Beyond the Cusp

March 21, 2014

To Release or not to Release; the Terror Prisoner Conundrum

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Israel was coerced, pressured and hornswoggled into releasing one-hundred-four terrorist prisoners, most of whom were serving life sentences for multiple murders of Israelis either through their direct actions or as planners who sent numerous homicide-bombers into Israeli central bus stations, shops, malls, restaurants, wedding ceremonies, Bar Mitzvahs, Passover Seders and other places where large numbers could be murdered, simply as a bribe to get Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority to agree to sit and talk for nine months without any guarantee of progress towards making an actual peace agreement. Even from the beginning of this round of the peace process there were comments from numerous Palestinian Authority spokespersons even including the actual negotiators who openly stated that they were not negotiating to reach any agreement but were only pretending to actually negotiate in order to attain the freedom for as many terrorists as possible before they would walk away from the table. The other running commentary came mostly from the mouth of Mahmoud Abbas also from the very beginning of the talks demanding that the Israelis also be forced to implement a building freeze despite turning down that choice in favor of the terror prisoners release over any other concessions from Israel. What is of further note is that this time, just as in every previous situation when the United States, the European Union, the United Nations or any other source decided to sponsor another round of peace talks, the only concessions demanded were forced from the Israelis and the Palestinians refused to agree to negotiations unless Israel met certain preconditions. Of real interest is that the Palestinians have never offered or been forced to make a single concession since the initial implementation of the Oslo Accords. The Palestinian Authority have yet to even meet the main demand they agreed to in the original agreement where they had promised to alter their charter by removing the demand to destroy Israel as the state for the Jewish People. To their credit, the Palestinian Authority did agree to appoint a committee to rewrite that section of their charter when the United States sent some monitors to assure that the agreement was fulfilled. They never did form that committee but the American observers left satisfied the demands to change certain parts of their charter would be met. So much for trust but verify. So, where do the current talks sit, one might ask.

 

The release of the one-hundred-four terrorist prisoners was arranged to be accomplished in four stages throughout the negotiations. Israel has released three sets with the last group to be released near the end of March. Each release has spawned great celebrations by the Palestinian Authority giving the released terrorists a heroes greeting. As a bonus for their terrorist acts the released terrorists were granted positions within the Palestinian Authority where those who committed the greater acts of terror receiving sentences over twenty years being rewarded with higher paying positions while all others receive a lesser amount. Some of the reports have put the salaries as high as $4,000 per month, a salary equal to a rank of general in the Palestinian Security Forces. The salaries are in addition to bonuses given to the released terrorists with some receiving as much as $50,000 while one terrorist, Issa Abed Raboo, will be receiving $60,000 as his bonus. Who says terrorism does not pay? These salaries are even higher than the amounts paid to the terrorists’ families and the terrorists while they were held in Israel. The Palestinian Authority is claimed to be paying as much as $46,000,000 in terrorist salaries to those in Israeli prisons this year alone.

 

For the past six weeks barely a day goes by without Mahmoud Abbas, one of the Palestinian negotiators or high level Palestinian Authority spokesperson demanding that the Palestinians walk away from the table as soon as Israel releases the final set of terrorists. Some even demand they end their ruse now and stop negotiations immediately. Such calls are always met with a reassuring and calm Abbas claiming the moderate mantle promising that the Palestinians will stay the course until every Palestinian terrorist has been released. Abbas freely states regularly that he is only waiting for the last group to be released unless the United States can force Israel to agree to release more terrorist prisoners including Marwan Barghouti and also implement a building freeze throughout Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem, then he claims he will extend the negotiations for as long as the release of the additional terrorist prisoners are being freed. The Palestinians Authority has released numerous statements for their public to consume claiming that they have made a complete mockery and collapsed the idea of Israel imposing a life sentence for murdering Jews by forcing the terrorist releases. All of this does beg the question as to why would the Israelis release the last set of terrorist prisoners knowing that doing so will only result in the Palestinians walking out of the negotiations and there is no possibility of any gains to be made towards a real peace? The sole reason that might make sense is that should Israel withhold the final release, then the Palestinian Authority could leave the negotiations claiming that Israel refuses to take the necessary steps to reach a peace agreement. But is that reason enough?

