a Trump-like step. Israel took a wrecking ball to received wisdom.

That day, the Knesset passed the Golan Heights Law. Then prime minister Menachem Begin decided on the initiative the day before. In less than 24 hours, the law when from an idea in Begin’s head into the law books.

The Golan Heights law cancelled the Military Government and Civil Administration that had governed the area since 1967 and replaced them with Israeli law and administration.

The Reagan administration was livid. Begin had neither asked Ronald Reagan for permission nor given Reagan a head’s-up on what he was about to do.

Begin was clearly operating on the basis of the “It’s better to ask for forgiveness than for permission” protocol.

In the event, the Americans weren’t really mad.

Reagan prevented the UN Security Council from sanctioning Israel for its action.

The Syrian regime did nothing. The Arab world yawned.

Israel was spared international condemnation in large part because of the way Begin explained the purpose of the law.

The day before the Knesset passed Begin’s law, the Syrian regime announced it would prefer to fight Israel for 100 years than live at peace with it. That statement, like hundreds of similar ones over the 13 years since Israel took over the strategic plateau reinforced yet again, the basic truth that Israel would be responsible for the Golan Heights for a long, long time.

After the law was passed, Begin and his advisors insisted its purpose was administrative. Israel couldn’t wait for a hundred years to register births and deaths and marriages, they explained. The Syrian legal code, through which the Military Government administered the areas was unsuited to a modern democracy. There was no way to protect the rights of Golan residents so long as Syrian law was the law of the land.

Begin and his advisors explained over and over that the application of Israeli law would have no impact on Israel’s willingness to make territorial concessions to Syria on the Golan in the event that the regime had a change in heart. And indeed, from 1992 until the war in Syria began in 2011, every Israeli government expressed willingness to discuss the future of the Golan Heights with the Syrians.

Aside from safeguarding the civil rights and legal protections of the Israeli citizens and permanent residents in the Golan, the law also defused the issue as a political cause inside of Israel. Everyone could accept the law. Those who wished to conclude a land-for-peace deal with Syria could support the law. Those who wished to retain perpetual Israeli control could live with it.

To safeguard against irresponsible concessions the Knesset passed the referendum law that requires a two thirds Knesset majority to approve territorial compromise on the Golan.

By transferring administrative responsibilities from the military to the government, Israel freed its armed forces to concentrate on their primary mission – defending the country from its enemies.

When Begin passed the Golan Heights Law, he had already learned its basic lesson: When Israel speaks modestly about its objectives, it can achieve a lot more than when it bloviates about them.

Begin learned that lesson a year and a half earlier when he passed Basic Law: Jerusalem. Unlike the Golan Heights Law which changed the situation on the ground, Basic Law: Jerusalem, which announced that Israel’s capital is united Jerusalem, merely described reality. United Jerusalem had been Israel’s capital since immediately after the Six Day War. Weeks after the war the government united the city by expanding its municipal borders to include the neighborhoods that had been under Jordanian occupation since 1949.

Basic Law: Jerusalem was a bit of chest beating. But the beating reverberated like drums of war in the West. And the US responded by enabling the Security Council to pass Resolution 478. Whereas in 1981 the US blocked the Security Council from passing sanctions against Israel for the Golan Heights law, in 1980 it enabled sanctions to be incorporated into the condemnatory resolution.

478 enjoined member states that had embassies in Jerusalem to remove them. Within weeks, 11 of the 13 states that had embassies in Jerusalem had shut them down. The last two were closed in 2006.

The Golan Heights Law’s 35th anniversary was celebrated Wednesday evening at the Menachem Begin Heritage Center. There, Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz and former cabinet secretary Tzvi Hauser said Israel must lobby Trump to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

While reasonable on their face, their calls ignore the basic lessons of the Golan Heights law, and seem to misread or ignore Trump’s modus operandi.

Trump cares about what works, not what looks good.

He isn’t interested in moving the US embassy to Jerusalem because he cares about recognizing Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem or over anything else for that matter. If Trump moves the embassy he will do so to advance America’s interests.

In one fell swoop, moving the US embassy to Jerusalem will correct a great deal of the damage that eight years of President Barack Obama’s foreign policies have caused to US credibility worldwide.

There is no single step the US can take that will do more to rebuild US credibility as an ally than moving the embassy to Jerusalem. By taking the step that none of his predecessors would take to stand in support of the US’s most embattled ally worldwide, Trump will show that America can again be trusted. And moving the embassy will accomplish this goal without placing one US soldier at risk, and will cost US taxpayers no more than a few million dollars for construction and moving fees.

On a basic level, from Israel’s perspective, what distinguishes Trump from his predecessors is that he has signaled that he views Israel as an ally whereas his predecessors viewed the Jewish state as a burden.

Trump wants and expects wants Israel to be a credible ally. To achieve this, Israel has some status quo icons of its own to shatter. And the Golan Heights Law provides just the roadmap for action.

