Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Palestinians: Kerry and the Game of Obfuscation⃰

(  ⃰The act of obscuring something to make it more difficult to understand)

Khaled Abu Toameh Feb 22, 2016

This current "intifada" is simply a further phase in a larger plan to destroy Israel. When the plan began officially, with the establishment of the PLO in 1964, there were no "settlements" -- not until after the June 1967 War -- so what exactly were the Palestinians planning to "liberate"?

The current conflict is not about "defending" any mosque from being contaminated by the "filthy feet" of Jews: it is about seeing Israel forced to its knees. Abbas and others seek to reap delicious political fruits from this "intifada."

Here is a novel idea: Kerry could put pressure on the Palestinian and Jordanian leadership to cease anti-Israeli incitement and indoctrination. Now that would be pressure well applied.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is back in town. This time he is meeting with Jordanian and Palestinian leaders about "ongoing security issues in the region and continued tensions between Israel and the Palestinians."

For those not involved in political newspeak, here is a translation:

"Ongoing security issues" = the Islamic State terror group (ISIS).

"Tensions between Israel and the Palestinians" = the ongoing wave of Palestinian stabbing, car-ramming and shooting attacks that began in October 2015.

Kerry comes back, but never calls a spade a spade. The "tensions" to which he deceptively alludes are knifings and car-rammings. And what is the biggest spade that Kerry avoids calling by its name? The new generation of Palestinians brainwashed to believe that Israel can be defeated with knives and car-attacks.

This "intifada" is simply a further phase in a larger plan to humiliate and destroy Israel. This plan began officially, with the establishment of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), in May 1964. At that time there were no "settlements" -- not until after the June 1967 War -- so what exactly were the Palestinians planning to "liberate"?

The plan continued in 1974, at the twelfth session of the Palestinian National Council in Cairo, with the 10-point "Phased Plan". Article 2 called for "armed struggle" (terrorism) to establish "an independent combatant national authority" that is "liberated" from Israeli rule.

Contrary to Palestinian leaders' pap, the current conflict is not about "defending" any mosque from being contaminated by the "filthy feet" of Jews: it is about seeing Israel forced to its knees. Abbas and others seek to reap delicious political fruits from this "intifada."

That is why, in his meeting with Kerry, Abbas made it clear that he intends to pursue unilateral moves to impose a solution on Israel, with the help of the international community.

Abbas also told Kerry that he intends to continue with his efforts to seek a UN Security Council resolution condemning Israel over "settlement construction."
Never mind that on Palestinian maps, all of Israel is regarded as one big "settlement."

Palestinian Authority leaders, official television, schools and media outlets often display maps showing Palestine stretching from the River Jordan to the Mediterranean Sea. The maps do not show the existence of Israel.

But back to Kerry. His "tensions" imply two sides engaged in some kind of a dispute that has aggravated a situation and strained relations between them, instead of what it really is: Palestinians openly trying to supplant Israelis -- the entire state.

So the game of obfuscation continues. No doubt, we will witness more pressure on Israel to make concessions that will supposedly ease the "tensions."

Kerry and his friends either do not "get it" or do not want to "get it." Palestinians are waging an out-and-out war against Israel with the goal of making Israelis suffer to a point at which they will beg their leaders to capitulate. In the Palestinian view, such behavior pays off royally.

Im the Palestinian mindset the two previous uprisings -- in 1987 and 2000 -- brought major achievements to the Palestinians.

The first "intifada" led to Israel's recognition of the PLO as the "sole legitimate representative of the Palestinians" -- a move that was followed by the signing of the Oslo Accords and the creation of the Palestinian Authority.

The second "intifada," the Palestinians argue, led to Israel's full withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in the summer of 2005.

And so we arrive at the newest wave of attacks. As the saying goes: Step-by-step.
Kerry would like to see an end to the Palestinian attacks on Israeli Jews. The only problem is that his vacuous rhetoric prevents him from having a snowball's chance in a Middle Eastern summer from attaining that goal.

