Into the Fray: My prediction – coming true with chilling precision

On Saturday night, the boycott of Israel gained an impressive new level of mainstream recognition in this country. Channel 2 News, easily the most watched, most influential news show here, ran a heavily promoted piece… on the boycott in its 8 p.m. primetime program. The piece was remarkable not only for its length and prominence, but even more so because it did not demonize the boycott movement, it didn’t blame the boycott on anti-Semitism. Instead, top-drawer reporter Dana Weiss treated the boycott as an established, rapidly growing presence that sprang up because of Israel’s settlement policy and whose only remedy is that policy’s reversal. 

– Larry Derfner, Boycott goes primetime in Israel, January 19.

There is, in fact, a groundswell of “elite” (read: Leftist) opinion building in favor of unilateral Israeli withdrawal in the West Bank.

– David Weinberg, The Impatient Israeli Political Left, January 28.

Last June, I published a column, “My prediction: Please help prove it wrong,” in which I warned that “A determined domestic thrust is under way to compress Israel back into its precarious pre-1967 frontiers, imperiling the viability of Jewish sovereignty.”

Three emerging threats 

January 31, 2014 | 30 Comments » | 7 views

Yesha Council: Indyk misleading, will uproot 150,000

Before negotiations got started Netanyahu kept saying that he would not agree to any preconditions yet he was prepared to negotiate with the PA who insisted, with the support of the US, that negotiations be based on 67 lines plus swaps. In effect he was agreeing to this pre-condition and the results of the process to date prove it. So much for his principle. His utterances throughout the negotiations, such as refusing to divide Jerusalem and we must defend ourselves by ourselves, were all bullshit. He was not playing the game.

Kerry threw in compensation for Jewish refugees from Arab lands because he wanted to bribe Israelis, who were likely to benefit, to vote “yes” in the referendum. I am sure that he will find a way to bypass his own party and governing coalition, in order to hold the referendum. Ted Belman

Dani Dayan of pro-settlement group says that US envoy includes East Jerusalem when he promises that 80% of settlers will stay

BY LAZAR BERMAN AND JTA January 31, 2014,
DayanHead of the Yesha Council Dani Dayan (photo credit: Yonatan Sindel/

The chief foreign envoy of the pro-settlement Yesha Council was not impressed with American promises that 75-80 percent of settlers would remain in what would become Israeli sovereign territory through land swaps under a future peace deal.

January 31, 2014 | 3 Comments » | 8 views

The Kerry Plan – Can Israel Say No?

Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought: a US-Israel Initiative”
“Israel Hayom”, January 31, 2014, http://bit.ly/1dSaLHX

The assumption that Israel must accept the Kerry Plan as a basis for negotiations with the Palestinian Authority – lest it risk a rift with the US –should be assessed in light of the full context of US-Israel strategic cooperation, the imploding Arab Street, the unique foundations and nature of US-Israel ties, the US political system, the ineffectiveness of prior US plans and Israel’s own security requirements.

US-Israel strategic cooperation transcends the Palestinian issue.  Thus, despite the 66-year-old disagreement, between the two Administrations, about the ways and means to resolve the Palestinian issue, strategic cooperation has catapulted to unprecedented heights.

January 31, 2014 | 9 Comments » | 11 views

Egypt’s El-Sisi Boldly Calls For Islamic Reformation

Islam, said El-Sisi needs a modern understanding and should not rely on a discourse that has not changed for 800 years.

Egyptian women express their support for General El-Sisi after voting for the new non-Islamist constitution. (Photo: © Reuters)Egyptian women express their support for General El-Sisi after voting for the new non-Islamist constitution. (Photo: © Reuters)

January 30, 2014 | 4 Comments » | 8 views

Poll: Bennett Comes Out on Top After Netanyahu Spat

Following spat over ‘Jews in Palestine’ proposal, new poll shows Likud Beytenu drops to 30 seats,Jewish Home up to 17.

By Ari Yashar, INN

bbNNA new poll, conducted by “Panels Politics” for the Knesset TV Channel, reveals that the crisis between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Economics Minister Naftali Bennett that began this Sunday and threatened to break up the coalition has apparently ended in Bennett’s favor.

