- Cisjordanie : un soldat israélien blessé [vendredi] dans une attaque au couteau, les deux assaillants tués (AFP) - "Deux assaillants ont poignardé un soldat à Hébron. Face à la menace, des forces sur place ont tiré et tué les deux assaillants".
- Un Israélien poignardé [vendredi] dans une implantation en Cisjordanie (Times of Israel) - "Au moins un Israélien a été légèrement blessé dans une attaque au couteau près de l’implantation cisjordanienne de Halamish vendredi après-midi".
- 3e attentat [vendredi] : Attaque à la voiture bélier au nord de Ramallah, 2 soldats blessés (Times of Israel)
"Un terroriste palestinien a blessé deux personnes dans un attentat anti-israélien à la voiture bélier vendredi en Cisjordanie, avant d’être abattu, a indiqué la police israélienne. La police n’a pas fourni plus de précision sur cette attaque survenue près de l’implantation israélienne d’Ofra, entre Ramallah et Naplouse. C’est la troisième de la journée et la dernière en date d’une série de dizaines d’agressions commises depuis plus de deux mois par des Palestiniens isolés contre des soldats, des policiers ou des civils israéliens. [...]"
- Erekat visits family of PA security officer who hurt 2 in terror attack (Ynet) - "Erekat is undoubtedly the most senior official to visit the family of a terrorist, particularly one who committed a shooting attack which is considered a serious attack even among the Palestinians".
"Saeb Erekat, the head of the PLO's Executive Committee and the chief negotiator with Israel, paid a visit on Saturday to the family of terrorist Mazen Aribah, a Palestinian security officer who wounded two Israelis in a terror attack outside of Jerusalem. Aribah shot and moderately wounded an Israeli Arab civilian, and lightly wounded an IDF soldier near the Hizma checkpoint on Thursday. He was shot dead at the scene.
Aribah came from a family with a problematic history of terror attacks. His father carried out a stabbing attack in Jerusalem in 1992 and was jailed in Israel for five years. His nephew was responsible for a stabbing attack on Jaffa Street in 2002 and killed in the process. Wednesday was the anniversary of his death. Erekat arrived at the family home in Abu Dis with the PA governor of Jericho and local Fatah officials from the Jericho district.
This isn't the first time in which Fatah officials come to pay their respects to families of terrorists who committed attack in the current wave of violence, including senior officials, but Erekat is undoubtedly the most senior official to visit the family of a terrorist, particularly one who committed a shooting attack which is considered a serious attack even among the Palestinians."
- Affrontements à Bethléem entre Palestiniens et policiers israéliens (France TV info) - "Jets de pierres contre grenades lacrymogènes. Des affrontements ont opposé des dizaines de jeunes Palestiniens aux policiers et soldats israéliens, vendredi 4 décembre, dans les rues de Bethléem. En Cisjordanie, la tension ne retombe pas".
- Why Jenin is staying out of current wave of terrorism (Ynet) - "Jenin, once the home of suicide bombers, is now the quietest city in the West Bank. After 4 attempted attacks at the Jalamah checkpoint, the residents realized their economic prosperity could stop, and rushed to restore calm; 'an attack at the checkpoint is an attack against us,' says local businessman".
- Israël rejette des accusations suédoises sur des exécutions extrajudiciaires (i24)
"Israël a qualifié de "scandaleux" des propos de la chef de la diplomatie suédoise qui, selon l'Etat hébreu, l'accuse de procéder à des "exécutions extrajudiciaires" contre les auteurs palestiniens d'attaques au couteau. En réponse à des questions de députés lors d'une session du Parlement suédois vendredi, Margot Wallström a condamné les attaques au couteau contre des Israéliens mais a estimé que "la réponse" devait éviter d'être "disproportionnée" ou de comprendre des "exécutions extrajudiciaires".
"C'est une déclaration scandaleuse, fallacieuse, impertinente et détachée de la réalité", a réagi dans la nuit de vendredi à samedi le porte-parole du ministère israélien des Affaires étrangères, Emmanuel Nahshon. Mme Wallström "propose que les citoyens israéliens présentent leurs cous aux meurtriers qui cherchent à les poignarder", a-t-il soutenu. "En Israël, toute personne qui commet un crime comparaît devant un tribunal, y compris les terroristes", selon lui. "Les citoyens israéliens doivent vivre confrontés au terrorisme, qui est soutenu par les déclarations fausses et irresponsables de ce genre".
