benjamin netanyahu

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According to the article from gulfnews.com… featured below, a proposal for Israel to officially annex all of Gaza and the West Bank is back on the agenda!

It seems that only last Tuesday various political candidates, including members of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party, publicly debated the issue before an audience dominated by settlers!

What sort of a bubble do these people live in? They would do well to heed the words of their 8th Century prophet, Hosea: “They sow the wind and reap the whirlwind” (Hosea 8:7)

Father Dave

source: gulfnews.com…

Serious talk in Israel about annexing Palestine

Occupied Jerusalem: Three Israeli right-wing parties, including two that are expected to be part of the next government after elections this month, are talking seriously about annexing all or part of the occupied West Bank.

Seized by Israel in the 1967 Six Day War, the West Bank is now home to hundreds of thousands of Israeli colonists, as well as about 1.7 million Palestinians.

Talk of annexing the territory, as Israel did with Occupied east Jerusalem — in a move never recognised by the international community — is not new.

But as rightwing parties battle for the colonist vote ahead of the January 22 elections, the idea is being discussed increasingly seriously by mainstream parties.

On Tuesday, candidates from three factions, including the Likud party of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, debated the issue before an audience dominated by colonists.

“We must begin to talk about it because this question will, I hope, be the order of the day for the next government,” Netanyahu’s information minister Yuli Edelstein told AFP.

Annexation of the entire West Bank is not part of the Likud party platform, but Edelstein’s views are shared by a number of the party’s electoral list, which skews to the right wing of the party.

“Our historic right to this region should be cemented by the application of Israeli law in Judea and Samaria [West Bank],” Likud deputy Yariv Levin said.

Annexation has never been a Likud policy, but is now increasingly mentioned by its representatives, as well as those from the rival national religious Jewish Home party.

“No one has talked about it for five years and now it could be a subject of debate in the next parliamentary session,” said Yehuda Glick, a rightwing activist who helped organise the Tuesday discussion.

For Jewish Home, the decision to adopt the annexation policy is directly linked to its new leader, Naftali Bennett, who is being credited with the formerly tiny faction’s meteoric rise in the polls.

He is the author of the Bennett Plan, which he promoted before joining Jewish Home, a road-map for the annexation of the 60 per cent of the West Bank designated as Area C, where Israel has administrative and security control.

The area includes Israeli colonies, but is also home to around 150,000 Palestinians.

The extreme right-wing Otzma LeyIsrael (Strength to Israel) party advocates the annexation of the entire West Bank.

“We will present a project for a proposed law to annex all of Judea and Samaria and the Jordan Valley in the next Knesset,” said Aryeh Eldad, who heads the party’s list.

Edelstein is more cautious, and warns “there are many necessary steps before the annexation, because doing it won’t solve the problem of the territories.”

“We have to create an atmosphere in the international community to be able carry out this annexation bit-by-bit,” he said.

The organisers of the debate estimate that 73 per cent of those voting for Likud, Jewish Home or Otzma LeyIsrael favour annexing the West Bank, either in full or in part.

Many of those are colonists, whose votes are up-for-grabs and the subject of a fierce battle between Likud and Jewish Home.

Bennett’s faction estimates they will win the majority of the settler vote, which in 2009 went strongly for Likud.

The battle has prompted some members of Likud to push Netanyahu to adopt the conclusions of the Levy Report, issued last year, which recommended that the government legalise unauthorised colony outposts.

It also deemed Israeli colony construction in the West Bank legal, despite the opinion of the vast majority of the international community to the contrary.

The report has been criticised by the international community, but won support among Israel’s right-wing.

“Adopting this text is the best way to show the world our right to this land,” Bennett said.

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According to the following article in today’s Jerusalem Post, Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has publicly confirmed that he still supports the idea of a ‘two-state solution’ to the Israel-Palestine conflict, along the lines spelled out in his Bar-Ilan speech of 2009.

