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Could the Peace Process Be Destroying Israel’s Legitimacy?

(Photo: ASHERNET/GPO)

(Photo: ASHERNET/GPO)

We have written and posted here often that the peace process is not helping Israel (or the Palestinians). But is it possible that the endless concessions and threats and false starts are actually hurting the Jewish state? Tom Wilson, writing at Commentary, thinks the answer is yes:

Israel has been locked down in the latest round of negotiations for months now. To make these talks happen Israel was first compelled to consent to the release of 104 convicted Palestinian terrorists. In the past Israel has been forced to freeze Jewish communities in the West Bank and even projects in Jerusalem. In both cases these concessions were to no avail. President Obama and Secretary Kerry regularly threaten Israel that should this current round of allegedly last-chance negotiations fail, Israel will be cast asunder to meet its fate in a cold world of boycotts and diplomatic isolation. Concessions and goodwill from Israel are rarely cause for praise from Western allies, they have simply come to be expected.

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Friday, March 28th, 2014 at 8:19 AM  | Stand For Israel

Israel Can Make Ultimatums, Too

(Photo: wikicommons/ א.ינאי)

(Photo: wikicommons/ א.ינאי)

Tom Wilson, writing at Commentary, outlines the Israeli belief — and the reasons for it — that, no matter what happens in the course of the peace negotiations and regardless of how openly intransigent the Palestinians are, the Jewish state is likely to bear the blame from the West. Wilson notes that one suggestion is making the rounds:

In January, former Israeli ambassador to the United States Michael Oren wrote about reviving Ariel Sharon’s plan for unilateral withdrawal/unilateral annexation. Large and growing numbers of Israeli parliamentarians are advocating that if talks fail Israel should take the initiative and begin by applying full Israeli sovereignty to the strategically important West Bank settlement blocs.

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Friday, March 21st, 2014 at 8:17 AM  | Stand For Israel

The Failure of the Mideast “Peace Process”

(Photo: ASHERNET/GPO)

(Photo: ASHERNET/GPO)

Writing at The Wall Street Journal, Melanie Phillips questions whether the U.S. and Britain are the friends of Israel that they both claim to be. She does agree with John Kerry’s comment that Israeli-Palestinian relations have reached a “nadir.” The failure to reach peace, Phillips argues, is due to the unfair nature inherent in the process:

The peace process has to be kept going at all costs if war is to be avoided.

That means ignoring the fact that the aggressor in the dispute may still be violent or threatening. For if that is acknowledged, the “peace process” becomes something unconscionable: an enforced surrender to violence.

If the victims protest at this free pass to murderous aggression and refuse to submit, it is they who get the blame for derailing the peace process. That process is therefore innately inimical to justice, and biased in favor of the aggressor in a conflict.

We often agree with Ms. Phillips, and her observation here is dead on — Israel should not be the only party required to compromise in order to find peace.

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Thursday, March 20th, 2014 at 1:23 PM  | Stand For Israel

Lying About Abbas Won’t Bring Peace

Israel_Palestine_FlagJonathan Tobin, writing at Commentary Magazine, points out the desperate need among some Western leaders and, sadly, some Israelis, to paint Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas as something decidedly other than what he actually is in order to force the round peg of the peace process into the square hole of reality:

Peace process advocates believe the only way to plow ahead to an agreement is to keep the pressure up on Netanyahu to give the maximum while treating Abbas with kid gloves, all the while fearing to offend him or to give his enemies within Fatah, not to mention Hamas and Islamic Jihad rivals, any ammunition with which to attack him as soft on the Israelis. Anything else, they tell us, risks blowing up the process leaving no hope for peace.

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Tuesday, March 18th, 2014 at 9:07 AM  | Stand For Israel

Settled?

AbbasObama

(Photo: White House)

On the one hand, Abbas is playing a game. Just last week, Abbas specifically said he would not recognize Israel as a Jewish state. Yesterday, in the oval office, he said the issue was settled and that the Palestinian leadership had, in 1988, accepted Israel’s existence under “international legitimacy resolutions.” But take a look at this article from the New York Times from 1988 covering former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat’s “recognition” of Israel (note, in particular, the reaction of then-Foreign Minister Shimon Peres). In the same statement in which he recognized the “Jewish state of Israel” as “a state in the region” Arafat also renounced violence in all its forms. And we know how well he stuck to that pledge.

So Abbas is trying to have it both ways – he says one thing in Arabic in Ramallah and another in English at the White House. How is Israel expected to negotiate with someone so openly duplicitous? To Abbas, Israel is ”a state in the region.” For now. And it is controlled by Jews. Also for now. That doesn’t mean that those things can’t – or, in Abbas’ mind, shouldn’t – change. The recognition Israel seeks is not shrug-of-the-shoulders factual. And it isn’t couched in language that sounds suspiciously temporary. Abbas’ words have the ring of a mafia thug; it sure would be a shame if something happened to your Jewish state.

Abbas’ citation of Arafat’s 1988 declaration tells us only one thing: we have wasted a quarter century trying to put lipstick on the proverbial Palestinian pig. And, for Abbas and other Palestinian leaders, this issue is settled – just not the way most Western observers choose to hear that phrase. To Palestinian leaders, it’s settled that an entity called Israel must temporarily be tolerated (at least in English) until such time as it can be done away with.

