Tuesday, September 21, 2010

When TIP meets Fayad: BACKGROUNDERS FOR ISRAEL PROJECT DINNER WITH FAYAD

Date: 09/21/2010

Tonight, The Israel Project holds a dinner with Salaam Fayad,
the man who oversees the worst anti semitic curriculum since the Third Reich,
the man who advocates BDS of IsraelI products,
the man who advocates all of Jerusalem for the Palestinians,
the man who advocates recognition of the rights of refugees and their descendents to return to their homes from 1948,
the man who demands that Israel free all those convicted of murdering Israelis,
and the man who lies about his actual policies when he meets with people from abroad.

The following three pieces should help TIP to form serious questions for Fayad, when TIP meets Fayad.

Please let the world know how Fayad responds to the challenge of these questions.

With warmest regards,

David

David Bedein, Director
THE CENTER FOR NEAR EAST POLICY RESEARCH & ISRAEL RESOURCE NEWS AGENCY
BEIT AGRON INTERNATIONAL PRESS CENTER
37 HILLEL STREET
JERUSALEM 94581 ISRAEL
www.IsraelBehindTheNews.com
Tel.0547 222 661

1.Read the Salaam Fayad plan for what it is: A Plan of War, not of peace:

http://www.miftah.org/Display.cfm?DocId=20388&CategoryId=8

Jerusalem Post: Read the Salaam Fayad plan for what
it is: A Plan of War, not of peace

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?
cid=1255204781394&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

Read the Salaam Fayad plan for what it is

Oct. 12, 2009
DAVID BEDEIN , THE JERUSALEM POST

In a Jerusalem Post article "In the land of miracles, let's
get real"(September 29), Gershon Baskin describes the Salaam
Fayad plan as "one of the most positive and optimistic
developments of recent times".

However, a reading of Fayad's plan, entitled "Ending the
Occupation, Establishing the State: Program of the
Thirteenth Government - August 2009" would seem to belie
Baskin's postulation.

While the preface to Fayad's paper introduces a Palestinian
state that would strive for "peace, security and stability
in our region on the Palestinian territory occupied in 1967,
with east Jerusalem as its capital," Fayad's 38-page
position paper reads like a declaration of war, not of
peace.

Fayad asserts that "Jerusalem" will be the Palestinian
capital of the Palestinian state - not east Jerusalem.

In case anyone was wondering if Fayad had made a
typographical error by not mentioning "east" Jerusalem as
the capital of a future Palestinian state, he repeats - 10
times - that he means Jerusalem, all of Jerusalem. He leaves
nothing to the imagination, and writes that the Palestinian
state will "protect Jerusalem as the eternal capital of the
Palestinian state," because he asserts that "Jerusalem is
our people's religious, cultural, economic and political
center. It is the Flower of Cities and Capital of Capitals.
It cannot be anything but the eternal capital of the future
Palestinian state. Jerusalem."

FAYAD GOES on to claim that Jerusalem "is under threat" and
that "the occupying authority is implementing a systematic
plan to alter the city's landmarks and its geographical and
demographic character in order to forcibly create facts on
the ground, ultimately separating it from its Palestinian
surroundings and eradicating its Arab Palestinian heritage."
Fayad further claims that "Palestinian life in Jerusalem is
under daily attack through systematic violations perpetrated
by the occupation regime" and that "it is the right and the
duty of all Palestinians to protect their land, reject the
occupation and defy its measures," adding that the
Palestinian state "bears special responsibility for
nurturing our people's ability to persevere and protect
their homeland."

He adds that the Palestinian government will maintain
its "unreserved commitment to defending the Arab character
and status of Jerusalem.... The government will continue to
do all that is possible to achieve this goal. The government
will work with all organizations to preserve the landmarks
of Jerusalem and its Arab Palestinian heritage, develop the
city, and secure its contiguity with its Palestinian
surroundings."

Fayad frames Jerusalem as an illegal settlement, postulating
that "the occupying authority is pursuing its intensive
settlement policy in and around Jerusalem.... The occupation
regime has shut down our national institutions, neglected
the development of Palestinian life, continued to demolish
and evacuate Palestinian homes, and restricted access to
sacred Christian and Islamic sites."

He goes so far as to present a practical plan to Arabize
Jerusalem: Maintaining Jerusalem as a top priority on the
government's agenda and· "highlighting its predicament in
the media. Launching programs to promote the steadfastness
of Jerusalemites, including: Strengthen Palestinian
institutions in Jerusalem, providing financial support to
help them deliver services to citizens."

He reassures his readers that a future Palestinian state
would not be satisfied with Jerusalem, the West Bank and
Gaza as the national home for Palestinians, and says that
the Palestinian government will continue to advocate
for "Palestinian refugees in accordance with relevant
international resolutions, and UN General Assembly
Resolution 194 in particular," which mandates that
Palestinian refugees and their descendents have a right to
return to the homes and villages that Palestinians left
during the 1948 war and its aftermath.

Fayad reminds Palestinians that "the refugee issue will
remain under the jurisdiction of the PLO, through its
Department of Refugees' Affairs ... in a manner that does
not exempt the United Nations Relief and Works Agency
(UNRWA) from its responsibilities." In Fayad's view, UNRWA
will therefore continue to confine Palestinian refugees and
their descendants to the indignity of refugee camps, under
the premise and promise of the "right of return."

MEANWHILE, FAYAD expresses full support for Palestinians who
have been convicted of murder and attempted murder, saying
that "the state also has an enduring obligation to care and
provide for the martyrs, prisoners, orphans and all those
harmed in the Palestinian struggle for independence." He
simply cannot understand why Palestinians convicted of
capital crimes should be jailed.

He proclaims that "the continued detention of thousands of
Palestinian detainees and prisoners in Israeli prisons and
detention camps in violation of international law and basic
human rights, is of great concern to all Palestinians," and
declares that "securing the freedom of all these heroic
prisoners is an utmost Palestinian priority and it is a
fundamental duty all Palestinians feel to honor their great
sacrifices and end their suffering," and demands
the "freedom of all Palestinian detainees and prisoners and
will continue to strive to secure their liberty."

He further declares that the Palestinian state will be an
Islamic state and "promote awareness and understanding of
the Islamic religion and culture and disseminate the concept
of tolerance in the religion through developing and
implementing programs of Shari'a education as derived from
the science of the Holy Koran and Prophet's heritage."

In sum, the Palestinian prime minister concludes with a
demand for a Palestinian state in the next two years, along
the parameters that he has outlined - Jerusalem as the
capital of an Islamic Shari'a state that will campaign for
all convicts to be freed, for all refugees to return to the
homes and villages that they left in 1948.

