Cynics don’t believe him, but this is what Mahmoud Abbas said yesterday according to Haaretz:
“The Arab and Islamic world would be happy to recognize Israel if it withdraws from occupied land, and if a Palestinian state, with its capital East Jerusalem, is established,” he said, adding that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is in “very serious” in his attempts to renew peace negotiations.
According to the JTA, Ilana Ros-Lehtinen, chairwoman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, is holding back almost $200 million of aid to the Palestinian Authority unless they back off their actions at the U.N.
The question: Why? Does she have an answer as to what the potential consequences of withholding these funds will have on the ground? If the P.A. cannot maintain its payments to its security forces or its humanitarian aid – doesn’t this a) increase the likelihood of protests, b) reduce the ability of the P.A. security forces to help quell any violent reaction, and c) potentially increase the attractiveness of Hamas?
Read more at JTA: House committee chair places hold on Palestinian aid
- PressTV: US to punish Palestinians for UN bid (jhaines6.wordpress.com)
If you want to get a REAL feel for what may be the beginning of the Third Intifada, watch the video filmed by Planxtysumoud & Haitham Al-Khatib and posted by
+972’s Joseph Dana . While obviously things have not yet escalated into ‘real’ violence on either side – the video certainly gives a taste of what modern warfare is like. This is not “Band of Brothers”, “The Pacific” or John Wayne. This is a surrealistic scene where passing cars conduct their day-to-day business as the combatants spar in their own highway-divider delineated arena. Where stones, rolling blazing tires, and fireworks match forces with rubber bullets. Where a Fox News reporter can jest that at least the “tear gas is clearing up my sinuses”. But the strongest impression is that for now this is a contest of that certain type of Male Testosterone that dominates young men. Frankly, I don’t really see much difference between these boys on either side. They are kids – representing their people. Two tribes – facing down each other as tribes have done for thousands of years. For now, while tragically there are injuries, they are nothing compared to what we all can imagine will happen if things escalate as they did during the Second Intifada. I only wish that the American Jewish Community would be doing more to prevent it by urging our politicians to hold down the rhetoric here in the U.S. By loudly protesting against the threat of pulling aid from the Palestinian Authority. By supporting the long-held official policy of the U.S. against the building of settlements in the West Bank. The “Israel – Right or Wrong” position of seemingly the loudest and wealthiest in the Jewish community is as dangerous now as the “America – Right or Wrong” advocates were during the Vietnam war. The consequence of stifling debate always leads to bad decisions.
So please – watch this – and let me know your thoughts with a comment below.
Joseph Dana – Ramallah – So much attention has been focused on the question of whether violence will break out in the West Bank due the historic United Nations vote on Palestinian statehood. Yesterday, mass peaceful rallies were held inside West Bank cities such as Nablus, Ramallah and Hebron. However, late yesterday afternoon, clashes between stone throwing Palestinian youth and rubber bullet firing Israeli soldiers broke out at the Qalandia checkpoint, the main checkpoint separating Jerusalem and Ramallah…
The rest of his commentary can be found here: WATCH: Against UN backdrop, violence erupts in West Bank
- West Bank sees rallies and clashes as Palestinians bid for statehood (guardian.co.uk)
- The West Bank prepares for (possible) independence (salon.com)
Bloomberg News has reported that Salam Fayyad plans to remain as Palestinian Prime Minister. The significance of this is that Hamas has previously stated that Fayyad is unacceptable, so if this holds up it almost certainly means that the unification deal between Hamas and Fatah will fall apart (as has happened before – and therefore was predicted by many). Fayyad is very well liked and respected in the West because he has a PhD in Economics from the University of Texas, he has cleaned up a tremendous amount of corruption, he has administered the country such that the current economic growth rate is claimed to be about 7%, and finally, his Palestinian police force has worked so well with US General Dayton and the IDF that many checkpoints were able to be eliminated.
Come to think of it – those are probably the same reasons that Hamas rejected him.
From the Bloomberg report:
Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said he will resist pressure to resign and aims to continue in office while the rival Hamas and Fatah factions try to form a joint government.
Fayyad, speaking to reporters today in the West Bank city of Ramallah, said he wants to at least complete his two-year plan to build the institutions for Palestinian statehood that are supposed to be ready in August.
- Hamas rejects Fayyad nomination for prime minister (jta.org)
- Fatah-Hamas unity meeting canceled (jta.org)
- In Cairo, Palestinian factions talk unity Cabinet (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Fatah nominates Fayyad to head interim Palestinian government (cnn.com)
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- Today’s J Street Chicago Luncheon
- Former Mossad chief Meir Dagan speaks his mind to 25,000 at Tel Aviv rally
- Will #Bibi mention this in Congress? Khamenei agrees with Congress: No deal better than a bad deal http://t.co/P8yzZNXIAd via @AlMonitor
- Meetings Last Week with Members of the Knesset About the Current Situation in Israel and Operation Protective Edge
- Landed in Tel Aviv