- Une leçon d'Israël, Favilla (Les Echos) - "L'exemple israélien nous suggère peut-être quelques fils conducteurs".
"Deux enquêtes dont on a publié il y a peu les résultats classent Israël respectivement aux quatrième (sur 193 pays) et huitième rangs (sur 36) dans l'échelle du bonheur. Compte tenu de résultats parfois médiocres dans divers domaines (logement, revenu, éducation, sécurité de l'emploi), ces classements flatteurs expriment évidemment la perception de ce peuple sur sa situation. Une autre étude expose que les jeunes de ce pays le placent premier sur 25 autres pour leur confiance en l'avenir. Que le chômage des jeunes y soit modéré et la croissance d'environ 3 % sont probablement les indices d'un certain « cercle vertueux ».
Et pourtant voilà un pays au régime électoral détestable, menacé de toutes parts par des voisins qui visent sa destruction, confiné dans un territoire exigu, théâtre d'immigrations diverses et de populations incompatibles. Le contraste est saisissant avec le diagnostic concernant les Français dans des enquêtes analogues. Champions du monde du pessimisme sur leur avenir collectif, ils n'y dérogent partiellement que sur leurs perspectives individuelles, comme des échappatoires personnelles à un grand malheur général. Et pourtant ils habitent un beau pays, dont personne ne menace l'existence, qui est doté d'un certain potentiel, muni d'une Constitution politique solide, d'honnêtes infrastructures et d'une main-d'oeuvre qualifiée. De nombreux spécialistes ont échoué à démêler cette énigme française.
L'exemple israélien nous suggère peut-être quelques fils conducteurs. Pour se sentir bien dans sa peau, il faudrait alors : être menacé à tout moment de disparaître et, à cause de cela, être attaché passionnément à son pays ; l'aider de ses devoirs et non l'accabler de ses droits ; attendre de l'Etat qu'il organise votre défense et non qu'il vous nourrisse ; tirer parti de la mondialisation et non la vitupérer ; n'avoir pas de temps pour développer les quintessences idéologiques ; contourner les extrémismes au lieu de s'y complaire ; affronter la dureté des temps avec la volonté de réussir plutôt qu'avec la peur de perdre ; essayer d'écrire l'histoire au lieu de la ressasser… Plutôt que de leur promettre un « présalaire », l'Etat pourrait offrir à ses jeunes une année sabbatique en Israël."
Gaza & Hamas
- More evidence showing BBC reporter's son was killed by a Hamas rocket (Elder of Ziyon) - "When will the BBC apologize for choosing the pathos of its employee's tragedy over accurate reporting? When will Human Rights Watch correct the record?"
"Processus de paix"
- Relance du plan de paix arabe, Israël interpelle les Palestiniens, Selim Saheb Ettaba (AFP)
"La Ligue arabe a reformulé son initiative de paix de 2002, validant désormais expressément le principe d'un échange de territoires entre Israël et les Palestiniens, sous les auspices des Etats-Unis, une inflexion saluée prudemment mardi par le gouvernement israélien. [...] Lors d'une réunion à Washington entre une délégation de la Ligue arabe et le secrétaire d'Etat américain John Kerry, le Premier ministre et chef de la diplomatie du Qatar, Hamad ben Jassem al-Thani, dont le pays préside le comité de suivi de l'initiative de paix arabe, s'est dit lundi favorable à un "échange mineur de territoire comparable et mutuellement accepté".
"Israël accueille favorablement l'encouragement donné par la Ligue arabe et le secrétaire d'Etat au processus politique", a réagi dans un communiqué un haut responsable israélien, en référence aux pourparlers de paix, bloqués depuis septembre 2010. "Les deux parties pourront présenter leurs positions quand les négociations s'ouvriront", a-t-il ajouté, rejetant implicitement les exigences palestiniennes de références pour les discussions, notamment les lignes de 1967.
"Il s'agit certainement d'une étape importante et je m'en réjouis", avait auparavant déclaré la ministre israélienne de la Justice Tzipi Livni, chargée du dossier des négociations avec les Palestiniens. "Nous sommes prêts à des changements, quelque chose qui permettra aux Palestiniens, je l'espère, de revenir à la table (des négociations) et de faire les compromis nécessaires", a ajouté Mme Livni. "Cela envoie aussi un message aux citoyens israéliens: nous ne parlons plus seulement aux Palestiniens, il y a un groupe de pays arabes qui disent : "Si vous parvenez à un accord avec les Palestiniens, nous ferons la paix avec vous, nous normaliserons les relations"," a souligné la ministre. [...]"
