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The Trump Administration’s Geopolitical Hat Trick

Sudan has become the third Arab country to agree to normalize relations with Israel. The Palestinians are most unhappy: “Palestinians condemn ‘shameful’ Israel-Sudan accord,” by Khaled Abu Toameh and Celia Jean, Jerusalem Post, October 24, 2020:

The Palestinian Authority said on Friday that it “condemns and rejects” the normalization of relations between Arab countries and Israel.

A statement by the PA presidency in Ramallah said that normalization with Israel is in violation of the Arab summit resolutions and the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative….

Friday’s statement by the PA, however, did not accuse Sudan of betraying the Palestinians or stabbing the Palestinian people in the back, as was the case with the UAE and Bahrain.

Mahmoud Abbas has apparently figured out that the curses and insults that he and his cronies flung at the UAE and Bahrain when they normalized relations with Israel, did the Palestinians no good, but merely inflamed passions against them. With the Sudan, they’re trying a different, more-in-sorrow approach: How can you do this to us? Don’t you feel our pain?

“No one has the right to speak on behalf of the Palestinian people and the Palestinian issue,” the statement added. “The path to a just and comprehensive peace should be based on international law and legitimacy so as to end the Israeli occupation of the land of the State of Palestine and achieve independence for the Palestinian people in their state, with East Jerusalem as its capital, on the 1967 borders. The Palestinian leadership will take the necessary decisions to protect the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people.”

But Sudan did not arrogate to itself the “right to speak on behalf of the Palestinian people and the Palestinian issue.” It said nothing at all about the “Palestinians” in its agreement to normalize relations with Israel. It was only addressing, and promoting in two ways, its own national interest. First, to obtain this agreement, the U.S. has removed the Sudan from its list of state sponsors of terrorism. That will give it access to foreign investors, and to loans from the World Bank, the IMF, and other institutions. Second, Israel will be eager to prove to the Sudan that it made the right choice, by helping it where it most could use Israeli help: in agriculture. Israel is a world leader in drip irrigation, in wastewater management, and in solar energy, all of which could be of great help to Sudanese farmers.

While not in the official PA statement, Wasel Abu Youssef from the Palestinian Liberation Front, a small faction in the Palestinian Liberation Organization, said that Sudan joining “others who normalized ties with the state of the Israeli occupation represents a new stab in the back of the Palestinian people and a betrayal of the just Palestinian cause.”

“A new stab in the back”? Oh dear. It sounds as if Wasel Abu Youssef of the PLF did not get the memo from Mahmoud Abbas calling for a kinder, gentler approach to Sudan. This kind of charge only infuriated the UAE and Bahrain when it was made about them by the PA; the Sudanese are just as unlikely to be pleased to be described as back-stabbers. The Palestinians really ought to do a better job of coordinating their responses; this mixed-messaging will never do.

Abbas Zaki, a senior official of the ruling Fatah faction, said that Sudan would not gain anything from the normalization accord with Israel….

“Sudan would not gain anything from the normalization accord”? But Sudan has already gained something. It has been removed from the American list of state sponsors of terrorism; that removal will greatly improve Sudan’s ability to attract foreign investment, and will now enable Sudan to receive loans from the IMF, the World Bank, and other financial institutions that were previously impossible to obtain. And then there is the extensive Israeli aid that will be given to Sudanese farmers, just as soon as the agreement goes into effect. Abbas Zaki is whistling in the dark.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said that the agreement was “not compatible with Sudan’s record of supporting the Palestinians.”

But that “record of supporting the Palestinians” took place under the long and terrible rule of Omar al-Bashir, the dictator of Sudan from 1989 to 2019. Bashir was an ardent supporter of Hamas, allowing it to operate freely in the country. Bashir also gave refuge to Osama bin Laden, who lived securely in the Sudan for four years. The new regime in Sudan wants to end any hint of the country’s previous connection to terrorists; it wants to reconnect with the West, attract investors, and build its economy, especially agriculture. It has gotten nothing from its “record of supporting the Palestinians” except being placed on the list of state sponsors of terror. Now, by normalizing relations with Israel, it has already been taken off that list, allowing it to attract investors, be again eligible for foreign aid, and be able to obtain loans from major financial institutions such as the IMF. Israel is ready to share with Sudanese farmers the benefits of its expertise and advances in at least three key areas – solar energy, drip irrigation, and wastewater management – where it is a world leader.

PIJ [Palestinian Islamic Jihad] spokesman Daoud Shehab accused Sudan of presenting Israel with a “free gift” in order to appease the US.

“This is a black day in the history of Sudan,” Shehab added. “The agreement jeopardizes Sudan’s future and identity and is a betrayal of the Arabs and Muslims.”

The PIJ official expressed confidence that the Sudanese people would not accept this “betrayal.”…

It is Israel that will be giving gifts to the Sudan, in the form of aid to its agricultural sector. As for Shehab’s claim that the normalization agreement “jeopardizes Sudan’s future and identity,” since when did the Palestinians become the judges as to the “Arab” identity of others? Because the Sudanese are black, is there possibly an attempt here to hint at doubt as to their “Arab” identity unless they fall back into line with what the Palestinians demand? And what exactly was the “betrayal” by the Sudan? Did it owe the Palestinians anything? Have the Palestinians ever done anything for the Sudan, other than land the country on the list of state sponsors of terrorism?

There is certainly domestic opposition in the Sudan to this new agreement. But the opponents of normalization surely know that the Sudanese quid for that significant American quo was Sudan’s agreeing to normalize relations with Israel. And if they are willing to “give peace a chance,” they will find the new connection with Israel will pay ample dividends, for the Israelis want to make sure that the “early adopters” of normalization realize economic benefits quickly. In the case of Sudan, as bears repeating, that means Israeli help to Sudanese farmers, mainly by sharing Israeli advances in drip irrigation, in waste water management, and in solar energy.

Commending the agreement from the Arab world was Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who tweeted that he welcomed the joint efforts of all three states involved in the agreement.

He added that he also values “all efforts aimed at achieving regional stability and peace.”…

El-Sisi has for a long time been cooperating with Israel on security matters, especially against Jihadis in the Sinai and, naturally, against the Muslim Brotherhood that is the sworn enemy of his regime. He previously praised both the UAE and Bahrain for their normalization agreements with Israel. It is not surprising, but is still heartening, that the most populous Arab state, and Sudan’s immediate northern neighbor, has come out foursquare for the agreement.

The Palestinian Arabs continue to believe that they should have a veto power over the policy toward Israel of all the other Arabs. They seek to deny the Arab states the possibility of making their own arrangements with Israel, arrangements that further their own national interests. The UAE and Bahrain dismissed the Palestinian objections, and went ahead in normalizing relations with the Jewish state. They have had only curses and insults heaped on them by the Palestinians, which only makes them more determined to promote both economic and people-to-people ties with the Israelis – “a warm peace.” Meanwhile, the entire nation of Israel seems ready to make sure their new Arab interlocutors benefit from such normalization; Israeli businessmen, entrepreneurs, scientists, academics, and tourists have gone to the UAE and Bahrain, while Emiratis and Bahrainis are doing the same in the Jewish state. And now, to complete the Trump Administration’s geopolitical hat trick, Sudan has just become the third Arab state to announce its intention to normalize relations with Israel. Abbas rages in Ramallah, for he can do no other, and the caravan moves on.

COLUMN BY

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Trump: ‘Another HISTORIC breakthrough today! Our two GREAT friends Israel and Bahrain agree to a Peace Deal’

VIDEO: President Donald J. Trump announces Bahrain, Israel will normalize relations.


“Another HISTORIC breakthrough today! Our two GREAT friends Israel and the Kingdom of Bahrain agree to a Peace Deal – the second Arab country to make peace with Israel in 30 days!”

This is extraordinary. Trump is achieving it by refusing to heed the conventional wisdom that has guided U.S. foreign policy into disaster after disaster for decades. I rated him very high in Rating America’s Presidents, and he keeps on vindicating me. But his defiance of the mainstream analysts and demonstration of their failures is one reason why they hate him with such passionate intensity.

“Bahrain agrees to normalize relations with Israel, Trump announces,” Jerusalem Post, September 11, 2020:

Bahrain has joined the United Arab Emirates in striking an agreement to normalize relations with Israel, President Donald Trump said on Friday, a dramatic move aimed at easing tensions in the Middle East.

Trump tweeted out the news after he spoke by phone to both Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the White House said.

Trump also tweeted: “Another HISTORIC breakthrough today! Our two GREAT friends Israel and the Kingdom of Bahrain agree to a Peace Deal – the second Arab country to make peace with Israel in 30 days!”

“This is a historic breakthrough to further peace in the Middle East,” the United States, Bahrain and Israel said in a joint statement.

“Opening direct dialog and ties between these two dynamic societies and advanced economies will continue the positive transformation of the Middle East and increase stability, security, and prosperity in the region,” it said.

Netanyahu says the agreement marks a “new era of peace.”…

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Harvard Hires PLO Executive to Mentor Students

Clarion discovers over $2.6 million in donations from the Palestinians to Harvard


Harvard University named Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat — who serves as secretary general of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) — as a fellow at the Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.

Erekat, a man who called random stabbing attacks on Israeli citizens by Palestinian terrorists “self-defense,” will be charged with mentoring students and giving seminars in the school’s “The Future of Diplomacy Project.”

PLO member Erekat is one of four new fellows appointed by the school to the project. Commenting on the appointments, faculty chair Nicholas Burns said that the new fellows “will strengthen our capacity to learn the lessons of effective diplomacy and statecraft.”

In the course of research to our new documentary film Covert Cash (see below), Clarion Project discovered that the Palestinian Authority (PA), which essentially serves as the governmental arm of the PLO, made six donations to Harvard between the years of 2017 and 2019. The donations totaled $2,625,000.

The film asks, among other questions, what type of return on their investments are these foreign governments getting from their donations to American universities?

Since its inception, the PA has pleaded poverty and solicited donations from the world community. As of December 2018, the U.S. government had given the Palestinian Authority $5 billion in taxpayer dollars since 1994 (post the Oslo Accords). The European Union is one of their largest funders of the PA as well. Besides being used to line the pockets of top PA executives, Israel maintains that a good portion of this donated money has been used for terror.

The Palestine Liberation Organization was founded in 1964 with the purpose of “liberating Palestine” through armed struggle. Most of the enormous amount of violence perpetrated by the group over the years has been aimed at Israeli civilians.

The PLO was considered by the United States to be a terrorist organization until the Madrid Conference in 1991.

In 1993, the PLO ostensibly recognized the right of Israel to exist, yet continued to perpetrate terror attacks against Israel. It coordinated those attacks during the 2000–2005 Second Intifada and afterwards with the Palestinian Authority, its governmental arm.

Erekat has been involved in every Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiation since 2000 – all failed endeavors (most likely due to the fact that he explicitly stated in a 2014 interview with Al Jazeera, “I will never recognize Israel as a Jewish state”).

Nevertheless, Erekat will now bring his “expertise” – both as a diplomatic and as the author of 14 books on foreign policy, oil, conflict resolution and negotiations – to Harvard, where students at one of the most prestigious foreign policy schools in the country will be educated by him.