It would be instructive to know whether Baskin even bothered
to read the plan before calling it a 'postive development.'
======
The writer, the Middle East correspondent for the
Philadelphia Bulletin, directs Israel Resource News Agency
and the Center for Near East Policy Research at Beit Agron
Press Center

2. ARE THERE QUESTIONS PEOPLE ARE AFRAID TO ASK FAYAD?
http://israelbehindthenews.com/bin/content.cgi?ID=3789&q=1

y DAVID BEDEIN & ARLENE KUSHNER*
Wed Nov 24 2009

In his column of November 20, "Salam Fayyad builds Palestine,"

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1258624595789&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

Jerusalem Post Editor David Horovitz describes "two staunch Jewish supporters of Israel" - Senator Joe Lieberman, former vice presidential candidate, and Representative Howard Berman, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee - "nodding their encouragement" at a recent Ramallah press conference, where Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad explained how he was preparing Palestinians for statehood. The piece goes on to outline a Palestinian state in formation, regarding security forces, the economy, and civic institutions, with an optimistic sense of what the PA is achieving.

Regrettably, Senator Lieberman and Representative Berman did not use the press conference to raise some troublesome questions.

Since these American elected officials let that opportunity pass, perhaps it was the journalistic responsibility of Mr. Horovitz to explore these matters, to offer a more balanced picture. Instead, he alluded to "staunch supporters of Israel nodding their agreement," conveying the notion that, except for some technical problems, all is well.

Questions that Senator Lieberman, Rep. Berman or Mr. Horovitz could have asked would have included:

Renunciation of the PLO state of war with Israel.

The charter of Fatah - the predominant element in the PLO and the PA - to this day continues to call for the destruction of Israel. Written in 1964, before Israel controlled the West Bank and Gaza, it uses the term "Palestine" to refer exclusively to Israel within the Green Line. The charter declares that "Liberating Palestine is a national obligation," and that "Armed public revolution is the inevitable method" for doing so. This cannot be dismissed as an irrelevant anachronism. Last August, Fatah held its first General Congress in 20 years. Hope was held out for a charter revision, with violence officially renounced, but it never happened. Instead, Fatah continued to unambiguously embrace "armed resistance" to liberate Palestine.

Cessation of incitement via changes in PA-produced textbooks.

The Institute for Monitoring Peace and Tolerance in School Education (IMPACT http://www.impact-se.org ) has issued six reports on new PA textbooks issued over the last eight years. Journalist and scholar Dr. Arnon Groiss, who translated these PA textbooks, has just completed an update. He writes that the new PA texts...

Deny the historical and religious presence of Jews in Palestine.
Fail to recognize the State of Israel.
Demonize Jews and Israel.
Assign blame for the conflict exclusively on Israel, totally absolving Palestinians.
Stress the idea of a violent struggle of liberation rather than a peaceful settlement.
It is disingenuous for Fayyad to profess dedication to peace, while the PA curriculum infuses these ideas within its youngsters. Peace is impossible until the message changes. Why do visiting elected officials and journalists not hold Fayyad and the PA accountable for the new PA textbooks?.

Cessation of PA pursuit of Hamas as a coalition partner.

The PA inclination to participate in a government that includes Hamas remains an "elephant in the room" that the international community, somewhat inexplicably, has chosen to ignore: Hamas is recognized by the US and the entire Quartet as a terrorist entity. Yet in March 2007, Fatah and Hamas briefly formed a "unity government" - negotiated by Saudi Arabia via the Mecca Accord - that saw Fatah acceding to Hamas demands. It fell apart with the Hamas coup in Gaza, but in recent months the news is awash with reports of negotiations via Egypt for a Fatah-Hamas reconciliation. Pursuing negotiations with Israel and Hamas at one and the same time is not acceptable. Why not ask the PA to make a choice?.

Renunciation of the "right of return."

The "right of return," promoted for 60 years by UNRWA and embraced by the PA as a non-negotiable right, remains a recipe for the destruction of Israel from within. If Fayyad and the PA are serious about peace, why not ask them to accept the principle of perma nent resettlement of the refugees? UNHCR, the UN High Commission for Refugees - which oversees all refugees except Palestinians - operates according to this principle. Only Palestinian refugees are not resettled, but instead, for purely political reasons, are forced to linger in a (rage-inducing) state of limbo. Fayyad, in his master plan for a Palestinian state, openly states that he supports the "right of return." Isn't it time to ask Fayyad and the PA to openly embrace the UNHCR policy and pave the way for UNRWA to adjust its mandate?

Lastly, Mr. Horovitz writes that "most of the international community completely supports [PA] demands for a 100% Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank," noting that "Netanyahu...is intent on driving a harder bargain." The reader is left with the impression that Netanyahu is obstinately resisting what the world expects. Left unsaid is that the Israeli electorate is most definitely not in favor of complete withdrawal, and that the prime minister simply reflects the will of the nation in this regard. What is more, Mr. Horovitz neglects to say that neither does international law support this: UN Security Resolution 242, which does not demand full Israeli withdrawal, acknowledges Israel's need for secure borders.

END

*David Bedein works as the Director of the Israel Resource News Agency and the Center for Near East Policy Research, www.IsraelBehindTheNews.com and the Middle East Correspondent for the Philadelphia Bulletin, www.TheBulletin.us.

Arlene Kushner is the senior research analyst for the Center for Near East Policy Research and author of a daily blog, "Arlene From Israel", www.arlenefromisrael.info


3. Questions that Israel Project can ask FAYAD
http://israelbehindthenews.com/bin/content.cgi?ID=4139&q=1

This week, Palestinian Authority leaders Machmud Abbas and Salam Fayyad arrive in Washington. According to reports that have appeared in both the Haaretz and the Jerusalem Post newspapers, the purpose of their trip is to improve their relations with the Jewish community in the United States at a time when negotiations have resumed between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. In that context, the Daniel Abraham Center will be hosting Abbas and the Israel Project will be hosting Fayad in widely publicized press events.

The readiness of Abbas and Fayad to dialogue with the Jewish community provides Jewish groups with a most appropriate opportunity for asking direct questions of these two leaders -- questions that address issues at the heart of possibilities for genuine peace between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.:
Will you arrange for revisions -- beginning immediately -- of official Palestinian Authority textbooks, so that:

All praise of the armed struggle ("Jihad") and all praise of Palestinian terrorists ("martyrs") is removed.

Israeli cities such as Tiberias, Acre, Haifa and Tzfat are identified as such,
rather than as Palestinian

All maps identify Israel as such, at least within the Green Line

Will you order the PBC, the official TV and radio network of the Palestinian Authority, to cease and desist from broadcasting and televising programs that incite the "armed struggle" against the state and people of Israel?

Will you refrain from honoring terrorists by such actions as naming city squares, sports events and schools after them?

Will you change the Palestinian Authority tourist map of Jerusalem, so that the Jewish Quarter, which is currently omitted, is properly identified?

Will you denounce in English and Arabic the decision of the August 2009 Fatah conference, which endorsed the armed struggle against the state of Israel?

