Posts tagged jerusalem
Jerusalem is the capital city of Israel
“The LORD doth build up Jerusalem: he gathereth together the outcasts of Israel. Praise the LORD, O Jerusalem; praise thy God, O Zion.” Psalms 147:2,12
Trying to say that the Jews have no connection to Jerusalem would be as absurd as saying the Yankees have no connection to the Bronx, that France has no connection to the Eiffel Tower, or that peanut butter has nothing to do with jelly. It is insanity. Yet, that is exactly the theme of the latest Muslim jihad against Israel and the Jews. They are attempting to ethnically cleanse Jerusalem, the place that the Old Testament calls the “city of David”, of all connection to the Jewish people.
Thousands of years before the birth of Muhammad or the start of Islam as a religion, King Solomon built God a Temple in Jerusalem. Jews worshipped at that Temple for nearly 2,000 years before being driven out of it by the Roman army. The Muslim Dome of the Rock would not be built for nearly another 700 years after that. So I ask you, on what basis do you try and make the claim that Jerusalem belongs to the Muslims?
From Yahoo News: DOHA (Reuters) – The Arab League on Tuesday approved a Qatari proposal to set up a $1 billion fund for Arab East Jerusalem, which Palestinians want as the capital of an independent state under any peace deal with Israel.
Arabs say that Israeli settlement-building on land captured in the 1967 Middle East war, including Arab East Jerusalem, has made a two-state solution backed by the United States unfeasible.
Qatar’s emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, said his country will contribute $250 million to the fund, which he called for in an opening speech to an Arab summit in Doha that focused on the crisis in Syria and stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts.
“The summit… calls for setting up a fund to support Jerusalem to the value of $1 billion to finance projects and programs that would maintain the Arab and Islamic character of the city and reinforce the steadfastness of its people,” the draft resolution said.
The Islamic Development Bank, based in Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea city of Jeddah, will manage the fund, it said. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas welcomed the fund to help protect the Arab character of the city and urged Arab states to contribute to it.
“The Israeli occupation is working in a systematic and hurried way to Judaise East Jerusalem, change its features and uproot its Palestinian inhabitants, attacking the al-Aqsa Mosque and its Muslim and Christian holy sites,” Abbas said in a speech at the summit.
Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said the initiative was “a badge of shame” for Qatar.
“Objecting to ‘Judaisation of Jerusalem’, so to speak, is absurd and is equatable to an objection to the Catholic nature of the Vatican or the Islamisation of Mecca, it is naturally unthinkable,” Palmor said.
The fate of Jerusalem has proved one of the thorniest sticking points in past Middle East peace negotiations. Citing Jewish biblical ties to the holy city, Israel annexed the Arab eastern half and its surroundings in 1980 in a move rejected by the United Nations Security Council. source – Yahoo News
God will decide the ‘fate of Jerusalem’…
What a week it has been for Jerusalem
The President of the United States arrived, transformed the King David Hotel into his (and his entourage’s) home away from home, and then began a series of meetings and visits – to the official residences of President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu, to the Israel Museum and the Shrine of the Book, to the Jerusalem Convention Center, to Mount Herzl, Yad Vashem, and to the grave of former Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin. All of these sites are in Jerusalem. But are they in Israel?
According to the U.S. State Department they are not. The State Department refuses to recognize Jerusalem as being in Israel and says that the city’s status must be determined in future peace negotiations.
My father, Nathan Lewin, and I were in court this week – the day before President Obama arrived in the Middle East – on a case that concerns this very issue. The case is Zivotofsky v. Secretary of State, and it involves the right of a Jerusalem-born American citizen to self-identify as born in “Israel” on his or her U.S. passport and birth certificate.
The general rule for American citizens born abroad is that their U.S. passports list their country of birth as their place of birth. So American citizens born in Paris, have “France” listed as their place of birth on their passports. Citizens born in Rome list “Italy.” Those born in Tel Aviv or Haifa list “Israel.” But because the U.S. does not recognize Jerusalem as being in Israel, the State Department lists the city – “Jerusalem” – instead of the country as the place of birth for Jerusalem-born American citizens.
