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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #2300 on: February 13, 2017, 04:54:11 PM »

http://freebeacon.com/national-security/netanyahu-dc-meetings/
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« Reply #2301 on: February 15, 2017, 09:56:04 PM »


Now on Netflix! Very much worth watching!
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #2302 on: February 15, 2017, 11:33:22 PM »

On Netflix what is the name of the show?
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #2303 on: February 15, 2017, 11:34:10 PM »

Awesome move today by President Trump with PM Bibi!!!   cool cool cool
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G M
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« Reply #2304 on: February 15, 2017, 11:50:03 PM »

On Netflix what is the name of the show?

Fauda

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #2305 on: February 16, 2017, 12:12:38 AM »

TY
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #2306 on: February 17, 2017, 02:21:16 PM »

http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/The-Trump-Netanyahu-alliance-481846
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ccp
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« Reply #2307 on: February 17, 2017, 07:51:29 PM »

Wow.  Dershowitz is defending Trump!  shocked  And poles Fareeeeeeeed zakaria in the eye.  grin   I don't think I have ever heard Dershowitz defend a Republican like this:

http://radio.foxnews.com/2017/02/16/alan-dershowitz-cnns-fareed-zakaria-calling-president-trumps-appearance-with-israeli-prime-minister-netanyahu-embarrassing-bizarre-and-irresponsible-is/
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #2308 on: March 05, 2017, 11:51:19 AM »

http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0317/glick030317.php3#tsbLKl8KxJrsJ166.01
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #2309 on: March 10, 2017, 04:57:28 PM »

Israel Targets Palestinian Gun Makers
by Yaakov Lappin
Special to IPT News
March 10, 2017
http://www.investigativeproject.org/5847/israel-targets-palestinian-gun-makers

 
 At first glance, the bridal gown shop in the Palestinian city of Nablus appeared innocuous. But behind the scenes, Israeli intelligence says, the store served as a front for a major West Bank gun parts distribution center.

"Components for weapons were continuously being sold out of there," a senior Israel Defense Forces (IDF) source told The Investigative Project on Terrorism.  The store turned out to be part of a wide network of weapons dealers who had imported their lethal goods by ordering them on the internet, the IDF stated this week.  Nine suspects, including the store owner, are in custody, and additional members of the weapons trafficking ring remain at large. "They came from all walks of life and from varied layers of Palestinian society," the source stated.

Since mid-2016, the IDF has been engaged in an intensive, large-scale campaign to seize as many firearms circulating in the West Bank as possible to prevent them from falling into the hands of terrorists.  A growing number of such firearms have been used in deadly attacks, such as the Sarona Market shooting in Tel Aviv last June in which two Palestinian gunmen murdered four people in a restaurant. The gunmen used locally produced automatic rifles, dubbed 'Carlos' due to their resemblance to the Carl Gustav Swedish sub-machine gun.

While the latest wave of arrests focused on traders who used the internet to import gun parts, most of those on the IDF's target list manufacture and assemble guns in local workshops. Seven such workshops have been shut down since the start of 2017, and 84 guns have been seized by Israeli security forces, according to figures made available by the IDF.

"The terrorist threat picture has changed. In the past, the main threat was posed by organized, institutional organizations," the senior security source said. "For the most part, these were hierarchical terror cells, with a clear division of labor. There was someone responsible for financing, someone else had the designated job of transporting the suicide bomber or gunman, etc. This threat still exists. Hamas is trying to organize such cells all of the time. But the main challenge these days comes from terrorists that we do not have prior knowledge about."

Lone attackers, or small, localized cells with no organizational affiliation or background of security offenses, are far harder for intelligence services to detect, and these are just the type of terrorists who are likely to use firearms available in their surroundings. These types of attackers, some of whom have suicidal tendencies or personal crises, according to the source, often will attempt simple attacks, using whatever is at their disposal. This can take the form of knife or vehicle attacks, or picking up locally available weapons.

Guns in the West Bank can be purchased by Palestinians for many reasons; whether for personal protection, to defend families and clans, to fire at wedding celebrations, or to reinforce one's sense of ego.  As long as the guns are cheap and affordable, the source warned, "anyone can get [them]. Many of the shootings cells we captured in the West Bank were armed with these types of weapons."

A year ago, a locally produced Carlo rifle cost around 2,300 shekels in the West Bank, meaning that Palestinians could purchase it with a single month's salary, or take the money from family members, before moving ahead with an attack.

"The Sarona Market gunmen had no outside financial support, but still managed to get their hands on their firearms. The suits they wore [to disguise their identities] cost more than their guns," the source said.

"This is why we are in the midst of an intensive campaign targeting the manufacturing and trade of weapons and gun parts. Even if I can't get rid of the illegal weapons phenomenon, I can make them less accessible, and much harder to traffic in them."

The increased Israeli pressure makes it more difficult to obtain guns, and increases the odds of catching people before they can attack. They have to leave
their village or neighborhood and move around with the firearms where they can be caught and intercepted by the IDF. "People will fear more getting caught and moving around with these firearms," the source said.

The Palestinian Authority would also like to see these guns taken off the streets, the source said, since it encourages lawlessness and anarchy in some areas that pose challenges to its rule.

Nablus, Balata Camp (next to Nablus), and Hebron are gun manufacturing focal points, according to IDF assessments. In addition, areas like Ramallah, Kalandia, and Palestinian neighborhoods on the outskirts of Jerusalem have workshops that take air or toy guns and convert them into real firearms using stolen components.

Thefts from IDF soldiers and Israeli civilians, as well as trade with Israeli weapons traffickers who do not care where the guns end up provide other sources of terrorist arms.

Efforts by security forces to stem the tide were beginning to pay dividends, the source said. Today, a Carlo gun costs more than 6,000 shekels, as numbers dwindle.

"With time, we are seeing improvements," he said. "We are seizing more than we did in the past, and our intelligence techniques have improved, so that we can capture guns not only in homes, but also in the manufacturing locations, and when they are moved around. This is a campaign. No single incident will stamp out the problem. So long as the profit from this trade is big enough compared to the fear of arrest or facing raids, many Palestinians will continue to be active in it. "

Ultimately, he said, "over time, we will seek to decrease the number of guns and keep raising the price. This will result in less terrorists getting their hands on them, and resorting to less lethal attack forms, such as knife attacks. Our soldiers' alertness [to knife attacks] means such attacks produce less casualties - meaning that our effort will boost security."

Yaakov Lappin is a military and strategic affairs correspondent. He also conducts research and analysis for defense think tanks, and is the Israel correspondent for IHS Jane's Defense Weekly. His book, The Virtual Caliphate, explores the online jihadist presence.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #2310 on: March 12, 2017, 07:48:33 PM »

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2017/03/12/20-years-after-shooting-7-israeli-schoolgirls-jordanian-soldier-is-hailed-as-a-hero-upon-release/?utm_term=.9f57b4ec4175&wpisrc=nl_wemost&wpmm=1
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G M
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« Reply #2311 on: March 12, 2017, 07:59:37 PM »

On Netflix what is the name of the show?

Fauda



Anyone watch this besides me? I love it!
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #2312 on: March 14, 2017, 12:28:33 PM »

Uh oh , , , tongue

http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Our-World-Trump-embraces-the-PLO-fantasy-484099
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #2313 on: March 16, 2017, 02:03:15 PM »



Hey guys, thanks for the tip off.
Israel Border Police, I hope you took down the names! No need to arrest them. Just put them on a departing flight.
It's time you American Jewish leftists understand that there is a distinction between freedom of speech and freedom to wage war.
When you got on the BDS train, you joined a movement that is waging political, economic, social, cultural and academic war against Israel in conjunction with Israel's military and terrorist foes.
You are not speaking out. You are taking action. And for your action, you are being barred from entering the country. No country, including Israel should play gracious host to people who actively harm it.
http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/letters/1.777102
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #2314 on: March 17, 2017, 11:14:03 AM »

http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Column-One-Know-thine-enemy-484430

Looks like Trump has folded already?
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #2315 on: March 22, 2017, 01:00:39 AM »

https://news.vice.com/story/israel-warns-it-will-destroy-syrias-air-defense-if-they-dare-to-attack-israeli-jets-again
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #2316 on: March 29, 2017, 10:15:39 AM »

http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Our-World-A-test-for-King-Abdullah-485349
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #2317 on: March 31, 2017, 12:00:33 PM »

http://www.jpost.com/printarticle.aspx?id=485718
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #2318 on: April 13, 2017, 01:43:09 PM »

http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-news-and-politics/228258/obama-israel-democrats?utm_source=tabletmagazinelist

I.