 

Well, that is where everything really enters the theater of the absurd. As was hotly argued were comments, more like threats, made by United States Secretary of State Kerry aimed at Prime Minister Netanyahu and the Israelis stating, “Failure of the talks will increase Israel’s isolation in the world. The alternative to getting back to the talks is a potential of chaos. I mean, does Israel want a third intifada?” Just this week a European Union delegation urged Israel to release the long term terror prisoners as doing so was essential to continuing the peace process and moving it forward. The head of the European Union delegation Emer Costello was quoted demanding, “We believe that the release of prisoners… is central to the peace process.” He also stated, “I think there is an acceptance on both sides, even with the members of the Knesset that we met (knew the) importance of the prisoner issue.” I would love to have the list of the Ministers of the Knesset with which the European Union met. I have a pretty good idea that almost none were from Likud, Jewish Home or even Tzipi Livni herself as she was quoted from her Facebook page clarifying that, “”In order to advance serious negotiations, we will all need to take decisions and prove we are determined to reach an agreement and real peace. That burden of proof is also on the Palestinians’ shoulders. Accordingly, we will examine the issue of the prisoners, meaning that the key to the cells of the Palestinian prisoners is also to be found in the hands of Abu Mazen (Abbas) and the decisions he will take in the coming days.” So, where does that leave Israel going forward?

 

The Israeli leadership will need to weigh what the repercussions would be if they refused to release the rest of the terror prisoners without an actual agreement signed and completed with the Palestinian Authority. Prime Minister Netanyahu might add to the offer the release of Marwan Barghouti and a number of other highly prized terrorist masters should an actual and lasting peace with Israel recognized in the agreement as the home for the Jewish People and an end to the claims of Palestinian refugees’ “right of return.” The result of such actions is easily predicted. Mahmoud Abbas backed by a chorus of other Palestinian Authority spokespeople and accompaniment by the United Nations, European Union, various European governments’ heads of state, Secretary of State Kerry and President Obama at a minimum all condemning Israel and expressing their full understanding for the implementation of a third intifada of terror and murder against Israel and demanding that all civilized nations place sanction on Israel immediately. Where this becomes completely ridiculous is that even should Israel release the last group of terrorists and the Palestinian Authority walk away from the talks the very next morning, within a week, ten days at most, I can predict what the world’s news reports and the entire gauntlet of above noted leaders will all be declaring; Israel destroyed any possibility for peace in the Middle East as they refused to release the remaining terrorists they have been holding in their prisons and insist on continuing to build more housing for Jews in the occupied territories. It is necessary that the world’s leaders take measures to implement policies that display their dissatisfaction and anger over Israeli reluctance to make the necessary compromises for peace. Mahmoud Abbas offers the best possibility for peace and the time is right that peace could be accomplished if only Israel would take the necessary steps. Abbas will meanwhile be complaining about how he was ready and willing to continue the negotiations if only Israel would be reasonable and meet their obligations for peace.

 

