by Khaled Abu Toameh
The (so-called) Palestinians are divided today into two camps - one that is radical and another that is less radical - or "moderate" in the words of the West.
The radical camp is headed by Hamas and other extremist groups such as the Islamic Jihad organization. This camp's message is: We want 100% of everything and we will not make any concessions to Israel. We want all the land, from the Mediterranean to the Jordan River. We want to replace Israel with an Islamic state where Jews who wish to could live as a minority.
There is no point in talking about the possibility of negotiating with this radical camp about peace, especially as its declared goal is to eliminate Israel - not to make peace. The only thing Israel could talk to the radicals about is how and when to dismantle the Jewish state.
The less radical camp, headed by the PLO and a minority of secular Palestinians, is also saying that it wants 100%, but only of the pre-1967 lines - meaning the entire West Bank, Gaza Strip and eastern Jerusalem. Like the radicals, the "moderate" camp is also saying that it will not and cannot make any concessions to Israel on its territorial demands.
With such positions, it is difficult to see how the peace process could lead to anything positive. The radicals do not want to negotiate with Israel because they do not recognise its right to exist and believe it should be wiped off the face of the earth. The so-called moderates say they are ready to return to the negotiating table, but only if Israel agrees in advance to give them 100% of their demands.
Yet the central problem is that even if Israel does accept all their demands, neither camp is willing to commit to ending the conflict. This is basically why the 2000 Camp David summit failed - because Yasser Arafat was not prepared to sign any document that called for end of conflict even after a peace deal was reached between Israel and the Palestinians.
Further, no "moderate" Palestinian leader would dare to sign such a document out of fear of being denounced by his people - and the rest of the Arab and Islamic countries - for having "sold out" to Israel by giving up the claim to all of the land.
Because the less-radical camp knows that Israel will not and cannot accept all their demands, they have decided to stay away from the peace talks. They have instead chosen to negotiate with the international community about the establishment of a Palestinian state.
Food for Thought. by Steven Shamrak
I do not blame the 'Ugly Nothing' only for its discriminatory policy against Israel. The United Nations is controlled by the traditional anti-Semitic ugliness of the Western countries - so-called democracies, which are the primary dominant powers in the UN. They have been encouraging aggression of the Arab/Muslim world against Israel, since even before the Jewish state was created.
Israel and the United Arab Emirates ratified a free trade agreement which is expected to increase bilateral trade to over $10 billion within five years. This deal will eliminate or reduce tariffs on 96% of products. The two countries signed the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), a free trade agreement in May. (The bottom line: Nobody cares about fake Palestinians! Anti-Semitism is another matter.)
Hadash chairman MK Ayman Odeh met on Friday with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, through mediation with the Palestinian Authority, to deliver an official appeal to the UN Human Rights Commission against Israeli authorities, who he claims do not provide protection for Arab citizens in Israel. In 2018, a delegation of Arab MKs held a series of meetings at the United Nations Human Rights Council as part of their efforts against the Nationality Law. (Israel is too busy to protect Jewish-Israelis from terror attacks committed by 'Palestinian'-Israelis.)
The United Nations General Assembly affirmed that Israel must give up its nuclear weapons in a 149-6 vote taken week ago. Canada, Israel, Micronesia, Palau, the United States and Liberia opposed the resolution. Another 26 countries, including India and many European states, abstained. Ukraine was absent from the vote after supporting the initial text. (There has been no such resolution about India, Pakistan, North Korea and other states.)
Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu has reached coalition agreements with the majority of his partner factions, but is still facing difficulties in its negotiations with the United Torah Judaism party. Netanyahu slammed MK Moshe Gafni, saying: "Because of you, we haven't formed a government." Gafni told Netanyahu: "I will not sign any agreement until an agreement is reached on the fundamental issues." Likud officials have demanded that UTJ sign the agreement on the division of positions in order to present the president with progress in the negotiations (to get extension). (The Likud party would have formed a Zionist government a long time ago if Netanyahu resigned from politics. Israeli politicians to not trust him, and many do not want be in government with him!)
Secretary of State Antony Blinken elevated Palestinian claims to Jerusalem during a keynote speech on Sunday before the anti-Israel group J-Street, which Blinken described as "a remarkable organization." The Biden administration seeks to elevate diplomatic ties with the Palestinian government by reopening a Palestinian Affairs consulate in the city. This decision has drawn accusations that the administration is working with the Palestinians to erode Israel’s sovereignty over the city. Blinken said that the Biden administration will "unequivocally oppose any acts that undermine the prospects of a two-state solution”. (He found the J-Street conference very supportive, with their Israel-hating Jewish audience.)
Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir met with American Jewish leaders several weeks ago, telling them "Israel and other Gulf states have been gradually normalizing for years. The process must be allowed to mature.” Last month Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman presented a list of conditions to the White House for Saudi Arabia to move forward with normalization. The Saudi leader’s primary demands include a formal affirmation of the US alliance with Saudi Arabia, a deal enabling the Saudis to use their uranium reserves to develop a civilian nuclear program, and an American commitment to arm Saudi Arabia comparable to the US commitment to fellow NATO states. The Palestinian Authority and the Israel-Palestinian conflict were not mentioned. (The Saudis don’t care much for their ‘Palestinian brothers’, and they know Israel has no desire to take Saudi lands, but taking care of Iran is another matter.)
US defense giant Lockheed Martin, which specializes in manufacturing planes and armaments, has joined Israeli company Rafael Advanced Defense Systems’ project to build a laser-based system, called Iron Beam, against missiles and rockets. It will be geared toward developing a variant of the system to be used in US markets and elsewhere.
Quote of the Week:
“The only way peace happens in the Middle East is if the US stands strongly and steadfastly with Israel. A strong America prevents war. At the end of the day, it’s about leadership, and America has to demonstrate that leadership, including absolute support for its allies like Israel.” - Nikki Haley, former US Ambassador to the United Nations - Unfortunately, a true friend of Israel in the White House is hard to come by.
by Yoram Ettinger
Contrary to conventional "wisdom,” most Arabs in the British Mandate of Palestine – and most of the 320,000 1948 Arab refugees – were migrant workers and descendants of the 1831-1947 Muslim immigrants from Egypt, the Sudan, Lebanon, Syria, as well as from Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Yemen, Libya, North Africa, Bosnia, India, and Afghanistan, etc.. Britain enticed Arab immigration and blocked Jewish immigration.
Thus, between 1880 and 1919, Haifa’s Arab population surged from 6,000 to 80,000, mostly due to migrant workers. The eruption of WW2 accelerated the demand for Arab manpower by the British Mandate’s military and its civilian authorities.
Moreover, Arab migrant workers were imported by the Ottoman Empire, and then by the British Mandate, to work in major civilian and military infrastructure projects. Legal and illegal Arab migrants were, also, attracted by economic growth, which was generated by the Jewish community beginning in 1882.
According to a 1937 report by the British Peel Commission (featured in the ground-breaking book, Palestine Betrayed, by Prof. Efraim Karsh), “during 1922 through 1931, the increase of Arab population in the mixed-towns of Haifa, Jaffa, and Jerusalem was 86%, 62% and 37% respectively, while in purely Arab towns such as Nablus (Shchem) and Hebron it was only 7%, with a decrease of 2 percent in Gaza.”
Irrespective of occasional Arab emigration from British Mandate Palestine – due to intra-Arab terrorism, which has been an endemic feature in the Middle East - the substantial wave of Arab immigration from 1831-1947 triggered dramatic growth of the Arab populations in Jaffa (17 times), Haifa (12 times) and Ramla (5 times).
This unusual Arab/Muslim demographic diversity is evidenced by popular Israeli Arab family names, which are a derivative of their countries of origin: al-Masri (Egypt), al-Obeidi (the Sudan), al-Lubnani (Lebanon), Halabi (Syria), al-Mughrabi (Morocco), al-Djazair (Algeria), al-Yamani (Yemen), al-Afgahni (Afghanistan), al-Hindi (India), al-Hijazi (Saudi Arabia), al-Baghdadi (Iraq), Bushnak (Bosnia), Khamis (Bahrain), Turki (Turkey), etc...
Thus, contrary to the myth of the 1948 Arab refugees – aiming to delegitimize Israel - Arabs have not been in the Land of Israel from time immemorial; no Palestinian people was ever robbed of its land; there is no basis for an Arab “claim of return;” and most of the 320,000 Arab refugees – who were created by the 1948 Arab invasion of Israel and their own collaboration with the invasion – were recent immigrants and foreign workers (from neighbouring Arab countries) in the Land of Israel. (Immediately after the United Nations decided to make their refugee status permanent and to pay them for participation in anti-Israel international bigotry, their number was promptly inflated and even doubled! And has grown exponentially since then! Note they did NOT identify as “Palestinian” until Jews started returning to Israel, and even then, not largely until the 1960’s. And even then, they didn’t ask for the land they now claim is all they want when Jordan occupied it; they wanted the land inhabited by Jews.)