Michael Oren is an eminent American historian and Zionist who became the Israeli emissary to the United States during Barack Obama’s presidency. An undergraduate at Columbia and a graduate student at Princeton, where he received his doctorate, he later held three distinguished visiting professorships, at Georgetown, Yale, and Harvard. He knows America well— very well. Oren is now a member of the centrist party Kulanu in the Knesset: He has been designated by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as deputy premier for diplomacy in a pointed effort to stem the flow of right-wing megadrama from the most disgusting big-mouthed, small-minded members of the cabinet, Avigdor Lieberman and Naftali Bennett.

Oren is a diplomat, both politically and psychologically. He veers away from hysteria, Jewish hysteria especially, about anti-Semitism in America or about Israel. But since the publication of his memoir in 2014, and a little before, he has come out as a fierce critic of the record of the most recent Democratic presidential administration on Israel, and, by extension, on the strongest single guarantor of the safety of the world’s Jews. What is most upsetting is that he is not wrong. Alas, I, who am a registered but not sworn Democrat and have been that for more than half a century, certainly cannot vouch that the party will long stand up for one of the few vigorous democracies on Earth.

 

II.

More than 16 years ago, Ehud Barak, an authentic hero including at Entebbe, crafted a peace plan that won the approval of Bill Clinton and should have won, with the usual habits of give-and-take diplomacy, at least the assent of the Palestinians to further talks. Barak ultimately agreed to give up all of Gaza, which Ariel Sharon later did, as well as 95 percent of the rest of the disputed territory, with special geographical, political, and religious arrangements for Jerusalem. Eight years later, Ehud Olmert—now in jail—added another 3 percent to the Israeli offer and allowed for what would now be Arab Jerusalem to be the capital of Palestine. No takers. Those facts, if you want to look, tell you plenty.

Those facts didn’t tell President Obama much, or he didn’t look. I supported Obama in his first campaign for president … against Hillary Clinton and against George Bush. I even went south to Florida to campaign for him and stayed there a crowded week. My contact with the bigger effort was Dan Shapiro (later to become the candidate’s ambassador to Israel), who first asked me to go. I’d also met with Obama: once before he entered the race and once—this time in a group—at the beginning of the primaries.

Obama seemed at the time, and turned out to be, a reasonable, well-intentioned man. But he was a catastrophe on international affairs. His one triumph was something he didn’t have anything to do with: He won the Nobel Peace Prize, and, actually, maybe this ended up mattering more than anything else. The Peace Prize came less than a year into his first term: In desperate explanation for the choice, the prize committee’s PR fingered Obama’s opening to the Muslim world for special recognition. And so Obama was operating with what he thought was a promise to live up to—a promise no one could live up to against the fractured history of the Middle East. This added to what he’d felt he’d promised before, during that campaign, that he would make amends to the Muslim world. Between the recent history and the Prize, he had to be peacemaker, and damn whatever realities came up in the meantime.

He’d told us this in his speech in Cairo in June 2009, before the Prize was announced. For this speech, his speechwriters scavenged for Islamic allusions in American history and found two or three. Morocco was the first country to recognize the independence of America during the Revolutionary War. And, of course, that Jefferson had a Quran in his library. It was nice rhetoric—we all want peace, we all want good will with our Muslim brothers and sisters—but what about the realities of the region: a place where vicious, cynical dictators encourage the worst anti-Western, anti-liberal sentiments and impose unequal social customs on their people to maintain their own power; a place where Sunni and Shia are bitterly opposed?

One hundred years ago this year, James Balfour issued the famous declaration that re-inscribed the Jewish nation again into its ancient political history, but then the big powers went on to literally invent, really out of whole cloth, other states—Lebanon, Syria, Iraq—splitting up tribes and sects and communities and placing the people who lived in them in crazy arrangements under alien, authoritarian governments. Today, reaching out to these states in practice often means not helping their people but rewarding their leaders, and these are not people we want to reward. We heard nothing about that in the Cairo speech. Nor would we. And by December, when Obama went to Oslo, the signs were there that realities were getting ignored when it came to policy, too.

Obama’s first outreach had been to the Sunnis. He had made tight pals with Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a bad sign even then, before Erdogan completely abandoned the pretense of secular liberalism. Obama was close to the Saudis—to King Abdullah. He had also delivered his address at Cairo’s Al Azhar, both a Sunni university and a mosque. Over time, he turned away from the Sunnis and toward the Shia, to Iran—the counterweight to Egypt, to Saudi Arabia, to Turkey, in the region—a state most of its neighbors saw as an immediate threat. Then there was Syria, where, out of the same mind-changing dynamic, he countenanced a human disaster, grim beyond calculation.

And the victims of the president’s good intentions were not just these populations and the liberal secularists within them, which was bad enough. The victim was also the one state that the Great Powers created right, the fortunate state, but the state that’s lived up to its fortune by staying democratic, sometimes imperfectly democratic but democratic nonetheless, against constant external threat of annihilation: Israel.

 

III.

Maybe we should have known this would happen. One’s spiritual counselors have meaning, and Obama chose over nearly a decade and a half perhaps the most anti-American, anti-Jewish, and viciously anti-Israel minister in Chicago. Being under the Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s guidance doesn’t mean Obama shared his views, but this was not a spiritual counselor who would show much sympathetic understanding, or even unsympathetic understanding, toward Israel.

Then in 2009, there was Obama’s selection of Chas Freeman as chairman of the National Intelligence Council. Maybe you remember him: He’d been ambassador to Saudi Arabia and exquisitely faithful to Riyadh, one of the old monarchy’s servants, Riyadh before its tentative but meaningful liberalizing steps. He’d worked with China, and been sympathetic to its autocratic ruling party. He, his son, and the authors of The Israel Lobby, which he first published before the commercial edition was conceived, attacked me and others who’d taken him on. But he was Obama’s choice—again, not someone with much sympathy for Israel’s struggle, or understanding of it. In fact, hostile.

Occasionally, rhetorically, Obama made himself a tough Zionist: aligning himself with Justice Brandeis, who thought “both sides of the Jordan are ours,” and Dayan and Golda. But I’ve always wondered whether at the annual Obama Seder the presidential party actually pronounced the sacred benediction “next year in Jerusalem.” Its sanctity, however, can be measured by a postscript to this ancient prayer, written in Yiddish and mimeographed in occupied France in 1941: Die hagaodeh zol zayn die letzte in Goles. “Let this Haggadah be the last one in Exile.”

To be sure, Obama knew about the Holocaust: In his Cairo address, the president mustered it as the essential—no, the only—rationale for a Jewish state. But the Jewish state is more than that! What about the nearly 1 million ardent and repatriating Jewish exiles who’d lived for two millennia—and some for almost three—in the lands of Islam? And what of the implications to his audience: the implications of assigning Israel’s rationale for existing solely to the Holocaust? Upon hearing this, that the Holocaust is the single reason for the Jewish state, is it any wonder Sunni and Shia say they are the other victims of Naziism?

It isn’t that the president hated Israel. It’s that, to those of us who feel for Israel in our bones and feel its closeness to America as a fellow beacon of liberalism, and who look for that feeling in our presidents, his words never said that he did, too. He had some nice words, sure, but he never gave evidence that he had a sense of the intense struggle it took Israel to become what it is and to maintain its ideals in face of immediate threat. By the end it seemed like Israel to him was Bibi Netanyahu, and it’s not fair to make Bibi or the right wing everything that Israel is, because it’s much, much more. Zionism includes and has always included people of every race, from every corner of the globe, with every belief about God.

The president never gave this its due. And in the pursuit of outreach, to Palestinians and to Iranians especially, he did worse: He created an impossible situation, a situation that would have been untenable on its face for anybody who truly understood Israel’s history and the dynamics of its neighbors.

In 2015 came the Iran nuclear deal, a holding action for which the president ignored piece after piece of evidence of Iran’s meddling in the region—against secular liberals in Lebanon, in Iraq, in Syria, in Iran itself where secularists had been murdered by the regime in 2009 while we stood idly by. Even Democrats who were loyal to the president in all else opposed the deal—Nita Lowey, Chuck Schumer! (Do you want a liberal Democratic weasel? Take Rep. Jerry Nadler, the New York congressman from the most Jewish district in the country, who voted for it. Then again, only four Democratic senators voted against it.)

In 2016, John Kerry indulged his obsessive fantasies of 30 years (I’ve known him 40) with a push for peace that ignored every Israeli reality. The secretary’s speech more than implied that Jerusalem’s ancient Jewish Quarter should be up for negotiations… and so maybe up for grabs. That’s because, like everything else in Jerusalem (save the indisputably Israeli “new city”), it was since 1948 in the possession of the king of Jordan who, with Egypt, Syria and, yes, the monarchy of Iraq started the 1967 war which he, they then lost. Tiens! According to Kerry’s agenda, the ancient cemetery on the Mount of Olives (itself mentioned a half dozen times in the Hebrew Bible), parts of Mount Scopus, Ammunition Hill, even the Western Wall and myriad other sites are open to negotiations.

