Friday, April 3, 2015

Statement by PM Netanyahu again Iran deal - imra

by imra

Statement by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
(Communicated by the Prime Minister's Media Adviser)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued the following statement this afternoon (Friday, 3 April 2015):
"I just came from a meeting of the Israeli cabinet. We discussed the proposed framework for a deal with Iran.
The cabinet is united in strongly opposing the proposed deal.
This deal would pose a grave danger to the region and to the world and would threaten the very survival of the State of Israel.
The deal would not shut down a single nuclear facility in Iran, would not destroy a single centrifuge in Iran and will not stop R&D on Iran's advanced centrifuges.
On the contrary. The deal would legitimize Iran's illegal nuclear program. It would leave Iran with a vast nuclear infrastructure. A vast nuclear infrastructure remains in place.
The deal would lift sanctions almost immediately and this at the very time that Iran is stepping up its aggression and terror in the region and beyond the region.
In a few years, the deal would remove the restrictions on Iran's nuclear program, enabling Iran to have a massive enrichment capacity that it could use to produce many nuclear bombs within a matter of months.
The deal would greatly bolster Iran's economy. It would give Iran thereby tremendous means to propel its aggression and terrorism throughout the Middle East.
Such a deal does not block Iran's path to the bomb.
Such a deal paves Iran's path to the bomb.
And it might very well spark a nuclear arms race throughout the Middle East and it would greatly increase the risks of terrible war.
Now, some say that the only alternative to this bad deal is war.
That's not true.
There is a third alternative – standing firm, increasing the pressure on Iran until a good deal is achieved.
And finally let me say one more thing.
Iran is a regime that openly calls for Israel's destruction and openly and actively works towards that end.
Just two days ago, in the midst of the negotiations in Lausanne, the commander of the Basij security forces in Iran said this: "The destruction of Israel is non-negotiable."
Well, I want to make clear to all. The survival of Israel is non-negotiable.
Israel will not accept an agreement which allows a country that vows to annihilate us to develop nuclear weapons, period.
In addition, Israel demands that any final agreement with Iran will include a clear and unambiguous Iranian recognition of Israel's right to exist. 
Thank you."



Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

'When it comes to security, Israel will take dramatic steps' - Yoav Limor

by Yoav Limor

Head of the IDF Planning Directorate Maj. Gen. Nimrod Sheffer tells Israel Hayom that "Israel will do whatever is best for Israel" if it feels Iran threatens its existence, even if it means defying the U.S. • "Any true partner would accept that," he says.
Maj. Gen. Nimrod Sheffer
Photo credit: Ziv Koren

Yoav Limor


Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Why MAD doesn't work with Iranian Leadership - Bernard Lewis

by Bernard Lewis

There is a radical difference between the Islamic Republic of Iran and other governments with nuclear weapons. This difference is expressed in what can only be described as the apocalyptic worldview of Iran's present rulers. This worldview and expectation, vividly expressed in speeches, articles and even schoolbooks, clearly shape the perception and therefore the policies of Ahmadinejad and his disciples.

During the Cold War, both sides possessed weapons of mass destruction, but neither side used them, deterred by what was known as MAD, mutual assured destruction. Similar constraints have no doubt prevented their use in the confrontation between India and Pakistan. In our own day a new such confrontation seems to be looming between a nuclear-armed Iran and its favorite enemies, named by the late Ayatollah Khomeini as the Great Satan and the Little Satan, i.e., the United States and Israel. Against the U.S. the bombs might be delivered by terrorists, a method having the advantage of bearing no return address. Against Israel, the target is small enough to attempt obliteration by direct bombardment.

It seems increasingly likely that the Iranians either have or very soon will have nuclear weapons at their disposal, thanks to their own researches (which began some 15 years ago), to some of their obliging neighbors, and to the ever-helpful rulers of North Korea. The language used by Iranian President Ahmadinejad would seem to indicate the reality and indeed the imminence of this threat.

Would the same constraints, the same fear of mutual assured destruction, restrain a nuclear-armed Iran from using such weapons against the U.S. or against Israel?

* * *

There is a radical difference between the Islamic Republic of Iran and other governments with nuclear weapons. This difference is expressed in what can only be described as the apocalyptic worldview of Iran's present rulers. This worldview and expectation, vividly expressed in speeches, articles and even schoolbooks, clearly shape the perception and therefore the policies of Ahmadinejad and his disciples. . Even in the past it was clear that terrorists claiming to act in the name of Islam had no compunction in slaughtering large numbers of fellow Muslims. A notable example was the blowing up of the American embassies in East Africa in 1998, killing a few American diplomats and a much larger number of uninvolved local passersby, many of them Muslims. There were numerous other Muslim victims in the various terrorist attacks of the last 15 years.

The phrase "Allah will know his own" is usually used to explain such apparently callous unconcern; it means that while infidel, i.e., non-Muslim, victims will go to a well-deserved punishment in hell, Muslims will be sent straight to heaven. According to this view, the bombers are in fact doing their Muslim victims a favor by giving them a quick pass to heaven and its delights -- the rewards without the struggles of martyrdom. School textbooks tell young Iranians to be ready for a final global struggle against an evil enemy, named as the U.S., and to prepare themselves for the privileges of martyrdom.

A direct attack on the U.S., though possible, is less likely in the immediate future. Israel is a nearer and easier target, and Mr. Ahmadinejad has given indication of thinking along these lines. The Western observer would immediately think of two possible deterrents. The first is that an attack that wipes out Israel would almost certainly wipe out the Palestinians too. The second is that such an attack would evoke a devastating reprisal from Israel against Iran, since one may surely assume that the Israelis have made the necessary arrangements for a counterstrike even after a nuclear holocaust in Israel.

The first of these possible deterrents might well be of concern to the Palestinians -- but not apparently to their fanatical champions in the Iranian government. The second deterrent -- the threat of direct retaliation on Iran -- is, as noted, already weakened by the suicide or martyrdom complex that plagues parts of the Islamic world today, without parallel in other religions, or for that matter in the Islamic past. This complex has become even more important at the present day, because of this new apocalyptic vision.

In Islam, as in Judaism and Christianity, there are certain beliefs concerning the cosmic struggle at the end of time -- Gog and Magog, anti-Christ, Armageddon, and for Shiite Muslims, the long awaited return of the Hidden Imam, ending in the final victory of the forces of good over evil, however these may be defined. Mr. Ahmadinejad and his followers clearly believe that this time is now, and that the terminal struggle has already begun and is indeed well advanced. It may even have a date, indicated by several references by the Iranian president to giving his final answer to the U.S. about nuclear development by Aug. 22. This was at first reported as "by the end of August," but Mr. Ahmadinejad's statement was more precise.