- Israël et les Palestiniens tempèrent les espoirs de reprise de négociations, Jean-Luc Renaudie (AFP)
"Israël et les Palestiniens ont tempéré mercredi les espoirs de reprise des négociations de paix éveillés par la reformulation de l'initiative de paix arabe, appuyée par les Etats-Unis, qui valide désormais explicitement le principe d'un échange de territoires.
Le Premier ministre israélien Benjamin Netanyahu a relativisé la portée de cette inflexion. "Le conflit israélo-palestinien n'est pas territorial mais porte sur l'existence même de l'Etat d'Israël", a-t-il martelé une nouvelle fois. "L'absence de volonté des Palestiniens de reconnaître l'Etat d'Israël comme l'Etat-nation du peuple juif, voilà la racine du conflit", a insisté M. Netanyahu. [...]
La reformulation de l'initiative arabe ne trouve guère davantage grâce aux yeux des Palestiniens, qui y voient une concession gratuite à Israël. "L'initiative arabe est un tout. Nous n'aimons pas l'idée de l'amender", a expliqué le négociateur palestinien Mohammad Chtayyeh. "S'agissant d'échanges de territoires, nous avons dit clairement que nous voulions un Etat sur les lignes de 1967. Donc tout échange doit porter sur des territoires équivalents en taille et en qualité et résulter de négociations", a-t-il précisé, s'opposant à tout "paiement d'avance de la part des Arabes pour des négociations avec Israël".
Dès mardi, le négociateur palestinien Saëb Erakat avait minimisé la reformulation par la Ligue arabe de son initiative de paix de 2002, soulignant qu'elle traduisait "la position officielle palestinienne".
Le Hamas, au pouvoir à Gaza, a catégoriquement rejeté l'initiative arabe. "Notre position sur ce sujet est claire et le Hamas a rejeté l'initiative et le principe même d'échange de territoires", a affirmé dans un communiqué Salah Bardawil, un dirigeant du Hamas, qui ne reconnaît pas Israël, contre lequel il prône la lutte armée. Cette idée "légitime la colonisation et l'accaparement de la terre de Cisjordanie et de Jérusalem occupée", a-t-il estimé [...]"
- Netanyahu: Conflict is Over Israel’s Existence, Not Land (Arutz 7)
"The conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Authority is not over land, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Wednesday, speaking in a meeting with senior officials in the Foreign Ministry. The conflict, he said, is over Israel’s very existence. In proof, he pointed to the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza in 2005, which included the forced removal of thousands of Jewish residents of the area. Israel got rocket attacks in exchange, he said. The Palestinian Authority does not wish to recognize Israel as the national homeland of the Jewish people, he continued. However, he said, Israel remains willing to restart negotiations with no preconditions. [...]"
- Fatah: Murderer of father of five is "The hero, the released prisoner" (PMW)
"This [thursday] morning, an Israeli father of five Evyatar Borovsky was stabbed to death by a Palestinian terrorist at the Tapuach Junction, north east of the Israeli city Ariel and south of the Palestinian city Nablus in the West Bank. Fatah's Facebook page is celebrating the murder and glorifying the murderer. Pictures of the terrorist and the victim were posted by Fatah's Facebook administrator and the text calls the murderer: "The hero, the released prisoner, Salam Al-Zaghal." The following are the texts and pictures from Fatah's Facebook page celebrating the murder [...]"
- Where's the Coverage? Fatah Celebrates Murderer (CAMERA) - "Imagine if the Facebook page of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party praised the murderer of a Palestinian civilian. Would the media be silent? Unlikely".
"Palestinian Media Watch reports that Fatah's Facebook page celebrates the murderer of Evyatar Borovsky, who was stabbed to death yesterday near Ariel, praising the killer as "The hero, the released prisoner, Salam Al-Zaghal." Lexis-Nexis searches do not turn up a single Western mainstream media outlet which has covered this information, despite the fact that Fatah is Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' party.
Imagine if the Facebook page of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party praised the murderer of a Palestinian civilian. Would the media be silent? Unlikely. The media was hardly silent two years ago when a couple dozen municipal rabbis called on Jews not to rent their apartments to Arabs. For example, the New York Times covered it repeatedly [...]"
