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Category Archives: Peace process

Europe: How dare Jews build in Jerusalem!

Thursday, February 28, 2013 |  Ryan Jones, israeltoday.co.il

130228_jerusalemThe European Union has released a report that labels the very presence of Jews on the eastern side of Jerusalem as “provocative.” According to the Europeans, the building of Jewish homes in these areas is the single greatest threat to peace in the region.

Titled “Jerusalem Report 2012,” the survey asserts that the construction of homes for Jews on the eastern side of Jerusalem is a “systematic, deliberate and provocative” effort to make it “impossible for Jerusalem to become the capital of two states.”

It should be noted that the report is not referring to small, isolated settlements, but rather to large Jewish neighborhoods like French Hill, Pisgat Zeev and Gilo (for those familiar with the city).

For Israelis, the whole thing is just absurd. That the return of an ancient people to the areas that made up their ancient heartland should pose a threat to peace simply doesn’t make sense. Not to mention the fact that Jews have continuously lived in these areas, and especially in Jerusalem, non-stop for some 3,000 years. What the world doesn’t like is that the Jews now exercise control in this Land.

As Alan Baker, an Israeli expert in international law, told Israel Today, the Jews are an indigenous people in this land. If the international community cannot accept this fact, then there is no basis for even starting peace talks.

 

 
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Posted by on 5. March 2013 in Israel, Jew, Peace process, Social

 

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Palestinians let Netanyahu off the ‘peace hook’

Before he has even had a chance to form a new government, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is already under pressure from new US Secretary of State John Kerry to return to the negotiating table and make concessions to the Palestinians.

Fortunately for Netanyahu, the Palestinian leadership, famously never missing an opportunity to miss and opportunity, has already provided the Israeli leader with an “out.”

The very day after Kerry phoned Netanyahu and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinian officials began listing preconditions for even meeting with the Israelis.

Among those preconditions: The immediate release of all jailed Palestinians, most of whom have either tried or succeeded in killing Jews, and a full halt to the building of homes for Jews in areas claimed by the Palestinian Authority, including the eastern half of Jerusalem.

Both are red lines no Israeli government could cross, even one headed by the left-wing Labor Party.

Israeli leaders from across the political spectrum have blamed Abbas and his regime for scuttling peace talks over the past four years by refusing to talk without preconditions that would prejudice the outcome of negotiations.

 

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Netanyahu still ready to establish Palestinian state

Tuesday, February 12, 2013 |  Israel Today Staff

Ahead of US President Barack Obama’s visit and increased American pressure to restart the stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace process, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday stressed that he has never abandoned his willingness to help establish a Palestinian Arab state.

In 2009, Netanyahu delivered a speech at Bar-Ilan University in which he made his first public statement of support for a Palestinian state as the outcome of the peace process.

Speaking to Jewish leaders in Jerusalem on Monday, Netanyahu said he stands by that policy.

“I believe that a framework to peace (with the Palestinians) is what I outlined in my speech in Bar-Ilan University – two states for two peoples: A demilitarized Palestinian state that recognizes the Jewish state,” said Netanyahu.

Unfortunately, continued Netanyahu, it has been impossible to negotiate this outcome in good faith because “time after time” the Palestinian leadership places unacceptable preconditions to even returning to the negotiating table.

Of course, even if talks were to be restarted, the current Palestinian leadership has already made abundantly clear that it will never recognize Israel as the rightful and natural homeland of the Jewish people, nor will it agree to be demilitarized.

Former Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Saturday told Israel’s Channel 2 News that this is all just diplomatic speak for the sake of public consumption.

“Anyone who thinks that in the center of the diplomatic, political and social tsunami that is shaking the Arab world it is possible to get a magical solution of comprehensive peace with the Palestinians does not understand,” said Lieberman.

“It is impossible to solve the conflict, it needs to be managed,” he concluded.

 

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Have the Palestinians Tied Israel’s Hands?

