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Fatah Commission of Information and Culture depicts Netanyahu as Hitler

The Palestinian resistance is a jihadist assault on the state of Israel. It disseminates propaganda to justify human rights abuses that would never be tolerated if they were perpetrated by Christians or Jews. The so-called “far right” is routinely compared to Hitler, even though Hitler was leftist (as is evidenced by the name of his party, the National Socialist German Workers Party). Nazi Germany launched an “extensive propaganda campaign in the Middle East and North Africa during World War II.”

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has stated that no Jew will live in a Palestinian state. He also did his PhD dissertation in Holocaust denial. And now this. Yet far too many Western governments still support pro-Palestinian, anti-Israel resolutions at the UN, even as the Palestinians continue their gross antisemitism and jihadist attacks on the state of Israel, calling them a just “resistance” and manipulating victimhood in the face of historical truths.

Abbas teaches Palestinians that “Jews must be fought for Allah on behalf of all humanity.” The soft bigotry of low expectations allows the Palestinian leadership to scream victimhood while being the aggressor.

“Netanyahu is Hitler – Antisemitic Fatah cartoon,”

by Nan Jacques Zilberdik, Palestinian Media Watch, March 2, 2021:

The antisemitic cartoon above was posted by Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah Commission of Information and Culture. It shows Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as Hitler with Hitler’s mustache and a Nazi uniform with Stars of David on blue instead of Swastikas on red on his tie and arm band. Netanyahu is making a Nazi salute and blood is dripping from his hand.

Headline: “He killed the Palestinians with the weapon of racism!”
Text on cartoon: “Adolf Netanyahu”

[Website of the Fatah Commission of Information and Culture, Feb. 16, 2021]

The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) internationally accepted working definition of Antisemitism, includes “drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.”

The PA and Fatah have often disseminated this specific kind of Antisemitism by comparing Israel in general and Netanyahu in particular to the Nazis. Fatah has portrayed Netanyahu as a Nazi officer:

Netanyahu has been called Nazi propaganda minister “Goebbels’ outstanding student”:

And recently Palestinian Media Watch documented that Netanyahu was referred to as “the ugly face of Mussolini and Hitler:

Israel as such has been called “fascist and Nazi” and the behavior of Israelis has been compared to that of the Nazis prosecuted at the Nuremberg trials….

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

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.

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

Palestinians Paid Terrorists and their families $1 Billion in past 4 Years

The PLO (Palestinian leadership) pay Palestinians and their families  who murder Jews and Christians in Israel money as a reward for  murder. They also name monuments and streets after these murderers. Leaders as well as people and countries who continue to pay the PLO money used to incite murder are ‘Accessories to Murder’ .

Congress should immediately cut off funds paid to the PLO unless this incitement to murder is stopped.

Palestinians Paid Terrorists $1 Billion in Past 4 Years

The Palestinian Authority has paid out some NIS 4 billion — or $1.12 billion — over the past four years to terrorists and their families, a former director general of the Ministry of Strategic Affairs and ex-head of the army’s intelligence and research division told a top Knesset panel on Monday.

Setting out the figures, Brig.-Gen (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser told the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that the longer the period for which a Palestinian security prisoner is jailed, “the higher the salary… Anyone who has sat in prison for more than 30 years gets NIS 12,000 ($3,360) per month,” said Kuperwasser, according to the (Hebrew) NRG website. “When they’re released, they get a grant and are promised a job at the Palestinian Authority. They get a military rank that’s determined according to the number of years they’ve served in jail.”

Kuperwasser also told the committee that PA claims that the payments to terrorists’ families are social welfare benefits to the needy are false. The Palestinians’ own budgetary documents, he said, “clearly state that these are salaries and not welfare payments.”

Kuperwasser was briefing MKs days after US President Donald Trump visited Israel and held talks with PA President Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem. In an apparent public upbraiding of Abbas over the payments, Trump told him at their joint press conference: “Peace can never take root in an environment where violence is tolerated, funded or rewarded.”