Will you renounce in English and Arabic the draft of the Palestinian State Constitution that was adopted by the Palestinian Authority in 2003, which calls for the adoption of Sharia Law -- thus permitting no juridical status for any religion in the future Palestinian State other than Islam?

Will you arrange for an official Palestinian Authority endorsement in English and Arabic of cancellation of those sections of the PLO covenant that call for Israel's destruction?

Will you remove from all Palestinian Authority schools and libraries the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, as well as the PHD thesis written by Abbas that asserts that Zionists worked with the Nazis to conduct mass murder of Jews during World War II?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Form a commission of inquiry: HOW GAZA STARVATION RUMOR WAS PROMULGATED

http://www.israelbehindthenews.com/bin/content.cgi?ID=4009&q=1

DAVID BEDEIN, DIRECTOR, ISRAEL RESOURCE NEWS AGENCY AND THE CENTER FOR NEAR EAST POLICY RESEARCH , WWW.ISRAELBEHINDTHENEWS.COM

Violence and deaths that occurred on ships en route to Gaza on May 31 resulted from a systematic campaign of misinformation which conveyed the specious notion that the people of Gaza are starving.
Flying to Cyprus in August 2008 to cover the first FREEGAZA.org press launch for the Philadelphia Bulletin, it was there and then that the first FREEGAZA.org boat was launched.

Jeff Halper, an Israeli American community organizer, initiator of the FreeGaza.org campaign, opened the FreeGaza.org press conference in Cyprus ,stating in a matter of fact comment that “people in Gaza wake up every morning without food or medicine”. Halper's remarks were taped on the Bulletin tape recorder for posterity.

Over the past two years, Halper coordinated a campaign to spread the rumor of deprivation Gaza with 62 Rabbis, many of who are affiliated with the Rabbis for Human Rights, who then pioneered a new organization and web site, “TANNIT TZEDEK”, http://fastforgaza.net/, where they actually hold monthly fasts for the deprived people of Gaza...with generous support from the New Israel Fund.

In the Philadelphia area, their guru is Arthur Waskow.

Yet the founder of Rabbis for Human Rights, Rabbi David Foreman objected to spreading the false notion that there was deprivation of food and medical supplies in Gaza.

Writing in the Jweekly in California and in the Jerusalem Post last September, 2009 , Rabbi Foreman described the web site as “anti-Zionist, bordering on anti-Semitism”., and asked uncomfortable questions, “How well have these rabbis examined the blockade?... Do they think that concern about arms smuggling is completely bogus?...Do they consider that the blockade justifies shooting at Israelis, while Israel’s response deserves wholesale condemnation? Rabbi Foreman concluded that their web site implies that “that they care not at all about an objective critique of an Israel that should be “a light unto the nations,” but rather care only about painting Israel as an “evil empire,” thereby justifying their and others’ blatant assault on the very legitimacy of a Jewish state.

Rabbi Foreman died on May 3, and was not around to act as a moderating force when ships sailed on their mission on May 30th.

Instead, the man who now speaks for the Rabbis for Human Rights, Rabbi Arik Ascherman, wrote a passionate letter on May 28 to Israel Defense Minister Ehud Barak to allow the boats to enter Gaza, where Ascherman repeated the mantra of the “humanitarian crisis” facing the population of Gaza.

The audio tape of Halper's opening remarks in August 2008 is filed in a good place at the Beit Agron International Press Center, along with statments of those who spread the lie to the world over the past two years that a humanitarian crisis was afoot in Gaza.

These files await the formation of a Commission of Inquiry that must be formed to determine how the rumor of starvation in Gaza was systematically and successfully marketed by a few Israeli citizens to the media outlets, NGO's and diplomatic missions of the entire world, sparking the greatest international disgrace for Israel in recent memory.

The first step should be for people - lawyers, social workers, medical professionals, media experts - to offer their services to help put together the rudiments of a commission of inquiry.

The Center for Near East Policy Research, located at the Beit Agron International Press Center in Jerusalem, would be pleased to host a task force who purpose would be to facilitate the formation such a commission.

END

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Is the Palestinian Authority in Violation of American Law?

The PA’s attempt to block Israel’s economic achievement could theoretically backfire and endanger American military assistance to the would-be state of Palestine.

by Lenny Ben David for pajamasmedia.com

On Thursday, May 27, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will travel to Paris to formally accept the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development’s invitation to Israel to join the ranks of the world’s leading economies.



But Israel’s accession to the OECD would not have happened if the Palestinian Authority had its way, and the PA’s attempt to block Israel’s economic achievement could theoretically backfire and endanger American military assistance to the would-be state of Palestine. What’s at stake? Approximately $100 million that was appropriated for 2010 to train and equip the PA’s elite presidential guard and security forces.

During the deliberations of the 31 OECD members earlier this year, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki lobbied all the foreign ministers of the OECD countries, calling for the vote to be delayed because, he charged, Israel infringed on Palestinians’ human rights and violated OECD values, Ha’aretz reported.

Israel complained that Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad also called many of the leaders of OECD countries to argue against Israel’s acceptance, the Ha’aretz report continued. “Fayyad’s efforts to thwart Israel’s participation in the organization,” said Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer (Labor Party), “are extremely grave, and even more so during a time when Israel wants to begin proximity talks in order to reach an agreement and a reconciliation between the nations.”

The formal Palestinian leadership, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), was also mobilized to block Israel’s joining the OECD, according to the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC). “In the run-up to the OECD decision,” a press release stated, “the BNC coordinated with the PLO, unions and other civil society actors in all thirty OECD member states as part of an intensive campaign to oppose Israel’s membership for its persistent and systematic violations of the rights of the Palestinians.”

On a basic level, the Palestinian attack on the Israel-OECD deal just doesn’t jive with the peace negotiations U.S. mediator George Mitchell is attempting to kickstart.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Israel Plans to Stop "Peace" Flotilla

by David Bedein

Jerusalem - In a special meeting of the inner Israeli government security cabinet that took place on Tuesday, a decision was taken to order the Israeli security establishment to deny the ships of a massive “peace flotilla” entry into Gaza.

These ships are slated to land in Gaza on Saturday or on Sunday.

The plan is for the Israeli navy to stop them upon entering Israel’s territorial waters.

Eight ships-four freighters and four passenger ships-left ports in Greece and Turkey at the beginning of the week, bearing some 800 passengers from 30 countries, most of whom are in one large ship that left Istanbul.

In addition, about 30 members of various European parliaments are on board the ships, as well as an Israeli Arab member of the Israeli Knesset Parliament, Hanin Zuabi.

Dror Feiler, one of the organizers of the flotilla, is a former Israeli and currently a Swedish citizen, made headlines in 2004 when he staged the “Snow White and the Madness of Truth” exhibit at a museum in Stockholm, depicting the figure of the suicide bomber from the Maxim restaurant (21 dead) in a blood-red pool, and elicited great anger in Israel.

