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No Easy Answer in Gaza

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

There is no immediate solution to the conflict between Hamas and Israel, according to Max Boot, writing for Commentary. Hamas does not have the power to destroy Israel, while Israel has no interest in reoccupying Gaza:

The preferred solution of the U.S. and the European Union is an Israeli pullout from the West Bank. This is intended to hasten a “final settlement” of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But Israel will do no such thing because it has seen in Gaza the wages of withdrawal–not peace but rather more conflict.

But if the doves have no real answer to the threat from Gaza, neither do the hawks who urge that Israel annihilate Hamas. The only way this can happen is if Israel reoccupies the Gaza Strip. Otherwise, as has happened so often in the past, Hamas will simply regenerate itself after suffering some casualties.

The problem is that the Israeli public has no desire to assume the role of occupier in Gaza once again–which would undoubtedly reduce rocket attacks on Israel but increase casualties among the conscripts of the Israel Defense Forces. The fact that the Iron Dome system provides a fair degree of protection against Hamas rockets makes it all the more unlikely that Prime Minister Netanyahu will take the drastic step of reoccupying Gaza.

It would be nice if Fatah were able to topple Hamas from power and install a regime in Gaza committed to peaceful co-existence with Israel. But this is unlikely on multiple levels, not least because even Fatah has not truly accepted Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state. …

There is, for the foreseeable future, no exit from this grim deadlock–and attempts to achieve one (by, for example, forcing Israeli territorial concessions) are only likely to make the situation worse.

 

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Monday, July 14th, 2014 at 9:09 AM  | Stand For Israel

Why the Peace Process Will Continue

(Photo: Official White House Photostream)

(Photo: Official White House Photostream)

Michael Doran, writing in Mosaic Magazine, says that in spite of absolutely no hope of success or even progress, the Middle East peace process is likely to continue in the near future because the U.S. will continue to push for it. We’re not sure that Israel or the Palestinians will continue to play along, but Doran’s take is an interesting one:

If the last five years are anything to go by, the American president will not abandon his quest for the latter goal. Why? Part of the answer lies in the grip of dogma on the mind of this administration, which has been deeply influenced by the “realist” school of foreign policy. For adherents of this approach, the Palestinian issue has always been—and will always remain—the central strategic problem in the Middle East.

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Wednesday, May 21st, 2014 at 8:25 AM  | Stand For Israel

Who’s to Blame for the End of the Peace Process?

(Photo: U.S. DoD)

(Photo: U.S. DoD)

Jennifer Rubin, writing at The Washington Post, notes two recent polls indicating why Israeli-Palestinian peace is unlikely in the near term and why the U.S. position of pushing the sides to the table, forcing concessions from Israel and then blaming the Jewish state when the talks fail is a losing proposition for peace and the U.S.:

The problem is not merely the P.A. leadership but a Palestinian population marinating in a stew of anti-Semitic vitriol and reverence for terrorists. When that changes, perhaps peace will be attainable. Second, the administration’s blame-Israel view is a loser with the American people.

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Thursday, May 15th, 2014 at 8:24 AM  | Stand For Israel

The Mideast Peace Gap: Why Kerry Has Failed

(Photo: flickr/ hoyasmeg)

(Photo: flickr/ hoyasmeg)

In spite of the anonymous musings of some “American officials” last week, former State Department negotiator Aaron David Miller, writing in The Los Angeles Times, says it wasn’t Israeli settlements that caused the collapse of the latest round of peace talks. Instead, Miller details a number of alternative problems that the talks had from the start:

Let’s be clear: Kerry’s peace process didn’t fail primarily because of settlements. It has been on life support from the beginning.

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Monday, May 12th, 2014 at 8:34 AM  | Stand For Israel

Martin’s Myths

(Photo: U.S. State Dept.)

(Photo: U.S. State Dept.)

Martin Indyk, former U.S. Ambassador to Israel and now the leader of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s negotiating team in the recent round of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, had a lot to say last week about why the talks failed. Elliott Abrams, writing at The Weekly Standard, didn’t think highly of Indyk’s presentation:

Compromises and taking the risks they entail require a firm belief in fully reliable, dependable American support. Sharon, for example, believed he had it when he decided to leave Gaza. The parties do not believe they have it today, and who can be surprised? On the Israeli side, the Obama administration has repeatedly used leaks and backgrounders to disparage the prime minister. And Israelis (and Palestinians) who watched the president flip his position on Syria’s chemical weapons—from an air strike one day, to a deal with the Russians the next, without consultation with anyone—can hardly credit the administration’s solidity.