Read more…

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EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of Mahmoud Abbas celebrating the return of Palestinian prisoners as part of Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations in August 2013 (photo credit: Issam Rimawi/Flash90)

Obama’s Unrealistic View of Israelis

General Kuperwasser

Israel Gen Kuperwasser (Ret.) Former Director General, Ministry of Strategic Affairs. Source: Honest Reporting

Gen. (Ret.) Yossi Kuperwasser is an  Israeli Intelligence expert and former Director General of the Ministry of Strategic Affairs. He wrote Jeffrey Goldberg, these remarks following the latest Atlantic interview and Obama’s appearance at Goldberg’s synagogue in Washington, Adas Israel on Friday morning, May 22nd. The President  received applause from the 1,200 who attended  his address, a day prior to the Shavuot Jewish holiday. Shavuot  celebrates  the  reading of the law by “Moshe rabbenu’ (Moses the teacher) before the assembled Exodus multitude  gathered under the Mountain. Perhaps the President had that it mind on the occasion of his address to the assembly of Washington Jewish notables at Adas Israel who like Goldberg profess to be “progressives” like the President. After all, Obama said that many in the audience considered him  the equivalent of “the First Jewish President.”

Others distant from Washington, like our colleague  Dr. Richard l. Rubenstein; noted theologian, former university president ,author of seminal works on post holocaust period,including  Jihad and Genocide  consider Obama “the most radical President ever.”  To Goldberg’s credit, he published  in the latest edition of The Atlantic  Kuperwasser’s ‘realistic” views, as an Israeli expert of record, contrasting them with the President’s “optimistic” views . I have to thank my friend Pat Rooney here in Pensacola for sending me them.  Coming as they do before tonight’s airing of an interview with the President of Israel Channel 2 extolling  his view why the P5+1 deal with Iran is in Panglossian terms – the best of all possible options. A deal considered a bad one by a bi-partisan panel of former Senators, ex-CIA Director Gen. Michael Hayden and experts from the Foundation for Defense of Democracies in an update from the Iran Task Force on Capitol Hill, yesterday.  French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius ‘considers  the current P5+1 deal  “useless” as both he and Gen. Hayden know that nothing will be verifiable as the fissile material will be hidden at military sites that Iran’s Supreme Ruler has denied access to UN IAEA inspectors.

I posted on my Facebook page yesterday this comment that may reflect  what many Israelis and Gen. Kuperwasser may believe about the President:

Obama says there is no military option, but a tough verifiable deal for Iran’s nukes. When asked if PM Netanyahu would exercise a military option, he said “I wouldn’t speculate.” He also suggested he “understood the fears and concerns” of Israelis. When this airs on Channel 2 in Israel Tuesday night the silence will be deafening. This President does not have either Israel’s or this country’s back in dealing with an untrustworthy Islamic Republic of Iran.”

Goldberg prefaced Kuperwasser’s response by offering that he agreed with less than half of them.  Here are excerpts from The Atlantic article, A Critique of Obama’s Understanding of Israel.

President Obama’s anger toward Netanyahu is misplaced, especially given his extraordinary lack of criticism of Palestinians for far more egregious behavior. The Palestinians, after all, are the ones who refused to accept the president’s formula for extending the peace negotiations. It is Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority (PA) who have called for “popular resistance,” which has led in recent years to stabbings, stonings, and attacks with cars and Molotov cocktails against Israelis. Since the PA ended the peace negotiations, there has been a sharp increase in attacks and casualties in Israel. Hamas, for its part, openly calls for the extermination of Israelis and sacrifices a generation of children towards that goal.

In response to these threats, all the president had to say at Adas Israel was that “the Palestinians are not the easiest of partners.” Rather than recognizing how fundamentally different Palestinian political culture is, the president offered slogans about how Palestinian youth are just like any other in the world. This is a classic example of the mirror-imaging—the projection of his own values onto another culture—that has plagued most of his foreign policy.