More facts about Erekat:

  • In 2015, Erekat compared Israel to ISIS saying, “There is no difference between the terrorism practiced by the group led by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and Israel’s terrorism”
  • He called Israel’s expansion of settlements “terrorism” at a time when settlements had seen nearly zero physical expansion for 25 years. In negotiations with then-Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Erekat admitted that the settlements took up only 1.1 percent of the areas Palestinians wanted for a state
  • Erekat denies archaeological evidence of the Jewish history in Jerusalem
  • Erekat claimed his family had lived in Israel for 9,000 years, yet evidence shows that the family comes from the Huwait region of Arabia

EDITORS NOTE: This Clarion Project column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Trump announces ‘historic peace agreement’ between Israel and the United Arab Emirates

This is indeed historic, and shows a weakening of the lockstep and Islam-based hatred of Israel that has dominated the Arab and Muslim states’ response to the Jewish state up to now, with very few exceptions. Netanyahu and the Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan thank Trump for his “dedication to peace in the region” and “the pragmatic and unique approach he has taken to achieve it.”

The key word there is “pragmatic.” The jihad against Israel remains as a theoretical religious obligation, but Trump has apparently compelled the UAE to understand that to maintain hostility to Israel in light of today’s political realities is imprudent. He deserves congratulations and gratitude for achieving, at least in part, what a succession of Presidents has tried and failed to achieve.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Boston: “Day of Rage” Protesters Call for Violent Destruction of Israel

The Leftist-jihadist alliance on abundant display.

“‘Day of Rage’ Protesters in Boston Chant Anti-Israel, Pro-Hamas Slogans, Call for Intifada,” by Jackson Richman, JNS, July 3, 2020:

Tensions brewed at “Day of Rage” rallies and vehicle caravans nationwide on July 1, protesting Israel’s plans to apply sovereignty to parts of Judea and Samaria, more commonly known as the West Bank. The name refers to times when Palestinians riot and hurl rocks against Israeli soldiers and civilians, most recently near the border with the Gaza Strip.

Approximately 300 people associated with BDS Boston—a coalition of far-left anti-Israel organizations—chanted Hamas slogans on Wednesday night in front of the offices of the Anti-Defamation League and the Jewish Community Relations Council in the Massachusetts capital.

The BDS organizers said that they were protesting police brutality in the aftermath of the killing of African-American George Floyd, 46, on May 25 in the custody of Minneapolis police.

“The protesters hijacked legitimate outrage over the death of George Floyd to justify an ugly display of hostility towards Israel and Jewish organizations on the streets of Boston,” said Dexter Van Zile, an analyst at the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting and Analysis, or CAMERA, which is based in Boston. “This wasn’t about changing American police policies, but about coarsening and brutalizing the discourse around Israel and Jews through the exploitation of black suffering.”

CAMERA staff filmed the rally. A speaker for BDS Boston is on video leading the large crowd in the Hamas chant “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” which is a call for the replacement of Israel with a majority-Arab Muslim country.

At other times, the crowd can be heard loudly chanting “Intifada, Intifada,” the name of violent Palestinian uprisings. Hamas is a U.S.-designated terrorist group.

“Kaffiyeh-wearing college students and mostly middle-class white activists with Palestinian flags were shouting for the violent elimination of the world’s only Jewish state,” said Van Zile. “Think about that: They’re chanting eliminationist rhetoric outside the offices of mainstream American Jewish organizations—a fact that shows that this wasn’t simply about Israel, but about Jews as Jews.”…

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Nancy Pelosi Claims Israeli ‘Annexation’ Will Harm American Security Interests

The story of her astonishing claim is at the Jerusalem Post here:

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said on Thursday that she is “concerned” about a possible Israeli move to annex parts of the West Bank.

“Unilateral annexation puts the future at risk and undermines US national security interests,” she said in a webinar hosted by the Jewish Democratic Council of America (JDCA). “It undermines our national security interests and decades of bipartisan policy. We always want it to be bipartisan,” she continued.

The extension of Israel’s sovereignty to the “West Bank” – the name Jordan gave in 1950 to those parts of Judea and Samaria it had managed to hold onto during the 1948-49 war – is based on the Palestine Mandate itself. That Mandate assigned to the future Jewish state all of the land from Mt. Hermon in the north, to the Red Sea in the south, and from the Jordan River in the west, to the Mediterranean in the east. At the end of Arab-Israeli hostilities in 1949, the Jordanian army remained in possession of part of Judea and Samaria; Jordan renamed that territory the “West Bank” in order to efface the Jewish connection to the land, much as the Romans nearly 2000 years before had replaced the name “Judea” with “Palestine.” When Israel took possession of the “West Bank” after the Six-Day War, this did not create its legal, historic, and moral claim to land where Jews had lived for 3,500 years, but allowed the Jewish state to finally enforce its preexisting claim.

A second, and independent source for the Jewish claim to extend its sovereignty to a considerable part of the “West Bank” is U.N. Resolution 242.

The chief drafter of Resolution 242 was Lord Caradon (Hugh M. Foot), the permanent representative of the United Kingdom to the United Nations from 1964-1970. At the time of the Resolution’s discussion and subsequent unanimous passage, and on many occasions since, Lord Caradon always insisted that the phrase “from the territories” quite deliberately did not mean “all the territories,” but merely some of the territories:

Much play has been made of the fact that we didn’t say “the” territories or “all the” territories. But that was deliberate. I myself knew very well the 1967 boundaries and if we had put in the “the” or “all the” that could only have meant that we wished to see the 1967 boundaries perpetuated in the form of a permanent frontier. This I was certainly not prepared to recommend.

On another occasion, to an interviewer from the Journal of Palestine Studies (Spring-Summer 1976), he again insisted on the deliberateness of the wording. He was asked:

The basis for any settlement will be United Nations Security Council Resolution 242, of which you were the architect. Would you say there is a contradiction between the part of the resolution that stresses the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war and that which calls for Israeli withdrawal from “occupied territories,” but not from “the occupied territories”?

Nota bene: “from territories occupied” is not the same thing as “from occupied territories” – the first is neutral, the second a loaded description. Lord Caradon answered:

“I defend the resolution as it stands. What it states, as you know, is first the general principle of inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war. That means that you can’t justify holding onto territory merely because you conquered it. We could have said: well, you go back to the 1967 line. But I know the 1967 line, and it’s a rotten line. You couldn’t have a worse line for a permanent international boundary. It’s where the troops happened to be on a certain night in 1948. It’s got no relation to the needs of the situation.

“Had we said that you must go back to the 1967 line, which would have resulted if we had specified a retreat from all the occupied territories, we would have been wrong.”

Note how Lord Caradon says that “you can’t justify holding onto territory merely because you conquered it,” with that “merely” applying to Jordan, but not to Israel, because of the Mandate’s explicit provisions allocating the territory known now as the “West Bank” to the Jewish state. Note, too, the firmness of his dismissal of the 1967 lines as nothing more than “where the troops happened to be on a certain night in 1948,” that is, nothing more than armistice lines and not internationally recognized borders.

Does Speaker Pelosi understand the legal, historic, and moral claims of Israel to Judea and Samaria (a/k/a the “West Bank)”? Does she understand the intent of the Mandate for Palestine, in recognizing those claims, and does she have a firm understanding of the territory that was included by the League of Nations in that Mandate? Does she comprehend, as well, the meaning of U.N. Resolution 242, which allows Israel to make territorial adjustments to ensure its own security? Is she aware that an American military mission, sent to Israel by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, on the orders of President Johnson, to study what territories, at a minimum, Israel would have to retain after the Six-Day War, reported back that Israel would need to keep the Jordan Valley and parts of the West Bank in order to slow down, or prevent, a possible invasion force from the east that could cut Israel in two at its narrowest point; within the 1949 armistice lines, Israel was only nine miles wide from Qalqilya to the sea.

Would comprehending the Mandate for Palestine (especially the Preamble, and Articles 4 and 6), and U.N. Resolution 242, make a difference to Nancy Pelosi? Would she be less quick to lecture Israel on not annexing territory in the West Bank, if she knew Israel had a perfect right to that territory – the Jordan Valley and the settlements – according to both the Mandate, and U.N. Resolution 242?

Pelosi’s bizarre claim is that any Israel “annexation” of territory would “harm America’s national security interests.” She has it exactly backwards. Any annexation by Israel of territory to which it is entitled, and which will increase the Jewish state’s ability to protect itself, will contribute to American national security. Deprived of control of the Jordan Valley, forced to surrender some of its settlements, Israel would be much more vulnerable to attack. And though Israel has never asked for a single American soldier to help defend it, unlike several Arab states, including Saudi Arabia and Lebanon, if it is squeezed back into something like the 1949 armistice lines – i.e., the pre-1967 lines which Abba Eban famously described as “the lines of Auschwitz” — that could make more likely the need, in some future war, for Israel to request American help. That’s not something either Israel, or America, wants. And if Israel were to be squeezed back into something like the 1949 armistice lines, and as a consequence was in danger, in case of war, of being cut in two by an invader from the East, does anyone doubt that if the Israelis ever felt their national survival was at stake, they would use some of their nuclear weapons as a last resort. Does Pelosi want to make such a possibility more likely?

Nancy Pelosi claims that Israel’s annexation of land in the West Bank will harm America’s national security interests; she has things backwards. The better able Israel is to defend itself, the less likely that it will ever have to ask for American aid. And what about the Arab states? Would they be angry with the United States if Israel held onto most or even all of the West Bank? We know that while the member states of the Arab League, for public consumption, have deplored Israeli “annexation,” behind the scenes several of these same states have expressed their support, more muted in some cases than in others, for the Trump Deal of the Century which allows for that Israeli annexation. The ambassadors of three Arab states — Bahrain, Oman, and the UAE – in a sign of support even attended the White House ceremony in which the Trump Plan was rolled out. Though Jordan has denounced any “annexation,” privately Jordanian officials have said they do not want the Palestinians to control the West Bank, for they fear a possible alliance of Palestinians on both sides of the Jordan against the Hashemite monarchy. Two other important Arab states, Egypt and, especially, Saudi Arabia, have lost interest in the “Palestinians” – Crown Prince Muhammad angrily told Mahmoud Abbas to “take whatever deal” he can that the Americans offer – and are more interested in Israeli help, including the sharing of its intelligence with them, in combating Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood. When the Israelis were about to annex the Golan Heights, it was predicted that all hell would break loose in the Arab countries. Nothing happened. When Trump decided to move the American Embassy to Jerusalem, we were again warned that Arabs and Muslims would be inflamed. Again nothing of the sort occurred.

