EU Warns Israel: Policy of Demolishing Palestinian Homes in Area C Will Harm Relations

Israeli official details tense and difficult meeting in which the EU expressed opposition to ‘home demolition and forced evacuation of populations.

By Barak Ravid, HAARETZ May 31, 2016 6:28 PM

The European Union sent a very harsh message to Israel a few days ago regarding the demolition of Palestinian structures in Area C of the West Bank, including some that were built with EU funding. In a meeting with the coordinator of activities in the territories Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai last week, the EU ambassador to Israel, Lars Faaborg Andersen, warned that a continuation of the massive demolition of Palestinian homes in the West Bank is liable to harm relations between the EU and Israel.

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May 31, 2016 | 7 Comments » | 194 views

The primordial world of Islam

By Alexander Maistrovoy

The Islamic world of the Middle East is sinking into the gloomy and forgotten past: the Bronze Age, the world of slavery, human sacrifice, pedophilia, sexual sacred traditions, beliefs in conspiracies and now the most terrible – ritual cannibalism

Beaten dogs and “donkeys-occupiers”

In the 90s, when working on an article about homeless animals, I visited a shelter for dogs and cats located between Jerusalem and Ramallah.

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May 31, 2016 | 3 Comments » | 181 views

Analysis: Netanyahu’s call for a revised Saudi initiative may be too little too late

T. Belman. I totally disagree that this olive branch is “too little, too late”. I think that the time is right to conclude a deal now. Both from the Arab point of view and from Israel’s point of view. That is not to say that I want such a deal. I further believe that before the end of this year, a deal will be announced.

What is 14-years between frenemies?

By Tovah Lazaroff, JPOST

Yes, we like Paris, but when it comes to peace, Cairo has become our new Mecca.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday night attempted to circumvent a French led internationalized process due to launch Friday by proposing a regional one based on a revised version of a 2002 Arab Peace Initiative.

In so doing, he sounded almost as if he is was responding to a 14-year old call by the Arab world to normalize relations with Israel in exchange for a withdrawal to the pre-1967 lines and a resolution to the issue of Palestinian refugees.

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May 31, 2016 | 7 Comments » | 107 views

Our World: The old generals’ old plan

T. Belman. Caroline is quite right. Bibi understands this. Therefore, he hopes to cut a deal with the Arab league as to how the resolve the conflict without asking for Palestinian approval. Based on such a new framework being agreed between Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan, the Palestinians will be undermined and will have no choice but to go along. The primary concern of these Arab countries is that any concession they give Israel will further destabilize their own countries. So I am not expecting significant concessions from them.

I think negotiations are afoot to replace Abbas with Dahlan.
Report: Israel and Arab states discuss new Palestinian leader to succeed Abbas May 26/16
Report: Netanyahu in Talks With Abbas Rival Mohammed Dahlan Feb 7/14

There is no Palestinian constituency for peace with Israel. The more Israel offers the Palestinians, the less interested they are in settling.

By Caroline B Glick, JPOST

The Israel Left is a one-trick pony. As it sees things, all of Israel’s problems – with the Palestinians, with the Arab world, with Europe and with the American Left – can be solved by giving up Judea and Samaria and half of Jerusalem (along with Gaza which we gave up already).

Once Israel does this, the Left insists, then the Palestinians, the Arab world, Europe and Bernie Sanders voters will love us as they’ve never loved us before.

The events of the past quarter century have shown the Left’s position to be entirely wrong. Every time Israel has given the Palestinians land, it has become less secure. The Arabs have become more hostile.

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May 31, 2016 | 0 Comments » | 147 views

Netanyahu and Liberman want to negotiate based on Arab Peace Initiative

T. Belman. In previous remarks I advised that Netanyahu is negotiating based on the ’67 lines plus swaps. Now he has confirmed it. But he wants the deal to reflect “the dramatic changes in the region since 2002”. This suggests he wants an emphasis on our security needs. What other changes have taken place that need to be taken into account. Or is this a flat out endorsement of ’67 lines plus swaps subject to security needs. And obviously Jerusalem is up for grabs otherwise he would have stressed that Jerusalem will remain ours.

The fact that he welcomed al Sisi’s initiative is further evidence that negotiations are well on their way.

The Oslo Accords were negotiated back channel to avoid an international initiative. I believe that here too, back channel negotiations are being conducted to avoid the initiative by France and possibly one by Obama.

‘Post’ learns that Hanegbi will help Netanyahu lead new push; Bennett said to be opposed to change in stance.