When Israel resisted their moves, Kerry and his president, and the portentously sweet Samantha Power, lashed out, rhetorically and then in action, at the United Nations at the tail end of Obama’s term: The Security Council resolution passed because the United States did not veto. (On the morrow, more or less, the Brits apologized; and everyone grasped that the French socialist regime’s excuse was that it could not possibly win the next election without the Muslim vote … but will certainly not win even with it.) Of course, this move would find resonance in all the despot-led Muslim states at the United Nations… even those that were doing security business with Israel and, deeper yet, forming sotto voce alliances with the Jewish state that were operative on a day-to-day basis: Egypt; even Saudi Arabia; and Turkey, by now deep, deep under Erdogan.

Israel received aid from Obama, yes, but aid is worth only so much if legitimacy diminishes, and Israel ended his tenure with its international reputation pulled down by administration rhetoric, and by its inaction when members of the left attacked Israel. Never did we hear a word from our president condemning BDS. I wonder if the president (or Ben Rhodes, who was rewarded for his Jewish animus to Jewish concerns by a White House “midnight” appointment to the Holocaust Museum board), understand the deep betrayal experienced by those of us who don’t like the current Israeli government or its bunker mentality but who see Israel’s existence in the face of states whose leaders have stated their intention to put it in the ground, as the fact, the one that ends all the others.

 

IV.

Maybe this concern seems unnecessary, or overblown, or just myopic. After all, we see before all of our eyes anti-black sentiment; it is ugly, despite enormous social progress. We see anti-Arab, anti-Hispanic, anti-Asian sentiment. Next to the immediacy of these, it might seem like carping to talk about a group so well situated in America, and in the Democratic Party, as the Jews. But when you talk about the Jews you can’t forget Israel—at least those of us whose families had, and whose friends and families have, a stake in its existence can’t.

Liberal democratic states were supposed to save the Jews—many people of learning and seriousness saw a cosmopolitan universalist Enlightenment culture as a dream attainable in reality. But those dreams came up against the real realities of Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia, which were repeats on a bigger, more horrific scale of the persecution, the alienation, that have followed us for two millennia. How can we be safe without a state of our own? Now we have a state, and it’s a state that possesses many precepts of virtue, precepts that it has been able to mostly maintain through a long and bitter history and under fire of missiles and under menace of the ultimate menace. It has always welcomed people of all races. It is Jewish but tolerant, and self-critical when it isn’t. It remains the one state in the region that holds the flame of those normative ideals high and strong. And it is surrounded by states that don’t want it to exist. Sometimes a fact, a reality, is as basic and hard as that.

For those of us who care for Israel, we are in an old, sad, difficult dilemma. Our principles, our people’s experience of the diaspora, our belief in transcending difference, our dismay at Republican tribal politics leads us to the Democrats. But there comes a point at which the urge to transcend difference comes at the expense of hard realities. Michael Oren was right—the last president passed that point with Israel. How much will his successors in the party leadership follow his lead?

***

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« Last Edit: April 13, 2017, 01:44:59 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #2319 on: April 21, 2017, 12:29:44 AM »

https://pjmedia.com/homeland-security/2017/04/20/whats-trump-cooking-up-with-the-palestinians/
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #2320 on: April 25, 2017, 07:26:44 AM »

Good for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu - בנימין נתניהו for insisting that he will only meet Germany's anti-Israel foreign minister Sigmar "Israel is an apartheid state" Gabriel if Gabriel cancels his meetings with his anti-Israel agents B'tselem and Breaking the Silence.

To get a feel for how invested Germany is in promoting anti-Israel propaganda spewed by these two groups, I tallied up German and EU annual financial transfers to them from NGO Monitor's website.

From 2013-2016 Germany transferred 2,838,321 shekels to B'tselem and from 2012-2016 Germany transferred 1,848,912 shekels to Breaking the Silence.

From 2013-2016 the EU transferred 2,670,150 shekels to B'tselem. From 2012-2015 the EU transferrd 1,660,251 shekels to Breaking the Silence.

This is a major investment and it is clear from the money transfers and from Gabriel's insistence on meeting with the groups despite the Prime Minister's ultimatum, that the Germany government views them as agents.

Israel cannot have normal relations with Germany or any other foreign power when they are actively subverting Israeli democracy by funding organizations whose goal it is to delegitimize Israel internationally and make it impossible for the government to carry out the will of Israeli voters.

Moreover, as the investigations that Ad Kan - For a strong Israel conducted of these groups showed, they may well be being used by their foreign governmental funders to conduct military espionage against the IDF and to plan the murders of Palestinians who wish to exercise their civil rights in a manner that does not align with the Israel-registered, foreign government funded organizations' anti-Israel positions and missions.
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« Reply #2321 on: April 28, 2017, 10:25:11 AM »

http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Netanyahus-bold-move-against-Europe-489221
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« Reply #2322 on: May 15, 2017, 01:04:58 PM »

Russia Recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital. Why Can’t the U.S.?
Trump must soon decide whether to move the embassy. Doing so would help promote peace.
Photo: Getty Images
By Eugene Kontorovich
May 14, 2017 5:01 p.m. ET
96 COMMENTS

President Trump’s visit to Israel next week is expected to lead to some announcement about his Jerusalem policy. The trip will coincide with celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the city’s reunification after the Six Day War. Only days after the visit, the president will have to decide between waiving an act of Congress or letting it take effect and moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv—as he promised last year to do if elected.

Jerusalem is the only world capital whose status is denied by the international community. To change that, in 1995 Congress passed the Jerusalem Embassy Act, which mandates moving the U.S. Embassy to a “unified” Jerusalem. The law has been held in abeyance due to semiannual presidential waivers for “national security” reasons. President Obama’s final waiver will expire June 1.

There’s no good reason to maintain the charade that Jerusalem is not Israeli, and every reason for Mr. Trump to honor his campaign promise. The main arguments against moving the embassy—embraced by the foreign-policy establishment—is that it would lead to terrorism against American targets and undermine U.S. diplomacy. But the basis of those warnings has been undermined by the massive changes in the region since 1995.

While the Palestinian issue was once at the forefront of Arab politics, today Israel’s neighbors are preoccupied with a nuclear Iran and radical Islamic groups. For the Sunni Arab states, the Trump administration’s harder line against Iran is far more important than Jerusalem. To be sure, a decision to move the embassy could serve as a pretext for attacks by groups like al Qaeda. But they are already fully motivated against the U.S.

Another oft-heard admonition is that America would be going out on a limb if it “unilaterally” recognized Jerusalem when no other country did. An extraordinary recent development has rendered that warning moot. Last month Russia suddenly announced that it recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Note what happened next: No explosions of anger at the Arab world. No end to Russia’s diplomatic role in the Middle East. No terror attacks against Russian targets. Moscow’s dramatic Jerusalem reversal has largely been ignored by the foreign-policy establishment because it disproves their predictions of mayhem.

To be sure, Russia limited its recognition to “western Jerusalem.” Even so, it shifted the parameters of the discussion. Recognizing west Jerusalem as Israeli is now the position of a staunchly pro-Palestinian power. To maintain the distinctive U.S. role in Middle East diplomacy—and to do something historic—Mr. Trump must go further. Does the U.S. want to wind up with a less pro-Israel position than Vladimir Putin’s ?

The American response to real attacks against U.S. embassies has always been to send a clear message of strength. After the 1998 al Qaeda bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, Washington did not shut down those missions. Instead it invested in heavily fortified new facilities—and in hunting down the perpetrators.

Moving the embassy to Jerusalem would also improve the prospect of peace between Israel and the Palestinians. It would end the perverse dynamic that has prevented such negotiations from succeeding: Every time the Palestinians say “no” to an offer, the international community demands a better deal on their behalf. No wonder no resolution has been reached. Only last week, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas insisted that new negotiations “start” with the generous offer made by Israel’s Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in 2008. Relocating the embassy would demonstrate to the Palestinian Authority that rejectionism has costs.

If Mr. Trump nonetheless signs the waiver, he could do two things to maintain his credibility in the peace process. First, formally recognize Jerusalem—the whole city—as the capital of Israel, and reflect that status in official documents. Second, make clear that unless the Palestinians get serious about peace within six months, his first waiver will be his last. He should set concrete benchmarks for the Palestinians to demonstrate their commitment to negotiations. These would include ending their campaign against Israel in international organizations and cutting off payments to terrorists and their relatives.

This is Mr. Trump’s moment to show strength. It cannot be American policy to choose to recognize a capital, or not, based on how terrorists will react—especially when they likely won’t.