Now we are being assured that if Israel annexes the Jordan Valley and the settlements, the Arabs will this time really rise up. Why should we believe it? Even in the West Bank, where Mahmoud Abbas insists he has now torn up all agreements with Israel, on the ground there is still security cooperation between the P.A. and Israel. On May 20 it was reported that an unnamed senior Palestinian official sent messages to the Israel Defense Forces and the Shin Bet security service saying that some coordination would continue and that the Palestinian security organizations will continue to do their best to foil terror attacks against Israel. Even if cooperation really is ended, the official vowed that terror groups will not be permitted to act freely in areas under the control of the Palestinian Authority. So there is a lot less to Abbas’s threats to “end all cooperation with Israel” than meets the eye. Abbas knows how valuable is the intelligence the P.A. receives from Israel on its deadly rivals Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and their operatives in the West Bank. Will he really want to do without Israeli assistance that on several occasions has even helped to foil plots to murder him and his cronies?

What should Nancy Pelosi in decency do? She should study the Palestine Mandate and its maps. She should remember that even though the League of Nations dissolved in 1946, its successor organization, the United Nations, included in its Charter Article 80 (called the “Jewish people’s article”), which recognized the continuing validity of the Mandate for Palestine. And finally, she should study the text of U.N. Resolution 242, and the authoritative explanation of that text by its main drafter, Lord Caradon. Only when she has thoroughly digested the meaning of both the U.N. Resolution 242 and of the Mandate for Palestine, will she have earned the right to comment on what Israel “should” or “must” do.

She might then say, for example, that “I am well aware that Israel has a right to keep the entire West Bank if it so wishes. I do not challenge that right. But I challenge its wisdom. Wouldn’t it be better to keep the territories Israel currently controls, without a formal annexation that will merely serve to roil the Arab world?” I still think she’d be wrong, but at least she would no longer be outrageously, offensively, intolerably wrong.

The Speaker told participants that Democrats are taking “a great pride” in former president Barack Obama’s memorandum of understanding, which provides Israel with $38 billion worth of security assistance over a decade. “That’s our commitment. And we continue to have that,” she said. “It was signed in 2016 to help Israel defend itself in a variety of ways. And we stand committed to that, but we’re very concerned about what we see happening in terms of annexation.”

“I’m not a big fan of the Palestinian leadership in terms of their capability to be good negotiating partners,” she added. “I wish they could be better. But I think that everybody can be doing better in terms of that.” She also sent a barb to the Trump administration’s peace plan, saying that it has “nothing in common with the word peace or plan.”

Pelosi is “not a big fan of the Palestinian negotiating partners in terms of their capability to be good negotiating partners”? That’s a historic understatement. Mahmoud Abbas for the last twelve years refused outright to engage in any negotiations with Israel. He’s not been a “negotiating partner” at all. And in 2008, when he negotiated for the first and last time with the Israelis, he refused Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s offer of 94% of the West Bank, together with Israeli territory equivalent to 5.8% of the West Bank, and on top of that, Olmert also offered to relinquish Israeli control of the Old City to an international body. Abbas refused, and walked out. Pelosi should have told the truth: the Palestinians have shown themselves completely unwilling to seriously engage in negotiations with the Israelis.

Pelosi’s brusque dismissal of Trump’s peace plan — it has, she said, “nothing in common with the word peace or plan” – is intolerable. It is the first American effort that, had it been accepted, would have led to the creation of a Palestinian state, one which would include 97% of all the Palestinians living in the West Bank. For the first time in their history, the Palestinians would have a state. What’s more, according to the Trump Plan, the Palestinians would be given two large swathes of territory in Israel’s Negev, along the border with Egypt, to compensate for territory taken by Israel – as is its right under the Mandate – in the West Bank. Further, Gaza would be directly linked to the West Bank part of “Palestine” by traffic corridors. An enormous effort went into the Administration’s constructing a viable Arab state, consisting of contiguous territories in the West Bank where 97% of the Palestinians now live, and from which they would not have to move. Speaker Pelosi should look at all the work that went into carving out this state before so airily dismissing it.

Finally, in what is surely the most generous offer of aid in history, the Trump Administration promised that international donors would provide the state of Palestine with $50 billion dollars in aid; by comparison, the Marshall Plan allotted a total of $60 billion (in 2020 dollars) not for just one but for sixteen countries. Why does Nancy Pelosi say this carefully worked-out effort was not a “plan”? Has she looked at the maps, and seen with what care the Trump Administration managed to ensure that 97% of the Palestinians now in the West Bank would be included, in contiguous territories forming the state of Palestine, while 97% of the Israelis in the West Bank would be included, without having to move, in the state of Israel. It was a real feat of boundary-drawing. And why does Pelosi say the Trump Plan has nothing to do with “peace” when that is its main goal, to keep the peace between Palestinians and Israelis, by means of both the statehood and the prosperity– that $50 billion in aid — promised to the Palestinians, and through the demilitarization that would be required of the future state of “Palestine”?

American national security interests will not be harmed but enhanced if Israel and the Palestinians make peace, based on the Trump Plan, and if the Palestinians achieve a level of prosperity in their own state that they would not wish to endanger through war, while Israel’s deterrent power is increased by its permanent control, through annexation, of West Bank territories, and especially of the Jordan Valley, that can help prevent or slow down an invasion from the East. There may be a brief display of displeasure from the Arab street, if the Trump Plan is accepted, but in the corridors of power in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE, Bahrain, and Oman, there will be quiet satisfaction that the Trump Plan has put paid to Palestinian irredentism, given the Palestinians a state of their own, and imposed demilitarization on that state. Israel, more secure than ever, can continue to help them deal with their real worries – the Muslim Brotherhood, the assorted terror groups including Hezbollah (Iran’s proxy), and Hamas (which is merely a branch of the Brotherhood), and above all, Iran.

It is difficult for many Democrats to admit that something good might actually come out of the White House, where they long ago consigned its occupant to the outer darkness. And who has the time to read all that stuff – the Mandate for Palestine, U.N. Resolution 242, Article 80 of the U.N. Charter – or learn about the history of the non-existent negotiations between Mahmoud Abbas and several different Israeli leaders? Who has the time to find out what the Arab leaders really want, which is not always what they say they want? It’s a lot to ask. But try, Speaker Pelosi. Just try.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. All rights reserved.

Members of Congress and Their Highly Selective Indignation

Stephen Flatow notes that a letter signed several weeks ago by 60 members of Congress shocks the conscience, or should. Here is his story :

Did you hear the shocking news? Sixty Congress members just signed a letter demanding that the Federal government stop the dismantling of any illegally built homes that have been built by Arabs. But they did not object to Israel’s continuing policy of dismantling illegally built Jewish homes.

The letter demanded that the American government not allow American-made equipment it supplied to Israel to be used in what they called “the ongoing home demolitions” of Arab homes. There was no mention in the letter of the Israeli government’s dismantling of Jewish homes and settlements it deemed “illegal.” Nor was there any mention of the demolition of houses belonging to the families of terrorists as an effective way to discourage would-be terrorists.

Who would have thought that in this day and age, members of Congress would stoop so low as to make policy recommendations based on the idea that one specific ethnic group should be targeted?

We were supposed to have given up the old practice of making policies based on the color of people’s skin, rather than the content of their character. Images of George Wallace standing in that schoolhouse door were supposed to be just a bad memory. Yet here we are, in 2020, with 60 Democrats signing a letter that echoes the attitudes of those dark times.

J Street played a major role in organizing the Congressional letter. In a December 10 press release, the group announced that “J Street supporters across the country are contacting the offices of their members of Congress and urging them to sign on to this important and timely letter.”

The letter was sent to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on March 16, bearing the signatures of 60 members of Congress, all Democrats. They urged the US government to prevent Israel from using American-made equipment in “the ongoing home demolitions and forcible transfer of Palestinian civilians in the West Bank.”

The letter’s reference to “Palestinian civilians” indicates that J Street misled the members of Congress. Evidently, the J Streeters did not explain to potential signatories that house demolitions in Israel are not based on the race, religion, or ethnicity of the homeowners.

Israeli courts authorize dismantling illegally built homes on the basis of whether the homes were built illegally. The Israeli government does not have a policy of demolishing Palestinian homes. If it did, it would be doing quite a poor job of it, since 99.9% of Palestinian homes are still standing!

Both Jews and Arabs in the West Bank have illegally built homes. Some are on “state and waste” lands that are owned by the Israeli government, and from which permission for such building had not been obtained. In some cases Jewish settlers have wrongly claimed – as was the case with the settlement at Amona — to have bought the land they built on from Palestinians, claims that did not stand up in court. Individual houses, owned by Arabs and Jews – though mostly by the former – have been pulled down when the builders violated building codes so egregiously that only demolishment would discourage them, and warn others, from continuing to flout the law.

Clearly, J Street never informed these members of Congress that the Israeli government has been demolishing illegally built Jewish homes too.

On October 24, Israeli bulldozers destroyed two housing structures in the unauthorized Jewish community of Shevah Ha’aretz, near the town of Yitzhar. On November 26, the government sent tractors to level a Jewish housing structure near the community of Bat Ayin and to plow over an adjacent olive grove that had been planted by Israeli Jews and their Christian Zionist supporters. On January 15, the bulldozers were active in Yitzhar, destroying two more Jewish homes that were built illegally.

Had you heard or read about this Israeli destruction at Shevah Ha’aretz, near Bet Ayin, and at Yitzhar of Jewish houses that had been built illegally? No, of course not. It’s not something the Times or the Post or the BBC or any other part of the mainstream media would want brought to your attention. And while we hear constantly about the destruction of “Palestinian” olive trees by mad-dog Jewish settlers, have you ever heard of Israeli tractors plowing over an olive grove planted by Jews that the government considered “illegal”? No, you never have, until just now.

So why didn’t the Congressional letter ask Secretary Pompeo to make sure that no American-made bulldozers were used to smash those Jewish homes?

There are two possible answers.

One would be that those members of Congress are a bunch of racists who care only about the demolition of homes owned by one ethnic group and don’t care about the ones owned by another ethnic group.

But I don’t believe that. I believe that the signatories, except for a few die-hard Israel-haters such as Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib, are simply unaware of the reality on the ground in Judea and Samaria. They are unaware because J Street misled them. J Street led them to think that the Israeli government has a racist policy of targeting Arab houses.Comment:

The Israeli government demolishes with equal firmness both Arab and Jewish houses that have been built illegally, or that for security reasons needs to be demolished. Some Arab homes have been built on state or waste land the Palestinians did not own. In other cases, demolitions may be carried out to enforce building codes and regulations that have been repeatedly flouted. The IDF also carries out house demolitions as a counter-insurgency measure to impede or halt militant operations. An Arab house may have been strategically built just above an Israeli settlement, from where those in the house could do the most damage to Jewish civilians living below. That could be grounds for its demolition.

House demolitions are also carried out to discourage terrorism. The demolition of houses belonging to the families of convicted terrorists is used both to punish terrorists and to deter future would-be terrorists, who might not want their families to suffer. As a policy, it seems to have worked, in significantly decreasing Palestinian terrorist attacks.

If J Street had fully informed these 60 Congresspeople about the situation, then the entire premise of the anti-Israel letter would have collapsed.

Racism has no place on Capitol Hill. There should be no discrimination between houses owned by Arabs or Jews, whites or blacks, or any other racial or ethnic groups.

J Street, the so-called “pro-Israel, pro-peace” lobby, should be ashamed of itself.