Thursday, December 27, 2012 | Elizabeth Blade – http://www.israeltoday.co.il

121227_palvictoriesOn Sunday, several foreign and Israeli news outlets reported that the radical Gaza-based group Hamas was preparing to take over the West Bank, determined to oust the current Western-backed Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas.

According to reports, the Islamists were emboldened by their recent war with Israel and the alleged victory that followed.

Militants claimed that Israel failed to cripple their ability (and will) to launch attacks against civilian targets, with some going as far as to suggest that Hamas left the battleground if not victorious, then at least stronger diplomatically. The movement was also encouraged by the absence of a full-scale ground invasion that could easily have toppled the Hamas regime.

To add insult to injury, Israel’s government agreed (as part of the ceasefire deal) to eliminate the so-called “no man’s land”, a buffer zone beyond Israel’s security fence along the Gaza border. The removal of this cordon sanitaire not only left the Jewish state more vulnerable to attacks by Hamas and other terrorists, but will also invited “publicity stunts” by various non-governmental organizations under the direction of Hamas.

Israel Won, Hamas Was Defeated

Nevertheless, there are some who view the recent Israeli operation as successful, and who insist that it was Hamas that suffered defeat.

Prof. Hillel Frisch, an expert on Palestinian and Islamic politics from the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, says Operation Pillar of Cloud achieved maximum deterrence. “It has been the first time since 2001 that [Hamas] ceased all fire. They marked the end of the war on the national calendar and declared it a holiday, but the truth is that they were defeated.”

The expert added: “After realizing that their tactics of shooting rockets into Israel was no longer working, Hamas decided to pursue other, to their mind, more effective means of harassing Israel, one of which was staging mass demonstrations near the [security] fence.”

Indeed, two days after the sides agreed to a ceasefire on November 21st, a group of 300 Palestinians approached the fence in the southern Gaza Strip and held a violent disturbance along the border. The army had to use force to disperse the crowds, killing one Palestinian and injuring several others. Another Palestinian was killed in similar developments several days later.

Hamas Won, Israel Failed

Others, such as Dimitri Diliani, spokesman for Abbas’ Fatah movement, insisted Israel had utterly failed in the recent Gaza conflict.

“Compared to other Israeli wars [where the country achieved measurable results], the recent operation was not fruitful. It failed to achieve the goals declared by the government, mainly to cripple Hamas’ ability to launch rockets into the state of Israel,” said Diliani.

Referring to Hamas’ victory claims, Diliani agreed that although the Palestinian people were dealt a severe blow (the amount of military and civilians losses on the Palestinian side was much higher), they did create the sense of succeeding to defeat the powerful Israeli army on a moral (or even psychological) level.

“In a way, it is a victory for all Palestinian people suffering at the hands of the Israeli occupation [sic],” the Palestinian official continued. “At the same time, Hamas has been trying to take the credit for all the achievements to itself, which is fundamentally wrong, considering the many political factions within the Strip that participated in defending Gaza during the Israeli aggression.”

Friends in High(er) Places

Frisch tried to explain the motivation behind Hamas’ bold bragging: “Hamas allows itself such liberties because it feels backed by Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi.”

Referring to the recent apparent nosedive in Hamas-Egypt relations, Frisch noted, “On the one hand, it might look as if Egypt chose to scrap its ties with the terrorist organization. On the other hand, Egypt is trying to reassure Hamas that the cool-down in relations is only temporary. After achieving their ultimate goal of establishing theocracy, Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood will start bolstering Hamas again.”

According to Frisch, Hamas understood that Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood first had to take care of business at home without overly alarming the international community. “Morsi thus compelled Hamas to accept a complete ceasefire, something that Hamas refused to do since it began launching rockets in 2001.”

However, Egypt is far from being the only country to support the militant group. It is no longer a secret that Hamas is also backed by Iran (main weapons’ provider) and the Gulf states (particularly Qatar).

