UPDATES 6 pm Israel time, Thursday, March 20 2014:
**As we take the daily tour around Israel today, we see increased IAF and IDF activity on the Syrian border in the area of Mt. Hermon, and a bus full of Israeli schoolchildren firebombed just outside Shechem (again, miraculously, with no physical injuries).
**It is now reported that the Syrians have turned over about 49% of their chemical weapons repositories, but are stonewalling on turning over more. The West has devolved into more bluster about what will happen if the Syrians do not continue to hand over these weapons, but the truth is that nothing will happen–particularly since Russia is becoming more divorced from the West by the second.
**Speaking of the Russian-Western divorce, the competing statements today from the United States and Russian concerning the Iranian nuclear program were almost startling. On the one hand, we had the ever more naively inept Barack Obama issuing Nowruz holiday greetings to the Iranians and stating this about the nuclear “negotiations”: “I’m under no illusions. This will be difficult. But I’m committed to diplomacy because I believe there is the basis for a practical solution.”
Under no illusions? They are all that Obama operates under.
On the other hand, Putin let it be known yesterday that if the U.S. continues its sanction regimen against Russia, Russia will probably withdraw its support for dismantling the Iranian nuclear program.
Meanwhile, the Iranian centrifuges continue churning out refined uranium in ever greater quantities.
**The ongoing battle between Danny Danon and Benjamin Netanyahu for leadership of the Likud Party continues apace. Yesterday Danon issued his strongest statement yet declaring that he would resign as Deputy Defense Minister if the next proposed release of Palestinian murderers goes forward. Danon had this to say:
“Over the last few weeks, Mahmoud Abbas’ true colors have been revealed, and it’s clear that nothing will come of these negotiations. I will not sit in a government that releases terrorists from prison in exchange for Tzipi Livni’s fantasies. There is a limit as to how much we can be made suckers in exchange for putting smiles on the faces of Livni and Saeb Erekat. I will not be part of this executive branch if it will condone and take further steps toward releasing prisoners … the day that the next Palestinian murderer takes his first steps out of jail, I will send a resignation letter, effectively stepping down from my position as deputy defense minister of Israel.”
**In the running battle between Fatah and Hamas, Fatah spokesman Ahmad Assaf accused Hamas yesterday of gross corruption in the collection of taxes on goods coming into Gaza from Egypt and Israel. According to Assaf, there are now some 1,700 “Hamas millionaires”.
Following his “sitdown” with Barack Obama, Mahmoud Abbas was back in Ramallah today telling a cheering crowd in the Muqata that he would never give away “Palestinian rights” nor would he back down from any Palestinian demand.
One of those outrageous demands, as predicted on israelstreet a few days ago, was a demand that President Obama force Israel to release arch-terrorist Marwan Barghouti. Barghouti, you may remember, is the Tanzim leader who was convicted of the murders of numerous Israelis during the second “intifada.”
At the same time, Abbas’ own PLO committee known as the Palestinian Authority issued this hilarious statement addressed to Obama:
“It is important for you to know Mr. President that there is nothing left that we can make concessions on. Don’t be partners with Netanyahu in order to put us in a corner, because the choices before us are limited and clear. Is this what you want? After twenty years of negotiations you have not been convinced that Israel isn’t interested in real peace, and the dream of peace is slowly fading away, and in its place pessimism is taking over, and the two-state solution is evaporating.”
Israel has done nothing for the last 20 years except make concession after concession for peace–all in the face of unrelenting Palestinian terrorism. The Palestinians have never made a single concession for peace–and they never will.
Hasn’t the time finally come for the Israeli government to finally tell the Americans, Europeans, United Nations, and everyone else “there is nothing left that we can make concessions on”?