In 2005, the Israeli government demolished many houses of Israeli settlers who were transferred in accordance with the Israeli disengagement from Gaza. The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said this was done by request of the Palestinian Authorities.

In addition to removing all traces of the Israeli settlements in Gaza, as demanded by the Palestinians, who might have used for their own purposes both the residential housing and the greenhouses left intact by Israelis, were they not so consumed with hate, Israel has routinely demolished “illegal” buildings put up by settlers in the West Bank — that is, “illegal” because their builders had failed to obtain permission from the Israeli state. Sometimes entire outposts have been demolished, if the Israeli government determines they were built “illegally.” Yet very little attention is given to these Israeli actions in the world media, for it would not do to deflect attention from what so many see as the only outrage, that committed by those oppressive Israelis, in destroying structures put up by the inoffensive Palestinians.

When Israel tears down “illegal” buildings or settlements put up by Jews, it does so either because the land on which the settlement was built turns out, according to scrupulous investigation by the Israeli officials, to be owned by Palestinians, or it is state land on which the Israeli government had refused to give permission for Jews to build. It may, for security reasons, want to prevent new Israeli settlements to be built too perilously close to Arab villages – given the enormous effort that might be necessary to defend their inhabitants in case of hostilities. Some settlements or outposts may actually weaken the state if they are likely to prove hellishly difficult to defend.

The government of Israel has not hesitated to remove settlers, and demolish their settlements if, after judicial decisions and appeals that go all the way up to the Supreme Court, they are given the go-ahead. Israeli decisions to demolish Arab structures are also subject to the same judgements and appeals.

In February 2017, Israeli forces began an operation to evacuate settlers from the West Bank outpost of Amona after the Supreme Court stated that it must be demolished by 8 February. According to the Supreme Court the outpost had been built on private Palestinian land settlers claimed they had bought; the land had been declared a “closed military area” by the government.

At Amona, it took thousands of Border Police to subdue a crowd of 10,000, who had come from all over Israel to protest the decision. But the sight of Israeli police violently subduing fellow Jews who were protesting the demolishment of Jewish homes did not make it to Western media; it didn’t fit the story that the media likes to present of ruthless Israelis demolishing, for no conceivable reason, Arab houses.

Perhaps some of those 60 Democratic Congressmen will take the time to find out more about the reasons for Israel’s demolishment of Jewish settlers’ houses, demolishments about which they appear not to have heard, which might provide them with a more nuanced view of the matter. And then they should have the decency to listen to the Israeli government’s explanation of the reasons for its demolition of a handful of Arab homes – an infinitesimal number, though you wouldn’t think so from the mainstream media reports — including gross violations of building codes, and erecting structures — without permission — on state and waste lands. Finally, the Congressmen should understand that demolishing the family homes of terrorists in order both to punish them and to discourage other would-be terrorists, does, in fact, work. It took the Israelis quite a while to fully comprehend, but now they do. They know that given their merciless and relentless enemy, there is no point in gentle persuasion or observing Marquess of Queensberry rules. This is the Middle East.

COLUMN BY

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Bernie Sanders On “That Right Wing” and “Racist” Israeli Government by Hugh Fitzgerald

At a town hall meeting in Nevada on February 18, Bernie Sanders delivered himself of some thoughts on what he described as Israel’s “right-wing” and “racist” government.

A report on that latest effort is here:

Senator Bernie Sanders says the United States must be “pro-Palestinian” as much as “pro-Israeli” and described the Israeli government as “right-wing” and “racist.”

Speaking during a televised town hall meeting in Nevada on Tuesday, the Democratic frontrunner for the US presidency said: “To be for the Israeli people and to be for peace in the Middle East does not mean that we have to support right-wing, racist governments that currently exist in Israel.”

But the American government has been “pro-Palestinian” for years; it has contributed billions in aid to the Palestinians, only to see much of that aid stolen by the leaders of Hamas and the Palestinian Authority. It only stopped contributing to the Palestinians, and to UNRWA, when the Palestinians refused to end their “Pay-For-Slay” program, by which hundreds of millions of dollars have gone to the families of imprisoned or dead terrorists. And the U.S. also objected to UNRWA’s insistence that the descendants of the Palestinians who originally left Mandatory Palestine, and then Israel in the period 1947-1949, were also “refugees” and deserve international aid. Among the hundreds of millions of refugees since the beginning of World War II, only the Palestinians have been allowed to consider their refugee status as something that can be passed down through the generations.

The American government also objected to the extraordinary corruption and theft, whereby just two leaders of Hamas, Khaled Meshaal and Mousa Abu Marzouk, managed to make off with at least $2.5 billion apiece from the Hamas treasury, while some 600 lesser figures in Hamas, living in Gaza, became millionaires living in seaside villas. Yasser Arafat, of the PLO, managed to amass – according to American sources – between one and three billion dollars. The President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas and his sons Tareq and Yasser, have amassed a fortune of $400 million. Hanan Ashrawi, one of Abbas’s advisors, has a net worth of $46 million. Lesser figures in the P.A. have had to make do with tens of millions, or sometimes even millions. Still, for Palestinian leaders, it beats working.

Sanders apparently thinks the Likud is “right-wing” — one of his two favorite epithets for Israel — even though the party supports a welfare state that, in American terms, would be considered to be on the left. He fails to understand, too, that there is a nearly universal consensus among Israeli Jews that the country was right to annex the Golan for defensive purposes, and is justified in claiming an undivided Jerusalem as its capital. Israelis know, too, that control of the Jordan Valley is indispensable to the country’s defense against an invasion from the east, and that 460,000 Jews living in towns in the West Bank have a perfect right to be there, according to the Mandate for Palestine, which assigned to the future Jewish National Home all the territory from the Jordan River to the sea. Sanders has never given any sign that he has read, much less understood, the Mandate for Palestine, has never acknowledged the continuing relevance of that Mandate for the recognition of Israel’s rights today. He clearly has not read Article 80 of the U.N. Charter — known as the “Jewish People’s article” – by which the U.N accepted its responsibility to put into effect the Palestine Mandate’s provisions. Finally, Sanders has never mentioned U.N. Resolution 242, which established a second, independent justification for Israel holding onto those territories it won in the Six-Day War that Israel required for “secure and recognized boundaries.” Could it be that he doesn’t think the Mandate for Palestine, Article 80 of the U.N. Charter, and U.N. Resolution 242, don’t matter? How could he be so misinformed? Well, just look around at the political and media elites here and in Europe that appear, precisely, to ignore the Mandate, Article 80, and Resolution 242. Don’t confuse them with facts. Just repeat endlessly, with them, that Israel “must withdraw from occupied territories” to something close to the “1949 borders” (in truth, there were no borders established, only armistice lines, on the demand of the Arab states themselves), in order to bring about the “two-state solution.”

As for Sanders’ charge that the current Israeli government is “racist,” what is he talking about? Arab citizens of Israel have full equality with Jewish Israelis. They are members of the Knesset; they serve on the Supreme Court; they are high-ranking diplomats. They enjoy all the rights – freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, that other Israelis possess. The only difference is that they are not required to serve in the military, although they may volunteer to do so; there are now Arab and Druze officers in the I.D.F. There is hideous “racism” in the Middle East, but it is found among, and promoted by, the Muslim Arabs, not the Jews. The Muslims, after all, know from the Qur’an that they are the “best of peoples”(3:110) while the Jews, and other Infidels, are the “most vile of created beings.” (98:6).

The Qur’an contains many antisemitic verses, which have been usefully compiled by Robert Spencer: “The Qur’an depicts the Jews as inveterately evil and bent on destroying the wellbeing of the Muslims. They are the strongest of all people in enmity toward the Muslims (5:82); as fabricating things and falsely ascribing them to Allah (2:79; 3:75, 3:181); claiming that Allah’s power is limited (5:64); loving to listen to lies (5:41); disobeying Allah and never observing his commands (5:13); disputing and quarreling (2:247); hiding the truth and misleading people (3:78); staging rebellion against the prophets and rejecting their guidance (2:55); being hypocritical (2:14, 2:44); giving preference to their own interests over the teachings of Muhammad (2:87); wishing evil for people and trying to mislead them (2:109); feeling pain when others are happy or fortunate (3:120); being arrogant about their being Allah’s beloved people (5:18); devouring people’s wealth by subterfuge (4:161); slandering the true religion and being cursed by Allah (4:46); killing the prophets (2:61); being merciless and heartless (2:74); never keeping their promises or fulfilling their words (2:100); being unrestrained in committing sins (5:79); being cowardly (59:13-14); being miserly (4:53); being transformed into apes and pigs for breaking the Sabbath (2:63-65; 5:59-60; 7:166); and more.”

Bernie Sanders has never uttered a word about Muslim antisemitism. Is he afraid to confront the subject? Does he think it will go away if he refuses to discuss it? Has he not noticed the rise in antisemitism in Europe, largely attributable to the influx of millions of Muslims who bring with them, undeclared in their mental baggage, a deep and visceral hatred for Jews? Could it really be that he remains unaware of Muslim antisemitism? He never mentions the Palestinian (and other Arab) schoolbooks that drip with antisemitic venom, nor does he discuss those Palestinian children’s programs where sweet-faced Palestinian children, still in elementary school, chant their hatred for, and desire to kill, all Jews. Why not? Is it ignorance, or a desire by Bernie Sanders to protect the image of the Palestinians?

Sanders also spoke [at the town hall in Nevada] about the humanitarian crisis in the besieged Gaza Strip, where the youth unemployment rate is about 70 percent.

“Take a look at what’s going on in Gaza right now. You got youth unemployment, 70 percent, you know people can’t even leave the area,” he said.

Youth unemployment in Gaza is high for several reasons.

Mainly, there is the colossal corruption and mismanagement of the economy. Grasping Hamas leaders have been fixated on stealing money for themselves, money that was meant to improve the lives of all the Palestinians. A total of at least ten billion dollars has gone into the pockets of the late Yasser Arafat, Hamas leaders Khaled Meshaal, Mousa Abu Marzouk, Ismail Haniyeh, and 600 other second-tier leaders of Hamas, and in the P.A. gone to President Mahmoud Abbas and his two sons, Hanan Ashrawi, Saeb Erekat and others high up in the Palestinian Authority.

That money could have gone to vocational and professional training for young Gazans. It could have been used as seed money, too, to help the Gazans set up small businesses, or to invest in those that already exist but are starved for capital, so that they might expand. That would make a considerable dent in the numbers of those young Gaza’s who are currently unemployed. Sanders notes the 70% youth unemployment rate in Gaza, but has nothing to say about the reasons – which have to do with the grand theft by Hamas rulers uninterested in the plight of the people they presume to represent, as long as they and their families get theirs. The Hamas rulers have little ability to analyze and ameliorate the Strip’s economic problems. Government posts are distributed not to those who are the most capable economists and administrators, but to those whose loyalty to the leaders is assured. No wonder the Gazans have lost hope that their own Hamas-run government will help them.

