Eretz Israel is our unforgettable historic homeland...The Jews who will it shall achieve their State...And whatever we attempt there for our own benefit will redound mightily and beneficially to the good of all mankind. (Theodor Herzl, DerJudenstaat, 1896)

We offer peace and amity to all the neighbouring states and their peoples, and invite them to cooperate with the independent Jewish nation for the common good of all. The State of Israel is ready to contribute its full share to the peaceful progress and development of the Middle East.
(From Proclamation of the State of Israel, 5 Iyar 5708; 14 May 1948)

With a liberal democratic political system operating under the rule of law, a flourishing market economy producing technological innovation to the benefit of the wider world, and a population as educated and cultured as anywhere in Europe or North America, Israel is a normal Western country with a right to be treated as such in the community of nations.... For the global jihad, Israel may be the first objective. But it will not be the last. (Friends of Israel Initiative)

Monday, 27 February 2017

"Ridiculous", Rant the Routed

Amid wailing and whimpering and gnashing of teeth and tugging of hair in the wake of Bibi Netanyahu's spectacularly successful visit Down Under, the routed forces of Bishop Browning's APAN (which sought to keep him out) limply regroup and rally, in response to an article in the Sydney Morning Herald by Dr Colin Rubenstein, executive director of the Australia/Israel Public Affairs Council (AIJAC) and Jamie Hyams, a senior policy analyst at AIJAC. 

It will indeed be difficult to represent as "ridiculous" the eminently justified and sensible points made in the articleInter alia:

 'Israel captured the West Bank in a defensive war in 1967 and, when its offer to exchange land for peace was unequivocally rebuffed by the Arab League, began establishing settlements in the area.
This was partly for the need for security, given the hostile intentions and actions of its neighbours, and partly to allow some Jews to live in places that had Jewish communities going back hundreds if not thousands of years, until the Jordanians ethnically cleansed them in 1948.
Jordanian troops expelling Jews from their Jerusalem homes

 Jerusalem, which has always had a substantial Jewish population and been the centre of the Jewish world, was annexed.

 The United Nations passed the pivotal Security Council resolution 242, requiring Israel to withdraw from territory in return for peace, with the borders to be negotiated.
 Under the 1993 Oslo accords, the Palestinians finally accepted Israel's existence, and the Palestinian Authority was formed. Ninety-five per cent of West Bank Palestinians now live under the authority's rule. Travel between Israel and the West Bank was relatively unfettered, and many Palestinians worked in Israel, travelling home to the West Bank each night. In 2000, then authority president Yasser Arafat infamously refused the Camp David offer of a Palestinian state and launched the second intifada, characterised by widespread terrorism inside pre-1967 Israel, most notably suicide bombings. The terrorism killed more than 1000 Israelis and maimed thousands more.
Some Israeli child victims of Palestinian Arab terrorism

 It was in those circumstances that Israel set up the checkpoints to monitor the movement of terrorists, and the security barrier, which for most of its length is a fence, and is only a wall where Palestinian terrorists were in the habit of taking pot shots at Israeli civilians.... The barrier was erected to save lives by keeping terrorists out, and has been markedly successful. The Berlin Wall was to keep a captive population in. The checkpoints between Palestinian towns are now largely non-existent – they are just at the entries to Israel.
Despite the rebuff at Camp David, and the terrorism, Israel again offered the Palestinian Authority a state on increasingly generous terms in 2001 and 2008, only for the authority to again walk away. A unilateral total Israeli withdrawal from Gaza, intended to allow the Palestinians there to rule themselves as a peaceful entity alongside Israel, instead resulted in a Hamas takeover, more than 10,000 rockets and mortars, terror tunnels and three wars.

 Since Benjamin Netanyahu resumed power in 2009, he has repeatedly offered to negotiate without preconditions, repeatedly confirmed his support for a two-state peace, and instituted goodwill measures including an unprecedented 10-month freeze on building in settlements and releasing Palestinian prisoners who have killed Israelis. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, however, has refused to negotiate in good faith. US Middle East envoy Martin Indyk has said that, in 2014, Netanyahu was sweating bullets to make peace, but Abbas just walked away.

The settlements, as even Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat has admitted, occupy less than 2 per cent of the West Bank. Furthermore, the vast majority of settlers live in blocs that it is generally accepted Israel will retain as part of land swaps in any peace deal. Israel has not established a new settlement since 1999, and the settlements have hardly expanded beyond their geographic boundaries since 2003, while population growth has not even kept pace with natural growth. Settlements did not prevent the previous Israeli offers of statehood, and they would not prevent a two-state outcome if the Israelis had a genuine peace partner....

 The Netanyahu government still supports a two-state peace, but its concerns about the present circumstances are understandable. If Hamas was to take over the West Bank as it did Gaza, the rockets would hit Israel's population and economic heartland, and its airport, and the country, would be shut down.
 Meanwhile, the Palestinian Authority, Israel's supposed peace partner, demonises Israel internationally, incites its people against Israel with false claims of Israeli intentions to take over the Temple Mount, and rewards terrorists by lionising them and giving them and their families generous lifetime pensions.

[P]ressure must be brought to bear on the Palestinians to cease their destructive behaviour, to genuinely accept Israel's right to exist in peace and to negotiate in good faith, if they are genuine about wanting a two-state outcome.'

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