Netanyahu was reportedly livid after Bennett criticized his proposal to have Jews in Judea and Samaria live under the Palestinian Authority (PA). Netanyahu claims to have made the proposal as a tactic to reveal the PA’s “true face;” PA Chief Negotiator Saeb Erekat rejected any Jewish presence on Sunday, echoing previous statements by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

January 30, 2014 | 2 Comments » | 8 views

In-Your-Face-Obama Bill Upgrading Israel Status Above Entire World

By: Yori Yanover, JP

Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen in committee Wednesday, re-introducing the most pro-Israel legislation since the 1947 UN vote. It’s no wonder the pro-Palestinian NGOs are searing with rage. Now watch Obama vetoing it… 

Congresswoman, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL 27), along with Rep Ted Deutch (D-Fla. 21), who are the top two members on the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Middle East subcommittee, have introduced a bill on Wednesday naming Israel a “major strategic partner” of the United States, a title enjoyed by no one else on the planet, and encouraging enhanced cooperation on water, energy, homeland security, and missile development.

The bill also waives visa requirements for Israelis who visit the U.S., adding Israel to the list of countries whose citizens can visit the United States for up to 90 days without a visa, provided they registered electronically before boarding a flight.

January 30, 2014 | 3 Comments » | 6 views

Hamas, Islamic Jihad Gunmen Now in West Bank

by Khaled Abu Toameh, GATESTONE INSTITUTE

If anything, the rally that saw Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Fatah join forces in a rare show of power means that Abbas’s claim that he is fully in control of the situation in West Bank is baseless.

For the first time since 2007, Hamas and Islamic Jihad militiamen this week made a public appearance in the West Bank, raising fears that the two radical groups continue to maintain a military presence in areas controlled by Mahmoud Abbas’s Palestinian Authority.


Gunman flank a speaker at the Jenin rally staged by Hamas and Islamic Jihad in December 2013.

The masked militiamen made their rare appearance in the Jenin refugee camp during a rally to commemorate Islamic Jihad member Nafi Sa’di, killed by the Israel Defense Forces last December.

January 30, 2014 | 1 Comments » | 7 views

The UNRWA Reform Initiative

By David Bedein,

It is universally understood that current talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority will not lead to an end of the protracted Arab-Israeli war. However, there is no reason why at least one aspect of that war cannot be resolved: the continuing humanitarian crisis facing descendants of Arab refugees from 1948, who wallow in UNRWA refugee facilities under the notion they will “return” to villages from 1948 – which no longer exist.

In that context, the Center for Near East Policy Research, which has conducted news investigations and produced films on UNRWA for the past 25 years, has launched the UNRWA Reform Initiative (URI) to facilitate a policy change at UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency.

January 30, 2014 | 4 Comments » | 9 views

Kerry’s plan envisions Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem and 67 lines with swaps

I am sure Bibi was hoping to bypass his Cabinet by going to the people with a referendum.

By David Ravak, HAARETZ

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s draft framework agreement for Middle East peace talks will include support for establishing a Palestinian capital in Arab areas of East Jerusalem, senior New York Times analyst Thomas Friedman wrote in his column published Wednesday.

Friedman, who is currently visiting Israel, said that Kerry’s framework document would present the core concessions that Washington considers Israelis and Palestinians need to make for a fair, lasting deal.

January 30, 2014 | 30 Comments » | 7 views

IAF chief: Israel will destroy Hezbollah bases in Lebanon, even ones in residential areas

Reuters, JPOST

Israel accused Lebanon’s Hezbollah guerrillas on Wednesday of putting “thousands” of bases in residential buildings and said it would destroy these in a future conflict, even at the cost of civilian lives.

The unusually explicit threat by air force chief Major-General Amir Eshel appeared to be part of an effort by Israeli officials to prepare world opinion for high civilian casualties in any new confrontation with Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Intelligence head: 170,000 rockets and missiles threaten Israel
Israel says Iran and Syria have supplied improved missiles to Hezbollah, which fought the technologically superior Israeli military to a standstill in a 2006 war in Lebanon.

January 30, 2014 | 6 Comments » | 6 views

Bibi’s credibility is in free fall

I have often said that Bibi’s demand for security was to change the subject from our desire to keep the land. Not only was he giving away the land but he wasn’t looking after our security. Ted Belman

DEBKAfile: A cabinet crisis has been averted for now over the concessions urged on the prime minister by US Secretary of State John Kerry for the sake of a peace accord with the Palestinians. But by playing his cards too close to his vest, Netanyahu is exposing himself to more criticism and a loss of respect from within his own government.