By Gil Hoffman, JPOST

Israel is prepared to hold peace talks based on the Arab Peace Initiative, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu surprisingly declared Monday just moments after new Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman took the oath of office, ending a month-long saga over which party would join Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government.

“I remain committed to making peace with the Palestinians and with all our neighbors,” Netanyahu said in a press conference following the swearing- in ceremony. “The Arab peace initiative includes positive elements that can help revive constructive negotiations with the Palestinians.

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May 31, 2016 | 3 Comments » | 163 views

Jordan’s King Dismisses Parliament, Appoints New Prime Minister

T. Belman. Mudar Zahran is a very good friend of mine. Whenever he comes to Israel we get together. We have written articles together and often discus Jordanian politics.

The Jordanian Opposition Coalition For Immediate Release: 5/29/2016

Jordan Opposition Coalition: King’s Dissolution Evidence His Regime Is Ailing & New Prime Minister is “Puppet’ To the Regime (London- UK) –

The Jordan Opposition Coalition (JOC) issued a statement in direct response to today’s actions by the king of Jordan’s Dissolution of Parliament Decree and the appointment of a puppet Prime Minister. ‘This is yet another sign the king and his regime are fragile and weak and falling apart,” JOC’s Secretary General, Dr. Mudar Zahran, said.

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May 30, 2016 | 9 Comments » | 133 views

Support From All Sides Makes Bennett a Future Candidate for Defense Chief

T. Belman. It also makes him a candidate for Prime Minister. Wasn’t it Bennett who also pressed to destroy the tunnels once their existence came to light?

The compromise reached by Netanyahu and Bennett will save the coalition and strengthen the security cabinet, but the risk of war – which has to do more with top officials’ judgement – still remains.

By Amos Harel, HAARETZ  May 30, 2016

The somewhat forced compromise between Habayit Hayehudi and the Likud party, reached Sunday night in the last minute, should not void the weight of demands made by Minister Naftali Bennett to strengthen the security cabinet.

The events of the past week, up until Sunday night’s agreement allowing the confirmation of Avigdor Lieberman’s appointment as defense minister, may also give an indication of what’s coming – the difficulties expected in the work of the new right-wing coalition.

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May 30, 2016 | 5 Comments » | 135 views

States in eastern Europe are more supportive than western Europe

By Judith Bergman, ISRAEL HAYOM

The rift in the European Union between the older, mostly Western European, members and the newer ones from Eastern Europe has become increasingly clear lately over the refusal of most Eastern European countries to receive migrants from the Middle East and North Africa.

The European Commission has proposed reforms to EU asylum rules that would see financial penalties imposed on members refusing to take in what it deems a sufficient number of asylum seekers, amounting to $290,000 for every migrant. The penalties, if passed, are particularly aimed at the newest EU countries, such as Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, since these are countries who have closed their borders to migrants or are in the process of doing so.

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May 30, 2016 | 2 Comments » | 129 views

BDS and Free Speech

T. Belman. This is a credible attempt to delve into the issues but crucial issues have been left out. Free speech and the BDS movement are acceptable to a point. But Conrad failed to discuss the point other than to say who is to decide that the point has been breeched. The Courts are, that’s who as they do in all criminal trials.

Some jurisdictions have outlawed the BDS movement because it is considered discriminatory. States are constantly outlawing discrimination even though such acts are the exercise of free speech. Many countries have criminalized free speech if it is likely to lead to violence. Just as you aren’t permitted to yell “fire” in a crowded theater, you are not allowed to discriminate or to incite to violence. While I agree with these limitations, I do not agree with outlawing free speech that hurts peoples feelings or that insults them or their beliefs.

But there is more. Should intentional lying be criminalized. A good debate is a healthy thing but it is of no value if one side utters lies to win. Surely lying in order to deligitimate or demonize should not be permitted. You can’t counter by saying “the truth will out”. It won’t unless the playing field is level..

In addition preventing the other side from talking by shouting them down, barring their way or intimidating them should also be criminalized because it denies the expression of contrary views.


The Netherlands has just declared the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) Movement against Israel to be free speech. Israel is furious; but for classic conservatives, there is no easy answer to this issue.

“Statements or meetings concerning BDS are protected by freedom of expression and freedom of assembly, as enshrined in the Dutch Constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights,” [Dutch Foreign Minister Bert] Koenders said Thursday…– Jerusalem Post

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May 30, 2016 | 0 Comments » | 154 views

In anti-BDS move, Italy bringing huge academic delegation to Israel

Dozens of researchers and academics from the two countries will meet in ‘unprecedented’ response to campaign to boycott Israeli universities.