Most people do not know that the State Department permits American citizens who wish to remove any reference to “Israel” from their passports to do so. For example, American citizens born in Tel Aviv or in Haifa may choose to list their place of birth as “Tel Aviv” or “Haifa” instead of “Israel” if they are offended by having “Israel” listed on their passports. The U.S. also permits “West Bank,” “Gaza Strip,” and “Palestine” (for those born before 1948) to be listed as “place of birth” on a U.S. passport. The State Department refuses to be equally accommodating to individual convictions, however, when it prohibits American citizens born in Jerusalem to list “Israel” as their place of birth.
In 2002, Congress passed a law that directed the Secretary of State to record the birthplace of American citizens born in Jerusalem as “Israel” on the U.S. passports and birth certificates of those who so request. Since the bill’s enactment, the Executive Branch has refused to enforce the law, claiming that to do so would infringe on the President’s authority to “recognize foreign sovereigns.”
Our client, Menachem Binyamin Zivotofsky, was born in October 2002 in Shaare Zedek hospital (just a few weeks after the law was enacted). His parents invoked the new statute and asked that his place of birth be listed as “Israel.” The State Department refused because it claimed that Congress’ law was unconstitutional, and it listed his place of birth as “Jerusalem.” Zivotofsky then became our firm’s youngest pro bono client when he (and his parents) sued in September 2003 to compel the State Department to comply with the law. Read the rest of the story at Brandeis Center
Jerusalem is the eternal capital of Israel
“The LORD doth build up Jerusalem: he gathereth together the outcasts of Israel.” Psalm 147:2
Jerusalem (AP) — Israel is planning its biggest construction surge in east Jerusalem in decades in a move that critics argue would cement its grip on the contested territory, further complicate any prospects for peace with the Palestinians, and badly rattle Israel’s already rocky relations with the rest of the world.
With more than 9,000 apartments in various stages of planning and construction, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is reaffirming his opposition to ceding any parts of the holy city to the Palestinians, a compromise two of his predecessors had accepted. The planned construction contributes to completing a ring of Jewish areas around the Arab inner core of east Jerusalem, making it more difficult to one day link it to the West Bank, which surrounds the city on three sides.
The Palestinians, who hope to establish a future capital in the holy city’s eastern sector, say there can be no peace accord without partitioning Jerusalem. They claim the construction push proves Netanyahu isn’t serious about establishing a Palestinian state alongside Israel.
Within the space of a single week, Israeli officials have moved more than 5,000 apartments in east Jerusalem close to the stage where construction can begin, including a project that would build the first new Jewish settlement there in 15 years. With some other 4,000 apartments already being built or about to start, the pace is unprecedented, says Daniel Seidemann, an expert on Jerusalem construction.
Those 9,000 apartments would add almost 20 percent to the existing stock of 50,000 apartments built for Jews in east Jerusalem in the 45 years it has been occupied.
“In the last three months, we’re looking at a surge like nothing we’ve seen in the past since 1967,” when Israel captured east Jerusalem, said Seidemann, who views the construction as an obstacle to peace.
Israel annexed east Jerusalem, with its Palestinian population, immediately after capturing the territory from Jordan and began building housing developments for Jews there. The annexation has not been recognized internationally. Today, more than 200,000 Jews live in east Jerusalem alongside some 300,000 Palestinians.
Polls show a majority of Jewish Israelis favor holding on to all of Jerusalem, and construction in east Jerusalem has not stirred passionate opposition among Jewish Israelis. Most don’t see the Jewish areas of east Jerusalem as illegitimate settlements — preferring to call them “Jewish neighborhoods” — whereas some in Israel vehemently oppose settlements in the West Bank.
Yet there is growing nervousness in Israel about the new east Jerusalem plans, with some fearing the current diplomatic woes could blossom into economic isolation as well, driven by the world community’s clear impatience with Israel’s settling of occupied land.
