a different side of Israel

Tag: Israeli – Palestinian Relations (page 2 of 4)

Israeli Protest In Front Of The Turkish Embassy Tonight

Following recent events at sea, and especially Turkey’s reaction to these events, many Israeli groups are coming together in protest against the attacks on the IDF and its conduct.

One such demonstration is set to take place tonight in front of the Turkish Embassy in Tel-Aviv, for those intersted details in Hebrew are below.

הערב יום חמישי 3/6/2010 19.00

רח’ הירקון 202 ת”א , שגרירות טורקיה

ההפגנה מיועדת לכל מי שחפץ להגיע בכדי לתמוך בצה”ל ההפגנה בשיתוף מלא עם אוהדי בית”ר שיגיעו בהמוניהם בכדי לתמוך בצה”ל במדינה, ובכדי למחות כנגד התנהלות חברי כנסת מסויימים וכמו כן נגד מדינות שבלשון המעטה לא עושות טוב עם מדינת ישראל, ההפגנה לא רק של אוהדי בית”ר, ההפגנה הזאת מיועדת לכל מי שמעוניין להגיע לתמוך בחיילי צה”ל.
ולהגיד לממשלת טורקיה ולארדואן התככן – עד כאן

ההפגנה אומנם אורגנה ע”י אירגוני אוהדי בית”ר ירושלים-אך נועדה לכל עם ישראל

בואו, העבירו לכל אדם, הגיעו! לא לשכוח להגיע עם צעיפים ודגלי ישראל

יום חמישי, שעה 19:00, ת”א רח’ הירקון 202 , מול שגרירות טורקיה

צו 8 לכולם

אם אינך יכול להגיע לתל אביב – הפגנות תמיכה מתקיימות בכל הצמתים ברחבי הארץ

בימים אלו תלו דגל ישראל על הרכב ובחלונות הבית

מתל-אביב,תחנה מרכזית חדשה לרחוב הירקון

קו 174 אגד , 06:26 06:35; 06:37; מ06:50 עד 06:56 כל 2 דקות; 07:12; 07:17; 07:19; 07:20; 07:34; 07:35; קו 175 אגד , 06:58 07:18; 08:23;

כולם מוזמנים להצטרף (כולל אוהדי קבוצות אחרות), כי זו המדינה שלנו
והלוחמים הם מיטב בנינו ואחינו

ביום הזה שמים הכל בצד כי יש דבר אחד חשוב

“אין לנו ארץ אחרת”

כל מי שחיילי צה”ל חשובים לו, כל מי שהמדינה היקרה לליבו , שיגיע לתמוך

נא הכינו שלטים ,הביאו כל דבר שיכול לעזור

נא להישמע להנחיות השוטרים ולהימנע מלהתעמת עם אחינו

כל הירושלמים שבאים בואו לתחנה מרכזית ב4 ניסע יחד כולנו לתחנה מרכזית בתל
אביב ומשם להפגנה


חברים יקרים מי שיכול להכין שלטים נודה לו מאוד למרות שכולנו נכין ונתרום אבל
מי שיכול ספציפית עם הסיסמאות הבאות זה יהיה מעולה

“Avrupa Birligine kabulde iyi sandor teror yandaslari!!”
it means: “good luck with the Europian Union, terror supporters”
“Erdo?an Kan senin Ellerinde!!” (emphesize “Kan”)
it means: “Erduan, the blood is on your hands!!”

עם ישראל מחזק את ידי חיילי צה”ל

Help on the Way

The Jewish Country recently unveiled a huge makeshift detention center in Ashdod, the state’s main southern port, announcing the end of intense naval maneuvers, vowing to stop a flotilla of hundreds of pro-Palestinian activists who are trying to break a 3-year blockade of the Gaza Strip.

Masked naval commandos are to greet the eight ships deep out at sea, which was held up in Cyprus on Saturday, to escort the vessels to port and give each activist a choice: either leave the country or go to jail.

750 activists, including a Nobel peace laureate and former U.S. congresswoman, have set sail for the Gaza coast recently, carrying 10,000 tons of humanitarian supplies. They say they will find a way to succeed, even if faced with Israeli ultimatums.
They are bringing “desperately needed materials to the area,” that has been under blockade by Israel and Egypt since Hamas began to call the shots in June of 2007.

