Archive | March 2016

The Controversial “Christ at the Checkpoint”: A Beginners Factual Guide

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With the fourth biannual Christ at the Checkpoint (CATC) conference about to take place in the Biblical town of Bethlehem (March 7-10), the stormy past of this evangelical Christian gathering is returning to the media. The conferences have been hotly debated in Christian,Jewish, Messianic and Israeli circles. They are scrutinized by watchdog organizations like Gatestone Institute, CAMERA and NGO Monitor. They are also defended by global groups like the Lausanne Movement and World Vision.

For those wondering what the fuss is about, here are some of the hot issues.

First is the politically charged name, chosen by the conference initiators at Bethlehem Bible College (BBC), an evangelical institution serving Christians in the areas ruled by the Palestinian Authority (PA). The Checkpoint refers to the Israeli security gates that monitor people passing through the barrier separating modern Bethlehem from southern Jerusalem.  This barrier, built by Israel in 2003 to stop the frequent terror attacks coming from PA-ruled areas, has been confirmed by terrorists themselves as successful.

However, the residents of Bethlehem, a once-Christian town which is now 85% Muslim, publicly object to the barrier as unnecessary and humiliating. They also portray it as a wall completely surrounding and imprisoning their city another controversy.

Although this map from the human-rights organization Btselem shows the barrier running only along the north and west sides of Bethlehem, BBC spokesmen have repeated the surrounded fallacy, as did CATC speaker Bethlehem Mayor Vera Baboun.

Why is Christ at an Israeli checkpoint? It relates to the challenge on the CATC conference home page: What would Christ say and do if he were to stand in front of a checkpoint today? The CATC message is that if Jesus were to return to His birthplace today, he would be suffering from the barrier. Ironically, its true: like all other Jews, Jesus would be forbidden by the PA from making his home in the ancient City of David. Instead, CATC presents Jesus as suffering under Israeli security checks despite many other walls and restrictive checkpoints in many places around the world.

This is part of what the CATC conference calls the Palestinian narrative. Israeli-born CATC leaders like Yohanna Katanacho and Salim Munayer call themselves Palestinian rather than Arab Israelis. This narrative says that Israel is occupying the Palestinian homeland, an unbearable situation that must be reversed. That homeland is jointly defined by Fatah (which rules the West Bank), and by Hamas (which rules Gaza), as extending from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea, which explains why the PLO was founded to liberate Palestine three years before Israel entered the West Bank.

The narrative also blames Israels occupation for all violence between Israelis and Palestinians and even for Palestinians abusing other Palestinians. After Israel ended the occupation of Gaza, Hamas began using its citizens as human shields, even listing this practice in an official policy manual. As these abuses reached new heights in 2014, the Bethlehem Bible College responded by denouncing  Israel for its disregard of civilian life and for placing Gaza under siege, quoting the CATC Manifesto: For Palestinian Christians, the [Israeli] occupation is the core issue of the conflict.

CATCs stated goal is to challenge Evangelicals to take responsibility to help resolve the conflicts in Israel/Palestine by engaging with the teaching of Jesus on the Kingdom of God. This responsibility includes renouncing Christian support for Zionism (the Jewish goal of reviving their ancient nation). CATC says this support causes injustice.  The Conference proclaims support of Israels right to exist, but only if Israel acknowledges Palestinian claims to the land. Christians are told that it’s a theological error to justify Jewish ownership of any part of Israel based on Bible promises.

What about those promises made to Israel, some of which say forever?  CATC reinterprets them via a new theology of the land (presented at the 2010 CATC conference by Salim Munayer). This theology teaches that the blessing of the Promised Land has been stretched over the whole earth; God has gifted every people with a homeland, on condition that they behave morally. The Jews behaved immorally and lost their land to the Palestinians. If the Jewish people will become moral, God will let them share the land with the Palestinians.

Munayer admitted that both sides have failed to live up to the biblical standards of how to treat the other living among you, one of the qualifications for residing on the land, but he still awarded permanent land-rights to a nation whose government insists on a Jew-free Palestine.

To offset Palestinian injustices, Munayer charged that Zionism has actively pursued a policy of excluding non-Jews from the national, social, and political life in Israel. While discrimination sometimes occurs, this statement denies the 1.6 million Arab Israelis who (like Salim himself) live, travel freely and attend universities in Israel.

Some hold positions inthe Knesset, the Supreme Court, and even the IDF. Also absent from the CATC narrative is any mention of Israeli Jews and Arabs uniting to save lives and relieve the suffering of Syrian refugees. Israelis who dont know Messiah are fulfilling His command to love their enemies, including those trying to murder them.