"Je dénonce les attaques au couteau. Je dis qu'elles sont horribles, qu'elles ne devraient pas arriver et qu'Israël a le droit de se défendre", a dit la ministre suédoise. "Mais je dis aussi que la réponse ne doit pas être telle - et c'est ce que je dis dans d'autres situations où la réponse se traduit par des exécutions extrajudiciaires ou qu'elle est disproportionnée (...)". [...]"
- Erdan : Il n’y a pas assez de preuve pour inculper les terroristes juifs (Times of Israel)
"Les enquêteurs ne disposent toujours pas de suffisamment de preuves pour inculper les suspects arrêtés dans le cadre de l’enquête sur le jet de cocktail Molotov sur une maison palestinienne en juillet, a déclaré le ministre de la Sécurité intérieure, Gilad Erdan, vendredi.
La police et les agents des services de sécurité du Shin Bet ont récemment arrêté plusieurs personnes suspectées de terrorisme juif qui pourraient avoir été impliquées dans le bombardement fatal de la maison familiale Dawabsha dans le village cisjordanien de Duma, ont indiqué des responsables jeudi. Ils ont dit que les enquêteurs vérifiaient les « soupçons concrets » qu’ils étaient bien impliqués dans l’attaque meurtrière. [...]"
- Jewish terrorism: The missing link (Ynet) - "After years of failures, the Shin Bet has switched gears in its fight against Jewish terrorism. From technology to operations, the entire organization was enlisted to find the killers of the Dawabsheh family members, and the recent arrests indicate that at least some progress has been made".
Gaza & Hamas
- Le chef de l’Etat islamique du Sinaï serait à Gaza (Times of Israel) - "al-Menei était derrière une attaque terroriste dans le sud d’Israël en 2011 dans laquelle quatre groupes de terroristes visaient un bus et plusieurs véhicules de l’armée israélienne, tuant six civils israéliens, deux membres des forces de sécurité israéliennes et plusieurs soldats égyptiens".
"Le commandant des forces de l’Etat islamique dans le Sinaï est actuellement dans la bande de gaza, dans ce qui devrait être une visite secrète, pour rencontrer les dirigeants terroristes du Hamas pour élargir leur coopération et coordonner les attaques contre des cibles égyptiennes et israéliennes, a signalé la télévision israélienne jeudi.
Shadi al-Menei a rencontré les dirigeants de l’aile militaire du Hamas pour discuter de l’approvisionnement continu en armes que le Hamas recherche, a précisé le reportage de la Deuxième chaîne. Pour sa part, le Hamas a fait passer en contrebande des armes en provenance de Gaza au groupe terroriste d’al-Menei dans le Sinaï, y compris des missiles anti-chars Cornet, qui ont causé de lourdes pertes en Egypte, qui ont pris de nombreuses vies, au moins un navire de la marine et de nombreux chars et blindés, a précisé la Deuxième chaîne. Al-Menei est également responsable des incidents occasionnels qui impliquent des tirs de roquettes depuis le Sinaï sur la station balnéaire israélienne d’Eilat sud, a poursuivi la Deuxième chaîne.
L’approfondissement de la coopération entre le Hamas et la hiérarchie de l’Etat islamique d’al-Menei est exaspérant pour l’Egypte et « inquiétant pour Israël », a ajouté le reportage.
Le reportage a indiqué qu’al-Menei était derrière une attaque terroriste dans le sud d’Israël en 2011 dans laquelle quatre groupes de terroristes visaient un bus et plusieurs véhicules de l’armée israélienne, tuant six civils israéliens, deux membres des forces de sécurité israéliennes et plusieurs soldats égyptiens. Les dix terroristes ont été tués. [...]"
- Evidence mounts for Hamas/ISIL ties (Elder of Ziyon) - "Egypt has been accusing Hamas of working together with the Sinai jihadists for years, even before they joined ISIS. Hamas has always strenuously denied this".
- L’Egypte ouvre temporairement sa frontière avec Gaza (Belga) - "Les autorités égyptiennes ont temporairement rouvert le point de passage frontalier de Rafah, pour la première fois en trois mois. La frontière y sera ouverte pendant deux jours, jeudi et vendredi".
"Processus de paix"
- Does the World Need a Weak or Failing Palestinian State?, Aaron David Miller (vice president at the Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars) - "amid so much disorder in the Middle East, it’s worth pondering–even if there are several reasons to be cautious or openly skeptical about the prospects".
"Henry Kissinger recently asked an intriguing and politically incorrect question: With the state structure weakened in several Arab states and having collapsed in others, with Iran and Islamic State rising, and amid general instability in the Arab world, why create another potentially weak, dysfunctional Arab state in Palestine?