Begin wasn’t bluffing when he said that the Military Government lacked the legal tools to protect and uphold the rights of the residents of the Golan Heights. In Judea and Samaria, the situation today has similarly reached a critical moment. And whereas Begin cancelled the military government on the Golan when a mere 6,000 Israelis were living there, today 450,000 Israelis live under military administration in Judea and Samaria.

The Israelis in Judea and Samaria all in live what is referred to as Area C. When the Palestinian Authority was established in 1994 it took over governing authority from the Military Government in Areas A and B – the Palestinian population centers.

A mere 100,000 Palestinians live in Area C.

The Military Government administers on the basis of the Jordanian legal code, which has been revised over the past 49 years by various military administrative orders.

As the human drama taking place in the community of Amona makes clear, the existing legal system is incapable of protecting the civil and legal rights of either the Israelis or the Palestinians living under it.

In Amona 40 Israeli families are about to be thrown out of their homes because Jordanian law doesn’t allow Jews to easily purchase land from Palestinians and the Palestinian Authority has made selling land to Jews a capital offense. Israelis in Area C cannot properly adjudicate their legal rights to land in Israeli courts.

As was the case with Syria in 1981, the Palestinian leadership – from the PLO to Hamas – has made clear that it has no interest in making peace with Israel. Palestinian intransigence has brought about a 16 year stalemate in the so-called peace process which has convinced even true believers on the Israeli Left that the time has come to put aside the two-state paradigm.

The latest person to come on board was novelist and leftist ideologue A.B. Yehoshua. Earlier this month Yehoshua told an astonished audience in Jerusalem that the two-state solution is impossible. Yehoshua then endorsed the plan to apply Israeli law to Area C and grant full civil rights to the Palestinians living in the area.

Trump’s rejection of the status quo and his respectful view of Israel gives our leaders the opportunity to join Yehoshua in rejecting the failed “two-state solution” status quo and act on the growing consensus on the Left and Right that the time has come to apply Israeli law to Area C.

True, to a degree even greater than in the Golan Heights, Israel has the legal and historic right to full sovereignty over all of Judea and Samaria. But it is equally true that most Israelis would be willing to negotiate the permanent status of Judea and Samaria with a credible, sincere Palestinian neighbor.

By simply applying its law to the area as an administrative step, Israel keeps all options on the table while securing the civil, legal and human rights of both the Palestinians and the Israelis who live in the area.

Rejecting received wisdom is far less risky than maintaining allegiance to it when it is wrong. Trump obviously recognizes this. The time has come for Israel to recognize it as well.

Originally published in The Jerusalem Post. 


Let’s All Go To The Arafat Museum

Originally posted on Sultan Knish.

On the anniversary of his death, it is important that we remember Yasser Arafat (8 or 9 other names, including the ubiquitous Mohammed, may be added as needed) as a murderer, a liar and a thief.

Twelve years ago, Arafat, the Egyptian terrorist leader who founded an imaginary country on mass murder and our foreign aid, died covered in his own vomit and diarrhea. The possible causes of death, in order of probability, were AIDS, according to his private doctor and the head of the PFLP terror group, an Israeli laser, according to the Palestinian ambassador to Sri Lanka, thallium poisoning by Israel, polonium poisoning by his Palestinian rivals and the trained ape from Poe’s Murders in the Rue Morgue.

The investigation into Arafat’s death went on for over a decade and dragged in the Institut de Radiophysique in Switzerland, Russia’s Federal Medical-Biological Agency and a mysteriously nameless team of French experts. Arafat’s “temporary” mausoleum, a building that looks like a Florida motel outhouse built on a giant scale, was rummaged and his rotting remains were poked over by three international teams who could agree on nothing except that the dead terrorist was probably dead.

Probably. It was hard to tell if Arafat was alive even back when he was still breathing and ranting.

After a decade of the minions of the occupying Muslim terror regime in Ramallah accusing each other, and occasionally the Jews with their lasers, the Arafat Museum has finally debuted the centerpiece of its exhibit, the dead Egyptian terrorist’s bedroom. Last month the museum managed to wrest Arafat’s Nobel Peace Prize from Hamas without anyone being dragged behind a motorcycle or thrown off a building. This marked a major improvement in relations between the two aspiring Palestinian terror states. If that doesn’t merit handing out more peace prizes to everyone involved, what would?

When Hamas seized Gaza, they looted Arafat’s headquarters and stole everything. They stole Arafat’s fake military uniforms. They took his wife’s Christian Louboutin shoes which go for $675 at Saks Fifth Avenue. They took all the furniture. They even pried the tiles out of the walls and stole all his pipes.

And they took his Nobel Peace Prize.

According to Arafat’s nephew, some of the loot wound up in the bazaars of Gaza where the cycle of theft inherent in the Palestinian Authority continued.