Too often his words are countered or contradicted outright.
The Bennett episode roseout of the frustration of a member of the security cabinet which Netanyahu keeps in the dark over his solo performance.

But also today, Netanyahu was actually contradicted for insisting that the peace framework document that John Kerry is about to present to Israel and the Palestinian Authority is a US document, which represents America’s take on the points agreed and does not oblige Israel to accept its contents.

US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro stepped forward to deny this. Addressing a National Security Institute conference in Tel Aviv, the ambassador said that the framework agreement mostly incorporates ideas presented by the two sides (Israel and the Palestinians), with only a few inserts of American origin.

January 30, 2014 | 19 Comments » | 8 views

Americans support Israel on virtually every major issue

Zionist Organization of America Press Release

New Poll: Americans Show Overwhelming Support For Israeli Positions –– Oppose Obama’s Positions

58% ––17% PA Will Be Terror State, 

47% –– 14% Support Settlements

59% –– 17% Want Stronger Iran Sanctions

A new poll of American public opinion has found that the vast majority of Americans support Israel on virtually every major issue concerning the Israeli/Palestinian situation, while opposing the positions of the Obama Administration. Additionally, only 31% of Americans believe President Barack Obama is a close and reliable friend of Israel. By a ratio of 3.5 to 1 (58% –– 17%), Americans believe any future Palestinian Arab state would be hostile to Israel and support terrorism. By a ratio of over 3 to 1 (47% –– 14%), Americans believe that Jews have the right to settle in Judea/Samaria (West Bank).

January 30, 2014 | 0 Comments » | 6 views

Bennett clarifies: I did not apologize to Netanyahu

As Hilary Clinton once said “What difference does it make now?”. Bennett didn’t attack Bibi, just his policy. And his attack was a mortal blow to such policy. That’s what matters. As for an apology, who cares? Ted Belman

By Barak Ravid, HAARETZ

Economy Minister Naftali Bennett clarified on Wednesday that he did not apologize to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for his criticism of the prime minister’s peace plans.

Earlier Wednesday, Netanyahu issued an ultimatum to Bennett, ordering him to apologize for his statements by Sunday at 10 A.M., or he will be fired. Bennett then said that he did not mean to hurt the prime minister, but that he stands by his statements. Later on Wednesday, senior officials in the Likud party said that Bennett had backed down and apologized quicker than they had expected.

January 29, 2014 | 6 Comments » | 7 views

MK Hotovely Backs Bennett Over ‘Jews in Palestine’ Storm

By Ari Yashar, INN

Hotovely3Deputy Transportation Minister Tzipi Hotovely promises Likud rebellion over Netanyahu’s ‘political acrobatics’ in interview with Arutz Sheva.

Deputy Transportation Minister Tzipi Hotovely (Likud Beytenu) spoke to Arutz Sheva about Jewish Home Chairman Naftali Bennett’s criticism of a proposal to have Jews live under the Palestinian Authority (PA). Hotovely defended the statements as legitimate criticism.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s office floated out the proposal Sunday, and later claimed it did so to reveal the PA’s “true face,” as PA Chief Negotiator Saeb Erekat rejected the idea the same day.

January 29, 2014 | 5 Comments » | 6 views

170,000 rockets are aimed at Israel’s cities, says IDF intel head

Aviv Kochavi lists missile threat ahead of Iran nuke program; says in time, though, cyberwarfare will prove most dramatic change on battlefield

aviv2

The head of Israel’s most powerful intelligence agency depicted Wednesday a changing battlefield in which offensive cyber capabilities will, in the near future, represent the greatest shift in combat doctrine in over 1,000 years. For now, though, he said, the 170,000 rockets and missiles pointed by enemy states at Israel represented the most pressing threat, a danger he placed even above Iran’s rogue nuclear program.

“Cyber, in my humble opinion, and you don’t have to agree with me, will be revealed in a not very long time as a revolution greater than the creation of gunpowder or the usage of the aerial space at the start of the past century,” said Maj. Gen. Aviv Kochavi, the head of the IDF’s Military Intelligence Directorate. Kochavi, a former infantry officer, called the possibilities inherent in cyber warfare “nearly limitless, and that is not a metaphor.”

