Abbas’s Palestine is the Real Apartheid State, by Jonathan Tobin

In recent weeks, critics of Israel have been crying foul over the fact that Jews have moved into some apartments in East Jerusalem neighborhoods.The fact that the homes were legally purchased and that the new residents were merely attempting to reside in the country’s as-yet-undivided capital was seen as irrelevant since the presence of Jews in Arab-majority areas is considered to be an obstacle to a potential partition of the city should a peace agreement with the Palestinians ever be signed. But even if we were to concede that such moves do infuriate Arabs, surely no one, not even Israel’s most adamant opponents, would be comfortable with laws that banned the presence of Jews in parts of Jerusalem or anywhere else. Right? Wrong.

Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas reacted to the fact that Jews have bought homes from Palestinians in parts of Jerusalem by vowing to toughen existing PA laws that forbid such sales. Yes, that’s right. In “Palestine”—be it the existing PA or Hamas states or the future independent Palestinian state that Europe is so eager to recognize even without it having to make peace with Israel—it is against the law to sell land or a home to a Jew.

The question of whether Jews should move into majority Arab neighborhoods or towns is a question of judgment. Let’s ignore for the moment the fact that the Palestinians have repeatedly rejected any peace deal that would give them an independent state and a share of Jerusalem since it would require them to recognize the legitimacy of a Jewish state no matter where its borders are drawn. It is possible to argue that the two communities are better off living separately. But voluntary separation is one thing, legal restrictions on the right of Jews to live in some areas is something very different.

After all, in the State of Israel, which is routinely and falsely accused of being an “apartheid state,” Arabs may live where they please. When some areas have tried to restrict sales of property to Arabs, Israel’s courts have ruled that this is inconsistent with the principles enunciated in the country’s basic laws. While Israel is not a perfect society and the Arab minority faces challenges that are often rooted in the century-old war over the land, the principle of equality before the law for all citizens is upheld.

But in “Palestine,” not only are there no courts or government to prevent individuals or groups from discriminating, but there it is the government itself that both promulgates and ruthlessly enforces such bias.

As the Times of Israel reports:

According to the official Palestinian Wafa news agency, Abbas on Monday imposed a sentence of hard labor for life on “anyone diverting, renting or selling land to an enemy state or one of its subjects.”

Jordan’s penal code number 16 article 114, applicable in the Palestinian territories, previously subscribed “temporary hard labor” to perpetrators of the crime.

In practice, this means Jews may not buy, rent, or sell land. In other words, should the state of Palestine that sits in the United Nations ever become a real sovereign country it will be the apartheid state, not democratic Israel.

The purpose of such laws is to thwart the Zionist enterprise by which Jews have returned to their ancient homeland by legally purchasing land. But the motivating factor here is Jew hatred. Should Palestine ever become a reality, the neighborhoods where Jews have bought homes would be part of it. At that point these few Jews would be no threat to the Arab majority. But the Palestinian vision of statehood remains one in which Israel would be a country where Jews and Arabs live while Palestine will be a Judenrein—Jew-free—entity.

The point here is that peace is possible if both sides are prepared to compromise and recognize each other’s legitimacy. But the supposedly moderate Palestinian Authority of Abbas, that both President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry constantly praise as a true peace partner for Israel, is not only not interested in compromising. It is also promulgating and attempting to enforce laws that are based in anti-Semitic incitement. Were Israel to ban Arabs from moving into homes they owned in West Jerusalem, it would prompt an international outcry and condemnations from the United States. But instead America condemns Jews who move into Arab neighborhoods and stays silent when Abbas seeks to treat those who sell to Jews as criminals.

Instead of the Jewish home buying in Jerusalem being an obstacle to peace as Israel’s critics claim, it is the Arab attempt to criminalize selling to a Jew that best illustrates why peace is not yet possible

Which Palestine Do Euros Recognize? Jonathan S. Tobin 10.13.2014

Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it. Unfortunately, this is having deadly consequences for the western world. There is evil in the world and it must be wiped out before it destroys the world. How many millions of Jews, Christians and Muslims were killed during World War Two after the Munich agreement?