What is the significance of Aug. 22? This year, Aug. 22 corresponds, in the Islamic calendar, to the 27th day of the month of Rajab of the year 1427. This, by tradition, is the night when many Muslims commemorate the night flight of the prophet Muhammad on the winged horse Buraq, first to "the farthest mosque," usually identified with Jerusalem, and then to heaven and back (c.f., Koran XVII.1). This might well be deemed an appropriate date for the apocalyptic ending of Israel and if necessary of the world. It is far from certain that Mr. Ahmadinejad plans any such cataclysmic events precisely for Aug. 22. But it would be wise to bear the possibility in mind.

A passage from the Ayatollah Khomeini, quoted in an 11th-grade Iranian schoolbook, is revealing. "I am decisively announcing to the whole world that if the world-devourers [i.e., the infidel powers] wish to stand against our religion, we will stand against their whole world and will not cease until the annihilation of all them. Either we all become free, or we will go to the greater freedom which is martyrdom. Either we shake one another's hands in joy at the victory of Islam in the world, or all of us will turn to eternal life and martyrdom. In both cases, victory and success are ours."

In this context, mutual assured destruction, the deterrent that worked so well during the Cold War, would have no meaning. At the end of time, there will be general destruction anyway. What will matter will be the final destination of the dead -- hell for the infidels, and heaven for the believers. For people with this mindset, MAD is not a constraint; it is an inducement.

How then can one confront such an enemy, with such a view of life and death? Some immediate precautions are obviously possible and necessary. In the long term, it would seem that the best, perhaps the only hope is to appeal to those Muslims, Iranians, Arabs and others who do not share these apocalyptic perceptions and aspirations, and feel as much threatened, indeed even more threatened, than we are. There must be many such, probably even a majority in the lands of Islam. Now is the time for them to save their countries, their societies and their religion from the madness of MAD.

Bernard Lewis, professor emeritus at Princeton, is the author, most recently, of
From Babel to Dragomans: Interpreting the Middle East (Oxford University
Press, 2004).


Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Hillary to Testify? - Matthew Vadum

by Matthew Vadum

Clinton’s use of her own personal server for her official State Department electronic correspondence “has stopped the clock on accountability,” Joseph diGenova, former U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia said during a Judicial Watch panel discussion.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will have to give evidence in federal court because she clearly knew her surreptitious private email scheme violated U.S. law, legal experts say.

The bungler of Benghazi deliberately sought to do an end-run around the Freedom of Information Act (FoIA) by establishing a private email server to handle her government email while serving at Foggy Bottom, they added.

Clinton’s use of her own personal server for her official State Department electronic correspondence “has stopped the clock on accountability,” Joseph diGenova, former U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia said during a Judicial Watch panel discussion.

“The basic facts cry out for a formal investigation by the Justice Department,” he said.

“Clinton is going to have to testify in a federal court,” said diGenova. “She has admitted that she has destroyed, theoretically, government documents under subpoena by the House of Representatives and under subpoena in civil litigation.”

“There are going to have to be affidavits filed under oath” by many government officials, including Clinton, he said.

It is impossible to overstate the seriousness of Clinton’s bad behavior in an office of such power and importance, DiGenova said.

“This is the secretary of state,” he said. “This is not somebody over at EPA, who is working in a bureau, trying to figure out carbon dioxide problems.”

“This is the secretary of state, a historical figure in terms of the operations of the U.S. government,” said DiGenova. “For anybody that cares about government—whether you are a Democrat or a Republican—she destroyed history with no supervision, no accountability, no supervision.”

Self-described liberal Democrat Daniel Metcalfe, who created the Department of Justice’s office of information and privacy, said that the system Clinton established was a “prescription for blatant circumvention of FoIA.”

FoIA officials attempting to fulfill requests pertaining to Clinton’s emails had “nothing to search through,” he said.

Clinton and her attorney, Cheryl Mills, must have been aware of what they were doing.
“I know enough to know that Clinton indeed had knowledge of how the FoIA worked,” Metcalfe said. “I worked with members of the White House, including Cheryl Mills, and based on first-hand experience, she knew exactly what she was doing.”

What Clinton did constituted a “flouting, if not an outright violation” of the Federal Records Act, he said. “By not having an official account at all, she acted utterly contrary to the FRA.”
Clinton received preferential treatment, DiGenova said.

“Whatever the duties were of a whole bunch of people at the State Department, they didn’t perform them,” he said. “At a certain point, the information management people know that she is not using an official email account … it doesn’t take a lot for somebody to start asking questions.”

The attitude at State was that “you don’t get [Clinton] angry at you by asking tough questions,” DiGenova said, adding that he believes officials knew about the private server from the outset and helped install it in her house in Chappaqua, N.Y.

Clinton went through all this trouble because she didn’t want her performance in office to be an obstacle to her pursuit of the presidency. Eliminating a trail of documents that might have an adverse impact on her expected 2016 presidential run improves Clinton’s electoral chances. Clinton has turned over thousands of emails from her personal account to the Department of State in recent months but that doesn’t change the fact that the records were not available to the public the last six years by way of FoIA requests. The now-deleted trove of electronic correspondence might contain evidence of Clinton’s mishandling of the Sept. 11, 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, that left four Americans dead.

There could be evidence that the donations that foreign governments have been flooding the Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation with in recent years are in fact anticipatory bribes given in advance of a second Clinton administration. The foundation itself serves as Mrs. Clinton’s de facto campaign headquarters and employs individuals likely to move over to her official campaign whenever she officially declares herself a candidate for president.
Conflicts of interest abound.

Mills, who was chief of staff to Clinton at the State Department, “was listed as a director at the Clinton Foundation in its corporate records for more than three years after joining the administration, highlighting concerns that Clinton’s aides were too close to the foundation during her tenure,” Alana Goodman of the Washington Free Beacon discovered. A foundation spokesman claims Mills’ inclusion on corporate filings was a mistake but that is hard to believe because when Goodman’s article was published Mills was still identified as a current member of the foundation’s board on the Clinton Foundation’s website.

As Clinton’s public approval ratings go into free-fall, Media Matters for America and other Clinton-friendly groups are ramping up their defense of Hillary. At the same time, some left-wingers are throwing Clinton under the bus.

Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) diplomatically called Clinton a liar, saying she does not believe Clinton’s claim that she refrained from emailing classified material through her private account and server.

“All of her official emails should be released to the American people,” said Duckworth, an Iraq War veteran. “They should be able to read them all. There are going to be some that are classified and those that are classified—then show those to a bipartisan group of members of Congress.”

