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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

!Shana Tova u'Metuka שנה טובה ומתוקה!


My lunchtime activity Tuesday was to design this updated Rosh Hashanah graphic, using an obscure drawing tool that no graphic artist with any integrity would be caught dead using.

(And already on Wednesday I received a Rosh Hashana e-card - with this very picture I made, with my name carefully edited out!)

I wish all of you a happy and sweet New Year. May we all be written in the Book of Life, and enjoy a year of health, a year of prosperity, a year of joy, a year of peace, and a year of security.

I will not be posting until Saturday night or Sunday.

Al Qaeda upset at Ahmadinejad for 9/11 conspiracy theories (UPDATE: Onion video)

From Al Arabiya:
A statement by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in which he questioned the role of al-Qaeda in the September 11 attacks on the U.S. provoked the terrorist organization into issuing a statement in response asking the Iranian president to stop promoting conspiracy theories.

In a speech to the U.N. General Assembly, Ahmadinejad argued that al-Qaeda claiming responsibility for the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon was a bluff, aimed at manipulating people’s emotions. He also stressed that the attacks were pre-planned by the United States as a pretext to invade Afghanistan and Iraq.

In response, al-Qaeda issued a statement calling upon Ahmadinejad to stop making assumptions about 9/11 that are contrary to what really happened and to refrain from making a statement the group described as “ridiculous,” according to a report published on the ABC News website.

“Why would Iran ascribe to such a ridiculous belief that stands in the face of all logic and evidence?” the statement read.

According to the statement, which was published in al-Qaeda’s English-language magazine, Inspire, Ahmadinejad views al-Qaeda as Iran’s rival because the group has managed to gain the respect of Muslims for standing up to imperialism and the United States.

“Al-Qaeda succeeded in what Iran couldn’t. Therefore it was necessary for the Iranians to discredit 9/11, and what better way to do so than conspiracy theories.”
What's the world coming to when crazy jihadists and insane state sponsors of terrorism can't get along?

UPDATE: A couple of people mentioned an Onion spoof video that predicted this:



(h/t Michael M)

Saudi woman driver sentenced to flogging

From The Telegraph:
A Saudi woman has been sentenced to to 10 lashes for challenging a ban on women driving.

Amnesty International reported the sentence just two days after Saudi King Abdullah granted women the right to vote and run in municipal elections.

"Flogging is a cruel punishment in all circumstances but it beggars belief that the authorities in Saudi Arabia have imposed lashes on a woman apparently for merely driving a car", Philip Luther, an Amnesty regional deputy director, said in an emailed statement.

"Allowing women to vote in council elections is all well and good, but if they are still going to face being flogged for trying to exercise their right to freedom of movement, then the king's much trumpeted 'reforms' actually amount to very little," Mr Luther said.

Two other women are also believed to be facing charges related to driving, the Amnesty statement said.

Under Saudi Arabia's strict Islamic laws, women require a male guardian's permission to work, travel abroad or undergo certain types of surgery.

There is no law banning women from driving, but there is a law requiring citizens to use locally issued licences while in the country. Such licences are not issued to women, making it effectively illegal for them to drive.
It isn't that the Saudis are giving her lashes for driving - it is because she was driving without a license!

No doubt men would receive the same punishment. How dare the Islamophobic Western media imply that she was sentenced merely for driving!

Is Israel an apartheid state? (Dennis Prager video)

Nicely done:

(h/t jzaik)

UNRWA teachers strike in support of Hamas member

From Iran's PressTV, September 12:

Scores of UNRWA employees held a sit-in outside the headquarter of the largest international aid agency working in Gaza to protest what they described as arbitrary measures taken against their union leader.

Suheil al-Hindy, the head of UNRWA's workers union, was suspended without pay for three months because of his affiliation to the democratically-elected Hamas government.

A teachers' strike is scheduled for tomorrow in solidarity with al-Hindi, according to Palestine Press Agency. If that doesn't get al-Hindi reinstated, they plan to expand and extend the strike next week.

Al-Hindi openly praised suicide bombers at a UNRWA school in 2003. Instead of being fired then and there, he received a promotion and that is how he ended up becoming the union leader.


Terrorist logic on the anniversary of the 2nd Intifada

Today marks the eleventh anniversary of the start of the Oslo terror war against Israel from 2000.

Palestine Today is an Islamic Jihad newspaper that has two very different articles about this occasion. The first describes, to the uninitiated, how terrible the intifada was to ordinary Palestinian Arabs. Forgetting the inaccuracies in the descriptions, here is what they wrote:

Wednesday is the eleventh anniversary of the outbreak of Al-Aqsa Intifada 28.09.2000, which came after the storming of the former Prime Minister "Israeli" Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's of the courtyard of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, accompanied by his bodyguards, prompting crowds of worshipers to protest it.

The uprising marked the use of arms and the large number of martyrdom operations and martyra, killing 4412 Palestinians with 48,322 wounded. There were Israeli incursion to the West Bank and Gaza Strip most notably during 'Defensive Shield' and 'Summer Rain'.

This resulted in the liquidation of the uprising and the assassination of many Palestinian leaders, and the destruction of Palestinian infrastructure, the destruction of national institutions of power, and the seizure of large areas of the West Bank, in addition to the destruction of property of citizens, and the arrest of a very large number of Palestinians.

In 2002 Israel began building a wall of annexation and expansion of apartheid on the Palestinian territories, and in the end of 2006 it reached a length of 402 km, along a winding path.

The wall isolates more than 5 thousand Palestinians in the 'closed ' areas of between the Green Line and the wall, and the Israeli government claims that the purpose of the wall is to protect Israeli citizens from Palestinian attacks.

The agriculture and the economy sectors lost millions of dollars as a result of the confiscation of vast tracts of agricultural land and uprooting of thousands of fruit trees, in addition to besieged cities, which prevented the movement of goods and products between Palestinian cities.

Israel continues to impose a suffocating siege on the Gaza Strip, and practiced various forms of aggression against the people of the sector and most recently the war by the end of 2008.
To any sane observer, this description is one of abject failure, of how much the intifada hurt the Palestinian Arab people and how much further they are to a state than they were before they decided to start a terror war.

Yet the very next article praises this same terror war that caused so much suffering. It reproduces an Islamic Jihad press release on the occasion:
In memory of Al-Aqsa Intifada ... Confrontation and resistance for liberation and independence

...
We in Islamic Jihad. Taking this anniversary, we remember the eternal, we would like to underline the following: -

First, the intifada has proved vital, and our ability to cope, with regained the option of jihad and the resistance his presence, and the illusions of settlements being imposed on us to force us to surrender have fallen.

Second, the defeat of the Zionist colonial project the Western contingent on the continued and escalating resistance in Palestine and all the occupied part of the Islamic world, not the language of begging and negotiation, and adoption of this approach demonstrates the strength and vitality of this nation.

Third, it behooves us as Palestinians, to accelerate in the embodiment of national unity, in order to address the evil plots and schemes of Zionism, and we must summon up the energies and unite in preparation for the battle to liberate Palestine and Al-Aqsa.

Fourth: The achievement of the Renaissance sought in our nation is linked to its unity, and the elimination of dependency and normalization with the Zionist enemy, and therefore Palestine must remain the central Muslim issue, from Tangier until Jakarta, they turn and support for the resistance as a spearhead against the Zionist project.

In conclusion: a tribute to the souls of the martyrs who had their blood and fuel the confrontation and resistance, and a tribute to our wounded and our prisoners venerated heroes in the prisons of the Zionist oppression and injustice, and greeting to the masses of our people and rebellious masses of our nation on the path out of the system of tyranny and oppression.

How can one reconcile the two viewpoints? Did the intifada cause huge amounts of pain and suffering, or was it a great victory?

The answer is that the purpose of the terror war is not to help Palestinian Arabs. It is to hurt Israel. Israel would have been seen to benefit from a peace agreement and it would have forced Arabs to recognize Israel on a formal, paper level - something which is inconceivable to most Arabs. The intifada managed to kill over a thousand innocent Israeli civilians and it caused Israeli society to spent millions of man-hours on security issues, checkpoints, rocket shelters, guards and so forth.

It caused fear. That made the terrorists feel relevant. This is the "unity" that Islamic Jihad is mentioning - the Palestinian Arabs initially fully supported all the terror attacks and celebrated them.

Palestinian Arab pain and suffering is utterly irrelevant in the view of these terrorists. Arab blood is cheap, according to Islamic Jihad, and as long as it is used to make an Israeli Jew feel a bit of terror or to take extra precautions before entering a bus, it is all worth it.

This is why the intifada is considered a victory. And this is (another reason) why peace is simply not possible.


Vigilante Muslims attack pro-Jewish Muslim in St. Louis

From Nonie Darwish at FrontPage Magazine:

About a year ago, I posted an Arabic language poem titled “Tears at the Heart of the Holocaust” on my website, ArabsForIsrael.com. The poem expressed its Arab author’s love for the Jewish people and his mourning over what happened to them in the Holocaust. The brave poet, Mr. Alaa Alsaegh, is an immigrant to the US from Iraq, who now lives in Missouri. Such poems did not sit well with the Muslim community, which caused Mr. Alsaegh to be alienated from it. He received threats because of his support for the Jewish people, was called an infidel and a traitor to Islam, but he continued with his writing of poems and did not take the threats too seriously.

