“What the Europeans fail to get,” Oren said, “is that by encouraging Abbas not to enter negotiations with Israel and the U.S., they are harming the Palestinians themselves. It creates a situation where Abbas cannot enter negotiations. People are giving the Palestinians terrible advice.”
That those persecuting Christians come from a wide variety of racial, linguistic, cultural, and socio-economic backgrounds — from African, Arab, Asian, and Caucasian nations — and share little in common with one another, except for Islam, sadly only further underscores the true source of the persecution.
by Caroline Glick
Vice President Mike Pence gave an epic speech at the Knesset this week. His was the most powerful embrace of Zionism and the Jewish people any foreign leader has ever presented. Pence’s fluency in Jewish history, and his comprehension of the centrality of the both the Bible and the Land of Israel in the vast flow of that history in far-flung-exile communities across time and space was spellbinding. He touched the hearts of his audience, causing knots in the throats of most of the people sitting in the Knesset on Monday afternoon.
Pence’s speech was rendered poignant and the friendship he bore became tinged with urgency with the publication, the very next day, of the latest Pew Center survey on American views of Israel.
Speaking in the name of the American people he represents, Pence said on Monday: “The friendship between our people has never been deeper.”
And when it comes to the Republican voters who elected President Donald Trump and Vice President Pence a year and two months ago, Pence is certainly correct. But the Pew data showed that on Israel, as on so many other issues, the cleavage between Republicans and Democrats is vast and unbridgeable.
Most of the coverage of the Pew survey focused reasonably on its main finding. The good news is that overall American support for Israel over the Palestinians remains more or less constant, and overwhelming. Forty-six percent of Americans support Israel over the Palestinians while a mere 16% of Americans support the Palestinians against Israel. The numbers haven’t changed much since polling began in 1978.
But then the news becomes more fraught. The disparity between Republican support for Israel and Democratic support for Israel has never been greater. Whereas 79% of Republicans support Israel over the Palestinians, only 27% of Democrats do. Moreover, the further one goes to the Left among Democratic voters, the more anti-Israel the respondents become. Liberal Democrats are now nearly twice as likely to support the Palestinians over Israel as they are to support Israel over the Palestinians. Thirty-five percent of liberal Democrats support the Palestinians against Israel. A mere 19% support Israel more than the Palestinians.
Conservative and moderate Democrats still support Israel far more than they support the Palestinians with 35% of moderate and conservative Democrats supporting Israel over the Palestinians, and 17% supporting the Palestinians more than Israel. But the level of support for Israel among this demographic has dropped precipitously in the last year and a half. In the previous survey, which took place in April 2016, support for Israel was 53%, or 19 points higher.
In other words, the last year and a half has seen a precipitous drop in Democratic support for Israel even as Republican support for Israel has grown ever higher.
For Israel’s leaders, as distressing as these numbers are, they don’t give an indication of how Israel should relate to the vast disparities in US support for Israel as they plot policies for the future.
The survey does provide that answer though. The last question in the survey asked respondents about the viability of the so-called two-state solution.
They were asked, “Can a way be found for Israel and an independent Palestinian state to coexist peacefully or not?”
The answers were notable. While among the general population, faith in the two-state solution runs 49% to 39%, that support is indirectly proportionate to respondents’ support for Israel. The more they support Israel, the less they believe in the two-state solution.
Americans who support the Palestinians more than they support Israel, believe in the viability of the two-state solution runs 64% to 28%. Americans who support Israel more than the Palestinians view the two-state solution as nonviable by a margin of 40% to 51%.
On the face of things, this seems like an anomaly. For a generation, three successive administrations have insisted not only that the two-state solution is the only path to peace and security for Israel and the Palestinians. Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama all insisted that Israel’s very survival as a Jewish state is contingent on it surrendering land it has held for 50 years to the PLO. Americans have been told that the only way to truly care about Israel is to support the establishment of a Palestinian state in Gaza, Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem.
And here we see that the US public has reached the opposite conclusions. Americans who oppose Israel support the establishment of a Palestinian state along the lines set out by Clinton, Bush and Obama. Americans who support Israel view such a prospect as impossible.