Duckworth, who is running for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), said she was “going to hold [Clinton] accountable.” She said Clinton needs to testify before the Select Committee on Benghazi, of which Duckworth is a member.

Ari Melber of MSNBC criticized Clinton for breaking the FoIA statute.

“By merging her records and deleting 30,000 of her emails, that system basically routed around the goal of this transparency law,” Melber said.

FoIA is an important law, he said. “Citizens can decide what matters and if it matters, not the politicians. That’s just not a nice idea, it’s the law.”

“The Freedom of Information Act wasn’t designed to be convenient,” Melber said. “It was designed to be thorough.”

And the Clinton sleaze parade continues unabated.

Michael Halle, who ran a political action committee that offered access to longtime Clinton loyalist Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) in exchange for money, has joined Hillary’s still-undeclared presidential campaign.

A solicitation used by the Good VA PAC indicated that a $100,000 contribution would buy the donor “a private dinner with the governor and first lady, sit down at a roundtable discussion with the governor, and have monthly meetings with policy experts.”
Halle will fit right in at Team Hillary.

Matthew Vadum is an award-winning investigative reporter and the author of the book, "Subversion Inc.: How Obama’s ACORN Red Shirts Are Still Terrorizing and Ripping Off American Taxpayers."


Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

President Obama Must Not Complete a Disastrous Deal With Iran - New York Observer

by New York Observer

Mr. Obama is acting out of personal aggrandizement. He believes he is replicating President Richard Nixon's historic opening of China. For Mr. Obama, the Iranian nuclear arms deal is about his place in history.

From Steven Emerson, Executive Director of the IPT: To our readers: We do not often reprint other newspaper editorials, but I felt that the commentary below which ran Tuesday in The Observer encapsulated the essence of what may ultimately become the most dangerous deal since the appeasement of Hitler in 1939. Given the sudden flurry of contradictory and get-tough statements made in the last 36 hours, no one can be 100 percent certain that a final deal will be made.
On the other hand, as the editorial points out, President Obama's "obsession" with negotiating an agreement with Iran has resulted in his making such irreversible concessions that Iran will find it impossible to refuse to come to terms. Yet it is those very concessions that lie at the heart of the matter. Because the president seem blind to the collateral damage of such a deal that would threaten the very survival of Israel and the very security of the West itself.

The following originally was published Tuesday by the Observer:
With the US on the brink of signing an agreement that will lift the crippling economic sanctions on Iran in exchange for alleged guarantees that Iran will limit its nuclear ambitions to peaceful means, the Observer urges President Obama not to place his personal hunger for a legacy issue ahead of his most solemn duty – protecting America's national security.

Barack Obama has been compared to British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain , who concluded the ill-fated Munich Pact with Hitler in 1938. But Chamberlain acted out of a sincere belief that he was avoiding a greater evil. Chamberlain was not thinking of his place in history. He was thinking only of the Britain that he loved, a Britain that was all but disarmed, exhausted, and vulnerable. He was dealing with a nation that had been decimated by the Great War, a nation whose "best and brightest" five years earlier had declared in the infamous Oxford Oath that they would not fight for king or country, and a nation that was as materially unprepared for war as Germany was prepared to fight. Chamberlain dealt from a position of weakness, one that Hitler continually exploited in the negotiations, even by changing the time and place to make it more inconvenient for the British leader to attend them.

In sharp contrast, Mr. Obama is acting out of personal aggrandizement. He believes he is replicating President Richard Nixon's historic opening of China. For Mr. Obama, the Iranian nuclear arms deal is about his place in history. Mr. Obama is dealing from a position of strength that he refuses to use. The sanctions have hurt Iran. Falling oil prices only add to Iran's vulnerability. Instead of using the sanctions to pursue his original promise that Iran would not get the bomb, Mr. Obama has moved the goal post. Iran would not get the bomb immediately. It would be permitted to enrich uranium well beyond the 5 percent need for generating nuclear energy and be left with a breakout capacity to create a bomb.

Meanwhile, Iran is refusing surprise inspections, the hallmark of any such agreement, and has ruled its military facilities, such as the enrichment plant at Fordo, off limits to any inspections, period. Iran continues to showcase public displays of Israel being obliterated by an Iranian nuclear bomb, and even in the midst of negotiations government-orchestrated mass rallies cry out, "Death to America."
If Chamberlain possessed America's strength and was dealing with Iran's weakness, would he be negotiating as Mr. Obama is? Would he be more concerned about a Jew building an extra bedroom in Jerusalem than an Iranian building a bomb at Fordo?

Before becoming prime minister, Chamberlain held two ministerial portfolios. He was considered a thoughtful and effective cabinet member. Upon becoming Prime Minister in 1940, Winston Churchill appointed Chamberlain to the new War Cabinet.

History has debated whether Chamberlain was the reckless appeaser that he is stereotyped as or the man who dealt from a position of extreme weakness against a foe he was unprepared to go to war against and who sacrificed part of Czechoslovakia to buy Britain time to rearm. Even Churchill, who filleted Chamberlain with his famous "choice between war and dishonor and now will get both" zinger, understood that Chamberlain was acting in good faith and kept his vanquished predecessor in his War cabinet.

It is unrealistic to hope that Mr. Obama could emerge as a modern Churchill in this chaotic and dangerous chapter in human history. But even Chamberlain would not have made the disastrous agreement that Mr. Obama seems so eager to conclude.

Mr. Obama is an amateur who is enthralled with the sound of his own voice and is incapable of coming to grips with the consequences of his actions. He is surrounded by sycophants, second-rate intellectuals, and a media that remains compliant and uncritical in the face of repeated foreign policy disasters. As country after country in the world's most dangerous region fall into chaos—Libya and Yemen are essentially anarchic states, even as Syria and Iraq continue to devolve—Mr. Obama puzzlingly focuses much of his attention and rhetoric on Israel, childishly refusing to accept the mandate its people have given their prime minister in an election that, by the way, added three additional seats to the country's Arab minority.

We can debate whether we should ever have been in Iraq, but Mr. Obama's hasty withdrawal to make good on a campaign promise created the power vacuum filled by the Islamic State. In Syria, he vacillated over the enforcement of red lines and whom to arm. There too, he created a vacuum filled by the Islamic State.

In Egypt, he withdrew support for President Hosni Mubarack, who for thirty years kept the peace with Israel and turned Egypt into a stable and reliable ally. Obama permitted the tyrannical Muslim Brotherhood to come to power failing to realize that one election, one time, resulting in a tyranny is not democracy.

