UPDATES 6 pm Israel time, Sunday, March 30 2014:
*After a 49 day closure, Egypt has reopened its Rafah Crossing into Gaza. The Crossing has been closed as the Egyptian government has waged war against the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas. In particular, the Egyptian Army has been attempting to destroy as many smuggling tunnels as possible under Rafah–tunnels which are the lifeblood of Hamas.
The opening of Crossing, however, is a limited one. The Egyptians will close it again Tuesday evening. Indefinitely.
*Ostensibly, because of the change to “summer time” in Israel this past weekend, the Jerusalem Police announced today new days and hours during which Jews can “visit” the Temple Mount–the holiest place in Judaism. Those days and hours are Sunday through Thursday from 7:30 am to 11:00 am and 1:30 pm to 2:30 pm.
Absurdly, no Jews will be permitted on the Temple Mount on Friday and Saturday nor will any Jew be permitted on the Temple Mount on any Muslim holiday.
As restricted as these new hours are, there is an incremental, 30 minute, change for the better. Last year at the same time, the closing time in the morning was 10:30 am.
PM Netanyahu is crowing this morning that he is refusing to go forward with the last release of Palestinian murderers until there is some “benefit” to Israel (what benefit has there ever been?). More than this, the Prime Minister’s office is patting Netanyahu on the back for convincing the “major players” in Europe and the U.S. that the Palestinians are responsible for derailing the “peace” process.
In short, to hear Netanyahu and his minions tell the story, Netanyahu has succeeded in outmaneuvering Abbas.
All your humble servant has to say is “Bravo Bibi–and so what?”
The Palestinians outmaneuvered Israel in the public relations game decades ago and now the fruits of that victory are becoming theirs.
When we see international institutions such as the bogus United Nations Human Rights Council voting 46-1 to condemn Israel on 4 resolutions, and 33-1 to condemn Israel on another one, we see just how far international opinion has tilted toward the Palestinians.
It is in this context that the implied American threat that “if the current talks fail, the U.S. cannot stop a Palestinian campaign to the United Nations” is an empty threat. The simple fact is that no one can stop the Palestinian parade at the United Nations.
The Palestinians can have anything they want. If the Palestinians want to roll back the borders to those published by the U.N. when Palestine was originally partitioned, the U.N. will vote with them. If they want to pass a resolution that Tel Aviv is an “occupied” city and that Jerusalem is the capital of Palestine, the U.N. will do it. If they want the United Nations to declare that the Western Wall is part of the Al-Aksa Mosque, the U.N. will do it.
The day that Abbas and the PLO decide that they have squeezed as many murderers out of Israeli prisons as possible they will head to the United Nations and the resolutions will begin to roll out of that farcical international body like clockwork.
That day is not far away.