The Bible Teaching Ministry of David Hocking
“The Word of our God shall stand forever” Isaiah 40:8

Archive for November, 2012


Friday, November 30th, 2012

by Rachel Hirshfeld (IsraelNationalNews)

Jewish groups expressed deep concern over the decision of the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday to vote in favor of upgrading the status of the Palestinian Authority to non-member state.

The resolution, which was approved by a vote of 138 to 9, with 41 abstentions, has granted the Palestinian Authority de facto status as a sovereign state based on its own territorial claims, thus enabling it to circumvent final status negotiations with Israel.

“With this resolution, the General Assembly has handed the Palestinian leadership a pyrrhic public relations victory, which in all likelihood will make it even more difficult to move the process forward,” asserted the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). “The result of the vote is no surprise — the General Assembly has always given a rubber stamp to Palestinian declarations and grandstanding. Adding insult to injury, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas in his remarks reiterated some of his more outrageous charges against Israel. Included were lies and distortions accusing Israel of aggression in the recent conflict with Gaza, of ethnic cleansing, apartheid, colonialism and racism. His were not the words of a statesman seeking peace.”

“In the long term this resolution will have potentially disastrous consequences for future Palestinian aspirations. It brings the Palestinian people no closer to statehood, nor does it bring Israel closer to peace and security. And it demonstrates to the majority of Israelis who support a negotiated peace agreement that the Palestinian Authority has no interest in negotiations, reconciliation, or peace,” the ADL added.

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) said the resolution “recklessly set back the chances for peace” and urged “a full review of America’s relations with the PLO, including closure of the PLO’s office in Washington.”

“In requesting this action, PLO Chairman Mahmoud Abbas is effectively turning his back on talks with Israel and destroying his credibility as someone genuinely interested in a serious peace process,” AIPAC stated. “Abbas has reinforced the message he sent in a May 2011 New York Times op-ed that he intends to widen the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by pursuing claims against Israel before international bodies that can neither bring peace nor well-being to his people.”

The newly acquired status grants the PA access to the International Criminal Court at The Hague and other similar bodies, which would enable it to pursue “war crime” charges and other grievances against the Jewish state.

“Congress has frequently warned the PLO that there would be consequences for its relationship with the United States if the PLO refuses to demonstrate its commitment to peace with Israel. Congress has specifically linked continued aid and the operation of the PLO office in Washington to the Palestinians not seeking statehood status at the United Nations,” asserted AIPAC.

The National Council of Young Israel (NCYI) denounced the decision issuing the following statement from President Farley Weiss: “The UN recognition applies to land that is historically Jewish and that Israel won in a defensive war. This recognition is outrageous as this land was never part of a Palestinian state as one never existed. The Arabs rejected a UN supported Palestinian state in 1947 and subsequently attacked the Jewish people trying to form the State of Israel in May 1948. The Palestinian Arabs have attacked Israel, both militarily and politically, ever since, and they have refused to recognize Israel to this day. This resolution was the continuation of a political attack on Israel.

This decision by the UN will only encourage the Palestinian Arabs to continue their terrorism war against Israel and their refusal to recognize Israel. This decision further solidifies the view of the Jewish world that the UN is a biased institution against Israel and the Jewish people.

We applaud the United States, Canada, Czech Republic, Panama, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, and Palaufor joining Israel in opposing this resolution. These countries showed the courage to stand up for what is right and we want to express our appreciation to them. We further want to specifically laud President Obama for opposing this resolution and for his support for Israel and its right to defend itself in the latest conflict. We also want to thank Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, an outspoken supporter and defender of Israel, who has once again stood together with the Jewish State.”

The World Jewish Congress highlighted the irony of the situation, saying that it is “most ironic that this date, November 29th, was chosen for this egregious mistake on the part of the UN. On this same day, in 1947, the UN approved the partition plan, granting the Jewish people and the Arabs each a state. The results are well known- the Jewish people accepted it, and the Arabs did not, electing instead to go to war.”

“…Today’s vote in the United Nations does nothing to lead to a genuine and lasting peace in the Middle East, between the Israeli and the Palestinian peoples. Instead, it undermines this much-desired goal by contradicting its own UN resolutions, those that mandate resolving this conflict through direct negotiations between the parties,” added the WJC. “The designation of a Palestinian non-member observer state creates an illusion that will ultimately deeply disappoint the Palestinian people by raising unrealistic expectations.”

The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations stated that the outcome of the vote “will leave no victors but certainly a primary loser, peace in the Middle East.”

“This maneuver’s sole purpose is to bypass direct negotiations with Israel with the attempt to achieve through the UNGA vote recognition that will, in fact, not change anything on the ground for the Palestinian people, but will dim the prospect for peace,” the organization maintained. “It is regrettable that nations that profess a commitment to a two state solution and direct negotiations would support a measure that diminishes both. Additionally, many countries may come to regret the precedent set today, the result of which will be that parties in other disputed areas will bypass peaceful resolution by coming to the General Assembly.”


