Kerry winds up peace shuttle after Palestinians refuse to start talking without preconditions

There can be little doubt that Netanyahu means what he says  when it comes to the peace process and that he is not just playing a game as many suggest or hope. When I read how far he is will to go just to get negotiations started, I am horrified. Ted Belman

DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 30, 2013, 2:04 PM (IDT)

US Secretary of State John Kerry wound up his fifth peace shuttle trip for reviving Israel-Palestinian peace talks at the end of a fruitless third conversation with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah Sunday, June 30. Abbas turned down Kerry’s blueprint for both sides to forego preconditions and return straightaway to the long-stalled peace talks. The Secretary left Ramallah empty-handed after the Palestinians reverted to their three-point ultimatum: Israel must first accept 1967 borders as the basis for negotiations, release Palestinians jailed more than 20 years and freeze West Bank and Jerusalem construction.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told the Israeli cabinet Sunday that he had offered to join the Palestinians to negotiate a final settlement without preconditions or further delay.

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June 30, 2013 | 18 Comments » | 3 views

Bibi wants to use referendum to by-pass government

PM tells cabinet after meeting Kerry that any accord with PA will be brought to referendum

By law, any deal involving giving up parts of Jerusalem must be approved by a 50% majority in a referendum. But no deal goes to a referendum unless the government approves of the deal.

But this statement by Bibi has a different ring. Bibi knows it is tougher to sell a deal to his own government than it is to sell it to the Israeli people. He’s hoping that the government will pass the buck to the people rather than split up over the deal.

I don’t like it.

Bibi says; “We will not compromise on security and there will be no agreement that will endanger the security of Israeli citizens,”. My concern is that he will endanger our rights not our security. If only he would guard our rights as he does our security, we would have nothing to worry about.

June 30, 2013 | 10 Comments » | 4 views

Very Good News Israel

In the 30th Jun 2013 edition of Israel’s good news,

the highlights include:

·        Israeli researchers have discovered how to switch off alcohol dependency
·        Israeli surgeons treat 4 Syrian children who were badly wounded in the civil war.
·        Israel has appointed the first woman Ambassador to a Moslem country.
·        Israeli software restores archaeological ruins on your smartphone screen.
·        Only in Israel, start-ups donate part of their success to charitable causes.
·        The Russian Bolshoi Opera makes its first ever visit to Israel.
·        London marathon paraplegic celebrity Clare Lomas meets ReWalk’s inventors.
·        Last week’s JPost Israel Good News descriptive summary
Click here for “Israelis Wanted” (fast-loading, text-only version, no adverts).
Page Down for more details on these and other good news stories from Israel.

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June 30, 2013 | 0 Comments » | 4 views

East and West of the Jordan River – Two States for Two Nations

By Elyakim Haetzni

The Left lives on slogans. Ever since the time of the Communist Manifesto, with the brilliant catchphrase, “You have nothing to lose but your shackles,” their flock yearns  for political sayings created by masters of brainwashing and psychological warfare. The Israeli Left, for some time now, has not been part of the social or socialist Left. It has become bourgeois and rich, but it has not lost its passion for ideology and for debate and controversy. Its spiritual homeland is no longer Soviet Russia but Palestine, and at the heart of its new argument is not the distribution of wealth  but the distribution of the land.  They also require, as always, someone who they can condemn as a reactionary, living in the past, who is the object of their hatred.

Formerly, it was the contemptible capitalist;  in our day it is the relentless settler, and the red ideology has been replaced by a new belief – the cult of “peace on our enemies’ terms.”

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June 28, 2013 | 15 Comments » | 4 views

If Obama wants Israel to release murderers, he should be willing to release Pollard

Observation: American hypocrisy: refusal to release Pollard causes stalemate in talks to return Abbas to table

Dr. Aaron Lerner Date: 28 June, 2013

Ma’an, the independent Palestinian news agency, reported this morning that
secret talks are being held over the release of pre-Oslo prisoners. PA head
Mahmoud Abbas has insisted that 107 Palestinians detained before the Oslo
agreement must be released before the PLO will return to negotiations with
Israel.