...[O]n August 14, 2011 and in broad daylight and heavy traffic, he was viciously attacked on the streets of St. Louis, Missouri. According to Mr. Alsaegh, as he was driving at 10:30 in the morning on Compton St. near Park Ave., a small white car cut him off and hit his car, while another car stopped behind him. The occupants of the cars, some of whom wore security guard-type uniforms, quickly entered Alsaegh’s car, pointing a gun at him. They pushed his upper body down against the steering wheel, stabbed him and pulled off his shirt to expose his back. Then, with a knife, they carved the Star of David on his back while laughing as they recited his pro-Jewish poem. Mr. Alsaegh believes that the attackers could be Somalis, but he was not sure. After the attackers fled the scene, Mr. Alsaegh was surrounded by witnesses to the crime and was taken to the hospital. The photo representing this story was taken at the hospital.

...This incident has been totally ignored by the mainstream media.
After this article was published, a St. Louis TV station finally covered the story, confirming the details:


Alsaegh's Facebook page is here; you might want to support him.

(h/t DJK)

Latma Rosh Hashanah greetings (video)



(h/t Yerushalimey)

Fatah site slams Obama's Rosh Hashanah message

Yesterday, President Obama released a generic Rosh Hashanah message:



Palestine Press Agency, which is oriented towards Fatah, reports the story fairly straight.

But here's how it illustrates the article, in a graphic that it proudly puts its own logo on:



Given that prompting, it is of course obvious that the talkbacks will have messages like this first one:

How it possible to stand this despicable person... Obama is the dog of dogs loyal to Israel's interests and who has long been racing to give them the loyalty and obedience; in the end, he is just a slave with their slaves, do not count on him, he has the most hatred for the Palestinians and Muslims, but the curse of God upon the sons of Zion and those who follow them.

Must see video: The photographer behind the scenes

An outstanding video that exposes the Pallywood that is created by photographers and their willing actor subjects:


Photojournalism Behind the Scenes [ITA-ENG subs] from Ruben Salvadori on Vimeo.


(h/t Caroline Glick via Lauri)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Most Israeli Arabs are "proud to be Israeli"

The Israel Democracy Index survey 2011, released their results a few days ago. One question they asked was intriguing:  How proud are you to be an Israeli?

Among Jews, the vast majority - nearly 88% - said they were either "very proud" or "quite proud" to be Israeli.

But the Arab response was positive as well. 52.8% said they were proud, as opposed to 41.6% who said they were not.

Nearly 64% of Israeli Arabs said they were "certain" they wanted to live in Israel for the long term, with another 18% saying they want to but are not certain.


Not all the news is good, though. In response to the statement "It is never justified to use violence to achieve political ends" over half the Arabs (55%) strongly or somewhat disagreed.




Tutu seems to change his mind on boycotting Israel (video, updated)

Desmond Tutu has been the patron saint of the BDS movement, always available to promote any boycott of Israel.

A video just released by the Is Rael students organization of their meeting with Desmond Tutu in Cape Town on August 8 seems to show that Tutu is saying the opposite, that "boycott is not the way." Not only that, but he says that Israel has the right to live as an "independent sovereign state, whose boundaries are secured and recognized."



The impression I get is not so much that he changed his mind but that he is senile and more interested in playing to his audience than in worrying about anything like consistency.

(h/t LK)

UPDATE: I am told that the full, unedited video makes it clear that Tutu did not speak out against boycotting Israel.

Arabs threatening America, 1948

The parallels between how Arabs are reacting to the US promise to veto the PLO statehood stunt and how they reacted to American support for a Jewish state in 1947-48 are remarkable.

Here's another example, where Arabs threaten economic sanctions against the US.

Note the final part, about how those undesirable Jews immigrating to the Middle East would become a permanent danger for peace from Turkey to East Africa.

That attitude has never really changed.




Gazans are still firing rockets at Israel

The Gaza NGO Safety Office (GANSO) has not updated their normal biweekly reports of rocket and other activity, but they do send out alerts when they find out about significant incidents that could affect the safety of NGO workers in Gaza.

And that includes Gaza rockets.

Even though there have been very few rockets reaching Israel in September, that doesn't mean that there weren't a lot more attempts: (HMR="Home Made Rockets")

MU, 06 SEP: Overnight Pal. ops fired 1 HMR from Gaza.

07 Sept, 1630hrs: Israeli media sources report 1 HMR fired from Gaza landed in Israeli territory.

MU, 08 SEP: Overnight Pal. ops. fired 2 HMR from MA

MU, 10 SEP: Overnight Pal. ops. fired 1 HMR from E of Al Maghazi, the rocket exploded prematurely.

MU, 11 SEP: Overnight Palestinian operatives fired 1 Grad rocket from west of Khan Yunis.

MU, 13 SEP: Overnight Palestinian operatives fired 1 HMR from east of Jabalia, NG

MU, 14 SEP: Overnight Pal. ops. fired 2 HMR from MA towards Israeli, 1 rocket exploded prematurely and the other one dropped short and landed in the Pal. terr.

MU, 17 SEP: Pal. ops. fired 1 HMR from E of Al Maghazi towards the Green line.

MU, 20 SEP: Overnight Pal. ops. fired 3 HMR from Gaza Strip. No injury or damage reported.

22 Sept, 1650hrs: Pal. ops. fired 1 HMR from Al Maghazi towards the green line, but the rocket dropped short and landed E of Al Maghazi, MA

MU, 24 SEP: Overnight Pal. ops. attempted to fire 1 HMR from N of Beit Lahiya, however the rocket exploded prematurely.

MU, 25 SEP: Overnight Pal. ops. fired 2 HMR rockets from Middle Area. One of the rockets exploded prematurely and landed in the Pal. terr.

MU, 26 SEP: Overnight Palestinian operatives fired 1 HMR from Deir Al Balah towards the Green line.
That's 17 Qassams and one Grad fired towards Israel, of which at least 6 and probably more landed in Gaza itself or exploded prematurely.

But it isn't like the terrorists ever stopped firing rockets towards Israeli civilians.

Funny Numbers part 2: Fatah member doubles number of PalArabs

This video from MEMRI is notable for a couple of reasons:



For one thing, it is just another indication of how ticked off the Palestinian Arabs were from Obama's UN speech.

But more interestingly is the astonishing ease by which Jibril Rajoub lies about the number of Palestinian Arabs there are.

He claims that there are 18 million PalArabs, of whom some 8 million live in Israel and the territories and the other 10 million in "refugee camps."

In reality, even the most generous (and questionable) statistics say there are 11 million Arabs of Palestinian  descent worldwide.

2.5 million are in the West Bank and 1.5 million in Gaza according to Palestinian Arab estimates. Some 1.5 million live in Israel, which adds up to 6 million - 2 million less than Rajoub claims.

But his "diaspora" numbers are really out of whack - he doubles that number.

Even more ridiculous, he claims that all of the PalArabs outside "Palestine" are in "refugee" camps, when in fact only a small percentage - about one million - are in camps, according to UNRWA.

We've seen Palestinian Arabs make stuff up before. And why shouldn't they? No one really challenges them.

(h/t Dan)


Funny Numbers: Avaaz cooks the books

In the run up to the Palestinian Arab UN stunt, an organization called Avaaz.org was all over the social media trying to get people to sign a petition in favor of statehood.

They claim to have over 1.1 million signatures on their petition. There is no way to verify that number because they do not seem to list the signers.

But they also claim that over a million people viewed their webpage calling for signatures. They even have a counter on the page that seems to increment every time someone views it.

Now, every time the page is loaded, a propaganda video is automatically played. That video is on YouTube.

And, according to YouTube, that video has been seen less than 35,000 times!

Which means that they are inflating the number of pageviews by a factor of 30!

Others have noticed this "astroturfing" by Avaaz as well, see this Jerusalem Post blog entry by Dr. Andre Oboler and the coverage by CiFWatch.

Gaza tourism trade worth $40 million in 2010

Palestine Today reports that the Minister of Tourism in Gaza, Dr. Mohammed Agha, said that there was a remarkable demand for tourism over the past two years.

Domestic tourism in 2010 reached $40 million in revenue.

This is all, he says, despite Israel's strenuous attempts to destroy Gaza's tourism industry.

I wonder why the Middle East Children's Alliance didn't display any drawings by Gaza children of them playing in water parks?

Egypt kills three Gazans. No one cares.

From Ma'an:
Three Palestinians were pronounced dead on Tuesday morning after Egyptian authorities pumped sewage inside a smuggling tunnel under the Gaza border on Sunday.

The ambulance and emergency services committee in Gaza said the three victims were found alive inside the tunnel. They were evacuated to the Abu Yousef an-Najjar Hospital in Rafah but were pronounced dead 30 minutes after arrival.
Nothing on this story in Egyptian newspapers Al Masry al Youm or in Al Ahram.

I cannot find any calls for apology or expressions of outrage against Egypt in the Palestinian Arabic media.

Jerusalem Arabs still prefer Israel to "Palestine" (updated)

From Ha'aretz:
A new opinion poll shows that despite hardships, Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem are relatively satisfied with their lives under Israeli rule. The survey, implemented by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy in cooperation with Princeton University and the Beit Sahur-based Palestinian Center for Public Opinion, found that almost half of East Jerusalem Palestinian respondents said they prefered to remain under Israeli sovereignty.

Only 23 percent of respondents said they would definitely prefer Palestinian citizenship to Israeli citizenship.

Among the reasons respondents cited for wanting to remain under Israeli sovereignty were relative freedom of movement, relatively higher income, employment opportunities and social rights.
Apparently, these Arabs are not impressed with World Bank reports praising how well-positioned "Palestine" is to become a state.

(h/t Anne)

UPDATE: More details here:


A comparison of results from last November shows a significant improvement in perceptions of other issues.
For example, a majority (57 percent) are now satisfied with their standard of living, up from 44 percent in November. And just 43 percent now say they are dissatisfied on the issue of obtaining building permits -- down greatly from around 70 percent in the previous survey. Similarly, only 16 percent now report dissatisfaction with Jerusalem municipal officials, a significant improvement compared to 35 percent in November.
(h/t Yoel)

Those wily Israelis, supporting both sides of Syrian civil war

If you are an Arab and want to discredit your opponent, accuse them of collaborating with Israel.