Thursday, November 29th, 2012

Campaign to Deny Jewish People Historic Link to Land of Israel Continues Unabated
November 29, 2012

“Today’s vote in the UN has nothing to do with reality. Peace in the Middle East will only come when the Palestinians sit down with the Israelis and negotiate. There is no other way to achieve peace in the Middle East.” — Rabbi Marvin Hier

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has once again shown he never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity for peace. Instead of pursuing direct negotiations with Israel for a Two-State solution, and in violation of the 1993 Oslo Accords, Abbas unilaterally pressed the UN General Assembly to upgrade Palestine to a Non Member Observer State.

Today, he got his wish and continues the insidious campaign to erase a deep and abiding truth: the Jewish people have a profound history in the Holy Land dating back over 3,500 years. Abbas himself recently declared, “The Jews claim that 2,000 years ago they had a Temple. I challenge the claim that this is so.”

This slander echoes, the lies spread by official Palestinian TV which, according to Palestinian Media Watch recently aired an interview stating, “No trace of Jewish history in ‘our land’ … Temple exists on the minds of radical organizations.”

Tragically, the NGO world and most world leaders, including many churches have not uttered a word as Palestinian propaganda infers that the prophetic writings of Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel – revered by Jews and Christians alike – were never uttered in the Holy Land.

And this is what today has become the new ‘Big Lie’ – that the Jewish people are intruders in their own land.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: It simply is NOT true that the only path to peace is found in “negotiations” between Israel and the Palestinian Authority! The Bible makes it quite clear that the peace will come when the PRINCE OF PEACE, the MESSIAH of ISRAEL, returns!)


Thursday, November 29th, 2012

by Ryan Jones (Israel Today News)

For the handful of people who might still believe Iran’s nuclear program is benign, an Associated Press report confirmed by inspectors with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) revealed that not only is Iran building a nuclear bomb, it is building a big one.

Earlier this week, the AP reported on diagrams it had obtained showing calculations for “nuclear explosive yield.” The desired payload was 50 kilotons.

IAEA officials who spoke to the news agency confirmed that the diagram was the same as the one discovered by inspectors recently at an Iranian nuclear facility.

The IAEA included the diagram in a report on Iran’s nuclear program, but some in the international community continued to downplay the possibility that Iran was seeking atomic weapons.

According to the AP report, more than a few IAEA officials are frustrated by the way the Western powers are handling what is clearly a very dangerous and urgent situation.

One of the inspectors noted that the diagram could not possibly be construed as anything other than plans for a weapon, debunking all Iranian claims that its nuclear program is for civilian purposes only.

It should also be pointed out that if all Iran wanted to achieve was a demonstration that it had nuclear capabilities, it could do so with a much smaller bomb. Fifty kilotons is three times the explosive yield of the bombs that destroyed the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in World War II.

A bomb that large in likely intended for use against an enemy.


Thursday, November 29th, 2012

by David Lev (Arutz Sheva News)

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has a message for Israelis planning to watch the UN General Assembly approve the PA’s bid to be recognized as a non-voting observer state later Thursday: There is no need to be upset.

Speaking Thursday, Netanyahu said that the PA’s statehood bid was “meaningless. The decision by the General Assembly to raise the PA delegation’s status to a non-member observer state will not advance the establishment of a Palestinian state. I suggest that we not be impressed with the applause at the General Assembly. It doesn’t matter how many hands are raised against us, we have no intention of compromising on Israel’s security.”

Speaking at an event at the Begin Heritage Institute in Jerusalem, Netanyahu said that the General Assembly had never expressed much sympathy with Israel anyway. “The resolution being presented does not discuss Israel’s security, or Israel’s position as a Jewish state, or a declaration to the end of the conflict, as prerequisites for recognition of a Palestinian state. These are just a few of the reasons we reject this bid.

“We want peace, but peace can be achieved in only one way – through negotiations, without preconditions,” Netanyahu said. “It cannot be achieved by one-sided declarations that do not take into account Israel’s security concerns. Peace will be achieved only through mutual agreements between Jerusalem and Ramallah, and not through declarations at the UN,” he added.


Thursday, November 29th, 2012

by David Lev (Arutz Sheva News)

It’s no accident that the Palestinian Authority is bringing its “case” to the United Nations on November 29 – a day that has for 65 years been identified with the State of Israel.

“It’s very typical of the PA to choose the day that Israel was recognized as a state by the UN as the date for their state’s recognition,” said one historian. “The PA has tried to co-opt so many Jewish and Israeli symbols in the past, and the co-opting of November 29 fits right in with that,” said Moshe Siebel, a history afficianado.