What explains this disparity? Two data points in the survey point to a reasonable explanation.
According to the survey, the greatest leap in Republican support for Israel occurred since 2001. In the past 17 years, Republican support for Israel leaped from 50% to 79%.
On the Democratic side, an opposite trend occurred. Since 2001, Democratic support for Israel has dropped from 38% to 27%.
Two events occurred in 2001 that set the parties on disparate paths: the September 11 attacks and the disputed results of the 2000 presidential race between Al Gore and Bush.
The September 11 attacks caused Republican voters to study the Middle East, including Israel, more closely than they ever had before. And the more familiar they became with Islamism, jihad and the other pathologies of the Arab world, the more supportive of Israel they became. The fact that the Palestinians rejected peace at the Camp David summit in July 2000 and that by the time the September 11 attacks occurred they were engaged in the largest terrorist onslaught against Israel in history, reinforced the sense among Republicans that Israel is the US’s closest ally in the war on Islamic terrorism.
On the other hand, the Democrats’ rejection of the legitimacy of the 2000 election results set the party on a course of radicalization. The best indication of the Democrats’ radicalization on Israel came with the precipitous downfall of senator Joseph Lieberman.
Lieberman was a liberal hawk, an ardent supporter of Israel and a proud Jew. In 2000 his positions had sufficient traction among Democratic voters to cause Gore to select him as his running mate in the presidential election.
Just six years later, a transformed Democratic party rejected Lieberman when he ran for reelection to his senate seat in the Democratic primary in Connecticut. His challenger, Ned Lamont, defeated Lieberman after running a campaign laced with antisemitism and anti-Zionism. Lieberman’s longtime ally, then-senator from New York Hillary Clinton, who was looking forward to the 2008 presidential race, refused to support him.
Today Democratic presidential hopefuls like New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker have discarded their previous support for Israel to satisfy their party’s increasingly radical, anti-Israel base.
The Democrats’ move to the Left has caused them to ascribe increasingly to identity politics as the basis for policy-making. Identity politics dictate a pecking order of victims. The greater a group’s status as victim, the more the Democrats support it. In this taxonomy, Israel has been determined to be an oppressor, and the Palestinians are defined as the victims.
The problem with identity politics, at least insofar as Israel is concerned, is that there is no basis in fact for the determination that Israel is the bad guy and the Palestinians are the good guys. To the contrary. As the steep rise in Republican support over the past 17 years demonstrates, the more you know, the greater the likelihood that you will support Israel.
Rather than being a fact-based conclusion, the determination that Israel is bad and the Palestinians are good is an ideological dictate. And this presents Israel with an intractable problem as far as Democrats are concerned.
Israel cannot reason Democrats out of an anti-Israel position that they weren’t reasoned into. Israel has no ability whatsoever to convince the Democrats to rethink their animosity, when they never thought about it to begin with. They simply accepted the dictates of their political and ideological camp.
This brings us back to Pence, and the Trump administration’s extraordinary, voter-supported friendship for Israel and what it means for Israel today, as the prospect of an impossibly hostile Democratic administration in as little as three years lurks in the corner.
The most significant “news” that Pence announced in his address was Trump’s determination to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem by the end of 2019. This is important because, given the hostility of the Democrats, there is every reason to believe that if a Democratic administration takes power in 2021, Trump’s decision to move the embassy will be canceled if it hasn’t already happened.
Just as this is the time for the US to move its embassy to Israel’s capital, now is also the time for Israel to ditch the failed two-state model before it is too late.
Israel will never have a better opportunity than it has today to convince an American administration to abandon the anti-Israel narrative at the foundation of the two-state formula. That narrative, which asserts that there is no peace because there is no Palestinian state, places the blame for the absence of peace between the Palestinians and Israel on Israel alone.
Today there is an administration that is open to hearing an alternative narrative that portrays Israel properly as the good guy, and the Palestinians as the hopelessly intransigent foe that they have always been.