First a technical note: when PLO chief negotiator Saeb Erekat told Ma’an
the release of prisoners detained before 1993 was part of the 1999 Sharm
el-Sheikh memorandum and that Israel was obliged to abide by it he was a
barefaced liar. And I say bareface liar because, unlike some of his Israeli
counterparts, Erekat actually knows the text of the 1999 Sharm el-Sheikh
memorandum, and that document in no way obligates Israel to release those
prisoners.

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June 28, 2013 | 19 Comments » | 4 views

Is Netanyahu planning a unilateral move?

[Martin Sherman has been warning about such a move for quite some time. Obviously if the “negotiations go nowhere, this is the Plan B. Ted Belman]

By David M. Weinberg, ISRAEL HAYOM

The music coming from the Prime Minister’s Office in recent weeks is anomalous. Prime Minister Netanyahu has been making uncharacteristically passionate statements about the diplomatic process; statements that go beyond the expected chatter about Israel’s desire to engage the Palestinians and negotiate a two-state solution.

One gets the sense that Netanyahu is desperate for diplomatic movement; that he has bought into the left-wing argument that the status quo is unsustainable; and that he is preparing to launch a unilateral Israeli initiative to concede significant parts of Judea and Samaria.

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June 28, 2013 | 8 Comments » | 3 views

Into the Fray: Brain dead on the Right?

By MARTIN SHERMAN, JPOST

The only thing more dangerous, delusional and disastrous than the Left’s proposal for a two-state solution, is the proposal now bandied about by the Right – for a one-state solution.

The nation is a soul, a spiritual principle. Two things… constitute this soul or spiritual principle. One is the possession in common of a rich legacy of memories; the other is present-day consent, the desire to live together, the will to perpetuate the value of the heritage that one has received. – Ernest Renan, What is a Nation?

A portion of mankind… united among themselves by common sympathies which do not exist between them and any others – which make them cooperate with each other more willingly than with other people, desire to be under the same government, and desire that it should be government by themselves or a portion of themselves exclusively. – John Stuart Mill, On Representative Government

Yes, I know I have cited these excerpts before. Last March to be exact – see “The New York Times versus the Jews” and “Israel’s imperative: Jewish and democratic.” The difference is that then, I harnessed them to debunk far-left anti-Zionist calls for a one-state approach to the Israel- Palestinian conflict. Now it appears I have to invoke them to debunk rightwing proposals, which call for almost exactly the same thing.

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June 28, 2013 | 3 Comments » | 3 views

It’s Time to Tell the Truth About the “Peace Process”

By Barry Rubin, PJ MEDIA June 27th, 2013

“He who tells the truth is driven from nine villages.”– Turkish proverb

Has it become time that the absurd paradigm governing the Israel-Palestinian and Arab-Israeli conflict as well as the “peace process” be abandoned or challenged?

After all, this narrative has become increasingly ridiculous. Here is what is close to being the official version:

    The Palestinians desperately want an independent state and are ready to compromise to obtain that goal. They will then live peacefully alongside Israel in a two-state solution. Unfortunately, this is blocked either by: a) misunderstanding on both sides or b) in the recent words of the Huntington Post, “the hard-line opponents who dominate Israel’s ruling coalition.”

    Israel is behaving foolishly, too, not seeing that, as former President Bill Clinton recently said, Israel needs peace in order to survive. One aspect—perhaps a leading one—why Israel desperately needs peace is because of Arab demographic growth. The main barrier to peace are the Jewish settlements.

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June 28, 2013 | 9 Comments » | 3 views

A recipe for disaster.

Responding to Moshe Arens’ call for West Bank Palestinians to become citizens of Israel, Carlo Strenger says history shows such a state is a recipe for disaster.

Carlo Strenger writing in Haaretz takes issue with Moshe Arens who argues for a one state solution where Arabs have full civil and political rights:

    I will argue that Arens is too optimistic about human nature. He believes that rational interests primarily guide human action, and disregards the profound human need to feel part of a culture they share with others, and the desire to be governed by people they identify with.