Hamas is an arm of the Muslim Brotherhood and Arafat was a former Muslim Brotherhood man. And yet his former Brothers sold his pants and schmattas in the streets of Gaza only a few years after he was laid low by a polonium AIDS laser. If you can’t trust a Muslim Brother not to pawn your Nobel Peace Prize in exchange for a lightly stained area rug and an unlocked iPhone, whom can you trust?

The bankrupt Palestinian Authority, which is always begging for foreign aid, will see the opening of the pricey 28,000 square feet Arafat Museum. Visitors will be able to view his gun and what the Associated Press touchingly describes as “the small bedroom where their longtime leader Yasser Arafat spent his final years” with “only a single bed and small closet that barely holds four suits”.

Only four suits. It’s almost enough to make you weep. The other suits must have been stolen by

In real life, Arafat’s wealth was estimated at between $1 and $1.3 billion. At his peak, it might have been as high as $3 billion. His fashionable wife lived in Paris on a $100,000 a month allowance. Her personal refugee camp was located in a 19 room suite at the five-star Bristol Hotel. It’s unknown if UNRWA aid workers brought her caviar and champagne or if that indignity fell to the hotel staff.

Arafat wasn’t just good to his wife. He was also good to Bill Clinton’s wife. Arafat presented Hillary with gold and diamond necklaces, bracelets and earrings. Like the Bristol, Hillary’s diamonds and every act of racist mass murder perpetrated by Arafat’s terrorists was paid for by American taxpayers.

The Muslim settlers occupying ’67 Israel might have enjoyed a tour of the Bristol far more than a shrine that pretends Arafat wasn’t a billionaire who got ridiculously rich off his killing sprees. The “humble” bedroom is part of a museum, which also looks like a Florida motel, whose costs were estimated at $15 million and has been underway in some form or another since 2008.

Back when Mahmoud Abbas, Arafat’s successor, broke ground on it, it was supposed to take 18 months. But there’s usually more money to be made in not doing things in the West Bank than in doing them. And no one seems to be able to account for where the money is coming from which makes the project a true tribute to Arafat’s management of the Palestinian Authority.

But maybe it took that long to gather all those “thousands of personal belongings” of the dead mass murderer from the Gaza bazaars to deposit them in a museum dedicated to the Father of Palestine.

The entire thing is only temporary. Arafat is only temporarily resting in pieces, after being poked over by the French, the Russians and the Swiss, until his Jihadists, with some aid from the United Nations, conquer Jerusalem and relocate his remains, which by now can probably fit in a Ziploc bag.

Then Arafat will rise from his grave and demand that Hamas return his stolen pants.

It is important to properly memorialize Arafat. He was a murderer, a liar and a thief. And everyone knew it. The foreign ambassadors and leaders he dealt with knew it. Bill Clinton, who made him a world leader, knew it. You couldn’t spend 5 minutes with him before he tried to steal your wallet. Or, as was the case with Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, grope your leg and then give you a soulful kiss.

Arafat was a con artist who was the son of a failed con artist. He was born in Cairo and died near Paris. His first adult visit to Israel was with a band of Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood terrorists who tried to attack Israeli farms, but despite facing only a handful of Jews armed with guns, they lost and had to run back home. Arafat’s military track record didn’t get any better from there.

He didn’t beat Israel on the battlefield. Instead he lied and cried. He played the victim often enough that world leaders decided that the best way to end his terrorism was to give him a terrorist state in Israel. Like the Holocaust, “Palestine” happened because millions followed a psychotic con artist’s murderous fantasies while much of the rest of the world defended him and made excuses for him. The “Palestinian” disaster has cost the lives of thousands, Jews, Christians and Muslims, who do not receive a fraction of the tributes that the architects of that national and international disaster do.

Arafat has a museum. The latest tribute to the Muslim mass murderer is funded by American taxpayers. Meanwhile his victims lie in quiet humble graves. No visitors tour their little bedrooms or note how few suits they had. No experts exhume their remains to determine the causes of their deaths.

But we know what killed them. Palestine did.

Arafat’s Big Lie, a lie so big it would have made Goebbels stand up and cheer, invented an imaginary country. And then it used that country as a call to genocide and an excuse for mass murder.

Mohammed Yasser Abdel Rahman Abdel Raouf Arafat al-Qudwa was a mediocre murderer. He was a talented thief. But he was a truly unequaled liar. His lie still lives on. It has a flag. It receives billions in foreign aid every year. It is moving closer to recognition at the United Nations. Synagogues are bombed and Jewish students are assaulted on college campuses because of that lie.

Why was Arafat’s Palestine lie so successful? He told everyone what they wanted to hear.

The xenophobic Muslim majority in the region wanted to pretend that its efforts to exterminate the Jews were the noble strivings of a minority rather than the abusive atrocities of a racist majority.

The European left wanted to sweep away the Holocaust to legitimize Antisemitism all over again.

