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August 23, 2017 11:53 am

The Never-Ending Peace Process Farce

avatar by Isi Leibler

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Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Photo: Kremlin.ru via Wikimedia Commons.

Unless the US is willing to bite the bullet and finally confront Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority, the mission to the region by US representatives Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt to “restart the peace process” on behalf of President Donald Trump may prove to be highly counterproductive.

Abbas is coming to the end of his reign. A brutal and corrupt dictator, he is determined that his legacy be that of an embattled “freedom fighter” committed to reversal of the “Nakba,” his ultimate objective being the restoration of Arab hegemony from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. His means to achieve this necessitate the dismemberment of the Jewish state in stages through terrorism and international pressure.

Until now, he has basically ignored Trump’s requests and demands. Incitement and calls for “resistance” via the media and imams urging Palestinians to kill Israelis and become shahids (martyrs) have reached a record high. Abbas himself whipped up religious hysteria based on the false cry that Jews were taking over and desecrating Al-Aqsa Mosque, thus triggering the recent riots and encouraging further terror attacks. Children are brainwashed into regarding Jews as subhuman descendants of apes and pigs, propaganda reminiscent of and frequently replicated from Nazi sources.

The PA and its leaders continue honoring mass murders as freedom fighters, dedicating mosques, city squares, schools and other institutions in their names to commemorate their murderous acts.

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Despite personal demands from Trump, Abbas has vowed that he will never close the Palestine National Fund, which provides generous pensions and massive financial awards for imprisoned or killed terrorists and their families, the amounts proportionate to the success of the terrorist act. Incarcerated murderers top the list with monthly payments of 11,000 shekels (more than $3,000), which is augmented with $25,000 if they are released from jail. This year, the fund has distributed $345 million, comprising half of the $693 million the PA receives in foreign aid. Thus the US and European countries have effectively been providing funds to incentivize Palestinians to murder Israelis.

The US Congress has now passed legislation to deduct an equivalent of these funds from aid provided to the Palestinians. The Europeans have taken no action, although Germany, the UK and Norway are “reviewing” the situation.

Abbas has responded by vowing to maintain the payouts, which he describes as “social welfare” and in recent weeks has even increased the payments.

His recent proclamation that security arrangements with the Israelis had been terminated was never effectively implemented. The reality is that the Abbas regime would be undermined if it annulled the security coordination whereby police constrain the enormous popular resentment by the people against the regime. While the security arrangements did reduce pressure on the IDF, the party with the most to lose if it were terminated would be the corrupt PA — which would then probably collapse or be taken over by Hamas.

Abbas has now condemned the US as being biased and unfit to act as an intermediary.

The Israelis, on the other hand, appreciate that with the Trump administration in disarray, mixed messages have emerged in relation to the peace process. Trump repeatedly reaffirms that he stands by Israel, but he has yet to fulfill his promise to move the US embassy to Jerusalem.

US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley has been exceptionally forthright; the recent flow of statements from Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and his departmental releases, however, are highly disconcerting and ominously reminiscent of the Obama era.

Tillerson informed the Senate that the Palestinians were moving forward positively in the peace process and had undertaken to bring an end to “martyr” payments. This was promptly denied. In July, the State Department released a report commending Abbas for having “significantly” addressed incitement. The report also stated that Palestinian terror was prompted “by a lack of hope in achieving Palestinian statehood, Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank, settler violence against Palestinians in the West Bank, the perception that the Israeli government was changing the status quo on the Temple Mount and IDF tactics that the Palestinians considered overly aggressive.” Such observations could match those issued two years ago, at the height of then-US President Barack Obama’s diplomatic campaign against Israel.

This should not be interpreted as an indication that the US has abandoned Israel. It merely reflects the divisions inside the administration, which were unlikely to have emerged had Trump not been diverted by the chaos in other areas. Fortunately, Tillerson has largely been excluded from direct engagement in peace negotiations and Trump has now authorized Kushner and Greenblatt “to restart the peace process.” They will visit the region over the next few days.