Apparently others within the ranks have been saying publicly that Netanyahu’s  Bar-Ilan speech had been “tactical” and directed to international ears (in other words, that it was a blatant lie). This latest statement is designed both to salvage Netanyahu’s reputation for honesty and his international standing as a man of peace.

But when we look at the details of the Bar-Ilan proposal, it’s a little difficult to distinguish between Netanyahu’s concept of a Palestinian state and no state. The requirements he spelled out then included:

  • That the Palestinian state be allowed no military
  • That Israel must retain control of all its borders
  • That no portion of Jerusalem be a part of this new state

Such an entity could hardly be considered a ‘sovereign state’ and Netanyahu knows full well that this form of ‘statehood’ is something that the Palestinians will never accept.

So perhaps Netanyahu’s rivals in the Likud party are simply being more honest? They are not interested in a Palestinian state and they don’t pretend to be.  Perhaps their rise to power will (ironically) hasten the day of peace?

Father Dave

Father Dave

Father Dave

source: www.jpost.com…

PM reiterates support for demilitarized ‘Palestine’

By LAHAV HARKOV
12/31/2012 21:32

Contrary to claims by top Likud candidates, Netanyahu stands behind his words in Bar-Ilan speech, spokesman says.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu stands by his support for a Palestinian state under the conditions described in his 2009 Bar-Ilan speech, despite claims to the contrary by other Likud Beytenu candidates, a spokesman for the joint election list said on Monday.

The Likud-Yisrael Beytenu slate does not have a platform, and several candidates have spoken out recently against Palestinian statehood and a two-state solution.

“A Palestinian state will be established when the Palestinians recognize Israel as the state of the Jewish people, will declare the end of the [Israeli-Palestinian] conflict and only if arrangements ensuring the security of Israeli citizens are made,” the Likud Beytenu spokesman stated.

Netanyahu, according to the spokesman, does not see a Palestinian state at the top of his agenda, with Hamas ruling Gaza and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas working with Hamas and taking unilateral actions. The prime minister’s priority, he said, is to lead Israel while it is faced with a growing Hamas and the Iranian threat.

“The Left brought up questions [about Palestinian statehood] because they are ignoring the true, immediate threats of what is happening around us in the Middle East,” he added.

The comments came a day after President Shimon Peres, addressing Israeli ambassadors gathered in Jerusalem, called Abbas a “partner for peace” and argued that there is no alternative to the two-state solution.

In response, Likud Beytenu blasted Peres as being disconnected from public opinion.

“A Palestinian state would not only fail to bring peace and stability to the region, but would increase the tension and usher in permanent instability,” Yair Shamir, fourth on the Likud Beytenu list, said on Monday.

“The long and determined effort by Israeli leaders to promote a Palestinian state and to soften the Palestinian Authority’s harsh features cannot change the fact that a Palestinian state would add fuel to the fire of terrorism in the region,” Shamir added. “We must remove the idea of a Palestinian state in our area from the Israeli agenda immediately if not sooner.”

read the complete article here: www.jpost.com…

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Father Roy writes:   The following report was published in today’s Jerusalem Post.  Why would the US be pressuring the Arab countries not to provide the promised financial aid to the Palestinians?  One can speculate.  Perhaps Benjamin Netanyahu has threatened a unilateral attack on Iran … or Syria or Lebanon or somebody … if Israel’s “security” is put in jeopardy.  One thing is certain.  The illegal settlements-building continues. 

Israel’s elections on January 22 will reveal the kind of leadership the people of Israeli want in the future.  One wonders whether the highly-organized World Jewish Community will attempt to influence the elections.  As the crisis in the Holy Land develops, UN officials stress the urgency of the situation.  Many of us fear another resurgence of anti-Semitism at the grassroots level.  