Mr. Kontorovich is a department head at the Kohelet Policy Forum and a law professor at Northwestern University.
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« Reply #2323 on: May 16, 2017, 09:15:43 AM »

a)   http://www.israelvideonetwork.com/jordanian-stabs-israeli-policeman-in-old-city-of-jerusalem/?omhide=true

Is there more complete footage of this anywhere?


b)  The second clip on this page shows terrible perimeter control e.g. that woman at 01:20 should not be where she is.


====================================

http://www.timesofisrael.com/jordan-calls-killing-of-jerusalem-attacker-a-heinous-crime/

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« Reply #2324 on: May 16, 2017, 09:38:15 AM »

http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Our-World-American-greatness-and-the-PLO-490819

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« Reply #2325 on: May 18, 2017, 08:34:27 AM »

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qfGbzwANNKY
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« Reply #2326 on: May 19, 2017, 06:39:08 PM »

Yep.  discretely Trump's policy has shifted away from unconditional support for Israel.  Not sure due to which of his "advisors" but I presume it is due to someone with influence with him.

Dan Bongino covering for Mark today said he will be doing his show from israel next week in celebration of Israel's existential victory over the  7 ARab nations that tried to exterminate them from the Earth.

So Trump can now go there and throw the wall into the pot as negotiable.............. angry
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« Reply #2327 on: May 28, 2017, 11:09:04 PM »

http://www.timesofisrael.com/trump-said-to-yell-at-abbas-over-incitement-you-lied-to-me/
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« Reply #2328 on: May 29, 2017, 08:30:06 AM »

I find the report from US sources that President Trump yelled at Abbas for lying to him about Palestinian incitement to murder and the PA's inculcation of anti-Semitism at all levels of Palestinian society bizarre.

If he said these things, then why did he turn around and announce that Abbas wants peace or that he is INCREASING US aid to the PA?

If he is angry that the PLO is a terrorist group, then why didn't he fulfill his campaign promise and announce that he would not sign the waiver tomorrow and enable US law requiring the US embassy to be moved to Israel's capital Jerusalem?

The answer is that either he didn't say anything to Abbas -- that is, that the report is yet another instance of fake news. Or, conversely that Trump choked and failed to stand up for what he believes in against the anti-Israel establishment at the State Department, the Pentagon, the CIA and inside of his own White House.

Whatever the case, there is no reason to get excited by the news.
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« Reply #2329 on: June 05, 2017, 12:29:49 PM »

Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Iran's 'Preferred Proxy,' Arming in Gaza
by Yaakov Lappin
Special to IPT News
June 5, 2017
https://www.investigativeproject.org/6225/palestinian-islamic-jihad-iran-preferred-proxy
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« Reply #2330 on: June 07, 2017, 11:44:44 AM »

https://mosaicmagazine.com/essay/2017/06/the-forgotten-truth-about-the-balfour-declaration/
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« Reply #2331 on: June 14, 2017, 07:42:49 PM »

http://www.meforum.org/6760/axing-unrwa?utm_source=Middle+East+Forum&utm_campaign=a52dc0424e-romirowsky_joffe_2017_06_14&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_086cfd423c-a52dc0424e-33691909&goal=0_086cfd423c-a52dc0424e-33691909
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« Reply #2332 on: June 16, 2017, 02:17:19 PM »

http://carolineglick.com/burying-saddams-legacy/
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« Reply #2333 on: June 23, 2017, 06:05:50 PM »

http://www.timesofisrael.com/abbas-said-enraged-by-kushner-meet-refuses-to-cut-any-prisoner-salaries/

http://carolineglick.com/israel-american-jewry-and-trumps-gop/
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« Reply #2334 on: June 25, 2017, 01:11:10 PM »

http://www.timesofisrael.com/idf-releases-footage-of-strikes-on-syrian-military-targets/
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« Reply #2335 on: July 01, 2017, 07:35:19 PM »

After 8 years of Obama this is expected:

https://www.yahoo.com/news/israel-u-young-black-latino-134228230.html?.tsrc=jtc_news_index

What I would be curious to know is it Israel or is it Jews?
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« Reply #2336 on: July 06, 2017, 10:44:16 PM »

https://www.wsj.com/articles/modi-and-netanyahu-begin-a-beautiful-friendship-1499296575
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« Reply #2337 on: July 13, 2017, 04:32:48 PM »


Jul 13, 2017 | 20:33 GMT
Israel, Palestinian Territories: The Glass May Be Half Empty When It Comes to a New Water Agreement
(Stratfor)


Israel and the Palestinian Authority signed a water-sharing agreement under U.S. mediation. Israel agreed to provide 32 million cubic meters (about 8.5 billion gallons) of water annually to the Palestinian territories. Though the agreement is an advancement on a contentious issue, it is relatively little to ask of Israel. The 32 million cubic meters Israel will provide — until the desalination plant in Aqaba, Jordan associated with the Red Sea-Dead Sea Water Conveyance project is completed — is less than 10 percent of total Palestinian consumption.

Given the dire water scarcity situation facing the territories, The Palestinian Authority may divert a third of the water from this latest deal to the Gaza Strip where the scarcity is most acute (annual demand there is four times the natural groundwater supply). With demand outpacing supply, the Palestinian Authority needs a renewable source of affordable water.

Water ownership and control is a tense topic between the two governments. Israel may be a water-scarce nation, but it is also the world's leader in water management, water recycling and desalination technology. Despite scarce natural resources, Israel combined a series of canals and carriers, desalination plants, recycling facilities along with pricing schemes to ensure water security. The Palestinians rely mainly on groundwater resources within their territories to meet demand. Aquifers rarely respect national boundaries, however, and the drilling of water wells both in Israel and Palestinian territories has historically been a point of contention. The current deal provides Israel flexibility in terms of water sourcing until the desalination plant in Aqaba, Jordan is completed. A much more substantial advancement would be an agreement on cross-border groundwater resources and extraction.

From a political standpoint, the small amount of progress on water sharing is the first achievement in mediation by the new U.S. administration, which is desperate to advance the issue of Arab-Israeli peace. But within the complex peace negotiations, water is one issue among countless others that will be harder to resolve. While U.S. envoy and Special Representative for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt said he hoped the July 13 water-sharing agreement is a "harbinger of things to come," Palestinian officials are less optimistic. The United States aims to use the agreement as a stepping off point for cooperation on more vexing issues, including settlements, Palestinian security, potential embassy moves and refugee resettlement. But the head of the Palestinian Water Authority said that, though the agreement is helpful, it does not touch on other aspects of the negotiations.


=========================================
Summary

Few geographic constraints are more universal than water scarcity. Although every country sees it in different ways and to different degrees, water stress is a problem that even water-rich states such as Canada experience. And with overuse, population growth and changing environments putting more strain on the world's limited fresh water resources, scarcity is becoming an even bigger concern. As global demand rises and supplies fall short, improving water purification methods will become an attractive option for countries looking to close the gap. Materials such as graphene are already paving the way to cheaper, more effective and more energy efficient filtration methods.

Desalination and water recycling can go a long way in making up for scant natural water resources. Israel, for example, has been highly successful in using both to overcome its inherent lack of water. The water reserves in the arid nation are extremely vulnerable both to its neighbors and its environment. These conditions have necessitated a rather unusual response: Israel recycles and desalinates a sizable share of its water. Recycled water, which is essentially reclaimed wastewater, accounts for 55 percent of agricultural water consumption, and Israel's desalination capacity is expected to equal its natural internal resources within the next four years.

Of course, Israel is a rare case whose small size and relative wealth have gone a long way toward making its water management strategy a success. In the short term, most countries will have a hard time replicating its achievements. Though Israel has advanced desalination technology enough to push costs down, there is still room for improvement. If desalination and water recycling are to be used on a broader scale, scientists will have to find a way to reduce the amount of energy consumed in the filtration process to make them more competitive with natural water resources. Even then, the high costs of transporting water over long distances would remain, limiting the effect seawater desalination could have.

Bringing down energy consumption is key, and some progress has recently been made on that front. Desalination by reverse osmosis — currently the industry standard — requires forcing water through cell membranes at high pressures to reduce the salt concentration present in either seawater or brackish water. Achieving those high pressures typically requires a large amount of energy, but graphene filters may soon change that. Graphene is much more permeable than the materials traditionally used to make desalination filters, reducing the amount of energy needed to separate salt from the water passing through it. According to some estimates, graphene filters can lower the monetary cost of producing water through desalination by as much as 20 percent.

 As is often the case with graphene products, though, the filter's limitation lies in the process of manufacturing it. Graphene and the materials derived from it often have fantastic properties, including great strength, high conductivity or increased permeability. However, these properties are lost when production is scaled up because of deformities introduced during fabrication. In light of this problem, graphene filters have been slow to develop, and efforts have been diverted to recycling wastewater for the oil and natural gas industry, which does not require as much uniformity in filters.