- PA Governor of Qalqilya, West Bank, Vows Not to Relinquish the Right of Return (Palestinian Authority TV, 26 avril, Vidéo 45 secondes) - "We will not relinquish the Right of Return, and we will not allow anyone to violate this right. The refugees will return to Haifa, Nazareth, and Acre. This is our pledge to the martyrs and the prisoners".
- Why the "Arab Peace Initiative" is Both a Good Thing and a Scam, Barry Rubin (director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center, editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA), and professor at the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) in Herzliya, Israel) - "if you factor in the Islamist-ruled places—Egypt, the Gaza Strip, Lebanon, Tunisia, and soon Syria—into the equation the picture looks different. And if you add public opinion and the efforts of revolutionary Islamists who would denounce any such deal as treason things look totally different".
"There's something very strange about this alleged new Arab League peace initiative and I find no serious addressing of these issues in the media coverage. A step toward efforts by Arab states to move toward proposing a possible peace with Israel is a good thing. Especially touted is an idea, mentioned by Qatar’s representative at the Washington meeting, to accept an agreement that small border modifications could be made to the pre-1967 lines. [...]
At the meeting with Secretary of State John Kerry there were representatives of the Arab League, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the Palestinian Authority. But Arab League bureaucrats can’t agree on anything. Only a vote of the Arab League’s almost two dozen members can establish an official position. So this was not an Arab League plan at all. To represent it as an official Arab position is, then, untrue.
Indeed, we already know that the Palestinian Authority (PA) opposes this formula. At any rate, the United States cannot even get the PA to negotiate with Israel and yet fantasies of comprehensive peace are spread around by it. The mass media is cooperating in this theme, seeking to make Kerry look good at least.
Then there is the list of countries involved. I have no difficulty in believing that the governments of Bahrain, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia are ready for a deal. Jordan has already made peace; Saudi Arabia proposed a reasonable offer a decade ago a decade ago (before it was sharply revised by hardliners before becoming an official Arab League position), and Bahrain’s regime is desperately afraid of Iran and has become a semi-satellite of the Saudis.
But what about the other three countries? Are we to believe that the Muslim Brotherhood regime in Egypt, the Hizballah-dominated regime in Lebanon, and the quirky but pro-Hamas and pro-Muslim Brotherhood regime in Qatar have suddenly reversed everything that they have been saying in order to seek a compromise peace with Israel? Highly doubtful to say the least.
And let’s also remember the radical forces not present. The Syrian rebels will be holding the Arab League seat are dominated by Islamists. Hamas itself, which governs the Gaza Strip, will refuse to abide by any such agreement. Remember that this group represents at least one-third of Palestinians and perhaps a plurality over Fatah, which governs the PA. Tunisia's Muslim Brotherhood-dominated leadership have even written into the country's new constitution that it can never make peace with Israel!
Finally, there is a curious lack of mention over the demand, enshrined in the previous “Arab Peace Initiative” about what is called the “right of return.” Namely, to satisfy PA demands Israel would have to accept the immigration of hundreds of thousands of passionately anti-Israel Palestinians who had lived in the country 60 years ago (or their descendants) and who have been fighting all that time to wipe Israel off the map.
Is the "right of return" as a condition for making peace still in the small print? I don't see that anyone else has asked that rather important question. Presumably it is still there. Consequently, what is in fact a suicidal offer to Israel is made, by selective reporting, to make it sound like an attractive offer. But if the demand for a massive immigration of hostile Palestinians is indeed dropped that in fact is the real news. Of course, the PA would passionately denounce such a step and since it has said nothing on the point one might assume that this demand still stands.
Then there are the citizens of these Arab countries—stirred up by Islamists and radical nationalists--who would seek to overthrow them if they believed their rulers were going to make peace with Israel. And there has been no hint from these regimes before and no statements now back home in Arabic to indicate any dramatic change of heart. This supposed new plan, then, is a bluff. None of the above points have been explained in the Western media. [...]
That doesn’t mean it is a bad thing as a sign of the times. I believe that the Arab states of the Persian Gulf would like to see the Arab-Israeli conflict decline and even end. Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates no longer profit from this battle. They are frightened of Iran and revolutionary Islamists, and the Shia Muslim challenge in general. Such governments view Israel as a positive strategic factor given these real and big threats. You might add Algeria, Morocco, and Jordan to the list of moderates. Iraq doesn’t care anymore, while the Kurds in Iraq and Syria are almost pro-Israel.