We've seen it between Hamas and Fatah, and now we are seeing it between Syria and its opposition.

A couple of days ago a Lebanese newspaper wrote that Israel is working behind the scenes to keep Bashir Assad in power - over the objections of the French.

But today the Syrian government news agency writes that they found Israeli weapons in Homs!

It sounds like the entire Arab world is Zionist, if you ask the right people....

(Then again, some anti-Israel Jews like to accuse Arabs of being "collaborators" as well.)

(h/t Yoel)


Erdogan on CNN: Israel killed "hundreds of thousands of Palestinians"

From the transcript of Fareed Zakaria's interview with Tayyip Erdogan on CNN, Sunday:

They say that Palestine is bombing and disturbing the people of Israel, and many Israelis have been killed.

I'm very clear in my remarks. I would like to see accurate statistics of how many Israelis have been killed by the bombs thrown by Palestinians or with the rockets that were launched by them, 10, 20, 100, 200, how many? Please document it. Let us know.

But on the other hand, we know that hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were killed. Only as a result of the Gaza attack, thousands of people were killed. These are very clear remarks. The Israeli people are only resorting back to the issue of genocide in history.

...How do you think Palestine is capable of killing as many Israeli people as claimed? Let's stop deceiving each other because the human race will no longer be deceived. Everybody knows what Israel is about.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Palestinian Arab opposition to partition, 1947

The entire Arab world reacted angrily at the concept of partition of Palestine, which was gaining currency in 1946 and early 1947. But the Palestinian Arabs themselves did not make any official statement about it until late January.

Here, we can see the arguments used against partition by Jamal eff. Husseini, the PalArab delegate to the Anglo-Arab Conference on Palestine:


Another Palestinian Arab leader, who was exiled after his role in the 1936-39 Arab terror spree, used a somewhat different argument - that partition would be bad for the Jews as well:


This bizarre logic was refuted in October, when the Arabs of Palestine threatened to strike yet again against the concept of partition. This op-ed explains how that threat was the best proof for the necessity of a Jewish state: It is also a nice summary of the Jewish position on settling the land.


There is a lot to learn by looking at history.

Surprise! Al Jazeera reporter was a Hamas member


From JPost:
Samer Allawi, Al Jazeera’s former Afghanistan bureau chief, reached a deal with the Israel State state prosecutors office on Sunday under which he will receive a suspended sentence of three years after he confessed to conspiring in Hamas operations.

Allawi, a Palestinian, was arrested in August on the border between the West Bank and Jordan at The Allenby Crossing.

During an investigation with The Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) Allawi said he was recruited to Hamas in 1993 and he served there until 2004 in a senior committee that oversees Hamas operations abroad and is responsible for fundraising.

In 2001 and 2003 he traveled to Syria where he reported on his activities to Mousa Aba Marzook, deputy to Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal in Damascus.

Aba Marzook offered Allawi to become an official Hamas representative in Iran, but he rejected the offer.

During the interrogation with The Shin Bet, Allawi said he attended a meeting in 2000 in Saudi Arabia in which he said he would be part of a terror operation on behalf of Hamas. He also offered to use his position as a reporter to promote Hamas interests.

In 2006, Allawi traveled to Qatar and met with additional Al Jazeera reporters, who The Shin Bet said were Hamas operatives, and discussed the possibility of using their position to advance Hamas by critizing the US military in Afghanistan.

During his interrogation, The Shin Bet said he also discussed his activities as a member of the Mujahideen in Afghanistan from 1988 till 1992 during which he said that he participated in a rebel raid on an Afghan military base and participated in guerrilla operations against Soviet forces.
Al Jazeera was indignant over his detention - but they never denied that he was a member of Hamas.

And for some reason I don't think they'll be too upset that he offered to use his position at AJ to promote Hamas.

One of the released Iranian hostages is Jewish

From The Jewish Exponent:
By now, the whole world knows the name and face of Joshua Fattal, the 29-year-old Elkins Park native who spent 26 months in an Iranian prison before being reunited with his family last week in Oman and arriving back on U.S. soil on Sunday.

But one aspect of the story that has largely gone unreported is the fact that Fattal is Jewish.

Josh's father, Jacob Fattal, was born in Iraq and moved to Israel before ultimately settling in the United States. Josh Fattal became a Bar Mitzvah at Rodeph Shalom's suburban campus. He traveled to Israel several times, the last time just before meeting up with his friends in Syria and going on to Iraqi Kurdistan, where they crossed the border to Iran and were arrested.

It's no accident that the Jewish side of the story has largely been kept under wraps, according to family friend Brian Gralnick and others familiar with the situation.

And it doesn't take much imagination to guess the reasons why: The Iranian government is virulently anti-Israel and has a history of charging Jews with spying for Israel.

While it stands to reason that Fattal's captors knew his religion or learned it during interrogations, his family did not want to take any chances and risk having information get out into the public sphere that could endanger their son even further.

And, since the families of the three captives worked so closely together, forming a united front, the idea was to keep the focus on three American citizens who were wrongly imprisoned, rather than single out one because of his Jewishness.

So, despite the fact that Laura Fattal appear frequently in the media as she and the other families waged a public campaign for their children's release, she and other family members declined to be interviewed by the Jewish Exponent. The family also rejected offers of several Jewish organizations to intervene.

Al Qaeda in Yemen cuts off a boy's hand

From the Yemen Post:

According to residents in the southern Yemeni province of Abyan, alleged al-Qaeda militants would have severed the hands of 2 people, including that of a 15-year old boy. [I don't know why it says "would," from the article and others it is clear that they did. - EoZ]

Eyewitnesses told the press that they were summoned to the execution, forced to watch while the Islamists cut off the hands of the accused, using a sword.

They later on paraded around the town with the amputated limb, warning that theft would not be tolerated under al-Qaeda's rule.

The 2 men had been apparently found guilty of stealing electric cables in Jaar, one of the towns "Ansar al Sharia" group seized a few months back.
How dare anyone criticize someone's religion!

(This story was picked up by AFP but got very little coverage.)

Hamas reiterates it wants Israel destroyed.

Hamas' leader Ismail Haniyeh made another widely reported speech in Gaza today explaining in very precise terms what Hamas' position is on the PLO bid for statehood.

He said that Hamas supports the establishment of a Palestinian Arab state, under two conditions: Never recognize Israel and never concede a single inch of "Palestine."

Haniyeh also bristled at the suggestion that Hamas and the US had anything in common in opposing the PLO bid at the UN. He said American didn't want the PLO to go to the UN in order to extract more concessions, while Hamas was against it because it implied that they were giving too many concessions.

He stressed that Hamas wants "liberation first and then the state," saying that a state is not created by UN resolutions or compromises but by "steadfastness and resistance."

He added that he was always interested in unity with the PLO.

Less widely reported was that he made this speech in front of a group of Islamic scholars, stressing how important their role is in the future "Palestine" he envisions.

He also praised Nizar Rayan. Rayan was the spiritual authority of Hamas and liaison between its "political" and "military" wings who strongly supported suicide bombing and who was killed in the Gaza war when he refused to leave his home and save his wife and kids after Israel warned him they were going to bomb.

Despite the crystal clear message, you can bet that in the coming year some credulous Western reporter will say that Hamas is pragmatic and willing to accept Israel's existence, if only implicitly, because of some artfully ambiguous statements Hamas will make in English.

Fact checking the detractors of the fact checkers of Abbas


AP issued a "fact check" of Abbas' speech on Friday.

Roi Maor of +972 magazine pretends to demolish AP's arguments, using his own bizarre definitions of "facts."

It is too tedious to list each of the three texts here, but if you are interested, follow the links. Here is my response on the 972mag site::



Abbas was wrong that the Pals live "under the only occupation in the world." Maor changes the definition in order to argue, but in fact there are quite a few. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_military_occupations

Abbas didn't use the term "prisoners of conscience" but "political prisoners." Some are indeed political, some are terrorists. Both AP and Maor are wrong here.

Abbas said that Palestine is the Holy Land and specifically mentioned the (purported) Muslim and Christian history there, deliberately excluding the older and uncontested Jewish ties to the land. it was obviously not an oversight. AP is correct, Maor is wrong.

AP is accurate in saying that the Palestinians rejected two peace offers. Maor doesn't prove otherwise, merely claiming it is "inaccurate."

AP accurately notes that the conflict predates settlements. Maor ignores this.

So while AP wasn't perfect, Maor is being quite deceptive in his tendentious argument against it.

Saudis give women the right to vote, run for office

Good news:
Saudi King Abdullah announced on Sunday he was giving women the right to vote and run in municipal elections, the only public polls in the ultra-conservative Gulf kingdom.

He also announced that women would have the right to join the all-appointed Shura (consultative) Council, in an In a five-minute speech opening a new term of the council.

“Because we refuse to marginalize women in society in all roles that comply with sharia, we have decided, after deliberation with our senior ulama (clerics) and others... to involve women in the Shura Council as members, starting from the next term,” he said in a speech delivered to the advisory body.

“Women will be able to run as candidates in the municipal election and will even have a right to vote.”

Women’s rights are regarded as a litmus test for the government’s appetite for social and political reform. Saudi Arabia adheres to a strict version of Islamic law that enforces the segregation of the sexes.

“This is great news,” said Wajeha al-Huwaider, a Saudi writer and women’s rights activist, according to Reuters. “Women’s voices will finally be heard.”