Western leaders wanted another Czechoslovakia they could carve up, Munich style, and serve up on a platter to head off the age of international Islamic terror that they could see rising on the horizon.

That collection of lies, shameful treacheries and bigotry is why Palestine exists. It all deserves a proper museum. A museum of lies and massacres that would hold Arafat’s looted Nobel Peace Prize and the names of his victims. That would showcase the mansions of Gaza and the lies of the press. It would remind us that that the Holocaust was built not on mere force, but on liars and their accomplices.

And there could be no better name for such an institution than the Arafat Museum.


Palestinian Authority is Teaming up With Sudan, Will it Matter for Israel?

So the best the Palestinian Authority can do on the African continent is to partner with Sudan? Somehow partering with a genocidal radical Islamic regime does not sound like a good PR move.  Then again, Abbas had very little to choose from.  Rwanda, Kenya, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, and now Guinea have all pushed forward their relations with Israel.  This is besides Ghana who has been a stable partner of Israel since th 1990’s.  In the coming weeks Togo too will be publicly reaching out and moving forward with Israeli partnerships.

The irony of a known terrorist turned politician in the form of Abbas running to Sudan, a terrorist state that still practices slavery, almost guarantees that the PA has given itself no chance to make friends in the Sub-Sahara. The continent is increasingly being split between Arab or Arabized forces in the northern countries and those of Christian background to the south. At the end of the day, Israel’s growing allies in the Sub Sahara have grown to detest Islamists, especially ones they have had to deal in their immediate proximity.

So does the PA’s cozying to Sudan have any ramifications for Israel? The answer is not many.  Sudan and countries of similar dispositions are never going to be swayed to partner with Israel.  The fact that the PA decided to partner with Sudan should put to rest their claim of being a peaceful, liberty loving “state”.  By running to a known terrorist regime, Abbas has little room to find willing partners.  One place he can probably run to is Buhari’s Nigeria, which is increasingly becoming more and more radicalized at the expense of the Igbo and other tribes in Biafra.

When all is finished Sub Sahara Africa much rather build a partnership with a state that can offer them progress. The PA represents a rewind to the years when Africa floundered under autocratic despots too willing to trade their people’s future in order to enrich themselves.

Defeating Foggy Bottom in Israel

History will mark Israel’s election last year as a watershed moment.  Whether the country fully identifies and supports Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu really doesn’t matter. As Minister Zeev Elkin said yesterday, “Likud’s victory saved Israel.”

The State Department dispatched countless operatives to insidiously inject themselves into last year’s election campaign on behalf of the Zionist Union, in an operation that can only be described as meddling and string pulling. The Israeli electorate rebuffed these actions by handing Likud an enormous victory.

With the revelation of a secret deal between Herzog and Abbas now publicized, the V15 and Foggy Bottom’s strategy becomes even more gross.  Essentially, the State Department under directives from the Obama administration sought to unseat and defeat Prime Minister Netanyahu. By doing so their aim was to place a puppet government in charge of Israel in order to sign a final status agreement with the Arab Palestinians.  This agreement would have divided Jerusalem and created a sovereign terror entity in most of Judea and Samaria.

“In my contacts with the Palestinian Authority chief during 2014 I made efforts with the goal of reaching an understanding that would have prevented the wave of terror which I saw coming,” Herzog responded to the report.

The idea that any agreement, especially one that is a product of Western covert force would have prevented the current wave of terror is ludicrous. The Palestinian Authority has no ability to stop the terror as it is.  Placing Abbas and his Western supported mafia in charge of even more land would have spelled complete destruction for the State of Israel.

By voting for Likud last year the Israeli populace was sending a message to the American government. “Stay Out!” It is true, billions of dollars in US aid flows into Israel annually and although many in Israel rightly claim, we no longer need it, the fact is even when we take the money the US gets a tremendous return on it.  Unlike other countries that actually survive solely because they are being propped up by American aid, Israel provides the American military with forward intelligence and details from multiple fronts in the Middle East it cannot collect on its own. This intelligence sharing comes at a price and that is military aid.

This aid has gotten to Foggy Bottom’s brain and instead of respecting the relationship, they have repeatedly abused it.  The Israeli voter used last year to move on and proved ready to redraw the relationship if needed.  Last year was not an expression of love for Bibi, but a rejection of American neo-colonial influence, along with those politicians in Israel willing to play the puppet to a foreign puppeteer.

Why Has Israel Waited So Long to Crush The Palestinian War?

With this morning’s attack at the entrance to Kiryat Arba, the current Intifada continues to creep from knives to guns. In the last few attacks in Jerusalem and now back in Kiryat Arba, Palestinian Arabs have used serious weapons to attack.

These attacks have flipped what appeared to be “random acts of violence” to an armed uprising.  The question isn’t where we are, which has become clear to most people in Israel, but how are we going to deal with it?  

