Adar 14, 5777
March 12, 2017
The News on the Street in Israel
Chag Sameach! Happy Purim!!
The entire country celebrated Purim today with parades in such places as Holon (the country’s largest with 200,000 participating and in attendance), and Eilat. Here are two pictures. . . first from Holon (both pictures from YNET):
The celebration was disrupted by the news . . .
That our moderate, peace-loving Jordanian neighbors released Ahmed Daqamseh from prison.
As you may not remember, Ahmed Daqamseh is the Jordanian soldier who opened fire on a group of Israeli 7th and 8th grade schoolgirls on March 13, 1997, picking them off one by one. It was a vicious, barbaric, cold-blooded slaughter.
Seven girls were butchered: Sivan Fatihi, 13, of Tzelafon; Karen Cohen, 14, of Beit Shemesh; Ya’ala Me’iri, 13, of Beit Shemesh; Shiri Badayev, 14, of Beit Shemesh; Natali Alkalai, 13, of Beit Shemesh; Adi Malka, 13, of Beit Shemesh; Nirit Cohen, 13, of Beit Shemesh. He critically wounded six others.
It was one of the most traumatic events in Israeli history. Here’s the front page of Yedioth Aharonot that day; the headline reads: “The Murder of the Girls”:
So what happened when he was released today? There was celebrating throughout Jordan as this murderer returned to his hometown where he was embraced as a “hero.”
By the way, here is what Daqamseh said to an interviewer on Jordanian television today after his release: “Israelis are human excrement that must be removed from the Earth by burning or burying. We will accomplish this with the help of Allah.”
Once again, the true face of Jordan is revealed.
Here We Go Down the Rabbit Hole Again
Your humble servant had hoped that a new Administration in Washington would signal a new policy toward the Middle East. I hoped that the Obama era of arm-twisting and pressuring Israel into concession after concession to the Palestinians had at long last come to an end.
However, I noted before and after the election of President Trump that he is highly unpredictable, and on any given morning we might wake up and find the landscape changed to our detriment.
Is this such a morning?
Following Friday’s first ever phone call between Trump and PLO Chairman Mahmoud Abbas comes news that Trump is considering calling a Middle East Peace Conference, and that if fact, Trump has sent his advisor on Israel, Jason Greenblatt, here to begin talks between Israel and the Palestinians. Apparently, the peace conference would take place in Jordan, Egypt, or Saudi Arabia–but not in Israel.
We all know what that means.
A fact underscored by the statement from the White House following the phone call:
“The President emphasized his personal belief that peace is possible and that the time has come to make a deal. The President noted that such a deal would not only give Israelis and Palestinians the peace and security they deserve, but that it would reverberate positively throughout the region and the world. He underscored that such a peace agreement must be negotiated directly between the two parties.”
For his part, Abbas proudly issued a statement noting declaring that Trump said that “It is time we end the suffering which lasted for 70 years.”
How many times have been down this road before?
With disastrous results.
And where is PM Netanyahu in all of this mess?
Nowhere to be seen.
Netanyahu is so obsessed with Iran, that in return for Trump’s statements apparently re-elevating Iran to the top shelf of problems, he (Netanyahu) has:
*thrown the Jewish communities of Judea and Samaria under the bus by freezing all construction.
*thrown the idea of moving the Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem under the bus.
*thrown his own idea of not negotiating with the Palestinians until they accept a Jewish state of Israel under the bus.
*kowtowed to the idea of a Trump-led Middle East Peace Conference under horrible conditions.
Here we go down the rabbit hole again.