A decade or so ago, when I was a Middle East negotiator, even posing such a question would have been considered a hostile act among peace advocates or, worse, would have been seen as shilling for Israeli right-wingers and neoconservatives. But amid so much disorder in the Middle East, it’s worth pondering–even if there are several reasons to be cautious or openly skeptical about the prospects:
- Negative trend lines:
In the Arab world, several states are melting down (Syria, Libya, Yemen); polities are run by authoritarian kings, emirs, or generals (Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar); and a few, such as Tunisia, are struggling to reform. The region will be unstable for years to come, thanks to widespread dysfunction and/or plain bad governance, lack of respect for human rights, systemic corruption, and the absence representative institutions. Maybe a Palestinian polity would be different, being nudged up against Israel, the region’s only democratic state (however imperfect). But the challenges are enormous.
- Fractious Palestinian politics:
The Palestinian national movement resembles Noah’s ark: There are two of everything, split between Fatah and Hamas. That includes two statelets in part of the West Bank and Gaza, two constitutions, two sets of security services, and two visions of where Palestine is and what kind of state it should be. A stable state would require Hamas and Fatah not only to resolve these different visions but also to share power and accommodate those differences in a political system driven by dialogue, not violence. Even under the best circumstances, it’s hard to picture Hamas’s Islamist vision of Palestine reconciled with Fatah’s more nationalist bent, particularly with Fatah’s internal divisions. And there is little in the history of the Palestinian national movement or the Palestinian Authority’s governance style to suggest anything but disruptive politics, much less a smooth transition to functional statehood.
- Lack of leadership:
The quest and hope for a Palestinian Mandela or Sadat is understandable–if a Western fantasy –given the leaders the Palestinian national movement has had. Yasser Arafat was and Mahmoud Abbas is a skilled politician; each, in his own way, is a product of and well-suited to his time. But neither has possessed both the incentive and the power to unite the Palestinian movement, rise above its self-destructive tendencies, and lead the Palestinian people to some version of their own promised land. Should such a leader emerge, it could make all the difference. At 80, Mr. Abbas has not groomed a successor, nor is one on the horizon. His death or incapacitation could easily create a power vacuum that would make the political situation even more unstable. [...]"
- Misreading the Middle East, again, Dennis Ross (counselor at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, he served in senior positions in the Reagan, Bush, Clinton and Obama administrations) - "it became apparent that in every administration three interrelated assumptions were embedded in the national security apparatus. First, if we distanced from Israel we would gain with the Arabs. Second, if we cooperated with Israel, we would lose with the Arabs. And third, if we wanted to transform our position in the region – and transform the region itself, we needed to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. All three of these assumptions were fundamentally flawed"; "we have consistently misread the priorities of Arab leaders. It is not Israel; it is instead their security and survival. Regional rivals constitute the threats that they are preoccupied with, and they count on us to be the guarantor of security. Given that, they will never make their relationship with us dependent on our relationship with Israel. In fact, it is our reliability that matters to them. If they perceive us as less reliable – which, fairly or not, they do today – that is what will affect their ties and responsiveness to us".
"It seems that in the Middle East everywhere one looks there is conflict and turmoil. The Arab state system itself is under assault. Islamic State group challenges every Arab regime and rejects all Shia. For its part, Iran and its Shia proxies threaten the authority of Sunni-dominated Arab countries. Understanding the nature of the threats and what is, in truth, a struggle over who will define and shape the identity of the region is the first requirement for fashioning a successful strategy.
Interestingly, given the circumstances in the area, Israel will stand in stark contrast to the rest of the Middle East, and continue to be a natural partner for the United States. It is not just that Israel is the only democracy in the region. It is that Israel is the only country whose institutions and rule of law – with elections where the loser accepts the outcome – permits it to cope with its problems. Those problems, ranging from the conflict with the Palestinians to its Arab minority and secular-religious divide, are real. But because it is a genuine democracy, Israel has the wherewithal to adjust – even if the adjustment often proves difficult to make.
It is harder to say that about other countries in the region. The American track-record in understanding the region – and the countries in it – is not great. In looking at the U.S.-Israeli relationship under presidents Harry Truman through Barack Obama in my new book, "Doomed to Succeed," it became apparent that in every administration three interrelated assumptions were embedded in the national security apparatus. First, if we distanced from Israel we would gain with the Arabs. Second, if we cooperated with Israel, we would lose with the Arabs. And third, if we wanted to transform our position in the region – and transform the region itself, we needed to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. All three of these assumptions were fundamentally flawed.