Much of the aid money, too, both in Gaza and the West Bank, has gone into paying for weaponry of all kinds, and for the building of expensive terror tunnels. Those tunnels running from Gaza into Israel were built by Hamas, while those running from Lebanon into northern Israel were built by Hezbollah. These were enormously expensive to build and outfit with living quarters. All these terror tunnels have been located, and blown up, by the Israelis. A terrific waste of money that could have been used to build the Palestinian economy. Israel has tried to help the Palestinians — it left hundreds of greenhouses intact for the Palestinians of Gaza to take over once the Israelis left in 2005 — but the Gazans chose instead to destroy the greenhouses, stripping them of anything of value.

Bernie Sanders knows that the economy in Gaza is wretched, but does not see that wretchedness as the result of many bad decisions by the Palestinians themselves. It was a bad decision for Gazans ever to have allowed Hamas to be voted into power. This allowed the stupendous thefts by the new rulers, nearly seven billion dollars in aid money that was siphoned off for private gain by leaders of Hamas. In the West Bank, the Palestinian Authority, rulers also helped themselves to a total of several billion — they weren’t quite as adept as Hamas leaders at diverting aid money to themselves. It was a bad decision to spend so much of what aid money remained on arms, including rockets, and terror tunnels. Sanders should publicly recognize that the economic mess in Gaza is not the fault of Israel, but of the choices the Palestinians themselves have made.

If Hamas would stop firing its rockets into Israel, the Israelis have indicated they would lessen restrictions on the movement of Gazan workers into Israel, where even now tens of thousands of jobs in construction and agriculture remain to be filled. The Israelis are even more keen than Bernie Sanders is to relieve unemployment among Gazan youth, because they know that many of those unemployed young men listen to the siren songs of terrorist recruiters, and furnish the cannon fodder for terror attacks on Jewish civilians.

What American foreign policy has got to be about in the Middle East is bringing the Israelis, bringing the Palestinians together under the banner of justice.”

Sanders said: “It cannot just simply be that we’re just pro-Israel and we ignore the needs of the Palestinian people.”

The American government, Sanders needs to be reminded, has not been “just pro-Israel.” It was not “just pro-Israel” when, in 1956, President Eisenhower threatened to cut aid if Israeli troops did not withdraw from the Sinai. It was not “just pro-Israel” – in fact, was distinctly anti-Israel – when President Carter and National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski praised Sadat to the skies and exhibited a visceral dislike of Prime Minister Begin during the negotiations over the Camp David Accords; Carter always supported Sadat’s demands and belittled Begin’s attempts to explain Israel’s security needs; the result was the Camp David Accords, with Sadat – who was the one getting back all of the Sinai, territory Egypt had lost in its 1967 war of aggression – being heralded as a veritable Prince of Peace. Meanwhile, poor Begin, who was the one giving up “land for peace,” that is, tangible assets in exchange for a promise of peace, from Muslims who regard Muhammad’s Treaty of Al-Hudaibiyya, and subsequent breach of that treaty concluded with the Meccans in 628 A.D., as the model for all subsequent treaty-making, was depicted by Carter, Brzezinski, and much of the mainstream press as being “unreasonable” in his own modest demands, none of which were met. Nor was America “just pro-Israel” when Barack Obama was president. He repeatedly demonstrated his palpable want of sympathy for the Jewish state, especially when, at the U.N.’s Security Council, the American ambassador, Samantha Power, abstained for the first time, instead of voting against, a resolution calling Israeli settlements “illegal.”

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

First Thoughts On the Trump Plan and How Mahmoud Abbas Will Save the Day by Hugh Fitzgerald

“The Deal of the Century” turned out to be remarkably generous to the “Palestinians,” giving them far more than they had any right to expect. It promises them a state – the state of Palestine. It doubles the size of the territory under Palestinian control. The Palestinians will under the plan possess nearly 80% of the West Bank. They will also have their capital in East Jerusalem. The plan includes Palestinian use and management of facilities in Haifa and Ashdod ports, Palestinian development of a resort area in the north shore of the Dead Sea, and continued Palestinian agricultural activity in the Jordan Valley. Ultimately, the plan envisions “modern and efficient transportation links” through the future Palestinian state, including Gaza. The West Bank and Gaza will be linked through a tunnel.

Under the Trump plan, the Palestinians will be obligated to disarm Hamas and Islamic Jihad, must stop their Pay-For-Slay plan, must stop inciting terrorism, must end the rampant corruption in the PA, must respect human rights, and must guarantee a free press and religious freedom. We shall see if the PA is able to meet these conditions precedent to achieving a state. The PA’s record to date is not encouraging.

The plan also requires Israel to observe a four-year moratorium on any new settlements in the West Bank while negotiations with the Palestinians are going on, but says nothing about whether the moratorium would continue if, after four years, negotiations are still continuing. It makes provision for $50 billion in aid to be given to the Palestinians, as had previously been announced at the “Peace Through Prosperity” workshop in Manama last June. That is a huge sum, but who would pay it? One hopes that it will not be the Western Infidels paying for the Palestinians. The $50 billion ought by rights to come from fellow Muslim Arabs, those who live in the oil-rich states of the Gulf – Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait, Qatar.

The most important concession of all, according to Trump’s peace initiative, would be the recognition of a new state, the State of Palestine. This State of Palestine would have to agree to be disarmed, but how that disarmament would be enforced, and exactly what arms it would include, remains unclear.

Israel also gets certain concessions. Existing Israeli settlements (that is, towns and cities) in the West Bank would be recognized as sovereign Israeli territory. The Palestinians would have to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. The Palestinian refugees, or “refugees” (the quotation marks indicate that these are the descendants of refugees, not true refugees themselves) would be integrated into the countries where they now live. There would be no right of return.

Netanyahu and Gantz have both declared themselves pleased with Trump’s peace plan. But can they truly be pleased with the recognition of a State of Palestine, with its capital in East Jerusalem? Perhaps they are pleased because the plan is better than any of the previous plans presented by Trump’s predecessors, and because they know that Abbas will never accept it, so they needn’t worry. They can afford to be pleased. There is no other state in the world that has been successfully disarmed. How likely is it that a State of Palestine, full of Jihadis, could be permanently disarmed, and not become a source of terrorism against Israelis, whether living in the West Bank or elsewhere in Israel?

The plan is generally good, but I confess that I expected even better. I did not think this administration would recognize a State of Palestine with its capital in East Jerusalem. I envisioned instead an arrangement whereby the local Arabs (to be carefully referred to as “Palestinian Arabs”) in the West Bank would be given as much autonomy as was consonant with Israeli security, but not a state. The safer the Israelis, the greater the degree of local autonomy. I see that I was wrong.

However, there is one thing about this plan that makes it most welcome. And that is the assurance that neither Mahmoud Abbas, nor any of his successors in the Palestinian Authority, nor anyone in Hamas, will be willing to negotiate over this plan in good faith. The Palestinians rejected Trump’s plan before they knew what was in it; they reject it again now that they know what is in it. Much of the world will be able to see that even when the Palestinians are offered a state of their own, even when they are promised that that state’s capital will be in East Jerusalem, even when they are further promised $50 billion in aid, far more than any of the more than 100 developing countries have ever received In aid, that is not enough to satisfy them. They are the spoiled brats of the international community.

Other Arab states, especially Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, and Oman, will urge the Palestinians to take the deal — “You get a state, you have your capital in Jerusalem, the Israelis have to stop building settlements, you’ll have 80% of the West Bank” – “or else.” “Or else” would mean only this: “We are tired of your whining, tired of the whole Palestinian problem; tired of your refusal to accept $50 billion in aid. We have so many bigger problems to think about, starting but not ending with Iran. Get with the program. Or count us out.” The refusal of the Palestinians to take the deal will only widen the gap between them and the other Arabs.

In agreeing to the Trump plan, Israel will have committed itself to not building new settlements in the West Bank for four years, while negotiations are going on. It’s a big concession. But if there are no negotiations, because the Palestinians continue to refuse enter into them, then the Trump administration has made clear that Israel is no longer required to refrain from settlement building. The Trump administration has noted that, in that case, it will support Israel should it decide to unilaterally incorporate other areas of the West Bank, beyond what it will already have annexed. And the offer of a State of Palestine will not be revived. And very few, at that point, will care.

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Iran publishes film portraying jihad attack on the White House and Capitol, killing Trump, Pompeo and Netanyahu

Iran didn’t indulge these fantasies when Obama was President, right? Wrong.

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History revised is history denied

Once upon a time, Jewish progressives embraced their people’s history and were willing to die for its modern political realization. Though they eschewed traditional observance, they typically substituted faith in history for belief in G-d.


Edmund Burke famously stated that “those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it” and this adage has proven true time and again.

However, what of those who know history but reject its lessons, and instead manufacture alternative traditions based on partisan fantasy or political ideology?  Will they merely repeat the mistakes of the past or ensure a future where truth is subjective and morality relative?  If the latter, they risk creating a world devoid of ethical integrity and intellectual honesty.

Unfortunately, historical revisionism has become part of the American political process, and those who use it to promote radical narratives are the ones most responsible for today’s irrational hostility towards Israel and the Jewish People.

Progressive extremists are particularly shrill in denouncing Israel for supposed acts of aggression and callousness that in truth are neither outrageous nor extreme, but instead consistent with international law and Jewish historical rights and tradition.  They are especially indignant when Jewish history conflicts with the claims of Palestinian-Arabs, whose national narrative is a chimerical study in antisemitic rejectionism with little or no foundation.

This was apparent when Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, speaking for President Trump, acknowledged the legality of Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria.  The Union for Reform Judaism (“URJ”) responded with a statement urging the President to recant, declaring: “Any unilateral move…would place serious and critical obstacles to a viable two-state solution, damaging the prospect of renewing the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority and causing a long-term threat to Israel’s status as a Jewish and democratic state.”  But President Trump’s position reflected sentiments that prevailed before the Obama administration and an understanding that Palestinians oppose a “viable two-state solution” because they deny Israel’s legitimacy. That denial is actually the most “serious and critical” obstacle to peace.

American critics are impertinent when they claim to know what is best for Israel.  And the URJ’s statement is emblematic of this conceit in that it (a) seems oblivious to the impact of Palestinian rejectionism and (b) fails to acknowledge that Israeli “settlements” in Judea and Samaria actually conform to international legal norms and standards.  This  was recognized well before the Obama administration’s eight-year effort to delegitimize the “settlements”. It was Obama’s collusion with the United Nations in 2016 to undermine Israeli sovereignty that constituted a change in US policy, not Trump’s restatement of protocol.

Prior administrations did not resolutely deny the legality of the “settlements” (which were built on ancestral lands where Jews had lived for thousands of years), but believed they could be negotiated based on political considerations.  Indeed, Americans commonly recognized Jewish indigeneity throughout the Land of Israel.