Today the British Parliament voted on a non-binding resolution that recognized Palestine as a state. The 274-12 vote in favor of the symbolic gesture doesn’t affect the actual foreign policy of the United Kingdom but, like the announcement by the new Swedish prime minister earlier this month of his intention to also recognize it as a state, it does constitute more momentum for a Palestinian effort to bypass peace negotiations. This says a lot more about the willingness of Europeans to pressure and even demonize Israel than it does about their supposed support for peace. But as long as they’re talking about recognition, it’s fair to ask which Palestine they are ready to welcome into the family of nations: The weak, corrupt, and undemocratic Palestinian Authority in the West Bank or the terrorist Hamas state in Gaza? Or both?

The vote in London was something of a farce as Prime Minister David Cameron has made it clear that it will not influence his nation’s actions. Pushed by rank-and-file members of the opposition Labor Party it appears to be driven by a desire to embarrass its leader Ed Milliband more than anything else. But the inability of Labor’s leaders to quash the vote and in the absence of a strong stand against it by Cameron, who, along with the rest of his government and its supporters, abstained on the measure rather than risk his government by actively opposing it, it’s fair to say that the measure reflects public sympathy for the Palestinians.

Yet like the “Free Gaza” demonstrations that rocked European cities this past summer while Hamas rockets rained down on Israeli cities, one has to wonder what exactly those advocating the unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state think they are doing?

At its most basic level, recognizing Palestinian statehood seems to be an expression of sympathy for those who bore the brunt of Hamas’s decision to launch another war against Israel: the people of Gaza. Pictures of Palestinian civilians who were killed, wounded, or made homeless by Israeli counter-attacks against Hamas missile launches and terror tunnels generated a wave of revulsion against the Jewish state as well as a desire to beat one’s chest on behalf of the cause of “Free Palestine.”

But which Palestine are we talking about?

Is it the Palestine of the Palestinian Authority that currently rules most of the West Bank, albeit under the security blanket of the Israel Defense Forces? Undoubtedly, that’s the Palestine the Swedish prime minister thinks he’s backing. That’s a Palestine that is supposedly ready to make peace with Israel but which requires the economic and political support of the West in order to survive.

But, in truth, that Palestine is a corrupt kleptocracy run by Mahmoud Abbas, a man currently serving the 10th year of a four-year presidential term. The Fatah-ruled West Bank is a petty tyranny that oppresses and robs Palestinians while raking in billions in economic aid from Europe and the United States. Its leader frequently tells Western and Israeli audiences that he is ready make peace on the basis of a two-state solution, but he also is adamant about being unwilling to recognize the legitimacy of a Jewish state no matter where its borders might be drawn.

But since so much of the anger at Israel is about Gaza, the fact is all too many Europeans seem willing to overlook their usual abhorrence of terrorism and think of Hamas as a legitimate government of the strip, if not as partners with the PA. That Palestine is a brutally repressive Islamist regime that is allied with those seeking to overthrow moderate Arab governments. Like Fatah in the West Bank, it is not interested in bettering the lives of its people. But unlike the PA, which seems mostly interested in profiteering off of foreign aid, Hamas’s sole obsession is in replenishing its stores of rockets and ammunition and rebuilding its terror tunnels so as to be ready the next time it feels another round of fighting with Israel will be to its advantage. Hamas, which is more popular in the West Bank than Abbas and his party, is dedicated to ending the “occupation” but by that term they are referring to pre-1967 Israel, not forcing it to remove Jews from the West Bank or Jerusalem.

Nor is there much use pretending the Fatah-Hamas unity agreement is the basis of a pro-peace government. The show put on this week for international donors for the reconstruction of Gaza did nothing to bolster confidence in the ability of the so-called government of technocrats of the PA that is allegedly going to supervise the rebuilding of Gaza. In a sign of the contempt that the Palestinians have for the suckers who continue to shovel money into their coffers, the PA would only promise that half of the $5.4 billion pledged would pay for the rebuilding of Gaza. What happens to the other half? We’re told that it will support the PA’s budget until 2017. Which means that it will be divided among the PA’s factions or indirectly shared with Hamas for its own nefarious purposes. But either way, the Swiss bankers who handle the private accounts of PA leaders should get ready for some heavy-duty deposits.

Were Europe’s governments or its pro-Palestinian demonstrators truly interested in peace, they would understand that unilateral recognition of independence is a way for the PA to avoid having to talk with Israel. Whatever they may think of Israel or the Netanyahu government, it has stated its willingness to negotiate a two-state solution. But that outcome can only happen when the Palestinians stop waiting for their foreign friends to hand Israeli concessions—or Israel itself, as Hamas is frank about demanding—to them on a silver platter. If they wanted to support peace, they would tell Abbas to go back to the table with Netanyahu and to be prepared to recognize a Jewish state. They might also encourage him to get rid of Hamas, not become its partner.