CATCs goal to listen to diverse perspectives has excluded well-known Christian Arab voices, such as Father Gabriel Naddaf, Bethlehem refugee Christy Anastas, or Bethlehem pastors Naim and Steve Khoury. An especially controversial decision was the refusal to let Jewish terror survivor Kay Wilson speak on Israeli-Palestinian reconciliation, in memory of her Christian friend murdered in that attack.

CATC seeks to end the occupation non-violently, and its manifesto condemns all forms of violence. But although CATC leader Sami Awad preached on non-violence in 2012, he proclaimed elsewhere that peaceful resistance is not a substitute for the armed struggle declared by the PA against Israel.

The CATC manifesto also condemns anti-Semitism and delegitimizing of Israel. But British vicar Stephen Sizer, an organizer and speaker at CATC 2010 and 2012, is notorious for publishing information and attending gatherings which many consider anti-Semitic. The Kairos Document, which accuses Israel of practicing apartheid and calls the world to boycott the nation, is also endorsed by CATCs organizers.

This years conference theme of The Gospel in the Face of Religious Extremism features a Christian brand which most expect will be identified as Christian Zionism.

In the past, CATC speakers blamed the Hamas murder of Gaza Christians on those Christians in the West [who] support an occupation seen as evil. In other words, if Western Christians do not force Israel to surrender more land (Gaza was de-occupied in 2005), these Christians not Hamas will be responsible for the deaths of more Palestinian Christians.

In fact, in 2013 CATC leader Alex Awad went so far as to declare: I am afraid of all radicals, whether Christians, Jews, or Muslims. But I am far more afraid of Christian fundamentalists than I am of Hamas.

Many will be watching this years conference to see how that comparison develops.

 

Obama Administration: UN Resolution To Divide Israel Is Back In Play

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According to the Wall Street Journal, the White House is considering drastic measures to reboot the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.  Among those measures is a UN Security Council resolution that would set the parameters for a two state solution and that would recognize East Jerusalem as the official capital of a Palestinian state.

If Barack Obama makes this move, it will almost certainly be before the election in November.  I had previously reported that France was ready to introduce a similar UN Security Council resolution back in September, but at that time the French backed off because they did not have full support from the Obama administration. But now that Obama is approaching the end of his term, he suddenly seems more willing to make a bold move.
Remember, this is not just some Internet rumor.  This comes directly from an article that was just published in the Wall Street Journal that claims to have top White House officials as the source of this information.  According to those anonymous officials, the Obama administration is now ready to potentially move forward with the kind of UN Security Council resolution that I mentioned above…
The strongest element on the list of options under consideration would be U.S. support for a Security Council resolution calling on both sides to compromise on key issues, something Israel had opposed and Washington has repeatedly vetoed in the past.
The article goes on to say that the parameters of an agreement for a two state solution would be based on the 1949 armistice line but would allow for land swaps so that many Jewish settlements that have been built since 1967 would not be swallowed up by the new Palestinian state.
The Palestinians would be required to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, and East Jerusalem would receive full UN Security Council recognition as the capital of a new Palestinian state.  This is something that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has promised that he would never agree to.
But Barack Obama appears to be completely fed up with Netanyahu at this point, and that is why the White House is now strongly considering moving forward with a UN Security Council resolution.  Needless to say, this would represent a dramatic change in policy from previous administrations.  Here is more from the Wall Street Journal…
Mounting a push for a Security Council resolution would be a significant shift in U.S. policy and one the Israeli government has feared could marshal international sentiment in a way that could make it harder to resist making concessions. Such a move could further strain already tense relations between Messrs. Obama and Netanyahu, who have clashed over U.S. diplomacy with Iran and the administrations past attempts to forge a Middle East peace agreement.
 
Last year, the White House threatened to allow action at the U.N. to proceed without objection from the U.S. after Mr. Netanyahu said during his re-election campaign that he wouldnt support a two-state solution. The Israeli leader subsequently walked back his statement, and the White House didnt follow through with its threat.
Right now, 136 nations already formally recognize a Palestinian state.  But a Palestinian state has never had full UN Security Council recognition because the United States has always blocked efforts in that direction.
Many people dont realize this, but if Obama throws his support behind such a resolution, it would be considered binding upon both the Israelis and the Palestinians.  The following comes from Israel National News…
A Security Council resolution would be binding upon all parties, unlike General Assembly measures which are non-obligatory recommendations. Such a resolution would remain in force even after the president leaves office next January, effectively shaping the future of American policy in the region for Mr. Obamas successors.
 
The resolution would require Israel cease construction over the Green Line and would force Israel to recognize eastern Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine.
Needless to say, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would be absolutely furious if the Obama administration pushes forward with a UN Security Council resolution that would attempt to dictate a solution to the Israelis and the Palestinians.
Perhaps this explains why Netanyahu just cancelled a meeting with Barack Obama at the White House later this month…
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has declined an offer to meet President Barack Obama at the White House later this month and canceled his trip to Washington, the White House said on Monday, citing Israeli news reports.
 