Israel’s acquisition of these lands in 1967 was lawful because it was defending itself from an aggressor nation (Jordan).  Neither the Law of Belligerent Occupation nor the Fourth Geneva Convention prohibit Israel from maintaining possession of territories seized from an aggressor nation that acquired them in violation of international law.  Specifically, Jordan annexed Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem illegally in 1948, before which they had been holdings of a defunct empire. These lands were never independent or part of any autonomous nation-state after Rome conquered the Kingdom of Judah in 136 CE, and certainly not a state of “Palestine” that never existed.  Their liberation by Israel if anything reimposed legitimate sovereignty after a two-thousand-year hiatus.

Once upon a time, Jewish progressives embraced their people’s history with religious-like zeal and were willing to die for its modern political realization.  Though they eschewed traditional observance after the Enlightenment, they typically substituted faith in history for belief in G-d; and while many of them claimed to profess atheism, they nonetheless continued to express their innate religious sensibilities as historical determinism.  They knew where their ancestors came from and believed Jewish national destiny was tied to the ancient homeland.

This ancestral link to Judea, Samaria, Jerusalem and the rest of ancient Israel was the basis for recognizing the right of Jewish self-determination in the Mandate for Palestine of 1922.  While these lands constituted colonial holdings of successive empires after the fall of the Second Jewish Commonwealth, they never comprised independent sovereign territories between the years 136 and 1948.  Furthermore, they were commonly recognized as ancestrally Jewish and for maintaining a Jewish presence for more than 3,000 years – long before the Roman, Arab, and Ottoman conquests.

In recognition of the Jews’ ancient connection to these lands, Israel’s Provisional State Council on September 16, 1948 enacted the “Area of Jurisdiction and Powers Ordinance,” which aimed to extend Israeli jurisdiction beyond the 1947 partition lines to areas traditionally acknowledged as part of the Jewish homeland.  This ordinance (aka “Ben-Gurion’s Law”) was intended to apply to lands liberated by the Israeli military and was effective retroactively to the date of Israel’s independence on May 15, 1948. The law’s justification was inherent in its recognition that certain lands were innately Jewish (leaving its nonenforcement in 1967 open to critical question).

Unfortunately, the old Israeli left sometimes sacrificed historical virtue for the sake of partisan politics.  Though Menachem Begin made a policy of never questioning his political opponents’ patriotism, for example, Labor ideologues were often quick to label him and Herut Party members as Nazis and fascists, thus perverting the context and meaning of those terms for partisan purposes.  This was eventually coopted by Israel-haters to misrepresent the past so as to deny Israeli sovereignty and Jewish national claims.

Historical revisionism is now used to empower BDS, justify antisemitism, and delegitimize Israel by falsely depicting it as a colonial creation built on the ruins of a mythical country called Palestine.  But historical and archeological analysis corroborates Israel’s Jewish past while offering no support for Palestinian authenticity. Though the Jewish homeland was the target of multiple conquests before 1948, colonialism was enforced by Greeks, Romans, Muslim Arabs, Christian Crusaders, and Ottoman Turks – not Jews.  And the history of jihad in the region is one of subjugation, the influence of which continues to inflame anti-Jewish passions today.

Despite the historical record, ambivalence regarding Israeli sovereignty long ago infected the political mainstream without protest from Democratic leadership.  In his final television address as Secretary of State, for example, John Kerry inveighed against Israel and pushed the canard that she could not be both Jewish and democratic.  He never expressed concern over the religious and ethnic supremacism that permeates the Arab-Muslim Mideast) and his apparent disregard for Jewish ancestral rights was inexcusable.

Similar bias motivated the Obama administration’s collusion with the UN in 2016 to orchestrate a resolution declaring that Israeli “settlements” violated international law (despite much precedent to the contrary) so that the US could withhold its veto and effectively reverse American policy.  The Simon Wiesenthal Center recognized this as an attack on Israeli sovereignty and proclaimed it the most antisemitic incident of the year. This assault against Israel on the world stage was nonetheless tolerated by Jewish progressives, and even lauded by some. When Jews fail to condemn such conduct, they enable Jew-hatred masquerading as political dialogue; and denying Israeli sovereignty is indeed a form of antisemitism.

Whereas early Jewish progressives regarded their people’s history with reverence, their political descendants lost all sense of its noble origins and lofty mission.  Furthermore, today’s left has altered the past to conform to a worldview that disparages Israel and traditional Judaism.

As Rav Saadia Gaon explained more than a thousand years ago, the Jews are a nation founded on Torah whose national survival requires loyalty to its laws and principles.  Without Torah, he said, the Jewish nation would have disappeared like any other ancient people swallowed by the sands of time. Is Israel’s disappearance the goal of those who now seek to deny Jewish history and suppress Judaism’s eternal values?

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EDITORS NOTE: This Israel International News column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

VIDEO: Clearing Away the Delusions about the Israeli/Palestinian Conflict

Order The Palestinian Delusion HERE.


At the Freedom Center’s Restoration Weekend in Palm Beach, Florida on November 17, 2019, I unveiled the duplicity and deception at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian “peace process” and explained, among other things, why Anwar Sadat should not be revered as a man of peace.

Transcript:

Thank you very much. I thought by way of transition I would tell all of you that I wouldn’t be here tonight, today, if it were not for Peter Collier. In the ‘90s, well actually going back further, in the early ‘80s, I worked at Revolution Books, which was the bookstore of the Revolutionary Communist party, and I was very hardcore leftist. And along the course of things, I read Destructive Generation, which had an explosive effect on me, as it had on so many people. Then some years later, I was working as an ad writer, a copywriter and ghostwriter, who read the Qur’an for fun, and after 9/11, was asked to write a book by somebody who knew me and I worked with — to write a book explaining what had happened and why. And I said, “Well, I’m nobody. Why would anybody pay attention to what I think about any of this?,” and the guy said, “Just write it, and if it’s quality work and if it explains the material, then I will get somebody to publish it,” and, of course, the person he got to publish it was Peter Collier.

My first book, Islam Unveiled, came out in 2002 from Encounter Books, and I remember talking to him on the phone after he read the manuscripts and being sort of staggered and amazed when he said that he liked it. And you can hear all these people saying that he completely rewrote — he did rewrite about half of it, but still he liked it. I’m still thrilled. In any case, the other part of that story is that the gentleman who asked me to write the book and encouraged me to do so worked for a different publishing house, a rival publishing house to Encounter, and they were going to publish the book, but then the head of the publishing house, who was a leading conservative publisher, he said in a meeting while I was there that he had visited Gaza and the Palestinians were wonderful people, and he didn’t want to offend them by publishing this book — and that’s a lot of the fix that we’re in, and what I address in this new book, The Palestinian Delusion, which you all got in the bags when you registered.

You may remember Jimmy Carter standing there beaming happily with Anwar Sadat of Egypt and Menachem Begin, the Prime Minister of Israel, at Camp David in the late ‘70s, and there was going to be peace. And you may remember Bill Clinton standing there with Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat, and they’re shaking hands and Clinton is beaming, and there’s going to be peace. And you may remember George W. Bush standing there with Mahmoud Abbas and Ariel Sharon and beaming as they shake hands, and there’s going to be peace. And you may remember Obama standing there with Abbas again and Benjamin Netanyahu, same thing. And the one thing we’ve never had is peace. We’ve had 40 years of peace process and no peace. The reason why is revealed in many of the things that took place in the first and most celebrated aspect of that peace process and that, of course, is the Camp David summit and Anwar Sadat’s overtures to Israel after the 1973 war. This is, of course, very important in world history. If you go to Jerusalem, you can go to the Begin Sadat Center that studies ways to bring about peace and so on, and Sadat is a revered figure around the world, but I would expect that many of you will be surprised to know why exactly it was that he reached out to the Israelis and began the peace process. He is a great saint now. He’s a Gandhi figure and so on, but the real story is a little bit different, as is always the case.

Anwar Sadat, of course, was President of Egypt, and in the Yom Kippur war he was one of the Muslim Arab countries that attacked Israel gratuitously and without cause, and they were, of course, making great inroads, because it was Yom Kippur. They were making great inroads at the beginning, and then the Israelis began to regroup and to beat them back, and then the ceasefire was concluded, and so on. And shortly after this, there was a Politburo meeting, a meeting of the high command of the Soviet Union. Now of course at this time, the Israeli/Palestinian conflict was part of the Cold War, with the Israelis on the American side and the Palestinians on the Soviet side, and everything was binary, not like it is now, and you had Gromyko, the foreign minister of the Soviet Union, speaking with Leonid Brezhnev, the Premier of the Soviet Union, about what to do about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, and he actually asked them at this Politburo meeting. I’ve got the minutes in the book. “Leonid, what are going to do about the Israelis and the Palestinians?” And Brezhnev says, “We’re going to participate in negotiations. At the appropriate time, we will restore diplomatic relations with Israel.”

And everybody, the whole Politburo was shocked, and Gromyko says, “But the Arabs will get angry.” Well, the sun will come up, but anyway, the Arabs will get angry, and this is what Brezhnev responded, and this is very important. Brezhnev says, “They can go to hell. We have offered them a sensible way for so many years, but no, they wanted to fight. Fine. We gave them technology, the latest, the kind even Vietnam didn’t have. They had double superiority in tanks and aircraft, triple in artillery and in air defense and anti-tank weapons, they had absolute supremacy. And what? Once again they were beaten. Once again they scrammed. Once again they screamed for us to come and save them. Sadat woke me up in the middle of the night twice over the phone, Save me. He demanded we send Soviet troops immediately. No, we’re not going to fight for them. The people would not understand that and especially we will not start a world war over them. So, that’s that. We will do what I said.”

You notice that he said Sadat pleaded for help after he had given them all the best weaponry, and they still lost. And so what did Sadat do? He was very astute. He realized okay, the Soviets want me to make peace with Israel, but who really has the leverage over Israel to get them to make concessions? Not the Soviets, but the Unite States. So Sadat took Brezhnev’s advice, but he switched sides, and that was when Sadat, you may recall those of you who are as old as I am, you may recall that in the early ‘70s Sadat broke with the Soviets and approached the United States and made an accord with the United States, and it was considered to be a great Cold War breakthrough. But Sadat himself explained, when he was asked why he was doing this, he said, “What other country can force Israel to withdraw?” That’s what it was all about, and that’s what the peace process was all about.

Sadat, very famously, offered to go to Israel, and of course Israel, being besieged and battered and excoriated in world opinion and everything else for so many decades, they were thrilled, and the Israelis greeted Sadat rapturously when he went to Jerusalem, and he addressed the Knesset and was received as a tremendous hero. But if you actually look at what he said, it’s astonishing. What he was saying essentially in his speech in the Knesset was “Let’s negotiate. You give me everything I want, and our negotiations will be concluded.” Because what he said was, “Let me tell you without the slightest hesitation,” this is Sadat in the Knesset, “that I did not come to you under this dome to make a request that your troops evacuate the occupied territories. Complete withdrawal from the Arab territories occupied in 1967 is a logical and undisputed fact. Nobody should plead for that.” And he talked about permanent peace based on justice, and then he said that moves to ensure our coexistence and peace and security in this part of the world would become meaningless “while you occupy Arab territories by force of arms.”