But a new manufacturing technique may make it possible to produce graphene filters with the size and standardization needed for large-scale desalination. Australian and U.S. researchers have developed a process that uses a blade to spread a viscous graphene-oxide material into a thin sheet. The sheet can remove virtually anything from water, including chemicals, salts, viruses and bacteria. Eventually, the process could allow for the faster production of large graphene-based desalination filters — a crucial step toward their wide-scale commercial development. While several hurdles still remain, the fact that the research had a commercial backer — Ionic Industries — makes it more likely that the experiment's results will be applied beyond the academic setting.

If they are, graphene-oxide filters could become a formidable tool in combating water scarcity, though they may not be widely used for at least another five to 10 years. As water resources become increasingly strained in some of the biggest cities and most populated countries, improvements in purification technologies will be important for more effectively using the limited water the world has left. 
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« Reply #2338 on: July 21, 2017, 08:14:22 AM »

Something tells me Tillerson is like James Baker and George Schultz when it comes to Israel though some of this could be from Obamster's State officials:


https://www.conservativereview.com/articles/state-dept-blames-israel-for-causing-palestinian-violence
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« Reply #2339 on: July 21, 2017, 08:29:59 PM »

Uh oh.  Not good.  Given Tilllerson's life in big oil, he probably got used to saying this sort of shit a long time ago.
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« Reply #2340 on: July 24, 2017, 10:37:44 PM »

Terror Sparks Misguided Rage Against Israel
by Ariel Behar  •  Jul 24, 2017 at 5:23 pm
https://www.investigativeproject.org/6423/terror-sparks-rage-against-israel

 
After a terrorist attack killed two police officers at Jerusalem's Temple Mount July 14, Israel installed metal detectors on the compound, which also includes the Al Aqsa Mosque.  That's not a crazy over-reaction. But this routine safety precaution is being cast as an unprovoked intrusion on Muslims wishing to go to the mosque. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas broke off security cooperation with Israel. Protests turned violent, with three people dying Friday, and three members of an Israeli family being murdered in a West Bank terrorist attack.

Abbas condemned the horrific attack on the Temple Mount, but his Fatah party called for a "day of rage" over the metal detectors. None of these actions considers that, without the terror attack that killed the two police officers, none of this would be happening.

"It's hard to think of a worse debasement of a holy place than for armed gunmen in the middle of a shooting spree to flee to it for sanctuary," Bloomberg's Eli Lake wrote last week. "Add to this the fact the Jerusalem police now say there were guns hidden in the Temple Mount complex at the time."

For those who reflexively blame Israel, even when it suffered the attack, such context doesn't matter.

The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) issued a statement expressing unease over "the escalating tensions between Palestinians and Israeli police which led to the latter imposing unprecedented restrictions on worship at Masjid al Aqsa."

Similarly, American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) claimed Israel's closure of Al Aqsa was "unacceptable." In a statement released Friday, it called the new security measures "proof Israel is using the current situation in Jerusalem as a pretext to divide the mosque and prohibit Muslims from accessing their holy site during certain days and/or periods."

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) St. Louis chapter organized a march that cast metal detectors and security cameras as a "siege" of the mosque and featured chants of "free free Al-Aqsa."

"It's just another way to put [Palestinians] on a leash and try to control them," said CAIR intern Neveen Ayesh.

Anti-Israel activist Linda Sarsour took to Facebook Saturday to salute protesters and claim that "Palestine will be free, it's not a question of if, its (sic) when."

Friday's West Bank terror attack, meanwhile, was the first in a series. A security officer at the Israeli embassy in Jordan was attacked Saturday evening. And Monday morning, another Palestinian carried out an attack "for al Aqsa" injuring an Arab-Israeli man he mistook for a Jew.

There have been no condemnations from any of the groups who see metal detectors as horrible injustices.
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« Reply #2341 on: July 26, 2017, 03:15:55 PM »

•   Israel: Israel seems to be active at the diplomatic level in Eastern Europe. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was in Budapest last week. On July 25, Israel’s defense minister visited Belgrade and signed a defense deal with his Serbian counterpart. And Bulgaria is reportedly interested in receiving gas from Israel. Let’s look into what Israel hopes to get out of its moves in Eastern Europe.
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« Reply #2342 on: August 02, 2017, 02:29:16 PM »

http://havokjournal.com/politics/international/three-reasons-palestinian-pay-slay-stay/?utm_source=Havok+Journal&utm_campaign=c3521eb22b-Havok_Journal_Daily&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_566058f87c-c3521eb22b-214571297
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« Reply #2343 on: August 07, 2017, 12:03:47 PM »

like the George Schultz and James Baker Barack Obama anti zionist resentful of Israel most likely anti semetic deep down :

https://www.conservativereview.com/articles/official-mcmaster-calls-israel-illegitimate-occupying-power

It will not be soon enough when Trump finally gets rid of this guy.
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« Reply #2344 on: August 09, 2017, 07:48:13 PM »

http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Preparing-for-the-post-Abbas-era-501928

 PLO chief and Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas scored a victory against Israel at the Temple Mount. But it was a Pyrrhic one.

Days after the government bowed to his demand and voted to remove the metal detectors from the Temple Mount, Abbas checked into the hospital for tests. The 82-year-old dictator has heart disease and a series of other serious health issues. And he has refused to appoint a successor.

It is widely assumed that once he exits the stage, the situation in the PA-ruled areas in Judea and Samaria – otherwise known as Areas A and B – will change in fundamental ways.

This week, two prominent Palestinian advocates, Hussein Agha and Ahmad Samih Khalidi, published an article in The New Yorker entitled “The end of this road: The decline of the Palestinian national movement.”

Among other things, they explained that Abbas’s death will mark the dissolution of the Palestinian national identity. That identity has already been supplanted in Judea and Samaria by local, tribal identities. In their words, “The powerful local ties made it impossible for a Hebronite to have a genuine popular base in Ramallah, or for a Gazan to have a credible say in the West Bank.”

It will also be the end of the PLO and its largest faction, Fatah, founded by Yasser Arafat in 1958 and led by Abbas since Arafat’s death in 2004.

Fatah, they explain, has “no new leaders, no convincing evidence of validation, no marked success in government, no progress toward peace, fragile links to its original setting abroad and a local environment buffeted by the crosswinds of petty quarrels and regional antagonisms.”

One of the reasons the Palestinians have lost interest in being Palestinians is because they have lost their traditional political and financial supporters in the Arab world and the developing world. The Sunni Arab world, led by Saudi Arabia and Egypt, is now willing to publicly extol Israel as a vital ally in its struggle against Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood. The so-called Arab street is increasingly incensed at the Palestinians for monopolizing the world’s attention with their never ending list of grievances against Israel even as millions in the Arab world suffer from war, genocide, starvation and other forms of oppression and millions more have been forced to flee their homes.

As for the developing world, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s refusal to visit with Abbas during his recent visit to Israel marked the official end of the Third World’s alliance with the PLO.

After Abbas departs, Agha and Khalidi identify three key actors that will seek to fill the military and political void. First and foremost, the Palestinian security services (PSF) will raise its head. The PSF is heavily armed and has been trained by the US military. Agha and Khalidi argue reasonably that as the best armed and best organized group in the area aside from the IDF, the PSF will likely seize power in one form or another.

The Palestinian forces pose a major threat to Israel. It isn’t simply that their members have often participated in murderous terrorist attacks against Israel. With their US military training they are capable of launching large-scale assaults on Israeli civilian communities and on IDF forces.

To understand the nature of the threat, consider that last month, a lone terrorist armed with a knife sufficed to massacre the Salomon family in their home in Halamish before he was stopped by an off-duty soldier. Contemplate what a well-armed and trained platoon of Palestinian soldiers with no clear political constraints could do.

The second force Agha and Khalidi identify as likely to step into the leadership vacuum is the Israeli Arab political leadership. As Agha and Khalidi note, since the PLO-controlled PA was established in 1994, the Israeli Arab community and the Palestinians of Judea and Samaria have become more familiar with one another.

Due in large part to subversion by the PLO and Hamas and lavish funding of radical Israeli Arab groups and politicians by foreign governments and leftist donors, a generation of radical, anti-Israel Arab politicians has risen to power.

At the same time, since the Arab Spring destabilized all of Israel’s neighbors, a cross current of Arab Zionism has captivated the Israeli Arab majority. Recognizing that Israel is their safe port in the storm, Israeli Arabs in increasing numbers are choosing to embrace their Israeli identity, learn Hebrew and join mainstream Israeli society.