By Ariel David, HAARETZ  May 30, 2016 | 4:00 AM

In a move that Italian officials say aims to counter calls for boycotts and sanctions against Israel, Italian researchers and academics will be meeting with their counterparts in Israel this week for a series of joint conferences and other cooperative events.

A series of 10 simultaneous conferences will be held across Israel between Tuesday and Friday. Dozens of researchers will be sharing the latest discoveries in fields ranging from robotics to plastic surgery.

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May 30, 2016 | 0 Comments » | 157 views

Federalism is the only solution for Iraq

Our peshmerga are the best fighting force against ISIS in Iraq. But we cannot force Sunni and Shia Arabs to live together in peace.

By Aziz Ahmad, The ATLANTIC

PESHMERGAThis week marked the start of offensives ultimately aimed at retaking two of ISIS’s last major urban strongholds—Raqqa, the group’s de facto capital in Syria, and Fallujah, the first major Iraqi city to fall to ISIS some two years ago. The final prize, Mosul, seems to remain out of reach for the foreseeable future, despite indications a year ago that a battle to retake the city could come any day. An Iraqi army offensive launched in late March stalled quickly.

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May 30, 2016 | 0 Comments » | 142 views

With the Middle East in flames, Israel and Greece get closer

Elliot Green. Greece helped Israel  politically a few months ago when it opposed in effect a harsher EU resolution against Israel than was eventually passed. The EU could not care less that Erdogan threatens Greece and encouraged people smugglers to bring Syrian and other Muslim refugees to Greece [and then the rest of Europe]. Nor does the EU care that predominantly Greek Cyprus is partly occupied by Turkey. The EU is not against occupation in principle or as such. The EU is against Israel.

The Eurozone/Eurogroup worsened Greece’s economic problems and then blamed Greece for everything:
They treat Greece with almost as much disdain as they treat us:

The confluence of economic woes at home and the chaos in the surrounding neighborhood got Greeks to appreciate the advantages in improved ties with Israel.

By Amos Harel, HAARETZ  | May 28, 2016 | 8:33 AM

With stormy weather at home, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu can at least derive some satisfaction from Israel’s improving relations with several countries. True, the refusal of his former and current governments to advance the peace process with the Palestinians has lost him support in Western Europe and stoked a crisis with the Democratic administration in the United States.

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May 30, 2016 | 0 Comments » | 154 views

Debate Over Role of ‘People’s Army’ in Israel


JERUSALEM — In a politically fractious country troubled by monumental security challenges, Israel’s military has long served as an equalizer and unifier, a “people’s army” that, at least in the eyes of the Jewish majority, reflected the general interest.

But the Israeli people have shifted to the right and with them the government, amid an upsurge of Palestinian stabbings and other attacks. Now the military finds itself at the center of a tumultuous debate about its role as the nation’s conscience and most trusted institution.

Some government ministers and an increasingly shrill segment of the public have been pushing for tougher action in the face of months of Palestinian attacks that have killed about 30 civilians and soldiers. Other Israelis want the military to remain a moderating force and a bulwark against extremism.

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May 30, 2016 | 10 Comments » | 179 views

Russia’s Long Road to the Middle East

Vladimir Putin’s intervention in Syria caught many by surprise, but it is a return to Russian geopolitical aspirations that stretch back to the czars


A convoy of Soviet armored vehicles crossed a bridge in Termez, at the Soviet-Afghan border, on May 21, 1988, during the withdrawal of the Soviet Army from Afghanistan.
Every Russian schoolchild is taught about the violent death of Aleksandr Griboyedov in 1829. A poet and playwright whose work is enshrined in the country’s literary canon, Griboyedov had the misfortune to be Czar Nicholas I’s ambassador to Tehran in the wake of Persia’s humiliating loss of territory to Moscow’s spreading empire. A Tehran mob, furious at the czar and his infidel representatives, stormed the embassy, slaughtering the unlucky ambassador and 36 other Russian diplomatic staff.

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May 30, 2016 | 1 Comments » | 137 views

1948 Arab refugees: concocted circumstances and numbers

The UN has highlighted/twisted the story of the 320,000 1948/49 Palestinian Arab refugees – singling them out for perpetuity unlike all other refugees – as a means to de-legitimize Israel.

By Amb. Yoram Ettinger

The truth about the circumstances and numbers of the 1948 Arab refugees has been sacrificed – by the UN, Arab regimes, the “elite” Western media and most Western Foreign Offices—on the altar of Arab-appeasement and Israel-bashing.