Now, he’s talking about the 1967 borders, which of course is still a very hot issue, and was demanding that Israel withdraw completely from the so-called occupied territories, but the fact is that, of course, it is a staple of the Muslim Arab rhetoric about Israel that Israel actually is entirely occupying land that belongs rightly to the Muslim Arabs, and thus, none of it has any legitimacy. So, when he’s saying that there can be no peace until all the Arab territories that you occupy by force of arms are cleared out, he’s saying Israel has to stop existing, and then we’ll be friends. And yet nobody really paid attention to this. Nobody pondered the implications at the time, and of course, most famously, Jimmy Carter invited Sadat and Begin to Camp David a few years after that, about a year after this, rather, and there was going to be peace. It was going to be great. But the thing was, Carter was entranced by Sadat. Carter did think that Sadat was some extraordinary, magnanimous Gandhi-like world figure for peace, and so he told him essentially that he would give him anything he wanted. He called him a great and good man, and Carter said to Sadat, “I will represent your interests as if they were my own. You are my brother.”

Now, contrast that to Carter’s national security advisor, you remember Zbigniew Brzezinski. Yeah, you remember him. And he said in his memoirs that Carter’s relationship with Begin was “icy” and even mutual praise was formalistic and devoid of any personal feeling. But meanwhile Carter’s telling Sadat, “I hope I’ll never let you down.” And what’s really ironic about his is that Sadat went back to Mohamed Kamel, his foreign minister, and the rest of his entourage, and he’s telling them all this with great hilarity and talking to them about the person he called “poor naïve Carter.” And it was really sort of ludicrous how he took advantage of Carter at Camp David, and what happened essentially is Begin caught on very quickly. He went back to his own group, and he said the Americans have adopted the Egyptian program. That’s that, and that’s essentially what was forced upon the Israelis at the time. I mean it was really an unfair conflict. It was two against one, and so there wasn’t really any chance.

Begin actually brought along Samuel Katz, who’s the author of a great book called Battleground about the case, essentially the case for Israel, and he had Katz talking to Carter to try to explain to him why Israel had a just case that ought to be respected. And Carter just got more and more impatient until he cut him off entirely. He had no interest in listening to this at all. In any case, what happened was that Sadat is walking, and this is an indication of what his true mindset was, Sadat is walking in the woods in Camp David with Kamel, his foreign minister, and some others, and he’s saying this: “We are dealing with the lowest and meanest of enemies, the Jews. The Jews even tormented their prophet Moses and exasperated their God. I pity poor Carter and his dealings with Begin with his stilted mentality.” And so, then Kamel asks him, “Well, do you think that Carter is going to pressure Begin to give us what we want?,” and Sadat says, “Oh yeah, of course he will.” It was in the bag.

Now, what’s really interesting about this story is that moments after this, or as they’re having this conversation, who walks up to them but Ezer Weizman, the Israeli foreign minister who is also walking in the woods, and he says to Sadat, “Can we talk face to face later on today?,” and Sadat suddenly changes. Seconds ago, he’s talking about “the lowest and meanest of enemies, the Jews,” and now he says, “Oh, of course. It’s always a pleasure to talk to you.” He was completely duplicitous. And really, actually it’s been extraordinarily effective. His historical memory is a monument of duplicity. Now, in any case, you know what happened, that the Israelis were made to give up the Sinai, which they had occupied, and make other concessions.

Now, remember that we’re talking about what happened after a defensive war. Why did Israel take the Sinai? Did it have imperialistic design on Egypt? Did it want to colonize the entire Middle East, as a lot of the paranoid Palestinian propaganda says? Obviously not. What you have is the same thing that happened if you look at a map of Germany before World War II and a map of Germany after World War II, and one thing that you’ll notice is that Germany is smaller after World War II. Why is that? Did Poland and the Soviet Union and the rest of them, well, the Soviet Union may have, but Poland was not working from some imperialist project. The entire continent of Europe had been victimized by the Germans, and it was considered to be entirely just that they lose some territory, and that the surrounding nations gain some territory as a matter of protecting their own security. And this is a law of human history, really, that you find multiple examples of throughout history that the victorious nation can expand its territory at the expense of the defeated nation so as to protect itself more effectively from future attacks of the same kind. Only when it comes to Israel was this not allowed.

But Sadat and Carter compelled Begin to give up the Sinai, which had been taken for security purposes, and to make various concessions. One of the extraordinary concessions that Begin made or was forced to make was the recognition of an entity called the Palestinian people. And I’m sure that you all know that there is no such thing as the Palestinian people. The Arabs of the region — in the first place the name. “Palestine” was a name given by the Romans to the land of Judea after the Bar Kokhba revolt in 134 of the Common Era. In the year 134, there was a Jewish leader, Bar Kokhba, who led a revolt against the Romans, and they lost. And so the Romans had had enough. This was not the first revolt, and they expelled the Jews from the area, and they renamed Jerusalem “Aelia Capitolina,” and they renamed Judea “Palestine.” Where did they get the name Palestine? They went into the Bible, and they saw that the Jews’ enemies were the Philistines, and they named the region accordingly. But at that point, it was just a region’s name. It was like Brooklyn. To say that there’s a Palestinian people that is distinct from the other Arabs of the region is as silly as saying that Brooklynites are ethnically or culturally different and are a separate nation unto themselves. Well, maybe they are.

And when it comes to Palestine, there were always Jews living there, because the Romans had expelled the Jews from the area, but the expulsion decree was not universally enforced, and there was a Jewish presence in Palestine from that moment, 134, up to the present day, uninterrupted. Meanwhile, after the seventh century conquest of the area by the Muslim Arabs, then Arabs moved into the area, and were there intermittently. They were conquered by the Turks, and so on. The people who lived there were Arabs. The Arabs were not differently linguistically, culturally or religiously from Arabs anywhere else in that area. There was no distinct Palestinian people. There never was. And as far as the legal right to the land was concerned, you have various conquests, and the right of conquest is something else that’s always been recognized in human history. So, we can say the land belonged to the Arab Muslim caliphates and that it belonged to the Turkish caliphate, the Ottoman Empire, and then what happened? The Ottoman Empire fell at the end of World War I, and the Turks ceded their right to that area to the League of Nations, the precursor to the United Nations. And the League of Nations gave Brittan what is known as the Mandate for Palestine, which was intended to allow for the creation of a Jewish homeland in Palestine. That was what it was explicitly for.

So there is nobody else who has any legal claim to that land other than the Jews, other than the State of Israel. And even more than this, you have an unbroken historical record of Jewish presence there. You have the fact that nobody else has any claim to that territory. I’m speaking about the fact that people say nowadays that Israel exists on stolen land. Who was it stolen from? If I pick up a wallet on the street, it belongs to somebody, but nobody owns this wallet. It’s the land that was set aside for the Jewish Mandate for Palestine, and remember, that includes what is known as the West Bank for Judea and Samaria and Gaza, and as a matter of fact it includes Jordan as well, although Jordan was detached from the land dedicated to the Mandate for Palestine by the British early on.

You know the phrase “Perfidious Albion? “Perfidious Albion” is a phrase used for Britain, and I’m sorry if Katie’s here, sorry. But anyway, but there’s no doubt that Albion was perfidious in this case, because, of course, you have the Zionist project beginning in the nineteenth century. In the background of everything that I’m saying, you have the Zionists beginning to say, “This is our land, this is our historic homeland, we need to return to this place so that we have our own nation and are not subject to persecution by everybody else.” And so, Jews from Europe, Jews from all over begin to move into the land of Palestine, and the British are supposed to be behind this. The British are supposed to be saying, “This is what is supposed to happen,” but after it started to happen, the Arabs started to complain, and the Arabs started to complain very simply because of a Qur’an verse. If you open your Qur’an to chapter 2, verse 191, you’ll see it. “Drive them out from where they drove you out.” Now, it is a historical myth in several stages that the Israelis drove anybody out. There was nobody driven out. It was the Jews who were driven out by the Romans in the first place, most of them, although many stayed, as I said.

But anyway, once the Arabs started complaining on this very basic principle, you see, “Drive them out from where they drove you out,” if you think about that for a minute, it means no Jews should be here. This is land that belongs to Muslims because Muslims once ruled it, and if Muslims once ruled it, they have the responsibility before Allah to drive out those who rule it now. So they had to drive out the Jews from the area, and the British, there was a British colonel, Colonel Bertie Harry Waters-Taylor, and he spoke to them. He went to the Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, some of you may have heard of him — and I’m sorry, Douglas Murray couldn’t make it, so I had to do it. Colonel Bertie Harry Waters-Taylor went to Haj Amin al-Husseini, the Mufti of Jerusalem, and the Mufti of Jerusalem is somebody you may be familiar with because he lived in Berlin during World War II, was friends with Himmler and Eichmann and encouraged the final solution, the genocide of the Jews. But this is in 1920. This is before all that, and Colonel Bertie Harry Waters-Taylor told him we’ve got a bit of a sticky wicket here because we encouraged the settlement, but now you are complaining, and we want to make you happy. So, what we need to do is if you commit a few terror attacks, then the British government will see that the Zionist project is not viable and will withdraw.

Yes, the British government encouraged the Arab Muslims of Palestine to commit terror attacks against the Jews, and told them they would be rewarded for doing so. Now, you see, if you think about that, if that is the beginning of all this, then you see why in a microcosm, world opinion is so crazy nowadays, because this is something that the seeds of were planted years ago, that intimidation will work. They were told that if they were bullying and if they were violent, then they would be rewarded, and they have been. Sadat’s overture for peace was just another way to go about the principle, attaining the principle to “drive them out from where they drove you out.” And they have worked on the basis of intimidation ever since. Ever since until one thing happened: Donald Trump was elected president.

Now, you’ll notice intimidation has been the basis of American foreign policy regarding Israel and the Palestinians really ever since the State of Israel was founded. After the State of Israel was founded, with very few exceptions, we have bowed to Arab Muslim intimidation and allowed them to dictate exactly what we would do regarding Israel. Sadat and Carter is one example of that, and pretty much every other peace process initiative, as you’ll see in the book, are more examples of it. And one of the most egregious examples of it came when the U.S. Congress in the ‘90s recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, but added a caveat that Jerusalem would not be recognized as Israel’s capital if the president thought it an expedient, for whatever reason, to postpone that recognition. And Bill Clinton postponed it. George W. Bush postponed it. Obama postponed it. On what grounds? Because the Palestinians would riot, because of intimidation. They had been taught from the beginning, they had been told by the British, if you’re violent, if you commit acts of terror, you’ll be rewarded. Trump changed all that. Trump said, “I’m moving the capital. I’m not going to bow to your bullying and intimidation.”

And so finally we have a chance to achieve some sanity in this conflict, but for the rest of the story, for a record of insanity, you have the book all in your bags, and thank you very much for being here this morning.

EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch video is republished with permission. All rights reserved.