This excerpt from the president’s speech in Jerusalem in 2013 is emblematic of his mirror-imaging, and the problems with that perspective:

“… I met with a group of young Palestinians from the age of 15 to 22. And talking to them, they weren’t that different from my daughters. They weren’t that different from your daughters or sons. I honestly believe that if any Israeli parent sat down with those kids, they’d say, I want these kids to succeed; I want them to prosper. I want them to have opportunities just like my kids do. … Four years ago, I stood in Cairo in front of an audience of young people—politically, religiously, I believe that they must seem a world away. But the things they want, they’re not so different from what the young people here want. They want the ability to make their own decisions and to get an education, get a good job; to worship God in their own way; to get married; to raise a family. The same is true of those young Palestinians that I met with this morning. The same is true for young Palestinians who yearn for a better life in Gaza.”

Yes, we want a prosperous life for our neighbors, but unlike the president’s daughters, there are some Palestinian children who are educated to have a completely different set of priorities. Our core values are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness in this world, but Hamas proclaims “We love death more than you love life.” Happiness will be reached in the next world, according to the Hamas ideology.

So why does Obama pick on Netanyahu and not on Abbas? The most likely reason is directly related to a conflict in the West between two schools of thought, both dedicated to defending democratic and Judeo-Christian values: Optimism and realism. Obama is a remarkable proponent for the optimist approach—he fundamentally believes in human decency, and therefore in dialogue and engagement as the best way to overcome conflict. He is also motivated by guilt over the West’s collective sins, which led, he believes, to the current impoverishment of Muslims in general and Palestinians in particular. He believes that humility and concessions can salve the wound, and Islamists can be convinced to accept a global civil society. “If we’re nice to them, they’ll be nice to us,” Obama thinks.

Netanyahu, on the other hand, is a realist. Due in part to Israel’s tumultuous neighborhood, he has a much more skeptical attitude of Islamists, such as the Muslim Brotherhood and Iranian President Rouhani’s government. Netanyahu does not see these groups as potential moderates, willing to play by the international community’s rules; instead, he acknowledges their radicalism, and their intent to undermine a world order they consider a humiliating insult to Islam. The major difference between the Islamists and the extremists, according to Netanyahu, is one of timing. The Islamists are willing to wait until the time is ripe to overthrow the existing world order.

Western realists worry that optimists are actively aiding Islamists in the naïve hope that they will block out the extremists. The realists believe that a resolute stance, with the use of military force as an option, is the best way to achieve agreed-upon Western goals. Obama both prefers the optimist approach and believes that his hopeful dialogues will achieve the best possible outcome. Netanyahu, on the other hand, whose nation would feel the most immediate consequences from Western concessions, does not have the luxury of optimism.

This helps explain why Obama targets Netanyahu for criticism. The prime minister’s insistence on the dangers of the optimist approach threatens to expose the inherent weakness of Obama’s worldview and challenge the president’s assumption that his policy necessarily leads to the best possible solutions. For Netanyahu and almost everybody in Israel, as well as pragmatic Arabs, the president’s readiness to assume responsibility for Iran’s future nuclear weapons, as he told Jeffrey Goldberg, is no comfort. The realists are not playing a blame game; they are trying to save their lives and their civilization. To those who face an existential threat, Obama’s argument sounds appalling.

          […]

Does it make sense for Israel—in the face of an aggressive Iran, the rise of Islamic terror organizations across the Middle East, and the fragmentation of Arab states—to deliver strategic areas to the fragile and corrupt PA, just to see them fall to extremists?