“Now it is time to remove other barriers like not allowing women to drive cars and not being able to function, to live a normal life without male guardians.”

The king did not address the issue of women being allowed to drive. Although there is no written law against women driving, they are not issued licenses, effectively banning the practice.

Women in Saudi Arabia must also have written approval from a male guardian – a father, husband, brother or son – to leave the country, work or even undergo certain medical operations.
There is a long way to go, but this is a very welcome step in the right direction.

Palestinian Arab intellectuals are all against Abbas

Even though Mahmoud Abbas has achieved more popularity than he ever had before in the wake of his vitriolic speech against Israel at the UN, it is hard to ignore that it is difficult to find any Palestinian Arab columnists who support his UN move.

And their objections to him are, invariably, that he is not being intransigent enough.

The themes that they hammer on are pretty consistent: Abbas is giving up on asserting the "rights" of taking over Israel. He is only insisting on "22% of historic Palestine." He is giving up on the option of violent resistance. He is not representing all Palestinian Arabs. His political party is corrupt.

For these people, and the leftist friends they have made, nothing is satisfactory short of the destruction of Israel. Only that would bring the "justice" they claim to crave so much - at the expense of the people they are pretending to help. (By and large, these "intellectuals" live in Western countries)

The Western media ignores the extreme anti-Israel sentiments of these mostly Western-educated commentators. The press will characterize those opposed to Abbas' supposed moderation as Islamists and wild-eyed fanatics, but never will the media notice the people who wear suits and teach in Columbia and Oxford whose views are just as intolerant and bigoted as those of the terrorists. Just read Electronic Intifada or Palestine Telegraph, for example.

So even if, by some miracle, Abbas wakes up and realizes that the only way his people can prosper is by negotiating and compromising with Israel, he will have zero support from the influential Arab intellectuals in the media and academia. Even if there is a peace agreement, there will always be a steady drumbeat for war (in the name of, as always, "human rights" and "justice.")

And as we have seen in Egypt and Turkey, paper agreements can disappear in an instant. All it takes is a single excuse, real or imagined.

Which means that the best possible scenario for peace is still pretty dismal.

Morning links

Mudar Zahran on the real reasons Abbas went to the UN:
Today Abbas is an illegitimate "president," who has overstayed his term two years by refusing to hold free elections; unable to enforce his government's authority on the Gaza Strip, or even to return to his own house there which was seized by Hamas when it took over the Gaza Strip in 2005, forcing out Abbas's Palestinian Leadership Organization [PLO] in a matter of days. Hamas has since consolidated its rule over the Gaza strip, with no sign of Abbas and his fellow PLO leaders being able to restore their authority there. Hamas has consistently shown carelessness, to say the least, toward any "reconciliation" with Abbas, and has not offered any concessions whatever in that regard....[But] At the UN, Abbas was the Palestinians' hero. He was speaking their woes and representing their worries to the world. It did not mater to the average Palestinian that Abbas and other PA officials were living richly while Palestinians suffered; it did not matter that Abbas's political opponents were still being held in Palestinian jails merely for disliking Abbas; nor did it matter that Abbas -- who was requesting for a Palestinian state— was and still is a Jordanian citizen. Abbas seems to have been forgiven by his people for all his sins simply because he invested in an emotionally-charged up speech.

Elliott Abrams at NRO: Abbas strikes out.
The rapturous applause that greeted Mahmoud Abbas, appearing before the U.N. General Assembly in his role as chairman of the PLO, was deceiving. The collection of states that swooned when he mentioned Yasser Arafat’s 1974 appearance in the same hall will never give him a state — nor even the foreign-aid money to pay his delegation’s hotel bills.

His statehood project depends on Israel and the United States, and to a lesser extent on the Europeans (and a bit of Gulf Arab financing). His U.N. gambit has annoyed or offended all of those parties.
GIYUS: Is there still hope for peace?

The UN is a massive joke by David Akin at the Toronto Sun

CAMERA: LA Times remakes Ben-Hur into a "Palestinian nobleman"

Naharnet reports "Israeli Commandos Helped Hizbullah ‘Minister of Infrastructure’ Escape Lebanon"

Anti-Semitism: the real issue that dare not speak its name at The Australian

Arutz-7: The gun of Asher Palmer - the man who was killed with his son when their car was hit by rocks by Palestinian Arab terrorists - was missing from its holster.

"Death to Jews" in Paris Muslim march.

Point of No Return looks at the Moroccan Holocaust conference

And then there is this beautiful graphic at MidEast Truth:


(h/t Yerushalimey, jzaik, Yoel)

Report behind the scenes of Abbas/Obama meeting

Palestine Press Agency quotes a source who says what happened behind the scenes during the meeting between President Obama and Mahmoud Abbas last Thursday.

According to the source, Obama told Abbas that if a drop of American blood is shed as a result of a US veto, he would hold Abbas personally responsible. Abbas answered that it is up to God.

In response, Abbas threatened to dissolve the PA and leave the international community in charge of the fate of the Palestinian Arabs.

The same source says that a number of Arab countries also tried to convince Abbas not to go forward with the bid, including Morocco, Jordan and the UAE.

The report goes on to say that Abbas conferred with the PLO leadership at the last minute to see if they wanted him to postpone the bid, but he was convinced by the enthusiasm of the crowds at the rallies (that his government engineered to begin with!)

The source also said that Abbas is trying to distance the US from any role in future negotiations.

Fake Gaza "children's art" hypocrites bar Zionists from show

Here is how the "Middle East Children's Alliance" - the rabidly anti-Israel organization whose Gaza director supports terrorism - characterized the decision by the Oakland Museum of Children's Art to not allow their anti-Israel propaganda from being shown:



This is the sign posted outside the storefront where the questionable "Child's View from Gaza" exhibit was being shown this weekend.



The people who loudly complained that their propaganda was being "censored" by the Oakland Museum of Children's Art - the people who believe that all children and parents visiting the museum must be subjected to their probably faked anti-Israel propaganda allegedly drawn by Gaza children whether they like it or not - refuse entry to certain types of people they don't deem worthy.

Here's the video of them refusing to allow a Zionist to enter:


Censorship!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

For the 10,000th time, Hamas confirms its dedication to jihad

Every once in a while some credulous Western journalist, or politician, or UN special rapporteur, breathlessly reports that they spoke to a Hamas leader who assured them that the group is ready to offer a cease fire/accept a two-state solution/name your wishful thinking here.

The funny thing is that it takes no effort whatsoever to read Hamas' own views on the matter.

From the Al Qassam website:

The Hamas Islamic Resistance Movement says that it can not abandon the path of jihad and resistance and its dedication to the martyrs with their blood and their sacrifice.

Mr. al-Masri expressed the keenness of his movement this evening during a speech organized by the Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, in the Jihad Abu Shahid mosque in the Sawyerh Zawaida village in the central Gaza Strip, on the eighth anniversary of the martyrdom of leader Abu Jihad Qassam Sawyerh.

The deputy Palestinian Legislative Council member said that the continuation of the Zionist siege is a form of the conspiracies being hatched against the Palestinian people to undermine their dignity and freedom.
Really hard to misinterpret this.

Elder poster sighting in Trafalgar Square

From Point of No Return blog:

In the week of the UN's Durban 3 charade, Harif, the UK Association of Jews from Middle East and North Africa, held its first ever protest rally on behalf of the forgotten refugees of the Middle East and the wider Muslim world. It was a good-natured affair, as 100 or so demonstrators in London's Trafalgar Square drew attention to the UN's hypocrisy.
Detail of one of the photo with my posters

The demonstrators held balloons, distributed sweets and carried placards pointing out that the Durban III conference against racism was 'no joke for oppressed minorities'. They drew attention to the ethnic cleansing of the indigenous Jews of the Middle East - down to 4,000 in Arab countries from a 1948 figure of almost one million. The UN and international community has ignored them, preferring to pass resolution after resolution on Palestinian refugees, and condemn that beacon of democracy and pluralism - Israel.

The mood was cheerful in September sunshine, with bystanders stopping to express interest or sympathy, and only a few confrontations. Kurds turned up to show solidarity, and the human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell sent a message of support.

(h/t Lyn)

"Irvine 10" guilty

From JTA:
A California jury found 10 Muslim students guilty of misdemeanors for disrupting a 2010 campus speech by Israel's ambassador to the United States.

In an incident that drew national attention, 11 Muslim students stood one by one and interrupted a February 2010 speech by Ambassador Michael Oren at the University of California, Irvine. Oren twice walked off the stage as students shouted "mass murderer!" and "war criminal!" before they were hauled out of the room by campus police. A planned Q&A session after the address was dropped.

The Orange County jury on Aug. 23 found 10 of the students guilty of two misdemeanor charges for conspiring to disrupt and then disrupting the speech. Charges against an eleventh student were dropped last month.

The 10 students were sentenced by Superior Court Judge Peter Wilson to 56 hours of community service and three years of probation, though the probation will be reduced to one year if the defendants complete their community service by Jan. 31 of next year.

According to The Orange County Register, Wilson said that jail time was not warranted because the students were "motivated by their beliefs and did not disrupt for the sake of disrupting."

The Muslim Student Union at UC Irvine, which organized the heckling, was suspended for a year by the school for violating its code of conduct, but four months later the suspension was changed to probation on appeal.
The Volokh Conspiracy discusses the case:
The relevant statute, Cal. Penal Code § 403, says: “Every person who, without authority of law, willfully disturbs or breaks up any assembly or meeting that is not unlawful in its character ... is guilty of a misdemeanor.” In re Kay (1970) held that, to be convicted under the statute, the prosecution must show “that the defendant [1] substantially impaired the conduct of the meeting by intentionally committing acts [2] in violation of implicit customs or usages or of explicit rules for governance of the meeting, of which he knew, or as a reasonable man should have known,” and [3] “the defendant’s activity itself — and not the content of the activity’s expression — substantially impairs the effective conduct of a meeting.”
Legal nerds or nerd wannabes can read more there.