Netanyahus decision to nix his U.S. visit marked the latest episode in a fraught relationship with Obama that has yet to recover from their deep differences over last years U.S.-led international nuclear deal with Iran, Israels arch-foe.
Of course there are lots of reasons why Netanyahu would potentially be upset with Obama.  In addition to the ridiculously bad Iran deal, we should also remember that Obama tried to help defeat Netanyahu during the last Israeli election, and the Wall Street Journal has reported that the Obama administration has been actively spying on Netanyahu and other Israeli leaders.
Barack Obama has stabbed Israel in the back over and over again, and so it would be absolutely no surprise if he decided to push for a UN Security Council resolution that would permanently divide the land of Israel and the city of Jerusalem.
Unfortunately, such a move would have very serious implications for all of us.  By dividing the land of Israel and the city of Jerusalem, Obama would be cursing our nation, and that is not something that any of us should want.
If Obama is going to do this, it will almost certainly happen before the election in November.
That means that we are looking at roughly an eight month time period.
Personally, because of how the UN schedule works, I would say that the most likely time for such a resolution to be introduced would be in September or October.  But it is definitely possible that it could come sooner than that.
For a long time, Barack Obama has expressed a desire to see the establishment of a Palestinian state before he leaves office.  Netanyahu has always been his nemesis in this regard, but now Obama seems determined to try to make something happen at the United Nations while he still has the power to do so.
Let us pray that he is not successful.

The True Palestinian History

THE PALESTINIAN ISSUE
By Yoram Ettinger – Israeli Ambassador

Erroneous assumptions produce erroneous policies, as has been the case of all US initiatives towards the Palestinian issue, which has been erroneously perceived – by the US foreign policy establishment – to be the root cause of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

  • For example, the first 1948/49 Arab-Israeli War was not launched, by Arab countries, on behalf of Palestinian aspirations. The Arabs launched the war in order to advance their own particular – not Palestinian – interests through the occupation of the strategic area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. In fact, the Palestinians blame Arab leaders for what they term “the 1948 debacle.”
  • Moreover, the 1948/49 War was aimed to prevent the establishment of an “infidel” Jewish entity on a land, which Muslims believe is divinely endowed to the “believers” (Waqf). The Secretary General of the Arab League, Abdul Rahman Azzam, stated: “The establishment of a Jewish state would lead to a war of extermination like the Mongolian massacre and the Crusades….”
  • Jordan joined the 1948/49 War, in order to expand its territory to the Mediterranean. Egypt wanted to foil Jordan’s ambitious strategy, and therefore deployed a military force to the Jerusalem region to check the Jordanian advance.   Iraq wanted to control the oil pipeline from the Kirkuk oil wells to the Haifa refineries, and Syria aimed at conquering some southern sections of so called “Greater Syria.”
  • At the end of the 1948/9 war, Iraq occupied Samaria (the northern West Bank), but transferred it to Jordan, not to the Palestinians. Jordan occupied Judea (the southern West Bank), and annexed both Judea & Samaria to the Hashemite Kingdom on the East Bank of the Jordan River, prohibiting Palestinian activities and punishing/expelling Palestinian activists. Egypt conquered the Gaza Strip, imposed a nightly curfew, which was terminated when Israel gained control of Gaza in 1967, prohibited Palestinian national activities and expelled Palestinian leaders.   Syria occupied and annexed the al-Hama area in the Golan Heights. In 1948, the Arab League formed the “All Palestine Government” as a department within the Arab League headquarters in Cairo, dissolving it in 1959.
  • Independent of the Palestinian issue, the 1956 Sinai War was triggered by the megalomaniacal aspirations of Egyptian President Nasser who concluded a major arms deal with Czechoslovakia and a joint Egypt-Syria-Jordan military command against Arab rivals and Israel.   He nationalized the British-French owned Suez Canal, supported the Algerian uprising against France, blockaded Israel’s southern port of Eilat, and unleashed Gaza-based terrorism against Israel, aiming to occupy parts of southern Israel (the Negev).
  • Irrespective of the Palestinian issue, the 1967 (Six Day) War was launched by Israel in response to Egypt’s aggression (blockade of Eilat, the oil port of Israel; Egyptian deployment of troops into Sinai, deployed toward Israel in violation of the demilitarization agreement; the Egypt-Syria-Jordan Military Pact aimed at Israel’s destruction); the Syrian shelling of Israeli communities below the Golan Heights; and Jordanian shelling of Jerusalem.
  • Regardless of the Palestinian issue, the 1969-70 Egypt-Israel War of Attrition along the Suez Canal was an extension of the 1967 war.
  • Unrelated to the Palestinian issue, the 1973 War was initiated by Egypt, Syria, Jordan and Iraq, in order to destroy Israel and advanced their own goals.
  • The 1982 PLO-Israel War in Lebanon – pre-empting a grand scale PLO assault on northern Israel -was the first war with no involvement of Arab military forces.   The war erupted on June 6, but the Arab League convened an emergency session only in September, after the PLO had already been expelled from Beirut.
  • The 1987-1992 and the 2000-2003 First and Second Palestinian Intifada were not transformed into an Arab-Israeli war.   Arabs shed rhetoric, but no blood nor resources, for the Palestinians.
  • The 2008/9, 2012 and 2014 Israel’s wars against the Gaza-based Palestinian terrorism were not top priorities for Arab leaders, most of whom blamed Hamas for the eruption of the 2014 war.
  • The erroneous assumption that the Arab-Israeli conflict was triggered by the Palestinian issue has led to erroneous policies. It’s time for Western policy-makers to disengage from over-simplification and reengage with the complex reality of the Mideast.

