President Donald Trump’s gestures and comments during the announcement said it all: This is a pro-Israel
U.S. President Trump and Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu discuss Middle East peace proposal at White House in Washington
(photo credit: BRENDAN MCDERMID/REUTERS)
The “Deal of the Century” is the biggest diplomatic gift an American administration has ever given to the Jewish state since its founding.
Even without reading its contents, one could see during the unveiling at the White House on Tuesday that this plan was orchestrated in tight cooperation with Israel. President Donald Trump’s gestures and comments during the announcement said it all: This is a pro-Israel plan.
And Israelis received the gift with open hands. The Right appreciated the fact that Israel does not have to uproot the settlements. The Left was satisfied that once again peace is on the nation’s agenda, and both sides were satisfied by the response of the Arab world, which by large, called on the Palestinians to consider the plan as a basis for negotiations.
However, after the lights were shut in the East Room, doubts started to flow.
Alongside questions about the definition of the Palestinian capital in east Jerusalem and the tunnel connecting the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, some serious questions also came up on the borders section.
According to the plan, Israel will compensate the Palestinians for every inch in order to keep the West Bank settlements. “Land swaps provided by the State of Israel could include both populated and unpopulated areas,” the plan reads, a reference to Arab towns and cities located in the northern and southern “triangles” and Wadi Ara – three areas stretching from Rosh Ha’ayin to the Lower Galilee.
The Triangle communities consist of Kafr Kara, Arara, Baka al-Gharbiya, Umm el-Fahm, Kalansuwa, Taybeh, Kafr Kassem, Tira, Kafr Bara and Jaljulya, according to the document. “These communities, which largely self-identify as Palestinian, were originally designated to fall under Jordanian control during the negotiations of the Armistice Line of 1949, but ultimately were retained by Israel for military reasons that have since been mitigated. The Vision contemplates the possibility, subject to agreement of the parties that the borders of Israel will be redrawn such that the Triangle Communities become part of the State of Palestine.”
It is true that the triangles, or the Triangle, as it is often referred to by Israelis, and Wadi Ara were supposed to be part of Jordan and were handed to Israel in 1949. But since then, they have been part of Israel and the people who live there are Israeli citizens.
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The argument could be that the residents identify as Palestinians. But do they really? According to an Israel Democracy Institute poll in 2019, most of the Israeli-Arabs see themselves as being part of Israeli society. Sixty-five percent are proud to be Israeli while 83% say they want to become better integrated into Israeli society and play an active role in it. When asked what was the main component of their identity, only 13% said their Palestinian roots. The most common answer, answered by 38%, was simply “Arab.”
There is no basis to think that the Arabs living in these areas feel more Palestinian than those living in the Galilee or the Negev. The people living in Taybeh, Baka al-Gharbiya or Umm el-Fahm are integrating into Israeli society. They work and study with Jews and shop in the same places.
The State of Israel has always been ambivalent toward its Arab citizens. In the country’s first years, the Arabs lived under a military administration. Since then, they were given full citizenship and political rights. Arabs serve as heads of hospital departments, as government ministers and play in the country’s different sports leagues. Proposing to hand citizens over to another country is not only insulting, but it is also damaging.
A similar idea was already offered by Avigdor Liberman years ago and the Arabs living in these areas completely rejected it.
Despite this, there is no question the issue is complicated. Many of the Israeli-Arabs do affiliate themselves – to a certain degree – with Palestinian culture and history. But it doesn’t mean that they are not part of the State of Israel. Israeli society consists of many cultures and identities. After almost 72 years, we should learn how cope with this complex situation and be more accepting.
Trump’s plan offers peace. Accepting the Arab minority in Israel could be the first step in that direction.
Menachem Begin in December 1942 wearing the Polish Army uniform of Gen. Anders’ forces with his wife Aliza and David Yutan; (back row) Moshe Stein and Israel Epstein
(photo credit: JABOTINSKY ARCHIVES)
During the inauguration of a memorial to the victims of the Siege of Leningrad in Jerusalem’s Sacher Park on January 24, 2020, before the climax of Holocaust remembrance events at which Russian President Vladimir Putin was given a central platform, we were stunned to hear a rendition of The Blue Kerchief (Siniy
Giant figures are seen during the 87th carnival parade of Aalst February 15, 2015
The annual carnival in Aalst, Belgium, is expected to take place on Sunday with even more antisemitic elements than in previous years.