(h/t Yair)

Tens of thousands of Copts fleeing Egypt

From Al Masry al Youm:
Nearly 93,000 Coptic Christians have left Egypt since 19 March, a report by an Egypt-based Coptic NGO has said.

The number may increase to 250,000 by the end of 2011, according to Naguib Gabriel, the head of the Egyptian Federation of Human Rights, which released the report.

The current trend of Coptic immigration endangers the structure of Egypt's population, Gabriel told Al-Masry Al-Youm on Sunday. He urged the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) and the Egyptian cabinet to work on curbing the phenomenon.

Gabriel based the data stated in the report on information from Coptic churches and communities abroad.

"Nearly 16,000 migrated to California, while 10,000 moved to New Jersey, 8000 to New York, and 8000 to other American states," according to Gabriel. "Around 14,000 left to Australia, 17,000 to Canada, and 20,000 settled in the Netherlands, Italy, England, Austria, Germany and France."

Gabriel attributed the Coptic emigration to hardline Salafi groups seeking to apply Islamic law, deny Copts senior government posts, and reduce incoming tourism. He also blamed attacks on Coptic churches and the government's failure to bring attackers to justice.
The smell of Arab spring seems more like poison to religious minorities.

Egypt allows 664 Palestinian Arabs to become citizens

For the second time in the past two months, Egypt is allowing some 600 Arabs who have Egyptian mothers and Palestinian Arab fathers to become citizens of Egypt, implementing at 2006 court ruling.

As I wrote in August:

Tens of thousands of Gazans have applied for Egyptian citizenship, some paying huge sums to lawyers to help make their case.

In 1959, the Arab League resolution 1547 confirmed earlier resolutions calling on Arab countries to treat Palestinian Arabs well - but recommends that they "retain their Palestinian nationality." Meaning, that Palestinian Arabs should not obtain citizenship in their host countries.

Every time a loophole has emerged in various countries allowing Palestinian Arabs to become citizens, they eagerly flock to take advantage of it.

Yet the world human rights community is silent - or, in the case of Human Rights Watchcomplicit - in this gross violation of not only the human rights of Palestinian Arabs, but of their very will to become naturalized in the countries in which they were born.

It is very simple. Palestinian Arabs have shown time and time again that they want to be citizens of their host countries. Their right to a nationality is being categorically denied. But the UN, HRW and other NGOs, instead of fighting for them, are parroting the lies of their so-called leaders that they prefer to remain stateless and part of the "Palestinian nation."

The human rights of millions of people are being systematically denied, and no one is standing up for them. Not only that, but the worst offenders are the very people who claim to be acting on their behalf!

Oakland museum had agreed to show fake "Gaza kids art" anyway

Two weeks ago I reported the controversy at an Oakland children's museum where an art exhibit that was allegedly made by Gaza children was dropped after complaints. The anti-Israel (and pro-terror) activists who were behind the show vowed to show the drawings anyway outside the museum.

As I noted, a number of art experts (also see the comments) flatly said that there was no way that some of these drawings were made by children. Moreover, I noted that it is strange that the names of the alleged artists were not mentioned, nor were these pictures signed - something every child does with drawings they make.

As far as I know, no one from the museum has established the provenance of the artwork, as any museum would be expected to do with any art.

It now appears that the museum tried to cave to the anti-Israel activists.

From NPR:

The chair of the MOCHA Board of Directors, Hilman Sorey, did issue a statement saying: Parents, caregivers and educators did not wish for their children to encounter graphically violent and sensitive works during their use of our facility. And Sorey said the decision to cancel the Palestinian kids' art exhibit was not a judgment of the art itself or related to any political opinions.

But Late Friday another board member, Randolph Belle, issued a more conciliatory statement, saying the museum would work with the sponsors of the Palestinian kids' art exhibit to re-schedule the show.
I know that people wrote to MOCHA about the questionable source of these drawings. Apparently, the museum was ignoring it.

Anyway, the activists turned the museum down, saying they found their own space to show their anti-Israel propaganda:
The Alliance's executive director, Barbara Lubin, said she received a call Friday afternoon from a museum representative asking to meet with her group to discuss rescheduling the exhibit.

"I just laughed," she said. "I said, 'You must be crazy; we have spent the last three weeks looking for a place to display (the artwork.) ... I can't believe you have the chutzpah (audacity) to call me at this late date.' I have just signed a lease on a space for (an exhibit) for the next two months."

The museum's interim executive director, Masako Kalbach, was sympathetic to the views of museum critics.

"We do understand their feelings about our offer of being too late," she said. "We would really like to talk to them."

...Late Friday, museum board member Randolph Belle issued a statement.

"When we canceled the exhibit 'A Child's View from Gaza' earlier this month, we did so both because we lacked a formal policy for sensitive content, and because we were not confident that we had the resources to deal with the numerous concerns we received regarding the exhibit. In response to input from the community and careful consideration by our board of directors and staff, the Museum of Children's Art has developed a new policy governing the exhibition of items with sensitive content," the statement said.

Belle's statement said the Middle East Children's Alliance has been invited to reschedule the exhibit in keeping with the new policy.

Lubin said she had not seen Belle's statement Saturday.

She is traveling to Gaza next month to collect new artwork from the children based on how they feel about having their exhibit banned from the museum.

Lubin said she will consider working with the museum to show this set of artwork as long as they do not censor the show.
(h/t Samson)

Fatah official describes the PLO's real goals

From MEMRI:



Following are excerpts from an interview with Abbas Zaki, member of the Fatah Central Committee, which aired on the Al-Jazeera network on September 23, 2011.

Abbas Zaki: The settlement should be based upon the borders of June 4, 1967. When we say that the settlement should be based upon these borders, President [Abbas] understands, we understand, and everybody knows that the greater goal cannot be accomplished in one go.

If Israel withdraws from Jerusalem, evacuates the 650,000 settlers, and dismantles the wall – what will become of Israel? It will come to an end.

[...]

Who is nervous, upset, and angry now? Netanyahu, Lieberman, and Obama... All those scumbags. Why even get into this? We should be happy to see Israel upset.

[...]

If we say that we want to wipe Israel out... C'mon, it's too difficult. It's not [acceptable] policy to say so. Don't say these things to the world. Keep it to yourself.

I want the resolutions that everybody agrees upon. I say to the world, to the Quartet, and to America: You promised, and you turned out to be liars.

The PLO's Phased Plan is in full swing.

(h/t hakunamatata)

Palestinian Arabs slam Quartet; accuse Blair of Jewish connections

YNet reports:

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which was the focal point of the 66th UN General Assembly in New York, saw more than just the historic bid for Palestinian statehood and impassioned speeches, but also the near-disassembling of the Mideast Quartet, Ynet learned on Saturday.

The Quartet of Middle East mediators, which is made up of the he United States, Russia, the European Union and the UN, worked frantically throughout Thursday and Friday to put together a blueprint which would facilitate the resumption of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, but their efforts nearly brought about the forum's end, with Russia facing off against the United States over the Quartet's draft.

The Russians vetoed Israel's demand for Palestinian recognition of the Jewish state as a prerequisite for the talks, which led to the dismissal of the Palestinian prerequisite demand for the negotiations to be based on the 1967 lines.

After what was described as "harsh, discordant tones" exchanged between the Russians and their Quartet colleagues – which were accompanied by concerns that the former would be excluded from the final Quartet statement – a draft was finally completed.
Here is the full Quartet statement:
The Quartet takes note of the application submitted by President Abbas on 23rd September 2011 which is now before the Security Council.

The Quartet reaffirmed its statement of 20th May 2011, including its strong support for the vision of Israeli-Palestinian peace outlined by United States President Barack Obama.

The Quartet recalled its previous statements, and affirmed its determination to actively and vigorously seek a comprehensive resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict, on the basis of UN Security Council Resolutions 242, 338, 1397, 1515, 1850, the Madrid principles including land for peace, the Roadmap, and the agreements previously reached between the parties.

The Quartet reiterated its commitment to a just, lasting and comprehensive peace in the Middle East and to seek a comprehensive resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict, and reaffirms the importance of the Arab Peace Initiative.

The Quartet reiterated its urgent appeal to the parties to overcome the current obstacles and resume direct bilateral Israeli -Palestinian negotiations without delay or preconditions. But it accepts that meeting, in itself, will not re-establish the trust necessary for such a negotiation to succeed. It therefore proposes the following steps:

1. Within a month there will be a preparatory meeting between the parties to agree an agenda and method of proceeding in the negotiation.

2. At that meeting there will be a commitment by both sides that the objective of any negotiation is to reach an agreement within a timeframe agreed to by the parties but not longer than the end of 2012. The Quartet expects the parties to come forward with comprehensive proposals within three months on territory and security, and to have made substantial progress within six months. To that end, the Quartet will convene an international conference in Moscow, in consultation with the parties, at the appropriate time.

3. There will be a Donors Conference at which the international community will give full and sustained support to the Palestinian Authority state-building actions developed by Prime Minister Fayyad under the leadership of President Abbas.

4. The Quartet recognizes the achievements of the Palestinian Authority in preparing institutions for statehood as evidenced in reports to the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee, and stresses the need to preserve and build on them. In this regard, the members of the Quartet will consult to identify additional steps they can actively support towards Palestinian statehood individually and together, to secure in accordance with existing procedures significantly greater independence and sovereignty for the Palestinian Authority over its affairs.