Passengers aboard these ships claim to have brought humanitarian supplies, including 10 tons of medicine and medical equipment, construction materials, 100 prefabricated homes and 500 wheelchairs.

The Israeli Navy will issue warnings from different ranges to the ships not to enter Israel’s territorial waters.

The plan is that if the ships decide, nevertheless, to enter, they will be stopped by Naval Commando forces and Navy missile boats, and their passengers will be transferred to a special facility in Ashdod.

From there, passengers will be turned over to the responsibility of the Israel Interior Ministry and Immigration authorities, and sent back to the countries from which they came. The Israeli security establishment will take the cargo and, after security checks, will move it to Gaza.

An Israeli police special counter-terror unit will serve as a backup force if necessary. In addition, dogs from Oketz, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) dog-handlers’ unit, will be put on the ships in order to detect explosives and bombs. In the past few days, Israel Navy Commander Maj. Gen. Eliezer Marom has held special drills in advance of the takeover of the ships and bringing them to Israel’s shores.

Passengers without suitable permits - a valid passport or Israeli ID card - will be arrested on the spot and taken to questioning. The Israel Prisons Service has set up a special detention facility at the port, but it is feared that left wing demonstrators will come from all over Israel and try to disturb the peace.

Information that has reached Israel indicates that participants in the flotilla are preparing to contend with Israel by legal means in order to prevent their expulsion.

According to Israeli law, a foreign national who is a candidate for expulsion must be permitted to file an appeal with the court within 72 hours.

At the same time, Israel is also preparing on the public relations front: Special electronic shielding will prevent broadcasting images from the takeover and arrest to media outlets around the world.

In addition, the Israeli government has issued data showing that the humanitarian situation in Gaza is not as bad as the Palestinians assert, and that every day 100 trucks enter Gaza bearing goods, medicines, clothing and diesel oil. The Prime Minister’s Office also sent foreign correspondents a facetiously-worded e-mail, recommending that they visit the exclusive restaurants and caf├ęs of Gaza. “We were told that the beef stroganoff and cream of spinach soup are highly recommended,” it stated, “you should ask for a discount with your press card.”

The Turkish Factor

The flotilla is spearheaded by IHH, a Turkish humanitarian relief organization that is backed by the Turkish government and is an extension of the Muslim Brotherhood in Turkey.

Turkish government refused the Israeli compromise offers, which proposed to unload the goods in Ashdod and transfer them, after examination, to Gaza.

Israeli diplomatic sources assess that the Turks want a confrontation and that they want images of Israeli soldiers taking over ships and beating civilians.

The Turks speak explicitly about opening a permanent naval line between Turkey and Gaza without Israeli supervision

It is convenient for them to use the IHH, so that if and when a clash takes place on the ships, it will not appear as a direct confrontation between two states.

It is no accident that when the flotilla left Istanbul on May 22, the person who stood beside the organizer of the flotilla, Bulent Yildirim - serves as the leader of the Turkish branch of the Muslim Brotherhood.

According to a report by the Intelligence & Terrorism Information Center, based in Herzlia, Israel senior Islamic terror leaders attended the launching ceremony in Istanbul of a boat participating in the flotilla. Among the participants were Mahmad Tzoalha and Sahar Albirawi, both top Hamas terrorists who today operate in Great Britain, and Hamam Said, a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan.
“If the goal of the flotilla was humanitarian, they would have let Israel transfer the aid through, and would not have attempted to infiltrate the Gaza Strip in an illegal way,” explains Col. (res.) Reuven Ehrlich, a former member of the Israeli Intelligence Corps who currently heads the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center. “Their only goal is to generate a provocation aimed at embarrassing Israel...”

See the original article in the Philadelphia Bulletin
See this and related stories at Israel Behind the News

Stinging Think Tank Report: Iran Could Slip Nukes To Hamas, Hezbollah

Jerusalem -The Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, located at Bar Ilan University in Ramat Gan, Israel, has issued a stinging report which indicates that Iran could easily deliver radiation or nuclear weapons to Hamas and Hezbollah in an effort to bolster Teheran’s deterrence against Israel.

The report, authored a by a former Israeli senior official, Chuck Freilich, asserted that a nuclear weapon could be slipped into the Jewish state through airports, sea ports or over the land border.

“Hezbollah especially, but also Hamas in the future, might seek a minimal nuclear capability as a means of deterring Israel from attacking them, or from pursuing other objectives.”

The report, entitled “The Armageddon Scenario: Israel and the Threat of Nuclear Terrorism,” said, “Furthermore, even a minimal nuclear capability would enable Hezbollah and Hamas to conduct ongoing low-level attacks -- even severe ones -- against Israel, in the confidence that Israel would be deterred from massive retaliation. This would require a declared capability, or at least a strongly suspected one.” Mr. Freilich, a former member of Israel’s National Security Council, said Hamas or Hezbollah could smuggle a bomb into Israel through ships, airlines or an unmanned aerial vehicle. Other options included the smuggling of a nuclear suitcase bomb or the firing of a nuclear missile into Israel.

“Rockets and missiles, such as those already in the possession of Hezbollah, could be fitted with nuclear warheads, a delivery threat which is largely unique to Israel,” the report said. “While the missiles’ small payloads and basic inaccuracy make them inappropriate delivery vehicles for ordinary nuclear-military purposes, they are effective weapons of terror. The large size of Hezbollah’s and Hamas’ rocket arsenal and their dispersal in civilian neighborhoods make detection and elimination of the threat a particularly severe problem.”

The report said a nuclear Hamas and Hezbollah would gain the confidence to sustain low-level attacks on Israel. Another scenario was that Egypt and Jordan would exploit a Hamas and Hezbollah nuclear threat and further weaken the Jewish state.

“Many Israelis believe that the Arab countries, even Egypt and Jordan, remain implacably opposed to Israel’s existence and that they are pursuing a long-term strategy designed to weaken Israel’s determination to live in the region as a Jewish and democratic state,” the report said. “A terrorist nuclear capability would certainly be commensurate with this perception and would greatly strengthen it.” Hamas and Hezbollah could also use nuclear weapons in an attempt to eliminate Israel’s political and military leadership. The report said the two Iranian proxies would also make Tel Aviv a leading target.

“The affects of the attack would be further magnified if the perpetrator could threaten additional military, symbolic, or normative targets,” the report said. “The nuclear reactor in Dimona is one such example. An attack could even be “justified” on the grounds that it was merely designed to eliminate the source of Israel’s alleged nuclear capability.”