In Libya, President Muammar al-Gaddafi, once an international pariah, had reversed course as far back as 1999 and attempted to reenter the community of nations, even giving up his nuclear program. Libya was a stable dictatorship that was willing to engage in economic and diplomatic relations with the West. Its revolutionary ambitions of pan-Arabism and its expansionist tendencies had abated. When revolutionary forces rose up against Gaddafi, Mr. Obama not only verbally supported the revolutionaries, he sent NATO war planes to assist them. Gaddafi was defeated and murdered. Libya is now in chaos and another hot house for Islamic extremism.

The deal with Iran follows in the wake of these foreign policy disasters. Among our traditional Sunni allies in the region, it is seen as a betrayal not simply because it advances Iran's nuclear ambitions but also because it encourages Iran's support for the Houthi Shiite militia in Yemen and Iran's adventurism in Iraq. The lifting of sanctions means more resources for Iran to transfer to its meddlesome proxies like Lebanon's Hezbollah, the assassin of Lebanon's democratic aspirations. The nuclear deal gives Iran an unacceptable nuclear umbrella that will compel the Gulf State Sunnis to launch their own nuclear programs, setting off a disastrous proliferation in the region.

The Iran deal is a march toward the nuclear abyss hand-in-hand with the world's largest exporter of terrorism– the patron of Hezbollah, Hamas, Houthi militias in Yemen, Shiite militias in Iraq, and operatives killing Jews in Argentina. Regrettably, a naïve, petulant President Obama sees this as a crowning part of his legacy and nothing will stand in his way.

Until Mr. Obama released a 1987 classified report detailing Israel's nuclear program, we believed that the president's Iranian policy was motivated by a different vision of America's interests in the Middle East. Admittedly, it is one that would be difficult to dissect, let alone to explain.

But Mr. Obama's latest petulant act shows that this is not a president motivated by policy but by personal feelings. He sacrificed the security of our close ally and its seven million citizens because he felt slighted. How else does one explain that Israel's nuclear program is made public while the report's description of the programs of our NATO partners is redacted?

We might call for Mr. Obama to find his inner Churchill and walk away from this tragedy, but we would be happy if he would simply find the character of the "real" Neville Chamberlain, who when dealing from a position of America's strength would never have signed a deal with the devil. Ultimately, this deal will come back to haunt Mr. Obama's legacy far more than Munich haunted Chamberlain's.

New York Observer


Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Uniting to resist Obama's hostility - Isi Leibler

by Isi Leibler

Obama is seeking to further his long-term objective of forcing Israel to withdraw to the indefensible pre-1967 borders and create a Palestinian state -- which would remain committed to destroying Israel. Should the U.S. follow through on its threat to withhold its veto power at the U.N., Israel will have to confront a severe diplomatic crisis and may ultimately face sanctions. France has already announced that it will soon submit a resolution along these lines to the Security Council.

It is ironic that as we prepare to celebrate Passover, the festival of freedom, we are facing vicious efforts by the vindictive leader of the United States, our greatest ally, who is abandoning us -- the only democratic state in a region suffused with barbarism. 

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is obliged to respond diplomatically to the outrageous provocations directed against him by U.S. President Barack Obama. But we, Israel's citizens, must rise above political correctness and come to terms with an unpleasant reality.

The president of the United States, the leader of the free world and of Western civilization, is not merely venting his personal frustration against Netanyahu or throwing temper tantrums over the Israeli public's decision to re-elect him. Obama himself stresses that he is motivated by ideological reasons that can be traced back to the Cairo speech he delivered after his first election victory.

He has escalated his hostility toward Israel while simultaneously endearing himself and even groveling to Iran. 

Indeed, addressing a recent J Street Conference, White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough even employed Palestinian clichés insisting that "an occupation that has lasted for almost 50 years must end" -- without any reference to the fact that two Israeli prime ministers had been spurned by Palestinian leaders Yasser Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas when they offered them 95% of the formerly Jordanian-occupied territories.

The personal attacks accusing Netanyahu of being a racist and a liar are also being cynically used by Obama as a pretext to pursue two objectives. First, the president is seeking to neutralize Israel as he finalizes the nuclear deal with the Iranian mullahs. It is noteworthy that former CIA Director David Petraeus has now virtually echoed Netanyahu's critical remarks about U.S. policy in public. 

Second, Obama is seeking to further his long-term objective of forcing Israel to withdraw to the indefensible pre-1967 borders and create a Palestinian state -- which would remain committed to destroying Israel. Should the U.S. follow through on its threat to withhold its veto power at the U.N., Israel will have to confront a severe diplomatic crisis and may ultimately face sanctions. France has already announced that it will soon submit a resolution along these lines to the Security Council. 

At such a time, we must stand united to resist the pressure from Obama and the Europeans to make further unilateral concessions, which would represent a long-term existential threat.

This will require Israeli politicians to change their approach and prioritize the national interest ahead of their own ambitions and egocentricities.

It starts with President Reuven Rivlin, who, while initially endearing himself to the nation as a man of the people, seems to have lost perspective. His role is to be a facilitator and an apolitical symbol of the state, not to instruct Netanyahu on the composition of the government he should create.

And it is unbecoming for him to tell the incoming prime minister to repair relations with the U.S. administration -- as though Netanyahu was responsible for the tension. Rivlin also provides fuel for our adversaries when he continues criticizing his prime minister over a single inappropriately worded sentence relating to the Arab bloc expressed during the heat of an election, which Netanyahu subsequently clarified and apologized for -- all the more so when the Americans challenge his sincerity and actually call him a liar.

Moreover, much as we admire our president's liberal tendencies, he surely seemed to have lost his bearings when he sent a letter of support to J Street, an American Jewish group condemned by his government that is now calling on Obama to punish Israel, encouraging the boycott of settlement products and providing a platform for supporters of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanction movement. 

Rivlin must behave apolitically and eschew controversial political statements that undermine the government's standing on the international level.

Netanyahu is now pursuing the daunting task of forming a coalition, while all the smaller parties are engaging in the traditional horse trading, primarily seeking to promote themselves without any regard to the country's national interests. For example, most Israelis are angered that a convicted felon will probably be appointed to head a key ministry (Shas Chairman Aryeh Deri was convicted of multiple corruption charges in 2000), but there is nothing they can do about it.

It is difficult to comprehend the conduct of Habayit Hayehudi Chairman Naftali Bennett, who is demanding the Foreign Affairs or Defense portfolio. His annexationist policies are hardly suited to the position of Israel's foreign minister, and Moshe Ya'alon has proven his mettle as defense minister and should not be replaced. Bennett should have immediately accepted the education portfolio, which should be the most important ministry for his party, enabling it to promote the Jewish values for which his voters cast their ballots. 