Let us also not underestimate Palestinian Authority rejectionism. On the eve of the Kerry-Abbas meeting, Palestinian Authority officials were quoted as saying that they did not expect anything positive to come out of the talks "because the U.S. remains biased in favor of Israel."

As always, the Palestinian stance is, "MY WAY OR THE HIGHWAY."

Moreover, Kerry is dreaming if he thinks that President Mahmoud Abbas or King Abdullah are able to stop the attacks on Israelis. Neither has the mandate or the credibility to do so. In any case, they and their media outlets are too busy with their anti-Israeli ranting to do much on that score.

Thus far, not a word has been uttered by either of the two Arab leaders that could be even vaguely interpreted by their people as "stop killing Israelis." In the Palestinian Looking Glass, it is Israel that is responsible for the deadly attacks. After all, claims that are untrue about Israelis "storming and desecrating the Al-Aqsa Mosque and other Islamic holy sites" are provocative, to say the least.

Here is a novel idea: Kerry could put pressure on the Palestinian and Jordanian leadership to cease anti-Israeli incitement and indoctrination. Now that would be pressure well applied. And it does not even require funding.

When Kerry and his crew finally wake up to the fact that it is precisely this incitement that is driving Palestinians into the open arms of ISIS, Hamas and other terror groups, perhaps, finally, we will be able to hope for "easing tensions in the region."

Meanwhile, Kerry is back blathering about peace in the Middle East. Unfortunately, he seems incapable of calling a spade a spade -- especially when that spade's name is Palestinian prevarication.

Khaled Abu Toameh, an award-winning journalist, is based in Jerusalem.

Monday, February 22, 2016

A Caring Volunteer - Welcome Home Peter

 Aleh Hanegev is an amazing place dealing with people of varying disabilities. It is not surprising to hear of volunteers who fall in love with the place.
Read how one volunteer developed close bonds and decided to make his home in Israel
Welcome Home, Peter!

For Peter from Switzerland, Israel and ALEH Negev are now home.
Peter Paul Brockhausen arrived at ALEH Negev-Nahalat Eran from Switzerland 2 years ago on a 3-month joint volunteer program with the Christians for Israel Foundation. Peter, a Dutch citizen, is manager of a hotel in Switzerland.
From his first day at the Village, Peter took an immediate and intense liking to the residents. Quite quickly, he developed an inexplicably close bond with the Land of Israel. His feelings ran so deep that the second time he returned to volunteer, he decided to investigate his ancestry. To his amazement, he traced his lineage a few generations back until he discovered unquestionably Jewish roots.
Peter’s involvement in ALEH Negev led him to open a Dutch-language Facebook page to publicize the activities of ALEH Negev, at the same time advocating on behalf of Israel.  During the course of Operation Protective Edge, Peter posted pro-Israel messages on Facebook and described life at ALEH Negev in the shadow of war.
Returning for a third volunteer program at the Village, Peter began the process of conversion through the Israeli rabbinate. Now back in Israel for a fourth stint, he has received his Israeli ID and is in the midst of the Aliya process.
As one of ALEH Negev’s most dedicated volunteers, Peter has learned the professional language used by the Village staff, forged bonds of trust and friendship with the residents, and integrated into the work and development programs with the Village residents.
Now as a full-fledged citizen, Peter has set to the task of learning Hebrew, at the same time continuing his volunteer work on behalf of ALEH. Upon completion of the Aliya process, he will become an official employee of ALEH Negev.
Peter is certainly one-of-a-kind and deserves all the credit that he has earned!

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Are The Palestinians ever Prepared to Negotiate?

The French are telling Israelis "Negotiate with the Palestinians or else we will recognise the State of Palestine.!!!

And yet as Alan Baker writes http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Never-say-never-445279  "In a curious announcement the minister for foreign affairs of the Palestinian Authority, Riyad Malki, made at a press conference in Tokyo on February 15, 2016, while accompanying his boss Mahmoud Abbas on a visit to Japan, Malki stated “We will never go back and sit again in a direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.”