See the original article in the Philadelphia Bulletin
See this and related stories at Israel Behind the News

HEBREW U PROF: DIFFERENCE BETWEEN DOVES AND HAWKS HAS NARROWED- LIKUD,KADIMA, LABOUR ARE ALL CENTRE PARTIES

by Rhonda Spivak for the Winnipeg Jewish Review

"Israeli politics have been more pragmatic, and more consensual in the last three years than they have been in the last 43 years, " according to Reuven Hazan, a professor of Political Science at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem who was in Winnipeg on May 12.

Hazan who spoke to about one hundred people at the Berney Theatre here said "There is common ground between doves and hawks."

Hazan said that although in the last the years the difference between Likud, Kadima, and Labour has narrowed (in that all are on record as being committed to a two-state solution, resulting in a demilitarized Palestinian state next to Israel), Palestinians have become more polarized.

“Israel is [relatively] united and is ready to be tested in regard to making concessions. But the Palestinians aren’t ready to challenge us. Palestinian politics are polarized into two rivals [Hamas and Fatah] who don’t recognize each other and have killed each other...Abu Mazen [Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas] is too weak. He is incapable of making an agreement. He will say that he can’t speak for Gaza and is not willing to make a deal [only] with the West Bank either.”

Hazan, who is a visiting professor at Harvard University this year, added that the government in Israel is more stable than a government has been in a long time. In the event that Prime minister wanted to pursue peace negotiations and make concessions, the government could always be expanded to include Kadima, if the more right-wing parties balked at this.

Hazan said that it’s not really clear what the approach of Likud, Kadima, or Labour would be in negotiating a peace deal.

All three of these parties would want to include the major settlement blocks within Israel. As Hazan said,

“Even [Labour’s leader]Ehud Barak says that Ma’ale Adumin and Ariel aren’t going back, and will remain part of Israel...We no longer have real doves and hawks...Everyone in [these three parties] talks about compromise...It’s hard to tell the difference between the Likud Prime Minister who talks about a demilitarized Palestinian State and Labour’s Minister of Defense.”

Israel is being led by Benjamin Netanyahu, who Hazan labeled as “centre-right, and Ehud Barak, whom he labeled as “centre left.”

In Hazan’s view, the Obama administration has failed in its first year office to understand that the gap between hawks and doves in Israel has narrowed.

“When Obama demanded a complete settlement freeze[including Jerusalem even the doves [Labour] said no...Hopefully the new administration has had its learning year..I wouldn’t give Obama a passing grade this year, but hopefully he’s learning and Hillary Clinton is gaining influence.”

In his lecture, Hazan said that from 1967 until the until 1996 when Itzhak Rabin was assassinated “doves’ [those who wanted to return territory to improve Israel’s security} and hawks {those who wanted to hold on to territory to improve Israel’s security] became more polarized..

In 1977, Menachem Begin began the process of settling the territories, which were first located on the high grounds for strategic needs. But by his second term, Likud wanted to place enough settlements, like swiss cheese throughout the territories so that they couldn’t be returned.”

On the other hand, the doves, like Yigal Allon originally were willing to giver back about one half of the territories.

“But over the years the doves decided they were willing to give back more land, even including partitioning Jerusalem..They began to maintain that there was no middle ground, there’s no such thing as keeping half the territory,“ said Hazan.

With the increasing polarization, however, “each side [the doves and hawks] began to see the other side not as a democratic rival but as a hostile threat...you reach a point where you begin to delegitimize the other point of view”

As Hazan added, ‘Rather than saying “I understand that the other side if it wins has a right to govern, the [losing] side began to say they don’t have a right to govern. They are a danger to the country.”

Yet, “democracy is based upon pluralism...upon the concept that if I lose an election, my opponent has the right to govern.”

In 1992, when Yitzhak Rabin’s Labor Party returned to power with a “razor-thin” margin in the Knesset [61 seats vs. 59 seats] Rabin entered into Oslo process of negotiations with Yasser Arafat and the P.L.O, “the hawks began the process of delegitimizing Rabin.”

According to Hazan, the fateful assassination of Itzhak Rabin in Tel-Aviv which Hazan personally witnessed was a turning point in Israeli political trends.. Following his assassination of Rabin in November 1995, the doves and the hawks “ became less polarized.”

After the Olso accords were signed, Israelis didn’t understand why more Israelis died of error than before they were signed. This is not what had happened when Israel had signed a peace agreement with Egypt or Jordan.

“Why was there this problem? Because we were not negotiating with a sovereign state but a national liberation movement. At that point, even the doves began to say this will be a long process of peace negotiations and there will be violence.”

When Netanyahu the Supposed “hawk” was first elected in 1996, “he met with Arafat even more times than Rabin and later Ehud Barak did as Prime minister.” It was Netanyahu who negotiated the “Hebron Agreement” with Arafat, whereby the Israeli military withdrew from 95 percent of Hebron. Netanyahu then negotiated the “Wye Agreement, whereby Israel transferred responsibility for control “of large parts of the West Bank to the Palestinian Authority.”

While Netanyahu showed he was capable of making concessions that would have previously been unthinkable for true hawk, according to Hazan, Ehud Barak who became the Labour party leader was in fact the “the hawkish leader of the dovish camp.”

According to Hazan, while Barak’s proposal at Camp David with Arafat included a division of Jerusalem, after it failed Barak announced, “I went to Camp David and I made Arafat a proposal that I knew he would turn down because I wanted to unmask him.”

In 2001, it was Ariel Sharon, the “hawkish of the hawks”, who as Prime Minister admitted that “Israel has to make painful concessions.” By this time, Hazan noted that polls showed that “a majority of Israelis were willing to leave Gaza.”

“The hawks were now saying we no longer have to hold on to territories to achieve peace...So, who’s a hawk now?,” Hazan said. In 2003, Sharon won Israeli elections in a landslide.

In 2005, under Sharon Israel not only disengaged from Gaza but it withdrew from three settlements in Northern Samaria.

“Why? asked Hazan. “ Because Sharon’s plan was clear. Gaza first. The West Bank is next.”

This agenda created a schism in Likud, and as a result Sharon founded Kadima and called early elections.

“Kadima was the first successful attempt to create a middle party in Israel, that is pragmatic,” said Hazan. He noted that even after Sharon’s stroke, Ehud Olmert, who was not considered to be a strong leader but rather had been chosen by Sharon because “he posed no threat to Sharon’s leadership” was elected by the Israeli people.

Hazan reminded the audience that Kadima, not Likud actually got the most seats in the actually2009 election.

“But Netanyahu did a very intelligent thing,” he said. “He jumped over Kadima and brought in the dovish Labor Party into the governing coalition.


Thus, the situation in Israel today is Likud, Kadima, and Labour are “all in the centre,” such that the hawks and the doves have become hard to distinguish.

Hazan added that not only could “a Kadima-Labor-Likud government cut a deal with the Palestinians”, it “could compromise to reduce the number of parties in the Knesset”.

He said all three of these parties agree on a need to reform Israel’s political system.