    Let me start with Arens’ insistence that the Greater Land of Israel will continue to be the homeland of the Jewish people. Its dominant narrative and national cohesion will be based on a Jewish-Zionist perspective, to which Arens is profoundly attached, and which, for him, is Israel’s raison d’être.

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June 28, 2013 | 9 Comments » | 3 views

France’s soaring anti-Semitism lures Jewish Defense League vigilantes out of shadows

By Cnaan Liphshiz, JTA

French Jewish Defense League activists demonstrating in Paris, 2011. (Ligue de Defense Juive)

PARIS (JTA) — With scooter helmets in hand, a man called Yohan and six buddies stroll around Paris’ 20th arrondissement. The seven look much like a typical group of French students — until they locate a group of Arab men they suspect of perpetrating an anti-Semitic attack the previous day.

Using their helmets as bludgeons, members of France’s Jewish Defense League, or LDJ, set upon the Arabs and beat them. Several of the Arabs attempt to escape in a blue sedan, but the LDJ members pursue the vehicle, causing it to crash into a stone wall.

The attack last August, filmed by a television crew shooting a documentary on LDJ, was one of at least 115 violent incidents that critics attribute to the group since its registration in France in 2001 — a year after the eruption of the second intifada in Israel and the sevenfold increase in anti-Semitic incidents in the 12 years that followed.

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June 28, 2013 | 30 Comments » | 4 views

Asia is becoming Israel’s new frontier – here’s why

By Jonathan Adelman & Asaf Romirowsky, Forbes, May 14, 2013

When we think of Israel, we usually think of the Middle East (its neighborhood), North America (its close ally the United States) and Europe (the long history of Ashkenazi Jews). Rarely do we think about Israel and Asia, even less about Asia as Israel’s new frontier. We don’t think of Asia as playing any significant role in Israel’s evolution given the tiny Asian Jewish population, the lack of significant Jewish history in Asia, and minimal relations between Israel and most Asian countries for the first 40 years (1948-1988) of Israel’s existence. Yet, last year Israel called 2012 “the year of Asia in Israel.” The Israeli government sponsored an Asian Science Camp attracting over 220 Asian students to join nearly 40 Israeli students for a week long program of lectures by world class Israeli researchers

How did such a gathering ever happen? Many factors propelled Israel-Asian relations to the forefront. Historically, Asia largely lacks the anti-Semitism that was so prominent in Europe and also the Middle East. Geographically, Israel is in West Asia, only four hours by air from India and 11 hours by air from China. Historically, Israel, like most Asian states, is a new state born after World War II after a struggle with a Western colonial power, in this case Great Britain.

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June 28, 2013 | 5 Comments » | 2 views

Livni to oppose bill meant to bolster Israel’s Jewish character

Livni says “Democracy is “is a system of values meant to exist harmoniously with my perception of Judaism, which fosters equality, for example, as a Jewish and democratic value.” What a circular argument. She wants the state to be Jewish-democratic” what ever that is. But Levin is right when he says “Livni’s objection is a denial of the fundamentals of Zionism and it reflects [her] misguided path.”

By Gideon Allon and Israel Hayom Staff

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, who serves as chairwoman of the Knesset’s Constitution, Law and Justice Committee, announced Wednesday that she would oppose a bill promoted by Likud and Habayit Hayehudi Knesset members that seeks to cement Israel’s Jewish character by law.

The bill, presented in late June by Coalition Chairman Yariv Levin (Likud) and MK Ayelet Shaked (Habayit Hayehudi), aims to solidify Israel’s identity as Jewish first and democratic second, as part of the country’s Basic Laws.

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June 27, 2013 | 13 Comments » | 3 views

Is Hamas Losing Power?

by Khaled Abu Toameh, GATESTONE INSTITUTE

The only way to undermine Hamas is by offering the Palestinians a better alternative to Hamas. Many Palestinians do not regard Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah as a better alternative to the radical Islamist movement.