The 29th of November is perhaps the only date on the secular calendar to be adopted into the Hebrew calendar, feted as “Kaf-Tet b’November..” Streets in many cities in Israel bear the name, and in the past it has been celebrated as a semi-holiday by Israelis as the day that the United Nations officially partitioned Palestine in 1947, and declared that a portion of the soon-to-be-defunct British Mandate for Palestine be reserved for a Jewish state.

Now, in 2012, the PA is set to get UN General Assembly recognition for a state on land it already controls, but cannot have an army on at present. In a vote later Thursday, the UN is expected to recognize ‘Palestine’ as a non-voting, non-member observer state.

UN Resolution 181 was the first official recognition of the national rights of the Jewish people in the Land of Israel in the modern age, going farther than the 1917 Balfour Declaration, which recognized Mandatory Palestine as a “national home” for the Jewish people.

Although the Partition Plan caused much dispute among Zionists, as it reserved only a small part of western Mandatory Palestine as the future Jewish state and did not include Jerusalem, which was to be internationalized, the Jewish community and its institutions embraced it. Thousands of people in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Petach Tikvah, and other centers of Jewish settlement celebrated in the streets.

The Arab countries categorically rejected the Partition Plan, and vowed to crush the incipient Jewish state – a vow they tried to follow through on barely seven months later, in May 1948, after David Ben-Gurion declared the State of Israel. Armies from seven Arab countries immediately opened a war of annihilation against the Jewish community, but were miraculously beaten back, with the new State capturing important land areas that, had the Arabs agreed to the Partition Plan, would have been a part of an Arab state.

For Jews around the world, November 29, 1947, was a very emotional day – in a sense, the rebirth of the Jewish people after the horrors of the Holocaust.

Mandatory Palestine was already the home of hundreds of thousands of refugees who had managed to escape Europe, and hundreds of thousands more, still living in Europe and in refugee camps in Cyprus, were poised to immigrate to Israel as soon as Britain’s Mandate had expired.

Cynically, says Siebel, the PA chose the same date in an attempt to once again co-opt Jewish history for its own purposes. “The historical injustice in this statehood bid is just unbelievable”, he continued.

“If it weren’t actually happening you just wouldn’t be able to accept as reality,” he said. “The Jews were decimated in the Holocaust, with millions killed by the Nazis and their allies, and no one in the free world extended a hand. Meanwhile, the PA is plied with billions of dollars in assistance, and PA chief Mahmoud Abbas is feted as a hero in world capitals.

“Israel itself supplies the PA with millions of dollars a year and provides PA Arabs with electricity, water, jobs, and encourages the world to assist Abbas, while the Arab reaction to the Partition Plan and the establishment of Israel was to throw the Jews out of Arab countries and seize their property and money.

“And the Jews never organized a terror campaign against Arabs during the Mandate period, unlike the Arabs, who then as well as now use terror as a tool to uproot the Jews from their rightful place here,” Siebel adds.

“It’s similar to the PA’s declaration of the Temple Mount as a holy place in Islam that must be defended with life and limb from the ‘evil Zionists,’ even though the Temple Mount is never mentioned in the Koran,” Siebel said. “Neither is Jerusalem mentioned in their texts, and never in history did the Arabs give the city the status of a capital. But all of the sudden, because we are here, Jerusalem has become the ‘eternal capital of the Palestinian people.’

“The UN statehood bid is just another attempt by the Arabs to push us out of our land – and our history, for that matter – and the countries that support this are once again showing their anti-Semitism and hypocrisy.”


Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

by Mark Silverberg

While Hamas’ capacity to wage war has been seriously damaged ,its entire socio-political and educational system which is based upon this jihadist pathology remain intact and unaltered.

Mark Silverberg is a foreign policy analyst for the Ariel Center for Policy Research (Israel), a Contributing Editor for Family Security Matters, Intellectual Conservative and the New Media Journal and a member of Hadassah’s National Academic Advisory Board. His book “The Quartermasters of Terror: Saudi Arabia and the Global Islamic Jihad” and his articles have been archived under www. marksilverberg .com and www. analyst-network .com.

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman marked the Egyptian-brokered ceasefire with Gaza that went into effect on November 21st by announcing that the limited goals set for the operation had been achieved – eliminating Hamas missile sites and reinstating the Gaza ceasefire.

But were these goals achieved and, if so, are they broad enough to establish an enduring peace?

According to the terms of the ceasefire agreement, Israel and Hamas agreed to halt “all hostilities.” Israel is restricted from deploying ground troops or targeting terrorist leaders in Gaza – provided, of course, that Hamas and its militias abide by the terms of the ceasefire. For Hamas that means an end to Israeli airstrikes and assassinations of its terrorist leaders. For Israel, it means a halt to missile fire from Hamas and its militias and an end to any further attempts at cross-border incursions into Israel from Gaza.