Reuven Hazan is Professor of Political Science at Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

==================

COMMENTARY FROM DAVID BEDEIN: THIS ANALYSIS IS FULL OF WISHFUL THINKING. THE LIKUD REMAINS QUITE IDEOLOGICAL AND STILL RECOVERING FROM THE ABANDONMENT OF ARIEL SHARON IN 2005.


See this story and more at Israel Behind the News

Bogus 'Pro-Peace' Organizations Undermine Israel

by Isi Liebler from the blog Word from Jerusalem

Of late, the western media has provided inordinate prominence to Jewish fringe organizations like J Street and its European clone, JCall, which define themselves as "liberal" and "pro-peace", but concentrate on castigating the Israeli government and undermining mainstream Diaspora pro-Israel Jewish organizations.

These bodies are primarily controlled by anti-Israeli activists, but also include many well-meaning but confused liberal fellow travelers. They also attract uninformed Jews and members of the anti-Zionist chic influenced by constant negative media depictions of Israel.

Their core message is that the Jewish establishment is alienating the bulk of the Jewish street, by blindly supporting the policies of an extremist right wing Israeli government and indulging in "McCarthyite" tactics to excommunicate anyone who dares to criticize Israeli policies.

These unrepresentative bodies receive widespread favorable exposure by a media which relishes quoting Jews beating up on Israel. Whenever Jewish writers or academics condemn Israel or castigate their own community, they are portrayed as heroic voices of conscience resisting a harsh and bigoted Jewish leadership. One only has to compare the enormous media coverage provided to the European J Call petition criticizing Israel with a counter petition by Italian MP Fiamma Nirenstein which contained many more signatories and was effectively ignored.

This was also exemplified in the US by the extraordinary media coverage extended to former New Republic editor Peter Beinart who wrote a lengthy essay titled "The Failure of the American Jewish Establishment" in the New York Review of Books, a periodical renowned for its longstanding hostility to successive Israeli governments. Beinart selectively chose extremist remarks from Israeli hawks, falsely alleged that Prime Minister Netanyahu repudiated the Oslo Accords, quoted the "renowned" Hebrew University professor Ze'ev Sternhell - a bitter post-Zionist - alleging that Israel has "fascist characteristics" and accusing the Israeli government and Jewish leadership of alienating the younger generation of liberal Jews.

There is an uncanny parallel between these "pro-peace" groups and the bogus peace councils sponsored by the Soviet Union during the Cold War, which also claimed to be the true custodians of peace and succeeded in duping many "fellow travelers" into becoming accessories in promoting the global objectives of the Evil Empire.

Today these pseudo "pro-peace" bodies seek to undermine the only liberal democratic state in the region and divert attention from the reprehensible behavior and denial of human rights practiced by Israel's enemies.

In the battle of the war of ideas in which electronic media images of the suffering of the underdog blur moral considerations of right and wrong and disregard the source of conflicts, these groups distort the case for Israel and undermine the Zionist narrative.

They call on the global community to pressure the government of Israel to make further unilateral concessions. They insist that the core of the problem rests with the settlements, an issue which does divide Israelis. However, the suggestion that peace and goodwill would be achieved if Israel unilaterally withdrew from territories across the green line is absolute nonsense and detracts from the real obstacle to peace which is the absence of a genuine Palestinian peace partner and the ongoing Arab obsession with bringing an end to Jewish sovereignty.

The "pro peace" groups ignore the fact that Netanyahu has steered the government to a genuine centrist position and achieved a broad consensus that aside from the major settlement blocs, Israelis would compromise on territories in return for genuine peace and security. That sentiment prevails despite the awareness that until now territorial concessions have only yielded further terror and aggression.

The repeated wails by the "pro peace" groups that they encounter McCarthyism and are denied the opportunity to express themselves are specious and particularly hypocritical coming from those who unhesitatingly slander and seek to intimidate their critics. There has always been vigorous dissent amongst Jews on all political issues. But it was during the formative years of the state when the social-democratic Mapai ruled the roost, that a consensus prevailed that Diaspora Jews, who do not face the life and death consequences arising from decisions relating to Israel's defense, were morally obliged to allow the people of Israel through their democratically elected government to determine such issues.

Today, that concept is regarded with contempt by the "pro peace" elements, who claim to have a better appreciation of what is in the best interests of Israel than Israelis themselves. Indeed, these self appointed formulators of Israel policy articulate views that are sometimes more extreme than those of Meretz, the most far Left political party in the Knesset, holding only 3 out of 120 Knesset seats.

Of late, it is increasingly alleged that the new generation of younger Jews is turning against Israel. This is highly misleading. Obviously the passion for Israel amongst Jews of this generation is less intense than those who witnessed the Shoa and the struggle to create a Jewish State. However, it was always only 25 to 30% who comprised the activist element within Jewish communities and were at the forefront of Zionist and pro-Israel activity. Assimilated or less involved Jews were understandably less involved and somewhat apathetic, only becoming galvanized during periods of acute crisis such as the Six-Day War.

With some modifications, this remains true today. Jewish youngsters actively involved in Jewish life remain overwhelmingly supportive of Israel. Those ignorant or indifferent to Judaism are more susceptible to the impact of hostile influences surrounding them, especially on the university campuses, and many recoil from involvement with Israel.

However, the dramatic response by the activist American Jewish community to the negative attitude displayed against Israel by the Obama administration was astonishing. Despite the fact that 78% of them supported him, at a grassroots level many committed Democratic Jewish supporters have displayed anger and frustration against the administration for having reneged on Obama's electoral undertakings concerning Israel.

However, one should not underestimate the potential for damage that small numbers of determined Jewish anti-Israel activists can inflict. The message that they seek to impart is that Israel is controlled by extremist right-wing bigots and that it is incompatible for liberals to support such a regime. They compound this by directly or implicitly giving credence to canards accusing supporters of Israel of dual loyalties as well as allegations that Israel is endangering American lives. In fact, there are already disturbing signals that today the traditional bipartisan support towards Israel is eroding and that Democrats are far less committed to Israel than the Republicans.

Needless to say, this requires urgent attention. Both the government and the Jewish Agency should map out a strategy which takes account of the enormous damage these groups can inflict if they are not marginalized. One of the most effective means would be for the government to sponsor a global solidarity meeting with Jewish leaders, intellectuals and key activists to demonstrate that the vast majority of committed Jews remain fully dedicated to supporting the Jewish State. Israel must be able to rely on the ongoing support of world Jewry.

ileibler@netvision.net.il

This column was originally published as a blog post in the Jerusalem Post

Click on the links here to see earlier posts from this week 'More on Tel Aviv University and radical university professors' and 'The Guardian and anti-Israel lies.'

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Philadelphia Bulletin: Palestinians Plan to Limit US Security Involvement

by David Bedein

Jerusalem - The Middle East News Line, known as a reliable and credible source, reports that the Palestinian Authority  (PA) has drafted a plan that would end direct U.S. involvement in Palestinian security in the West Bank.