Hamas Honcho bringing Fascism into fashion, Ismail Haniyeh said:

“If the ships reach Gaza, it’s a victory for Gaza…If they are intercepted and terrorized by the Zionists, it will be a victory for Gaza, too, and they will move again in new ships to break the siege of Gaza.”

Zionist Spokesman Mark Regev said:

“If they were really interested in the well-being of the people of Gaza, they would have accepted the offers of Egypt or Israel to transfer humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza…Instead, they have chosen a cheap political stunt.”

This marks the ninth time that the Free Gaza Movement, the pro-Palestinian organization behind the effort, has sent a flotilla of supplies to the strip. Israel permitted five deliveries to reach Gaza, but has not allowed any ships through since the military offensive that ended in January 2009.

(viewer discretion is strongly advised for the video shown below)

“Go Home Chomsky!” said Israel, but did they mean it?

A fierce debate was had after Israeli authorities refused to permit Noam Chomsky, linguist and American left icon, to enter Samaria from Jordan.

So, like how can an 81-year-old professor emeritus at MIT pose a risk to Israel? Right?
Noam Chomsky
Mr. Chomsky, a Jew who lived on a kibbutz in Israel in the 1950s, is a blunt critic of both American and Israeli policy. But a terrorist?

Barring him from entering the West Bank to lecture at Bir Zeit, a Palestinian university, “is a foolish act in a frequent series of recent follies,” said Boaz Okun, the legal commentator of Yediot Aharonot.

“Put together, they may mark the end of Israel as a law-abiding and freedom-loving state, or at least place a large question mark over this notion.”

Government spokespersons were humiliated and issued statements saying that the decision was made by an Interior Ministry official at the Jordan-West Bank border and did not actually represent policy.

“There is no change in our policy”

Said Bibi’s spokesman Mark Regev,

“The idea that Israel is preventing people from entering whose opinions are critical of the state is ludicrous; it is not happening. This was a mishap. A guy at the border overstepped his authority. Upon a second attempt to enter, Mr. Chomsky would succeed…The Jewish Country has no intention of breaking policy — or threatening the spirit of freedom for that matter”.

Chomsky held a television interview from Jordan with Al Jazeera in which he said:

“There were two basic points…One was that the government of Israel does not like the kinds of things I say — which puts them into the category of I suppose every other government in the world. The second was that they seemed upset about the fact that I was just taking an invitation from Birzeit and I had no plans to go on to speak in Israeli universities, as I have done many times in the past, but not this time.”

A conservative group of Parliament members, though, said they had no objection to the decision.

“This is a decision of principle between the democratic ideal — and we all want freedom of speech and movement — and the need to protect our existence,” asserted Otniel Schneller, of Kadima. “Let’s say he came to lecture at Birzeit. What would he say that? That Israel kills Arabs, that Israel is an apartheid state?”

Mr. Chomsky said he had last visited in 1997 and was then refused entry as well, and returned to Amman, the Jordanian capital.
Moustafa Barghouti, Chomsky’s would-be host in the West Bank, condemned Israel’s decision, saying:

“The decision of Israel to prevent Professor Chomsky from entering the Palestinian Territories is a result of the numerous campaigns against Chomsky organized by the Jewish lobby in the United States.”

Last month, Ivan Prado, one of Spain’s very famous clowns, spent six hours at Ben-Gurion airport being questioned by security agents before being sent back to Madrid. He was planning to run a clown festival modeled after one in Spain in Ramallah but was accused of having ties with Palestinian terrorist groups.

Actually, a Foreign Ministry spokesperson said Mr. Prado was caught lying during questioning at the airport and that his cell phone, which he denied having, contained a telephone number of a Palestinian, considered to be a member of a terrorist group.

We Can’t Go On Together, With Suspicious Minds

Israeli sources have stated repeatedly that the Jewish Country would reject any move by the Barack Obama administration to set benchmarks and a timeline for peace talks with the Palestinians.
Netanyahu & Obama

International forces such as Jordan’s King Abdullah, who met with Obama in Washington recently, said the US must put pressure on both parties by setting a timeline for the peace process.

US National Security Advisor, James Jones said that the administration was mulling over ways to renew the peace talks, but no final decision has been reached.

He also made comments on recent reports in the US media, according to which Obama was “seriously considering” declaring an American peace plan for the Middle East, this autumn, to be based on the outlines presented by former President Bill Clinton at Camp David a decade ago.

