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Bassam Tawil, writing at the blog of the Gatestone Institute, offers a fascinating looks at the Islamic pressures at play in the utter inability of Palestinian leaders to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. Tawil points out that religious imperative — and not realpolitik or socio-economics — is the determining factor in Palestinian opinion:
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With regard to religion, Palestinian recognition of the State of Israel is more serious than its recognition of Israel as a Jewish state. For us as Muslims, the word “Israel” and our recognition of it and its inhabitants as “Israelis” mean we verify and confirm the fulfillment of the Qur’an prophecy according to which the blessed land is the divine heritage of “Bani Israail,” “the Israelites.” That means we give Israel Islamic religious sanction with the full weight of Qur’anic blessing.
Thursday, April 3rd, 2014 at 8:27 AM | Stand For Israel
There are many big stories in Israel today, but one of the biggest domestic stories is the conviction of former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on corruption charges. He now faces jail time. Like the United States, Israel is a country in which no one is above the law. Mati Tuchfeld, writing in Israel Hayom, talks about Olmert and the scandal that brought him down:
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Police started probing the prime minister routinely. He was investigated over several different cases, most of which were closed. But the Talansky affair — named after Moshe Talansky, an American businessman, Orthodox rabbi and co-founder of the New Jerusalem Foundation with Olmert — changed everything. At dusk after Israel’s 60th Independence Day, Olmert addressed the nation, proclaiming: “I never once even took a penny for my own pocket. If the attorney-general decides to issue an indictment against me, I will resign.”
Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014 at 8:30 AM | Stand For Israel
The IAF brings us this April-Fools-worthy story of deception and intrigue. In 1948, as Israel fought for its independence, the Jewish state needed to procure military planes for its air force. At the time, the United Nations’ arms embargo was still imposed on Israel, so Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion was forced to get creative. Sending aviation pioneer Emanuel Tzur on a seemingly impossible operation to somehow get Bristol Beaufighters from England, the Israelis were able to hoodwink the British and wangle six of the needed aircraft:
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To execute the mission, Tzur had to be creative and find a cover story that would allow him to smuggle six Beaufighter bombers in defiance of the UN-imposed embargo. Ultimately, Tzur came up with a bold idea: he would smuggle the planes to Israel under the pretext of shooting a film about war heroes from New Zealand who served as pilots in WWII.
Tuesday, April 1st, 2014 at 8:57 AM | Stand For Israel
Jackson Diehl, writing at The Washington Post, tears apart the efforts of U.S. Secretary of State to impose his version of reality on a variety of foreign crises in which the principles have a very different conception of what’s happening. Reserving his strongest criticism for Kerry’s handling of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Diehl says Kerry should have known better:
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Ignoring the counsel of numerous experts who warned neither side was ready for a deal, Kerry lavished time on the two men, convinced that his political skills would bring them around. Predictably, that didn’t happen. The leaders have not budged a millimeter from the positions they occupied on Palestinian statehood a year ago, and Abbas has been strident in publicly rejecting terms Kerry tried to include in a proposed peace “framework.”
Tuesday, April 1st, 2014 at 8:27 AM | Stand For Israel
Authoring the effective obituary of the latest round of negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians, Commentary’s Jonathan Tobin faults U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry for creating a false sense of urgency which, along with his overwrought rhetoric, will have a long-term harmful impact on prospects for peace:
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But the real problem here isn’t the unbalanced nature of such a deal that is not likely to be carried out anyway. Rather, it is the sense of hysteria that has been invested in the latest iteration of the Middle East peace process. Having decided to try to succeed where all of his predecessors have failed, Kerry did so by claiming that it was the region’s last chance for peace even though there was no reason to believe the conflict was in danger of re-igniting or there were reasonable prospects for success.
Tuesday, April 1st, 2014 at 8:13 AM | Stand For Israel
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Last week we told you about two American universities’ recent battles with the BDS movement. One of these, the University of Michigan, struck down a proposed divestment resolution. This short video shows a young woman share her own thoughts and experiences on Israel.
Monday, March 31st, 2014 at 2:04 PM | Stand For Israel
Former Israeli Ambassador to Canada, Alan Baker, shares a letter he wrote to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry following Kerry’s disastrous testimony before Congress in which he characterized the Israeli negotiating position that the Palestinians must recognize Israel as a Jewish state as “a mistake”:
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Mr. Secretary, one might have expected, in light your position and function as convenor and mediator in the present Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, that you would refrain from making more public value judgments as to whether Israel’s position is, or is not “a mistake.” While clearly you are entitled to maintain your own opinion, you have no right to express this in such one-sided and prejudicial terms, thereby undermining the very integrity of the negotiating table and selectively prejudging a substantive issue.
Monday, March 31st, 2014 at 8:42 AM | Stand For Israel
With another group of Palestinian terrorists set to be released from Israeli jails, Jonathan Tobin writes in Commentary that the fact that so many Palestinians regard terrorists as heroes says a lot about Palestinian culture and the prospects for any future peace deal:
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But the fallacy at the core of such thinking—which is the basis of the U.S. pressure on Israel to release even more such killers—is that the very fact that Palestinians treat men with Jewish blood on their hands as heroes illustrates that theirs is a culture which is not ready for peace with Israel. Only when such people are regarded as relics of an age of unreason rather than lionized by Palestinians will it be possible to imagine that they are prepared to recognize the legitimacy of a Jewish state no matter where its borders are drawn and live in peace beside it.
Monday, March 31st, 2014 at 8:20 AM | Stand For Israel