Incitement and Geopolitical Considerations have Slowed Israel’s Reaction

In order to answer that question, it is important to understand that most of what we are witnessing could have been avoided. The government has gone out of its way to try to politicize the attacks instead of crushing them from the beginning.  We can see this most clearly in the ongoing finger pointing at the Palestinian Authority’s use of religious and racial incitement against the Jewish  people.  Yet one has to wonder where the government has been up until this year.  We all know both Hamas and the Palestinian Authority, headed up by lifetime President Abbas, utilize children’s TV and radio to brainwash their populace.  In fact this has been going on for sometime. Another thing the government has been aware of is the Palestinian illegal arms build up in much of Judea and Samaria.  

By allowing this Intifada to simmer behind the point of a knife, the government has fed the notion to the Leaders of Fatah and Hamas that guns and bombs could in fact be used.  If the government had crushed the knife attacks in the beginning by going after the leaders’ livelihood and in fact their lives, the Arab street in Judea and Samaria would have gotten it. However, that would have required Bibi Netanyahu and Bogie Yaalon to treat this as a war.  They have not been ready to do that yet.  Understandably, their hands are tied into a larger geopolitical maneuver and declaring war on the Palestinian Authority would derail in their minds from dealing with Iran, while fending off a hostile White House and State Department.

Given the balance that needs to be struck between geopolitics and a homegrown war within Israel by Arabs who migrated to the Land within the last 150 years, a new approach must be undertaken to withstand the growing violence in Israel.

Implosion of the Palestinian Authority will Bring About a Paradigm Shift

Hints to a new course of action and trajectory by the government has been bubbling up into the media over the last few months. It is no secret that the PA is in the midst of an internal crisis.  Most Arabs and others dwelling within the Palestinian Authority areas have grown to hate the leadership as both ineffectual as well as corrupt.  Violent Palestinian Authority cops and officials use their power to steal public funds and shake down opponents.  With the above facts, the Israeli government seems to be inching towards allowing the Palestinian Authority to collapse on its own in a staged manner.  After the collapse local forces from within the various clans that make up the multi faceted Palestinian society can rebuild their relationship with Israel in the proper way.

In that approach, Israel will increasingly move towards a one state solution in a phased manner, all the while ensuring violent elements are removed and reinforcing local leaders.  

Crushing the Terror Groups Should Begin Now

Considering the fact that the PA is ineffectual as well as in a free fall, the Israeli government should make it clear that there is no longer any tolerance for any sort of attack.  By beginning now it can set the stage for lessening a chance  for a complete explosion when the Palestinian Authority’s collapse enters its final phase.

Geopolitics aside, the government in Israel must not only prepare for the day after a Palestinian Authority collapse by speaking about it, but it must be proactive ensuring the violence we have witnessed not only does not increase towards anarchy, but firmly puts it back in its place.

US Funds PA Terrorists, Winks at Abbas Corruption, While Chiding Israel

The US and others, while suggesting they are strong supporters of Israel and its need for security, in reality are not promoting peace. Their policies are actually sustaining and rewarding terror.

Let me explain…

President Obama, for example, has repeatedly stated throughout his administration that America’s commitment to Israel’s security is “unshakable.” No doubt these are reassuring words to Israel and its friends around the world. However,  his actions contradict his words.

How so? It has been the policy of the US and others to condemn the ‘settlements’ and the ‘occupation’ as the main obstacles to achieving peace with the Arabs. For those who subscribe to said view, where were the ‘settlements’ or ‘occupation’ in 1948 or 1967? They did not exist.

However, in order to see the folly of blaming the lack of peace on these issues, we should look at what the statements imply:

  1. They suggest the US is attempting to be balanced. This is meant to appeal to the Arab world which thinks the US has been too supportive of Israel for many years.
  2. They allow the US to avoid tackling the real issues which are preventing peace.

Placing accurate blame

The Arabs flatly refuse to accept the right of Israel to exist. The charters of the PLO, Hamas and Mahmoud Abbas’s own party Fatah, all require its destruction. Is the US devoting anywhere near as much attention to combating this as they are about condemning ‘settlements?’ Absolutely not.  Abbas has repeatedly stated he will never recognize Israel as a Jewish state.  Israeli leadership has consistently committed to recognizing a state for the so-called ‘Palestinians,’ yet is the US applying equal pressure on him to recognize Israel? Again, no.

Another issue is money.

The US and others believe if there is measurable improvement in the overall economic environment of the Arabs it would reduce their “frustration,” which many believe motivates their terror attacks against Israelis. For the uninformed Arab, terror against Jews has been ongoing since the rebirth of Israel in 1948. Moreover, such statements carry with them an implied justification for the terror and provide additional incentive for more of them. In my view, there exists no moral equivalence between justice and terror.

