UPDATES 11 am Israel time, Friday, November 8 2013:
**Palestinian terrorist violence has continued to spiral out of control over the last 24 hours. Yesterday morning, Kiryat Malachi and surrounding areas had two separate warning sirens for incoming rockets from Gaza that sent schoolchildren and their parents running for their lives to bomb shelters.
There were no reports from the IDF of any launches, and no reports from the media of what actually took place. The IDF spokesman’s office did not even bother to issue its usual “they were false alarms” statement.
Two Palestinian terrorists were killed yesterday: one at the Tapuach Junction near Ariel who opened fire at two Israeli hitchhikers, and the other at a checkpoint between Jerusalem and Bethlehem who stabbed and wounded a Border policeman.
At 8:45 this morning, an Israeli woman driving her car near Tekoa was nearly burned alive with her children when Palestinian terrorists threw Molotov cocktails into her car. Both the woman and one of her children suffered multiple burns and were rushed to Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem. The car was completely burned.
The situation has become so violent that the IDF commander of the base near the Hebrew University in Jerusalem issued new orders yesterday that no soldiers can exit the base after 6:00 pm each day unless they are in a convoy–and that pedestrians (mainly Hebrew University students) should not approach the Palestinian settlement of Issawiya during daytime or at night.
**Rabbi Yehuda Glick enters the 5th day of his hunger strike today. Glick is the Israeli who has been forbidden entrance to the Temple Mount because of his insistence on praying at Judaism’s holiest place.
The continuing actions of the Jerusalem Police in the “Glick affair” are abominable and indicative of the contempt that is shown to Jewish worshipers on the Mount, and are the reason that new laws must be enacted to protect Jewish freedom of worship.
**There are reports that there may be an “agreement” in Geneva today on the Iranian nuclear weapons program. In essence, it would appear that the West has caved into Iranian demands and will allow the country to continue enriching uranium to 20%–though Iran may agree to a six month freeze if sanctions are “relieved.”
If these reports are true, no one will be less surprised than your humble servant who, like you, has known all along that the West really does not possess the resolve to stop Iran.
Israel is abuzz and angered this morning over the astonishing interview given by John Kerry on Israel’s Channel 2 television last night. In answering questions from a Palestinian and Israeli reporter, Kerry embraced Palestinian positions, castigated Israel across the board, and ended up threatening Israelis with violence.
All in all it was a remarkable performance which will only serve to drive the Israeli public further away from any accommodations with the Palestinians.
Just one of Kerry’s answers (given below in greatly abbreviated form) should suffice to understand why Israelis are so angry today.
After spending almost ten minutes in a tirade against Israeli “settlements” and what “signals” they send to the Palestinian people about the Israeli desire for peace, Israeli reporter Udi Segal asked this question:
Segal: “You spoke about signals. How do you think that a picture of Mahmoud Abbas hugging murderers that killed children 20 or 30 years ago and saying that they are heroes of the Palestinian people–what kind of message do you think this sends about the peace process . . . to the Israeli people?”
Kerry: It’s very difficult. I have no illusions. I know that the vast majority of people in Israel are opposed. I understand that. PM Netanyahu understands that. And it is a sign of his seriousness that he was willing to make this decision. The alternative to getting back to the talks is the potential of chaos. I mean does Israel want a third intifada?
In other words, Kerry did not answer the question.
But he did not stop there. Later, in the same long rambling answer, Kerry outlined what would happen to Israel:
“. . . if we do not find a way to find peace there will be increasing isolation of Israel, there will be an increasing campaign of delegitimization of Israel that has [already] been taking place on an international basis, that we not resolve the question of settlements and who lives where and how and what rights they have, and end the presence of Israeli soldiers perpetually within the West Bank, then there will be an increasing feeling that if we cannot get a peace with a leadership that it committed to non-violence, you may wind up with leadership that is committed to violence.”
You get the idea (even if it is difficult to make coherence out of Kerry’s disjointed syntax).
But wait, Kerry still wasn’t finished. He continued:
” . . . the world that is around Israel, is full of turmoil today, we’ve seen what has happened in the Maghreb in Tunisia, in Egypt, you know in Libya, what’s going on in Yemen, we know the struggle of Syria obviously, of Lebanon, Hezbollah; the challenges of this region are enormous. If we could find a peace that brings Jordan, Palestine, and Israel together—a peaceful block if you will—that will have a profound impact on the day to day life of everybody in this region.”
In other words, if Israel will just surrender to the Palestinians and concede everything that the Palestinians want, the entire region from Libya and Tunisia to Egypt and Syria will shout “Hallelujah” and embrace peace.
But wait, Kerry still wasn’t finished:
“. . . the Arab Peace Initiative which has been restated by the entire Arab community says that the day that Israel makes peace with Palestine, the day they sign that peace, all of the Arab communities that have not made peace with Israel will make peace immediately. And all of a sudden the opportunity for travel, for business, for exchange of students, for all kinds of things begins to become a reality.”
Israelis wonder this morning exactly what planet Kerry lives on. By the way, this is the same Arab Peace Initiative that calls for 5,000,000+ Palestinian so-called “refugees” to be returned to Israel.
But wait, again, Kerry still wasn’t finished with his answer despite the fact that the Israeli reporter attempted to interject something. Kerry continued:
“. . . and I know there are people who have grown used to this—particularly in Israel–people say we feel safe, we have the wall, we’re not in a day to day conflict, we’re doing pretty well economically, but I’ve got news for you, today’s status quo will not be tomorrow’s or next year’s because if we don’t resolve this issue, the Arab world, the Palestinians, neighbors, others, are going to begin again to push in a different way, and the last thing that Israel wants to see is a return to violence.”
Not in a day to day conflict? And so it went. Threats, intimidation, suggesting a third intifada and increased violence–not only from the Palestinians but also from everyone else in the region–this was John Kerry on Israeli TV last night talking “peace” to the Israeli people.