Syrian Ceasefire Could Set The Stage For Much Bigger Conflict Read

Russia Turkey

BY MICHAEL SNYDER

The ceasefire in Syria is a joke. Turkish military units continue to mass along the border, and militants are pouring across the border to attack targets in northern Syria.

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The Prime Minister of Turkey is now openly admitting that his government is supporting the militants that are trying to overthrow the Syrian government, and the Turkish government has also made it abundantly clear that they have no plans to stop shelling the Kurds on the other side of the border.
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So despite the “ceasefire”, the truth is that the threat of World War 3 breaking out in the Middle East is greater than ever.
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At times it is difficult to see the dividing line between the Turkish military and the radical jihadists that are hopping back and forth across the border with the full support of the Turkish government.  Over the weekend, militants from Turkey that crossed over into northern Syria were supported by artillery fire from the Turkish military as they attacked a key Kurdish town…
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In the Raqqa province, a group of some 100 fighters crossed into Syria from Turkey. The group later joined forces with other militants and attacked the Kurdish town of Tell Abyad.
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The 250-strong group was supported by artillery fire from the Turkish territory, a fact that Russia said the US should explain. The Kurdish YPG militia fended off the attack, the report said.
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This is an act of war, and yet the Obama administration does not seem to mind.
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If Turkey will not even honor the ceasefire, what hope is there that anything will be able to stop them from acting so aggressively?
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At this point, the Turks are not even pretending anymore.  Just the other day, Turkeys Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu openly admitted that his nation is backing the militants that are trying to overthrow the Assad regime…
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“How would they be able to defend themselves if there was no Turkish support of the Syrian people? & If theres today a real moderate Syrian opposition, its because of the Turkish support. If today the [Assad] regime isnt able to control all the territories [it’s] because of Turkish and some other countries support,” he told Al-Jazeera earlier this week.
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Obviously this ceasefire is not going to work.  Turkey has not even pressed pause in their relentless campaign against the Assad regime and the Kurds.
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The Turkish government has become absolutely obsessed with their neighbor to the south, and that is a very dangerous thing for the rest of the planet.  The only way that Turkey, Saudi Arabia and their allies are going to be able to win the war now is to conduct a massive ground invasion of Syria.
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Such a move would lead to direct conflict with Iran, Hezbollah and the Russians, and since Turkey is a member of the NATO alliance, that could threaten to drag the U.S. and western Europe into the war as well. The following comes from the International Business Times…
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The wider consequences of any disagreement between Ankara and Moscow could lead to a standoff between Russia and NATO. Jen Stoltenberg, secretary general of the Brussels-based organization, said in late 2015 that it would be prepared to defend the member state of Turkey if it were attacked by Russia.
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“NATO will defend you, NATO is on the ground, NATO is ready,” Stoltenberg said in the aftermath of repeated breaches of Turkish airspace by Russian jets and just one month before Ankara shot down a Russian jet in November.
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The 28-country alliance is bound by Article 5 of its treaty to collectively defend its members. “Collective defense means that an attack against one ally is considered as an attack against all allies,” the article states.
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Saudi Arabia does not appear ready to back down either.
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The Saudis continue to reiterate their position that either Assad must go peacefully or he will be removed by force&
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Saudi Arabia is prepared to send troops to Syria if President Bashar Assad doesn’t resign and leave his war-torn nation peacefully. Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir warned Sunday that his country will take military action if Syria violates the terms of a ceasefire agreement.
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“I believe that abiding by the truce would be an important indicator of the seriousness to reach a peaceful solution to the Syrian crisis that would include setting up a transitional council and the transfer of power from Bashar to this council,” he said during a joint press conference with his Danish counterpart Kristian Jensen in the Saudi capital of Riyadh.
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Al-Jubeir warned that Saudi Arabia has prepared a “Plan B.” If “the coalition decided to send ground troops into Syria, Saudi Arabia is ready to contribute,” he said.
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The goal since 2011 has been to get rid of Assad so that Syria could become a full-fledged Sunni nation with a Sunni government.
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Saudi Arabia, Turkey and their allies have poured enormous amounts of money and resources into this conflict, and they don’t appear to be willing to walk away now that the tide of the war has turned.  In fact, how the Saudis have been behaving lately has been causing a tremendous amount of anxiety in the Middle East…
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Saudi Arabias recent actions have caused a great deal of anxiety within its region. On February 4, a military spokesman suggested that Saudi Arabia was ready to send troops ground troops to fight ISIS in Syria. A week later Saudi Arabia announced that it will send combat aircraft and soldiers to Turkey to participate in the U.S. led coalition against ISIS.
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Three days later the Saudis launched “Northern Thunder,” described as the “largest military exercise in the history of the Middle East.” Participants from 20 countries sent troops to the maneuvers run over three weeks in Hafar al Batin in northern Saudi Arabia, not far from the Iraqi and Kuwaiti border. According to a Saudi media outlet, some 350,000 troops were expected to participate in the maneuvers.
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So if Saudi Arabia, Turkey and their allies are preparing for war, then what is the purpose of the ceasefire?
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Well, first of all the goal was to stop the bleeding.  The Sunni militants were losing ground steadily, and this pause will enable them to regroup and get resupplied.
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Secondly, this pause in the action gives “the coalition” time to move forces into position for a potential ground invasion of Syria.
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But more than anything else, this ceasefire seems to be a trap.  It appears to be inevitable that the U.S. and other western powers will accuse Russia, Iran, Hezbollah and the Syrian government of breaking the ceasefire, thus providing “legal justification” for the coalition to militarily intervene.
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Watch developments in Syria very closely.  Many had hoped that this ceasefire would bring the five year civil war to an end, but the truth is that it could just be setting the stage for something far, far bigger.