In the longer term, some in Israel warn, if a division is rendered impossible by filling the occupied sector with Jews, there will be no way to reach a deal on the West Bank as well. The area would be in effect absorbed into the Jewish state, rendering it more bi-national and — unless the Palestinians are given the vote — less democratic.
Palestinians have increasingly framed the issue in those terms, suggesting to Israelis that the construction runs against their own interests. ”The Israeli government is making the two-state solution impossible with this unprecedented settlement building,” senior Palestinian official Yasser Abed Rabbo said this week.
Netanyahu is forging ahead — and polls show that he remains poised for reelection next month. If anything, he is currently feeling heat from a surging religious party on his right.
“With God’s help, we will continue to live and build in Jerusalem, which will remain united under Israeli sovereignty,” he said at the campaign launch event of his Likud-Yisrael Beitenu list Tuesday night.
Such tough talk aims to assuage those on Netanyahu’s right who are skeptical that everything in theeast Jerusalem pipeline will be built, noting that some construction projects were unofficially frozen in the past under international pressure.
If officials do push ahead, the 9,000 could be built within a few years. Other major construction projects in east Jerusalem were either smaller or strung out over a decade, said Seidemann. Hagit Ofran of Peace Now, an anti-settlement watchdog group, also said the pace was unmatched.
According to Seidemann’s figures on the major projects, the big push of the last decade was the Har Homa neighborhood, with 3,200 units built. In the 1990s, 2,200 apartments went up in Ramat Shlomo. In the 1980s, 11,000 apartments were built in Pisgat Zeev. In the 1970s, Israel started building the Neve Yaakov, Gilo, east Talpiyot and Ramot areas, and Seidemann estimates that around 20,000 apartments were built in those areas throughout that decade.
The Jerusalem municipality did not respond to multiple requests for its statistics on planned and actual construction
Netanyahu put settlement construction plans into high gear to punish the Palestinians for winning U.N. recognition of a de facto state of Palestine in east Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza Strip last month. Israel withdrew settlers and soldiers from Gaza in 2005, but still controls the West Bank and east Jerusalem.
In peace talks, Palestinians privately have accepted former U.S. President Bill Clinton’s 2000 proposal that Jewish areas of Jerusalem would remain under Israeli sovereignty under a peace accord, and Palestinian neighborhoods would become part of a Palestinian state.
At the same time, they have spent four decades watching Israeli construction permanently change the face of the city, and see every new housing project in east Jerusalem as yet another obstacle to building their capital there. Building for Arabs in the eastern sector has been limited since 1967, something Palestinians see as an attempt to stifle their presence in the city, though the current municipality denies any discrimination.
The expanding Jewish footprint in east Jerusalem also tightens Israeli control around the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: the Old City, home to the most sensitive Jewish, Muslim and Christian religious sites in the Holy Land. A hilltop compound there is Islam’s third-holiest site, revered as the place where the Prophet Muhammad ascended to heaven in a nighttime journey told in the Quran. The same complex is the holiest site in Judaism, home to two biblical temples, with the Western Wall at its foot.
Palestinians have refused to return to the negotiating table unless Israel stops all construction in east Jerusalem and the West Bank, a condition Israel rejects. Talks deadlocked four years ago.
The renewed construction push in east Jerusalem has drawn international condemnation, as have plans to build more than 6,000 more homes for settlers in the adjacent West Bank, where more than 340,000 Jews live among 2.3 million Palestinians.
Last week, the United States used unusually blunt language to criticize the settlement activity, accusing its top Mideast ally of engaging in a “pattern of provocative action” and saying plans of new construction “run counter to the cause of peace.”
The most contentious of these plans involves development of a corridor in the West Bank linking east Jerusalem and the Maaleh Adumim settlement. The Palestinians say this project, known as E1, would make it impossible for them to create a viable state because it would sever east Jerusalem from its West Bank hinterland and drive a deep wedge between the West Bank’s northern and southern flanks.