Should Israel at this moment aid in the creation of a Palestinian state, half of which is already controlled by extremists who last summer rained down thousands of rockets on Israel, while its leaders urge their people to reject Israel as the sovereign nation-state of the Jewish people? Should it aid a movement that follows these five pillars: 1) There is no such thing as the Jewish people; 2) The Jews have no history of sovereignty in the land of Israel, so the Jewish state’s demise is inevitable and justified; 3) The struggle against Israel by all means is legitimate, and the means should be based simply on cost-benefit analysis; 4) The Jews in general, and Zionists in particular, are the worst creatures ever created; And 5) because the Palestinians are victims, they should not be held responsible or accountable for any obstacles they may throw up to peace?

In short, even though Israel, under Prime Minister Netanyahu, remains committed to the formula of “two states for two peoples, with mutual recognition,” the implementation of this idea at this point is irrelevant. The PA’s poor governance and the general turmoil in the Middle East render any establishment of a Palestinian state right now unviable. President Obama admitted as much, reluctantly, but continued to criticize Netanyahu instead of betraying his optimist paradigm. Netanyahu’s realism would stray too far from the path Obama, and other Western leaders, have set in front of them. But while Obama and the optimists offer their critiques, Netanyahu and the realists will be on the ground, living with the consequences the optimists have wrought.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review.

“The Forces at Play” in the Palestinian Authority

‘Avenge’, ‘cycle’, ‘retaliation’, ‘disproportionate’.  Most media scripts of recent days could have been written by machines.  Three Israeli teenagers have been murdered, callously and ruthlessly.  Their abductions were barely covered by most of the non-Israeli press during the weeks in which they were missing.  But now that they have been confirmed dead the Western press really knows what to do and how to cover it.

As with the United Nations, and other international bodies, the story appears to start not when an outrage is perpetrated against Israelis but rather when Israel is thought to be considering a ‘response’.  So ‘calm’ was urged upon Israel by the UN while options were being ‘weighed up’.

And then we enter the period of ‘backlash’.

Unconnected to events in the West Bank, in recent days Israel has struck sites in the Gaza responsible for the ongoing barrage of rockets being fired into Southern Israel.  Does anyone other than Israel get accused of ‘pounding’ an enemy even when the action is targeted precision strikes?  Everything to do with Israel’s wars for security and survival is portrayed in this way.  And those in the West who are sanguine about this treatment when it is meted out to Israel need to reflect that this is the same situation in which they will find themselves when the time comes.

In the meantime, as we go through the latest replay of an endless media story it is all too easy to ignore the bigger movements which are going on behind this.  As we have often said here at HJS, the erasure of borders, the clarification of old alliances and revived fundamentalist hatreds are the real movements going on underneath the Middle East and North Africa region during this period.  And the events of recent days give a deep reminder of Israel’s long-term territorial questions.  ISIS – or the ‘Islamic State’ as it is now more simply known – is not only causing the Saudi Arabian army to mass on its own Iraqi border, but is attempting next to erase the borders of Jordan.  This should be a moment for specific clarity in a regional mess.

If the Palestinian Authority wants to achieve a state then it must show that its state would be law-abiding and peaceful.  In doing a unity deal with Hamas earlier this year, Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah showed that they were more interested in terror and annihilation than they were in peace. Fatah has tried to draw comparisons with the tragic murder of a Palestinian youth this week in Jerusalem to paint the Israeli government into a race to the bottom about which community should be more outraged. But this is nonsensical. Even if the worst fears are realised and extremist Israelis are found to have committed this act, the Israeli state cannot be held responsible for the acts of vigilantes. But the Palestinian Authority certainly can be for the behaviour of a constituent part of its leadership. And since Hamas is to blame for the killings of the Israeli teenagers, what does Fatah’s refusal to uncouple from it tell us?

Would a Hamas-Fatah state in the West Bank be a barrier to ISIS and ISIS-like organisations?  Or would it be a sponge for it?  Would it withstand the forces of the region or would it fall in step with them?  Given the responses of the Palestinian leadership in recent days, we have had an opportunity to stare into the future.  People often say that the window is closing on the two-state solution.  Unless something changes, this will become an inevitable conclusion.