Agha and Khalidi signal clearly their hope that the integration of the Palestinians and Israel’s Arab minority will enable them to worth together to take over the Jewish state from within.

Finally, Agha and Khalidi note that as support for the Palestinians has waned in the Arab world and the developing world, the West has emerged in recent years as their most stable and enthusiastic political support base. Ethnic Palestinians in the West are more committed to destroying Israel than Palestinians in Syria and Jordan. Western politicians and political activists who support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement are much more committed to the political war against Israel than their counterparts in Asia and Africa.

The Western forces now aligned against Israel in the name of the Palestinians will certainly seek to play a role in shaping events in a post-Abbas world.

This then brings us to Israel and what it must do now and in the immediate aftermath of Abbas’s exit from the scene.

The most important thing that Israel can and must do is send a send a clear message that it will not be walking away from Judea and Samaria. To do so, Israel should end the military government in Area C, where all the Israeli communities and border zones are located, and replace it with its legal code.

Militarily, it is imperative that the IDF be ordered to disarm the PSF as quickly and quietly as possible.

Since 2007, Abbas’s fear of Hamas has exceeded his hatred for Israel. As a consequence, during this time, the Palestinian security forces have cooperated with the IDF in anti-Hamas operations.

There is every likelihood that the forces’ calculations in a post-Abbas world will be quite different.

Israel cannot afford to have a well-armed force, steeped in antisemitic ideology, deployed footsteps from major Israeli population centers.

As for the Israeli Arabs, Israel can empower moderate, integrationist forces to rise to power. To do so, it must enforce its laws against terrorism-sponsoring groups like the Islamic movement and enforce its land and welfare laws toward Arabs with the same vigor it enforces them toward Jews. It must provide support for integrationists to enter the political fray against their anti-Israel rivals.

If Israel fails to take these actions, Agha and Khalidi’s dream that the Palestinian war against Israel is taken over by Israeli Arabs supported by the West will become a realistic prospect.

This then brings us to the West.

Economically, Israel has already begun to limit the capacity of anti-Israel forces in the West to wage economic war against it by deepening its economic ties with Asia.

Politically, Israel must reform its legal system to limit the subversive power of the West in its Arab community and more generally in its political system. Foreign governments must be barred from funding political NGOs. Israel should wage a public campaign in the US to discredit foundations and other non-profits in the US that work through Israeli-registered NGOs to undermine its rule of law.

By applying its laws in full to Area C, and by asserting sole security control throughout the areas, while empowering the Israeli Arab majority that wishes to embrace its Israeli identity, Israel will empower the Palestinians in Areas A and B to govern themselves autonomously in a manner that advances the interests of their constituents.

As Agha and Khalidi note, the Palestinians have been in charge of their own governance since 1994. But under the corrupt authoritarianism of the PLO, their governance has been poor and unaccountable. As local identities have superseded the PLO’s brand of nationalism borne of terrorism and eternal war against Israel, the Palestinians in Judea and Samaria well positioned to embrace an opportunity to govern themselves under a liberal rule of law without fear of the PLO jackboot.

The post-Abbas era will pose new threats and opportunities for Israel. It is up to Israel to ensure that the opportunities are maximized and the threats are neutralized as quickly as possible. Failing that, Israel can expect to contend with military threats in Judea and Samaria several orders of magnitude greater than what it has dealt with in the past. It can similarly expect to find itself under political assault from a combination of radicalized Israeli Arabs and Western governments that will challenge it in ways it has never been challenged before.
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« Reply #2345 on: August 09, 2017, 11:33:46 PM »

http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/the-end-of-this-road-the-decline-of-the-palestinian-national-movement

As their institutions wither and their leaders fade away, young Palestinians will redefine previous generations’ aspirations and agenda.
Photograph by Simona Ghizzoni / Contrasto / Redux

Hussein Agha and Ahmad Samih Khalidi have been involved in Palestinian peace negotiations for three decades, and are senior associate members of St. Antony’s College, Oxford, and co-authors of “A Framework for a Palestinian National Security Doctrine.” Agha most recently carried out backchannel negotiations during the Obama Administration’s failed effort to broker an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement.

As President Trump prepares for yet another attempt to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the ground is shifting under his feet. While Israel’s willingness to offer an acceptable deal is increasingly open to question, with nothing to suggest that its terms are likely to soften with time, the Palestinians are sliding toward the unknown. With the slow but sure decay of the Palestinian political scene, the President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen), represents the last slender chance for a negotiated settlement: he is the sole remaining national leader of his people with sufficient, if dwindling, authority to sign and ratify a deal. For President Trump and his team, as well as for all those seeking to end this century-plus-old conflict, there should be no doubt about the moment’s urgency. After Abbas, there will be no other truly weighty representative and legitimate Palestinian leadership, and no coherent national movement to sustain it for a long time to come.

Over six days in late November and early December, 2016, Fatah, the Palestinian national liberation movement, convened its seventh congress in Ramallah, the de-facto capital of the Palestinian Authority. Despite the lengthy speeches and festive air, the conference did little to dispel what had become unmistakable: the slow expiry of a once vibrant movement. Long on show and short on substance, the meeting hardly touched on any of the mounting political challenges facing the Palestinian people. The Congress was no more than a confirmation of the current order and a reaffirmation of its total and unprecedented control over Fatah, the P.A., and its ostensible parent, the Palestine Liberation Organization.

The contemporary Palestinian national movement—founded and led by Yasser Arafat and embodied by the P.A., Fatah, and the P.L.O. over the past half century—is reaching its end. As its institutions wither and its leaders fade away, there is no obvious successor to take its place.

Looking back, the 1993 Oslo Accords marked the Palestinian national movement’s highest political accomplishment and the beginning of its slow decline. From then onward, the P.A. has been trapped between its original revolutionary mission as an agent for liberation and its new responsibilities as a proto-state, with its attendant civil, bureaucratic, and security establishments.
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For a while, with its historic resistance leader at the helm, the national movement sought to reconcile its contradictory missions. But, with Arafat’s death, Fatah lost not only the forefather and leader of its foundational militant phase but its very raison d’être. Without “armed struggle,” the national movement had no clear ideology, no specific discourse, no distinctive experience or character. In the absence of a genuine and independent state, it was unable to transform itself into a ruling party, as, for example, the African National Congress did, in South Africa. It remained incomplete and suspended: a liberation movement not doing much liberating, locked in a fruitless negotiating process, and denied the means of government by a combination of Israeli obduracy and its own inadequacies.

With the passing of Arafat and most of his colleagues, Fatah’s ability to hold its fractured parts together waned. The social and political milieu of the West Bank and Gaza—steeped in clannish and personal influences—highlighted local fiefdoms and deep-rooted tensions. Severed from its history in the lands of exile, and without a rationale to supersede its original liberationist impulse, Fatah became mired in narrow and parochial turf wars. This was, in turn, compounded by its leaders’ failure to attract new blood. Unlike the experience of exile that formed a unifying Palestinian bond, that of the territories never managed to produce viable leaders who could forge a truly national enterprise out of highly localized components. The powerful pull of local ties made it almost impossible for a Hebronite to have a genuine popular base in Ramallah, or for a Gazan to have a credible say in the West Bank.

With no new leaders, no convincing evidence of validation, no marked success in government, no progress toward peace, fragile links to its original setting abroad, and a local environment buffeted by the crosswinds of petty quarrels and regional antagonisms, Fatah fundamentally disappeared as a real political agent.

The national movement was built on representation, activism, and achievement. It faithfully and energetically represented the broadest spectrum of Palestinian national sentiment, from the most visceral to the most rational, and it re-created the forgotten Palestinians as central players in their own drama and as a cause worthy of recognition across the world—epitomized by Arafat’s address to the U.N. General Assembly in 1974.

Today, none of these elements of success are evident. The all-encompassing P.L.O. has lost its representative status; the aging factions that still sit in its councils have little, if any, extensions inside or outside Palestine. The spirit of activism and dynamism has moved outside P.L.O. structures and onto the streets with no clear organization or political direction. And the P.A./P.L.O.’s achievements have been largely formalistic if not fake—a more advanced status as “observer state” at the U.N., but with no tangible improvement to the situation on the ground.

Arafat’s management was an integral element of the dynamism of the Palestinian national movement, and the transition from Arafat to Abbas passed smoothly because it was recognized as a continuation of the founding days of the national movement. Abbas may have needed formal elections to consolidate his position and gain acceptance in the international community, but, without his previous revolutionary credentials and association with Arafat, Abbas’s legitimacy would have been questioned from the start.