To further complicate matters, both the Palestinians and Israelis are entangled in domestic turmoil. Abbas, the duplicitous rogue with the forked tongue, rules as a dictator and has created a culture of death. However, he is aged and his people realize that his time in office is limited. He has never been willing to make any meaningful concessions to Israelis, who were desperate to separate themselves from the Palestinians, and is now unlikely to make any moves in that direction. On the contrary, he has been actively strengthening relations with the Iranians and the Turks who now support him as well as Hamas. But the people are restless and there is already jockeying among those seeking to replace him.

Israelis are also facing domestic problems with the endless campaigns to demonize Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and indict him on charges of corruption. Fortunately, he is unlikely to face major political pressures in relation to the peace process because the opposition would become a laughingstock if it sought to pressure him to make concessions to the PA.

In this context — setting aside the problem of Hamas in Gaza — it is impossible to envisage Trump’s representatives making any progress. Kushner has even recently conceded that he feared that a realistic solution to the impasse at present could well be impossible.

The question is, how will the American representatives respond when, as is likely, Abbas gives them the thumbs up. Will they once again engage in the farce of an ongoing “peace process” that fails to bring Abbas to account? Or will they urge Trump to realize that it is time to state openly that the protective cover for the aggressive Palestinian leaders is over, and call on the world to cease providing them with the power to continue their incitement and terrorism against Israel?

They should outline an economic program, which Israel will certainly endorse, focused on building institutions and creating infrastructure that will enhance the living standards of Palestinians, few of whom have benefited from the huge amounts of foreign aid that their corrupt leaders siphoned off into their own bank accounts. They should also encourage the moderate Arab states to press for a new leadership that would be willing to make peace with Israel.

However, should they decide, yet again, to paper over reality and continue “pursuing peace,” the visit will actually prove to be counterproductive and Israel by itself will be compelled, as was the case hitherto, to look after its own interests.

Isi Leibler’s website can be viewed at www.wordfromjerusalem.comHe may be contacted at ileibler@leibler.com.

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  • 1. We are at war. Many stubbornly and foolishly don’t put the pieces together and refuse to identify the evil doers as evil.

    We are at war. Many stubbornly and foolishly do not put the pieces together and refuse to identify the evil doers as evil; they delude themselves that the Arabs do not want to destroy us. We are disgracefully politically correct to our detriment and at the cost of life to our people. Throughout history the Jews were bullied, used as scapegoats and persecuted by the various nations of the world. The world is not used to seeing a Jew who is strong, armed and fights for his freedom and rights, well the time has come for the world to realize the Jew will never again cower to atrocities and pogroms as happened in the past, since the destruction of the second Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, with the Almighty’s help we will shall persevere against all odds.
    There are no Luftwaffe overhead or Panzer divisions on our borders. But make no mistake; we the Jewish people are under attack—our values, our tolerance, our freedom, our virtue, our land, and I specify our ancestral land for 4000 years – it was never in history an independent Arab country. Did anyone imagine in the 1920’s what Europe would look like in the 1940’s?
    We dare not wallow in complacency, in a misguided tolerance and naive sense of security. We must not be lulled into inaction for fear of offending the offenders. Radical Islam is the curse of the world and this must be cried out from every house of worship. ISIS MUST BE DESTROYED. Iran is our enemy and they are a destabilizing factor in the Middle East which ignite a third World War. They are the new 21st century Nazis.
    These murderers, these barbarians are radical Islamists.
    This is an all out war. Show no mercy on them. They must be utterly destroyed. They want to murder Jews and we must destroy them first. WHY ARE PEOPLE AFRAID TO STATE THIS? MOST OF THE WORLD HATES US JEWS for no reason. We should stop appeasing the world and protect ourselves and Israel. Yes we have a few countries such as the U.S.A. to turn to and we have some friends from different religions, yet another holocaust is coming if we Jews remain silent and a third Intifada has begun., never again, never forget, never forgive. I am a son of holocaust survivors. The nation of Israel and its people have survived for thousands of years and will continue to survive.
    Have Israeli Arabs ever tried to integrate into Israeli society as have the Druze? Or is it the opposite? Except when it comes to medical care and welfare, do they even see themselves as Israeli Arabs or do they see themselves as Arab-Palestinians residing within Israel? Yes, there are exceptions among the educated; fine doctors, lawyers, etc., but they are the exception. Muslims mission is to occupy other countries and than enforce their Sharia laws and their customs on the population at large and take over the hosting country.
    Israeli Arabs could have in the past, and now still could find the same acceptance and appreciation that the Druze have found. Why haven’t they? I think the answer is painfully clear. They want to destroy Israel and the Jews and they declare unashamedly those intentions to the world at large.