The claim we have heard from President Obama is that everybody knows what the formula is for peace and that is the 1967 Lines (actually the 1949 Armistice Lines) with mutually agreed land swaps (if permitted by the Palestinians) with the Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem (cutting the Israelis and all Jews from accessing the Kotel (Western Wall) and Temple Mount (the holiest place on Earth for Jews) and all of the Old City (the historical capital since King David declared Jerusalem as his capital in the tenth century BCE) and some consideration for the Palestinian refugees. Nobody seems to have any difficulty with this solution and think it reasonable. All one need do is remember back to just after the Six Day War when Israel has routed three Arab Armies which had massed on her border and waged war forcing Israel into a defensive war. The actual start to the war was forced by both Egyptian and Syrian troops massed on Israel’s northern and southern borders and all shipping through the Red Sea blockaded by Egypt which was casus belli thus the actual start to the state of war. Within hours of hostilities starting between Syria and Egypt against Israel and upon hearing the Egyptian and Syrian reports of their great and glorious ongoing victory and ignoring pleadings from Israel not to believe the lies, Jordan chose not to believe the Israelis and joined in what they expected would be the destruction of Israel. History recorded a nearly unimaginable victory with Israel routing the Egyptian armies, pushing back the Syrian armies and defeating the Jordanian army. Israel, when hostilities stopped at the insistence of the United Nations, Russia, United States, much of Europe and numerous Arab nations (funny how whenever Israel’s enemies are gaining on the field of battle there is silence but if Israel has the advantage the world screams STOP!) Israel held the Golan Heights, the Sinai Peninsula, Judea, Samaria, and all of Jerusalem (the West Bank). The agreement hammered out was United Nations Security Council Resolution 242 (S/RES/ 242) passed on November 22, 1967 was very carefully crafted with great pains to use exact wording such that Israel was to return some, but not necessarily all or even near to all) the gained territories from her defensive war that had been imposed upon Israel. Technically, under International Law, since Israel was the victim of three aggressor nations, Israel did have the right to keep every inch of the lands she had gained. Of course, as has been proven repeatedly, when it comes to Israel the laws, international and otherwise, seem to never quite apply as they would with any other nation. Still, Israel was required to return parts of the land and retain those lands Israel determined were required to provide for safe and secure borders. Most of the world at that time presumed that Israel would likely return most of the Sinai Peninsula and retain the Golan Heights, Judea, Samaria, Jerusalem and Gaza. So, what exactly was that solution that everybody knows is the necessary result of the negotiation between the Palestinians and Israel? When the United Nations passed their resolution there was no mention or even the inkling of an idea of a Palestinian people, let alone a nation of Palestine, there was Egypt, Syria and Jordan. Sure, there was the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) which was formed in 1964, three full years before there was any “occupied lands”; I prefer, like many, to call them disputed lands. What was the purpose of the PLO? Their charter called for the eradication of Israel and the liberation of all the lands from the Jordanian border to the Mediterranean Sea, and that Jordanian border included half of Jerusalem and all of Judea and Samaria (West Bank). The PLO, and thus the so-called Palestinians, made absolutely no claims on Judea, Samaria or East Jerusalem and had stated that once they had liberated all of Israel they planned on joining it to Jordan, the actual and original Palestinian State. My how the world has twisted and contorted everything in the years since November 22, 1967. Those were simpler times when people spoke of such things as right and wrong and sometimes I wonder, when did everything run off the rails and become so twisted and the values we held disappear without even a trace of what we once held so dearly.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

December 9, 2012

Palestinians Dream Equals an Israeli Nightmare

The commonly held myth that all the Jews and Israel have to do is recognize the Palestinian right to their homeland and return the lands, ownership and governance to the pre-1967 status making a Palestinian homeland in what are referred to as the West Bank and Gaza is a fairytale. This is made evident with every statement made by the leadership of Hamas, Fatah, the PLO and every other Palestinian group whenever they speak in Arabic. Hamas political leader Khaled Mashaal has been proclaiming such during his first visit ever to Gaza having been in exile for over four decades. His first declaration was that the day would soon come that he would make such proclamations from Ramallah and then soon after from Jerusalem. His meaning was plain to every member of Hamas and anybody truly familiar with the ethos of the Israeli-Palestinian problem. His statement refers to the eventual ascension of Hamas to replace Fatah and become the sole leader of the Palestinians and their eventual supplanting Israel with the state of Palestine and the eradication of the Jews and Israel.