Now is the time for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his colleagues in the government to be speaking this plain truth in one voice. And now is the time for them to decide on, explain and implement a policy based on Israel’s rights and interests that will secure Israel’s strategic viability and position vis-à-vis the Palestinians for years to come. Such a policy, which will involve applying Israeli law over large swaths of Judea and Samaria, is clear, easy to explain and will successfully ensure the civil rights of Jews and Arabs alike for generations.
No, Israel’s efforts to explain itself will not crack through the closed intellectual circle of identity politics and partisanship. But that is why Israel needs to act now so that the new policy is explained and implemented along the same timetable as the US Embassy moves to Jerusalem.
By the time the 2020 US election campaign begin, Israel should have already determined and implemented its new policy. As Pence demonstrated so eloquently at the Knesset this week, Israel has a friend the likes of which it has never seen in the White House today. And if President Trump is not president in January 2021, Israel will face an administration that will make us miss Obama.
Pence and Pew showed us what we have and what awaits us. Now is the time for Israel to act.
By John Stonestreet/Breakpoint.org
The State Department is sitting on a classified report that states what anyone who reads the first paragraph in Wikipedia about the UN agency caring for Arabs who left Mandatory Palestine during Israel’s 1948 War of Independence: after 70 years, those refugees are almost all gone.
According to that classified State Dept. report, The Washington Free Beacon reported Thursday, the actual number of authentic refugees hovers around 20,000.
One of the questions on the FAQ page of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) website is: “Who is a Palestine refugee,” the answer to which is: “The operational definition of a Palestine refugee is any person whose “normal place of residence was Palestine during the period June 1, 1946 to May 15, 1948, and who lost both home and means of livelihood as a result of the 1948 conflict.”
The FAQ page then continues: “Palestine refugees are persons who fulfil the above definition and descendants of fathers fulfilling the definition.”
In other words, a person who was born in a refugee camp somewhere in the Middle East and lived there all his life, never having been inside Israel, is considered as if he himself had been uprooted from Palestine between 1946 and 1948. Which is why UNRWA, whose original list of uprooted dependants included 860,000 persons, today cares for more than five million, in Judea and Samaria, Gaza, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.
There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that UNRWA was created to make sure that some day Israel would be forced to resettle within its borders not only those whose feet touched the ground there before 1948, but all their offspring. There is also no doubt that UNRWA was created to cultivate a demographic time bomb specifically against the Jewish State. Because, unlike all the other refugee agencies, UNRWA is the only one dedicated to prevent the rehabilitation of its clients by keeping them as eternal refugees.
UNRWA is the only refugee agency which is separate from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the main UN refugee agency, which is responsible for aiding non-Palestinian refugees all over the world. Unlike UNRWA, UNHCR has a specific mandate to aid its refugees to eliminate their refugee status by local integration in the country to which they fled, resettlement in a third country, or repatriation when possible.
In other words, while UNHCR’s business is to cut down on the number of displaced persons by helping them move on with their lives, UNRWA is dedicated to keep them displaced – to the tune of at least $1.1 billion annually, the US share of which in 2016 has been $368 million.
That’s a lot of mullah for 20,000 actual refugees.
According to the Beacon, any US official who wishes to read the report must have top-secret security clearance and access to a secure facility containing the documents.
Or plug “UNRWA” and “UNHCR” in their Wikipedia search window.
According to the Beacon, The UNRWA report was first commissioned in 2015 by former senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), who then forwarded a congressional amendment to require the State Department to provide Congress with a report on the number of refugees served by UNRWA who actually lived in the territory now known as Israel between 1946 and 1948. But the State Department classified its report, and never informed the senator.
When Congress heard about it in 2017, it directed the State Department to provide an unclassified version of the report – which was ignored.
by Caroline Glick
The Trump administration may be just about done allowing the PLO to use the US as its piggy bank and punching bag. The same unfortunately cannot be said of the PLO’s Israeli supporters in the media, in politics and in the top echelons of the IDF.
In his two-hour speech to the PLO’s Central Committee in Ramallah on Sunday, Mahmoud Abbas, who heads the PLO, Fatah and the Palestinian Authority, attacked Israel, Jews, US President Donald Trump, US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman and US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley.