Israel shelved the project for years under U.S. pressure, but started acting on plans to build 3,400 apartments there earlier this month. Netanyahu’s aides have said construction is years away and his rivals have questioned whether he really intends to build. But the very fact that plans there are advancing has drawn ferocious criticism from Israel’s closest Western allies.
Some of the projects closer to fruition would similarly hinder access from the West Bank. Following action last week, the government can soon ask developers to submit bids to build 2,610 apartments in the Givat Hamatos project — the first new settlement to be built in east Jerusalem since 1997. Once a bid is awarded, construction can begin, though it could take months, if not longer, to reach that point.
Within the following week, officials pushed two other projects totaling up to 2,700 apartments to that same stage. source – Yahoo News
The sweet smell of…terrorism?
A new perfume created in Gaza will bear the name of a missile designed by Hamas and fired in the direction of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv during Operation Pillar of Defense in November, a local newspaper reported on Thursday.
Shadi Adwan, the owner of a local cosmetics company, decided to name a new scent M-75, to “honor the victory of the Palestinian people and the resistance during the eight-day war,” he told Islamist daily Al-Resalah.
The M-75 missile is manufactured in Gaza by Hamas’s Izz A-Din Al-Qassam Brigades, and Hamas claims it possesses a range of 75 kilometers (46 miles).
“The fragrance is pleasant and attractive, like the missiles of the Palestinian resistance, and especially the M-75,” Adwan said, adding that his company wished “to remind citizens of the victory wherever they may be, even in China.”
According to the report, the perfume comes in masculine and feminine scents and costs double the price of other perfumes due to special ingredients it contains, “worthy of the victory in the Gaza Strip.” source – Times of Israel
Israel is God’s Land, and He will fight for it
“And the LORD gave unto Israel all the land which he sware to give unto their fathers; and they possessed it, and dwelt therein.” Joshua 21:43
JERUSALEM (AP) — Palestinians and Israelis hardened their positions Wednesday over a contentious new settlement push around Jerusalem, with Israel going full throttle on plans to develop the area and the Palestinians trying to block it through an appeal to the U.N. Security Council.
The settlement push — Israel’s retaliation for the Palestinians’ success in winning U.N. recognition of a de facto state — has touched off an escalating international showdown. Palestinians claim the construction would deal a death blow to Mideast peace hopes. Even Israel’s staunchest allies have been outraged by the move, feeding speculation they might squeeze Israel more than usual to back down on its construction plans.
The U.N. move came last week, with the General Assembly recognizing a Palestinian state in the West Bank, east Jerusalem and Gaza Strip — territories captured by Israel in the 1967 Mideast war. Israel, which rejects a return to its 1967 lines, says borders with a future Palestine should be resolved through negotiations.
Although the Israelis say construction could be years away, the settlement plans have sent a message that within these U.N.-recognized borders, Israel remains in firm control. The plans include 3,000 new settler homes in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, and intentions to press ahead with two other projects that would drive a wedge between east Jerusalem, the Palestinians’ desired capital, and its West Bank hinterland.
International condemnation was harsher than usual, with some of Israel’s closest European allies, including Italy and the European Union on Wednesday, calling in Israeli ambassadors for rebukes or issuing especially stern criticism. The issue was expected to be high on Germany’s agenda during a visit to Berlin by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Ahead of his arrival, Israel showed no signs of bending, holding a preliminary planning meeting for a new development in a section of the West Bank outside Jerusalem. The project, known under its Israeli administrative term “E-1,” is the most contentious of the new settlement projects because of its strategic location.
The Palestinians said they would leverage their new-found U.N. status to seek a Security Council resolution to halt the Jerusalem-area plans. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said he was determined to block the settlement building near Jerusalem with all legal and diplomatic means.
“The settlement plans that Israel announced, especially E-1, are a red line,” Abbas told reporters. “This must not happen.”
The Palestinian representative to the United Nations said in letters to the council, the General Assembly and the secretary-general that the intensification of the Israeli campaign is clearly part of “Israel’s contemptuous response” to the assembly’s overwhelming vote last week to recognize the state of Palestine.