Jones confirmed that Obama recently met with former administration officials to discuss formulating a new strategy for the situation. According to him, there are ongoing talks, but no surprises are being planned.

Another senior US official had this to say:

“The principal difference between now and previous administrations is the Iran problem… From our perspective, it increases the urgency of Israel keeping the international community focused on that problem and not on other problems. And the Israelis need all of us to be working together on the common goal of keeping the pressure on the Iranians to back off.”



What does Hamas do when they sense things are not going their way? Declare a sloppy Jihad!

Palestinian "Day of Rage"Hundreds of Palestinians held a “Day of Rage” yesterday – the Palestinian Authority announced a general alert and Israeli Border Police did their job.

What does a “Day of Rage” entail? Why, it entails throwing stones at security forces in east Jerusalem and in the West Bank.

Hamas’ parliamentary speaker Dr. Ahmed Bahar called Palestinians to strike Israel with terrorist attacks in its central region as a response to the “desecration of al-Aqsa”, which actually has not been desecrated.

Police Commissioner Dudi Cohen commented on the situation saying:

“The Temple Mount is a national challenge for the police, and an international challenge. Every incident has significant ramifications on the situation. It is our job to maintain the relative calm. At this time, and in recent times, there are a number of signs of attempts to disrupt the order at the Temple Mount. This is why we have prepared in massive numbers, including today, to enable the freedom of worship.”

The Red Crescent in Jerusalem reported that 49 Arabs were injured around the Old City and in east Jerusalem as of noon, including 14 people injured from rubber bullets and 16 who suffered from teargas inhalation.

In total, 31 Palestinians were arrested in Abu Dis, Hawara, Wadi Joz, al-Tur, and around the Temple Mount. The riots also spread to Naalin, where 50 Palestinians hurled stones at security forces. IDF soldiers responded with means of crowd control, causing no reports of injuries.

Palestinian police were deployed in towns and cities in the West Bank to prevent the rioting from spilling over into PA territory. A PA source said, “The security forces are acting almost as if it was an emergency situation, with the aim of maintaining order.”

The PA also upped its surveillance of Hamas figures after the call for the general “day of rage” in the West Bank.

During the rioting to the east of Jerusalem, traffic was stopped for five minutes in the Gaza Strip as a sign of solidarity with Palestinians in the holy city. Trading was slow, and school classes were suspended while students and pupils demonstrated in the streets.


MK Ahmad Tibi said:

“There is a sense that they are trying to reoccupy east Jerusalem, we are here to protest what we call the judaization of Jerusalem. Anyone that claims there is freedom of worship cannot prevent Muslims from coming here to pray. It is obvious that the goal is to leave the al-Aqsa Mosque without worshippers.”

MK Haneen Zoubi (Balad) said:

“Israel is testing the Palestinian and international threshold via the violent policies of judaization and occupation it is applying in Jerusalem: Massive Jewish inhabitation in the east of the city and in the Arab neighborhoods, the demolition of houses, the expulsion of Palestinians from their homes, revoking identity cards, suppressing demonstrations, arresting resident, picking on human rights activists.”

He added:

“This policy is nothing short of ethnic cleansing, and it constitutes a strong motive for the launch of a third intifada, even more than Sharon’s visit to the al-Aqsa mosque. It seems that the official Palestinian and Arab stance has given Israel the wrong message: That the Palestinians will not fight for their freedom and their rights, and that the intifadas are a thing of the past. This is an incorrect assumption, as the ongoing aggression and occupation in Jerusalem make an intifada an unpreventable measure.”

He further stated:

“I am addressing the government and warning of a flare-up that will drag the area into a violent conflict. We will not sit idly by as the rights of the Palestinian people in general and the residents of Jerusalem in particular are trampled. There is no link between the rights of the Palestinian people in east Jerusalem and the honorable Joe Biden or the honorable United States, and there is no right timing to populate Arab neighborhoods with Jews. There is no good timing for occupation! Israel must seek a solution to its true crisis, which is not with the US administration, but with the Palestinian people.”

