Where to even start with Abbas’ pronouncements. Sigh….

http://www.jpost.com/DiplomacyAndPolitics/Article.aspx?id=235789

I just read the article above on the Jerusalem Post’s website, and have a few comments.    I’m not sure where to even start with this one, so I’ll just dive right in.  My points are in no particular order…..

‎1) The Palestinians have ZERO chance of Israel ever agreeing to absorb any significant number of “refugees” 60 or 45 years after the fact. It’s a non-starter, guaranteed to go nowhere.  In fact, by the PA’s definition of “Refugee”, a very large portion of Israeli’s would be considered refugees, too, since they and their parents and grand-parents fled the Arab countries following the 1948 War of Independence to come to Israel.  They are no less refugees than are the Palestinians, although they were ALL successfully absorbed and integrated into Israeli society, despite the vast majority leaving behind homes, businesses, possessions, and wealth in their countries of origin.  Perhaps this should just be considered a population exchange, much like that between India and Pakistan, when the Muslims went to Pakistan, and the Hindus went to India.  Voila.  Problem solved.

2) Declaration of a Palestinian state on the “1967 B…orders” is also a non-starter, as it has absolutely no basis in international law and is contrary to both the 1967 armistice agreements AND the Oslo accords to which the PLO is a signatory.  Those agreements state explicitly that the armistice lines are NOT to be considered borders, and also state explicitly that Israel is entitled to secure borders NOT based on those armistice lines.

3) Such a unilateral step, claiming all the territory conquered by Israel in 1967, which included territory LOST by Israel and Jews in 1948/49, would not, as Abbas says, stake their claim for “Occupied Territory”, but would quite probably cause Israel to state their own claim for some of that territory. And, since there are several hundred thousand Jews living in those very specific areas, the Palestinians have a snowball’s chance in hell of winning that argument IF they declare a state and decide to make it a case of two states arguing about borders.

4) Abbas’ continuing demand to stop construction in all the “settlements” ignores several important things. There ARE “settlements” that will remain part of Israel in any peace treaty. They are just too big and too close to the “green line” (1967 armistice lines) to be dismantled. Any border will most likely include them in Israeli territory.

Most building going on today in those settlements is NOT expanding the borders of the settlements outward – they are building internally, expanding individual homes to accommodate natural growth, and not likely to stop. They are NOT taking any additional land for that growth, which seems quite benign by most standards.

More importantly, Abbas does not differentiate between settlements over the “green line” and neighborhoods in Jerusalem (whether in the city itself or “suburbs”). Many of these areas were Jewish before 1948 and are Jewish again. Many were not inhabited by anyone. AND, Israel formally annexed Jerusalem following the 1967 war. Anyone believing that Israel is going to just hand these over to Abbas is in for a rude awakening.

5. In some ways, I feel badly for Abbas, but he deserves the position in which he finds himself. He and his cronies have created an atmosphere in which compromise has become impossible. If he makes peace with Israel, he’ll be dead within the week, given public opinion and the influence of the more radical Islamist groups. Even if he DOES survive, he will certainly be personal non grata and any agreement won’t be worth the paper on which it’s written.

Abbas has painted himself into a corner with this UN initiative, and in the end, it is likely to have a negative effect on whatever concessions the PA/PLO would likely have wrung from Israel had they sat down to negotiate.

Israel is likely to, and fully justified in doing so, tell them simply “Go to hell. We will no longer support you, transfer any taxes to you, or give in on anything we do not think is in our best interests.”  When and if it becomes a border dispute between two countries, it will be that much harder for Abbas to convince Israel to withdraw from ANY territory, AND, any violence or attempts to send masses across the border could easily be interpreted as an act of war perpetrated by a state, albeit one that is self-declared, cannot support itself, and has no formal borders.

Not such a rosy picture of the future, I’m afraid.

Israel will persist and thrive.  A new state of Palestine, without Israeli cooperation and friendship, not so much….

The AMCHA Initiative has just launched its brand new website, www.amchainitiative.org.

The letter following my comments is from Tammi Benjamin, a professor at University of California.  She is very involved in protection of Jewish students and their rights on campus.

What’s sad and ironic is that if ANY other minority was treated the way Jewish students are being treated today on US campuses, the outcry would be nationwide, broad, and universal.  People would be up in arms.  The Jewish community would be bemoaning how a minority could be treated this way, there would be protests, rallies, and Jews would be at the forefront.

Why, then, do we not stand up for ourselves when we are threatened, harassed, assaulted (both verbally and physically) and tarred with the brush of anti-Semitism.  This is no joke, it is happening today on many university campuses around the country where Jewish students are afraid to gather together in public to support Israel or any Jewish causes, and are afraid, in some places, to wear a kippa or star of David.  It is absolutely outrageous that Jewish students are not afforded the basic protections that any other minority receives.

Can you imagine the outcry if Black students, or Hispanics were being treated the same way as are Jewish students today?

 Why is it ok to treat Jewish students like this?

Tammi’s letter: 

Dear Friends,

 The AMCHA Initiative has just launched its brand new website, www.amchainitiative.org. This is an invaluable resource for anyone who cares about protecting Jewish students. You can find bulletins and updates, links to articles and additional resources, and action items such as signing the AMCHA Initiative’s letter to UC President Yudof, urging him to forcefully and promptly address the problem of the harassment and intimidation of Jewish students at the University of California.