Moreover, after Israel is forced for the umpteenth time to neutralize murderers of innocent civilians, we hear the ever-present catcalls that they are using disproportionate force. My response to this is something I heard years ago- “if the response to terrorism is seen as less acceptable than terrorism itself, we invite more of it.”

If the Arabs wish to express frustration regarding their poor economic condition, I say they have that right. However, they should be expressing it at the appropriate party, and that is not Israel.

The responsibility of the economic plight of the Arabs belongs to their own leadership.

When Yasser Arafat formed the Palestinian Authority in 1994, he promised new hospitals, clinics, educational institutions and improvements to the general infrastructure. He also promised greater employment opportunities. However, instead of delivering on his promises, he took complete control of all media, as well as the flow of money. None of the promised improvements took place. With virtually no independent oversight this became a recipe for corruption.

He and his cronies systematically stole huge sums of money, while the average Arab remained in abject poverty, which is the case today.

Such information rarely gets much attention, and certainly not in Arab media, heaven forbid!

Tracking the money

Here are some rather incredible facts:

Since its formation, the Palestinian Authority has received over $31 billion in foreign aid. In 2014 alone they received well over $2 billion. Of that amount the US provides the most by far- roughly $400 million, followed by the European Commission ($140 million), Saudi Arabia ($103 million), the UK ($95 million), etc. [see chart]  In fact the Arabs have received more money than any other group of people in human history. If you take into account historic inflation, the PA has received more money than the US gave to rebuild all of Europe under the Marshall Plan after WW ll,” according to Calev Myers of the Jerusalem Institute of Justice who has studied this extensively. The funds were given to 17 countries with a combined population of 300,000,000. By comparison the number of Arabs living in Judea/Samaria, commonly referred to as the West Bank, is just under 3 million, or equal to 1% of post WWll European population. Yet they have been given more money than all of Europe!

With respect to Arafat, while the average Arab suffered, his wife Suha who lived in Paris received $200,000 per month from him. She also is alleged to have received numerous bulk payments, one of which was $11 million according to reports.  Where did this money come from? More important, what happened with the vast amount of international aid given to the PA?

When Arafat died in 2004 an investigation showed he had $1 billion stashed away in Swiss bank accounts. Plus, he supposedly was in control of up to $6 billion in assets.  His widow refused to reveal the location of the stolen money unless she was awarded a ‘finder’s fee.’ Rumor is the investigative team paid her as much as $40 million. The team was led by Mahmoud Abbas.

Abbas Palace in Ramallah
The Presidential Guest Palace in Surda, Ramallah being built by Mahmoud Abbas at a cost of $13 Million

Since then, Abbas has traveled down the same road of corruption of his predecessor. His personal wealth is said to be as much as $1 billion. However, since he is not subject to financial accountability, who really knows? He is currently constructing a $13 million mansion for himself.

Another area of fiscal irresponsibility is the PA owes roughly $300 – 400 million to Israel in unpaid electricity bills. Given Mr. Abbas’s accumulated stolen wealth, no doubt he could write a personal check for the entire amount.

In reality the economic well-being of the Arabs has long been in their own hands. However, they have never been able to realize it because their leadership has literally stolen it. Meanwhile, western leaders bemoan the presumed poverty driven frustration as the reason for terror, while international money keeps lining the pockets of corrupt leadership, and the average Arab continues to live in poverty.

Someone needs to have a blunt conversation with Mahmoud Abbas.

As for the Arab health care system, it remains so under developed many of them in desperation come to Israel for needed care. Indeed, in 2014 when tensions were extremely high due to the disappearance of three Jewish teens, who were later found murdered, Abbas’s wife was having surgery in an Israeli hospital. Plus, in the midst of the current spate of terror, which Abbas has fueled with hateful rhetoric, his brother-in-law had life-saving surgery in Israel. Israel even treated the granddaughter of Ismael Haniyeh, Hamas’s leader in the Gaza Strip.

International aid funding murderers

Aside from pilfering money meant to improve the lot of the average Arab, there is another disturbing aspect of how international aid is being used by the PA.

Approximately 16% of their total budget is designated to reward terrorists and their families. This is done under what is called The Law of the Prisoner.

Here’s how it works:

If an Arab commits a crime against an Israeli and is imprisoned he becomes eligible to earn a large monthly income. It can be as much as $3,500, ($42,000 annually) which is five times greater than the average Arab earns. The monthly income is on a sliding scale. The most heinous crimes get the highest monthly stipend.

You’ve heard the old saying “crime doesn’t pay?” These terrorists are proof it does pay. US and European taxpayers are the ones who are providing the “pay.”

Abbas’s actions are nothing short of criminal, plus he is guilty of using international humanitarian aid to reward murderers.