Fear and Loathing in Yasuf

Before sunrise on Friday, on the heels of a Shabbat and Hanukkah sandwich, vandals snuck into a Palestinian village in the West Bank and vandalized a mosque. Holy books and furniture were burnt, and graffiti writing sent messages of intimidation.

yasufThe recent attacks on West Bank Palestinians and their property is a response to Israel’s recent halt on settlement construction; the civilian attacks have been dubbed the “price tag” policy.

Prime Minister
Binyamin Netanyahu
has vowed to catch the “criminals” behind the attack. Israeli President Shimon Peres said:

“The government, the security forces and the law enforcement institutions must take every measure, with the utmost urgency, to find the perpetrators and put them on trial in accordance with the gravity of the acts…It can’t be that an extremist group endangers the status of Israel as a state that abides laws and respects religions.”

Defense Minister Ehud Barak said:

“This is an extremist act geared toward harming the government’s efforts to advance the political process for the sake of Israel’s future…”

Calling the act a violation of religious freedom, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas claimed:

“The torching of the mosque in Yasuf is a despicable crime, and the settlers are behaving with brutality…”

In addition, the U.S. State Department released a statement saying that:

“We condemn this attack in the strongest terms and call for the perpetrators to be brought to justice.”

Whether or not the settlement freeze is justified, or a cowardly crumbling under pressure from the west, is a good question.

Did Barack Grow A Pair? Did He Always Have Them? Will He Understand Us?

U.S. President Barack Obama accepted the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize on Thursday and gave an unpredictable speech. Acknowledging the choice of giving the Nobel Peace Prize to a war time president – Obama gave a speech underlining the theme of necessary war.

Barack Nobel Peace Prize

“Where force is necessary, we have a moral and strategic interest in binding ourselves to certain rules of conduct. And even as we confront a vicious adversary that abides by no rules, I believe that the United States of America must remain a standard bearer in the conduct of war…those regimes that break the rules must be held accountable. Sanctions must exact a real price. Intransigence must be met with increased pressure – and such pressure exists only when the world stands together as one…I, like any head of state – reserve the right to act unilaterally if necessary to defend my nation…I am convinced that adhering to standards strengthens those who do, and isolates – and weakens – those who don’t.”

He went on:

“What I do know is that meeting these challenges will require the same vision, hard work, and persistence of those men and women who acted so boldly decades ago…and it will require us to think in new ways about the notions of just war and the imperatives of a just peace…we must begin by acknowledging the hard truth that we will not eradicate violent conflict in our lifetimes…there will be times when nations – acting individually or in concert – will find the use of force not only necessary but morally justified.”

And towards the end of the speech he said:

“For make no mistake: evil does exist in the world…a non-violent movement could not have halted Hitler’s armies. Negotiations cannot convince Al-Qaida’s leaders to lay down their arms. To say that force is sometimes necessary is not a call to cynicism – it is a recognition of history; the imperfections of man and the limits of reason.”

“A non-violent movement could not have halted Hitler’s armies”? “Negotiations” cannot halt Muslim extremists? Nations finding the use of force not only “necessary but morally justified”? Hold the phone Jack – conceptually, philosophically, this guy sounds like a modern day Zionist…Then why’s the Pres so down on the Jewish country…or is he? Maybe he just doesn’t “get it”.
Well he’s not as unpopular among Israelis as some may think. According to a new poll by the Washington-based New America Foundation, 41% of Israelis have a favorable rating of Obama against 37% who rated him unfavorably.

And while 55% of Israelis polled said they thought Obama did not support Israel against 42% who said he did – a quote from Reuters remarked that this is “a reflection of the ‘complexity of views’ about the U.S. leader as he presses both Israel and the Palestinians to resume stalled peace talks.”

So he sounded rational at the Nobel Ceremony – at least rational enough to agree with 41% of the good Israeli population.

Well, it’s a start.
Chag Hanukkah Sameach

The Eighth Natural Wonder of the World – Khouloud Daibes

It’s set in the lowest point on Earth, and it’s the saltiest lake on Earth – surrounded by a beach of splendid salt crystals, and breathtaking mountains. The Dead Sea is one of Israel’s natural wonders, and it has been one of the wonders of my life. It is actually one of the natural wonders of the entire world – that’s how the Israeli government feels and that’s why they would like to enter it in the Seven Natural Wonders of the World competition.

dead sea 2009So what’s the problem? The problem, as usual, is the damn neighbors. The State of Israel received a letter from the Palestinian tourism minister, Khouloud Daibes, threatening to withdraw their consent to have the Dead Sea participate in the international competition, because the Israeli company, Ahava engages in activity on occupied Palestinian land. Daibes put it like this:

“I express my objection to promoting the Dead Sea in the competition, alongside products like Ahava, which are produced illegally in the Israeli settlement on occupied Palestinian lands, and promoting the business of the Megilot Regional Council along the Dead Sea’s northern coast at the international tourism fair in London at the beginning of November.”