Seen in that light talk about recognition of Palestine without first requiring it to make peace with Israel must seen as not merely moral preening at Israel’s expense but a political manifestation of the same anti-Semitic invective that was so common during the “Free Gaza” demonstrations.

Jonathan S. Tobin is senior online editor of COMMENTARY magazine and chief political blogger at He can be reached via e-mail at: Follow him on Twitter at TobinCommentary.

The Secret Revelations of President Abbas, by Michael Curtis

In October 1522, Machiavelli gave some valuable advice to a colleague about to become ambassador to Spain. He suggested that if it sometimes becomes necessary to conceal facts with words then it should be done in such a manner that no one becomes aware of it. It is obvious that Mahmoud Abbas, now in the tenth year of his four-year term as President of the Palestinian Authority, is familiar with this principle. It was clear he had become a disciple of Machiavelli when he delivered his speech to the UN General Assembly on September 26, 2014.

President Abbas spoke of his commitment to achieve a just peace with Israel through a negotiated solution and an adoption of a diplomatic and political effort by UN bodies. Although speaking from a seemingly peaceful perspective, he was actually acting on Machiavelli’s advice, or speaking under the influence of the Chicago school of philosophy for whom the words of writers may have multiple or layered meanings, often disguised with irony and even self-contradiction.

Abbas was concealing his true thoughts except from careful listeners at the UN and elsewhere. He began his speech by declaring that Israel had chosen to make 2014 a year of genocide perpetrated against the Palestinian people. Careful listeners knew his seemingly peaceful words covered his true meaning. They knew he was referring surreptitiously either to Hamas, the Palestinian terrorists eager to kill Jews and eliminate the State of Israel, or to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria which is conducting a Nakba (catastrophe) to destroy the infidels of the world, or to Turkey which has denied the genocide committed since 1915 against the Armenians.

Abbas obviously also had Turkey in mind when he spoke of genocide. Like many others Abbas is evidently surprised that Turkey still refuses to acknowledge both its murder of 1 to 1.5 million Armenians, though 23 countries and 42 states in the U.S. have recognized the fact, and also its attempt to eliminate the cultural and religious heritage of the Armenians. He is evidently also surprised that Turkey has refused to allow more significant rights to its large Kurdish population of about 14 million.

In this respect, Abbas spoke of occupation and historic injustice. He did speak aloud about Israel as a colonial occupying power, as a racist occupying state.

But he must really have been thinking of Turkey, which invaded the island of Cyprus in 1974. The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, which declared itself an independent state in 1983, now occupies 40 per cent of the island, which Abbas knows is an illegal occupation of the territory of the Republic of Cyprus. To use Abbas’ words referring to another country, so far Turkey has evaded accountability for its crimes.

Abbas spoke of the denial of freedom and independence of people for citizens of Gaza. Here he was clearly alluding to the situation in the Muslim country of Mauritania. Though a law was finally passed in 2007 making slavery a criminal offence, real slavery of 600,000 or 20 per cent of the population, still exists, the highest proportion of slaves in the population of any country in the world. The situation for these descendants of black African slaves is mainly in the form of chattel slavery, with individuals being bought, sold, rented out, or given as gifts.

President Abbas assumed that no one would wonder anymore why extremism, hatred, and terrorism is rising. He did not mention the gruesome beheadings of American and British journalists, but it was kind that he thus drew attention to the Islamic State and its barbarous activities that in Abbas’ language, are ongoing and escalating. He recognized the problems of ghettos on fragmented lands without borders under an army of occupation.

Abbas declared his support for those who stand for human values, freedom, justice, and peace. He did not mention Saudi Arabia specifically by name but Abbas did refer to the racism in the political and media discourse and its entrenchment in the school curriculum and in a series of laws and practices. He did speak openly of “the Israeli occupation... an abhorrent form of state terrorism,” but it was clear that indirectly he was praising Israel when talking of strengthening the values of citizenship, equality, the rule of law, human rights, the role of women and pluralism.

Of course, Abbas spoke openly of the need for peace. He must therefore have been disconcerted by the glorification by his Fatah group of female suicide bombers. Nine women have been honored in this way by the Fatah group. The most recent one is honored for her attack on September 22, 2014 when she blew herself up in Jerusalem, killing two Israeli security guards.