While the likelihood of him being imprisoned is remote, here are few suggestions for the US and others:

  1. Stop blaming Israeli ‘settlements’ and ‘occupation’ for the lack of progress toward peace.
  2. Demand Abbas condemn terror against Israelis and take steps to eliminate it.
  3. Require mutual national recognition and hold him accountable if he refuses.
  4. Demand the PLO, Fatah and Hamas amend their charters which call for Israel’s destruction. (no legitimate peace partner is party to a charter calling for the others destruction)
  5. Insist the PA set up independent oversight and engage in complete financial transparency and accountability.
  6. Demand the Law of the Prisoner be scrapped. Inform the PA financial aid will be terminated if murderers continue to be financially rewarded.

At the end of the day the effort of the US to appear balanced by maintaining the status quo is not only failing to move the peace process forward, it is actually perpetuating an environment which will never produce peace.

What is needed is for world leaders, especially the US, is to get blunt with Abbas as well as the Arabs, and stop trying to persuade Israel to further compromise its security by rewarding those who uncompromisingly seek its destruction with land and money.

Palestinian Terrorism – An Extension of ISIS & Global Jihad

Make no mistake about it: The increasing terror wave in Israel by Palestinians has nothing to do with Israel occupying territories and nothing to do with Jews on the Temple Mount. The current terror wave has everything to do with annihilating Jews and Israel.


  • The last year saw the largest rise of Islamic terrorism around the world. In Israel, the terror wave is increasing too.
  • Several recent public opinion polls show an overwhelming majority of Palestinian Arabs support an intifada (terror wave) with the end goal of “liberating Palestine” and completely destroying Israel.
  • Most Palestinians do not support a 2-state solution, but would rather have Israel destroyed and replaced with a Palestinian state.
  • The daily incitement by the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, along with the indoctrination to Jihad that many Palestinian children get in their schools, is brewing a society of hate and murder against Jews.
  • Palestinian allegiance to ISIS is on the rise (24% support ISIS), which explains the growing number of Palestinian terror attacks in correlation with the growing worldwide conflict with ISIS.
  • Contrary to what many believe, ISIS is not a direct threat to Israel.
  • Israel needs to do more to protect its people.

Rise in Terrorism Worldwide & in Israel

According to the Global Terrorism Index Report of 2015, terrorism continues to rise. Deaths in 2014 reached 32,685 constituting an 80% increase from 18,111 the previous year. The numbers for 2015 are expected to be even higher. Israel is ranked as the 24th most impacted country by terrorism while some of her neighboring countries accounted for 78% of all worldwide terrorism-linked deaths. According to the GTI report, most terror attacks targeted private civilians.

Interestingly, but not unexpectedly, in the last 2 months to date, Israeli citizens suffered through 30 shootings, 12 car rammings, 82 stabbing attacks, 1,617 stone throwings and 651 molotov cocktails resulting in the deaths of 22 civilians and seriously wounding 251. That’s a total of almost 2,400 atacks in 2 months; an average of 40 attacks per day! You won’t hear about most attacks in the mainstream media though.

According to statistics published by the Israel Security Agency at the end of 2013, since the start of the second Intifada, 1,227 people have been killed by Palestinian terrorism and 8,549 were wounded. (These numbers do not include the deaths and injuries of Israeli soldiers during combat in Gaza.)

Are we to single out Israel’s terrorism problem as being a result of land occupation and Jews praying on the Temple Mount, while neighboring countries are suffering a similar fate due to religious fanaticism?

The Real Goal of the Palestinian Intifada

Let’s take a closer look as to why the Palestinians are committing terror attacks.

According to public opinion polls conducted by the Palestinian Center for Public Opinion prepared by Dr. Nabil Kukali and the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, an overwhelming majority of Palestinians are in favor of an increase in terror attacks against Israeli civilians with the end goal of completely destroying Israel and replacing it with a Palestinian state. Only 11% of respondents said the goal of the “intifada” should be to “liberate” only those territories captured by Israel in 1967.

[The Pew Research Institute’s recent poll resulted in different numbers than the polls mentioned above, but still shows that 21% of West Bank arabs are not against ISIS.]

These poll results explain why terror attacks have been taking place in areas not considered “occupied territories” and against people not considered “settlers” or “occupiers.” Palestinian terrorists see all Israelis as occupiers and enemies that must be removed.

Daily incitement by Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas, along with Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and other Palestinian groups, is responsible for the constant brainwashing of Palestinians into believing that Israel is killing Palestinians mercilessly and is planning to destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. Abbas goes as far as to glorify terrorists, terror and martyrdom.

Even the education system in many Palestinian schools teaches and indoctrinates children to a life of terrorism, Jihad, martyrdom, and suicide attacks. How do children become terrorists? This video is one answer to that question:


The Rising Influence of ISIS in Israel

According to a poll conducted in 7 arab countries by the Arab Center for Research & Policy Studies, Palestinians had the highest percentage of support for ISIS than any other group in the Middle East. 24% of Palestinian Arabs support ISIS  and more than 40% object to any military action against the Islamic State.