The plan calls for Palestinian trainers to replace those brought by the United States as well as the marginalization of the team headed by U.S. security coordinator Lt. Gen. Keith Dayton. Under the plan, Lt. Gen. Dayton would no longer have access to PA security forces or field operations.

“The idea is to have only Palestinians train and direct the security forces,” a PA official said.

The official said the PA draft covered security requirements and goals for the next two years. He said the plan has been divulged to only a handful of senior officials, including Interior Minister Said Abu Ali and several security chiefs.

The PA leadership, prodded by the ruling Fatah movement, determined that U.S. intervention was hampering security force development and undermining the legitimacy of the regime of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

“There is a consensus that the American presence has to be significantly reduced in 2010,” the official said.

The PA security plan, drafted by the Palestinian Interior Ministry, called for the replacement of Western security trainers with Palestinians. Palestinians would be selected to instruct police and other security officers in a range of skills.

A key step was the PA decision not to renew the contract of DynCorp International, responsible for training and mentoring Palestinian security forces in the West Bank and Jordan. The official said the Palestinians have succeeded DynCorp in conducting a two-month officers’ course while training in Jordan has been suspended.

In the future stage, the Palestinian official told the Middle East Newsline, Lt. Gen. Dayton, in his post since 2007, would be marginalized. Lt. Gen. Dayton’s staff has already been restricted to coordination with the Interior Ministry and was no longer involved in direct training or planning.

“Dayton’s role would be limited to bringing money and equipment for the security forces,” the official said. “He would not deal with PA operations or deployment.”

Earlier in the year, Lt. Gen. Dayton’s staff was expelled from the Interior Ministry’s Strategic Planning Department. Dayton’s staff was also said to have been racked by internal disputes, and in February the general replaced his British deputy director.

See this story in the Philadelphia Bulletin
See this report at Israel Behind the News

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Philadelphia Bulletin: Uranium Deal Reverberates In Jerusalem

by David Bedein

JERUSALEM - The uranium enrichment deal signed between Iran, Turkey and Brazil has caused concern in Jerusalem.

On Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu convened scheduled an emergency meeting of the forum of seven to discuss the Israeli response to the agreement.

Israel’s Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer warned that “we must look carefully at Iran’s actions. We have already seen how Ahmadinejad can fool the world.”

Israeli officials are worried by the fact that Iran appears to have succeeded in postponing the threat of international sanctions against it by at least several months.

Another concern relates to Israel’s ties with Turkey.

Israeli officials said that the Turkish rapprochement with Iran could harm the Israeli-Turkish relations, and added that advanced technologies given to Turkey by Israel were liable to leak into the hands of the Iranians.

Netanyahu’s advisers are also expected to discuss the matter with the Americans over the next several days in order to examine how it could influence the region and the strategy for dealing with the Iranian nuclear program.

It is believed that the visit of George Mitchell, the U.S.’s special envoy to the Middle East, will focus mainly on Iran. It is likely that Dennis Ross, the president’s special adviser for dealing with the Iranian nuclear program, will also be arriving after the festival of Shavuot.

“The Iranians are tricking everybody,” political sources in the Israeli government are saying.

Israel Fears Deterioration Of Relations With Turkey

The many smiles seen yesterday in Tehran after the signing of the agreement for enriching Iranian uranium in Turkey did not elicit smiling reactions from the representatives of the Western powers.

In Israel, political officials said yesterday that the Turkish administration seems to have gone out of its way to assist the Iranians to extricate themselves from the sanctions. If it should become apparent that it was Turkey that saved Iran from the noose of the Security Council, this will cause a problem for it with Israel, in the spirit of “someone who helps my enemy cannot be my friend.” In addition, the concern was voiced that security knowledge and advanced technologies that Israel has transferred to Turkey could leak from Istanbul to Tehran, and it would appear that the Turks have lost their chance to return to mediating between Israel and Syria. “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has instructed the cabinet ministers not to speak out on the matter of the Turkish proposal,” said Nir Hefetz, head of the National Information Directorate. “Israel’s response will be given at a later date.”

Israel Defense Forces Deputy Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Benny Ganz defined the Iranian nuclear issue as an international problem that could accelerate the arms race in the entire region. “There is not a single negative thing that I am unable to link to Iran, and the ties between Iran, Hezbollah and Syria create a sensitive reality that is liable to develop further,” he said at a conference sponsored by the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv. “Israel can’t remain in the position of the victim, and we can’t afford to refrain from protecting our citizens.”

See this report in the Philadelphia Bulletin
See this report at Israel Behind the News

The Philadelphia Bulletin: Israel: We Will Stop The Flotilla To Gaza

by David Bedein

JERUSALEM - The Israeli Foreign Ministry gave an unequivocal message to the ambassadors of several European countries last night that Jerusalem would not allow the flotilla that is intended to aid the Gazan Islamic regime.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry’s deputy director general for Western Europe, Naor Gilon, held a series of meetings with the ambassadors of Turkey, Greece, Ireland and Sweden, whose citizens are connected with the organization. Gilon said that this was a provocation and a blatant violation of Israeli law.

“Israel has no intention of allowing the flotilla to enter Gaza,” he said. Foreign Ministry officials said that anyone who wishes to extend humanitarian aid or transfer goods to Gaza may do so legally, through the coordinator of government activities in the territories.

The international flotilla is expected to set out from the Larnaca port in Cyprus on May 25 and reach Gaza in two days. Behind the initiative is a series of organizations including Free Gaza, which has organized several flotillas to Gaza in the past, and the Turkish Humanitarian Relief Organization (IHH). Ten vessels, with more than 600 people aboard, are expected to participate in the largest solidarity flotilla intended to reach Gaza.

At August 2008 press conference which launched the first ship of aid to Gaza, held in Nicosia, Cyprus, one of the conference organizers, an American Israeli by the name of Jeff Halper, claimed that there the people of Gaza had run out of basic food and medical supplies. Halper could not answer the question put to him by The Bulletin as to where Israel’s daily supply of food and medical supplies to Gaza had gone.

See this report in the Philadelphia Bulletin
See this report at Israel Behind the News

NUCLEAR AMBUSH FOR ISRAEL?

by Ronen Bergman, Investigative Reporter, Yediot Ahronot

In the midst of the Munich Security Conference that was held four years ago, a number of Arab representatives tried to place Israel’s nuclear capabilities on the agenda. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld gave Maj. Gen. (res.) Giora Eiland, who was sitting in the crowd, a smile and shot them down. Everyone knows that Israel has to defend itself against existential dangers, said Rumsfeld, and ended that debate before it even began.

But the reality nowadays is completely different.