The Obama administration has found the provocative and offensive statements by Abbas about Israel deeply disappointing and counterproductive. Those statements certainly do not make him a partner for reasonable diplomatic discussions and are not the way to create a positive atmosphere in which peace negotiations between Israel and Arabs might occur. Nevertheless, we should be grateful to the seemingly permanently installed President Abbas for all his unstated allusions to the misdeeds of Islamic terrorists that are a threat to Western civilization.

AIPAC Statement on Prime Minister Netanyahu's Address to the UN General Assembly

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered an eloquent and forceful message to the international community about the urgent threat of militant Islam. The Prime Minister rightfully singled out the Iranian nuclear weapons program as the gravest threat to world peace and security. 

AIPAC strongly believes that we cannot afford to underestimate the clear danger that a nuclear-armed Islamic Republic of Iran would have on America’s security and that of our allies.  We cannot accept Iran as a nuclear-threshold state with its program’s infrastructure largely intact, which would be only a small step away from nuclear weapons capability.  The United States must insist that any final nuclear agreement with Iran includes the dismantlement of its program such that Tehran is left without a uranium or plutonium path to a nuclear weapon.

Prime Minister Netanyahu also issued a strong and effective response to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ slanderous speech to the UN General Assembly. President Abbas’ remarks represented a cruel rebuff to both reality and the peace process. His divisive language of incitement, hatred and mendacity was an atrocious affront to all those who seek reconciliation in the region.   We urge President Abbas to return to bilateral negotiations with Israel and not take counter-productive, unilateral steps at the UN or the International Criminal Court.

The Prime Minister spoke of a new Middle East that includes security challenges presented by militant Islam but also opportunities for peace.  He noted specifically that “a broader rapprochement between Israel and the Arab world may help facilitate an Israeli-Palestinian peace.”

America must continue to stand with our democratic ally as she addresses these challenges and opportunities.

Anne Bayefsky on Netanyahu's speech

At UN Netanyahu Challenges 'Brazen Lies' Told by Obama and Abbas
This article by Anne Bayefsky originally appeared on Fox News.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chose not to let President Obama’s bold allegation that Israelis were not interested in peace go unanswered in his speech Monday at the UN. “Brazen lies spoken from this very podium against my country” is how Netanyahu described the remarks of previous speakers, when he addressed the U.N. General Assembly.

Just five days earlier, President Obama had made a shocking assertion in his role as president while speaking on the world stage. He claimed that there were “too many Israelis ready to abandon the hard work of peace.” Obama scolded: “that’s something worthy of reflection within Israel.”

Not only did President Obama not include Palestinians in this demeaning and defamatory slur, he proceeded to equate “rockets fired at innocent Israelis” with “Palestinian children taken from us in Gaza.” Not “taken from us” by Hamas who used them as human fodder in their attempted annihilation of Israel. But apparently “taken from us” by those Israelis not interested in peace.

No Israeli Prime Minister could allow such an attack to go unanswered. And so Netanyahu began his remarks by daring President Obama to distinguish between his battle against ISIS and Israel’s battle with Hamas.

Said Netanyahu: “the people of Israel pray for peace, but our hopes and the world’s hopes for peace are in danger because everywhere we look militant Islam in on the march.”

The stark contrast between the two world leaders also could not have been more clear on the subject of Iran.

President Obama spent five sentences of his 39-minute UN address on Iran, telling the world “my message to Iran’s leaders…We can reach a solution that meets your energy needs while assuring the world that your program is peaceful.”

Another brazen lie, since no one believes that Iran’s nuclear program is peaceful or has anything to do with its energy needs, which can be met into the next century by its natural resources.

Netanyahu instead pointed – yet again – to the terrifying threat of the acquisition of the world’s most dangerous weapon by the world’s most dangerous country and the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism.

He challenged the president, and the global community, “to disarm ISIS but leave Iran with the bomb would be to win the battle but lose the war.” 

Sitting stone-faced in her seat, was the woman holding the bag on Obama’s obsequious Iran policy, America’s ambassador to the UN: Samantha Power.

Israeli Prime Minister’s message Monday came as Palestinian leaders are vying to remain the U.N.’s favorite victim amidst the headless human carcasses now piling up in Iraq, Syria, the United Kingdom, Algeria, and the United States.

No doubt, Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas has something to worry about. It’s a tough sell to differentiate the Hamas partner in his unity government – an organization dedicated to the kidnapping, murder and execution of both Israelis and Palestinians en route to Islamic domination – from ISIS, Al Nusra, Al Qaeda and company.