January 29, 2014 | 3 Comments » | 18 views

Confronting European funding for BDS

Gerald M. Steinberg, president of NGO Monitor, TOI

Although the cabinet is only now giving this high priority, the boycott campaign targeting Israeli firms and companies that do business with Israel has been active for more than ten years. The BDS movement (boycott, divestment and sanctions) is led by the Palestinian leadership, in close alliance with a network of political advocacy non-governmental organizations (NGOs) funded largely by European governments. In order to successfully blunt and defeat this threat, it is necessary to understand the sources of BDS campaigns, their scope, alliances, primary tactics, and vulnerabilities.

BDS is a form of political warfare against the State of Israel based on the exploitation of human rights and humanitarian principles, double standards, invidious comparisons with South African apartheid, and false allegations of “war crimes” and violations of international law. (The discredited 2009 Goldstone report on Gaza is one of many examples of this process.)

January 29, 2014 | 3 Comments » | 11 views

Poll: Netanyahu ‘Kadima’-Type Breakaway from Likud is Risky

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu
A new scenario poll was announced on Knesset Channel TV on Tuesday, and found that if Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu created a new party and called new elections to push through a peace deal that includes territorial withdrawals, he would still have the largest party – but only by one seat.

The scenario poll question was phrased thus: “if the Likud prevents Netanyahu from reaching an agreement that involves giving up territory and elections were tomorrow – whom would you vote for?”

January 29, 2014 | 5 Comments » | 8 views

Netanyahu’s Ultimatum: Bennett Must ‘Apologize or Quit’

WHY MUST BENNETT APOLOGIZE? Because he opposed Netanyahu’s ill-advised proposal? I support Bennett.

[Video of Bennett’s terrific speech in Hebrew. I am waiting for it in English.]

Full blown crisis between Netanyahu and Bennett after Jewish Home leader hammered PM’s proposal to leave Jews in Judea and Samaria under PA.

By Ari Yashar,INN

NB AND BBNaftali Bennett and Binyamin Netanyahu

A new exchange of fire Wednesday highlighted the growing rift between Jewish Home Chairman, Economics Minister Naftali Bennett, and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

Bennett’s criticism of Netanyahu’s proposal on Sunday to leave Jews in Judea and Samaria under Palestinian Authority (PA) rule reportedly has Netanyahu livid.

In response, sources in Netanyahu’s office said “no one will teach Netanyahu what the love of the land of Israel is,” and further called Bennett’s conduct “impudent.” They say his behavior and “irresponsible style won’t pass in silence. This behavior of Bennett’s harms the interests of the settlements.”

January 29, 2014 | 39 Comments » | 8 views

Obama Treats Ally Israel Worse Than Enemy Dictatorships

Morton A. Klein and Daniel Mandel, Algemeiner 

President Barack Obama meets with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in the Oval Office in 2009. Photo: White House.

Earlier this month, it leaked that Israel’s Defense Minister, Moshe Ya’alon, had privately described Secretary of State John Kerry as “obsessive and messianic” in his quest to broker an Israeli/Palestinian peace settlement. The Obama Administration angrily rejected Ya’alon’s words as “offensive and inappropriate,” demanding and receiving an apology.

January 29, 2014 | 14 Comments » | 8 views

US and Israeli buffer zones under Syrian rebel control designed to contain al Qaeda advances

January 28, 2014,
SYRIA
Planned rebel-controlled buffer zones for southern Syria

The Obama administration announced Tuesday, Jan. 28, that selected Syrian rebel militias would receive American light weapons including anti-tank – but not anti-air – rockets. And Friday, Jan. 24, an Israeli intelligence officer disclosed that his government was “rethinking” its neutrality policy in the Syrian war owing to the massing of 30,000 al Qaeda fighters on its Syrian border.

DEBKAfile’s intelligence and counter-terror sources say these disclosures add up to a strong shift in the US and Israeli governments’ non-intervention policies on the Syria conflict. That shift appears already to be evolving into joint action for a limited military venture on Syrian soil – not by the deployment of their own troops, but through Syrian rebel militias unassociated with radical Islamist organizations.

January 29, 2014 | 1 Comments » | 12 views