For the first time in its history, the International Atomic Energy Agency is going to discuss the atomic arsenal that is ascribed to Israel. Section eight of the agenda for the IAEA board of governors meeting in Vienna on June 7 ought to be troubling to Israel for two reasons. The first is that the Israel Atomic Energy Commission and the Israeli intelligence community learned yesterday about the existence of this section from an Associated Press report, and not from their own sources. The second and more important reasons is that this constitutes the further erosion of the wall of nuclear ambiguity that Israel has maintained around the “textile factory” in Dimona.

Had the US administration acted differently, none of this would have happened. While the senior American representative at the Munich conference four years ago derailed the debate on Israel’s nuclear arsenal, American representatives at the very same conference that was held this February squirmed and provided vague answers about the need to free the Middle East of nuclear weapons, identical to the official statements that have recently been issued by the White House and the State Department on this issue.

Why are the Americans doing that? Does this not constitute the violation of the secret agreements that were reached between Golda Meir and President Nixon, that Israel would scrupulously maintain its nuclear ambiguity and the US, in exchange, would not demand that it either sign the NPT or open its nuclear installations to IAEA supervision? What truly is prompting President Obama to attack us on this front as well or, at the very least, to sit with folded arms while others do so?

One possible answer is that Obama is motivated by a liberal ideology that truly believes that the powder-keg known as the Middle East truly can be defused before peace reigns here. Another possible answer pertains to the fabric of relations between Israel and the United States. The US is furious with Israel about its behavior on the Palestinian track and that is why it has partially removed the protective vest that it has provided to Israel for so many years on the nuclear issue. There are some members of the Israeli intelligence community who believe that the Americans are so fed up with Netanyahu that they enjoy seeing us bleed.

Either way, the Arab states have correctly read the changes in Washington and are bombarding us in Vienna. On April 23 the Arab representatives sent IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano a letter in which they asked him to report to the board of governors everything the IAEA knows about Israel’s nuclear capabilities and to demand that Israel permit supervisors to enter its nuclear facilities. Amano recently sent a letter to the foreign ministers of the 151 IAEA member countries and sought their recommendations as to how to persuade Israel to join the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

If Israel were a signatory of the NPT, the IAEA meeting could have led to a UN Security Council debate and a ruling that Israel was in violation of the treaty. Based on that ruling, the UN Security Council then would have the right to impose sanctions against the violating country. Since Israel never signed the NPT, that is a scenario that cannot occur. Yet the very fact that such a meeting is being held by such an important forum that oversees global nuclear proliferation, for the first time since that agency was established 52 years ago, is very problematic from Israel’s perspective.

The position that was drafted by Yehiel Horev, the former director of security in the security establishment, posits that any discussion, debate or demand to supervise the turn of events in Dimona is bad for Israel. If the ambiguity dissipates, warned Horev and his colleagues, Israel will find itself on the list of countries under international boycott, and even the United States, under any administration, would be obliged to change its policies. That would be damaging to science, the economy and Israel’s national security.

Others, such as Professor Uzi Even, one of the founders of the reactor in Dimona, believe that the time for nuclear ambiguity has passed. Israel, believes Even, needs to achieve a status similar to India’s. While it does not publicly brandish the nuclear weapons it possesses, it is a signatory of the NPT and enjoys the international consequences resulting from this.

The problem is that the upcoming IAEA meeting is liable to erode Israel’s policy of nuclear ambiguity, but also its ability to cope with Iran in the diplomatic arena. The very fact that someone has placed Israel, Iran and Syria on the agenda of the same meeting makes the Israeli Foreign Ministry fight against a nuclear Iran much more difficult.

Ultimately, this sort of meeting is going to damage Israel’s shaky international standing. Everyone eager to lash out at Israel, and not only in the Arab world, is going to exploit this meeting to demand that the very same steps that are being taken against Iran be taken against Israel. As is, Israel has been suffering from mounting isolation and delegitimization as the national home of the Jewish people. In that kind of reality, raising the issue of Israel’s nuclear capabilities is the last thing that we need.

See this report at Israel Behind the News

Will NATO Troops Enforce The Establishment Of A Palestinian State?

JERUSALEM - The possibility of NATO troops being stationed alongside Israel was raised in discussions between Israel and the Americans and Europeans.

Special U.S. envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell met on Thursday with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and discussed this issue, among others.

This possibility was first raised by French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who suggested sending 40,000 troops from European nations.

The Israeli Prime Minister’s Bureau refused to respond on the record to a query on this subject.

A representative stated that “Netanyahu clarified that there has to be an Israeli presence on the border of the future Palestinian state with Jordan, at least for a certain period of time.”

The Palestinians, who would like to internationalize the conflict, have been promoting the initiative.

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said that the Palestinians hoped to reach agreements about the future Palestinian state by the end of the four months that were allocated to the proximity talks.

Back in December, 2003, the head of the European Parliamentarian Delegation to the Geneva Initiative, a project of the Israeli Left, MP Graham Watson, described the planned armed international force that the U.S., Canada, the EU, the Scandinavian countries, Japan and Australia plan to dispatch to patrol the future borders which will run through the middle of Jerusalem and alongside Judea, Samaria and Gaza.

MP Watson confirmed that Geneva Initiative mandates the creation of an international force which would actively prevent the Israeli army from pursuit of terrorists who escape into “Palestinian territory” since that international force is, according to the Geneva Initiative, designed to protect the “integrity of Palestinian territory.” The good will of all future Israeli governments would be moot.

The intentions of the Palestinian leadership, on the other hand would be critical.

One of the most important lessons of the failure of the Oslo process was that despite the military force at its disposal, the Palestinian Authority has consistently refused to use force in order to prevent any terrorist attacks against the citizens of Israel.

The Geneva Initiative does not address the issue of what will happen if the Palestinian State will prove itself no more inclined to prevent murderous attacks on Israel by the Hamas, the Islamic Jihad or Abbas’s own force, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, than did the Palestinian Authority did under the Oslo Accords? What if the Palestinian State were more successful at smuggling in weapons and missiles than its predecessor?

None of the Geneva Initiative spokespeople were prepared to address that issue.

Under the current situation, Israel can and does exercise its right of self-defense by intervening militarily against the perpetrators of terrorist attacks. Under the Geneva Initiative, this option would require Israel to clash directly and militarily with virtually the entire international community.

According to MP Watson’s plan, An Implementation and Verification Group, made up of Americans, Europeans, Russians, the United Nations and “representatives from the region” (presumably from Arab States), would be charged with defending the territorial integrity of the Palestinian State.

In other words, the very same Palestinian leadership that has been caught in the act of smuggling massive quantities of armaments into its “demilitarized” territory under Oslo would be protected from Israeli military action even if terrorist attacks were to be launched against Israel from Palestinian territory and even if Israeli passenger planes are shot out of the sky by “unofficial” Palestinian missiles.

Read this story at Israel Behind the News