But most disconcerting is that Netanyahu may reappoint Avigdor Lieberman to be Israel's foreign minister. Lieberman is no fool, but he is arguably Israel's worst ever foreign minister, having decimated the ministry. As foreign minister, in the midst of the Gaza conflict, he publicly castigated his government's conduct instead of defending Israel in the global arena. He is shunned by many world leaders, and his coarse and primitive remarks about "beheading" Palestinian extremists portrayed Israel in the worst light. 

Over the next year, Israel must marshal the very best people to promote our case and refute the lies, not only from our traditional enemies but, alas, also from the Obama administration. A foreign minister is the public face of a nation whose principal role is to present his country's policies in the most positive light. It would be unconscionable for Netanyahu to reinstate Lieberman to this position.

The reality, painful though it is to many Israelis from both sides of the political spectrum, is it would now be in the national interest to form a broad unity government.

There is absolutely no possibility of meaningful negotiations with the Palestinian Authority while it is cozying up to Hamas and intensifying the level of incitement to unprecedented levels. Even if the duplicitous Abbas were to change his tune, he could not make a single compromise without enraging his own constituents.

Besides, with the Americans shamelessly employing Palestinian rhetoric to defame Israel, pressuring it to accept indefensible borders and threatening to give the green light to the U.N. to condemn and ultimately sanction Israel, the Palestinians have no incentive to engage in meaningful negotiations.

Under such circumstances, the policy differences between Likud and Zionist Union are not significant. In terms of Iran, the Zionist Union, no less than Likud, is bitterly opposed to Obama's capitulation to the Iranian mullahs.

A unity government would deny the smaller parties the opportunity of extorting to promote their own sectarian interests. It would provide the opportunity for the two dominant parties to implement electoral reforms to our current dysfunctional political system.

Above all, a demonstration of unity would immensely enhance our global standing. It would encourage Jews throughout the world, in particular in the United States, to rally behind the Jewish state. It would overcome, or at least stem, the hostility of the left-wing Democratic elements in Congress and strengthen bipartisanship, making it extremely difficult for Obama to continue his current reckless campaign to force us to our knees. 

There would be intense opposition to such a union from the more radical elements in both parties, but the majority of Israelis would welcome such a government, which would dramatically weaken the anti-Israeli hysteria generated by the Obama administration.

Unfortunately, the likelihood of a national unity government is extremely slim.

That being the case, we should at least expect the opposition to act responsibly.

Had Isaac Herzog been elected, Obama would certainly have been happy to see the political demise of Netanyahu, but would still have pursued the same objectives. Herzog is a Zionist and we can hope that he will now rise above petty politics, stand up against the post-Zionist elements in his party, and pledge his support to Netanyahu when Obama makes unreasonable demands or pursues a vendetta rather than seeking a solution. Likewise, he should be unequivocal in his support of Netanyahu's efforts to block a catastrophic deal with Iran that may have existential implications for Israel. Herzog would gain enormous respect and support from the nation and gain new followers were he to act in this manner.

When contemplating the barbarians at our gates and the betrayal of Israel by much of the Western world, we should take comfort when we recite the verse in the Haggadah during the Passover Seder that in every generation enemies will emerge seeking to destroy the Jewish people, but with the help of the Almighty we have, and will continue to, overcome them.

Isi Leibler


Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

How to end the Middle East conflict in four easy steps - Ted Belman

by Ted Belman

In summary, if the West wants to end the conflict, it should resettle the "refugees" and absorb 2 million Palestinians. It’s that easy.

Instead, Ross and Makovsky prefer to demand Israel accept the deal that they have pre-ordained, at their peril, which Israel isn't about to do.

Dennis Ross and David Makovsky in Israel’s Drive Toward Self-Destruction, argue that Prime Minister Netanyahu must offer up hope to Palestinians or face a revived de-legitimization movement. They’re certainly right to point out that the delegitimation movement will grow, but they are wrong to suggest that the answer is for Israel to offer hope to the Palestinians. How facile is that? They argue that what Israel needs to do is begin capitulating even before the negotiations commence, let alone, conclude. They want Israel to give up its bargaining chips for nothing in return.

The Palestinians don’t hope to be given a state, they hope to destroy a state, namely Israel.
It’s not Israel that needs to prove its bona fides, it’s the Palestinians that need to.

The problem with the Ross/Makovsky recommendations is that they are put forward to achieve a pre-ordained (at least by the international community) solution, namely two states for two people based on the '67 lines plus swaps, a divided Jerusalem and "just solution"  for the Palestinian refugees, of which there are few (60,000), and their descendants.

And the recommendations ignores the many threats to Israel along its borders. Ross and Makovsky assume that these threats will eventually evaporate but offer no arguments why this will be so. Yet they want Israel to put herself in jeopardy by offering “hope.” The greatest of these threats, Iran, is now becoming greater due to the deal being negotiated by the Obama administration that will, in Netanyahu’s words, pave the way to them getting the bomb.

On March 31/15, the Times of Israel, reported, Iran militia chief: Destroying Israel is ‘nonnegotiable’
The commander of the Basij militia of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards said that “erasing Israel off the map” is ‘nonnegotiable,’ according to an Israel Radio report Tuesday.
In 2014, Naqdi said Iran was stepping up efforts to arm West Bank Palestinians for battle against Israel, adding the move would lead to Israel’s annihilation, Iran’s Fars news agency reported.
’Arming the West Bank has started and weapons will be supplied to the people of this region,’ Naqdi said.
’The Zionists should know that the next war won’t be confined to the present borders and the Mujahedeen will push them back,’ he added. Naqdi claimed that much of Hamas’s arsenal, training and technical knowhow in the summer conflict with Israel was supplied by Iran.
There is a major war looming, aided and abetted by the Obama administration, yet Ross and Makovsky ignore Israel’s reality and peril.

Israel National News reports on April1/15, IDF Scenario for Next Hezbollah War: 1,500 Missiles Per Day
Army updates estimates for damages in possible northern war, expects dozens or hundreds of lives lost per day.
IDF experts estimate that the number of missiles to hit northern Israel on a given day would be 1,000-1,500, and the number of people killed daily will be in double or even triple digits.
Of course President Obama’s new bedmate, Iran, is responsible for providing Hezb’allah with an enormous arsenal of rockets, reputed to exceed 60,000, with which to wreak havoc on Israel. Ross and Makovsky make no mention of this threat.

Furthermore, the international community is responsible for the lack of a solution because it keeps supporting the weaker side. Normally, a labor dispute in which the workers have stuck is settled when one side decides to compromise their demands because of economic necessity. In the "peace process" the Palestinians are supported at every turn, both politically and financially, and are held blameless. So they have no reason or necessity to compromise.