    “In Israel; We have to undue and reverse the decades of nonsense that the peace industry has fermented, which led us to the position where the world thinks we the Jews are occupiers in our own ancestral land.
    If something is false and it is repeated enough times it becomes sort of common wisdom.
    We have to undo that.”
    YJ Draiman

  • There never was an Arab-Palestinian State in The Land of Israel and there will never be – face it., once and for all and stop deluding and fantasizing. They have Jordan for the Arab-Palestinians which is on Jewish land.
    The Ottoman land records of Palestine confirm that the Arabs did not own land, they were sharecroppers. Over 92% of the land was owned as occupiers by the government the balance was owned by absentee wealthy Arabs from Lebanon who sold it to the Jews at premium prices.
    It is time to implement population transfer for all the radical Arabs, especially for those who create violence, riot and attack Jews and anyone else. They could be relocated to the homes and the over 120,000 sq. km. of Real Estate and land owned by the million Jewish families that were terrorized and expelled from Arab countries or Jordan who now reside in Israel. The Arabs received over 13 million sq. km. with a wealth of oil reserves.
    YJ Draiman.

    Tell the White House official to return occupied Texas and other states to Mexico and the rest of the United States to the Indians; same applies to the European and Arab countries.
    The Jews have a history with Israel for about 4,000 years. The Americans have only a few hundred years of occupation and deliberate destruction of the Indians. This applied to the European countries and Canada plus others.
    YJ Draiman.

  • No Jew has the right to yield the rights of the Jewish People in Israel –
    David Ben Gurion
    (David Ben-Gurion was the first Prime Minister of Israel and widely hailed as the State’s main founder).
    “No Jew is entitled to give up the right of establishing [i.e. settling] the Jewish Nation in all of the Land of Israel. No Jewish body has such power. Not even all the Jews alive today [i.e. the entire Jewish People] have the power to cede any part of the country or homeland whatsoever.
    This is a right vouchsafed (granted) or reserved for the Jewish Nation throughout all generations. This right cannot be lost or expropriated under any condition or circumstance. Even if at some particular time, there are those who declare that they are relinquishing this right, they have no power nor competence to deprive coming generations of this right. The Jewish nation is neither bound nor governed by such a waiver or renunciation. Our right to the whole of this country is valid, in force and endures forever. And until the Final Redemption has come, we will not budge from this historic right.”
    BEN-GURION’S DECLARATION ON THE EXCLUSIVE AND INALIENABLE JEWISH RIGHT TO THE WHOLE OF
    THE LAND OF ISRAEL:
    at the Basle Session of the 20th Zionist Congress at Zurich(1937)
    (David Ben-Gurion was the first Prime Minister of Israel and widely hailed as the State’s main founder).

  • davidsinger

    The PLO not only wants to establish “Arab hegemony from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea”, but also wants to reunite that territory with Jordan which under article 2 of the PLO Charter forms “an indivisible territorial unit”.

    Furthermore the Palestinian Authority no longer exists – having been disbanded by Abbas on 3 January 2013 effectively resulting in the death of the Oslo Accords.

    There is only one way forward to peacefully resolve the Jewish-Arab conflict – direct negotiations between Jordan and Israel – the two successor States to the Mandate for Palestine – to resolve the allocation of sovereignty in Judea and Samaria (West Bank) – just 4% of the Mandate territory where sovereignty still remains unresolved between Arabs and Jews.

  • Any efforts by the Trump Administration to negotiate with the PLO is a “fool’s errand.” Israel looks after its interests, and doesn’t need foreigners involved in its domestic affairs.

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