- Succès du rassemblement Nakba à Paris (Album Photos) (Europalestine) - "Des milliers de personnes sont venues s’informer sur la Palestine samedi, à l’occasion du rassemblement Nakba organisé par CAPJPO-EuroPalestine". Où il apparaît d'ailleurs clairement que le boycott de l'Etat juif continuera tant que le mythique "droit au retour" (entre autres demandes irréalistes) ne sera pas concrétisé.
- Ces théories du complot antisémites apparues après les attentats de Paris (Conspiracy Watch) - "Cela peut paraître absurde mais c'est ainsi : à chaque attentat djihadiste, nombreux sont ceux qui accusent l'Etat d'Israël - lorsque ce n'est pas carrément "les Juifs" - de tirer les ficelles. Les attentats de Paris, il y a six mois, qui sont aussi l'attaque terroriste le plus meurtrière jamais commise en France, n'ont pas fait exception à la règle".
- Initiative de paix : Netanyahou met en doute «l'impartialité» de la France (AFP) - « J’ai dit (au ministre français des Affaires étrangères Jean-Marc Ayrault) que la décision scandaleuse prise à l’Unesco avec le soutien de la France et qui ne reconnaît pas le lien millénaire entre le peuple juif et le mont du Temple jette une ombre sur l’impartialité du forum que la France tente de réunir. »
- Benjamin Netanyahu reste opposé au projet français de conférence (Reuters) - ""Je lui ai dit que la seule manière de faire progresser vraiment la paix entre les Palestiniens et nous est de tenir des négociations directes, sans conditions préalables", a déclaré Benjamin Netanyahu à ses ministres, devant les journalistes, peu après son entretien avec Jean-Marc Ayrault".
- The French peace initiative is doomed to fail, Ben-Dror Yemini (Ynet) - "despite the pro-Palestinian bias, the result is known in advance".
"The French peace initiative was born in sin. It did not begin as an initiative, it began as a threat: If Israel doesn’t accept the diktat to recognize a Palestinian state, without negotiations and without the Palestinians having to recognize Israel, France will support Palestinian demands. The initiative includes demands made of Israel, like halting settlement construction beyond the Green Line—both in the Gilo neighborhood in Jerusalem and in the main settlement blocs that will undoubtedly stay part of Israel in any future accord. But there are no demands made of the Palestinians—not on the "right of return," not on stopping incitement, nothing. This isn't serious.
The Israeli anger—which is entirely justified—led to a certain change in tone. The French are no longer promising the Palestinians that they would recognize a Palestinian state if the talks fail, and they've ambiguously dropped their other preconditions. The Israeli anger increased following the French support of the Arab resolution passed by UNESCO, which in practice rejects any connection between Israel and Jerusalem. When something like this is coming out of Tehran, we can mock it. But not so, when it's coming out of Paris?
The French realize they've made a mistake. They condemned their own vote in favor of the resolution. French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault visited Israel on Sunday. Next week, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls—a serious and brave man—will visit Israel as well. They're trying to convince Israel to get on board with their peace initiative.
All peace initiatives so far have failed. Even the dream team of Yossi Beilin, Shlomo Ben-Ami and the late Yossi Sarid couldn't deliver the goods. The Palestinians, again and again, have insisted on the right of return. Not a partial right or return or a symbolic one—a mass one. Not that Netanyahu would've agreed to what Beilin proposed, but Abbas said "no" to Beilin.
Experience proves that it doesn't matter what the Palestinians are offered, it doesn't matter what the initiative entails. It's clear, even before the fact, that Abbas will say no. Even the French, despite Israel's anger at them, won't offer the Palestinians the right of return, and any proposal that does not include the right of return will receive the already-known answer. So, despite the pro-Palestinian bias, the result is known in advance.
And yet, despite the fact that this is a terrible initiative, Israel’s negative reaction to it is inherently flawed. Because for as long as the Arab side has been saying "no," it has been sinking; and as long as the Israeli side has been saying "yes," it has been rising. This has been true in the 1937 Peel Commission proposal, the 1947 UN partition plan, the 1967 Khartoum Resolution following the Six-Day War, the Clinton Parameters in late 2000, Olmert's offer in 2008, and the two drafts written by John Kerry in 2014. Abbas's "no" to the two drafts stood starkly compared to the hesitant, partial "yes” from Netanyahu, at least to the first draft.
The only plan the Palestinians support is the Saudi peace initiative, which became the Arab proposal. There are arguments over the details of the plan. But what's clear is that while good-willed Israeli commentators see the proposal as giving up on the right of return, the Arab interpretation, and certainly the Palestinian one, is the complete opposite of that. Israel should say "yes" to this proposal as well, while clarifying, for example, that UN Resolution 194, which is mentioned in the Arab proposal, is talking about the original refugees of 1948, and not their descendents. And in general, that in all of the transfers and population exchanges of the 1940s, refugees did not have a "right of return."
