An attempt is made to share the truth regarding issues concerning Israel and her right to exist as a Jewish nation. This blog has expanded to present information about radical Islam and its potential impact upon Israel and the West. Yes, I do mix in a bit of opinion from time to time.
Tuesday, March 04, 2014
“Tracking an Insane Time”
There are few things more insane than Arabs throwing large rocks at cars,
and thereby causing lethal injury to children. But this is what I begin with
It is a year ago that Adva Biton was driving in her car with other members
of her family, including three children, when an Arab terrorist threw a concrete
block at them. It caused Adva to loose control of the car, which rammed
into a truck and ended up trapped beneath it. Other members of the family
were moderately injured. But little Adele Biton, then two, was critically
injured. A full year later, she is still unconscious, and sits that way in
a wheel chair. Her family stays with her constantly, and hopes to bring
her home, where she will secure all sorts of therapeutic treatment.
The request here is that you pray for Adele Biton. Adele Bat
Adva. Pray for her recovery daily and continue to pray until we
learn that, with the help of Heaven, she has regained her life.
Prime Minister Netanyahu has not yet addressed the AIPAC Policy Conference
as I begin this posting. But I am eager, nonetheless, to look at what has
transpired in the last day, and to share some analysis.
Before going into his lengthy closed-door meeting with President Obama in
the White House last night, our prime minister conducted himself with firmness
at an opening press conference. He stood his ground.
I admit, I cringe when he speaks about two states for two peoples – but
this is how he is playing it. Yet, this aside, he said, quite explicitly,
that he knows the position he represents is not the conventional wisdom, but it
is the truth.
Netanyahu tracked all that Israel has done “for peace” in the last 20
years, i.e., since the beginning of Oslo. And then he took a look at what
Israel has gotten in return from the Palestinian Arabs: rockets launched on our
civilians, incessant incitement, etc.
Chiding Obama before the cameras, he said:
“Israel has been doing its part, and I regret
to say that the Palestinians haven’t. The people of Israel know that it’s the
Declared Netanyahu (emphasis
“What we want is peace – not a piece of
paper...real peace... based on mutual recognition.
“Israel, the Jewish state, is the
realization of the Jewish people’s right to self-determination. I think
it’s about time they recognized a nation state for the Jewish people.
We’ve only been here for about 4,000 years.”
You can see a video of Netanyahu saying this via the above link. What
he says here is, I believe, as close as we’ll get right now to his speaking for
our rights. And it’s solid in several respects. He speaks about the
self-determination of the Jewish People, and about our presence in the land for
4,000 years. This effectively counters all those Arab claims that they
were here first.
The great irony, of course, is that the very areas the Palestinian
Arabs claim as theirs are the ones that were central to our heritage over those
4,000 years. Hevron, Beit El, Shilo are all in Judea and
Samaria. Eastern Jerusalem, which the Palestinian Arabs want as their
capital, WAS Jerusalem: the Temple Mount, the City of David, etc. Our
prime minister, by implication is laying our claim and – let us hope – moving in
the direction of giving the PA an answer regarding their outrageous
demands. What is clear as clear can be is that these areas of ancient
Jewish heritage belong to the Jewish people and should never be surrendered to
You will note in the above video that the tone Obama used in welcoming
Netanyahu was far more moderate and pleasant than the tone of his vile article
Raphael Ahren gives us a most plausible explanation in The Times of Israel:
“With Putin making trouble, Obama goes easy on Netanyahu” (emphasis added):
“The Ukraine crisis changed everything. After
the unusually harsh comments US President Barack Obama made in an interview with
Jeffrey Goldberg last week – it
was published on Sunday — Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was expected to receive another verbal lashing
Monday in the Oval Office. But Obama’s tone was surprisingly gentle.