Prime Minister Netanyahu has wisely insisted on calling this bluff. Settled? It depends on who you ask and what you mean.

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Tuesday, March 18th, 2014 at 8:37 AM  | Stand For Israel

Israel, Abbas Face Five Realities on Peace

(Photo: Wikinews)

(Photo: Wikinews)

Aaron David Miller, a former State Department peace negotiator under Presidents Clinton and Bush, writes at CNN that Palestinian intransigence, a lack of urgency, and President Obama’s inability to put his shoulder to the wheel means that we can expect little or nothing to come from the current round of talks — which is something you’ve read here many times:

The odds of a conflict-ending agreement between Netanyahu and Abbas in which the core issues that drive the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are resolved are slim to none. Think outcomes, not solutions.

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Monday, March 17th, 2014 at 8:15 AM  | Stand For Israel

Abbas Cannot Make Concessions on Any Core Issues

(Photo: White House/ Paul Morse)

(Photo: White House/ Paul Morse)

Khaled Abu Toameh, a Palestinian journalist who works in Israel, writes at the Gatestone Institute that, no matter what pressure both sides may be under from the American administration, Palestinian leadership does not have the political backing or authority to make the kind of concessions necessary for peace:

Palestinian officials in Ramallah say that the talks with Israel have already failed, but Obama and Kerry continue to live in denial. There are no direct talks between the Palestinian Authority and Israel. Rather, each side is conducting separate negotiations with Obama and Kerry.

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Wednesday, March 12th, 2014 at 8:15 AM  | Stand For Israel

A Baleful Peace Process

(Photo: Wikinews)

(Photo: Wikinews)

Too many times to count (or link) we’ve written about the Western fantasies and blindness involved in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Reuel Marc Gerecht writes at The Weekly Standard that the Jewish state isn’t going to do the only thing it can do to mollify the Arabs — cease to exist — so what, one wonders, are we spending all this time and energy talking about?

Even the briefest trip to Israel, where rampant individualism and muscular capitalism have transformed a rather primitive socialist state into an economic, military, and cultural powerhouse, should suggest that the Jewish state isn’t going to self-immolate because of European distaste and Israeli angst. But bad ideas are sticky when fueled by Western guilt.

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Monday, March 10th, 2014 at 8:13 AM  | Stand For Israel

Moving the Goalposts

(Photo: White House/ Paul Morse)

(Photo: White House/ Paul Morse)

In 2009, Prime Minister Netanyahu unilaterally imposed a 10-month settlement freeze in order to lure Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas back to the negotiating table. It took nine months for Abbas to agree to talks and, when he finally did, it was only to demand another freeze.

In 2013, Israel agreed to release hundreds of Palestinian prisoners — not political prisoners, but actual terrorists — again to lure the Palestinians to the negotiating table. If you’re noticing a trend, that’s because there is one: Israel makes concessions for the privilege of the Palestinians’ company.

Now, with talks on the verge of collapse because Palestinian leaders are willing to do exactly nothing to bring about a peaceful resolution to the conflict, Mahmoud Abbas is, once again, demanding that Israel give something just to keep the dialogue open. Two days ago, Abbas demanded another settlement freeze. Yesterday, as we reported in this morning’s Stand for Israel Daily Dispatch, he demanded more prisoner releases.

And this is the problem when only one side wants a resolution and only one side is negotiating in good faith. If you’re the Palestinians, and you can keep getting the Israelis endlessly to release murderers (which, for some reason, is something you want) and freeze construction in neighborhoods around Jerusalem, what’s your incentive to ever give anything in return? If it keeps working, Israel will eventually empty their jails and permanently cease building across the green line and it will have cost you absolutely nothing.

When we hear Israeli leaders say that Mahmoud Abbas is either unable or unwilling to make peace, this is why; not because he’s an anti-Semite or a Holocaust denier or a terrorist sympathizer (though he is also those things). It is well past time someone — we’re looking at you, Secretary Kerry — called the Palestinians on this tired game.

Comments (26) »

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014 at 8:29 AM  | Stand For Israel

The Myth of Israel’s Refusal to Make “Tough Decisions” for Peace

(Photo: wikicommons/ א.ינאי)

(Photo: wikicommons/ א.ינאי)

Yesterday, we noted the impossibility of the Palestinian all-or-nothing negotiating position. Today, Tom Wilson of Commentary points out the blame that Israel gets for allegedly being unwilling to make necessary concessions for peace — despite all the evidence to the contrary and all the evidence of Palestinian intransigence:

Such vague talk of “difficult decisions” is easy, but precisely what tough decisions is it that Israel could make that these diplomats can honestly say would make an iota of difference to the current Palestinian attitude? This talk simply neglects to account for the present, and indeed longstanding, attitude of the Palestinian leadership.

Comments (9) »

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014 at 8:32 AM  | Stand For Israel
"informing, equipping and mobilizing individuals and churches to support the
State of Israel"

Rabbi's Commentary
God Is Present This Holy Season

Even as efforts for peace seem to be at an impasse all around the world, the Passover story can give us hope and affirmation that God is always present in our lives, and even when situations seem impossible, He is working in ways we cannot imagine.


Read Rabbi Eckstein's message »

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