And if these countries feel that saying or pretending to agree that peace with Israel is a good thing for their image in the West that is positive also. (Unfortunately, though, they know how easily they can get away with double talk.) But if you factor in the Islamist-ruled places—Egypt, the Gaza Strip, Lebanon, Tunisia, and soon Syria—into the equation the picture looks different. And if you add public opinion and the efforts of revolutionary Islamists who would denounce any such deal as treason things look totally different. [...]"
- Egyptian newspaper publishes TWO articles saying Jews drink gentile blood on Passover (Elder of Ziyon) - "Egypt's Misrelgdida ("New Egypt") newspaper features not one but two articles on Tuesday that promote the libel that Jews drink Christian - and Muslim - blood on Passover. (...) It appears that the Muslim versions of the medieval blood libel are even more lurid and sickening than the Christian versions were centuries ago. And this one can be published on the Internet, instantly, to immediately create the next generation of antisemites who believe what they read in the newspaper".
- Iranians accuse Jews of witchcraft, Gavriel Fiske (Times of Israel) - "‘The Jews have the greatest powers of sorcery’ and are ‘subjecting us,’ says close associate of supreme leader".
Point de vue
- Debunking the ‘Palestinians as Native Americans’ Myth, Rachel Avraham (Jewish Press) - "Despite all Palestinian propaganda points to the contrary, the Palestinians are not Israel’s “Native Americans”."
"Despite all of the facts proving the contrary, some anti-Israel activists have falsely compared the Palestinians to the Native Americans. For example, during this year’s Palestinian Solidarity Week at the University of Maryland at College Park, the UMD Students for Justice in Palestine hosted a lecture titled “Two Trails of Tears: From Turtle Island to Palestine.” In this lecture, the UMD Students for Justice in Palestine held a discussion on “settler colonialism, ethnic cleansing, broken treaties and racist policies as a form of systematic oppression for the Palestinian and Native American peoples.”
Unfortunately, the UMD Students for Justice in Palestine is not the only anti-Israel group to seek to compare the Palestinian cause to the Native American struggle. This type of rhetoric disregards Jewish history within the Land of Israel dating back to antiquity and is an attempt to re-write history by anti-Israel groups in order to belittle the Jewish connection to the Land of Israel. This propaganda is so popular among anti-Israel groups that in one anti-Israel protest outside of Nablus, Palestinians even dressed up like Native Americans in order to make a political point. Many Native American’s find this offensive and an unethical form of cultural appropriation.
As Ryan Bellerose, a member of the Métis nation in Canada, wrote in the Metropolitan: "The Palestinians are not like us. Their fight is not our fight. We natives believe in bringing about change peacefully and we refuse to be affiliated with anyone who engages in violence targeting civilians. I cannot remain silent and allow the Palestinians to gain credibility at our expense by claiming commonality with us. I cannot stand by while they trivialize our plight by tying it to theirs, which is largely self-inflicted. Our population of over 65 million was violently reduced to a mere 10 million, a slaughter unprecedented in human history. To compare that in whatever way to the Palestinians’ story is deeply offensive to me. The Palestinians did lose the land they claim is theirs, but they were repeatedly given the opportunity to build their state on it and to partner with the Jews — and they persistently refused peace overtures and chose war. We were never given that chance. We never made that choice."
According to Ward Churchill, a professor of ethnic studies at the University of Colorado, 12 million Native Americans used to inhabit North America in 1500. They were the continent’s first original indigenous human inhabitants and some of the tribes referred to their ancestral homeland as Turtle’s Island. Yet today, after experiencing massacres, persecutions, outright racism, ethnic cleansing, systematic oppression, and having their traditional lands colonized by European settlers who refused to permit them to live beside them even if they were peaceful and adopted aspects of European culture, their population size was reduced to 237,000 by 1900.
During the infamous Trail of Tears, about 20,000 Cherokees were forcefully expelled from their homes and sent on a death march, where up to 8,000 of them perished. The Cherokee nation endured all of this suffering, despite the fact that they were very much assimilated into the society, rejected utilizing violence, and had legal documents in their possession demonstrating what land was supposed to belong to them. It was one of the darkest chapters in American history.