“Obviously, the president
knows not to offend his guests by attacking and accusing them in person. But
there’s more to the sudden change of tone. Obama’s interview with Goldberg took
place last Thursday, before the Russian-Ukrainian crisis escalated. By Monday,
Obama understood that Russian President Vladimir Putin was serious about his
ambitions regarding Crimea, and that a possible military showdown near the Black
Sea could become the defining moment of his presidency.
“The US public isn’t really
that worried about Iran becoming a nuclear threshold state, and the fact that
Bashar Assad is still killing in Syria doesn’t keep many Americans awake at
night. While in the eyes of Israelis, and the Sunni Arab states in the region,
Obama is a weak leader who cannot be trusted to enforce the red lines he
occasionally draws, when he has no other choice, the average Joe in the US has
“But the Crimea
crisis, a throwback to the Cold War, is a different ballgame.
Putin’s challenge to the West, and particularly the US — which has vowed
that “there is a huge price to pay” for violating Ukrainian sovereignty – is a
bigger headache for Obama than the entire Middle East. And the last thing the
president needs right now is a public spat with Netanyahu, who enjoys
near-universal admiration in Congress. And Obama might need Congress if he is to
act decisively against Moscow’s territorial appetite in Eastern
“Does that mean that the US
administration is going to decrease pressure on Israel in the coming weeks and
months? Certainly not.”
What I would like to know is how he would expect to
achieve this, once his goal of turning Judea and Samaria over to the Palestinian
Arabs should be realized (Heaven forbid!). The scary part is that Kerry
may believe this can be managed, which would indicate precisely how little the
US administration understands the Arabs here.
We know that Hamas is just waiting to take down the PA,
once it should achieve statehood.
But here’s another look – offered by Khaled Abu Toameh -
at just how weak Abbas is. (Emphasis added)
“As Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas
continues to talk with Israel and the U.S. about ways of achieving peace in the
Middle East, senior members of his ruling Fatah faction have stepped up
their efforts to remove him from power.
“These efforts seem to be worrying Abbas these days more
than anything else, including U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's proposed
‘framework agreement’ for peace between the Palestinians and Israel – which has
thus far been rejected by Abbas and the Palestinian Authority [PA]
“The internal squabbling in Fatah casts doubts on Abbas'
ability or willingness to sign any peace agreement with Israel.
“These are not mere tensions or disagreements among
politicians. Rather, they mark the beginning of an inevitable split that
could result in the creation of a rival, anti-Abbas Fatah group, headed by some
of his arch-enemies.”
“Abbas’s challenger is former Fatah Central Committee member and former PA
security chief Mohammed Dahlan. Sources close to Abbas accuse Dahlan of
‘secretly planning a coup against the PA leader. According to the sources,
Dahlan, who has been living in exile in the United Arab Emirates for the past
four years, has his eyes set on the Palestinian Authority presidency and regards
himself as a successor to Abbas.’”
“...Recently, Abbas dispatched a high-level Fatah
delegation to the Gaza Strip, prompting many Palestinians to speculate that the
purpose of the trip was to achieve reconciliation with Hamas. But it quickly
transpired that the Fatah delegation, headed by Abbas loyalist Nabil Sha'ath,
was sent to the Gaza Strip as part of Abbas's attempt to crush a
Dahlan-engineered rebellion against his leadership.
“...Some reports have
suggested that Sha'ath and members of his delegation had to flee the Gaza Strip
three days after their arrival following threats to their lives from Dahlan and
his supporters. According to the reports, Sha'ath even appealed to Hamas Prime
Minister Ismail Haniyeh to beef up security at the hotel where he was staying in
Gaza City, out of fear that disgruntled Fatah activists might assassinate him or
members of his delegation.
“...Palestinians in Ramallah said that the
increased tensions in Fatah mean that Abbas is beginning to lose his grip over
the faction -- a fact that Kerry and his team would not be able to
ignore if and when they force Abbas to sign any agreement with
“...Once, the claim was that Abbas does not represent the
Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, who are under the control of Hamas. Today,
however, it is not incorrect to argue that Israel's peace partner, Abbas, does
not even represent his own party.”
