UPDATES 10 am Israel time, Saturday, October 5 2013:
**There are signals from both sides of the Israel concession talks that the negotiations between the Palestinians and Israelis are going nowhere. Apparently, while in New York two days ago, PM Netanyahu privately told American Jewish leaders that Palestinian refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state has stalled discussions.
Similarly, Al-Arabiya is reporting today that the Palestinians are complaining that the concessions process has stalled because Israel is insisting on drawing borders based on security considerations instead of the 1949 Armistice lines (aka the ’67 lines). According to the report, the Palestinian side is adamant that no more than 2% of Judea and Samaria will be swapped for land in Israel.
So what is the solution to the quagmire? As has already been discussed on israelstreet, the solution is simply for the Americans to take the Palestinian position that they (the Americans) must become intimately involved in the “negotiations”. Yesterday, PLO head and unelected Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas, met with U.S. envoy Martin Indyk in Ramallah on how “the right atmosphere” can be created to continue the “talks”.
Translated this simply means: what new concessions can Israel be forced to give the Palestinians to keep them from walking out of the so-called “peace talks”?
**A Knesset Channel Poll was published yesterday which shows that if elections were held tomorrow, the results would be:
Likud (Netanyahu) 32; Labor (Yachimovich) 17; Beit Yehudi (Bennett-Jewish Home) 16; Meretz 12; Torch for the Future (Lapid) 11; Shas (Sephardic Orthodox) 10; Arab Parties (Front, Balad, Tal) 10; United Torah Judaism (Ashkenazi Orthdox) 6; Hatnua (Tzipi Livni) 4; Kadima 2
Polls are fickle things–but this poll shows a striking drop for Yair Lapid’s center party and a dramatic rise for the extreme left Meretz party. In fact, both the right (Beit Yehudi) and left ends of the political spectrum seem to be gaining strength at the expense of the center. If this trend continues, the next election will find the religious parties being the kingmakers again–as they used to be before the most recent coalition government was formed.
*Israel is experimenting with a new fence along the Golan Heights–one designed not only to stop infiltration but also to stop incoming projectiles, particularly anti-tank weapons used against Israeli patrols. Here’s a picture of the fence “in action”:
**Another IDF commander on the ground in Judea and Samaria issued a warning yesterday about the deteriorating situation there. Lt. Col. Itamar Kohl, deputy commander of the Binyamin Brigade commented: “I can say that [we] see slow but steady increase in the activity level of resistance forces in the [Palestinian] villages and settlements” (note how even Kohl has been infected with IDF terminology calling “terrorists” . . . “resistance forces”).
Kohl went on to discuss “dozens to hundreds” of Palestinian “rock” and Molotov cocktail throwing incidents as well as those involving burning tires and mattresses, and added that there will always be “hardcore problems” like Jenin, Qalandiya, Balata, and Hebron.
However, Kohl said the problems in Judea and Samaria have been greatly exacerbated by the Gilad Shalit release of hundreds of terrorists and the recent concessions given to the Palestinians by Israel in order to start “negotiations.” By the way, Kohl is now free to make such politically incorrect statements because his service in the area is coming to an end.
**Netanyahu’s cabinet will be voting tomorrow on accepting the plans for the routing of the new railroad from Beersheva to Eilat. If you can believe this, former Mossad chief Ephraim Levy actually published an absurd opinion this past week saying that the construction of the railroad could harm relations with the United States.
Why you may ask? Because, Halevy says, the Chinese will be mainly in charge of building the railway–and the Chinese are an “ally of Iran”. Your humble servant would like to ask Halevy what he thinks about the fact that the Chinese are the primary underwriters of the incredible U.S. debt which, by the way, has just passed $17,000,000,000,000.
Six more anti-Israel resolutions were issued by UNESCO yesterday at its 192nd session in Paris. Published under UNESCO’s Orwellian logo which includes the UNESCO motto “Building peace in the minds of men and women”, the resolutions are a case study in black humor.
For the purposes of levity today, let’s take just 4 of these resolutions (which will be numbered 1 through 4) and see what your humble servant is laughing about.
Resolution 1 (aka Joke 1) hilariously condemns Israel for not allowing so-called UNESCO “experts” to come to inspect 18 sites–6 mosques, 6 churches, 6 synagogues–in the Old City of Jerusalem as Israel agreed to do in April–in return for which the Palestinians agreed to postpone 5 anti-Israel resolutions at UNESCO.
And why did Israel cancel the visit of the experts last May? Because at the last minute, the Palestinians changed the terms of the agreement–insisting that the “experts” be taken to the Temple Mount where they would meet with PLO politicians. One wonders why the UNESCO jokesters didn’t condemn the Palestinians —though we all know that expecting the Palestinians to keep an agreement would be another joke in itself.
Resolution 2 (aka Joke 2) hilariously condemns Israel for “archaeological excavations” at the Mughrabi ramp–which leads up to the Mughrabi Gate–the only entrance that the Islamic Wakf will allow non-Muslims to use to ascend to the Temple Mount.
Lest we forget, the earthen/masonry Mughrabi ramp began to collapse almost a decade ago because of the effects of weather–causing imminent danger to the non-Muslims using it. To temporarily replace it, a hideous wooden ramp was built which effectively divides the Western Wall in half, a ramp that Israel wants to replace with something permanent (perhaps even with an elevator). Meanwhile, work continues on restoring the old ramp. This is the archaeological dig that Israel is engaging in. By the way, the Mughrabi ramp is entirely within the Jewish Quarter.
Resolution 3 (aka Joke 3) hilariously condemns Israel’s listing of the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron and Rachel’s Tomb near Bethlehem as Israel National Heritage sites. How dare Israel presume to think that the burial places of Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca, and Jacob and Leah, ….and Rachel are integral elements of Jewish history! After all, don’t we all know by now the Jewish patriarchs and matriarchs were Palestinians?
Finally, Resolution 4 (aka Joke 4) hilariously condemns Israel for the supposed deteriorating state of educational and cultural institutions in Gaza–and the humanitarian situation in Gaza . In Gaza? What a laugh–Israel has been out of Gaza for almost a decade with Hamas in charge of everything. Nevertheless, Israel been pouring humanitarian aid into Gaza by the truckload.
We could go on but that is probably enough fun for today.
By the way, each resolution was approved by an overwhelming majority of the 56 member states. The U.S. voted against each resolution while countries like Russia and France voted in favor of each one.
Building peace in the minds of men and women–permit your humble servant to borrow an abbreviation from social media: LOL (laughing out loud).