The agreement also calls for “opening the Gaza crossings, facilitating the movement of people and the transfer of goods, and refraining from restricting residents’ free movement.”

In effect, it means that the self-declared security zone that Israel established along the Gaza border to prevent terrorist attacks no longer exists.

It also means that the Egyptians will open the Rafah border crossing with Gaza and, at least on paper, take much more significant action to prevent arms smuggling into the enclave, although as one editorialist in Israel Hayom commented: “You would have to be an incorrigible optimist to believe that Egypt, under the leadership of President Mohammed Morsi, will do what Mubarak’s Egypt failed to do – fight terror. But still, the alternative is far worse.”

Israeli reaction to the ceasefire agreement appears split. The first group is satisfied that a ceasefire has been announced and that Operation Pillar of Defense has come to an end. The second is frustrated that Netanyahu acquiesced to international pressure and failed to destroy Hamas once and for all and re-conquer Gaza. According to a new survey conducted by the Dahaf polling institute immediately after the ceasefire was concluded, forty-three percent of Israelis feel this way.

On the positive side, Hamas’s command and control structures have been destroyed. Over the course of the operation, Israel launched more than 1,600 attacks, mostly precision air strikes on missile squads, launch sites, tunnels, infrastructure, and government and communication facilities. There was negligible collateral damage and minimal harm to uninvolved civilians – the importance of which cannot be overstated.

Another positive element was that President Obama supported the operation and reiterated Israel’s right to defend itself – a fact that may prove crucial in the months ahead given that Iran has not abandoned its nuclear weapons quest and Israel will need U.S. support to destroy the centrifuges that have placed Iran on the fast-track to nuclear weapons capability.

Most importantly, Obama vowed to help the Israelis address their primary security concern (the smuggling of Iranian weapons and explosives through the Sinai into Gaza) by establishing along the Suez Canal and northern Sinai borders sophisticated electronic sensing devices and security fences managed by highly-trained U.S. security specialists. He also agreed, according to Debka sources, to deploy U.S. special forces in the Sinai peninsula.

It was these latter undertakings and Morsi’s threat to terminate the 1979 Egypt-Israeli Peace Treaty that dissuaded Netanyahu, at the last moment, from invading Gaza. The hope of the Israeli government is that a strong and determined U.S. presence in the Sinai will deprive Hamas and its Salafist allies of the sophisticated Iranian missiles that could provoke Israel into invading the territory, overthrowing the Hamas regime, and re-conquering Gaza.

Obama also pledged additional funding for the Iron Dome missile defense system that worked so effectively in shielding Israel’s civilian population from missile attack.

In another positive aspect of the Operation, while one can find plenty of objectionable Western media coverage, the world media generally covered recent events in the Middle East in a more balanced fashion than it did during Operation Cast Lead in 2008-2009 by showing Israeli civilians under missile attack and published photos of Hamas using human shields and firing missiles into Israeli population centers from populated and protected areas – both of which are Hamas “trademarks” and war crimes under international law.

When the first reports of Gazan civilian casualties came in, Western governments called on Israel to exercise “maximum restraint”, but there was no outrage at Israel’s offensive as in the case of Operation Cast Lead – most probably because the collateral damage was relatively low.

What was evident as well was that the Operation had the overwhelming support of Israel’s citizenry who were willing to pay the price of sitting in protected rooms and bomb shelters for long periods of time and were even prepared to support a possible ground invasion of Gaza to put an end to being terrorized by Hamas missiles.

Finally, the impressive success of the Iron Dome anti-missile defense system (which intercepted more than 420 missiles, achieving a success rate of over 90 percent) not only protected 3.5 million Israelis under missile attack, but sent a message to Iran that its most advanced Fajr-5 missiles were no match for U.S./Israeli anti-missile technology while its own missile and enrichment sites were still vulnerable.

Despite these positive elements, however, there are significant downsides to the ceasefire – downsides that have led many analysts to believe that the ceasefire is just a temporary respite and will allow Hamas the time to re-group, re-arm and re-train.

Operation Pillar of Defense was not the decisive victory most Israelis wanted and, as a consequence, Israeli deterrence may have been only partially restored. While Hamas sustained serious and devastating damage to its command and control structures, its military infrastructure, its communications networks and its arms manufacturing capabilities and weapons arsenals, its 15,000-strong militia remains largely intact.

As a result, the moment the ceasefire was declared, Gazans filled the streets of Gaza City, as they did after 9/11, throwing candies in the air and proclaiming “victory over the Zionists” as they watched the residents of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv lie down on the ground or run to their safe rooms, stairwells and bomb shelters.

Hamas will now boast that its “resistance” led to Israel’s agreement to end targeted killings and military operations in Gaza and the easing of restrictions on what can flow in and out of Gaza via land crossings and the sea – each of which are terms of the ceasefire agreement.