Many would brush aside such a statement as another example of routine Palestinian bravado and propaganda at a time when the world is somewhat fatigued with the endless Palestinian attempts to keep their plight at the forefront of world attention.

Additionally, the Palestinian leadership continues to openly and even proudly sponsor and encourage an international BDS campaign and engages in open, daily incitement which leads to violence and murder of Jews and Israelis.

All this in clear and direct contravention of Palestinian commitments – whether to Israel or to the international community – in the various agreements signed over the past 20 years.

What is all the more ironic in this curious situation is the fact that it is Israel that is being accused and held responsible, whether by the French foreign minister, by the US State Department or by the EU leadership, for obstructing the return to a negotiating mode.

However, foreign minister Malki’s announcement needs to be taken very, very seriously. Indeed, in international diplomacy, the statements of a foreign minister are treated as official and authoritative governmental positions, with binding powers.

Thus, this official announcement by the Palestinian foreign minister ending, to all intents and purposes, any continuation of a negotiated peace process between the Palestinians and Israel, should logically be treated by leaders of the US, the EU, the UN and by other major international elements as a resounding and shocking volte-face by the Palestinians. It should be considered to be a clear violation of all Palestinian commitments so far, and possibly as a fundamental breach of the Oslo accords, by frustrating any possible return to negotiations.

This statement basically endorses what has, in practice, become the accepted policy of the Palestinian leadership, of encouraging anything other than direct negotiation, in the hope that the French, the US, the EU and the UN might bully Israel into accepting Palestinian dictates.

One might presume that all those senior politicians and foreign ministers who consider themselves involved in the Middle East peace process – and especially US Secretary of State John Kerry, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini – will express their immediate indignation and objection to this statement by the Palestinian foreign minister.

One might hope that they will demand some solid, public reassurance by the Palestinian leadership that the Palestinians have not given up the option to solve the dispute through negotiation.

Is this too much to hope for?

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Israel Looks Beyond America

How many allies does President Obama think the U.S. can afford to squander?

BRET STEPHENS Feb. 15, 2016

Talk to Israelis about the United States these days and you will provoke a physical reaction. Barack Obama is an eye roll. John Kerry is a grimace. The administration’s conduct of regional policy is a slow, sad shake of the head. The current state of the presidential race makes for a full-blown shudder.

As for Israel’s own troubles—a continuing Palestinian campaign of stabbings; evidence that Hamas is rebuilding its network of terror tunnels under the Gaza border and wants to restart the 2014 war; more than 100,000 rockets and guided missiles in the hands of Hezbollah—that’s just the Middle East being itself. It’s the U.S. not being itself that is the real novelty, and is forcing Israel to adjust.

Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon (right) shakes hands with 
former Saudi intelligence chief Prince Turki al-Faisal at the Munich 
Security  Conference, Feb. 14. PHOTO: ISRAEL MINISTRY OF DEFENSE

I’ve spent the better part of a week talking to senior officials, journalists, intellectuals and politicians from across Israel’s political spectrum. None of it was on the record, but the consistent theme is that, while the Jewish state still needs the U.S., especially in the form of military aid, it also needs to diversify its strategic partnerships. This may yet turn out to be the historic achievement of Benjamin Netanyahu’s long reign as prime minister.

On Sunday, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon publicly shook hands with former Saudi intelligence chief Prince Turki al-Faisal at the Munich Security Conference. In January, Israeli cabinet member Yuval Steinitz made a trip to Abu Dhabi, where Israel is opening an office at a renewable-energy association. Turkey is patching up ties with Israel. In June, Jerusalem and Riyadh went public with the strategic talks between them. In March, Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi told the Washington Post that he speaks to Mr. Netanyahu “a lot.”

This de facto Sunni-Jewish alliance amounts to what might be called the coalition of the disenchanted; states that have lost faith in America’s promises. Israel is also reinventing its ties to the aspiring Startup Nations, countries that want to develop their own innovation cultures.