 

US Funds PA Terrorists, Winks At Abbas Corruption, While Chiding Israel

Funding Terror

by Dan Calic

 

The US and others, while suggesting they are strong supporters of Israel and its need for security, in reality are not promoting peace. Their policies are actually sustaining and rewarding terror.

Let me explain…

President Obama, for example, has repeatedly stated throughout his administration that America’s commitment to Israel’s security is “unshakable”. No doubt these are reassuring words to Israel and its friends around the world. However,  his actions contradict his words.

How so? It has been the policy of the US and others to condemn the ‘settlements’ and the ‘occupation’ as the main obstacles to achieving peace with the Arabs. For those who subscribe to said view, where were the ‘settlements’ or ‘occupation’ in 1948 or 1967? They did not exist.

However, in order to see the folly of blaming the lack of peace on these issues, we should look at what the statements imply:

  1. They suggest the US is attempting to be balanced. This is meant to appeal to the Arab world which thinks the US has been too supportive of Israel for many years.
  2. They allow the US to avoid tackling the real issues which are preventing peace.

Placing accurate blame

The Arabs flatly refuse to accept the right of Israel to exist. The charters of the PLO, Hamas and Mahmoud Abbas’s own party Fatah, all require its destruction. Is the US devoting anywhere near as much attention to combating this as they are about condemning settlements? Absolutely not.  Abbas has repeatedly stated he will never recognize Israel as a Jewish state.  Israeli leadership has consistently committed to recognizing a state for the so-called ‘Palestinians’, yet is the US applying equal pressure on him to recognize Israel? Again, no.

Another issue is money.

The US and others believe if there is measurable improvement in the overall economic environment of the Arabs it would reduce their “frustration”, which many believe motivates their terror attacks against Israelis. For the uninformed Arab, terror against Jews has been ongoing since the rebirth of Israel in 1948. Moreover, such statements carry with them an implied justification for the terror and provide additional incentive for more of them. In my view, there exists no moral equivalence between justice and terror.

Moreover, after Israel is forced for the umpteenth time to neutralize murderers of innocent civilians, we hear the ever-present catcalls that they are using disproportionate force. My response to this is something I heard years ago- “if the response to terrorism is seen as less acceptable than terrorism itself, we invite more of it.”

If the Arabs wish to express frustration regarding their poor economic condition, I say they have that right. However, they should be expressing it at the appropriate party, and that is not Israel.

The responsibility of the economic plight of the Arabs belongs to their own leadership.

When Yasser Arafat formed the Palestinian Authority in 1994, he promised new hospitals, clinics, educational institutions and improvements to the general infrastructure. He also promised greater employment opportunities. However, instead of delivering on his promises, he took complete control of all media, as well as the flow of money. None of the promised improvements took place. With virtually no independent oversight this became a recipe for corruption.