In effect, Israeli concessions will be interpreted as flowing from Israeli weakness and eventually the perception of Israeli weakness will lead to a renewal of hostilities. Such is the culture of the Arab world.

Another concern arising from Operation Pillar of Defense (although not perceived as such by the Western media) is that Egyptian President Morsi has emerged as one of the key players in the Middle East. Considerable power has now been placed in the hands of a country that ideologically identifies with Hamas.

Israel has effectively deferred a major national security issue to a Muslim Brotherhood-dominated Egyptian government committed to Israel’s destruction.

Morsi’s Islamist government brokered the ceasefire and is now not only a regional mediator on good terms with the U.S. President, but also an arbiter between Israel and Hamas with U.S. blessings. As such, if any side has complaints against the other, it must turn to Egypt for mediation.

In accepting this provision, Israel has effectively deferred a major national security issue to a Muslim Brotherhood-dominated Egyptian government committed to Israel’s destruction. Morsi remains adamant in his refusal to speak with Israelis, has problems even uttering the word “Israel”, and supports the use of force against Israel to liberate “Muslim lands” so, in the end, he not only has a serious credibility problem so far as the Israelis are concerned, but he will have to do a careful balancing act with his own Islamist constituents in his dealings with “the Zionist entity” (to quote Egypt’s leading Islamist clerics).

In light of this, it is doubtful whether Egypt can serve as a fair and impartial mediator. Many in the security-diplomacy field share that doubt, but they also understand that the alternatives are far worse.

Egypt’s new role as mediator is particularly worrisome given recent claim by Debka that Netanyahu avoided a final ground invasion of Gaza due, in large measure to Morsi’s threat to cancel the 1979 Peace Treaty with Israel.

Israel’s problem is that Obama also cautioned Netanyahu against such an invasion at his press conference in Thailand during the crisis when he said: “”Israel has every right to expect that it does not have missiles fired into its territory……If (the defense of Israel) can be accomplished without a ramping up of military activity in Gaza, that’s preferable. It’s not just preferable for the people of Gaza. It’s also preferable for Israelis, because if Israeli troops are in Gaza, they’re much more at risk of incurring fatalities or being wounded.”

Britain Foreign Secretary William Hague added to the warning by noting:” A ground invasion is much more difficult for the international community to sympathize with or support……”

These warnings may have serious implications for the future if the recently negotiated ceasefire agreement breaks down. In determining whether or not to invade Gaza, Netanyahu, Barak and Lieberman are confronted with a dilemma.

On the one hand, Morsi, the pragmatic Islamist that he is, will not jeopardize Egypt’s annual military aid package of $2 billion from the United States, the $6.3 billion pledge from the European Union, and the $4.8 billion loan just approved by the International Monetary Fund by unilaterally terminating the 1979 Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty – unless he believes that he can terminate or at least bypass the Treaty without financial penalties.

He knows, however, that his views on an Israeli invasion are shared both by President Obama and EU leaders who are concerned about the diplomatic, political and economic backlash in the Arab world that would accompany an Israeli invasion and extensive civilian casualties in Gaza.

Should the ceasefire agreement fall apart, as is likely, Hamas will no doubt appeal to its Egyptian ally to abrogate or at least bypass the Treaty should Israel invade, and since U.S. and European opposition to an invasion is not expected to change for the reasons noted, Morsi may well decide to abrogate or bypass the provisions of the Treaty if he believes that his U.S., European and World Bank benefactors will continue their financial commitments to Egypt because of the Israeli invasion.

This time round, taking into account the two alternatives, Netanyahu determined that the lesser evil would be simply to accept the current ceasefire rather than invading Gaza and risking both American political and financial censure and possible Egyptian termination of the Treaty.

In so doing, Israel may have won itself a brief respite from missile attacks on its civilian population, but not an end to the long-term threat posed by Hamas and its Salafist militias in Gaza.

Despite a U.S. commitment to keep sophisticated Iranian missiles out of the hands of Hamas, the threat of a resurgent Hamas supported by Iran remains real. While its capacity to wage war has been seriously damaged ,its entire socio-political and educational system which is based upon this jihadist pathology remain intact and unaltered.

If Hamas is able to re-arm, re-train and re-group despite U.S. and Egyptian assurances to prevent it from doing so, then a more dangerous confrontation is assured.

In that eventuality, if Morsi, Obama and EU leaders line up against an Israeli invasion, Israel will face a Hobbesian choice. It will have to choose between a limited air operation with limited security goals along the lines of Operation Pillar of Defense or re-conquering Gaza and returning it to the status quo ante.

If it chooses the latter, it may not only incur the wrath of the U.S. and Europeans, but facilitate Egypt’s revocation of the Egypt-Israel Treaty that has kept the peace between Egypt and Israel for over three decades. As Barry Rubin writes: ” If the idea of Israel going in on the ground into the Gaza Strip provoked so much international horror, image the reaction to Israel overthrowing Hamas altogether.” The moment for making that choice may not be far off.


Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

by JPost Staff

French FM Fabius says France will vote in favor of granting Palestine non-member status in UN; Australia to abstain after PM Gillard pressured by cabinet not to oppose move; ‘Financial Times’ reports UK to support bid.

France said on Tuesday it would vote in favor of Palestinian non-member status at the United Nations.

The Palestinian Authority late Monday night submitted a draft resolution to the UN General Assembly which, if approved, would upgrade its status to non-member observer state. The vote is scheduled to take place on Thursday in the 193-seat body.

Abbas to Clinton: UN statehood bid to move forward

Mixed reactions from Hamas to Abbas’s UN bid

“This Thursday or Friday, when the question is asked, France will vote yes,” Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius announced in the lower house of parliament on Tuesday.

The Palestinian resolution reportedly is 316-words-long and calls for a resumption of peace talks with Israel following the UN vote.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the draft lacks any mention of a construction moratorium in Israeli settlements as a precondition for future negotiations, nor of joining UN agencies and treaties.

The move came despite ongoing US efforts to prevent the Palestinian Authority from bringing the resolution to a vote, a senior US official said Monday, according to the Journal.

“Our message to the Palestinians has not changed,” the official said. “We believe that bringing forward a resolution on statehood is unwise, does not help bring them closer to their legitimate aspirations, and will create an environment less positive for negotiations. We are trying to prevent this from happening, don’t want it to happen, and it has not happened yet.”

One Israeli official said that the US was working actively in the UN to try and use procedural measures to block Abbas from even being able to bring the resolution to a vote. He said the US was also working in various key capitals around the world to convince other countries not to support it.

Although the 27-member EU has not yet decided how it would vote on the resolution, the Israeli official said the majority of EU states would like to see a consensus position, and that if a consensus could be reached, they would likely abstain on the matter.

“There is still a concerted effort to reach a consensus,” one official said. “The Europeans love a consensus.”

The Financial Times reported Monday that the United Kingdom is preparing to support the PA’s UN bid. Citing unnamed officials, the report stated that London was seeking assurances from the PA that: it would not seek to join the International Criminal Court or other UN agencies; it would not take its statehood bid to the UN Security Council; and that it would return to negotiations with Israel without preconditions.

According to the report, London would support the bid in an attempt to bolster PA President Mahmoud Abbas, who is viewed as a moderate alternative to Hamas and other rival Palestinian organizations.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported Tuesday that Australia will abstain from voting on the PA resolution after Australian Prime Minster Julia Gillard faced pressure from her cabinet not to vote with Israel and the US against the move.

According to the report, all but two of Gillard’s cabinet members opposed Gillard’s desire to vote against the resolution during a meeting on the subject on Monday night.


Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

(published in FLAME)

The Palestinians will try again to be declared a state in the U.N. this week—even though they don’t remotely qualify
In the wake of Israel’s thrashing of Hamas last week—which the Palestinians, true to their penchant for bald-faced lying, claimed was a glorious Arab victory—Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is once again threatening to take the Palestinian bid for statehood to the United Nations (UN).
Abbas is scheduled to make his case this Thursday in New York. President Obama has called Abbas to personally express his opposition to this unilateral statehood effort, and he pressured Abbas to back off
If Abbas goes forward, it promises to be an economic disaster for the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the Palestinian people. The U.S. Congress will likely cut off hundreds of millions in aid, and Israel has said it will stop collecting taxes on behalf of the P.A.

Ironically, the Palestinian people could already have had their state many times over, beginning with the UN resolution in 1947, which proposed a two-state solution. Within the last 12 years alone, the Palestinian leadership rejected three separate offers of statehood—in 2000, 2001, and 2008. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has, on numerous occasions, called on Abbas to meet with him in order to negotiate a peaceful resolution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Abbas has continued to turn him down.

But what really should stop Abbas’s efforts is the Palestinians’ total lack of qualifications to become a state. This week’s FLAME Hotline article, by Rick Richman, decisively outlines the Palestinians’ numerous deficits as a proposed state, starting with the fact that President Abbas, whose term expired more than four years ago, isn’t even allowed by Hamas to visit Gaza, which contains half of the “future” Palestinian state.

How can Abbas seek to gain statehood, when two separate and feuding governments are currently governing the Palestinian people? In fact, Hamas doesn’t even currently recognize Abbas’s authority.
Yet bizarrely, Abbas is seeking a future Palestinian state that includes Gaza. As Article 4 of the U.N. Charter clearly states:
“Membership in the United Nations is open to all other peace-loving states which accept the obligations contained in the present Charter and, in the judgment of the Organization, are able and willing to carry out these obligations.” Yet “peace-loving” Hamas has belligerently fired more than 8,000 rockets at Israel since 2006. Last week alone, over a thousand more Hamas missiles were fired.