5. The Quartet calls upon the parties to refrain from provocative actions if negotiations are to be effective. The Quartet reiterated the obligations of both parties under the Roadmap.

6. The Quartet committed to remain actively involved and to encourage and review progress. The Quartet agreed to meet regularly and to task the envoys and the Quartet Representative to intensify their cooperation, including by meeting prior to the parties’ preparatory meeting, and to formulate recommendations for Quartet action.
As Xinhua reports:
The Palestinians on Saturday slammed the statement issued by the International Quartet Committee for peace in the Middle East Friday night, which called for the unconditioned resumption of the direct peace talks between Palestinians and Israel.

The Quartet, that compresses the United States, the United Nations, the European Union and Russia, called on Israel and the Palestinians to resume the stalled peace talks between the two sides within one month, in order to reach a final peace agreement by the end of 2012, saying that "the two sides should abandon obstructions and resume bilateral talks unconditionally."

Ahmed Majdalani, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) official told Xinhua via telephone on Saturday that the Palestinian leadership "criticized the statement because it neglected the Palestinian demands of halting Jewish settlement activities in the West Bank and east Jerusalem."

"The Palestinian leadership would review the statement to respond," Majdalani said, adding "but we can say that we have many reservations because it doesn't meet the Palestinian demands."

The PLO official also criticized the statement because it didn' t include the conditions of getting back to the negotiations while talking about a time table.
Palestine Press Agency, a Fatah mouthpiece, reports that the Palestinian Arab leadership is so upset that they are suggesting boycotting Tony Blair altogether, accusing him of corruption and taking bribes from Jewish businessmen while in office. (The illustration here comes from that article.)

Palestinian sources revealed to'Palestine Press News Agency' that voices in the leadership of the National Authority strongly call for a boycott of Tony Blair, Quartet Representative in the Middle East.

These voices accuse Blair of political corruption and the lack of objectivity and balance in dealing with the Palestinian position and the Palestinian cause in addition to his known background of cases of financial corruption and suspicious transactions concluded during his term as prime minister of Britain.

Blair is the first leader of the British investigated by British police on charges of corruption, in addition to its history when he took the President of the Labour Party and Prime Minister of Britain, and his dealings of suspicious financial transactions with Jewish businessmen which enabled him to reach the highest echelons of politics in Britain.
The article goes on also to talk about how the Russian delegation to the Quartet told the PLO that they were upset at the initial draft statement, and then goes into details about the "Jewish businessmen" who allegedly donated money to Blair in exchange for his supporting Israel.

This looks like a coordinated campaign by the PLO to destroy the Quartet.



The annual "settlers uproot olive trees" libel

From Ma'an, today:

Dozens of Israeli settlers on Sunday uprooted over 400 Palestinian-owned olive trees near Nablus in the northern West Bank, a Palestinian Authority official said.

And last week:
Israeli settlers uprooted over 500 olive and fig trees in Deir Istiya village in Salfit on Monday morning, witnesses said.

As usual, there are no photos of these "uprooted" trees.

Based on the research that Yisrael Medad did, plus the comments on that post, it is inconceivable that a few people can uproot that many olive trees in a day - it can take hours to destroy one.

And as we have seen in years past (1993 2005 2006 2008 2010) the claims are often either ludicrous or proven to be lies.

Video: PalArabs throwing shoes at video of Bibi's UN speech

Netanyahu:

The Palestinians should first make peace with Israel and then get their state. But I also want to tell you this. After such a peace agreement is signed, Israel will not be the last country to welcome a Palestinian state as a new member of the United Nations. We will be the first.

Response:


(h/t Yoel)

Driver, son may have been killed due to rock throwing

From YNet:
Asher Palmer
Israel Police suspect that what initially appeared to be an ordinary car accident that killed a man and an infant was actually caused by an act of terror.

Asher Palmer, 25, and his 1-year-old son, Yonatan, were killed Friday when their car overturned on Highway 60 near Kiryat Arba. After an initial inquiry, the police denied the possibility that the accident was caused by stones that were hurled at the vehicle by Palestinians. However, evidence revealed in the police's autopsy request suggests that the option was not ruled out completely.

According the request, filed with the Jerusalem Magistrate's Court, investigators who arrived on the scene of the crash found a hole in the car's windshield that appears like it could have been an entry point of a stone. A large, blood-stained stone was found in the car. An analysis showed that it was human blood that stained the stone. The steering wheel was torn, suggesting that it was hit by the rock.

Moreover, "The deceased's face was crushed in the region of the lip, which immediately raised concerns of the possibility that the car accident could have been caused by a rock that was thrown at the vehicle," the request read.

It was also mentioned that the accident is being investigated by a special Hebron District police force that deals with incidents where rocks are pelted at Israeli vehicles from moving cars. So far, there have been 18 such cases, and it appeared that the current case was no different.

From the start settlement leaders claimed that a terror attack was behind the crash, assuming that the police denied the possibility to maintain public order.
Remember, stone throwing is one of those activities that Mahmoud Abbas praises as "non-violent resistance."

(h/t Kramerica, Yoel)

Statehood bid scares away investors in PA

Palestine Today quotes the Financial Times as saying that the UN statehood stunt is already scaring away potential investors in the Palestinian Arab areas.

It quotes Jihad Wazir, governor of the Palestinian Monetary Authority, as saying that since the statehood bid was announced, there has been a marked slowdown in economic activity in the West Bank.

At least one foreign investment deal from the UAE and a bank merger has been postponed due to the uncertainly that the bid has brought.


Saturday, September 24, 2011

Abbas is formally demanding 1947 lines! (updated, corrected)

In recent weeks, everyone has been anticipating what exactly Mahmoud Abbas would be demanding from the UN in his statehood stunt. Most of the comments made by the Palestinian Arab side was that the demand would be for a state on the so-called "1967 border" (really 1949 armistice lines.)

But the actual text of his request demands much, much more. 

This is the text of the formal application to join the UN given by Mahmoud Abbas to Ban Ki Moon:

Excellency,

I have the profound honor, on behalf of the Palestinian people, to submit this application of the state of Palestine for admission to membership in the United Nations.

This application for membership is being submitted on the Palestinian people's natural, legal and historic rights and based on United Nations General Assembly resolution 181 (II) of 29 November 1947 as well as the Declaration of Independence of the State of Palestine of 15 November 1988 and the acknowledgement by the General Assembly of this declaration in resolution 43/177 of 15 December 1988.

In this connection, the state of Palestine affirms its commitment to the achievement of a just, lasting and comprehensive resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict based on the vision of two states living side by side in peace and security, as endorsed by the United Nations Security Council and General Assembly and the international community as a whole and based on international law and all relevant United Nations resolutions.

For the purpose of this application for admission, a declaration made pursuant to rule 58 of the Provisional Rules of Procedure of the Security Council and rule 134 of the Rules of Procedure of the General Assembly is appended to this letter.

I shall be grateful if you would transmit this letter of application and the declaration to the presidents of the Security Council and the General Assembly as soon as possible,

Mahmoud Abbas
President of the State of Palestine
Chairman of the Executive Committee of the
Palestine Liberation Organization.
The 1988 "Declaration of Independence" does not define what territories are "occupied" by Israel, and indeed it implies that all of Israel is occupied Palestinian Arab land. But it does reference UNGA 181.

But more important is his reference to the UNGA resolution 181 (II)*.

UNGA 181, which is of course non-binding, includes four sections. Part I includes details on an "economic union" between the two states, and says things like the Jews who live in Jerusalem would be allowed to vote in elections for the Jewish state, and that holy places must be open to all without reservation.  Those parts are not what he is including.

Part II, the only part he is including*, draws the boundaries for the two states - the Jewish state and the Arab state.

Part III, not included in Abbas' bid*, defines Jerusalem's boundaries as a separate international city, which includes Bethlehem and other areas.

The formal request is to now to extend "Palestine" way beyond the Green Line. By referring specifically to part II of UNGA 181, Abbas is telling the world that "Palestine" must include a great deal of land that is internationally recognized to be Israeli.  By not including part III, he is claiming all of Jerusalem and its western suburbs. Not to mention Ashkelon and Ashdod.


All of that "1967 border" talk is now proven to be a lie. The official, formal request for a state of "Palestine" is a demand to take land away from another sovereign state.

If this doesn't cause the Security Council to unanimously vote against it without requiring a US veto, then the UN will prove itself to be an utterly worthless organization.

UPDATE: T34 notes that the UNGA resolution 43/177 referred to here does mention the 1967 borders:

It says, in part:
1. Acknowledges the proclamation of the State of Palestine by the Palestine National Council on 15 November 1988;

2. Affirms the need to enable the Palestinian people to exercise their sovereignty over their territory occupied since 1967;
However, notice that the letter only says " the acknowledgement by the General Assembly of this declaration [of independence]  in resolution 43/177 of 15 December 1988" and not the part of the resolution that mentions the 1967 lines!


This looks very deliberate.


*CORRECTION: The reference to UNGA 181(II) does not refer to Part II of the resolution, but to the fact that it was the second session of the General Assembly. See here


So while he does not seem to be excluding the parts of UNGA 181 that note the separate status of Jerusalem or the free access to holy places, there is still nothing in the formal request for admission to the UN that refers to 1967 lines. The only borders specifically referred to in the letter are still the 1947 proposed lines. 


His speech did refer to the "1967 borders." 


The letter that accompanied the formal bid only refers to the "1967 borders" in the context of what other nations recognize, not what he is demanding:


At the very least, there is nothing in the formal PLO bid that refers to 1967 borders, and there is some indication that it refers to 1947 lines. 


(h/t AB)



Hezbollah "news" claims Netanyahu comes from the Sudan!

