Friday’s headline in the JPost: “Gov’t rejects extended freeze, despite US, EU and Egyptian pressure.” This was right before Yom Kippur, and oh how I would have loved to have been able to rejoice. But I wasn’t ready then, and I’m certainly not ready now.
Yes, Netanyahu rejected a formal freeze on all building in Judea and Samaria. It may well be that, given his coalition, he truly had no choice.
But there has been too much in the past weeks indicating that there would likely be some informal compromise on this business of the freeze for us to assume we are now home free. Some of what came out was directly from Netanyahu, who said, and I paraphrase here, that it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. In addition to which, we had the Abu Toameh piece indicating that Abbas knows, in spite of his bluster, that he’s going to have to sit at the table even if there isn’t a full freeze.
So… I’m still in “wait and see” mode. Good indeed that he didn’t cave all the way — which would have been horrendous. But it remains to be determined how much building actually starts, and where (i.e., perhaps just in major blocs near the Green Line), after September 26. We may not know immediately. But remember that there are a very large number of construction projects already approved, that were held up. If there truly is no freeze, they should be up and going before long. But don’t hold your breath waiting for that to happen.
As well, I will be watching how the right wing in this country, in different quarters, responds to the situation.
I’ve received a few alarmed messages from readers regarding a report (unconfirmed, as far as I see) regarding a deal that Netanyahu offered to President Assad of Syria, via the US, in which he would offer part of the Golan in a peace deal. That Mitchell was just in Syria — last Thursday, actually– pumping for peace is fact. What he actually brought from Netanyahu, if anything, is considerably less clear.
But — even if this report is true — I am exceedingly dubious as to whether Assad would ever accept the terms Netanyahu is allegedly demanding in that offer: cutting ties with Iran and Hezbollah. No way! Ahmadinejad stopped in Damascus and visited with Assad just yesterday, on his way to the UN for opening of the GA.
And now we have an exceedingly troubling report about Russian plans to sell advanced arms to Syria — possibly including P-800 Yakhont cruise missiles. The major concern is that these weapons would find their way to Hezbollah, which would use them against Israeli ships.
I’ve written about this before: Assad has made a calculated judgment with regard to his position. US power in the Middle East is waning. He is assessing Iran as the up-and-coming power, and the one to remain allied with. All Mitchell’s talk about the US being determined to forge a comprehensive peace in this region is pointless. It’s past due for Obama to take a hard look at what he has wrought.
Thrown into the pot is the additional difficulty of contending with a Russia that is thoroughly pleased to play the foil against the US, with scant regard for consequences. The US has protested the sale of these weapons to a terrorist-supporting country, and Barak, in a visit to Russia last week also protested. All to no avail.
So we have plenty to worry about, but I would put giving away the Golan low on that list. Far more important will be monitoring of weapons into Syria and tracking them to assure they don’t get to Hezbollah.
The people of the US — or, more accurately, certain US Jews — are in for another PA lovefest. Abbas is going to be in the US this week, and the last report I had was that a dinner would be sponsored for him by the Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace, on Tuesday, and that The Israel Project would be sponsoring something similar for Fayyad.
I think most of my readers know better. But it’s appropriate here to caution once again that Abbas, Fayyad and the whole lot of them are thoroughly duplicitous — and that this is sanctioned by Islam: the doctrine of Taqiyya permits lying when it furthers the cause of Islam. They will pretend moderation for their purposes, but it is essential not to be fooled. They are not moderates and not sincere about peace. But they’d love to have American Jews leaning on Netanyahu.
Should you read articles, or hear friends talking, or hear talk radio shows, that indicate how forthcoming and peaceful Abbas and Fayyad are, please! use every opportunity possible to set the record straight.
Ho hum. At the same time that Abbas is prepared to do his “kissy” routine with American Jews, he is again threatening to resign. I’ve lost count of how many times he’s made this threat, if this or that or the other thing doesn’t happen.
The entire spectacle is one continuous farce. How does a man “resign” from a post, when his term ran out at least nine months ago — or a year and nine months ago, depending on how the calculation is done?
There are plans afoot, by Israel and supported by the international community, to allow the PA to have officials present at the Kerem Shalom crossing — the main conduit for goods going into Gaza. The idea is to foster the impression, if nothing more, that the PA once again has a foothold in Gaza. Not exactly a smashing idea in any event.
But we should not be surprised that now Hamas has said nothing doing. Hamas says that what the PA should be working on is settling differences between the two parties. As things stand, it will not accept a PA presence there. What does it mean, “not accept”? That it would refuse goods that came through under the eyes of PA officials? Or that it would initiate violence there?
Work being done at Kerem Shalom now includes infrastructure that could be used by the PA if it were to control Gaza once again.
I will return in future postings to the issue of moderate Islam, what it is and how possible it is to foster it.
But here I wanted to provide a couple of links regarding Islam in the US. They offer insight into how Islam is being surreptitiously promoted. In this instance, Wellesley MA middle school students were taken on a trip to a mosque, where they were lied to about the nature of Islam and invited to join prayer. This came via Brigitte Gabriel’s Act for America, a source I consider quite reliable:
See below a related piece on this subject by Charles Jacobs — whom I also consider highly reliable. Jacobs is now president of Americans for Peace and Tolerance. But I know of him from years ago, when he fought to combat slavery in Sudan. (Guess who was/is practicing slavery?)
What’s apparent is that there is a double standard (and lots of political correctness) at work.
America, when will you wake up?
(My thanks to all those who sent info on this.)
In closing, I share a story.
I recently provided a moving video about young boys who risked arrest in pre-independence Israel, in the late 30s and early 40s, by blowing a shofar at the Kotel on Yom Kippur, wh
ich the ruling British, to appease the Arabs, had said was forbidden.
I have now started reading Yehuda Avner’s “The Prime Ministers” and am fascinated by the history he provides. Very early on, in his section on Menachem Begin as head of the Irgun. (An underground pre-Independence freedom fighting force to the right of the more establishment Hagana.)
Seems the business about the shofar blowing being forbidden started back on Yom Kippur of 1928, when a mehitza, a screen to separate worshipping men and women, was set up before the Kotel. The local Arabs interpreted this as an extreme provocation: “The Jews are trying to rebuild their Temple and destroy our al-Aksa Mosque.” (This is not a new charge!) Riots ensued in which hundreds were killed in the following months.
The British established a commission of inquiry, which determined that the Kotel belonged solely to the Arabs. If this sort of appeasement before the Arabs sounds obscene and familiar, it is because it is both. From this came the ruling that no shofar could be blown. It left local Jews aghast — this total denial by the British of their heritage and practices.
The young shofar blowers came from the ranks of Betar, the youth of Ze’ev Jabotinsky’s Revisionists. (Jabotinsky being the ideological mentor of Begin.) When Begin — whose reputation preceded him — witnessed for himself the police harassment endured by these young men, he decided to become involved. Before Rosh Hashana in 1944, he had posters distributed that said any British policeman disturbing the service at the Kotel “will be regarded as a criminal and dealt with accordingly.” That Yom Kippur, the shofar blower was not touched by a single policeman.
The next day, Begin wrote:
“Our ancient stones are not silent. They speak of the House that once stood here, of kings who once knelt here in prayer, of prophets and seers who declaimed their message here, of heroes who fell here, dying…This House and this Land, with its prophets and kings and fighters, were ours long before the British were ever a nation.”
Ah, for that sort of devotion to our heritage, and plucky readiness to defend it, today.
Postscript: Years later Begin told Avner that he had no intention of attacking police at the Kotel, for innocents might have died in the confusion of the crowd. His intent was to hit police stations in other locales.