Hundreds of headlines appear each day in Israel. Over the course of 24 hours, headlines ricochet back-and-forth between dozens of topics.
Can you follow it all?
In this report, you’ll see a way to make sense of and discover patterns appearing within the news. First, you’ll find an organized selection of headlines from Israel’s press. Then you’ll see comments.
Today, we look at—and comment on—some headlines for December 8-9, 2013. Tomorrow, we look at other headlines.
The war against Israel
-Ya'alon: There's No Peace Partner, Only Incitement
-Arabs Wave PLO Flag in the Center of Haifa (12/9/13, Arutz Sheva)
-Hamas: We Won't Cede a Single Grain of Soil(12/8/13, Arutz Sheva)
-Hamas Vows to Oppose Interim Peace Agreement(12/9/13, Arutz Sheva)
-PLO Opposes Interim Peace Agreement (12/9/13, Arutz Sheva)
-PLO: Palestinians won't accept current proposals from Israel (12/9/13, Jerusalem Post)
Today’s news cycle began with a statement by Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (“Netanyahu: The conflict did not begin with Israel refusing…”). Mr Netanyahu reminded the world that the Arab-Israel conflict did not begin with Israel refusing the Palestinians a state. The current Arab-Israel conflict began more than 65 years ago when the Arabs chose to start a war. They attacked Israel. They wanted the new-born state to be Jew-free. The Arabs, Mr Netanyahu wanted you to know, are still fighting that war.
If you don’t believe this assertion, check out the story about Hamas in this news cycle (“Hamas: We Won't Cede a Single Grain of Soil”). Hamas is not interested in living side-by-side with Israel in peace and security—as the West so often tells us. Hamas has the same goal the Arabs had in 1948: the only Palestine they want—and will accept--is one that stretches from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River.
You can’t get any clearer than that.
If you do not understand Middle East geography, you should know that the only land in this region that stretches from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River is Israel. Hamas wants its ‘Palestine’ to replace Israel.
Don’t think the PLO/Fatah is any different. In another story from this same news cycle (“PLO Opposes Interim Peace Agreement”), the PLO Executive Committee reiterated its demand that any permanent agreement for peace had to include a complete Jewish withdrawal from Judea and Samaria, and the establishment of Jerusalem as the (Jew-free) capital of the PA state. The Committee warned that there will be no peace without those two unalterable requirements.
PLO/Fatah Arabs also agree with the Hamas ‘from the River to the Sea’ demand. We know this because of the PLO/Fatah logo.
That logo shows the new Arab ‘Palestine’ where Israel is today. Their ‘Palestine’ replaces Israel on the map—and yes, that ‘Palestine’ stretches from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River.
Hamas and PLO/Fatah share the same goal. Both want to erase Israel from the map.
It doesn’t get any more graphic than that.
The world likes to believe that there is no peace in the Arab-Israel conflict because of Israel. But today’s news cycle reveals the truth: it’s Arabs’ unyielding demands that keep peace from ‘happening’.
That’s what the Kerry-generated headlines above proved. US Secretary John Kerry has (perhaps) finally conceded that Israel has legitimate security concerns. He seems finally to recognize (maybe) that the West must give credence to stated Hamas/PLO/Fatah anti-Israel hostility. He has, to this end, proposed to Abbas a way to help Israel get that security.
Abbas balked. He rejected Kerry’s (so far unpublicized) suggestions.
What happened next was totally unexpected: Kerry suggested that, if Abbas is being this stubborn about negotiating peace, perhaps the US will tell Israel to delay the next-scheduled prisoner release (scheduled for the end of this month). The prisoner release was a promised three-stage release of Arab terrorists held in Israeli prisons. The promise of release had been made to entice the PA to the negotiating table.
The US position seemed clear. If Abbas wasn’t interested in being at the negotiating table, the prisoner release should stop; it could start up again once Abbas showed more willingness to compromise.
When Abbas heard that, he went ballistic (“Palestinian official: Kerry's peace ideas will lead to 'total failure'”). Abbas didn’t just oppose Kerry’s suggestion for Israel security; he threatened a complete collapse of the talks over this issue.
Who’s being intransigent here, Israel or Abbas?
The answer seems, clearly, Abbas. Will the world see that?
-'South Africans Don't Hate Israel, They Hate Oppression' 912/9/13, Arutz Sheva)
-Netanyahu Won't Attend Mandela Memorial (12/9/13, Arutz Sheva)
The death of Nelson Mandela reminds us how badly our moral leaders can fall. For many, Nelson Mandela was the idol for morality. He spoke to the world of moral issues. He stood tall for justice.
But he also failed because he supported, praised and encouraged the ‘Palestinian cause’. Although he spoke specifically of ‘freeing’ the Palestinians, he did nothing to free those Arabs from the horrors of living under ‘Palestinian’ rule.
He chose the wrong cause to label ‘moral’.
Mandela spoke out against Israel. But as he did that, he ignored disgusting Arab-on-Arab oppression--documented by Human Rights organizations--that occurs with unrelenting regularity in both the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Gaza.
He abandoned the suffering of truly innocent Arabs in order to join the let’s-get-Israel crowd. That’s what’s so troubling about Nelson Mandela. He could have protected Arabs from their own rulers. He could have used his moral authority—as no one else could—to embarrass Hamas and the PA in front of the world, to call out to them to stop killing and torturing Arabs under their direct control.
He didn’t do that. Instead, he chose to join their anti-Israel war.
Look at the 2013 World Report from Human Rights Watch (HRW). Both the PA and Hamas stand accused of hundreds of complaints of torture of their own people across several years. Both the PA and Hamas harm and severely restrict the freedoms of the press and assembly. For example, their security officers wade into peaceful protesters and beat their fellow-Arabs—just because they assemble, just because they speak out.
While not in the HRW Report, both Hamas and the PA actively oppress anyone who is not Muslim. Neither allows freedom of religion or the freedom to worship as one pleases.
Mandela was wrong. He had the moral authority to speak out. He didn’t.
Israel’s Left is also wrong (see the ‘Peace Now’ headline above). Israel is correct not to send its Prime Minister or President to Mandela’s funeral.
Thee is shame here, not honour. When it came to the world's only Jewish state, Nelson Mandela abandoned his nobility.
Come back tomorrow for more news.