UPDATES 4 pm Israel time, Tuesday, March 11 2014:
Three events of the last 36 hours have been an ugly reminder of the threats that Israelis face from Palestinian terrorists.
Yesterday morning, a bizarre incident took place at the Allenby Crossing between Israel and Jordan. Raed Alaa el-Deen Za’eiter, a Jordanian citizen born in Shechem (Nablus) who also happened to be a judge in Jordan, was returning to Jordan with two other Palestinians. According to IDF sources, Za’eiter began scuffling with an Israeli soldier who was trying to hurry a group of Palestinians to a waiting bus.
In the ensuing melee both Za’eiter and the soldier fell on the ground. When Za’eiter got up, he shoved the soldier again who then fired a warning shot. Za’eiter then yelled “Allahu Akbar”, rushed a group of soldiers, and attempted to grab a weapon from one of them. Za’eiter was then shot in the leg. When he continued to rush them, he was shot in the chest and killed.
Later in the day, yet another Palestinian “rock” throwing incident took place near Beit El in which a Palestinian terrorist targeted both Israeli motorists and an Israeli bus. The terrorist, Saji Drawis, was shot and killed by Israeli soldiers.
Meanwhile today, the Kerem Shalom Crossing from Israel into Gaza came under mortar attack from an Islamic Jihad terror cell operating in Gaza. The 3 man cell was identified by the IAF and killed in a missile strike.
And what has been the result of all of this Palestinian terrorism? The Jordanians are rioting in the streets of Amman, the Palestinians say these are more nails in the coffin of the “peace process”, and Islamic Jihad says that the truce is over between Gaza and Israel. Go figure.
In advance of Mahmoud Abbas’ coming meeting with President Obama on March 17th, the Revolutionary Council of the Palestinian Authority (otherwise known as the PLO Fatah Command Committee), voted unanimously last night–following a speech by Abbas–to reject any demand to recognize Israel as a Jewish state.
Of course, there was nothing new about this; Abbas and the Palestinians have long declared that they will never recognize Israel as a Jewish state.
What was appallingly new, however, was the reaction of the U.S. State Department to the PLO announcement. Whereas, the U.S. has always unequivocally backed such recognition, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki appeared to backpedal from that position today in a remarkable piece of “diplomatic doublespeak”:
“If you look at the issue of a Jewish state and whether Israel will be called a Jewish state, that’s been our position, as you know, for a long time, but that doesn’t reflect what the parties will agree to, and of course there are many issues like that that are being discussed as part of the framework.”
What in the world does this mean? Is Israel’s Jewishness still up for negotiation? According to Obama and Kerry’s State Department, apparently so.