Joe Biden, the “Two-State Solution,” and Peace Through Strength by Hugh Fitzgerald

At the recent debate among Democrats running for President, Bernie Sanders was predictably the most anti-Israel of the candidates. He said he would not, hesitate, this “proud Jewish person,” to withhold aid from Israel to force it to do American bidding, which in Sanders’ view includes removing Jewish settlements from the West Bank. After all, he has previously said that “Jewish settlements in occupied territory are illegal.” He called Netanyahu a “racist,” though he provided no examples of such “racism.” Sanders explained, in his contribution to the squaring-the-circle problem, that “the US should craft a foreign policy that is favorable to both Israel and Palestine.” Sorry, can’t be done. “Israel has the right not only to exist, but to exist in peace and security,” said Sanders, who spent time on a kibbutz in Israel as a young man.

It’s nice of big-hearted Bernie Sanders to grant Israel “the right to exist.” He even grants it the right to exist “in peace and security.” But what if Israel cannot exist in “peace and security” unless it holds onto those supposedly “illegal settlements” in the West Bank, which provide it with the necessary strategic depth against invasion from the East? What if every military man who has studied the matter, beginning with the American military men sent by the Joint Chiefs to Israel in 1967, on President Johnson’s orders, and produced a report on the territory which, as a matter of military necessity, Israel would have to retain. They included most of the West Bank, and all of the Jordan Valley and the Judean Hills. We all know that Bernie Sanders spent time on a kibbutz; too bad he didn’t spend time in the IDF. Military matters are not his strong suit.

Given the vast buildup in Arab militaries since 1967, to expect that Israel could once again pull off its victory in the Six-Day War is to ask that country to entrust its security to another such miracle. Israel could not reasonably expect to survive if it were squeezed back into something like the pre-1967 lines – that is, the 1949 Armistice Lines – which Foreign Minister Abba Eban, a famous dove, correctly defined as the “lines of Auschwitz.”

On what evidence does Sanders think that the Muslim Arabs have given up their desire to eliminate Israel? Did Hamas change its charter, or the views expressed every day by its leading members, fighters, clerics? Has Mahmoud Abbas shown a sincere willingness to engage in peace talks with Israel, or has he repeatedly turned down the offer of such talks, as he does even today? Why would Sanders expect him to behave any differently in the future? Abbas is a Slow Jihadist, willing to use the salami-tactics of creating an ever-smaller Israel through “peace agreements,” but his ultimate aim is the same as that of the Fast Jihadists of Hamas: no more Israel.

If Sanders, who refers constantly to his Jewish heritage and the fact that he once spent time on an Israeli kibbutz, a transparent way to defend himself against charges of being anti-Israel, had taken the time to study the history of the Mandate, he might be surprised to learn that the entire West Bank was part of the territory assigned to the future Jewish National Home, and that Israel’s legal claim to that territory never lapsed; when Jordan managed to possess the West Bank from 1949 to 1967, it did so as the military “occupier.” When Israel took control of the West Bank as a result of the Six-Day War, this did not create Israel’s legal claim; that already existed. It merely put Israel in a position to exercise that pre-existing legal claim to the territory.

Sanders not only has little sympathy for, but also no understanding of, the plight of the Israelis who have to secure their tiny state against many would-be aggressors. There is Hamas, sending hundreds of rockets into southern Israel from Gaza, and constantly attempting to breach, with Molotov cocktails, grenades, and incendiary kites, Israel’s security fence. There are Islamic State elements that have regrouped in Sinai; for now their main target is Egypt, but at any time they might attempt to send terrorists into Israel. There is Hezbollah, with its terror tunnels snaking into the Galilee, and its 140,000 rockets stockpiled in southern Lebanon. There is Jordan, where King Abdullah has to keep the lid on his own people, who increasingly demand that the peace treaty with Israel be ended. There is Turkey, where President Erdogan has published a plan for a pan-Islamic military force capable of overwhelming the Israelis and destroying their country.

And most menacing of all is the powerful Islamic Republic of Iran, which never fails to remind Israel, and the world, that it can destroy the Jewish State. To this end, it has already supplied Hezbollah with those 140,000 rockets ready to be loosed upon Israel.

Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg have joined Sanders in leaving the door open to using US aid to Israel as a means to leverage Israel to change its policies on the Palestinians.

But one Democratic candidate does not think aid to Israel should be used as a weapon. Joe Biden, alone among the major candidates, has said he would not use aid as a weapon to force Israel to change its policies. Some have hailed him, not quite accurately I’m afraid, as a “pro-Israel” candidate. The bar for being “pro-Israel” has been set very low this year. He may not call Netanyahu a “racist” as Sanders does, but he has described his behavior as “outrageous.” What does he mean? Is it outrageous for Netanyahu to have the Israeli military prevent Hamas from breaching the security fence on the border with Gaza? Has it been “outrageous” for him to have those soldiers first use tear gas and rubber bullets to stop the participants in the Great March of Return, and if the fence is about to be breached, by those throwing Molotov cocktails and grenades, then to allow those soldiers to use live fire? Was it “outrageous” for Netanyahu to allow the IDF to kill the northern leader of Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Abu Al-Ata, as he was planning a major terrorist operation against Israel? Was it “outrageous,” after PIJ fired 450 rockets into Israel, disrupting life in southern Israel, with everyone having  repeatedly to rush to shelters, for Netanyahu to have the IDF retaliate against PIJ offices, launching pads, and weapons storehouses? What should he have done? Was it “outrageous” for Netanyahu to welcome the move of the American Embassy to Jerusalem? Is it perhaps his muscular policy of replying promptly to every Palestinian attack that Biden founds “outrageous,” though he does not explain, because he cannot, what he would have had Netanyahu do instead? It would have been good, in the face of Sanders’ absurd claim that Netanyahu is a “racist,” if Joe Biden had gone on the offensive, and said “Bernie has called Netanyahu a ‘racist.” This is a preposterous charge, and he knows it. I’ve known Bibi for a long time. We have our policy differences, but he hasn’t a racist bone in his body.”

Joe Biden did distinguish himself from Sanders, Warren, and Buttigieg during the debate on the subject of aid to Israel. Unlike them, he has repeatedly said he would never use the withholding of aid as a weapon with which to force Israel to do America’s bidding. Biden has, however, repeated the phrase, the formula, the mantra, of what he and many others s call a “two-state solution.” This already assumes what needs to be proved: is there a “solution” to the Arab war on Israel? And if there isn’t, should that be cause for endless doom and gloom, or is there another way to see things?

Let’s state what those who have studied Islam already know: it is impossible for the Muslim Arabs to permanently accept the existence of Israel, whatever its borders. It is unacceptable for Unbelievers to possess land that was once possessed by Muslims; such land must forever belong to Muslims. It is especially maddening when those Unbelievers are the much-despised Jews, who have managed to stave off repeated attempts by Muslims, the “best of peoples,” to snuff out the Jewish state’s young life. And Israel exists, just as maddeningly, smack in the middle of the Arab world, separating North African Arabs from those in the Middle East. Israel is likened by the  Arabs, because of its shape, to a “dagger” thrust into their heart; another favorite metaphor is that Israel is a “cancer.” You don’t pull a dagger only part-way out of your body; you deal with cancer by removing every last cell of it.

Of course those who believe in the “two-state solution” assume that there is some giving up of territory by Israel that will sufficiently placate the Arabs so that they will beat their swords into plowshares. The reverse is true: any further withdrawal by Israel, which in returning the entire Sinai to Egypt has already given back 95% of the land it had won by force of arms in the Six-Day War, will merely whet, not sate, Palestinian and other Arab appetites. Were Israel to give up the West Bank, it would again have an eight-mile-wide waist from Qalqilya to the sea. It would have the highest length-of-border-to-enclosed-territory ratio of any country on earth – hellishly difficult to police all of that long border. The “Palestinians” see any future agreement with Israel as a way station on the path toward their final goal, which remains, for both the Fast Jihadists of Hamas and the Slow Jihadists of the Palestinian Authority, the end of the Jewish state.

And the “Palestinians” have powerful allies to help them in this task. There is Iran, whose leaders never fail to claim they are quite capable of destroying the Zionists. There is Turkey, which if President Erdogan has his way, would also participate in some kind of pan-Islamic attack on Israel. The “Palestinians” of the “moderate” PA speak among themselves about the destruction of the Zionist state; to the outside world, Saeb Erekat, Hanan Ashrawi, and Mahmoud Abbas soothingly refer to the “two-state solution.” They find it goes over quite well.

Let’s replace that word “solution” and speak, more realistically, of how this Arab war on Israel can be “managed.” The answer is that it can be managed in exactly the same way that the United States “managed” the threat from the Soviet Union: deterrence. The U.S. remained sufficiently, and obviously strong, so as to deter Soviet aggression. We – Israel, America, the entire West — cannot change the Qur’an, with its commands to wage violent Jihad against Infidels. But by helping to ensure that Israel remains overwhelmingly stronger than its enemies, America can promote a very long peace.

Three trends should be noted that will only improve Israel’s ability to deter its enemies in the future. First, Israel’s technological superiority over the Arabs will continue to widen, as it has been doing for the past several decades. Second, the most important weapon of the Arabs and Iran remains their revenues from oil. But oil demand is static, and may soon decrease: electric vehicles, and the increasing use of solar and wind power, are steadily reducing oil’s share of the energy market. This means less financial support for the Palestinians, affecting their ability to wage war. Third, demography is not, as everyone seems to assume, on the side of the Arabs. With an average of 3.1 children per woman, Israel has the highest fertility rate in the OECD by a considerable margin and much higher than the OECD average of 1.7. Over the past decade, the annual population growth among Muslims in Israel has fallen significantly, from around 3% to less than 2.2% by 2013, and continues inexorably to decrease, while the overall Jewish growth rate rose from around 1.4% to 1.7% in 2013 and continues, just as inexorably, to increase. If present trends continue, fears about a “Muslim population bomb” in Israel can be laid to rest.

Say it a dozen times a day: there is no “solution” – whether one-state, two-state, or n-state — to the Arab war on Israel. But Israel will be able to manage that conflict, while it goes from strength to strength, technologically, financially, demographically, through deterrence. “Peace Through Strength” — remember? That is good enough. That’s more than good enough. Now let’s try to get that message to Joe Biden.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

Amazon nixes positive review of ‘The Palestinian Delusion’, claims it violates its guidelines

Click here to see the Amazon review rejection.

The fix is in. What in that review conceivably violates Amazon guidelines? This is clear evidence that Amazon is not a bookstore, but part of the Left-fascist cabal that is working so hard today to crush all dissent from the Leftist agenda.

Amazon is trying to ensure that as few people as possible see and read The Palestinian Delusion: The Catastrophic History of the Middle East Peace Process. Meanwhile, it remains by far the nation’s largest source for books, which makes its bias all the more insidious.

Strike a blow against the sinister Leftist establishment: if you have read The Palestinian Delusion and like it, please leave a favorable review at Amazon. If you haven’t read it, please buy a copy now. You could even buy it from Amazon, even as it is clearly trying to suppress this book: buying it from elsewhere is not going to dent this elephantine corporation’s earnings, while buying it from Amazon will show that their attempts to deep-six this book aren’t working.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

VIDEO: ‘The two-state solution is a myth’

Order The Palestinian Delusion: The Catastrophic History of the Middle East Peace Process here.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch video is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.