Wednesday, June 11, 2014

A war against Israel's right to exist

Over the last 20 years, since the signing of the Oslo Accords, we have witnessed in the United States a constant and steady war of attrition against Israel's moral right to exist. An atmosphere of moral relativism has been widely adopted, so much so that many Americans cannot distinguish the difference between an openly and unabashedly Islamist terrorist organization and a free democratic state with Western values of liberalism and democracy and respect for human rights and the rule of law.

The most recent and flagrant example of this is the Obama administration's willingness to work with a Fatah-Hamas unity government. In fact, before the ink was even dry, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki announced that the U.S. was willing to work with the new Palestinian government. Using the familiar tactic of the State Department linguistic shuffle, she called the merger between Fatah and the virulently anti-Semitic organization of Hamas merely a "technocratic government." She then added that the U.S. was still going ahead with plans to give the Palestinians another $500 million in U.S. taxpayers' money.

This is a clear violation of U.S. law. Both the 2006 Anti-Terrorism Act and the 2012 Appropriations Act clearly prohibit funding "to Hamas or any entity effectively controlled by Hamas, any power-sharing government of which Hamas is a member."

However, President Barack Obama and his apparatchiks in the State Department have become spin doctors and apologists for what we all know is an openly terrorist organization, hell-bent on the destruction of Israel.

It saddens me to see the U.S. government engage in all sorts of linguistic contortions in efforts to obfuscate and cover up what most of us know, and what we can assume they too know, deep down: that Hamas is little more than a radical Islamist organization whose aim is clearly to destroy the Jewish state and Jews throughout the world.

This erosion of morality has been a gradual process that had its beginning 20 years ago when then-Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and then-PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat shook hands on the White House Lawn. Today, the U.S. is simply borrowing a page from an old playbook.

Prior to Sept. 13, 1993, Arafat was known as the grand-daddy of international terrorism. He and his Fatah organization had invented airplane hijackings, bombings, kidnappings, and other types of attacks, including the 1972 murders of 11 of Israel's Olympic athletes in Munich, the 1973 murder of U.S. Ambassador to Sudan Cleo Noel, the 1985 hijacking of the Achille Lauro cruise ship (resulting in the murder of wheelchair-bound Leon Klinghoffer), and the 1974 massacre of 26 people (21 of them schoolchildren) in Maalot.

The Palestinian National Covenant, which, contrary to popular opinion, has never been annulled, calls for the complete eradication of Israel. On April 24, 1996, the Palestinian National Council voted to set up a committee to consider revoking the covenant. As a result of this hollow vote, the international community, which has always been eager to whitewash the Palestinian Authority, telegraphed to the world that the charter had been annulled. In reality, the committee was never appointed and never convened a single meeting.

Immediately after that vote, Arafat's spokesman Marwan Karnafani left the room and said, "It is not an amendment. It is not an amendment. It is a license to set up a new resolution; to start a new charter."

In fact Article 8 of the charter says: "The conflicts among the Palestinian national forces are secondary, and should be ended for the sake of the basic conflict that exists between the forces of Zionism and of imperialism on the one hand, and the Palestinian Arab people on the other."
The Palestinian Authority is therefore merely following its own credo when it unites with Hamas or any other Palestinian resistance group.

Nearly every day, there is some clear and transparent indication of the Palestinian Authority's true intentions, meticulously documented by Palestinian Media Watch. Not a day goes by without the Palestinian Authority's television station inciting its people to hate and kill Jews, naming squares and sports games after suicide bombers, or calling to replace all the land that we recognize as Israel with "Palestine."

To the outside world, however, the Palestinian Authority at least donned some sort of camouflage to disguise their lethal goals, flimsy as it was. They became masters in the art of double speak, talking to Western diplomats in the gentle, seductive language of peace, even as these diplomats sat within the PA's official headquarters in Ramallah, directly under the map of Israel, re-designated as "Palestine." Hamas, on the other hand, does not even bother making that feeble attempt to cover up its deadly objectives.

For a while, the international community was determined to make the PA into the "good cop" in contrast with Hamas' "bad cop." Now, with their unity, this is no longer relevant, but the State Department and the European Union are determined to continue on with the charade.

Perhaps this willful blindness is the result of the constant and steady erosion of our moral integrity and intellectual courage that began the day that Arafat and Rabin shook hands on the White House lawn. I am afraid it also signifies something deeper. It signifies the profound failure of imagination of many in leadership roles around the world, as well as the fact that the peace process for many has become like a religion, and has ossified in many people's minds. For some, it is to be preserved at all costs, irrespective of the nefarious behavior and maximalist and deadly intentions of one of the parties.