“Israel is methodically and aggressively pushing ahead with this unlawful land grab and colonization of Palestine with the intent to alter the demographic composition, character and status of the Palestinian territory, especially in and around East Jerusalem and the Jordan Valley, in its favor in order to entrench its illegitimate control of the land and prejudge the outcome of final status negotiations,” the letter said.
U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner criticized the Palestinians for “unhelpful rhetoric” by talking about taking the Israelis to the Security Council as well as to the International Criminal Court over the settlements.
“Ultimately, both sides need to get back into direct negotiations,” Toner said Wednesday. “The path to peace doesn’t go through New York.”
Passing a U.N. resolution will be no easy task, since the U.S., as a permanent member of the council, could veto any resolution.
Two years ago, the U.S. vetoed a similar attempt to condemn settlements, and officials in Washington said a veto would be likely this time as well unless the resolution condemned unilateral actions on both sides.
The U.S., while harshly critical of Israeli settlement construction, believes a one-sided resolution would undermine negotiations. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because a formal resolution has not yet been proposed at the U.N.
Although the U.S. has traditionally protected Israel from U.N. criticism, American officials have condemned Israel’s decision to revive E-1 and would not relish being perceived as giving it tacit backing.
But President Barack Obama could also be reluctant to be perceived as punishing Israel, which is America’s closest ally in the Mideast and enjoys strong Congressional backing. Obama’s Mideast policies and frosty relations with Netanyahu became an issue in his re-election campaign.
The U.S. could avoid an uncomfortable choice by pressuring Israel to back down so things don’t come to a Security Council showdown, said Palestinian official Saeb Erekat.
“If the U.S. can stop the Israelis without the Security Council, they should do it,” he said. “They (the Americans) cannot stop us and use the veto against people trying to save the peace process.”
Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said the Palestinians should resume talks with Israel instead of turning to the U.N. “Here is where it’s at, not in New York,” Palmor said. “If they have something to say, let them say it to us, directly.”
Israel has moved more than 500,000 Jews into settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, complicating any future partition of the land into two states. The Palestinians oppose all settlement construction, saying it prejudices the outcome of peace talks, which stalled four years ago over settlements. source – Yahoo News
2 choices no options
Op-Ed article written by Daniel Greenfield
Seven years ago the Israeli government decided to forcibly evict the 8000 Jewish residents of Gaza and withdraw all bases and forces from the area. The experts, some with the government and some with the media, assured everyone that it would be for the best and that withdrawal would actually improve the security situation in the country.
It was put about that resources and lives were being wasted protecting Israelis living in Gaza, while those Israelis insisted that their presence in Gaza was protecting Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. The experts laughed at them. Now the experts are keeping an ear open for air raid sirens because as it turned out, those farmers and teachers, those men and women growing lettuce in greenhouses and building homes on hilltops, from which rockets are being launched, were the ones protecting Tel Aviv.
“They are now being asked to relinquish these accomplishments for the greater good,” the government press release said of their houses and farms, of their synagogues and greenhouses. And the greater good was served. The greenhouses were turned into Hamas training camps and the synagogues were burnt to the ground. Rockets fly into the air from the ruins of broken houses.
No longer will your sons have to die in Gaza, the experts said. A month later rockets were falling on Sderot. A year later Gilad Shalit had been kidnapped and Israeli soldiers were back again, dying in a Gaza that was now run by Hamas.
Among the bundle of promises from the Sharon government, was that the Gaza withdrawal was part of an oral agreement with the United States limiting further withdrawals and concessions. That agreement lasted for another few years until Obama took office and no one in his administration could ever remember such an agreement or accept its validity.
“The moment of truth has arrived,” Netanyahu said, on resigning from the Sharon government. “At the moment of truth, a man – especially a leader – must ask himself: ‘What are you doing, what do you stand for, what are you fighting for?’”
These moments of truth come fast and furious in Israel, but hardly anyone waits around for an answer. Not even Netanyahu, who knows better.