Peace, Roy  

Father Roy

Father Roy

source: www.jpost.com…

PA official: US pressuring Arab FMs not to visit Ramallah

By KHALED ABU TOAMEH

12/29/2012 16:41

Arab League Secretary-General visits Ramallah for the first time while four foreign ministers cancel visit at last minute; PLO official says US, Israel pressure Arab countries not to provide financial aid to the Palestinians.

Palestinian officials in Ramallah on Saturday accused the US of putting pressure on Arab foreign ministers not to visit Ramallah.

The accusation came as Arab League Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby arrived in Ramallah for talks with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. This was the first visit to the West Bank by an Arab League secretary-general.

Four Arab foreign ministers who were supposed to accompany Elaraby backtracked in the last minute.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Amru was the only minister to accompany the Arab League chief on his visit to Ramallah.

PLO executive member Wasel Abu Yusef told reporters that the US Administration was behind the cancellation of the four Arab ministers’ visit to the West Bank.

“The Americans prevented the Arab foreign ministers from visiting Ramallah,” Abu Yusef charged.

Some of the ministers who called off their visit claimed that they did not want to pass through IDF checkpoints on their way to Ramallah.

But Elaraby and the Egyptian foreign minister arrived in Ramallah aboard a Jordanian helicopter, which landed in the Mukata presidential compound.

Abu Yusef and other Palestinian officials also accused the US of exerting pressure on the Arab countries not to provide the Palestinians with financial aid.

“The US and Israel are imposing an economic blockade on the Palestinian State and are preventing the Arab countries and Western donors from providing Palestinians with financial aid,” he added.

“Unfortunately, these countries have succumbed to the pressure, further intensifying the financial crisis in the Palestinian Authority.”

Abu Yusef, who is also head of the Palestinian group Arab Liberation Front, accused the US and Israel of waging war on the Palestinians following last month’s UN vote in favor of enhancing the status of a Palestinian state.

Elaraby said after the meeting with Abbas that the Arab countries have yet to fulfill their promise to give the Palestinians $100m. per month to solve its severe financial crisis.

He said that the Arab League would hold “consultations” with its members to ensure that they meet their commitment toward the Palestinians.

“We must admit that Palestine needs material and political support,” Elaraby said. “The Palestinian Authority can’t manage its affairs without financial support.”

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Germany has turned! It seems that Angela Merkel has had enough! Four years of humiliation by Netanyahu has taken its toll.

But how far will Germany push the envelope? Is it possible that Germany could become a leading voice in Europe for the rights of the Palestinian people? That is surely too much to hope for, and yet who expected the German Chancellor to go this far?!

Father Dave

(nb. highlights are courtesy of Father Roy)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel

German Chancellor Angela Merkel

source: Haaretz Daily Newspaper

Merkel to warn Netanyahu: Promote peace process or face world seclusion

Prime minister to meet German chancellor in Berlin on Wednesday evening.

By Barak Ravid | Dec.05, 2012 | 1:02 AM

With Israel and European Union states embroiled in a diplomatic crisis, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is scheduled to meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel Wednesday night in Berlin.

Merkel, who has had rocky relationship with Netanyahu over the past four years, is expected to stress that the Israeli leader must choose between promoting the peace process, including establishing a Palestinian state, or facing international seclusion.

Despite the diplomatic crisis and the tension with Netanyahu, Merkel insisted on holding the government summit with Israel in Berlin. A senior German official said that Merkel had never considered a sanction as severe as halting the supply of nuclear submarines to Israel, since “as far as she’s concerned, Israel’s security is sacred.”

The official added that the government summit was Merkel’s idea of cementing and constitutionalizing the German-Israeli relationship so that it is not dependent on the politics of either state.

This main issue of this year’s government summit is science. Leading scientists from both countries are scheduled to join senior ministers.