The French resolution will fail, and it's a shame if it fails because of Israel. That would only aid the Palestinian campaign against Israel. And in any case, the French initiative came to be because of the freeze in talks. Instead of a French initiative, we should've had an Israeli initiative—both regarding the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. It's not that the Palestinians would've said "yes," but an Israeli initiative would have at least continued the tradition in which Israel says "yes" and prospers. This is a tradition worth keeping, as it has proven itself."
- The French Will Make Things Worse, Jonathan S. Tobin (Commentary) - "It’s time for diplomats to realize that, like doctors, their primary responsibility is to do no harm".
"With the Middle East peace process lying dead in the water for two years, what harm could come from an effort led by France to revive talks between Israel and the Palestinians? The answer is that, whenever one thinks things can’t get worse, the reality of this conflict is always there to remind us that yes, things can always get worse. Moreover, they almost always do when even the best-intended people try to pretend that another conference or paper or the right negotiator can solve a problem that has nothing to do with forums, resolutions or even skillful diplomacy.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault will arrive in Israel this weekend to try to lay the groundwork for a new peace initiative. But Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu deserves no blame for rejecting the French formula. It’s not just that Paris’s plan smacks of international coercion that is both deeply unfair to Israel. Nor is the biggest problem here the fact that similar schemes with analogous formulas have already been tried and failed.
The real problem is that the French, like the Americans, the United Nations and the “Diplomatic Quartet” that have trod this path before, are focusing on form rather than confronting substance. Peace between Israelis and Palestinians will come the day the latter gives up their century-old war on Zionism and put to rest their opposition to a Jewish state.
If the goal is to get closer to that moment, the French plan is an absurd waste of time. Indeed, the fact that the Palestinians have welcomed the scheme illustrates what’s wrong with it. Having torpedoed the talks sponsored by Secretary of State John Kerry two years ago and refusing every entreaty to return to the table since then, it’s hardly surprising that the Palestinians would like a plan that starts with an international conclave convened by the French to where neither the Israelis nor the Palestinians will be present.
That sort of diplomacy smacks of an international diktat where nations that are either neutral or hostile to Israel will seek to impose terms on it that compromise both its security and rights. Instead of a negotiation in which the two sides will be forced to recognize each other’s legitimacy, such a process is a one-sided attempt merely to orchestrate another Israeli territorial retreat in which it will be asked to trade land for the hope of peace. Moreover, is there any reason for Israel to trust nations that, like France, voted for a recent UNESCO resolution that didn’t even recognize historic Jewish ties to holy sites in Jerusalem such as the Western Wall or the Temple Mount?
But even if we lay aside the obvious unsuitability of any plan that is so skewed against the Israelis even before it begins, Netanyahu’s rejection makes sense because the premise of the negotiation is false. The French and the international community that appears to be supporting their initiative act as if the last 23 years of history hadn’t happened. Must we remind them that Israel has already placed on the table the same terms that peace process advocates always speak of being the solution that “everyone knows” will be the way to end the conflict? Is it really necessary to point out that the Palestinians said no to those terms — independence and a state that includes almost all of the West Bank, Gaza, and a share of Jerusalem — in 2000, 2001, and 2008? Must we point out that since the last of those offers that sent Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas fleeing from the negotiating table, he has refused to negotiate seriously even when Netanyahu offered in the Kerry talks to leave the West Bank?
Obviously, the answer is yes to all three questions.
But even if anyone thought Abbas would give a different answer to peace than he has previously provided, no one in Paris or in any of the other foreign capitals where this proposal is being discussed is anyone taking into account the fact that Abbas doesn’t speak for all of the Palestinians. Two million of them live in Gaza from which Israel withdrew every soldier, settler and settlement in 2005, and which is now ruled as an independent Palestinian state in all but name by Hamas terrorists. How can even a theoretical deal that grants sovereignty to the PA make any sense so long as Hamas is in place in Gaza and might well expand their rule to the West Bank once Israel does the international community’s bidding?
The answer is that it doesn’t. The only answer that would make sense would be for Abbas to accept Netanyahu’s oft-stated offer of a resumption of direct negotiations that he repeated this week while, again, accepting the idea of two states for two peoples. But that can’t happen so long as Abbas refuses to accept the legitimacy of a Jewish state no matter where its boundaries would be drawn. And he won’t do that because Palestinian public opinion is unalterably opposed to such a formulation. Until a sea change in their political culture permits him or a successor to end the century-long war on Zionism and the Jewish presence in any part of the country that is inextricably tied to Palestinian national identity.