As for the first, the Eisenhower, Nixon, Carter, Bush 41 and Obama administrations all distanced from Israel, expecting Arab responsiveness. None responded favorably to our distancing. Nixon went so far as to suspend the sale of F-4 Phantom planes to Israel in March of 1970 hoping that Egypt's then-president, Gamal Abdel Nasser, would respond. What made the Nixon gesture all the more remarkable is that he suspended the aircraft at the very moment the Soviet Union, for the first time in their history, was deploying its military personnel outside the Soviet bloc to Egypt. Nasser's response to Nixon was to increase his demands that we do more to cut Israel off.
The assumption that cooperation with Israel would cost us with the Arabs was just as off-base. President John Kennedy's administration was the first to provide modern weapons to Israel. He faced real opposition within his administration to doing so, with his secretary of state, Dean Rusk, arguing that to provide arms to Israel would set a terrible precedent and cause us grave damage with the Arabs. Yet when he met with Saudi Crown Prince Faisal the same day that the news of the sale leaked out, Faisal was focused on the coup in Yemen backed by Nasser, not our weapons to Israel. This, he said, posed a threat to Saudi Arabia and it needed U.S. arms and assurances. A week later, when Faisal met Kennedy, Faisal's focus remained on Egypt, not Israel, and he argued that our outreach and economic assistance to Egypt constituted a threat to the region: It was freeing up Egyptian resources to threaten U.S. friends and shift the regional balance of power against Saudi Arabia and the other western-oriented states in the Middle East. Once again, Faisal asked for U.S. arms and commitment to Saudi security.
History does have a way of repeating itself, and the arguments that Faisal made to Kennedy are the same ones that first King Abdullah and now King Salman of Saudi Arabia have made to President Obama about Iran. The Saudis and the other Gulf Arab states have repeatedly emphasized their concerns about the Obama administration's outreach to Iran and the consequences of the sanctions relief that will result from the Iran nuclear deal. Once again, the Saudis fear that a country they define as a regional trouble-maker – in the 1960s Egypt, today Iran – is going to benefit from our outreach.
What emerges from these examples, and others I outline in going through each administration, is that we have consistently misread the priorities of Arab leaders. It is not Israel; it is instead their security and survival. Regional rivals constitute the threats that they are preoccupied with, and they count on us to be the guarantor of security. Given that, they will never make their relationship with us dependent on our relationship with Israel.
In fact, it is our reliability that matters to them. If they perceive us as less reliable – which, fairly or not, they do today – that is what will affect their ties and responsiveness to us. And here we see the flaw in the last of the assumptions, the centrality of the Palestinians conflict to the region and our position in it. Most Arab leaders don't see it fundamentally affecting their security.
That does not mean they are indifferent to the Palestinian conflict. They know that it historically has resonated with their publics as an issue of injustice that needs to be righted. But today it tends to take a backseat with Arab publics to other conflicts – the Syrian civil war and the threats from Islamic State group and Iran.
So what does all this mean for U.S. policymakers? For starters, we need a clear concept guiding our strategy. It is natural that defeating the Islamic State group would seem to be our priority, but for that we need the Sunni states – only the Sunni states and tribes can discredit the Islamic State. That rules out partnering with Bashar Assad or the Iranians in Syria even as we seek to build our collective leverage on the ground to shape a political process that at some point can bring that civil war to an end.
Ironically, today most of the Arab Sunni states see Israel as a bulwark against both the Iranians and Islamic State and groups claiming loyalty to it. While they may keep their cooperation largely private – given public sensitivities about the Palestinian issue – the scope of what Israel is now doing with a number of Arab states on security is unprecedented. That is one area we should emphasize, particularly given the value it would have in convincing our traditional friends in the region that we understand the threats that worry them most. Demonstrating that, and restoring the image of American reliability, will make it easier to ask more of our regional partners in countering the Islamic State group and Iran's destabilizing actions in the region. Ultimately, debunking assumptions that have misled us in the region is a must for any strategy to be successful."
- Syrie : les bombardements du régime tuent plus de 50 civils, selon une ONG (AFP) - "Plus de 50 civils, dont 16 enfants, ont été tués vendredi par des raids et bombardements du régime dans l'est de Damas, ainsi que le centre et le sud du pays" ; "La Coalition de l'opposition syrienne a, elle, tenu pour responsables de l'attaque de Jisrine les Russes qui mènent depuis fin septembre des raids aériens Syrie en soutien au régime. "L'aviation russe a visé un marché populaire à Jisrine, tuant 11 personnes et blessant 50 autres", a-t-elle indiqué sur son compte Twitter".