Hamas’ objectives have always been straightforward. Its commanders and suicide bombers, its militia members, bomb experts, smugglers, launchers and embezzlers know what they are fighting for.
“Our struggle against the Jews is extremely wide-ranging and grave,” the Hamas charter says. “Israel, by virtue of its being Jewish and of having a Jewish population, defies Islam and the Muslims.” It has the simplicity that you would expect from the Muslim Brotherhood, a fascist organization that drew equal inspiration from the Koran and Nazism.
What however is Israel fighting for? Since Oslo, the slogan of Israeli moderate conservatives has been “Peace with Security” even though it was quite clear that you could pursue peace and have neither peace nor security, or you could pursue security and have peace. Their slogan was muddled and their policies even more so.
Israel may have superior firepower, but like most Western countries, its policymakers are too muddled to be able to apply that firepower in a useful way. The limited scale warfare that has been adopted by America, including drone assassinations and extensive security measures, came out of Israel’s futile efforts to find a more humanitarian style of warfare that would limit civilian and military casualties. But all that these measures really did was make life with terror more manageable.
Withdrawals and a variety of defensive measures such as Iron Dome made it seem like Israel could maintain the status quo. Peace with Security meant no peace and no security, but enough of the illusion of both that it would seem as if the slogan had been fulfilled. Suicide bombings dropped and the terrorists were forced to resort to rocket attacks and drive-by shootings with much lower casualty rates. Rates so low that those who didn’t live in Sderot or Samaria could ignore them.
Instead of ending the threat, Israeli conservatives had found a way to live with the pain of terrorism while turning their focus to economic reforms. The left, with its emphasis on finding a permanent solution through appeasement and withdrawals, was discredited and collapsed. But the problem had not gone away.
While Israel slept, the makeup of the region changed. Hamas had formerly been strongly backed by Syria and Iran, with some support from more distant Islamist Gulf states such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Egypt and Jordan were both wary of Hamas because their governments were concerned about being overthrown by the Muslim Brotherhood.
The Arab Spring put Islamists into power in Egypt. Suddenly the Muslim Brotherhood was running things on both sides of the Rafah Crossing. Hamas switched its allegiance from the shaky Shiite axis of Iran, Syria and Iraq over to the rising Sunni Islamist axis of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey and Egypt. The Islamist terrorist group was no longer an isolated arm of Iranian foreign policy, it could count on the backing of Turkey, Qatar and Egypt.
Not long after Qatar’s leader paid a visit to Hamas, this latest war began. Like so many conflicts with terrorist groups, it isn’t about any specific domestic objective. The objectives are regional and now international. Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood regime is looking shaky and the Gaza lifeline has come at a perfect time, allowing Morsi to turn the attention of Egyptians away from the shaky economy and some dubious proposals, including early store closings, over to familiar territory denouncing Israel.
Under Iran or Egypt, Hamas is not fighting for Palestinian nationalism, which was already a fiction manufactured by Soviet propagandists looking up to prop up a Greater Syria, but to support the aims of Iranian and Egyptian domestic policy. And suddenly those aims were uncomfortably close.
Terrorist militias serve an ideology, but function as a business. Al Qaeda, Hamas, Fatah or any other of the many groups blanketing the region, need money and weapons to be viable. They need state sponsors and the states that sponsor them want something in return. Terrorist groups find sponsors the way that Renaissance artists found patrons, they show off their skills and wait for someone to come calling with money and guns. And then they perform for their patrons.
Israel’s terrorist problem is unsolvable through any form of peace negotiations because there will always be sponsors. A terrorist group may sign a peace agreement, but then it quickly gets on the phone to its sponsors to assure them that it will go on committing acts of terror. Its militias are spun off into “separatist” or “splinter” groups that go on doing what they did before. And the group then asks its new friend American and Israeli friends for guns and money to fight these extremists. That way the terrorist groups get twice the money for terrorism and a farce of counter-terrorism.