The French, President Obama and Netanyahu all ought to know that if the Palestinians were ever to accept peace on terms that end the conflict for all time, there is no Israeli leader that could successfully resist such a peace plan. The majority of Israelis would give up settlements and even perhaps some of their capital for peace. Building in Jerusalem and the settlement blocs that Israel would keep in the event of peace is no obstacle to a deal. Yet instead of dealing with Palestinian intransigence, the French, like President Obama, focus on their antagonism with Netanyahu.
That is problematic not just because it achieves nothing to get the region closer to peace. It’s foolish because it only encourages the Palestinians to think they won’t have to make the concessions they need to make if they really want two states instead of merely eliminating Israel. Every failed peace effort has led to a new round of violence, and this one won’t be an exception. It’s time for diplomats to realize that, like doctors, their primary responsibility is to do no harm. Unfortunately, that’s a lesson that no one tempted by the glory of making the ultimate deal (attention: Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton) ought to forget."
- The "experts" all agree: ISIS is Israel's fault (Elder of Ziyon) - "The French FM isn't the only foreign minister to resurrect the linkage nonsense. Jordan's FM said the same thing".
- Jérusalem : un Israélien blessé au couteau (AFP) - "Des policiers ont vu un homme poignarder un juif et prendre la fuite en jetant son couteau dans une rue proche de la Vieille ville et voisine d'un quartier ultra-orthodoxe juif" ; "L'Israélien, âgé d'une trentaine d'années, a été traité pour des blessures légères à l'épaule".
Gaza & Hamas
- HRW exhorte Amman à faciliter le transit des Palestiniens de Gaza par la Jordanie (AFP) - "« Depuis août 2015, (…) les Palestiniens de Gaza rencontrent de plus en plus de difficultés à obtenir une autorisation de transit par la Jordanie, pour pouvoir voyager à l’étranger », écrit cette organisation de défense des droits de l’Homme dans une lettre aux autorités jordaniennes".
- Once again, an Arab country is discriminating against Palestinians as Jordan limits travel for Gazans (Elder of Ziyon) - "In March, partly as a response to Egyptian refusal to allow any significant number of Gazans to leave, Israel started allowing Gazans to go through Israel and to Jordan"; "Now, Jordan has now severely restricted Gazans from entering its territory altogether. The official passes that Gazans need to travel through Jordan (which are different from those of most West Bank Palestinians) are becoming harder and harder to get. No official reason is being given, but reports say that Jordan is not interested in taking up the slack from Egypt. In addition, there have been some political conflicts between Jordan and the Palestinian political leadership that has aggravated the issue"; "Now we see that the Arab world, which rises up in protest at every Israeli action that is perceived to be against residents of Gaza, has no interest in helping them. Talk is cheap but when Arab nations have the actual opportunity to help Palestinians, they largely refuse".
"Processus de paix"
- Palestinian girl’s hate speech at Red Crescent event: The Jews kill worshippers (PMW) - "In its report on an event for children arranged by the Palestine Red Crescent, Palestinian Authority TV News chose to include a young Palestinian girl’s hate speech demonizing Jews". Voir la vidéo ici.
- PA Antisemitism: Jews persecuted, deceived, and attacked Jesus (PMW) - "In an interview this week on official PA TV, the PA Mufti of Bethlehem defamed Jews as "the group who persecuted, deceived and attacked Jesus," stating that the group is doing the same things to Palestinians today". Vidéo ici.
- Conflit israélo-palestinien : Bill Clinton défend son bilan et celui de sa femme (i24) - ""Je me suis tué pour donner aux Palestiniens un Etat", a déclaré Bill Clinton interrompu pendant son discours par des activistes pro-palestiniens. "J'avais un accord, qu'ils ont rejeté, qui leur aurait donné tout Gaza, 96 à 97% de la Cisjordanie, des compensations de terres en Israël, vous l'avez cité", a-t-il affirmé, se référant à l'offre de paix du Premier ministre israélien de l'époque, Ehud Barak, à Yasser Arafat au cours du sommet de Camp David en juillet 2000".
- Bill Clinton: 'I killed myself trying to give Palestinians a state' (JP)
" Former US President Bill Clinton came to his wife's defense on Friday when the focus of a campaign event for the Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton shifted to Israel, Politico reported. Amid a speech discussing his wife's positions on the major issues at an event in New Jersey, a member of the audience interjected "What about Gaza?" and criticized her statement that neutrality is not an option when it comes to Israel.
"I killed myself to give the Palestinians a state," the former President responded. "I had a deal they turned down that would have given them all of Gaza." When the audience member continued to press the issue, Clinton elaborated on the complicated nature of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. "Hamas is really smart. When they decide to rocket Israel, they insinuate themselves in the hospitals, in the schools, in the highly populous areas." "[Hamas] said they try to put the Israelis in a position of either not defending themselves or killing innocents. They're good at it," Clinton elaborated.