Sarah Stern is the founder and president of EMET, the Endowment for Middle East Truth, a pro-Israel and pro-American think tank and policy shop in Washington.


Obama’s Outrageous Decision to Fund Hamas-Aligned Palestinian Regime

June 8, 2014 | Morton A. Klein
Last week, Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah/Palestinian Authority (PA) formed a unity government with the Nazi-like Hamas terror organization. Hamas, a U.S.- and EU-recognized terrorist group, calls in its Charter for the global murder of Jews (Article 7) and the destruction of Israel (Article 15), while its leaders have called for demise of the U.S. and the murder of Americans.
Despite this, within two days, the Obama Administration said that it would continue to financially aid the PA. The European Union (EU) and the United Nations (UN) have followed suit. And this despite the fact that Hamas has foreshadowed expanding its operations from Gaza into the West Bank, while its terror force, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, remains an independent actor.
Consider: the Oslo agreements require the outlawing and dismantling of terrorist groups, the arrest and extradition of terrorists and the banning of such groups from elections. Yet, when the PA partners with Hamas, genocidally-inclined terrorists with a record of scores suicide bombings, over 10,000 rocket assaults from Gaza and the murder of over a thousand Israelis to its account, neither condemnation nor penalty follows from the U.S., the EU, the UN.
Conversely, when Israel merely announces a housing project in a Jewish neighborhood of eastern Jerusalem, not in contravention of any signed agreement and, moreover, within an area bound to be retained by Israel in any conceivable peace, world-wide condemnation follows — as when after one such announcement in March 2010, Vice-President Joseph Biden “condemned” it, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton termed it an “insult” and senior aide David Axelrod called it a “destructive … affront” which “undermined this very fragile effort to bring peace to that region.”
In short, Jewish houses in Jerusalem, no. PA/Hamas partnership, yes. No condemnation, no insult, no offense taken at the undermining of fragile peace efforts — and no penalties imposed.
Putting aside completely this disregard of a close ally’s vital interests. From a purely American point of view, President Obama should have been outraged. Here is Hamas, whose leaders have declared that the “USA will be conquered,” condemned as an “atrocity” and “oppression” the killing of Osama Bin Laden, and publicly intoned “Allah, take hold of the Americans and their allies… Allah, count them and kill them to the last one and don’t leave even one.”
This indifference of the accession of Hamas to the PA is consistent with Obama’s policy toward Turkey, Egypt, Iran and Libya, in which, through engagement and acquiescence, we have seen the strengthening of viciously anti-American forces.
It will be said that the new terrorist Fatah/Hamas PA regime is merely a caretaker government of apolitical technocrats prior to holding new Palestinian elections. Yet, terrorist movements are proscribed by the terms of the Oslo agreements. Moreover, the PA has never abided by its signed Oslo agreements and, for twenty years, no-one, least of all President Obama, has held them to account.
Only last month, Abbas told Obama, that he will neither accept Israel as a Jewish state, nor conclude a comprehensive peace that encompasses an end of claims. This assertion prompted no criticism or condemnation — much less action — in Washington.
By cementing its April reconciliation agreement and forming a unity government with Hamas, Abbas’ Fatah/PA has shown conclusively that it is not only not a peace partner, but an avowed enemy of Jews and the Jewish state.
Abbas has not fulfilled its commitments under the Oslo agreements to arrest terrorists, outlaw terrorist groups and end the incitement to hatred and murder in the PA-controlled media, mosques, schools and youth camps that helps fuel the conflict. He has said openly that there are no real “political differences” between Fatah and Hamas. Top PA official Saeb Erekat has declared that Hamas “is not and never was a terror group.” Even without the Fatah/Hamas deal, talks with the Fatah/PA were devoid of purpose.
It proved to be a tragic farce for Israel to negotiate with terrorist leader Yasser Arafat. Ditto when Israel negotiated with Mahmoud Abbas, who turned down in 2008 an offer of Palestinian statehood throughout virtually the entire territory he was publicly demanding, including all of the West Bank, half of Jerusalem and the uprooting of 150,000 Jews. Can it be any more likely now?
Peace remains remote until and unless the PA genuinely reforms and cleanses itself of terrorism and extremism, fights and jails terrorists and terminates the culture of hatred and rejection that helps fuel the conflict.
The Obama Administration should have immediately terminated relations with the PA or, better, told Abbas it would do so at the first hint of the formation of such a regime. Instead, American taxpayers will be funding a regime that includes those who seek the murder of  Americans and Jews everywhere.
Morton A. Klein is National President of the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA). Dr. Daniel Mandel is Director of the ZOA’s Center for Middle East Policy and author of H.V. Evatt & the Establishment of Israel (London, 2004).
Thanks NG

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