Even if a terrorist leader is sincere, his movement is nothing but an umbrella group for terrorist militias. If the umbrella group stops funneling money from state sponsors to local militias, the militias go into business for themselves. And there is such a demand by sponsors for more and more “extreme” militias, that even the existing terrorist groups find themselves having to compete with newer and more violently Islamist militias.
Peace is useless and hopeless under these conditions. Fatah claimed that it could not control Hamas. Hamas claims it cannot control the men shooting rockets out of Gaza. The people shooting rockets out of Gaza will claim that they cannot control their fingers on the trigger. It’s plausible deniability all the way down when it’s convenient, but the real control is in the hands of regional regimes who feed coins into the slot and get out terrorism.
So what then is Israel fighting for? Peace with security. Which means slapping down Hamas hard enough that it will have to wait another 3-4 years before trying the same thing again, this time with bigger and better rockets. That was the policy six years ago and it’s the policy today.
Israel will bomb Hamas targets, kill some of its senior leaders and destroy some of its weapons stockpiles. Its soldiers will enter Gaza, arrest some more senior leaders, walk into traps that will kill some of its best and brightest, and then withdraw again while Hamas celebrates its victory in the Battle of XX or YY where five or six Israeli soldiers were killed, along with ten or fifteen Hamas terrorists. And then the Battle of XX will become the Massacre of XX and lead to a documentary that will be doing an extended tour of American and Canadian campuses during the next Israeli Apartheid Week.
This is the status quo and it cannot be maintained indefinitely. The air raid sirens going off in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem warn that the war is heading into unsustainable territory. As Iran goes nuclear, Hizbullah is trying to become another Iran and Hamas is trying to become another Hizbullah. It is not a nuisance that can be ignored. Israel has no answer to the growing threat except to try and contain it through the same old methods that have now put Jerusalem and Tel Aviv into the line of fire.
Since 1992, Israel has been retreating and those retreats have replaced secure borders with borders of terror. Rather than reversing those withdrawals, the right has been satisfied with trying to stabilize them. But that has only created safe spaces for terror while setting the stage for the next round of retreats by the left which will create even broader territories of terror. These territories are staging areas for the next invasion, which will come not from Hamas, but a Muslim Brotherhood Egypt and an Islamist Turkey, once Israel has been sufficiently softened up.
The only way to end the threat of Hamas in Gaza is by retaking Gaza, but no such policy is on the table. Like America, Israel responds to terrorism not with the aim of achieving decisive victories, but with a policy of intimidating the terrorists into scaling down their attacks. This is a political policy of political generals and leads to terror becoming a permanent institution.
Israel has tried negotiating its way out of the terrorist trap. It has not tried fighting its way out. Israel has tried to escape the occupation, but in a region where you are either the occupier or the occupied, it may have no choice.
Any moment of truth must begin and end with a realistic assessment of the realities that you face. Israel faces a proxy war by its neighbors and like most proxy wars, it is the opening round to a true war ending in true occupation and genocide.
Its neighbors know what they are fighting for. They are fighting Israel for the same reason that Shiites fight Sunnis and that Sunnis persecute Christians. They are fighting Israel because “by virtue of its being Jewish and of having a Jewish population” it is different and must be crushed for the national and religious aims of any proper Islamist country.
But what is Israel fighting for? Like so many modern countries it is fighting so as not to fight. It is fighting for peace. It is fighting to escape from fighting. And so like many modern countries it cannot bring itself to fight hard enough to break the cycle. Instead it fights just hard enough to defer the fight by another few years and the cycle continues.
Israel can retake Gaza once. Or it can retake Gaza every few years. It can have soldiers patrol Gaza or it can have rockets falling on Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. The options are as unfortunate as they are clear. The only hope for peace lies in driving out the terrorist militias who have turned Gaza and the West Bank into their own Somalia and Afghanistan and reclaiming the territory. Because after this fight is through, the next generation of rockets will go on being built and smuggled. And they will not fall in empty fields.