Stas Misezhnikov of the Israeli tourism ministry disagreed:

“If the Dead Sea wins the competition, the entire region will prosper, and this will help all the involved countries and entities: Israel, the Palestinians and Jordan…the attempt to drag a complicated diplomatic dispute into a competition which is based on honoring the seven wonders of the world does not serve any of the sides. Moreover, intervening in the competition in this manner may lead to the disqualification of the Dead Sea, and we will all be damaged.”

The minister told Ynet:

“It should be noted that 2008 was a record year in incoming tourism to Israel, and affecting the territories as well, which were visited by more than 1 million tourists. If the Dead Sea wins, this trend will grow even more.”

According to a Dutch Socialist Party website, the foreign minister of Holland intends to investigate if Ahava products, which bear the label, “Made in Israel” are actually made on occupied land.

The Dead Sea made it to the list of Natural Wonders of the World last July, along with 27 other sites, among them:
The Grand Canyon, Matterhorn, The Great Barrier Reef, the Amazon rainforest, Mount Kilimanjaro, the Galapagos Islands, the Mud Volcanoes of Azerbaijan, Lebanon’s Jeita Grotto, Ireland’s Moher Cliffs and the Black Forest of Germany.

Caine Mutiny in the West Bank

It has long been controversial for modern Orthodox Jews (or ‘dati leumi’) to serve in the IDF, because it sometimes means that they have to do things that they are not only politically opposed to, but religiously as well. We really saw this in 2005 at Gush Katif and the dismantling of other settlements in the Gaza Strip. Well it still happens.

MIDEAST ISRAEL PALESTINIANSOn Tuesday last week, the IDF decided to punish six soldiers, sending two to prison, for protesting the army’s demolition of structures at an unauthorized settler outpost in the West Bank. The soldiers had hung a banner at an army base in the West Bank in demonstration. This all went down as other soldiers carried out orders to dismantle two Jewish homes in Negohot, near Hebron.

The six soldiers who are being punished, served in the Nahal unit in the West Bank. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu insisted that there is no place for such insubordination in the IDF. He was quoted as saying, “If you promote insubordination, you cause the country to fall apart.”

Several Israeli political parties spoke out in support of the soldiers, as did several right-wing rabbis and some have even offered money to the families of troops imprisoned for insubordination.
There have also been cases of troops with left-wing views refusing orders or refusing to serve entirely because they disagree with Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians.

One possible solution is this: Israel might cease to use the IDF for operations against Israeli citizens. And instead police should handle settler issues, while the army patrols the borders.

Meanwhile Hamas is offering a bounty of $1.4 million to anybody who captures an Israeli soldier, adding further fear and tension to conflict.

A Dangerous Game of Illusions

Palestine AuthorityLeaders of the Palestinian Authority are planning to launch a diplomatic campaign to gain world support for a Palestinian state. The state would include the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem. The idea which Abbas is behind would be proposed to the United Nations, who would vote on acceptance of a sovereign Palestinian country, in the proposed regions.

Israel sees this as a threat to the grueling peace process. Mohammed Shtayyeh, a member of the Fatah Central Council in Ramallah said:

“The Israelis impeded negotiations, and therefore we are left with only this option in order to safeguard our national project…We have been left with no other choices and nothing to lose…How can Abbas or any other Palestinian leader survive in this context without political developments? This is the only thing we can offer our people now. The time is right.”
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said, “There is no substitute for negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, and any unilateral path will only unravel the framework of agreements between us and will only bring unilateral steps from Israel’s side.”

Another angle of the debate is the media factor. Who will be giving support to who and why?
Have a look:

So rather than bargain in good faith to build a viable accord, Saeb Erekat and Mahmoud Abbas are betting on an outside imposed solution. Their way will not bring reconciliation, mutual security and peace, but doom yet another generation of Israelis and Palestinians to more bloodshed.