Recent developments on a number of fronts in the Middle East suggest that Hamas is beginning to lose both power and popularity among Arabs and Muslims.

Of course this is good new for moderate Arabs and Muslims, as well as for stability in the region.

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June 27, 2013 | 1 Comments » | 4 views

U.S. Keeps Joining the Forces of Jihad

by Clare M. Lopez, GATESTONE INSTITUTE

    Libya has now become the main [North African] base for Al Qaeda. Shi’a and Sunni find common cause in hating the infidel with an even greater intensity than they hate one another. As Angelo Codevilla wrote, “They are not our friends and are unlikely to become such.”

With the June 13, 2013 confirmation by senior Obama administration officials that the president has authorized sending weapons directly to Syrian rebels, there is a trend developing that can no longer be ignored. This is the third country and the third instance in which Barack Obama has leapt into the fray of revolution to the defense of al-Qa’eda and Muslim Brotherhood forces within days of an explicit call for action by Yousef al-Qaradawi, the senior jurist of the Muslim Brotherhood. While no ironclad case for linkage can be proven, even just the appearance, in and of itself, of responsiveness by the U.S. government to declared Brotherhood imperatives ought to be concerning.

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June 27, 2013 | 0 Comments » | 2 views

Israel’s AG at odds with defense minister’s demand to legalize West Bank outpost

Defense Minister Ya’alon says Mitzpeh Kramim deserves legal status as it was constructed on grounds of authorized settlement nearby; court scheduled to deliberate Palestinian petition against construction.

By Revital Hovel, HAARETZ

An outpost near the Mitzpe Kramim settlement in the West Bank

The Mitzpe Kramim settlement. Photo by Michal Fattal

Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon have reached a clashing point regarding the legalization of a West Bank outpost built on private Palestinian land northeast of Ramallah.

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June 27, 2013 | 1 Comments » | 2 views

Israel’s Basic Law’s

By Paul Eidelberg, INN

Why do the Arabs reject the legitimacy of Israel as the State of the Jewish people? The answer to this question transcends politics. Indeed, it is somewhat mysterious.

Beginning on the level of politics, there are two ways by which a state may obtain legitimacy, de jure and de facto. In democratic times, de jure legitimacy is usually based on popular ratification of a state’s Constitution. Moreover, those who draft the Constitution should derive their authority, directly or indirectly, from the people.

Now, it happens that Israel does not have a written Constitution. Instead, it has a hodgepodge of Basic Laws enacted intermittently by the Knesset. Israel’s first Basic Law: The Knesset, was enacted in 1958, ten years after the founding of the State. Until then, there was no fixed term or tenure for the Knesset. Each session determined its own longevity!

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June 27, 2013 | 2 Comments » | 3 views

Report: Netanyahu Ready to Give Up at least 90% of Judea and Samaria

I have a lot of trouble with this report. It goes without saying that he would divide Jerusalem but Haaretz didn’t comment on this. On what basis do the Ministers say that we can’t keep more than 10%. That 10% would include all lands west of the fence, except mush of east Jerusalem and would include Ariel and Maaleh Adumin. My guess E1 is up for grabs. Over 100,000 Israelis would have to be evacuated. I believe the public would support such a deal, but would the government? Bibi really does want this deal and is prepared to continue freeze on construction to get it. But on what basis is he hopeful that Abbas would agree to give up 10%. No basis that I can see. And if 10% is the most we get to keep who is to say that we will be offered 10%. Ted Belman

By David Lev, INN

A report in Ha’aretz Thursday quoted top Likud ministers as saying that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is prepared to give up as much as 90% of Judea and Samaria in a deal with the Palestinian Authority. If Netanyahu is satisfied that Israel’s security needs are accounted for, the report quoted the ministers as saying, nearly all of Judea and Samaria outside of the large “settlement blocs” could be handed over to the PA. “Isolated” communities would be demolished, with residents forced to resettle elsewhere.

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June 27, 2013 | 14 Comments » | 5 views