This support has thwarted the intent of the Oslo Accords.  Former PM Rabin once said that the Palestinians would have to bend to the will of Israel because Israel is the stronger party and holds all the cards or something to that effect. What he did not factor in was that the international community would bolster the Palestinians, making a settlement impossible.

So my first recommendation would be to set aside the pre-ordained solution. Instead, let the only parameter be UN Security Council Resolution 242.

Secondly leave the parties to their own devices. Stop supporting the Palestinians financially or politically.

Thirdly, UN Works and Relief Administration (UNWRA) should be done away with and all so called refugees should be resettled like all refugees are resettled. UN General Assembly Resolution 393 provides for this.
"4. Considers that, without prejudice to the provisions of paragraph 11 of General Assembly resolution 194 (III) of 11 December 1948, the reintegration of the refugees into the economic life of the Near East, either by repatriation or resettlement, is essential in preparation for the time when international assistance is no longer available, and for the realization of conditions of peace and stability in the area
Thus it recommends "reintegration of the refugees into the economic life of the Near East either by repatriation or resettlement". There is no reason why these "refugees" can't also be resettled throughout the world just as the Syrian refugees are being resettled. Or just normalize them where they are by giving them citizenship. If the host countries refuse to do this then they must be resettled in countries that will.  It would help considerably if the standard definition of what a refugee is be applied rather than to consider their descendants as refugees also.

I should point out that the "right of return" derives from Resolution 194, which, like all UN General Assembly resolutions, is a recommendation only.

The world community, by maintaining the refugee status of these people, is contributing to the impasse in the "peace process". By maintaining the "right of return" they are adding to the unsolvables.

Fourthly, support the emigration of Palestinians from Judea and Samaria and from Gaza, (rather than rebuilding Gaza). There are currently about 3.5 million Arabs living there. If the world would absorb 2 million of them, Israel would extend its sovereignty over these lands and offer citizenship or autonomy to the remaining Arabs. Thus the conflict would be over.

In summary, if the West wants to end the conflict, it should resettle the "refugees" and absorb 2 million Palestinians. It’s that easy.

Instead, Ross and Makovsky prefer to demand Israel accept the deal that they have pre-ordained, at their peril, which Israel isn't about to do.

Ironically, just as President Obama is reconsidering his options on how to impose a solution, support for a “two-state solution” to solve the Israel-Arab conflict is less popular in the United States than it has been in at least two decades, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

Ted Belman


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Reasons for Targeting Students for Justice in Palestine - David Horowitz

by David Horowitz

[SJP denies] the Jewish people — and only the Jewish people — their right to self-determination, they demand that Israel be judged by standards not applied to any other nation, they deploy classic anti-Semitic imagery, they propagate the idea that Israel exists on land stolen from the Arabs, and they demonize Israel as an apartheid state.

[Learn about the Freedom Center’s “Jew Hatred on Campus” Campaign.]
Reprinted from

Today we are witnessing a resurgence of global Jew hatred not seen since the 1930s when Hitler was laying plans for the “Final Solution” — the physical extermination of European Jewry. In the Middle East, Hitler-admiring leaders in Iran and parties such as Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood are openly planning to finish the job Hitler started. And in America, on campuses across the country, student groups explicitly echo the poisonous messages of these Jew-hating parties that hold events calling for the destruction of the Jewish state — the unmistakable meaning of their signature chant, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” because the river is the eastern boundary of Israel and the sea its western boundary.

These campus-approved organizations — most prominently Students for Justice in Palestine — engage in rhetoric and activities that clearly fall under the definition of anti-Semitism used by the U.S. government:
“Anti-Semitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of anti-Semitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”
They deny the Jewish people — and only the Jewish people — their right to self-determination, they demand that Israel be judged by standards not applied to any other nation, they deploy classic anti-Semitic imagery, they propagate the idea that Israel exists on land stolen from the Arabs, and they demonize Israel as an apartheid state.

In a letter to The Daily Californian published March 20, members of SJP claim to have been persecuted by a poster campaign I organized to highlight its anti-Semitic and anti-Palestinian activities. One poster, for example, featured two Hamas terrorists about to execute a Palestinian for alleged collaboration with the Jews. The SJP letter goes on to describe its “protests,” which I believe clearly express a genocidal goal: the elimination of the Jewish state. It complains that the Daily Cal editors refused to print a passage in the SJP members’ original submission because it was “libelous and unverifiable,” which it clearly was. As quoted in their letter, “The (SJP) flyers called attention to the real eviction notices Palestinians in the Occupied Territories receive from the Israeli military as part of the Israeli government’s policy of expelling Palestinians from their land in order to build ethnically-exclusive settlements, an ongoing project of ethnic cleansing that has seen some 27,000 Palestinian homes demolished since 1967.”

These SJP claims misrepresent the situation. Since its creation, Israel has been home to more than 1 million Arabs who, as Israeli citizens, sit on Israel’s Supreme Court, are members of its Knesset and enjoy more rights than the Palestinians living in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Of the two parties that seek to represent Palestinians, one is a terrorist group sworn to eliminate the Jewish state. It is SJP that supports ethnic cleansing, not Israel.

Nor does Israel “occupy” any Arab land. Israel was created the same way Jordan, Syria, Iraq and Lebanon were created — out of the ruins of the Turkish empire, which ruled the area for 400 years before the countries’ creation. Native Americans have a greater claim to the United States than Arabs do to either Israel or Gaza and the West Bank. More to the point, there appear to be no Hamas, Fatah or SJP protests against the Hashemite rulers of Jordan, whose oppressed majority population is Palestinian. That is because the goal of the Palestinian movement, as led by terrorists, is not the liberation of Palestine but the destruction of the Jews.

The 70-year Arab war against the state of Israel is racist to its core. There is no peace in the Middle East because it is impossible to negotiate peace with people who want to eliminate you. The actions of SJP make it a supporter and active abettor of a war against the Jews. (The fact that some obtuse Jews are unable to recognize this and are members of SJP does not mitigate its truth.)

SJP is responsible for the atmosphere of fear that is a palpable reality for many Jewish students. As such, SJP clearly violates UC Berkeley’s “Principles of Community,” under which officially recognized student groups are supposed to operate. Under the U.S. Constitution, SJP has every right to spew its noxious hatreds and spread its lies. It does not have rights, however, to the privileges of legitimate student groups or to funding from the campus and taxpayers of California. This is an outrage that needs to be addressed by UC Berkeley’s Division of Student Affairs, and the sooner the better.