Netanyahu arrives in Berlin less than one week after the United Nations General Assembly recognized Palestine as an observer state. In contrast to recent years, Germany refrained from assisting Israel’s diplomatic efforts at the UN. The chancellor was raging at Netanyahu’s conduct and decided, at the last moment, to abstain instead of voting against the resolution. Netanyahu reacted angrily to Germany’s vote, and his national security adviser, Yaakov Amidror, had a heated phone call with Merkel’s senior adviser, Christoph Heusgen.

Merkel reversed course on the UN vote for at least two reasons. First, for four years she has repeatedly requested gestures of goodwill from Netanyahu on the settlement issue – but he has refused. Second, Merkel apparently felt her support was being taken for granted and used as a tool to manipulate other European states on the Palestinian issue.

Der Speigel reported on Monday another possible reason. On the eve of the vote, she received a phone call from Israeli conductor Daniel Barenboim, musical director of the Berlin Opera. Barenboim, known for his severe criticism of Israel’s policies in the Palestinian territories, requested that the chancellor not oppose the Palestinian move, and noted that the resolution mentions the two-state solution and Israel’s right to exist.

From the start, Netanyahu and Merkel have clashed on the question of settlements. Merkel apparently often felt she was misled by Netanyahu, such as when he leaked specific parts of their conversations and did not fulfill promises on the Palestinian issue.

It is commonly known in Berlin that Merkel has no illusions regarding Netanyahu’s intentions as far as the peace process goes, and no longer believe he will surprise anyone with a sudden change of direction. Apparently, as far as Merkel is concerned, Netanyahu cares more about tactics and political survival than about a long-term strategy that would secure the future of Israel and the Jewish state.

Netanyahu should expect to hear some unequivocal messages concerning the punitive measures Israel announced against the Palestinian Authority, as well as his plans to promote construction in the E-1 area, which would connect Ma’aleh Adumim settlement with Jerusalem, and to add 3,000 units in the West Bank settlements and East Jerusalem.

In contrast to France and Britain, Germany did not summon the Israeli ambassador; Merkel apparently prefers to hold a tough discussion directly with Netanyahu. The chancellor is expected to demand that Netanyahu cancel the settlement decision, or at least commit to freezing its implementation immediately after the elections in Israel.

Merkel is expected to tell Netanyahu that he must choose between promoting the peace process and establishing a Palestinian state, a move that would secure the existence of Israel as a Jewish democratic state, or continue expanding settlements, thus leading to the transformation of Israel into an apartheid state that is isolated internationally.

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This press-release just in from Gush-Shalom – the Israeli ‘Peace Bloc’.  It’s a cynical reading of the situation – accusing the politicians of deliberately trading blood for votes – but how else are we supposed to make sense of this fresh outbreak of hostilities? Father Dave

Press Release 11/14/2012

Uri Avnery

Uri Avnery

Avnery: Netanyahu and Barak have decided to deliberately violate a cease-fire which had just been stabilized.

At the price of great and ongoing suffering on both sides of the border, the government’s aim  had been accomplished: social issues will be removed from the public agenda and the election campaign

“Binyamin Netanyahu and Ehud Barak have decided – for the second time in a row the State of Israel will conduct general elections under the shadow of war in the Gaza Strip. The cease-fire which already started to stabilize has been broken deliberately and shattered to pieces. The inhabitants of the communities of southern Israel, who just started to breathe freely, are sent right back to air raid alarms and to running to shelters” said  former Knesset Member Uri Avnery of Gush Shalom.

“At the price of great suffering on both sides of the border, the government’s aim has been accomplished: the social issues, which threatened to assume prominence in these elections, have been pushed aside and removed from the agenda  of the elections campaign. Forgotten, too, is the brave attempt of Mahmoud Abbas to address the Israeli public opinion. In the coming weeks, the headlines will be filled with constant war and death, destruction and bloodshed. When it ends at last, it will be revealed that no goal has been achieved and that the problems remain the same, or perhaps exacerbated. “

Details:Adam Keller, Gush Shalom +972-54-2340749