After CPAC: What conservatives are still missing

One of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s statements at CPAC 2014 has my complete agreement: “you have to convey the message of what you are for, not just what you are against.”

One of the lessons I learned early on in my military career that I have carried since is “anyone can tell what the issue is or state what the problem is, but a leader tells you what the solutions are.”

For conservatives it is time we turn principles into policies – not get all tied up in details that confuse, but focus on simple points that reflect the concerns of the American people.

A great example is the issue of education. Right now the progressive socialists of the Democrat party are lining up on the side of the teachers’ unions. We recently reported on New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s attack against the Success Academy Charter School in Harlem. Why aren’t we hearing more conservatives talk about school choice, vouchers, charter schools – in other words, better educational opportunities for America’s children, especially minority children?

No conservative should be lining up behind the insidious common core education initiative, basically an expansion of big government into the realm of education, which should be a local issue. Where are the conservative voices talking about a 21st century education policy vision that is consistent with our principles?

How do we present a roadmap that makes education relevant and develops productive members of our society, rather than test-taking drones? How do we examine the means by which we promote critical thinking skills and skill development by educational partnering with the private sector?

When I think of how conservatives can connect across every community and demographic in America on this subject… here is a clear example of policy inclusiveness, not outreach. We just need to take the message out there. I can’t imagine any mother who would reject a plan to better educate her children and prepare them to achieve greatness and success through maximizing their opportunities.

What I saw missing from CPAC was an understanding that Americans hunger for a particular image. Americans thought Obama possessed it — an image of concerned and caring leadership. It is an image that exemplifies the best of America and reflects the triumph of the indomitable American individual spirit.

It does not spring from numbers and detailed calculations. It is conveyed by someone Americans believe they can invite into their homes who cares for them and their future. The image should not be of someone who offers handouts, but if there is no compelling alternative, voters willingly lower their standards and fall for the giver of gifts.

My mom taught me that “self-esteem comes from doing estimable things.” and sitting home in Section 8 housing waiting for a “gubmint” check ain’t promoting self-esteem. Conservatives need someone who honestly relfects what America is and what she can be as we restore this Republic. Someone who can explain in simple terms a vision of growth, opportunity, and prosperity — not shared — but policies and conditions that create the pursuit of happiness — not the false promise of guaranteed happiness.

The other key aspect of leadership, woefully ignored at CPAC, is the importance of the Commander-in-Chief, a warrior-statesman who not only makes sure the American people know he or she cares — but convincingly demonstrates they will be protected.

Such a leader must be strong enough to sit down at a table with autocrats, theocrats, despots, dictators and garner their respect, if not fear. Consider when Ronald Reagan stood at the Brandenburg Gate and told Mr. Gorbachev to “tear down this wall.”

That simple statement inspired a drive for liberty and freedom behind the wall which eventually resulted in its collapse. Today we are faced with a threat from Vladimir Putin who seeks to rebuild that wall.

America is looking for a leader who won’t call Putin for a 60- or 90-minute dissertation, but places a five-minute call to state the case and the consequences, and then hangs up — because the actions will speak for themselves.

We need leadership that looks square in the eyes of the mad mullahs and ayatollahs and lets them know Islamic totalitarianism and terrorism is a non-starter — and will be crushed. America is looking for a leader who lets the Chinese know our allies in Japan and the Philippines will not see their sovereign territories subsumed by aggressive actions.

We need a leader who tells Mahmoud Abbas, Fatah and Hamas that Israel is our ally and no solutions are viable as long as terrorists abide under their umbrella of protection.

The world knows President Obama is a liar and his progressive socialist agenda is failing. America needs to know what conservatives – constitutionalists — will do to restore the exceptionalism of America, and the dream that says regardless of where you were born or where you come from, your greatness can be achieved here in this place: the land of the free, because we are the home of the brave.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on AllenBWest.com.