UPDATES 7 pm Israel time, Monday, January 20 2014:
*Sometimes it feels that everyday reads like the day before. Palestinian terrorists in Gaza have fired three more rockets into southern Israel attempting to kill Israeli children, women, and men. Israeli Border Guards have been attacked in the Mt. Hebron area. Israelis have been assaulted by “rocks” and Molotov cocktails throughout Judea and Samaria.
In response to the rocket fire, the IDF has moved Iron Dome batteries to Ashdod and Beersheva. It had little choice. The mayor of your humble servant’s hometown of Ashdod had refused to reopen “unfortified schools” in the city until the IDF provided an umbrella of protection.
*Led by PLO Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi, the Palestinians are all in shock today over comments just made by Australian FM Julie Bishop who was visiting Israel.
When she was asked in an interview if she agreed with the view that the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria are illegal, Bishop replied simply: “I would like to see which international law has declared them illegal.”
While giving no specifics this morning, Ashrawi hauled out the usual “international human rights law”, “international humanitarian law” (who knows what’s the difference between the preceding two?), the Fourth Geneva Convention, the Hague Regulations, and other unnamed “international conventions” to lambaste Bishop.
The simple fact is that Bishop was exactly right. There is no international law that specifies that these communities are illegal. Nevertheless, individuals and institutions continually pull Ashrawi’s tired list out of their pockets without any idea of what they are talking about–and without any mention of specifics.
President Obama’s interview with journalist David Remnick that appeared in the New Yorker magazine yesterday is frankly astonishing.
Fraught with the same delusions that he has always possessed of a so-called Arab Spring (“the old order, the old equilibrium is no longer tenable”, “the region is going through rapid change and inexorable change”), Obama went on to declare his pessimism over the civil war in Syria, the Iranian nuclear issue, and the Israeli-Palestinian “peace talks.” According to Obama, all three of these flashpoints have less than a 50% chance of reaching a final treaty.
Less than a 50% chance of reaching a final treaty.
In other words, Obama has every expectation that the Iranian nuclear program will continue to inexorably march toward its goal of developing nuclear weapons.
In other words, Obama is under no illusion that there will be any peace between Israelis and Palestinians.
So what in the world, one may ask, is Obama doing by easing sanctions on Iran and by forcing Israelis to release Palestinian murderers back on the street and jump through other “negotiating hoops”?
Well, to hear Obama tell it: “we may be able to push the boulder partway up the hill and maybe stabilize it so it doesn’t roll back on us.”
So it doesn’t roll back on “us”?
The sheer indifference and arrogance embodied in this statement is breathtaking.
Who cares if the Iranian talks and the Palestinian talks fail and the boulder rolls back on Israel in the form of a nuclear weapon or intensified Palestinian violence?
That is clearly a risk that President Obama and John Kerry are willing to take. And Benjamin Netanyahu continues to go along with the farce. This morning, Tzipi Livni and Tommy Molcho are back in Washington talking about more concessions that Israel can give to the Americans.