The Obama Administration on Wednesday signaled its support for Israel’s decision to cancel further peace talks with the Palestinian Authority after the latter concluded a unity agreement with the Hamas terrorist organization.
“It’s hard to see how Israel can be expected to sit down and negotiate with a group that denies its right to exist,” US State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki said in reference to Hamas.
Israel has long insisted that it cannot make genuine peace with a Palestinian government that includes Hamas.
In 2006, the Palestinian public responded to Israel’s position on the matter by overwhelmingly voting Hamas into power in national legislative elections. An internal power struggle with its rival Fatah kept Hamas from exercising its full authority. But Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas (Fatah) this week demonstrated that he had no problem reconciling with Hamas, even if doing so put peace with Israel further out of reach.
The deal forged between Abbas and his Hamas rivals calls for the formation of a unity government in the next five weeks, and could see the Palestinian leader visit the Gaza Strip for the first time since it was seized by Hamas in a bloody coup in 2007.
“I said this morning that Abbas needs to choose between peace with Israel and an agreement with Hamas, a murderous terrorist organization that calls for the destruction of the State of Israel and which both the United States and the European Union define as a terrorist organization,” said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a statement released to the press.
“This evening, as talks are still ongoing about extending the negotiations, Abbas has chosen Hamas and not peace,” he continued. “Whoever chooses Hamas does not want peace.”
Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, Israel’s chief negotiator in talks with the Palestinians, agreed: “The reconciliation agreement that Mahmoud Abbas signed with Hamas is a bad step, which not only caused the cancelation of [negotiations], but cast a heavy shadow on the possibility to progress.”
Livni added that Israel “has a duty, even when we want peace, not to stop seeing reality with eyes wide open: Hamas combines religious Muslim extremist ideology with terrorism and doesn’t recognize our right to exist.”
Finance Minister Yair Lapid said both the Fatah-Hamas unity agreement and Abbas’ recent decision to violate agreements with Israel by unilaterally seeking recognition for “Palestine” called into question whether or not the Palestinians really want a state of their own, or rather, a state alongside Israel.
“Hamas is not a government, it is a Jihadist terror organization that has inscribed on its flag the killing of civilians — women, children, old people — just because they are Jewish,” Lapid reminded a gathering of the European Jewish Congress in Tel Aviv.
At an emergency cabinet meeting in Jerusalem on Thursday, Netanyahu was reportedly urged to go beyond simply canceling a few negotiating sessions, and to impose real sanctions on the Palestinian Authority.
Palestinian leaders, meanwhile, maintained that unity with Hamas should not preclude a negotiated settlement with Israel. Abbas was quoted as saying that bringing Hamas into the PLO (the parent organization of the Palestinian Authority) would somehow bolster the chances of a lasting peace.
PHOTO: Hamas and Fatah negotiators shake hands in Gaza
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.”
Bipartisanship was in short supply at the State of the Union address earlier this month—with one notable exception.
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.