One thing that must be clarified is that there is, in all honesty, not Israel-Palestinian problem, just an Israeli-Arab and Muslim problem. The truth the real reason that we now talk about the Israel-Palestinian problem is that by framing it in this manner the Arabs replaced their obvious numerical, land area, military and other massive advantages over the little country of Israel by inventing a Palestinian people who could be portrayed as weak and completely dominated and helpless against the obviously superior Israeli military power. Then they set about making a Palestinian historical claim and story line which, when carefully examined, exactly matches the Jewish history and have been repeating these lies loudly, and constantly, counting on repetition to make their story accepted as valid and at the same time deny the history of the Jewish people. The one easy to verify fact that the Arabs are counting on is that the majority of the world will ignore the facts which have been plainly obvious to generation after generation back thousands of years. This proof can be found simply by attending Church, Synagogue, and even Mosques as the Old Testament, the New Testament, and yes, even the Quran all tell of the promises made to Abraham and Moses that the lands of Israel belongs to the Jews. Please, check for yourself as it is easily referenced with a simple search of “Quran Israel Jews” with any search engine.

But do not expect that little fact to change the drive by the current adherents to militant Islam to give such any credence as they practice their own version of replacement theology. They realize that the first step to what is a belief of Islamic supremacy over the entire world is the defeat of the Jews and the taking of Israel and Jerusalem. The main reason that Jerusalem is so important has little to do with Islamic holy sites; it has everything to do with the fact that Jerusalem is holy to Jews and Christians. They have as much reverence for the holiness of Jerusalem as the Taliban Islamists had for the ancient Buddha statues in Afghanistan, the ones they wired with explosives and utterly destroyed with little care of their meaning to the world’s millions of Buddhists or of their historical and artistic significance. The entirety of what constitutes the Palestinians, the supposed culture, history, origins in the area as far back as nine millennia ago, the holiness of Jerusalem, their claims to all of the lands of Israel, and their claims to many of the Jewish holy sites such as Kever Yoseph and Kever Rachel are all a fine fabrications spun totally out of threads of Taqiyya, the Islamic pretext that all fabrications and even outright lies are not only forgivable but required if their use is to further the spread or needs of Islam and as such are actually blessed acts.

Fortunately, as is often the case when a narrative is based in falsehoods, the truth has at times come to the surface and been revealed, sometimes even by presumed leading Palestinians. One of the more well known of such statements was made by a man from the inner circle of Yasser Arafat and a PLO executive committee member Zahir Muhsein in a March 31, 1977 interview for the Dutch newspaper Trouw where he stated, “The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people, since Arab national interests demand that we posit the existence of a distinct ‘Palestinian people’ to oppose Zionism. For tactical reasons, Jordan, which is a sovereign state with defined borders, cannot raise claims to Haifa and Jaffa, while as a Palestinian, I can undoubtedly demand Haifa, Jaffa, Beer-Sheva and Jerusalem. However, the moment we reclaim our right to all of Palestine, we will not wait even a minute to unite Palestine and Jordan.” And there is this gem from the late Syrian President Hafez Assad to PLO leader Yasser Arafat. “You do not represent Palestine as much as we do. Never forget this one point: There is no such thing as a Palestinian People, there is no Palestinian entity, there is only Syria. You are an integral part of the Syrian people; Palestine is an integral part of Syria. Therefore it is we, the Syrian authorities, who are the true representatives of the Palestinian people.”

The uncontroversial facts are the same today as they were in June of 1967. The 1949 Armistice Agreements ended the initial Arab-Israeli War and the Green Line was established as the 1949 Armistice Lines with each of the neighboring combatants. At the time of each signing Gaza was in placed in Egyptian hands, Judea and Samaria, falsely labeled as the West Bank for the same reason the Palestinians were later invented, to remove any obvious historical links to the Jews and Judaism, were placed in Jordanian hands, and the Golan Heights were in Syrian hands. Israel had fought against seven Arab countries’ armies, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen. There were additional Arab militias one of which was under the leadership of the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem. There was no country of Palestine and there was no army of Palestine and up to this point in history when the word Palestinian was used, it referred to the Jews living within the British Mandate Lands. The Arab denizens of the British Mandate Lands were referred to as Arabs, Syrians, or occasionally Palestinian Arabs. From the dates of the Armistice Agreements until the Six Day War in June of 1967 the lands now supposedly making up the country named Palestine were under Arab control where establishing such an entity would not have required any actions from Israel or a single Jew anywhere on planet Earth yet no such state was formed. Subsequent to the defeat of Egypt, Syria, and Jordan in the June 1967 Six Day War, Gaza, the Golan Heights and the so-called West Bank, actually Judea and Samaria came under Israeli control along with the entire Sinai Peninsula. When Egypt and Israel made their peace with the signing of the Camp David Accords on March 26, 1979 by Egyptian President Anwar El Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin in Washington DC Israel returned the Sinai Peninsula to Egyptian sovereignty while Egypt ceded all of Gaza to Israel. When Israel and Jordan finally reached a peace accord which was signed on October 26, 1994, Jordan accepted the Jordan River to be her western boundary with Israel and ceded all of Judea and Samaria (West Bank) to Israel. Israel has subsequent to the Six Day War officially annexed Jerusalem and the Golan Heights declaring them to be permanently part of Israel and no longer negotiable, facts that much of the world continues to contend.