David Horowitz was one of the founders of the New Left in the 1960s and an editor of its largest magazine, Ramparts. He is the author, with Peter Collier, of three best selling dynastic biographies: The Rockefellers: An American Dynasty (1976); The Kennedys: An American Dream (1984); and The Fords: An American Epic (1987). Looking back in anger at their days in the New Left, he and Collier wrote Destructive Generation (1989), a chronicle of their second thoughts about the 60s that has been compared to Whittaker Chambers’ Witness and other classic works documenting a break from totalitarianism. Horowitz examined this subject more closely in Radical Son (1996), a memoir tracing his odyssey from “red-diaper baby” to conservative activist that George Gilder described as “the first great autobiography of his generation.” He is author of the newly published book The Great Betrayal (Regnery 2014), which is a chronicle of the Democrats treachery in the war on terror before 9/11 to the death of Osama bin Laden.


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In Our Neck of the Woods, Actions Speak Louder than Words - Dr. Mordechai Kedar

by Dr. Mordechai Kedar

Talk is cheap, but meaningless in the Middle East. Look at what they do, not at what they say.

Written for Arutz Sheva, translated from the Hebrew by Rochel Sylvetsky

Analysis of the events that occurred over the last few years in the Middle East, shows that the most powerful, central and influential component of these events  is not a verbal one – not speeches, promises, documents and agreements. What counts are actions on the ground and the accompanying threats of violence.

There is no dearth of examples that prove this rule:

Egypt is the most obvious. In June 2012, Mohamed Morsi was elected to the presidency, in the first ever democratic elections held in Egypt. A little over a year later, in July 2013, Defense Minister Abd el Fatah al-Sisi arose and deposed Morsi. The world erupted, Obama reached the boiling point, and the USA froze its military aid to Egypt. Everyone demanded that Sisi  put Morsi back in office, but he refused. Then Sisi held democratic elections and won. This week – twenty months after Morsi was deposed – Obama finally realized that his dream of bringing about Muslim Brotherhood hegemony over the entire Middle East has to be put on hold. He phoned Sisi and told him that the US will renew military aid to Egypt. Sisi's stubbornness paid off in a big way, and the Egyptian general succeeded in forcing his agenda on the President of the United States.    

 Another example is Assad, the mass-murdering despot who has killed tens of thousands of Syrian citizens over the past four years while the world observed the carnage and did nothing. When he crossed the most red of lines and used chemical weapons against his own people, the lines seemed to turn pink, then white and then became transparent before our very eyes.

The world condemns, the UN Security Council adopts meaningless decisions, but Assad's continued bestial behavior is the only reason he still rules part of Syria. His actions speak louder than all the words uttered by the world and its leaders.   

Hezbollah is a terrorist organization armed with tens of thousands of missiles, found guilty of the murder of Lebanon's previous prime minister, Rafik al Hariri. The UN Security Council forbade the organization's rearming after the Second Lebanon War, but these words did not stop it from rearming.  Moreover, Europe has been cooperating with the "civilian arm" of this terrorist entity that also took over Lebanon. In other words, what the world says doesn't matter, but what Hezbollah achieves, does. Does the fact that Hezbollah's militants murder Syrian citizens bother anyone enough to do something? It seems the world realizes that words will not change this reality.

Iran has been moving towards acquiring nuclear weapons for years, a game changer for regional and world politics. The entire world is talking about it, speeches are made, documents are written, papers are published, agreements are signed - but all the billions of words spilled worldwide on the subject have not brought Iran to stop its nuclear plans for one minute. Only the West's 2003 invasion of Iraq resulted in Iran's stopping the development of its nuclear project for a while. Iran went back to nuclear activity in 2006 when it realized that no one planned to invade its territory, despite all the evidence of Iranian involvement in the Iraqi uprising, and despite the incontrovertible fact that Iran - indirectly, but intentionally - caused the deaths of thousands of American and other soldiers in Iraq up to 2010. What affects Iranian behavior is not what is said about the country, but what is done - or not done - against the Iranian regime.

Economic sanctions can influence Iranian policy on nuclear power, because sanctions are a practical, and therefore effective, step, but someone in the White House and the US State Department has decided that it is better to substitute words for actions. In the Middle East, words are meaningless. The Iranians are ready to offer pleasant words, smiles and agreements, but their actions are the exact opposite of what they promise - and it is actions that count.

Iran is bound by the decision of the UN Security Council that forbids it from exporting weapons, but do these written words keep the Ayatollahs from exporting arms to Syria?  to Hezbollah in Lebanon? to Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza? to the Shiite militias in Iraq? to the Kurds in northern Iraq? to Assad's regime in Syria? to the Houthis in Yemen? The words are on paper, but Iran's actions are the reality.

Iran has been arming itself for years, it has been funding and training the Shiite Houthis in Yemen, whose battle for control of Yemen began with attacks on Sa'dah in northern Yemen back in 2004. The Houthis gained in strength until they took over the capital city of Sa'ana several months ago and turned Yemen into a bloodbath. All the talk in Yemen about national unity as well as all the talk about dividing the country into autonomous sectors were of no avail, as the Houthis continued their relentless advance.

Houthi actions are more significant than any decision and any document. This is what pushed Saudi Arabia, Egypt and other Sunni states to prepare for a real war, not a war of words, against the Houthis, whom they rightly see as the Yemenite tentacle of the Iranian octopus. 

Yemen is also a stage on which al Qaeda, the organization that the entire world is against, plays a role, growing, advancing and gaining control over more and more territory. It has reached the point where its offshoot, Islamic State, established as an al Qaeda branch in Iraq in 2004, has wrested control over a third of Syria, a third of Iraq - and has the whole world living in fear of its Jihadist knives and the possibility of its revolution being exported to Europe, America, Australia and who-knows-where else.  Jihadist actions have much more effect than the condemnations voiced against them, much more than the decisions, articles and caricatures aimed at them.

In Gaza, the Palestinian Authority is officially in charge - on paper - but the real control is in the hands of the Islamic terrorist organization, Hamas. How many words have been wasted talking about this insane situation? How may agreements have been signed by both sides? Nothing can affect the reality in which Hamas rules by force in Gaza, effectively telling the PA to go to hell. Even Israel has not succeeded in changing the facts on the ground there.

Israel, too, is in possession of many promises on crucial issues from various American presidents. These include stopping the Iranian nuclear project, support for Israel's suggestion to retain settlement blocs in Judea and Samaria, and for its opposition to the recognition of a Palestinian state in the Security Council. All these were simply words.  What is happening to the assurances and all the words Israel has received?  Iran continues its nuclear project - and will be doing so after signing any agreement -  and America is establishing a Palestinian State in Judea and Samaria even though no one in Washington can be sure or can promise that it won't turn into a Hamas state.