The Al Manar network that is run by Hezbollah has a scoop!

It says that Israel's Prime Minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, was actually born in northern Sudan. His real name, we are told, is Attallah Abdul Rahman al-Shaul, and his family owned large amount of land there and were prominent in import/export. They fled the Sudan when Jaafar Nimieri took over the country in 1969 and he went to Israel.

The article says that Netanyahu was 15 when his family moved, although it also says (accurately) that he was born in 1949; Nimieri took over Sudan in 1969.

It also says that his knowledge of Arabic and Nubian came in handy as he joined the IDF.

Now you know!

(h/t Womble)


Friday, September 23, 2011

Netanyahu's speech to the UN - full video and text




Here's the entire text of the speech:


Ladies and gentlemen, Israel has extended its hand in peace from the moment it was established 63 years ago. On behalf of Israel and the Jewish people, I extend that hand again today. I extend it to the people of Egypt and Jordan, with renewed friendship for neighbors with whom we have made peace. I extend it to the people of Turkey, with respect and good will. I extend it to the people of Libya and Tunisia, with admiration for those trying to build a democratic future. I extend it to the other peoples of North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, with whom we want to forge a new beginning. I extend it to the people of Syria, Lebanon and Iran, with awe at the courage of those fighting brutal repression.
But most especially, I extend my hand to the Palestinian people, with whom we seek a just and lasting peace.
Ladies and gentlemen, in Israel our hope for peace never wanes. Our scientists, doctors, innovators, apply their genius to improve the world of tomorrow. Our artists, our writers, enrich the heritage of humanity. Now, I know that this is not exactly the image of Israel that is often portrayed in this hall. After all, it was here in 1975 that the age-old yearning of my people to restore our national life in our ancient biblical homeland -- it was then that this was braided -- branded, rather -- shamefully, as racism. And it was here in 1980, right here, that the historic peace agreement between Israel and Egypt wasn't praised; it was denounced! And it's here year after year that Israel is unjustly singled out for condemnation. It's singled out for condemnation more often than all the nations of the world combined. Twenty-one out of the 27 General Assembly resolutions condemn Israel -- the one true democracy in the Middle East.
Well, this is an unfortunate part of the U.N. institution. It's the -- the theater of the absurd. It doesn't only cast Israel as the villain; it often casts real villains in leading roles: Gadhafi's Libya chaired the U.N. Commission on Human Rights; Saddam's Iraq headed the U.N. Committee on Disarmament.
You might say: That's the past. Well, here's what's happening now -- right now, today. Hezbollah-controlled Lebanon now presides over the U.N. Security Council. This means, in effect, that a terror organization presides over the body entrusted with guaranteeing the world's security.
You couldn't make this thing up.
So here in the U.N., automatic majorities can decide anything. They can decide that the sun sets in the west or rises in the west. I think the first has already been pre-ordained. But they can also decide -- they have decided that the Western Wall in Jerusalem, Judaism's holiest place, is occupied Palestinian territory.
And yet even here in the General Assembly, the truth can sometimes break through. In 1984 when I was appointed Israel's ambassador to the United Nations, I visited the great rabbi of Lubavich. He said to me -- and ladies and gentlemen, I don't want any of you to be offended because from personal experience of serving here, I know there are many honorable men and women, many capable and decent people serving their nations here. But here's what the rebbe said to me. He said to me, you'll be serving in a house of many lies. And then he said, remember that even in the darkest place, the light of a single candle can be seen far and wide.
Today I hope that the light of truth will shine, if only for a few minutes, in a hall that for too long has been a place of darkness for my country. So as Israel's prime minister, I didn't come here to win applause. I came here to speak the truth. The truth is -- the truth is that Israel wants peace. The truth is that I want peace. The truth is that in the Middle East at all times, but especially during these turbulent days, peace must be anchored in security. The truth is that we cannot achieve peace through U.N. resolutions, but only through direct negotiations between the parties. The truth is that so far the Palestinians have refused to negotiate. The truth is that Israel wants peace with a Palestinian state, but the Palestinians want a state without peace. And the truth is you shouldn't let that happen.
Ladies and gentlemen, when I first came here 27 years ago, the world was divided between East and West. Since then the Cold War ended, great civilizations have risen from centuries of slumber, hundreds of millions have been lifted out of poverty, countless more are poised to follow, and the remarkable thing is that so far this monumental historic shift has largely occurred peacefully. Yet a malignancy is now growing between East and West that threatens the peace of all. It seeks not to liberate, but to enslave, not to build, but to destroy.
That malignancy is militant Islam. It cloaks itself in the mantle of a great faith, yet it murders Jews, Christians and Muslims alike with unforgiving impartiality. On September 11th it killed thousands of Americans, and it left the twin towers in smoldering ruins. Last night I laid a wreath on the 9/11 memorial. It was deeply moving. But as I was going there, one thing echoed in my mind: the outrageous words of the president of Iran on this podium yesterday. He implied that 9/11 was an American conspiracy. Some of you left this hall. All of you should have.
Since 9/11, militant Islamists slaughtered countless other innocents -- in London and Madrid, in Baghdad and Mumbai, in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, in every part of Israel. I believe that the greatest danger facing our world is that this fanaticism will arm itself with nuclear weapons. And this is precisely what Iran is trying to do.
Can you imagine that man who ranted here yesterday -- can you imagine him armed with nuclear weapons? The international community must stop Iran before it's too late. If Iran is not stopped, we will all face the specter of nuclear terrorism, and the Arab Spring could soon become an Iranian winter. That would be a tragedy. Millions of Arabs have taken to the streets to replace tyranny with liberty, and no one would benefit more than Israel if those committed to freedom and peace would prevail.
This is my fervent hope. But as the prime minister of Israel, I cannot risk the future of the Jewish state on wishful thinking. Leaders must see reality as it is, not as it ought to be. We must do our best to shape the future, but we cannot wish away the dangers of the present.
And the world around Israel is definitely becoming more dangerous. Militant Islam has already taken over Lebanon and Gaza. It's determined to tear apart the peace treaties between Israel and Egypt and between Israel and Jordan. It's poisoned many Arab minds against Jews and Israel, against America and the West. It opposes not the policies of Israel but the existence of Israel.
Now, some argue that the spread of militant Islam, especially in these turbulent times -- if you want to slow it down, they argue, Israel must hurry to make concessions, to make territorial compromises. And this theory sounds simple. Basically it goes like this: Leave the territory, and peace will be advanced. The moderates will be strengthened, the radicals will be kept at bay. And don't worry about the pesky details of how Israel will actually defend itself; international troops will do the job.
These people say to me constantly: Just make a sweeping offer, and everything will work out. You know, there's only one problem with that theory. We've tried it and it hasn't worked. In 2000 Israel made a sweeping peace offer that met virtually all of the Palestinian demands. Arafat rejected it. The Palestinians then launched a terror attack that claimed a thousand Israeli lives.
Prime Minister Olmert afterwards made an even more sweeping offer, in 2008. President Abbas didn't even respond to it.
But Israel did more than just make sweeping offers. We actually left territory. We withdrew from Lebanon in 2000 and from every square inch of Gaza in 2005. That didn't calm the Islamic storm, the militant Islamic storm that threatens us. It only brought the storm closer and make it stronger.
Hezbollah and Hamas fired thousands of rockets against our cities from the very territories we vacated. See, when Israel left Lebanon and Gaza, the moderates didn't defeat the radicals, the moderates were devoured by the radicals. And I regret to say that international troops like UNIFIL in Lebanon and UBAM (ph) in Gaza didn't stop the radicals from attacking Israel.
We left Gaza hoping for peace.
We didn't freeze the settlements in Gaza, we uprooted them. We did exactly what the theory says: Get out, go back to the 1967 borders, dismantle the settlements.
And I don't think people remember how far we went to achieve this. We uprooted thousands of people from their homes. We pulled children out of -- out of their schools and their kindergartens. We bulldozed synagogues. We even -- we even moved loved ones from their graves. And then, having done all that, we gave the keys of Gaza to President Abbas.
Now the theory says it should all work out, and President Abbas and the Palestinian Authority now could build a peaceful state in Gaza. You can remember that the entire world applauded. They applauded our withdrawal as an act of great statesmanship. It was a bold act of peace.
But ladies and gentlemen, we didn't get peace. We got war. We got Iran, which through its proxy Hamas promptly kicked out the Palestinian Authority. The Palestinian Authority collapsed in a day -- in one day.
President Abbas just said on this podium that the Palestinians are armed only with their hopes and dreams. Yeah, hopes, dreams and 10,000 missiles and Grad rockets supplied by Iran, not to mention the river of lethal weapons now flowing into Gaza from the Sinai, from Libya, and from elsewhere.
Thousands of missiles have already rained down on our cities. So you might understand that, given all this, Israelis rightly ask: What's to prevent this from happening again in the West Bank? See, most of our major cities in the south of the country are within a few dozen kilometers from Gaza. But in the center of the country, opposite the West Bank, our cities are a few hundred meters or at most a few kilometers away from the edge of the West Bank.
So I want to ask you. Would any of you -- would any of you bring danger so close to your cities, to your families? Would you act so recklessly with the lives of your citizens? Israel is prepared to have a Palestinian state in the West Bank, but we're not prepared to have another Gaza there. And that's why we need to have real security arrangements, which the Palestinians simply refuse to negotiate with us.
Israelis remember the bitter lessons of Gaza. Many of Israel's critics ignore them. They irresponsibly advise Israel to go down this same perilous path again. Your read what these people say and it's as if nothing happened -- just repeating the same advice, the same formulas as though none of this happened.