Aalst’s organizers have sold hundreds of “rabbi kits” for revelers to dress as hassidic Jews in the carnival’s parade. The kit includes oversized noses, sidelocks (peyot) and black hats. The organizers plan to bring back floats similar to the one displayed in 2019 featuring oversized dolls of Jews, with rats on their shoulders, holding banknotes.
Pope Francis waves as he arrives at the Basilica of Saint Nicholas in the southern Italian coastal city of Bari, Italy February 23, 2020. Photo: REUTERS/Remo Casilli.
Pope Francis on Sunday warned against “inequitable solutions” to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, saying they would only be a prelude to new crises, in an apparent reference to US President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace proposal.
Francis made his comments in the southern Italian port city of Bari, where he traveled to conclude a meeting of bishops from all countries in the Mediterranean basin.
Palestinians walk past a shop selling fruits in Ramallah, Feb. 20, 2020. Photo: Reuters / Mohamad Torokman.
Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) have reached an agreement to end a five-month long trade dispute, officials said on Thursday.
The dispute, which opened a new front in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, began in September when the PA announced a boycott of Israel calves. The PA exercises limited self-rule in the West Bank under interim peace deals.
Antisemitic caricatures on display at the annual carnival in Aalst, Belgium. Photo: Raphael Ahren via Twitter.
Disturbing images emerged on Sunday of the annual carnival at Aalst, Belgium, showing an astounding number of antisemitic themes, costumes, displays and statements.
Israeli journalist Raphael Ahren documented people dressed as caricatures of Orthodox Jews, a fake “wailing wall” attacking critics of the parade, blatantly antisemitic characters and puppets wearing traditional Jewish clothes and sporting huge noses.
Feb 02, 2020 0The remarks from the US official came in wake of the Palestinian decision to reject the administration’s peace plan. US PRESIDENT Donald Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrive to...
The stench of anti-Semitism always hovers over Switzerland’s Lake Geneva when the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) is meeting there. The foul emanations reached a new nadir last week with UNHRC’s publication of a “database” of companies doing business in the disputed territories in Israel.
Following the publication of the list, Bruno Stagno Ugarte, deputy director for advocacy of NGO Human Rights Watch, stated, “The long-awaited release of the U.N. settlement business database should put all companies on notice: To do business with illegal settlements [sic] is to aid in the commission of war crimes.”
One of the many things that annoys me about politicians is how sure they are of themselves. Everything is black and white. Every idea is good or bad. Take globalism, for example. You either love it or hate it. It works or it doesn’t.
Another thing that annoys me is how so much of a politician’s life revolves around power: Do everything you can to get it, and everything you can to keep it.
Why am I ranting? Because, while our politicians have been consumed with power and the media with the fights over power, a threat to our nation has been virtually ignored.
Blue and White Party leaders Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid are establishing their diplomatic credentials in the immediate run-up to Israel’s March 2 election with an insult to a U.S. administration that has arguably provided Israel with more diplomatic gains than any previous administration.
The Times of Israel reported that at a campaign stop in front of English-speaking Israelis, Gantz accused Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “of neglecting bipartisan ties in favor of exclusive support from U.S. President Donald Trump’s Republican Party,” under the headline “Gantz pledges to mend ties with U.S. Democrats if elected.”
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Nancy Pelosi had been looking dyspeptic, shuffling the papers she would later rip to shreds, when President Donald Trump reminded his audience that “the United States is leading a 59-nation diplomatic coalition against the socialist dictator of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro.”
Suddenly, the House Speaker applauded. Trump then introduced “the true and legitimate president of Venezuela: Juan Guaidó.”
The law professor Alan Dershowitz has thrown a legal hand-grenade into America’s political civil war by claiming to have evidence that former President Barack Obama “personally asked” the FBI to investigate someone “on behalf” of Obama’s “close ally,” billionaire financier George Soros.
He made his cryptic remark in an interview defending U.S. President Donald Trump against claims he interfered in the prosecution of his former adviser, Roger Stone.