The policies of occupation, especially continuing settlement-building, have caused the failure of negotiations and have led the peace process to a gridlock… The idea of declaring the establishment of an independent Palestinian state has emerged strongly during this stage as a sole option. This is a legitimate right.

Benjamin Netanyahu spoke in Jerusalem yesterday but his words were aimed at Ramallah. The threat was explicit. Your unilateral steps will lead to unilateral steps on our part… In the end both sides threaten but they do not really mean it

The Palestinian leaders, especially those who have been supporting the Oslo accords, came to a consensus that 18 years have gone astray and that Israel has been stalling in order to achieve its goal, which entails setting up a Jewish state with Jerusalem as its eternal capital.

The strong Israel is afraid of weak Palestine. In reality, it is afraid of its own nightmares as expressed by Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman… He sees that the establishment of a Palestinian state will push Israel back to the 1967 borders, only for the Palestinians to ask for autonomous rule in the Galilee and the Negev after that.

Netanyahu has returned to power after a decade and is again fighting a Palestinian threat to declare statehood in the West Bank and Gaza Strip… If Netanyahu acts correctly, he will again be able to take pride in his ability to foil Palestinian declarations of statehood, just as he did during his first term as prime minister.

Given the chaos in the region, such a UN vote as that which accepted Israel as a sovereign nation in 1948 is both premature and irresponsible. A state was given to the Palestinian people before further territories were captured by Israel forces in 1967. However the proposal went refused. To think that a new country, justified by a unilateral United Nations vote would not fall either immediately into a civil war or let power slip into the hands of Hamas, is insane. The plan spells war and why should Israel be forced to expose her sovereign territories like that?

Hillary Leaves Settlers Freezing

hillaryUS Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has offered Israel half praise and half criticism on their plans for a semi-freeze of settlement expansion. On Monday she said that the proposed plan “falls short of US expectations.” Israel says that it is willing to limit settlement expansion, while not freezing it altogether.

Clinton said:

“Successive American administrations of both parties have opposed Israel’s settlement policy. That is absolutely a fact, and the Obama administration’s position on settlements is clear, unequivocal and it has not changed. As the president has said on many occasions, the United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements…I will offer positive reinforcement to either of the parties when I believe they are taking steps that support the objective of reaching a two-state solution,” she said.

“This offer falls far short of what we would characterize as our position or what our preference would be. But if it is acted upon it will be an unprecedented restriction on settlements and would have a significant and meaningful effect on restraining their growth.”

Clinton also insisted that the Palestinian Authority deserved credit for their “unprecedented” steps toward improving security in the West Bank.
After her stop in the Holy Land, Mrs. Clinton continued down the path to Morocco, to speak with Foreign Ministers from several Persian Gulf countries, including Prince Saud al-Faisal of Saudi Arabia.

Avigdor Lieberman’s Back in the News

About to be indicted for money laundering and bribery, Avigdor Lieberman has finally made a headline once again. Believed to be keeping a low profile, spending time in Africa while Barak and Bibi talk to the Americans about Iran, he decided to make another one of his comments about the peace process. According Israel’s foreign minister, there’s no chance of ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for many years.

Avigdor LiebermanI have a hard time figuring out why statements such as these make headlines at all. Isn’t that what everyone says in the street all the time? The only thing special is that Lieberman is the only government official who says it out loud, and he seemingly represents the State. Everyone else wants to sound diplomatic. It is Israel’s top diplomat, however, that doesn’t really care about diplomacy all that much.

Going a bit deeper, Lieberman says it’s unrealistic to think a long-term agreement can be reached at this time and that whoever thinks an agreement can be reached soon just doesn’t understand the situation. Instead, he wants interim agreements that will keep the situation calm until such a time as a permanent agreement can be reached.

To me, this is just more of the same. What’s the difference between a permanent agreement and a temporary agreement? For both of them, you need both sides to agree to something. And that’s what’s proven so impossible these years. So why would temporary work better than permanent? This I fail to understand.

“What is possible to reach is a long-term intermediate agreement … that leaves the tough issues for a much later stage.” He failed to elaborate, as politicians often do.

Does anyone ever think of the possibility of no agreement? After all, this is the direction Israel has been going in lately. The disengagement was one form of that, as it was unilateral. Argue about the direction taken in that unilateral decision one may, but it seems we are on the course of imposing some sort of solution rather than signing more papers.