He and his cronies systematically stole huge sums of money, while the average Arab remained in abject poverty, which is the case today.

Such information rarely gets much attention, and certainly not in Arab media, heaven forbid!

Tracking the money

Here are some rather incredible facts:

Since its formation, the Palestinian Authority has received over $31 billion in foreign aid. In 2014 alone they received well over $2 billion. Of that amount the US provides the most by far- roughly $400 million, followed by the European Commission ($140 million), Saudi Arabia ($103 million), the UK ($95 million), etc. [see chart]

In fact the Arabs have received more money than any other group of people in human history. If you take into account historic inflation, the PA has received more money than the US gave to rebuild all of Europe under the Marshall Plan after WW ll, according to Calev Myers of the Jerusalem Institute of Justice who has studied this extensively. The funds were given to 17 countries with a combined population of 300,000,000. By comparison the number of Arabs living in Judea/Samaria, commonly referred to as the West Bank, is just under 3 million, or equal to 1% of post WWll European population. Yet they have been given more money than all of Europe!

With respect to Arafat, while the average Arab suffered, his wife Suha who lived in Paris received $200,000 per month from him. She also is alleged to have received numerous bulk payments, one of which was $11 million according to reports.  Where did this money come from? More important, what happened with the vast amount of international aid given to the PA?

When Arafat died in 2004 an investigation showed he had $1 billion stashed away in Swiss bank accounts. Plus, he supposedly was in control of up to $6 billion in assets.  His widow refused to reveal the location of the stolen money unless she was awarded a ‘finders fee.’ Rumor is the investigative team paid her as much as $40 million. The team was led by Mahmoud Abbas.

Since then, Abbas has traveled down the same road of corruption of his predecessor. His personal wealth is said to be as much as $1 billion. However, since he is not subject to financial accountability, who really knows? He is currently constructing a $13 million mansion for himself.

Another area of fiscal irresponsibility is the PA owes roughly $300 400 million to Israel in unpaid electricity bills. Given Mr. Abbass accumulated stolen wealth, no doubt he could write a personal check for the entire amount.

In reality the economic well-being of the Arabs has long been in their own hands. However, they have never been able to realize it because their leadership has literally stolen it. Meanwhile, western leaders bemoan the presumed poverty driven frustration as the reason for terror, while international money keeps lining the pockets of corrupt leadership, and the average Arab continues to live in poverty.

Someone needs to have a blunt conversation with Mahmoud Abbas.

As for the Arab health care system, it remains so under developed many of them in desperation come to Israel for needed care. Indeed, in 2014 when tensions were extremely high due to the disappearance of three Jewish teens, who were later found murdered, Abbass wife was having surgery in an Israeli hospital. Plus, in the midst of the current spate of terror, which Abbas has fueled with hateful rhetoric, his brother-in-law had life-saving surgery in Israel. Israel even treated the granddaughter of Ismael Haniyeh, Hamass leader in the Gaza Strip.

International aid funding murderers

Aside from pilfering money meant to improve the lot of the average Arab, there is another disturbing aspect of how international aid is being used by the PA.

Approximately 16% of their total budget is designated to reward terrorists and their families. This is done under what is called The Law of the Prisoner.

 

Heres how it works:

If an Arab commits a crime against an Israeli and is imprisoned he becomes eligible to earn a large monthly income. It can be as much as $3,500, ($42,000 annually) which is five times greater than the average Arab earns. The monthly income is on a sliding scale. The most heinous crimes get the highest monthly stipend.

You’ve heard the old saying “crime doesn’t pay?” These terrorists are proof it does pay. US and European taxpayers are the ones who are providing the “pay.”

Abbass actions are nothing short of criminal, plus he is guilty of using international humanitarian aid to reward murderers.

While the likelihood of him being imprisoned is remote, here are few suggestions for the US and others:

  1. Stop blaming Israeli ‘settlements’ and ‘occupation’ for the lack of progress toward peace.
  2. Demand Abbas condemn terror against Israelis and take steps to eliminate it.
  3. Require mutual national recognition and hold him accountable if he refuses.
  4. Demand the PLO, Fatah and Hamas amend their charters which call for Israels destruction. (no legitimate peace partner is party to a charter calling for the others destruction)
  5. Insist the PA set up independent oversight and engage in complete financial transparency and accountability.
  6. Demand the Law of the Prisoner be scrapped. Inform the PA financial aid will be terminated if murderers continue to be financially rewarded.

At the end of the day the effort of the US to appear balanced by maintaining the status quo is not only failing to move the peace process forward, it is actually perpetuating an environment which will never produce peace.