For instance, the Palestinian Arab leadership collaborated with Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy, seeking Nazi support to settle “the Jewish problem” in British Mandate Palestine in accordance with the practice used in Europe. Thus, the top Palestinian Arab leader, Haj Amin Al-Husseini, incited his people in a March 1, 1944 Arabic broadcast on the Nazi Berlin Radio – consistent with anti-Jewish Arab terrorism during the 1920s and 1930s – “Kill the Jews wherever you find them. It would please God, history and religion.”

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May 29, 2016 | 1 Comments » | 129 views


In the 29th May 16 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

  • Israeli-developed computer-aided X-ray diagnostics will save many lives.
  • Israel’s most inclusive soccer team is crowned league champions.
  • An Israeli AIDS prevention device is approved for use in 14 countries.
  • Israelis have reinvented the combustion engine.
  • Americans are now receiving their Israeli portable child booster seats.
  • Elton John “rocks” Tel Aviv.
  • 15th anniversary of the largest two-day airlift rescue in Israel’s history.

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May 29, 2016 | 0 Comments » | 149 views

Solve Arab-Israeli conflict without UN

By Mudar Zahran, ISRAEL HAYOM

For almost seven decades, the U.N. has failed to bring about any solution to the Arab-?Israeli conflict. Strangely, the world keeps trying the same the U.N. has and expecting different ?results, while evidence shows that the U.N. has not been effective in reducing the scope of the conflict. In fact, there were occasions when the conflict was deepened because of the U.N.’s positions.

Today, there are calls in the U.S. Congress for a solution to the conflict that bypasses the U.N. ?These calls have merit in the aftermath ?of the Arab Spring, which has significantly changed the region’s terrain and players.

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May 29, 2016 | 10 Comments » | 178 views

Not the bogeyman

The new coalition seems stable enough for people to believe a mistaken email about a three-year budget, but will it use its super-stability to pull further to the Right than ever before?

By Lahav Harkov, JPOST

netanyahu liebermanCabinet Ministers opened their email Wednesday night to find a surprise: a meeting on Sunday to discuss a three-year budget.

A minor panic broke out. Three years? Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s plan for a two-year budget, thus bolstering his government’s stability until 2019, was controversial enough. Now that he has five more MKs to vote with the coalition, he’s going to try to make a budget that will last the rest of his term? In the end, the email was a mistake. The Finance Ministry was going to give a three-year overview, which is standard practice, regardless of how many years the budget is to last. (It’s going to be two years; don’t panic.)

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May 29, 2016 | 5 Comments » | 127 views

Israeli Policy Is Not to Build in West Bank Settlements, Housing Minister Says

T. Belman. Yes, the government policy is to refrain from building in Judea and Samaria. Even Bennett’s right wing party accepts this. They have stopped demanding that the freeze be dropped. To highlight this, they choose to demand security measures in exchange for supporting the inclusion of Liberman rather than demanding more construction. Though Bibi has refused to acknowledge such a freeze, he has been enforcing one even in Jerusalem.

Meanwhile pressure is building to take unilateral steps to a TSS. Not only is this what Zionist Union and Yesh Atid are calling for, it is also what Kahlon’s party (including Galant and Oren) have called for. In addition two peace plan initiatives, have been launched, one in the US Jewish establishment and one in the Israel military/left establishment in Israel, calling for a peace deal based on Obama’s parameters. In all cases unilateral steps are being demanded because there is no partner for peace now or because now is not the time to enter an agreement. France has now launched a peace conference intended dictate such a framework and have the same endorsed by the UNSC. Obama, it is feared will not veto such a resolution. To make matters worse, the Democrats continue to distant themselves from a pro-Israel platform.

So far Bibi has not proposed unilateral steps though he has come perilously close to an agreement on the framework for peace. His stated position is that he wants direct negotiations and he doesn’t want a bi-national state. He refused to limit negotiations to the Kerry framework but at the same time negotiated based on it. Basically he is not prepared to reject the Obama parameters. He only seeks to tweek them on security issues and on timing issues. Everyone acknowledges that Israel will keep the settlement blocs but there is no agreement on what blocs are included.

The hand-writing is on the wall.

Yoav Galant says the government must take diplomatic initiative in the West Bank even without a Palestinian partner.

By Barak Ravid, HAARETZ

Construction and Housing Minister Yoav Galant said in a meeting with Jewish leaders in New York last week that the government’s policy is not to build in the West Bank and that he abides by it.

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May 29, 2016 | 5 Comments » | 102 views