It’s just a question of what the next unilateral move by Israel will be and who will make it. Oh, it won’t be Lieberman. He’ll probably be in prison or some such place.

Some Questions about the Fatah Convention

Fatah, the PLO faction group founded in 1954 by Yasser Arafat, is having its 6th general convention today. I have some questions about it. First, Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas opened the festivities by condemning Hamas and saying that investigations are ongoing as to the cause of Arafat’s death.

MIDEAST ISRAEL PALESTINIANS FATAH CONFERENCEQuestion: Why? The fact that he was old, decrepit, and suffering from latent Parkinson’s and just died, hasn’t really clinched it for them yet?

He then went on to say that Israel hasn’t kept its commitments to the United States, including giving up sovereignty over eastern Jerusalem and even parts of the Dead Sea.

Question: When was this? I can’t seem to recall when Israel made those promises to anyone. I can remember, though, when Israel actually offered them to the PLO and they refused.

Then things got more interesting. He continued: “Although peace is our choice, we reserve the right to resistance, legitimate under international law.”

Question: What resistance he’s talking about? Really, I’m curious. Peacefully picketing and civil disobedience? Or is it murdering innocent civilians? I’m just asking, because it’s unclear.

Jibril Rajoub, who used to be in charge of the PA police, then clarified and said that “armed resistance” is always an option, and that Israel must acknowledge that. So there goes nonviolent civil disobedience.

Question: What do you mean, Jibril by “acknowledge?” Does fighting back qualify? Or is acknowledgment only sitting around watching buses explode and retreating?

I’ll tell you what, Jibril. I will gladly acknowledge your resistance if you acknowledge Israel’s response to it. Then we can sit down over a cold beer, a la Obama, Gates, and Crowley at the White House and discuss mutual acknowledgment.

Meanwhile, Defense Minister Barak said it was important that the platform produced by the delegates will be representative of a wide range of views.

Question: What range of views?

President Shimon Peres, mentioning the convention, said that the Palestinians must remember that like Israel, “they must stay committed to the Road Map and the path of negotiations.”

Question: What happens if they don’t, as in the past 9 years?

The only Israelis expected to attend the conference were MKs Ahmed Tibi and Taleb A-Sanaa (UAL-Ta’al) and Muhammad Barakei (Hadash).

Question: Why are Israeli Knesset members allowed to attend a summit about armed resistance against Israel?

Is anybody listening?

Dr. Mordechai

Dr. Mordechai Kedar of Bar-Ilan University discusses Jerusalem and the settlements on Al Jazeera.

The “good fence” soccer match: Palestinian version

It seems that sometimes our guys can’t win – even when it involves a friendly game of football. A big controversy has arisen following a commercial by Israel’s largest cellular phone company, Cellcom, in which a soccer ball comes flying over the West Bank security fence and strikes an IDF jeep going by on patrol. One of the young soldiers kicks it back to the other side, and thus an impromptu game begins of kicking the back and forth with a bunch of female soldiers cheering both sides on.

In reality though, representatives of the Palestinian authority didn’t think the idea was very cute at all, especially in light of all the hardships they say that Palestinian citizens go through daily because of the “wall”. In fact they want Cellcom to stop running the commercial, and as a rebuttal, made a Youtube version of how they see the actual incident played out, when their efforts to induce the IDF soldiers to play winds up with the soldiers pitching canisters of tear gas at them instead of a football.

The timing of these incidents almost coincides with some comments made my Israeli P.M. Binyamin Netanyahu in which he said Israel has no plans whatsoever to dismantle the fence, and that it has helped prevent terror attacks from occurring during the last few years. The fact that so few attacks have taken place, probably isn’t so much attributed to the presence of the fence as it is to a change in tactics by the Palestinians, who now see that it is worth their while to refrain from such actions, especially with the new Obama Administration in Washington being more partial towards them than the previous one under George Bush. A few serious terror incidents would not be very user friendly to Mahmoud Abbas’ government in Ramallah, to say the least.

As for the two sides actually playing a real match, maybe this will actually happen one day, especially since the Palestinian national squad is now back on it’s home ground, after being located for many years in Jordan. And as a final word to this situation, playing football together is surely far better than lobbing other “missiles” over the 4 meter high wall – especially Qassams.

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