Respondents' answers to the question "In general, do you have a positive or negative view of ISIL?"
Respondents’ answers to the question “In general, do you have a positive or negative view of ISIL?” (Credit: Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies)

ISIS has also been trying to “hijack” Palestinian Jihad as its own. With the clear connection between Palestinian terrorists, the Jihad mentality of martyrdom and ISIS, it is obvious that the real goal of the terror wave in Israel is the baseless destruction of the Jewish people and Israel, similar to the Islamic State’s goal of destroying infidels.

Nevertheless, Israel should not fear ISIS. As Efraim Inbar explains in his analysis of How Dangerous is ISIS to Israel?:
Suggestions that ISIS may constitute a bigger threat to Israel than Iran are ridiculous. The Israeli army and the ISIS militia are in different leagues. As long as ISIS behaves in a most unconventional bestial way, many in the world will be happy to see Israel doing the dirty work on their behalf, dealing ISIS blow after blow, if the opportunity and necessity arises.

This is true in part because the ISIS military is relatively small and weak. It’s offensives were successful largely against weakened militaries and in places with political void. While ISIS is not a direct threat to Israel, it has been successful in generating support via social media and online recruitment channels.

Infographic: ISIS Is Expanding Its Reach On Twitter | Statista
Source: Statista.com

Israel, Protect Your People

While we see no signs of the terror wave subsiding in Israel, the government needs to do more to protect its citizens. For starters, it should do more to catch and block propaganda material from reaching Palestinians in its midst. Easier said than done, I know. But we do see some strides being made when Israel recently closed radio stations involved in incitement and banned the inciteful Islamic Movement group.

However, let’s first take a quick glance at the recent terror attack trends in Israel and what can be done to prevent them. According to the findings of The Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center:

  • Most of those who carry out the attacks inside Israel are between the ages of 16 and 20, while most of those who carry them out in Judea and Samaria are between the ages of 22 and 26.
  • Usually, national and religious motivations influence the attacker. His decision is influenced by frustration, the desire for fame and the glory achieved by becoming a shaheed, the desire to avenge the deaths of friends or relatives, and exposure to the intense incitement in the media and on the Palestinian street.
  • Most of the attacks targeted the Israeli security forces (which shows the suicidal nature of the attacks), the rest targeted civilians.
  • Have national-religious motivations and for years have had popular violence and terrorism as constant companions. They have been influenced by systematic, intensive anti-Israeli incitement and hate propaganda.
  • Only a few of the terrorists were operatives of any specific organization.

How do we fight such an ideological form of terrorism? It can take years to uproot an ideology from the hearts of its supporters. What immediate response can there be to prevent any further attacks against Israeli citizens?

Looking at the findings above, it is clear that Israel needs to make it undesirable to commit terror attacks. Currently, jail time for terrorists and home demolitions do not seem to suffice as a deterrent to attack. If Israel would institute a law to deport immediate family members, a terrorist may think twice before committing an attack. If he or she knew that their parents, siblings, spouse and children would not be able to live in their homes and would lose their current form of income, then the spectacular vision of martyrdom may become a bit more dull.

While a  majority of Palestinians routinely celebrate terror and death (as seen in the current terror wave in Israel, the recent Paris attacks, and as far back as the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York), seldom will you find any Israeli or Jew in the world celebrate the death of anyone, even an enemy.

In the meantime, with the holiday of Chanukah fast approaching, I pray that light will triumph over darkness, good over evil, and that only goodness will spread throughout the world for all peoples.

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Israel Behind the News [11.29.2015]

Here are some of the leading headlines today in Israel:

The Israel Rising take: When the Prime Minister announces work on the long awaited Jewish State Law bill two questions come to mind? Why is he announcing this now and what does Israel need a Jewish State Law for? The PM always announces “right wing” statements when he feels pushed back by his own camp.  Bibi believes in keeping the situation under management instead of finding solutions to challenges. His coalition has been shaky from the beginning and announcements like working on the Jewish State Law will keep those ministers that are to his right from bolting the coalition next time there is a crisis.

When the government denies transferring acres to Palestinians you can rest assured it had been on the table.  The government will not transfer it because the coalition will be finished. Area C is rightfully part of Israel even according to the Oslo accords.  transferring more land will not solve the conflict but rather give a prize to terror. Why a leak now?  Like anything else in Israel, the opposition and the Arabs will try to trick the right into crashing the coalition due to emotions rather than at an opportune time.

Yaalon’s has tried to keep a lid on a full scale take down of the PA terror entity in Judea and Samaria due to a couple of considerations.  The first is that he really doesn’t believe in our right to these areas other than for strategic reasons. The second is that wit all the chaos surrounding Israel, the IDF needs to be focused on the more “dangerous” geopolitical situation. Lastly, Yaalon is worried about a backlash te USA state department and would like to keep up his good relations with America. The above three points are keeping Jews in harms way.