Abbas did not want, and could never occupy, Arafat’s place. His standing with his own people was deeply damaged by his persistent and infertile engagement with the peace process, his unwavering opposition to forceful struggle, and his fulsome dedication to security coöperation with Israel. As his tenure extended beyond his initial electoral mandate, the Palestinian political system developed many of the characteristics of a one-man Presidential regime, but without the élan of a popular leader. Later years witnessed a growing tendency toward unmitigated centralization, rule by decree, and the concentration of power. Other instruments of government were muted, and a determined effort was made to control what remains of Fatah’s decaying structures and to silence genuine political dissent. What used to be a vibrant if fractious political debate, nourished, tolerated, and often exploited by the leadership, has turned into a dull and dismal discourse, steered by political directives, and driven by fear of suppression and the loss of position inside an ever-swelling bureaucracy. A distinction between “President” and “leader” has emerged, and not necessarily in a manner that serves either.

Abbas’s years as President have not been without their share of achievements. His peace policy provided the P.A. with a formidable firewall against the kind of international pressure associated with the Palestinian national movement’s past violence, and added to a growing sense of unease at Israel’s occupation. For some, this by itself is a major national achievement. The P.A. has been sustained as a would-be state, and, since 1994, many of the day-to-day governing affairs of municipal, health, education, and other functions have been in Palestinian hands for the first time.

Abbas’s dedication to negotiations, diplomacy, and non-violence has shifted the burden onto the other side. While the current Israeli leadership’s peace credentials are widely disputed, Abbas’s international image as a man of peace remains largely intact. At the same time, he has managed to hold on to the historical and fundamental Palestinian demands; he has not wavered from the P.L.O.’s goals for a state along the 1967 borders, with its capital in East Jerusalem, and a just resolution to the refugee problem. He put an end to the chaos of the second intifada. He has continued engaging with a broad range of Israeli opinions, and has assiduously sought to cultivate what remains of the Israeli peace camp and to engage with Jewish leaders and communities abroad. Perhaps most important, he has succeeded in insulating the Palestinian people from much of the violence and destruction of the “Arab Spring” and from the growth of Salafi and jihadist movements in the West Bank.

All in all, Abbas’s era has enhanced the Palestinians’ moral standing and lent traction to their cause and narrative. But these achievements are in danger of being overshadowed by new circumstances and challenges. Abbas may have helped to underpin the legitimacy of the Palestinian cause, particularly in the West, but his approach has failed to demonstrate sufficient payoff in peace negotiations, changing the unacceptable status quo, or in attracting popular support to revive the movement’s declining fortunes. The thirteen years of his rule have produced no significant change in Israel’s stance; in fact, Israel’s terms for a final-status resolution on such issues as Jerusalem, security, and the extent of Palestinian sovereignty have notably hardened.

Furthermore, the Palestinians’ readiness to take the negotiating path to its logical conclusions was restrained by a perception that they were winning the moral and psychological high ground. The paradoxical effect was to make it harder to progress toward an agreement with Israel because it seemed that other influential parties might do the job.

The past decade has also witnessed a series of seemingly inconsistent and not well thought-out Palestinian diplomatic moves, including the welcoming of, and then backtracking on, the Goldstone Report, in 2011; on the 2008 Gaza war; the unconvincing threats by senior Palestinian officials to dismantle the P.A.; the overselling of the bid to create international facts by joining various U.N. bodies; the pursuit of desperate and futile initiatives such as the proposals, in 2016, by the former French President François Hollande for an international conference; and the failure to make diplomatic progress even in the shadow of a relatively friendly U.S. Administration. As a result, the entire notion of peace negotiations has been discredited and consigned to outright condemnation, deep disbelief, and profound apathy among Palestinians, further weakening the national movement’s political credibility and standing.

The growing public criticism of security coöperation might best encapsulate the P.A.’s dilemma. Security coöperation is meant to serve the national interest by preventing armed activities that threaten to elicit a disproportionate Israeli response. Yet coöperation ends up serving Israel by sustaining the occupation’s low cost and helping to perpetuate it. The primary function of any authority is to provide security to the people it represents. P.A. security forces can do very little to defend their own people both in the territories and abroad, where at least half of the estimated total of twelve million Palestinians reside, in the face of third-party threats, individual Israeli assaults, settler violence, or the organized actions of the Israel Defense Forces. Palestinians are consequently left vulnerable to overwhelming Israeli power and the hardening fist of their own security forces at the same time. Insofar as security coöperation is seen as an auxiliary function to the occupation, it has added to a sense of helplessness and loss of agency and has focussed popular anger and frustration away from the struggle for freedom and independence. Whether the Palestinians would be better served in raw contact with the occupation without the mediating influence of the P.A. is open to question, but the cumulative corrosive impact of the P.A.’s role as shield and security subcontractor to the occupation is undeniable—especially with no accompanying political returns.

The Palestinian loss of faith in a negotiated settlement reflects a loss of faith in the agencies that have sought to pursue it. To the extent that Fatah, the P.A., and the P.L.O. have been dedicated to a two-state solution, their failures—from liberation to governance to peacemaking—have lessened public support for the desirability or viability of the goal itself. Besides the bloated P.A. bureaucracy, almost all sectors of the Palestinian people have been alienated from the methods and practices of their representative bodies, and have largely lost any real sense of investment in their diplomacy. What was once seen as a national unifying program is now viewed with deep skepticism and indifference.

Of course, not all change has come from within. There is no doubt that the regional and international environment has shifted in unfavorable ways. A “Third World” moment—in which the Palestinian national struggle found a natural home within the liberationist and anti-colonial movements of Algeria and Vietnam, and was embraced by emerging Asian powers as part of their new sense of independence—no longer exists. The recent era has seen a move in the opposite direction; there may be greater understanding for the Palestinian cause in the West, but many of the Palestinians’ former Third World allies have chosen economic self-interest in place of ideological commitment. India’s wavering support for the Palestinians at the U.N. and China’s growing trade and military ties with Israel are examples.

The Arab environment has also clearly changed. Fatah was originally as much an assertion of Palestinian “independence of will” in the face of Arab hegemony as it was a revolt against Israel’s plunder of the homeland. Despite many political conflicts and bloody confrontations with numerous Arab states such as Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon, the P.L.O. continued to draw political and financial support from its hinterland, from the Gulf States, and from a popular base that was deeply sympathetic to the Palestinian struggle. Fatah and the P.L.O. may have been largely dependent on Arab aid, but the multiplicity of sources and the constant rivalries among the Arabs themselves accorded the movement a wide margin of freedom. If one source of funding and support was severed, another was more than likely to appear. And, despite a high degree of financial dependency, the movement maintained political freedom of action: the P.L.O.’s dramatic support for a two-state solution in 1988 and the 1993 Oslo Accords were “independent” Palestinian decisions made without wider Arab consent, regardless of their wisdom at the time or since.

In the regional turmoil and violence of recent years, the Palestinians largely lost the skill of maneuvering among the Arab parties and their conflicting interests, and have become more dependent on other external support. As Arab financial aid shrinks, a new bloc of Arab states, comprising Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, has a growing hold over the Arabs’ say on Palestine, further narrowing P.L.O. independence. Equally, the P.A. has become more and more reliant on the flow of funds from the U.S. and the European Union, and on Israel’s good will in dealing with the daily needs of the Palestinian population in the territories. Once a useful tool for maximizing freedom of action, multiple sources of outside support are now a means of leverage to further constrain Palestinian decision-making.

The post-Abbas era will launch an uncharted and unpredictable course. The founding fathers’ historical legacy and imprint of legitimacy is disappearing. The Palestinian refugees and the broader community in exile have no real agency, means of expression, or instruments to reflect their will. Fatah’s ongoing conflict with Hamas, the unrest in Gaza and the West Bank, and the institutional failures of the P.A. all point to an increasingly narrow and more tenuous form of leadership, one that is based more on formal elections, and, consequently and paradoxically, on less solid and genuinely representative grounds.

A leader elected on and by the West Bank, without continuity with the fading national movement, may not be openly rejected by the fractured components of the Palestinian people, but will, in the best of circumstances, have only limited national appeal and authority. Unlike a leader chosen by widespread acclaim, a narrowly elected leader, or one selected as a compromise among the different factions, cannot claim to represent those who lie outside his or her constituency, or to speak on their behalf. It is doubtful that such a leader will be able to rely on majority support or rally it, if and when decisions of national import are at stake. Abbas’s power derives from the fact that those who may otherwise criticize or reject a deal will abide by his terms. His signature not only imparts legitimacy to an agreement but absolves opponents from any responsibility for the concessions it may entail. Despite his limitations, Abbas may be the last Palestinian leader with the moral authority and political legitimacy to speak and act on behalf of the entire nation on vital existential issues such as a final agreement with Israel.