The US’s first response to Abbas’s call for Trump’s “house to be destroyed” was to announce on Tuesday that it will postpone the transfer of $65 million of its annual $370m. contribution to UNRWA. UNRWA is the UN agency that serves as Hamas’s logistical base in Gaza and generally perpetuates Palestinian misery by dooming the Palestinians to four generations of destitution and limbo with no resettlement and no civil rights.
On Wednesday, Haley indicated that the hold on the funds was not going to be the administration’s last move.
Speaking to Voice of America, Haley said the administration is done being the Palestinians’ patsy.
She pointed to the PLO-initiated General Assembly resolution last month that condemned the US for recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and said, “They go and take us to the United Nations and are basically very hostile in what they say and what they do. We are not going to pay to be abused. It doesn’t make sense.”
On Thursday, Israel Hayom reported that Haley isn’t UNRWA’s only problem. The US Justice Department is conducting an investigation of UNRWA’s relationship with the PLO and Hamas for the US Congress.
Compare the Trump administration’s determined response to Abbas’s assault against America to Israel’s reaction to his assault against it.
Abbas said that Jews have no ties to the Land of Israel. He said the Zionist movement – that is, the Jewish national liberation movement – has nothing to do with the Jews. Rather, Abbas the historian, who got a doctorate for his dissertation denying the Holocaust, said that Zionism is a European imperialist conspiracy cooked up by Oliver Cromwell four centuries ago and implemented by mercantile mariners from the Netherlands.
True, outside the fever swamps of the radical Left, the consensus response to Abbas’s speech was condemnation. Everyone who is anyone said the mask has come off and Abbas is no man of peace, after all.
But then the news cycle passed and the excuses began.
On Tuesday, Channel 2’s diplomatic reporter Dana Weiss had a “scoop.”
It works out, she revealed, that Abbas only torched his relations with the Americans because he was desperate and hopeless, poor thing. His representative had just been to Saudi Arabia. The Saudis told him the details of Trump’s developing peace plan. Trump, it seems, is willing to give Abbas far less than he is demanding.
Obviously, under the circumstances, he had no recourse but to call for Trump’s home to be destroyed and to curse Trump’s ambassadors.
As ridiculous as Weiss’s scoop was on its face, it was even more ridiculous at second blush. Abbas has never met an offer he liked. In 2008, then prime minister Ehud Olmert offered him everything he demanded, and Abbas walked away.
So the fact that Abbas now rejects the draft of the Trump proposal is no surprise.
Weiss’s story tells us more about the Israeli media than it does about Abbas.
Her report, which every major and minor Israeli media outlet then re-reported, begs the question: What is our problem? Why do we make excuses for our enemy?
For 25 years Abbas and his predecessor Yasser Arafat, and the PLO, Fatah and the Palestinian Authority more generally, have not hidden that they are Israel’s enemies. They have said outright that they will never make peace with Israel, and seek our destruction.
And for 25 years, our media and security and political elites have made excuses for them.
Right after Arafat signed the initial Oslo Accord on the White House lawn on September 13, 1993, he jetted off to give a speech at a mosque in Johannesburg, South Africa. A courageous member of the Jewish community recorded the speech.
Arafat told the faithful that the peace process was a Koran-inspired ruse. He was simply following the example that the Prophet Muhammad set with the Quraish tribe of Jews in Arabia. When Muhammad started out, the Jews of Quraish were more powerful than he. So he signed a peace deal with them. When the balance of power shifted in his favor, he invaded their territory and annihilated them.
When news of Arafat’s Johannesburg’s speech reached Israel, the media, along with then-prime minister Yitzhak Rabin and then-foreign minister Shimon Peres, were quick to dismiss its importance.
What did you expect Arafat to say, our betters sneered? Did you expect him to be a Zionist? And anyway, what does it matter what he says? If he so much as tries to continue his terrorism, we’ll crush him like a bug and send him packing back to Tunis.
And when the suicide bombers started exploding on buses and cafes, they said it wasn’t Arafat, it was Hamas.
And when Arafat rejected then-prime minister Ehud Barak’s peace and statehood offer at Camp David in 2000, the media said it was Barak’s fault. He was rude and domineering. The two men just didn’t have the right chemistry.