In October, Israel hosted Indian President Pranab Mukherjee for a three-day state visit; New Delhi, once a paragon of the nonaligned movement that didn’t have diplomatic ties to Israel for four decades, is about to spend $3 billion on Israeli arms. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who is personally close to Mr. Netanyahu, sees Israel as a model for economic reinvention. Chinese investment in Israel hit $2.7 billion last year, up from $70 million in 2010. In 2014, Israel’s exports to the Far East for the first time exceeded those to the U.S.

Then there is Europe—at least the part of it that is starting to grasp that it can’t purchase its security in the coin of Israeli insecurity. Greece’s left-wing Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras used to lead anti-Israel protests. But Greece needs Israeli gas, so he urges cooperation on terrorism and calls Jerusalem Israel’s “historic capital.” In the U.K., Prime Minister David Cameron’s government is moving to prevent local councils from passing Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) measures against Israel.

All this amounts to another Obama administration prediction proved wrong. “You see for Israel there’s an increasing delegitimization campaign that has been building up,” Mr. Kerry warned grimly in 2014. “There are talks of boycotts and other kinds of things. Today’s status quo absolutely, to a certainty, I promise you 100%, cannot be maintained.”

Except when the likely alternatives to the lousy status quo are worse. Over the weekend, U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power came to Jerusalem to preach the virtues of a two-state solution. Her case would be unarguable if the Palestinian state to be created alongside Israel were modeled on Costa Rica—democratic, demilitarized, developing, friendly to outsiders.

But the likelier model is Gaza, or Syria. Why should Israelis be expected to live next to that? How would that help actual living Palestinians, as opposed to the perpetual martyrs of left-wing imagination? And why doesn’t the U.S. insist that Palestinian leaders prove they are capable of decently governing a state before being granted one?

Those are questions Mr. Obama has been incapable of asking himself, lest a recognition of facts intrude on the narrative of a redemptive presidency. But a great power that cannot recognize the dilemmas of its allies soon becomes useless as an ally, and it becomes intolerable if it then turns its strategic ignorance into a moral sermon.

More than one Israeli official I spoke with recalled that the country managed to survive the years before 1967 without America’s strategic backing, and if necessary it could do so again. Nations that must survive typically do. The more important question is how much credibility the U.S. can afford to squander before the loss becomes irrecoverable.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Saving Lives - United Hatzalah

With the current onslaught  of Palestinian terrorism against Israelis and isolated incidents of Jewish terrorism against Palestinians, 3,000 volunteers – Jewish, Muslim, Christian, Druse and Bedouin clad in orange, black and white vests – are working around the clock to save lives.

The Kafkaesque, ironic situation is clear to the outside observer, but taken for granted by the medics and paramedics of United Hatzalah on ambucycles, whose aim is to reach any injured or sick person needing help within 90 seconds of being called.

Noted French-Jewish producer and director Jose Ainouz spent six months following UH volunteers and chronicling their good deeds to make a 66-minute film about them.

Although he had not been involved with Israel before, he was entranced with the organization and the country, bought a home here and has decided to make aliya.

Called “The Ambucycles of Life”, see trailer at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fItSUmJ0Un4  the action-packed movie is meant for   “not by the people who love Israel or those who hate Israel, but those who are neutral,” says UH founder and president Eli Beer.

“The first are already convinced that Israel is wonderful; the second are convinced that Israel is horrible. We want to reach the others who don’t know about what we do.” It appears in Hebrew, English and French versions.

United Hatzalah of Israel is the largest independent, non-profit, fully volunteer Emergency Medical Services organization, providing the fastest emergency medical first response without charge throughout Israel. United Hatzalah’s service is available to all people, regardless of race, religion or national origin.

We want the whole world to know about our technique – trained medics and paramedics reaching those in need of first aid anywhere they are.”

Beer launched the ambucycle idea in Israel, as Magen David Adom ambulances are very often held back from reaching the sick and injured because of traffic congestion, road closures, debris and parking problems. Eventually, the MDA ambulances take the patient to hospital if additional care is required.