In addition, with its economy and internal politics in shambles, the Palestinians are clearly not ready for a state—but this will not stop more than a hundred countries from supporting this mockery in the U.N. General Assembly.

How can Israel be expected to tolerate a state in which half of the “state” is openly at war with her? First, all attacks on Israel must cease permanently (which Abbas cannot not control). Second, President Abbas must choose to a bilateral path to negotiate peace directly with Israel (which Hamas opposes).
What will happen if the Palestinians are upgraded to a non-member observer state? Israel will have every right to cancel the Oslo Accords and all security and economic cooperation with the PA., as well as work permits for Palestinian workers. One danger for Israel is that a Palestinian state could be accepted as a member of the International Criminal Court of the U.N. in the Hague, allowing to Israel and her leaders to be tried frivolously for war crimes. Of course, by the same token, Israel could then sue Hamas for its war crimes of attacking Israeli civilians and hiding its military behind its own civilians.
If living alongside Israel in peace is truly what President Abbas and the Palestinians desire, then acting unilaterally is the opposite route they should take. Unfortunately, this is yet another thinly veiled attempt to turn world opinion further against Israel and to accomplish the ultimate Palestinian goal of achieving a right of return of Palestinian refugees and the end of the Jewish state

Since the Palestinians refuse to come to the negotiating table, we at FLAME have made a “modest proposal” that I think you’ll appreciate. It’s called “The Most Practical Solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Can the two current proposed solutions bring peace to the region?” This position paper suggests that since peace negotiations—based on the tired “one-state” and “two-state” solutions—are going nowhere, it would be more productive for Israel and the Palestinians to give up for now and make the best of the current impasse, in fact to embrace it. We’ve just begun publishing this bold position paper in media reaching more than 10 million people and delivered it to all U.S. Senators and Representatives.

P.P.S. As of today, nearly 10,000 Israel supporters receive the FLAME Hotline at no charge every week. It keeps them up to date on the top news of the week and gives them greater confidence in discussing Middle East issues with friends and colleagues. Won’t you join us to start receiving these timely updates: Just go to free subscription.

‘Palestine’ Does Not Qualify as a ‘State’
by Rick Richman, Commentary Magazine, November 13, 2012
Back in 2005, after Israel removed every soldier and settler from Gaza, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced that “from this day forward, there will be no security turmoil and weapons chaos and abductions, which are not characteristic of our culture.” He proved a poor prognosticator regarding Palestinian culture: given the chance to live “side by side in peace and security” with Israel, the Palestinians demonstrated they could not do so even with themselves.
Abbas was expelled from Gaza in 2007; there have been no parliamentary or presidential elections since 2006; no functioning Palestinian legislature exists; Abbas is entering the 95th month of his 48-month term; he cannot set foot in half of his purported state (in the words of Israel’s UN ambassador, he cannot even see it with binoculars); he has refused to negotiate with Israel for more than four years; he demands recognition of a Palestinian state while refusing to recognize a Jewish one; and he now seeks admission to the UN as a non-member state even though “Palestine” meets none of the four requirements under international law for a state.
Under the Montevideo Convention (1933), a state “should possess the following qualifications”: (1) a defined territory; (2) a government; (3) capacity to enter into relations with the other states; and (4) a permanent population.
“Palestine” lacks a “defined territory.” A “defined territory” cannot include an area whose status and borders can only be defined, under longstanding international agreements, by negotiations. To have a defined territory, “Palestine” has to negotiate it with Israel; until then, its self-definition of territory is not a “defined territory” under the law; it is simply a negotiating position.
“Palestine” lacks a “government.” It is ruled half by a terrorist group and half by an unelected administrative entity. Its last election occurred nearly seven years ago, and it has no capacity (much less inclination) to hold a new one. The government of each half considers the government of the other half illegitimate, and both are correct: one regime took power by a coup, and the other remains in power four years after its term expired. There is no legal governing body in either half of the purported state, much less one that governs both.
“Palestine” lacks the “capacity to enter into relations with the other states. Abbas has no capacity to bind the rulers of Gaza, nor even to implement his own commitments in the area in which he can at least set foot. While in office, he failed to implement his prior obligations, including Phase I of the Roadmap (which mandated the dismantling of Hamas and other terrorist groups), and he is currently an unelected official, unrecognized by half his putative state, with no capacity to bind “Palestine” to anything.
“Palestine” lacks a “permanent population.” Most of the population considers themselves not putative citizens of a new state but perennial “refugees” — an inherited status under the unique definition applicable to Palestinians — who reject any suggestion they should form the permanent population of a new state. They consider themselves instead to be temporary residents (and UNRWA, the UN agency devoted to caring for them, is legally a “temporary” UN body) who seek to “return” to a different state, not to be permanent residents where they currently live.
When you refuse to negotiate a defined territory (and demand instead that it be conceded before you deign to “negotiate”); when you lack a government that controls your purported territory (and instead have multiple regimes each lacking legitimacy); when you lack the capacity to enter into relations with other states (and ignore the agreements you already signed); and when you have residents who reject permanent residence and assert instead a “right” to “return” to another state, you meet none of the requirements for a state.
The irony is that between 2000 and 2008, the Palestinians received three formal offers of a state, and rejected them all — the modern equivalent of the Three Nos. Now one group of Palestinians seeks UN recognition as a “non-member state,” when they fail to qualify as a state at all, and they ignore the fact they could already have been a member-state three times over (or more), had they simply said yes. As Stephen J. Rosen noted last year, they have:
two incompatible presidents, two rival prime ministers, a constitution whose most central provisions are violated by both sides, no functioning legislature, no ability to hold elections, a population mostly not under its control, borders that would annex territory under the control of other powers, and no clear path to resolve any of these conflicts.
Once again, “Palestine” is all set to be a failed state, no more ready for statehood than it was a year ago. Article 10 of the Montevideo Convention provides that the “primary interests of states is the conservation of peace.” The Palestinian gambit at the UN is not intended to produce peace, but to provide a platform for law-fare. It will do nothing to bring the Palestinians closer to the state they could have had long ago, if a state were really what they wanted, and it will in fact put peace further away.