And when Arafat launched the largest terrorist campaign against Israel in its history, our elite said Arafat was a patsy. He was too weak to stop the attacks so we shouldn’t blame him. And then they turned around and said Arafat was the only one who could stop the attacks, so we needed to be nice to him.
Finally they said, true, Arafat was our enemy. But it didn’t matter because Abbas was replacing him and Abbas was a real peacemaker.
And when Abbas wouldn’t make peace, it was our fault. And when he financed Hamas and paid hundreds of million a year to terrorists, he had no choice. If he didn’t finance terrorism, he would be overthrown.
And when he incited terrorism and said Jews were poisoning Palestinian wells and “polluting the Temple Mount with their filthy feet,” well, he was hopeless and frustrated, and anyway, he’s really old.
The thing of it is that the public has never bought these excuses. Rabin was elected on an anti-PLO platform in 1992. And despite the fact that the media and the Left said the entire right wing was responsible for Rabin’s assassination in November 1995, the public’s desire not to be associated with the murder couldn’t surpass its desire not to be murdered. So less than six months after Rabin was killed, the public voted in the Likud and Binyamin Netanyahu into power.
But the media believe their fake news. And so do their favored politicians.
Less than 24 hours after Abbas delivered his latest anti-Jewish screed, former foreign minister Tzipi Livni and Barak himself were giving speeches and statements blaming everything on the political Right.
True, they said, Abbas is an antisemite and no partner for peace. But the Right is the real danger because its supporters won’t surrender Judea and Samaria and large swaths of Jerusalem to Abbas.
Livni and Barak’s tired claim is that the Palestinians in Judea and Samaria are so numerous that together with Israel’s Arab citizens, they will soon outnumber the Jews.
Their demographic data is specious. But assuming for a moment that they are telling the truth, they have known that Abbas and the PLO/Fatah/ Palestinian Authority is Israel’s enemy for 25 years. Is it possible that in all that time the only policy they’ve come up with is surrender?
If so, why is it so? What is their problem?
Did they never consider militarily defeating the Palestinians?
Or how about restoring their right to vote in the Jordanian parliament, which Jordan’s King Hussein illegally stripped them of in 1988?
Then there is Gaza. There’s been an independent Palestinian state in Gaza since 2005. Why can’t they vote there?
And then there is the fact that according to Palestinian surveys, more than a million Palestinians in Gaza, Judea and Samaria wish to emigrate. Whole villages around Ramallah are ghost towns because their residents live elsewhere. Why is this not relevant to the likes of Livni and Barak?
Why do the Israeli media fail to report these basic facts rather than make excuses for a tin pot dictator who spends his time inciting the murder of Israelis and pretending that the Palestinians are the Canaanites, the Philistines, the Jebusites and the Hittites, all rolled in one?
According to The Jerusalem Post, Trump intended to cut off US funding of UNRWA entirely this week. But US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Defense Secretary James Mattis and National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster convinced to simply reduce it.
According to the Post, “Israel” sided with the trio. But other reports over the past several weeks made clear that whereas Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu supports ending US support for UNRWA, the IDF General Staff opposes the move. Likewise, the IDF has scuttled repeated congressional bids over the years to end US funding of the Palestinian Authority due to its funding of terrorism and its antisemitic incitement.
The arguments are always the same. UNRWA, like Abbas’s security forces, “stabilizes” the situation.
Is there no one else who might “stabilize” the situation better than they do? Where might the Palestinians be today if the US had cut off their terrorism-encrusted leaders 17 years ago? Is there no option other than empowering regimes and institutions that indoctrinate and work toward Israel’s destruction?
Netanyahu responded to Abbas’s diatribe by saying that in a way, Abbas did Israel a favor. He showed that he really doesn’t care how big or small Israel is. He rejects Israel’s right to exist and objects to its existence regardless of its borders.
Netanyahu’s insight is true as far as it goes. But so long as the same failed and vapid elites who gave us the PLO as our peace partner 25 years ago still call the shots, his insight doesn’t go very far at all.