Beer has been involved in the idea of emergency medical rapid response since 1988, when, as a teenager, he observed a Jerusalem bus exploding from a terrorist bomb. He decided to take an MDA first aid course. But when he saw that it often takes time for help to arrive, he fine-tuned his idea of ambucycles and helped establish UH in 2006, following the Second Lebanon War. Since then, he and colleagues have dedicated themselves to unifying the level of professionalism, training and efficiency of the disparate Hatzalah organizations throughout Israel.

THE AMBUCYCLE contains everything needed by medics and paramedics (except for a bed). The storage box on the back has advanced lifesaving equipment sized to fit the unique operational requirements and configuration limitations of an ambucycle. In addition to the complete trauma kit, the box contains a specialized oxygen canister, blood sugar monitor and defibrillator. All the medications that could be used are inside in small doses, regularly replenished by volunteers.

Each of the hundreds of ambucycles responds to some 40 calls per month, roughly 480 calls a year.

About a quarter of these calls are critical lifesaving situations. Each ambucycle is on the road responding to emergencies for at least three years, and therefore will enable volunteers respond to around 1,440 calls and will save 360 lives.

Last year, more than 650 people were helped by UH volunteers on an average day, with an annual total of about 240,000.

Having the well-trained, equipped and motivated medics ready to race to save someone’s life is useless, said Beer, unless you have a system that locates, alerts and guides the medic to the scene in the quickest and most efficient fashion. These motorcycles, including all required medical equipment, maintenance, and insurance, cost about NIS 100,000 each.

The LifeCompass system, developed in cooperation with NowForce, draws a virtual perimeter around an incident that has been entered into the system. It then alerts only the medics in a predetermined radius to the incident. Each volunteer knows that when the LifeCompass alerts him, it is because he is in the immediate vicinity of an emergency incident. Complete GPS guidance to the scene and recording capabilities ensure that every incident is responded to and recorded.

The organization even has a small boat from which they save people from drowning in the Kinneret.

Beer noted that the aim of UH is not only saving lives, but also developing unity among volunteers.

A gamut of Hassidim who usually wouldn’t speak to each other – Lithuanian- style ultra-Orthodox (haredi) Jews, modern Orthodox, Chabad Hassidim, secular Jews, Christian, Beduin and Druse – work both separately and together.

“It was impossible for me not to produce this film,” said Ainouz. “My team went from the North to the South. How can 3,000 volunteers give of their time in a world that is so egotistical? I wanted to show the truth to the world. They really do arrive in less than three minutes.”

All funds, he added, come from donations from Israel and abroad.

Gitty Beer, Eli’s wife, noted that not only the medics and paramedics sacrifice by being ready to get up and go any time of the day or night, including Shabbat and festivals.

“The wives and children also pay a price, but it is a passion of the whole family. If somebody dies, Eli comes back in a bad mood, but he’s in a good mood coming back after delivering a baby.”

Medics can qualify for UH if they have passed their 21st birthday, have a vehicle license and have a clean police record. They take a theoretical and practical course of 160 hours.

After working with a trainer for a certain amount of time, passing tests and proving themselves, they are allowed to go out on their own.

WHEN BEER realized that it was difficult for his Jewish volunteers to enter eastern Jerusalem and other Arab areas, he thought of training people from that sector to be medics as well. Some even volunteered at their own initiative. One man asked to take a course after he saw his own father collapse at home and die while the family waited for an ambulance for almost an hour. A UH branch was opened in the eastern part of the capital. “My intention was to save people,” he said.

In emergencies, West Bank Palestinians bring patients to the gates of Jewish settlements to get good treatment. If needed, UH transfers them to PA hospitals.

There are 10 Druse volunteers in the north. In addition, more than 40 Beduin women in the south learned to be medics after realizing that their large families would be safer if they studied first aid.

Going on their rounds, UH volunteers also encountered many elderly people living alone who need help.