Just this week, as I was tracking Obama statements on the
“peace process,” I noted that, when he spoke about the closing window of
opportunity,” he mentioned that no one knew how long Abbas would be in
power. His implied message was one of “striking while the iron was hot,”
so to speak.
But my thought then was that this was outrageous –
proposing an agreement with Abbas when it seemed he might be out of power soon,
and there would be no telling what would come next. If a stable continuity
of power were expected, then rushing to sign with Abbas would not be
necessary. This smelled like Obama attempting to grab his moment of
diplomatic victory and to hell with what might happen to Israel thereafter.
And so, Kerry promises the US would not let the “West
Bank” turn into another Gaza. Does he also promise to make sure Fatah radicals
opposed to a peace agreement do not seize control after that agreement were
Apparently as of two days ago, Abbas was saying that he
would continue negotiations beyond the nine months only if “Netanyahu declares a freeze in settlement construction
and releases additional prisoners beyond the next installment.”
Well, we cannot take Abbas
at his word, as he makes innumerable threats. But what he is saying – this
was in a Ramallah meeting with MK Zahava Gal-on, head of the very left Meretz
party - is that if these conditions are not
met, he will quit negotiations and go to the international courts.
His chances of having Israel meet these demands is
As to“the next installment of prisoners” – all presumably
having committed their terrorist crimes before Oslo - there is a heightened mood
in the country in opposition to their being released. Netanyahu had
committed to this as a way to bring Abbas to the table, but although there have
been three groups released to date, there has been nothing forthcoming from the
PA. What is more, this time the PA is insisting that Arabs with Israeli
citizenship be included. Totally and completely unacceptable in the eyes
of much of the nation.
And to demand even MORE than this, just so we might have
the privilege of sitting at the table with his negotiators?
As to a full settlement building freeze, Minister of
Intelligence and Strategic Affairs Yuval Steinitz (Likud), who is in Washington
DC with Netanyahu, told Israel Radio today that this is not even on the
Why does Abbas make these threats? Because he finds
they work. His experience has been that the US is so eager to keep him at the
table that he merely has to propose these actions and the Americans turn to
But this time it isn’t going to work. Had the
Americans not catered to him all this time, we’d be in a different place.
The good news is that Steinitz also reported that Israel
is receiving wall-to-wall Congressional support.
The Washington Post reported
that after his conference with Obama, Netanyahu met with House Majority Leader
Eric Cantor (R-Va.) on Capitol Hill. Cantor said the Palestinians must “accept
Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state” and “uniformly and aggressively”
combat terrorism while confronting, not condoning, “incitement against the
Now, my friends, as I
complete this posting, Netanyahu has spoken at AIPAC. I will return to
this in my next post as necessary – I would like to locate a transcript, to be
certain I haven’t missed anything of import. But I am fairly sure it will not be
What I can say here is that
I was underwhelmed. No drama, no fire and brimstone. He spoke cautiously and, as
one commentator put it, showed “a kinder, gentler Netanyahu.” He even seemed to
be marking time as he spoke. Whatever I may share next time is simply likely to
circle back on content we’ve all heard from him in different contexts: Iran must
not be permitted capacity for nuclear development - “I will do what I must
to defend the Jewish State of Israel;” additional sanctions on Iran are
necessary; the PA must recognize Israel as the Jewish state but true peace would
do great things for the region; Israel is nice and treats wounded Syrians and
Syria is inhumane; the BDS movement is immoral; etc. The low point perhaps: “Who
believes the BS of the BDS movement?” Not his finest moment.
Netanyahu is treading with care. The best that can
be said, perhaps, is that he did not declare any concessions for the sake of
“peace.” And, once again, at least, he spoke about the long-standing
Jewish connection to Judea and Samaria.
I am reminded that we do not know what went on in his
talk yesterday with Obama. Netanyahu spoke about “good meetings,” but said
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