Despite all Palestinian propaganda points to the contrary, the Palestinians are not Israel’s “Native Americans.” In fact, the Jewish people, composed of the twelve tribes of Israel, not Muslim Palestinian Arabs, made up the majority of the population in Israel up until 135 CE, when the Jewish people through massacres, brutal oppression, persecutions, and ethnic cleansing were forcibly made into a minority within their own country. Just like the Native Americans, the fact that Jews were made into a minority within their own country does not rob them of their indigenous status nor does it imply that they abandoned their country.
In fact, Jews continued to live in Israel throughout history, regardless of which regime was in power. The Jewish Virtual Library estimates that in 1517, well before the Zionist movement existed, there were only around 300,000 people living in Eretz Yisrael, where 5,000 of them were Jewish. According to the Ottoman Turkish Census of 1893, there were 371,959 Muslims, 42,689 Christians, and about 9,000 Jews living in Israel. These statistics demonstrate that Jews were living in the Land of Israel well before Zionism and the Balfour Declaration. Muslims were never the sole inhabitants of the land like the Native Americans were in the United States.
Arab Muslims only started to arrive in Israel in the seventh century and only made up a majority of the population in Mamluk times, 1260-1560. Yet, most modern Palestinians are not even descended from Arab Muslims who arrived in the seventh century.
Yoram Ettinger, for example, has written in Israel Hayom that: "Palestinian Arabs have not been in the area west of the Jordan River from time immemorial; no Palestinian state ever existed, no Palestinian people was ever robbed of its land and there is no basis for the Palestinian claim of return. Most Palestinian Arabs are descendants of the Muslim migrants who came to the area between 1845 to 1947 from the Sudan, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, as well as from Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Yemen, Libya, Morocco, Bosnia, the Caucasus, Turkmenistan, Kurdistan, India, Afghanistan and Balochistan."
On March 31, 1977, Zahir Muhsein executive committee member of the Palestine Liberation Organization said in an interview with the Dutch newspaper Trouw: "The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people, since Arab national interests demand that we posit the existence of a distinct ‘Palestinian people’ to oppose Zionism. For tactical reasons, Jordan, which is a sovereign state with defined borders, cannot raise claims to Haifa and Jaffa, while as a Palestinian, I can undoubtedly demand Haifa, Jaffa, Beer-Sheva and Jerusalem. However, the moment we reclaim our right to all of Palestine, we will not wait even a minute to unite Palestine and Jordan."
There are even some Arab Muslims who are prepared to admit the historic truth that the Palestinians have not been in Israel for all eternity. Even Rashid Khalidi, a prominent anti-Israel, Palestinian academic, wrote in his book Palestinian Identity, “There is a relatively recent tradition which argues that Palestinian nationalism has deep historical roots.” He continued, “Among the manifestations of this outlook are a predilection for seeing in peoples such as the Canaanites, Jebusites, Amorites, and Philistines the lineal ancestors of the modern Palestinians.” Khalidi cautioned against making such assertions and argues that Palestinian national identity is relatively modern.
However, the fact that the Palestinians are not the original inhabitants of Israel nor ever lived as the sole exclusive people within the Holy Land is not the only reason why the UMD Students for Justice in Palestine and other anti-Israel groups are incorrect in their assessment.
While the Native American population has shrunk from 12 million people in 1500 to 237,000 in 1900, the world’s Palestinian Arab population has grown from 660,641 in 1922 to 11.2 million in 2011. Furthermore, while the Native Americans in the Trail of Terrors were forced off their ancestral homeland and sent on a death march, the Palestinians in 1948 were given the option of having their own state on part of the Jewish nation’s ancestral homeland, while the Arab inhabitants of the Jewish state were to be granted equal citizenship rights.
The Palestinian Arab leadership chose war instead and approximately 750,000 Arabs fled their homes, never to return, while 160,000 Arabs refused to flee and became Israeli citizens. To date, the Palestinians have rejected every offer to have a state to call their own on part of the Jewish homeland, while Israel’s Arab population has been thriving and now represents 20 percent of the population.
Given these facts, how can one refer to the Palestinian situation as settler colonialism, ethnic cleansing, systematic oppression, racism and broken treaties? Ironically, unlike in the Native American situation, the only ones who have broken peace treaties are the very people who falsely claim to be Israel’s Native Americans. As Winston Churchill once stated, “A lie gets half way around the world before the truth has a chance to put its pants on”."