As a result, the organization set up a special program to visit them and talk to them. A total of 250 volunteers now visit some 70 lonely people who sought company, most of them Holocaust survivors.

“My dream," concluded Beer, "is that in 15 years or so, every neighborhood and street in the country will have a UH volunteer. No one will wait for help for more than 90 seconds. We also want countries around the world – from America to Africa – to copy our model."

“Whoever they are, our volunteers really want one thing: to see injured and sick people open their eyes again. We want them to live.”

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

What Palestinian society wants for and from its children

Is there a name for the psychological condition that holds an entire society in its grip, causing it to invest its children in a death cult that will certainly lead to the deaths of many of those children, and to the justification of those deaths on the grounds that the enemy's children are harmed, injured and/or killed?

In the past five days alone:

·                A Palestinian teen girl attempted to stab Israeli troops at Jerusalem’s Damascus Gate on Tuesday morning, police said. The suspect, 16, was arrested after pulling a knife on border guards when they asked to search her, police said. There were no Israeli injuries reported. “The police reacted quickly, pushed her away and subdued her,” a police spokesperson said. Police said the teenager, a student, had concealed the knife in her backpack. When police asked to search her bag, she pulled the knife “and tried to stab the policemen,” police said. [Source]

·                [Also today, a] Palestinian teenage girl armed with a knife was detained outside the West Bank settlement of Carmei Tzur. The girl, said to be around 13, was arrested by the security guard at the entrance of the settlement in the Etzion bloc.  [Source]

·                An 11-year-old Jewish boy was stabbed and wounded Monday [February 8, 2016] in an attack in the central Israeli town of Ramle. The attacker fled the scene, apparently toward the Jawaresh neighborhood of the city. The boy was hospitalized with moderate injuries, the Magen David Adom emergency service said. The child said that the assailant was an Arab. A 17-year-old Arab youth was arrested a short time later on suspicion of carrying out the attack. [Source]

·                [A] guard at the bus station in [Ramle] was lightly injured when he was stabbed by two 13-year-old girls in a nationalistic attack [on Thursday, February 4, 2016]. One of the girls’ mothers subsequently apologized for her daughter’s action. [Source] ...Central District spokesman Ch.-Supt. Ami Ben-David said that the two teens approached the metal detector at the entrance to the station around 10:30 Thursday morning, at which point the security guard asked them to show him identification. At that point the two girls pulled knives and stabbed the guard, lightly wounding him in the hand and leg, Ben-David said... One of the two girls was carrying a school backpack and a picture taken at the scene by a police photographer showed the contents of the bag scattered on the pavement, including schoolwork, a calculator, a juice bag and two knives. [Source]

There's quite a collection out there of human rights groups that claim to be working for the protection of Palestinian Arab children. The Ramallah-based Defence for Children International - Palestine, for instance, says this on its website:-

We defend children’s rights three ways: offering free legal aid, documenting violations of international law, and advocating for greater protections... [The organization] is committed to securing a just and viable future for Palestinian children in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

A viable future? Greater protections? If they have commented on, let alone condemned, the systemic and systematic incitement of Palestinian Arab children to become martyrs and killers for their grandparents' society's glory, then they are being awfully quiet about it. If any reader knows of any instance of DCI-P criticizing the fostering among Pal Arab children of martyrdom/murder as supreme values, click here please to tell us.

Another instance: the phenomenally-well-funded Human Rights Watch, who write this on their"Children's rights" page:
Millions of children... are forced to serve as soldiers in armed conflict... Young and immature, they are often easily exploited. In many cases, they are abused by the very individuals responsible for their care. We are working to help protect children around the world, so they can grow into adults.

Since they speak of "easily exploited", they're surely enraged by what's being done to Palestinian Arab children by the religious, educational and political leaders of their communities. Because if they are, we're surely not seeing any sign of it. If anyone knows of HRW condemnation of the fostering among Pal Arab children of martyrdom/murder as supreme values, please click here to enlighten us.

For the full article go to http://tinyurl.com/hzpkyco