If the incoming Palestinian leadership is likely to be less representative than its predecessors, the degree to which it has a mandate to conclude and sustain a future agreement with Israel may be open to question. This will necessarily affect Israel’s own willingness to agree to a deal—already evident in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s repeated insistence that Israel will “never” cede security control over the West Bank. It will also affect the role and posture of third parties, such as the U.S., in facilitating or pushing for a deal, and its possible content will be less likely to approximate Palestinian terms for a settlement. The recent spate of well-attended popular meetings hosted by Turkey, Egypt, Iran, and even France and Holland may inaugurate a new phase in which the P.L.O. faces growing pressure to defend its credentials as the “sole and legitimate representative” of the Palestinian people, with further limitations on its margin of maneuvers at home and abroad.

Twenty-four years after Oslo, the security establishment is perhaps the most enduring and powerful institution spawned by the P.A. Nourished and fortified by Israel, the U.S., and major European and Arab parties as part of the post-second-intifada reform process and designed to control violence and internal dissent, P.A. security forces have become the most efficient, visible, and functional arm of Palestinian governance. In the absence of countervailing legal and political institutions, organized popular movements, or capable representative bodies, there will be a strong temptation for the security forces to fill the vacuum of a frail national leadership, if only to avoid a comprehensive institutional collapse.

Even as Fatah has fallen apart, its popular base has remained in suspension instead of being pulled or driven toward other alternatives. More nationalist than Islamist in their political inclinations and outlook, the Palestinians have not been significantly drawn to Hamas. Hamas’s initial challenge emerged from its adoption of armed struggle at the moment when Fatah and the other factions had begun to discard it. But Hamas’s militant experiment has been no more successful than Fatah’s. Gaza’s history of resistance may have helped to convince Israel to evacuate the Strip, in 2005, but the subsequent suffering has not served as a model or source of inspiration for the rest of the Palestinians. Similarly, Hamas’s decade-long governance of Gaza has been marred by the same charges of corruption, incompetence, and heavy-handedness as its P.A. counterpart in Ramallah, but with the additional burdens of broad isolation and constant Israeli siege. On matters of armed struggle, diplomacy, and governance, those looking to Hamas as a replacement for Fatah would find it difficult to argue that the former has delivered where the latter has failed.

In its previous incarnation, Fatah succeeded in accommodating those of an Islamist bent by dissipating their influence within a wider national rubric. By incorporating a strong leftist current, it counteracted and neutralized Islamist tendencies. As Fatah took command of the P.L.O., it left a space for others to speak, act, and be heard. At present, a P.L.O. that included both Hamas and Fatah would be neither truly national nor genuinely Islamist but a forced arrangement between contradictory and competing forces pulling in different strategic directions. Besides the vexed question of leadership, it would be hard to sustain such a mixed and conflicted entity.

If the national movement’s initial phase arose from exile, and the second was focussed on the territories occupied in the Six-Day War, a budding third phase seems to be emerging from the combined effect of the diminishing prospects for a negotiated two-state settlement, and the increasingly blurred borders between Arabs and Jews in the territory. Israeli settlements may have all but erased the 1967 borders in one direction, but fifty years of occupation have helped to erase the border in the opposite direction as well. After decades of fraught relations between the Palestinians and Israel’s Palestinian citizens, the past few years have seen growing interaction between the political and intellectual élites across the borders.

The broader Palestinian public has slowly begun to recognize the national role and place of its brethren in Israel, and to seek means by which the tattered fabric of Palestinian identity may be mended. With the expiration of the national movement “outside” the West Bank and Gaza and with little prospect of self-regeneration from “inside,” Israel’s Palestinian citizens have inherited a new share of the struggle. They have proved to be politically resilient and flexible and have demonstrated a vitality and dynamism that may even point to something of a nationalist revival. In light of the sensitive conditions under which they operate, their comparatively small critical mass, their continuing isolation, and their tenuous connections with the other sectors of the Palestinian people, it may be too fanciful to believe that they could supplant the old national movement or assume its broader mantle or its more immediate functions. Yet, despite their personal and political differences, their bold leaders and their growing understanding of Israel’s democratic portico may position them to articulate with increasing confidence the traditional themes of Palestinian national aspirations and struggle. This would be a remarkable transformation.

Israeli right-wing politicians have often argued that the roots of the current conflict far predate 1967. The assertion that the origins of the conflict stretch back considerably further is not controversial or contestable. Oslo sought to trade 1967 against 1948—that is, to obscure the historical roots of the conflict in return for a political settlement that offered a partial redress that focussed solely on post-1967 realities. Current circumstances have begun to undo this suppression. Oslo could not bypass history, and its limitations have only highlighted the difficulty of ignoring the deeper roots of the struggle over Palestine.

This has become manifest in Israel’s gradual shift rightward, as well as in the growing encroachment of the national religious movement upon the levers of power and public discourse, the increasing influence and militancy of settler and fringe movements, and the sharpening tensions between the Jewish and Arab populations as marked by the rhetoric of both leaderships.

A similar process is tangible on the Palestinian side, in the growing backing for the right of return, and in moves to document and memorialize the nakba and the 1948 dispossession. The Israeli demand for recognition of Israel as a Jewish state has solicited countermoves to reassert the Arab character of the land and reinforce the Palestinian historical narrative. Regardless of its distant and scattered parts, the experience of exile has not faded away. The Palestinians in exile may no longer have as confident and recognized a voice as that of the P.L.O. in its heyday, but the younger generation has shown no signs of historical amnesia or disengagement. The growing despair at the ineffectiveness of the peace process has reanimated their disparate parts and captured their imagination. While the near diaspora may be under siege and unprecedented pressure, particularly in Syria and Lebanon, many groups strewn across farther shores call for justice. The growing visibility and international sympathy for the Palestinian cause, and the slow erosion of Israel’s political and moral standing, particularly in the West, have created a new, more open and welcoming environment for Palestinian activism, as apparent from the spreading support for the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (B.D.S.) movement and various activist groups off and on campus.

The historic Palestinian national movement may have shattered and its successor may be neither discernible nor imminent. But the Palestinians will not simply disappear. The region may be engulfed in flames, and for the moment, at least, seemingly otherwise engaged, but Palestinian claims to justice and freedom have embedded themselves in the conscience of much of the world, just as Israel’s practices have eaten away at its avowed values.

The idea of one overarching, comprehensive, negotiated resolution that incorporates all the fundamental elements of the conflict may have slipped out of reach. What used to be called “the Palestine problem” might now be better redefined and restructured as a series of challenges, each requiring its own form of redress: the disappearing prospects for the original national project of self-determination, statehood, and return; the peoples’ alienation from their formal representatives; the realities of the Gaza–West Bank split; the continuing trials and tribulations of the diaspora; and the daily struggle for freedom from occupation and equal rights in Israel.

The future remains deeply uncertain. The two-state solution may win some belated and final reprieve as its prospects dwindle. Palestinian national aspirations may be brought back into the wider Arab fold, as they were before the current movement was established. Yet other possibilities abound. The Palestinians in Israel may be tempted to take the lead. The diaspora may yet explode in some radical and ill-defined manner. The malign energies of jihadism may be redirected toward a Muslim­-Jewish religious war, with Jerusalem as its focus. The conflict may be dragged back to its historical origins as a struggle over and across the entire Holy Land, reopening old wounds, inflicting new ones, and redefining how and if the conflict will be resolved.

The spark of patriotism may still coexist along with loathing of the occupation and a desire for a free and normal life. But a national movement requires genuine mass engagement in a political vision and a working project that cuts across boundaries of region, clan, and class, and a defined and acknowledged leadership with the legitimacy and representative standing that empowers it to act in its people’s name. This no longer holds for Fatah, the P.A., or the P.L.O.

Be that as it may, the Palestinians may need to acknowledge that yesteryear’s conventional nationalism and “national liberation” are no longer the best currency for political mobilization and expression in today’s world, and that they need to adapt their struggle and aspirations to new global realities. The bonds that link the Palestinian people together remain strong and hardy, but old-style nationalism and its worn-out ways may no longer be the vehicle for their empowerment. Because nationalism itself has changed, Palestinians need to search for new means of expressing their political identity and hopes in ways that do not and cannot replicate the past.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #2346 on: September 14, 2017, 07:08:14 PM »

http://freebeacon.com/national-security/u-s-israel-reject-claims-relationship-strained-deny-closed-door-shouting-match/
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« Reply #2347 on: October 04, 2017, 10:54:47 PM »

http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/In-the-Palestinian-reconciliation-Hamas-is-the-true-victor-506674

What do we make of Egypt's role here? 
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #2348 on: October 08, 2017, 07:09:40 AM »

Hizballah's Nasrallah Escalates Threats as Syria Turns Into Iranian Base
by Yaakov Lappin
Special to IPT News
October 8, 2017
https://www.investigativeproject.org/6758/hizballah-nasrallah-escalates-threats-as-syria
 
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