Ripple Effect

Encouraged by Hamas gains, the Abbas regime decided to move ahead with its own battle against Israel, this time on a diplomatic level. At the end of November, Abbas approached the United Nations’ General Assembly asking the international body to upgrade his government’s status from “entity” to “observer state.” The request was granted with 138 members (out of 193) voting in favor.

But was Abbas motivated by a genuine desire to change things? Experts seem to be divided.

“The UN bid gave the Palestinians the feeling that a Palestinian state would soon come into being,” said Frisch. “The Palestinian Authority doesn’t enjoy much credibility in the West Bank,” added the expert suggesting that the move was aimed at boosting Abbas’ popularity.

Gatestone Institute, an international policy think tank, echoed this view, stating that Abbas’ UN drive was “… the last chance for Mahmoud Abbas to remain in charge. In recent weeks he has been phoning around the foreign ministries of Europe explaining that if they don’t back him this time in the non-state statehood bid, then it is all over and all we have to deal with is Hamas…”

Diliani disagreed, stressing that the move was dictated by the desire to pursue peace, freedom and justice.

“It actually nullified the Israeli right-wing agenda to expand settlements under the pretext of land disputes,” he charged. “UN recognition provided Palestinians the tools to defend themselves from Israel’s settlement activity or targeted killing.”

Slippery Slope

Although the upgrade didn’t change things on the ground, the UN’s overwhelming support did embolden Abbas, who was given a green light to pursue additional unilateral measures instead of sitting down for talks with Israel that could translate into painful concessions on both sides.

In Israel, however, most experts and top brass disregarded Abbas’ move saying it was insignificant.

Diliani rebuked that position: “[Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu is not interested in admitting defeat, especially at election time. That’s why he spreads this propaganda, trying to marginalize the importance of the Palestinian victory, when the truth of the matter is that Israel was dealt a severe diplomatic blow that exposed its international isolation as a result of the continuation of occupation.”

Hamas-Fatah Unity = Trouble For Israel

Although it is too early to tell whether the UN upgrade will result in significant changes, Abbas’ flirting with Hamas might. Recent reports suggested that a reunion between Fatah and Hamas (two staunch rivals) was on the horizon.

The Palestinian street seems to be favoring the move. Thousands took to the streets in the Gaza Strip to celebrate Abbas’ victory at the UN, whereas crowds in the West Bank rallied in support of Hamas, celebrating the fact that its rockets had struck as far as Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

What could this potential union mean for Israel? Simply put: trouble.

Hamas and Islamic Jihad leaders are already preparing for the next round of fighting with Israel, promising that “in the next war, Israelis will be forced to flee not only their homes, but the whole country”. Fatah is also reading itself for a possible confrontation, with some leaders calling for a new intifada [uprising] against Israel, especially in the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem.

Can Israel Divide and Conquer?

But Frisch was skeptical. “I doubt that Fatah will ever want to reunite with Hamas. Abbas and those around him are scared of Hamas’ potential take-over the West Bank. Although many Palestinians don’t support Hamas, Fatah leaders are afraid of the organization’s strong desire to take control and the ruthlessness with which they are able to do so,” stressed the expert.

Diliani rebutted those allegations and claimed Hamas was too scared of Fatah’s growing popularity: “So far, Hamas has failed the people, they have proven to be incompetent to govern, let alone lead politically. Fatah and Hamas are not going to be united. Reconciliation is possible and highly desirable; unity is not. We might have serious disagreements on the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but that won’t prevent us from sitting down for talks.”

But if this reunion (or even reconciliation) does take place, will Israel be willing to negotiate with Hamas? Have Hamas and Fatah manage to tie Israel’s hands this time? Time will tell…

 

 

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Mahmoud Abbas’ duplicitous recognition of Israel

In addition to making Abbas’ words ring rather hollow, these two points again reinforce why it’s important to pay attention to what Palestinian leaders say in Arabic, and take what they say in English with a major “pinch of salt.”