Where things currently sit are that Gaza is held by Hamas with Islamic Jihad, al-Qaeda in Gaza, PFLP, and other terror groups vying to supplant Hamas; Judea and Samaria (West Bank) divided into three sections; Section A under complete Palestinian control; Section B under Palestinian legislative control with joint Palestinian and Israeli security; and Section C, which includes all of East Jerusalem, under total Israeli control. There currently exists a ceasefire between Hamas and affiliated groups in Gaza and Israel, the two entities are still in a technical state of war and the peace remains an uneasy one with it deteriorating into violence a constant threat. The Sections that make up Judea and Samaria are subject to a low to moderate levels of constant violence with rock and Molotov cocktail attacks occurring regularly along with shootings and stabbings on occasions and where demonstrations are weekly series of events (some even scheduled for the same day and time each week with differing confrontational levels). Any hope of peace talks, as remote as they have been as Mahmoud Abbas refuses to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu unless Israel fulfills what Abbas terms as Israeli obligations which also just happen to include virtually every one of the final status topics and these presumed obligations entail a complete surrender to the Palestinian demands on each and every item. Some examples are that Israel retreat to the 1949 Armistice Lines; surrender all of East Jerusalem including all of the Old City and Temple Mount; allow for the ‘Right of Return’ for all Palestinian refugees, allow the Palestinians in their new state to import any forms of weapons and build their own military; the Palestinian state be allowed to enter military agreements and treaties with other entities including holding training exercises within the borders of the state; a connecting corridor between Gaza and the West Bank across Israel; the removal of every single Jew from Palestinian lands; the release of every Palestinian prisoner who was arrested before the Oslo Accords were effective; and the right of the Palestinians to continue their struggle to liberate all of their lands which means all of Israel. Somehow, Israeli refusal to acquiesce to this blackmail is interpreted by much of Europe, the Muslim world, and much of the rest of the world as a lack of serious interest in achieving a workable peace by Israel. This was made more than obvious by the recent vote in the United Nations General Assembly where only nine nations rejected Mahmoud Abbas’s request to upgrade the Palestinian standing from nonmember observer entity to nonmember observer state granting de-facto recognition of statehood to the PLO. Armed with this vote the PLO and the Palestinian Authority will now be permitted to apply for membership in any United Nations agency; to petition the ICC for redress of grievances with claims of crimes against humanity, war crimes, and territorial claims against Israel; membership in a wide variety of NGO’s; recognition of statehood with whatever borders they wish to claim by other countries leading to establishment of embassies, exchange of diplomats, and even petitions for assistance in defending their claimed borders against Israeli aggressions or presence; and a whole raft of other items reserved to recognized states that leave the imagination free to contemplate. The vote taken by the United Nations General Assembly simply granted the Palestinian entities everything they were supposed to gain solely through compromise and negotiations with Israel and they received these guarantees without necessitating any actions or concessions from the Palestinians and without even having to recognize Israel’s right to exist, let alone to be the Jewish state. The real danger will come when the PLO and the Palestinian Authority reunite with Hamas and then hold elections in which Hamas will win by a comfortable margin and then Hamas will control this monster just granted free reign by the United Nations. This cannot end well.

Beyond the Cusp

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