There can be farms and greenhouses on the hilltops of Gaza. Or there can be rockets. source – Israeli National News
No ceasefire as battle to stop Gaza missile strikes continues
Israeli air and naval forces launched heavy assaults in Gaza before dawn Sunday, Nov. 18 – Day 5 of the IDF’s Gaza operation – after daylong bargaining Saturday among Washington, Jerusalem, Cairo and Gaza, failed to produce an Israel-Hamas truce accord.
When Egyptian and Turkish middlemen suggested a ceasefire was close, Israel accused them of pushing Hamas’s terms which were fashioned to present the Palestinian radicals as the victor in the contest. The trio leading the Israeli war, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, countered by intensifying the IDF’s Gaza offensive – though not as yet sending ground troops in.
A Western source said it would take some days to determine if a ceasefire was feasible. Egyptian intelligence meanwhile smuggled Hamas Prime Minister Islmail Haniyeh out of Gaza and over to El Arish in northern Sinai in the convoy of visiting Tunisian Foreign Minister Rafiq Abdessalem when he departed Gaza Saturday, DEBKAfile reports.
Friday night, Israel bombers struck government headquarters in Gaza City.
Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi decided that Haniyeh must be continuously available at the end of a phone to lead the Hamas side in the ceasefire negotiations. This was not possible so long as the Hamas prime minister remained in Gaza. All of Hamas leaders have gone to ground for fear of targeted assassination by Israel. They have switched off their phones and electronic communications to avoid giving away their locations to Israeli surveillance. Haniyeh was even afraid to communicate with Cairo through the Egyptian military mission in Gaza.
In these circumstances, Morsi and Erdogan’s were prevented from get their ceasefire mediation bid off the ground. Moving Haniyeh to El Arish put a Hamas negotiator in place to lead the give-and-take for a truce. Our sources have not discovered if he is still there or has moved back to Gaza.
The Turkish prime minister brought a secret passenger in the plane bringing him to Cairo Saturday. He is Saleh Aruri, formerly of the Hamas military wing. Aruri had spent 15 years in an Israeli prison for terrorism and murder until he was released on Oct. 18, 2011 in the prisoner exchange for the Israeli soldier Gilead Shalit on condition he went into exile.
Turkey granted him asylum and its intelligence agency MIT gave him free rein to set up an operational command in Istanbul for Hamas terrorist networks on the West Bank. On arrival in Cairo, the Turkish prime minister put Aruri in charge of the contacts with Haniyeh.
At a news conference in Cairo Saturday night, the Egyptian president and Turkish prime minister reported “some indications that there could be a ceasefire soon” although “there were still no guarantees.”
The guarantees issue has become a pivotal bargaining point.
Israel, backed by the United States, insists that a ceasefire be signed between the US, Egypt, Turkey and Israel, and exclude Hamas, which would be bound by a separate agreement with Cairo.
Netanyahu, Barak and Lieberman are asking the United States to act as guarantor for a ceasefire. Erdogan has countered by inviting Russian President Vladimir Putin to join US President Barack Obama as victor.
Hamas has rejected all of Israel’s terms.
During the night, Israel denied reports circulating in Cairo that an Israeli negotiator was heading for the Egyptian capital to get down to the specifics of an emerging truce deal. The three Israeli war leaders decided not to fall into the trap laid by Morsi and Erdogan. Instead, they told the IDF to press ahead with the operation until its objectives were attained – hence the launching of a fresh air and sea assault before daybreak Sunday.
OC Southern Command, Maj. Gen. Tal Rousso defined those objectives to reporters Saturday night as “eliminating the war arsenals of Hamas and terrorist organizations and restoring peace and normality to the population of southern Israel.”
The ground operation is meanwhile delayed, in accordance with Netanyahu’s promise to President Obama in their conversation early Saturday, that a full-scale ground invasion would not go forward so long as there was a chance of a ceasefire – unless there was escalation from Hamas or a strike that caused significant casualties.
A western source in Cairo familiar with the truce negotiations reported that Obama has not yet decided whether he wants to be directly involved in any ceasefire deal, which in any case has not reached the concluding stage. “The cake dough is still being kneaded and not yet ready to for the oven,” he said. source – DEBKA