Thursday, December 13, 2012 |  Ryan Jones – israeltoday.co.il

img292336Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas this week insisted that his government had already fulfilled its obligation to recognize Israel back in 1993. But a few problems with Abbas’ position were immediately noted.

Following meetings with the Turkish government in Ankara on Thursday, Abbas told reporters (in English) that he does not agree with recent remarks by Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal rejecting recognition of Israel, “because we, in fact, recognized it in 1993.”

Abbas’ went on to note that Mashaal and Hamas recognize Israel’s existence, too, as they have signed on to Palestinian government documents that acknowledge a two-state solution.

The Palestinian leader’s words were meant to counteract harsh criticism from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over his failure earlier in the week to condemn the anti-Israel rhetoric coming from Hamas. But the duplicitous nature of Abbas’ words was not lost on Israelis.

First, Abbas cleverly continued to refuse to recognize Israel’s right to exist, and especially its right to exist as a national homeland for the Jewish people in their ancient land. Without that level of recognition, Israel’s leadership rightly argues that the stage remains set for future conflict.

Second, Abbas’ own Fatah party this week chose a celebratory logo for its 48th anniversary that includes a map of the entire land of Israel being replaced by “Palestine.”

In addition to making Abbas’ words ring rather hollow, these two points again reinforce why it’s important to pay attention to what Palestinian leaders say in Arabic, and take what they say in English with a major “pinch of salt.”

 

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Awake O Israel

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Posted on December 2, 2012 |

After the move of the PA to be recognized as a non member state at the UN, several government officials said: Abu Mazen is no peace partner.

They also mentioned that the Oslo Accords have been automatically cancelled since the PA has not recognized Israel’s rights to be in the Land and yet they have done a unilateral move to be recognized as a state.

I wonder why they were so surprised! But well politics is politics! But the Bible says “they say peace, peace but there is no peace”.

The reaction to the Israeli government is to unfreeze building in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria. 3000 units are due to be built immediately which has caused much stirr among the nations as if Israel is closing the doors on peace.
But actually Abu Mazen closed that door at the UN this week and almost no one told him anything.

Keep on praying that Israel will be courageous to establish presence in all the Land of Promise.

 

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Big disappointment in Israel

 

 

Posted on November 22, 2012 on http://israelgpm.wordpress.com/

Soldiers and civilians in Israel are for the most part extremely disappointed with the decision of the government to implement cease fire before time.

PM Netanyahu declared that the established goals of diminishing the Hamas power has been achieved however both the public and the military were ready for a much more thorough operation to defeat and uproot the Hamas altogether. Most government buildings were indeed destroyed, 180 dead in Gaza, 900 wounded, and out of 10000 Hamas has “only” 5000 rockets left.

However, Palestinian Prime Minister Haniyeh declared victory and that Hamas won public recognition. On top of it he stated that Pillar of Cloud operation is a wonderful bridge for the real purpose which is the conquest of Jerusalem and all “their” land. It looks that in spite of all their hits (1500 air force hits over Gaza) they are actually very encouraged by the outcome while most of the Israeli citizens are discouraged, very unhappy about this.

PM Netanyahu states that if the cease fire will be broken by Hamas, Israel will be ready for a more radical operation including the takeover of Gaza (implied by the PM but mentioned by the media)

Israel lost 6 people (2 soldiers and 4 civilians) and 450 wounded. Iron Dome managed to pre- explode 450 rockets preventing much damage and loss of life.

We shall continue praying until all of Israel is saved and established in its Land. For sure His promises will be kept!

Until January 22 Israel is in a race for new elections! Let us pray for a leader after YHVH’s (Gods) own heart!

 

Thank you and bless you for keeping your prayers flowing for Israel as requested in Isaiah 62:1,6,7

His Kingdom come and will be done in Israel in Yeshua’s name!

“For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent” Isaiah 62;1

 

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