What is needed is for world leaders, especially the US, is to get blunt with Abbas as well as the Arabs, and stop trying to persuade Israel to further compromise its security by rewarding those who uncompromisingly seek its destruction with land and money.

Dan Calic is a writer, history student and speaker. See additional articles on his Facebook page.

 

Clinton, Libya and Israel

Will Obama’s disastrous foreign policy live on?

by   Caroline Glick

 

The messages from Washington ahead of Vice President Joe Biden’s arrival in Israel next week show President Barack Obama’s hostile policies toward Israel will maintained until he leaves office.

In recent weeks, the administration has warned various government ministers that any construction of housing for Jews in Jerusalem will be viewed with hostility by the administration. In contrast, the administration is pressuring Israel to permit construction of homes for Arabs in its capital city and harshly opposes all moves by the government to destroy illegal construction in Arab neighborhoods and in Judea and Samaria.

In other words, it is the Obama administration’s policy to deny Jews our civil and property rights while it demands that Israel not assert its sovereignty over non-Jews.

Whether or not Obama’s anti-Israel policies will survive his tenure in office depends on who succeeds him. If Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton is elected to serve as the next president, there is no question that they will survive him.

During her four years as Obama’s secretary of state, Clinton was a full partner in Obama’s hostile policies toward Israel. Moreover, as her internal emails have shown, all of Clinton’s close advisers are hostile to Israel. The good news for Israel is that Clinton’s chances of election are not as great as they seem from the polls.

First of all, there is every reason to believe that in the coming weeks, the Republicans will unite.

Either party leaders will back front-runner Donald Trump, or his main competitors, Sens. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, will join forces and win the nomination.

The latter alternative, which is gaining traction among Republican leaders and political commentators, involves Cruz, who is more popular with the party’s rank in file than Rubio, and has secured primary victories in four states whereas Rubio finished first only in Minnesota, leading a joint ticket.

But even if the GOP remains fractured, Clinton may still be too weak to win the White House in November. This is first and foremost the case because of the FBI investigation of her use of a private email server during her tenure as secretary of state.

The FBI probe has been going on since last summer. From what we have already learned, as secretary of state, Clinton and her aides sent thousands of classified emails over her private, unsecured server. Hundreds of those emails included top secret information and at least two dozen included information whose classification was above top secret.

Under federal law, each time Clinton and her associates sent classified information over the unsecured server they committed a separate and distinct felony offense.

The day after Clinton’s Super Tuesday primary victories in seven states, The New York Times and The Washington Post reported that Bryan Pagliano, Clinton’s aide who set up her private Internet server, has received immunity in exchange for his testimony to FBI investigators.

Although in order to minimize the sense that she is the subject of a criminal probe, Clinton refers to the FBI’s investigation as a “security review,” the Washington Post reported that the FBI’s investigation is a criminal investigation.

“There was wrongdoing,” one official told the paper.

The nature of the US justice system places Clinton’s fate in Obama’s hands. Acting through his Attorney-General Loretta Lynch, Obama has the power to decide whether to whitewash Clinton’s activities and so make a mockery of the rule of law, or to instruct Lynch to issue indictments.

Although it is hard to imagine Obama torpedoing Clinton’s campaign and so paving the way for a Republican victory in November, this week, the White House signaled that Obama feels no great commitment to Clinton.

On Sunday the Times published a 13,000-word, two-part investigation into Clinton’s role in the 2011 overthrow of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi. Published in the White House’s paper of record, the report makes no attempt to hide the fact that consequences of Gaddafi’s overthrow have been calamitous and that the decision to overthrow the Libyan strongman was Obama’s most visible foreign policy fiasco.

At the time the US overthrew Gaddafi, it was the position of the US defense establishment that he threatened no one outside his country.

Gaddafi had disavowed nuclear weapons and was assisting the US with its campaign against al-Qaida. Moreover, his regime kept Libya’s massive store of advanced weaponry secure.

Since Gaddafi’s overthrow, Libya has ceased to exist as a functioning state. Islamic State has taken over large swathes of the former country, which now comprises its largest base outside of Syria and Iraq. Hundreds of thousands of Libyans have been displaced and up to a quarter of a million Libyans have descended on Europe.

Libya’s storehouse of advanced weapons has fallen into the hands of jihadists. Huge weapons caches have been shipped to jihadists from Nigeria to Syria, from Algeria and Tunisia to Gaza and Sinai. Chemical agents as well as nuclear yellowcake and advanced anti-aircraft missiles were all to be found in Gaddafi’s Libya. The trail of many of these weapons and WMD agents has grown cold as ISIS in Iraq have made regular use of chemical weapons.

The Times’ investigation places the full blame for Obama’s decision to overthrow Gaddafi on Clinton. If it hadn’t been for Clinton, the story claims, Obama never would have gotten involved.