Israel must draw a clear and sharp conclusion: stop talking and start doing what should be done. It must put an end to the Palestinian Authority before it turns into another Hamas state and establish eight Emirates on its ruins: the one in Gaza has been in existence for eight years,but another seven must be established in Arab cities in Judea and Samaria - in Jenin, Shechem, Tulkarem, Kalkilya, Ramallah, Jericho, Arab areas of Hevron - ruled by local hamoulot (powerful, extended families), while Israel remains a force in the countryside with all its Jewish "settlements" intact.

Israel has to learn from Sisi, the man who succeeded in forcing the correct course of action on America, Europe and all those who opposed him. Only actions have an effect on reality in the Middle East, and for everyone who has a short memory: Israel, too, was established when the Jewish People got sick and tired of words and began to act.

In our neighborhood, we don't talk. We act. Those who talk usually don't do anything and have no desire to do anything, hoping that their words will cover up for their lack of action. Israel's new government must work together on a practical plan, not one that is all verbiage and "agreements" - and start acting to put facts on the ground. In the long run, the world accepts Middle East reality, even unpleasant reality, because that is how this region operates.

Written for Arutz Sheva, translated from the Hebrew by Rochel Sylvetsky

Dr. Mordechai Kedar


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PA's Accession To International Criminal Court Will Harm It, Hamas, Turkey, Qatar - MEMRI


On April 1, 2015, four months after it joined the Rome Statute, the Palestinian Authority (PA) officially became a member of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague. The practical consequence of this move is that the PA can now bring charges against Israelis for alleged war crimes. PA chief negotiator Saeb Erekat said that the court has already launched a preliminary investigation regarding the settlements and regarding war crimes perpetrated during the 2014 Gaza conflict.[1]
The PLO called the PA's accession to the ICC "historic," and PA Foreign Minister Riyadh Al-Maliki said that "Palestine seeks justice, not revenge."[2]
In an article published in the London daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat in November 2014, before the PA submitted a formal request to join the ICC, Lebanese journalist Huda Al-Husseini warned about the potential consequences of this move for the Palestinians themselves, as well as for Qatar and Turkey, due to their ties with the Hamas movement and its leadership. Al-Husseini wrote that accession to the ICC could result in a series of charges against Palestinian figures, and also expose Qatar and Turkey to grave accusations of funding terror and even of committing crimes against humanity.
The following are excerpts from her article:[3]

Huda Al-Husseini 

Palestinians' Accession To ICC Could Expose Them To Series Of War Crimes Charges 

"The PA has threatened that, if the Security Council rejects its draft resolution on the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, it will join the International Criminal Court. It did this knowing that experts on international law question the effectiveness of this move... [True,] appealing to the ICC may be the last weapon left to the Palestinians [in their bid] to turn the Palestinian-Israeli conflict into a global cause. However, it is possible that the Palestinians have not considered the implications of this option. PA Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki [himself] said in an interview on the Al-Arabiya Al-Hadath [TV channel] in July [2014] that joining the ICC would be a double-edged sword, since it could lead to an investigation into war crimes committed by Hamas. Former ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo said on May 9, [2014] that 'the Palestinians understand that joining the ICC will expose them as well to prosecution.' According to experts on international law, the PA's move, [intended] to enlist global support, could trigger a domino effect, namely a series of counter-charges in the Hague, which could drastically reduce the scope of support the PA receives. The PA and Hamas, who, along with the rest of the Palestinian factions, support the [move of] joining the Rome Statute, may find themselves facing charges against them. The circle of accused parties may even include senior officials from Qatar, Turkey and other countries, who may be charged with committing crimes against humanity."    

Charges Against Hamas Could Jeopardize Qatar And Turkey, Who Take Part In Funding This Movement 

"Recently many people have been writing about Qatar and Turkey's direct and indirect support of Hamas. Both countries are hosting Hamas leaders: [Hamas political bureau head] Khaled Mash'al is in Doha and [Hamas official] Saleh Al-'Arouri is in Ankara. In addition, both [countries] are surely aware of the general trend in international criminal law which broadens the scope of 'aiding and abetting' to include elements who take part in activity that can be defined as criminal. 

"Legal studies indicate that the Palestinians can create a problem for the elements that aid them. How? Qatar and Turkey are known to be among Hamas' direct sources of funding. Both have secretly supplied the organization with tens of millions of dollars every year, which served for various purposes. Fatah spokesman Ahmad 'Assaf said in a September 16, 2014 interview on Al-Awda TV that the Hamas leadership in Gaza had received hundreds of millions of dollars for a campaign [to help] children, the elderly and martyrs' [families]. However, according to 'Assaf, the funds never reached their destination, and he wondered where they had gone. An ICC investigation of Qatar and Turkey may [also] address allegations regarding their funding of global jihad organizations that are accused of terrorism, such as ISIS and Jabhat Al-Nusra.

"In recent months there have been reports that Hamas flew funds from Qatar to Turkey, and then  transferred tens of millions through [Turkish] money changers. [In this case,] the Turkish government helped by turning a blind eye. This intensive activity is likely to trigger a request for the ICC to investigate the actions of Palestinians living in [Qatar and Turkey], and [it should be borne in mind that] the court's legal tools include the possibility of imposing sanctions. Charges may also be brought against the banks and financial institutions in Qatar and Turkey where this activity took place. All this is a result of broadening of the concept of 'aiding and abetting' to include financial support.  

The ICC is likely to act against Hamas officials living in Qatar, Turkey or elsewhere, investigate their military and financial activity, and summon them to appear before it. This [activity] may even include Khaled Mash'al, who was in Qatar during the recent Gaza war. Such an investigation will turn the spotlight on Qatar, which prefers to be in the spotlight of investments and financial success. It may be pressured to prosecute Mash'al and others, or to designate them fugitives from justice.

"The ICC prosecutor-general does not have the authority to prosecute citizens of countries that are not party to the Rome Statute and are therefore not members of the ICC. Qatar, Turkey and the other Arab states are not members of the ICC, but if the PA joins it, the prosecutor-general will be able to investigate Palestinians who live or act in these countries. This means that the ICC will address [issues] pertaining to countries that host Palestinians involved  in 'terror' activity – and this may have political, financial and legal implications. If the ICC addresses issues of terrorism and its funding, this will intensify the general global debate regarding the funding [of terrorism]. This could lead to further investigations, which could yield even more investigations, and so on. Moreover, states that are members of the ICC and of [other] international organizations, especially those linked to the UN, could have difficulty maintaining normal relations with countries hosting individuals wanted by the ICC, especially when there are guidelines by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon regarding this issue..." 


[1] Al-Ayyam (PA), April 1, 2015.
[2] Al-Ayyam (PA), April 2, 2015.
[3] Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), November 12, 2015.



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