Clinton lauded his wife's part in arranging meetings between Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in efforts to facilitate peace in the region. He concluded his statements by acknowledging that nobody is without blame in the Middle East, but said that Israelis must be reassured that America "cares whether they live or die." [...]"
- I Believe in a Palestinian State. But I Can’t Mark Nakba Day, Steven Klein (Haaretz) - "Israelis hold many, often competing, narratives about 1948. Palestinian leaders like Saeb Erekat demand one narrative, and no reconciliation with even moderate Israeli voices".
- The Double Nakba, Ben-Dror Yemini (Ynet) - "The Jewish minority in the Arab countries, which numbered one million people, was mostly forced to flee. It was the Jewish Nakba".
"Sunday was the day the Arab world commemorated the Nakba. One can and should participate in the sorrow of those who became refugees and remained so to this very day. They lost their homes and property. They were denied basic human rights. And many of them, because of what is happening in Syria, have become victims once again. Moreover, one must look bravely at history.
In the first half of the 20th century, with the fall of the empires, nation states began to take shape. The Ottoman Empire, which became Turkey, began the process of expelling minorities. It started with the expulsion of the Armenians that turned into a genocide. It continued with a huge wave of population exchanges in Europe and Asia. At least 52 million people went through that experience. That was the norm. Even the Permanent Court of International Justice, the highest international jurisdiction in those years, ruled that it was a proper arrangement. Until the adoption of the Geneva Convention. What was until then considered the norm had suddenly become a war crime.
Calls supporting transfer were also heard from the Zionist movement, but they were fewer compared to those coming from Europe. In any case, Arab opposition to the UN partition plan of November 1947, declarations of destruction and the invasion of Israel immediately after its independence was declared, led to 711,000 Arabs – at the time they were not called Palestinians - becoming refugees. Most of them fled. Some were deported.
Jews also became refugees. Many leaders in the Arab world spoke menacingly of the imminent destruction awaiting the Jews of Palestine and Arab countries if the partition plan was approved. The Arab League passed a resolution that, in practice, turned the Jews into hostages. A series of pogroms against Jews in Arab countries have made it clear that a chapter in history had come to an end. The Jewish minority in the Arab countries, which numbered one million people, was mostly forced to flee. It was the Jewish Nakba.
The Arabs of Palestine came under Arab jurisdiction. With the exception of Jordan, which made them citizens for the purpose of annexing the West Bank, the refugees became second-class citizens in the Arab countries. They suffered under a military regime in Gaza and suffered veritable apartheid in Lebanon that continues to this day. They were not supposed to be foreigners. After all, they all spoke the same language, had the same culture, had the same religion and, in many cases, were members of the same family.
None of the tens of millions of refugees from those years is still a refugee. None of them received "the right of return." Only the Arabs who turned into Palestinians had their status perpetuated. Instead of being taken care of by the the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), they were granted their very own agency – the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). Their number grew. It is meritorious to show empathy for refugees. But the insistence on their "right of return," the code name for the destruction of Israel and refusal of any agreement, suppresses any desire for empathy.
Reconciliation will only be achieved when the Arab world stops deceiving itself and takes responsibility for the double nakba. Both the Arab one and the Jewish one. Inshallah."
- HRW says "refugee camps should be demolished, refugees integrated" - except for one group (Elder of Ziyon) - "In the 20 years or so since writing that, HRW has been utterly silent about demanding Arab countries integrate Palestinians into the societies where they have been treated like second-class aliens for nearly 70 years. But now with a brand new refugee crisis, of people who have been forced out of their homes in only the past few years, return isn't even mentioned and resettlement is pushed as the number one option".
- Yémen : “nos véritables ennemis sont Israël et les Etats-Unis” (Euronews) - "Ansarallah, Houthis, c’est le nom de la rébellion armée qui dure depuis des années dans le nord du Yémen. C’est un mouvement armé politico-religieux basé dans la ville de Saada, qui au terme de combats acharnés s’est imposé, en septembre 2014, dans la capitale yéménite, Sanaa".
- L’UNESCO condamne le concours de caricatures sur l’Holocauste de l’Iran (JTA) - "« Une telle initiative, qui vise à parodier le génocide du peuple juif, une page tragique de l’histoire de l’humanité, ne peut que favoriser la haine et inciter à la violence, au racisme et à la colère », a déclaré ce weekend Irina Bokova, directrice générale de l’Organisation des Nations unies pour l’éducation, la science et la culture (UNESCO)".
- Washington condamne « l’abominable » concours de caricatures sur la Shoah (Times of Israel) - « Un discours si offensant devrait être condamné par les autorités et les dirigeants de la société civile plutôt qu’encouragé. Nous dénonçons la négation et la banalisation de l’Holocauste comme inflammatoires et abominables. C’est insultant pour la mémoire des millions de personnes qui sont mortes pendant l’Holocauste. »
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