Our homepage is currently featuring “University of California: A Hostile Environment,” a short documentary exploring the nature and scope of anti-Jewish bigotry on UC campuses.

We believe that engaging the entire Jewish community is an essential step in ensuring the safety and well-being of Jewish students.  Please help us get the word out about the AMCHA Initiative by sharing our new website with family, friends, colleagues, and fellow community members.

Thank you!

Tammi

Should Israel Welcome Glenn Beck’s Support? (Essay by Alan M. Dershowitz)

From John Poris:  I’ve been on summer vacation from writing my blog, but will return soon.  In the meanwhile, I saw the article copied below and felt it important to share, given Glenn Beck’s propensity to act as a “lightning rod” for acute criticism.  Frankly, I, too welcome Beck’s support of Israel.  He is right, regardless of what we think of his show, general politics, whether he’s sincere or not (I think he is), or anything about him.  In this, he is right.

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Should Israel Welcome Glenn Beck’s Support? by Alan M. Dershowitz , August 22, 2011 at 4:30 pm http://www.hudson-ny.org/2374/glenn-beck-israel

All decent people, whether on the left or the right, should support Israel’s right to exist as the democratic nation state of the Jewish people.  All decent people should support Israel’s right to defend its civilians from terrorist attacks. All reasonable people should favor a just peace that assures Israel’s ability to thrive in a dangerous neighborhood and to defend its borders. These issues should not divide decent people along ideological or political lines. Israel’s existence and right to defend itself should be bipartisan issues, not only in the United States, but in all democratic countries of the world.

The reality, however, is very different. The Jewish state is demonized by the hard left in America, by virtually the entire left in much of Europe, and by most of the left and right in Ireland, Norway and Sweden. Its right to exist is denied by a high proportion of Arabs and Muslims, and most of the Arab and Muslim nations do not have diplomatic relations with Israel. In many circles, anti-Zionism easily morphs into anti-Semitism, and in some countries Jews are afraid to walk the streets wearing any clothing or symbols that identify them as Jewish.

The general assembly of the United Nations has become the world’s new Der Sturmer, whose podium hosts, and many of whose audience members cheer, virulent anti-Semites such as Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Defenders of Israel, even those critical of some of Israel’s policies, are banned from speaking at universities, are attacked personally by the hard left media and are treated as pariahs by their academic colleagues. It is against this sad and increasingly dangerous background that one must evaluate Glenn Beck’s visit to Israel.

I disagree with much of Beck’s politics and with virtually all of his conspiracy theorizing. Yet I admire his courage in putting his body in the line of fire. I believe him when he says: If the world goes down the road of dehumanizing Jews again, “then count me a Jew and come for me first.”

At a time when old friends and allies who should be supporting the Jewish state are abandoning it in droves, Beck’s willingness to stand up for Israel must be accepted with gratitude. I, for one, do not question his motives. I believe they are genuine. One need not accept all of Beck’s positions on Israel—and I certainly do not—in order to agree with him that support of Israel is one of the great moral issues of the 21st Century. Those who thoughtlessly attack Israel no matter what it does and thoughtlessly defend Israel’s enemies regardless of what they do, are making peace far more difficult. They incentivize terrorism by Israel’s enemies and disincentivizes compromise on all sides.

I will wait to hear precisely what Glenn Beck says during his visit to Israel before I evaluate it. Just as I feel free to criticize the Israeli government when I think it is wrong, I certainly feel free to criticize defenders of Israel when I think they are wrong. But I will not prejudge Beck until he is given a full opportunity to express his views. I certainly admire Beck’s decision to go to Israel far more than the decision of so many so-called artists and intellectuals who call for a boycott against the Jewish state without even bothering to go there and see for themselves. I welcome the support of religious Christians who love Israel for religious reasons. I abhor the ignorant and misguided efforts of other Christians, such as Jimmy Carter and Desmond Tutu, who misuse their faith against the Jewish state. I hope that more Christians will follow in Beck’s footsteps and take the time to visit Israel. They will see Christianity thriving in Israel while at the same time being dismantled and destroyed in Lebanon, in Gaza, in Egypt, and in other areas in which Islamic fundamentalists have taken over. Christian religious sites are preserved in Jerusalem and other areas under Israeli control.

When the Jordanian government controlled parts of Jerusalem, it destroyed many historic religious sites sacred to both Jews and Christians. Nation states are entitled to engage in Realpolitik so long as they do so within the limits of acceptable morality. Realpolitik requires accepting support from, and sometimes giving support to, nations and people who are not in complete agreement over policies. Consider Nelson Mandela’s alliances with some of most brutal dictatorships (Libya, Cuba, Syria) and supporters of terrorism (P.L.O., Iran) while he was engaged in his just struggle against the evils of apartheid. I do not recall the left condemning Mandela for doing what he had to do. But the same left was unforgiving in Israel when it was forced to make some strategic military deals with South Africa, while strongly opposing its apartheid policies.

I do not mean to compare dictatorial, terrorist or apartheid regimes with Glenn Beck, only to make the point that the Jewish state is often subjected to a double standard when it comes to the support it receives or gives. Many Israelis will welcome Glenn Beck’s support. Some will oppose it. Others will wish his views were more consistent with their own. This is as it should be in a democracy. The fact is that Israel is the only country in the Middle East that would allow Glenn Beck to express his views, without censoring them or even knowing in advance what he was going to say. This too is as it should be in a democracy.