- Bon rassemblement [antisioniste] à Saint-Michel (Album photos) (Europalestine) - "Un rassemblement tonique en solidarité avec la Palestine, ce samedi 5 décembre à Paris, et pour donner les informations que les médias occultent, comme celle sur la détention et la torture des enfants palestiniens"...
- Ilan Pappe's "Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine": A Hoax Revealed (Vidéo 14mn45) - "How truthful is Ilan Pappe's history in "The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine"? Compare his "New History" of Israel with newspaper archives". Une bonne occasion de se replonger dans les archives des journaux de 1948, pour restituer correctement l'atmosphère de l'époque.
- Why do Palestinian refugees get so much more attention than others?, Ben-Dror Yemini (Ynet) - "Who has heard of the population exchange between Poland and Ukraine? How many conferences and film festivals are there commemorating that event, which included 1.4 million refugees, and 100,000 deaths, along with pogroms and slaughters?"
"November 30, which was this week, was declared the day of remembrance for the banishment and expulsion of Jewish refugees from Arab countries. The Jewish Nakba. Aside from a conference at Bar-Ilan University, the subject echoed very faintly through Israel. Part of our elite is busy with another Nakba, which they celebrate again and again: the Palestinian one. They even organized another festival of Nakba films, produced by organizations or people who nurture the fantasy that is the right of return.
When someone attempts to wonder out loud about this injustice, the crocodile tears appear, along with complaints of silencing voices and other assorted goods. Silencing voices? The Palestinian Nakba receives the greatest marketing, in Israel and around the world. The first half of the 20th century saw between 52 and 60 million people go through the experience of forced relocation, most of them in the 1940s after World War Two, for the purpose of building nations. Because that was the norm in those days. It went well with the right of self-determination.
And of all of the dozens of cases of population switches, only the Arabs, who later became the Palestinians, receive this grand commemoration. There are thousands of publications in their name and in their honor. Entire shelves in every university. Departments and cathedrals in almost every university in the world, all to celebrate and glorify their suffering and victimhood. And Israeli film festivals as well.
Who has heard of the population exchange between Poland and Ukraine? How many conferences and film festivals are there commemorating that event, which included 1.4 million refugees, and 100,000 deaths, along with pogroms and slaughters? There's something small, reduced, for those in the know, mostly those who speak the local languages in Poland and Ukraine.
Harvard, Princeton, and Berkeley don't hold special ceremonies with giant budgets, or any film festivals. Neither do they hold these for the Jews of Arab countries, who went through pogroms, and were expelled. Because the propagandists of the progressive forces, in Israel too, dedicate their vigor to only one Nakba. And they dare to complain of others silencing their voices.
These festivals aren't meant to help the Palestinians. They're meant to accomplish one thing only, which has become a worldwide trend of the progressive forces – bashing Israel. The Palestinians don't interest them at all. After all, the suffering of Palestinian refugees, in Lebanon for instance, has been going on for decades, and is horrifying. They suffer from real apartheid there: they can't build, can't take on certain occupations, there are limits in the jobs market and education world, and on and on. Has anyone heard of a conference for them? Of course not. It doesn't serve the anti-Israel campaign, so there's no need for it.
At the end of the day, all of this pseudo-intellectual and pseudo-cultural hullabaloo only serves to entrench the Palestinians' poor position, because if the Palestinians receive similar treatment to that of tens of millions of other Palestinians from those years, they wouldn't be refugees anymore. But their uniqueness is that they aren't handled by the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) but by their own agency – the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which perpetuates their situation and the illusion of the right of return. None of the tens of millions back then got a "right of return"; there is no such thing. All Arab countries opposed UN resolution 194 on the subject, since it would force them to recognize the Jewish state. And in any case, 67 years have passed. And the European Court of Human Rights has already ruled that there is no right of return in these situations, and not even the right of returning property.
The regular claim is that "We need to know the other side's narrative." Let's take a look at that. In London, New York, and Paris, no one nurtures the German narrative, even though 12 to 16 million German speakers, not all necessarily German, were expelled, and even though between 600,000 and 2 million were slaughtered during the expulsion. If that were to be the result of the Second World War, the result would see Britain and the US as the aggressors – and the Germans as victims. That's exactly what happened with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: aggressors have become victims. They merely wanted to destroy, and couldn't. Poor things.
Let us not say that the lie is triumphing in Berkeley and other American campuses. The lie is triumphing here. The Nakba film festival isn't a victory for free speech. it's a victory for lying propaganda. It's a victory for the Palestinian peace refusal camp. It's a defeat for peace and common sense."
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