Monday, November 26th, 2012

by Rachel Hirshfeld (Arutz Sheva News)

The general assembly of the Egyptian Journalists Syndicate on Sunday voiced its rejection of President Mohamed Morsi’s constitutional declaration and threatened to stage a general strike in retaliation against the Egyptian President’s sweeping decree.

“The general assembly announces its total rejection of the latest decisions issued by the President,” Gamal Fahmi, member of the syndicate’s executive board, shouted to hundreds of journalists at the syndicate’s downtown headquarters, according to Ahram Online.

The President’s decisions “represent naked aggression against general freedoms, the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary,” he added.

On Thursday, Morsi issued a decree making all his decisions immune from legal challenge for a six-month period.

“The President can issue any decision or measure to protect the revolution,” according to the decree. “The constitutional declarations, decisions and laws issued by the President are final and not subject to appeal,” it added.

The decree protects the Muslim Brotherhood’s Islamist-led Constituent Assembly, which is tasked with drafting a new constitution. It also protects the Shura Council, the upper house of parliament, from dissolution by court order.

Fahmi announced that the syndicate planned to stage a general strike if its proposals were not included in Egypt’s draft constitution. “The people want the downfall of the Muslim Brotherhood,” journalists chanted, according to AFP.

Morsi’s declaration was widely condemned, both nationally and internationally, as a blatant “attack on democracy.”


Monday, November 26th, 2012

by Gil Ronen (IsraelNationalNews)

Nationalist politicians are pleased with the news that Defense Minister Ehud Barak is leaving politics.

Ichud Leumi (National Union) Chairman Yaakov Katz (Ketzaleh) said Monday that Barak’s presence in the government had always been “unnatural.”

Ketzaleh said that it was “the painful split” in religious Zionist political camp that made it possible to push the Ichud Leumi out of the coalition, despite the fact that it was the natural partner to Likud. As a result, Barak joined the coalition and brought his anti-settlement policies with him.

Ketzaleh explained that things will change now that the religious camp is running in a joint list. “With the joint Ichud Leumi – Bayit Yehudi party as the main pillar of the next government and its source of courage, a new age will be heralded in which bravery and security replace weakness and defeat.”

Minister Yuli Edelstein (Likud) said, “Today is Likud’s independence day. Barak will go down in the history of Israel’s governments as the worst defense minister that the Jewish settlement enterprise ever had.”

“Barak’s behavior is full of political and egotistic considerations, and he dies all this on the backs of the settlers,” Edelstein accused.

Likud Minister Gilad Erdan said that Barak had contributed to national security over many years, “and when people like that leave, it is a sad thing.” However, he added, “I prefer that the defense minister in the next government will have a nationalist approach.”

MKs Michael Ben Ari and Aryeh Eldad of Power for Israel called on the government to approve all of the construction projects in Judea and Samaria that Barak has been blocking for years. Otherwise, they said, “this will prove that Barak was just a fig leaf and that the Prime Minister is responsible for the ill treatment of the settlers.”

Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) Chairman Naftali Bennett noted that Barak has made a huge contribution to the state “and many of us owe him our lives.” He added, though, that these days are “the last days of the old politics, which caused us, the reservist soldiers, and the residents of the South, to feel great sorrow only last week.”

“I call on Netanyahu to announce that the next government will have a defense minister who is committed to defense and security for Israel without compromise. The brave residents of the South deserve this.”

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