And these critics continue to press Israel to make far-reaching concessions without first assuring Israel's security. They praise those who unwittingly feed the insatiable crocodile of militant Islam as bold statesmen. They cast as enemies of peace those of us who insist that we must first erect a sturdy barrier to keep the crocodile out, or at the very least jam an iron bar between its gaping jaws.
So in the face of the labels and the libels, Israel must heed better advice. Better a bad press than a good eulogy, and better still would be a fair press whose sense of history extends beyond breakfast, and which recognizes Israel's legitimate security concerns.
I believe that in serious peace negotiations, these needs and concerns can be properly addressed, but they will not be addressed without negotiations. And the needs are many, because Israel is such a tiny country. Without Judea and Samaria, the West Bank, Israel is all of 9 miles wide.
I want to put it for you in perspective, because you're all in the city. That's about two-thirds the length of Manhattan. It's the distance between Battery Park and Columbia University. And don't forget that the people who live in Brooklyn and New Jersey are considerably nicer than some of Israel's neighbors.
So how do you -- how do you protect such a tiny country, surrounded by people sworn to its destruction and armed to the teeth by Iran? Obviously you can't defend it from within that narrow space alone. Israel needs greater strategic depth, and that's exactly why Security Council Resolution 242 didn't require Israel to leave all the territories it captured in the Six-Day War. It talked about withdrawal from territories, to secure and defensible boundaries. And to defend itself, Israel must therefore maintain a long-term Israeli military presence in critical strategic areas in the West Bank.
I explained this to President Abbas. He answered that if a Palestinian state was to be a sovereign country, it could never accept such arrangements. Why not? America has had troops in Japan, Germany and South Korea for more than a half a century. Britain has had an airspace in Cyprus or rather an air base in Cyprus. France has forces in three independent African nations. None of these states claim that they're not sovereign countries.
And there are many other vital security issues that also must be addressed. Take the issue of airspace. Again, Israel's small dimensions create huge security problems. America can be crossed by jet airplane in six hours. To fly across Israel, it takes three minutes. So is Israel's tiny airspace to be chopped in half and given to a Palestinian state not at peace with Israel?
Our major international airport is a few kilometers away from the West Bank. Without peace, will our planes become targets for antiaircraft missiles placed in the adjacent Palestinian state? And how will we stop the smuggling into the West Bank? It's not merely the West Bank, it's the West Bank mountains. It just dominates the coastal plain where most of Israel's population sits below. How could we prevent the smuggling into these mountains of those missiles that could be fired on our cities?
I bring up these problems because they're not theoretical problems. They're very real. And for Israelis, they're life-and- death matters. All these potential cracks in Israel's security have to be sealed in a peace agreement before a Palestinian state is declared, not afterwards, because if you leave it afterwards, they won't be sealed. And these problems will explode in our face and explode the peace.
The Palestinians should first make peace with Israel and then get their state. But I also want to tell you this. After such a peace agreement is signed, Israel will not be the last country to welcome a Palestinian state as a new member of the United Nations. We will be the first.
And there's one more thing. Hamas has been violating international law by holding our soldier Gilad Shalit captive for five years.
They haven't given even one Red Cross visit. He's held in a dungeon, in darkness, against all international norms. Gilad Shalit is the son of Aviva and Noam Shalit. He is the grandson of Zvi Shalit, who escaped the Holocaust by coming to the -- in the 1930s as a boy to the land of Israel. Gilad Shalit is the son of every Israeli family. Every nation represented here should demand his immediate release. If you want to -- if you want to pass a resolution about the Middle East today, that's the resolution you should pass.
Ladies and gentlemen, last year in Israel in Bar-Ilan University, this year in the Knesset and in the U.S. Congress, I laid out my vision for peace in which a demilitarized Palestinian state recognizes the Jewish state. Yes, the Jewish state. After all, this is the body that recognized the Jewish state 64 years ago. Now, don't you think it's about time that Palestinians did the same?
The Jewish state of Israel will always protect the rights of all its minorities, including the more than 1 million Arab citizens of Israel. I wish I could say the same thing about a future Palestinian state, for as Palestinian officials made clear the other day -- in fact, I think they made it right here in New York -- they said the Palestinian state won't allow any Jews in it. They'll be Jew-free -- Judenrein. That's ethnic cleansing. There are laws today in Ramallah that make the selling of land to Jews punishable by death. That's racism. And you know which laws this evokes.
Israel has no intention whatsoever to change the democratic character of our state. We just don't want the Palestinians to try to change the Jewish character of our state. (Applause.) We want to give up -- we want them to give up the fantasy of flooding Israel with millions of Palestinians.
President Abbas just stood here, and he said that the core of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the settlements. Well, that's odd. Our conflict has been raging for -- was raging for nearly half a century before there was a single Israeli settlement in the West Bank. So if what President Abbas is saying was true, then the -- I guess that the settlements he's talking about are Tel Aviv, Haifa, Jaffa, Be'er Sheva. Maybe that's what he meant the other day when he said that Israel has been occupying Palestinian land for 63 years. He didn't say from 1967; he said from 1948. I hope somebody will bother to ask him this question because it illustrates a simple truth: The core of the conflict is not the settlements. The settlements are a result of the conflict. (Applause.)
The settlements have to be -- it's an issue that has to be addressed and resolved in the course of negotiations. But the core of the conflict has always been and unfortunately remains the refusal of the Palestinians to recognize a Jewish state in any border.
I think it's time that the Palestinian leadership recognizes what every serious international leader has recognized, from Lord Balfour and Lloyd George in 1917, to President Truman in 1948, to President Obama just two days ago right here: Israel is the Jewish state.
President Abbas, stop walking around this issue. Recognize the Jewish state, and make peace with us. In such a genuine peace, Israel is prepared to make painful compromises. We believe that the Palestinians should be neither the citizens of Israel nor its subjects. They should live in a free state of their own. But they should be ready, like us, for compromise. And we will know that they're ready for compromise and for peace when they start taking Israel's security requirements seriously and when they stop denying our historical connection to our ancient homeland.
I often hear them accuse Israel of Judaizing Jerusalem. That's like accusing America of Americanizing Washington, or the British of Anglicizing London. You know why we're called "Jews"? Because we come from Judea.
In my office in Jerusalem, there's a -- there's an ancient seal. It's a signet ring of a Jewish official from the time of the Bible. The seal was found right next to the Western Wall, and it dates back 2,700 years, to the time of King Hezekiah. Now, there's a name of the Jewish official inscribed on the ring in Hebrew. His name was Netanyahu. That's my last name. My first name, Benjamin, dates back a thousand years earlier to Benjamin -- Binyamin -- the son of Jacob, who was also known as Israel. Jacob and his 12 sons roamed these same hills of Judea and Sumeria 4,000 years ago, and there's been a continuous Jewish presence in the land ever since.
And for those Jews who were exiled from our land, they never stopped dreaming of coming back: Jews in Spain, on the eve of their expulsion; Jews in the Ukraine, fleeing the pogroms; Jews fighting the Warsaw Ghetto, as the Nazis were circling around it. They never stopped praying, they never stopped yearning. They whispered: Next year in Jerusalem. Next year in the promised land.
As the prime minister of Israel, I speak for a hundred generations of Jews who were dispersed throughout the lands, who suffered every evil under the Sun, but who never gave up hope of restoring their national life in the one and only Jewish state.
Ladies and gentlemen, I continue to hope that President Abbas will be my partner in peace. I've worked hard to advance that peace. The day I came into office, I called for direct negotiations without preconditions. President Abbas didn't respond. I outlined a vision of peace of two states for two peoples. He still didn't respond. I removed hundreds of roadblocks and checkpoints, to ease freedom of movement in the Palestinian areas; this facilitated a fantastic growth in the Palestinian economy. But again -- no response. I took the unprecedented step of freezing new buildings in the settlements for 10 months. No prime minister did that before, ever. Once again -- you applaud, but there was no response. No response.
In the last few weeks, American officials have put forward ideas to restart peace talks. There were things in those ideas about borders that I didn't like. There were things there about the Jewish state that I'm sure the Palestinians didn't like.
But with all my reservations, I was willing to move forward on these American ideas.
President Abbas, why don't you join me? We have to stop negotiating about the negotiations. Let's just get on with it. Let's negotiate peace.
I spent years defending Israel on the battlefield. I spent decades defending Israel in the court of public opinion. President Abbas, you've dedicated your life to advancing the Palestinian cause. Must this conflict continue for generations, or will we enable our children and our grandchildren to speak in years ahead of how we found a way to end it? That's what we should aim for, and that's what I believe we can achieve.
In two and a half years, we met in Jerusalem only once, even though my door has always been open to you. If you wish, I'll come to Ramallah. Actually, I have a better suggestion. We've both just flown thousands of miles to New York. Now we're in the same city. We're in the same building. So let's meet here today in the United Nations. Who's there to stop us? What is there to stop us? If we genuinely want peace, what is there to stop us from meeting today and beginning peace negotiations?
And I suggest we talk openly and honestly. Let's listen to one another. Let's do as we say in the Middle East: Let's talk "doogli" (ph). That means straightforward. I'll tell you my needs and concerns. You'll tell me yours. And with God's help, we'll find the common ground of peace.
There's an old Arab saying that you cannot applaud with one hand. Well, the same is true of peace. I cannot make peace alone. I cannot make peace without you. President Abbas, I extend my hand -- the hand of Israel -- in peace. I hope that you will grasp that hand. We are both the sons of Abraham. My people call him Avraham. Your people call him Ibrahim. We share the same patriarch. We dwell in the same land. Our destinies are intertwined. Let us realize the vision of Isaiah -- (speaks in Hebrew) -- "The people who walk in darkness will see a great light." Let that light be the light of peace.