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Monday, May 12th, 2014 at 8:25 AM  | Stand For Israel

Palestinian Magical Thinking

(Photo: wikicommons/ Uriber)

(Photo: wikicommons/ Uriber)

Jonathan Spyer, writing at PJ Media, notes that the failure of the peace talks can be traced back, ultimately, to the fantasy world in which most Palestinian leaders live and in which they help keep their public locked:

The Palestinians see themselves as part of the local majority Arabic-speaking Sunni Muslim culture.  From this point of view, the establishment of a non-Muslim sovereignty in Israel was not only an injustice, it was also an anomaly.  Israel, being an anomaly, is therefore bound eventually to be defeated and disappear.  So there is no need to reconcile to it, with all the humiliation therein.

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Friday, May 9th, 2014 at 8:21 AM  | Stand For Israel

Inside the Talks’ Failure: U.S. Officials Open Up

(Photo: U.S. DoD)

(Photo: U.S. DoD)

Writing at Yediot Achronot, Nahum Barnea cites senior American officials directly involved with the recent round of peace negotiations in claiming that, from the perspective of the U.S., it was the issue of settlements (and, specifically, Israel’s position on them) that scuttled a possible deal. Among many troubling quotes from anonymous American officials is this gem:

“The Jewish people are supposed to be smart; it is true that they’re also considered a stubborn nation. You’re supposed to know how to read the map: In the 21st century, the world will not keep tolerating the Israeli occupation. The occupation threatens Israel’s status in the world and threatens Israel as a Jewish state.”

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Monday, May 5th, 2014 at 8:49 AM  | Stand For Israel

Note to U.S.: We’re Not Children

(Photo: U.S. State Dept.)

(Photo: U.S. State Dept.)

Einat Wilf, a senior fellow with the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, writes at CNN that repeated American insistence that John Kerry’s recent push for an agreement was needed to avoid a dark future for the Jewish state is as insulating as it is factually inaccurate:

At the end of the day, Israelis and Palestinians are not children – they are political players quite capable of making their own calculations and choosing alternatives that are the least bad from their own perspective. They might not always be the alternatives that outside observers think they should choose, but both sides should, as other peoples around the world are, be free to judge what is in their own interests.

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Monday, May 5th, 2014 at 8:37 AM  | Stand For Israel

The Problem Is What Kerry Doesn’t Say

(Photo: White House/ Pete Souza)

(Photo: White House/ Pete Souza)

Jennifer Rubin, writing in The Washington Post, points out that – despite Israel’s cooperation with the Obama Administration in the most recent round of talks – there still exists a mindset that, if Israel would just continually give in, there would be peace. Rubin wonders where a similar urgency is for Palestinian leaders to make cultural change:

You would think that the Obama administration would warn that continued incitement to violence and admiration for eradication of the Jewish people (genocide, that is) will make the Palestinian Authority a pariah, lead to termination of U.S. assistance and consign the Palestinian people to permanent statelessness. But when ruminating in private, Kerry doesn’t think along these lines. All he can do is parrot the rote lines of Israel’s enemies that it will suffer boycotts and another intifada and become an apartheid state …

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Wednesday, April 30th, 2014 at 8:20 AM  | Stand For Israel

Kerry: Israel Headed Toward Apartheid?

(Photo: U.S. State Dept.)

(Photo: U.S. State Dept.)

Speaking at the annual conference of the Trilateral Commission – a non-governmental discussion group founded in the 1970s to foster closer cooperation between North America, Europe, and Pacific Asia – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said:

“A two-state solution will be clearly underscored as the only real alternative. Because a unitary state winds up either being an apartheid state with second-class citizens—or it ends up being a state that destroys the capacity of Israel to be a Jewish state. Once you put that frame in your mind, that reality, which is the bottom line, you understand how imperative it is to get to the two-state solution, which both leaders, even yesterday, said they remain deeply committed to.”

He also said that he might be forced to put his own peace plan on the table and tell both sides to “take it or leave it.”

We have dealt before with the offensive and historically inaccurate comparison of Israel with Apartheid-era South Africa.  There’s no need to expound further on the inappropriateness and utter falsehood of the analogy. What should be pointed out is the detrimental application of that label to Israel by an American Secretary of State. As we’ve discussed many times, “apartheid” is a common slander used against the Jewish state by her enemies – a slander that was just given new credibility by America’s top diplomat. So, not only is Secretary Kerry incandescently wrong, but his comments will be used by Israel-haters as a cudgel.

What is missing in Kerry’s remarks is any respect for Israeli culture and political maturity. What he’s saying, in effect, is that in the absence of peace – right now! – there are only these options: Israel will cease to exist as a Jewish country; or, Israel will impose apartheid-like laws in order to keep the Arab minority locked in a second-class status. This, of course, is rubbish. Rabbi Danny Gordis, columnist Caroline Glick, and others have written persuasively about Israel’s ability to…

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Tuesday, April 29th, 2014 at 8:19 AM  | Stand For Israel

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Rabbi’s Commentary
An Inspiring Time of Year

Hanukkah, which begins next week, is a festive time for the Jewish people. But it is also much more than a celebration for families. It is a moving, inspiring story of God’s protection and provision that is especially meaningful this year in light of recent events in Israel and around the world.


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