So Israel’s “peace partner” evidently decided the way forward was not to eschew Islamic fanaticism but to embrace it.

In one of the most vitriolic speeches ever delivered by a Palestinian leader at the U.N., Abbas accused Israel on Friday, September 26 of “genocide,” of practicing “an abhorrent form of apartheid,” and of “state terrorism.” He analogized Israelis to Nazis with Palestinians living in “ghettos” and claimed the rise of ISIS was Israel’s fault since Israel was a “source of terrorism” and a “breeding ground for incitement…”

Netanyahu called the assertions something derived from “the moral universe” of “a man who wrote a dissertation of lies about the Holocaust and who insists on a Palestine free of Jews.”

Unfortunately, plain talk at the U.N. is as unwelcome as it is unusual.

Even more unfortunate is a president of the United States who sounds warmer when talking about Iran than about Israel.

Why We Must Stand Up for Israel & Our Convictions

By Shmuley Boteach

Mahmoud Abbas was coming to speak at New York University where my son Mendy is an undergraduate. Mendy was outraged that Abbas – who has created a unity government with Hamas, a genocidal organization whose stated intention is the annihilation of the Jewish people and Israel – was facing no protest.

Mahmoud Abbas, who robbed the Palestinian people of democracy by refusing to face an election now for ten years, was being greeted as a hero at an American campus. The President of the Palestinian Authority who practices ethnic cleansing by declaring that in a future Palestinian state no Jews will be allowed and who regularly names public squares after terrorist murderers of children was being cheered at a liberal arts university.

I have always tried to stand up for Israel. Along with glorious America, my family, my religion, and my God, it is the great love of my life. But of late my kids have witnessed as death threats have poured in over my public defense of Israel in the recent war in Gaza.

They saw the video of a man publicly attacking me at my speech in Seoul Olympic Stadium in front of 100,000 people. They see the odious anti-Semitic hate speech I face on social media each day.

And they also saw that I did not back down. Not because I am particularly courageous – I wrestle with irrational anxiety and fears every day of my life – but because, as the Mishnah says, “In a place where there are no men, stand up and be a man, and if not now, then when?”

It’s 70 years after the Holocaust. The Jewish State is in a battle for its very survival. Surrounded by enemies on every side, they seek to delegitimize and make it impossible for the Jewish State to simply defend itself.

Will we sit by and watch it slowly succumb to the forces of genocidal hate? Or will we learn from the holocaust that we have no one to rely on us but ourselves.

And when we fight to overcome fear and risk social ostracization to stand up for Israel, our children watch, copy, and slowly stand up themselves, giving us more pride as parents than we can ever imagine.

It’s the Jewish new year. We need many qualities to see us through the coming times with so many threats surrounding us. We need hope, we need fortitude, we need vision, and we need charity.

But above all else, we need courage.

In the coming year may we must all learn to stand up straight. Our children are watching.

Isi Leibler: Relying on Abbas to Defang Hamas is Delusionary

Aside from a few statements, Abbas has never been a partner for peace. As a matter of strategy he has temporarily set aside “armed conflict” and substituted it with diplomacy, for which he has benefited considerably in the global arena. His tactic is to make no concessions whilst demanding unilateral concessions - in order to dismantle Israel in stages.

His end goal parallels that of Hamas. But instead of calling for our destruction he concentrates on the “non-negotiable” right of return to Israel of descendants of Arab refugees, which would spell an end to Jewish sovereignty.

Incitement against Israel saturates the PA controlled media, the mosques and schools where children from an early age are brainwashed with the culture of death in which martyrdom is sanctified as the greatest spiritual objective. This is reflected in state-sponsored salaries to terrorists in jail with generous pensions to families; city squares, institutions and even football clubs are named after killers of women and children; mass murderers released from Israel received as heroes with many proudly describing their monstrous acts on TV. 

Hopefully, the ongoing favorable support from the American public and a bipartisan Congress may stem or even reverse this negative approach. It is now urgent for AIPAC to accelerate action and publicly vent its concerns about the US government’s policies and launch a campaign, in conjunction with other supporters of Israel, to ensure that the US now demonstrates its repeated undertakings that “it has Israel’s back”.

This could be a crucial turning point in the Arab-Israeli conflict. If not defanged, Hamas could still snatch victory from the jaws of defeat and oblige Israel to gird itself for the next round – and at a time to be determined by the barbarians at their gates.

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