Clinton reportedly not only convinced Obama to join Britain and France in bombing regime targets, she directed much of the campaign from the State Department.

By the Times’ telling, it is all her fault.

For most Americans, Clinton’s central role in the Libyan catastrophe is just the icing on the cake of a story of disaster and defeat that reached its peak on September 11, 2012. That day, al-Qaida attacked US installations in Benghazi murdering ambassador Chris Stevens and four other Americans.

With the public’s preexisting sense that Clinton is to blame for Stevens’s assassination, the Times’ article represented a frontal assault against her central campaign narrative.

Clinton’s campaign is based on the proposition that the former first lady, senator and secretary of state is the most experienced presidential candidate and therefore the most qualified. By showing that the one major policy she led as secretary of state was a disaster of epic proportions, the Times’ report pulls the rug out from under the central rationale for Clinton’s presidential bid.

The White House’s decision to make Clinton the fall guy for Libya while she is running to succeed him signals that at a minimum Obama is far from invested in her victory. Even worse for Clinton, since she is dependent on Obama’s goodwill to evade an indictment for her transfer of classified information over her private server, Clinton cannot defend herself.

From an Israeli perspective, the lessons of Libya have little to do with Clinton’s woes. But they do need to be applied to future dealings with the Obama administration and its successor.

The main lesson for Israel from Libya is that in the era of al-Qaida, Islamic State, and Iranian- sponsored terrorist armies, there is no such thing as a stand-alone conflict in the Islamic world.

Obama and Clinton justified their decision to overthrow Gaddafi by falsely insisting that Gaddafi was about to carry out a slaughter of his opponents that rose to the level of genocide. They also falsely insinuated that a post-Gaddafi Libya would be a pro-American democracy.

At the same time, they refused to notice mountains of evidence that al-Qaida was a major force in the anti-Gaddafi rebellion and was well positioned to take control over large swathes of the country if he were overthrown.

The underlying assumption of the administration’s campaign in Libya was that what happens in Libya stays in Libya. As it turned out, this was the most disastrous assumption of its decision- making process.

The contagion of Islamic revolutions began in neighboring Tunisia a year before the US decided to overthrow Gaddafi. That contagion made clear that there are no isolated events in the Islamic world anymore. Every perceived victory for jihadist forces impacts jihadists regionally and throughout the world. The impact is massively escalated when jihadists gain actual ground – as was the case in Libya.

The implications for Israel in regard to the administration’s demand that Israel commit to withdrawing from Judea and Samaria and effectively end its sovereign rule over Jerusalem are dire. Every time Israel withdraws from territory, jihadists regionally and worldwide proclaim victory and – perhaps more important – are perceived as the actual victors.

So it was in 2000. In the aftermath of the IDF’s withdrawal from southern Lebanon in May 2000, Hezbollah was viewed in Lebanon and throughout the Islamic world as the victor. This is the main reason that Hezbollah, rather than the Lebanese armed forces, asserted its control over south Lebanon immediately after the IDF departed.

In 2005, the Palestinians and the larger Islamic world viewed Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza as a victory for Hamas. To a significant degree, it was this widespread conviction that jihad defeated the Jews that propelled Hamas to victory in the Palestinian elections held in January 2006.

Today ISIS and other jihadist forces are growing in power and influence along Israel’s borders and inside its sovereign territory. This week the Shin Bet revealed that it arrested two more Israeli Arabs who joined ISIS.

On Wednesday Jordanian security forces fought a pitched battle against ISIS terrorists in Irbid.

Seven ISIS fighters and one Jordanian policeman were killed. Five Jordanian security forces were wounded.

Since the Syrian war broke out five years ago, hundreds of Jordanians have entered Syria to fight on behalf of anti-regime forces, including ISIS.

Hundreds are also suspected of having returned to the kingdom. Moreover, ISIS is believed to have the support of a significant number of Jordanians.

The genocidal jihadist force is waging a major propaganda campaign against the Jordanian regime.

If Israel bows to US pressure and withdraws from Judea, Samaria and parts of Jerusalem, either in the framework of a peace deal with the PLO or unilaterally, these moves will be immediately perceived regionally as a massive victory for the forces of jihad. Not only will Israel be imperiled, the fate of the Jordanian regime will likely be sealed as empowered jihadists launch a war against the Western-allied regime.

In the world of ISIS and Iran, Israeli sovereignty over united Jerusalem and Israeli control over Judea and Samaria is only real, best guarantor of the survival of the Hashemite Kingdom in Jordan, and of what’s left of stability in the Middle East, after seven years of Obama’s – and Clinton’s – foreign policy.

This should be the message to Biden next week, and the basis for our policies in the months and years to come.