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October 3, 2011: That Corner

October 3, 2011

It’s the corner that Prime Minister Netanyahu hopes to see the PA backed into.  Today I write with the sense that they are headed towards it, but not because they are being backed into it by forces around them. Rather, they are backing into it of their own volition. 

You know what is said about the Arabs: They never miss a chance to miss a chance.  And they are doing a splendid job here.  Baruch Hashem.

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Yesterday, Nabil Abu Rudaineh, speaking for PA President Abbas, declared once again that they would not return to the negotiating table until Israel froze all construction in Judea and Samaria (by which is meant also eastern Jerusalem), and accepted the 1967 lines as the basis for negotiations for a two-state solution.

Said Abu Rudaineh, “If Israel is serious, it must abide, without reservations, by international legitimacy as mentioned in the road map, UN resolutions, and the Arab peace initiative.”

Interesting.  Now it’s “international legitimacy,” rather than “international law.”  Abu Rudaineh knows full well that the road map and the Arab peace initiative have absolutely no standing in international law, and that only some (SC) UN resolutions do.  Resolution 194, which the Arabs use as the basis for claims to a “right of return,” for example, has no standing in law.

So now they’re charging that if the international community thinks something is a good idea, we must abide by it.  Israel accepted the road map only with reservations (which were blithely ignored) and never signed on to the Arab “peace” initiative at all.

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A word about the thoroughly defunct road map for peace — which called for a final resolution of the conflict by 2005, by the way.  The Palestinian Arabs refer to it often because it called for a settlement freeze. 

But why should we focus on just one element of the document?  It also says:

“A two state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will only be achieved through an end to violence and terrorism, when the Palestinian people have a leadership acting decisively against terror and willing and able to build a practicing democracy based on tolerance and liberty.”

And:

“All official Palestinian institutions end incitement against Israel.”

Is it necessary to say more? 

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According to Khaled Abu Toameh, writing in the JPost today, a “top PA official” in Ramallah said that the Quarter plan was biased in favor of Israel. 

“The Quartet has lost its credibility, mainly because of its failure to force Israel to stop building in the settlements.”

What is more, Quartet Envoy Tony Blair is “a servant of the Israeli government,” and was “no longer welcome in Ramallah.  We prefer not to see him here again.”

How to win friends and influence people.  Is the Quartet privately sick of these people yet?

It should be mentioned that Saeb Erekat also addressed the issue of settlements, but from Cairo, where he had met with the Secretary-General of the Arab League, Nabil Elarabi.

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Danny Ayalon, Deputy Foreign Minister, conducted a tour of Gilo yesterday for 50 representatives of foreign media.  He said:

“Jerusalem cannot be divided and will not be divided, and it’s very unfortunate that from far away places people are trying to judge Jerusalem by standards that are completely unrealistic.

“…It’s hard for us to understand why every little building, every little neighborhood extension which is within the natural growth of a vibrant city has to become an international issue and has to be raised by the Palestinians as a precondition to peace talks.”

So, I guess we’re doing OK.

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I want to note here that one of the objections Netanyahu intends to raise is that the Quartet plan calls for resolving issues of security and borders first.  Israel’s position is that all issues must be negotiated in tandem because leverage in negotiating is lost if something is conceded while other matters are still pending. 

It has, in fact, been Israel’s policy that nothing is decided until everything is decided.  We should never be caught in a situation in which we’ve agreed to something, only to have the negotiations then fall apart (which, if they ever begin, they surely will), but the claim made that what we did agree to stands for the next round.

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Robbie Sabel has written a piece for the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), entitled, “The Palestinian Bid for Statehood: Wherein Lies the State.”

That’s the question I’ve been asking, but he has an answer:

“…President Abbas stated in his speech that the application for membership in the UN was submitted ‘on the basis of the 4 June 1967 borders, with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital.’

“…As distinct from the speech, the actual application submitted by the Palestinians opens by declaring that the submission for membership is based on two documents, ‘UN General Assembly resolution 181 of 29 November 1947 [the partition plan] as well as the Declaration of Independence of the State of Palestine of 15 November 1988.[made by Arafat and essentially ignored since].’ The application for UN membership makes no reference whatsoever to the 1967 lines or to the borders of the Palestinian state. In a letter to the UN Secretary General attached as an annex to the submission, President Abbas …notes that the international community supports the 1967 lines, but again makes no statement as to what the Palestinians themselves see as their border.

“…Legally the Palestinians are not obliged to denote what they consider to be their borders in their statehood bid to the UN. However, the two documents that they refer to in their application…bear no relation to the 1967 borders. The 1988 Declaration was deliberately vague in reference to borders…The 1947 UN partition plan recommended borders that inter alia gave nearly the whole of the Galilee and Beer Sheba to a proposed Arab state and excluded Jerusalem from both the Arab and Jewish states. The 1947 partition plan was rejected at the time by the Palestinians and all the Arab states. It is thus an unfortunate choice that these were the only two documents referred to in the 2011 Palestinian submission to the UN, a fact that challenges the common wisdom that the Palestinians have officially renounced all claims to pre-June 1967 territory.” (Emphasis added)

http://www.inss.org.il/upload/(FILE)1317641580.pdf

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Vice President Joe Biden was in Boca Raton FL, last week, meeting with rabbis to garner support for Obama’s re-election. The question of Jonathan Pollard came up.  And, according to the NY Times, Biden, who was once considered a great supporter of Israel said:

“President Obama was considering clemency, but I told him, “Over my dead body are we going to let him out before his time. If it were up to me, he would stay in jail for life.”

In 2007, Biden gave an interview in which he supported the idea of commuting Pollard’s sentence to time served.

Which is it: Has he completely reversed his opinion?  Or is he taking a fall for Obama?

I would never presume to take him literally and wish him a dead body. But I am quite comfortable wishing for the speedy death of his political career.

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Yesterday I gave you a link to a page on Israel National News where there was a video, produced by MEMRI, of Abbas Zaki of the Fatah Central Committee, talking about the goal of Israel’s complete destruction.  I have the same MEMRI clip — good for sharing — on YouTube now:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RyhuqthF2UM&feature=share

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Let’s end with something good:  From Israel 21C, a list of Israel’s 45 greatest inventions.  Source of great pride and many are fascinating innovations to read about.

http://israel21c.org/technology/israels-top-45-greatest-inventions-of-all-time

(With thanks to my daughter Sharon for calling this to my attention.)

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© Arlene Kushner. This material is produced by Arlene Kushner, functioning as an independent journalist. Permission is granted for it to be reproduced only with proper attribution.

http://arlenefromisrael.squarespace.com/current-postings/2011/10/3/october-3-2011-that-corner.html

 

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